Volume 57 Number 04 
      Produced: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 11:04:29 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

1879 book 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
A Rule 
    [Marilyn Tomsk]
An incorrect/correct reference to the Kol Bo 
    [Michael Pitkowsky]
Chatzi kaddish [half kaddish] after Torah reading 
    [Jack Gross]
    [Francine Weistrop]
Tevilat Kelim (3)
    [Avraham Walfish  Gershon Dubin  Jack Gross]
translation of Shema Yisrael 
    [Martin Stern]
Tropical Interpretation (2)
    [Mark Symons  Michael Frankel]
Where do you buy Israeli children's books and videos? 
    [Aryeh Weil]
Women saying Kaddish (2)
    [Avraham Walfish  Aryeh A. Frimer]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: 1879 book

The 1879 book, "Curiosities of Judaism," by Philip Abraham (312 pages long)
is available(about 17 Meg) for free download at

It is a rather messy hodge-podge of facts and quasi-facts, not all
complimentary of the Jewish people. 

Intrestingly - and I'm not sure why it's in this book (p. 75), the author
notes that a certain common Christian school book omits "the second
commandment," "to accomodate the pictures and images of the Roman (Catholic?
- SH) worship, and the tenth is split to make up the number."

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Marilyn Tomsk <jtomsky@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: A Rule

In May 2008 my husband and I went with a Jewish tour group all over Israel.  At
Jerusalem, we had only 20 minutes to go to the Wall to pray and then we had to
meet for our appointment to explore the Kotel as a group.  At the Wall in the
female section I found that the Jewish female students had taken over the place.
 There were chairs next to the Wall and backwards full of students.  There was
only a narrow aisle on each side amid rows of more chairs.  The students
dominated the chairs and the Wall praying from their prayer books.  Jewish women
came from all over the world, certainly my group did (I'm from California,
America) and this was the only chance we had to go to the Wall and pray.  We saw
that we could not reach the Wall in time.  Some of my group were in despair and
one was crying.

I was mad!   The Jewish students could come at any time and certainly not when
tourists came in full.  That was unfair.  The women's section was much smaller
than the male section at the Wall.  The men had plenty of room.  There were more
women than men and it was crowded.

While on line I looked at the situation.  There was no way for me to reach the
Wall waiting on line.  The line was too slow.  The Jewish students took up the
lines and the Wall.  That was so SELFISH.  I refused to give up.  Then I saw
what to do.  I managed to go up through one line and over the seated students'
heads, I reached out and touched the Wall.  I prayed quickly and then I left to
go to the Kotel.  The students should leave one aisle free and the first row so
that others can go up to pray along the Wall.

Later on in the Kotel, there were the Jewish students again - everywhere.  They
crowded the place.  Walking through was difficult with long waits.  Their
teachers instead of lecturing the students at their school or outside, dominated
the intersections to turn them into classrooms and our guide could not lecture
to us about the Kotel.  Then deep in the Kotel we were all jammed single row to
go through a narrow wall in turn.  Then I felt a punch in my back.  It hurt so
much!  I turned around outraged and there were female students demanding to go
ahead.  I looked at them, shook my finger and said, "You have to wait your
turn!"  I looked in front.  We were all jammed.  There was nothing I could do.  

That was not good enough for the students.  The leader started yelling and
demanding to go on, because of some rule, that a Jewish girl has to keep moving
in enemy territory - even underground of the Palestinian Temple Mount above. 
Who made up this rule?  In that situation it was crazy!  Does anyone know about
it?  Our guide way ahead, made everyone move somehow, it took time, so that the
students could push through and go on ahead.  Further on we came upon the
students wanting to go back through the line and we were so jammed, I was fed
up!  But we had to strain to somehow let them through.  Finally we got out.  

The students should go during the late Fall or Winter when few tourists are
there.  If tourists are Israel's bread and butter then the schools should be
more understanding of these situations.  

