Volume 52 Number 22
                    Produced: Wed Jun 21  5:22:31 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Michael Frankel]
Kaddish and German Minhag (3)
         [Martin Stern, Carl A. Singer, Martin Stern]
Role of Women
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Women and Kadish - some sources
         [Gilad Gevaryahu]
Women And Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot
         [Yael Levine]
Women Saying Kaddish
         [Elazar M. Teitz]


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 12:13:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Chatzotzort/Chatzotzerot

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
> In the Breuer tanach, in Bemidmar 10:8 the word "bachatzotzrot" lacks a 
> preceding meteg (vertical line), so technically the shva should be "nach" 
> and not pronounced, and the word should be pronounced "bachatzotz-rot".?... 
> If I'm reading correctly my copy of the Leningrad Codex, which I thought the 
> Breuer tanach follows (where the Aleppo Codex is unavailable), no meteg 
> appears there in either of the verses in Bemidbar. Can one of the text 
> experts on the list explain

nay, nay, and ixnay.  not true that presence/absence of meseg in
chatzo'tzros determines the quiescence (or not) of the sh'voh.  after
the t'nuoh g'doloh that particular sh'voh is noh (in post-masoretic
hebrew), even without the meseg.  (now in the hebrew of the masoretes,
it's actually different, since all sh'vohs in the middle of a word, even
after a t'nuoh g'doloh, were (un)pronounced as nochs. but nobody leins
today in masoretic hebrew, which would require a number of other special
rule/sound changes as well, and sound weird.  and not that ba'alei
mesorah (m'soroh) knew from t'nuos g'dolos - that taxonomical
contribution had to await the (alas enduring) mischief of later s'faradi

as for the meseg - or ga'yah in older texts - while it is certainly has
pausal function, there are other functions imputed as well.  see , e.g.
yeivin.  as for R. Breuer and the leningrad and aleppo codices, he
explains his methodology in an appendix, and it is my memory - my house
and s'forim are packed for a move and i don't really have any access to
look things up these days - that he doesn't exactly do either.  rather
he reconstructs the text of tanach by using a few of the best
("m'duyyoq") available codices - certainly including leningrad but also
others (including one of the sasoon catalogue i think) and then kind of
took a majority vote when a discrepency appeared.  and then - as
R. Breuer described it - a miracle occurred and the recontructed text
actually replicated exactly (but see Penkower for a list of differences)
one extant text of the torah, that of the yemenites.

as for your angst over, and request for practical suggestions re, the
potential discrepency between phrasing induced by special melodies for
special sections within the leining, which might mitigate the need to
spirantize the BGDKFT letters in words following another that ended in
one of the matres lectionis (the "Yahoo" letters) when connected by a
conjunctive trope sign - i can well understand why that particular issue
would keep anyone awake nights tossing and turning in feverish
indecision.  Many have been troubled by just this problem and countless
ba'alei q'riyoh over the generations have paid trhe ultimate price for
devotion to their craft, as obsessive hypercorrection paved their
descent into madness.  not a pretty sight.  so my own response to your
request for suggestions, is - stop it now and get a life, before it's
too late.

Mechy Frankel
(301) 593-3949


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 14:10:55 +0100
Subject: Re: Kaddish and German Minhag

Carl may well interpret our (German) minhag ( case #3 ) in the way he
indicates but I can assure him that he is not correct. It is certainly
the case that those not saying kaddish are unable to fulfil their
individual obligation but they are in the situation of  oneis (force
majeure). To make the point clear consider the analogy of a seder night
where there is only one kezayit of matsah available. Only one person can
therefore fulfil his individual obligation. If that matsah belongs to
person A, he eats it and the others do not since he has a greater right
to it (personal ownership) than they. They do not fulfil their obligation
vicariously through his eating but rely on "Ha'oneis rachmana
patrei" - someone cannot be held liable for circumstances beyond his

Martin Stern

From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 17:15:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish and German Minhag

The matzoh analogy breaks down.  All of those who are cheyuv to say
Kaddish can do so (they have the time, the minyan and the physical
ability to do so) -- it's that they have each chosen to abide by a
minhag where only one will say.  There is no physical impediment (like
lack of a kezayit) to stop the others.

