Volume 45 Number 19
                    Produced: Thu Oct 14  6:23:05 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu after Mincha and on Yom Kippur
Aleinu on Yom Kippur
         [Andrew Marks]
Aramaic in Private Davening
         [Carl Singer]
         [Tzvi Stein]
Hallel with Instrumental Accompaniment?
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Kiddush Customs
         [Chaim G Steinmetz]
Molad and leap seconds
         [Mike Gerver]
Not benefiting from work done by Jew on Shabbat
         [Risa Tzohar]
Simchat Torah
Songs For Hakafot
         [David Curwin]
Third Person
         [Shayna Kravetz]


From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 04:59:02 -0700
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha and on Yom Kippur

> In the Sephardi prayerbooks Aleinu is found after both Mussaph and
> Minha on Yom Kippur. 
	What about Aveinu Malkeinu ?



From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 10:27:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Aleinu on Yom Kippur

Aleinu was added to the non-yomim noraim nusach tefillah around 1000
years ago.  My understanding is that since it's already in davening on
yoma (and rosh hashannah), it just wasn't added at the end.


From: Adereth <adereth2003@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 23:51:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: re: Aramaic in Private Davening

Sam Saak <ssaal@...>wrote:

> "I know people who skip the "barchuni l'shalom" verse of Friday
> evening's "Shalom Aleichem" because it implies angels acting as an
> intermediary between us and HaShem.  I have a corresponding difficulty
> here (although I do sing the "barchuni" verse :-)."

I believe that the reason that people skip "barchuni" is because the
verse is a direct request for the angels' blessing.  The objection isn't
to the notion that angels act as intermediaries, just to the request for
the angels' blessing.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 07:03:10 -0400
Subject: Aravos

> A related question. A friend purchased the lulav and etrog for me but I
> forgot to mention I have access to fresh aravot. He bought aravot for
> me, but they were terrible. Setting up the lulav erev sukkot, most
> leaves fell off even though I stored them correctly. What responsibility
> does a seller have?
> Sam

Interesting -- we have similar -- my sons went to the lower east side
and bought 4 sets (for us) and a few sets for friends who asked.  We
have aravos growing in our back yard and used those instead -- knowing
that they were better than what came with the sets.  I think to some
extent at it's buy beware -- because you (or your agent) has opportunity
to inspect / select each of the arba minim.  I guess in part the issue
may hinge on whether your friend bought a "set" or bought each item

Kol Tuv,
Carl Singer


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 09:44:25 -0400
Subject: Gentile?!

>From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> "Yentel" from "Gentile."

Why would any Jew name their kid "Gentile"?!


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 16:37:43 +0200
Subject: Re: Hallel with Instrumental Accompaniment?

Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...> stated the following on
Mon, 4 Oct 2004 13:33:30 +0200:

      In recent years I have seen occasional community notices inviting
      one and all to participate in a local minyan that adverstises
      "musical hallel" -- i.e. hallel recited with instrumental
      accompaniment -- on days such as Rosh Hodesh, Hanukkah and Hol
      HaMoed. I have not heard of any reaction from local rabbinic
      authorities, and yet I am puzzled. Somewhere in the back of my
      mind I had the impression that the use of musical instruments in
      the davening has been prohibited since the destruction of the
      Temple, and not only on Shabbat and Yomtov. Can anyone clarify
      this point for me?

If I remember correctly, such a thing was planned for Rosh Hodesh at one
synagogue in Petah Tiqwa about two years ago, but the local rabbinate
expressed its displeasure, and the event was called off.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Chaim G Steinmetz <cgsteinmetz@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 18:17:54 -0400
Subject: Kiddush Customs

> [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]

I would refer to the discussion in Shulchan Aruch Horav 213:6, where he
discusses both "customs", in light of which it would be a "bit" of a
stretch calling the option of everyone making their own kiddush a
"minhog taus"...

