Volume 42 Number 08
                 Produced: Mon Feb  9 21:50:01 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Halleluya vs Halleluka
         [Mark Symons]
Just in time for daf yomi (Hulin)
         [David Glasner]
Kohaneim as soldiers
Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Praying out Loud
Red Sea "Crossing"
         [Yitschak Maser]
Singing Hashem's name in Zmiros
Taking Challah and Ignorance
         [Aliza Berger]
URL for Bibles
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
What's Jesus? (2)
         [Frank Silbermann, David Ziants]
WHY one prays silently
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 23:17:41 +1100
Subject: Halleluya vs Halleluka

I understand that unless davenning or reading a whole pasuk it is
considered wrong to say YAH including in HALLELUYAH because it is
supposed to be a name of Gd, so that people say HALLELUKAH instead.

Yet isn't this only the case when it is pronounced with a mapik heh,
which is generally not done anyway, and quite easily avoided?

(though perhaps since because we generally don't pronounce the mapik heh
and intend this to mean the name of Gd, pronouncing it this way has come
to be regarded as if it were pronounced with the mapik heh).

Mark Symons
Melbourne, Australia


From: David Glasner <DGLASNER@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:46:56 -0500
Subject: Just in time for daf yomi (Hulin)

It has been called to my attention that I provided an incorrect email
address for my cousin Rabbi Shlomo Klein who has published the new
edition of the Dor Revi'i.  HIs correct email is <rink17@...>

Sorry for the confusion.

David Glasner


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 20:30:43 -0800
Subject: Re: Kohaneim as soldiers

> Rabbi Reisman in on of his recent tapes brought up the fact that
> gloves will be needed.  He pointed out that when Shmuel killed Agag,
> or when Pinchas killed Zimri and Kozbi, they could have required
> gloves so as not to become tamei.

No way would Rabbi Reisman have said that about Pinchas.

In general, for Kohaneim to be able to do battle would require 2 pairs
of gloves being worn at the same time to lower the level of tumah to an
acceptable level for him to wear and someone else would have to take the
gloves off for him, if in fact there was an issue with Kohaneim being
involved in battle.



From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 08:37:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim

Does anyone know the source of "maaseh avot siman le-vanim"?


Freda Birnbaum


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 20:30:44 -0800
Subject: Re: Re: Praying out Loud

> ArtScroll says that you should say the silent amida loud enough for
> you to hear your own voice (though it doesn't specify whether
> whispering satisfies that criterion) - what is the source of this?

see the Shulchan Aruch 101.  and I would like references to those who
poskened in writing that this is only discussing the amida and not all
davening.  -rp


From: Yitschak Maser <simone.maser@...>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 15:22:56 +0100
Subject: Red Sea "Crossing"

There are references that the Red Sea was "crossed" from one bank in an
arc arriving back at the same bank, making a semi-circle.

Tosafot (on Erchin 15a d'h k'shem)) and Rambam (perush to mishna Avos
5:4) give diagrams to this effect, and Chizkuni on Shemos 14:22 explains
the crossing in this way also.

Rambam gives his source as "haym kabbalah".

Are there any earlier references to this semi-circular "crossing"?

Yitschak Maser
Montpellier, France


From: Anonymous
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 22:34:57 -0500
Subject: re: Singing Hashem's name in Zmiros

> Shabbos meals are holy and are an extension of benching and the singing
> increases the holiness of the meal and stops unnecesary talking
> including possibly loshan hora. Therefor we must pronounce Hashem's
> name as written and not substitute for it

        The first sentence, I believe, contains some unsubstantiated
remarks.  We know that Shabbos is holy, but what is the source for
referring to the meals as holy?  In what way are the meals an extension
of benching? And if they are, how do they differ in this regard from
weekday meals?  How does singing increase the holiness of the meal?

        But even granting all the above, the second sentence is a
non-sequitur.  Because singing zmiros increases sanctity, therefore we
*must* say Hashem's name as written?  Is lashon hara stopped less if we
say "Hashem" instead of the actual name?

        Regarding the argument that the holy authors intended the Name
to be said, as witness the rhyme scheme: were these poems written to be
said/sung, or were they poems meant to be read, but whose content and
beauty led to their being adopted as songs for the Shabbos table?  If
the latter, then the rhyme scheme is irrelevant, since it was written to
be read, not said.

        I asked a famous rabbi why he did not say the Name, and was
given two reasons: (1) many tunes involve repetition of words, which
could easily lead to Hashem's name being gratuitously repeated.  (For
instance, there is a tune for Hashomer Shabbos which involves saying the
first word of "LaE-l yeiratzun" three times, saying the second word, and
then repeating both words.)  (2) Unlike piyutim, which are said in the
synagogue as part of prayer, zmiros are sung in a social setting, where
one has no compunction about stopping to engage in conversation.  If one
has begun a phrase containing Hashem's name, then pauses before
completing the thought to engage in idle conversation, the Name that was
said was in vain. (Of course, there are many who will interrupt in the
synagogue as well, but there it is prohibited.  At the Shabbos table, it
is permitted.)


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 16:30:02 +0200
Subject: Taking Challah and Ignorance

Recently on a local Jerusalem email list there appeared a request for a
"segulah" for a couple who want to have a child. The idea was that for
Shabbat Shira, women would take challah with this couple in mind. My
husband is a challah-baker and answered that he would do it. Today a
woman phoned us to remind us to do it. When I said, my husband is the
baker, she said, well, he can bake it, but only women are allowed to
take challah, so I would have to do that part. I said, what are you
talking about, men in the Talmud took challah. (I remembered Rashi
discussing the "nachtom" [commercial baker, male gender] on the verse in
Numbers about challah.) She answered politely, I don't know anything
about that, I just have a list of phone numbers here.

