Volume 52 Number 43
                    Produced: Thu Jul  6  6:13:39 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

A Conceptual Approach to study of Bible (Was Ashtei Asar)
         [Matthew Pearlman]
Generational Choices
         [Leah S. Gordon]
Ima's Tips
         [Ima's Tips]
Kaddish After Aleinu
         [Martin Stern]
Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night
         [Jonathan Baker]
Kaddish Yatom
         [Avraham Etzion]
Naming of Children getting Converted (2)
         [<chips@...>, chips@eskimo.com]
Research question: references to the Creator
         [Akiva Miller]


From: Matthew Pearlman <Matthew.Pearlman@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 11:27:00 +0100
Subject: A Conceptual Approach to study of Bible (Was Ashtei Asar)

Thank you to Russell Hendel for noting that the difference between achad
asar and ashtei asar is simply the difference between 11 and 11th.  I
had come to this tentative conclusion myself based on the first 3 verses
of Devarim: v2 - 11 (achad asar) days from Chorev; v3 - in the 11th
(ashtei asar) month, but had not had time for the more extensive
research he has done.  The main reason for posting this is that Russell
missed the second reference above from his list.



From: Leah S. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2006 07:58:47 -0700
Subject: Generational Choices

Tzvi Stein wrote, in part:

>It also should be noted that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the
>people who "followed the crowd" went on to become the patriarchs and
>matriarchs of the 90% or so of the Jewish population that has
>assimilated, whereas the "heroic" minority who resisted became the
>patriarchs and matriarchs of the surviving remnant (10%) of Torah

On what do you base this?  I have seen, at least anecdotally, many cases
of children/grandchildren/greatgrandchildren becoming BT even though the
first generation chose to (or had to) "Americanize".  In fact, I have
seen a significant number of cases where the older generation's choice
to go to shul [in addition to working] was a big reason for a younger
generation's exposure to Judaism in the first place.  Then the younger
generations, with weekends etc., were able to make different choices for
their own families.

One example close to home is that my husband's grandparents were not
strictly shomer shabbat, and drove to shul.  When his grandfather got
too old to move around, walk, or drive on his own, my inlaws instructed
my husband (a teenager) to drive him to his shul on shabbat.  (My inlaws
were mainstream Conservative, and drove to shul as well.)

My husband came out of that experience with a strong regard for communal
Judaism, and decided after his grandfather died that he would not drive
on shabbat any more - but the importance of Judaism and shul and
observance (and honor for aged relatives!) is what stuck with him.  In
high school and college, in fact, he was one of the few "kids" that the
elderly daily-minyan regulars used to call to help them make a minyan.

In fact, my inlaws also stopped driving to shul on shabbat after
conversations around this issue.  But none of them regrets taking the
grandfather to shul in his waning years.

You have to be very careful in making generalizations about what kinds
of observance will lead to what kinds of Jews in the future.

--Leah S. R. Gordon


From: Ima's Tips <imastips@...>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2006 14:35:11 -0400
Subject: Ima's Tips

Many "Ima"s would apreciate tips on matters that come up in our
families, but would never be found in a standard parenting book: How do
you handle a "late Shabbos"? How can I juggle the demands of a large
family? What advice can you give me to keep my young children safe while
the menorah is lit?

That is the goal of Ima's Tips , http://imastips.googlepages.com/home
which is being used to collect practical advice from online "Ima"s.

What works for you? What tips can you pass on to other busy Imas?  If
you have a suggestion, please send it to <imastips@...> to post it.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2006 11:57:16 +0100
Subject: Re: Kaddish After Aleinu

On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 06:22:48 -0700 (PDT), Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
> I'm believe David E. Cohen may be mixing cause and effect in his
> discussion of "mandatory" kaddeshim after pesukim. Sections such as
> Mizmor Shir and the Shir Shel Yom seem to have been added to the prayer
> (or formally added) specifically so that there would be an opportunity
> for Kaddish afterward, not the other way around.