Chaim Gershon Steinmetz

[Without being able to ask my father zt"l now, my understanding is that
what he was saying is that his opinion was that the halacha was decided
on the side that one person should make kiddush. He did not use the term
"minhag taus", that was from Martin's rav. My father may have agreed
that there are those that held that way, but my understanding was that
he felt it was decided one way as an issue of psak. Avi]


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 18:29:32 EDT
Subject: Molad and leap seconds

Art Kamlet writes, in v45n14,

            Elozor Reich <lreich@...> writes:

            Molad Zokan Tidrosh: Has anyone noticed that the Molad for
      the forthcoming Marcheshvan lands precisely on the hour.  This is
      not a common occurence.  In recent decades, every few years a Leap
      Second is added to the official "clock" due to a change in
      rotation time of the earth.  So with several leap seconds added
      over the past few decades, would that change the calculation?

No. The molad is defined as occuring at intervals of 29 days, 12 hours,
44 minutes, and 1 chelek (= 1/18 of a minute, or 3.33333... seconds).
Since hours, minutes, and chalakim are all defined halachically in terms
of the solar day, rather than in terms of the modern scientific
definition of the second (based on the frequency of a certain spectral
line of krypton 86), leap seconds do not affect the time of the
molad. It would be silly to define the molad in terms of spectral lines
of krypton, even if chazal knew about that, since the purpose of the
molad is to calculate what day Rosh Hashanah falls on according to the
fixed calendar. For that purpose, you want to define the molad in terms
of days.

Ultimately, though, the changing ratio of the synodic month to the solar
day will make Rosh Chodesh as calculated by the fixed calendar fall
later than the first night that the new moon is visible. The value of 29
days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 1 chelek for the synodic month (the mean
period between new moons) was quite accurate for the period between the
8th century BCE and the 2nd century CE, when the eclipse observations
were made from which it was calculated (by Ptolemy). By now, the synodic
month is down to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.7 seconds, and the
accumulated error in the past 2000 years is about 2 hours. By 5000 years
from now, the accumulated error will be about 1 day, so Rosh Chodesh
according to the fixed calendar will be one day later, on average, than
it would be if based on witnesses sighting the new moon. Presumably by
that time, the Sanhedrin will be reconstituted, and Rosh Chodesh will be
based on the testimony of witnesses.

There are two reasons for the change in the length of the synodic month,
both about equally important. One reason is that the earth's rotation
rate is slowing down, due to the gravitational interaction of the moon
with the tidal bulge of the oceans, which lags behind the moon due to
friction in the oceans, especially shallow oceans like the Bering Sea
and the Irish Sea. (This is one of the reasons why leap seconds are
needed.)  This also slows down the revolution period of the moon around
the earth, but not nearly as much as it slows down the rotation period
of the earth.  The other reason is the gravitational effects of other
planets, principally Jupiter I would think, on the moon's orbit, which
causes the period of revolution of the moon to oscillate slightly over
tens of thousands of years.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Risa Tzohar <rtzohar@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 09:28:03 +0000
Subject: RE: Not benefiting from work done by Jew on Shabbat

Here in Israel we are faced with what seems to be more than a question
of whether you can benefit from Jews working on Shabbat in the sense of
can you use the tissues from the box that doesn't say made in a shomer
shabbat plant because maybe they were made by Jews on Shabbat.  Whatever
the halachic reasoning might be to allow it, many of us DO choose to use
the 'shomer shabbat' product in order to encourage and reward those who
are proudly shomer shabbat.  I try to partonize businesses that are
shomer shabbat as in Rehovot we have two taxi companies that are shomer
shabbat and advertise as such.

I guess this goes more to the realm of public policy than checking
Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchata.  It has to do with the unique Jewish
character of the state (sigh).

Risa Tzohar


From: <Smwise3@...> (S.Wise)
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 21:17:40 EDT
Subject: Re: Simchat Torah

A friend of mine asked me a question that I couldn't answer, I am
embarrassed to say, but where did the practice of Simchas Torah hakafos
come from? I've heard why we celebrate Simchas Torah now, but why the
hakafos,why the extended dancing, why the drinking?


[As has been mentioned here in the past, the "definitive" source for
answers to why / how we do things on Simchat Torah, see Yaari's Toldot
Simchat Torah. This has been discussed in the past, in particular,
hakafot date back to the group around the ARI in Tzefat (and the proper
time for the evening hakafot should be after yom tov) and rapidly got
accepted around the Jewish community in the few hundred years after
that. True minhag Ashkenaz resisted for the longest time :-) . Mod.]


