Volume 50 Number 50
                    Produced: Mon Dec 12  4:28:01 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

40 (4)
         [Nathan Lamm, <ERSherer@...>, Robert Israel, Mike Gerver]
Accompanying a Guest to the Door
         [Mark Symons]
Correspondnce of Jewish / Secular months
         [Ralph Zwier]
Full-time Rabbi / Part Time Pay
         [Carl Singer]
Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night
         [Michael Perl]
Kammatz Katan
         [Michael Perl]
Kohen and Giyoret
         [Mark Steiner]
Obligation in Minyan
         [Aliza Berger]
Post-Keriah Kaddish
         [Nathan Lamm]
The Term "homophobia" and Some Questions
         [Janice Gelb]


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 05:48:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 40

In response to Yeshaya Halevi:

R' Meir Kahane zt'l, in fact, wrote a whole book ("Forty Years" or
"Arba'im Shanah" in the Hebrew edition) on the use of "forty." Many say
that in general, it's meant in Tanach to denote "a generation," and may
not be literal. Note also multiples: Avraham was told that his
descendants would spend 400 years in Egypt. Melachim says that 480 years
passed from Yetziat Mitzraim to Shlomo building the Mikdash. (Twelve is
another "perfect" number- this could be twelve generations?) Numbers
like 430- the number of years the Torah says the Bnei Yisrael spent in
Egypt- and 410 and 420, the traditional years for the two Batei Mikdash-
aren't far off either.

Getting back to 40, it's also how long Nineveh is given by Yonah.

Nachum Lamm

From: <ERSherer@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 11:36:03 EST
Subject: Re: 40

> My brain isn't as nimble as it used to be, so I can't, offhand,
> remember any more 40s in the Torah, good or bad. Would anybody like to
> comment or add to the list?

How about the 40 which was Yitzchak's age when he married Rivka?

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 09:55:07 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: 40

Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rivkah.  Esau was 40 years old
when he married Judith and Basemath.

40 is the maximum number of lashes in a flogging.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada

From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 18:42:04 EST
Subject: 40

Not in the Torah, but in Nevi'im, a number of kings reigned for 40 years.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 00:13:25 +1100
Subject: Accompanying a Guest to the Door

I wouldn't have thought that a sick person being visited because of his
or her illness would be regarded as a "host" of a "guest"
(notwithstanding Abraham's conduct when visited by the messengers).

Mark Symons


From: Ralph Zwier <ralph@...>
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 10:43:04 +1100
Subject: Correspondnce of Jewish / Secular months

In a normal year January + February have 31+28 = 59 days, exactly the
same number as two typical consecutive Hebrew months 30+29 = 59.
Therefore it often turns out that January and March have the same date
layout in relation to the Hebrew month at the time, for some part of the
month.  This reasoning also applies to February + March = 59 days,
leading to a similar correspondence Between February and April in day

What is unusual about this year is that the 1st of January is Rosh
Chodesh Tevet, meaning the WHOLE of January, and thus, the whole of March
has the same day number in English as in Hebrew. This is of course apart
from the last two days, which don't exist in the Hebrew months.

In 1960 January corresponded with Tevet, but since it was a leap year
March did not correspond with Adar. In 1968 March corresponded with Adar,
but since it was a leap year January did not correspond with Tevet.

What is EVEN MORE unusual this year is that Rosh Chodesh Tevet is in
addition to being the first day of (the New moon of) Tevet and also the
First day of the (secular) year for 2006, it is EVEN the first day of
the WEEK as well.

Ralph Zwier
Double Z Computer


From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 06:28:55 -0500
Subject: Full-time Rabbi / Part Time Pay

> On a practical level, if one's Rabbi isn't available in an emergency,
> one should have the number of another Rabbi (perhaps from a town one
> lived in previously) to call. I mean, if one's primary physician weren't
> available in an emergency wouldn't one call one another physician to
> deal with the situation?

I wanted to extend Harlan's analogy a bit further.  Think of a
multi-physician practice.  When you call YOUR doctor he may not be
available, but someone from that practice is "on-call."

Does the readership know of similar arrangements in any communiities --
i.e., several Rabbi's getting together to provide coverage -- either for
sheilehs or for, say, funerals, etc.

I know, informally, that when our Rabbi was going to be out of town he
made arrangements with a colleague and told the congregation that to
contact this other Rabbi if they had a "Rabbinic emergency"


From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 11:34:05 -0500
Subject: RE: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

Orrin refers to the Virtualcantor recording of the "minor-key kaddish'
for the end of k'riat hatorah. I am puzzled by one part of this
recording. This seems to be the almost universal tune used in Ashkenazi
shuls I have visited around the world. Since coming to America, I have
been puzzled by the strange singing of the communal y'hei shmei rabah in
that it switches to the major key and is taken directly from the tune
for kaddish shalem sung at the end of shacharit or musaph. Everywhere
else I have been, the tzibbur sings y'hei shmei rabbah in the same
(minor key) tune as the rest of the kaddish.

Any thoughts/comments on this? It just doesn't seem to make sense so I
wonder how it started and perpetuated itself.

