Volume 44 Number 64
                    Produced: Wed Sep  8  5:17:05 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Decline and Need for Chizuk with Regard to Nusach Hatefilloh (2)
         [David Cohen, Kenneth G Miller]
Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha
         [Michael and Bonnie Rogovin]
Nusach Hatefilloh for Mincha on Shabbos
Nusach Questions
         [Adam M Charney]
Shofar - Variations on a theme
         [Daniel Raye]
U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is the story?
         [David Prins]
V'imru Amen
         [Mark Symons]
Who is Right? (Tunes)
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Zochreinu etc
         [Perets Mett]


From: David Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 23:54:54 -0400
Subject: Decline and Need for Chizuk with Regard to Nusach Hatefilloh

Mordechai (<Phyllostac@...>) lamented "a decline in knowledge and
practice" of the musical "nusach hatefilloh."

My thoughts on the matter are at

As far as public events dealing with these issues, there is an "Evening
of Preparation" for yamim nora'im shelichei tzibur scheduled for this
Thursday night in New York.  You can see the flyer at
http://www.cantorsworld.com/flyer-symposium.jpg.  While the last two
talks are about vocal health, I hope that the first one (by Cantor
Bernard Beer, director of the Belz School of Music and executive vice
president of the CCA) will address some "nusach" issues.


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 22:23:23 -0400
Subject: Re: Decline and Need for Chizuk with Regard to Nusach Hatefilloh

Mordechai Phyllostac wrote <<< I am happy to see the discussion here
about nusach hatefilloh. It's nice to know that some people are
concerned about it. ... I know that the Cantorial Council of America
(CCA) has been raising the alarm about this serious problem for a while
already and has had public programs about it... >>>

"Concerned"? "Serious problem"?

Rhetorical question: I am alarmed by the lack of discussion about the
style of neckties which men have been wearing to shul in recent years.
What do others think of this serious problem?

Seriously, this time...

Before we begin discussing what should be done, or is being done, about
a certain problem, we must first establish that it is indeed a problem.
It's not enough to show that it is happening; one must show that it is
undesireable, that it is bad, that it is a *problem*.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am NOT saying that I think that what's
going on today is fine. All I'm saying is that if it isn't fine, then
we've uncovered yet another hole in my Torah knowledge, and I am eager
to learn about it.

Let's put it this way: Some things which we do are full-fledged
minhagim; we do not have halachic permission to change them, and if we
*would* change them, we're often required to switch back. To my layman's
mind, an example would be a shul which for many years has begun weekday
Kedusha with "N'kadesh", and now they want to change to "Naaritzach" -
or vice versa.

In contrast, let's take something like what time the shul begins
davening. To this layman, this is not the sort of minhag of which we are
taught "Don't abandon your mother's teachings." (Mishlei 1:6) Rather,
it's in the category of "that's how we happen to do things here."

Alas, the line between these two is often blurred, at least to those
like myself. Example: For our tenth anniversary, my wife bought me a
beautiful silver atarah for my Shabbos tallis. A few years later, I was
told that while many chassidim a have minhag to have such an atarah,
many non-chasidim have a specific minhag *not* to have one. This was
news to me. I simply thought that some people had them and other people

Pretty soon we'll be hearing that the style of yarmulke a man wears
(knitted, suede, velvet, etc.) is an official minhag, and one who wears
the yarmulke of a different community has violated his minhag. Come to
think of it, maybe this is already the situation for various groups of
chassidim, and their styles of streimel and coat?

My point is that if anyone considers "Which tune shall we use for the
first three brachos of chazaras hashatz" to be a problem, then the first
step to solve it must be educating the public about the nature of the
problem. You have to find a way to teach people that this is a real
minhag, that it's not merely a case of "this is how we do it".

To sum up:

If one claims that long years of tradition require us to use a plain
weekday tune for the first brachos, and that we must not use a fancier
tune until after kedusha, and that one is wrong if he uses the fancier
tune in the beginning, then is it also wrong to use a new tune for An'im
Zemiros, or for Ein Kelokenu, or for L'cha HaShem Hagedulah, or for any
of the tefilos that a famous chazan composed a new tune? And if so, then
aren't we wrong for using any tune at all, presuming that these were
originally said without singing?

