Volume 45 Number 02
                    Produced: Mon Sep 27  6:02:41 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu after Mincha
Birkat Rosh Hodesh
         [Naomi Graetz]
Hamelech Hamishpat
         [Martin Stern]
         [David Ziants]
Kodesh v'khol
         [Noyekh Miller]
The Kohen Gadol's Prayer
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
MP and MA
         [Eliezer Lipman Phillip Minden]
New Chumra?
         [Tzvi Stein]
Partial Following of P'sak
Science and Orthodoxy (was: kodesh v'khol)
         [Noyekh Miller]
Yemenite customs
         [Martin Stern]


From: <Shuanoach@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:04:11 EDT
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha

> >> 15) Aleinu is not said after Minchah.
> > This was also the custom in Germany when Minchah was followed
> > immediately by Ma'ariv.
> I also saw this many years ago in the main Ashkenazi Shul in
> Amsterdam.
>This is also the Italian practice.

If i recall correctly, the Bach mentions this already on the Tur. Aleinu
is attributed to Yehoshua as bnei yisrael crossed the jordan river and
were to be for the first time in close proximity with non-jews. (pirkei
de-rabbi eliezer, cited also in kol bo, and in a pseudepigraphic
responsum attributed to Rav Hai Gaon). Bach says he point of aleinu is
to make sure we understand difference/separation between Jews and
non-Jews, before we are in contact with them during the course of the
day. Thus we say it in shacharis before we go to work. They davened
mincha later near nightfall when they were already finished with contact
with non-Jews, thus no need to say aleinu after davening.



From: <graetz@...> (Naomi Graetz)
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:20:47 +0530
Subject: Birkat Rosh Hodesh

While on the topic of birkat rosh hodesh...It is customary in many
synagogues for the shaliach tzibbur to introduce a melody pertaining to
the holiday which will take place the following month. Thus for example,
when we announce rosh hodesh adar, we introduce "shoshanat yakov" or
Iyar, "hatikvah" etc. What is the custom for introducing Elul? Do we
bring in high holiday melodies or simply stick to the normal melody?

Naomi Graetz
Ben Gurion University of the Negev


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:46:40 +0100
Subject: Re: Hamelech Hamishpat

on 26/9/04 12:08 pm, Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...> wrote:
> "Hamelech Hamishpat" is substituted during Aseret Yemei Teshuvah for
> "Melech ohaiv tzedakah umishpat."
> I can understand "Hamelech Hakadosh," but grammatically I find it hard
> to find a satisfactory translation of "Hamelech Hamishpat."
> Any suggestions?

This one has always puzzled me as well. If the word Melech were in the
construct, i.e. the phrase meant King of justice, it should not have the
definite article. The only explanation I can think of is that the two
words Hamelech and Hamishpat are nouns in apposition so it would have to
mean something like "The King whose essence is justice".

Martin Stern


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 18:31:39 +0200
Subject: Re: Kidush

I learnt - I think from Rav Zeven's book "Moa'dim "b'Halacha" - that
there  is a specific issue on Leil HaSeder (seder night) for each man to
make his own Kiddush, rather than be included in the head of the
house's.  I can't remember the logic he brings, but I think it is to do
with the aspect that the cup for Kiddush here doubles as the first of
the four cups, and that everyone should have a part in telling of the
redemption of Egypt. I do know that it is quite a complicated sugya
(halachic discussion). 

Most house holds I (or "we" - from the time we have been married) have
been to for seder night, do not do it this way, and I was told that this
is a very "English" thing to do. 

My own grandfather had the zechut (merit) of saying kiddush on Friday
nights and leading the sedarim for the people in the old age home where
he lived and also before he lived there. Obviously, there he said it for
everyone, but it was the custom in his house, from what I remember as a
child/teanager, that all the men said their own kiddush separately for
seder night. The family has Litvasher roots, and come from one of the
villages near Bialystok. I do not know whether this is something they
adopted when the family came to England, or it was family custom in the
"old country". I also don't know whether the Friday night Kiddush custom
was the same. 

I am happy that my grandfather's custom for seder night has a strong
halachik base. When, ay"h, we will make our own seder at home, I want to
(b'li neder) continue this custom, but possibly encourage every one to
say kiddush together at the same time, so we can concentrate more on the
maggid (narratation part of the Haggada). If everyone were to say
kiddush separately, then it might take too much time from the main parts
of the seder.  

David Ziants 
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Noyekh Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:07:15 -0400
Subject: Kodesh v'khol

If I understand correctly Bernard Raab's thoughts about his
grandchildren and their education, I think we're in complete agreement.
Only this sentence gives me pause:

For many of us, that relegates the Torah narrative to the realm of myth
or fable, a step which I for one am not prepared to take.

I try not to use the word "myth" (often referred to as "pure myth" or
"mere myth") because it's so heavily freighted with what we
all/most/some remember from the behavior of those permanent adolescents
on Olympus. But myth is not to be put aside so lightly, for among its
various meanings is precisely the kind of foundation story found in
seyfer Bereyshis.

There's something else worth thinking about: a sacred myth is _beyond_
questions of truth. Being invested with kedusha, it makes a single claim
on man--obedience. If only the Ribonoy-Shel-Oylem had wired us
differently, so that at Sinai we had shouted simply "naase!", things
would have been much simpler. Instead we added "v'nishma" and that is
where, as we say in Yiddish, the dog lies buried. In short, we--along
with all other humans--spend our lives trying to explain things to
others and to ourselves, trying to prove to ourselves that what we're
ordered to accept on faith is "true". The flood of words goes on and it
is but little consolation that the Christians are even more obsessed.

