Volume 45 Number 25
                    Produced: Tue Oct 19  6:18:49 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Martin Stern]
Aramaic in Private Davening
         [Jack Gross]
Beautiful Theory on Chapter Divisions
         [Martin Stern]
Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Ken Bloom]
Kosher food in Aruba?
         [Joshua Meisner]
The name of Heshvan
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Question re Siddurim
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Sephardi Yom Kippur
         [Martin Stern]
Simchas Torah
         [Yitschak Goldberg]
Songs For Hakafot
         [Michael J. Savitz]
         [Jack Gross]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 20:32:29 +0100
Subject: Re: Aleinu

on 15/10/04 10:21 am, Eliezer Minden <phminden@...> wrote:
> Martin Stern wrote:
>> This explains why (German) Ashkenazim are particular that someone should
>> always say this particular kaddish.
> The custom of saying kaddish after oleinu isn't minneg Ashkenez (German
> custom). It is a recent introduction, and the extra psukem, beginning
> from "kakosuv besourosoch/-echo" have not been added.

While Eliezer is quite correct if he is referring to Minhag Frankfurt
but this is somewhat idiosyncratic and does not represent the custom of
all German Jews not even Minhag Ashkenaz proper (South and West Germany)
let alone Minhag Polen (North and East Germany).

The origin of the minhag of always saying the kaddish after aleinu is
based on the statement of the Maharil, the father of all Minhag
Ashkenaz, that the kaddish at the end of davenning should always be
said. In his times this meant after aleinu since the shir shel yom
etc. was said before pesukei dezimra, as still indicated even in some
machzorim of the 19th century.

> Generally, the benei Ashkenez tend to heed "ein leharbes bekadeishem
> shelou letzourech". There's a lot of literature about this and other
> oleinu issues.

This is certainly true. It could be said that for an avel to say
supernumerary kaddeishim might imply that the parent was such a rasha
that s/he needed them to be dragged out of Gehinnom! In any case they
are an unnecessary tirkha detsibbura and it might even be said of this
that "familiarity breeds contempt."

Martin Stern


From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 22:04:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Aramaic in Private Davening

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
>         I made my comment knowing full well that "machnesei demaot" is
> ascribed to Sadia Gaon.  I find this hard to believe, considering the
> latter's philosophical bend.  And even if it were true that he wrote it,
> I still wouldn't say it.  We are allowed to progress in knowledge and
> philosophy as time goes on.

"Michnisei Rachamim ... Machnisei Demaot ..." appears in "Sidur" of R.
Saadia Gaon (5701 edition, reprinted 5745; p 357).

It should be noted: On p. 20 of the same siddur, RSG explains that
"nesinas shalom" to the right and to the left after tefilla is to honor
the angels (the King's honor guard, as it were, citing I Kings 22:19)
after leaving one's audience with the King -- but he specifies that
"nesinas shalom" is just a nod of the head, and no words are to be
addressed to the angels.

I don't see how to reconcile the two.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 06:03:30 +0100
Subject: Re: Beautiful Theory on Chapter Divisions

on 17/10/04 3:03 am, Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> wrote:

> First many people point out that there are not exactly 293 days in a
> year. Let me strengthen the question: Why use a solar year (365). Why
> not use a Jewish year (354 or 383 days).

The Jewish 'year' is really a period of twelve lunar months of
approximately 29.5 days and not an independent concept and so consists
of 354 days. In essence a year is the time of orbit of the earth around
the sun (or vice versa for the geocentrists!) and is approximately
365.25 days. We recognise this for our calendrical calculations by
intercalating 7 extra months in a cycle of 19 years, producing our
'pregnant' years of 384 days (the variation of one day more or less is
in order that the festivals should not commence on the 'wrong' day of
the week). Those who recite the parashat haketoret in korbanot each
morning should be aware of this since the baraita quoted there specifies
that the amount made was '365 maneh, corresponding to the 365 days of
the solar year. There are several other halachot which also depend on
the solar year. It is therefore recognised and is not just a non-Jewish
construct as Russell seems to think.

