Volume 52 Number 95
                    Produced: Mon Oct 30  6:02:58 EST 2006


Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Female mashgiach for kashrus
         [Lipman Phillip Minden]
GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows (3)
         [Ephraim Tabory, Shayna Kravetz, Fishkin, MD]
Grammar Question from Another List
         [Perry Zamek]
Rabbanit Hadas Porush, Grandmother of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach
         [Yael Levine]
She-al Hameis Nigzerah Gezairah Sheyistakach min Haleiv
         [Russell J Hendel]
SSSJ
         [Medad]


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From: Lipman Phillip Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 10:36:33 +0100
Subject: Re: Female mashgiach for kashrus

Does anyone remember who the two gedoulem were in the following
anecdote?

Rav X asked Rav Y the shaale if women may do a hashgoche. He asked back
"Kevoud horav [vechu'], please tell: Who's doing the hashgoche in the
rav's own kitchen?"

Lipman Phillip Minden
http://lipmans.blogspot.com

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From: Ephraim Tabory <tabore@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 13:45:28 +0200
Subject: RE: GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows

This program sounds very interesting. To fully heighten kavanah, I
suggest developing a program that actually does the davening for us. It
would be nice if the home edition, for personal use, would be free. A
professional version, replete with "extra kavanah" features, might be
offered at discount to encourage full usage (the price would go down if
it would be used three times a day, with a surcharge perhaps for a time
clock that automatically starts the tefillot at the proper zemanim,
taking into consideration time zones and/or daylight savings time etc.)
I think mail-Jewish already had a discussion about passively having a
computer operate on Shabbat (to cite an authority the way some readers
like to do on mail-Jewish, I would say that I remember someone telling
me that someone told her^ÎI can see eyebrows raised that it was a her,
and she is not even a mashgicha--that someone famous, but they do not
remember who, said it was ok) but I do not know what readers would say
if you wanted to program in special tefillot to be said on Shabbat, like
the standing order for "mi sheberachs" for cholim that have become the
norm in the past few years. Readers are encouraged to more fully develop
these ideas for the Purim issue of mail-Jewish, and in the interim,
Shabbat shalom to all.

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From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 09:19:01 -0400
Subject: Re: GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows

 Yosi Fishkin <Joseph@...> shares the news that
>GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows
>
>I'm pleased to announce the public release of "Kavanah Improvement
>Project" for Windows.
>
>Kavanah Improvement Project is the first program that provides a
>complete system designed to help you improve your Kavanah during
>davening. The program provides daily Kavanah exercises to help you
>strengthen your Kavanah, helps you track you Kavanah over time, and,
>based on your progress, it provides customized suggestions to help you
>improve your particular Kavanah situation.

Did anyone else check their calendar to see if it was either Purim or
April Fool's?  I was with you as far as daily exercises -- although I
can't begin to imagine what they would be -- but you lost me completely
with your proposal to "track your Kavanah over time".  Of the many
things in human experience which are non-quantifiable, I would think
that kavanah in davening would be near the top of the list.  This
reminded me a bit of those quizzes in teenage magazines to test your
'love quotient'.

Computers are very good at handling discrete bits of data but I don't
think that kavanah can be broken down that way.  I'd quail at the idea
of rating my kavanah every day on a scale of 1 to 10 and tracking my
"progress".  Talk about your completely subjective responses!  What kind
of meaningful information could be obtained?

I wish you hatzlakhah with your project but I will certainly not be
among your participants.

Yours skeptically,
Shayna in Toronto

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From: Fishkin, MD <Joseph@...>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 21:56:52 -0400
Subject: Re: GoDaven.com Announces First Kavanah Program for Windows

Shayna,

Thank you so much for your valued feedback. The concerns you raise are
surely shared by many, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to
address them:

> Did anyone else check their calendar to see if it was either Purim or
> April Fool's?

I'll admit that the concept of using a computer to track and improve
your kavanah is a new and non-traditional approach, and therefore an
initial reaction consisting of skepticism and bemusement is definitely
understandable. :)

>Of the many things in human experience which are non-quantifiable, I
>would think that kavanah in davening would be near the top of the list.

