Volume 47 Number 12
                    Produced: Tue Mar  1  6:50:40 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

The Clevelander Rebbe shlit"o
         [Perets Mett]
Direct Transmission Debate
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Government of Israel (was: Is the Great Divide upon us?)
         [Bernard Raab]
Hebrew for 'ladybug' (3)
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu, Perets Mett, Brian Wiener]
The ladybug and Moshe Rabbenu (2)
         [Paul Shaviv, Carl Singer]
Poreis Mapo
         [Perets Mett]
Purim on Friday
         [Mark Steiner]
Uva l'Tziyon
         [Martin Stern]
Uva l'Tziyon - Yaaqov/Yisrael
         [David Eisen]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:42:42 +0000
Subject: The Clevelander Rebbe shlit"o

Someone wrote

> I saw this caption of a picture and just couldn't avoid a smile:
> "The Translator together with his Rebbe, the Clevelander Rebbe Shlit"a
> of Raanana, Israel"
> Since we already have a Bostoner and a Pittsburgherer, why not a
> Clevelander.
> But if he's "of Raanana", why not the Ra'ananer?

The Clevelander Rebbe, Rabbi Yitschok Ayzik Rosenbaum shlit"o, left his
town of Cleveland in order settle in Raanana. He is related to the
previous Clevelander Rebbes and to the Pittsburgher Rebbe. He remains
the Clevelander Rebbe .

I would have expected some applause from members of this forum for a
Rebbe who uprooted himself from the USA in order to settle in Erets
Yisroel. It certainly does not seems a reason to treat him as a figure
of fun.

Perets Mett


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 20:27:37 +0200
Subject: Direct Transmission Debate

This Friday's Yediot Acharonot carries an account about Rabbi Shlomo
Aviner's call - against the call of his rebbi, Rabbi Avraham Shapira -
for soldiers not to refuse orders to evacuate settlements. Prior to
discussing a talk given by Rabbi Amnon Sugarman, head of the Hesder
Yeshivah in Ramat Hagolan, on this issue, Yediot gives the following
background to the talk.

When Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook died in 1935, his son, Rabbi Tzvi
Yehudah Kook, evidently declared himself to be the one and absolute
interpreter of his father's writings. This was not accepted
universally. When Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook died, there were those who
then declared that Rabbi Avraham Shapira, the present head of Yeshivat
Merkaz Harav (and former Chief Rabbi) was the exclusive and absolute
interpreter of Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook's (and hence Rabbi Avraham
Yitzchak Kook's) works.

In his address at a forum in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav, Rabbi Sugarman -
without mentioning him by name - evidently took issue with Rabbi
Aviner's stand, claiming that only the direct progression listed above
gives one the right to make any pronouncements, and that basically for
Rabbi Aviner to disagree is akin to heresy. To quote Rabbi Sugarman
(according to Yediot): "Not everyone who is called a rabbi is a
transmitter of the Torah," and the implication is that Rabbi Aviner is
clearly not one of these. The only two rabbis, according to Rabbi
Sugarman, who belong to this category are Rabbi Shapira and Rabbi
Mordechai Eliyahu.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 16:33:07 -0500
Subject: Government of Israel (was: Is the Great Divide upon us?)

>From: Shoshana Ziskind :
>On Feb 24, 2005, Bernard Raab wrote:
> > I wonder what sort of state is envisioned by those who will accept no
> > compromise on their vision. Certainly it is not democracy. Do they
> > wish for a theocracy, a Jewish version of Saudi Arabia? Or does the
> > "flowering of our redemption" require that all real power reside in
> > the clergy, a la Iran? What is the model for their vision? Have they
> > thought it out in any depth?
>I thought though that if Israel was run according to Torah Israel would
>NOT be a democratic state. After all, and correct me please if I am
>wrong, I thought that according to Torah non Jews could only live in
>Israel if they followed the Noachide laws.  So maybe in this case a
>"theocracy" is not like a Jewish Saudi Arabia but a world driven by
>Torah law.  The problem is, that before Moshiach comes there's so much
>divergence of opinion with what that means but certainly a lot of it is
>explained fairly straight forwardly in Tanach or Gemora.  (Not that I've
>read Gemora much to know but it seems reasonable)

The type of government described in Tanach and discussed in Talmud is a
monarchy, the only form of government known in the ancient world. And of
course it is supposed to be a monarchy driven by Torah Law.  But the
Tanach is testimony to the violent and corrupt nature of this form of
government in practice, even before David and Solomon, the most revered
of kings, have passed from the scene. And the Jewish kings who followed
were far less interested in Torah and more and more devoted to survival
and succession, the natural obsession of all monarchs.

