Volume 48 Number 59
                    Produced: Thu Jun 23  5:18:11 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another Siddur question
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Mishnah Yomit
         [Janet Elise Rosenbaum]
Need a Quote on Helping our Elders
         [David Eisen]
A note about maariv and shavuot
         [Mark Steiner]
Second Job / Volunteering
         [Harlan Braude]
Slavic Origins of Yiddish words
         [ben katz]
Stress-shift in Modern Hebrew (2)
         [Martin Stern, Mark Steiner]
Wedding Ring on Index Finger
         [Mike Gerver]
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Yiddish Etymology
         [Bernard Raab]
Yiddish expressions (5)
         [Mark Steiner, Shayna Kravetz, Baruch J. Schwartz, Ira L.
Jacobson, Gershon Dubin]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 12:52:08 +0200
Subject: Another Siddur question

Many Siddurim - including Artscroll - indicate which concluding words
the Chazan should say aloud at the end of every section.

Is/was there any "standard" for these points, or are they simply
whatever each printer decided for himself, based on whatever criteria he

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Janet Elise Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 11:42:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Mishnah Yomit


Does anyone know what happened to the mishnah yomit website?  
It used to be located at 
but it has not been there for quite awhile.  

Also, what other mishnah yomit resources are there?  
mishnahyomit.org is the UCSJ's program which is on a different cycle.
mishnahyomit.com has very little on it.  

R Kadish had a great idea a year and a half ago that someone could make
a mishnah yomit website.  This is still a very tenable idea, since
mishnahyomit.net and mishnayomit.* are still available!



From: David Eisen <davide@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 17:13:44 +0200
Subject: RE: Need a Quote on Helping our Elders

Here are a few:

1. Berakhot 8b: R. Yehuda says: ... be careful to respect an old man who
has forgotten his knowledge through no fault of his own, for it was
said: Both the whole luhot and the fragments of the luhot were placed in
the Aron.

See also the Yerushalmi in Moed Qatan 3:1 - R. Yaakov bar Abaye in the
name of R. Aha teaches that if an elderly person has forgotten his Torah
due to advanced age, he is to be treated with the same sanctity as that
shown to the Aron Kodesh.

[I have always found this metaphor of the "shivrei luhot" with respect
to a talmid hakham who has forgotten his learning to be quite poignant.]

2. See numerous statements in Sifrei Bamidbar 92 on the words: "Miziqnei

3. See numerous quotes from Hazal in Chapter 20 of Menorat Hamaor,
including "Those who honor the elderly receive great reward and fulfill
the Mitzva of 'and you shall honor the presence of the old'"

B'virkat HaTorah,

David Eisen


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 15:03:28 +0300
Subject: A note about maariv and shavuot

	The assumption that by reciting the Evening Prayer early one is
thereby beginning the Festival of Shavuot seems based on the assumption
that by reciting the kiddush hayom (mekadesh yisrael ve-hazemanim) one
is "accepting Yom Tov" and extending the sanctity of the Festivate
backward in time.  (Tosefet Yom Tov.)

	Note, however, that the Rambam in 30 chapters of the Laws of
Sabbath never mentions any obligation to extend the kedusha of shabbat
either at the beginning or the end.  Thus, the license to daven (a
Yiddish word for which I have not seen a satisfactory etymology) early
both Friday evening AND Saturday evening (before shabbat is over), as
well as the license to recite kiddush and havdalah "early", has nothing
to do with the question of when Shabbat begins or ends.  A fortiori this
is true on Yom Tov.  Thus, according to the Rambam, saying maariv early
on Shavuot does not end the sefirah period early.

Mark Steiner


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 08:46:13 -0400
Subject: RE: Second Job / Volunteering

> Is it stealing from one's employer to use one's work email 
> address for personal business?  Given that, for example, you 
> may when conducting business via email need to filter through 
> routine, non-work related
> (personal?) email during work hours as a result.

If you ask your manager and s/he says it's ok, then it's ok. That's the
psak I received years ago. AYLOR - YMVV


From: ben katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 19:44:53 -0500
Subject: Re: Slavic Origins of Yiddish words

>From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
>The instructive example of "makhn khoyzek", meaning to mock or
>It is actually of Slavic origin (as is yarmulka, another word falsely
>believed by some to be derived from lshon qodesh,)

Can you be more specific about the slavic origins of "machen choyzek"
and "yarmulka"?  (I thought the origin of the word yarmulka, as is the
case for the word "daven", was one of life's great unsolved mysteries!)

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital. Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 11:06:16 +0100
Subject: Stress-shift in Modern Hebrew

on 22/6/05 9:43 am, Ben Katz <bkatz@...> wrote:

> another example of the yiddish influence on modern hebrew is in
> name pronounciations.  even in Israel, one tends to hear Sa'rah (not
> Sa-rah') and Mo'she as oppossed to Mo-she'.

Ben is probably correct in attributing these shifts of stress from
milra' to mill'el to the influence of Yiddish, though stress on the last
syllable is unusual in most European languages.

There is one point which I have noticed which makes me suspect that this
stress-shift may have also occurred in Babylonian Aramaic, probably
without any European linguistic influence.

In 'grammatical' Aramaic we find the second and third person plural
suffixes -khon and -hon respectively, e.g. 'besadehon' and 'besadekhon'
in the first and second paragraphs of Yekum Porkan and 'bechayekhon' and
'tselot'hon' in Kaddish.

