Volume 50 Number 58
                    Produced: Thu Dec 15  5:56:38 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Davening with a minyan
         [Martin Stern]
Father and Mother as Called by Children (7)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Gershon Dubin, Deborah Wenger, Meir, Stephen
Phillips, Nathan Lamm, Allen Gerstl]
Giving Tzedakah in Minyan
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Hechsher on hazardous food
Kohen and Giyoret
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Pronunciation of Aramaic
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael (5)
         [Tzvi Stein, Stephen Phillips, Ira L. Jacobson, B Lemkin,
Shmuel Himelstein]
Terms Clarification (wife-husband comment)
         [Leah S. Gordon]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 11:05:55 +0000
Subject: Davening with a minyan

on 14/12/05 10:49 am, <casinger@...> (Carl Singer) wrote:
>> The only exception is an 'onus' e.g someone who is not well enough to go
>> to shul or will lose money (or his job) by davening in shul. There is no
>> basis for missing tefilo betsibur, not to mention kadish and kedusho, so
>> that your wife can go to shul.
> Shalom Bias, among other things is a basis for missing davening (or part
> of davening.)
> If one's wife has been cooped up in the house and / or hospital for
> several months and one cannot balance what they believe is their
> absolute requirement to daven with a minyan with their wife's needs = --
> then there are problems.
> Worse yet, why is this solely the man's unilateral decision?  Certainly
> there are women who are comfortable staying at home for years on end
> with infant children (especially in communities without ah eruv) but
> there are others who are not.

I certainly agree with Carl that one should always consider one's wife's
needs but I think he has missed the main point. I thought we were
talking about going to shul to daven with a minyan on weekdays not
Shabbat or Yom Tov when it should be quite possible for both spouses to
go in larger communities, one to an earlier minyan the other to a later

Perhaps I was in error so I would ask any critics of my views to reread
my postings on the subject in that context.

Martin Stern


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 15:56:43 +0200
Subject: Re: Father and Mother as Called by Children

Aliza Berger wrote:
> I'm interested in what children call their parents - Aba, Ima, Mom, Dad,
> Tate, Mame, whatever (either what your children call you, or what you
> call your parents). I am wondering how common it is outside Israel for
> Aba and Ima to be used, and how common it is to call one parent a name
> in one language and the other parent in another (e.g., Aba and Mommy -
> which is what I did).

That reminds me that my daughter has a friend who called her (paternal)
grandparents Granny and Zeide.  That's a hard one to beat.

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:15:11 GMT
Subject: Father and Mother as Called by Children

We balance you with Ima and Totty.


From: Deborah Wenger <debwenger@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:34:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Father and Mother as Called by Children

FWIW, my son's parents, here in New Jersey have always been Abba and
Ema. My yeshivish relatives tend to go for Tate and Mommy, but there are
lots of Abbas and Emas here.

You make an interesting point about Abba and Mommy. I've seen lots of
examples of this combination (or the Yiddish/English as noted above),
but very few the other way, i.e., Daddy/Ema. Any ideas about that?

One interesting benefit of being an Ema (or when I e-mail my kids,
E-ma): my son married a girl whose parents were Mommy and Daddy. She
therefore had no problems at all calling me Ema, since I wasn't
"usurping" her mother's own title.

I haven't yet decided whether, when the grandchildren arrive IY"H, I'll
be a Savta or a Grandma...

Deborah Wenger

From: <meirman@...> (Meir)
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 22:19:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Father and Mother as Called by Children

I know one couple, both born in the USA, in their 50's now, I think,
where he wanted Aba and she wanted Mommy, and that's what they did.

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:18:42 +0000
Subject: Re: Father and Mother as Called by Children

My English/Israeli grandson calls me "Sabba Yisroel" and my wife

Stephen Phillips

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:17:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Father and Mother as Called by Children

That's not really an option for those of us whose fathers are named
"Abba." I wonder what Israeli kids do.

From: Allen Gerstl <acgerstl@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:07:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Father and Mother as Called by Children

I'm called "tatty" and my wife is called "imma"

This was not a deliberate choice, it just developed this way naturally.



