Volume 45 Number 40
                    Produced: Thu Oct 28  5:48:11 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brikh Shmei
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Brisker Minhag (was Re: Brich Shemay)
         [Andrew Marks]
clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha" (3)
         [Nathan Lamm, Gershon Dubin, Michael J. Savitz]
Electricity on Shabbat
         [Ari Trachtenberg]
Funeral Customs
         [Akiva Miller]
Kabbalat Shabbat
         [Bob Werman]
New Revised Book: The Text of the Bible: From Qumran till the Early Printed Editions
         [Jordan S. Penkower]
Petah Tiqwa and Jerusalem minhagim
         [Batya Medad]
Tefillat HaDerech (2)
         [Batya Medad, Gershon Dubin]


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 17:41:37 -0400
Subject: Re: Brikh Shmei

> From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
> In v45n36, in connection with my comment about R. Hayyim of 
> Brisk not saying Brikh Shmeih, Natahn lamm comemnst, <<some 
> object to anything from the Zohar, and omit it entirely (and 
> try to omit other Kabbalistic influences from teffilah as well).
>> Avi adds: <<Do those people skip Kabbalat Shabbat and do not
> do Hakafot on Simchat Torah? >> 
> 1.  As a matter of fact, the Briskers in Jerusalem don't say Kabbalat
>     Shabbat. . . . 
> 2. About Brikh Shmeih:  the so-called Rodelheim Siddur (Baer's Avodat
>    Yisrael), prints it in small letters, with the comment that it's a
>    late addition and not part of the original or ancient Nusah Ashkenaz . .  

A couple of tangentially related comments to points 1 & 2 cited above:

With regard to the recent addition of fairly sizable pieces of the
liturgy owing to the influence of the Lurianic school of kabbalists: I
have often wondered, in the face of such late and large-scale
alterations/additions to the liturgy, how it is that some poskim point
to the "unchangeability" of the liturgy as a halachic basis for
forbidding various liturgical innovations.  I am not arguing the merits
or lack thereof of any particular innovation (and I hope that this
comment does not lead to a thread in that direction).  I simply find the
halachic argument that the liturgy is fixed and unchangable because the
way we currently pray has the status of an established minhag to be
completely ahistorical and therefore unconvincing.  I would be
interested in hearing how one might reconcile the historical record of
liturgical innovation with the halachic claim that the liturgy - more
precisely, the synagogue service - has the status of an established and
unchanging minhag.  I am looking for an analysis more substantial than
"it all depends on the messenger - holy kabbalists can innovate while
potentially heretical modernists cannot," so perhaps we can skip over
that line of argumentation.

With regard to brikh shmei, it does not appear in the Italian nusach



From: Andrew Marks <machmir@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 09:06:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Brisker Minhag (was Re: Brich Shemay)

> 1.  As a matter of fact, the Briskers in Jerusalem don't
> say Kabbalat Shabbat.

My guess is that the Brisker minhag here is simply minhag HaGra,
namely, say kaballos shabbos at home by yourself.


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 05:45:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

Eliezer Menden mentions the practice of a shamash saying shemone esrei
privately so he can announce a change. How then does he fulfill t'fila

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:13:50 GMT
Subject: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> When I hear banging it throws me totally "out of kavana" and there's
> less of a chance I'd remember anything.  If halachikly permitted, it
> could be the job of a couple of the quickest doveners to suddenly say
> the "key words" out loud, like how some say during Rosh Chodesh
> benching.

Different strokes...

I find nothing more annoying than someone blurting out "mashiv haruach"
or "ya'aleh veyavo" when I'm trying to daven.


From: Michael J. Savitz <michael.savitz@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 11:09:12 -0400
Subject: Re: clop for "U'lchaparat Pasha"

Batya Medad wrote:
[See quote above]

I don't know what the halacha is regarding this practice, but I for one
have found it very distracting.  From a kavana standpoint, I would
prefer to hear a wordless klop (or, alternatively, a quick "ya'aleh
veyavo" [or "al hanisim", etc.] from the gabbai) before the amida
starts, to hearing words suddenly said aloud while I am in the middle of
the amida, trying to say other words.  Plus, if they really are the
quickest daveners (as they must be if their words aloud are to be
helpful to others), then they will distract other people by leading them
to think they are davening too slow and falling behind the kahal.

Just my 2 cents...


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 09:54:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Electricity on Shabbat

 >From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
 >the Institute of Science & Halacha (I forgot his name), he refuted that
 >argument.  On a very large power system, people are always turning
 >things on an off at all times.  It is very likely that at the exact same
 >time when you turn something on, someone turns something off.  The net
 >effect is no change to the output of the generators for switching on
 >small loads.  So it isn't a "psik raisha".

This is based on the central limit theorem, which states that the
average of any random variable with finite mean tends towards the normal
distribution (also known as the Gaussian distribution or "bell curve").

In other words, in a large enough system, we can consider each power
user as a (n independent, identically-distributed) random variable, and
the average usage over all people will thus be very close to constant,
regardless of what people are doing.  Ironically, by acting en-masse to
avoid using power on shabbat and thus acting differently from the rest
of the population, we could be causing people in the power plant to

Ari Trachtenberg,                                      Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 09:22:01 -0400
Subject: Re: Funeral Customs

Batya Medad wrote <<< It seems so unfair, and halachikly questionable,
that people arranging the burial of close relatives rarely seem to be
able to choose a chevra kadisha to suit their own hashkafa.  It ends up
making things even more traumatic. Baruch Hashem, we've discovered that
our local chevra kadisha (Mateh Binyamin) insists only on halacha, so
the families aren't forced to follow customs that aren't their own.>>>

Please understand me clearly: I agree with the sentiments expressed
here, and I don't want this post to be misunderstood as saying that
these feelings are in any way wrong. I only want to suggest reasons for
this situation, and possible solutions.

