Volume 48 Number 71
                    Produced: Tue Jun 28  5:32:00 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Brit and Kippot
         [Yisrael Medad]
Covering Torah with mantle
High-interest loans
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Kiddush Levanah - Women
Kvater (was: Yarmulka/Daven)
         [Mike Gerver]
Minyan and Sources
         [A. Adereth]
Mishnaic Hebrew (4)
         [Mark Steiner, Ira L. Jacobson, Mark Steiner, Ira L. Jacobson]
         [David I. Cohen]
Phone and Tefila
         [Gershon Dubin]


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 23:03:51 +0200
Subject: Brit and Kippot

I seem to recall that the mother of Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav, when he
was suckling at her breast, would cover his head and/or wash his hands.

Y. Medad


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 18:53:49 -0700
Subject: Re: Covering Torah with mantle

> [...] Recently I have observed a gabbai who re-covers the Torah
> immediately after the Torah reader concludes my portion (i.e.  before
> I have started saying the concluding bracha).

  i can give a partial answer - there was a psak that if a known
non-religious person got an aliya that the Torah should be covered when
he makes the concluding bracha, if the gabbai is going to be covering
the Torah anyway (not all places do so).  Some (in order to avoid
embarassment?) extended the practice to cover for everyone in order not
to have those stick out that do get covered.  I cover unless the man
doesn't want it covered.



From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 13:43:16 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: High-interest loans

>From: N Miller <nmiller@...>
>Yossi Ginzberg writes:
> > While Jews were forced into the moneylending industry by church
> > rulings forbidding usury to xtians...
>'Forced' is a pretty strong word.  Is there any historical 
> evidence to support it

I have seen various references that nobles would "choose" certain Jews
to act as money lenders.  They would lend money at exhorbitant rates to
the Jews who were not allowed to refuse the loan.  The Jews would than
lend the money at a higher rate to the nobles who needed money.  Often
the noble who borrowed money would refuse to repay while the Jew still
had to pay the noble who had lent the money.

I am writing this from memory as I do not have the reference works with
me now.  Perhaps Rabbi Berel Weins history might have such a reference.

In any case, the historical background should not have anything to do
with modern practices.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 18:53:52 -0700
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah - Women

 Aliza Berger <alizadov@...> asked for sources < In many
communities, women do say it. Martin, please provide sources so we can
begin to discuss it on the list. I will provide sources when and if I
get any time.>

As others, over 35 years I have been in many shuls in many cities with
many different minhagym and different nusachs - even a place where they
had a rather large women's tefilah group with leining - and have never
seen a woman do Kiddush leVanah.  So I would be interested in seeing
what common thread there is among these many communities where women do
say Kiddush leVanah.


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 15:55:25 EDT
Subject: Kvater (was: Yarmulka/Daven)

Eliezer Wenger writes, in v48n66

      While w'ere on the subject of word origins, Rabbi chaim Lieberman
      in his Sefer "Ohel Rachel" states that the origin of the word
      Kvater (the one who brings i the baby to the Bris) originates from
      the words "Kavod Tir" -- a honor at the door, since that is where
      the baby is handed over to the kvater.

Isn't it much more plausible that it comes from Yiddish, and is a
contraction of something like Gott-vater, i.e. godfather? What's the
standard German word for godfather?

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: A. Adereth <adereth2003@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 15:27:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Minyan and Sources

From: Chana Luntz <chana@...>

> The problem I have with this analysis is that, it seems to me, this
> would mean that Rav Moshe is coming out against Tosphos in Hullin 14b,
> the Ran in his chiddushim and others who hold that the first time, one
> does not have the technical status of a mumar - See the various
> discussions among the meforshim on this on Yoreh Deah siman 2 si'if 5,
> eg in the Shach si'fi katan 17 and R' Akiva Eiger there).  Since the
> spies only had this one sin, one has to hold like those that during
> the course of the very sin, one still gets the status of a non Jew
> (eg, the first time that somebody shechts on shabbas in public, is
> that very first shechita kosher or not - Tosphos says it is still
> kosher and the person at that time is not a mumar, because at the time
> of that first shechita, they do not yet have the status of public
> sabbath violator, only after they finished, making only the next
> shechita treif.  But one would have to disagree with this to make our
> modern public sabbath violator, who is a habitual violator, analogous
> with the spies)."

