Volume 44 Number 73
                    Produced: Fri Sep 10  6:22:11 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Following the minhagim of the husband
         [Bernard Raab]
Rabeinu Tam Tefilin
Singing as Part of Tefilah
         [Deborah Wenger]
U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is
         [Stephen Phillips]
U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is the story?
         [Joseph I. Lauer]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 23:59:41 -0400
Subject: Following the minhagim of the husband

In the very erudite discussions of this issue, the following circumstance
was not discussed (I think...since I may not have read every line of
every post):

 *  When a married woman and her husband return to her father's house for
    Shabbat, does she follow the minhagim she grew up with (e.g.; washing
    hands before or after kiddush, standing or sitting for kiddush;
    covering her hair for kiddush, etc., or that of her husband, who will
    also be making kiddush?

 *  Does it matter if her father insists that she follow his minhagim?

 *  Does the situation change when the parents visit the daughter for
    Shabbat? And the father continues to insist that his daughter observe
    his minhagim, even in her "husband's" home? Would it be a violation
    of "kibud Av" to ignore his request?

These are not academic questions in some households.
b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: <DTnLA@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 12:04:25 EDT
Subject: Rabeinu Tam Tefilin

Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam's opinion are both mentioned in the Zohar which
says that they are both correct and necessary and in turn the Arizal
followed this and even wore them both simultaneously. The Shaar
Hakavanos (R Chaim Vital) writes that at first the Arizal wore Rabbeinu
Tam tefillin during mincha and then he had a third pair made according
the opinion of Shimusha Rabbah for mincha. There is some controversy as
to what exactly is shimusha rabba's opinion and how does he differ from
Rashi. It may be only in the size of the bayis or in the crowns on the
letters or actually in the order of the parshios. There is a fourth
opinion of the Raavad which is worn by very few. The sefer Taamei
Haminhagim in Hilchos Tefilin has diagrams showing the differences
between the four. While many mekubalim wear three pairs, the Lubavitcher
Rebbe wore all 4 as he was instructed by he father-in-law. He talked
about this in Likutei Sichos vol. 2 p. 507 where he also lists others
who wore 4 pairs. He also wrote to someone in a letter to start wearing
all 4 pairs only after age 40. The procedure of how to wear the 4 pairs
is in his sefer Hayom Yom for 19th Av.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 34:2) says that if one wears both Rashi
and R"T simultaneously (as the Arizal did) he must have in mind not to
be yotzeh with whichever pair is not in accordance with the halacha and
they should be just like leather straps. Mishna Brura (13) says that
even one who puts R"T Tfilin on after davening should have in mind not
to be yotse if the halcha is not like R"T. I believe the Mekubalim would
argue with this halacha as they hold that both are needed as the Zohar
says, and there is no doubt that both tefilin are correct.


From: Deborah Wenger <deb.wenger@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 22:44:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Singing as Part of Tefilah

Akiva Miller wrote:

>I can't help but wonder ... In a situation where I am expected to sit
>quietly and listen to the chazan sing -- is this supposed to inspire
>me?  How? It's not like the rabbi's speech touched one of my
>heartstrings; the chazan is saying the same words all the time. When I
>can sing along, the emphasis put on the words helps me to have more
>feeling, more emotion, more kavana. But when I just listen to the
>chazan, I really wonder if he's doing anything more for the crowd than
>entertaining them.

>No, I don't doubt that his prayers are meaningful and heartfelt. I can
>hear his emotion as he sings it! My question is what this is supposed
>to do for/to the people who just listen.

I couldn't agree with you more - and for that reason I try, if at all
possible, to daven in a shul where there are enough women singing along
that there would be no question of kol isha (and in which the men don't
consider women singing as a group to be kol isha so it shouldn't be a

I recently had the zechut to spend a Shabbat in Yerushalayim, for the
first time in too many years. On Friday night I went to a minyan that
was standing-room only on both the men's and women's sides; the singing
and the ruach in that room made it the most spiritually uplifting
tefilah I have EVER attended. On Shabbat I went to the Great Synagogue
to hear the choir; yes, the music was beautiful, but I felt more like I
was at a concert than at davening.

I think the question becomes even more pronounced now that we're
entering the Yamim Noraim. I daven at a shul that I normally don't go to
specifically because the ba'al tefilah gets the entire congregation to
sing - and I find that this immeasurably enhances my kavana.

Just my two shekels' worth...

Shana tova to all,
Deborah Wenger


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 12:41:56 +0100
Subject: Re: U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is

I remember reading a book in English called "Sambation" by a former
Israeli diplomat whose name I cannot recall. It was a series of essays
on the various parts of the Jewish year. In one of them he discusses
this question and seems to provide compelling evidence that the whole
story was indeed a legend and that Rav Amnon (if he ever existed) could
not have lived at the time of the story.

It is interesting to note that the commentary on the ArtScroll Machzor
tells the story as one that actually happened.

Whatever the truth of the matter is, that fact remains that U'Netaneh
Tokef is a very powerful and moving prayer.