Think back over the tefillos you've davened over the last month. Some of
the tefillos were likely davened with "more" kavanah, and some with
"less" kavanah. Kavanah varies depending on our mood, our davening
environment, our level of fatigue, what exactly we're davening, and a
host of other factors.  I would never dare to compare one person's
kavanah with another - I agree that would be impossible - however, a
single person does have the ability to compare and contrast their own
degree of kavanah one day with their kavanah another day.

>  I'd quail at the idea of rating my kavanah every day on a scale of 1
> to 10 and tracking my "progress".  Talk about your completely
> subjective responses!

Yes, I agree that the only possible way to evaluate one's kavanah is a
purely subjective assessment. I don't think that subjective =
unreliable, however. A person who is truly honest with themselves is
able to decide how much kavanah they actually had, once a tefillah is
completed.

>What kind of meaningful information could be obtained?

A variety of information is tracked by the program. The program averages
your most recent kavanah ratings, as well as a longer-term trend. It
also analyzes and compares your performance in each tefillah - for
example, it will point out that you've been having a particular problem
with maariv, or are doing exceptionally well with mincha, for
example. Based on these comparisons, the program provides specific
guidance that can help people with their particular kavanah
situation. This is besides the regular kavanah "tips of the day" that
are the same for all users of the program.

> I wish you hatzlakhah with your project but I will certainly not be
> among your participants.

This is perfectly acceptable - the program is not for everyone. I
appreciate your kind wishes, though.

One last point - although this windows version of the program is new,
the program has been available as a Palm version, with identical
functionality, for just over a year now. I'm pleased to report that
there are many people who have been using the program over the last
year, and have reported the program actually *does* improve their
kavanah. We can debate whether theoretically the program would work or
not, but the proof is in the pudding - the Kavanah Improvement Project
has been demonstrated to help people improve Kavanah.

Thanks again for your valued feedback. If you have any further questions
or comments, please let me know!

Yosi Fishkin, MD
www.GoDaven.com 

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From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 06:40:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Grammar Question from Another List

Janice Gelb asked:
>   In Gen. 2:23, in the second creation story, Adam
>   says "l'zot yikarei ishah," usually translated something like "this
>   one shall be called Woman."  However, the gender of the verb "yikarei"
>   is masculine, while the pronoun (zot) and the predicate noun (ishah)
>   are both feminine. <snipped>

I think the problem lies in the way we understand (and translate) the passive 
voice: 
Try translating (more literally) as: [To] this one, one shall call "Woman".
"this one" - feminine
"Woman" - feminine
"one shall call" - abstract passive voice, therefore, by convention,
written in the masculine.

Perry Zamek

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From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 11:43:03 +0200
Subject: Rabbanit Hadas Porush, Grandmother of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach

The Artscroll Women's Siddur contains a prayer to be recited by a bride
before her wedding, written by Rabbanit Hadas Porush, grandmother of Rav
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (p. 958) .I was wondering if this prayer was
printed earlier, and if anyone could direct me to written sources
concerning this Rabbanit.

Yael Levine

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From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 22:29:59 -0400
Subject: She-al Hameis Nigzerah Gezairah Sheyistakach min Haleiv

Baruch raises the interesting (unanswered question) about what "really
happened" during the sale of Joseph. It is hard to prove things
conclusively but the following is my take

Jacob did not really believe the story of the brothers. Hence deep down
he didnt think Joseph was dead. The reason he mourned is it didnt make
sense that Joseph, who Jacob believed alive, would not try to
communicate with him.

Let us examine the story. First Judah comes and sayd "We found
this...please inspect it to see if it is your son's coat"

That doesnt make sense: This coat was the object of jealousy and family
rivalry.The brothers would recognize it as well as Jacob. The sentence
"Is this your sons" sounds like a cover up for something that should be
known.

It also doesnt make sense when Judah says "Is this your SONS coat." Why
not call him by name (JOSEPH).

Some other things dont make sense. Jacob responds "He recognized it and
said it is my sons coat...a bad beast ate him....he has been mauled."

This also doesnt make sense. Say a lion ate Joseph up and make his coat
bloody. Surely the brothers would have found some bone remains by the
coat. They could have then buried the remains. But the brothers simply
find a "coat." This also doesnt make sense.

