Volume 42 Number 39
                 Produced: Sun Apr  4  6:08:07 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

e-commerce on Shabbat
         [Robert J. Tolchin]
Golden Dove
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
Priestly Blessing Topic
         [Yisrael Medad]
Question about Time Measurement
         [Bernard J. Sussman]
Taleysim (4)
         [Bernard Raab, Mike Gerver, Shlomo Argamon, Leah Perl Shollar]
         [Jack Gross]
         [Gershon Rothstein]
Weddings in England
         [Jack Wechsler]


From: Robert J. Tolchin <tolchin@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 11:33:14 -0500
Subject: e-commerce on Shabbat

Apropos of the notion that credit cards necesarily pay vendors instantly
when an e-commerce transaction is made, please note the following
confirmation of an order for a toy I just made:

Along with this printable receipt, you should receive an e-mail copy.
Your order number is 38294.

Your credit card has been authorized for the amount of $86.42, but will
not be charged until your order has been shipped. Upon shipment of your
order, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with all available
tracking information.

Our goal is to process and ship your order on the same day if we receive
it before 2:00pm (PST). Orders placed between Friday, 2:00pm (PST) and
Monday, 2:00pm (PST) will be shipped Monday.*

Note that this receipt explicitly states that the credit card won't be
billed until the order ships.

Doesn't this approach resolve the problem?


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:40:40 -0500
Subject: Golden Dove

The gemara (brachos 53b) describes a journey Rabba bar bar Chana took.
When the caravan he traveled with stopped,he ate. After they resumed
traveling, he realized he had forgotten to bentch. He figured that if he
asked them to return to the spot where they'd stopped so he could
bentch, they'd say "G-d is every where, so you can bentch here too." For
this reason he told them he'd left behind a golden dove, and asked them
to wait for him. He went back, bentched, and found a golden dove.

My question is: is this a real live bird (Golden Dove, Ptilinopus
luteovirens) OR a metallic replica? The gemara goes on to explain that
Rabba bar bar Chana chose a dove over other birds because BN"Y are
compared to the dove, and that just as a dove flees or fights with its
wings (as opposed to its beak)providing its protection, so too BN"Y are
protected by the 'wings' of mitzvot, bringing the prooftext that
describes the wings covered in silver and tipped with gold. This last
part leads me to think its a metallic replica that he left and
found. But the part about fighting seems to point toward a flesh and
blood dove. I know there was a golden dove on Shlomo's throne. Is there
some added particular symbolism to a GOLDEN dove?  Any thoughts?


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 21:47:07 +0200
Subject: Priestly Blessing Topic

I recently returned from a week's Heritage and Holocaust tour of Poland
with the Bet El Yeshiva High School.

The guide was Rav Benny Kalmenson, Rosh Yeshivat Othniel.

On his instructions, based on his conversation with Rav Mordechai
Eliyahu, the Kohanim blessed the congregation ("duchaned") during the
Amidah even though we were in Chutz La'aretz.

I am aware that this is perhaps a matter of Divrei Sofrim or even less,
Achronim, or just plain Minhag, but I was thinking more of the honor of
Eretz Yisrael (EY), that a distinction should be made and maintained
that only in EY is the blessing recited.  If I understood correctly, the
permission was based on the fact that this was a "chavurah" (a group)
from EY who therefore somehow carry with them the "shefa" (abundance) of
the Kedusha (sanctity) of EY.

Any comments?

Yisrael Medad


From: Bernard J. Sussman <sussmanbern@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 10:58:27 -0500
Subject: Question about Time Measurement

  I am curious about the Talmudic measurement of short periods of time.
The Talmud calculates certain times using a measurement called a
"chelek", which is supposed to be three and one-third seconds in
duration.  This measurement is still used in the luach for forecasting a
molad, and the odd thing is that in some publications I have seen molads
forecast by hours and by hundreds of chelekim without any reference to
minutes; so apparently one Talmudic style of timekeeping is by hour and
chelek without an intermediate measurement such as a minute.  I am
curious as to how such an interval of time was measured, counted, or
timed in Talmudic times -- and why this measurement is still used for
molads instead of translating in modern minutes and seconds.

