Volume 42 Number 11
                 Produced: Wed Feb 11  6:08:56 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Article in Jewish Observer
         [David I. Cohen]
HaShem's name "Kah"
         [Caela Kaplowitz]
Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim (2)
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim / Neshet HaGadol
         [Abie Zayit]
One more point on the God-in-Zemiroth thread
         [Russell J Hendel]
Red Sea "Crossing"
         [David Prins]
What's Jesus? and WHY one prays silently
WHY one prays silently
         [Stan Tenen]
Women and Kaddish Derabbanan
         [Prof. Aryeh Frimer]


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 15:13:21 -0500
Subject: Article in Jewish Observer

S Wise described an article in a recent Jewish Observer which was
adopted from a shiur at the trecent Agudah convention. the theme was
separation from the non-Jewish world.

Although, as did S. Wise, I would disagree with much of the content, the
JO and the Agudah world are not the only place where it is pointed out
that observant Jews spend too much time in trying to act like non-Jews
and stay within halachic confines.

I remember hearing a shiur from Rav Shlomo Riskin, certainly not an
Agudah inherent, where he chastised his audience for becoming Jews that
he called "reverse Marranos", i.e. having the outward trappings of
religious observance but in reality holding dear the pleasures of
secular culture. As an example, the sine qua non of a Jewish community
is the existence of a kosher pizza store (or Chinese restaurant) rather
than how many shiurim take place.  Or another, what exotic locale we can
find to vacation in on Pesach, while tangetially thinking about the
quality of the seder (and Yom Tov) experience.

Are we a community of "reverse Marranos'?

David I. Cohen


From: Caela Kaplowitz <caelak@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 12:36:01 -0500
Subject: HaShem's name "Kah"

Mark Symons wrote:

>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).

I don't quite understand what Mr. Symons wrote. HaShem's name *is*
spelled with a mappiq heh (see Shemot chapter 15 verse 2 and chapter 17
verse 16 for examples). Doesn't Hallelukah mean "Let's praise HaShem"?

Caela Kaplowitz
Baltimore, MD


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 08:35:01 +0200
Subject: Re: Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim

The exact formulation: "Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim" appears several
times in the Ramban on Humash.  There is similar phraseolgy in Hazal but
not that exact formulation.

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:18:53 EST
Subject: Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim

Freda B. Birnbaum (MJv42n08) asks for the source of the expression
"Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim."

The exact expression is late. I found its exact first use in the book
P'nei Yehushua by Rabbi Yaakov Yehoshua Falk (1680-1756) to Ketubot
112a.  (Based on Bar Ilan CD/ROM.) However, both the Gur and
Even-Shoshan Dictionaries trace the expression to Genesis Rabbah (48):
Amar lo ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu le-Avraham 'atah siman le-vanecha' [=God
said to Abraham you are a sign to your son]. Ramban bring the expression
closer to its final form when he says (Genesis 12:6): kol ma she-ira
la-avot siman le-vanim.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie Zayit)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 13:46:34 +0000
Subject: Maaseh Avot Siman Le-Vanim / Neshet HaGadol

The source most often quoted is the Ramban in Bereishit 12:6, "Amru
Rabboteinu: kol ma she'ira laAvot, siman laBanim".

The source that is usually given is the Midrash Tanchuma, which refers
only to Avraham and does not mention this rule with regard to the other

Now that I have your attention, can anyone tell me why the Rambam is
called the "Nesher HaGadol"?

Abie Zayit


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 22:50:41 -0500
Subject: One more point on the God-in-Zemiroth thread

Just a minor addendum to the Zemiroth question.  I think we should
remember that the SOURCE of the prohibition of saying Gods name is the
3rd commandment (Which by coincidence we read this week in the Torah
portion) which prohibits uttering Gods name in vain.

This is a very severe commandment and hence all the folklore and
precautions connected with it.

But clearly one can pray and use Gods name. For example if a friend of
mine is sick I can pray (in Hebrew) for the persons recovery IN MY OWN
WORDS and use the name of God. There is nothing wrong with this(Indeed
it is meritorious).

