Volume 49 Number 92
                    Produced: Wed Nov  9  5:11:28 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Davening Attire
         [Carl A. Singer]
February 1978 Jewish Digest
         [Howard Goldstein]
Luach minhogei beis Haknesses livnei Ashkenaz, 5766, available
Oseh Shalom...Amen
         [Mark Symons]
Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Lieberman (3)
         [Natan Kahan, Nathan Lamm, Ben Katz]
Soft Matzah (2)
         [<mrosenpsi@...>, Asher Grossman]
What do we want to disappear
         [Ira L. Jacobson]


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 07:53:33 -0400
Subject: Davening Attire

I believe there are two things to consider -- neither are absolutes.

1 - Comparing what one wears to shul with what one wear to work /
restaurant, etc.  If you wouldn't be caught dead at work in a torn
T-shirt, then likely it's not appropriate for shul.

2 - Comparing what one wears to shul with what one's peers wear to that
same shul.  If everyone in your shul wears shorts, sandals and a white
shirt on Shabbos -- fine.  But perhaps wearing a bekeshe (if that's not
your usual minhag) would be inappropriate.

This can have some unusual twists.  A few Shabbosim ago the z'man minyan
where I usually daven couldn't get ten, so I went down the block to a
different shul.  There I was the only one in my tan suit and matching
panama hat in a room filled with black hatted / black suited clones.  If
I am planning to go to that shul (say for a Bar Mitzvah) I usually drag
a black suit out of the closet -- even in summer.  Similarly, I keep a
jacket in my car should I find myself davening their during the week.

Carl Singer


From: <goldstein@...> (Howard Goldstein)
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 13:31:10 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: February 1978 Jewish Digest

Hi!  I was looking for an article by Michael Elkin: Baseball's Most
Valuable Player and Judaism, which appeared in volume 23 of the Digest
in 2/78.  Can you help?

Howard Goldstein
email: <goldstein@...>


From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 03:19:42 EDT
Subject: Luach minhogei beis Haknesses livnei Ashkenaz, 5766, available

Once again, I am happy to announce, that thanks to the generosity of
Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz (MMA), the 'Luach Minhogei Beis Haknesses
Livnei Ashkenaz - luach liShabbosos uMoadei hashono lishnas Taf shin
samech vav' that I received from Rav Binyomin Shlomo Hamburger shlit"a
of the Machon, for the new year, 5766, is now available upon request,
free of charge.

As I stated last year, the luach (37 or 38 pages in loshon kodesh/Hebrew
in *pdf format) is chock-full of interesting and detailed information on
minhogim, and is therefore of interest, not only to bnei Ashkenaz
('Yekkes'), for whom it is primarily intended, but also to Ashkenazim of
various backgrounds, scholars, talmidei chachomim, connoisseurs of
minhogim, as well as interested Jews in general.

This year, following requests from past recipients, it has been issued
in two separate editions - one for bnei Eretz Yisroel (residents of
Israel), and the other for bnei chutz la'aretz (diaspora residents).

To get a copy, drop me a line. I will forward your request to the
American Friends of MMA, as per their request, and you will be sent a
copy. Since I recently lost some files, I may not have your address
available here, even if you requested it last year, so please request it
again if you want it sent.

Kesiva vachasima tova.


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 20:41:14 +1000
Subject: Oseh Shalom...Amen

When we say Oseh shalom bimromav... in the silent Amida, why do we end
the pasuk with V'imru amen? Who are we calling on to respond Amen?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: Natan Kahan <datankan@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 19:52:20 +0200
Subject: Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Lieberman

josh l. writes: Does anyone have any information on the relationship
between these two talmidei chakhamim?

 Please see "Community, Covenant and Commitment: Selected Letters and
Communications" of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik pp315 where the Rav in a
letter to Rav Lieberman in 1963 addresses him as: "My friend and
relative, the great scholar, expert in all areas of Torah, our teacher,
Rabbi Saul Lieberman, may you live and be well for many years."

