Volume 40 Number 28
                 Produced: Wed Jul 30  3:35:48 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

"5 Drashot" Provenance
         [R. Jeffrey Saks]
Denotation and Connotation
         [Bill Bernstein]
Driving and Danger
         [Frank Silbermann]
Kedusha deSidra
         [Joseph I. Lauer]
Rav vs. Rabbi
         [Martin D Stern]
Rebbe vs Rav
         [Michael Frankel]
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Why Kol Mitzvoth Hashem=612
         [Adam Steiner]


From: R. Jeffrey Saks <atid@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 10:02:13 +0200
Subject: "5 Drashot" Provenance

I am attempting to track down the origins of Rabbi Soloveitchik's
"Hamesh Drashot" (published in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English). They
originated as lectures to the annual Mizrachi conventions, which usually
took place in November/December at the Lido Beach Hotel, NY.

If anyone knows (perhaps someone who attended) the specific dates of the
delivery of the individual drashot, or has any other information of
related interest, please contact me.

In the English edition, the title page mentions that they were delivered
between 1962-1967. The Yiddish and Hebrew versions give no information
on the dating.

For convenience I list the Drashot below with the titles and order as per
the English edition:
1. "Joseph Dreamt a Dream"
2. "Revolving Sword & Two Cherubim"
3. "Abraham the Hebrew" (from 1963)
4. "Covenant of the Patriarchs" (from 1965)
5. "Dew of the Heaven and Fat Places of Earth" (this last essay did not
appear in the Yiddish edition) 
Appendix: Joy of being Creative (delivered in December 1966)

Please contact me off-list at <atid@...>
Jeffrey Saks


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 17:53:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Denotation and Connotation

After reading Jay Shachter's post on this topic I can only conclude that
I am gullible and maybe stupid because in fact I do believe that the
point of language is communication.  In fact the examples cited show
this very well.  When I say "Gut Shabbos" to someone I mean something
very specific, I wish you a good Shabbos.  I say this for a variety of
reasons: to affirm that I keep Shabbos, to affirm common group
membership, to differentiate myself from those who say "Shabbat Shalom"
like the Reform and Conservative in town, and as a way of cutting short
an encounter that I am ready to cut short without appearing rude.
Context will determine what I mean.  And I have to say that the
communication is usually pretty effective: people understand what I mean
over and above the actual words themselves.  I have a regular guest, a
Satmar fellow who visits here.  When he tells me stories about "the
Rebbe zt'l" I understand he means Rav Yoel Teitelbaum.  I am not a
Satmar chosid although I have great respect for both Rabbi Teitelbaum
and what the movement has done.  I am certainly not offended by
referring to him as "the rebbe."  In no small part it is because the
Satmar chassidim never made out that every Jew should view him as their
rebbe.  My experience with Lubavitch has suggested that Lubavitchers (or
some, or the ones I have met and the issue has arisen) *do* think that
every Jew should view R' M.M. Schneerson zt'l as their rebbe.  Some go
so far as to point out that rebbi is rashei teivos (acronym for) "rosh
bnei Yisroel:, the head of the Jewish people.  I dont consider Rabbi
Schneerson the head of the Jewish people, nor do I consider him my
rebbe.  I am offended at the presumptiousness of those who think I
should, sometimes indicating that by referring to him simply as "the
rebbe."  The language used communicates the point.

Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 17:04:51 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:  Driving and Danger

>> Thus, as I believe that it can be shown that speed limits were not
>> enacted for safety reasons (rather due to gas shortages), I think
>> that there is a decent argument that speeding within a safe range is
>> halachically permissible.

In v40 N23 Ari Trachtenberg:
> A number of posters have made this claim, but it appears to be a
> natural, but flawed, attempt to justify speeding.

I think there are two issues here.  One is whether (or under what
circumstances) halacha forbids violating the speed limit; the other
issue is the claim that violating the speed limit should be categorized
as low-level intentional murder (comparable to throwing a heavy rock
into a crowd of people).

> Regardless of the *initial reason* for enacting speed limit laws,
> the reason these limits have stayed is because of the clear evidence
> that lower speeds improve accident statistics.

Yes, but for the halachic issue of speeding as dangerous behavior, there
is no difference between criticizing someone for going 10mph over the
speed limit versus criticizing him for _not_ limiting himself to 5mph
_under_ the speed limit.  If not going 10mph faster saves lives, going
5mph below will save even more lives.