Does "ha'oneis rachmana patrei" apply in this situation?

Passaic, NJ  07055-5328

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 06:51:11 +0100
Subject: Re: Kaddish and German Minhag

I must disagree with Carl on this point. We do NOT consider our minhag
as some sort of optional observance but as the actual halachah, at least
for our communities (of German extraction).  As far as we are concerned,
only one person can say each kaddish so the others are similar, in those
for those following our tradition, to those who do not have matsah. The
fact is that this is the way we look at the situation and not his
interpretation which only makes sense within his (different)
tradition. He is perfectly entitled to hold his view if it suits him but
what he cannot do is claim that it is ours. Within our tradition
"ha'oneis rachmana patrei" does apply.

Martin Stern


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 08:47:57 +0200
Subject: Re: Role of Women

> From: Mark Goldin <goldinfamily@...>
> Shoshana L. Boublil
> >>My mother-in-law has an oral tradition going back thousands of years,
> >>mother to daugther on all kinds of halachot and homelife traditions, but
> >>when I asked her why she didn't teach us, her daughters and
> >>daughters-in-law she says that the impression she got was that "it
> >>wasn't important"!!! (compare this with the lack of tradition in areas
> >>that were devestated by the Holocaust).
> I find this paragraph hard to understand.  If your MIL has such a
> tradition going back "thousands of years" surely she would understand
> the value inherent in that tradition of passing it along?  How does she
> think it was passed down to her in the first place?

One of the tragedies (IMHO) of our generation is the transfer from mixed
Oral and Written traditions to mostly (if not only) written traditions,
especially in the Sephardi community.

For example, 25 years ago, I studied with Rav Elinson ZT"L.  In
preparation for his books, he studied with Rav Ovadia Yosef.  At the
time, Rav Elinson discovered that despite what Maran had paskened -- on
3 issues NONE of the Sephardi women kept Maran's psika, but rather had
their own Oral traditions which they kept. Rav Ovadia didn't like it --
but accepted it.

One had to do with when you say the Beracha on the Shabbat candles.  The
2nd was covering the hair for unmarried women.  I don't recall the 3rd
right now.

But during the past 25 years, Rav Ovadia has been pushing the younger
generation to abandon their mothers' practice -- and to follow Maran on
2 of these 3.  Nowadays, I know plenty of Sephardi women who have
abandoned their mother's tradition, and follow Maran on these matters.

In general there has been a push to accept only halachot and minhagim
that appear in various Sifrei Halacha and Minhag.  Many of the
traditions that my MIL has kept -- are not written anywhere, or they
appear in ancient halachot that have not been kept OR STUDIED by men for
at least a millenia.

For example, there is a tradition (that has probably evolved over time)
of preparing on Rosh Chodesh Elul and Rosh Chodesh Nissan a special
dish, made up of wheat, spices and oil.  It is reminicent and a reminder
of the Korban Minha (Solet Belulah BaShemen) but it's made in such a way
that it cannot be a korban.  It is also prepared when entering a new
house and on other occasions.

For example, besides the harchakot that we are all familiar with, she
keeps a whole collection of additional laws, which (when I studied them)
are actually the laws that women would have to follow -- if there was a
Beit HaMikdash, and the men would want to eat Kodashim in Tahara.  When
I was a bride, my rabbis and rebbetzins (who taught me halachot) told me
that "if your future MIL brings up these additional "Chumrot" you can
kindly listen, but you don't have to keep them".  None of them realized
the source or importance of this oral tradition!

So, you can see that with that attitude (and for all that she is not
"book-learned" she is very intelligent and knows what's going on) -- she
has found that few wish to even hear about these traditions.  She does
not know "sources" and she also is very religious, and accepts whatever
is paskened, not realizing the importance of her oral traditions.

She has many other traditions, connected with every holiday and every
life-event.  Some, I've been able to trace back to ancient halachot and
minhagim, some -- I'm still learning and researching.