There is a parallel point made by Delilah and Samson. Samson kept on
lieing about how to lose his strength. But when he tells the truth the
Tanakh says "She saw he was telling the truth. " The Talmud asks "How
did she know" and responds "Truth is recognizable." This is the old
adage that a criminal no matter how clever cannot cover up a
crime. Something remains.

So my opinion is that Jacob "sensed" that the story did not make sense.
He wanted to know why the children lied and why Jospeh would not even
talk to him.

There is more: On his death bed Jacob curses Shimon for "trying to kill
the ox" Rashi (if you look closely) gives two interpretations: OX=Schem
or OX=Joseph. It stands to reason that when Jacob and Joseph were
re-united Jacob asked why Joseph jailed Shimon and was probably told
that he was the person who sold him into slavery. Indeed, Jacob probably
asked Joseph "how he wound up in Egypt." I seems extremely likely that
Jacob eventually knew all that happened....it is not at all clear when
he started being suspicious.

So bottom line: I think Jacob felt that Joseph was alive and the Judah
"made up the whole story" Jacob did not know how deep the whole matter
was and was expecting a "phone call" from Joseph which he never got. For
this reason Joseph was not forgotten. I dont think Jacob tried not to
forget...I rather thing Jacob sensed something more was going on.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd. A.S.A. http://www.Rashiyomi.com/

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From: Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 13:46:35 +0200
Subject: SSSJ

Joel (KT) Rich wrote:
>I remember attending the early rallies and the discussions

Early?

The first protest activity was in 1962, matzot brought to the Soviet UN
Mission. The first protest open planning assembly November 1963 - in a
midtown hotel initiated by a Revisionist Zionist businessman named
Morris Brafman who formed the American League for Russian Jews (see the
book In Pursuit of Freedom by Brafman, Publisher: Shengold 1991).  The
first mass protest demonstration: May 1, 1964

P.S.  See http://www.yu.edu/cms/uploadedFiles/JOE_GLASS/Look%20Back_web.pdf

"The fight to free Soviet Jewry, which culminated in 1991 with mass
Jewish emigration from Russia and its satellite states, dominated
student life at Yeshiva University beginning in late April 1964. That
was when the first organized meeting of the Student Struggle for Soviet
Jewry (SSSJ) took place, at Columbia University. The group was comprised
mostly of Yeshiva University students from the main and midtown campuses
who often took to the streets and lobbied in Washington to protest the
Soviet regime's oppressive treatment of its Jews...Some SSSJ activists
in the early and mid 1960s came from the ranks of Torah Leadership
Seminar, a YU program that cultivated leaders from among the student
body.  In 1965, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, RIETS rosh hayeshiva and
spiritual leader of the Modern Orthodox movement, gave his consent for
YU students to act publicly on behalf of Soviet Jews. According to SSSJ
leader Glenn Richter, the Rav's "haskama" was a watershed moment within
the Orthodox community. In this undated photo, students march along
Fifth Avenue on behalf of Soviet Jewry."

P.P.S.  See http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0504/yakov_birnbaum.php3

On April 27, 1964, Birnbaum convened the first official meeting of SSSJ
in Columbia's Philosophy Hall, with a few hundred students from several
city colleges. "We don't need committees, congresses and conferences,"
said Birnbaum of Jewish organizations. "We need a struggle," a student
struggle.  That first SSSJ meeting ended with an enthusiastic rush to
plan a demonstration for May Day, a major day on the Soviet calendar,
just four days away. Rabbi Sheer remembers going down to the old Stern
College dorm, "where we used stencils to paint words, such as 'Let My
People Go,' on oak-tag placards.  Who knew how to make placards?"
Friday, May 1, dawned with decent weather. Outside the Soviet mission,
came more than a thousand Jewish students. "We all just sort of looked
at each other in amazement," says Richter.

and see:
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/soviet_jews_exodus/English/JewishHistory_s/JewishHistoryBirnbaum_1.shtml

and
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/soviet_jews_exodus/English/JewishHistory_s/JewishHistoryBirnbaum_2.shtml

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End of Volume 52 Issue 95