Volume 43 Number 51
                    Produced: Sat Jul 17 23:48:08 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ben Hecht's "Perfidy"
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Brachot or Tefila with no Printed Text
         [Akiva Miller]
Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Yael Levine Katz]
Hebrew calendar help: Shabbos Parshas Balak 5541 = ? Tammuz 5541
         [Paul Ginsburg]
Kranzler and related works
Ludmirer moyd
         [Perets Mett]
request from a friend: old Meorot Hadaf Hayomi messages
         [Michael Poppers]
Tales of the Tzaddikim - credibility issues
Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:14:27 +0300
Subject: Ben Hecht's "Perfidy"

Two other sources, which claim to refute Ben Hecht's "Perfidy" (and
which, editorially, I believe do a quite thorough job of doing it), are:

a) A reprint of the entire book, Perfidy, with two additions (clearly
printed separately, as the paper is different, but bound together):
	"Ben Hecht's Kampf," by Shlomo Katz, reprinted from Midstream,
	"Ben Hecht's "Perfidy," An Analysis of his rewriting of history, The
American Section of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and
the Jewish Agency.
		The publisher is listed as Julian Messner, Inc., New York.

b) Chaim Lieberman (author), The Man and his "Perfidy" - A Rejoinder to
Ben Hecht's Vitriolic Attack upon the Government and Leaders of Israel;
Bloch Publishing Company, 1964.

(As an aside, my copy of the second booklet somehow found its way into a
certain Torah institution in Jerusalem. Someone "kindly" wrote on the
cover - ignoring the fact that it clearly had my name on it, in Hebrew,
the following - my translation: "One is forbidden to read this book,
which offers support for the cursed Zionists".)

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 18:12:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Brachot or Tefila with no Printed Text

In MJ 43:44, Dave Curwin asked <<< Is anyone aware of halachic reference
to what to do in a situation where one needs to make a bracha or say a
tefila but doesn't have the printed text in front of him, and doesn't
remember the exact wording? >>>

I looked this up, and I thought that Rav Moshe Feinstein addressed this
exact situation. Then came back and saw this part of the question:

<<< Is it better to try from memory, or not to say the bracha or tefila
at all? >>>

This is a great question: Is it better to omit the bracha entirely, or
is it better to risk saying a messed-up blessing-in-vain, on the hopes
that he will say the bracha successfully, or at least that he'll say the
critical parts of the bracha successfully.

I have no idea what the answer to this would be, but I'd bet it's
something along the lines of "It depends on what you think the odds of
success are."

On the one hand, many parts of a bracha are in the "critical" category,
even though they might seem irrelevant to the less-learned. For example,
several items in the second paragraph of Birkas HaMazon are considered
critical (such as mentioning the Exodus), if I remember correctly, such
that if they're omitted the benching has to be repeated. And skipping
mention of Shabbos or the holiday also requires one to repeat it.

But "having to repeat it" does not necessarily mean that the first
recital was worthless, or that it was a bracha l'vatala (blessing in
vain). Depending on the situation, a messed-up version could be far
better than nothing at all.

"Depending on the situation..." Ahh, there's the rub. We're talking
about an emergency situation, where he's stuck without a siddur and must
improvise. Without knowing in advance which parts he'll remember and
which parts he'll mess up, there's no way to answer this question, short
of personal study into all the details of all the brachos.

Okay, 'nuff said of my own limited knowledge. Here's what Rav Moshe
Feinstein wrote.