Hence any form of PRAISE or PRAYER (Or LEARNING) can be done with Gods

The questions on this group of "Is it entertainment or praise" simply
point out that there is a double motif in the singing. But as long as
the people singing ARE AWARE THAT THEY ARE PRAISING GOD it is
permissable. This weak standard of "being aware you are praising God" is
the same standard used for fulfilling the obligation of saying the shma

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


From: David Prins <prins@...>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 11:50:43 +1100
Subject: Red Sea "Crossing"

The British United Synagogue Daf Hashavua for Parashat Beshalach January
1989, edited by Rabbi Isaac Bernstein z"l, quoted these sources of
Chizkuni and Rambam. It then also stated:

"It is important to note that this view of the commentaries is in fact
found in the Midrashic literature.  Thus both in Midrash Lekach Tov and
Midrash Sechel Tov we find the identical statement:- (my transliteration
of the Hebrew text)

Lo avru yisrael et hayam misafa lesafa ela lehatbia et mitzraim nichnesu
yisrael mitsad ze uvo hatsad beatsmo yatsu lamidbar kemin keshet

Our Rabbis tell us: Israel did not traverse the Sea from one side to the
other.  In order to drown the Egyptians, they entered on one side and
came out by the same side, in the shape of a rainbow (by a semi-circular

D Prins


From: <ESTABESTAH@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 14:18:49 EST
Subject: What's Jesus? and WHY one prays silently

Re: What's Jesus?

If one really wants to investigate the unedited background of Jesus, he
should consult Rambam Frankel Edition.  Living in the US is limiting,
yet liberating.  On one hand, we have the luxury of free speech, thereby
allowing us to educate children with the truth.  On the other hand, we
are subject to the accepted norms of political correctness.  The Frankel
editions contains much text referring to Jesus that was censored at one

Subject: WHY one prays silently

I believe that the reason why one must hear his own voice is that we are
not held liable for thought, and so an actual voice must be used so that
the prayer turns from a hirhur (thought) to dibur (which fits more
closely in the category of action).


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 11:38:23 -0500
Subject: Re: WHY one prays silently

>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/

It's much more than this. When we really form words, our brains act out
the words we form. Thus, a sentence, in a sense, becomes an automatic
and unconscious form of mental exercise (or meditation?). The current
issue of Science News magazine, Feb. 7, Vol. 165 #6, includes a
news-note entitled "The Brain's Word Act: Reading verbs revs up motor
cortex areas." It's worth reading the entire article, which is currently
available at <http://www.sciencenews.org/20040207/fob2.asp> . Here is a
short but significant quotation.

"Not just any words get those neurons going, however. They have to be
action words -- active verbs."

And, quoting the Jan. 22 issue of the journal "Neuron,": "'Brain areas
that are used to perform an action are also needed to comprehend words
related to that action." Victor de Lafuente and Ranulfo Romo of Mexico's
National Autonomous University in Mexico City comment in an editorial in
the same journal issue. 'Remarkably, just the reading of feet-related
action words such as _dance_ makes [the motor cortex] move its "feet".'"

This is very significant. Most modern languages, including English and
modern Hebrew, are noun-based in that the roots are usually taken to be
"things". But this is not the case with Torah Hebrew roots. Our roots
are verb-based -- which is why Torah Hebrew is described technically as
a rheomode language. Each word of ours is rooted in an action. (Not only
this, but each letter of our alphabet is also _not_ a thing, but rather,
an action. For example, the name of the letter Bet means "house" if you
look it up. But its function, its true root, is not the thing we call
"house", but rather, the process/verb/function that we call
"housing". For a work-in-progress chart of functional meanings for our
letters, go to <http://www.meru.org/Lettermaps/mirrorsymm.html>)

This may, to some extent, explain why reading Torah and the prayers
composed by our sages is so moving, and in many cases, so
life-changing. We _really_ are affected by what we say, particularly
when what we say is rooted in action and not in stasis.



From: Prof. Aryeh Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 22:58:13 +0200
Subject: Women and Kaddish Derabbanan

    I was wondering whether anyone had seen a discussion of women making
a Siyum (e.g., on A Seder Mishnayot or Mesechta of Shas) and reciting
the hadran and Kaddish de-Rabbanan. I would like to note that the oft
cited Teshuvah of the Havot Yair 222 is actually dealing with a case
where the men would gather in the house to learn and the Yetoma would
say Kaddish afterwards - presumably a Kaddish de-Rabbanan.

    I found an article by R. Shlomo Borenstein "Siyum: Celebrating the
Completion of a Mitzva," The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary
Society," XXVIII, Fall 1994 at p. 62, who discusses the matter of Siyum.
He cites Rav Shlomo Wahrman, She'eirit Yosef, II, sec. 4 who holds that
a woman can make a siyum and her family and friends can eat meat.  He
then cites Rav Sheinberg who argues that a siyum cannot be made since
she is an einah metsuvah, hence the siyum is of lesser importance. The
issue of the Kaddish is not discussed.

    Kol Tuv
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>


End of Volume 42 Issue 11