Volume 44 Number 85
                    Produced: Mon Sep 20 21:13:44 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

High Holiday Services
         [Michael Kahn]
Hinting to a non-Jew
         [Andrew Marks]
Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin (2)
         [Ben Z. Katz, Ben Z. Katz]
         [Martin Stern]
Tanach chapter divisions
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Tefillin Variants
         [Nathan Lamm]
T'fillin shel Rabbeinu Tam
         [Dov Teichman]
Unetane Tokef
         [Jonathan Baker]
"Unmarried Girls" [sic]
         [Shoshana Ziskind]


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 02:29:03 -0500
Subject: Re: High Holiday Services

>With the HHD services so full of words, when does one find the time to
>think/reflect on one's past/future actions, teshuva, and the like?

Aren't the HHD prayers all about tshuva and serving Hashem?


From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Subject: Re: Hinting to a non-Jew

> From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
> I simply stand around and observe.
> If there is something I see that isn't done the way I would like, I make
> a statement about it rather than ask them to do something - just as one
> might say "It's very dark in here" to get a non-Jew to turn on lights.

My understanding is that even hinting to a goy to do melocha for you
(not a tzarchai tzibbur) constitutes amira l'akum.  The "it's very dark
in here" trick doesn't really work, and in fact a jew may not use the
lights that the goy turns on for him on shabbos, even if he said nothing
to the goy.

A classic trick is to ask the goy to get you something out of a dark
room, and then once he's turned on the lights for his benefit (to be
able to see), you can ask him to not turn them off.  Unfortunately, this
only works until he realizes that "Can you please grab a bottle of soda
from the basement?" is a code for "turn on the lights."

I'd look up sources but it's late.

Ksiva v'chasima tova,


From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 23:46:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin

>From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
>        But there is a much deeper point to make here: not only does
>Ben's evidence not undermine our tradition, it actually confirms it!
>Ben here mentions three deviations from halakha: round tefillin, five
>parshiot, and putting the 10 commandments in the tefillin.  He argues
>that these deviations, found, for example, in the Qumran caves, show
>that nobody cared during that period about the details of tefillin.  (By
>extension, he then argues the same for the order of the parshiot,
>whether Rashi or R. Tam)
>        Ironically, these very examples prove the oppposite.  Ben leaves
>out the crucial fact that Hazal knew all about such tefillin, mention
>them, and condemn them as sectarian.  Rectifying the omission gives us
>an argument which proves the opposite and from these very examples:
>Hazal cared greatly about these details: [references from Mark's
>posting deleted, see issue 79. Mod.]

	It is with trepidation that I will attempt to respond to some of
the learned Dr. Steiner's points.

	1.  While I might have gotten a bit carried away with myself in
my parenthetical aside (which I am wont to do), the point I was trying
to make (perhaps not too successfully) was that there were serious
breaches in tefillin regulations that chazal did address. I still find
the fact that they did not mention the order of the parshiyot, EVEN
IN USE DURING THEIR ERA means (to me at least) that the order of the
parshiyot was not important to them as long as there were 4.

	2.  To the best of my knowledge, Karaites (and Saducees) did not
wear tefillin.

	3.  I am not sure that chazal knew about tefillin with the ten
commandments.  They are not mentioned explicitely by them. The fifth
parasha reference in sanhedrin 11:3 may just be a general example of
"bal tosif" (such as adding a fifth fringe to a tallit).

	4.  To slightly correct Dr. Steiner's medical point: while there
are SPECIFIC tests that are much better at ruling in than ruling out
diseases, they are usually done only after SENSITIVE screening tests
that are much better at ruling out than ruling in diseases.  Thus, in a
sense, SPECIFIC tests do also usually rule out the presence of a

shana tova to all MJers!
Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614

From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 23:52:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin

>From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
>The rishonim on the gemara in Rosh Hashana explain by bringing Tshuvos
>from Rav Shereira Gaon and Rav Hai Goan, that really both ways of
>blowing shofar were legitimate but R Abahu did not want two traditions
>so he unified everyone. The same thing applies to Tefilin, there were
>always two traditions but rashi and R"T argued about which tradition
>appeared correct to them. In turn the Zohar and Arizal explain the two
>traditions and why they are both correct. Just as both ways of blowing a
>teruah were correct. 

