Volume 51 Number 69
                    Produced: Tue Mar 21  5:29:53 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Common Mispronounciations--modim
         [David Maslow]
Just How Jewish? (2)
         [Yisrael Medad, SBA]
Kitzur not halacha (2)
         [Ira L. Jacobson, Ari Trachtenberg]
Lifneihem vs. Bifneihem
         [Aaron Zuckerberg]
Mordechai and Esther
         [Michael Pitkowsky]
Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk
         [Aryeh Gielchinsky]
"Shoshanat Yaakov" (3)
         [Martin Stern, Gilad J. Gevaryahu, SBA]
Uncle Mordechai
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Wine in Talmudic Times
         [Saul Davis]


From: David Maslow <maslowd@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 09:37:09 -0500
Subject: Common Mispronounciations--modim

ELPh Minden wrote that the correct pronounciation for Modim includes the
word she-tta and not sha-atta.

However, while she-atta is grammatically correct, in nusach Ashkenaz
siddurim the latter version (sha-atta) is used based on its use in navi
(can't remember the citation) where Rashi points out that it is not

David E. Maslow


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 01:02:00 +0200
Subject: Just How Jewish?

While I sympathize with Martin as a result of his letter undergoing
editing, as an editor and as someone who has had his letters edited, I
would have to go with the editor on this.  I can discern no real
alterations of content or intent.  Even the feeling that the alterations
might have led someone to assume that Martin had "sympathies" I don't
think is justified but, I will admit, that's a subjective matter.

I thank Martin for agreeing with my grasp of NK ideology (40+ years
after first buing "VaYoel Moshe" I have not yet finished reading it, for
many reasons, some of which I permit all to assume).  But, I do wish to
challenge two point he raised:

a.  he writes: "Their influence on the non-Jewish world is negligible,
unlike the leftist anti-Zionists".  I beg to disagree.  Their influence
is not only significant but is actively sought and they, the NK,
actively seek it to expand on their antizionist ideology and give it
credence.  In my understanding, the NK feel that the negation of the
State of Israel is so worthy a goal that the goyim's support and
cooperation of their activities actually is proof of the rigthness of
their cause.  This is a symbiotic relationship and leads into my second

b.  Martin further writes: "though I can understand their theological
position which does, whether we like it or not, have a basis in Talmudic
sources."  This, of course, is true as far as it goes although I must
admit, I do not understand their theological position.  But if we stop
at the Talmud, well, we'd all be stuck in time.  The whole matter of the
Three Adjurations has been dealt with most extensively in a summary by
Rav Shlomo Aviner that has been recently translated (see Kuntres She-Lo
Ya'alu Ke-Homah [Do Not Ascend Like A Wall] at Gil Student's "Hirhurim"
Blog) and, as Prof. Aryeh Morgenstern has pointed out, the pupils of the
Vilna Gaon invalidated them by claiming that this was supposed to be a
"package deal" and if the goyim don't keep their end of the bargain,
well, Bnei Yisrael surely have a right to immigrate to Land of Israel
and build it up (see in his book "Geula B'derech Hateva", pgs. 7-9).

To summarize, if the NK really had a Yiddish Kop, they wouldn't
associate with Jew haters in Iran period which brings us back to my
question: Just how Jewish are the NK?

Yisrael Medad

From: SBA <areivim@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 02:25:55 +1100
Subject: Just How Jewish?

> From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
> discussing just how Jewish does Israel have to be so that
> the Neturei Karta will not have to travel to Durban or Iran to protest
> its 'lack of Jewishness' or, more to the point, has Martin erred by
> perhaps misinterpreting Neturei Karta dogma which, I would suggest,
> discounts and negates any state of Israel - Jewish more or less - before
> the arrival of a Messiah and has nothing to do with quantitative or
> qualitative "Jewishness".  As to which is worse, Left-wing antiZionism
> or Neturei Karta antiZionism, I will leave for another discussion
> although the "Jewish" element cannot be disregarded.

These meshugoim who go to Durban, Arafat's funeral and visit the Haman
of our generation in Iran are not even a miut shebemiut.  Probably less
than 20 people - worldwide. Even the average member of the NK (whose
numbers are pretty miniscule in any case) recognises them for the
nutcases that they are.

