Volume 39 Number 82
                 Produced: Tue Jun 17  6:16:24 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Acronyms (4)
         [Elazar M Teitz, Emmanuel Ifrah, Michael Kahn, <BoJoM@...>]
Beit Din
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
         [Moshe Silberman]
Chasash Mechallel Shabbos and Shilach Tzibur
Kavanah During Prayer.
         [Immanuel Burton]
Kosher lo-carb snack bars?
         [Art Werschulz]
Long Yoser
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
meaning of S"T
Shiur on Eiruvin in Flatbush
         [Gil Student]
The spelling of G-d's name
         [Levy Lieberman]
         [Michael Kahn]
         [Barak Greenfield, MD]
What Comes First
         [Menashe Elyashiv]


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 17:48:49 -0400
Subject: re: Acronyms

>I wish to propose that perhaps the Hakham Zvi, R' Zvi
>Ashkenazi, was indeed a Sefardi.  It is well know that the surname
>Ashkenazi is often used by Sefardim who have an Ashkenazi background..

        R. Zvi Ashk'nazi, father of R. Yaakov Emden, was the grandson of
the Sha'ar Efrayim, R. Efrayim Katz of Vilna (a colleague of the Shach),
who subsequently became the rav of the Ashk'nazi community in
Yerushalayim. (Source: the Chida, in his Shem Hag'dolim.)

        While Ashk'nazi was indeed a surname used by S'faradim, Tzvi was
not a first name used by them, and Tzvi Hirsch, which was the Chacham
Tzvi's full name, most assuredly was not used by them.

From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 03:59:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Acronyms

Ira L. Jacobson proposed that "perhaps the Hakham Zvi, R' Zvi Ashkenazi,
was indeed a Sefardi.  It is well know that the surname Ashkenazi is
often used by Sefardim who have an Ashkenazi background..."

Even though it is true that the name "Ashkenazi" is widely borne among
Sefaradim (Algerians e.g.), the Hacham Tzvi was indeed Ashkenazi but was
called "Hacham" because he studied in Sefaradic yeshivot where he was

Later he served as the rabbi of Sefaradic as well as Ashkenazi

Emmanuel Ifrah

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 11:32:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Acronyms

>Secondly, I wish to propose that perhaps the Hakham Zvi, R' Zvi
>Ashkenazi, was indeed a Sefardi. It is well know that the surname
>Ashkenazi is often used by Sefardim who have an Ashkenazi background..

>From what I heard, the Chacham Tzvi was an Ashkenazi. He lived in
Amsterdam, which had a sizable Sfardic population. The fled the Spanish
Inquisition and ran to Amsterdam because of its legendary early
religious tolerance. The sfardim loved the Chacham Tzvi so much that
they granted him the title chacham, the Sfardic equivalent for rabbi.

From: <BoJoM@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 16:02:39 EDT
Subject: Re: Acronyms

Concerning Chacahm Tzvi Ashkenazi (father of R'Yaakov Emden) Ira writes:

 <<Secondly, I wish to propose that perhaps the Hakham Zvi, R' Zvi
 Ashkenazi, was indeed a Sefardi.  It is well know that the surname
 Ashkenazi is often used by Sefardim who have an Ashkenazi background..>>

 Perhaps he meant Ashkenazim of Sefardi background.  Either way this is
not a very strong argument for the Chacham Tzi's reference to himself as
"Sfardi Tahor". Surely, there was no special reason in those days (late
17th-early 18th century) in Austro-Germanic areas to take special pride
in one's supposed Sfardi lineage. (In fact, a good argument can be made
to the contrary, which I won't go into at this time)

The Chacahm Tzvi was born in Mahren, which was located in the Austrian
Empire and given the name of Tzvi Hirsch.  (Hardly a Sefardi
appellation) It is known that his grandfather was Rav and head of a
yeshiva in Alt-Auben, where the Chacham Tzvi studied before going off to
yeshiva in Salonika where he evidently received Smicha at an early age
and briefly served as Rav or Chacham in the town of Kosta and retained
the title of Chacham for the remainder of his life.  It is most likely
that he was given the name Ashkenazi, to distinguish him from local
students) while studying and living in the Greek-Macedonia area.

