Volume 47 Number 44
                    Produced: Wed Mar 30 22:49:58 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Art Scroll v Singers
         [Roger Kingsley]
Artscroll sidur
         [Perets Mett]
Car Damage
         [Tzvi Stein]
criticism of Wikipedia
         [Tomer Shiloach]
Current "Jewish" writings
         [Carl Singer]
Halacha and Ball Games
         [Carl Singer]
Lipstick on a Fast Day
         [Yael Levine]
Orthodox historical veracity
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Rabbi Berel Wein (4)
         [Nathan Lamm, Jacob Sasson, Newman,Saul Z, Avi Feldblum]
Rabbi Wein's writings fact or fiction
Yiddish in Court
         [Carl Singer]
         [Michae Kahn]


From: Roger Kingsley <rogerk@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 19:38:54 +0200
Subject: Re: Art Scroll v Singers

Lawrence Myers write:
> As a long time member of United Synagogue, I heartily agree.  I'm very
> upset at seeing our minhagim whittled away.
> In Shacharit, Singers has "Uvinimah kedoshah, kulom" etc, whereas
> Artscroll inter alia has "Uvinimah, kedushah kulom" etc

As I remember it, though I do not have a "Singers" in front of me, Rabbi
Singer states that he based his siddur on Baer's Avodath Yisroel, which
reflects the German minhag.  Now Baer's siddur does have the above
reading (Uvinimah kedoshah), which appears to be the old German minhag,
as opposed to the Polish/Eastern European (and Sephardi) variation which
appears to be taking over here (in Eretz Yisroel).

However, the other prominent Singer variant (in Birchas Haminin) seems
to be a portmanteau effort which agrees precisely with neither of the
versions given in Baer.  If I remember correctly, it differs from the
current "dominant" version only in substituting "malchus zodon" for
"hazadim" - a version which Baer footnotes as old, but does not himself
print and which certainly begs its own difficulties (though I suppose
the Neturei Karta would lap it up).  I don't know on what Rabbi Singer
based his precise rendering.  Does anyone else ?

Roger Kingsley


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 13:07:09 +0100
Subject: Artscroll sidur

Eli Turkel wrote:

> To defend Artscroll they have to choose a version. No one wants a
> siddur that gives you choices for each phrase.

Of course they have to choose a version. but the choice they make often
defeats logic.

1 For example, the sfard Artscroll sidur offers the alternative of
saying Ledor vodor nagid... after the shacharis kedusho. This is a most
unusual option for nusach sfard, which says Ato Kodosh after the
Nakdishokh kedusho. (In musaf there are variant customs whether to say
Ato Kodosh or Ledor Vodor. , but the universal Sfard custom is to say
Ato kodosh in Shacharis and Mincho.)

2 Likewise the instruction to say kedusho desidro responsively at Maariv
is not the norm in communities which have had the custom traditionally
of saying kedusho desidro responsively at Shacvharis/Mincho. It seems to
have been invented by communities populated by yeshiva alumni, where
kedusho desidro was said quietly.  When they introduced the responsive
reading (as mentioned in Shulchon Orukh), they were unaware of the
distinction between the custom at day and the custom at night.  At a
stroke Artscroll has delegitimized the old custom.

Perets Mett


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 21:45:48 -0500
Subject: Car Damage

Here's an interesting shaila that came up with me.  My friend "Shimon"
accidentally hit my car and damaged it.  He agreed to pay for the
damage, but kept putting it off, despite my reminders from me.

Eventually, my car was in a more serious accident (everyone is OK Baruch
Hashem) that caused so much damage that the entire part of the car that
was earlier damaged by Shimon needed to be replaced.  Insurance paid for
that.  It turns out Shimon's damage ended up being repaired without me
or the insurance company spending any more than we would have had Shimon
not damaged the car.

Does Shimon owe still owe me for the damage he caused?  Or does he
benefit because he delayed paying me?


From: Tomer Shiloach <tshilo12@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 01:03:34 -0600
Subject: criticism of Wikipedia

I will be among the first to admit that Wikipedia is not without flaws.
The accusation, however, without wanting to engage in a flame-war, that
Wikipedia is fundamentally and irreparably flawed, is a disingenuous
virtual paean to apostasy.  The expressly stated and diligently pursued
goal of the Wikipedia project is to provide a free and accurate online
reference.  While it is true that what you read at any given time on the
Wikipedia is the result (not "opinion") of the latest editor's
contribution, _each and every_ edit on the Wikipedia is monitored by
admins, who hastily undo or delete obviously incorrect or offensive
material.  Trust me.  I almost got a number of redirects to the
Zarphatic article stub I was writing deleted because I hadn't saved the
article yet, only the redirects to the then-nonexistent Zarphatic
article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zarphatic.  While it is arguably
good to inform people of the fact that what they read at any given time
is a result of the latest editor's contribution, to say that the
Wikipedia cannot be relied upon verges on lashon hara.  One of the
admirable features of the Wikipedia is that the edit history of EVERY
article is fully available, and easily accessible, to every user.
Rather than antixenognostically discouraging people from using the
Wikipedia, the goal of which is free and ready access to information for
all, it would be far better to encourage people to responsibly use and
contribute to the project.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:17:35 -0500
Subject: Current "Jewish" writings

From: <rgreen@...> (R G Green)
>How accurate are Rabbi Berel Wein's History Books?
>As somebody who has researched Jewish History from the Temple Era until
>current, along with a PHD in History, I find many of his writings
>fictional. I firmly believe that he should be forced to substantiate his
>sources as would any historian in the secular academic world.