Anyone who knows any of them from up close realises that these are
people with serious problems, who wouldn't be acknowledged at all under
normal circumstances.

Sadly the non-Jewish media enjoys playing along with them - probably to
make all Jews squirm. Meanwhile the secular Jewish media does the same
to upset religious Jews.

The Charedi community in NY has at least twice issued strong
condemnations. Their words say it all...




From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 12:12:51 +0200
Subject: Re: Kitzur not halacha

Andy Goldfinger stated mail-Jewish Vol. 51 #65 Digest:

      Many years ago, I had the privilege of attending the public
      shiurim (classes) of Rav. Joseph Baer Soleveichik.  Rav
      Soleveichik did not often make jokes, so one occasion sticks out
      in my mind.

      During one session a woman in the audience asked about a somewhat
      unsual halachic opinion (I don't recall what it was).  The Rav
      looked puzzled.  He asked her: "where did you see this?"  She
      said, "I saw it in the Kitzur Schulchan Oruch in English."

      The Rav replied: "well, could be - To tell you the truth, I never
      read the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch in English."

Interesting that I remember the same incident, but not with precisely
the same details.  (They could, of course, be separate incidents.  I
estimate that this took place in about 1969.)

The woman was an Israel, who actually asked the question in Hebrew, to
the effect that the Qitzur Shulhan Arukh holds otherwise, to which the
Rav relied, "I am sorry, but I have never studied the Qitzur Shulhan

The shi`ur was part of the rather long series based on "Lo ta`amod `al
dam re`ekha."

IRA L. JACOBSON         

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 10:57:43 -0300
Subject: Re: Kitzur not halacha

From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
> The Rav replied: "well, could be - To tell you the truth, I never
> read the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch in English."

I think that, in general, English-language texts tend to be stricter
than necessary, probably because they assume that the reader has a weak
Jewish background if he/she is not reading texts in Hebrew/Aramaic.  I
recall an exchange once with a shopkeeper at a Jewish store: I asked him
if he could suggest a moderate source for halacha in English that I
could purchase as a present for a friend who did not know Hebrew.  His
answer was to the effect "where did you see one of those?"



From: <bbfan33@...> (Aaron Zuckerberg)
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 09:03:30 -0500
Subject: Lifneihem vs. Bifneihem

> I was asked a question to which I was only able to offer a limited
>answer.  I was wondering if any of the mljewish readers have any further
>insight into this question here was the question
>Can you explain the variant manuscripts on Esther 9:2 , "bifneihem" or
>"lifneihem"?  When we read Monday night, the text read "bifneihem".
>When we read in the morning, the claf read "lifneihem", which is what
>appears in most of the Tikkunim.

Here were my limited answers:

1. I found an answer in the minchat shay in the blue tikkun korim with
simanim- it seems that in some published and other hand written texts
bifneihem is found, but it seems in the majority of hand written texts
as well as early publications it is written as lifneihem, including the
machzor kadmon- do you know what this text is?

2. Joshua Jacobson in his book Chanting the Hebrew Bible quotes Jordan
Penkower in "Minhag Umassorah" that the correct text is lifneihem, and
that the minhag of reading first bifneihem and then returning to read it
as "lifneihem" is only approximately 200 years old. Penkower maintains
that the sentence should only be read as "lifneihem".

I wonder whether the bifneihem needs to be changed to lifneihem to make
that claf kosher?

Do you have any further insights?

kol tuv
shabbat shalom
aaron zuckerberg


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 07:19:35 -0500
Subject: Mordechai and Esther

I happen to just has blogged about this very quesiton here:



From: Aryeh Gielchinsky <agielchinsky@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:17:00 -0500
Subject: Reason for Mitzvot - Brisk

>RYBS and the Brisker's in general claim that one cannot ask "why" about
>mitzvot but only "how".  Does anyone know any sources in RYBS or other
>Brisker works for this?
>Eli Turkel