A more persuasive argument would be the prohibition against wasting
money, which you will certainly do if a policeman sees you speeding and
gives you a ticket.

> Legislatures try to find a reasonable balance between safety
> and human nature when determining speed limits, which I think
> is consistent with the halachic process.

True, but to the extent that halacha is determined from halachic sources
(and not in deference to secular values), there need be no assumption
that halacha will sanctify the specific compromise arrived at by secular

(I'm speaking of speeding as a safety issue here, of course.  As a
question of Dina d' Malchat Dina (respect for the law of the land),
secular law is itself the issue.)

> Of course, there is also the real problem of chillul hashem when
> speeding by other motorists, or if, G-d forbid, someone else is hurt in
> a speeding accident.

Well, yes, I think everyone agrees that halacha forbids speeding to the
point of danger, even in the complete absence of speed limits.

That's not relevant to the issue of mere technical violations of the
posted limits.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 12:30:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Kedusha deSidra

    In MJ 40:19, Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
responded to an earlier posting and discussed a suggestion in the name
of Rav Soloveitchik <"that 'Hashem Yimlokh...' (Exod 15:18) and 'Yimlokh
Hashem...' (Ps 146:10) are in some sense, even halakhically speaking,
interchangeable, as both represent the concept of Malkhut (Divine
kingship).  This substitution appears, not only in Kedusha de-Sidra, but
also in Kedusha de-Yeshiva.  Namely, he argues that the verse 'Hashem
Yimlokh le'olam vaed' at the very end of 'Emet va-yatziv' is seen as
complementing 'Kadish' and 'Barukh' in 'Birkat Yotzer,' since both are
within the overall rubric of the blessings of Shema.">

    R. Yehonatan concluded with the following in parentheses: <"(This
idea appears in a collection of the Rav's oral teachings about the
Siddur collected by Rav Isaiah Wohlgemuth which was at the time being
prepared for press.  I don't know whether it was ever in fact

    I am happy to report that Rav Wohlgemuth did publish his English
sefer, entitled "The Guide to Jewish Prayer".  The second revised
edition, transcribed by A. Reichert and published by J. Robinson, is
distributed by the Israel Book Shop in Brookline, MA, and Lakewood, NJ.

    I believe that the thought to which R. Yehonatan referred is found
at p. 109 of the text and in the corresponding footnote 5.

    In discussing "The Shma and Its Blessings," and the "Kedushah of the
Angels," Rav Wohlgemuth reminds us that, although "Maimonides ruled that
an individual praying without a minyan should skip the Kedushah
here.....  We rely on Rabbi Isserles' opinion [and those of other
authorities (JIL)], which permits an individual to recite this Kedushah.
He says that it is not really a Kedushah but only a description of the
Kedushah that the angels sing.  This Kedushah is actually preliminary to
the Kedushah in the Shmoneh Esreh...."  Rav Wohlgemuth then briefly
describes the Kedushah of the Angels.

    The text then continues, in part (with Hebrew words transliterated
by me in brackets): "This Kedushah has two verses: [Kadosh Kadosh
Kadosh] ('Holy, Holy, Holy') and [Borukh Kevod HaShem MiMekomo]
('Blessed be the Glory of Hashem from His Throne').  We do not add the
usual third verse, that of [Yimlokh HaShem L'Olam] ('May Hashem rule
forever') since we are just describing what the angels recite, and the
angels do not recite the third verse of our Kedushah.  This third verse
is the song of King David in Psalm 146. [n. 5]"

    Footnote 5 states: "I once heard the Rav explain that the third
verse of Kedushah is not missing at all from this Kedushah.  The first
two verses, 'Holy, Holy, Holy...' and 'blessed be the glory...' both
refer to [G-d] as the creator and sustainer of the universe, and
therefore they are found in the blessing which describes [G-d] as the
Creator.  The third verse, 'May Hashem rule forever...' concerns the
redemption, and it can be found in our prayers, appropriately, in the
third and final blessing of the Shma, the blessing of Geula, or

    Rav Wohlgemuth's sefer contains many more valuable insights and R.
Yehonatan Chipman is to be thanked for mentioning it and bringing to
further public attention.

