Volume 54 Number 71
                    Produced: Sun May 20 12:34:49 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

585 pictures of the Jerusalem Parades
         [Jacob Richman]
Confluence of Psychotherapy and the Rise and Fall of the Bimah
         [Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire]
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Parochet -- Inside or Outside
         [Alan Friedenberg]
Question about Chagigat HaChumash
Rise and Fall of the Bima (5)
         [Perets Mett, Leah Aharoni, Gershon Dubin, Andy Goldfinger,
Orrin Tilevitz]
Shavuot on the J Site and 65 Shavuot Hotsites
         [Jacob Richman]
Women and Kippot
         [David Curwin]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 05:05:38 +0300
Subject: 585 pictures of the Jerusalem Parades

Hi Everyone!

This week there were two parades in Jerusalem in honor of the 40th
anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The first parade was the Regional Councils Salute to Jerusalem
Parade. This took place on Tuesday night, May 15, on the eve of
Jerusalem day. I took pictures of this parade on Yaffo Street starting
around 6pm.

The second parade was the Jerusalem Flag march which started a little
late due to rain. This took place on Wednesday, May 16, Jerusalem Day. I
took pictures of the march on Yaffo Street, in the old city and at the
Kotel (Western Wall).

I posted 585 (yes - 585) pictures of the festive events on my website
at: http://www.jr.co.il/pictures/israel/jerusalem/jer084.htm

When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the top of your
keyboard for a full page view.  Use the icon buttons on the bottom of
each page to navigate.

Please forward this message to friends and relatives.

Enjoy the pictures and Chodesh Tov - Have a Good Month (Hebrew month of



From: Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire <irwin@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 07:13:35 -0400
Subject: Confluence of Psychotherapy and the Rise and Fall of the Bimah

I had heard once that one of the reasons that the Bimah was raised, was
based upon the verse, "Min Ha'Metzer Karati Kah".  (Out of my depths I
called upon the L-rd").  That is, the Kahal (Congregation) would be
below (depths) the Bimah.  Well, maybe, and maybe not, but this is also
an important verse, it seems to me, in psychology/psychiatry, with
regard to depression.  In the movie "The Sixth Sense", the young boy is
in church at the beginning of the movie and reading Latin phrases, one
of which was this same verse translated into Latin.  (I can't recall the
Latin, sorry).  But, as Jonathan Baker points out on the Bimah issue,
much has to do with practicality.  In my Conservative shul, the Bimah is
not raised, because it is a "multipurpose" room.  Plus, since we are
immediately next to a senior citizens place, and some of the residents
come to us for Shabbat, they might have difficulty ascending a few
stairs to the Bimah if a person has an Aliyah, so, this is another
practical reason.

Irwin Weiss


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 08:49:16 +0300
Subject: Mim'amakim

Certain Shuls in Spain were built in the form where one had to step down
to the Shul. The rationale for building the Shuls below ground level was
often given as based on "Mi'amakim" _"Out of the depths I call to You."

A book I recently translated on Shuls in Spain posits that the reason
might have been an entirely different one - the Spanish law which
required synagogues to be lower in height than the local churches.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Alan Friedenberg <elshpen@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 11:19:28 -0400
Subject: Parochet -- Inside or Outside

The shule where I grew up and my current shule both have the parochet on
the inside of the doors.  In both cases, the shules keep the doors open
during davening, and open the parochet to remove the Torah and for Anim
Z'merot and the like.

--Alan Friedenberg
Baltimore, MD


From: <Quest20018@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Fri, 18 May 2007 02:44:59 EDT
Subject: Question about Chagigat HaChumash


     I was wondering if you can help me. I was referred to your website.
My nephew will be having his Chagigat HaChumash ceremony soon. (This is
the 1st Chumash ceremony) I am trying to get him a diploma/certificate
that I can frame to commemorate his event for a present. I tried the
Judaica Bookstore but they did not have one available. Would you know
where I might find a diploma/certificate? Or one that I can print out on
my computer? Any information you can give me would be greatly

Thank you.


