Volume 56 Number 72 
      Produced: Sun, 07 Jun 2009 11:55:04 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Being called a Rabbi 
    [Arie Weiss]
Cessation of semichah (was: Woman Rabbi) 
    [Alex Heppenheimer]
Der Heiligeh Yid 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Edot Hamizrach Musaf for Festivals 
    [Eitan Fiorino]
    [Yisrael Medad]
Psak on use of sink strainer on Shabbat (2)
    [Carl Singer  Ilan Fuchs]
The name of the Amora Plimo (3)
    [Lisa Liel  Gilad Gevaryahu  Martin Stern]
Wearing a Kipa at Work (3)
    [Yisrael Medad  Harlan Braude  Mark Steiner]
What "triggers" Kaddish D'Rabbanim 
Zman Shacharis/t on the plane 
    [Joel Rich]


From: Arie Weiss <aliw@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Being called a Rabbi

> On Wed, May 27,2009, Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...> wrote:
>> The problem with this answer is increasingly,
>> especially in charedi Brooklyn on the outskirts of which I live, I run
>> into people with yeshiva ordination, who are called to the Torah as
>> "harav", and may even be religious functionaries, who refuse to pasken
>> halacha because, they say, they never learned how--and in fact they
>> can't answer typical questions I'd pose to a shul rabbi.

people who advance in their learning and are awarded (what we now call) 
semicha should not be treated any worse than people who advance in their 
professional studies (or even as a hobby) and get doctorates. would someone 
complain that a phd had "dr." as a prefix to his name, yet refused to treat 
their sick child ?

by all means, call them up to the Torah as "harav" in recognition of their 
learning achievement. and while there may be balabatim around who reached 
equal or greater heights in their learning yet chose not to "get " semicha, 
they certainly won't take offense. and the "musmachim" refuse to pasken 
because they got semicha for themselves and not for the tzibbur, kol hakavod 
lahem for knowing their place.

my wife's uncle got semicha while attending college in the early 50's. a lot 
more difficult and unusual than today, especially for one who had no 
intention of becoming a "practicing" rabbi. he davka insists on being 
referred to as "mr." but under my chupah and whenever he visits us and gets 
an aliya, i made and make sure he is referred to as harav. he's entitled.
my father yibdl"a did the same in the early 40's, but left the semicha 
program to fight in WWII. he already had an accounting degree at that point 
and later went on to get a law degree after the war. he also had no 
intention of becoming a pulpit rabbi.

and btw, "typical questions" one would pose to a shul rabbi are usually 
anything but typical. (that's why being a good shul rabbi is so hard - that 
and the minefield of shul politics.)  i am sure that anyone who received 
semicha can answer real typical questions.



From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:33 PM
Subject: Cessation of semichah (was: Woman Rabbi)

In MJ 56:71, Lisa Liel <lisa@...> wrote:

>>Sorry for being pedantic but that semichah only died out during the 
>>Byzantine period when Theodosius suppressed the post of Nasi and, 
>>slightly later, when Justinian forbade the teaching of deuterosis, 
>>i.e. Mishnah and Midrash, in an attempt to 'persuade' Jews to 
>>convert to Christianity by undermining the oral tradition.
>With all due respect, I'd like to see some evidence for that. It was 
>during the Hadrianic persecutions that smicha was outlawed, on pain 
>of massacre, by the Romans. There was a Nasi even after this, and 
>Justinian certainly did increase the shmad, but that doesn't mean 
>that smicha survived until his time.

It is true that Hadrian outlawed semichah (along with pretty much all other
mitzvos), but that edict went out of effect with his death, or at most
a couple of years later. On the other hand, the office of Nasi was never renewed
after Theodosius' times, and Justinian's laws also remained in force for quite a
while (in the Land of Israel, they were the law of the land until the Arab
conquest a century later).

Anyway, one piece of evidence for the post-Hadrianic existence of semichah is
our calendar. "Real" semichah is required to be able to set the dates of Rosh
Chodesh and the holidays (Rambam, Hil. Kiddush Hachodesh 5:1ff), and "until the
days of Abbaye and Rava" (ibid. 5:3) that was exactly what was done. Those two
Sages lived in the fourth century CE, and the fixed calendar that we use was
established in the year 670 Seleucid Era (Ramban's comments on Sefer
Hamitzvos, Positive 153), which corresponds to 359 CE.

We also have lots of references in the Gemara to people in the Land of Israel
getting semichah long after Hadrian's times, such as R' Ammi and R' Assi (who
belonged to the third generation of Amoraim, in the late 3rd century) -
Sanhedrin 14a.
It has even been suggested (in a talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l, Bereishis
5745) that so late an authority as the Rif (11th century) had "real" semichah.
For that matter, Ch.Y. Bornstein, in an article (in Hebrew) originally published
in 5679 and available online at
 http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/kitveyet/hatkufa/mishpat-4.htm and
 http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/kitveyet/hatkufa/mishpat2-4.htm, argues that semichah
managed to hang on until even later - that it still existed in the Rambam's
times (late 12th century), and that it finally died out only because of
the dislocation of the Jewish communities in the Land of Israel
and Syria during the first three Crusades.