	I think Mr. Teichman and I agree, although his language may be
more elegant than mine.  Essentially "no one cared" until the Middle
Ages as long as there were 4 parshiyot.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 11:03:47 +0100
Subject: Re: Tal/Geshem

> It is the custom in Israel according to the so-called Minhag Ashkenaz
> current there (really Minhag haGra) to do precisely that. They just
> recite the final section of the piyut (the pizmon with the refrain
> ending in mayim or tal respectively)

The original Minhag Ashkenaz was to say an extremely long piyut by Kalir
in both cases in the mussaf amidah but most congregations unfortunately
omit almost all of it, only saying the first two stanzas of the shiva'ta
in the first two paragraphs and then jumping to the pizmon (outside

The full piyut is to be found in many machzorim (Artscroll has it at the
back) and it is well worth studying, preferably with a commentary such
as that in the Machzor Hameforash or Daniel Goldschmidt's critical

The main part of each (the seder) consists of a 'journey' through the
year and how each month, its zodiacal sign and a prominent person from
our Biblical history is associated with rain or dew respectively. The
use of allusion makes some of the references obscure though the
commentary should make them clear. Perhaps the breakneck speed with
which it tended to be recited made it so unintelligible that most
congregations stopped saying it, a regrettable loss of tradition.

Martin Stern


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 11:24:58 +0300
Subject: Tanach chapter divisions

I understand that the chapter divisions of Tanach are taken from
Christian sources.

If that is the case, I wonder how it is that in certain chapters, the
Tanach division differs from the standard (KJV etc.) division. For
example, in Vayikra, our division is Chapter 5 has 26 verses, while in
the Christian version there are only 19 verses, with the last seven
verses being the beginning of Chapter 6.

If, indeed, we take the chapter divisions from non-Jewish sources, would
it imply that there is a different non-Jewish source than the KJ (for
example), from which the Hebrew is taken?



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 05:30:12 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Tefillin Variants

Yaakov Gross asks for other issues to fill up the 256.  The knots may
also be an issue: Whether to wind the shel yad in or out, and whether to
tie the shel rosh in a "dalet" or a square. Of course, there are
variants in writing between Ashkenazim and Sepharadim (and "Beit Yoseph"

Nachum Lamm


From: <DTnLA@...> (Dov Teichman)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 12:14:43 EDT
Subject: Re: T'fillin shel Rabbeinu Tam

The source is in Maaseh Rav where it says that The Gr"a wore only Rashi,
and he said that he would have to wear 64 pairs to be yotseh all the
shitos. 4 opinions of the order of Parshios (Rashi, R"T, Raavad, Shimusha
Rabba). Machlokes whether parshios are standing up or laying flat.
Machlokes what side of the Klaf to write on. Machlokes what the ink is
made of. Machlokes about the parshios being psuchos or stumos.
4 * 2 * 2 * 2 *2 = 64

Dov Teichman


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:27:59 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Unetane Tokef

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
> Pinchas Roth <pinchas2@...> stated the following on Sun, 12 Sep

>       The story of R Amnon reflects the transition of the Ashkenazi
>       tradition from Italy to Germany (Amnon is an Italian name), and
>       Unetane Tokef was a piyut that was popular in Italy but unknown in
>       Germany and France, until someone introduced it and the story came
>       to explain that.

> I hope that the argument doesn't stand or fall on the fact of Amnon of
> Mayence's name being an Italian name, since King David's firstborn son
> was named Amnon.

Maybe it was popular in Italy, but not popular in France?  Name
popularity shifts a lot.  E.g., biblical names are very popular, but we
don't see so many of them in the Talmud - how many Rebbi Dovids are
there?  Rebbi Avraham?  Only a few names, such as Yehoshua, or Shimon,
seem to have been popular then.  And we see names introduced as
populations shift, e.g. Yenta (Juanita) or Shneiur (Sen~or) into Europe
after the Spanish expulsion.


From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:05:36 -0400
Subject: Re: "Unmarried Girls" [sic]

> From: R. <cap_r_dot@...>
> Almost one month ago, Ruth E Sternglantz wrote [full post at
> www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v44/mj_v44i28.html#CHL
>> [...]  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.

I very much noticed this post and very much agree with it. Its a sad
situation. A similar situation but not quite comparable are couples who
don't have children or the woman isn't obviously pregnant yet and have
been married longer than 2 years.  Its simply not fitting into your
community. The community norms for a Jewish community is that you get
married and have children but you can do everything in your power to
achieve these goals but you need syatta d'shmaya as well.  Certainly it
would behoove (sic?) communities to make sure single people and
childless feel like they're also important parts of the community.

The reason I didn't comment is that there wasn't much to say other then
do an email version of nodding my head.  In my community I think these
women (I only know about the women, really) get very involved in the
community and try to give back but its obviously very frustrating that
they're single when they want to get married and it hasn't happened,

> 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.

But you're assuming that since people didn't post people didn't think
about the post which I disagree with.  There are a lot of things to do
cheshbon nefesh and yes this is one of them.  Did I did enough for my
single friends this year?  (most of them seem to be using frumster.com
lately) Did I include them? Did I daven enough for them?

Shoshana Ziskind


End of Volume 44 Issue 85