In fact it is not very different from Saudi Arabia today which is ruled
by a monarchy and presumably by Islamic law. Is there anybody out there
who would really like to try a Jewish version of this today? I ask
again: Have they thought it out in any depth?

Who was it who said: "Democracy is not the best form of goverment,
except for the alternatives"?

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 14:39:22 EST
Subject: Hebrew for 'ladybug'

 Ben Katz  (MJv47n09) asks:
<<I have a question for the collective wisdom of our group:
Why is a "ladybug", in Hebrew, called "porat moshe rabeinu" (literally
"the cow of Moses, our teacher")?>>

I have dealt with the etymology of this word in a footnote to a book (at
the printers now) and I might as well copy my note:

 In most European languages this bug is named after Maria, the mother of
Jesus, and the Jews of Palestine translated it to Yiddish as 'Mashiach
ferdle', in connection with the mother of their savior.  To my
understanding this bug is called in Hebrew, 'Parat Moshe Rabbeinu,' in
English 'the cow of Moshe our Rabbi,' because the word Mashiach was
transformed to the word Moshe (The letters Mem and the Shin are the
same, and Hey and Chet both look alike and sound alike).  This is one of
the few bugs which destroys other pests, and helps agriculture, and
therefore messianic qualities were attributed to it.  Thus Eliyahu
helped me resolve, indirectly, the etymology of the word.  The accepted
explanation of the source of the name "Parat Moshe Rabbeinu" is that the
name is a direct translation from the Yiddish Moshe Rabbeinu Kiyeleh,"
an expression which derives from the Russain "The Lords cow."  This
leaves unexplained how the word "Lord" was transformed to "Moshe
Rabbeinu," but explains the derivation of the cow portion. On the other
hand, the transformation of Mashiach to Moshe is more logical, as both
in written and spoken Hebrew the letter chet is sometimes written and
pronounced as hey.

(Stories of My Life  By Eliyahu Yekutiel Shwartz (1915-2000) Gilad Jacob
Joseph Gevaryahu, Editor and Footnote Author, David H. Wiener, English
Editor, 2004, Merion Station, Pennsylvania, note 2)
Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 00:07:25 +0000
Subject: Hebrew for 'ladybug'

Ben Katz wrote:

> Why is a "ladybug", in Hebrew, called "porat moshe rabeinu" (literally
> "the cow of Moses, our teacher")?

It is a direct literal translation from the Yiddish "moyshe rabeyne's

Jews can hardly be expected to name anything after the lady
(you-know-who's mother)

BTW, translating literally in to English : "Moses our teacher" is not
helpful. In Yiddish moyshe rabeynu is a well-known name, whose meaning
is not dissected.

gut vokh

Perets Mett

From: Brian Wiener <brian@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 16:40:48 +1100
Subject: RE: Hebrew for 'ladybug'

Very interesting question....it puzzled us for a long time, also.  Are
you familiar with Philologos, who writes in the Forward? About a year
ago, he wrote a wonderful column, fully explaining this seemingly
strange name, in his usual inimitable style. I am sure it is available
in the Forward archives on-line. A hint-do you know Yiddish? In Yiddish
it is called 'a mashich'le'.

[Link to article was presented in V47n10. Mod]

Brian Wiener


From: Paul Shaviv <pshaviv@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 23:50:00 -0500
Subject: The ladybug and Moshe Rabbenu

The question of why the ladybug (in UK English: ladybird) is called
'Parat Moshe Rabbenu' was posed by me to my children (and subsequently
to many other scholars) on a Friday night sometime in the mid-1980's.
Interestingly, the ladybug has similar names in many languages related
not only to Moshe, but to other religious figures in other religions
. In Yiddish the ladybug is 'Moshe Rabbenu's kuehle'.  Internet searches
will show the literature.  Over the years, the children (now grown!)
used to occasionally send me literature and references, hoping to claim
the chocolate promised as a reward.

However, a few years back my younger son sent me the clear, and I
believe, conclusive answer: Rashi on Bamidbar 19:2 -- 'And you shall
take to you (singular) a red heifer ...' (while v.1 is addressed to both
Moses and Aharon). Explains Rashi: "For all time, it (the Red Heifer)
will be called by your (Moses') name...."  Hence - the little red
insect, identified with the red heifer for centuries in folklore, is
known in Ivrit as .. 'Moshe Rabbenu's heifer', following Rashi (and
probably an underlying midrash aggadah). See also the quote from the Gur
Aryeh on the Rashi noted in the Mikraot Gedolot 'Torat Hayyim'.  I have
never been able to find an early citation from pre-modern times, which
leads me to think that it jumped into Ivrit from Yiddish.