However, in the Talmud Bavli, which represents a more colloquial form of
the language, the final nun is almost always omitted which might suggest
that it was not pronounced and, perhaps, the preceding vowel was
nasalised instead.  This phenomenon is quite common in languages which
do not stress the final syllable which may explain the loss of
grammatical suffices in the transition from Latin to modern Romance
languages, and from Ancient to Modern Greek.

Where the final syllable is stressed such a change is less likely so
there may be reason to believe that such a stress-shift may have

Do any other mail-jewish members have any ideas on this?

Martin Stern

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:45:30 +0300
Subject: Stress-shift in Modern Hebrew

> another example of the yiddish influence on modern hebrew is in name
> pronounciations.  even in Israel, one tends to hear Sa'rah (not
> Sa-rah') and Mo'she as oppossed to Mo-she'.

Dr. Katz is right about this, of course.  (However, in my infamous
yasherkoax posting I pointed out that the "mil`eilization" of Hebrew
occurred probably already in the Talmudic period, and has nothing to do
with Yiddish.  This is a thesis accepted by leading Hebrew linguists,
even though I know most readers won't believe it.)

Yet the penultimate stress of proper names is not denounced by most
purists, since the stress shift serves often to distinguish a name from
an adjective.  For example, the word Sarah' in Israeli Hebrew means a
female (cabinet) minister, as today Tzippy Livny.  The expression Sa'rah
is always a proper name.


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 16:59:44 EDT
Subject: Wedding Ring on Index Finger

A colleague from work who just got married asked me if I knew the source
for the practice of putting the wedding ring on the bride's right index
finger (as opposed to any other finger) under the chuppah. I couldn't
tell him. Does anyone know of a written source for this? Or if there is
none, does anyone know when the practice originated? I told him I was
pretty sure it was post-Talmudic, since I didn't think the Talmud even
mentioned using a ring, only something of value.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 09:08:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Yiddish

I can't remember the location of the reference, but I recall seeing in
the Ben Ish Chai a short discussion of the word "yahrzeit."  He explains
what it means, and then says that it is a Yiddish word, and not Roshei
Taivot (Acronym).

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 19:08:39 -0400
Subject: Yiddish Etymology

>From: N Miller <nm1921@...>
>Bernard Raab is on solid ground when he recommends checking the German
>(better yet: MHG) in working up the etymology of a Yiddish word, but the
>example he offers of shtadlan (which he derives from G. Staatlan) may
>not be the most felicitous choice.  Shtadlan is written
>shin-tof-daled-lamed-nun.  It means a go-between or intercessor, just as
>shtadlanut (or as it is pronounced Yiddish 'shtadlones') means

It seems likely to me that the meaning you cite for 'shtadlones' is a
corruption of the original meaning of "shtadlan" as someone who appeals
to government power. Unless you have a Hebrew source for this word, I
would still suspect the German origin is correct.

> Moreover, except for American Yiddish compounds (shtat-sekretar,
>secretary of state) the Yiddish counterpart of the Germanic Staat is
>not shtat but melukhe and in any case they're spelled phonetically and
>with a tes/tet not tof.  There is therefore good reason to doubt the
>German connection in this case.

You are correct to claim that the Yiddush word for country is based on
the Hebrew "mamlacha" (I assume that's what you meant) or more commonly
"medina". Nevertheless, I still believe that the German "staadlan" was
taken over for the specific usage connected to the pleaders for
government support of a Jewish state. Chaim Weitzman was frequently
cited as the paradigmatic staadlan.

>It's true of course that shtadlonim were (and are) Hofjuden, court Jews,
>and it's possible that the Hebraicized spelling is nothing more than
>euphonious flimflam.  Could be, but I'd like to see more evidence.

I vote for euphonious flimflam--it just sounds so, well, euphonious.

b'shalom--Bernie R.


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:52:18 +0300
Subject: RE: Yiddish expressions

> Okay, who can guess the meaning of this favorite expression of my
> grandmother o"h (born & raised in Dorchester/Roxbury/Mattapan, Massachusetts
> by Yiddish-speaking Litvishe parents?
> "merchechem"

	I would guess: Deo Volente.

Mark Steiner

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 11:24:17 -0500
Subject: Re: Yiddish expressions

Rhonda Stein <rhondastein@...> challenges us:

Hah! An easy one.  It's a slightly slurred and inconsistently
transliterated version of "im yirtzeh ha-shem" (if God wills it).
Technically, I'd transliterate it as 'mircheshem'.  Is this what you
were thinking of?

Kol tuv from
Shayna in Toronto (whose grandparents A"H were probably born in the next
shtetl down the road from Rhonda's)

From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 12:34:15 +0300
Subject: Re: Yiddish expressions

Merchechem is well-known: im yirtze hashem. Heard it often.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 15:36:26 +0300
Subject: Re: Yiddish expressions

OK, here's a stab in the dark.  The combination of merahem and hakham.
Perhaps one who pities a poor wise man, or a wise person who has
compassion for the downtrodden.  Or an unwise person who shows
compassion for the wicked?

Residents of Dorchester/Roxbury/Mattapan call (or perhaps called) hallah
"cholly," and (some) call matza "matzee."  Is there a clue buried in
there somewhere?

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:10:35 GMT
Subject: Yiddish expressions

Try a hard one.  Alternative to that spelling: Metchum <g>.



End of Volume 48 Issue 59