Marilyn Tomsky


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitkowsky@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 10,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: An incorrect/correct reference to the Kol Bo

Martin Stern wrote:
> The Elya Rabba (O.H.144,7) writes in the name of the Kol Bo (daf 9) 'Oy
> lahem shemeisichim be'eit hatefillah ki ra'inu kamah beit haknesset nechrevu
> bishvil avon zeh -  Woe to those who talk during the times of davening for
> we have seen many shuls destroyed because of this sin'.

With a little help from the Responsa Project from Bar-Ilan I found your lost
reference.  See the Kol Bo, siman 11 (Din ha-Tefillah u-Zemanah Derech Ketzarah)
in the Lemberg ed., 8b.  The version in this edition is slightly different from
what you wrote.

Michael Pitkowsky


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sat, Aug 8,2009 at 09:30 PM
Subject: Chatzi kaddish [half kaddish] after Torah reading

I dislike the term "Chatzi Kaddish":  The text through DaAmiran beAlma is
not "half" of anything -- it is the complete Kaddish; the rest (variously
Titkabel, Al Yisrael, Yehei Shelama, Oseh Shalom) is an addendum.

When required:  I disagree with Mr. Finkelman's characterization of which
kri'at hatorah is followed by kaddish.  A kaddish is *always* said following
the reading of the Torah.  There are two apparent exceptions:  Mincha of
Shabbat, and occasions when Kaddish is not said after Maftir.  But not

* In the case of Mincha on Shabbat, the kaddish is *delayed* until the Torah
is returned, so that it can serve as a direct lead-in to Tefillat Sheva [the
prayer of seven blessings --MOD], but nonetheless the kaddish said then *also*
marks the conclusion of kri'at hatorah [reading of the Torah --MOD].  

* On Shabbat (or Yom Kippur or Yom Tov) morning when we have 7 (or 6 or 5)
mandatory aliyot plus a separate aliya for Maftir, we say the kaddish
immediately after the shevi'i (or acharon), to mark the end of the mandatory
sequence of aliyot, before calling the maftir.  Because the Talmudic law
does not require this aliya (the "acharon" may proceed to read the haftara,
as we do on fast days), the supernumerary aliya of the maftir is not
followed by (another) kaddish.  -- But note that the Edot Mizrach [Eastern
congregations --MOD] do say another kaddish after maftir in cases (yom tov; arba
parshiyot) where he reads a different text.  

Who says: Like the reading itself, the kaddish in principle "belongs" to the
oleh [person getting the aliya --MOD].  In places (almost everywhere nowadays)
where an officiant does the reading (for the benefit of all in case the oleh
cannot do an adequate rendering), the officiant likewise conventionally says the
kaddish after the last aliya as well.  (But customs very.  In Syrian shuls here
is Flatbush, the default is that the oleh recites the kaddish even if he did not
chant the text.)  


From: Francine Weistrop <francine.weistrop@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Moser

I have been reading the various discussions about the rabbis arrested  
in New Jersey and the word "moser" was used in several references.  
While I think I understand the terminology, I would be interested in  
both a broad and a narrow interpretation of this term as it applies in  
general and in this case in particular if that can be done without  
defaming anyone involved.

Thank you.
Francine Weistrop


From: Avraham Walfish <rawalfish@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Tevilat Kelim

Martin and Orrin discussed sources regarding the Rambam's characterization
of tevilat keilim as "Divrei Sofrim", as to whether the Rambam viewed this
as a gezeirah derabbanan [rabbinical decree --MOD]. More generally there is
lively debate among Rambam scholars as to whether Divrei Sofrim in the Rambam
denotes rabbinic law (derabbanan), which seems to be the plain sense of passages
in Rambam's writings (see Shoresh 2 of Sefer Hamitzvot and Responsum regarding
Kiddushei Kesef) or denotes a kind of deraita [Torah law --MOD], as argued by
Maggid Mishneh (beginning of Hilkhot Ishut) and others. The Lev Sameah to Sefer
Hamitzvot (shoresh 2) argues at length that the Rambam does mean derabbanan, and
Rav Neubauer devoted a book-length study to the same thesis, which is accepted
by many contemporary scholars. Rav Nahum Rabinowitz and his followers argue on
behalf of the Maggid Mishneh's reading.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 12,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Tevilat Kelim