The flood itself, on my reading, is a perfectly legitimate subject of
skeptical thought.

Noyekh Miller


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 20:23:09 +0200
Subject: The Kohen Gadol's Prayer

bh, 11 Tishri

When the kohen gadol was about the leave the kodesh hakodoshim after
offering the incense he intoned a "short prayer."  All of his petitions
are in Lashon Hakodesh except one-- lo y'adi avid shilton me bet
yehudah. which is the Targum for "lo yasur shevet me yehudah.  Does
anyone have some sources for this deviation?


From: Eliezer Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 18:27:53 +0200
Subject: MP and MA

> Martin Stern wrote:
>The differences between the two, apart from piyutim and selichot, were  
> fairly minor and one of them was, as Perets says, was that MA replaced  
> Yizkor with Matnat Yad.

In fact, MA retained the old minheg of matenas yad, and MP innovated
yizker on Yomkiper and the last days of the regolem. In MA, yizker takes
place on every Shabes that has no youtzer plus Shabes Shuve and, locally,
on additional days, usually fast days.

> Others which spring to mind (in random order) are:
> 1 MA does not say Ein Kamokha and Av Harachamim before taking out the  
> Sefer Torah on shabbat

MP innovation

> 2 MA has Sim Shalom for Shabbat minchah, MP has Shalom Rav

MP innovation

> 3 MA omits several paragraphs in Veyiten lekha

Sources suggest so. The other minhogem (Rome, Provence) have different  
pesukem, and Sefardi M doesn't have any, as far as I know.

> 4 The order of Avinu Malkeinu and Al Cheit in Viddui differ
>5 MA said the complete kabbalat shabbat from Lekhu neranana when Yom Tov  
> fell on shabbat but MP started mizmor shir leyom hashabbat

Late kabbalistic innovation anyway, and kaboles shabes isn't said  
everywhere in MA.

> 6 MA says Birkhot HaTorah before Korbanot, MP before Birkhot HaShachar

See the Mahrem of Rothenburg.

> (neither says the Parashat Ketoret etc.)

late MP innovation al pi R' Yitzchek Lurie

I understand that not all of the points above were intended to be
examples of changes on the side of MA, though some were, but all too
often, the impression among Orthodox Jews, even including German Jews,
is that German Jews always do things in a funny, changed way where
actually, they simply continued to walk in the ways of the oves
oveseine, and didn't accept, or even hear about, Polish
novelties. Please don't take this as a polemic.

Best, KT
Eliezer Lipman Phillip Minden


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:59:42 -0400
Subject: Re: New Chumra?

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> We just found a packet of tissues made in Israel, with the comment on
> it: "Mi'f'al Shomer Shabbat" (i.e., that the company is Shomer Shabbat)
> in Hebrew. These particular tissues are often used as Shabbat toilet
> paper.
> What I didn't understand is that the word Shabbat is spelled out Shin,
> Dash, Bet, Dash, Tav.

This is actually quite an old chumra, dating probably from the beginning
of the state.  I personally remember seeing it from the early 90s.  I
heard of a horrific story from the rough-and-ready early years of the
state, that some toilet paper was being made from discarded sefarim
(holy books) and that the processing was so bad that sometimes the words
were still visible.  That could be part of the reason for that
designation, especially for toilet paper.

The word "Shabbat" is considered one of the names of Hashem, so one
would not want to bring it into a bathroom.  One should also avoid
saying it in a bathroom or mikva, or with unclean hands.


From: <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:26:57 -0700
Subject: Re: Partial Following of P'sak

> I know of an analogous case, where "most" black-hat orthodox "hold"
> like Reb Moshe Feinstein re everything including controversial
> positions like eiruv., but eat veal and use Shabbat timers on their
> a/c, both of which he forbid.  

1: problem with veal is the white veal, not the red veal 

2: It is not clear that Rav Moshe would hold that using Shabos timers
would still be a problem as most people understand what is going
on. There are a few places in halacha where the action of the masses can
indeed override psak halacha.

[My reading of R. Moshe's psak does not indicate that there was any
problem with people understanding what is going on, and I see no reason
to believe that R. Moshe's opinion would have changed. Ideally, R. Moshe
would have prefered to not allow shabbat clocks on lights either. Avi]


From: Noyekh Miller <nmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 11:32:35 -0400
Subject: Science and Orthodoxy (was: kodesh v'khol)

I want to thank Bernard Raab, Akiva Miller and Ben Katz for rescuing me
from the pit I dug myself by writing that science was "despised" when I
should have written "feared" or "distrusted" (maybe as well "ignored").
Akiva Miller is right of course about Greek astronomy in the Talmud and
of course I should have remembered Jewish medieval (pre-Copernican)
astronomers such as Gersonides. A more carefully worded question would
have limited itself to the east-European orthodox tradition from which
most of us derive.

Noyekh Miller


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 20:07:57 +0100
Subject: Re: Yemenite customs

on 26/9/04 12:08 pm, Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> wrote:

> It might just be noted that the Shami text is nearly identical to that
> of all (other) `edot hamizrah, while the Baladi text is rather
> different.  The Baladi pasqen in accordance wit the Rambam.

This is hardly surprising. The Baladi (Native in Arabic) is the ancient
Nussach Teiman. Several hundred years ago printed siddurim were imported
from Syria and some communities were influenced by them to modify their
customary nussach to what became known as Shami (Syrian in Arabic).

This phenomenon occurred throughout the Jewish world where the
introduction of printing produced standardised texts and led to local
customs being abandoned.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 45 Issue 2