Kol tuv,


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Der Heiligeh Yid

> About Der Yid...when is his yahrzeit? Anyone know?  To the best I can
> figure it had to be toward the end of Sukkos.

19 Tishrei  4574 1813


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Edot Hamizrach Musaf for Festivals

Elbogen (in his work Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History) cites a machlochet
geonim  regarding the need to recite these verses (Sar Shalom vs. Natronai and
Saadia; Amram apparently regarded them as optional).  The view not to say them
is based on a gemara in Rosh Hashana (35a).  Elbogen attributes their absence to
the lack of siddurim, and since these were not commonly recited verses, people
did not have them committed to memory.  I find this explanation untenable since
siddurim were no more common in Ashkenaz and Italy than in Spain; moreover, it
is hard to make a persuasive case that people would be less familiar with these
pasukim than they would be with the rest of musaf.  It is probably more likely
that this was simply a position held in accord with the geonim who held that the
recitation of the verses was unnecessary.  Perhaps the Abudarham or the Manhig
have some comments on this.

Shabbat shalom.



From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Misspelling

J Friedman <FriedmanJ@...> wrote:
> "Isn't this opening a can of worms? If the Choser of Lublin..."

that is a big can of worms.

Yaakov Yitzhak Horowitz earned the appellation of Chozeh, a person with great
Chozer is the Hassid who recalls all the words of the Admor and repeats them for
the other Hassidim.
Chazer is one form of the Yiddish pronunciation of pig.



From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Psak on use of sink strainer on Shabbat


Thank you -- the "process" I am looking for is the halachic process -- that
is to whom does one ask the psak.  I.e., their shul or community Rav or do
they call their Rosh Yeshiva half way across the world, go on-line????.

We are in agreement with the psak, itself.

FYI - this was asked of a Gadol HaDor some 30 years ago -- and the answer
came back similar to what you said.

BUT - today I see many younger, apparently frummer (I say this
tongue-in-cheek) balabatim who will NOT use the strainer.  I'm trying to
understand how / why this has happened.  It's a reasonably trivial example,
but to me reflects on a breach in the halachic process.


From: Ilan Fuchs <ilan_25@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Psak on use of sink strainer on Shabbat

"An example is pouring salt from a shaker that has rice in it to absorb
moisture. The holes let the salt(wanted item) out and keep the rice (unwanted item)"

I am not sure this is a good example. The Hazon ish saw it as borer food
by hand and SSK sees it as the normal way of eating, it is more similar to the
case in the Shulchan Aruch of the tea pot that can be used even though its spout
only allow liquid to come out and not the leaves.


From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: The name of the Amora Plimo

On Thu, Jun 4,2009 at 06:01 AM, Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote:
>On Tue, Jun 2,2009, Yisroel Israel <arzei@...> wrote:
>>Do take a look at the Boaz No 3 in Pesachim Perek 10 Mishanah 8, 
>>where he states Chazal when adopting foreign e.g. Greek words, 
>>first "Judaised" them altering the word and it's reading.
>Thanks for the reference. When I looked at it I could not see what 
>Yisroel says it says. Is it possible that the reference is incorrect?
>However the comments I had hoped to get were on the plausibility or 
>otherwise of my suggested etymology of the name Plimo deriving from Philemon.

I think it's very likely that you're right.  It's certainly 
plausible.  And I'd always wondered what name Plimo represented, so 
I'm grateful for your suggestion.

That said, I don't really see how "Plimo" can be viewed as a 
"Judaization".  I suspect that it's simply how it sounded to 
people.  The final \n\ may simply not have been pronounced, or at 
least not pronounced strongly, in some accents, and the rendering 
Plimo may suggest that the second syllable in Philemon was stressed, 
rather than the first one, the way we tend to read it nowadays.  And 
it may have been Phlimo.  I mean, Feivel is spelled with an initial 
peh, despite the rules of beged kefet.


From: Gilad Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: The name of the Amora Plimo

Martin Stern writes in MJv56n70:
>> Do take a look at the Boaz No 3 in Pesachim Perek 10 Mishanah 8,  where
>> he states Chazal when adopting foreign e.g. Greek words,  first
>> "Judaised" them altering the word and it's  reading.

>Thanks for the reference. When I looked at it I could not  see what Yisroel
>says it says. Is it possible that the reference is  incorrect?

