Volume 47 Number 45
                    Produced: Fri Apr  1  6:47:44 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashamnu Translation (was Artscroll Siddur)
         [David Feiler]
Birkat Ha-Gomel
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Changing Halacha (was Baseball games)
         [Bernard Raab]
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
How often do you check the labels?
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Karaite calendar
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Sedra Shemini - Nadov and Avihue
Tachnun this past Sunday (last day of Purim Meshulash)
         [Moshe Bach]
Where was Shushan?
         [Moshe Bach]
Women's Megila Reading
         [Simon Wanderer]


From: David Feiler <dfeiler@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:10:02 -0500
Subject: Ashamnu Translation (was Artscroll Siddur)

Jack Gross wrote:

 > I hope they insist that ArtScroll not perpetuate its mistranslation
 > of Ti'ta'nu (the final word in the Ashamnu confession) as "you have
 > caused us to sin".  (What were they thinking? "Ti'ta'tanu"?)

The Artscroll Siddur (1984 edition) correctly translates Ti'ta'nu as "we
have led others astray" using the verb letataya as it is used in the
passuk "vehayiti be'einav k'metataya" (and I will appear to him as a

However in the Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor (1986) and the Artscroll
Selichot (1992) the word is translated as "You have let us go astray"
which seems incorrect.  It seems strange that Artscroll would migrate
from a correct translation to an incorrect one.

Am I missing something?

David Feiler


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 10:18:35 +0200
Subject: Re:  Birkat Ha-Gomel

Nathan Lamm asked about the proper response to a woman reciting Birkat

  It seems obvious to me that the only change would be to say "gemalekh"
  instead of "gemalkha" in the two places whetre that wyrd appears.

   But this reminds me of another interesting question: if a person is
 saying Hagomel on behalf of another person (for example, in those
 communities where the husband says the brakha on behalf of his wife
 after illness or childbirth), should he alter the language used?  (By
 the way, my own view on the issue of women, based on what I heard from
 Rav Soloveitchik ztz"l, is that it's preferable that a woman say the
 brakha herself) But what about, say, a small child who escaped from
 some sort of harm?  When my son was a year and a half old, he fell off
 a chair and cracked open his head, requiring several stitches.  I asked
 the late Rav Simon Dolgin z"l, then rabbi of the Ramat Eshkol
 neighborhood in Jerusalem, wheether I should say the blessing, changing
 the wording to "she-gamal li-veni kol tuv" ("who did all good things to
 MY SON"), rather than the usual "shegemalani."  His answer was
 negative: that I should recite the usual langauge, because it was
 "matbea shetav'u hakhamim," a language that was formulated by the
 Sages.  But this concept is a special law applying to blessings, which
 have Gd's name and "malkhut," and I don't believe it would apply to
 answering a woman in the feminine second person rather than the

Yehonatan Chipman


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 11:18:08 -0500
Subject: Changing Halacha (was Baseball games)

>From: Dov Teichman
>Bernard Raab writes:
><< These days we tend to have a more thoughtful approach to our
>religion, but I hope we resist the forces which want to equate
>religiosity with asceticism. It is important to realize that in such
>matters, responsible public behavior by the observant community leads
>the way, and the halacha follows. >>
>I'm not quite sure what you mean by the last comment. Certainly, when
>there is a well established minhag or conduct of a community then Poskim
>try to explain the behavior to conform with halacha. However, often they
>cannot, and the behavior/minhag is modified. Why would this be any
>different? Doesn't the word "Halacha" connote the way we are to follow;
>and not vice-versa, i.e. do what we please, and halacha will be written
>to conform with that?

I would start by saying that the Gemara itself frequently inquires into
the common practice in ancient Israel or the galut before deriving the
halacha which supports this practice. I am talking about normative
practice, of course, as followed by the majority of the observant
community. Nor are mitzvoth d'oraisa (Torah-based mitzvoth) exempt from
this inquiry. An example can be found on almost every page of the
Gemara; I will bring one from the tractate Rosh Hashana: The Torah
prescribes that we hear the sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashana, but it
does not describe in detail exactly how the shofar is to be
sounded. Eventually, the Gemara derives textual justification for the
sequence of sounds that are familiar to us, but only *after*
establishing by extensive testimony exactly what the most common
practice was in years gone by.

Of course, since the Talmud has been committed to written form, new
halachic development must build on this record. But we know that such
development continued throughout the next 1500+ years, and continues
today. What I suppose some may find controversial about my statement is
my claim that practice tends to precede the formalization of change. I
will modify my statement to say that either practice, public pressure,
or severe necessity *always* precedes halachic change. I will also grant
that sometimes, or maybe most of the time, a local orthodox rabbi in
some remote community or yeshiva will approve the practice in question,
usually privately, but this gets spread around, leading to a growth in
the practice until it becomes one which more and more rabbis can approve
without feeling alone in "left field". At some point some well-known
poskim and roshei yeshiva get on board, but this may take years, perhaps
after the practice is pretty well entrenched.

I gave an example in a recent posting regarding the development of the
concept of brain death as an acceptable halachic definition of death, in
that case driven by severe necessity. Here is another, driven by public
pressure and practice:

Some 30-40 years ago it was well-established halacha that visitors to
Eretz Yisrael from chutz l'aretz must observe 2 days of yomtov. We know
that this has been in the process of change over the last 20 years or
so, precisely following the scenario I described above. Many rabbis now
approve this change, although I don't know if we have yet reached the
point where the well-known poskim and roshei yeshiva have gotten on
board, although I believe that some have done. I can't be sure, but it
is my sense that the majority of observant holiday visitors to Israel
today, at least in the MO community, will put on tfillin on the 8th day
of Pesach or Simchat Torah or the 2nd day of Shavuot. This would have
been unthinkable behavior 40-50 years ago, and is an example of change
resulting from the pressure of public practice, initially with the
approval of a very few rabbis in Israel.

