Volume 45 Number 10
                    Produced: Mon Oct  4  7:31:04 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazarat Hashatz
         [Nathan Lamm]
Gemar Tov
         [Batya Medad]
Kiddush Customs (2)
         [Nathan Lamm, Martin Stern]
Names - Shneor
         [Leah Perl Shollar]
New Chumrah
         [Carl Singer]
Partial Following of P'sak
         [Akiva Miller]
         [Pinchas Roth]
Wedding Customs (3)
         [Batya Medad, Jeanette, Martin Stern]
Yemenite customs
         [Martin Stern]


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 14:03:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Chazarat Hashatz

Mike Gerver reports seeing Sefaradim and Yemenites reading along with
the "Hekhe Kedusha." I know that there are strong grounds to support all
people doing this (so that the chazzan will say those first brachos with
a tzibbur), and I know many Ashkenazim (including myself) who do so. The
sources for Hekhe Kedusha in general are so sparse that it's hard to
track down precise "rules" in any event. (For example: If davening
along, does one say L'dor Vador, or Ata Kadosh?)

Nachum Lamm


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:44:34 +0200
Subject: Re: Gemar Tov

      Does anybody know the origin of saying "gemar tov" rather than
    "Gemar hatimah tovah" between Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabba? The rabbi
    of my local shul pointed out, to my mind quite correctly, that "Gemar
    tov" means "a good end,", which can be understood as referring to a
    person's death! He commented ironically, "I'd be afraid of a gemar

I was under the impression that it's a sort of slang, for those too lazy
to say the entire phrase.  Of couse, just lke common un-grammatical
slang, it's literally incorrect.

Chag Sameach,


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 14:07:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Kiddush Customs

Just a further note to those who pointed out that in some families, all
above-bar mitzvah boys say kiddush.  This is the custom in my family,
and I didn't realize until late that it wasn't the norm :-) My father's
explained it as wanting us to get used to it- chinuch, in other
words. If we have many guests, or even one or two who may not have the
custom, only my father will say it. And if some wish to and others
don't, well, that's what happens. At other tables, we listen to the host
unless offered to say ourselves. 

Nachum Lamm

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:23:12 +0100
Subject: Re: Kiddush Customs

on 28/9/04 4:42 am,  <billbernstein@...> (Bill Bernstein) wrote:

> <<Those with the opposite custom might see it as a chovah for one person
> to make kiddush for the whole assembly because of 'berov am hadrat
> Melekh" and therefore consider the alternative as assur (prohibited)
> because of a possible berakhah levatalah.>>
> Someone who is willing to view his host's actions as "assur" probably
> has no business eating out at other people's homes.
> I find the whole discussion funny in one way and sad in another.  People
> come to my house or I go to theirs and I am well aware of different
> minhagim and their reasons.  I am perfectly willing to accomodate just
> about any of them.  I would expect the same, more or less, of my host.
> I certainly would not expect that my minhag will be labeled "assur."  It
> is a sad state when we have come to where our social relations require
> piskei halakha.

I fear Bill has misunderstood the point I was trying to make. At issue
is whether "berov am hadrat Melekh" is a factor which has to be taken
into account or not. Minhag A holds it is and therefore, lekhatchillah
at least, one person should make kiddush and be motsi everyone
else. Minhag B holds that it is not and therefore each person is allowed
to make kiddush independently. As far as I am aware nobody holds that
there is an obligation for each person to make his own kiddush and davka
not be yotsi with the baal habayit. If this is incorrect perhaps someone
can quote a source for this opinion. The only possible exception would
be a very large gathering in a hall so large that some people might not
be able to hear the baal habayit.

There is a basic consequence of this analysis which makes the two
minhagim unequal in application. Someone following minhag A should not
make kiddush in a house of someone following minhag B since, for him,
this would raise a possible issur and he should therefore ask his host
to be motsi him. The host should not consider this as against his
minhag, though he may consider his guet a bit eccentric, since he only
holds that there is a permission for others to do so, not an obligation.

On the other hand, someone following minhag B would not be going against
his minhag if host is motsi him. The host could certainly allow the
guest to make his own kiddush if he wishes since (i) one cannot force
someone to be yotsi if he does not wish to be, and (ii) there are
opinions that allow it.  The only problem which might affect the host is
that, if the guest makes kiddush first, he should follow his own minhag
and let the guest be motsi him. To avoid this, I suggested that the host
ask the guest to make kiddush after him.

I consulted my rav on this matter who, while he agreed with my analysis
of the underlying halachic controversy, disputed whether there is a
minhag B, which he described as being in reality a ta'ut (mistake), at
all. He held that it should not be encouraged and one should only allow
guests who feel strongly on the matter to do so for reasons of derekh
erets for the reasons in the previous paragraph.

Martin Stern

[As a quick note, my father zt"l was of the same opinion as Martin's
rav, that minhag B is an error, and that Kiddush should always be made
by one individual for the group on Shabbat / Yom Tov, if at all
possible. Avi]


From: Leah Perl Shollar <leahperl@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:34:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Names - Shneor

> >>I was under the impression that Shneor was a Hebrew name.  As I heard
> >>it, a couple each wanted to name after his or her father -- Meir and
> >>Yair respectively.  They compromised, and called the child "Shneor" --
> >>two lights...
> Since the plural of "or" =light, in Hebrew is "orot" the name would have
> been "Shneorot" but it is rather Shneor, therefore, "Shneor" =two
> lights..." is simply folk etymology. Jonathan Baker is indeed correct
> when he suggests that Shneiur is based on Seņor.

Accepting that the 's' could become 'sh' is fine, but then the name
would be "Shenyor".  It would still need to undergo the shift of the
vowel from the first syllable to the second.  Doesn't it seem more
likely that the "ot" of orot fell into disuse?

