Volume 44 Number 91
                    Produced: Wed Sep 22  5:26:15 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cholah or Cholanit (s)
         [Jay F Shachter]
Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh (8)
         [Yakir, Shimon Lebowitz, Ira L. Jacobson, Mike Gerver, David
Cohen, Batya Medad, Irwin Weiss, Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Interesting Teimani (Yemenite) Customs
         [Martin Stern]
Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin
         [Martin Stern]
Siyum on a Sefer of Tanakh
         [Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer]
Tal/Geshem (2)
         [Martin Stern, Daniel Raye]
Tanach chapter divisions (2)
         [Batya Medad, Martin Stern]
Yemenite customs
         [Nathan Lamm]


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 23:25:00 -0600 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Cholah or Cholanit (s)

Gilad J. Gevaryahu wrote in v44n86:
> This issue of what is correct: Cholah or Cholanit(s)? was extensivly
> discussed on MailJewish Volume 38.

Yes, it was.  And I remember being bewildered at the time that no one
gave the obvious explanation for why Northern European Jews (called
"Ashkenazim") say "xolanit (s)", even after it became known on the
mailing list that non-Ashkenazim generally do not.

The reason why non-Ashkenazim generally say "xolah" whereas Ashkenazim
generally say "xolanis" (or "xolanit") is undoubtedly that Ashkenazim
historically have shifted the stress of both "xolah" and its masculine
equivalent, "xoleh", to the first syllable.  They accordingly pronounce
the last syllable of both words as an unstressed schwa.  This reduces
the distinction between the masculine and feminine forms of the words.
Consequently they had to reintroduce the distinction by using an
extended feminine form, "xolanis".  Non-ashkenazim, who pronounce the
Hebrew (correctly) with the stress on the last syllable, have no need to
use the extended female form, as the stressed syllable conveys the
distinction between the masculine and feminine forms of the word.  I am
sure this is the right explanation.

	Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
	Chicago IL  60645-4111
	<jay@...> ; http://m5.chi.il.us:8080


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:21:20 +0200
Subject: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

>  Every siddur I have seen says "..... Haboh aleinu", whereas if it is two
>  days it appears to me that it should be "Habaim alaynu".

Birkat HaChodesh is a good source for "fine details".
- when do you say "ulmocharato", "and the next day" (only when R.C. is the 
next Shabbat and the following Sunday).
- OK we can also discuss the correct pronunciation of the word.
- do you mention "yirat shamayim", fear/awe of Heaven", twice. Its not in 
the original Tfillat Rav. If so why ?

To the question itself.
I understand that the original/correct phrasing is:
"Rosh Chodesh xxxx, (without yihye) b'yom yyyy (v'zzz), haba aleinu .... 
i.e. (free translation)
Rosh Chodesh xxxx, on yyyday (and zzzday), soon to be for our good, may the 
Lord renew ...."

In other words there are phrases/clauses which cloud the issue but the
"haba aleinu" refers to the Chodesh, the month, not to the days of Rosh
Chodesh.  One can view the "haba aleinu clause" as similar to "baruch
hashem" etc in regular speech, the need to insert it sometimes disrupts
the natural and grammatical flow of the sentence.

BTW In Biblical etc Hebrew "Chodesh" refers to Rosh Chodesh not to a

Gmar Tov (a "Happy End")
-- Yakir

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:48:33 +0300
Subject: Re: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

I think this ties into another related difference between siddurim.  I
have seen two kinds, those that print a comma after "letova", and those
which do not. I don't have a list of editions/publishers, sorry.

As I understand it, 

* some siddurim (with a comma before "yechadesheihu") are saying "Rosh
Chodesh x [is on day(s) a(-b)]; yechadeshaihu....."  
-- this version should say "habaim", about the day(s).

* other siddurim are saying "Rosh Chodesh x 
[on day(s) a(-b) ] haba aleinu... yechadesheihu..."
-- here, haba refers to the *month*, not the days of R.Ch.

That's just the way the 2 versions seem to make sense to me.

Oh! I just remembered that this is mentioned in Rav Tukchinky's (sp?)
Luach Eretz Yisrael, here is what he says on Shabbat Bereishit
(mevorchim Cheshvan): "Rosh Chodesh Mar Cheshvan yihye beyom hashishi
uveyom Shabbat kodesh haba aleinu (veha'omrim 'habaim' to`im hem)" [Rosh
Chodesh will be on Friday and Shabbat, and those who say "haba'im" are

He does not go into details of the mistakenness (is there such a word?).

Gmar chatima tova,
Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 12:02:49 +0300
Subject: Re: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

The reference would seem to be to the month, which should be good, or
perhaps (although I think not) even the rosh hodesh that should be good.
But not (just) the day or days.

I would also expect a question on why the text most often used is
"shetehadesh `aleynu et hahodesh hazeh" and not hahodesh haba (as the
Aderet suggests).

The subject is treated rather extensively in an article entitled
"Regarding the Announcement of the Molad in the Synagogue," by Eng.
Ya`aqov Levinger, in Lu'ah Davar Be`ito for 5755, pages 149 - 176,
including formulas for calculation, whether or not the molad should be
announced at that time, sources and pisqei halakha.

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 15:46:35 EDT
Subject: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

Maybe it should be "habah aleinu" because it is only one Rosh Chodesh,
even though it is two days? It depends on whether the subject of the
sentence is Rosh Chodesh, or the days which were mentioned.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: <bdcohen@...> (David Cohen)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 12:41:11 -0400
Subject: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

It might be that the phrase "haba aleinu" refers to the Chodesh,
i.e. the new month which is amsculine singular.

