Volume 49 Number 89
                    Produced: Tue Nov  8  5:36:25 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chazarat Hashatz - unfamiliar custom
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Davening Attire
         [Alan Rubin]
Kavanah Improvement Project
         [Yosi Fishkin]
Obligation for Tefilah with Minyan
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Online Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts - Update
         [Elhanan Adler]
Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children
         [Art Sapper]
Series On "Perfect Mis-understandings
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Soft Matzos - date of the changeover to cracker type
         [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2005 12:32:01 +0300
Subject: Chazarat Hashatz - unfamiliar custom

When we were in Paris recently, I was davened in an Eidot Mizrach Shul
in the 15th (I believe) District. On Friday afternoon they Davened
Minchah about 75 minutes before candlelighting time. They nevertheless
started with a Hoiche Kedushah, i.e., where after the first Kaddish the
Chazan immediately started saying the Amidah aloud up to the end of
Kedushah. Up to that time, there was nothing untoward in the davening
from my point of view (although I was somewhat surprised that with so
much time to candlelighting they nevertheless used a Hoiche Kedushah).

What surprised me, though - and this I'd never seen - is that the Chazan
again started aloud from (I believe) Shma Koleinu until the end of
Chazarat Hashatz (maybe because of Modim d'Rabbanan?).

Does anyone have any information on this custom?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Alan Rubin <alanrubin1@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 15:22:36 +0100
Subject: Re: Davening Attire

Sholom Parnes  wrote
> I once heard about the practice in Kerem be'Yavneh some 30+
> years ago. On the first shabbat in ELUL some non-Israeli
> students would invariably show up for tefillah on Shabbat sans
> jacket and tie.  The Mashgiach at the time ( I believe it was Rav
> Chaim Lifschitz) would send them back to the dorm to get their
> ties and jackets. While he did not say anything to the Israeli
> students, he explained that jacket and tie were the standard
> of kavod for the American, English etc. students. Just because
> they were in Israel learning for a year did not absolve them of
> their obligation to show proper kavod as they were brought up.

I do not know about 30+ years ago but 29 years ago when I was there and
the mashgiach was Rabbi Rivlin most non-Israeli students soon discarded
jacket and tie. The only absolute was that one had to wear a white shirt
on shabbos which I well remember as I did not possess one on my arrival
and felt very awkward until I acquired one.

Alan Rubin


From: Yosi Fishkin <Joseph@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2005 19:57:29 -0400
Subject: Kavanah Improvement Project

[It is long past Ellul, but I figure that Kavanah Improvement is always
a good thing. I might even argue we need it now even more, since we
don't have Ellul to drive the improvement process. Mod.]

Dear friends,

In honor of Chodesh Ellul, I'm pleased to announce the release of my
latest Palm program, "Kavanah Improvement Project".

Kavanah Improvement Project is a complete system designed to help you
improve your kavanah during davening. It provides daily kavanah
exercises to help you strengthen your kavanah, helps you track your
kavanah over time, and based on how you're doing, it provides customized
suggestions to help you improve your particular kavanah situation.

This *free* program is compatible with all Palm-compatible cellphones
and PDAs. To download the program, or for more information, go to
www.GoDaven.com, or email me directly at <Yosi@...> .

What are *you* doing to improve your kavanah during the month of Ellul?

Yosi Fishkin, MD


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 11:38:52 +0300
Subject: Re: Obligation for Tefilah with Minyan

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> stated in mail-jewish Vol. 49 #85

      Regarding praying with a minyan, Gershon Dubin wrote <<< How about
      Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 90:9? There most certainly is an
      obligation. >>>

      Ben Katz responded <<< I double checked last night to be sure.
      The word the mechaber uses is "Yishtadel" not "Chayav". I maintain
      that it is better but most certainly not obligatory. >>>

      I fully expected Ben to make that response, so I waited, and now
      that he has done so, I'll add my two cents:

      I consider that halacha of the Shulchan Aruch 90:9 to be somewhat
      ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so.

