Volume 44 Number 81
                    Produced: Wed Sep 15  5:01:40 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

American slang (2)
         [<chips@...>, Robert Israel]
Batim (was Roshei vs Rashei) (2)
         [Boruch Merzel, Yaacov Gross]
Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India
         [Immanuel Burton]
Land for Peace and K'lalei Ha'psak
Price Gouging
"Unmarried Girls" [sic]
What is a Language
         [Sam Saal]
         [Perets Mett]


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 22:18:52 -0700
Subject: Re: American slang

> <chips@...> (sorry I don't know his/her real name) mused on how
> previous generations may have heard things to the ends of the earth. 
> He gives 2 possibilities
> >   1: as an allegory, like "The Shot Heard Around the World" [ bobby
> >   thompson's homerun :) ] 2: it would be The Voice and since space
> >   and vocal strength is not a Godly issue, it would be a miracle
> >   voice as like on Sinai. 
> I have to say that I prefer the second approach as (presumably because
> I come from the UK) I have never heard of bobby thompson.

This is actually quite ironic and funny. "Shot Heard Around the World"
in realilty refers to the skirmish in the Concord , Massachusettes area
that paved the way for the American War of Independence from the UK :-)

Bobby Thompson was a baseball player who hit a very famous homerun,
which was referred to by sports writers, humorously as "shot heard
around the world"

> While on the subject I have no idea what "W. on W." and "SUV" mean in
> <FriedmanJ@...>'s recent post in #69.

You can think of the SUV as a LandRover that has had its width widened
double and bit lengthened.

Usually the initials of names are not used when referring to presidents,
but since there were 2 George Bush elected, the first is referred to as
he was when he was elected and the 2nd is referred to using the initial
from a middle name.  Some people use "Pres Bush 42" and "Pres Bush 44",
as they are the 42nd and 44th presidents of the USA.


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 11:37:45 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: American slang

The phrase "shot heard round the world" originally referred to the first
shot of the American Revolution, fired at Lexington or Concord,
Massachusetts on April 19, 1775.  Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in "Concord
Hymn" in 1837:

  By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
  Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
  Here once the embattled farmers stood,
  And fired the shot heard round the world.

"The shot heard round the world" has also been used to refer to the
assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Francis Ferdinand in
Sarajevo, June 28, 1914, that led to World War I.

Bobby Thomson's home run ended a baseball playoff between the New York
Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers on October 3, 1951, giving the Giants the
National League pennant and sending them to the World Series, where they
lost to the Yankees.  I don't know who first called it "the shot heard
round the world"; apparently one reason was that this game was broadcast
live on radio to the American armed forces in Korea, Japan, Europe etc.

Over-excited sports commentators attach the term to other events from
time to time as well.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada


From: <BoJoM@...> (Boruch Merzel)
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 16:48:19 EDT
Subject: Batim (was Roshei vs Rashei)

  In Mail-Jewish Vol. 44 # 71    Mathew Pearlman writes:

 > Following the discussion on the kamats in "rashei/roshei" I would be 
 > grateful if someone could explain the nature of the kamats in "batim".

 > This word appears several times with the kamats unaccented (and the 
 > tav has a dagesh) which would normally imply that it should be a 
 > kamats katan, but I had always assumed this was a kamats gadol.  
 > Examples include Shemot 1:21 (vayaas lahem batim) and in compound 
 > forms eg "batei" and "bateinu" in Shemot 12:27.

 > However, in other compounds, there is sometimes a stress on the 
 > kamats, eg "habatim" in Shemot 12:13, but not on "habatim" in Shemot 
 > 8:9 and 9:20

 > I should also add that perhaps I am using the word "stress" loosely - I 
 > really mean a meteg or secondary note (in this case a munach). These 
 > seem to me generally to be placed on a kamats to show that it is a 
 > kamats gadol when one might have otherwise confused it for a kamats katan.

I hope my hurried response Erev Shabbos will not be lacking in clarity. 

