Volume 41 Number 77
                 Produced: Wed Jan 14  5:52:44 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ari versus Aryeh
         [Sam Saal]
Chanukah as influenced by Christmas
         [Bernard Raab]
Date of Yom HaShoah
         [Ken Bloom]
Meaning of NA(PLEASE)-was Akaydah order or Request
         [Russell J Hendel]
         [Tovia Lent]
Mishnah Yomit
         [Seth & Sheri Kadish]
No requirement to believe in miracle of oil
         [Russell J Hendel]
order of service on a ta'anit
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Who Carries the Torah Through on the Women's Section
         [Aaronson, Jeffrey B.]


From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 09:46:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Ari versus Aryeh

What is the difference between the names Ari (aleph - resh - yud) and
Aryeh (aleph - resh - yud - heh)?

Is one biblical an the other talmudic? If so canyou post an example?

Is one a dimunitive (which)?

Is one male and the other female?

Sam Saal


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 03:09:14 -0500
Subject: Chanukah as influenced by Christmas

For those among us who believe that Chanukah has developed into such a
big deal because of the influence of that "other" holiday, as we have
always assumed (me included), our recent Chanukah trip to India was very

On the fifth night of Chanukah we were taken to a suburb of Bombay
called Thane (Tah'nay), to meet with the B'nei Yisroel community there
in their beautiful synagogue (with a beautiful attached mikveh), to
daven and light Chanukah candles, and to have a kosher dinner in their
courtyard.  In Bombay itself, few Christmas decorations could be seen,
mostly in the hotels and some businesses. India itself is, of course,
majority Hindu with a sizeable Moslem minority and a much smaller
Christian minority. Driving into Thane, I noticed illuminated plastic
stars in various colors and fanciful designs hanging on buildings, and
in many windows and businesses. As there were no other lights I did not
associate these with Christmas, but our guide assured me that these were
the holiday decorations for the Christians in Thane.

The synagogue, however, was a different story: Strings of electric
lights hung down from the rooftop to the ground all around the building
and a large Magen David was mounted above the building, with the entire
assembly framed in streaking lights. It was a display worthy of Times
Square. Upon questioning the elders of the shul, they indicated that
they put up these lights for all the Jewish holidays and other important
occassions; a practise learned from the British during their era in
India. The surprising thing, I suppose is that the the Christians are
not moved to emulate the "Jewish lights"!


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 08:10:36 -0800
Subject: Date of Yom HaShoah

Warren Burstein <warren@...> wrote:
> I think the same problem is found in an old version of Edward M
> Reingold's holidays.el, distributed with Gnu Emacs.  Sadinoff writes
> that he used the version that came with Emacs 19 as a source.
> http://www.mit.edu/afs/athena/contrib/emacs-contrib/SIPB/elisp/holidays.el
> contains
> (list (calendar-gregorian-from-absolute (+ abs-p 12)) "Yom HaShoah")
> That puts Yom Hashoah 12 days after Pesach (abs-p), on Nisan 27.

Looking at the copyright dates indicates that holidays.el for Emacs 19
was written probably in 1990 (the file's creation date as reported by
the FTP server is 1992, but that may or may not be accurate), so as the
author, Ed Reingold said in his post:

> Yom ha-Shoah is Nisan 27, unless that day is Sunday (it cannot be 
> Saturday), in which case it is postponed 1 day. This exception was 
> introduced by the Israeli Knesset in May 1997. 

Ergo, the version that shipped with Emacs 19 cannot be expected to
behave according to rules that were instituded after it was written, and

you can email the author of hebcal and inform him of this.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2004 17:20:23 -0500
Subject: RE: Meaning of NA(PLEASE)-was Akaydah order or Request

Abraham Etzion is of the opinion that the Akaydah was a request not a
command. He however (mis)cites a Rashi.  Rashi on the Biblical phrase

The phrase LANGUAGE OF REQUEST does not necessarily mean actual request
but rather could indicate a soft tone.  In fact on the Rashi website I
review the 4 dozen or so times that the word PLEASE occurs in the Torah.
Many of these cases are listed at http://www.Rashiyomi.com/nu10-31a.htm
-- 4 cases are given.

