Volume 56 Number 84 
      Produced: Sun, 28 Jun 2009 15:11:58 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Adath Jeshuron 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Akru"t (2)
    [Daniel Wells  David J Havin]
Instructions for the Shaliach Tzibur 
    [Carl Singer]
Kaddish after krias HaTorah - to whom does it belong? (2)
    [Martin Stern  Stu Pilichowski]
Limitations on G-d 
    [Bernard Katz]
The missing Hekkesh 
    [Russell J Hendel]
Women as Rabbis 
    [Mordechai Horowitz]


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 19,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Adath Jeshuron

Doesn't the United Kingdom have a Chief Rabbi?

He could order people to refuse to perform weddings and other things
for the people involved * or more probably, and more gently, let them
know they are headed in that direction. Or are these people already
independent of Rabbi Sachs' authority anyway?

* A problem here is that it would mostly be family members who would
need that. But they could be disqualified as witnesses and in other


From: David J Havin <djhavin@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 25,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Akru"t

Martin Stern wrote:
> When I was in Budapest recently, I davened in the Beit Hamidrash [that
> sported the phrase] "Betakanat bd"ts vakru"t ...," [that] was not entirely
> clear to me. ... Can anyone provide a solution?

Alufei Kahal Rashim v'Tovim [principals of the congregation, leaders and good
people - MOD]


From: Daniel Wells <biuashur@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 26,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Akru"t

Martin Stern wrote:
> When I was in Budapest recently, I davened in the Beit Hamidrash [that
> sported the phrase] "Betakanat bd"ts vakru"t ...," [that] was not entirely
> clear to me. ... Can anyone provide a solution?

Searching google for Kazincy Utca (Hungarian for Kazincy Street) I came
across this link http://old.utcakereso.hu/map3/index.php?city=budapest

I couldn't find an exact translation but I would guess 'ut' is streets and
'cakeres"o' is local (or perhaps search - a very similar word).

Therefore I would put it to you that the vav is not a vav hibur [conjoining vav
- Mod] and that BD"Z VaKRU"T is Local Beth Din transliterating the letters into
Hungarian. Also on the above site there appears double apostrophes between
the S (presumably Tav in Hebrew) and the O.


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 25,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Instructions for the Shaliach Tzibur

Martin Stern's post re: the  shul in Budapest reminds me of a very
intelligent practice I once saw:  A laminated card with specific
instructions for the Shaliach Tzibur detailing the minhagim of this
particular congregation - for example, the Shaliach Tzibur is to say the
entire Modim during the repetition.

It sure saves lots of misunderstandings.



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 21,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Kaddish after krias HaTorah - to whom does it belong?

Mordechai wrote:
> The most thorough study and survey of this, by far (or perhaps I should say
> that only such one), appeared in print not that long ago in Yerushoseinu
> (an annual dedicated to Toras Ashkenaz) volume I (Bnei Brak 5767), pages
> 113-125.
> Stu Pilichowski responded:
> I had the perfect setting this past Shabbat: The Baal Shachrit and the Baal
> Koreh were one and the same.

If Stu were to consult Rabbi Hamburger's study he would find that, until a
few hundred years ago, this was the norm.  It was only with the growth of
chazzanut whose performers were not able to lein [chant Torah - Mod] that
the roles were separated. It was only from that time that we find reference to
the Baal Kore [Torah reader - Mod] saying that kaddish.

Martin Stern

From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 21,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Kaddish after krias HaTorah - to whom does it belong?

I'm actually looking forward to a baal shachrit, baal koreh, and chiyuv
[requirement to lead - Mod] due to a yahzrzeit all rolled into one to be able to
say the kaddish!

Stuart Pilichowski 
Mevaseret Zion, Israel 


From: Bernard Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 22,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Limitations on G-d

Ari Trachtenberg seems to have confused his Katzes [Mod - my apologies for the
confusion (which was also noted by Dr. Ben Katz)!]. He attributes the comment

> Obviously, there are lots of passages in Tanakh that suggest otherwise. 
> E.g., some pesukim depict Gd as becoming unhappy because of human sin and, 
> as result, deciding to do something about it--in particular, deciding to 
> flood the world (Ber 6:5-7).  But on the view that Gd is immutable, these 
> are supposed to be understood metaphorically.

to Ben Katz, when in fact I was its author. In any case, Ari asks:

> After the flood, G-d is talking to Himself (el libo) promising (Rashi says 
> swearing) that he will no longer smite all life *as he has done*.  How is 
> this apparent change in G-d's behavior understood metaphorically?

