Volume 47 Number 54
                    Produced: Fri Apr  8  6:47:34 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Artscroll and "truth"
         [Jeremy Rose]
Car Damage
         [Stephen Phillips]
Grammer and Halacha (2)
         [Mark Steiner, Elazar M. Teitz]
Halachik "Feel" -- was Car Damage
         [Carl Singer]
Karaites and World War II
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Maintaining Local Nussach
         [Martin Stern]
Rabbi Schwab and History
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
         [Immanuel Burton]
Tircha d'Tzibbur
         [Stephen Phillips]


From: Jeremy Rose <jeremy@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 11:30:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Artscroll and "truth"

I think R' Dessler explains the difference between "truth" and "emess" /
""falsehood" and "sheker" by pointing out that "emess" should properly
be defined as what is the Rotzon (will) of Hashem and "sheker" is what
is not the will of Hashem.

So something can be logically true and yet be "sheker", and vice versa.

For example, if I tell you that Reuven is prison, it may be completely
true, but it is probably "sheker" because it is Rechilus.  Similarly,
there are circumstances (eg Shlom Bayis) where it is required to tell a
"lie" because of Tzniyus or other factors.

Kol tuv, Jeremy


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:32:13 +0100
Subject: Re: Car Damage

> From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
> It seems to me that if your insurance company paid you for the total
> damage of your car, valued AS IF it had not be damaged previously, you
> should collect from Shimon and pay what you collect to the insurance
> company.  In actuality the insurance paid full price for a damaged car.
> Anyting else woudl actuall be cheating the company.

It would also be a great Kiddush Hashem if you were to write to the
insurance company telling them that Jewish Law requires you to reimburse

Caveat: I don't know what Jewish Law does require in this case.

Stephen Phillips


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 15:15:09 +0300
Subject: RE: Grammer and Halacha

>  I hate to disagree with Dr. Steiner (again), but why is the Shulchan
> Aruch the arbiter of grammar?

	On lehoniah tefillin vs. lehanniah tefillin the issue is not
grammatical at all.  Both words are grammatical; they mean different
things.  The shulhan arukh rules that "lehoniah", which has the same
root as "menuha" (as in "lhehoniah berokho el bethekho", a verse),
should be used.  I believe that R. Yosef Caro knew how to pronounce
Hebrew also.  Hence the "argument"

>  My grandfather mispronounced a lot of Hebrew.  As pious as he was, I
> do not believe I am under any obligation to continue to do so.

--aside from its other faults, is irrelevant to the case at hand.  The
matter, though linguistic, is rather close to halakha, for which I hope
Dr. Katz regards R. Yosef Caro as an authority.

	Although I have argued that the matter is irrelevant, I would
nevertheless like to put in a good word for the "mispronunciations" of
Dr.  Katz' grandfather.  I do not know what is being referred to here,
but I do know that many of the Ashkenazic reading traditions of Hebrew
are called errors by critics who do not have a knowledge of Hebrew
linguistics.  (Some of the critics intentionally intended to use grammar
as a tool to undermine rabbinic authority in general.)  Since the zeyde
did not attend yeshiva, it is likely that he simply transmitted the
reading traditions that he heard.  Some of these traditions reach way
back.  An example is the reading of Hebrew with penultimate stress
(mil`eil), quite common in Ashkenaz.  As it happens, however, many
prominent linguists think that this phenomenon may reach as far back as
the tannaim!  This reading is "wrong" in Biblical Hebrew, to be sure,
but the tefillot are not in Biblical Hebrew.

	In many cases, how we read Hebrew has more to do with
sociolinguistics than linguistics, but this is another matter, to be
dealt with after Pesach....

From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005 03:50:31 GMT
Subject: Re: Grammer and Halacha

The comment was made, "The phrase 'neimah kedosha' means 'sacred
melody'.  Those who use kedusha have to put a comma before it and
translate neimah as "sweetness,' which is incorrect."