   There is also another measurement, shorter than the chelek, called (I
think) the "regayeh", which is something much briefer than a tenth of a
second.  I cannot imagine how this was actually counted or measured in
Talmudic times or what use it could be.

Sincerely,   Bernard J. Sussman


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 19:06:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Taleysim

From: Ben Katz
>From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
>On 25 Feb 2004, at 12:19, Yehonatan Chipman wrote:
>>>     2. The whole custom of bachelors not wearing tallitot (or
>>> "talleisim," as they're mistakenly called abroad), is itself rather

>>There is nothing mistaken about the word taleysm - it is the correct
>>plural of the Yiddish word talis, albeit borrowed from Hebrew.

>          This topic has already been discussed on MJ.  To defend Mr.
>Chipman: Talit was borrowed from Hebrew, as Mr. Mett agrees.  There is
>no "yiddish" way to pluralize words; either the words are pluralized as
>they are in German (the "mama loshen" of Yiddish :-)) or as they are
>pluralized in the language the words were borrowed from.  Yiddish
>speakers, whose knowledge of Hebrew appeared to have been suboptimal,
>took the male Hebrew ending and applied it to the female Hebrew word
>Talit.  I assume Mr. Mett would not defend the incorrect spelling of the
>word "shabbos" with a samech instead of a Saf, even though it appeared
>thus in many yiddish publications.  It is true that "tallesim" is the
>normal plural for talit in yiddish, but it is likely based on an error;
>moreover, since most people today are speaking English, it is probably
>even more problematic to then say taleisim rather than taliyot or

Thanks to Ben Katz for raising the case that proves the obverse of his

When we say "Shabbos" as we in "golus" frequently do, it is totally vain
to then switch to "Shabbatot" for the plural, instead of "Shabbosim",
which is the *correct* Yiddish plural, as sanctified in a millenium of
Yiddish literature. Yiddish may have "borrowed" words from German,
Hebrew and many other languages, but a thousand years of usage and, yes,
literature, has made it a language in its own right. Shabbosim and
taleysim are the correct Yiddish plural forms and let's not try to
impose the Hebrew forms where they are not welcome!

b'shalom--Bernie R.

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:43:55 EST
Subject: Taleysim

Ben Katz, commenting on Perets Mett's earlier posting, says in v42n37,

      I assume Mr. Mett would not defend the incorrect spelling of the
      word "shabbos" with a samech instead of a Saf, even though it
      appeared thus in many yiddish publications.  It is true that
      "tallesim" is the normal plural for talit in yiddish, but it is
      likely based on an error; moreover, since most people today are
      speaking English, it is probably even more problematic to then say
      taleisim rather than taliyot or tallitot.

I think this has been discussed here before, but the use of samech in
spelling "shabbos" in Yiddish is limited to the Soviet era, when the
Soviet government actively tried to de-Hebraicize Yiddish. It can
reasonably be called an "error" because it was imposed from the outside,
and never really accepted by the people who were speaking Yiddish, at
least not by most of them.

"Taleysim" is different. The rule in Yiddish, to use the Hebrew
masculine plural form for all words borrowed from Hebrew, was a rule
that developed naturally among Yiddish speakers themselves. If you call
it an "error," then to be consistent you would have to call all kinds of
other things "errors." For example, many English words used to use the
plural "ren," as in "children." At one time it would have been incorrect
to say "brothers." The correct English plural of "brother" was
"brethren." But no one would say today that the word "brothers" is an
error. Applying grammatical forms to words that they originally didn't
apply to is one of the ways that languages evolve. If most native
speakers of the language speak in a certain way, then by definition it
is not an "error."