The pasuk in question is, of course, Bereshit 8:21:

> Vayarach Hashem et-re'ach hanichoach vayomer Hashem el-libo lo osif lekalel 
> od et-ha'adamah ba'avur ha'adam ki yetser lev ha'adam ra mine'urav velo osif 
> od lehakot et-kol-chay ka'asher asiti.
> And Hashem smelled the sweet savour; and Hashem said in His heart: 'I will 
> not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of 
> man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more 
> every thing living, as I have done.'

There are, in fact, a number of metaphors (figures of speech) at play here. 
Consider, first, the phrase 'vayomer Hashem el-libo' (and Hashem said in His 
heart). Taken literally, this makes no sense: for one thing, the heart is 
not an organ of speech; for another, Gd does not have a heart. The Rambam 
comments on the phrase as follows:

> The matter with regard to which it is said of a man that he said in his 
> heart or said unto his heart is a matter to which the man does not give 
> utterance . . .. Similarly, it is said of every matter willed by Gd of which 
> He does not speak to a prophet at the time when He accomplished an act 
> corresponding to His will in this regard: Gd said unto His heart. It is thus 
> likened to the human matter in virtue of the continual use of the rule: The 
> Torah speaks in the language of the sons of man (Guide Part I, Ch 29).

[In other words], the metaphor 'vayomer Hashem el-libo' indicates that "He did
not say to a prophet at the time, Go and inform them of this".

Ari, however, is interested in the phrase 'as I have done.' I take it that 
Ari's point is that normally, 'I have done' describes a speaker in terms of 
some now completed past action of the speaker.  And this indicates a change 
of some sort in the speaker.  I think that's right: normally, when an agent 
acts, he or she changes in some respect. I am not sure, however, why Ari 
thinks that the phrase 'as I have done' is especially significant. One might 
just as well ask, How could Gd say something in His heart, i.e., promise--or 
swear, as Rashi suggests--unless He thereby changes?

In any case, the issue concerns not just change but time. According to the 
Rambam , Gd does not exist in time, since time itself is part of creation 
(see Guide Part II, Ch 13). Since Gd does not exist in time, He cannot act 
in time. The pasuk under consideration, however, says that Gd resolved to do 
something after He had made the flood. This suggests that first He did one 
thing and then another. How is this possible, one might ask, if Gd does not 
act in time? If an agent brings about some state of affairs, it seems that 
we can always ask when the agent brought about that state of affairs. But if 
Gd acts in time, then He exists in time and is subject to change.

If one agrees with the Rambam that Gd is not found within time, i.e., that 
He exists timelessly, then when the Torah says that Gd brings certain things 
about, we have to understand 'bring about' as having a special sense 
appropriate to its subject, Gd, a sense which does not allow the normal 
temporal stipulations. In particular, the fact that Gd brings it about 
timelessly that certain things (e.g., the flood) happened at a certain time 
does not entail that Gd acted at the time those things are brought about 
(or, for that matter, at any other time).  In other words, divine acts occur 
timelessly, even though their effects occur in time.  The Torah is, however, 
using the language of humans, so it describes the various divine actions as 
though they were performed in time, as a human agent (acting in time) would 
perform a series of action. Hence, the tensed verbs--and, in particular, the 
present perfect 'I have done'--used to describe Gd actions.

Bernard Katz


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 21,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: The missing Hekkesh

The simple answer to Martin's question "Where is Hekkesh mentioned in the
Rabbi Ishmael rules" is that it is subsumed under "Matters inferred from
context" since Hekkesh refers to two laws in the same verse (and hence
the context rule applies).

But there is much more to be said.

I have written extensively on what the 13 exegetical rules of Rabbi
Ishmael mean. Some good sources are my article "Biblical Formatting"
(http://www.Rashiyomi.com/biblicalformatting.pdf) and my weekly Rashi
newsletter (http://www.Rashiyomi.com/rule.htm).

But before giving theory let me strengthen the question: Consider a
simple grammatical argument e.g. when discussing the laws of returning
robbed items denied under oath the Bible requires a fine of 1/5th
(actually 25%) and states "...and he shall returns its fifthS" (Lv05).
Commenting on the "plural fifthS" indicated by the capped "S" the Talmud
derives several laws: "a) If he repeatedly denied the theft under oath he
pays a fifth for each oath of denial (not one fifth per robbed item but
one fifth per oath). b) If he returns the robbed article but denies
(under oath) owing the fifth then he pays a fifth on the fifth."

This is all fine and rather clear. But how does this fit with Rabbi
Ishmael. In other words where are the rules of Grammar and plurality in
Rabbi Ishmael.