Here is the full text, and the reference was correct:

And it appears to me that these [foreign] words were distorted quite a
lot as compared to their original Greek. When our sages who were masters of
the  our holy tongue, like Maimonides, adopted a Greek word into our holy
language,  they forced the word to become Jewish first. In the process, they
forcefully and  intentionally distorted it from the original, to make it read
and sound  different, as it fits the context... Boaz to Mishnah. Peshachim

Gilad Gevaryahu

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: The name of the Amora Plimo

Gilad Gevaryahu wrote:

< See above >

He is quite correct. In my edition (copied from the Vilna) there is a note
gimmel at the top of the column which I had assumed referred to mishnah 8
which is on that page. On closer examination, I have found another gimmel
near the bottom which says precisely what Gilad writes. Obviously the one I
saw referred to a previous mishnah. I apologise for my mistake.

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Wearing a Kipa at Work

When I started wearing a kippa fulltime at age 13 after entering 
Yeshivat Chofetz Chaim in Forest Hills, Queens (anybody on this list 
from that time: 1960-64?), my Italian Roman Catholic neighbor, mother to 
my very good friend Carmine, asked me why I started to wear that hat.
I replied "if the Pope can wear one, so can I".
I am not sure until this day, 49 years later, whether she felt that 
logical or an affront.
In any case, though, it seemed to placate her curiosity.


From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Wearing a Kipa at Work

In Vol.56 #70, Carl Singer wrote:

> Perhaps it's a sign of the times.
> Here we are discussing wearing a Kippah at Work,  when only two 
> generations ago there were Yiddin who had to wrestle with finding a new job
every Sunday because they would be fired for not working on Shabbos.

Hmm...perhaps I'm experiencing some ironic manifestation of "Chadesh yamainu 
kekedem" ...

While I've had no employment or co-worker  issues with either Shabbos/Yom 
Tov observance or wearing a kippah for about 26 years, in the last two I've 
been turned down for employment for the same position my field numerous 
times for being unavailable 24x7 (ie: on-call, shift work, etc.).

It's not discrimination; they do need people to work on those days. With 
limited budgets and a large pool of talent with no such restrictions to 
choose from, why should they bother with me?

sigh...I miss the good old days. 

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 5,2009 at 02:27 PM
Subject: Wearing a Kipa at Work

I teach at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and do not wear a kipa to
work, mainly because of the reasons already mentioned: the kipa is
understood to make a political statement--you can surmise a great deal
about a person by the kind of kipa he wears.  Instead, I wear a beret, as I
have my entire career in the United States and here.  This seems to confuse

I once taught a course on the philosophy of R. Israel Salanter (you can
see an article of mine on the subject in one of the issues of the Torah
Umadda Journal, published by YU), and before the course, a student phoned me
and interrogated me for 40 minutes about "how" I would treat the material. 
At the end of this time, I lost my patience and said, "geveret, mah at
rotza memini" (Madam, what do you want from me?)  She said, "atah dati?" (Are
you religious?) To which I countered, "What do you mean by 'religious'?
Wearing a kipa?", She said "yes."  To which I responded, "Then I'm not


From: SBA <sba@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 4,2009 at 09:01 PM
Subject: What "triggers" Kaddish D'Rabbanim

From: Carl Singer
> Frequently between Mincha and Ma'ariv and in other situations one wants to
> learn in order to facilitate the recitation of Kaddish D'Rabbanim.
> The situation described by Mechy Frankel in v56 #57 causes me to ask two
> related questions relating to the "subject matter and / or source" and the
> degree or characterization of the "learning" that takes place that permits
> one to say the Kaddish D'Rabbanim
> 1 - What sources do / do not qualify?  Why would or wouldn't a Rabbi Wein
> book qualify.  What about, say, one of the many books by Rabbi Pliskin that
> relate stories re: medos.  What about a Chumash?
> 2 - What constitutes "learning" - is simply reading verses without
> commentary sufficient?

IIRC, even after learning Mishnayos, KD is only said after adding a few
lines of Agadata (usually "Reb Chanaya ben Akashyya omer").

I can't imagine that the books of rabbis Pliskin and Wein qualify.

OTOH, I heard (though this may be an urban legend) that in pre-war Germany,
in places where there was no rabbi, on Shabbos afternoon someone would read
aloud - presumably divrei Torah - from the Israelit weekly - which was
followed by a KD.



From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 4,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Zman Shacharis/t on the plane

> Time issues can also be relevant when not on a plane.
> There was a question of two babies who were born simultaneously around
> sh'kiya time, one on the top floor of haddassa ein kerem hospital (which
> is a tall building) and one at the bottom floor. I  think it was Rav
> Shmuel Zalman Aurebach zatz"al who gave the p'sak that the brit of the
> bottom floor baby should be the day after that of the top floor baby
> because the birth time is determined from where one is physically
> positioned.
> Unlike the time for shacharit, the day of a brit is a d'oraita (directly
> in the Torah)  issue.

I chose my words carefully - AIUI R' H Schachter holds exactly as I
articulated (zmanim go by sea level) and thus the height of the hospital
would make no difference. IIRC R' Leo Levi has a book on the topic for
more detail. FWIW MYZMANIM has both!

Joel Rich


End of Volume 56 Issue 72