Volume 52 Number 31
                    Produced: Mon Jun 26  6:38:57 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ashtei Asar
Disproportionate emotional impact
         [Nathan Lamm]
Men going to Hashakam minyan
         [Saul Newman]
Naming of Children getting Converted
Reciting Kaddish Quietly
Role of Women
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Siddur Ergonomics
         [Carl A. Singer]
Staying up on Shavuot night - for women?
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Women and Torah Study
Women saying kaddish


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 01:56:46 +1000
Subject: Ashtei Asar

From: Jack Stroh <>
> I am trying to find out what is the linguistic and interpretive
> differences between "acahad asar" and "ashtei asar" in the Torah. I know
> that ashtei asar is an archaic form of the number but I would like to
> understand better why the Torah uses one and why the other.

We discussed this a few years ago on Areivim/Avodah.  Here is what I
found in the archives:

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 11:36:30 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@...>

In this mornings Mussaf - "Uvayom Hashlishi Porim Ashtei Osor..."
Someone asked, when do we use Echod Osor and when Ashtei?  And what is
the source of the word "ashtei"?

Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 14:52:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Seth Mandel <sethm37@...>

Ashtei osor and ashtei esreh are as commonly used in the T'NaKh as ahad
osor and ahat esreh. No one knows of any difference in meaning.

However, the forms with ashtei are found in the oldest Semitic
languages, such as Akkadian and Ugaritic; the younger languages, such as
Aramaic, Arabic, and Ge'ez do not have these forms. So it is likely that
the forms with ashtei have a more classical, poetic connotation, like
the other poetry in the T'NaKh is written with classical and poetic
forms.  But no one knows for sure what the difference would be to the
ears of one of Bnei Yisroel in Biblical times. And the fact that
different forms are used of course opens the gates for d'roshos to be

Actually, the fact that Hebrew has an "irregular" form like ashtei osor
(versus the other numbers in the teens, which are formed the same way as
each other) is not too surprising from the linguistic point of view.
One has to go no further than the Germanic languages, where eleven and
twelve (or elf un tzvelf) are formed on a different basis than the other
teens. There are sociolinguistic factors at work that make it common
that the numbers for 11 and 12 are not formed as are the higher teens.


From: PM <phminden@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 18:27:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Disproportionate emotional impact

Who'd have thunk that I turn to defend some of the following points?

> Joseph Ginzberg wrote:
> Why is eating ham or bacon so much "worse" than eating shrimp or gelatin?

Bacon vs. shrimp? I wasn't aware of a difference in perception. Gelatin
is regarded to be kosher by a majority of the poskem, but if we
substitute other, clearly non-kosher ingredients - well, they are only a
part of the whole thing you're eating, so you might just not be as aware
as when you have a solid piece of treife meat on your fork. People might
also expand the notions of bittel etc. Then again, they might be right
more often then they know.

> Why is marrying "out" so much less acceptable than, say, chilul shabbat?

Again, I'm not sure this is really how it's seen. But anyway: Because
it's much easier to do tshuve? Or because of non-Toure nationalism, of

> Why is a womans wearing slacks or her style of hair-covering so much
> more important than her level of knowledge or committment to kashruth
> or shabbat?

I never heard anyone express this preference. What you might mean is
that outward things are noticed more easily, so people who aren't
committed in both, but feel a social need or pressure, will care about
the visible issues first. Still, I honestly think there are more women
in (women) trousers and with more than a tefach of their hair protruding
who won't make any compromise in kashres and Shabbes. Some with a good
conscience, i. e. because they see no problem in trousers and hair, and
some with a less good conscience, because they fell they can't bear it
and consider it less important than kashres and Shabbes.



From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 09:58:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Kaddish

"Ira L. Jacobson" <laser@...> wrote:
> Similarly, the posqim universally hold that a woman should not recite
> qaddish--certainly not if she is older than 12 and wants to say it in
> a synagogue.

I'm not sure how else to say this, but it is simply not
true. Period. "Universally" means all. There are many, many poskim, over
many, many years, who saw no problem with it, and even encouraged it.

To be honest, I think we're going in circles here.  Some approve, some
don't. But please don't throw around words like "universally" if they
are simply not true.

Nachum Lamm


From: Saul Newman <Saul.Z.Newman@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 09:53:08 -0700
Subject: RE: Men going to Hashakam minyan

the shabbos hashkama minyan that i go to starts in reverse-- aim zmiros,
mizmor shir, then brachos.  the tradition says that this was due to an
earlier epoch when some came to say kaddish before going to work-- and
thus caught all the kadishes within about 10 minutes.....


