Volume 45 Number 96
                    Produced: Sat Nov 27 19:05:24 EST 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

The Cockerel has Binoh?  Really?
         [Immanuel Burton]
Gabai software program recommendations?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Lateness (2)
         [Martin Stern, Avi Feldblum]
Lateness to shul
         [Bernard Raab]
         [Tzvi Stein]
Quiet Purim
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Sensitivity to others' situations (WAS: Coming late to shul)
         [Deborah Wenger]
Tzadkim and Tumat Met
         [Carl Singer]
Was Migilla reading -- now "echo effect"
         [Carl Singer]


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 11:21:15 +0000
Subject: RE: The Cockerel has Binoh?  Really?

In Mail.Jewish v45n48, Jeremy Rose asked about the blessing of "...asher
nossan la'sechvi binoh le'havchin bain yom u'vain loyloh" that we say
every morning, and why the translation of "cockerel" for "sechvi" has
stuck, even though in the book of Job the word "sechvi" is taken as
meaning the heart (or intelligence).

On the face of it, translating "sechvi" as heart/intelligence for the
morning blessing makes more sense, as cockerels don't excatly have binoh

I would like to suggest an explanation that is perhaps a little bit
esoteric.  The Talmud in Sanhedrin 98b discusses the arrival and days of
the Messiah.  A parable is given of a cockerel and a bat awaiting the
day, with the cockerel asking the bat why it is awaiting the day when
the day belongs to the cockerel and not the bat.  (Rashi there explains
that bats don't have eyes, so the arrival of day is irrelevant to the
bat.)  In this parable, the cockerel represents the Jewish People, the
bat represents the other nations, and the day represents the Messianic
Era.  The nations of the world perceive the arrival of the Messiah as a
day of darkness, but we have the understanding to realise that the
upheavals that will occur when the Messiah arrives are actually
lightness, in the sense of light being good, as in Genesis 1:4.  The
blessing we say in the morning could perhaps be a blessing thanking
Hashem for giving us, the Jewish People, understanding to realise that
what appears to be dark and therefore bad is actually light and
therefore good.

I feel that this idea may need some more development for it to work, as
it hinges on a cockerel representing the Jewish People, and I don't see
why that should be the case.

Any further comments, anyone?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 07:51:15 +0200
Subject: Gabai software program recommendations?

Our shul is planning to buy a Gabba'ut software program. If you use or
are acquainted with one, I'd appreciate your comments (positive and/or
negative) of any such programs.

Please contact me off-line at <himels@...>
Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 08:53:05 +0000
Subject: Re: Lateness

on 24/11/04 10:40 am, Chana Luntz <Chana@...> wrote:

> The same issues crop up in relation to lateness for shul.  I tend to
> disagree with the statement that one is keeping HKBH waiting in the
> circumstances described.  HKBH has staked out his "appointment" times
> very clearly, and they end with "sof zman tephila", which is determined
> on the assumption that Jews are bnei melachim [children of kings] and
> hence do "lie in" [until the third and fourth hour - not that such a lie
> in is considered a lie in today].

We may be benei melakhim (children of kings) but HKBH is the Melekh
malkhei hamelakhim (King of the kings of kings). The sof zeman tefillah
(latest time for shemonei esrei) is cut-off point after which men (as
opposed to women) cannot fulfil their obligations but it does not follow
that leaving davenning to the last minute is a desirable thing to
do. There will always be the danger that something will happen which
will lead to further delay and, in those circumstances, one can hardly
claim to be a shogeig (unwitting transgressor) since this is a case of
shogeig karov lemeizid (unwitting transgression caused by one's own
previous deliberate action).

However once a congregation has fixed the times for each tefillah,
whether during the week or on shabbat or yom tov, the individual should
adhere to it. The Gemara (Ber. 6b) quotes Rabbi Yochanan as stating that
if HKBH come to shul and does not find a minyan there, He immediately
becomes angry.  Presumably He comes, so to speak, at the time the
congregation has designated. Any man who deliberately and without good
reason comes late shows thereby his lack of communal responsibility, and
disdain for HKBH by inciting His anger. Any woman who causes her husband
or sons to do so is equally culpable.

Martin Stern

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 06:43:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Lateness

On Fri, 26 Nov 2004, Martin Stern wrote:

> The Gemara (Ber. 6b) quotes Rabbi Yochanan as stating that if HKBH come
> to shul and does not find a minyan there, He immediately becomes angry.
> Presumably He comes, so to speak, at the time the congregation has
> designated.

This Gemara has been quoted several times. It would be useful to me to
understand exactly what the Gemara is saying. When it says HKBH comes to
shul and does not find a minyan there, at what point in what we refer to
our Tefillah should we assume this event occurs? To answer this
question, I would think we need a clear understanding of what tefillah
exactly was said in shul during the tanaitic times. I would tend to
doubt that it is talking about what we call Berachot, and it would
clearly be true for Shemonah Esreh. But where between those two would
you place the event.  Without looking through the Gemarah right now, I
would tend to place it at Borchu, which is when the first real davar
sh'bekudusha [part of tefillah that requires 10 people] occurs. Comments
/ sources on this welcome.

