Volume 43 Number 54
                    Produced: Mon Jul 19 20:27:52 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A bracha in any language is a bracha. God is multilingual
         [Carl Singer]
Christmas and Xmas
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Yael Levine Katz]
An (obscure) source for Partial (And full) Pesukim
Origin of the phrase Aufruf
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Partial Pesukim
         [William Friedman]
Quote from Aishes Chayil
         [Jay Bailey]
Rachav the Zonah (3)
         [Shimon Lebowitz, Daniel Raye, Nathan Lamm]
Some Broader issues in "sex" education
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Tallit Designs
         [Meira Josephy]
trying to remember brachot
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Yahrtzeit of Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Yisrael Medad]
Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher
         [Aliza Berger]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 06:33:42 -0400
Subject: A bracha in any language is a bracha. God is multilingual

I don't have source, but I recall that it is permissible to pray in
one's native tongue (that is a language with which you are comfortable)
or in Hebrew.

I think this would (only) preclude you from praying in a (non-Hebrew)
language that you do not understand.

Carl Singer


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 14:01:49 +0300
Subject: Re: Christmas and Xmas

Rephael <raphi@...> stated the following on Sun, 18 Jul 2004
06:50:18 -0700 (PDT):

      The Mishna [Avoda Zara 1.1] uses "Eydehen shel goyim", which means
      you can say "Yom eydam shel hagoyim".  We can stick to our terms,
      without being stuck to theirs.

One trouble with your solution is that you a making a totally general
reference, without specifying WHICH of their holidays you mean.

That is hardly a sufficient term to use for Xmas, for example.  For all
I know, you might be referring to Id el Fitr.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:28:10 +0200
Subject: 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.

I do not believe that one may or should generalize concerning any
possible underlying motives of people wishing to reclaim the heritage of
a tzaddeket, who was also an extremely learned woman in Torah in
relation to her times.

I wonder if anyone would question the movement to reclaim and restore
the tombstones of hasidic admorim in Europe that we are presently
witnessing.  Obviously, people chose to participate in the commemoration
for differing reasons, and there was a wide spectrum of people. And
incidently, there were quite a few men as well who attended.



From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 08:54:13 -0400
Subject: Re: An (obscure) source for Partial (And full) Pesukim

From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
>There is a delightful obscure book HAMIKRAH VEHAMESORAH by Rabbi Reuven
>Margoliyoth which deals with several thorny Talmudic-Mesorah issues and
>gives original answers

I beleive the Bais HaLevi in his introduction say the same thing.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 14:05:15 +0300
Subject: Re: Origin of the phrase Aufruf

Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...> stated the following on Sun, 18 Jul 2004
07:07:32 -0700 (PDT):

      I once was at a museum exhibit displaying the Ringelblum Archives
      of the Warsaw Ghetto; one object was a poster put up by the Nazis
      announcing a "call up" (for deportation and death) of Jews. The
      word used was "aufruf"; I've tried to avoid using the word since

The `Arukh, under the explanation of the Hebrew hakhraza, gives Aufruf.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: William Friedman <williamf@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:03:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Partial Pesukim

>From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
>"Lo al halechem levado" is used for exactly its opposite meaning- "Man
>does not live on bread alone" implies that man needs more to live,
>whereas the original pasuk means that if Hashem wants, we don't even
>need bread to live.

Nathan's p'shat seems to ignore the presence of the word "levado".  The
statement, "Not upon bread _alone_ does man live, but rather on all that
comes from the mouth of God does man live" sounds like it's saying that
spiritual sustenance is just as necessary as physical sustenance, which
itself us clearly necessary.  If precedent would bolster my case, I
found this is the interpretation in R. Hertz's commentary, for one.

In terms of the context of the entire verse, namely, "And he affllicted
you and he starved you, and he fed you the manna with which you and your
ancestors were unfamiliar, in order to inform you that . . ."  it seems
to be saying _not_ as Nathan said, that they could have lived with
starvation had God desired, but rather that starvation and then
sustenance was a way of demonstrating that God is the one in whose
hands, k'viyachol, their fate was ultimately held.  I admit that the
connection between the method of instruction (the first part of the
verse, i.e., and he starved you and he fed you) and the intended lesson
(the second part, i.e., to inform that not upon bread alone) is not as
smooth under this interpretation as under Nathan's, but the word
"levado" in the second part prevents me from accepting Nathan's



From: Jay Bailey <JayB@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 13:43:22 +0300
Subject: RE: Quote from Aishes Chayil

>In Proverbs 31:15 it says, speaking in praise of a woman, says that she
>gets up while it is still night to prepare food. On the other hand, in
>31:18 it says that her lamp is lit all night, i.e., she doesn't go to
>sleep.How do you reconcile these two? How can she live without sleep?

Think Ner Tamid. In the days when matches were not yet invented, there
was generally a single lamp kept lit in the home all night in order to
easily light the others in the morning. The reference is probably to her
being responsible for keeping this supplied with oil and lit, assuring
light, warmth and food for the next morning. She could easily sleep with
it in the room; no Jewish-mother guilt required!

Jay Bailey (back from a 7-year MJ hiatus)

[Welcome back! Avi]


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 16:46:04 +0200
Subject: Re: Rachav the Zonah

>  Is it necessary to denigrate a righteous convert in our columns by
> using a description of her previous behaviour which may not, in fact,
> be accurate?

I don't have sources at hand, but isn't Rachav's former profession a
machloket (dispute) between the commentaries?