One must be awed by Rabbi Wise's erudite citation of sources concerning
tevilas kelim;  however several of his statements are, I believe, incorrect and
I would appreciate knowing whence they originate:
> Tevilat kelim unlike the tevila of a nida does not require a mikva but
> requires 40 seah [a measure --MOD] of water.
Please cite a source.
> Also unlike a nida one is not required to toivel the dish in its
> entirety at one go i.e one may hold the dish
> dip half, withdraw it, turn it around and then dip the other half.
Please cite a source.
> The heter of the American rabbis was limited to those people who lived
> in places where there was no mikveh nor any seas, rivers, lakes etc....
Please cite a source.

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 12,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Tevilat Kelim

I take issue with two of the statements in Rabbi Wise's post in Vol.57 #03.

(1) "Tevilat kelim unlike the tevila of a nida does not require a mikva but
requires 40 seah of water."

Just the opposite.  There is an issue (in the Talmudic source) as to whether
the requirement of "40 Seah" (reckoned as the quantity of water sufficient
for a person's immersion) applies only to a person's tevila (but for Kelim
all that is required is sufficient water to immerse the item), or is
essential to the definition of Mikveh (and hence necessary even with regard
to Kelim).  But that the water must be "nikvim" (naturally "gathered": held
in a depression in the earth, and not composed of "drawn" water) is
essential even for Kelim.

(2) "Also unlike a nida one is not required to toivel the dish in its
entirety at one go i.e one may hold the dish dip half, withdraw it, turn it
around and then dip the other half."

Untrue.  Purging vessels of non-kosher beli`a (tastes absorbed through
cooking a non-kosher item) by immersion in boiling water can be done
piecemeal.  Tevilah, which changes the overall status of what is immersed --
whether to change the status of a person (e.g., niddah or ger) or that of a
vessel (to remove tum'a, or our Tevilat kelim) -- is an all-or-nothing
affair.  The person or vessel must be immersed in its entirety at one time.

Also, it is inaccurate and misleading to refer to "the dish".  Tevilat Kelim
is required only for metal and glass vessels, not for earthenware (Klei
Cheres).  Even those who regard the surface glaze of china as constituting a
"glass vessel" perform Tevila only as a "chumra" [stricture --MOD], and should
not recite a beracha on the Tevila.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: translation of Shema Yisrael

Alexander Seinfeld wrote:
> Apropos this thread ... I would like
> to share the simcha of announcing a new book ...

What a coincidence! My book "A Time to Speak - Controversial Essays That Can
Change Your life" is also about to be released by Devorah Publishing and
contains a 70 page essay called "Reading Between the Lines of the Shema"
that examines some of the amazing remazim [hints] that can be found in the
text. I look forward to reading Alexander's book when it becomes available
in England and comparing his approach with mine.

Martin Stern


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Tropical Interpretation

Mark Polster wrote:
> In MJ Vol. 56, #96, Lawrence Myers wrote:
>> > And that is why the pointing is "v'shem" and not "b'shem"
>> > HaShem.  Whereas in other places where the Tipcha is on
>> > Vayikra the next word is "b'shem"
> ...there are numerous instances where the interpretation offered by at least 
> some commentaries contradicts the phrasing indicated by the trup.  One 
> example - at Deut. 26:5, "Arami (pashta=disjunctive) / ovaid avi", Rashi 
> and Targum both understand the verse as "the Aramean (i.e. Lavan) wished 
> to destroy my father", which is consistent with the phrasing indicated by 
> the trup.   However, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra and Sforno all understand the verse 
> as "my father (i.e. either Avraham or Yaaqov) was a wandering Aramean" 
> which would have required the disjunctive pashta to appear on the word 
> "ovaid" rather than "Arami" - thus in the view of these commentaries the 
> trup here is not dispositive. 