Also, there are no other names in Jewish tradition meaning 'mister',
while there are names that connect to like, such as Feivish or Feivel,
which derive from Phoebus, meaning light.  If the 'mister' was to
indicate status, wouldn't Spanish Jews have stuck with 'Don',
i.e. 'sir'?  The closest to 'mister' that I can think of is Bunim => bon
homme, and that clearly shows we are talking about a special mister
(Shem Tov), not just any mister...

Leah Perl


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 06:46:18 -0400
Subject: New Chumrah

> In MJ 45:02, Carl Singer wrote about tissues: <<< Perhaps they are
> packaged in such a way that there is no possibility of tearing as you
> pull one out for use -- i.e. there is no perferation connecting
> consecutive sheets. We need more chumras, so I'm looking forward to
> Shabbos tissues. >>>
> Why do you consider this a chumrah? My understanding is that when one
> tears a perforated paper along the perforations, that constitutes the
> melacha (basic category of forbidden activity) of "mechatech", which is
> defined as cutting something to a specific size or shape.
> Akiva Miller

Of course the tearing even along perforations is forbidden, and that's 
not what I'm talking about.

Ordinary tissues (Kleenex, if you will) even though they are packaged as
individual sheets which are interleaved for dispensing purpose (not
perforated at all) can sometimes stick together and thus tear as they
are being dispensed.  They are manufactured from what is called a
"parent roll" -- a large (6 foot?) roll of tissue paper which is slit
and cut and folded and packaged .... .  The possible chumrah is was
referring to someone who would claim that their tissues are somehow less
likely to stick and tear and thus are more Shabbos-worthy.  And thus
we'd get "glatt tissues"

Carl Singer


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:19:54 -0400
Subject: Re: Partial Following of P'sak

In MJ 45:02, Chips wrote <<< 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. >>>

I think it is significant that Rav Moshe wrote his opinion on this
subject (Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim 4:60) in 1977. Shabbos clocks were
already quite popular and entrenched in the Shomer Shabbos world by
then, and I really doubt that there's been any change in the public's
understanding of them in the years since. In other words, I see no
reason to think that Rav Moshe would say any differently today.

Akiva Miller


From: Pinchas Roth <pinchas2@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 16:58:49 +0800
Subject: Shneur

Matthew Pearlman wrote:

> The name Shneur is actually mentioned in the Ramban's drasha on Rosh
> Hashana, so has a very old vintage. 

If I remember correctly, the Ramban is referring there to one of the
brothers who headed the Evreaux yeshiva, in 13th century Normandy. (See
E.E. Urbach, Baalei haTosafot, pp. 479-485). Their father's name was
Shneur. Their culture was entirely French-Ashkenazi, which is why I
found it unconvincing that the name Shneur is derived from the
Spanish. I suppose it is possible. Does anyone know of an earlier use of
the name?

Chag sameach,


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:55:36 +0200
Subject: Re: Wedding Customs

>A similar question --    at weddings
>Do bride and groom walk to the chuppa with their respective parents OR
>groom with (both) fathers and bride with (both) mothers.

When we first came to Israel (1970) every wedding we attended, if I'm
not mistaken, had the bride with the two mothers and the groom with the
two fathers.  Today here in Israel we see both, but our crowd is very
international, and rabbis tend to be flexible to adapt, within halacha,
the couple's wishes.  There's lots of individuality.


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette)
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 06:29:22 EDT
Subject: Re: Wedding Customs

at my first wedding I walked down with the two mothers and so did
all my siblings. . at my second wedding I walked down with my parents,
and my mother said, as we were walking down the aisle, that she had
always wanted to do that--walk a child to the chuppah with her husband.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 08:36:06 +0100
Subject: Re: Wedding Customs

on 29/9/04 5:26 am, Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote:

>> A similar question --    at weddings
>> Do bride and groom walk to the chuppa with their respective parents OR
>> groom with (both) fathers and bride with (both) mothers.
> I have never seen or heard of this. Has anyone?
> [Yes, I have seen both customs. Avi]

These two customs certainly do exist though it is not clear to me, from
what he writes, which one Bernard has never seen.

There is an interesting anecdote about Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky z"l on this
matter. Someone once asked him which was his minhag to which he replied
"Whichever makes the mechutanim happy". Apparently he followed this
through in practice by following different ones at different childrens'
chuppas, something I have also done.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 08:46:40 +0100
Subject: Re: Yemenite customs

on 29/9/04 5:26 am, Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...> wrote:

>> From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
>> This phenomenon occurred throughout the Jewish world where the
>> introduction of printing produced standardised texts and led to local
>> customs being abandoned.
> I believe the printing industry similarly contributed to the elimination
> of Selichot from the Yom Kippur shacharit, musaf, and mincha services.
> The selection of Selichot varied with time and locality -- as evidenced
> by the range of dates of authorship in the weekday Selichot.
> Because of that non-uniformity, the printers simply incorporated the
> local custom by reference ("Der Chazen hebt ohn Slach Lanu un m'zogt
> Selichos, dernoch sogt men dos: Zechor Rachamecha..."), leaving it to
> local communities to produce their own texts. With time, even that
> instruction was largely dropped.

This certainly happened in Eastern Europe as Daniel Goldschmidt points
out in his introduction to the Yom Kippur machzor which includes almost
all the selichot ever recited in any Ashkenazi minhag. In the machzorim
printed in Germany (Heidenheim, Sachs), they were included so the German
communities continued to say them, giving out a list of those to be
said, which varied from year to year depending on how late YK terminated
so that there would be no need to make a break e.g. between mussaf and
minchah. This was true of the earlier English ones such as Routledge and
Shapiro Valentine which followed the same pattern.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 45 Issue 10