And why can't "n'imah," without the adjective, be translated as
"melodiously" or "with melody"?

     In the same posting, in response to the comment by a previous
writer that "I cite as a final example, Baer's 'lehanniah tefillin'
(patah) rather than 'lehoniah tefillin' (kometz), which is a real
hutzpah, since the Shulhan Arukh goes out of its way to say that the
former is wrong," the answer appeared, "[W]hy is the Shulchan Aruch the
arbiter of grammar?  My grandfather mispronounced a lot of Hebrew.  As
pious as he was, I do not believe I am under any obligation to continue
to do so."

One should protest the disrespect evinced by the tenor of this remark
and the sheer chutzpah of the comparison of one's grandfather to the
Shulchan Aruch.  However, as to the point made: whether or not the
Shulchan Aruch is the arbiter of grammar, he _is_ the arbiter of
halacha, and if he says that one should not say l'haniach but l'honiach,
no non-posek or his grandfather may decide otherwise.  Furthermore, see
the Mishna B'rura in 25:24 who gives the grammatic justification for the
Shulchan Aruch's ruling.



From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 07:30:05 -0400
Subject: Halachik "Feel" -- was Car Damage

From: Warren Burstein <warren@...>
>>From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
>>I do.  But I'm not paskening.  Let's say this was coming out of your
>>pocket and you hit someone's car and knew that the car had previous
>>damage in the same location -- how would you feel about paying to
>>restore it to new condition without sharing the cost.

> Is "how yould you feel" a consideration in the halachot regarding damages?

Warren -- you've taken the phrase out of context -- I was trying to
personalize this situation putting this individual in place of the
insurance company in order to get a better halachic view of what's going
on.  If you are "A" in a situation (dispute?) between "A" and "B" then
it may be helpful to think of yourself as "B".  Mirroring a situation --
that is putting oneself in the other person's shoes often is helpful in
understanding.  Also, You'll note that there are few corporations
mentioned by the rishonim.

On a tangent - while everyone is telling the original questioner <not
me> what to do with great certainty -- "feel" is an important moral
compass.  We need to raise our children and continuously train ourselves
so that we know by "FEEL" that which is the halachik right thing to do.
If we spend our lives using our talmudic thumb to avoid doing the right
thing then we may have problems.

I realize that the above statement is opening a wide door for discussing
the correlation between Moral and Halachic.

I recall a discussion re: On Shabbos seeing a car accident (with serious
injuries) -- does one instinctively call 9-1-1 immediately or does one
start to chew on the halachic ramifications.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 15:08:35 +0200
Subject: Karaites and World War II

I checked the Judaica and found that indeed in World War II three
Rabbanim - in order to save the Karaites - stated that they were not of
Jewish origin. The Germans themselves claimed that the Karites' "racial
psychology" was not Jewish.

I find one sentence in the Judaica article extremely disturbing: "The
behavior of the Karaites during the Holocaust period vacillated between
indifference to the Jewish cause and some cases of actual collaboration
with the Germans." This would hardly seem to fit in their feeling
themselves part of the same people.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 11:54:13 +0100
Subject: Re: Maintaining Local Nussach

on 7/4/05 10:58 am, Carl Singer <casinger@...> wrote:

> I was wondering, in general, among the Mail Jewish readership -- how
> concerned various shuls are about uniformity and keeping with their
> specific nussach and what measures they take in that direction.

Personally I think this is of great importance. When it is founded a
shul should write down its minhagim, adding to it where necessary when
omissions are noticed. What it decides is up to the founders but, having
fixed them, this will avoid machloket in the future. Preserving them
adds to the sense of continuity with previous generations and helps make
members, even if they are not particularly learned, feel that they are a
link in the chain of tradition.

Altering the minhag hamakom, even the customary tunes, can involve very
serious consequences as stated in the Sefer Maharil (Machon Yerushalayim
edition pp. 339 - 340) and this is brought as halachah by the Rema,
Orach Chaim 719.1.

