Volume 52 Number 69
                    Produced: Mon Sep 11 22:30:00 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Curses (2)
         [Jay F Shachter, Ben Katz]
Heter for turning off an alarm clock on shabbat? (2)
         [Carl Singer, Bernard Raab]
         [Lipman Minden]
Images on gravestones
         [Bob Kosovsky]
Jewish Agency and NBN
Maharal and The Philtrum, Yeled Pelah
My new Jewish wedding website
         [Avi Hein]
Online: Aruch HaShulchan for Hilchos Rosh Hashanah & Yom Hakippurim
         [Dovi Jacobs]
Siddur Textual Contradiction (Rosh Chodesh)?
         [Mark Symons]
why Jews & non-Jews have the "bump from the malach (angel)"
         [Mark Symons]


From: Jay F Shachter <jay@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 13:25:25 -0600 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Curses

In mail.jewish v52n68 someone inquired:
> Last Shabbat, in Ki Tavo, we read in Devarim 12:15-26 [sic; 27:15-26
> was meant] a dozen curses associated with prohibitions. Does anyone
> here know what is special about these particular prohibitions, that
> they were singled out from the several hundred more that were not
> called out in this particularly spectacular fashion?

One common explanation, given by several commentators, is that these
things tend to be done in private, without witnesses, and therefore not
subject to the ordinary criminal law.  In some cases, the act is
explicitly qualified with "in secret"; in other cases, the act, by its
nature, is not one which usually results in the sinner's being known.
Thus, Scripture supplements the criminal law with curses, to make us
know that even if we escape earthly punishment for these crimes, we are
still accursed for committing them.

Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
Chicago IL  60645-4111

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 18:22:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Curses

Ibn Ezra explains because they are all done secretly and cannot be
prosecuted by a beit din.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
e-mail: <bkatz@...>


From: <casinger@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 12:24:25 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Heter for turning off an alarm clock on shabbat?

Many years ago in shul (on Shabbos, of course) some young children
playing in the hallway managed to set off a fire alarm (the shul was in
a school building) during davening.  It was loud and certainly disrupted
the davening - things came to a halt.  One of our members went to the
source and turned off the alarm.  He, too, cited a heter.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 14:51:16 -0400
Subject: Heter for turning off an alarm clock on shabbat?

>From: Ken Bloom
>I made the mistake of experimenting with the time-bake feature of my
>oven about 5 minutes before shabbat, to keep the oven on low until it
>was time to eat. Little did I know that after the oven turned off,
>the  oven would beep every minute or so to indicate completion until
>someone  hit a button on the control panel to turn off the beeping.
>It happened that when I and my guest had gone to bed, my frum
>roommate  returned and turned off the beeping. When I asked him about
>it in the  morning, he said it was some kind of "crazy heter" (his
>words) that if  you couldn't move a beeping alarm clock somewhere to
>muffle it (e.g. in  the case of this oven when it's too big to move),
>you could turn it  off.
>Has anyone heard of a heter for this?

I have received heterim over the years from various rabbis for turning
off fans or adjusting thermostats in Shabbat if these appliances were
preventing sleep on Shabbat, especially for an elderly person. It has
been my understanding that Shabbat rest is a Torah mandate, while the
prohibition on the use of electricity on Shabbat is strictly of rabbinic
origin, with the sole exception of incandescent lighting, which most
poskim seem to regard as "eish" (fire), and hence of biblical origin.
There are also some strong opinions that turning off such appliances is
less problematic that turning on, on Shabbat.

But as always, consult your LOR--Bernie R.


From: Lipman Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 12:59:29 +0200
Subject: Re: Hollekreisch

Dov Bloom wrote:

> It seemed entirely Jewish to me, I can't see who would think it is a
> "German Jewish secular naming ceremony", it seemed very non secular to
> me

The "secular" refers to the name, as opposed to giving the child her or
his shem koudesh. It's what you sometimes call the "English name" in the

Concerning the meaning and origin of the word of "hollekraash", I think
"za-akas choul" is backread into it, though possible in theory. Another
etymology wants to trace it back to Frau Holle, a German fairytale
character, which doesn't really make sense. My candidate is French "haut
la crèche", or "up with the cradle", both because the region
neighbouring France is the cradle (no pun intended) of Ashkenazi Jewry,
and in fact Alsace is one of the few places where hollekraash is still a
natural minneg, but also because traditionally, the invited children
actually do lift the cradle while saying "hollekrash, hollekraash, vi
zol's kindche haase?" (= how's the little child to be called) or a local
variety of it.

Lipman Phillip Minden


From: <kos@...> (Bob Kosovsky)
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 12:09:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Images on gravestones

The other day, I visited Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, a Jewish
cemetery, where my great-grandmother is buried (she died in 1916).

I noted that the more recently deceased (since the year 2000) have been
immigrants from the former Soviet Union.  In particular, I noted that it
seems to be the fashion among them to engrave (or emboss? lithograph? I
couldn't determine the process) an image of the decased on the stone

I have a feeling that computer technology allows for all sorts of
graphic imagery, as many of these gravestones had a certain pizzazz that
I've not seen on older stones.

What are the halachic issues with having an image of the deceased on the

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 06:55:16 EDT
Subject: Re: Jewish Agency and NBN

Once again, we should thank the Jewish Agency and NBN and all the
partners who make Aliyah to Israel possible, as well as the dedicated
Jews who are making Aliyah. Kol Hakavod.