Your objection has been noted.

However, Shulhan `Arukh Harav 90:12, citing a source that I am unable to
locate (but using similar text to Resh Laqish in Berakhot 8a), states,
"One whose city has a synagogue, but he does not pray in it, is called a
bad neighbor and causes himself to be exiled."

The Rambam in Hilkhot Tefila 8:1 refers to one who has a synagogue in
his city but does not pray there **with the congregation,** is called a
bad neighbor.  Orah Hayyim 90:11 has a similar admonition.  And the
Mishna Berura 90:38 states that one who prays at home with a minyan is
NOT called a bad neighbor.

This leaves us with no doubt that we are required to pray in a minyan,
and preferably in a synagogue.

The Mehaber states just how far one is required to walk in order to pray
in a minyan, and later authorities discuss how the distance requirement
changes when we take into account the modern modes of transportation.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <elhanan@...> (Elhanan Adler)
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 11:45:51 +0300 (GMT+0300)
Subject: Online Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts - Update

m-j members might find this of interest-


The Jewish National and University Library, David and Fela Shapell
Family Digitization Project and the Hebrew University Department of
Talmud are happy to announce a major expansion of the Online Treasury of
Talmudic Manuscripts.

Additional Talmud Bavli manuscripts from the Bibliotheca Apostolica
(Vatican), the Jewish Theological Seminary (New York) and the
Niedersaechsische Staats und Universitaetsbibliothek (Goettingen) have
been added, as well as two Mishnah manuscripts from the Biblioteca
Palatina (Parma) and additional genizah fragments of the Mishnah from
the Cambridge University Taylor-Schechter collection.

Under the 'About the Manuscripts' section now appear two lectures (in
Hebrew) delivered at the official opening of the site in June 2004.

"Talmudic manuscripts" by Prof. Yaakov Sussmann

and "The Contribution of
Manuscripts to Talmudic Research" by Prof. David Rosenthal (illustrated)

The Online Treasury of Talmudic Manuscripts site is found at:

Elhanan Adler
Deputy Director for Information Technology
Jewish National and University Library
<elhanan@...>, elhanana@savion.huji.ac.il


From: <asapper@...> (Art Sapper)
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 15:13:09 -0400
Subject: Public Schools and "dejudaizing" Jewish Children

        Chaim Shapiro quite reasonably asks for "an academic reference
to this mission of dejudaizing in Public Schools that Art Sapper refers
to."  I do not have such a reference at hand, and I lack the time to
find one.

  Having said that, let me assure readers of Mail-Jewish that I did not
invent the assertion and that I honestly believe that it does have
substance.  When I was younger, I conducted some academic research into
the assimilation process that American Jews went through, and I recall
that the politicians (then nearly all Protestants) who established the
public schools saw them as Protestant schools and that their purpose of
which was be an agent of assimilation of Catholic and Jewish children.

        Now, one might well ask -- How does assimilation equal
de-Judaization?  Of course, there are shades of assimilation.  Jews far
too hopefully saw assimilation as benign -- that is, as limited to
making sure that they learned English and the rules of citizenship, and
become used to American ways.  But assimilation as constructed and
implemented by the Protestant establishment was not so limited or
benign, and had a different purpose entirely -- to de-Catholicize and
de-Judaize the new immigrants.

