Volume 57 Number 07 
      Produced: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 20:24:34 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Question in Learning 
An incorrect/correct reference to the Kol Bo 
    [Martin Stern]
Main vs. sub minyan (4)
    [Stu Pilichowski  David Ziants  Martin Stern  Akiva Miller]
Nusach Achid (4)
    [Joel Rich  Eitan Fiorino  Ira L. Jacobson  <chidekel@...>]


From: <adbarcoh@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: A Question in Learning

Am I allowed to offer a Pshat in a Posuk in the Torah, that is based on my
personal experience, that could be contrary to a Rashi?

Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 16,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: An incorrect/correct reference to the Kol Bo

On Mon, Aug 10,2009, Michael Pitkowsky <pitkowsky@...> wrote:

Subject: An incorrect/correct reference to the Kol Bo
> Martin Stern wrote:
>> The Elya Rabba (O.H.124,7) writes in the name of the Kol Bo (daf 9) 'Oy
>> la'anashim shemeisichim be'eit hatefillah ki ra'inu kamah batei knessiyot
>> 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.

Also, on Thu, Aug 13,2009, S. Leiman <szl@...> wrote:

> The Kol Bo passage appears in the Feldheim edition (ed. by R. David Abraham,
> second edition, Jerusalem, 2009), vol. 1, column 310.

In addition Yisroel Israel contacted me off line with the interesting note:

> I am not sure which edition of Kol Bo you have  probably Lemberg 1860 or a
> copy thereof. The Elya Rabba probably used an earlier edition. In the Lemberg
> edition, what you are looking for appears at the bottom of the previous page 8
> side 2 left hand column about sixteen lines up.

This clearly answers the problem since the Elya Rabba was published over 100
years previously (Sulzbach, 1758) and the Lemberg edition obviously had a
different pagination to the one he used, probably one of those printed in
Constantinople before 1573 (according to Ben-Yaakov's Otsar Hasefarim) or,
as Yisroel suggested, the Venice edition of 1567.

The passage I quoted was from the Mishnah Berurah (ad loc.) which turns out
to be a paraphrase rather than a direct quote from the Elya Rabba. What had
led me astray was that my edition of the Kol Bo had Hilchot Beit Haknesset
on daf 9b, and I assumed the Elya Rabba was referring to it, so I had not
thought to look over previous pages. The passage itself comes from Hilchot
Tefillah and follows on the passage cited by the Magen Avraham (ad loc.)
that small children acquire eternal life by answering "Amein Yehei Shmei

The Elya Rabba itself is an abridged version of the Kol Bo (I have included
some of the omitted parts in brackets) and reads:

"Oy lahem lemedabrim devarim beteilim o sechok beshaat hatefillah [umon'im
veneihem meichayei haolam haba kiyeish lanu la'asot kal vachomer be'atsmeinu
kol shekein anu she'omedim lifnei Melech malchei hamelachim HKBH] ki ra'inu
ba'avoneinu kamah batei knessiyot shenechrevu al shenahagu bahem kalut rosh
[venehefu lihyot batei avodah zarah] - Woe to those who indulge in idle
chatter or levity during the times of davening [and prevent their children
from acquiring eternal life, since we ought to learn a fortiori that this
applies to those of us [adults] who stand before the King of kings of kings
HKBH] for we have seen, because of our sins, many shuls destroyed because
people behaved frivolously in them [and were changed into temples of

Perhaps we should take the last bracketed words of the Kol Bo to heart since
one of the arguments of the Reform movement was that there was a lack of
decorum in the traditional synagogues which it was proposing to rectify.
Since it had a valid complaint, it was able to make headway which would not
have been possible if it had been based entirely on falsehood, something I
wrote about at length in an article in the (London) Jewish Tribune (22 Sep.
'87) "A Time to Speak" which is reprinted (with corrections) in my book of
the same name that is about to be published by Devora Press.

May I thank all those who have helped trace the quotation and demonstrated
how useful mail-jewish is in obtaining information.

Martin Stern


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

My practice has always been to follow the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein, that
one should always try to follow the nusach of the shul he happens to be in at
the time. In recent years I've become aware that this is not a universally-held
view, and several posters have mentioned the poskim who hold that one should
always follow a particular nusach regardless of circumstances.

I have a couple of questions about how they implement this on a practical level.

For example, someone mentioned that if a person who says Viduy and 13 Midos is
in a shul where they don't, it isn't really a problem, because he can say them
quietly while the shul is saying tachanun (and he can avoid the problem of
saying the 13 Midos without a minyan by saying the complete verses, not just the
13 Midos themselves).

But there are other considerations too, and I would love to know if those poskim
deal with them. Viduy and the 13 Midos are always said standing up, whereas the
rest of the shul are sitting down for Tachanun. Isn't this a problem of
"separating oneself from the community"? I understand that Viduy and the 13
Midos are important to those who say them, but do those poskim explicitly say
that they are *more* important than maintaining unity?