Avi Feldblum


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 03:05:06 -0500
Subject: Lateness to shul

I have been following this thread patiently waiting for someone to get
close to my position, so that I could comment without feeling so very
alone. Unfortunately, our level of tolerance for possibly deviant
positions is so suspect that my pre-cursor chose to remain anonymous.
Nevertheless, I agree with most of what he had to say:

From: Anonymous
>I must admit that I am one of those people that is usually 15-20 minutes
>late on a shabbos morning and I have to admit that I do not get much
>fulfillment in davening. It would be easy to condemn this as a symptom
>of a deeper malaise but just think a moment. Is there not something very
>odd about davening? There is so much stuff to get through. Can anyone
>really take concentrate on all those words that they are saying day in
>day out? Is it really possible to read all of it in the time alloted let
>alone really appreciate it?  For myself, this has nothing to do with my
>Hebrew skills. I have been in Yeshivah and away from pressures of time
>and that has not made hours spent on rapid or even not so rapid
>recitation any more meaningful. I am aware of the various functions of
>different parts of tefilloh (prayer). It just ceases to mean anything
>when there is so much of it. Comparisons with appointments with Royalty
>do not help. I have never had a regular appointment with the Queen but
>if I did I would not spend it muttering the same tens of pages of text
>and I am unconvinced that all this davening is really what Hashem wants.
>I accept that there are those who find the rapid recitation of so much
>material meaningful but there are plenty of us that do not. With some of
>this might be symptomatic of 'an even deeper problem' but I do not think
>that it is fair to make that assumption.

I don't think there is another religion in the world that demands the
recitation of so much material, and, if we are to be honest with
ourselves, the length and routine-ness of the Shabbat and Y"T service is
the cause of most of the ills we attribute to it: late arrivals,
inattentiveness, casual conversations and a general attitude of
irreverance. My proof of this is simple: Most of these ills do not
appear at weekday services, which are much shorter and consequently more
serious. Add to this our penchant for adding prayers for governments,
armies, extra tehillim for terrorist victims, a sermon, announcements,
multiple misheberachs, and other irrelevancies, and we have a recipe for
the prevention of any serious religious experience.

I am aware that there are minyanim which try to avoid the extraneous
additions and are somewhat more satisfying as a result, to which I say
y'asher koach. But be honest: Have you done more than make the best of a
difficult if not impossible

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 14:24:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Love

I heard many years ago from a fellow baal tshuva (who has just gotten
divorced after 1-year marriage) a somewhat "unorthodox" idea, but one I
really believe in: Before you get engaged, ask yourself, "Would I marry
this person if both of us were not frum?"  This makes more sense for
baalei tshuva, I realize, but there's probably something everyone can
learn from it.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 20:19:29 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Quiet Purim

In Israel, it became common to use plastic pistols to wipe out
Haman. Some also bomb him out with firecrackers etc. In some places,
like my Beit Keneset, it got out of control. We outlawed all noise, and
it is a very proper reading.


From: Deborah Wenger <deb.wenger@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 14:04:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Sensitivity to others' situations (WAS: Coming late to shul)

> From: Frank Reiss <freiss47@...>:

> I have started coming late because it is too painful to sit in Shule
> so long. I am still suffereing over 2 years now w/ severe financial
> difficulties. I have had some rough times w/ being frum at this time.
> One morning while I was at home I started to smash my Teffilin, and
> siddur, out of frustration of course. This went on for a few days. I
> wish some of you would understand that many of us are not being helped
> by the Hashem that you might be so greatful to. So it makes it hard to
> sit there and ask Hashem to help me get a job.How many hours am I
> supposed to do this? So I try to get there right before the Torah
> reading. It is not that I am lazy. I am awake but feel worse in my
> predicament by being in Shule so much.
> When I had a life, I did go to Shule much earlier.
> Please some of you try to be aware that the world is not as simple as
> you might think.

Frank, thanks for being frank <g> and sharing this with the list. I
think you bring up a very important point. Many Orthodox communities
have become quite affluent of late, and some people might not realize
that not everyone in a given community shares the same financial
well-being as they do. A few cases in point that I've heard recently:

* On Sukkot, a shul I used to belong to puts up what amounts to an
"ornamental" sukkah - it's barely big enough for a couple of people to
make kiddush in, the assumption being that everyone has their own sukkah
at home.  This, of course, completely ignores the apartment dwellers,
elderly, and any others who for whatever reason might not be able to
have their own sukkah.

* This same shul, over the past couple of years, has started posting the
names of people who donate to the various appeals, along with the
amounts donated. While I can understand that there might be a feeling
that people will donate more if the amounts are publicized, I think that
it also serves to embarrass people who are unable to give as much as
their neighbors can.

* Another shul was undertaking a major expansion. The board voted to
assess a $5000 building fund pledge on all members. When this was
announced to the membership, the person making the announcement glibly
said, "So you'll take one less vacation this year." And what about the
people who have no money for vacations at all??

I'm writing this on a day when many of us are sitting down with our
loved ones and giving thanks for what God has given us. At the same
time, let us not forget those who are not as fortunate as we are.

Kol tuv,


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 10:15:52 -0500
Subject: Tzadkim and Tumat Met

It seems from a practical matter that when visiting a Tzadik's gravesite
that one is entering a cemetery -- presumably not a "tzadik-only"
cemetery -- so Tuma is an issue.

That said, does anyone know of examples where tzaikim are buried along
the edge of a cemetery (in the manner that is usually done for Cohanim)
or some other such arrangement.

Carl Singer


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 13:19:53 -0500
Subject: Was Migilla reading -- now "echo effect"

> The big problem is the echo effect.  Those, both adults and kids, who
> aren't reading along start their noise after they hear others, and it
> goes on and on, long after the baal koreh resumes reading.

I think that this is a problem in many noisy shules at many times /
places in the davening -- that is am I saying "amen" or responding
"borchu ...." to the brocha or am I repeating the "amen" or "borchu"
response of persons nearer to the chazen who actually heard the brocha.

Any halachic (not acoustic) sources here?

Carl Singer


End of Volume 45 Issue 96