Another such example was described in the pages of M-J some time ago,
relating to the use of time clocks on Shabbat. Initially this was widely
forbidden by most rabbis. Nevertheless, the practice grew rapidly.
Finally, R. Moshe approved the practice for lights but not for air
conditioners. But their use for air conditioners proceeded as well,
until today I believe this is no longer an issue, even in the haredi

There are many other examples to support my thesis, but I think these
will suffice for now.

b'shalom, Bernie R.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 12:01:16 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Gouray

I think that the tension started way before the library court case. The
sixth Rebbe had three daughters. One, childless, perished with her
husband in the holocaust. One married R. Shemaria Gouary, the other
married R. MM.  The Rebbe did not say who would succeed him, although
R. MM was his right hand in the USA. After the Rebbi's passing, R. SG
wore the Rebbi's shtreimel. R.  MM then cancelled the wearing of
shtreimels for Habadinks... After a year passed, R. MM was the official


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 16:46:36 EST
Subject: How often do you check the labels?

I was wondering what benchmark the members of the list use when checking
Kosher Symbols on labels on the foods they purchase.  Do you check the
label everytime (as I do) on long-standing Kosher products, such as
Hershey candies, etc?  Do you presume a Kosher product remains such
until you hear otherwise? Does the frequency with which you check the
label depend on how often you use the product or how long the product
has been kosher?

I was also wondering if most people double check each different kind of
product within a multipack that carries a Hechser on the outer box.

Chaim Shapiro


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 14:28:51 +0100
Subject: Karaite calendar

My immediate question was what they do about Purim (I assume they
celebrate it).  In fact, this is a question I have had for some time
concerning the halachot of Purim in a leap year based on the sugyot at
the beginning of the gemara in Megilla. Essentially, what the Karaites
have done on the last day of Adar is to decide whether or not to add a
second Adar.  This is what was done on a year-by-year basis before the
fixed calendar came into operation.

If this decision is only made on say 29th Adar, then they would have had
to celebrate Purim on 14th of (first) Adar. If it turns out (as it did
this year for the Karaites) that there was no second Adar, that is fine.
If there is a second Adar, then given that our accepted halacha is to
celebrate Purim in the 2nd Adar, we would have to do it all over again.
(Again, I do not know what the Karaite practice might be in a leap

My question is whether there is any documentary evidence that Purim was
actually celebrated twice before the fixed calendar?



From: <chips@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 17:39:56 -0800
Subject: Sedra Shemini - Nadov and Avihue

When it comes to explaining the actions of Aharon's sons on the
inaguration day of the Mishkan, a consistent theme is that they broke
the rules. A question that arises is why did they think the rules could
be broken on this day?

I think it should be noted that they were not entirely wrong in their
thinking. When the 1st Bayit was inagurated many rules were broken,
among them Yom Kippur.  But the occasion of the Mishkan's inaguration
was not the time to break the rules.  What would have made Nadov and
Avihue that it was?

To me , the answer is in the Rashi on 9:23, `veyeitzu vaye varchu es ha
am`.  Did you look it up? Good - see where I'm going?

Rashi states that Moshe put the Mishkan up and down *ALL 7 DAYS* - Nodav
and Avihue saw that Moshe was `michalel Shabos` for the one thing that
we learn what `michalel Shabos` constitutes!  Erroneously, they thought
that if Moshe could be `michalel Shabos` on the Mishkan for just the
test runs, than surely on Inaguration Day itself the rules (or at least
some of them) could be relaxed.



From: Moshe Bach <moshe.bach@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:42:17 +0200
Subject: Tachnun this past Sunday (last day of Purim Meshulash)

Any opinions on whether we should or should not have said Tachnun this
past Sunday, the last day of Purim Meshulash?  The question is for
people who live outside of Jerusalem.

I naively thought this day should be treated as we normally treat
Shushan Purim, hence we should not say Tachanun.  Friends of mine opined
that there is no megilla anywhere, no hallel, just a festive meal in
Jerusalem, hence there is no reason we should not say Tachanun.

People have quoted various luchot (calendars) with one or the other
opinion.  Our local Rav said we should say tachanun.  (I heard about it
too late :-)

Your opinions?
maury (moshe) bach
<mbach@...>, moshe.bach@intel.com


From: Moshe Bach <moshe.bach@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 15:43:44 +0200
Subject: Where was Shushan?

Still flush from Purim:

Where in modern-day Iran is Shushan? 

While I'm on it, where in modern-day Iraq are the various towns
mentioned in the Gemara: Sura, Pumpedita, Nehardea, Mechoza, Nehar

maury (moshe) bach
<mbach@...>, moshe.bach@intel.com


From: Simon Wanderer <simon.wanderer@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 17:58:03 +0100
Subject: Women's Megila Reading

There have been a number of postings on Halachic aspects of the
above. One more pragmatic issue which nobody has raised is the fact that
many (most?) women attending a reading for women alone will not be
comfortable correcting the reader.  At most readings I have heard, be it
Torah or Megila, the reader has made some sort of mistake and been
corrected by someone at the Bimah or a (male) congregant. The fact that
there may well be nobody prepared to correct the reader at a 'women's'
K'rias HaMegila is, in my opinion, a very real reason to encourage women
to attend the main reading in Shul wherever possible.  Indeed, my wife
was concerned about a mistake this year, but did not feel comfortable
correcting. We also heard about a K'ria where a mistake was noticed and,
because nobody corrected at the time, a 'rerun' had to be arranged for
4.00pm Friday afternoon. How many mistakes went totally unnoticed
elsewhere, possibly invalidating a reading entirely?


End of Volume 47 Issue 45