Volume 50 Number 56
                    Produced: Wed Dec 14  6:05:17 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aramaic orthography
         [Martin Stern]
Droughts and Prayers
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kaddish after Layning
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Mark Symons]
"Minor" Holiday
         [Tzvi Stein]
Pronunciation of Aramaic
         [Aliza Berger]
Rav Soloveitchick Notes Available
         [Frank Smiles]
Women Writing a Sefer Torah
         [A.J. Hyman]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 14:48:04 +0000
Subject: Re: Aramaic orthography

on 13/12/05 9:46 am, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:

> 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?

The rules for Aramaic orthography may be slightly different from those
of Hebrew. This should not be surprising as the analogy of the European
languages, all written in the same alphabet, should make clear. Compare
the way an Englishman would read the name Sean (rhyming with seen) with
the way an Irish speaker does (rhyming with shorn).

In particular the rule that a long vowel cannot appear in a closed
unaccented syllable is subject to dispute between Sefardim and
Teimanim. The former do not accept this rule and read bea'lma, with a
sheva nach, and the latter beollema with a sheva na', both treating the
kamats as a kamats gadol, which the Teimanim anyway read as an 'o'

Martin Stern 


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 19:37:42 +0200
Subject: Droughts and Prayers

Eli writes:

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

We've been saying the "extra" since last Wednesday in any case.

>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.

By me, it's "enough" when my Rav tells me to do something but here's the
info from Arutz 7 from Dec. 12:

	Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, in conjunction with his colleague
	Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, has reiterated the rabbis' recent call
	to begin adding special prayers for rain in Israel into Jewish

	"A quarter of the year [since the start of winter according to
	Jewish law] has already passed, and after requests from farmers
	and after consultation with Torah sages, we decided to ask all
	the Jews to add the prayer for rain to the /Shmoneh-Esreh/
	liturgy," For those praying in accordance with the tradition of
	Jews of Sephardic and North African communities, /Tikkun
	HaGeshem/ will be recited this coming Sabbath, including the
	hymn, "Living G-d Open the Treasury of Heaven."

and if the Chief Rabbinate isn't enough, well, take a look at our
neighbors: ;>)

	Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are calling for collective
	prayers for rain following over a week of unseasonably hot and
	dry temperatures. The prayers will take place in PA autonomous
	areas on Thursday and Friday.  On Monday, prayers for rain were
	recited in the Jericho soccer stadium.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 09:41:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kaddish after Layning

I agree with Nachum Lamm's response to Meir Possenheimer: I have never
seen the Shatz say the post-layning Kaddish in his role as Shatz.
According to Mateh Ephraim, Hilchot Kaddish Yatom 3:1 and Shaarei
Ephraim 10:9 ( by the same author), an avel says this kaddish,
particularly an avel who has the last aliya-shevii or acharon on
Shabbat.  My rav called this a "shvacher minhag" and said he once saw a
tshuva that this kaddish belongs to the baal keriah.  Interestingly,
Shaarei Ephraim's discussion of this issue begins with the statement
"achar hakeriah, haShatz omer chatzi kaddish".  However, in context the
term "Shatz" could well refer to the baal keriah.

I've also never seen a baal shachrit say Yekum Purkan or the stuff after
it--except in the shul I grew up in on Yamim Noraim, where he did
everything until the Torah was put away.  That practice makes some sense;
why would the Baal Musaf ask for Divine help in Hineni when he's already
started (unless it's because he now realizes the trouble he's in).  So
I was initially surprised when, in my first year in my current shul, at
"Ashrei Ha'am" the baal shachrit was nowhere to be found and everybody
was looking at me.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 13:55:39 +0200
Subject: Re: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

Orrin Tilevitz stated the following on Mon, 12 Dec 2005 09:12:13 -0800 (PST):

>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?

First, I have been informed by Someone Who Knows that there is no qamatz
qatan in Aramaic at all.

The does raise another question.  As pointed out from time to time by
Harav Ovadia Yoseef, it was pasqened many years ago by Harav Avraham
Yitzhaq Hakohen Qook that an Ashkenazi must not change the pronunciation
of his prayers to the so-called Sefardi pronunciation.  If that is the
halakha in Eretz Yisrael, how much more so in the Diaspora!