I just want to know where to draw the line, that's all. Minhagim have
always developed over time. When is it okay to make changes, and when is
it not?

Akiva Miller


From: Michael and Bonnie Rogovin <the.rogovins@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 22:38:20 -0400
Subject: Melody for Rosh Hashana Mincha

I forwarded Art Werschulz's reply to Mark Symons' query to Chazan
Sherwood Goffin. and received the following (sorry for the delay in
posting this). For those who do not know the Chaz, he is the long-time
cantor at Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York and is a faculty member
of the Belz School of Jewish Music at YU and is the Honorary President
of the Cantorial Council of America, the Orthodox cantors
organization. He has been speaking frequently about the regretable state
of affairs we face today in which ba'al habatim who do not know the
halachot of tefila lead services with inappropriate
melodies/nusach. Innovation is fine, he has stated, so long as it is
done within the confines of halacha by a knowledgable ba'al tefila (Rav
Henkin, who occasionally contributes here, has similarly written about
this in a wonderful article entitled "Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die;
Tra, La, La La La."

> > Thanks for the Mail Jewish piece. I agree totally with
> > Mr. Werschulz. He seems to know his nusach well.  The same rule
> > applies to Yom Kippur, even though many are perplexed by the use of
> > the weekday nusach on such a day. The only change is that there is
> > an old "MiSinai" kaddish that introduces the Amidah at Yom Kippur
> > Mincha that few are familiar with. If the Baal Tefilla doesn't know
> > it he can substitute the weekday kaddish, but NOT a shabbat mincha
> > or Yomim Noroim Shacharit or Musaf melody as some, who should know
> > better, do. Be well. May our tefillot be M'kubal. Fondly, Chaz > >

Michael Rogovin


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 03:49:56 EDT
Subject: Nusach Hatefilloh for Mincha on Shabbos

<< From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
> And also re Shabbat Mincha itself - I have heard 2 versions for
> avot, g'vurot and kedusha - 1 is to do these in the standard weekday
> nusach (and to use the shabbat mincha nusach before and after), the
> other is to also do these in the Shabbat mincha nusach. Which is more
> "authentic"?

I have been following the back and forth on this topic with interest.

My first reaction was to think that the latter way was more correct (to
start the Shabbos mincha nusach from the beginning of chazoras hashatz)
and that the former way was just an shortened version used lazy or
weaker baalei tefilloh.

When I saw Dr. Schwartz's post stating the opposite, I was surprised,
but I didn't reject what he said out of hand, since he seems to be
knowledgable in such type of matters. I then saw Dr. Schwartz's point of
view challenged with no response (at least not yet).

Upon reflection, perhaps they are representative of different minhogim
based on the following logic -

Way A holds that the special Shabbos mincha nusach should be limited to
parts of the davening that are special to Shabbos (starting from Atoh
echod). Since avos, gevuros and kedushoh of mincha are said during the
week too, the Shabbos nusach is not used with them (according to this
logic, it should not be used for the concluding three brochos of avodah,
hodo'oh and sholom as well - does anyone do that ?).

Way B holds that the whole amidah is a tefilloh of Shabbos mincha - even
if some parts are not unique to it. Therefore the special nusach should
be used throughout. If there is something to this logic, it could have
implications for davening on yomim tovim as well.



From: Adam M Charney <adam@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 12:50:20 -0500
Subject: Nusach Questions

Quick question to Rav Teitz - does Telz use the weekday nusach for
Ashrei/Uva Letzion/Kaddish etc, or is it just at the beginning of the
chazores hashatz?

Adam M Charney


From: <Daniel_Raye@...> (Daniel Raye)
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 16:50:33 +0200
Subject: Shofar - Variations on a theme

I am interested to know whether anyone is aware of discussions of the
different styles used by tok'im for the tekia, shevarim and terua notes.
There are a number of different minhagim that I have heard or heard
about over the years, for instance:

- the number of notes making up a shevarim
- plain (i.e. same pitch throught the note) or "whining" (i.e. raising the
pitch of the note at the end) shevarim/tekia
- terua made up of several individual short blasts or one long blast broken
up by moving the shofar itself

What are the sources for these variations? There are probably others as

Ketiva VeChatima Tova


From: David Prins <prins@...>
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2004 09:53:13 +1000
Subject: U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is the story?