Natan R. Kahan

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 06:28:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Lieberman

In the latest issue of the Yeshiva University Commentator, there's an
article by R. Hillel Goldberg about how in 1966 YU students helped save
the sefarim of the JTS library when it caught fire. See


First, a bit about Abraham Joshua Heschel:

"People were standing around, looking at the smoke, helpless. I found
myself standing next to Abraham J.  Heschel. He was short and a bit
stocky. He was in great distress, looking up at the smoke. We had a
short conversation. He asked me whether the boys at Yeshiva College read
his books. This was important to him. He seemed to have no idea whether
his books penetrated the Orthodox community. I responded that Yeshiva
students read his work, The Sabbath. This seemed to gratify him."

Then, when some students resist going, they try to get an official p'sak
to allow doing so. The Rav was not in the Yeshiva, so R. Belkin (then
the YU president) told them to ask R. Shaul Lieberman:

"We headed off to JTS around midnight and found the scholar in his
study. He, too, received us warmly, and thanked the Yeshiva boys for
helping save the books.  It was not common for him to meet students from
the Orthodox Yeshiva College, and he engaged us in discussion. He went
on at some length praising the Talmudic scholarship of Rabbi
Soloveitchik. There were, he was opining, certain people who had a
reputation for being talmidei chachamim (first-rank Talmud scholars),
and then there was the far smaller group of genuine talmidei
chachamim. Rabbi Soloveitchik was one of the select few, he was saying.
We had no basis to evaluate this and, almost like spectators, just took
it all in.

"Turning to the matter at hand, Prof. Lieberman said that, in his
judgment, the students at Yeshiva were obligated to leave their studies
to help save the books. He wrote a personal letter to Dr. Belkin, put it
in an envelope, sealed it, handed it to us, and we were off to
Dr. Belkin again. He read the letter, accepted the decision and told us
it was fine to have Yeshiva boys go to the JTS to save its books."

The article gets more interesting from there...

Also, in R. Rakeffet's book on the Rav, there's a story about a
discussion at a simcha between the two.  It involves R. Lieberman
mentioning a halacha found in a geniza document (or a Dead Sea Scroll?),
and the Rav rejecting it- paraphrasing, "Nu, they had am haratzim back
then, and they wrote on parchment because they had nothing else. Maybe
it's a nice chiddush, but certainly not halacha."

Wasn't there a story posted here about who R.  Lieberman lived down the
hall from when he lived in Palestine? I don't recall who it was.

Nachum Lamm

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 11:05:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Lieberman

>From: <Shuanoach@...> (Josh L)
>I was recently looking in Saul Lieberman's Sifrei Zuta and noticed that
>on pp. 144-145 he cites an explanation from his "friend," "Ha-Gaon Rav
>Yosef Dov Soloveitchik". He doesn't cite a seifer, but rather (it seems)
>an explanation he heard from him. Does anyone have any information on
>the relationship between these two talmidei chakhamim? (I know of the
>familial ties - Lieberman married the daughter of R. Meir Bar Ilan, the
>younger son of the Netziv, the Netziv being R. Chaim Soloveitchik's
>grandfather in law.) Any info would be appreciated, esp. if it can be
>found in printed sources.

         I have heard that they learned together, altho this may be
apocryphal.  I believe they tried to collaborate ~ 1948 on a joint
prenuptial agreement (similar to the one used today) that would have
been inserted into every ketubah to prevent agunot, but that right-wing
elemnts at YU (yes, they seem to have existed even in 1948) didn't like
the idea of cooperating with non-Orthodox rabbis and 50 more years of
agunot resulted.

         BTW, Rabbi Kasher in his magesterial Torah Shelamah refers to
Rabbi Saul Lieberman as "yedidi/chaveri..."

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: <mrosenpsi@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 07:49:02 -0400
Subject: Re: Soft Matzah

> As far as I know, the introduction of machine made matzot (in the late
> 19th century?) led to a major polemic over the kashrut of such
> matzot. I suspect (without being an expert on that polemic) that part
> of the issue had to do with the fact that machine matzot could be
> produced more cheaply than hand matzot, thereby affecting the
> livelihood and/or profit of those involved in the matza trade. [Even
> now, hand shemurah matzot are significantly more expensive than
> regular machine matzot (and even machine shemurah).]