Paul Shaviv, Toronto

From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 06:39:00 -0500
Subject: The ladybug and Moshe Rabbenu

I didn't want to post earlier because I thought I had it wrong (horse
vs. cow) -- but I will now confirm that my dear mother, from Lutsk &
Dubna in Poland, calls ladybugs, Moishe Rabbaynu's Ferdeleh

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:11:43 +0000
Subject: Poreis Mapo

Mark Steiner wrote:
> Tosafot Pesahim 100b states that we do "pores mapah" every week, since
> we don't have moveable tables.  Assuming their custom was like ours,
> it's only the bread which needs covering, for various reasons including
> the remembrance of the manna (man) which was covered by dew.  Thus I
> would say that only the bread is required to be covered.

That follows only from the second reason reason of Tosfos.

The first reason Tosfos gives is "ki heikhi deteiso seudoso beyikro
deshabato" = so thta the meal may come in honour of Shabos. This reason
surely applies to all the food, not just the bread.

The Pri Megodim (O Ch 271) mentions in two places covering the whole
table, to resemble akiras hashulchon.

Perets Mett


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 12:38:21 +0200
Subject: RE: Purim on Friday

> I find this comment troubling.  First, the Ezras Torah Luach is clear
> that one eats the seudah before chatzos.  He cites the Mishna Brura,
> which explains the Rema as being for "kavod haShabbos."  I think he also
> cites the Yad Ephraim.  The Aruch HaShulchan says similar.  None of these
> sources mention eating the seuda late.
> What I find troubling the poster's apparant belief that Jewish life is
> just a smorgasbord of opinions with one being just as good and
> appropriate as another.  It isn't so.

While I appreciate this sentiment, and agree with it [without meaning to
imply that I agree with the personal criticism that went with it], the
specific example that is brought is unfortunate.  The Mishna Berurah
sends us to the Yad Ephraim because the latter quotes the Maharil 56
(the citation is incorrect in the Yad Ephraim in the standard editions
of the Shulhan Arukh) who says that there is nothing wrong with having
the Peurim seudah Friday afternoon, so long as it begins before "nine
hours" (i.e. before 3/4 of the daylight hours are over).  On the
contrary, the Mishnah Berurah thought it important enough to send his
reader to a dissenting opinion.

Mark Steiner


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:48:37 +0000
Subject: Uva l'Tziyon

on 28/2/05 10:54 am, Israel Caspi <icaspi@...> wrote:
> In Uva l'Tziyon, why do we say "HaShem Elokay Avraham, Yitzchak
> v'Yisrael..."  instead of the usual phrase "...Avraham, Yitzchak
> v'Ya'akov..."?

It is a pasuk in Divrei haYamim I 29,18 which forms part of King David's
final address to the Jewish people.

Martin Stern


From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:37:34 +0200
Subject: RE: Uva l'Tziyon - Yaaqov/Yisrael

Israel asked:
>In Uva l'Tziyon, why do we say "HaShem Elokay Avraham, Yitzchak
v'Yisrael..."  >instead of the usual phrase "...Avraham, Yitzchak

This is not a phrase that was penned by the Anshei Knesset HaGedola,
rather this is a pasuk from Divrei Hayamim I 29:18 sung by David
HaMelech at the end of his life before the entire nation in response to
the people's contributions of all the materials and monies for
constructing the Bet HaMiqdash by Shlomo HaMelech.

See also Melakhim I 18:36 from Eliyahu at Har HaKarmel and Divrei
HaYamim II 30:6 from the Great Pesah celebration during the reign of
Hizkiyahu HaMelech where Yisrael is written instead of Yaaqov when
listing the names of the 3 Avot; this phrase is also said every morning
in the introductory sentence to Parashat HaAqeida following Birkhot

As an aside, it should be noted that following Yaaqov's change in name
to Yisrael, he, at times, is still referred to as Yaaqov; the rule of
thumb is that Yaaqov the individual continues to be referred to by his
birth-name (Yaaqov Avdi / Yaaqov, my servant) while Yisrael is generally
used when referring to him as the Patriarch (though there are still
exceptions such as the common phrases Bet Yaaqov and Gaon Yaaqov and
much further analysis is required to confront these questions).

Kol Tuv u'B'virkat HaTorah,
David Eisen


End of Volume 47 Issue 12