Volume 50 Number 68
                    Produced: Wed Dec 21  5:31:42 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Abba / Ima
         [Ed Reingold]
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Birkat Kohanim at a Chuppah AND Brit - and other Edot Mizrach customs
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Chushim ben Dan
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Issur Dam (was Reality, Halachic Reality, and Bugs)
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Origin of the shtreimel redux
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Tides (2)
         [Mike Gerver, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Tzedaka during chazarat hashatz (2)
         [Joel Rich, Russell Hendel]


From: Ed Reingold <reingold@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:32:14 -0600
Subject: Re: Abba / Ima

My daughter, Leah Gordon wrote:

> In my family-of-origin, we went to Israel for sabbatical when I (the
> oldest) was 3 turning 4.  At that time, both of my parents seemed to
> want us to start with the Abba/Ima instead of Mommy/Daddy (Mommy/Papa?
> It caught on for my father (now Abba to all of us) but not as much for
> my mother (now sometimes Ima, but often Mommy, though always Ima in
> third person conversations among siblings).  I always thought that it
> was because my attachment was so strong to 'Mommy' that it couldn't be
> broken, but that can't be the whole explanation since two of my
> sisters are young enough that they arguably could have been born into
> calling her Ima, but all of us use Mommy sometimes.

So, allow Abba (now Saba!) to comment.  When Leah and her younger sister
started going to gan, their language became a mixture of English and
Hebrew, as one would expect.  Whenever the gananot would refer to their
parents, it was by "ima" and "abba", naturally; their friends (even
their English speaking friends) generally used those terms also.  So,
"ima" and "abba" became the names used in the family (I was never
"daddy" anyway--I was "papa").  In fact, many other Hebrew expressions
began to pepper the children's English (Leah was particularly fond on
"ani lo marshah"!) and ours.  The terms "ima" and "abba" stuck, even
when we moved back to the US, though as Leah says, "mommy" plays a big
role too; Leah had completely stopped using "mommy" in Israel, by the
way.  I think "ima" is still the preferred term among my four daughters,
even when speaking directly to their mother.

Our sabbatical years in Israel did add vocabulary that is still part of
our language: we had never had experience with lizards, so "zikeet" is
the term that pops out now.  Similarly, "davka" has no short, common
equivalent in English, so we use that too.  We still use Hebrew when we
don't want our remarks to be understood by those around us (though this
has obvious dangers!)


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 10:43:00 EST
Subject: Arka'ot

In MJv50n66 it was said:
> The gemara in Gittin 88b prohibits interacting with gentile courts
> (ERCHA'OHT) since it doesn't follow Jewish law and this is the halacha
> (Choshen Mishpat 26:1).[I'll leave out ercha'oht sheb'suria (Sanhedrin
> 23a) as it isn't relevant to the discussion and is only relevant to a
> secular Jewish court HEDYOTOT prohibited rabinically].

The term is ARKA'OT (Ayin {w/ Patax}, Resh, Kaf, Aleph Vav, Tav) and it
means any courts not necessarily a gentile one, but in Rabbinic
literature it is most likely refers to a gentile court. Since it is a
general term, it is used most of the time with a modifier "Arka'ot shel
goyim" (M. Gitin 1:5, T. Gitin 1:4), Or "Arka'ot shelahen" (B. Eruvin
47a) or "Arka'ot shel ovdey Kochavim" (B. Gitin 9b). Usually in modern
Hebrew it refers to "Instancia", that is the level of court, for
instance: Shalom is the lowest, Mechozi is the middle, and Elyon is the

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:49:41 +0200
Subject: Birkat Kohanim at a Chuppah AND Brit - and other Edot Mizrach customs

Deborah Wenger writes of the Edot Mizrach custom of Birkat Kohanim after
the Chuppah by the Kohanim present.

I just got back from an Edot Mizrach Brit Milah, where at the end all
the Kohanim were invited to recite Birkat Kohanim over the child.

Interestingly enough (and this differs from the Ashenazic practice with
which I am familiar), when the child was named, the name given was in
the form of "child's- name, son of father's- name and mother's-name."
I've never heard of the mother's name used in this context (although the
mother does have "something" to do with the child's being there).

