Volume 42 Number 21
                 Produced: Tue Feb 24  5:56:54 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Dani-el or Daniel
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Disney world
         [Harold Greenberg]
Halleluya vs Halleluka (2)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Elazar M Teitz]
Magilla Reading in CO
         [Batya Medad]
Marranos (2)
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad, Frank Silbermann]
Megillat Esther readings in the Colorado wastelands
         [Carl Singer]
         [Martin Stern]
My Musings
         [Batya Medad]
"People" or "Nation"?
         [Alan Cooper]
Weddings in Shuls
         [Batya Medad]


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 11:00:42 +0200
Subject: Re: Dani-el or Daniel

> I never noticed that in the name Dani'el the tsere vowel is under the yud,
> not the aleph 

In the 70s when I was learning at KBY, I came across an old (meaning, it
was old then) edtion of the Koren Tanach, in which I found the name
Daniel spelled with the tzere under the aleph.

After comparing it to newer editions, and being convinced that Koren had
in fact changed the way they spelled the name, I sat down and wrote a
letter to Koren publishers (in my "oleh chadash" [new immigrant])Hebrew.

Some time later I got a response, which informed me the the word 'mila'
("word") which in my letter I had spelled mem-yud-lamed-heh meant
circumcision, and that therefore the question was irrelevant.

So, I do not know why Koren changed it, but I am pretty sure I really
saw that once upon a time, Koren spelled it that way.

Also, there is a Daniel mentioned in Yechezkel 14:14;20, spelled without
a yud, and with a tzere under the aleph.

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


From: Harold Greenberg <harold.greenberg@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 07:12:46 +0200
Subject: Disney world

  "Rav Chizkiah, Rav Cohen in the name of Rav says "A person shall give
an account for all that his eyes saw but he did not eat". The Yerushalmi
continues that Rav Elazar took note of this statement and saved up money
to buy fruits which came by once a year."

Rabbi Mayer Schiller, Talmud Instructor at Yeshiva University High
School for Boys, discusses "Fun and Relaxation Reexamined" on the
website http://www.innernet.org.il/article.php?aid=51

He quotes the Jewish Action Magazine  - Spring 1991 - of the Orthodox Union-

Essentially the question is where is a Jew fundamentally rooted? Who is
he in the depths of his heart and soul? We are called upon to "place God
constantly before us." If this is done via Torah [study], prayer, and
mitzvot, via a profound sense of revulsion at decadence and frivolity
and of a commitment to serve God as we "rejoice in trembling" then we
may, at times, partake of the world following the Torah methods of
sanctity outlined above.

In the Talmud (Yerushalmi Kiddushin, chapter 4), Rabbi Hezkiah is quoted
in the name of Rav: 

      "Man will have to stand in judgment for every (food) that his eye
      saw, but he did not eat."  

The commentary "Korban Ha'eyda" sees the evil here to be "needless
asceticism." However, the Pnei Moshe goes considerably further. He sees
a man who "does not enjoy species created by God for man's delight as
one who denies the Creator's goodness." In other words, withdrawal from
legitimate worldly pleasures is indicative of ingratitude to the One who
has given them to us. 

Of course, this assumes that our reception of God's goodness be in a
conscious spirit of thankfulness. This is a task which requires a
vigorous disciplining of one's mind and heart. It means to some degree
an awareness of God in all our pursuits 

And in the end we can say with the psalmist "joyous is the heart of
those who seek God." 

Harold  Zvi Greenberg
Eilat, Israel


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 11:00:37 +0200
Subject: Re: Halleluya vs Halleluka

> I am yet to read a reasonable explanation of how a straight Mishanah
> which says that the prohibition of using the name of God in vain is
> applied ONLY when it is written in Hebrew, on parchment with ink
> ["le-olam eino metame ad she-yichtevenu Ashurit al ha-or u-vadio"]
> (Yadayim 4:5).