I am on the road so I cannot cite exactly but there was a teshuvah by
R. Horowitz in Europe in the late 1800 regarding machine matzah. He
forbids it and one of the reasons that he cites is that the baking of
matzah is a primary source of income for many poor Jews, moving to
machine matzah would disenfranchise this population from their major

From: Asher Grossman <asherg@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 23:11:15 -0400
Subject: Soft Matzah

Nathan Lamm wrote (49/86):

      A better proof is the Beit Hamikdash: Matzot were folded to fit
      into the hand of a kohein. You can't fold hard matzot. In fact,
      the Lechem HaPanim (on the Shulchan) were matzot (in the sense
      that they were not chametz) and were, in fact, thick loaves. A
      lower fire and leaving them

I did write that Koreich is only one example. Nathan's example is,
indeed better. The Gemara in Pesachim speaks about the matzot and
mentions that they can be quite thick. This was also ruled on in
Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 460 / 5 Where the Mechaber rules that one
should not bake a bread which is a Tefach or thicker. Obviously, a
medium thickness bread is OK.  In Se'if 4, the Re"ma says that Matzot
should be made thin, since this way they hold longer before becoming
Chometz. This would indicate that in his time the process of producing
thin Matzot was starting to come into play, since if it were a long
established practice he wouldn't need to state this.

Perry Zamek wrote, in the same issue:

      As far as I know, the introduction of machine made matzot (in the
      late 19th century?) led to a major polemic over the kashrut of
      such matzot. I suspect (without being an expert on that polemic)
      that part of the issue


      I suspect (albeit without seeing the text) that the argument of
      the booklet is something like this: "This [the manufacture of
      crisp, hand matzot] is the way matzot have been made from time
      immemorial, and

I mentioned, in the original letter (49/77) that this transition to hard
matzos brought about the machine polemic. The machines of that time were
simply automated rolling pins, which made the rolling of the matzah
easier, as the dough was very hard. This is very different from today's

The most famous of those against machine matzos was R' Chaim of Sanz,
known as the "Divrei Chaim". He ruled unequivocally that machine matzos
are chometz, and states that he has a reason which he will not divulge.
Many ideas have been raised as to what his reason was, and one
speculation is, indeed, that he was worried about the livelihood of
those people who worked in the Matzah bakeries - most of whom were
orphans, widows, and poor, who depended on this work for their
livelihood.  However, another opinion makes more sense. In his Shaalos
U'Teshuvot sefer, the discussion of machine matzos is printed right
after a discussion of machine-made Tzitzis. Regarding those, he writes
that he had his son examine the machine (used to spin the wool), and his
son verified that the machine was permissible. HOWEVER, he will not
issue a Heter on this machine as he suspects that there will be more
developments in the field, and his Heter would be used on all new
machines - even those which may not be OK. This may be his reasoning on
the Matzah machines. New machines may not be the same as old ones (as we
see today), but the title of "Machine Matzah" stays, and who will tell
which is good and which not?

The booklet I mentioned states all this plainly. He is the one who
speaks of the old way of making Matzot, and does not raise the issue of
sticking to the old ways. Moreover, he doesn't even enter the realm of
the original machine matzos, but speaks only about today's matzah
machines.  Everyone will agree that machine Matzos have a different
texture than handmade, and that difference is due to the ovens used in
the baking process. It is about this process that he raises questions,
not about the "Is a machine OK" question.

Asher Grossman


From: Ira L. Jacobson <iraeljay@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 13:05:14 +0300
Subject: What do we want to disappear

Now that we have completed two days of Rosh Hodesh, I have revisited the
last verse of Psalm 104.  The oft-repeated claim that Yitamu hata'im min
ha'aretz actually means that sins should be eliminated, just does not
hold water.

Hata'im seems to be the plural of both het and hata--both spelled het
tet alef.  Their vocalization is rather different: the former is
vocalized tzere sheva, while the latter is vocalized patah qamatz (as
the pattern for nagar, carpenter; or sandlar, shoemaker).

Thus, hatai'im meaning "sins" is vocalized hataf-patah qamatz hiriq,
while hata'im meaning "sinners" is vocalized patah qamatz hiriq.

And the word that appears in Psalm 104:35 is vocalized to mean sinners
(as Rashi says on the pasuq).  That is, sinners should disappear, and
evildoers shall be no more.

Berakhot 10a refers to this verse, when Bruria asks her husband if
perhaps we could read the word as "sins" rather than "sinners."  That
would indeed be generous to such people, but it is not the real meaning
of the verse.  Rather, Rabbi Meir wished for the death of the sinners.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


End of Volume 49 Issue 92