I did not want to upset the poor woman. I promised that I would take the
challah. But why shouldn't my husband do it as he has done many times
before? It is not only the wife involved in wanting this baby, it is her
husband too.

The woman was clearly not saying that for this segula, only women should
do it (which would be objectionable enough). She was saying that in
general, only women can take challah.

What is going on here? Have some Jews become so careful about the sexes
having any contact with each other, or sharing any roles, that, being
ignorant on the subject, they assume that only women can do "women's

Another relevant question is: Why is this person so ignorant? What
exactly is taught in the popular only-for-women challah-baking
workshops? Apparently not the Biblical text and Rashi, let alone
Tractate Challah. I have never been to one of these workshops. Perhaps
someone who has been there can advise.

Aliza Berger, PhD
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:29:07 +0300
Subject: URL for Bibles

PLEASE NOTE: This is a site run by a Christian ministry. If you want to
avail yourself of it, please take appropriate notice.


This URL might be very useful. It contains a program called e-Sword (17
Meg) which is necessary for downloading all the other files. These other
files are the Bible (including the NT, of course), in many languages,
including Hebrew. The Hebrew comes in some outlandish font, but if you
change the font to Times New Roman, it is a font with which we all are
familiar. It is so set up that whenever you choose a verse, you can
immediately see what all different translations are.

Other languages include (among others) Greek, French, German, Thai

Oh, yes! It's all free.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004 22:31:32 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  What's Jesus?

In v42 n05 Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>:
> One of my kids was practicing his reading by reading the comics in the
> newspaper.  He particularly likes "Family Circus" 
>... However, when they get into discussions of Christian theology
> and New Testament verses mentioning Jesus ... I'm put into the position
> of having to answer the question "What's 'Jesus'?".  How do I answer
> such a question?

I suppose you could say, "For gentiles he's sort of like a rebbe from
long ago.  Many even pray to him.  We Jews don't do anything like that."

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 22:41:58 +0200
Subject: Re: What's Jesus?

I grew up in a traditional (but not fully shomer mitzvot/practicing)
home in England, in the 60s and 70s.

Being subjected, as a child, to a predominantly Christian culture, I
certainly had the same question as your child. I remember a "debate"
between two classmates (maybe 6 or 7 year olds, but I don't recall the
age) - The non-Jewish kid: "He existed" ; The Jewish kid: "He didn't
exist" and this went on and on until they got fedup. The Jewish kid's
argument probably equated the idea that if you believe in something "it
exists"; if you don't believe in something "it doesn't exist". Jews
don't believe in yesh"u so the conclusion is logical!!!

I went home and asked my mother, and she was able to explain to me the
simple difference between their beliefs and ours, that we have no qualms
in him having lived as a person, but don't believe that he was a messiah
(mashiach). All the possible details of theological beliefs on their
side thus become irrelevant, and this was a premise I accepted as I
became more religious and wanted to keep mitzvot.

Although, by what you write in your posting, you seem to have a much
wider understanding of the subject then what was prevalent when I grew
up, and moreover you are no doubt attempting to raise a frum
(religiously observant) household, I think my mother's approach could
still work for you.

Thank G-d, by bringing my children up in Israel, I don't have to worry
too much about this problem (a good reason to make aliya...).  For
example even the imported children's cartoons on TV, are dubbed so as
not to make the religious foreign culture too obvious, or at the least
make it distant.

Eventually, my children might have questions, but it will be much easier
to explain that what they see is a foreign culture, since the culture
here, also among non-religious Jews, is Jewish. Whether other religions
are avoda zara or not, are probably sugiot (subjects) that will be
learnt by my son in Yeshiva Tichunit (Yeshiva High School) or by my
daughter in Ulpana (the equivalent for girls).

Issues such as the segula ("speciality") of the Nation of Israel and why
we are different from non-Jews will obviously be learnt at a younger
age. In the society where I was brought up, there was an attempt to
avoid these issues - as a result, learning the "meaning" of tefilla was
learning a literal translation to English - and no one really cared if
you understood or not. I do not know how this is dealt with in chutz
la'aretz these days, especially as much of Jewish philosophy may not be
considered "politically correct" in Western Society. If your Jewish
schools or chadarim (Jewish classes after the normal school day) cannot
deal with this, and they cannot get any exposure to this through a
religious youth movement, then this is something you might have to deal
with yourself, as a parent.

Wishing you much hatzlacha (success)...

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 22:51:22 -0500
Subject: WHY one prays silently

Martin Stern writes in v41n99 that
>As regards Shema one is supposed to say it so that one's ears hear what
>one's mouth utters - but not necessarily the ears of one's neighbour. It
>is only with regard to shemonei esrei that there is a definite
>prohibition on others hearing what one says.

Perhaps we should emphasize the positive vs the negative.  The reason
why there is a prohibition is because of the precedent of Channah
(Samuel 1,1) who was praying for a child and escape from her co-wifes
teasing. The BIble says "...and Channah was praying..only her lips were
moving ...her voice was not heard..."

Such lip motion without voice is characteristic of deeply personal
feelings. The REAL POINT behind the law is that prayer SHOULD be so
deeply personal that you are embarassed to voice your feelings.(I am not
disputing the law just encouraging the emotional basis of it)

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


End of Volume 42 Issue 8