(a) NA(PLEASE) can indicate something not deserved (as PLEASE FORGIVE US
FOR SELLING YOU -- brothers to Joseph Gn50-17a).(b) NA(PLEASE) can
indicate a SOCIAL PLEASE (Said as a courtesy) as in Jacobs request to
is used when a current request contradicts or seems to contradict a
previous request. So at the Akaydah God ORDERED Abraham to sacrifice
Isaac even though he previously promised Abraham that his seed would be
thru Isaac. Thus the word PLEASE does not indicate request but is a tone
of softness to ease the shock at apparently contradicting something
previously asked(Gn22-02a). (d) Finally NA (PLEASE) can be used in the
sense of reconsideration as in Nu10-31 PLEASE RECONSIDER AND COME WITH
US TO ISRAEL (Said by Moses to his fatherinlaw).

Etymologically NA comes from the word NA which refers to the initial
stages of cooking (and hence is an appropriate symbol of SOFTENING a
situation). But softness in and of itself does not contradict an
interpretation of "command".

The above is an interesting example of how reviewing a collection of
Biblical examples gives us precise insights into several dozen
Rashis. In fact the PLEASE series was presented in Jan 2001 (See
http://www.Rashiyomi.com/calendar1.htm) for the nine-part series.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Tovia Lent <sld11@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 11:08:34 -0500
Subject: Mesorah

I have been studying Nach from Yehoshua and have almost finished Trei
Asar.  A unifying theme that started in shoftim after the first
generation post Yehoshua is the recurrent near universal worshiping of
idols with the resultant punishments meted out by Hashem. There would be
the national repentance after being admonished by a Judge or prophet and
then Hashems help in saving Israel from their surrounding
neighbors.There would be the occasional national following of the
Mitvoth such as during the time of David And Shlomo followed soon after
by the splitting of the kingdom and idol worship being nationally
followed. There was also recurrent destuction of following the Torah
such as during Achav and the Kohanim of Nov. Even after the return of
Ezra we know that after the Chanuka period there was much following of
foriegn ideals bringing in idol worship.My question is how as it
possible for the Mesorah to be transmitted during this long period.
Even the written torah was mostly forgotten until a hidden scroll was
found By Hizkiyah.What are we to think of the remembering of the Oral
Law. I know about the mishnah in Pirkeh Avot where it says of how the
Mesorah was transmitted throught the generations. Understand, i am an
Orthodox Jew who beleves in Rambams 13 principles. i just want someone
to help me understand better how the mesorah was possibly kept through
all the trevails

 Tuvia Lent


From: Seth & Sheri Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 18:36:29 +0200
Subject: Mishnah Yomit

A while ago someone asked about the origin of the "Mishnah Yomit"
study-cycle.  But (if I remember correctly) there was not much response
to the question.  I didn't respond either for the simple reason that I
didn't know the answer.

However, I recently found the answer when I read a wonderful little book
about Rabbi Charles Batt zt"l, called "Mr. Batt's Way" (written by his
daughter, Miriam Batt Halpern).  Rabbi Batt was an outstanding figure in
Orthodox Jewish outreach (long before "kiruv" became popular!) and
devoted his life to building the Orthodox community in Hartford, CT
(today the community is in West Hartford).  Towards the end of his life
(late 1960s and early 70s) Rabbi Batt launched a personal project to
spread the Mishnah Yomit idea in North America.  The small book has an
entire chapter on "Mishna Yomit," which includes the following:

"The Mishna and Halacha Yomit project was originally founded in Bnei
Brak by Rav Yona Shtensil.  It involved individuals following a daily
schedule of organized study of two units of Mishna and three paragraphs
of Shulchan Aruch every day.  By keeping up this schedule, one was able
to complete the entire body of Shas in six years.  Rabbi Batt took up
Rav Shtensil's idea enthusiastically and corresponded with him
regularly, discussing with him ways to promote and improve the program
and reporting his progress as he succeeded in getting the project
started in America.  He sent Rav Shtensil money to support the Israeli
project, and he also financed the entire United States operation,
including the advertising, printing the luchot and covering the cost of
mailing the luchot to each chaver.  (He distributed the luchot free of

"As Rabbi Batt became more involved in the project, it became an
integral part of his daily life.  He printed his business address as the
U.S. office of Mishna Yomit, and his secretaries would type letters
related to the project as a normal part of their business duties.  He
always ended his evenings writing letters to chaverim of the Mishna
Yomit. He kept in constant touch with each and every participant, giving
them all encouragement in their individual learning."