A well-known story regarding the writing of U'Netaneh Tokef describes in
terrible detail how (in the 11th century?) the Bishop of Mainz mutilated
Rabbi Amnon, severing his limbs.  A few days later on Rosh Hashana,
Rabbi Amnon, dying from his wounds, asked to be carried to shul.  With
his dying breath, he uttered the words that we now know as the U'Netaneh
Tokef prayer.  Three days later Rabbi Amnon appeared in a dream to Rabbi
Kalonymous ben Meshullam, and taught him the exact text of the prayer.
Rabbi Amnon asked that it be sent to all Jewry and that it be inserted
in the prayers of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur for all time.

My wife attended a shiur for women yesterday evening in which, as I
understand it, the person giving the shiur asserted that the appearance
of R. Amnon to R. Kalonymous was a myth.  It was said that analysis of
the wording had shown that the prayer was in fact composed some 200 or
so years later.

My question for mail-jewish is whether there are any historians or
others in our group who have any sources as to when the prayer was
actually composed?

Shana tova
David Prins

To: <mail-jewish@...>

From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Subject: V'imru Amen

I have heard it said that the "correct" way for "v'imru amen" to be said
in kaddish is for the chazan to first say "v'imru amen" (ie directing
the kahal to respond amen) and for the kahal to THEN respond "amen".
This obviously does fit in with the meaning.

However, in many tunes for kaddish, the kahal are used to singing amen 
WITH the chazzan.

Although this may not be strictly "correct", it would seem to me that if 
this is just as likely, or even more so, to result in the kahal saying 
amen, then it would be acceptable, perhaps even preferable, because 
surely anything that increases the likelihood of the kahal responding is 
preferable, because the response is such a major part of kaddish. 
Further evidence that the chazan need not say amen alone first, may be 
that in the word count of kaddish (which is referred to in the context 
of aseret y'mei teshuva when the extra "le'eyla" is added, so another 
word is taken out - min kol becomes mikol - so as to keep the word count 
constant), I understand that "ve'imru amen" isn't part of the count.

Any comments?

Mark Symons


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 13:10:26 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Who is Right? (Tunes)

R. Seraya Devlisky has a small pamphlet called tikun tefilla,(1982). He
has "all the tunes for prayers as in the perushim - ashkenaz eretz israel
custom". He writes in Shabbat Minha - from Ashrei to after Sidkatecha -
use Shabbat Minha tune, altho the previous custom was to use the weekday
tune until yimloch, but the custom changed, kadish shalem, weekday tune,
but some now use the Shabbat Minha tune.
Yom Tov Minha - weekday tune until yimloch,not like the Matteh Efraim
#598/2. But end 1/2 kaddish in Yom Tov tune.
Yom Tov on Shabbat - use Shabbat tune until yimloch.
Rosh Hashana - weekday tune until yimloch, not like the Matteh Efraim.
Rosh Hashana on Shabbat - Shabbat tune until 1/2 Kaddish, say Kaddish in
weekday tune, up to yimloch weekday tune.
Yom Kippur - weekday tune including Tora reading, 1/2 Kaddish and up till
lemaan shmo beahava, even on Shabbat.
BTW, other interesting customs -
1} Most places in eretz Israel say Tal and Geshem before Mussaf,
therefore, no Tal or Geshem tune for Kaddish.
2} Some say haftarat Hazon in the regular tune, as the Hazon Ish.
3] The old Ashkenazi places do not read the Tora on Simhat Tora night.


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 23:41:32 +0100
Subject: Zochreinu etc

> on 31/8/04 9:56 am, Elazar M Teitz <remt@...> wrote:
>> The custom in Lita was, and in the Litvishe yeshivos is, for the
>> congregation _not_ to say Zochreinu and Mi chamocha in the repetition
>> of the Shmone Esrei, although Uchsov and B'sefer are said.
> This is also the custom of the German Ashkenazim.
> Martin Stern

Also the custom mentioned by Bnei Yisoschor (ABD Dinov)
Perets Mett


End of Volume 44 Issue 64