Volume 41 Number 61
                 Produced: Mon Dec 29  7:01:29 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abraham and the Akeidah
         [Eli Turkel]
Avraham and Akeida
         [Meir Shinnar]
Avraham's Unmentioned Test
Chanukah Torah reading
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
My new volume - "Wit & Wisdom"
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim (2)
         [David Ziants, Martin Stern]
Siddur for Military Personnel
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Test of Faith (3)
         [<FriedmanJ@...>, Tzvi Briks, Nathan Lamm]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 15:55:54 +0200
Subject: Abraham and the Akeidah

On 25 Dec 2003 13:28:11 -0000, Avi Feldblum wrote:
> The statement that Yitzchak never spoke to Avraham again is also
> unfounded, and is as accurate as saying that Yitzchak never spoke
> to him  before the akeidah.

Furthermore, right after the Akedah Sara died. Perhaps G-d never spoke
to Abraham again after the death of Sarah.

More generally after Sarah dies Abraham appears mainly with regard to
marrying off Yitzhak. Some of held that without Sara, Abraham was no
longer in the center stage and the torch passed to the next generation.

Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 18:23:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Avraham and Akeida

WRT the discussion about the akeda, R Yeshaya Lebowitz had a unique
perspective.  He argued that the trial of the akeda was a response to
avraham's failing in the discussion about sdom - opposing the
destruction of sdom may show moral grandeur, but in this particular case
it was partially problematic because it assumed that hashem (rather than
merely some superior being) was subject to our understanding of morality
- and this limitation of hashem is problematic.  The akeda, then, is a
precise response - that avraham was willing to follow hashem even beyond
his understanding.

Meir Shinnar


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 12:28:06 -0600
Subject: Avraham's Unmentioned Test

Shalom, All:

All the interesting discussions I'm reading here about how God tested
Avraham regarding the Akayda (binding of Yitzhak/Isaac) leave out one
important detail: Did Avraham doubt his sanity at hearing a voice that
told him to kill his beloved son?

Put yourself in Avraham's sandals. An old man hears a voice telling him
to repudiate all his anti-idolatry teachings, and to commit what was
common in those days -- human sacrifice. Is it the Voice of the One True
God, or is it the voice of the Satan, the Adversary?

Maybe a component of this test was judgment; not just God judging
Avraham's faith, but Avraham judging his inner voice.

Charles Chi (Yeshaya) Halevi


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 14:17:35 +0300
Subject: Chanukah Torah reading

In Chutz La'aretz, the Chanukah daily Torah reading includes the first
half of that day's Nasi, the second part of that day's Nasi, and
finally, for Shlishi, the Nasi of the next day.

In Israel, on the other hand, the Shlishi reading is the Nasi of that
day - i.e., a repeat.

Does anyone know what the reason is for this difference?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 14:38:07 +0300
Subject: My new volume - "Wit & Wisdom"

I'm pleased to announce that my new book, "Wit & Wisdom," was published
by Artscroll recently. It contains over 500 stories and anecdotes about
Gedolim, and is a companion volume to my first two books: "A Touch of
Wisdom, a Touch of Wit," and "Words of Wisdom, Words of Wit." Each book
is a unique collection of such stories and anecdotes.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 23:04:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim

>>From <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai):
> daven his way against their will ? A shliach tzibbur is just that - a
> messenger of the tzibbur - not a free agent who can do whatever he
> wishes. If a shliach doesn't do what those who send him wish, his right
> to such a title and position comes into question, IMHO.

Concerning the question of what nusach the shaliach tzibbur should use
at an ad-hoc minyan, I hope it is OK if I share a couple of personal
anecdotes. I do not wish to mention the names of the places, for which
each anecdote applies, in case this is rechilot (= gossip). I think
telling the stories might help others contend with similar situations.

To set the context:

In Israel we find the ad-hoc minyanim shuls in shopping precincts
(kanyonim), in bus stations, and dotted around the streets in the city
centres, as well as other places. I would tend not to define a work
minyan as "ad-hoc" as these tend to develop set policies.  Also,
sometimes shuls in my short "ad-hoc" list above might have an official
policy, but it is just not known to anyone who prays there.

Now with the stories:

1. A few years ago I had a "chiyuv" (= try and make it ones business to
be shaliach tzibbur during one's year of mourning for a parent), and a
few times I found myself at a minyan "factory" (= a shul that produces
minyanim one after the other and also often in parallel) for
mincha. This particular one seems to be predominately sephardi (aidot
hamizrach), but they have siddurim of all the nuscha'ot, and a lot of
chassidim go there as well.

When I approached the amud, and at the same time getting the consent of
couple of the men close by; on the amud was a choice of siddurim of the
three predominant nuscha'ot (Ashkenaz, Sephard, and Sephardi), so I
asked if it was OK to use my own, which is Ashkenazi. The chorus was
something on the lines of "definitely yes" / "we are all Jews" / "no

The point is, when it came to the repetition of the amida:- not giving
enough break for the sephardi tzibur's "alav hashalom" after "elokai
yaakov" - saying "n'ekadesh", rather than "na'aritzach" - and the list
continues... - and then not doing viduy and 13 middot before tachnun -
omitting lamnatze'ach before aleinu - the atmosphere seemed to becoming
more and more antagonistic.....

The moral of the story: Next time I was at this shul, and was before the
amud, I made it my business to take a nusach sephardi siddur.

2. At the moment I am (b'li neder) saying kaddish, at least one tephilla
a day, for my grandmother a"h. Not so long ago I found myself in a
ad-hoc minyan (in a shul in a different city to that in the previous
story). As someone was trying to get the 10th man, from the public
wandering around, I happened to mention that I am saying kaddish. One of
the fellows asked if I wanted to be Sha"tz, and after qualifying that I
don't have a real chiyuv, and then mentioning my nusach and asking
whether using it would cause bother (seeing that most of the siddurim
were Sephardi) he said in an easy going fashion, go ahead its "all
Jewish nusach".