In any case, I believe a kedeisha is a specific type of prostitute, and
that the simple pshat of "zona" is indeed a prostitute.  Is a zona
*ever* used elsewhere in the meaning of inkeeper??

OTOH, why would it be denigrating her to have come from prostitution to
prophecy? I would think that the greater the jump, the more honorable.


From: <Daniel_Raye@...> (Daniel Raye)
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 14:04:45 +0200
Subject: Re: Rachav the Zonah

I have always found it puzzling why some of the commentators stress that
in the case of Rachav "Zonah" means an innkeeper. I haven't checked all
instances in Tanach but all those I can think of, in the Torah, at
least, can only mean "prostitute" - e.g. why should a Cohen be
prohibited from marrying an "innkeeper" (maybe this could be extended to
any woman who is a good cook?). Even in the story of Yehudah and Tamar
mentioned, the Torah tells us that Yehuda approached Tamar because he
thought she was a "Zonah".

In fact, Rachav's being a prostitute would have been of help to the
spies, given that she may well have had local leaders as her clients
(cf. the Profumo affair in the UK in the 1960s, and countless other
political scandals in recent years).

Daniel Raye

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 06:40:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Rachav the Zonah

Martin Stern points out that in Rachav's case, "zonah" may mean

However, "kedeisha" is not the *only* term used for "prostitute."
"Kedeisha" (or a masculine equivalent) implies a prostitute used for
religious purposes. Note that when Yehuda first sees Tamar, he thinks
she's a "zonah," but when describing her to his messenger, he calls her
a "kedeisha," almost as if to lessen his sin, as if she wasn't a
"common" prostitute.

For hilchos kehunah, a "zonah" is not an actual prostitute, but a sexual
history is certainly a factor.

Finally, the two women who come to Shlomo with the baby are called
"zonah." Artscroll translates this as "innkeepers" (a la Rachav) when
they almost certainly are prostitutes.

Nachum Lamm


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 12:04:19 +0100
Subject: Some Broader issues in "sex" education

Russell Hendel's recent post reminded me of a conversation I had with my
5 year old recently about Pinchas.  Her weekly parasha quiz asked why
Pinchas had been made a Cohen - answer: because he killed Zimri and

I then asked her why he killed them (not necessarily expecting an
answer) but she certainly had one - "because Zimri married Cozbi and she
was not Jewish".

Now, I know the story is very difficult to teach 5 year olds, and I have
no idea what I would have taught her, but it does raise certain
questions, like what will she say next to some of our many relations who
have married out?

Does anyone have any good solutions to offer here?  I suppose one end of
the spectrum would be not to teach the story at all in case you get into
this kind of discussion, but that does not sound very appealing.  (I
also wondered how the non-orthodox read the story if they say it is
permitted to marry non-Jews.)

Matthew Pearlman


From: Meira Josephy <mjosephy@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 23:25:29 -0400
Subject: Tallit Designs

To learn more about pre-20th century tallit designs you may want to look
at Salomon, Kathryn. Jewish Ceremonial Embroidery. London: B.T. Batsford
Ltd, 1988 which has a number of examples from a number of different

Another good place to look is in illustrated minhag books such as
Kirschner, Paul Christian and Jugendres, Sebastian. Jüdisches
Ceremoniel, oder, Beschreibung dererjenigen Gebräuche, (Nuremberg 1724)
Hildesheim: Olms, 1974, Picart's Ceremonies et coutumes religieuses de
tous les peuples du monde (Amsterdam, 1723), or Bodenshatz's Kirchliche
Verfasung der heutigen deutschen Juden (Frankfurt and Leipzig 1748/9).

Alfred Rubens's books A History of Jewish Costume, Jerusalem: Weidenfeld
and Nicolson, 1973 and A Jewish Iconography , London: The Jewish Museum,
1954 might also be useful. You may also want to look at publications
related to Rembrandt and the Jews because Rembrandt often used the
example of Jews of Holland

I believe that you can find some information about tallit decoration and
color in Yigal Yadin's Mechkarei Midbar Yehuda Mosad Bialik 1963 and
Hachipusim achar Bar Kochba 1976. Some tallitot with (greek letters)
gamma and etta as designs were discovered during excavations.  Ita Aber
also discusses the differences between mens garments and womens in Aber,
Ita. "Ritual Garments for Jewish Women." The Paper Pomegranate 26, no. 2
(2002): 3-5.



From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2004 16:01:51 -0700
Subject: trying to remember brachot

>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

I found the answer interesting wrt the benching...and it touches on a
question of mine--suppose one is on an airplane or other such situation
and realizes s/he needs to say Tefilat Haderech and doesn't remember it
exactly...then what?



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 00:08:56 +0200
Subject: Yahrtzeit of Hannah Rachel Werbermacher

Ira L. Jacobson writes:

      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.


is it possible that whatever the motivations of the persons directly
involved, could some, like Ira, ever see themselves honoring the lady in
question in any form even if there was no "political message", just
stam?  or would she be ignored, either through simple lack of knowledge
of her history or because she was a female and feminist issues can be
ipso facto "pasul"?

Yisrael Medad


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 14:38:10 +0200
Subject: Re: Yahrzeit Program For Hannah Rachel Werbermacher

Batya Medad writes:
<<Besides the Jewish aspect, there's the human story of a person searching
for her place and being rejected by society.>>

>From what I understand, only part of society rejected her. Clearly, in
order for her to be a rebbe, she must have had followers, both in Europe
and after she made aliyah.

Sincerely, Aliza
Aliza Berger, PhD - Director
English Editing: editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: statistics-help.com


End of Volume 43 Issue 54