Michael Perl


From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 12:48:24 -0500
Subject: Kammatz Katan

I have noticed from hearing many baalei k'riah here in the USA that
there is very limited knowledge of the kammatz katan -those times when
the kammatz is pronounced with an o sound (as in got) insted of an a (as
in hard). Those chazanim and baalei k'riah who pronounce hebrew in the
modern accent tend to know that the word for all is pronounced Kol and
not Kal. However, that is where it stops. The other week during the
Torah reading, I heard someone pronounce Oznei (ears of) as Aznei or the
spine-chilling 'begavhei meromim" in Aleinu instead of begOvhei as is
often sung at the end of musaph on Shabbat.

In Australia, we were taught dikduk (grammar) in the last part of high
school but even before that, we were taught to recognise the
'exceptions' and they were obvious after a while. (e.g. kol,
uv'shochbecha, vetaher libeinu l'Ovdecha)

I have long wondered why this is the case in America and not in other
places. One theory I have is that in places like Australia or South
America, the hebrew teachers were often imported from Israel or at least
taught there whereas in the US, they were possibly home grown although I
have no proof of that. As the modern pronounciation became more popular,
it was taught with many just learning that the O sound of the kammatz in
the Ashkenzi pronounciation became A in the modern.

If there was a disagreement over whether the kammatz katan existed at
all then the word Kol would not have pronounced that way. Whenever I
point it out to an erring baal keriah, they seem surprised and take it
on board but not all that interested to change. The usual response is
that they are not too familiar with grammar and their eyes glaze over
when I try to explain the rule.

Any thought or explanations on this would be appreciated.

Michael Perl


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 14:50:01 +0200
Subject: Kohen and Giyoret

	In light of the discussion of the union of a kohen with a
giyoret, I offer the following fact, which astonished me (but in
America, anything is possible):

The National Library of Jerusalem has a fantastic collection of
digitized ketubot, some of which are surpassingly beautiful (such as the
ones from Italy), from all periods and countries.  (I printed out some
of the nicest ones and had them laminated, and use them for sukkah
decorations.)  This, like the collection of ancient books, Talmudic
manuscripts, and much else, is a gold mine of information--it is
absolutely free, and anyone with access to the Internet can see this

One of the ketubot is from Philadelphia, 1782, and can be seen at


This ketubah is not illuminated, just a piece of parchment with a fairly
nice scribal calligraphy, Sefaradic style.

We find that "R. Yaakov Bar Yehoshua HAKOHEN" marries "The widow,
GIYORET Esther Bat Avraham."

I offer this piece of information without comment.

Mark Steiner
Elhanan Adler, Deputy Director of Information Techology at the National
Library of Jerusalem, pointed out to me that one of the witnesses of
this "rogue" ketuba is none other than the famous Hayim Salomon, signing
in English!

I would love to know the circumstances of this marriage...


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 19:27:01 +0200
Subject: Obligation in Minyan

Martin Stern wrote, in part:

 << Any woman who considers that her husband should daven at home so
 that she daven with a minyan has her whole scale of priorities
 seriously disordered.>>

As was discussed on this thread, beyond making sure that the local
minyan is assured, it is not a universal opinion that every man has an
obligation to go to minyan. In some communities it is a social norm that
all husbands go all the time. But where it is not, I think there is room
to permit a wife to go and her husband stay home.

This discussion began with the question of how to balance family
considerations with going to minyan. Family considerations can include
not only taking care of children but also the feelings and desires of
both spouses with regard to maximizing their prayer experiences.

Aliza Berger-Cooper, PhD
English Editing: www.editing-proofreading.com
Statistics Consulting: www.statistics-help.com


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 05:42:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Post-Keriah Kaddish

In response to Meir Possenheimer, I don't think the minhag is ever for
the Shatz to say this Kaddish.  Rather, an avel is very often offered
this Kaddish as an extra Kaddish for him to say (and, of course, the
Shatz is very often an avel- but not on Shabbos, when I've seen avelim
offered this Kaddish as well). Of course, this raises issues of, say,
which of more than one avel should say it- I'd assume one *not* davening
for the amud would be more logical. In any event, more often than not,
I've seen the ba'al koreah say it even if there are avelim present.

He writes:

> I was always under the impression that all parts of davenning up to the
> kaddish before Mussaf Amidah were the domain of the Baal Shacharis.

What is the minhag in your shul for Yekum Perkan and all past it? I've
never seen anyone other than the Ba'al Musaf say it.

Nachum Lamm


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 10:17:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: The Term "homophobia" and Some Questions

Avi Feldblum <avi@...> wrote:
> As an individual contributor to the list, I do not accept 
> Leah's definition and would limit it to describe a situation 
> of a person who has a 'fear' / 'aversion' reaction to another 
> individual who is of Gay / Lesbian orientation.

I believe the application of this term is often, but not always,
accurate when speaking of common attitudes in the Orthodox world to
homosexuals. I think one of the points that Leah was trying to make is
that there are many halachic violations that are equal to or more
serious than homosexual practices but those who violate other types of
prohibitions are not treated publicly with the same disdain, to the
extent of complete shunning, or pursued with the same vigor, as those
who are suspected of homosexual practices. Therefore, it's
understandable that the extra vigilance connected with this particular
violation is attributed to aversion/fear.

-- Janice


End of Volume 50 Issue 50