 From all we know of Chacham Tzvi's son, R' Yaakov Emdem, and what he
tells us of his father, we see more of a German heritage than any Sfardi
background.  And if Samech Tet indeed stood for Sfardi Tahor, an
appealtion of pride in one's supposed Sfardi heritage, why didn't R'
Yaakov Emdem (who greatly admired and respected his father) make use of
the same abbreviation for himself?  Then, too, most authors of Sforim,
to this very day, depict themselves and their work in a most
self-effacing and humble manner.

I'm afraid that SinTin, an expression of "anivus" and humility is the
only reasonable meaning of the abbreviation (yes, It is not an acronym)

Boruch Merzel


From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 01:10:05 +0200
Subject: Beit Din

There was a posting some three weeks ago dealing with the conversion of
Ruth by a Beit Din and a doubt was raised about the existence of one at
the time of the Biblical time-frame.

According to the Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 1:3, Yehoshua was appointed by
Moshe "and his Beit Din" as were Shaul and David who were appointed by
Shmuel HaRamati "and his Beit Din".  Other references to the Beit Din of
Shmuel HaRamati can be found in Yevamot 77A, Babba Kama 61A and Makkot

Yisrael Medad

[As I think I may have been the poster refered to, combining some other
submissions, I did not raise doubts about the existance of a Beit Din in
Biblical time frames. The specific issue raised was whether a conversion
requiring a Beit Din to be valid was necessarily required at the time of
Ruth's conversion. Avi Feldblum, Mod.]


From: Moshe Silberman <alfred.silberman@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 10:42:02 -0400
Subject: Berachos_58b

I am looking for a clear explanation of the piece of Gemara in Berachos
58b at the bottom dealing with the constellations.

The Soncino Edition suggests an article by Brodetsky in the Jewish
Review of July 1909 but I haven't had an opportunity yet to go to a
library that has that article.

Is there any other attempt to clearly explain and identify the names given?

Moshe Silberman


From: <Edgm1@...>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 09:35:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Chasash Mechallel Shabbos and Shilach Tzibur

I am looking for help and or suggestions with regard to a situation
described as follows. For the past four years I have been davening in an
orthodox shul which tries to mekarev certain other people who daven
there as well. 

One of those is a person who although has never been seen driving to
shul (is known to live 14 miles away from the shul). He has been asked
by the gabbi, with the permission of the Rav, to be a shliach Tzibur as
he has a very plesant voice and his davening is quite enjoyable. He is
also a person who has supported the shul for many years. 

As of late an objection has been raised by some members who are very
upset with the fact that someone who most likely drives to shul leads
them in prayer. Some walk out when he is called up to daven. It has
gotten to the point where people are not talking to each other. 

I would like to affect some kind of solution or compromise.
Any suggestions??


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 09:48:54 +0100
Subject: Kavanah During Prayer.

The Mishnah in chapter 7 of Sotah discusses which prayers one may recite
in a language which one understands.  This is also discussed in section
101 of the Orech Chaim volume of the Shulchan Aruch.

One may recite prayers in Hebrew even if one does not understand what
one is saying.  Given this, I would like to suggest that praying with
"kavanah" does not necessarily mean concentrating on what the words
mean.  I looked the word "kavanah" up in two different dictionaries, and
both defined the word as "intention".  Perhaps prayer with kavanah means
that one has to recite the entire prayers with the intention that one is
doing so as a prayer.

Bearing in mind how difficult it can be to maintain concentration on
something for a prolonged period (I speak for myself here), is it better
to pray quickly and maintain concentration throughout, or pray slowly
and have one's attention wander?  Can prayer be something where quality
is better than quantity?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 11:51:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kosher lo-carb snack bars?

Has anybody out there found any kosher low-carb snack bars?  Thanks.

Art Werschulz 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7061, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 11:04:10 +0300
Subject: Long Yoser

The source for the long Yoser on Shabbat is probably Zohar Truma page
132, and Vayakel page 205. I guess that because all the Yom Tov prayers
are like the Shabbat prayers e.g.- Pesukai dezimra, the Sefaradi minhag
is to say the long Yoser on Yom Tov. BTW, this is one of the 2 places
that the non- Kabbalic Yemanites gave in to the Kabbalic Yemanites,
their original custom was to say the short Yoser on Shabbat. (the 2nd
one was to say the long Keduasha Keter in Musaf, their original custom
was to say their all year around Kedusha also in Musaf . This Kedusha is
a mixture of Nakdishah, Kevodo Male Olam& Memikomiche Malkanu).