        According to Americans United for Separation of Church and
State, public schools delivered "a kind of nondenominational
Protestantism.  Classes began with devotional readings from the King
James Version of the Bible and recitation of the Protestant version of
the Lord's Prayer.  Students were expected to take part whether they
shared those religious sentiments or not."  (We all recall how Jewish
children were expected to sing Christmas carols and take part in
Christmas plays.)  This had a long and militant history.  In the 1840's,
the Public School Society (a private organization) attained monopoly
control of New York City public education.  It sought to have the Bible
taught in public schools, and it was, of course, the King James
(Protestant) translation that was used.  "It was accepted as a matter of
fundamental pedagogy that a general Protestant understanding of
Scripture and devotional life within the schools was central to the
curriculum and to normal education. As such, the schools were subtle
- and not very subtle - tools for evangelizing the growing Irish
Catholic immigrant population to Protestantism."  "Anti-Catholicism and
the History of Catholic School Funding " (Feb. 2000) (article in
Catholic publication, no author stated).  The Massachusetts legislature
enacted a law requiring students to read daily from the Protestant King
James Bible.  Protestants felt so strongly about forcing this kind of
assimilation down the throats of Catholics that in 1844 there were
actually violent riots (10 dead, churches burned down) in Philadelphia
between Catholics and Protestants over which Bible version to use in
devotional readings.  The Catholics resisted this campaign of Protestant
evangelizing in many ways, including establishing their own schools, and
in the late 1800's as a result many states passed "Little Blaine
Amendments" to their state constitutions banning public aid to private
(read, Catholic) schools.  Even this was not enough.  In Oregon, a law
was passed in 1922 under Ku Klux Klan pressure banning sectarian
(non-public) schools -- not just aid to sectarian schools.

        The tragedy was that so many Jews willingly and enthusiastically
went along with the policy.  If I ever come across an academic
reference, I will pass it along.

Art Sapper


From: <rabbirichwolpoe@...> (Richard Wolpoe)
Date: Sun, 04 Sep 2005 23:00:10 -0400
Subject: Series On "Perfect Mis-understandings

With the Permission of Our Esteemed Moderator of course...  I would like
to being a series of postings in attempt to clarify (what I consider)
commonly held mis-understandings re: certain Jewish Practices.  Some of
these are based upon sources, some upon seculation.

  All of theses posts are inteneded to shed more "light" than heat and
are not intended to be conroversial.  My intention is to evoke the
emotion of AHA!

Best Regards
Richard Wolpoe


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, 01 Sep 05 10:54:00 -0400
Subject: Soft Matzos - date of the changeover to cracker type

I wrote:

>> The word rekikim is used in the Torah as a type of matzoh offered
>> with some korbanos -in fact no korban could contain chometz.

Shemos 29:2 and 23, Vayikra 2:4, 7:12, 8:26, Bamidbar 6:15 and 19.  It
is actually rekikei (plural) or rekik. It only appears precded by a vav,
so I couldn't find it in the Wachsman Hebrew concordance (which has one
good point - it uses words exactly as found in Tanach, and one bad point
- the organization was done alphabetically by whenever the excerpot
starts, which is useless, instead of in the order that tanach is

>>  rekekim is often translated as biscuit

Ben Yehuda's pocket hebrew-English, English Hebrew dictionary. The 1917
Jewish Publication Soiety translation says wafer (and Challos of matzoh
are cakes) So also Issac Leeser (probably based on the King James so we
have to figure out now what did the word wafer mean in English in 1611
or so. Apparently this was something that the Catholic church used and
uses, and maybe the Church of England did too, and maybe even limited to
just those mainly. This may have been different than the matzos baked by
most Jews at that time)

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan translated rekikei as "flat" - flat matzohs and maybe
that is correct.

The same root appears in Bereishis 41:19 in a description of the bad
cows Paroah's recounting of his dream to Yosef/ There Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
does not directly translate that word but simply has "emaciated" instead
of "rakos basar" The 1917 Jewish Publication Society has lean-fleshed
and Isaac Leeser has lean in flesh.

>> but I guess cracker is also OK, or maybe that is a further change
>> yet.

That is yet another change in the Matzoh since the Rama. Actually I
think rekekin means thin and the wpord cracker should not be used.
Crackers came along later. It is only the later machine made matzos that
might be said to resemble crackers, except that they are much bigger.


End of Volume 49 Issue 89