Volume 44 Number 77
                    Produced: Tue Sep 14  5:09:39 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aramaic in Private Davening
         [Michael Mirsky]
         [Perets Mett]
A Grammatical Point (2)
         [Shayna Kravetz, Ben Katz]
         [Ben Katz]
Ma'asei Rav (formerly Chumrot at Other's Expense)
         [Gershon Dubin]
Pasuk for Leib
         [Jack Gross]
Receiving money for Dvar Mitzvah on Shabbos
         [David Maslow]
Siddur question - Chabad minhag?
         [Dov Teichman]
Speckled sticks and sheep
         [N Miller]
What is a Language
         [Bill Bernstein]
Yaakov's sheep
         [Nathan Lamm]
         [Ben Katz]


From: Michael Mirsky <b1ethh94@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 10:55:52 -0400
Subject: Aramaic in Private Davening

I remember learning that one should not say parts of the davening which
are in Aramaic if davening alone. (eg. quotes from the Zohar such as
k'gavna in Kabalat Shabbat Nusach S'fard).

I also recall something about the angels not understanding Aramaic.

Does one have something to do with the other?  What is the source?

Michael Mirsky


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 01:13:39 +0100
Subject: Glatt

Ari Trachtenberg wrote:

>  As such, a shokhet has a financial interest in "not noticing"
> any lesions that could otherwise render the animal treif.  This
> financial interest, if not handled properly, could reduce the
> reliability of glatt meat as kosher (much like a paid mashgiach [kosher
> supervisor] should not have financial interest in what he/she is
> supervising).

A shoykhet gets paid the same for a treifa animal as for a kosher one.
So where is the financial interest?

Perets Mett


From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 10:55:15 -0500
Subject: Re: A Grammatical Point

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>  writes:
>Just wondering: Has anyone ever heard the plural "holidays" referred to
>as "Yamim Tov"?
>I've heard they word "yomtovim", which I presume to be a plural of the
>*Yiddish* word "yontev", but in Hebrew the term seems to be "Yamim
>Tovim". SNIP
>Is this phrase at all relevant to this discussion?

"Yamim tov" should never appear in grammatically correct Hebrew. Yom tov
is a straight-up, plain vanilla, noun+adjective combination.  So, when
the noun is pluralized, the adjective is likewise pluralized to agree
with it.  "Yom tov" to "yamim tovim" is an example of regular Hebrew

When "yom tov" is adapted into Yiddish, it is treated as a single unit
and assumed to be masculine -- the usual procedure by which Yiddish
absorbs Hebrew words.  Thus, it becomes "yomtovim".  (Cf. the masculine
Yiddish plurals of female Hebrew words, shabbosim and taleisim.)
Although this would be grammatically incorrect in Hebrew, it is
grammatically regular in Yiddish.

Wishing all MJ-ers a gut shabbes and a zise naye yohr.
Shayna in Toronto

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 13:08:54 -0500
Subject: Re: A Grammatical Point

         Yes, I believe it is another example of Hebrew pluralizing both
words of an expression.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 13:16:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Language

>From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
>Ben Katz <bkatz@...> stated the following on Thu, 02 Sep
>2004 17:18:02 -0500
>       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.
>That logic would make afunim (peas) a corruption.  Not to mention nashim
>In other words, whatever merit the observation may have, the cited
>criterion does not strike me as being valid.

         Mr. Jacobson misunderstood my comment.  One cannot say that the
Hebrew plural is corrupt, because that is the language with its rules
and exceptions.  (And by the way, one cannot tell gender in Hebrew by
the plural, so I am not sure that nashim is "wrong" even by
Mr. Jacobson's criteria.)  But I still maintain that if a speaker of a
second language attempts to pluralize a word from a donor language and
then uses the wrong rule from the donor language - that is 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: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 15:55:36 GMT
Subject: Ma'asei Rav (formerly Chumrot at Other's Expense)

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>

<<querying the halachic propriety of preferring to dip the kli sheini
into the kli rishon. The gentleman immediately responded "The tap of the
urn is broken!".

The lesson is obvious.>>

Yes; since there is a bona fide opinion that for those urns that have a
sight glass, taking water from them on Shabbos is bishul, since the
water in the sight glass (if it never came to a full boil, common in
this type of urn) is heated from below yad soledes to above.

So there are grounds for the "nonexistent" chumra for the situation you
describe and one must definitely inquire.



From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 18:16:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Pasuk for Leib

> From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
> I do wonder, though, based on the Mehaber in Even Ha`ezer 129:25.  He
> discusses how to write Yonatan and says that it should be written
> without a he, unless the person himself writes it with a he.  In other
> words, the spelling actually used by the person is what determines how
> his name should be written in a get.

Isn't the question there "what is this person's name?", rather than "how
is this person's name spelled?"?

If the person signs his name consistently as Yehonatan, we assume that
is his given name, even if people commonly address him as Yonatan.
Otherwise, we assume the given name is Yonatan, since Yehonatan is
rarely given as a name.

But once the name is determined, the way the person chooses to sign his
name is disregared.


From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 08:53:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Receiving money for Dvar Mitzvah on Shabbos

Akiva Miller wrote (V.44, n.67)

>the prohibition [to being paid for work on Shabbat-added for clarification]
>applies only if one gets paid specifically for his Shabbos work.  But if one
>is paid for a longer period of time (which includes both Shabbos and
>non-Shabbos work) or if one is paid for a project (some of which was done on
>Shabbos and some not on Shabbos), then he can get paid for the whole thing.