From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:11:50 +0200
Subject: Giving Tzedakah in Minyan

While in Teveriyah, we davened in an Edot Mizrach Minyan during the
week.  Parenthetically, it took get used to an hour for a weekday
Shacharit without Kriyat Hatorah.

What was interesting in the Shul we davened in is that there were pushke
at each table - sometimes more than one at a table - and that people had
stacks of coins next to them. The people were thrown coins at at least
four specific times:

In the first and second Ashrei psalms: at "Potei'ach et yadecha."
Before Barechu (I'm not exactly sure at which point)
Before the Amidah.

I wonder if this is a standard practice in Eidot Mizrach Shacharit. (We
davened in various Edot Mizrach shuls in the evening, and saw none of

Shmuel Himelstein


From: c.halevi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 06:17:24 -0600
Subject: Hechsher on hazardous food

The Chicago Tribune printed an expose on how fish sold in the U.S. -
especially tuna - is contaminated by poisonous mercury. (See
for story.)

Now that this is known, can any rabbi or organization give a hechsher on
such fish?

Kol tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 16:45:47 +0200
Subject: Re: Kohen and Giyoret

Gilad J. Gevaryahu stated on Tue, 13 Dec 2005 17:39:15 EST:

      The congregation Mikveh Israel was about to finish the
      construction of its first synagogue building which was dedicated
      on September 13, 1782.  The ketubah dates the wedding to 18 of
      Elul 5542 which was 28 of August 1782 roughly two weeks before the
      completion of the first synagogue in the city of
      Philadelphia. There was no rabbi in Philadelphia at the time, and
      rabbinic duties were performed by the hazan, the Rev. Gershom
      Mednes Seixas, who was also the shochet and mohel of the

This is fascinating.  There was a minor typo, in that the gentleman's
name was either Gershon or Gershom Mendes Israel Seixas.  He is
variously identified as the "rabbi" or the "hazzan (minister)."  I think
that the term hazzan can be used to mean rabbi.

http://www.libertynet.org/kkmi/ (via
http://www.hareshima.com/Regional/usa/Pennsylvania.asp ) gives, "The
first synagogue was erected in 1782 on Cherry Street, between 3rd and
4th Streets, and its first Rabbi was Gershon Mendes Israel Seixas. It is
known that Ben Franklin contributed to the building fund."

http://www.mikvehisrael.org/History/ gives, "In 1780, Rev. Gershom
Mendes Seixas , Hazan (Minister) of Congregation Shearith Israel in New
York, came to Philadelphia and became its religious leader. During his
tenure, he established the form of prayer and organizational structure
in the Spanish-Portuguese tradition which remain today."

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 16:42:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Pronunciation of Aramaic

Aliza Cooper wondered on Tue, 13 Dec 2005 14:27:48 +0200:

      Does anyone know, what is the correct way to place the accents in
      Aramaic?  Has this been influenced by Yiddish/"Ashkenazis"?

The closest I can come to an authoritative answer is to note that the
siddur edited by R' Daniel Goldschmidt (as opposed to many other
siddurim) places the stress on the penultimate syllable in qaddish: ". .
 . birHOso veshiROso, tushbeHOso veneheMOso . . . ."

I do not know his source for assuming the correct Aramaic pronunciation
to be the same as that commonly used in studying gemoro, bit I do know
that his scholarship is regarded as on the highest level.

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 21:51:48 -0500
Subject: Re: Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael

> From: Nachum Amsel <namsel@...>
> I have picked up this discussion only of late, and thus I do not know if
> this has been mentioned. However, one sure-fire way of testing whether a
> Siddur is made for Eretz Yisrael is to look at the Shabbat Shmoneh
> Esreh. If it has in it Al HaNisim for Purim, then it is made for
> Israel. Since Al HaNisim can only be said in Jerusalem on Shabbat (and
> only every few years -- when Pesach falls out on Saturday night), almost
> no Siddur prints this Al HaNisim.