Other situations lead to similar problems. Suppose someone is from a community
where An'im Z'miros is normally said on Shabbos at the end of Shacharis, but
this week he is in a shul where they say it after Musaf. Would those poskim
really say that he should say it quietly while the rest of the shul is taking
out the Sefer Torah? And then at the end of services, should he stand silent
while the others are saying/singing it?

This approach can lead to situations which seem absurd to me. On Sukkos, will
part of the shul say Hoshanos after Shacharis, and the other half after Musaf?
Do those poskim really hold this way?

I'd like to finish off this post by pointing out that I am *not* asking what
those poskim say about any of the specific examples above. My real question is
how they feel about the dis-unity that may result when people insist on doing
things like at home, when in reality they are really guests in someone else's home.

Akiva Miller

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

Inline ...

Ken Bloom wrote:
> The idea that the nusach of the sepharadim is superior based on its
> kabbalistic source *is* the reason (based on the HIDA) that Yalkut Yosef
> advances for sticking with that nusach in any situation. Though
> chassidim probably wouldn't look at Yalkut Yosef for psak, many of them
> have the same reason, and they're not inventing it -- their poskim
> probably say it as well.
But the chassidic nusach (nusach sepharad) is a completely different 
(actually no nusach is really completely different but the differences 
are as substantial enough) to nusach sephardi of the aidot hamizrach. 
Not just some of the text but also the way of doing things. I would say 
that there is as much divide between ashkenaz and sepharad as there is 
between sepharad and sephardi where sepharad might lie approx half way 
in-between. Of course there are nuances within the nusachot (oops I said 
nuschaot [=formulae] previously - have my mind on maths (:- ). For 
example there are some chassidim who do hagbaa [raising the Torah --MOD] before
k'riat hatorah.

This is, though, not standard rinat yisrael.

> 13 middot needs a minyan of people saying the 13 middot, but according
> to Yalkut Yosef (and possibly *not* according to chassidish poskim) if
> you don't have a minyan, you can and should say it anyway by chanting it
> with the proper ta'amim.
This is also written in some ashkenazi halacha compendiums. For example 
see notes in Rosenfeld Selichot. But doing it this way is not expressing 
the 13 middot as tefilla. It really becomes a filler (no pun intended) 
and so one should never say "you showed us 13" as part of the tefilla 
text if there is no minyan.

>> The issue here is not whether an individual adds lamnatzeiach or not.
>> The issue is, whether the ashkenazi shatz is allowed to finish alainu
>> and say kaddish without someone else trying to take over.
> Maybe I'm misunderstanding the sociology here, but I think they wouldn't
> take over.
Am afraid it has happened, at least once, in a certain ad-hoc minyan 
factory (quite a long time ago).
There was no choice (as shat"z) but to wait till they did their bit and 
then I continued according to the mandate I believed I was given, and 
that was to finish alainu and then kaddish yatom.

>> Rav Goren tzatz"al tried to create "Nusach Achid" to solve this issue
>> (especially in the army), but this never really took on, even in
>> situations where it could be useful. 
> Well, I would imagine that most peoples' response to Nusach Achid would
> be to disregard it, because really, what right does Rav Goren have to
> change a nusach of tefillah that we've been using for generations and
> that was decided by rabbis who were, quite frankly, much greater than
> Rav Goren.
Whether one agrees with Rav Goren or not, his intentions were l'shem 
shamayim [for the sake of heaven] and he wanted to find ways of creating 
unity within the constraints of halacha. The Gr"a also came up with his 
own nusach, from his personal research. Nusach Ari (the basis of, or 
maybe synonymous with nusach sepharad), AFAIK, did not exist before the 
time of the Ari.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

After living in Israel for ten years in a mixed - ashkenzai/sefardi - real
Israeli city - my take on the situation is that it's cultural not halachik. 

Stuart Pilichowski 
Mevaseret Zion, Israel 

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

On Mon, Aug 17,2009, Daniel Wells <biuashur@...> wrote:

Subject: Main vs. sub minyan
> The Ashkenazim were in general influenced by the GR"A who held that excessive
> viduy recital was inappropriate. However it was not banned.

The whole idea of saying viduy and 13 middot is an innovation from the
Arizal and was never accepted in Ashkenaz proper (Germany and neighbouring
lands). The so-called Minhag Ashkenaz that is prevalent in many shuls today
in Israel involves changes made by the Gra and his followers.

Martin Stern


From: <chidekel@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Nusach Achid

WRT David Ziants' disparagement of rav Goren zt"l and his nusach haachid, it is
today too easy to forget the magnitude of rav Goren's accomplishments. It is
because of him that tzahal [Israeli Defense Forces --MOD] has kashrut and shabbat.

Nusach haachid addressed and solved a major issue. Tsahal was a new community -
and it is not clear at all which of the different nuschaot (established, as
david ziants said by great rabbis) was applicable - and which one should be put
aside - as tsahal had all communities - and all had a right to expect respect.
The solution of having the cantor determine is one that is frowned on by many,
and also is problematic in an army setting.