In the Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:74, he discusses a situation where it
is unclear whether or not a person drank enough wine for the bracha "Al
Hagefen", and this situation is complicated by the fact that he also
drank some other drinks. Rav Moshe investigates this for over half a
page, and (if I understood it correctly, which I might not have)
concludes that even though the proper after-bracha for wine is Al
Hagefen, the bracha of Boray Nefashos is also relevant to wine. He
concludes his response there with:

"So it appears in my humble opinion, to pasken for practical purposes,
that one should say Boray Nefashos if he drank a half-reviis of wine and
a half-reviis of other drinks. Likewise, it seems in my humble opinion,
that if one is in a place where he has no siddur, and he is unable to
say Al HaGefen by heart, and by the time he is able to obtain a siddur
it will be too late to say it, then he should say Boray Nefashos, even
on a full portion of wine. Preferably, he definitely should not have
drunk that wine, since he would not have been able to say Al Hagefen,
but if he violated the halacha and drank it anyway, he has to say Boray
Nefashos.  Since Boray Nefashos *is* relevant, even to a full portion,
if he won't say Al Hagefen, it is not a bracha l'vatalah. And the law
would be the same for mezonos or for the seven fruits. And even for
bread, if he has no siddur and can't even say the first bracha of
benching by heart, if he violated the halacha and ate a full portion
anyway, he has to say Boray Nefashos."

Note that (in the case of bread) Rav Moshe doesn't mention the
possiblity of saying Al Hamichya. My guess is that Al Hamichya would be
preferable to Boray Nefashos, or to just the first bracha of benching,
because it contains all (or most) of the critical things from the
second, third, and fourth brachos too. That's why this question is best
discussed with someone who knows more than I do.

Akiva Miller


From: Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 15:52:31 +0200
Subject: Hannah Rachel Werbermacher

Precise details concerning the identification of the tombstone of Hannah
Rachel may me found in the monograph by Nathaniel. Deutsch, The Maiden
of Ludmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World, Berkeley: University of
California Press, 2003, pp. 192-210, 276-280.

I believe it is safe to say that the commemoration of Hannah Rachel was
a moving spiritual experience for all participants.

I am also taking this opportunity to mention that my article of
appreciation of Hannah Rachel was published in Friday's HaZofe - "Nefesh
le-Hannah Rachel," Hazofe, Sofrim u-Sefarim, July 16, 2004, p. 12. Many
articles published in Hazofe are posted on their website, but I have not
yet seen it, and it may take a few days.

Additionally, the unveiling ceremony has been videoed, is currently
being edited, and will be distributed in about a month. I will keep you
posted concerning this.

I also spoke a few days ago with Rabbi Prof. David Halivni, who is
presently in Jerusalem, and he said that in the late 1930s in Sighet,
when he was growing up, he heard in general terms about Hannah
Rachel. He related that many people had difficulty perceiving this
notion, and claimed it was a legend.



From: Paul Ginsburg <GinsburgP@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:18:34 -0400
Subject: Hebrew calendar help: Shabbos Parshas Balak 5541 = ? Tammuz 5541

The Rebbe of Sudilkov recorded the contents of some of his dreams in his
sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim.  These dreams occurred on

Yom Aleph (Sunday) - Parshas Re'eh - 5540
Shabbos (Saturday) - Parshas Balak - 5541
Yom Beis (Monday) - Parshas Pinchas - 5541
Yom Dalet (Wednesday) - Parshas Ekev - 5545
Yom Heh (Thursday) - Parshas VaYeshev - 5545

Is it possible to determine the date on the Hebrew calendar that these
took place?  (i.e. Shabbos Parshas Balak 5541 = ? Tammuz 5541)

Thank you in advance for your help.

All the best,

Paul W. Ginsburg
Rockville, Maryland 


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:23:36 EDT
Subject: Re: Kranzler and related works

thank you Ira. Yes, the publishing house and the scholars' credentials
matter. Feingold is more about the State Department. Kranzler is really
the expert, but Thy Brother's Blood needs some editing (I edited
Kranzler's last book on Solomon Schonfeld, the forgotten Holocaust Hero).
Kranzler has made this particular aspect of Holocaust history his
baliwick, and it is amazing how much material he has. It is also amazing
how hard it is to put it all together. I am in the middle of working on
his revision of the Nazis Japanese and Jews---.