On the same thread, the Sefaradi custom is to say Mizmor 29 when
returning the Tora on Yom Tov. This is surprising, because the reason
for saying it on Shabbat is because it speaks about Matan Tora that was
on Shabbat. Maybe also - lo plug (= no differnce made)


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 04:35:50 EDT
Subject: meaning of S"T

A while ago, I read a lengthy article just on this topic (what S"T
stands for). IIRC it was in a periodical called 'Ohr Hamaarav' put out
by a Sepharadic machon in Eretz Yisroel or so.

It concluded that it stands for 'seifei tav'.

Re Ira's ingenious comments - it mentioned that there were Yemenites who
appended it to their name as well - and Yemenites are not Sepharadim.



From: Gil Student <gil@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 13:00:48 -0400
Subject: Shiur on Eiruvin in Flatbush

Announcing an upcoming shiur by R' Yisroel Hirsch on the topic of

"Eiruvin in Metropolitan Areas and the Possibility of Having an Eiruv in

Followed by a Question & Answer period

To be given 5-6 pm on June 21, Shabbos Parshas Beha'alos'cha

in Congregation Shaarei Shalom
in Yeshiva Ahavas Torah building
2961 Nostrand Avenue, near Avenue P
Brooklyn, NY

All men and women are invited to attend


From: Levy Lieberman <kushint@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 08:55:12 -0400
Subject: RE: The spelling of G-d's name

I've heared from a number of various sources, that even when spelling
the word G-d in English (or other secular languages) it is important NOT
to spell it in it's entirety, hence the spelling "G-d". Is anyone
familiar with the Halachic reasoning for this, and/or other opinions,

All the best,
- Levy

[This is a topic that has come up many times during the life of this
mailing list. I think the overall conclusion has been that there are
sources on each side of the issue, with the majority probably falling on
the side that there is no requirement to modify the name of God in any
language other than Hebrew. I accept that opinion for the list
management, so I will send through whatever people choose to write, God,
G-d, G*D etc. Mod.]


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 23:49:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Superstition

 >not to blow out a flame with your breath (wave it in the air instead)

I saw this a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, it is a
persons soul is compared to candle as per the pasuk, Ner Elokim Nishmas

>not to end a conversation on a negative note (if you can't think of
>anything more creative, just saying the word "simchas" suffices)

I think masechta brachos or another masechta ends with a negative topic
so Chazal added the famous braisa of "Talmiday Chachamim Marbim Shollom
Baolam" to end on a happy note.

>"ad Mea V'esrim"

We aren't the only ones who say this. The Italians (lehavdil (smile))
wish one to live until 99 (in Italian of course.)

An interesting thread to start would be to address why we actually wish
people to live until 120? Is it because Moshe Rabainu lived until then?
I never understood why we aren't "shortchanging" the blessed. After
all Ahron lived until 123.


From: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 22:19:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Umbrellas

It appears that the decision to prohibit hand-held umbrellas represents
somewhat of a halachic anomaly. After all, opening an awning and a patio
umbrella (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchoso 24:16) are both
permitted. Although the footnotes ibid. attempt to distinguish between
hand-held and patio umbrellas, it seems that, like bicycle riding,
umbrellas may be a melacha in search of an issur.

Barak Greenfield, MD


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 10:36:07 +0300
Subject: What Comes First

Why are the 3 Megilot read before the Tora reading? It is not a case of
tadir & lo tadir, because thay are not equal: reading the 3 Megilot is
an Ashkenazi custom, many read it from a book, some by the Reader and in
some places every reads for himself. Our custom is not to read them at
all, some Yemanites read them before Minha. OTOH, Tora and Navi
(Haftara) is a well established halacha/custom, so therefore, it is not
a case of tadir. Therefore, on Purim, the Megila is read after the Tora


End of Volume 39 Issue 82