Martin Stern


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 07:04:06 +0200
Subject: Re: Correct Text for Birkat HaChodesh

Yakir <yakirhd@...> stated the following:

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

That was a surprising claim.  Permit me to cite some examples to explain
my surprise.

Genesis 8:5 refers to "hahodesh ha`asiri," which means the tenth month,
and not the tenth rosh hodesh.  "Ba`asiri be'ehad lahodesh" simply means
on the first day of the tenth month.  If "hodesh" meant "rosh hodesh,"
then it would have been sufficient to say "ba'hodesh ha`asiri."

Gen 29:14 refers to "hodesh yamim," which can mean only a full month.
They sat together for a month, and not a day.

Exodus 23:15 refers to "hodesh ha'aviv" in the sense of a whole month,
unless we wanted Pessah to come out on rosh hodesh.

And of course Exodus 12:2, "Hahodesh hazeh lakhem rosh hodashim" means
that Nisan is the first of the months; that is the first month of the

These were just rather a random selection of examples.  In short, I fail
to find confirmation for the claim that "hodesh" is a synonym for "rosh
hodesh."  But I would like to see some explanation.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Ken Bloom <kabloom@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 20:14:22 -0700
Subject: Glassware

http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/38/Q1/ answers regarding Pyrex
and Glass based on Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, here are excerpts:

> * Rav Yosef Karo rules that you can use glass for both milk and meat,
>   and just rinse them off in between. 
> * Rav Moshe Isserlish writes that glass is like earthenware, and it is
>   therefore forbidden to use the same dishes for both meat and milk.
> * There is a third opinion that holds that glass is absorbent, but
>   that it can be kashered through the process of "hagala" (immersion in
>   boiling water).
> While we are on this topic, there are many types of glassware that are
> specially treated in order to make them more break-resistant and
> heat-resistant; i.e., Pyrex, Duralex, Corelle, Corningware, and the
> like. I asked Rav Scheinberg if there is any difference between these
> and regular glass dishes with regard to the issues discussed above. He
> told me that all of these types of treated glassware share the same
> Halacha as that which applies to regular glassware.

Obviously, there may be other opinions on whether Pyrex may be treated
like glass. FWIW, Rav Ovadia Yosef rules that Pyrex is like glass and
may be used for both milk and meat.

--Ken Bloom


From: Joshua Meisner <JMeisner@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 23:44:10 -0400
Subject: Kosher food in Aruba?

     My parents are going to Aruba, and would like information about
Jewish facilities, especially kosher food, on the island, outside of the
chagim (they plan to go in January).

     We found a website describing a restaurant that imports kosher food
from Miami for sale, at www.arubakosherfoods.com - can anyone provide
further information on this?

     Responses can be made offlist.

- Josh


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 07:03:03 +0200
Subject: The name of Heshvan

That the name "Heshvan" is a shorthened form of the name of the new
month is of course well known.  However, the spelling in Lu'ah Le'eretz
Yisrael indicates that they (and others) break up the word Marheshvan
into Mar + Heshvan.  This is not unique to this lu'ah and is another
case of popular etymology, in which Marheshvan is broken up into two
pieces and the allegation is made that the month is sad because it has
no festivals or holidays of any sort.  While the origin of the word is
indeed two separate words, the "Mar + Heshvan" division is fanciful
rather than linguistic.

The actual meaning of the Akkadian (or Babylonian-Assyrian) word
Marheshvan is, according to its Hebrew cognate, yerah shemini = eighth
month, by the replacement of letters: yod for mem, and mem for vav.  In
fact, the Yemenite custom is to call the month Merah-Shevon.  See
http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/toshba/luah3/2-2.htmdoc .

A more detailed explanation is given in 
www.yuhsb.org/SchoolYear03-04/Shema%20Koleinu/Berashis.pdf as

"Philologists agree that the original root of the word is Verach Sheman,
the equivalent of Yerach Shemini in Hebrew, meaning the eighth month.
However, occasionally, when moving from Akkadian to Hebrew, phonetic
changes may take place. One such change is between the labial letters
vav and mem. In this case, the change occurred two times, once in each
direction, with the vav becoming a mem, and the mem being replaced by a
vav. Therefore, the word went from Verach Sheman to Merach - Shevan,
which later was vocalized as Mar- Cheshvan, bringing with it a false
connotation of bitterness."

