Volume 52 Number 03
                    Produced: Thu May  4  6:01:01 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adler Machzor - a few notes
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Yeast on Passover
         [Andy Goldfinger]
The Chofetz Chaim did not have payehs (2)
         [<rubin20@...>, Jeff Kaufman]
Hafets Hayyim
JPS Sefarim
         [Nathan Lamm]
The Lost Kiddush Cup
         [Daniel Nachman]
Starting the Seder
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Supporting the family
         [Shimon Lebowitz]
Translation of Chometz (was Baking Soda, Baking Powder,
         [Andy Goldfinger]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 21:02:51 +0300
Subject: Adler Machzor - a few notes

This year, for the first time in about 40 years, I used the "Adler"
Pesach Machzor (which used to be - and may still be) the standard
Machzor in the British Commonwealth). I found a few interesting items

a) It does not have "Berich Shmei" when the Torah is taken out.

b) It does not have "Av Harachamim" before Musaf (which, according to
our Ashkenazic Minhag, is said on a day that Yizkor is recited).

c) The Shir shel Yom is recited before the Shacharit proper.

d) Most puzzling is the following instruction, just before Musaf: "On
the First Day, if the Amidah is not repeated, Tefillat Tal is said
here." Does this imply that in some congregations there is no Chazarat
HaShatz for Musaf?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 07:55:53 -0400
Subject: Re: Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Yeast on Passover

Ira Jacobson writes:

> The Karaites understand that hametz refers to sour foods.  For this
> reason, there is a custom among some Jews to eat borscht on Pessah,
> specifically to debunk this misinterpretation.

I can't remember the source, but I did see in a sefer a reference to a
minhag (custom) to eat pickles at the seder for the same reason.  Since
I really like pickles, we have adopted this minhag at our sedarim.

-- Andy Goldfinger


From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 07:33:11 -0400
Subject: Re: The Chofetz Chaim did not have payehs

> I checked my Hebrew language edition, published nearly half a century
> ago, some decades before doctoring and 'upgrading' the frumkeit of
> gedolim was in vogue, and it has as its main [in black and white]
> photograph of the Chofetz Chaim [on p. 3 ] the standard one that is
> used by all these days [though with a hint of him wearing a necktie] -
> and it clearly shows that he did have peyos.

The Chafetz Chaims daughter reportedly said with regard to the famous
picture of the Chafetz Chaim, "its a fine distinguished looking Jew,
but it is not my father". Her son has confirmed this for me.

From: Jeff Kaufman <sterlingtouch@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 14:43:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: The Chofetz Chaim did not have payehs

Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...> wrote

>Didn't someone write here some years back that the pictures are "ah
>sheine yid, but not the chofetz chaim"?
>Does anyone else remember such a claim?

I don't know if the CC had peyos or not, but I also heard from 2 sources
(the son of a talmid and a member of the Zaks family) that the well
known picture of the CC is in fact not.

Jeff Kaufman


From: <shuanoach@...> (Josh)
Date: Wed, 03 May 2006 09:19:17 -0400
Subject: Hafets Hayyim

The article on the kiddush cup is in a Jack Wertheimer edited volume
from a JTS conference (i believe the word tradition is in the
title). The author is Menachem Friedman, the Israeli historiographer of
haredi society.

As for the Hafets Hayyim as a posek, it is true that he consistently
referred questions addressed him to Rav Hayyim Ozer in Vilna.
D. Eidensohn refers to quotes that the Hafets Hayyim was not a posek.
Many of these quotes are to the effect that because of the Hafets
Hayyim's incredible righteousness, most people do not recognize his
greatness in learning - these quotes (i am not sure if these are the
ones being referred to) DO recognize the Hafets Hayyim's learning, just
recognize that his image was overwhelmed by one facet of his
personality.  Also, what is the Mishnah Brurah if not a sefer of psak?
(It certainly isnt just personal views - in correspondence with R. Chaim
Aryeh Leib of Stavisk, Pnei Aryeh ha-Chai, Hafets Hayyim already noted
that in some areas of personal practice he differed, usually le-humra
from what he wrote.)