However, he gives the example of a babysitter as a permitted case.  If
the person provides child care on a regular basis, then it would fit
this pattern, but if the babysitter is hired to watch kids on a
particular Shabbat between 10 am and noon, I do not see how you can say
the payment is not just for Shabbat activity.  Perhaps payment is not
the issue but what activity is being compensated.

David E. Maslow, Ph.D.
Chief, Resources and Training Review Branch
National Cancer Institute


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 14:59:18 EDT
Subject: Re: Siddur question - Chabad minhag?

Accepting upon oneself the mitzvah of "VeAhavta L'Reyacha Kamocha" (Love
your friend like yourself) was the custom of the Arizal. The Mogen
Avrohom mentions this in Orach Chaim Siman 46 quoted from Shaar
Hakavanos. I think most sfard siddurim and siddurim of other Chassidim
that I have seen DO have this as part of the the morning Brochos. I'm
not sure why artscroll did not include it in the sfard sidur.

Dov Teichman


From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 11:59:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Speckled sticks and sheep

The recent contributions by Mike Gerver and Josh Backon are fascinating
and--to this scientific ignoramus--convincing. But I ask myself: does
anyone on this list truly believe that Yankev Ovinu in fact knew about
recessive genes or epigenetic manipulation? And if not, why the

It might seem understandable that frum Jews with scientific backgrounds
experience a kind of intellectual unease (aka cognitive dissonance) when
confronting the Torah narrative. [And of course long before there were
frum scientists there were Enlightenment types--mostly Reform--who sought
to rationalize various biblical injunctions and taboos, not to mention,
lehavdil, Christian creationists who rewrite science to fit their view of

But I see such efforts as futile and even counter to the demands of
faith, which are simply that one believe. My litmus test group are my
grandfather and my father (yours as well in most cases), men of little
or no secular education. In my imagination I run Mike's theory past my
zeyde and I see his look not simply of incomprehension (understandable)
but of perplexity ('What's wrong with the account as it stands Why gild
the lily?'). I was taught the story when I was 5 or 6, illustrated by my
melamed with the aid of a pointed stick. I thought it was a wonderful
story then and I think it's a wonderful story today. It gains nothing in
my eyes when it's suggested that Yankev Ovinu was a geneticist avant la

For what it's worth, I hold with the by-now dated idea that faith and
science exist in parallel universes. Neither has the slightest bearing
on the other. We are free to move back and forth between the two but we
try in vain to make the two worlds one, to resolve contradictions. I on
the other hand cherish contradiction: to be able to believe that the
Torah was written by Moses and at the same time to see it as a document
probably written and edited by many hands. That's _my_ way of resolving
cognitive dissonance.

Noyekh Miller


From: <billbernstein@...> (Bill Bernstein)
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 08:50:59 -0500
Subject: Re: What is a Language

<<Reports Bernard Katz: "As the great Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich
once put the matter, "A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot"
("A language is a dialect with an army and navy")." Of course, we can't
take this too literally, since some countries have really no navy as
they are landlocked (Switzerland, Paraguay, Nepal come to mind).>>

I think Mr. Weiss has inadvertantly proven the point!  Switzerland
indeed has no navy.  But its language (or one of the 3 official ones
anyway) is actually a dialect of German referred to as "Schweitzer
Deutsch."  The Spanish spoken in Paraguay is not the same as in Madrid.
Nepal I can't comment on.

I am being a little facetious here (Argentina both has a navy and speaks
a Spanish "dialect") of course.  My overall impression is that if two
speakers cannot readily understand each other then they are speaking
different languages and not separate dialects.

Kol tuw,
Bill Bernstein
Nashville TN


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 06:04:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Yaakov's sheep

The Encyclopedia Judaica, under "Biology", has a chart which explains
what Yaakov did very nicely, all in line with what the pesukim
describe. Whether Yaakov knew about genetics or was trusting in God
(and/or the sticks) entirely is another story.

Nachum Lamm


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 13:06:10 -0500
Subject: Re: Yiddish

>From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
>Dr Katz:
> > 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.
>He obviously has not heard the apocryphal story of the Rov who, on
>embarkation of a ship, asked his shames to inform the captain that he
>'understood German'. The captain duly made a short welcoming speech in
>German, of which the Rov failed to understand a single word.
> ...
>Well spoken Yiddish (as opposed to Germanized Yiddish spoken by Yiddish
>speakers with an inferiority complex) is by and large not readily
>intelligible to most German speakers
>I suspect that most (all?) those who claim Yiddish is just a corrupted
>form of German don't speak Yiddish.

         The joke told by Mr. Mett is most amusing, but I am not sure
what we are suppossed to learn from an apocryphal story. 

         Mr. Mett is confusing a few issues here.  First of all, Yiddish
is not a corrupted form of German.  It veered away from German in the
early Middle Ages and developed differently, with the addition of Hebrew
as well as Polish or Russian depending upon where Jews lived.  What I
argued was that "shabossim" and "talysim" is corrupted in Yiddish
because they were erroneous attempts to pluralize Hebrwe words in a
Hebrew manner by Yiddish speakers who unfortunately knew little Hebrew
grammar.  Second, Jews who lived in Germany obviously spoke a Germanic
Yiddish; they did not have an inferiority complex.  And third, my father
a"h who never studied German but read, spoke and wrote a beautiful
Yiddish was able to understand German failrly well, as was his sister
who was stationed in Germany for 3 years with her husband in the 1970's.

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@...>


End of Volume 44 Issue 77