Volume 45 Number 51
                    Produced: Sun Nov  7 21:30:42 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Adon Oilom
         [Perets Mett]
Friday Night Kiddush for Women (2)
         [Abie, Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Shoshana Ziskind]
Honey-related 5 by 5 Hebrew acrostic
         [Jay F Shachter]
Posting on Individual arriving late for Tefilah
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Rashi and simplicity (4)
         [Ben Katz, Gil Student, Bernard Raab, Stan Tenen]
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 23:21:34 +0000
Subject: Adon Oilom

Mimi Markofsky wrote:

> My father died during chol hamoed Succos.  Immediately after saying
> Viduy (sp?), our rabbi said certain Tehillim with us at my father's
> bedside.  We ended with Adon Olam and Yigdal.  This all occurred prior
> to my father's death but after we knew there was nothing else that
> could be done for him.  Since this was my first experience with an
> immediate family members' death I was surprised by saying Adon Olam &
> Yigdal.  Is this a minhag in all communities or just the way our rabbi
> handled it?  (I did find it extremely comforting as did my family).

Saying Adon Oilom is, according to some customs, part of the order of
prayers at a gesiso (known colloquially as 'sheimos'). Presumably the
reason is to say the pharse 'veim ruchi geviyosi' = my body with my

I have not previously heard of Yigdal being said in these

Perets Mett


From: <oliveoil@...> (Abie)
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 21:20:06 +0000
Subject: Friday Night Kiddush for Women

Edward Black writes:
> And indeed there is a further and even more mystifying practice:
> married women who will ask their husband to make Kiddusha Rabba
> (Shabbat morning Kiddush) "for them" when the man has already made
> Kiddush once and the woman's level of obligation therefore is higher
> than the man's.

It is much curiouser than that. Virtually every Friday night, in Jewish
households around the world, the husband - who has already fulfilled his
Biblical obligation of kiddush by reciting the Amida in shul - recites
kiddush for his family, including women who do not have the custom of
davening Maariv.  In other words, the women at the Friday night Shabbat
table have a Biblical obligation, while the men who were in shul have
only a Rabbinic obligation, yet it is uncommon to find the women - who
have a higher level obligation - making kiddush.

See the Arukh HaShulhan, O"H Siman 271:5-6 who grapples with this issue.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 2004 22:00:21 +0200
Subject: Re: Friday Night Kiddush for Women

[Ira posted the same issue as Abie above, but then added the following
explanation for the custom. Mod.]

One explanation is that once the wife has said "Good Shabbos," she has
fulfilled her Torah obligation, and then for her qiddush over wine is
merely a rabbinical commandment.



From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 11:46:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Hillel

On Nov 3, 2004, at 5:02 AM, <shaviv@...> (Paul Shaviv)wrote:

> I can't allow the ungracious comment about Hillel to pass. Whatever the

I guess I'm the one who made the ungracious comment? I'm not sure what I
wrote what was ungracious?  Is criticizing an organization because it
has faults being ungracious?

> ups and downs of individual situations, Hillel deserves the undying
> thanks (aka 'hakoras hatov') of the Jewish people for being a
> courageous, consistent and often lonely presence on campuses all over
> the world for decades. At the very least, a giver of comfort and a
> friendly face; but more often truly inspirational. In our
> halachically-fixated age, where too many frum people seem to think
> that that is all that matters, we forget the precious value of a warm
> word, a comfortable chair, a magazine and a cup of coffee to a human
> being.  (JFJ remember it very well.)  Ms. Ziskind's posting has
> prompted me to send a modest cheque to our local Hillel.

I certainly agree that things such as "a warm word, a comfortable chair,
a magazine and a cup of coffee" is important.  Certainly a place which
welcomes all Jews is a good place. I still think the organization often
has problems when dealing with shomer torah vmitzvos Jews. Sometimes its
due to ignorance. Obviously not all Hillels have this problem; I'm glad
that Janice Gelb had such a positive situation!  From my own experience
and from the experience of others I know its not necessarily so rosy.

The truth is its almost impossible to make everyone happy and that's
what Hillel is trying to do. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a Hillel;
I'm only pointing out that there is definitely room for improvement.  My
first post was a response to someone who said that its for all Jews and
its programming is not supposed to be religious but I find often that
both of those statements are not necessarily true.

Mrs. Shoshana Ziskind


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 15:53:44 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Honey-related 5 by 5 Hebrew acrostic

In v45n46, Ira Bauman wrote:
> Many years ago, someone showed me an Ibn Ezra (I believe) on a phrase in
> the tanakh that referred to bee honey.  It was about the permissibility
> of consuming the honey but the phraseology of the Ibn Ezra was unusual in
> that it was in a fashion that could be read up, down and across or some
> such arrangement.  If anyone has any knowledge where this could be found,
> I would appreciate if you could post it.