The story from the bio of the meshekh chokhmah is nice, but it contains
all the standard rabbinic story elements. It's not a proof for anything
- i.e. 1) Rav Meir Simcha himself isnt exactly famous as a posek - where
are his teshuvot? 2) the issue at hand was less a halakhic psak issue
than, for want of a better term, a hashkafic public policy issue -
whether to allow teaching of Russian. I think then that you would want
someone famed for righteousness, perhaps more than one famous just for
poskining on cows' lungs, to have a say. 3) as R. Meir Simcha was the
one whose position lost due to the Hafets Hayyim, one can imagine that
he might be a bit upset - taking those comments said in the heat of
dispute as an evaluation of Hafets Hayyim's halakhic acumen is just
silly. 4) The last lines - that after R. Meir Simcha's death, Hafets
Hayyim said: Who will lead us now? is a standard lament after the death
of a rabbi. Rav Hayyim Ozer said it after Hafets Hayyim hi mself died
too. I wouldnt read anything into it. (What would you have expected?
After R. Meir Simcha dies, Hafet Hayyim won't say, perhaps exaggerating,
that the generation has been orphaned, without its leader?)

The story then is no proof. What we're left then with is the Mishnah
Brurah and the Likkutei Halakhot on seder kodshim. No small
accomplishments of psak. (The latter being perhaps a work Hafets Hayyim
would have viewed as having practical significance since he expected the
speedy coming of messianic days, and thus encouraged the learning seder
kodshim by kohanim. He himself was a kohen and perhaps this is line with
Lithuanian scholarship since Gaon of Vilna encouraged R. Refael
Hamburger, another kohen, to learn kodshim and write his sefer on it.)

(As for the Hafets Hayyim getting "smicha" from Rav Hayyim Ozer,
especially since the latter was much younger than Hafets Hayyim, that
story has to be understood for what it is, Hafets hayyim's great respect
for Rav Hayyim Ozer and his deferring to him in issues of psak usually.)

The standard photograph of hafets hayyim is not a reconstruction. It is
a picture of someone else. his descendants have testified to this. There
is an article on the matter.  (i think in a periodical on hasidism - i
can find the exact reference if someone wants.) (I thought this was as
well known as the fact that standard picture of baal shem tov is someone

There is much written on Hafets Hayyim from bio of R. Zaks his son in
law to the bio of his student R. M. M. Yoshor, the english of which is
happily now available for download at hebrewbooks.org. I would check
these out before coming to hasty conclusions about a gadol be-yisrael.



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 07:37:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: JPS Sefarim

I've used various JPS versions of Tanakh and find them quite useful. One
well-known Orthodox scholar I know sometimes says, "Let's see what the
pasuk *really* comes out as in English," and opens a NJPS (New JPS,
1985) translation. (This translation is used for various JPS volumes as
well as the official Reform and Conservative chumashim.) On the other
hand, when he says "Let's see what King James says," he opens the
original JPS (1917) version, which, like every Jewish translation until
the NJPS began in the 1960's, was based on King James. (The 1917 version
is the translation used in the Hertz and Soncino Chumashim, still found
in many Orthodox shuls. An actual King James, adapted for Jewish use, is
used in the "Jerusalem Bible' [not to be confused with the Catholic
version of the same name] published by Koren and Feldheim and used in
many shuls and yeshivot.)