Wyman goes into more detail than Feingold. Hecht and Morse are like
strong op ed pieces from journalists, contemporary accounts with bias.
Facts are what matter and the facts in the case of American Jewish
organizations during the H. is abysmal (I served on that Goldberg
Commission way back in 83---that's how I met Kranzler, Eisner, Wyman,
Feingold, Hertzberg, Brickner, and a bunch of Jewish organizational
leaders who took lots of credit for doing not much.)

In fact, I just finished editing Dr. Alex Grobman's new book on the Vaad
and the JDC which is at the bindery. Ktav is the publisher, and while it
deals with the displaced persons camps and the problem of getting stuff
to frum Jews, it recaps Kranzler (credits him too) to put things into
context. (if you want to order the book, you can contact Alex directly
at <agrobman@...>) He just lets all the facts speak for
themselves. In fact, Nisson Wolpin at the Agudah and Steve Schrager at
the JDC both gave the book raves, as did Yaffa Eliach. Basically it's an
important commentary on how the American Jewish community operates in
times of crises and it bears reading. There's much to be
learned. There's no moralizing, no drawing of conclusions. Grobman
leaves things for the readers to decide. And if leadership reads it,
maybe they can figure out how to make things better--ha!


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:16:10 +0100
Subject: Ludmirer moyd

someone wrote:

> I went to the seudah shlishit in honor of the Maid of Lublin last
> week.

Are you sure you went to the right event?
She was from Ludmir

Perets Mett


From: <MPoppers@...> (Michael Poppers)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 13:22:19 -0400
Subject: request from a friend: old Meorot Hadaf Hayomi messages

A friend notes that the weekly Meoros HaDaf HaYomi publication can be
downloaded from http://www.meorot.co.il/English/Books.html.  Apparently,
it is distributed both physically and via e-mail.  His request: "Here
(he attached the latest PDF file for me --MP) is what they e-mail or
snail mail. If your brother (he meant my brother-in-law, who maintains
the http://www.dafyomi.org/ site --MP) knows them and has some of the
daf saved up from previous misechta(s) or knows someone that has
archived some of the daphim. I could really use it. Thanks."  If you can
help him, please feel free to reply (either publicly or privately to
me).  Thanks!

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 07:21:25 EDT
Subject: Tales of the Tzaddikim - credibility issues

<< From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
It is not whether the story is true or not, the fact is they do not tell
stories like that about me!"

When relating stories, miraculous events etc about Tzaddikim, maybe the
stories have been embellished with the passage of time, maybe details
have changed or got mixed up, however, the fact is they do not relate
stories like that about me (us).

Brandon >>

That type of logic may have a place, at times, but it has limitations
too. Perhaps we should think of people who relate stories (in particular
the first ones to relate a particular story to people not present when
it it allegedly occurred) as eidim (witnesses) of sorts. We know that
there are laws of witnesses, which disqualify people with questionable
credibility (e.g. relatives, people that are nogeia bidovor [have vested
interests], etc.). If someone who is an ardent follower of a leader
tells a 'wonder story' about him, e.g., I think that people can / should
ask how believable the witness/storyteller is, does he have a bias, etc.

Interestingly, there is a Hassidic saying that goes something like this
- 'someone who believes all the stories about the BESHT (founder of
Hassidism) is a fool ; however, someone who says that such stories are
impossible, is an apikorus (heretic of sorts)'. Implicit in it is an
admission by Hassidim that at least some of the stories about the
founder of their movement are untrue, even if such stories are not told
about everyone, as people, especially partisans, cannot always be
trusted to be sticklers for accuracy.



From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 14:28:46 +0300
Subject: Re: Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher

I keep on having this feeling that most of the people involved in this
project are doing so because of a political message that they wish to
express.  This is clearly a Jewish feminist phenomenon, regardless of
whether one identifies with it or not.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 43 Issue 51