The Shir Shel Yom seems to have originally been a pious practice of
individuals and not part of the seder hatephillah, AFAIK the earliest
reference to it are in the Seder Hayom (from the Tsfat school) published
about 1600 who puts it at the end of davenning and the Kitsur Shelah
(from Central Europe), an abridgement of the Shelah Hakadosh also
published in the 17th century, who places it after the korbanot.

Mizmor Shir Channukat Habayit was introduced under the influence of the
followers of the Arizal but not universally accepted, especially in
Central Europe.

> In fact, the formal recitation of Aleinu probably does not predate the
> Rama by very long, and may have been instituted for a similar
> reason. It was recited informally (much as people say the Ani Maamins)
> for some time before that; originally, of course, it was "only" part
> of Rosh Hashana Musaf, which is where the two pesukim at the end come
> from.

Slight inaccuracy here. The minhag of saying Aleinu at the end of each
tephillah (though in Germany it was not said when ma'ariv immediately
followed minchah) dates to the martyrdom at Blois towrds the end of
Rabbeinu Tam's life (incidentally the fast on 20 Sivan was also
originally instituted by him to commemorate these martyrs). As they were
being burnt alive in a pit they sang Aleinu to the RH niggun which even
impressed the non-Jewish bystanders. If one thinks about the meaning of
Aleinu, their choice was particularly appropriate. Over the following
century this custom spread throughout the Jewish world.

Martin Stern


From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 15:20:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Kaddish for Musaf and Friday Night

We had some discussion about the tune for pre-Maftir Kaddish a few
months back.  Thought this might answer some questions.

>From the Lincoln Square Synagogue SHABBAT ECHOD, 5766:
Parshas Shlach:

MUSICAL NOTE By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
The Friday Evening Maariv Kaddish

    As I have mentioned in previous columns, the Kaddish is usually the
centerpiece around which the rest of the musical nusach for the Tefilla
revolves. On Friday Night, there are two forms of the Kaddish that are
acceptable. The preferred version is the one that sounds exactly like
the melody for "Shochen Ad Morom V'Kodosh" of Shacharis. (This is not
surprising since that particular Shochen Ad version was taken note for
note by the newly formed Young Israel movement -c.1910- from the Friday
Eve. Kaddish).

    The second acceptable melody is the one that we also use for the
Kaddish before Maftir on Shabbat morning, with its popular "B'Chayachon"
melody that everyone sings. This was composed by an anonymous choir
leader towards the end of the 19th century. It follows the basic marker
points of the traditional Kaddish mentioned above. In sum, there are two
kaddishim that are acceptable for Friday Night Kaddish, and the
preferred one sounds like the version everyone recognizes as the widely
used Schochen Ad melody. This melody-theme begins with the V'Shom'ru
nusach in the preceding paragraph and continues into the Kaddish before
the Amidah. All who serve as Shaliach Tsibbur for Maariv should be
careful about this melody, as it is among those that are sanctified in
accordance with the ruling of the Maharil, as quoted by the Ram"ah in
Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 619.

Parshas Korach:

MUSICAL NOTE By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
Friday Evening Maariv Kaddish, continued 

    Rabbi Robinson asked me a very good question that I would like to
address.  If the ancient Maariv Kaddish of Friday Evening is not to be
changed, as the Maharil and the Rama"h have decreed, how can we accept
the "second version" of the Kaddish that I mentioned last week in this
column - that was composed in the late 19th century?  The answer is
mildly complicated, but I will try to make it understandable.

    There are times in history when a composition will achieve great
popularity and becomes "traditional" for congregations all over the
world. Such an example is "Vayechulu" and "Mogen Ovos" which were
written by Lewandowski in the late 19th century for the Chorus of the
Reform Synagogue of Berlin. They achieved great popularity, despite
their origin, because they were true to the musical Nusach of those
tefillot and served to enhance and beautify them.

