Volume 50 Number 52
                    Produced: Tue Dec 13  4:46:37 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another "40"
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Artscroll siddur - droughts (2)
         [Akiva Miller, Eli Turkel]
English Signature on Ketubah (was: Kohen and Giyoret)
         [Perry Zamek]
Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night (3)
         [Orrin Tilevitz, Michael Perl, Orrin Tilevitz]
Kamatz Katan
         [Michael Mirsky]
Kammatz Katan
         [Art Werschulz]
Licensed tour guide?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
the Philadelphia ketuba
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 11:52:32 +0200
Subject: Another "40"

It seems like eons ago when I first learned Nach, and we learned of "the
land remained peaceful for 40 years." At this time, our reaction was
"big deal!" Having lived in Israel for many years, I now appreciate how
great a Brachah that really was!

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 14:45:16 GMT
Subject: Re: Artscroll siddur - droughts

Yisrael Medad wrote <<< Another element of uneveness. We here in
Eretz-Yisrael have begun saying the special additional supplication of
Aneinu Boreh Olam for rain. In our siddurim it appears as an insert for
Shma Koleinu. Even the all-Hebrew editions made for EY lack it. >>>

I have not seen any advertisements for any ArtScroll siddurim designed
to be used in Eretz Yisrael, and I suspect that the poster is
misinterpreting the all-Hebrew editions, which are really made for
*outside* of EY.

For example: Are there any (Ashkenaz) ArtScroll siddurim which include
Adir Bamarom by Birchas Kohanim on a weekday Shacharis? ...which include
Shehechiyanu at a Bris? ...which include the longer version of Birchas
HaChodesh on Shabbos morning? ...which include the "one-day" texts for
Musaf of Chol HaMoed Sukkos? ...etc, etc? If yes, please let me know
where I can get one!!!

Akiva Miller

From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 22:12:09 +0200
Subject: Artscroll siddur - droughts

We here in Eretz-Yisrael have begun saying the special additional
supplication of Aneinu Boreh Olam for rain.  In our siddurim it appears
as an insert for Shma Koleinu.  Even the all-Hebrew editions made for EY
lack it. >>

The artscroll Hebrew siddur is NOT meant for EY. There musaf for chagim
assumes a 2 day yom tov as does their parshiot to be layned.

BTW the predictions are for rain this weekend and so the extra prayers
may be unnecessary.

On the halakhic side it is very unclear what the criteria for the
special fasts and prayers for the lack of rain are.  The gemara seems to
speak of a complete drought.  In practice this almost never occurs. The
usual phenomena is that there is rain but not enough. What constitutes
"not enough" is my question.

kol tuv
Eli Turkel


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 13:03:31 +0200
Subject: English Signature on Ketubah (was: Kohen and Giyoret)

Mark Steiner wrote:
>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!

The signing of ketubot in English was probably not unusual in colonial
times. Similar examples can be found in the records of the older
synagogues in Australia. It is merely a reflection of the fact that,
overall, Jewish education (even to the point of being able to write in
Hebrew) was poor, and that those officiating may not themselves have
been particularly learned (IIRC, the first Jewish wedding in the
Australian colonies was carried out by a lay leader of the community,
under "special license" from the Chief Rabbi).

Perry Zamek


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 09:12:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

Michael Perl complains that the communal y'hei shmei rabah "in the
Virtualcantor recording of the "minor-key kaddish", prevalent in
American shuls, is "strange" in that "it switches to the major key" and
that it seems to be taken "directly from the tune for kaddish shalem
sung at the end of shacharit or musaph".  As it happens, the notes are
actually part of the same minor scale the piece started in, and this
kind of modulating between major and minor is not at all unusual, so
musically there's nothing wrong with it. But I don't think that's what's
going on.

Observe that the notes are also the upper part of the tune sung in
two-part harmony, and recall that the first source I found for this tune
is Rev. Halpern's hymnal, which sets off the congregational singing
pieces and arranges them for two-part harmony. I suspect that this hymnal
or something like it was at one point in wide use in Conservative shuls.
Also, I have observed Conservative shuls where, no matter when - shachrit,
musaf, maariv, or neilah - the congregation will sing the major key "yehe
shmei".  To restate my thesis, I suspect that this "minor key kaddish"
is derived from nusach - -i.e., it didn't start out life as a tune
partially sung by the congregation--done originally, on Friday night only
and only in German - and perhaps U.K.-- shuls, and that it made its way
into eastern European shuls in the U.S.- - and perhaps thence beyond - -as
a congregational tune via the Conservative movement, transmuted as the
default kaddish after layning and maybe before musaf.  So the major key
yehei shmei started life as either the harmony for the original minor key
or was what the transmitters sang because that's all they knew.

In a separate post, Michael complains about the widespread ignorance of
the kammatz kattan in the U.S.  (Please be assured that we have Israeli
Hebrew teachers here too, and they're just as ignorant.)  Now, our
Virtual Cantor says "be'alma" (and he's not referring to a young
woman).  Am I correct that if the shva under the lammed is na, it should
be pronounced "be'allema", and if it is nach, "be'olma", i.e., with
a kammatz kattan (and which is it?), or is Aramaic different?

From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:49:47 -0500
Subject: RE: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

I cannot disagree with the way Orrin theorises the way the tune was
transmuted. However, I am almost certain the major yehei shmei rabbah
comes from kaddish shalem as sung in the German (UK) synagogues and for
which the sheet music is extant.