And one other difference: in Ashkenazic Shuls, the memorial plaque names
"so-and-so, son/daughter of father's-name." In the Edot Mizrach Shuls I
visited recently, it's the mother's name rather than the father's name
which appears on the plaque.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 20:10:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Chushim ben Dan

> From: <Azqbng@...> (Baruch C. Cohen)
> There is a very interesting Gemara (Sotah 13a) that describes Yaakov
> Avinu's funeral and the confrontation with Eisav: When the family
> ...

The point that I have seen in various divrei Torah was that it was not a
legal claim and that Chushim, because he was suddenly presented with it
reacted immediately.  On the other hand, the others had gotten involved
in the argument and it had gradually escalated over a period of time.
The goyim use an analogy of a lobster put in a pot of cold water that is
gradually heated until it is cooked.  The lobster does not realize the
danger until it is too late.  Some people use the analogy of the
"Palestinian Peace process" in the same way.  The reference is to the
salami method of negotiation.  Demand such a small piece each time that
it is surrendered with minimal fuss until the entire salami has been

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore."
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water.


From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <zivotoa@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 00:32:25 +0200
Subject: Issur Dam (was Reality, Halachic Reality, and Bugs)

The new book, Shiurei HaRav on shechita, melicha, etc. by Rabbi Elyakim 
Koenigsberg has a chapter on this topic, chapter 49, pages 167-172.


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:24:11 -0500
Subject: Origin of the shtreimel redux

Picking up again the old thread of the question of the origin of the
shtreimel, I have recently found that the Hamodia newspapers of 11/23
and 11/30/05 dealt with this issue.  My own position was that the
"spodik" style originated with copying Polish and Russian nobility,
while the regular shtreimel was a form of the imposed dunce-cap-
decorated- with- tails style of hat imposed on Jews.

Quoting the author of the article, Shia Eilen, responding to a letter
from a Rabbi who made the point that Russian musueums show that the Tsar
wore a shtreimel-like hat:

"In researching the article, I discovered that in three different
chassidic dynasties- originating in three different countries- there is
an identical oral tradition indicating that the shtreimel was originally
a decree intended to humiliate that the Jews turned into a symbol of
pride.  "Though it is , of course, correct that the Russian nobility
wore velvet caps trimmed with fur, in all probability this fur was from
the skins and not the tails of animals, the way shtreimlich are.

He also points out how there was an emphasis on dressing differently
from the non-Jews, making it unlikely that they would copy a totally
gentile style of dress, noble or not.  Particularly if you consider that
Chassidus stresses so much it's adherence to old style, it is hard to
believe that a voluntary adaptation of such a style could occur.  It
would be akin to a Rebbe of today starting to wear a tuxedo, something
that presumably cannot happen.

Yossi Ginzberg


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 18:33:10 EST
Subject: Tides

Hillel Markowitz writes, in v50n64,

      You are correct that a lake would not have a "tide" (daily raising
      or lowering of the water) but I think that the guide *may* have
      been tring to say that the water is pulled toward the moon during
      the time of the "spring tide" so that it would be higher than the
      normal water level shown during the time of the "neap tide".

It is true that, if the moon is overhead, or on the other side of the
earth, then there will be an upward tidal force on the water in the
lake, and if the moon is rising or setting, then there will be a
downward tidal force on the water of the lake. These forces will be
greatest during spring tide (new moon or full moon), and smaller (by
about a factor of 2) during neap tide (first or last quarter
moon). However, these forces, regardless of their direction and
magnitude, will have a completely negligible effect on the height of the
water in the lake. That is because 1) water is almost incompressible (at
the pressures found in a lake), 2) the tidal force is almost the same
everywhere in the lake, 3) the lake cannot exchange water with the ocean
(where the tidal force is NOT almost the same everywhere) in response to
the tidal force, and 4) the tidal force is much smaller than the force
of gravity holding the water to the earth, so the water cannot float up
in the air as a result of the tidal force. The water in the lake will
simply sit at the lowest point available to it, regardless of the tidal