That said, I do wonder about the phrase used above, <<< halachikly
questionable >>>. I don't know what is so questionable about this
halacha. A community which has certain customs ought to be able to
insist on adherence to them.

Let's take, for example, a woman who says kaddish for her parents, but
happens to be in a shul where this is not accepted. Or someone who wants
to remain in shul for Yizkor, but is told to leave because he is still
in the first year. These situations can be traumatic to the people
involved, though admittedly far less so than being kept away from the
parent's funeral.

I think that a big difference between the cases (besides the degree of
trauma) is that in the cases of Kaddish or Yizkor, many people are aware
of the varying minhagim and practices involved. In sharp contrast, many
people are unaware of burial practices until they are suddenly thrust
into it when their parent dies. It's hard to imagine a worse case of
"adding insult to injury" then the case of a person who was suddenly
orphaned only a few hours ago, and is now told that they can't even go
to the burial.

There is a big difference between a halacha and a minhag. A halacha is
decreed and imposed on us, either by the Torah or the rabbis. As I
understand it, minhagim are very different, in that they generally start
from the *people*. Ordinary people take it upon themselves to something
a certain way, and it catches on with their neighbors, and eventually,
it becomes common practice throughout the community, and is enshrined as
a "minhag". Whereas a halacha might be compared to vitamins ("I know it
doesn't taste good, but trust me, it is good for you"), a minhag is more
comparable to candy ("It might not be to your taste, but most people do
enjoy it"). In other words, a practice does not - and cannot - evolve
into a minhag unless a lot of people see the value in it.

I accept Batya's solution, that of searching for a Chevra Kadisha which
has minhagim acceptable to the family. This is comparable to choosing
one's shul based on whether or not they allow women to say Kaddish, or
who they allow inside for Yizkor. But it seems to me that a better
solution is to investigate the predominant minhagim of one's community,
and try to understand them and their value *before* one finds himself in
a practical situation. Over the years, I have seen various reasons why,
in Yerushalayim, children are not allowed at the burial. Honestly, I
really don't understand them well enough to say that I appreciate this
minhag. But at least I'm aware of the minhag and of some of its reasons,
and this would take much of the sting out of being thrust into such a

Akiva Miller


From: <RWERMAN@...> (Bob Werman)
Date: Tue,  26 Oct 2004 14:10 +0200
Subject: Kabbalat Shabbat

The GR"A, z"l, did not recite kabbalat shabbat in his shul, of about 30
daveners.  Some say he said it at home.  In his case, as a strong
proponent of the Zohar and other Kabbalistic works, his reticence was
certainly not because of its Kabbalistic origin.  He is rumored to have
said that it was not part of the t'filla b'tzibbur.

__Bob Werman


From: Jordan S. Penkower <penkowj@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 20:16:52 +0200
Subject: New Revised Book: The Text of the Bible: From Qumran till the Early Printed Editions

Announcing the third revised edition:
The Text of the Bible: From Qumran till the Early Printed Editions
                                 edited  by
                           Jordan S. Penkower

(subjects: Hebrew Bible Manusripts; Massorah; Printed Bibles)
9+195 [+5] pp; large format, softcover; Bar-Ilan University, Department
of Bible,

Ramat-Gan 2004; $25 <+$7.50 shipping and handling>

A Collection of sources (mostly in Hebrew, some in English), focusing on
the text of the Hebrew Bible, divided into four periods: the early era
(Qumran); the era of the Sages; the era of massoretic codices (10th-15th
centuries); the era of printing. The purpose of the collection is to
provide sources which will enable an in-depth understanding of the
history of the Bible text, from Qumran down to the era of printing (with
an emphasis on the latter three eras noted above). Includes photocopies
of Bible manuscripts and early printed Bibles; also includes

To place orders, contact:

Prof. J.S. Penkower


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 13:27:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Petah Tiqwa and Jerusalem minhagim

> Since Petah Tiqwa was founded by Jerusalemites, Petah Tiqwa follows
> Jerusalem minhagim.  However, when it comes to funerals, it seems that
> NO Jerusalem minhagim are followed.  Any ideas why not?"

I thought that they followed the Jerusalem custom of immediate burial,
even late at night, rather than waiting till morning.



From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 13:37:57 +0200
Subject: Tefillat HaDerech

It must be more than distance, also "danger."  When I've been a
passenter in Harav Elchanan Bin Nun, our chief Rabbi of Shiloh's car, I
saw/heard t'filat haderech after leaving the guard/gate, approaching the
main junction.  Many people stop the car at the junction for t'filat



From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 14:39:07 GMT
Subject: Re: Tefillat HaDerech

<<I can't cite sources, but Rabbi Yisroel Reisman addressed this several years ago in one of his Navi shiurim.  Bottom line is that it's a machlokes acharonim if it's time or distance, for several issues besides tefilas haderech.  CYLOR.>>

I happened to have come across that tape this morning; it's #126 in the Melachim I series.



End of Volume 45 Issue 40