Volume 42 Number 42
                 Produced: Thu Apr 15  5:59:08 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

e-commerce on Shabbos
         [Carl Singer]
Kashrut and Shabbat in Sheffield England
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Most Common Mispronunciation of Them All
         [Michael Frankel]
Taleisim vs. Talitot and Shabosim vs. Shabbatot
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Time Measurement
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 2004 10:09:10 -0400
Subject: e-commerce on Shabbos

> Apropos of the notion that credit cards necessarily 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?

I'm not sure what we're getting at here.

The posting of the payment to one's credit card is just one of many
steps in an "e-commerce" transaction.
Other steps in the transaction -- such as picking, packing, labeling,
updating order entry database, updating inventory, etc. may take place
at any time within the interval between when the order was placed and
when it was shipped.
Note: that many of the steps  are not "e-" anything, just plain order

The order confirmation message serves at least three purposes:
1 - to confirm the order
2 - to set your expectations re: when the order will (or will NOT) be
shipped -- i.e., their 2PM PST cuttoff, with no weekend (premium)
3 - to assure you that they uphold commonly accepted (good) business
practice of not billing until the item is shipped. 

Carl Singer


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:49:49 +0200
Subject: Kashrut and Shabbat in Sheffield England


A friend and neighbor of mine might be invited to present a paper at
some conference scheduled for this July in Sheffield England.  He is
interested in any information about getting kosher food there, and
Shabbat arrangements (a hotel with door keys or other important facts)

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


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 23:12:04 -0500
Subject: Most Common Mispronunciation of Them All

<<.. I also do remember hearing, but do not know the source, that
Esther's response to Mordechai of "veka'asher avaditi avadati" refers to
her potentially changing from a passive role to.. Avi>>

While life is too short for normally balanced individuals to obsess over
e-mail spellings, I suspect our moderator transliterated the above words
b'kavonoh - avadAti/avaditi. Which raises one of the more irritating
pronunciation 'mistakes' by torah leiners she'lo shimshu kol tzorkhon -
evidently the vast majority of them if my anecdotal observations may be
extrapolated.  And that is the gratuitous insertion of a semi-vowel
which doesn't actually appear in the word.  By which I mean that the
sh'voh under the daled is noch, not noh.  Thus the word ought be
pronounced avad-ti, rather than avadAti or avaditi. The unwarranted
substitution of a sh'voh noh is ubiquitous when the sh'voh is under the
first of two letters with similar sounds -daled, tof, tes. Thus in the
sh'ma, the correct pronunciation is v'limad-tem, v'avad-tem and not
v'limaditem/v'avaditem, etc etc. Moreover, this very issue was also
discussed by the early sefaradi grammarians, who emphasized that the
correct pronunciation was noch, but the sound of the first letter then
became assimilated into the pronunciation of the second.  i.e. avad-ti
was actually pronounced avati, etc. In any event this is my candidate
for the most widely abused mispronunciation by ba'alei q'rioh.

I reluctantly put "mistake" in parentheses to acknowledge there is also
another side to the story.  And that is the undeniable fact that in
spoken Hebrew, almost all sh'voh nohs in the middle of a word (with the
exception of sh'voh nohs appearing under letters with dogeish) have
weakened to sh'voh nochs (thus, kosvu - they wrote, rather than the
"correct" kos'vu) . And what is more this is not a new phenomenon, since
greek transliterations in the Septuagint already indicate an emersonian
disdain for consistency in the transliteration of mid word sh'vohs. i
also once read an article by the late r. noson berggeron which suggested
we simply acknowledge spoken reality and label all mid word undogeished
sh'vohs as noch. Nevertheless it is undeniable that the Tiberian
masoretes wanted us to distinguish mid word sh'voh nohs, (whether or not
it actually reflected spoken Hebrew in their time) and so we do. which
is not to say we lein consistently according to the tiberian
pronunciation ^ we certainly do not, but that is a different story for
another boring day. Ok, you can wake up now. I'm through.

Mechy Frankel			H: (301) 593-3949
<michael.frankel@...>		W: (703) 845-2357


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 12:34:56 EDT
Subject: Taleisim vs. Talitot and Shabosim vs. Shabbatot

I would like to mention that this issue of Taleisim vs. Talitot and
Shabosim vs. Shabbatot has been discussed in MJ before. Talit is a
bi-gender noun in Hebrew (i.e., it is both masculine and feminine,) and
in my opinion Shabbat is probably too. [A source for the masculine usage
of talit is "shnei ravakim be-talit ECHAD," (Yerushalmi, Kidushin,