The nusach is also different, oddly enough (Eretz Yisrael Ashkenaz
vs. Chutz L'Aretz Ashkenaz).  I never devlved into it completely, but I
heard the Gr"a was a factor in these differences.  The differences I
remember off the top of my head are Sim Shalom vs. Shalom Rav for Shabbo
Mincha Shemone Esrei; long version of the Bircas HaChodesh Bracha; and
saying Ein Kelokeinu at the end of Shacharis.

From: Stephen Phillips <admin@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 12:22:04 +0000
Subject: Re: Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael

Or check out Musaf for Succos. The Korbonos are different in Chutz
La'Aretz because of S'feika D'yoma. Many Israeli Siddurim will print
both options, but Chutz La'Aretz Siddurim will only have the one.

Stephen Phillips

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 16:32:58 +0200
Subject: Re: Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael

I was under the impression that Shushan Purim is celebrated in any city
that was walled at the time of Yehoshua bun Nun.  (For example,

So that perhaps there are other cities besides Jerusalem where `Al
Hanisim might be recited on Shabbat.  (I leave out of the discussion
other cities in the Land of Israel where Shushan Purim may be
celebrated, out of safeq.)

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: B Lemkin <docben10@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 03:39:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael

Until apporixately 800 years ago there was a nusach Eretz Yisrael. Rav
David Bar Hayim of Yerushalayim has been trying to resurrect this
nusach. His website is at www.torahlight.com

                     -B Lemkin

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:04:46 +0200
Subject: Siddurim made for Eretz Yisrael

Nachum Amsel gives a sure-fire way of identifying if a Siddur is aimed
at Eretz Yisrael or the Golah, based on having/not having Al HaNissim
for Purim on Shabbat. Another test (at least in Ashkenazic communities -
I don't know about Sefardic) is whether we are told that one starts
saying VeTein Tal Umatar in Cheshvan or in December.

Another difference in Ashkenaz Siddurim (not in Sefard) is that at
Shabbat Minchah in Eretz Yisrael in the last blessing of the Amidah we
say "Sim Shalom" while in the Golah it is "Shalom Rav."

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 07:21:48 -0800
Subject: Terms Clarification (wife-husband comment)

In response to my comment:
> Also, it is unfair to characterize a decision made by a couple as some
> kind of pressure from a haranguing wife ("wife who makes her husband
> stay home so she can go to minyan").  This kind of description borders
> on the misogynist IMHO.

Martin Stern replied:
>This description of those who uphold the Torah's stance on the differing
>obligations of men and women as bordering on being misogynist is like
>labelling those who uphold its stance on sodomy as homophobic. Surely we
>should be able to discuss these matters without resorting to politically
>correct stereotyping.

I'm not sure if Mr. Stern is joking, but if not, he missed my point.

The misogyny was in the assignment of 'blame' for a spousal decision to
the *wife* alone.

To be very clear: if a couple makes a decision about what they will do,
it is offensive [borderline misogynist in this case, because of the
'blame' involved and the issue involved] to claim that such a decision
must have been made by the wife and imposed on the husband.

There are plenty of Jewish husbands out there who value their wives'
spiritual/religious obligations.  If they send/encourage those wives to
minyan, it is not fair to characterize such as "wives making their
husbands stay home so that they [the wives] can go to minyan".

I know that there is wiggle-room to discuss how much sexism is mandated
re. different obligations for men vs. women.  (It's still sexism,
whether mandated religiously or not.)  But that's not the point I was
trying to make with Mr. Stern.

By the way, I don't like how even after reams of M.J discussion about
obligations, implications, differing opinions, personal stories of psak,
nuances, etc., people just still make these blanket statements about
"the Torah's stance" [on women vs. men or on homosexuality, for that
matter].  There is rarely one "stance" halakhically for all cases.  I
feel like this is going around in circles, because even after all kinds
of discussion, the same posters make the same blanket statements.
Probably including me, so I will try to be mindful of nuance as well.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


End of Volume 50 Issue 58