Volume 44 Number 66
                    Produced: Wed Sep  8  6:29:58 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A grammatical point
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Ben Katz]
Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai (5)
         [Shoshana L. Boublil, Shayna Kravetz, David Roth, Gershon
Dubin, David Eisen]
Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin -- chumras (3)
         [I.H Fuchs, Binyomin Segal, Fred Dweck]
Receiving money for Dvar mitzvah on shabbos?
         [Michael Mirsky]
Visiting former concentration camp sites
         [Joseph Ginzberg]


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2004 10:24:50 +0300
Subject: Re: A grammatical point

Ben Katz <bkatz@...> stated the following:

               In English when one uralizes a compound noun, only the
      part that is relevant should be pluralized (eg mothers in law, not
      mother in laws or mothers in laws).  However, I am not sure that
      this is the case in Hebrew, or at least for rabbinic hebrew.  see
      for example batei kenesiot (not batei keneset) in yehum purkan,.

The answer to your question is that this is not a noun-adjective
connection, in which one might well pluralize both the noun and the

The literal meaning of the expression is something like "blessings for
uselessness."  Even in English, the plural of a "blessing for
uselessness" is "blessings for uselessness."

And by the way, while both batei kenesset and batei keneisi'ot are
correct, the later is regarded as a fancier usage.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 17:18:02 -0500
Subject: Re: Language

>From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
>Why is it when words are used in English with different spellings or
>pronunciations from the original language, we say they are "from French"
>or "derived from German" etc., but when the destination language is
>Yiddish, so many people, including Jews, say that the word is a
>corruption of the foreign word?

         This gets in to the whiole debate of what constitutes a
language.  No one would say that French and Latin are the same language
because they are not mutually understandable.  Yet there are some
mutually understandable languages (eg the scandinavian languages) that
are considered seperate languages.  Most people would argue that Yiddish
is distinct enough (alphabet, some hebrew, polish and russian) to merit
its being considered a seperate language, yet it is mutually
intelligible with german speakers.

         The corruption issue has been discused before on MJ.  I
maintain that if you use the rules of the new language to change a word,
that is OK, but if you misuse the rules of the language the word came
from, that is a corruption.  Hence talaisim and shabasim in my opinion
are corruptions, while "shabbeses" is not.  The latter takes a hebrew
word and adds an english plural for an english speaker.  shabasim is a
misguided attempt to pluralize a hebrew word with a hebrew ending that
is incorrect (masculine vs feminine) and is therefore a corruption.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2004 18:46:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai

> From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
> Question: There is a story in the gemara that when R. Yohanan ben Zakkai
> was dyoing his students came to take leave of him, and found him
> weeping.  They addressed him with a series of titles, including "amud
> hazak" and "patish ha-yemini," and then asked rhetorically, "Is it
> possible that someone like you fears the Divine judgment"?  He answered
> that there are two paths, one leading to Gan Eden and the other to
> Gehinnom, and that he was not sure which is which.
>       Please, does anyone know where to find this story?  I tried both 
> asking several talmidei hakahamim and using the Bar-Ilan  serach program 
> with every phrase I could think of, and came up empty handed.  My thanks 
> and blessings in advance to anyoen who can give me an exact reference, 
> complete with page number..

Source:  Bavli, Berachot 28:b

(BIU shu"t CD ver. 11)

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 19:06:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai

Talmud Bavli, B'rachot 28b.

Kol tuv and Shanah Tovah from
Shayna in Toronto

From: David Roth <droth@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 01:58:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai

I believe the passage you're looking for is in Avot deRabbi Natan,
version Aleph, chapter 25.  If you search in Bar Ilan for "petirato shel
rabban yochanan," you'll find it.

FYI, I found it by searching for "yochanan" and "chazak" (with prefixes)
with up to 15 words in between.  The large amount of words in between
can be very helpful sometimes.

The name by which Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai's students address him is,
"Rabbi, Amud haGavoah, Ner haOlam, Patish heChazak."

I, for one, would be most interested in learning more about Rav
Soloveitchik's interpretation.

Kol Tuv,
David Roth

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 09:23:53 -0400
Subject: Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai

Berachos 28b.  Thanks for the berachos <g>.


From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 00:56:21 +0200
Subject: RE: Query about R. Yohanan b. Zakkai

See Rav Soloveitchik's Hamesh Derashot - pp 33 - 35, where he connects
Rav Yohanan's guilt-ridden feelings in Berakhot 28b with the harsh
criticism laid against him by R. Aqiva in response to Rav Yohanan Ben
Zakai's pragmatic decision to opt for "hatzala porta" (meager salvation)
instead of demanding the preservation of all of Yerushalayim and the Bet
HaMiqdash, which he feared may have been an impossible request to be met
(TB Gittin 56b).

Kol Tuv and B'virkat Shana Tova,
David Eisen


From: I.H Fuchs <ilan_25@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2004 10:44:17 +0000
Subject: RE: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin -- chumras

2 side points According to the Arizal one needs two sets of tfilin and
should intend to fulfil the mitzva by putting on the two

and as for a third set there are mekubalim who daven on mincha with
tfilin shimusha raba

From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 16:49:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin -- chumras

On Thu, 2 Sep 2004 17:02:49 -0400 (EDT), Carl Singer wrote:
> As you no doubt know Rabbeinu Tam
> Tefillin result from an uncertainty as to the sequence of the 4 shel
> rosh parshas.  People who "hold" by Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin put on a 2nd
> pair because of this uncertainty -- they hold by the necessity to put on
> a second pair to avoid the possibility of not having put on tefillin
> with the correct sequence.  Custom in certain communities is that one
> doesn't put on Rabbeinu Tam until they are married.  Perhaps it's
> another "gift" (along with the tallis and watch :) that the Kallah's
> family provides.