The Beis Halayvi brings down this idea in parshas Bo, on verse 12:26
(page 119 in the new edition of the Beis Halayvi, starting on paragraph
Vihegadita livincha bayom). (In short) He says the wicked son of the
Hagadah is someone who will not do a mitzvah until he understands the
reason behind it. He contrasts this to the wise son's question about the
laws of Pesach (this is the idea of how not why). He says making up
reasons for mitzvos is a bad idea because when one of those reasons
doesn't apply, people will say the mitzva is obsolete.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 11:31:58 +0000
Subject: "Shoshanat Yaakov"

On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 02:32:03 -0800 Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
> In almost every shul I've been to for Purim, after the megillah
> reading someone starts singing the hymn "Shoshanat Yaakov" that
> appears in some siddurim for Purim services.  But also, in almost
> every shul, only three or four people really sing the song, and the
> rest kind of mill around uncomfortably.  It seems to be a remarkably
> poorly-memorized part of the liturgy.

Like Avi, I have never noticed this problem. However, I find that almost
always, the recital in the evening of Ashe heini, of which Shoshanat
Yaakov is the final two lines, is so rushed that I do not have time to
finish saying it before people burst out in song. This is a great shame
since it is an interesting summary of the Purim story and well worth

Martin Stern

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 10:13:39 EST
Subject: "Shoshanat Yaakov"

Leah Gordon and Avi Feldblum (MJv51n66) deal with the piyut "Shoshanat
Yaakov", and comments was made that: <<Clearly, it is not a requirement
in the reading of the Megilla.>>

I think that at least according to Rav and Rabbi Pinchas in the Talmud
it is an halachic requirement. Let me explain.

Rav said that (JT Megilah 3rd perek 74 and also Bereshit Rabbah parashah
49) that it is a requirement while reading the megilah to say "Arur
Haman ve-arurim banav" cursed be Haman and cursed be his sons" and Rabbi
Pinchas said that [when reading the megilah] one needs to say "ve-gam
Harbonah zachur latov". According to this opinion it was said while
reading the megilah. We do not say it while reading the megilad, but
rather after reading the megila as part of the piyut "Shoshanat Yaakov".
So "Shoshanat Yaakov", is an Halachic requirements. Accordingly it is
brought up by Rishonim, for example Rosh, Megilah 1:8. Machzor Vitri
Siman 250, Abudarham, Purim and codified in the Shulchan Aruch, OH
690:16.  Note: They say that it is an halachic requirement to say Arur
Haman etc.  One may simply say those words and not read Shoshanat
Yaakov, but the piyut include these required sayings, and is therefore a
convenient way of saying them.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu

From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 22:47:00 +1100
Subject: "Shoshanat Yaakov"

The brocho 'Harov es Riveinu' is part of the service.  Shoshanas Yaakov
is only a minhag - first mentioned in the Maharil.

Saying [not singing] 'Orur Haman' etc is from Chazal (Mesechte Sofrim
and Yerushalmi Megilla) and Shulchan Aruch [OC 690:16].

(BTW there are various versions - including 'Arurim kol

> same question that I have re. singing "Maoz Tzur" after saying
> "Ha-nerot Hallalu" after lighting Chanukah candles.  Is "Maoz Tzur" a
> necessary part of the service?

No. One can fulfil the mitzva without singing MT [but who would want



From: Ari Z. Zivotofsky <zivotoa@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 12:49:16 +0200
Subject: Uncle Mordechai

I have looked hard and found no basis for calling Mordechai Esther's Uncle.
See my articles in Hebrew and English on the subject at:



From: Saul Davis <saul.davis@...>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2006 16:37:15 +0200
Subject: Wine in Talmudic Times

I have (Daniel) "Rogov's 2005 Guide to Israeli Wines". It really is the
urim wetumim of blue-and-white wines. He has an introduction with
explanations of the history of wine, drinking habits today etc. He
writes: " ... it must be understood that they [ancient wines - SD] were
very different from wines as we know them today. They were often so
intense and coarse that they needed a fair amount of "adjustment" before
they were considered drinkable". The adjustment he refers to is dilution
and flavouring.

BTW he writes that in ancient times pottery vessels were coated with
clay but the clay would absorb as much as 20% of the liquid stored in
them, thus it was wise to store better, ie older, wines, in old,
second-hand, vessels. This seems to be the origin of Pirqey Avoth Chap 4
Mishne 28 "al tistakel baqanqan ...".

Saul Davis


End of Volume 51 Issue 69