As it happens, when Artscroll first began translating Tanach, a review
in Tradition pointed out that they were essentially copying the NJPS,
doing such things as changing "Lord" to "Hashem." I'm not sure if this
holds true of more recent Artscroll volumes, but I have noticed it
elsewhere- sometimes, passages in the Artscroll Gemara are lifted from

Of course, the JPS is not without criticism. Every now and then, I come
across words that (even just looking at the Hebrew, no perushim) I would
translate differently. Of course, this would be true of any translation,
hashkafa notwithstanding. And when the NJPS Torah came out in the
1960's, Tradition published a piece listing various issues it had with
translation decisions. These are not of the "Oh, this doesn't jibe with
Orthodox tradition" variety, but are rather serious critiques from a
point of view of Biblical scholarship.

And, of course, there is the added issue that the JPS translations
involve non-Orthodox authors, which would be enough to make them invalid
to many Orthodox readers. (The same would hold true for the generally
well-regarded Sefer Ha-Agadah of Bialik.) Furthermore, there are various
JPS volumes- the Torah Commentary, the Oxford Study Bible- which, while
fine and very useful books, certainly have material many would be
uncomfortable putting on the shelves of a shul. This, however, would not
apply to the two volumes mentioned in the post here, which translate
classical sources only. As with everything, it all depends on the
readers, the shul, and the like.


From: Daniel Nachman <lhavdil@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 10:18:29 -0500
Subject: Re: The Lost Kiddush Cup

On 5/3/06, Ben Katz <bkatz@...> wrote:

> There is an article "The Lost Kiddush Cup" which I belive is
> referenced in Chaim Soleveitchik's classic article on Orthodoxy
> (titled something like Rupture and Transformation, published either in
> Tradition or Torah Umada about 10 years ago) that I was able to track
> down.  There are those of course who dispute its validity ...

Chaim Soleveitchik's article is "Rupture and Reconstruction: The
Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy" and it's available online at
http://www.lookstein.org/links/orthodoxy.htm .

Good memory on "The Lost Kiddush Cup" - it's referenced in footnotes 3
and 11.

D. Nachman


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 15:47:50 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Starting the Seder

Up to a few years ago, Israel did not have DST for Pesah. However, the
new rule is to start DST about 2 April. Therefore, most years the seder
is in DST. When I'm asked - what time did you finish your seder, I
answer - what time did you start. Lacking a place the would finish Arvit
at nightfall, we do start Arvit exactly at nightfall, so I can start the
seder far ahead of the 40 minute Arvit people. (BTW, we have our usual
Vatikin on the next morning)


From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2006 19:39:38 +0200
Subject: Re: Supporting the family

> Batya wrote:
> > And I agree with Mordechai that there's an inherent hypocrisy in the
> > chareidi world, which tries to cloister their women, but expect them to
> > support their families simultaneously.
To which Perets Mett replied:
> Can you please explain what hypocrisy is involved in staffing girls'
> schools with women?
> Who else do you suggest should do it?

I must have missed the beginning of this conversation, but I can't
believe that R' Perets really thinks that the "chareidi world" only
sends women to work at girls' schools.

Maybe as *teachers* they are only found in girls' schools, but all the
other professions, e.g. secretarial, programming, graphics (computer and
otherwise), are almost always mixed environments. Mixed sex is bad
enough, but modern legislation or not, mixed religious-nonreligious can
IMHO be much worse. Having spent a few years in the work force, *if* my
wife was going to be there, I think I would rather she was among frum
men than non-frum of either sex (of course men would be worse).

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 08:01:26 -0400
Subject: Translation of Chometz (was Baking Soda, Baking Powder,

It has been pointed out that the words seor and chametz are often

I would like to point out that the word "chometz" cannot be accurately
translated into American English, but it can be translated into British

The British English translation is: "Marmite."

(For those readers who are not British, perhaps they can find an English
friend who can explain this.  Or perhaps the moderator could persuade R.
Peretz Mett to provide this service).

-- Andy Goldfinger

[Not being British, I did the next best thing to asking R' Mett, and did
a quick Google search. I have some level of concern this might open a
British / Australian spat, as there is some national pride issues
between Marmite and Vegemite, the latter having graced these pages in
the past. Here is a FAQ page for those interested:


End of Volume 52 Issue 3