The varying minhagim of different communities can be compared to an
artist's palette on which he has a selection of brilliantly coloured
paints with which he can produce a beautiful picture. If they are mixed
together the result would be a drab muddy brown which would be useless
for his purpose.  Similarly each group of Jews with its minhagim adds to
the overall beauty of Judaism which is lost when the lowest common
denominator prevails.

Martin Stern


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 15:15:13 +0200
Subject: Rabbi Schwab and History

Somewhere in my library I have an article by Rabbi Simon Schwab in which
he states point-blank that since to teach history means to teach it with
warts and all, one should definitely not teach Jewish history in
schools.  Better not to soil the pristine view of Gedolim, etc. as being
perfect. I wish I could find the reference, but have not yet found it.

I have absolutely no doubt that Rabbi Schwab wrote it, because I was
tremendously taken aback by this statement, coming from one of the
primary links in the Mesorah of Torah im Derech Eretz.

Would anyone know where this article is?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 12:49:04 +0100
Subject: Siddurim

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

Siddurim do change over time.  For example, the Singer's Siddur up to
1988 included the Amidah prayers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  In
editions up to and including the thirteenth edition (1925), the
instructions at the end of the Neilah service was for the reader to say
(after "Shema Yisroel...") "Baruch shem kevod..." three times and for
the congregation to then do likewise, and then for the reader to say
"Hashem hu ho'Elokim" seven times and for the congregation to then do
likewise.  From the fourteenth edition (1929), however, the instructions
were for the congregation to repeat each time after the reader, a
practice which I have not seen done.

Another change in the Singer's is the text of the Prayer for the Royal
Family.  The version in the current edition was introduced in the
fifteenth edition (1935) of the Siddur.

Mizmor Shir Chanukas Ha'Bayis Le'Dovid (Psalms 30) wasn't printed before
Pesukei De'zimrah until the fourteenth edition (1929), and even the
current edition says that it is said in many congregations, thereby
implying that it is not necessarily a universal custom to do so.

The Centenary Edition of the Singer's (1990) was the first to say that
in many congregations Yedid Nefesh is recited before Kabbolas Shabbos,
but doesn't include the text of Yedid Nefesh at that point in the
Siddur.  (It is, however, provided at the Shabbos Third Meal.)  A proof
copy that I have seen of the Shabbos evening service for the new edition
of the Singer's Siddur currently being prepared does include the text of
Yedid Nefesh before Kabbolas Shabbos.

(Incidentally, I am trying to obtain a copy of each edition of the
Singer's Siddur printed, and need the editions printed in 1891, 1897,
1900, 1904, 1907, 1923, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1964 and 1984 to
complete the set.  If anyone has any of these editions which they would
be willing to sell or otherwise send to a good home it would be

Immanuel Burton.


From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 13:10:17 +0100
Subject: Re: Tircha d'Tzibbur

> From: Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
> b)  explain to him that the chiyuv is Kaddish not the davening which is
>     a custom. 

I'm not sure that's correct. If you look at a quite long Rama on Yoreh
De'ah Siman 376 Seif 4 you will see that he refers to Kaddish as a
Minhag [custom]. He also says that davening from the Amud during the
week is better than saying Kaddish, because Kaddish was only instituted
for children to say.

Furthermore, the Rama in that same Seif says that one who does not know
how to daven properly should take over from Lamenatze'ach (presumably
Ashrei is included), which is probably what this person should be
invited to do and what many contributors have suggested.

The Yalkut Yosef maintains that learning Torah for the deceased is
better still. In fact, it would seem that Sefardim (at least those who
follow the rulings of Rav Ovadiah Yosef) are not at all bothered about
mourners davening from the Amud and they even do so on Shabbos.

Stephen Phillips


End of Volume 47 Issue 54