I don't understand the problem, as my understanding is that this only
applies to the first sh'chita.  That is, if a person who was never
m'chalel shabbos b'farhesya, and has a chezkas kashrus, shechts on
shabbos in public, the issue is what the status of the meat he shechted
as he was becoming a m'chalel shabbos b'farhesya is.  However, after
that first sh'chita, he is a m'chalel shabbos b'farhesya - he doesn't
have to shecht twice on shabbos in public to have that status.
Similarly, while the spies were repeating dibas ha'aretz, their status
might be in question, but they are called eydah ra'oh after their sin
was completed.

FWIW, though, the meraglim actually speak twice against the land, first
before Calev silences them, and again after (and for the ramban,
bamidbar 13:32, also following them into their tents away from moshe and
aharon, perhaps a third instance).



From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 23:20:52 +0300
Subject: RE: Mishnaic Hebrew

> re: beriah and biryah - also this distinction is seen in birkat
> hamazon; the Italian has "lechol biryotav asher bara" versus the (I
> assumed emended version of Heidenheim et al) "lechol beriotav . . ."
> in Ashkenaz.  I don't have a Sephardi siddur with me at the moment but
> my recollection is that both vocalizations are found, depending on the
> publisher.
> -Eitan

	Actually, the earlier Ashkenaz version of the word IS "biryotav"
which is not, of course, Biblical Hebrew.  (Cf. the 1691 Frankfurt
siddur at the website of the National Library)As I have pointed out a
number of times, the Ashkenaz siddur was Biblicized by various
grammarians who regarded Biblical Hebrew as the only "correct" Hebrew.
To me, this makes no sense, since the blessings and prayers in the
siddur were not written in Biblical Hebrew in the first place, but in
"leshon hakhamim" as the Talmud puts it, rather than "leshon miqra."

	Recently there was a discussion about the pronunciation of the
first word of the kaddish.  The "yeshivishe" pronunciation is
"yisgadel."  At the same time they pronounce "ushvokhakho" instead of
"veshivkhakho" on the authority of the Vilner Gaon.  To this we can

(1)	The root g-d-l is not Aramaic in any case, so you would need to say
(2)	Yisgadal is perfectly good MH.
(3)	In the `al hakol prayer, said before reading of the Torah (and
important enough for the Frankfur siddur to include it in the Table of
Contents), we have yisgadal even in our contemporary siddurim.  (Which is
(4)	ushvokhakho would appear to be good MH.. (You can find "shvah" and
other variants in the Kaufmann.)


To say yisgadel and also ushvokhakho would appear to be a contradiction.

Mark Steiner

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 08:15:42 +0300
Subject: Re: Mishnaic Hebrew

      (1)      The root g-d-l is not Aramaic in any case, so you
      would need to say "yisrabeh."

In the Zohar, Wayiqra 31b, we read:
"Wekhulho **mithgadli** `al yama (maya) we'itshaqyan . . . "

Perhaps the root jimel daleth yod does exist in Aramaic?

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 09:02:44 +0300
Subject: RE: Mishnaic Hebrew

The point about the root g-d-l I heard from an expert who didn't give me
permission to cite his name, and refers to the Aramaic of the Talmud and
the Kaddish. (Aramaic was spoken over a wide range of places and times,
and even appears in a recent movie of Mel Gibson.)  I have no knowledge
concerning the dialect of the Zohar, but I'm sure this is well known to
the scholars, so I must plead ignorance.

A logical point, however.  We see that in Jewish sources as in the
Talmud, Aramaic and Hebrew get mixed up in the same sentence even.
Proof: the kaddish itself.  One of the reasons in the case of the
kaddish could be, as the Vilner Gaon pointed out, the influence of a
verse of the Bible (in Yehezkel) vehitgadilti vehitkaddishti...
Incidentally, the point is much older than the Vilner Gaon, and I think
Rashi pointed it out.