I am an `am ha-aretz, so don't ask me! :-) But I saw that someone posted
a quote from the Kitzur that seemed to hold a more stringent view than
that Mishna.  (I believe we more commonly follow poskim than mishnayot,

In any case, my original statement was meant as neither more nor less
than it said, basically that postings here notwithstanding, I will
continue to follow the custom I am comfortable with (unless I am shown
that it is somehow *worse* to use the hyphen then an "o").

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

From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 09:21:09 -0500
Subject: Halleluya vs Halleluka

> I am yet to read a reasonable explanation of how a straight Mishanah
> which says that the prohibition of using the name of God in vain is
> applied ONLY when it is written in Hebrew, on parchment with ink
> ["le-olam eino metame ad she-yichtevenu Ashurit al ha-or u-vadio"]
> (Yadayim 4:5).

        Here's a most reasonable explanation: the Mishna in question has
nothing whatever to do with the prohibition of using G-d's name in vain;
indeed, it has nothing whatever to do with G-d's name.  The Talmudic
sages dictated that anyone touching a sefer Torah, or any of the 24
books of Tanach, renders his hands impure.  This was done because
t'rumah, the part required to be separated from crops and given to the
kohein, must be tahor [in a state of ritual purity].  People developed a
tendency to store it with their scrolls, since both had sanctity.  If
mice were attracted by the food, the result often was that the scroll
was chewed up.  Since what renders the hands impure also renders t'rumah
impure, by declaring the scrolls a source of impurity to the hands that
touched them, it meant as well that if the scrolls touched the t'rumah,
it would be unfit for consumption, thus discouraging the storing of
scrolls and t'rumah in the same place.

        The law applies only to true scrolls -- those written in the
proper script, on parchment and with ink.  (Ashurit does _not_ mean the
Hebrew language; indeed, that very Mishnah explicitly states that the
Aramaic parts of the Bible (in Ezra, Daniel, and a single verse in
Yirmiyahu) are included in the decree.  Rather, Ashurit refers to the
letter forms.)  It applies whether or not G-d's name appears, so long as
it contains a minimum size, defined as 85 letters.

        In the light of the above, what connection is there between this
Mishnah and the prohibition of using the name of the Deity in vain?

Elazar M. Teitz


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 06:35:20 +0200
Subject: Re: Magilla Reading in CO

Get your own megilla, learn to read it, and invite all the Jews in the
town. I guess after being in Israel for almost 35 years I may be rather



From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 23:19:56 +0200
Subject: Marranos

>From a returnee to Judaism from Majorca:-

>From: Nissan ben-Avraham <nissan11@...>

>Thanks, Israel.
>May I correct you. That's right that the term Marrano is not nice, but 
>it's recently admitted that comes from "Maran".
>In the phenomenon of tshuva in Converso background, we prefer the term 
>"bney anussim" or "bene anussim" however you spell it.
>There is a nice group in Spain, and we have notices of some more in the 
>ex-Mexican States of the USA. I met a little group twenty years ago, here 
>in J'm.
>You can take contact with Schulamit Halevy 
><mailto:<schalevy@...>schalevy@cs.huji.ac.il for more stuff.
>As a general rule they are VERY interested in Orthodox Halacha, always 
>complaining how difficult is to reach the schul and to be accepted as 
>Jewish old-branch members.

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 20:46:34 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Marranos

In V42 N17 Michael  <b1ethh94@...>:
> Although Marranos is the commonly used term, I have been told that the
> term Conversos is preferred, since Marrano in Spanish means pig, and was
> the term the Spaniards used for the Conversos.

I would think that the term Converso referred to any Jew who converted
to Roman Catholocism, and that the Spanish used the word Marrano to
refer to those Conversos who continued to practice Judaism in secret --
the converts from Judaism who were not sincere.

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 07:28:02 -0500
Subject: Megillat Esther readings in the Colorado wastelands

Brings to mind a discussion point -- may one hear Megilla over the 
telephone / radio / microphone, etc.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 14:18:51 +0000
Subject: Re: Mikvah

 Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...> wrote in mail-jewish 42#10:

>> I've heard [that it] is quite common that men will make their wife
>> put off their mikva night if it falls on Shabbos, because that would
>> make the man stay home to watch the kids and miss shul on Friday
>> night.

