Volume 52 Number 80
                    Produced: Wed Sep 27  5:46:29 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Confluence of Equinox and Rosh Hashana
         [Irwin Weiss]
Gregorian chants and the Beit Hamikdash
         [Edward Tolchin]
         [Sholom Parnes]
Last Al Cheyt
         [Ira Bauman]
Monsey meat debacle
         [Richard Schultz]
Monsey Meat Debacle (2)
         [Ari Trachtenberg, Akiva Miller]
         [Deborah Wenger]
Noda' bi-Yehuda's Mekhalkel Chaim
         [Elimelekh Polinsky]
NonKosher food as an "absolute"
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Nusah Ari
         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Sod Haibbur
         [Eli Turkel]
Why is no one named Abayye (and Yishmael)


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 17:40:19 -0400
Subject: Confluence of Equinox and Rosh Hashana

Interesting chart relating to the confluence of the autumnal Equinox and
Rosh Hashanah.  Someone here will enjoy this (maybe Andy Goldfinger, who
is involved in math and physics):


Irwin E. Weiss


From: Edward Tolchin <etolchin@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:42:21 -0400
Subject: RE: Gregorian chants and the Beit Hamikdash

Regarding Gregorian chants and their connection to the Beit Hamikdash --

I heard a talk about a year ago by Sherwood Goffin, Lincoln Square's
chazan and an expert in Jewish music.  He mentioned the theory of the
connection between Gregorian Chants and the music in the Beit Hamikdash.
If my memory serves me, he also sang a particular nigun (I believe it
was yemenite) that had a tradition as having been used in the
Temple. That nigun had tonality very comparable to the Gregorian chants.
Perhaps someone on the list can speak with Chazan Goffin and get more

Edward J. Tolchin


From: Sholom Parnes <merbe@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 18:37:27 +0200
Subject: Ishmael

> Freda B Birnbaum wrote, (MJ 52/78)
> "Interestingly, no one today names a son Ishmael, but one of the major
> biggies of the Talmud was Rabbi Ishmael."

1) In Genesis 25:17 the description of Ishmael's death uses the word
"va'yigva". Rashi comments that this term is only used for righteous
people.We deduce from this that Ishmael repented before he died. This
may explain why some of the Talmudic rabbis were named Ishmael.

2) Living in Israel, I have come across people named Ishmael, albeit not
people of the Mosaic persuasion !

A gmar chatima tova to the entire MJ family.



From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 17:27:34 EDT
Subject: Last Al Cheyt

I would appreciate if a mj'er could give me a definition of the last Al
Cheyt, the sin of Simhon Levav, or confusion of the heart The
explanation that I have heard is that it refers to doubts that we have
about blindly accepting all of Jewish religious dogma without any second
thoughts, even within the hidden crevices of our hearts.  I think most
people have some doubts somewhere in their minds.  We may not act on
them, we try to learn more so that we can resolve them, if possible, but
we can't deny them.  I know that I have these doubts.  I believe that
the desire to rationalize and understand even that which defies
explanation is a natural state of man.  If that is the case, why must we
do teshuva for this "sin", and how do we do it if it contradicts our

   Ira Bauman


From: Richard Schultz <schultr@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 12:57:28 +0300
Subject: Re: Monsey meat debacle

In mail-jewish 52:79, S Wise <smwise3@...> writes:

> In an anotehr example, I don't recall  where I read it, but someone
> pointed to all the misfortunes that have  befallen the mainplayers in
> last year's withdrawal from Gaza. Could that  really be retribution?
> Coincidence?

Besides the philosophical problem of theodicy, there are several logical
fallacies in that line of argument, the most obvious of which is that
correlation does not imply causality.  I could list half a dozen
societal ills in Israel for which "the misfortunes that have befallen
the main players in last year's withdrawal from Gaza" could easily be
retribution.  In fact, one could just as easily argue that the
"retribution" is for the decision to settle in Gaza in the first place
as it was for the decision to leave.  The answer to such questions as
these is, unfortunately, that we cannot always know the answer to every
question.  And the people who think that we can, or that they have a
special link to a Higher Power that enables them to find one, in the
best case usually end up looking very silly.  I hope that I need not
explain the worst case.