    Be well!
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York


From: <MDSternM7@...> (Martin D Stern)
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 01:31:54 EDT
Subject: Rav vs. Rabbi

In a message dated 29/7/03, Gilad J. Gevaryahu cites:

<< The Talmud generally refers to the Babylonian Amorai'm as Rav, whereas in 
Israel the general title was Rebbi or Rabbi.  >>

as proof that of his assertion that

<<"Titles change with passage of time and within various groups." then as 
well as now.>>

    While I agree with his general assertion, the proof is not valid
since the title 'Rabbi' is used specifically for those who had received
semikhah which was only given in Erets Yisrael, ie Palestinian Amoraim
whereas the lesser title 'Rav' was used for those in Bavel. This form of
semikhah continued until the suppression of the patriarchate by the
Byzantine emperors. Modern semikhah is something else, being rather a
'guarantee' of the competence of the recipient rather than the transfer
of authority. Someone with the original semikhah could rule on knassot
(fines) whereas without it this was not allowed, showing its greater

    Since terminology has changed since talmudic times, proofs based on
those used then cannot be applied to the present day situation where,
generally, Rav is considered superior to Rabbi because of the usurpation
of the latter title for their clergy by the Reform and Conservative

    Yours sincerely
    Martin D Stern


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 00:10:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Rebbe vs Rav

> From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad Gevaryahu): <<His source for the saying 
> 'Gadol meiRav Rabbi, vegadol meiRabbi Rabban, vegadol meiRabban shemo'>> is 
> based Tosefta Eduyot (3:4), "Mi she'yesh lo tamlidim veTalmidav kor'im oto 
> Rabi, nishtakechu talmidav kor'im oto Raban, nishtakchu elu, korim oto 
> biShemo"  and the meaning there is not an absolute greatness of titles, 
> that is, simple name is greater than Raban. If Mr. Stern does not trust my 
> reading of the text then he can see that the Hatam Sofer understood it that

the original quote by is not based on a toseftah in eduyos and was (almost) 
accurately quoted by the original poster.  It is also post-Talmudic with the 
first reference - almost as quoted by mr. stern (if he had dropped the 
connective 've's it would have been exact) - to be found in the iggeres of 
R. Sh'riroh Gaon in response to the historical questions posed him by 
chakh'mei kairouan.  These latter specifically asked R. Sh'riroh, amongst 
other things, to explain the divergence in titles to be found in the Talmud. 

  R. Sh'riroh then responded with the quoted phrase along with an
explanation that recounts the association of "rabbi" with a Palestinian
s'mikhoh which authorized the holder to judge dinei q'nosos and "rav"
with the Babylonian s'mikhoh which did not, etc.  R. Sh'riroh moreover
cites this phrase as one that had already been in circulation for some
time (v'sadur b'fi hakkol, godol merav rebbi, godol mi'rebbi rabbon,...
R. Sh'riroh also clearly explains the meaning of this
venerable-by-his-time quote to indeed signify degrees of "greatness",
with the non-titled "sh'mo" guys likened to the malokhim whose greatness
was not to be captured by a mere title.  What r. sh'riroh may have
thought of the quoted tosefta is an interesting but unanswerable
question, but his own statement and its citation is clear.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 845-2357
<mfrankel@...>	michaeljfrankel@hotmail.com


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 09:55:30 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: S'ruya

S'ruya (Tz'ruya)- maybe the problem is that many people are not familiar
with Nach --- We have the same thing with our son Seraya, not to say
that almost everyone mispronounces it (Sheraya, Sirya, Shirya etc)


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 06:59:41 +0200
Subject: Tzruya

As for:

      The situation is further intriguing in that nowhere are we told
      what Yoav's father's name was.

was it not Nachash?

Yisrael Medad


From: Adam Steiner <adam@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 09:21:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Why Kol Mitzvoth Hashem=612

> From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
> Gershon (v40n15) raises the question as to why KOL MITZVOTH HASHEM is
> 612 in Gematria instead of 613.

The only issue that I have with this is that tzitzith is not spelled
with both yuds in Bamidbar 15 and therefore would be 590 and not 600 if
one were to use gematria.  I lack a computerized search tool, I wonder
if tzitzith is ever spelled with both yuds.

Adam Steiner


End of Volume 40 Issue 28