I believe Carl is making an error, and it can be demonstrated by the
internal inconsistency he described. If there is a real concern that
Rabbeinu Tam tfilin are _the_ right ones, the custom to wait till
marriage would make little sense. (For a similar argument see the Mishna
Brura who argues that waiting to put on a tallis till marriage is
silly. And in that case there is no _obligation_ since you are not
wearing a four cornered garment.)

In fact, since the halacha is clear in this case, the gra objects to
putting on Rabbenu Tam tfilin. I believe he notes that there are 30some
different mutually exclusive positions among the Rishonim about
tfilin. We either need to pasken one, or do them all.

But those that wear Rabbenu Tam tfilin wear them as a "chumra" not a
"safek". A chumra is an attempt to show our love for G-d by doing more
than we are required to do - even though it is clearly not
required. (See the mesillas yesharim)

One place to see this clearly is Rav Moshe's letter (in the igros) to
the Lubavitcher Rebbe about Rabbenu Tam tfilin. My recollection is that
he writes that he had been in the custom of wearing them in Europe, but
could not find a suitable sofer here, so he only wore Rashi tfilin. (I
believe the end result was that the Lubavitcher Rebbe gifted a pair of
Rabbenu Tam's to Rav Moshe, for which the letter includes thanks.) If
Rabbenu Tam tfilin were based on safek, how explain the flip flop Rav
Moshe had between Europe and here (and then again when he got a new
pair). Rather, it was a chumra, and one that was worth doing if it could
be done well, but was not (in Rav Moshe's estimation) worth doing
poorly, or worth extending serious effort for.

> The point is that if one were to put on a 3rd set of tefillin (let's
> say as a result of deep study and a conclusion that there was yet
> another possible correct sequence for the parshas) one would likely be
> considered a nut case or a member of some cult, as opposed to more
> machmir.

In fact I know someone who wears five or six different pairs of
tefilin. He comes home from shul and puts them on in private. Few people
know that he does this, and he clearly does not believe this is a
requirement. And he certainly feels it would be yuhara for him to
publicly wear these different pairs of tefilin. If you met him I feel
sure you would not think him a nut case or a member of some cult. He is
a seriously holy man and a scholar of serious proportion. And part of
that scholarship is the ability to distinguish between the "psak" and
the chumra. (In this particular case, my impression is that he takes
many of his chumras from sources in kabbalah.)

Truth is, this is not very different than Rabbenu Tam's. For a member of
community that never wears them to wear them publicly is AT LEAST
_mechze cyuhara_ (the appearance of conceit) and possibly yuhara
(conceit). And indeed, I believe there were sources from Europe who
would not allow their being worn in public for this reason.


From: Fred Dweck <fredd@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 15:55:46 -0700
Subject: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin -- chumras

Regarding the Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin, the Zohar and ALL Mekubalim
(Kaballistic Scholars) regard them as mandatory. The difference in the
order of parshiot applies to both the Yad and the Rosh. As far as a
third pair being considered, there are Tefillin of Shimusha Rabba, which
are used by Mekubalim for Mincha.

Fred E. Dweck


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 21:49:43 -0400
Subject: Receiving money for Dvar mitzvah on shabbos?

Daniel Lowinger said:

 >Michael Mirsky stated that "Selling (or auctioning) aliyot or kibbudim
 >on Shabbat or Yom Tov is permissible because it's for Dvar Mitzva"

 >Why is it that we are allowed to do things that are seemingly not
 >allowed to be done on Shabbos just because it is a Dvar Mitzvah? An
 >example in this regard springs to mind:

 >My Rabbi once taught me a song that goes - "ain't goin to work on

 >Why is it then that the Rabbis, chazzanim, Balei Koreh and people making
 >kiddushim are the ones that actually do work on Saturday and benefit
 >monetarily from work performed?

I should have been more clear.  The reason it is a dvar mitzva because
in the cases with which I am familiar, the money raised with aliyah
auctions is used for upkeep and support of the shul.  How chazanim,
Rabbis and Balei Kriah receive their remuneration is a completely
different matter.  It's my impression that they don't get paid for what
they do on Shabbat, but rather for the preparation they do before
Shabbat (like Torah teachers).



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 21:12:28 -0400
Subject: Visiting former concentration camp sites

>Would anyone know of any Piskei Halachah regarding whether Kohanim may
>visit any/all/parts of the different extermination camps in Poland?

Rabbi Shimon Efrati z"l, former head of kashrus for the Rabbanut under
Rav Unterman, in his sefer "memek Habacha" (5708, Jerusalem) says that
the memorial and visiting area in Treblinka are especially designed to
leave a space underneath of a "tefach" in height, allowing visitors,
including Cohens. He was involved in the design there.  He does not
mention the other camps.

Yossi Ginzberg


End of Volume 44 Issue 66