Stephen Phillips


From: Joseph I. Lauer <josephlauer@...>
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 23:53:05 -0400
Subject: U'Netaneh Tokef - how accurate is the story?

    In MJ 44:64, David Prins related with regard to the writing of
U'Netaneh Tokef that "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."  He asked "whether there are any historians
or others in our group who have any sources as to when the prayer was
actually composed?"

    Being one of the "others" in the group (meaning that I only minored
in history), I can only state that I have heard the theory that the
Unetaneh tokef was composed hundreds of years before (not after) the
time of R.  Kalonymous.

    Popular articles discussing the identity of the writer of the
Unetaneh tokef and the time of its writing appeared in Haaretz before
Rosh Hashanah in 2002 and 2003.  (Surprisingly, their URLs may still be
accessed.  Do not be confused by the date that appears on the masthead.)

    Two URLs for the first article, entitled "Who shall be the author,
and who shall not", are


    Two URLs for the second article, entitled "Day of Judgment for
angels, too", are


    In the first article, Prof. Yosef Yahalom (who teaches Hebrew
literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) wrote that the kerova
was written during the Byzantine era by Yanai, who "produced his works
in major Jewish communities in the Holy Land before the Arab conquest -
perhaps in Gaza ....  'Unetaneh tokef,' cut off from the other
liturgical works produced by Yanai, has become the final passage of
another kerova that has become part of today's liturgy ['Upad me'az
leshefet hayom' ('Rosh Hashanah has always been the Day of
Judgment')]. This text was written by Yanai's most celebrated student,
Elazar Hakalir. As if all this confusion were not enough, 'Unetaneh
tokef' is presented in the High Holy Day prayer book as a European text
written by a martyr who sanctified God's name, Rabbi Amnon of Magenza."

    Asking, "What was the original ending and why was it replaced by an
'alien' text? And why was this alien text regarded as a European
creation?", Prof. Yahalom posited that the theme of Hakalir's kerova,
which included "'Mi lo yira'akha melekeh' ('Who will not fear you, O
King?')," and was appropriate for "the era of frequent changes of regime
in the Holy Land on the eve of the Arab conquest: the transition from a
Byzantine regime to a Persian one (614 C.E.), the restoration of a
Byzantine regime (629) and, finally, the transition to an Arab regime
(636)", was also appropriate for the time of the calamitous Crusades,
500 years later.

    "The German Jews strongly identified with the ecstatic passage 'Mi
lo yira'akha melekeh' and, for the sake of Hakalir's composition that
had become part of the liturgical tradition of French Jewry, were
prepared to discard their own time-honored liturgical text, that
emphasized the concept of individual responsibility. 'Unetaneh tokef'
was poised on the brink of extinction. The leadership of Ashkenazi Jewry
refused to be a party to such a scenario because it wanted to perpetuate
the image of punishment and pain associated with the old version of
martyrology: 'Because they will not obtain an acquittal when You judge
them ... Who [will die] by water and who by fire. Who by the sword and
who by war. Who by earthquake and who by plague ...' The community
leaders wanted to amend Hakalir's dominant composition in its final,
ecstatic segment: By replacing 'Mi lo yira'akha melekeh,' with 'Unetaneh
tokef,' they hoped at least to preserve the latter text."  And,
according to Prof. Yahalom, the Ashkenazi leadership did this through
the story of Rabbi Amnon.

    The sub-head of the second article, by Prof. Hananel Mack (who
teaches Talmud at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew liturgy at the Hebrew
University), reveals its theme: "Additional corroboration for the claim
that the liturgical poem 'Unetaneh Tokef' was written during the period
of Yanai and Elazar Hakalir and not, as tradition says, by Rabbi Amnon
of Mainz."

    Prof. Mack wrote that "the style and spirit of 'Unetaneh Tokef' are
similar to the works of the earlier Eretz Israel liturgists and their
attribution to Yanai or Hakalir is indirectly supported by geniza
excerpts.  As stated, this conclusion is now accepted by many scholars
of the piyyut."

    Prof. Mack stated that "The main theme of the piyyut is that on Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are the principal days of judgment for
human beings, the angels are also judged."  According to the professor,
this theme is first found in the Aramaic translation of Job/Iyov 1:6 and
2:1, as well as in the Unetaneh Tokef.  This established for him the
chronological link underpinning his theory.

    "The prevalent view among scholars is that the translations of the
Hagiographa were written in Eretz Israel during the Byzantine period, at
about the time of the era of Yanai and Elazar Hakalir, whose exact dates
are not known either. The Aramaic translation of the Book of Job and the
writings of Yanai and Hakalir were therefore created in about the same
period and place. It turns out that during that time, the idea
concerning the days when the angels are judged - Rosh Hashanah and Yom
Kippur - was just first considered, and this is reflected both in the
Aramaic translation of Job and in the piyyut 'Unetaneh Tokef.' This
further bolsters the view that ascribes the piyyut to Yanai or Elazar

    Best wishes to all for a Ketivah v'Chatimah Tovah!
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York


End of Volume 44 Issue 73