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 22:40:43 +1000
Subject: Re: Maharal and The Philtrum, Yeled Pelah

>From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
>> realised that amazingly he knew everything - Kol Hatorah kulah -
>> Chumash, Mishna, Gemara and even certain sefarim published at that  
>> time!
>Which Girso-os (versions) of Shas did he know. Was he born
>with a true one, or was he born knowing all the versions.

Probably the Artscroll version....


From: Avi Hein <avihein@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 11:40:48 -0400
Subject: My new Jewish wedding website

I have long felt that there is a lack of good English resources on the
Jewish wedding ceremony. Most of what is available, I feel, is either
too right wing or too left wing (and notably, non-halakhic). To that
end, I have undertaken a brief project to try to improve online Jewish
resources on the Jewish wedding ceremony that has a certain level of
flexibility but is also framed in a halakhic way. To that end, I have
created a website


I would be most appreciative if you would link to this site and inform
others of it when relevant. I would also be appreciative of comments and
corrects as well as the following:

* Links or scans (preferably in Adobe Acrobat format) of historical ketubot.
By historical it could be a ketubah from yesterday or a hundred years
ago (or older). 

* Links or scans (again, preferably in Acrobat PDF format) of wedding

* Resources on non-Ashkenazi customs.

* Resources on the Kabbalat Panim, breaking the glass and Seudat Mitzvah
(including Sheva Brachot, Birkat HaMazon)

* Any practical content on planning a Jewish wedding (as opposed to a
non-Jewish wedding -- that is, things that make a Jewish wedding unique!)

Please note that I have chosen to focus at this point on a few areas and
so it is not completely comprehensive. However, any links, resources or
even text and additional pages you could provide would be most

Any help and publicity you can provide is most appreciated,

Avi Hein


From: Dovi Jacobs <dovijacobs@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 21:19:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Online: Aruch HaShulchan for Hilchos Rosh Hashanah & Yom Hakippurim

Hilkhos Yom Hakippurim of the Arukh Hashulchan are now complete, making
the entire halachos of Elul, Rosh Hashonoh, Aseres Ymei Teshuva and Yom
Kippur ready on time for Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Go directly to the full Orach Chaim index found at this link:

I will try to continue IYH with Hilkhos Sukkah & Lulav during Elul and
the period of the yomim tovim. Since it is a lot of typing during a very
busy time of year, I don't know if I will finish all of it on time for
Succos, but I hope to get at least a large part of it done.

Basic information on the texts, as in previous posts:

These are typed digital versions of the simonim that may be copied,
pasted, printed, used or adapted freely for any purpose. They can be
used for personal study, chavrusah, halochoh shiurim and in schools.

You can call up one siman at a time, or view all of Hilchos Rosh
Hashanah together on a single page. There is even a "printer friendly"
version available by clicking on "girsah le-hadpasah" in the toolbox on
the right margin, so you can send Hilchos Rosh Hashanah to the printer
with a single click.

The online text is based on the old printed edition, but has new,
additional features:

 *  The abbreviations (roshei tevos) have been expanded;
 *  Full punctuation has been added;
 *  The text has been divided into smaller paragraphs.
 *  Dozens of links have been added.
 *  Texts appear in an extremely user-friendly format for easy


Along with using these texts, feel free to improve and correct them, and
even to add more simonim on your own. Two of the website's main
contributors have professional experience with editing Torah texts
and/or proofreading, and are happy to help.

Just one request: I ask all who use these texts for learning halochoh to
be makdish their Talmud Torah in the zechus of all the wounded in the
war in Israel, soldiers and civilians alike, may Hashem bring them a
refuah shelemah; and in the zechus of all Am Yisroel, soldiers and
civilians, may the Ribbono shel Olam protect them and comfort the



From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 22:43:45 +1000
Subject: Siddur Textual Contradiction (Rosh Chodesh)?

       Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote

> In the Ashkenazi version of Mussaf for Rosh Chodesh of our Siddur, the
> second paragraph after the Kedusha correctly repeats, word-for-word,
> the source for the Temple sacrificial ritual, specifically, one se'ir
> (kid goat), as found at Numbers 28:11.
> Yet, in the previous paragraph (roshei chodashim l'amcha), we read
> that the sacrifices consisted of "olat rosh chodesh" , i.e., singular
> and se'irei izim, i.e., plural. The olah, while multiple (10 elements)
> is rendered in the [collective] singular but the singular kid goat is
> rendered, inexplicably, to me at least and to my magid shi'ur, Rav
> Yaakov Navon, in the plural while it is actually singular. There's a
> contradiction here, seemingly. In Sfard siddurim this problem does not
> exist as it is in the singular.

It would seem to me that the phrase se'irei izim (like the earlier
phrases zivchei ratson and u'se'irei chatat) refers to sacrifices in
general, whereas olat rosh chodesh refers to the specific rosh chodesh

Mark Symons


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 06:41:31 +1000
Subject: why Jews & non-Jews have the "bump from the malach (angel)"

A lot of this discussion seems to me to be based on an inappropriately
excessively literal/concrete interpretation of this Midrash. A shiur I
attended recently explained this midrash metaphorically - ie it is
stating/ vividly illustrating that Torah is an integral, innate-like
part of the Jewish people - manifested for example in the seemingly
innate torah-like wisdom that even non-Torah-educated Jews have, and the
sense of re-discovery of something familiar we often have when we learn

Mark Symons


End of Volume 52 Issue 69