There will be two small effects which cause the water level in the lake
to rise and fall with the tidal force. Due to the finite compressibility
of water, the water level will rise and fall by about one hundredth of a
millimeter, if the lake is one kilometer deep. And, due to the finite
width of the lake, its surface will change its curvature in response to
the tidal force, with the center of the lake rising and falling by a few
tenths of a millimeter if the lake is 100 kilometers in radius. These
effects are respectively proportional to the square of the depth of the
lake, and the square of the radius of the lake. If the "lake" is the
ocean, with a radius of 10,000 kilometers, then it will rise and fall a
few meters, in response to the tidal force.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 19:56:01 -0500
Subject: Re: Tides

> From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
> 2.  Mike Gerver writes: <You only get tides in the ocean, or in a body
> of water that is close enough to the ocean that water from the ocean can
> flow into it or out of it, like a bay or estuary. In an isolated lake,
> the moon and sun do not produce tides, because there is no place for the
> water to go, or come from.>

The point is that even if the water level can be increased by the moon's
pull, there needs to be a significant amount of water that can be drawn
into the "hump" that is created so that the water will be pulled up onto
the shore without being "cut off" from the rest of the water.  Thus, the
water on a seashore can cover the shore as there is sufficient water
brought in from further away and it would not have to be taken from the
immediate area as in a lake.

> How's that again?  Tides result from the gravity of the sun and moon.
> All bodies of water have tides, although for most (other than oceans)
> they're too small for the effect to be measurable.  The Great Lakes are
> an exception, with measurable tides.  See
>  And as far as "there is no place for
> the water to go, or come from", all lakes have inlets and most have
> outlets.

Q: Are there tides in the Great Lakes?

The water levels of the Great Lakes have long term, annual, and short
term variations. Long term variations depend on the precipitation and
water storage over many years. Annual variations occur with the changing
seasons. There is an annual high in the late spring and low in the
winter. These changes occur at a rate which can be measured in feet per

True tides, changes in water level caused by the gravitational forces of
the Sun and Moon, do occur in a semi-diurnal pattern on the Great Lakes.
The investigations of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey indicate that the
spring tide, the largest tides caused by the combined forces of the Sun
and Moon, is less than 2 inches (5cm) in height. These minor level
variations are masked by the greater fluctuations in lake levels
produced by wind and barometric pressure changes. Consequently, the
Great Lakes are considered to be essentially non-tidal.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore."
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 21:24:31 -0500
Subject: Tzedaka during chazarat hashatz

>From: <ERSherer@...>
>   Every shul I have ever davened shachris in, somebody takes the pushka
>around during the shaliach tzibur's chazorous hashas. I assume this is
>what Rabbi Amsel refers to.

> From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Rabbi Ed Goldstein) Rabbi Wohlgemuth shlita told
> us we should give tzedaka before tfila to have an extra zchut.  kind of
> like buying your lulav before yom kippur (something else I believe he
> said).  Many give during vay'varech david.

I've never understood this minhag except on a practical basis that
people come late and are underutilized during chazarat hashatz.  The S"A
brings down the primary minhag of giving tzedaka before tfila (O"C
92:10) and the mishna brura quotes the secondary (Minhag Arizal) as to
"set aside" by psukei dzimra (vata moshel...) and mentions a minhag of
giving during kriat hatora but discourages it because of bitul of kriat
hatora. It's also clear that one should be focused on the chazarat
hashatz and not even learn during that time(see mishna brurah).  So
again the question .....Why?

Joel Rich

From: Russell Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 00:26:59 GMT
Subject: Re: Tzedaka during chazarat hashatz

The following Agaddah from the Rav (Rav Joseph Baer Soloveitchick) may
shed light on this.

In olden times (and today!) people would frequently go home at night
after maariv when it was dangerous. It was therefore meritorious to
escort people home (walk in pairs). The Talmud in Beracoth states " A
person who left shule before his colleague who came late finished
davening will not have his prayers answered."

The Rav asked "Why? Why should this sin be punished by non-answerability
of prayer?". The Rav answered "Because the person leaving his friend to
walk home alone had just finished the amidah and prayed for 'May God
place peace good and blessing....' If this person prays for peace and
then walks out, endangering his friends life then his prayer is
hypocritical...hence God does not answer it."

In other words, The Rav continued, "prayer functions dually as a
commandment between God and man and also between man and man."

In light of this Agaddah we should definitely give charity during
davening to make our prayers non hypocritical

Russell Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 50 Issue 68