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 10:00:22 -0700
Subject: Naming of Children getting Converted

I don't have an issue with adults getting the name of 'ben Avraham' or
'bas Sarah' when they are converted.  But children? This contradicts the
rule of confidentiality of the conversion process.


From: PM <phminden@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 18:27:41 +0200
Subject: Re: Reciting Kaddish Quietly

Stephen Phillips wrote:

> In regard to reciting Mourner's Kaddish quietly, I would like to bring
> a quote from HaRav Yitzchak Tzvi Oshinsky, a Dayan in Yerushalayim and
> author of a Sefer on Hilchos Aveilus:
> "It should be pointed out that also when saying Kaddish quietly while
> other mourners say it out loud there is benefit, and the Amen which is
> answered by the Tzibbur for the others' Kaddishim also applies to the
> quiet Kaddish (Halichos Shlomo, Perek 18, Seif 31, in the name of
> HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l)."

Unfortunately, I don't have the Halichos Shlomo at hand right now. Could
someone who does quote or summarise this astonishing opinion? It's hard
to understand how you answer to something that isn't said and heard, and
what exactly the benefit is, out of comfort for the person who says
kaddesh.  (Not to be undervalued, to wit, but from my limited
experience, I'd expect neither RSZA nor ylch"t Dayyen Oshinsky to write
it just like that.)



From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 23:23:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Role of Women

> From: Emmanuel Ifrah <emmanuel_ifrah@...>
> Shoshana L. Boublil wrote (Volume 52 Number 22):
> > 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.
> The third issue is the number of days after which women can began 7
> nekiim. Maran rules that is 5, most North African communities held 6 and
> some other Sefaradim or Edot ha-Mizrach even 7 or 8. 

I would just like to say that this is NOT the 3rd issue.

Rav Ovadia Yosef paskens that the minimum is 4 days.  Only Teimanim held
7 days, and that is for historical reasons.  Nowadays, there has been a
general hatara and most younger generation yeminites are told that they
can keep a minimum of 5 days.

> As for head covering only following to the development of French
> culture in North Africa did women begin not to cover their heads. I
> can clearly recall that my great grandmother, z"l, always kept her
> head covered.

I was talking about head covering FOR UNMARRIED Women!!! Not for married

>The third factor is that while they left their lands of origin, the
>majority of Sefaradic Jews had difficulty maintaining their traditions.
>All streams where mixed together, resulting into a kind of esperanto of
>minhagim, often they had to integrate into Ashkenazi communities, etc.

Maybe this is so in France, but it is not true in Eretz Yisrael, except
in Chareidi communities, where many Sephardim were taught that they are
supposed to leave their Sephardi minhag and follow Ashkenazi Minhag.

There have been and there are plenty of serious Sephardi rabbis in
Israel, so that for those who wanted to keep the traditions -- it was
never a problem.

> In conclusion, I would say that even here in France, where 95% of
> Sefaradim are of North African origin, it is harder and harder to
> stick to our minhagim, as there is now a new Tora and one who does not
> want to go by R. Ovadya Yossef's psakim is considered an ignoramus and
> sometimes an apikoros.

And THAT is a major problem!!!

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Carl A. Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 09:54:52 -0400
Subject: Siddur Ergonomics

It dawned on me this morning at Shacharis that several of my fellow
daveners were bobbing their heads up and down during that portion of
tachnun where they were trying to lay their heads down.

The reason is rather simple, the siddur that they were using has that
portion of tachnun across two pages and necessitates turning a page in
order to complete the entire tefillah.  Same happens in certain siddurs
where that portion of Shma that involves tzizits requires page turning.

Can anyone recommend siddurs that are more ergonomically designed?


BTW - I stumbled across a website http://www.tefilacards.com where you
can get laminated cards for tachnun, etc.


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 20:09:15 +0200
Subject: Re: Staying up on Shavuot night - for women?

> From: Eitan Fiorino <AFiorino@...>
> > From: SBA <sba@...>
> > As for studying all night Shevuos, it is with much difficulty 
> > that rabbonim allow girls to study Torah in Beth Yaakov etc 
> > mainly because of Chazal's concerns of 'ke'ilu lomdo tiflus'. 
> > But they obviously permitted it as a horo'as sha'ah and eis 
> > laasos laHashem.  But to mak a chiyuv of limud haTorah on the 
> > level of men was never the intention.
> My response to this is that while in the chareidi community, Torah
> education for women may still viewed as an unfortunate but necessary
> concession to modernity, the MO community takes a lechatchila approach
> to the matter.  