It is interesting to contrast this "Vayikra v'shem  Hashem"  (where the 
trop sequence mercha-tipcha indicates that the pause comes after v'shem, 
indicating that it is Hashem [not Moshe] doing the "calling") - with the 
almost identical phrase  in Lech-Lecha ("Vayikra B'shem Hashem"). In 
the latter, the trop sequence is reversed, ie tipcha-mercha, so that the 
pause is after Vayikra (with the Bet correspondingly acquiring/retaining 
a dagesh), indicating that it is Avraham doing the "calling".

(I came across this in the introduction to Tikkun Simmanim, quoting Ibn 
Ezra. [This would seem to be an example of where the meaning does follow 
the trop])

Re "Arami Oved Avi": Hirsch also understands the meaning the second way - 
though translating Oved as "near to ruin" rather than "wandering" - yet 
he comments that the trop IS consistent with this. "...Arami and Oved 
are together the predicate of Avi, and the separating accent on Arami 
makes the thought rest first on it, and then adds Oved to it as a second 
predicate: An Aramite, near to ruin was my father".

Mark Symons

From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Tropical Interpretation

Mark Polster wrote:
> More generally, several correspondents on this thread have assumed that 
> the phrasing indicated by the trup definitively answers the question of 
> how to understand the verse. .. This phenomenon of the occasional divergence 
> between the correct READING (i.e. the trup) and the correct INTERPRETATION 
> of verses is discussed at some length by R' Breuer, zt"l, in Section 3 of 
> his book on Ta'amei HaMiqra (Hotzaat Michlala Yerushalayim, 1982), as well 
> as by S.D. Luzzatto in the Introduction to his Commentary on the Torah.
R. Breuer's riff on "arami oveid ovi" offers a nice vort [literally "word"
--MOD] explaining the motivation for abandoning p'shot [simple understanding
--MOD] and embedding a midroshic interpretation in the trop and its connectivity
to the following section on "y'tzias mitzraim", while shadal's examples are
provided b'qitzur nimrotz [in short --MOD] as citations for the interested
student to go look up.  but the best place to explore the many instances of this
phenomenon - even amongst m'foroshim  [commentators --MOD] who elsewhere
castigate straying from the trop's interpretive decisions - is Simcha Koghut's
1994 volume - Hammiqroh: Bain T'omim L'foroshonus" and his 2002 follow up; -
Hammiqroh: Bain Tachbir L'foroshonus, both published by magnes press.
Mechy Frankel


From: Aryeh Weil <theweils@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Where do you buy Israeli children's books and videos?

I operate a store in Modiin called Kidashta.  We feature Judaica, specialized
imprinted T-shirts, boutique kosher wines and, in answer to your question,
sefarim [(typically) Jewish books --MOD].  We carry many children's books and
videos, albeit most of them do not appear on our web-site.
If you e-mail me I will be delighted to be of service!

Rabbi Aryeh Weil


From: Avraham Walfish <rawalfish@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

Dr. Joel Wolowelsky in his book on Women and Halakhah and in his article in
Tsohar #8 shows that several communities (in Eastern Europe) and important
rabbis supported women reciting kaddish even without being joined by men.
Rav Neriyah Gutel (Tsohar 8) brings several other important sources for such
practice, even though his reading is that this practice should not become

From: Aryeh A. Frimer <frimea@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 9,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Women saying Kaddish

The issue of women saying kaddish alone in shul seems to be a disagreement 
between Rav Elya Henkin and Rav YB Soloveitchik (both ZT"L).  Rav Henkin 
held that women mourners should say it with the men, while the Rov 
maintained that they may even say it alone.
Prof. Aryeh A. Frimer
Chemistry Dept., Bar-Ilan University


End of Volume 57 Issue 4