Because of these problems I explain the Rabbi Ishmael rules differently.
They are not "THE" rules of exegesis. Rather they are STYLE rules. And
the point here is that the STYLE rules are IN ADDITION to the grammar and
meaning rules. So a law inferred from the MEANING of a word or from the
GRAMMATICAL CONJUGATION of the word did not use Rabbi Ishmael. 

For this reason I have 10 distinct Rashi rules (meaning, grammar, style
and formatting are all distinct laws). My Rashi rules apply to the
Talmudic exegesis also.

But what is this STYLE which Rabbi Ishmael studies. To answer this I cite
Dt25-04 "Don't muzzle an ox while threshing." The Rabbi Ishmael rules
(generalization) take this to teach a) we shouldn't muzzle ANY ANIMAL
(not just an OX); b) we shouldn't prevent ANY EATING (not just muzzling);
etc. (there are more details but I skip over them now).

My point of view is that the Rabbi Ishmael style rules are studying the
relationship between BIBLICAL EXAMPLES and LAWS. Is the example
EXHAUSTIVE of the law or ILLUSTRATIVE. So in the OX verse above the word
OX is seen as an example of the entire class of animals. OX is

By contrast the GENERAL-DETAIL style (e.g. Lv01-02 If you offer an
ANIMAL for sacrifice from PENNED animals or OXEN) says that the examples
are EXHAUSTIVE of the law - the ONLY animals that can be offered are OXEN
and PENNED animals (sheep and goats).

This idea that Rabbi Ishmael deals with STYLE the interaction between
EXAMPLE-GENERAL seems to be new to me (if anyone knows an earlier source
kindly let me know).

Now that you have the background let me go on to my Rashi classification
scheme (which applies to all Talmudic law).

GRAMMAR and MEANING as well as REFERENCE are legitimate exegetical rules
but are NOT PART of the Rabbi Ishmael rules (this has been explained

CONTRADICTION  is a Rabbi Ishmael rule when two verses collide. Very
often the collision is resolved by stretching boundaries of meaning to
accommodate the contradiction.

STYLE refers to all rules dealing with the presentation of a single
Biblical text and the study of whether the text is ILLUSTRATIVE or
EXHAUSTIVE (note: Contradiction deals with TWO texts while STYLE deals
with ONE text).

I also have a FORMATTING rule. This rule includes inferences from
REPETITION OF WORDS (not in the Rabbi Ishmael rules) and inferences from
JUXTAPOSITION of paragraphs or inclusion of several items in one paragraph
(HEKKESH). One can classify these as application of the Rabbi Ishmael
CONTEXT rule (or one can have them as standalone rules...as I indicated
above it is not necessary that all exegesis come from Rabbi Ishmael).

In my article on Biblical Formatting I cite Rav Hirsch and show that the
common feature of these methods - repetition of words, several items in
one paragraph, several paragraphs juxtaposed - are examples of
communication by FORMATTING (hence the name of the article Biblical

As long as I am discussing my Rashi methods I have 4 other methods:
Symbolism, Database (SQL) inquiries, Non Verse (algebraic, diagrammatic,
other languages, archaeological), and Alignment. 

Feel free to browse the URLs above or the general Rashi website (URL

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


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 23,2009 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Women as Rabbis

Stu wrote:
> ....The goal of Orthodoxy is to study Torah and become a great scholar. This
> requires years of study and dedication. For a woman to follow this track would
> mean giving up much of family and home life....

We've already discussed how some programs give you semicha [Rabbinical
ordination --Mod.] after studying part time for as little as 9 months.  I think
a woman can do that.

> ....I don't believe it's comparable to a career in the secular world, where
> one can divide one's time and compartmentalize.  Individual women can become
> exceptions to the rule of women giving birth to many children and being the
> mainstays of a household and trying to achieve talmidah chachama [wise
> student] status. But as a general rule it simply can't follow for Orthodoxy to
> push great scholarship as a goal for women....

When I see how many Rabbis in my community walk around with their Artscroll
Talmud they are learning from, I'm not sure every Rabbi is such a great scholar.
Continuing, its already occurring.  Women are already learning on an 
advanced level. That train has left the station and isn't coming back.
We already have women doctors and lawyers supporting their Kollel [full-time
learning --Mod.] husbands. The fact is we all divide our time and
compartmentalize.  Don't men in Kollel have an obligation to be fathers and
husbands in addition to students.  Being a father takes time too.

> ....This of course doesn't negate women continuing advanced Torah studies the
> same way men do; with or without smicha [rabbinic ordination]...

The question isn't if women will learn on an advanced level, it's just if we
recognize that learning with a title.


End of Volume 56 Issue 84