I would defend the use of "taleysim" in English the same way. In my
experience, most English speakers who use the word "tallis" (as opposed
to "tallit") at all, i.e. Ashkenazim living in English speaking
countries, use "talleysim" as the plural. At least that's true in the
United States, I don't know about other English speaking countries. The
grammatical rule seems to be that if the word is borrowed from Yiddish,
at least if it is a word that is still culturally associated with Jews,
and not (like "bagel") part of the general American culture, then you
use the Yiddish plural. This rule also applies to words like

The same rule, by the way, seems to apply to modern Hebrew, although in
practice it is used for different words than in English. For example,
"beigelach" is the standard modern Hebrew term for a kind of Israeli
junk food that are shaped like bagels, but are much smaller and are
crunchy, and "gotkes" is the standard modern Hebrew word for long
underwear. (A friend told me that she got into an argument with a
Sephardic Israeli woman who insisted that "gotkes" was pure Hebrew, and
could not possibly have been borrowed from Yiddish.)

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Shlomo Argamon <argamon@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:46:06 -0600
Subject: Re: Taleysim

To defend Mr. Mett: The word "tallit" is most probably of Greek origin,
with the "-it" being part of the "root", rather than a feminine ending.
If I recall correctly, one even sees the word in early sources used in a
male-gendered context.  In any case, to say that the Yiddish plural is
based on error is an error.  Furthermore, using a Yiddishism in English
makes perfect sense, since the rhythm of the language is more similar to
that of English than Hebrew's (since English and Yiddish are both
Germanic languages).


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 16:38:59 -0500
Subject: Taleysim

How about 'shabbosim' versus 'shabbatot'?

I don't know that we can necessarily say that because Yiddishists chose
to spell a Hebrew word in a way that reflected Yiddish prononciation,
that it is incorrect.  It is incorrect as a Hebrew word -- but it
acurately reflects Yiddish prononciation.  What about names that morphed
into their own thing?  E.g R.CH.L. becoming "Rechel", spelled reish ayin
chof lamed -- it's spelled correctly, but not if you are trying to spell


From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 08:02:59 -0500
Subject: Re: Targum

Regarding the Rav's reported theory: I recall seeing that Targum for
haphtaros of Yom Tov was included in Machzor Vitry, so it appears that
the use of the classical Aramaic Targum persisted, although restricted
to Yamin Tovim, into the time of the baalei Tosafos.  (That also accords
with a "Tosafos" in Megillah; and there is no other way the Y.P. could
have arisen).  Once the Targum of the weekly Parasha had been abandoned
for a generation, is it at all likely that responsible parties would
have moved to reinstitute it, but in a different tongue?

As to the Yetziv Pisgam theory: I don't recall whether M.V. includes
Targum for first day of Shavuos -- I don't have a copy available -- but
that would conclusively settle the issue.  Perhaps someone can look that
up and chime in.

Yaakov Gross


From: Gershon Rothstein <rothsteing@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 15:13:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Terumah-tetzaveh

Josh wrote:

>   Overall, there are 7 sets of parshiyot that are ever doubled -
>   besides the 5 mentioned in the previous paragraph (but not
>   Terumah/Tetzaveh), Tazria/Metzora and Netzavim/Vayeilech are also
>   sometimes paired, with the exact schedule depending on the number of
>   eligible Shabbosos during the year.

Sometimes that exact number doubled is 0. And if I read the chart in the
Tur following the laws of Rosh Chodesh correctly, next year 5765, all of
the parshiyot will be read separately. The next time it happens is three
years later in 5768. You will have to wait a while for the time after
that. It won't happen for another 44 years after that. 

Best wishes to all for a Chag Kasher V'Sameach



From: Jack Wechsler <wechsler@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:36:48 +0200
Subject: Weddings in England

Peretz Mett wrote -:
> Part of the roof of the "new" Machzikei Hadat shul in NW
> London (maybe it's 20 years old now, but I remember when it was new)
> opens up for chupot under the sky but this is an exception - possibly
> the only of its kind in England. Those who would feel uncomfortable in
> having the chuppa in a shul had to go to Brent Town Hall, which was the
> only other option available (as far as I remember). Maybe some shuls
> were able to accommodate a chupa in the shul grounds, but I think this
> was rare, and of course the weather had to be right.

Just to inform you,you may or not know- The former New Synagogue in
Egerton Road had a hall that doubled as a classroom for the cheder that
had a hole in the roof that could be removed very easily .It could
therefore double up for two uses 1) Succah 2) An inside wedding open to
the sky.

Jack Wechsler


End of Volume 42 Issue 39