I must say I find this very hard to believe. In the shul in which I
daven on Friday night we start minchah in winter at the time of Shabbos
(in summer we start 15 minutes before plag haminchah which is
considerably earlier) and I have never heard of any shul which began
more than 15 minutes after that time. A woman cannot tovel until night
which is about an hour later so it should be possible for the husband to
get back in time. He may have to leave straight after Magen Avos and
certainly does not have to stay to wish everyone 'gut shabbos' and have
a schmuss. At worst a babysitter might be necessary for a short time if,
despite everything, he cannot. If there were no alternative, the wife
could try to arrange with the mikvah attendant to come slightly later; I
cannot imagine that this would be refused; after all, tevilah bizmanah
is a mitsvah. Since all the preparations must be done before Shabbos,
she only needs to allow the time to walk to the mikvah.  Anyone who
lives too far to be able to walk should consider whether their
priorities in Yiddishkeit are correct.

Martin Stern


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 07:28:13 +0200
Subject: My Musings

If anyone's interested in "subscribing" to my "musings" column, please
contact me off list.  Recently I've been writing weekly.  They are
reflections, serious, poetic, humorous, on religion, the "situation,"
politics, etc.  Please put "musings" as subject.

Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov,



From: Alan Cooper <amcooper@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 11:00:53 -0500
Subject: "People" or "Nation"?

David Ziants wrote:

>The specific example that I should have added to my posting, and that
>was going through my mind as I was writing, is appertaining to the
>translation of the word "Am". Hopefully, readers of this list know that
>"Am" means "nation". We were always taught the translation "people", and
>this is the word used in the Siddur we had (Art-Scroll wasn't around at
>the time). Although "people" is synonym for "nation", we were not really
>taught what the Jewish Nation was, and were left to assume that "people"
>here is plural of "person", or possibly a little bit collective as in
>usage "people in the street"

and also:

>Although I am pleased that the Art-Scroll siddur translates "am" as
>"nation" rather than "people", their approach is to deal with our
>nationhood as a nation still in galut.

I have no quarrel with the points that Mr. Ziants wishes to make about
Jewish peoplehood, but I'm afraid that his philology (and apparently the
ArtScroll siddur's) is faulty.  Part of the problem is the vagueness of
the English words "people" and "nation," which are typically used to
translate Hebrew am and goy, respectively.  In a classic study dating
back to 1960, the great Semitist E. A. Speiser studied the relationship
between the two Hebrew terms.  He found that "am was essentially a term
denoting close family connections, and hence secondarily the extended
family, that is, people in the sense of a larger, but fundamentally
consanguineous body."  On the other hand, goy carries no connotation of
personal or kinship ties within the group; a goy is a political entity
rather than a kinship group.

The distinction between "people" and "nation" is inadequate to convey
the difference between am and goy, but it is useful, nonetheless.  And
it is not a good idea, in my view, to gloss am with "nation," which
gives the term an essentially political connotation, and loses the
crucial aspect of kinship.

Anyone who wishes to read Speiser's article, entitled "'People' and
'Nation' of Israel," can find it in the Journal of Biblical Literature
79 (1960), pp. 157-163, or in the collection of Speiser's articles that
was published in 1967 under the title Oriental and Biblical Studies.

Alan Cooper 


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 07:36:58 +0200
Subject: Re: Weddings in Shuls

      Rav Dovid Lifshitz, zt"l mentioned in shiur once that the practice
      of not holding weddings in a synagogue is based on the mitzvah of
      'uvechukoteyhem lo telechu' (and in their ways you shall not
      follow, [Vayikra, 18:3]).

Maybe I'm too much the CPA's daughter, but I find that a poor example.
In many communities in Chu"L the synagogue is also a kosher catering
hall.  Why deprive the synagogue of the business of a wedding?  Even if
the only place for the chupah is the beit keneset, itself.  It's like
cutting off your nose to spite your face.



End of Volume 42 Issue 21