G'mar chatima tova
David I. Cohen

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 06:04:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

If I'm not mistaken, it's probably considered two separate, somehow
connected, days, since they're from two different months.  Rosh
Hashannah is two days, but we can't prepare from one day to the next.
We have to heat the food for the second night after nightfall.  It's a
weird one.  This year especially, as with erev tavshilin we could cook
for Shabbat but not for Friday. 


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Subject: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

Joseph Ginzberg inquires why we say "Habah Aleinu, instead of "Habaim
Aleinu" when we bensch Rosh Chodesh and R"Chodesh is two days.  I assume
it because we are praying that the month (singular) is good for us, not
just the one or two days of Rosh Chodesh.  Month is singular.


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:36:28 EDT
Subject: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

This issue was discussed in Volume 28 of MailJewish and my post there
explain the history of what happened. 

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:18:48 +0100
Subject: Re: Interesting Teimani (Yemenite) Customs

on 21/9/04 3:18 am, Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:

> 15) Aleinu is not said after Minchah.

This was also the custom in Germany when Minchah was followed
immediately by Ma'ariv.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:11:28 +0100
Subject: Re: Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin

on 21/9/04 2:13 am, Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...> wrote:

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

While not much is known about Sadducee practice, the Karaites did use
tefillin but wore the shel rosh literally between their eyes which is
the basis for our particular care to place them above the hairline (or
former one for those no longer so blessed). I do not know what parshiot
they contained but I would be surprised if they were any different from

Martin Stern


From: Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 12:27:35 +0300
Subject: Siyum on a Sefer of Tanakh

    Has anyone ever seen a text for a Siyum on a sefer of Tanakh learned
with meforshim, as required by Rav Moshe Feinstein?  What about the
Kaddish Derabbanan?

    It seems to me that it should be easy to change the usual text.
    In the Siyum, a midrash hazal should be discussed or some Torah
She-be-al Peh should be mentioned so that a kaddish de-Rabbanan can be said.
    Hadran alakh sefer Kohelet....
    I would leave out the Bar Papa Brothers and stop after "Leolam haba" -
since that deals with Torah She-Be'al Peh.
    Modim ...she-samta helkeinu mi-lomdei Toratekha [not beit haMidrash]
    ...lehathil [skip masekhtot] sefarim akherim...
    ...u-zekhut kol [skip tannaim ve-amoraim - since that refers to Talmud]
talmidei hakhamim...
    As far as kaddish is concerned I would say a regular Kaddish derabbanan
[since the long Kaddish is saved for massekhtot and sidrei Mishna]

        Kach nireh La'aniyut da'ati
            gemar Hatima Tova

Dr. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, ISRAEL
E-mail: <FrimeA@...>


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:49:16 +0100
Subject: Re: Tal/Geshem

on 21/9/04 3:18 am, Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...> wrote:
> Thus it came about that at the end of Tal/Geshem, when the cantor recited
> the words: "Livracha v'lo li-klala",
> the choir responded dramatically "LI-KLALA".

Unfortunately it may well have happened in a nominally Orthodox one and
is not the only such case.  There is a report that in VeHu rachum in one
such place, the choir would sing in unison "Yashchit!"

Martin Stern

From: <Daniel_Raye@...> (Daniel Raye)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 10:15:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Tal/Geshem

Apocryphal or not, I find that a similar situation occurs virtually
every Shabbat in many shuls where the tune for Lecha Dodi is switched in
the middle. At the beginning of the verse "Lo Tevoshi..." everyone waits
to hear which tune the chazan has selected. Generally, it takes about
one word to catch on, at which point, with much gusto, the congregation
start up - "TEVOSHI"!

Gmar Hatima Tova,

Daniel Raye
Beit Shemesh


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 05:53:29 +0200
Subject: Tanach chapter divisions

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

True, our divisions are the Parshot Shavua and Kohen, Levi, etc. The
chapter divisions were devised by the early printers, if I'm not


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:03:45 +0100
Subject: Re: Tanach chapter divisions

on 21/9/04 2:13 am, Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:
> I understand that the chapter divisions of Tanach are taken from
> Christian sources.

This is quite correct; they were devised by Cardinal Stephen Langton,
later Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of King John, while at
the University of Paris (now the Sorbonne).

> 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?

On the contrary, they were based on Christian exegesis and often
expressed a distinctly anti-Jewish theological polemic. The most blatant
example is the ending of the first chapter of Genesis with the sixth day
in order to separate Shabbat from the Creation narrative. Some of the
others are more obscure but become clearer if one becomes familiar with
the Patristic and Mediaeval disputation literature, something I do not
recommend bothering with except for those with an academic interest in
the subject.

Martin Stern


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:02:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Yemenite customs

Shmuel Himelstein writes:

"9) On Rosh Hashanah Musaf, there is no repetition of the Amidah by the
Chazan. Instead, the Chazan says the prayer aloud, and all say it along
with him. (because of the absence of printed texts? SH)"

Doubful, or it would be the case for any Amida. Perhaps it has to do
with everyone hearing the Tekiot at the same time.

Also, remember that there are three different Yemenite nuschaot, which
may explain why your siddur didn't mention one of these customs.

Nachum Lamm


End of Volume 44 Issue 91