Volume 41 Number 52
                 Produced: Tue Dec 23  5:35:52 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

An Appropriate Translation for Ach
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
         [David Ebner]
         [Harry Weiss]
Double Names (2)
         [Leo Koppel, Shimon Lebowitz]
Medication and Shidduch
Pride and Leadership
         [Ari Kahn]
Reproving a respected Rabbi
         [Arnie Kuzmack]
Saying Tachnun
         [Carl Singer]
Saying Tachnun on Yud Tes and Kof Kislev
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Travel to Brussels, Belgium
         [Marsha Wasserman]


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 22:32:04 +0200
Subject: An Appropriate Translation for Ach

BSD, yom shishi vayeshev

Why I have reservations about Russel Hendel's translation of ach as
usually or most.

<Usually> lacks the imperative of the original commandment.  Thus to say
usually observe the sabbath ( ach et shabbtotai tishmoru) connotes an
option of observing and not observing; just observe more than not.  And
I dare say that this objection applies to the many other instances where
ach is expressed in a mandatory context.

Furthermore, usually has a positive meaning semantically, while our
rabbis insist that rak, it is restrictive (<achim ve rakim miyutim>)

As far as translating it as <most>, as in most of Noah remained in the
ark, the contextual phrase would not be idiomatic English.  And indeed,
I think it would be asking too much of a five year old to <intuitively>
grasp the idea expressed by the rabbis that Noah was injured in the ark,

The idea that the plain meaning of words in the torah should
spontaneously express the interpretations of the rabbis and finding the
right word to do that in English is quite a challenge.

chanukah sameah


From: David Ebner <rebeb@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 18:03:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Chanuka

On the question of Chanukah and music:
See the Rama in Shulchan Aruch 670:2.


From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 20:05:18 -0800
Subject: Chanukah

>From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
>That got me to thinking that in our time there could be an opposite
>effect at work also... the "inside" can also be found "outside" to an
>extent much greater than in the past.  By this I mean that one can
>sometimes glimse references to Orthodox Judaism in the most unexpected
>areas of popular culture recently.  One example that comes to mind is
>Carlos Santana saying "Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh" while accepting an award a
>few years ago. Two other examples that I noticed just in the last week
>were a reference to the Tshuva movement in the spoof newspaper "The
>Onion", and a reference to Kaballah on Saturday Night Live.

I used to go on a regular basis to the Chanukah Lighting cermony put on
by Chabad in San Francisco.  (I haven't had the chance to go for the
past few years, and again this year I won't be able to go since I am in
aveilus) Once Carlos Santana was there and IIRC he did perform a Jewish
song as well.

One of the regulars that Rabbi Langer would have perform was Country Joe
McDonald.  He changed his well known give me an F song (from Woodstock)
to Give me an S, give me an H, Give me an M, give me an A, what to we
got Shma Yisroel and go into the well know Shma Yisroel song.


From: Leo Koppel <wallyut@...>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 12:38:42 -0700
Subject: Double Names

>From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
>    How about "Avi-gedor" in 1 Chr 4:4 and 18, which was later
>contracted into the one-word name "Avigdor," which the midrash says was
>one of the names of Moshe Rabbenu, and was used as a proper name later
>in Jewish history.

Isn't Avi-gdor more properly a two word phrase written as a single word
just like Yeho-Natan.

>    Yehonatan ben Avigdor (Chipman)

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 07:49:32 +0200
Subject: Re: Double Names

Leo Koppel <wallyut@...> wrote regarding double names that the
xtian bible "does contain the name Simon Peter as a translation of a
Judean name".

I once heard the Israeli linguist Avshalom Kor mention that name,
explaining it as follows (according to my probably faulty memory - any
mistakes can be assumed to be mine alone).  The man's name was simply
the standard Shim`on, but he was being nicknamed "the rock"; in Aramaic
- Shim`on Keifa.  The Greek translation of rock is petros, so Shim`on
Keifa became Shim`on Petros, and from there to Simon Peter in the

This was apparently not a double given name at all, any more than
"Yehuda haMakkabi".

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 01:06:42
Subject: Medication and Shidduch

>There are people who take medicine for emotional and psychological
>problems. There are often instances where the person refuses to take
>>the regulating medicine and the abusive abnormal behavior
>returns. Perhaps the abusive husband was on medicine, shouldn't people
>know that?

If there is one prejudice in our community that no one likes to talk
about it is the prejudice that exists regarding frum people on
psychotropic medication who face tremendous hurdles in shiduchim because
of this.

I take medicine for a mild bipolar disorder, which I successfully
manage. Yet every time I date another girl I worry "What will she think
when I have to tell her I'm on medicine." Many poskim require people
like me to tell the girl that I take medicine by the third date but as a
prominent Rabbi/Psychologist told me mother, "A guy who tells a girl
that he takes medicine on their third date will not get married."
(Actually its not that bad but it's bad.) (I am not a posek so I accept
their psak, but I am pointing out how hard our situation is.) Frum
people are not allowed to kiss on dates- except when it comes to talking
about taking medication, which can be the kiss of death. But the
discrimination that exists against people with mental health issues is a
sham. If every frum person would march down say Ave. J. in Flatbush,
Brooklyn, once a year people would be shocked as too how many of us are
out there. As the gays say, we are your mothers and fathers, your
brothers and sisters, your rabbis and Rosh Yeshivas. We are people just
like you! The writer above speaks of the instances where

>the person refuses to take the regulating medicine and the abusive
>abnormal behavior returns. 

This is a sad assumption. Unless people can present statistics saying
that occurrences of people on meds commonly stop their meds they
shouldn't throw around such accusations.  

> Perhaps the abusive husband was on medicine, shouldn't people know that?