In his efforts to promote Mishnah Yomit, Rabbi Batt was in contact with
many important rabbinic figures of the day, including Dr. Joseph
Kaminetzky of Torah Umesorah, R. Moshe Sherer of Agudath Israel, Rav
Soloveitchik, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Bostoner Rebbi, Rav Ruderman of Ner
Yisroel.  It eventually became an official project of NCSY and the OU.

On the Israeli side I would add that in some libraries one can find on
the shelf next to the regular Mishnayot Kehati - bound editions of the
original Mishnah and Halakhah Yomit pamphlets which R. Pinchas Kehati
distributed through Heikhal Shlomoh during the 1960s.

I'll quote one more meaningful paragraph from the chapter on Mishnah
Yomit, this one by Rabbi Phil Chernovsky about his meeting with Rabbi

"I first met him [R. Batt] in the summer of '67 or '68, when a friend
took me to his home one Shabbos.  His enthusiasm for the Mishna project
made an impact, which manifested itself in a commitment to Mishnayot
from that time until today.  Years later, when my oldest daughter was
five, she crawled into my lap one day and asked me what I was doing.  I
told her I was learning Mishna.  "I want to learn, too," she said.  I
turned to the beginning of the book and we went through the first Mishna
together.  When I finished, she said, "That was fun, can we do it
again?"  Every night for the next seven years we learned together.  We
covered 4000 Mishnayot.  When I was on reserve duty in the army, I would
tape two weeks of Mishnayot at a time in advance and I would try to
learn when I knew my daughter was listening to the tape.  By her Bat
Mitzva we had finished the entire six orders of the Mishna."

The chapter also notes that R. Batt had audio-tapes produced for the
Mishnah Yomit.  I thus conclude with a wish that for the next cycle of
Mishnah Yomit, which begins less than a year from now, well-taught audio
shiurim for daily mishnayot will be made available freely over the
internet for download and distribution.  Perhaps such a Mishnah site
could even be a collaborative, open project, i.e. allowing people to
freely contribute whatever materials they have (audio, text, charts,
pictures...) for learning Shas mishnayot.

Seth (Avi) Kadish
Karmiel, Israel


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2004 17:22:16 -0500
Subject: RE: No requirement to believe in miracle of oil

Bernard asks in v41n64 whether there is an absolute requirement to
believe in the miracle of the oil (There is an answer by Shalom in
v41n67) I should just point out that in my post on CHanukah I cited the
Rambam (Chanukah Paragraph 1) who lists about 8 (hmm!?) miracles that
happened on Chanukah -- they include allowing Learning, mitzvah
performance, cessation of rape of Jewish brides etc. The oil miracle is
mentioned in the 2nd paragraph(of Rambam). Thus we see from the Rambam's
language that the main miracle anc cause of celebration had nothing to
do with the oil. This also answers Gershon Dubin who suggested that my
101st explanation was one of the 100--my novelty and contribution was to
explain that the primary purpose of the holiday was not to celebrate the
miracle of oil but regaining our (religious) autonomy--I think this
clearly follows from the Rambams use of two separate paragraphs

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/; Towson University


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 18:36:38 +0200
Subject: order of service on a ta'anit

bh, 2 shabbat vyehi

A minyan in the central shul I attended had the following service after
shemonah esrei on asarah be tevet

avinu malkenu

It seems to me that on the basis if the rule of tadir, that which is
more frequent, taking precedence ( Zevahim 89a), the order should be
reversed tahanum, which is more frequent than the rest avinu malkenu
which is next in frequency and last selihot, which is recited once a

And I once attended a nusah sefard minyan in my youth which had this

Can anyone enlighten us with any sources?

s. Spiro


From: Aaronson, Jeffrey B. <JAaronson@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 11:59:41 -0600
Subject: Who Carries the Torah Through on the Women's Section

When we return the Torah, it is carried through the women's section.  At
other shul's where this is done, who carries the Torah - a man or a


End of Volume 41 Issue 77