I am, however, reminded of those people who claimed that Hurricane
Katrina was God's punishment on New Orleans, but who failed to notice
that the French Quarter (New Orleans's Sin Central) was the one place in
the city that was essentially undamaged.  One would think that God would
have had better aim, and that the people who are so quick to say that "X
is God's punishment for Y" would consider more carefully whether or not
such a statement would think more carefully about whether or not such
statements make their religion look silly or worse in the eyes of

Richard Schultz

From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 10:00:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

> From: <smwise3@...> (S Wise)
> I appreciate the response to my comments on the Monsey meat debacle,
> but I would find it hard to explain to children or people becoming
> frum how it's possible for a deception to go on reportedly for so long
> and for the perpetrator apparently left unscathed as he harmed others
> (even if they are innoncent of eating treif, as one suggests).

Our sages had a great difficulty connecting wrongful action directly to
G-d's punishment in this world.  Part of the reason is that free will
demands a decoupling of action and (direct) punishment (e.g. if everyone
who violated Shabbat died on the spot at the time of their
transgression, no one would ever live to repent).

This brings to mind the famous story of "heretic" Acher, who witnessed a
boy on a ladder fulfilling his father's request to send a mother bird
away before taking her eggs (thereby fulfilling two mitzvot for which
the Torah specifically provides a reward of extended life) and then fell
off the ladder and died.

Part of living in this world involves our acceptance of finiteness and
specifically our inability to understand the "flowering of evil-doers
like weeds" while G-d promises to judge and punish them.

Ari Trachtenberg,                                     Boston University
http://people.bu.edu/trachten                    mailto:<trachten@...>

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 13:15:18 GMT
Subject: Re: Monsey Meat Debacle

someone wrote:
> ... when someone does something wrong and we see outwardly that
> nothing happens, I wonder what to make of the concept of punishment.

With all due respect to the listmember whose name I omitted so as not to
embarrass him/her, this sounds quite arrogant and conceited to me.  What
makes you think nothing has happened? Perhaps something has happened
that you haven't seen or heard of?

And, oh how little patience you seem to have! Not even a month has
passed yet! Perhaps something will yet happen to him in the future.

We are now preparing for Yom Kippur. Is there any listmember who is so
perfect that he is not afraid of punishment? And do we not ask Hashem to
minimize or delay that punishment? Is the butcher not entitled to make
the same requests?

The rabbis offer us many explanations for these sort of situations.
Perhaps the butcher did do some extremely good things in his life which
mitigate these bad ones. I can hear some people objecting, "But look
what he inflicted on the public at large!" Yeah, well, who knows what
sort of *good* things he did for the public at large?

I am not claiming to know that the butcher really did do any such
wonderful things. But how can anyone be sure that he didn't? Only G-d
knows the whole story.

I am also not claiming that if one does enough good things, he is
entitled to some bad ones as well. But surely, if one slips -- and
haven't we all slipped in some way at some time? -- G-d knows how to put
it all together.

I hope that I did not come on too strong in this post. I know that there
are people (such as the poster who I quoted at the beginning) who have
trouble understanding how G-d runs the world. But such questions don't
bother me, and I hope I've shared some ideas which can help others cope
with their questions.

Akiva Miller


From: Deborah Wenger <debwenger@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 08:51:57 -0400
Subject: Niggunim

Art Werschulz wrote:

> There are certain time signatures that just won't work...  It's a
>pretty safe bet that you're unlikely to hear Shir HaMaalot set to the
>tune of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" or "Blue Rondo a la Turk".

Not so fast! You then say:

> You can also often interchange tunes between Shir HaMaalot, L'cha Dodi,
> Anim Zemirot, and Adon Olam, if you're so inclined.

FYI, "Adon Olam Take Five" was performed by Nashir, The Rottenberg
Chorale at Merkin Hall in Manhattan last June (arranged by a close
friend of mine, who's the director of the chorus). It worked pretty
well, IMHO. So if, as you say, tunes for Adon Olam and Shir HaMa'alot
can be interchanged, Shir HaMa'alot can indeed be done to Take Five.