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 22:16:12 EDT
Subject: Women and Kadish - some sources

I would suggest to read the sources as cited by Dr. Yael Levin in



From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 10:10:00 +0200
Subject: Women And Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot

There is reference to women and the recitation of Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot
both by the Ben Ish Chai and by R. Yaakov Hayyim Sefer in his work Kaf
ha-Hayyim. The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Pe'alim, 1, Kontress Sod Yesharim, siman
tet; Ben Ish Hai, Hilkhot Shana Rishona, Parashat va-Yishlah, 1) raises
kabbalistic reasons according to which women should not recite this
Tikkun. He also relates that it was not the custom of the women in his
family to say it. By contrast, the Kaf ha-Hayyim (OH, 494, 8) rules that
only women who said sefirat ha-omer may say Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot. I
intend to relate to this topic in writing at greater length.

Yael Levine


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 02:52:23 GMT
Subject: Re: Women Saying Kaddish

     Martin Stern and Carl Singer have voiced disagreement about the
nature of kaddish in synagogues where only one person at a time is
permitted to recite it, with CS claiming that he is saying it for all
mourners, while MS contends that he is saying it as his own obligation,
pushing the others aside by his halachic precedence.

     In truth, I believe that the correct answer is neither, and this
impinges as well on the question of women saying kaddish.

     It is considered a merit for the departed for a son to serve as the
shaliach tzibbur.  His enabling of the congregation to fulfill those
obligations which can only be done with a minyan is what makes it a
merit.  Since not everyone knows how to serve as a chazzan, and in any
event only one person can do so, it was instituted that a mourner say
the kaddish at the end of services.  The kaddish, in other words, is a
congregational obligation, just as is the repetition of the Amidah; just
as for the latter, preference is given to a mourner, so too for the
former; and just as in the absence of a mourner, a non-mourner repeats
the Amidah, so too for the kaddish which marks the end of the service --
i.e., the kaddish after Aleinu.  [Note that a kaddish always marks an
ending of part of the service: half-kaddish after p'sukei d'zimrah in
the morning, Ashrei at Mincha, and the Shma and its b'rochos at Ma'ariv;
a full kaddish marks the end of Amidah (Ma'ariv) or its repetition
(Shacharis and Mincha); a kaddish d'rabanan at the end of learning a
portion of the oral Torah; and the so-called mourner's kaddish, the end
of the full service.  In fact, S'faradim don't call it a mourner's
kaddish; they refer to it as "full kaddish without Titkabeil."]

     Thus, the single mourner saying kaddish is in effect the shaliach
tzibbur for kaddish.  He is not saying it for himself; he is not saying
it for his fellow mourners.  He is saying it for the entire

     It was because of darkei shalom (to preserve the peace) that some
permitted several mourners to say the kaddish simultaneously, even
though strictly speaking it makes as much sense as two or more people
serving as chazan simultaneously.  Other communities, not wanting to do
what strictly speaking should not be done, restricted the kaddish to a
single person, but added extra kaddeishim, such as after Mizmor Shir
Chanukas Habayis or after the Shir shel Yom, and indeed, when no mourner
is present, these kaddeishim are not recited (although in many Nusach
Ashknaz congregations, where Shir shel Yom is said last, the mandatory
kaddish is said after it rather than after Aleinu, since it represents
the end of Shacharis now).  In those places which do restrict kaddish to
one person, if there are two mourners at, say, Mincha, one is the chazan
while the other says kaddish; and given the choice, it is far preferable
to be the chazan rather than say the kaddish.

     Since the true purpose of the kaddish being said by the mourner is
not for its own sake, but merely to serve as the chazan for it, it makes
little sense for a woman to say it, since she can not serve as a chazan.
However, the kaddish obligation has taken on a life of its own, beyond
its halachic purpose, and in addition to halacha, there is an emotional
component as well.  For this reason, many rabbonim (of whom I am one)
permit women to recite kaddish, but only where it will not mean their
serving as a chazan; i.e., only when there is a man saying it at the
same time.



End of Volume 52 Issue 22