Before chazarat hashatz, looking around and seeing that almost everyone
had a nusach sephardi siddur, I asked again someone else that maybe that
it is better that I use the prevalent nusach of the people there,
although I am less familiar (and I almost did trip up because I wasn't
sure which of the separate "barech aleinu" paragraphs I should choose
for the winter). He suggested I do so, and it turned out to be the best
choice. Afterwards, a number of people gave me a special thank you for
doing this.

The moral of the story: Always look around and ask more than once when
in doubt.

I hope people can learn from these stories, as I try and learn more and
more when I fall into these less usual situations.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 09:10:47 +0000
Subject: Nusach at Ad-Hoc Minyonim

David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote:
> [posting just above]

The moral of the story: Don't try being sheliach tsibbur for a minyan
with whose nusach your are not completely familiar.


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 18:16:44 +0200
Subject: Re: Siddur for Military Personnel

 Joseph I. Lauer, in response to my mention of Rav Goren's "Siddur Ahid
le-Hayyalei Taahal," wrote:

> I heard long ago of a similar situation occurring around World War II
> when a Siddur was prepared for Jewish service personnel in the United
> States armed forces and it was suggested that the davening between
> Bor'chu and the Amidah for Shacharis be shortened for emergencies
> situations in the manner apparently later adopted by the IDF (although
> it is unclear to me if the adoption by the IDF was for everyday
> purposes or only for emergency situations).

   Just for the record: Rav Goren's shortened version was intended for
emergency situations only, and is printed in a special section after the
regular Shaharit.

   By the way, there is no indication that this was an "adoption" of the
US chaplaincy Siddur. I would assume that Rav Goren ztz"l arrived at
this solution (based on well-known halakhot) on his own.

    Jonathan Chipman


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 09:28:28 EST
Subject: Re: Test of Faith

      I enjoyed reading all the articles concerning Yitzchak Avinu and
      the Akeida.  I would like to posit an alternate approach.  Both
      Avraham and Yitzchak were trying to achieve an enormous task.
      They were both attempting to correct the Chet of Etz Hadaat Tov
      V'Ra of Adam Harishon.  According to Chazal, among the
      consequences of the Chet of Etz Hadaat Tov V'ra were Avodah Zara,
      Shefichat Damim, and Gilui Arayot.  Adam Harishon literally
      brought death upon his progeny, believed in other deitic entities
      other than the Kadosh Baruch Hu, and had aberrated sexual
      relations with Chava and Chava's alterego - Lilit.  To this day we
      are still suffering the consequences of this major inter and
      intradimensional defect.  The consequences are often difficult to
      bare.  The healing of the rift began with Avraham Aveenu and
      proceeded with Yitzchak Aveenu.  Avraham corrected the Cheit of
      Avidah Zara.  Yitchak corrected the Cheit of Shefichat Damim. (By
      the way, Yaakov with Yosef corrected the Cheit of Gilui Arayot.)

Isn't this original sin as defined by CATHOLICS? And isn't this at the
root of the problems we have been discussing vis a vis women and
halacha, as well as attitude toward women that manifests in different
ways--especially if you concentrate on the Lilith part... Wasn't the
issue in Gan Eden the issue of taking achrayus for your own actions, and

From: <Brikspartzuf@...> (Tzvi Briks)
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2003 23:44:16 EST
Subject: Re: Test of Faith

As I mentioned in the last mail-Jewish, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov
endeavored to correct the Cheit of Etz hadaat tov varah committed by
Adam Harishon.

The test that Avraham had was enormous.  Had he reneged the commandment
of the Kadosh Baruch Hu to bind his son Yitzchak, he would have turned
down the same commandment that was given to Adam Harishon,and the test
of faith of correction to bring the Kadosh Baruch Hu into the world
would have failed again.  It would have been a recapitulation of the
failure of Adam Harishon.  On the other hand had he slaughtered
Yitzchak, Chas VeShalom, there would not have arisen any Israel, there
would never been any Torah or Mitzvot.  The Jewish world as we knew it
and as it is would never have existed.  The future directions and paths
leading to the Batei Hamikdash would have been null and void.  The Brit
promised to Avaraham, " And my Brit I will establish with Yitzchak"
would never have been actualized.  In this test Avraham must fight
against his own emotions of love and conquer his mercifulness, go
against all logic that states that it is impossible that the Kadosh
Baruch Hu would command Avraham would destroy his future progeny.  But
Avraham in pure faith followed the edict of the Kadosh Baruch Hu.  With
this act, he corrected the defect introduced into creation by Adam
Harishon and was successful in bringing in the light of Hashem to us.

Tzvi Briks
New Rochelle, NY

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 05:29:23 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Test of Faith

On December 25, Tzvi Briks wrote:

"...Both Avraham and Yitzchak were trying to achieve an enormous
task. They were both attempting to correct the Chet of Etz Hadaat Tov
V'Ra of Adam Harishon.  According to Chazal, among the consequences of
the Chet of Etz Hadaat Tov V'ra were Avodah Zara, Shefichat Damim, and
Gilui Arayot..."

This is getting very close to- if not well into- Christian, not Jewish,
theology. It is, in fact, one of the more important and significant
aspects of the differences between the two, which are far greater than
the simplistic "Did the Messiah come or not" question. I have no doubt
there are kabbalistic statements of this nature; it seems to fit an
overall view of nitzotzot and the like. However, it illustrates very
well why kabbalistic sources are to be treated very carefully, if not
ignored entirely by most or even all.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 41 Issue 61