We've also arranged "Shir HaMa'alot at an Exhibition" (to the
"Promenade" of "Pictures at an Exhibition"; never performed, tho) and
have started to work on L'cha Dodi to a very catchy, syncopated Mexican
tune I learned.

Where there's a will...

Shana tova,
Deborah Wenger 


From: Elimelekh Polinsky <milton@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 22:10:27 -0400
Subject: Noda' bi-Yehuda's Mekhalkel Chaim

I read a story that the Noda' bi-Yehuda's had a nigun for Mekhalkel
Chaim that was famous in Prague. So much so, that a badchan who imitated
it in jest was forced to refrain from singing it.

Does anyone know this nigun or if there is any sheet music for it?

Gmar Chasima Tova,
Elimelekh Polinsky


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabba.hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 04:58:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: NonKosher food as an "absolute"

Remember the story of the nonkosher meat in Krakow.  Many of the
misfortunes of the community were laid at the feet of the butchers who
sold treif meat as kosher.  An aveirah done "beshogeg" still requires
kapparah (atonement).  In this case a person should worry if he has done
something to "merit" being hit with a problem as it is a way of
improving himself.

As far as the question of a rasha being a "partner", the question has
been asked about Par'o, Haman, etc. The rasha is punished for what he
does as he does not intend to be "G-d's partner".  However, the victim
is supposed to as *himself* what he might have done to "deserve"
becoming a victim in order to improve.  People are not supposed to ask
about others.  It is the problem of "tzadik verah lo" (bad things
happening to good people). Remember the story of Hillel seing the skull
in the river or the story of the man who falls off a ladder onto someone
and kills him, therebye being sent to an ir miklat (exile).  The "victim
had done something for which he was chayav misa (deserved death) and the
"perpetrator" had done something deserving of exile but with no

In any case, a person should ask himself what he might have done or what
message Hashem might be sending in order to improve himself.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
<Sabba.Hillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 15:39:03 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Nusah Ari

The Ari lived in Egypt, and afterwards in Israel. He prayed in Sephradic
synagogues. His nusah was based on the Sephradic nusah. Many of the
Siddrai Hamekubalim are Sephradic. For various reasons, Kabbalah start
spreading worldwise, and reached Europe. At the start of Hassidut, the
Hassidic Rabbis wrote on the margins of their siddurim the differences
between Ashkenaz and the Ari. The next step was that the printers
printed both nusahot, sometimes together, sometimes in (..) This is how
the so called Ari Ashkenaz was created. Therefore, the closest nusah Ari
could not be either Habad or any other Ashkenaz nusah.


From: Eli Turkel <eliturkel@...>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 21:29:00 +0200
Subject: Sod Haibbur

> Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har NofBACHYE (Parshas Bo 12:2) cites a very
> interesting opinion in the name of RABEINU CHANANEL, which is also
> cited in the name of RAV SA'ADYAH GA'ON (see TORAH SHELEIMAH vol. 13,
> #293, and OTZAR HA'GE'ONIM to Beitzah, p.  3), that Kidush ha'Chodesh
> actually has nothing to do with witnesses.  Rather, it is determined
> solely by the calculations of the Sod ha'Ibur given to Moshe Rabeinu
> at Sinai, with which the Beis Din calculates the new month every
> month. Witnesses did not affect the determination of the new month at
> all.

Rav Kasher has an entire volume (parshat Bo) on the subject and
discusses Rav Saadiah Gaon's opinion in great depth. Though it is very
interesting it is not the generally accepted opinion but rather Rambam
that everything depended on witnesses.

Eli Turkel


From: <shuanoach@...> (Josh)
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:49:46 -0400
Subject: Re: Why is no one named Abayye (and Yishmael)

 The question of the why today we do not name children yishmael when a
tanna was so named is discussed in the responsa collection Besamim Rosh
of Saul Berlin and is dealt with further in Shem ha-Gedolim of the
Chida, maareket gedolim, s.v. Abraham Gaon. (A translation of Berlin's
tshuva can be found in Louis Jacob's Theology in the Responsa.) Much of
the debate revolves around Yishmael doing teshuva at the end of his



End of Volume 52 Issue 80