Thus, the difference between the pronunciation of qamatz qatan and
qamatz gadol in the (Hebrew) prayers or leining of Ashqenazim (and
Teimanim for that matter) should be nonexistent.


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 23:04:50 +1100
Subject: RE: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

From: Michael Perl <michael_perl9@...>
      ... The more common mistake in Kaddish is those who pronounce
      KOdam (as in kodam avuhon di vishmaya) as KAdam.

Not forgetting of course, that it is the second syllable that is
accented ie koDAM (although technically the whole word is really only
one syllable, because a letter with a chataf-kamatz doesn't constitute a
full syllable on its own).

Mispronouncing a chataf-kamatz as A is one mistake that shouldn't be
made because it's always O. It doesn't involve having to learn rules
like a regular kamatz-katan.

Mark Symons


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 23:27:53 -0500
Subject: "Minor" Holiday

I've often chafed at hearing the mention of Chanuka as a "minor
holiday".  I have even heard the even more annoying term "very minor
holiday". Whenever I do, I am reminded of a statement made by my Rosh
Yeshiva that "Chanuka is everything". It ocurred to me recently that the
only people I ever hear calling it a "minor holiday" are non-Orthodox
Jews or non-Jews.  I have never heard a frum person call it a "minor
holiday".  This is quite ironic when you consider the fact that some of
the most "major" holidays we have, such as Succos, are hardly observed
or even known by many non-Orthdox Jews.  I even heard a national
(non-Jewish) radio commentator make the "minor holiday" remark as part
of a tirade about the "attack on Christmas".

Does anyone have any insights on the source for this?  All I can think
of is that it's some weird Jewish inferiority complex, resulting in them
thinking there is no way we could have a holiday better than a
non-Jewish one.  If there's a Jewish holiday at the same time, it must
be "minor".


From: Aliza Berger <alizadov@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 14:27:48 +0200
Subject: Pronunciation of Aramaic

When I read aloud some Aramaic, a friend familiar with modern Hebrew but
not Aramaic commented that I sounded like I was reading with an
"Ashkenazic" accent, by which she meant that I was placing an accent on
a syllable other than on the last syllable of each word. (Obviously she
is aware that not every Hebrew word has the accent on the last syllable;
this was a generalization.)

Does anyone know, what is the correct way to place the accents in
Aramaic?  Has this been influenced by Yiddish/"Ashkenazis"? Some Jews of
Kurdish origin still speak Aramaic today - can we learn from them what
is correct?

Going over the kaddish in my head, it seems to me that the accent is
placed on the last syllable. But in learning, not necessarily (e.g.,
TANya). Maybe there is a difference between prayers and other Aramaic?

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


From: Frank Smiles <fsmiles@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 23:33:28 +0200
Subject: Rav Soloveitchick Notes Available

History is made on the jewish net once again.  222 pages of notes on Rav
Soloveitchick (Soloveitick) ( Soloveichick ) available to download for


16 megabyte file. covers years 1969 to 1972 amazing stuff you wont' find
in stores.  secretly available to people in the know for years. now
regular people can see it too.  or email <friendlyjew@...> and he
will email to you in two parts....

all the best


From: A.J. Hyman <ajhyman@...>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 17:32:49 -0500
Subject: Women Writing a Sefer Torah

I am wondering what the current thinking is on Aviel Barclay writing her
Torah (now that, according to CNN and other news outlets, she is nearing


Are women included in the obligation to write a Sefer Torah?

There appear to be two responses to this question, found both in
traditional and modern sources.

If the main point of the commandment is to fulfill the mitzvah of Torah
study, since women are exempt from the obligation to study the Torah
they would be exempt as well from the commandment to write a Sefer

However, if writing a Sefer Torah is a separate commandment, independent
of the commandment to study the Torah, then women should also be obliged
to fulfill it, since it is not one of those commandments which must be
observed at a specified time from which women are generally exempt.


To read more about Aviel Barclay ... http://www.soferet.com/


End of Volume 50 Issue 56