The yehei shmei for the minor key kaddish is sung exactly the same tune
as Bechayechon until beit yisrael. I am trying to find the music. I used
to have the book called something like Service of the Synagogue which
may have the music in it, but know I haven't got it here in the US. Once
located, I will come back with firmer detail.

To answer the be'alma query, I cannot answer for Aramaic but even were
the word in Hebrew it would be pronounced be'alma. While it is correct
to point out the kammatz under the Ayin is before a shva nach and is a
closed syllable, it is also the ACCENTED syllable and the kammatz katan
only holds under an unaccented one. The more common mistake in Kaddish
is those who pronounce KOdam (as in kodam avuhon di vishmaya) as KAdam.

Kol tuv

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 14:03:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

Michael Perl writes:

<I am almost certain the major yehei shmei rabbah comes from kaddish
shalem as sung in the German (UK) synagogues and for which the sheet
music is extant.>

Of course that's where it comes from, in general.  But the question is
how it go into the minor key kaddish.  It might well have started off as
the harmony, and the reason for its general acceptance as a melody
rather than a harmony is that what they people who heard it were used to
at other times.

< While it is correct to point out the kammatz under the Ayin is before
a shva nach and is a closed syllable, it is also the ACCENTED syllable
and the kammatz katan only holds under an unaccented one.>

I don't think it's so clear that the syllable is accented, but if it is
then I think it follows that the shva is nach so it's "be'allema", not
"be'alma".  I just found the discussion in MJ 28:96 (1999), which seems
to come to the same conclusion.


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:49:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Kamatz Katan

Michael Perl wrote about the lack of awareness of recognizing and
pronouncing correctly the Kamatz katan for those who speak or lain in
Haavara Sepharadit (eg. modern Hebrew.)

I am also somewhat mystified why this isn't really taught in North
America.  Here in Toronto, at the Ivrit b'Ivrit school I attended, many
of the teachers were shlichim from Israel, but I really don't remember
any emphasis put on this. We learned to pronounce kaf-lamed as Kol (not
Kal) and Oznayim (not Aznayim) and other words as they came up.  But I
don't recall the rules being taught in dikduk.  We were too busy trying
to figure out hif'il and hoof'al etc.

It wasn't until my university days when an gentleman from Israel came up
to me after I lained in shul to say "You lain very nicely but . . ." and
proceeded to tell me it was vaYAkOm Avraham not vayaKAM Avraham etc.

An friend from Ireland told me the rule of thumb he was taught: a kamatz
in a closed unaccented (no taam) syllable is katan.  Which grew into
trying to regognize and differentiate Shva Nach from Shva Na (another

Sometimes you could guess from the root of the word eg ShOchbecha from
shin-kaf-bet shOchaiv.  But other times, it didn't work (eg. why is it
rashai for the heads of Israel and not rOshai (from rOsh or head)??

Nowadays, we B"H now have tikkunim with the Shva Na and Kamatz Katan
accentuated, so I strongly recommend to your baalai keriah that they buy
on of them.



From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 09:27:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Kammatz Katan

Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...> wrote:

> I have noticed from hearing many baalei k'riah here in the USA that there
> is very limited knowledge of the kammatz katan ...

Ditto with the distinction between sh'va na and sh'va nach.

IMHO, the problem is that there's no classical distinction in the
niqqudot, i.e., qamatz qatan and qamatz gadol are represented by the
same glyph (ditto with sh'va na and sh'va nach).  Moreover, when people
started to switch from Ashkenazi to Sefardi/Israeli pronunciation, they
basically learned that qamatz was "ah", and that was it.

Anyway, from what little I've seen, the situation seems to be getting
better.  For instance, our previous hazzan was medaqdeiq on such
matters, and the b'nei mitzvah he's trained have been exposed to the
difference.  His biggest problem was getting some of the old-time baalei
qeriyah on board.  One of these folks has become a "true believer" in
the QQ, to the point that he corrected his grandson's bar-mitzvah tutor
in the matter.

Also, there are good references out there that can help one to learn the
difference.  Examples include:
(*) the "Simanim" tiqqun,
(*) Rivka Sherman-Gold's "The Oh's and Ah's of Torah Reading",
(*) Michael Bar-Lev's "Ba'al HaQeriyah".

Art Werschulz (8-{)}   "Metaphors be with you."  -- bumper sticker
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: agw STRUDEL cs.columbia.edu
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 11:58:24 +0200
Subject: Licensed tour guide?

Last week we were in Teveriyah, and while there we stopped at the R'
Yosef Caro Shul. There was a tour in progress there, of Israeli women
lead by an Israeli tour guide.

In the space of about two minutes, the tour guide (???)  came up with
the following "gems":

a) It is very difficult to write a Torah, as one has to write in all the
Nikkud and the Trop.
b) If there is a single error in a Sefer Torah, it is no longer usable
and is basically worthless and must be discarded.
c) The way they have gotten around this problem nowadays is by
photostating the Torah text onto parchment.

And no doubt these three "facts" will be conveyed to others ...

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 02:17:10 -0800
Subject: the Philadelphia ketuba

Mark Steiner points out a very interesting ketuba for a "R. Yaakov Bar
Yehoshua Hakohen" marrying "The widow, giyoret Esther bat Avraham" in
Philadelphia in 1782.  This does seem a bit odd, but I was thinking that
in that time and place, there may well have been a shortage of Jewish
women....  Not that my comment should be construed as any approval of
ranking of various types of women or women as commodities!



End of Volume 50 Issue 52