Mark Steiner

P. S.  I have no intention of starting another thread of discussion on
Hebrew here, but for the record, the name of the third letter of the
Hebrew alphabet is probably pronounced gimel, not jimel as in Arabic.
There are Yemenites who pronounce gimel DEGUSHA that way, but not all of
them do, and in any case none of the other "Mizrahi" pronunciations I
know of (Iraqi, Syrian, Jerusalem, Morocco, Tunis, etc.) pronounce gimel
DEGUSHA any different from Ashkenazim.  I am a great fan of the Yemenite
pronunciation and culture, but the consensus seems to be that their
pronunciation of gimel degushah as "j" is really the Arabic influence.
We can see this by analogy to the other five letters that take the
dagesh kal: b, d, k, f, t but I won't expand here.

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 09:32:07 +0300
Subject: RE: Mishnaic Hebrew

Mark Steiner stated the following:

      P. S.  I have no intention of starting another thread of
      discussion on Hebrew here, but for the record, the name of
      the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet is probably
      pronounced gimel, not jimel as in Arabic. 

Those who distinguish between gimel degusha and gimel refuya pronounce
the former as jimel.

      There are Yemenites who pronounce gimel DEGUSHA that way, but
      not all of them do, and in any case none of the other
      "Mizrahi" pronunciations I know of (Iraqi, Syrian, Jerusalem,
      Morocco, Tunis, etc.) pronounce gimel DEGUSHA any different
      from Ashkenazim. 

On the other hand, many Sefardim who do not pronounce the gimel degusha
as jimel do pronounce the gimel refuya gutturally.  Most Ashkenazim do
not pronounce the gimel refuya that way.

As in "umeivi gho'el . . ." for those who hold that the gimel in go'el
is refuya.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <bdcohen@...> (David I. Cohen)
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 14:25:15 -0400
Subject: Orthodox

In v48 no.61 Mike Gerver wrote that the term "orthodox" is descriptive
of one fufilling ritual as opposed to interpersonal commandments. IOW,
that one would not be described as "orthodox" if one did not fufill
e.g. shabbat or kashrut (commandments between man and God) while one can
lie and cheat and steal and would still be considered a lying or
stealing orthodox Jew.(mitzvot between man and man)

While, ideally Mike should be wrong, in the everyday vernacular, sadly,
he is correct. The reason, however, is simple. When it comes to the
interpersonal mitzvot, there is little if any distinction between the
various "denominations", with the possible exception of the prohibition
against charging interest,. All "streams" prohibit stealing or cheating,
or require the giving of tzedaka etc. The differences generally arise in
the ritual arena, and, therefore, the labels have come to designate
different philosophies of the requirements of ritual.  Another area of
distinction, which continues to grow is the issue of personal status
---and it is in this area (which touches on both ritual and non-ritual)
that certain activities are outside the orthodox pale.

David I. Cohen


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 17:42:39 GMT
Subject: Phone and Tefila

From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
> Here's a related question -- you are in a shul that has multiple
> minyanim.  As you are waiting for your minyan you hear through a
> closed door something that you would normally respond to (amen,
> borchu, Y'haysh may rabba ...) -- do you answer? are you obliged to
> answer?

Yes.  Not the same as a telephone.

> What if your waiting area is an inappropriate locale for davening --
> say a vestibule outside a lavatory, etc.


> Another question, you are saying kaddish for someone.  You show up
> early for your minyan and (again in the hallway through a door) you
> hear an earlier minyan at Aleynu.  Do you (a) do nothing, (b) enter
> that minyan's room and say kaddish, possibly disturbing others by your
> hasty / late arrival or (c) say kaddish in the hallway.

I was told when I was in aveilus to say kaddish only at the minyan at
which I was davening.  So the answer according to that pesak is (a) EVEN
if you're inside the shul already.



End of Volume 48 Issue 71