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 12:45:17 +0100
Subject: Re: Rise and Fall of the Bima

Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>wrote:

> The question as to the history and attitudes toward having a raised
> bima in the synagogue intrigues me.
> My impression is that the raised bima was done away with by poverty,
> in those times and places where elaborate construction was not
> possible. Later, with the rise of chassidus, when prayer in an
> intimate, informal, and close "shtiebel" became a desirable thing, the
> raised bima was discarded as being too formal.
> Does anyone have another theory?

I daven in various shuls and shtiblekh, and cannot say that I recognize
this phenomenon.

Where I live most of the chasidishe minyonim do have a bima. One which
does not is in temporary premises while building a new "shtibl" which
**will** have a bima.

However two local yeshivas (nusach ashkenaz!) do not have a bima.

So there is no correlation between chasidim and no bima.

The main driver is that minyonim in small premises which have been
specially built for purpose do not have a bima, which makes sense.

Perets Mett

From: Leah Aharoni <leah25@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 11:49:23 +0300
Subject: Re: Rise and Fall of the Bima

I am wondering whether this might be related to the Reform attempt in
the early 1800s to move the bima to the front. Node Beyehuda called the
bima in the middle an ancient Jewish custom and ruled against moving the
bima to the front (as did Chatam Sofer).

It might thus follow that in cases where it is impossible to erect a
bima in the middle of the shul and the shatz davens in front of the
Aron, there should be no bima at all.

Leah Aharoni
Email:  <leah25@...>

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 19:35:10 GMT
Subject: Rise and Fall of the Bima

From: Jonathan Baker <jjbaker@...>
> Big Yeshiva: Chaim Berlin - no bima, again because things are
> portable,even if it's also a permanent shul with a women's gallery

They must move pretty fast; there was one last night <g>.  There's been
one there since they moved into this building some years ago.


From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 07:56:41 -0400
Subject: Rise and Fall of the Bima

There has been some discussion about raised bimahs.  I would like
discuss the inverse case.

Here, in Baltimore, the Agudath Israel shul has a sunken "amud."  Rabbi
Heineman holds that the person leading the dovening should be at a lower
level than the congregants. (Mi Ma'amakim Karasi Kah --- For the depths
I call to You).  The main shul was built with a "davening pit" in which
the baal tefiloh (leader of the prayers) stands.  The older, secondary
part of the shul has a removable wooden "hatch" that uncovers the floor
so the baal tefiloh can be slightly lower than the rest of the room.

Do any of the readers know of other shuls that have similar arrangements?

-- Andy Goldfinger

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 10:55:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Rise and Fall of the Bima

What ever happened to the submerged bima, to which I was introduced many
years ago in Tsefat?  The theory is excellent--mimaamakim keraticha--I
call upon you from the depths.  Does any shul have one nowadays?


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 17:51:49 +0300
Subject: Shavuot on the J Site and 65 Shavuot Hotsites

Hi Everyone!

Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah,
the first harvest, and the ripening of the first fruits. The two day
festival (1 day in Israel) begins on Tuesday night, May 22, 2007.

The J Site - Jewish Education and Entertainment 


has several entertaining features to celebrate Shavuot:

Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

What are the five names of Shavuot ?
On what mountain did Moses receive the Ten Commandments ? 
How many letters are there in the Torah ? 
In the days of the Temple what did people do on Shavuot ? 
Who married Ruth ? 
Who was Ruth the great-grandmother of ?
What is the connection between the number 7 and Shavuot ? 

The above questions are examples from the multiple choice 
Flash quiz. There are two levels of questions, two timer settings.
Both kids and adults will find it enjoyable.

Additional Shavuot resources and games on the J site include:
Free Shavuot Clipart 
The Multilingual Hangman Game (English / Hebrew)
The Multilingual Word Search Game (English / Hebrew / Russian)
My Jewish Coloring Book (online / offline)

The J site has something for everyone, but if that is not 
enough, I posted on my website 65 links about Shavuot, 
from laws and customs to games and recipes.
Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, 
French, Portuguese and German.
All 65 links have been reviewed / checked this week.

The web address is:


Please forward this message to relatives and friends, 
so they can also benefit from these holiday resources.

Chag Sameach!


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 15:12:09 +0300
Subject: Women and Kippot

In the Mishna (Ketubot 5:8) it says that a husband is obligated to
provide a kippah for his wife's head.

David Curwin
Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective


End of Volume 54 Issue 71