IRA L. JACOBSON         

[Discussion of this can also be found in the archives in volume
28. Look in particular at:


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 18:36:30 +0200
Subject: Question re Siddurim

In looking through the famous Roedelheim Siddur, I noticed that in its
Tefillot for the Yamim Noraim (including Musaf for Rosh Hashanah and for
Yom Kippur) it adds the Kedushah and the Modim D'Rabbanan, both of which
are only recited during Chazarat HaShatz. Am I to assume from this that
there were places that even during those Tefillot the Chazarat HaShatz
was just a repetition of the regular Amidah, as opposed to what we use
as find in our Machzorim, with all the added Piyyutim?

These additions, by the way are also to be found in a few other Siddurim
as well, although Artscroll omits both the Kedushah and Modim
D'Rabbaban references.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 08:04:44 +0100
Subject: Sephardi Yom Kippur

on 17/10/04 3:44 am, Ken Bloom <kabloom@...> wrote:

> Aveinu Malkeinu is said after Amidah and before Selichot at Shacharit
> and Mincha. (Selichot are said at all 5 services, unlike Nusach
> Ashkenaz.)

Minhag Ashkenaz (Germany, including the so-called Minhag Polen) was to
say selichot at all 5 services though most East European communities
stopped doing so because the printers did not include the many varied
customs that existed.

> At least some Sephardic communities say Aveinu Malkeinu even on Shabbat,
> even on Shabbat Shuva.

Why 'even on Shabbat Shuva'? On what other shabbat could Aveinu Malkeinu
be said?

Martin Stern


From: Yitschak Goldberg <yits@...>
Subject: Re: Simchas Torah

In response to:
> Can anyone quote a definitive source as to why, of all the Yomim Tovim
>(with the exception of Yom Kippur other than when they fall on Shabbos),
> Simchas Torah is the only one on which the Shelosh Esrai Middos and the
> following Tefillah are omitted prior to taking out the Sifrei Torah?

Where I Daven in Jerusalem, we do say Shelosh Esrai Middos after
Hakafot.  This is according to the Luach (calendar) of Laws and Customs
published each year by the Rabbanut of Israel. It is available on the
Web (in hebrew) at http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/toshba/luah4/tohen1-2.htm.



From: Michael J. Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 16:14:09 -0400
Subject: RE: Songs For Hakafot

David Curwin <tobyndave@...> wrote:

<<The issue of inappropriate songs has always interested me. I can think
of more:
- 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.>>

It is curious that declaring one's self a servant/slave would be deemed
"haughty".  Wouldn't the same concerns apply to the pasuk from Hallel,
also a popular song, "Ana Hashem ki ani avdecha, ani avdecha ben
amatecha ..."?  Such expressions seem no more haughty, and probably less
so, than other passages from our tefillot, many of which are popular
songs or are even sung alound in the davening itself.  E.g. the "Ata
vechartanu" paragraph in the Yom Tov amida; "Ki vanu bacharta ..." in
kiddush; the lines in Alenu, "Shelo asanu kegoyei ha-aratzot
... va-anachnu kor'im ..."; or "Baruch hu elokeinu shebra-anu
lechvodo...".  And no doubt many other examples could be brought.


From: Jack Gross <ibijbgross@...>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 21:19:05 -0400
Subject: Yashan

> Perhaps someone could verify but I have heard that Rav Moshe was strict
> in his own home with regard to the laws of yashan but would routinely
> eat breakfast at MTJ even though the yeshiva was not.

There is a principle that when a Rov permits an animal (w/r/t a question
of treifus) because of hefsed meruba or similar exigencies, it is
permitted to others as well to whom that person serves it.  Perhaps R
Moshe decided to permit the Yeshiva to serve chadash (or safek chadash)
along such lines; having so decided, the heter would apply to anyone
eating in that dining room, even himself -- even he had held that all
who can afford to should be machmir.


End of Volume 45 Issue 25