Perhaps the abuser is just an "achzor," an evil self centered person. It
is wrong to assume that an abusive person is mentally ill and thereby
tar all people with mental health disorders with the same brush.

I am not saying people should marry people who can't get up in the
morning or hold a job. I am saying people who take medication should not
be assumed that they would stop taking their medication. I love my
medication because it makes me stable and would stop if you paid me.

Much has been written as of late as too the need for a revamping of the
shiduch system. Perhaps we should look at the way people who take
psychotropic medication are marginalized from the system. I think it is
time we start a discussion about this vital issue.

Because of the society we live in, I am forced post this anonymously.


From: Ari Kahn <kahnar@...>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 12:41:13 +0200
Subject: RE: Pride and Leadership

>I believe it is the Rambam whom he quotes saying that a leader must have
>"a one-eighth of one-eighth measure of pride/respect (shminit
>shebashminit shel gaavah)" in order to be an effective leader.  But what
>does "one-eighth of one-eighth" mean?  The answer is "look in the eighth
>parasha (Vayishlach) at the eighth verse "Katonti mecal hahasidim..."
>Jacob says to Hashem that he is "small" or "unworthy" for all the
>kindnesses done to him.  In other words a leader has to command some
>respect and at the same time be "small" or "modest" - an oxymoronic
>mixture that defines real gedolim.

One 8th of an 8th is the gemara, and the idea to look in the 8th parsha,
8th pasuk is in the Gra



From: Arnie Kuzmack <Arnie@...>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 00:27:05 -0500
Subject: Reproving a respected Rabbi

>What is the proper way to "reprove" a respected and educated rabbi who
>is not very careful about certain mitzvahs between people.  In the
>specific case in mind, this rabbi often confides in me negative things
>about fellow congregants and donors that I really have no business or
>benefit knowing.  Any suggestions on this difficult mitzvah would be

It seems to me that it is not necessary to reprove him.  The next time
it happens, you can say something like "I feel uncomfortable when you
tell me things like that.  I don't think I have any business or benefit
knowing about that."

You have not said that he is doing anything wrong; you just made a
truthful statement about how you feel.  His most likely response is "Oh,
I'm sorry.  I did not realize you felt that way."  Or he might explain
his reasons for doing it.  Or he might say "Yes, I guess that is lashon
hara, isn't it."

In any case, the issue is now out in the open in a non-blaming way, and
you can both deal with it.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 22:21:08 -0500
Subject: Saying Tachnun

Subject: Re: Saying Tachnun on Yud Tes and Kof Kislev

>> I attend an Azkenaz minyan. On Kof Kislev, as we were about to say
>> Tachnun, one of our members, who is a follower of Chabad, stated that it
>> is a custom in most Azkenazi shuls not to say Tachnun on Yud Tes and Kof
>> Kislef. I had not heard of this custom, nor did I find it referenced in
>> our luach. I would appreciate hearing from list members who were in
>> Azkenazi Shuls on Sunday and Monday this past week as to whether or not
>> Tachnun was said. Thanks.
The responses to this posting seem to relate to whether or not the 
"that it  is a custom in most Azkenazi shuls not to say Tachnun on Yud 
Tes and Kof Kislef."
is accurate -- i.e., are these two specific dates so observed.

As usual, I have a different concern -- PROCESS -- How does a given
minyan determine whether or not it normally (absent a chusan, etc.) says
tachnun on a specific date.

Surely, it's not based on whether a member brings the matter of saying
tachnun into doubt.  Left to this device it become an issue for debate
and the most persuasive discussant may sway the outcome.

One would think that the minyan has a Rav or a Posek who can provide, a
priori, a list of dates / events when tachnun is not said.

I'm sure some will find it cathartic to jump on the following statement
as being uncharitable, etc. -- but I think the tam (flavor) of the
statement in the original posting is either (1) one of cleverness and
deceit or (2) one of ignorance or (3) one of a great group ego that
proposes that since we do things in a certain manner that this is the
correct manner and thus the majority also hold this same way.

Each of the three reinforce the need for having a date list per my
previous statement.

A Freilechen Chanukah

Carl Singer


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 22:53:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Saying Tachnun on Yud Tes and Kof Kislev

On Saturday, December 20, 2003, at 09:57  PM, Gershon Dubin 
<gershon.dubin@...> wrote:

> Chabad does not say on 19 Kislev because it's a holiday of theirs,
> celebrating the release of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe from jail.  It
> is also the yahrtzeit of one of the great Chassidic Rebbes, I believe
> the Mezricher Maggid, so some nonChabad chasidim don't say because of
> that.

> I see no reason for ANYONE not to say on 20 Kislev, even Chabad.

That is incorrect.  The holiday is celebrated as a two day holiday
because on the 20th of Kislev the Alter Rebbe was actually let out on
prison IIRC.  Also by accident he was brought to the wrong apartment to
a misnagid who couldn't stand the Alter Rebbe or Chassidim.  The Alter
Rebbe said that those few hours in this person's company was as
difficult for him as the entire time he was in prison.

Similarly, the holiday of 12-13 Tammuz when the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe
was freed from prison is also a two day holiday and Lubavitchers do not
say Tachnun either day.

Kol tuv,
Shoshana Ziskind


From: <Wassermen@...> (Marsha Wasserman)
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 11:37:03 EST
Subject: Travel to Brussels, Belgium

In February we will have family business in Brussels.  Does anyone know
of a hotel which would be in walking distance to an orthodox shul there?
Is there an orthodox shul in Brussels?  If so, what is its name?  Also,
how does one go about finding kosher food there?  What hashgagas are
there?  Do you need to get a list first as you have to do in Australia?

Thanks to anybody with this information and Chanukah same'ach.

Marsha Wasserman


End of Volume 41 Issue 52