I would like to note that I don't understand why anyone would think that
Torah study for girls was BeDi'Aved.  The fact is that the G'mora is
filled with tales of women who learned, of how there were schools in
Israel at the time of Chizkiyahu HaMelech that brought about a situation
where there wasn't a "Tinok VeTinoket" who didn't know halacha down to
Seder Tohorot.

A famous talmid of the Gaon of Vilna was Rav Zelmele.  He was the
brother of Rav Chaim of Vholozhin.  He is not as well known b/c he died
when he was but 36 years old.  But he was well known in Torah circles as
a true Gadol HaDor.  Here is some biographical information:

Of Rabbi Zelmele, who like his master became the hero of a
wonder-biography written by his disciple Ezekiel Feivel {120} of
Plungian, we are told that he regarded grammar as indispensable to a
thorough knowledge of the Bible and the Talmud, pleaded for a return to
the order of study prescribed in the Pirke Abot, and complained that,
owing to the neglect of Aramaic, the benefits of comparative philology
were lost and unknown. He declared also that while he believed in all
the Bible contains, the stories in the Talmud are, for the most part,
legends and parables used for the purpose of illustration.14

What is fascinating is that in this book, Rav Feivel writes how the
Rebbetzin, Rabbi Zelemele's wife and his daughter studied with him
regularly.  And no -- it wasn't Tzeina U'Re'Ena.

People keep mixing up the chiyuv of Mitzvat Talmud Torah with the fact
that in order to correctly KEEP Torah U'Mitzvot women HAVE To KNOW
HALACHA!!!  and not not just halacha, also about the history of Am
Yisrael and the full Torah and whatever else they are capable of

Once upon a time, Tikkun Leil Shavu'ot was a minhag held by few.  Most
of those who religiously particapate nowadays would be forced to admit
that their grandfathers never did.  Now, it is B"H possible LeHaGdil
Torah VeLeHa'adira -- and people are bothered by this!

B"H we live in a time when women who know Torah can teach their children
Parshat HaShavu'a; daily mitzvot; hanhagot etc.

All I can say is -- Baruch Hashem Yom Yom!

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2006 23:44:56 +1000
Subject: Re: Women and Torah Study

>From: Joel Rich
>> As for studying all night Shevuos, it is with much difficulty that
>> rabbonim allow girls to study Torah in Beth Yaakov etc mainly because of
>> Chazal's concerns of 'ke'ilu lomdo tiflus'.  But they obviously
>> permitted it as a horo'as sha'ah and eis laasos laHashem.> SBA
>So now that we have an educated generation of Bais Yaakov women who can
>transmit the mimetic mesorah as they did up to 100 years ago, which as I
>understand it was the turning point that allowed the horaat shaah,
>shouldn't the horrat shaah be reversed?

AIUI the horo'as shaah was mainly because girls began studying many
other subjects anyway, thus teaching them Torah to counter the influence
of some of those studies was found necessary.

That situation is still around.



From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 01:58:30 +1000
Subject: Re: Women saying kaddish

From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@...>
> One of the ironies, of course, is that R' SBA is closely identified with
> certain chassidic communities,

My community (Adass Yisroel- Melbourne) is officially Nusach Ashkenaz
[which is also my nusach] which the main shul adheres to.  But it is
true that the majority these days davven nusach Sfard with most of the
younger generation identifying with an assortment of Chasiduses.

> and my impression is that very similar charges were levelled against
> chassidism in its early years regarding inovation

No doubt about that. And I probably would have been amongst the noisiest
misnagdim at the time.

But 200 years later with hindsight and following the rule of 'miztva
goreres mitzva' and 'aveireh goreres aveireh', it is clear how wrong I
would have been..  Not only has chasidus shown itself to be a true and
genuine derech of Torah-true Yiddishkeit, but in many parts of the world
it was chasidus that kept it alive.

>charges were levelled against chassidism in its early years regarding
>inovation and absence of permission from (or even contradiction with)
>the Shulchan Aruch

Also true. But I have no doubt that they were in the minority.

The late Satmar rebbe [Rav Yoel Teitelbaum zt'l] once defined a chassid
as someone who is 'moser nefesh of every 'kutzo shel yud' (jot and
tittle) in Shulchan Aruch and is 'moser nefesh' to do chesed for another



End of Volume 52 Issue 31