The Kamatz in "batim", "bateinu", "batei" is always a kamatz koton.  As
Matthew cited in his original posting, the second letter in the word
("tav") has a Dagesh closing the syllable which demonstrates that the
vowel under the Beis is a kometz koton.  A "t'nuah k'tana" must always
be followed by "shva nach" or a dagesh serving as such.

Where Matthew became confused is in the rule of a Meteg with a Kamatz
followed by "shva".  In that case the "sh'va" is a "sh'va n'aa",
demonstrating that the kametz is indeed a kametz gadol.  Breifly: Indeed
a Meteg may accompany a T'nuah K'tana, but not preceeding a letter with
a "sh'va.".  A Meteg preceeds a Shva n'aa only, never a Sh'va nach.  I
hope that my hurried response on erev Shabbos does not totally lack

Boruch Merzel

From: Yaacov Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 18:02:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Batim (was Roshei vs Rashei)

In response to Matthew Pearlman's post of Wed, 8.

The dagesh in Batim (the plural of Bayit) is exceptional.

The Aleppo community here in Brooklyn (and probably all communities that
follow "Sephardic" pronunciation) renders the kamatz as a long vowel
(gadol or rachav).

The Tav's dagesh is Kal, as though it immediately followed a consonant
-- as might be the case if the Yod in the singular Bayit were retained
in the plural form.

On the inconsistency in adding a Meteg to indicate a secondary accent, I
have no explanation.

-- Yaakov Gross


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 10:57:41 +0100
Subject: RE: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

Apart from the bishul akum issues already mentioned with regards to
eating in a Jaine restaurant, there may also be problems with the use of
grape juice, wine and/or wine vinegar.

Immanuel Burton.


From: o7532 <o7532@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 18:56:44 -0400
Subject: Land for Peace and K'lalei Ha'psak

The home page for Mail Jewish offers a section "Collection of Rabbinic
Statements relating to Assassination of Prime Minister Rabin."  The
current climate in Israel seems to disturbingly resemble that of
October, 1995.  Recently, the Israel's security minister, Tzachi
Hanegbi, said that he believed that there were Jewish extremists who had
already decided to kill a top official.  "There are those who have
already made the decision, that when the time comes, they will save the
people of Israel."  Is there anywhere to find a halachic discussion
comparing the issues of the violent resistance that is currently being
sanctioned by some rabbinic authorities to those same issues of
assignation.  Have there been any statements by leading rabbinic
authorities that address the current situation.  For those who support
the government, is this just coincidence or is it on the basis of the
decisions of a democratically elected leadership holding some halachic
water.  Much more importantly, however, are there any discussions of the
meta-halachic or k'lalei ha'psak issues that speak to believers on their
own terms.  What does it mean to follow 'ase l'cha rav' with integrity.
Assuming that in the first place you may choose a rabbi based on your
religious political beliefs and not on some stricter and simpler
knowledge metric, if this rabbi then calls for violent action are there
halachic grounds on which then to not follow him.  Does violent action
call for a halachically universally agreed upon higher bar of rabbinical
consensus and certitude then another humra like chalav yisrael, for
instance, or not.  Thank you.


From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 01:14:17 -0400
Subject: Price Gouging

What is the Halachic position regarding Jews engaged in what the state
of Florida and other states call price-gouging?  What about gentiles who
do the same?  I know that we have to post a sign or tell customers when
we are charging 20?% or more, more than the normal retail price,
regardless aiui of whether the wholesale price went up** or we're
including more profit.  I presume that applies when selling to Jews or
not, is that right?  Do gentile sellers have any similar responsibility?
And after we notify the potential buyer of the regular price, is there a
limit on what Jews can charge?