I learned this when I was 7 years old, from my 3rd-grade teacher, Sandy
Savitz, she should live and be well.  The scenario is: a hungry insect
invades a jar of honey, but drowns in the honey, and disappears from
view.  No trace of the insect can be found, but we know the insect is
still somewhere in the jar.  The question is whether this formerly
hungry, now dead, insect legally still exists, because we saw it crawl
in and know it's somewhere in the jar (which would render the entire jar
of honey non-kosher), or whether this insect legally no longer exists,
because we cannot detect it anywhere with the unaided eye.  The answer
to the question can be given as a 5 by 5 Hebrew acrostic:

                     vav  nun shin  resh peh
                     nun  tav  bet  ayin resh
                    shin  bet daled  bet shin
                    resh ayin  bet   tav nun
                     peh resh shin   nun vav

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
Chicago IL  60645-4111
<jay@...> ; http://m5.chi.il.us:8080


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 09:01:37 -0500
Subject: Posting on Individual arriving late for Tefilah

I was fairly disturbed by the harsh nature of this posting.  Not that I
am advocating arriving late for tefila or praying in a manner that
disturbs others - but I wouldn't presume to judge the habitual latecomer
since for the most part shabbat services take too long and someone with
a lesser tolerance for that can compensate by arriving late.  But really
I find this attack on this anonymous but real individual to have
transgressed the bounds of discourse of mail-jewish and perhaps to have
crossed the halachic bounds of motzi shem ra and lashon hara (which
would certainly put it beyond the bounds of acceptability of


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 08:32:39 -0600
Subject: Re: Rashi and simplicity

      I have a question about Rashi's commentary on the Chumash.

      Rashi said that the purpose of his commentary is to explain the
      simple meaning of the text. Yet there are many times in his
      commentary on the Chumash where he provides a detailed analysis of
      grammar and etymology of words.

      My question is how is this keeping in line with just explaining
      the simple meaning of the text?

  Your question, ironically, is based on a mistranslation of the word
"peshat".  It does not mean simple.  It means context.  When Rashi says
"ayn hamikra yotzai meday peshuto" he means that the verse must be
interpretted in context (unlike many derashot in the Talmud, which serve
other purposes, and take verses out of context.  The real question on
Rashi, in my opinion, is why he doesn't stick to his guns.  He often
brings derashot as well.)  See, for starters, Rabbi Dr. David Weiss
Halivni's Peshat and Derash.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>

From: Gil Student <gil_student@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2004 09:23:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Rashi and simplicity

>Rashi said that the purpose of his commentary is to explain the simple
>meaning of the text. Yet there are many times in his commentary on the
>Chumash where he provides a detailed analysis of grammar and etymology
>of words.

"Simple meaning" is merely an attempt to translate the nuanced word
"peshat". It does not mean "simple" in the sense of basic and easy, but
more in the sense of "plain". It is what the text means when read on its
own.  Grammar is an important element of "peshat" and Rashi uses it to
explain the plain meaning of the text.

However, Rashi does not only give the peshat. In his own words
(commentart to Gen. 3:8):

"I have come only to to give the plain meaning of Scripture and the
Aggadah which serves to clarify the words of Scripture in a way which
fits those words."

Rashi also quotes Midrash that fits the words of the Torah. He does not
only quote peshat explanations.

Gil Student

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 23:32:59 -0500
Subject: Rashi and simplicity

Your question is a good one. As it happens, I was privileged to attend a
fascinating lecture series given by Dr. Mordechai Z. Cohen of Yeshiva U.
last spring in which this very subject was covered.  Dr. Cohen explained
that Rashi basically invented the idea of "pshat" (the "simple meaning")
as a reaction to the frequently poetic and allegorical commentaries of
the "Spanish" (or Babylonian-Iberian) school of biblical commentary.
Nevertheless, Rashi himself frequently relied on midrashic explanations
which could hardly be characterized as pshat. For this he was often
criticized by his grandson, the Rashbam, whose commentary is far closer
to his grandfather's intended goal: basically 100% pshat.

b'shalom--Bernie R.

From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2004 16:42:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Rashi and simplicity

Contrary to what almost everyone seems to believe, pshat does not refer
to "simple" in the simple sense. <smile> Pshat starts with a Pe, and
that refers to our mouth -- and that's followed by a Shin, which refers
to expression.

So, we have the metaphor for pshat backwards. Pshat refers to
word-descriptions that come from our mouth -- what today we would call

And it is because the narrative, story-level of Torah is the least deep
and the least subtle, and the most accessible to simple people, that we
call it pshat. This doesn't mean that the pshat is simple; only that it
is verbal and narrative, and that the verbal and narrative level of
Torah is its simplest and most accessible level.

I lost a close friend over the mistaken understanding of pshat. This is
a really good person, but he was entirely doctrinaire, and while his
education was broad, it wasn't deep. I insisted that there was no simple
meaning to any level of Torah, and my friend insisted that it was a
halachic requirement to accept the "simple meaning", except that he also
insisted that the "simple meaning" was what Chazal said it was, and not
what the text said to a simple and naive reader.

The fact is that the pshat is not simple, and cannot be properly
understood without commentaries such as Rashi's. The fact is that the
narrative level, which we call pshat, is easier to access than the
remez, drash, or sod levels. So, it's simpler from this aspect, but not
so simple that Torah can be properly understood without the "RDS" of
PaRDeS also. (The reliance on the presumed, simple inerrancy of the
narrative translations has led to many divergent faiths.)

Some of these issues are more subtle and paradoxical than is appropriate
for anything to be called "simple".

Simple as it seems
Not so
We yet can't tell
What we don't know.



From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 14:50:53 +0200
Subject: Yigdal

>> Why are Adon Olam or Yigdal said at the end of Shabbes and Yom Tov
>> evening and morning prayers (or for that matter, every morning at
>> the  beginning of services)?
> According to Rav YD Soloveitchick ZT"L we show our eagerness to
> engage  in our next round of prayer by concluding this round with the
> opening prayer of the next round.

However, Rav YD Soloveitchick ZT"L opposed saying yigdal because it
sounded too much like a catechism. BTW the Ari also opposed Yigdal.  The
reason is not known though theories abound

Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 11/4/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


End of Volume 45 Issue 51