Volume 46 Number 97
                    Produced: Mon Feb 14  6:59:26 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Grammar Question: Great Flexibility of Hebrew Grammar (2)
         [Mark Symons, Ira L. Jacobson]
"Mazal Tov" After the Breaking of Glass (and at other times)
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
Metzitza halachic summary piece
         [Eitan Fiorino]
Metzitzah- how prevalent is it?
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Parsha Sheets
         [Carl Singer]
Source request for R. Moshe's Psak
         [Mark Steiner]


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 15:59:51 +1100
Subject: Grammar Question: Great Flexibility of Hebrew Grammar

> From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
> How is it that ne'eman (Psalm 89:38) has a hataf segol under the alef,
> while ne'emnu (Psalm 93:5) has a full segol there?  Why are they not
> vocalized similarly, as in nikhtav and nikhtevu?

I think the reason there can't be a hataf-segol under the alef in
ne'emnu is to do with the fact that the hataf-segol is the equivalent of
a sh'va na, and you can't have a sh'va na before a sh'va nach (which is
under the mem).

Also the relationship between ne'eman and ne'emnu isn't the same as that
between nikhtav and nikht'vu. Nicht'vu (they [masc.] were written) is
simply the plural of nichtav (it [masc.] was written).

Ne'eman means either the (singular masc.)  adjective FAITHFUL, or the
(sing. masc. PRESENT tense) verbal form IS FAITHFUL, whereas Ne'emnu is
the (third person plural PAST tense) verb THEY WERE FAITHFUL. The plural
of ne'eman is ne'emanim, where the alef IS also vocalised (or vowelised,
as ArtScroll has it) with a hataf-segol.

Mark Symons
Caulfield North (Melbourne) VIC 3161 Australia

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 08:03:28 +0200
Subject: Re: Grammar Question: Great Flexibility of Hebrew Grammar

At 15:59 13-02-05 +1100, MarkSymons stated the following:
[See above]

Ne'eman has the form of nif`al and is conjugated as nif`al.  The plural
of ne'eman in present tense is ne'emanim (alef with hataf-segol).  In
past tense it is ne'emnu (alef with segol).  Thus the relationship
between ne'eman past tense and ne'emnu is identical to the relations
between nikhtav and nikhtavu.

Except for that, I belive that what you wrote is accurate.



From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 21:50:26 +0200
Subject: "Mazal Tov" After the Breaking of Glass (and at other times)

The list once discussed the apparent contradiction between the rational
of the seriousness of breaking a glass under the Chupah and the shouting
out of "Mazal Tov".  The Sdei Chemed calls this shouting out the act of
"amei ha'aretz".  I think the following was not included in the
discussion then:-

The weekly sheet "M'Orot HaDaf HaYomi" relates to this issue, #299, and
records that Rav S.Z. Auerbach zt"l reasoned that since the act of
recalling the Temple's Destruction by breaking the glass is done, it is
now permitted to fulfill the mitzva of causing joy before the chatan and
kallah.  The Shulchan HaEzer reasons that the shouting is simply the
wish to end on a happy note.  The Vilna Gaon actually has a different
reason for the glass-breaking not connected directly to the idea of
mourning for Jerusalem but simply to cause a bit of sorrow so that the
wedding festivities should not get too frivolous.

Of course, the shouting out of a blessing shuch as "yishar koach" in
other circumstances seems to have drawn criticism and I am referring to
a recent sheet that was passed out in stencil form authored ostensibly
by Rav Shlomo Aviner (and truth tell, it is written in his unique

There he writes: "a synagogue is not a forum for an elections rally, so
don't shout out loudly "yishar koach" for some who has received an
Aliyah or the Shaliach Tzibbur as he'll be happy to be congratulated

I am not sure that this is the case, knowing too many of the above, and
secondly, if the Oleh is a new father or grandfather or father of a Bar
Mitzva, I would presume that a hearty "mazal tov" would be permitted,
whether there is a kiddush or not.

Yisrael Medad


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 01:18:44 -0500
Subject: Metzitza halachic summary piece

My neighbor Rabbi Howard Jachter referred me to a piece he wrote for
www.koltorah.org on metzitza, which I excerpt below.  I am relieved to
see that a posek of the stature of Rav Moshe Soloveitchik is reported to
have forbidden oral metzitza on the basis of what must have been at that
time mainly a theoretical concern over infection risk.  -Eitan

The Metzitza Controversy

A similar dilemma has emerged in modern times regarding Metzitza, the
squeezing of the blood after the Brit. Chazal (Shabbat 133b and Shulchan
Aruch 264:3) regard Metzitza as a medical necessity. Some Acharonim
(Ketzot Hachoshen 382 and Chochmat Adam 149:14) believe that Chazal
require Metzitza only due to health considerations. Other Acharonim
(Teshuvot Maharam Schick Y.D. 338 and Teshuvot Avnei Neizer Y.D. 338)
insist that Metzitza constitutes an integral component of the Milah
process and is not merely a health concern. The Avnei Neizer emphasizes
the significance of Metzitza from the perspective of the Kabbalah. The
Acharonim also debate whether Metzitza must be performed orally
(Teshuvot Binyan Tzion 1:24) or may be done manually (Chatam Sofer cited
in Rav Pirutinsky's Sefer Habrit pp.216-217). A summary of this debate
appears in Sdei Chemed 8:Kuntress Hametzitza.