    The "second Kaddish" of Maariv Shabbat (that we also use before
Maftir) was also written as a choral composition by an unknown composer.
His sweet "B'chayechon" melody touched the hearts of Jewish worshippers
everywhere and achieved widespread popularity. However, it had one
element that made it "Kosher" for use as a Maariv Kaddish. The
B'chayechon melody, (which in reality is our beloved "Eliyohu Hanavi"
melody), follows the "marker points" of the correct Maariv Kaddish point
for point, and therefore was acceptable for use in the Maariv service -
as a choral piece. Individual cantors/baalei tefilla were expected to
and were fastidious to sing the original Kaddish as prescribed by our
Sages, and as we do here at LSS.  However, because of its acceptance as
a "legal" alternate version, the Maariv "Choral Kaddish" eventually
became widely used, even by baalei tefilla - especially in Young Israel
shuls in the U.S.  But, I stress, that this was only true because it
followed the "markers" of the traditional Kaddish. If it did not do so,
it would have never been accepted from the start for use in any
Traditional synagogue, anywhere. I hope this clarifies the way our
system works with "new" compositions. It is always the musical Nusach
that is primary.

Daven Well and Sing  Along!

   - jon baker    <jjbaker@...>     <http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker> -


From: Avraham Etzion <atzion@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 14:45:35 +0400
Subject: Re: Kaddish Yatom

It was introduced in Ashkenaz after the First Crusade. There were many
orphans in Europe and a need was felt to do something for
them.Consequently the young orphans said Kaddish-based on a strange
Midrash on the efficacy of the Kaddish attributed to Rabbi Akiva-a
Midrash not quoted before this period.  The dating of the Kaddish we
heard from Rabbi Soloveitchik and I beleive Sperber in Minhagei Yirael
documents this.

Another change in liturgy was the emphasis on Rosh Hashana as Yomin
Noraim as seen in the Piyutim of the Day(Yom AYOM VANORA).It has been
shown that before this period Rosh Hashana was viewed as a day of
Simcha- including the saying of Vehasienu traditionaly reserved for the
Pilgrimage Festivals-but as a result of the disaster of the Crusades the
emphasis changed to Yom Hadin


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2006 20:41:33 -0700
Subject: Re: Re: Naming of Children getting Converted

> Although I of course support converts' right to present themselves how
> they will, efforts to conceal a proud heritage--descended from the
> best!--irritate me almost as much as the "yeshivaleit" who try to hide
> the nice Conservative parents in South Orange.  

I am very confused by this statement. Chazal wrote that reminding a
Ger/Geres of his/her past is on the level of a sin (aveira).


From: <chips@...>
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2006 20:41:33 -0700
Subject: Re: Re: Naming of Children getting Converted

> Am I missing something but how does being called ben Avraham or Bat
> Sarah indicate a conversion?

When the father's name is Dovid and then you call the son 'ben Avraham',
that is a pretty big give-away.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2006 03:30:50 GMT
Subject: Re: Research question: references to the Creator

Louis Finkelman wrote:
> When speaking in English, observant Jews tend to refer to the
> Creator using the ordinary English word for the Deity, God, the
> same word used by practictioners of other faiths. ... In recent
> years, I have observed people insisting on using the Hebrew
> word "HaShem" in place of the ordinary English word; and that
> seems the practice of some Jewish book publishers as well. This,
> in effect, claims that the Jewish concept of the Creator differs
> so radically from the concept held by non-Jews that we should not
> use the same word.

I have noticed this same practice, but I have come to a different
conclusion about it. I do not think it has anything to do with our
concept of the Creator, but is rather a function of including "frum"
words in our vocabulary.

People who prefer words like Sabbath, Holiday, Prayer Book, and Grandpa
will tend to prefer the name "G-d". People who prefer words like
Shabbos, Yom Tov, Siddur, and Zayde will tend to prefer the name

Please don't focus on minor differences, such as preferring the Yiddish
or Hebrew over the English, or people who say some of these in English
and others not in English. My point is that the choice of vocabulary is
mainly cultural and subconscious, and is not due to a deliberate
rejection of non-Jewish concepts. That might indeed happen in some
cases, such as one who wants to stress that Melacha is not the same
thing as Work, but it is the exception and not the rule.

Akiva Miller


End of Volume 52 Issue 43