Nusach haachid tried to provide a measure of compromise that all could feel
comfortable - established by the mara d'atra (spiritual and rabbinic leader and
decider) of a new community without established minhagim.

What David Ziants' post shows is something else.  It is one thing to insist on
one's minhagim [customs --MOD] in one's own shul.  However, outside of one's on
shul, the question is whether one is more concerned about one's minhagim or the
welfare of the community.  This emphasis on one's own religious needs at the
expense of the community is a destructive force today - and one of the reasons
rav Goren zt" is reviled in some quarters is that he stood and practiced the
opposite- the importance of the community over personal humrot [strictures
--MOD] and minhagim.

Meir Shinnar

From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Nusach Achid

> Well, I would imagine that most peoples' response to Nusach Achid would be to
> disregard it, because really, what right does Rav Goren have to change a
> nusach of tefillah that we've been using for generations and that was decided
> by rabbis who were, quite frankly, much greater than Rav Goren.

WADR IMHO this response is indicative of a basic issue that the halachic system
had to wrestle with.  IIUC one thing that was always clear in the time of chazal
was that minhag hamakom (local practice) was generally the deciding factor (e.g.
if you moved to a community you adopted that community's practice). The concept
of minhag avot (family practices) was not a major factor for public practices. 
At some time in history, this changed (I'd love if anyone has any sources on
when and why). 

With the return to Zion (may we all return quickly), those who viewed it as
having religious significance, wrestled with how to reflect HKB"H's "psak"
through history in practical matters of halacha in a Jewish state (something we
- including the Rabbis referenced above-were not privileged to deal with in 2000
years).  Issues such as restarting Sanhedrin, power generation, hospitals,
prayer... Reflecting a new reality were all on the table.

Unfortunately (imho) the "realists" triumphed - halevai [may it be --MOD] it
should only seem like we had 2 torah's ( See Rashi (Yevamot 13b, d"h lo te`asu)
where he explains "lo taasu agudot" (don't make separate sects) as " dnirin
knohagin shtei torot" (it seems like we have 2 torahs)

Joel Rich

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Nusach Achid

Ken Bloom wrote in mail-Jewish Vol.57 #06 Digest:

>Well, I would imagine that most peoples' response to Nusach Achid would
>be to disregard it, because really, what right does Rav Goren have to
>change a nusach of tefillah that we've been using for generations and
>that was decided by rabbis who were, quite frankly, much greater than
>Rav Goren.

In fact, what Rav Goren called Nusah Ahid was nothing more than what 
is popularly called Nusah Sefard (of the Ashkenazim).

Thus, he was not "changing" any nusah.  He even left in all the 
shibushim that have crept in over the years, despite the excellent 
siddurim that had been put out using the work of R' Daniel 
Goldschmidt before Rav Goren's nusah was "established" and which 
corrected all those errors.


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Wed, Aug 19,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Nusach Achid

Ken Bloom wrote:

> Well, I would imagine that most peoples' response to Nusach 
> Achid would be to disregard it, because really, what right 
> does Rav Goren have to change a nusach of tefillah that we've 
> been using for generations and that was decided by rabbis who 
> were, quite frankly, much greater than Rav Goren.

Sorry, just wanted to chime in on this last point - it is difficult to say that
any nusach was "decided by rabbis who were, quite frankly, much greater than Rav
Goren."  Let me rephrase that - it is historically incorrect to say that.

The history of various nusachot shows quite clearly that many many factors
contributed to their shaping, including quite significantly the feelings of the
laity who were quite devoted to, or opposed to, various innovations proposed by
rabbinic leaders; kedusha, piyutim, interruptions during chazarat hashatz, etc.
etc. were subject to battles between rabbinic leaders and between communities
and rabbis.  The printers of prayer-books too share significant responsibility
for the shaping of nusachot since the dawn of the printing press.  Further
examples - nusach Sefard is basically an early modern invention of chassidim who
incorporated elements of the Sephardic nusach of the Ari into their own eastern
European rite.  Furthermore - the majority of western Ashkenazim use siddurim
whose entire system of vocalization is owed to the views of 18th and 19th
century maskilin [reformers --MOD] who were convinced that Biblical Hebrew was a
language more beautiful than the rabbinic Hebrew used in the siddur, culminating
in Wolf Heidenheim rewriting the entire siddur and expunging the pronunciation
that had been used by Jews since the origin of the tefilot.

I'm not claiming nusach Achid is good, valuable, was or should have been a
success, or even was a good idea.  All I'm saying is to critique it on the basis
that Rav Goren didn't have the stature to have authored it holds little water in
the historical context of how the extant nusachot evolved.  And indeed it has
been judged in its short history the way many many tefilot have been - the
people have voted with their hearts and mouths.



End of Volume 57 Issue 7