There are many (50-100?) bi-gender nouns in Hebrew. There are masculine
nouns whose plural suffix is xxxot such as shulchan, chalon and feminine
nouns whose plural suffix is xxxim such as even, beitzah, shanah. And
some will accept the plurality of both xxxot and xxxim, such as zayit
(zeitim and zeitot). The Bar Ilan CD/ROM bring 11 times "zeitot". That
might be the source for different form of plurality in Yiddish, although
I have not seen Hebrew sources for it. Ibn Ezra opined on this that "Kol
She-Ein Bo Ruah Haim Zochereihu Ve-Nokbeihu" (=That which is lifeless
make masculine or feminine). As to Shabbat - H. Zabari posted the
following in H-Judaic <<Maimonides in Chap.30 Hal.2 of Hilchot Shabbat
(Manuscript) refers to Shabbat as Melech ("Bo'u VeNetze Likrat Shabbat
HaMelech") the source for this quote is from the Talmud Bavli (Shabbat
119, Bava Kama 32 see Rabbeinu Hannanel and Magid Mishneh regarding
earlier reading of the text). Printers along the way who saw the passage
in the Talmud "Bo'u VeNetze Likrat Shabbat Malka" confused the passage
in Aramaic with Hebrew by adding a Heh, "Bo'u VeNetze Likrat Shabbat
HaMalka" forgetting that "Malka means King in Aramaic as opposed to
Malketa Queen. Thus was confused the identity of the Shabbath forever
more. Today many (especially Kabbalistic texts, poems etc...)refer to
the Sabbath as the Queen, "Shabbat haMalka" in Hebrew or "Shabbat
Malketa" in Aramaic.>>

Examples for such a bi-gender nouns "ani" that is a naval fleet.
Ben-Yehuda Dictionary (I:314), Even-Shoshan (1983, p.62), Gur (1947, p.
49), Medan (p. 29) all agree that it is a bi-gender noun. Another
example is "mahaneh" Even-Shoshan Dictionary (1983, p. 666), Gur (1947,
p. 505), Medan (p. 317) all agree that it is a bi-gender noun. Other
examples are kos, derech, pa-am, regel, l'shon.

So, "talitim" cannot be labeled as an error any more since it has been
used in such a form by many over hundred of years. Some examples of the
usage of "talitim" Mishah Berura (8:14; 128:15), Bi'ur halachah (11),
and in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, P'nei Yehishua, Sefat Emet, Hatam-Sofer,
Ha-Elef lecha Shelomo, Meishiv Davar, Har Tzvi, Igrot Mosheh, Minchat
Itzhak, Mishneh Halachot (citations can be found on Bar Ilan CD/ROM).

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 00:33:04 -0500
Subject: Re: Taleysim

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
>From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
>>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.
>...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. 

The facts argue for a third way to pluralize, at least in the case of
talis (and one other word I forget now.)  Like almost any language,
Yiddish has exceptions and this is one of them, because there is no
doubt that taleisim is the plural of talis in Yiddish.

>... 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.

"Many" is not universal, or nearly so, as is the case with taleisim.

> It is true that "tallesim" is the normal plural for talit in yiddish,
>but it is likely based on an error;

What it is based on doesn't matter.  It IS the plural of talis.  (If one
reads either of the English usage newsgroups, he will see words that are
based on errors, but the words are what they are.  Same with any
language except maybe a perfect one.)

>moreover, since most people today are speaking English, it is probably
>even more problematic to then say taleisim rather than taliyot or

I'm speaking English but using Yiddish words.  Sometimes I use Spanish
and French and Hebrew words.

There are major problems with adopting an attitude that something can't
be different from the normal rule, problems that affect all areas of
life.  I absolutely know you don't intend this at all but it calls of
thoughts of my gentile neighbors who want me to be like they are.

>         hag kasher vesameach to all 

And to all of you from me also.

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2004 20:56:59 EDT
Subject: Time Measurement

Bernard Sussman, in v42n39, asks about the chelek, a unit of time equal
to three and one-third seconds:

      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

         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.

The chelek and the regaya were not used for timing races or calibrating
strobe lights. They were used only for calendar calculations (for
example, when Rosh Hashanah would fall), to avoid having to calculate
with fractions. There was no need to actually measure such short time

The length of the synodic month (average time from one new moon to the
next), as calculated by Ptolemy from lunar eclipse records between
around 800 BCE and 100 CE, was 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3 1/3
seconds.  This is the value used in the fixed Hebrew calendar of Hillel
Sheni that we currently use. (Nowadays that last number is actually
about 2.7 seconds, due mostly to the slowing down of the earth's
rotation as its angular momentum is transfered to the moon's orbital
angular momentum by tidal friction, but that is ignored in calculating
the calendar.) It thus makes sense to use a chelek (3 1/3 seconds) as
your shortest unit of measurement, because then the synodic month is an
integer number of chelekim, and you don't have to deal with
fractions. W. M. Feldman's "Rabbinic Mathematics and Astronomy," citing
a book by someone named Mahler, points out that the difference between a
tropic year (the time from one vernal equinox to the next) and a
sidereal year (the time for the earth to return to the same place in its
orbit, relative to the stars) is also an integer number of chelekim,
based on a Babylonian calculation, and that may be the reason for
defining a chelek as 3 1/3 seconds.

There are 76 (= 4 x 19) regayim in a chelek, because that way the year
of Rav Adda (1/19 of a Metonic cycle, which is 235 months) is an integer
of number of regayim. I'm not sure why they needed to do calculations
involved the year of Rav Adda. Maybe they were concerned with how long
it would take before the beginning of saying "ten tal umatar" outside
Israel no longer fell in the rainy season.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


End of Volume 42 Issue 42