On the other hand, modern science believes that Metzitza is not a
medical necessity and is dangerous if performed orally. Health concerns
regarding Metzitza have increased greatly since AIDS has become a
relevant issue.

Three approaches to this dilemma appear in the nineteenth and twentieth
century responsa literature. Teshuvot Avnei Neizer adopts a particularly
strong stand and requires the performance of Metzitza orally despite the
danger. He applies the Gemara's (Pesachim 8a) assertion that, "No harm
will befall those involved in a Mitzva," in this context. Indeed,
Chassidim have vigorously abided by this ruling even since AIDS became a
serious concern. This author witnessed a Satmar Mohel perform Metzitza
Bepeh at a Brit in 1990.

On the other hand, the aforementioned Chatam Sofer writes that the
Halacha does not demand that the Metzitza be performed orally. He writes
that Metzitza is done orally only because of Kabbalistic concerns. The
Chatam Sofer writes that we should overlook Kabbalistic considerations,
when performing Metzitza orally poses a health concern. Similarly, Rav
Hershel Schachter (Nefesh Harav 243) writes that Rav Yosef Dov
Soloveitchik reports that his father Rav Moshe Soloveitchik would not
permit a Mohel to perform Metzitza Bepeh. It is reported that Rav Moshe
Feinstein also adopts the Chatam Sofer's approach. Some Mohelim follow
this approach in their practices.

Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (cited in the aforementioned Sdei Chemed)
and Rav Zvi Pesach Frank (Teshuvot Har Zvi Y.D. 214) adopt a compromise
approach. These authorities permit performing Metzitza orally by using a
glass tube. Rav Zvi Pesach, though, cautions that this technique is not
simple and requires training to perform properly. On the other hand, the
Avnei Neizer objects to using a glass tube. He notes that the Rambam
(Hilchot Milah 2:2) and Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 264:3) write that Metzitza
must extract the blood from the "furthest places." The Avnei Neizer
contends that this cannot be accomplished when using a glass
tube. Nevertheless, many Mohelim perform Metzitza using a glass tube
because of health concerns. Indeed, Dr. Abraham (Nishmat Avraham 4:123)
reports that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach permits performing Metzitza with
a glass to avoid concern for AIDS.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 18:30:33 +0200
Subject: Re: Metzitzah- how prevalent is it?

At 10:36 13-02-05 -0500, Avi Feldblum stated the following:

      I find Ira's response on this topic very hard to understand.  I
      don't think it is just Ira's, but here on mail-jewish, he is
      clearly taking the front line for this response / position to this

I stated at the outset, and restate now, that I am not taking a stand on
the issue under discussion.  Rather, my surprise was at the kind of
statistical sample that was reported here.  I have heard any number of
times from medical practitioners that medicine is not an exact science.
So perhaps my surprise should have been mitigated by such expressions.

A physician with whom I discussed the matter briefly offered the opinion
that case studies have no statistical significance, but are interesting
in and of themselves.

      I do not understand any position that advocates continuing this
      practice without the most stringent safeguards taken.

You will note that I, at least, have advocated no such thing.

I also pointed out that publishing this sort of thing in a medical
journal for general distribution could have implications beyond what the
authors likely intended.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 09:27:50 -0500
Subject: Parsha Sheets

I think there are several dynamics here.

1 - for the author young or mature a chance to explore, learn, perhaps
to share, possibly to trumpet.

2 - for the PRIVATE reader a wider source of information for their
Shabbos learning activities

3 - in the shul -- a real bone of contention depending on how they are 
dealt with:

If they're available in the vestibule for those who wish private
diversion from davening, speeches, etc. -- then that's a private
business save for a bit of incidental noise (paper shuffling) and
possibly needing to clean up after them (just like the person who leaves
their siddur / chumash behind - -your mother doesn't work here clean up
after yourself!)  If someone feels that reading the parsha sheet during
the leyning, for example, is a positive activity -- that's their call -
although I'd personally say it's not koved Torah.  If they're reading
during the Rabbi's drosh -- it's plain rude.

Additionally, some well-meaning folks go beyond that -- they feel a need
to share with others resulting in the commotion of sharing the parsha
sheet and / or talking (I don't care if you're talking about the parsha
or the stock market, it's still talking and still disturbing the
davening of others.)

Carl Singer


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 10:50:39 +0200
Subject: RE: Source request for R. Moshe's Psak

	Recent posts on mail-jewish have asserted, or presupposed, that
Rav Moshe z"l called Conservative Judaism idol worship.  Various
theories have been proposed to explain this.

	I have not been able to locat such a responsum.  I would
appreciate a source for this statement.  He does uses the expression
"minut" (heresy) in this connection, but I have found nothing like
"avoda zara", idol worship.  By "minut" R. Moshe simply meant that, in
his opinion, the Conservatives deny the divine authority of the Torah.

Mark Steiner


End of Volume 46 Issue 97