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 13:45:36 +0200
Subject: RE: Songs For Hakafot

 Yael Levine Katz <ylkpk@...> wrote:

	"One of the popular songs sung during hakafot in recent years,
at least in Israel, is "Tehe ha-sha'a ha-zot she'at rahamim ve-et razon
milfanekha".  These words are taken from "Avinu Malkenu", and are in the
category of a "bakasha". Avinu Malkenu is recited on Rosh ha-Shanah,
when it falls during the week, i.e. not on Shabbat, and on Yom Kippur is
all cases.  Since the words of the song are a "bakasha", I was wondering
therefore about the permissibility of singing it on Simhat Torah in
general, and whether a differentiation should perhaps be drawn between
Simhat Torah which falls on a weekday versus Simhat Torah which falls on
Shabbat. "

The issue of inappropriate songs has always interested me. I can think of

- There is the famous story by the Maggid of Duvno (quoted here:
http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5764/nitzvay64/specialfeatures.htm#2 ) that
it is in appropriate to sing the last line of Avinu Malkeinu. But that
is actually the line most likely to be sung.

- I remember reading in R' Shechter's follow up to Nefesh HaRav (Pninei
HaRav?) that Rav Soloveitchik was opposed to saying "Ana Avda D'Kudisha
B'rich Hu" (I am a servant of God) in the prayer B'rich Shme, since it
was haughty. I think the original quote was from the Chafetz Chaim, but
I'm not sure. In any case, it's another popular song.

- My Rosh Yeshiva, Rav David Bigman was opposed to the popular (Chabad?)
song Mashiach, Mashiach, since it put too much emphasis on man, and not
enough on God.

- Here's one that I've come up with myself: The famous song "V'Samachta
B'Chagecha... V'Hayita Ach Sameach" isn't correct.  The origin is from
Devarim 16:14-15, and there are a lot of conditions between the first
part and the last. They include adding others (the poor, widow, leviim,
etc) to your joy and having it in Yerushalayim. Rav Hirsh in his
commentary there says that without fulfilling those conditions, you
can't achieve "v'hayita ach sameach."

What's to be concluded from all this? I guess that people sing songs
because they like the words and music, not because they pay too much
attention to the meaning...



From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 08:00:00 -0500
Subject: Re: Third Person

Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...> wrote
>> >In Biblical grammar, there are switches from 2nd to 3rd person all the
>> >time.

to which Saul Mashbaum <smash52@...> replied:
>>It is interesting to observe that some halachic portions of the Torah
>>are expressed in the second person ("you should/should not do
>>something") and some in the third person ("one should/should not do
>>something"; often "if such and such happens to a person, then he should
>>do such and such").
>> [snip]
>>I wonder if this has been noted. I am particularly interested in finding
>>a commentary which explains the key to this pattern: why are some
>>commandments expressed in the second person, and some in the third?

and then Dr. Katz explained:
>         The point I was trying to make is that it is a matter of
>Biblical style to alternate 2nd and 3rd person, without necessarily
>there being any "reason" behind it, just as Biblical poetry repeats
>phrases without there necessarily being a reason for the repetition.

Of course, Dr Katz is entitled to his own approach to questions of
interpretation but to suggest that the Tanach alternates between persons
or repeats phrases with no reason undercuts the whole 'parshanut' or
literary approach to Torah interpretation arising in the last century.
For those who find this approach fruitful, one always assumes that the
Author has a purpose in every word.  A change to "you" from "them" or
vice versa, a repetition in sense with a variation in wording is always
assumed to have a homiletical or, at the very least, a stylistic

The use of 2nd person in one verse and 3rd person in another can, in a
given context, suggest theological differences about national versus
individual destiny or Jewish existence in Israel versus galut.  The
repetition that is the hallmark of Biblical poetry also serves to set up
parallels that can make new associations for us between previously
disparate ideas.  Close readings of parallel passages can enlighten us
and are, in my opinion, always worthwhile.

Kol tuv from
Shayna in Toronto


End of Volume 45 Issue 19