Someone was arrested today in Florida for price-gouging.  He was selling
electric generators for 500 dollars, about twice what Home Depot charged
for the same size.  He said his wholesale price was much higher, and he
only made about 100 dollars profit.  Plus, I think, he found and drove
down the damaged streets and then delivered the generator right away, on
the spot. If Home Depot can deliver at all after the hurricane, it won't
be the same day.  Plus, Home Depot will eventually sell all they stock,
or can return them to the maker.  The peddlar will have a harder time
doing either of those as soon as the current market dies down.  Plus
Home Depot will benefit later from generating goodwill and repeat
customers -- their low price is an investment -- but he most likely
won't, no matter how low his price.  Plus Home Depot might well charge a
lot more if the law allowed, especially when they only have 2 or 3 left.
No trial or plea so far, of course.

Of course there are also times when a store or a person charges very
very high prices for batteries, flashlights, gasoline, food, water, ice,
etc.  Plus towing out of the sand at the end of the island west of Riis
Park (First the guy nearby with 4-wheel drive refused altogether, and
after I had to, for 45 minutes, dig and sweat and notice 2 or 3
rusted-out hulks not far away, from when the tide came in, he towed me
out for free. He wanted to teach me a lesson and he did.).

Do you support such civil laws against "gouging" if they require more
than Halacha requires for Jews?  Why?  Than for gentiles?  Why?  What
about a civil law that only required people to say what the normal price
is with no hurricane and at a permanent store?  Why?

**I noticed that when Izzie Cohen owned the Giant supermarkets in
Maryland and DC, until he died, he posted when droughts or storms in
California etc.  made the price of produce he was selling unusually
high.  I don't know if he was frum or not, and if not, I don't know if
he did this because of halacha or because it's good business.

<meirman@...>  Baltimore, MD, USA


From: R. <cap_r_dot@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 00:27:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: "Unmarried Girls" [sic]


Almost one month ago, Ruth E Sternglantz wrote [full post at

> [...]  Another real problem is that once an unmarried adult is
> *obviously* no longer a 'girl' or a 'boy' the community erases him/her
> entirely, having no productive space for unmarried men and women,
> because this creature is not really supposed to exist. [...]

This post is so very sad and so very true. And the proof is that it went
apparently unnoticed by the MJ audience.

Here is an impressive community of Bnei-Torah, capable of producing
precise quotes on virtually any Halachah and displaying surprising
erudition on all fields of secular life. Still, during the past month no
MJer considered that message worthy of a comment. The obvious exclusion
(and the slow extinction) of many decent frum Jews goes completely
unobserved in this (and to be fair in every other) forum, as it is
probably considered less important than the text of musicals from the
30s and the hats of Galician noblemen a couple of centuries ago.

In other words: Elul is a time for Cheshbon Nefesh. If that post didn't
suggest any thought, what are we doing our Cheshbon Nefesh on?  So very
sad, so very true.



From: Sam Saal <ssaal@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 13:07:30 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: What is a Language

Irwin Weiss wrote:
>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).

In Nepal the speak Urdu, Hindi, and Cantonese (possibly others), all of
which fit Weinrich's definition. if not in Nepal. In Paraguay they speak
Spanish (some speak an indigenous Guaraní). Spanish certainly fits
Weinrich's definition. Similarly, in Switzerland they speak German
French, and Italian (and in the south east, one other called Romansh,
which is apparently similar to Italian), each of which meet Weinrich's

Sam Saal


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 12:43:43 +0100
Subject: Yiddish

Andy Goldfinger wrote:

> One of my children took a college course in Yiddish.  The form of
> Yiddish they taught was described by a friend of mine as "Academic
> Yiddish," a dialect that was never spoken by anybody, anywhere, at any
> time.  Is this correct?

In a sense, yes.

Academic Yiddish has the grammar of Polish Yiddish with the
pronunciation (almost) of Litvish Yiddish; in that sense it was never
spoken by anybody!

However, many people nowadays who think they are speaking a Litvish form
of Yiddish use (unwittingly) the 'academic' or 'standard' pronunciation.

Perets Mett


End of Volume 44 Issue 81