History is not my field, but Professor Green touches on a most important
point.  Many of today's English language "Jewish" writings -- be they
coffee table books or "feel good" stories (of Gedolim and others) --
seem to lack scholarly honesty.  Accuracy is always in question -- but
honesty should not be.

Perhaps in catering to their audience or in trying to serve as tools for
kiruv, enhanced observance, whatever -- well-meaning authors have edited
or amended history.  Thus fiction has crept in under the guise of fact.

I have in my home library three biographies of Harry S Truman: his oral
biography authored by Merle Miller, a "loving" biography authored by his
daughter Margaret and a third by David McCullough -- one man, three
viewpoints.  None, alone, paint a complete picture and a discerning
reader probably should read all three with a grain of salt.

Perhaps we need a "surgeon general's warning" on many of today's Jewish
books -- "caution what your are about to read has high schmaltz content,
do not take as gospel (?) or site for scholarly purposes."

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 10:44:12 -0500
Subject: Halacha and Ball Games

Ok -- I've been waiting for someone else to post this but Purim is just
about over (except in Yerushalayim ?)

So here goes -- 

One may attend a baseball game EVEN play (except on Yom Kippur -- some
rule Yom Kippur is OK if one bats with a shinui.)  Because baseball
(unlike basketball, football, etc.) is biblical in nature it precedes
ALL other mitzvot -- is #1 of the 613.

On page 1 of the Soncino Chumash (page 2 of the Hertz)


Note -- the Art Scroll Paskens that since the American league now uses a
designated hitter that it is no longer "biblical" Baseball but some
aberration -- attend at your own peril.



From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 09:30:32 +0200
Subject: Lipstick on a Fast Day

I am interested in being directed to halakhic sources on the question of
whether a woman who is fasting is permitted to wear lipstick.



From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 09:58:52 -0500
Subject: Orthodox historical veracity

I too have noticed errors in his work, and I am not a professional.

I must however say that this is a common problem with "frum"
publications, where veracity takes a poor second place to emunah.

I once asked, years ago, one of the principals at one of these frum
publishers why this was, and he claimed that Rav Schwab had said in
effect that "if t brings yiras shamayim, print it even if it's not
true. If it doesn't, don't print it even if it is true."

Sort of why the hoo-ha over R. Kamenetzkys book.

There is a recently- issued book, coffeee-table size, on the history of
Jerusalem, that in 30 seconds I found two major errors in.  Don't recall
the name at the moment.

Good luck with this battle, but don't get your hopes set high.
Historical veracity has always been the province of the victor, and
ignorance is winning.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 05:41:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Rabbi Berel Wein

In response to Professor Green: I recall a review of one of R' Wein's
books in an Israeli periodical. The reviewer, a historian, pointed out
that the first words in the book were, "I am not a historian," and
continued, "Ad kan divrei ha-emet."

In fairness to R' Wein, of course, he is admittedly not presenting
history but more of a philosophical view of it through an Orthodox
perspective. This would be quite inoffensive and even helpful if only
his books did not substitute for real history for so many.

Nachum Lamm

From: Jacob Sasson <jacobsasson@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 16:40:54 -0500
Subject: RE: Rabbi Berel Wein

Accusing a historian of writing fiction is a serious charge.  Perhaps a
meaningful discussion can take place if Prof. Green would substantiate
his sources and claims, especailly since he takes Rabbi Wein to task for
failing to do so.

Jacob Sasson

From: Newman,Saul Z <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 07:45:33 -0800
Subject: Rabbi Berel Wein

Please substantiate the claim that his works contain falsehoods

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005
Subject: Rabbi Berel Wein

The only conflict occurs if you view R. Wein's publications as
History. I have always viewed them as a form of historical novels. In
this genre the story is set in, and informs the reader of a historical
story, but there is no assumption that everything in the story is
real. When the plot of story demands it, liberties can be taken with the
actual historical information. In the case of R. Wein, rather than the
story plot demanding the deviation from best historical information, it
is the ideological framework from within which R. Wein operates.

Avi Feldblum


From: Michael <mordechai@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 07:44:53 -0500
Subject: Rabbi Wein's writings fact or fiction

I guess the proper response is to ask you to document where his writings
are fictional.

Often I find secular "scholarship" to be much more polemical than
factual.  There is far from any consensus in the scholarship of history,
except for the required belief there is no G-d or revelation.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 10:56:15 -0500
Subject: Yiddish in Court

I invite you all to listen to Emile Cohen records.

He does two great monologues -- one with an interpreter -- Ich ob 
Gevganvit a Katchke.   (I stole a duck)
Is it I stole a duck!  (declaration)   or   I stole a duck?  (rhetorical)
Why did you steal the duck

I needed a duck!           I needed a duck?   etc.

The second with an old bearded fellow who walks into an English 
courtroom in post-war England.  The judge asks a question,  the Yiddish 
interpreter translates the question into Yiddish.   The old bearded 
fellow responds in the Queen's English and the interpreter, clearly 
confused, translates into Yiddish for the Judge.


From: Michae Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 13:02:30 -0600
Subject: Re: Zrachya

>The name Zorach is a bit unusual, even >in Orthodox circles.

Is the name Zrachya used today? The only one I know of is that of the
Rishon, Reb Zrachya Halevi, who for obvious reason, named his sefer the
Maor, as both Zrachya and Maor mean light.


End of Volume 47 Issue 44