Volume 57 Number 10 
      Produced: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 07:36:35 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Is "Nusach Ari" synonymous with "Nusach Sepharad" 
    [Martin Stern]
Main vs. sub minyan (2)
    [Daniel Wells  Martin Stern]
Rosh HaShanah 2009 & the Rambam (2)
    ["David E Cohen"  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Skipping Tachanun 
    [Martin Stern]
Tevillas Keilim (2)
    [Alan Rubin  Frank Silbermann]
Western Ashkenazi siddurim (was "Nusach Achid") (2)
    [David Ziants  Eitan Fiorino]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Is "Nusach Ari" synonymous with "Nusach Sepharad"

In M-J V57#08, David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote:
> Among the ashkenazim there are a number nusachot in addition to the
> standard "nusach ashkenaz". [nusach = prayer rite]
There are several varieties of "nusach ashkenaz" so it is not entirely
correct to refer to a "standard" version. In particular there are slight
differences between the West German (Rhineland) minhag [i.e. nusach --Mod.], of
which that of Frankfort am Main is a subtype, and the East German (Minhag Polen)
one, also used in Bohemia, Moravia and Hungary, both of which differ in some
respects from Minhag Litta [lit., Lithuania --Mod.], especially in regard to the
selection of selichot [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selichot --Mod.].
> Among them is "Nusach Ari" and also "Nusach Sepharad".
> Both received popularity with rise of chassidism and are said to based
> on kabballa.
> Are these nusachot indeed synonymous?
The answer must be "No". Generally the term "Nusach Ari" is the one drawn up
by the Ba'al Hatanya and is that used by Chabad, whereas Nusach Sephard is
that used by other Chassidim and has as many subvarieties as there exist
dynasties of Rebbes.

Incidentally this "Nusach Ari" is not precisely the same as that of the
Arizal himself that has been published (2004) by Rabbi Rimer with
explanations of how the Arizal modified the traditional Sefardi nussach in
accordance with his kabbalistic system.

Martin Stern


From: Daniel Wells <biuashur@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

> 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.

I doubt that there ever was a Minhag "Ashkenaz proper (Germany and
neighbouring lands)" even though the MB does often refer to Medinot Ashkenaz
as though absolutely every kehillah [congregation --MOD]
had exactly the same minhag [custom --MOD].

Minhagei Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin et al not only had differing minhagim
many with influences of the Arizal and/or the Gra, but also many of those
kehillot had made changes to their own minhagim over the course of time.

What today is called Minhagei Askenaz which is found in various schuls in
the US, GB and Israel are in the main remnants of the famous German Nigunim.

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Main vs. sub minyan

In M-J V57#07, Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> wrote:
> 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).

There is a problem here since the 13 Midot should only be said with a minyan
so anyone saying them should say them with the trop [cantillation] as during
Kriat Hatorah [the public reading of the Torah --Mod.].

> 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.
> 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?

Surely the main consideration is not visibly to be different. So, for
example, saying Baruch she'amar before Hodu in a shul with Nusach Sfard
should not be a problem. Standing to say Viduy and the 13 Midos when most
are sitting is a bit borderline since those present might assume that the
person has not finished his silent shemoneh esrei. However one should
perhaps avoid beating one's breast during Viduy.

An'im Z'mirot is not a matter of great importance and one should follow the
local custom; in fact if one were in a shul that does not say it at all one
has no obligation to 'make it up'.

As regards Hoshanot, one would be obliged to follow the local custom since
that would otherwise be a really obvious case of lo titgodedu [different
groupings within one prayer group --Mod.].

Martin Stern


From: "David E Cohen" <ddcohen@...>
Date: Tue, Aug 25,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Rosh HaShanah 2009 & the Rambam

Richard Fiedler wrote that actual data on first sightings of the moon seems
to contradict Rambam Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh 5-2:
"When the calculated calendar is followed there will be times when the
sighting would be on the calculated day and times it would be one day before
or after."

I would like to make two comments:

1.  See the examples given in the commentary of R' Ovadiah ben David ben
Ovadiah (printed on the side of the page in the standard Mishneh Torah,
under the header "perush") to Hilkhot Kiddush haChodesh 5:2.  The way that
he understands it, the sighting being "on the calculated day" means that if
the calculated date of Rosh haShanah is Monday, for example, the first
sighting is on Monday night ("leil shelishi"), not that it was on Sunday
night ("leil sheini").  "One day before" would be on Sunday night, and "one
day after" would be on Tuesday night.

2.  I also believe that when the Rambam refers to the "calculated day" here,
this DOES include the dechiyot (postponements).  The Hebrew word used, "yom
she-kove'in bo," is also used in 7:1 when he states that Rosh haShanah
cannot be "nikba" on Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday.

When the chart that was linked to the original posting is updated to reflect
these two understandings, the "difference days" column almost always comes
out to either -1, 0, or +1, just as the Rambam wrote.  (The upcoming Rosh
haShanah 5770 would be an example of +1, since Rosh haShanah is on Shabbat,
and the moon will first be visible on Sunday night.)  The one exception
(within the 20-year span on this chart) is 5774 (2013), where it comes out
to +2.  I would guess that this is very unusual, and its happening in 5774
is due to the combination of two factors:

a.  In this year (2013), the moon's perigee is lined up with the full moon
and apogee with the new moon in June/July, and this has the effect of making
the actual Tishrei new moon (conjunction) be after the mean conjunction,
rather than before it.  (Why this is so is beyond the scope of this list,
but if anybody is interested, I'd be happy to explain it off-list.)  This
happens in approximately 2 out of 9 years.

b.  The "calendar molad" is towards the end of the morning, and not on a
postponement day.  In other words, it is toward the end of the time frame
within which a molad can occur and Rosh haShanah established to be that same

-- D.C.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Rosh HaShanah 2009 & the Rambam

> Witnesses would first be able to see the moon on Sunday night but this
> is only an interesting footnote, because months cannot have more than
> 30 days.

I think that we need to take into account that, when using the fixed
calendar, not only do we not (as the RMBM says) take into account
witnesses, but we also do not calculate the time that witnesses
*should* be able to see the moon. The calculated time is the estimate
for the exact time of the molad (conjunction). Since it is the
theoretical time that a solar eclipse would occur (if the shadow of
the Moon reached the Earth), it would *never* be visible.  As a
result, we will have several 30 day months when we switch back from
the fixed calendar to the witness sightings after the Sanhedrin is set
up again.
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
 <SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Skipping Tachanun

On Wed, Aug 19,2009, Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> wrote:

Subject: Skipping Tachanun
> In the thread titled "Main vs. sub minyan", Ira L. Jacobson referred to a
>> shul where the shaliach tsibur does not say tahanun at
>> minha -- not on a day or in a situation where tahanun is
>> not to be recited, but in a shul where people are taking
>> time off from work and wish to save time -- that ...
> I have never before heard of an opinion which allows one to omit tachanun
> simply to save time. Does anyone have a source for this?

I was once staying in a hotel where the shaliach tsibur did not say tachanun
at minchah much to the annoyance of the resident Rav. There was obviously
nobody in a hurry to go back to work (if readers will excuse the use of a
four letter word of Anglo-Saxon origin!) or anything else.

When challenged he said his "minhag" was never to say tachanun at minchah
"mishum lo plug"! Chassidim seem to be "allergic" to tachanun and omit at
the drop of a hat (or should I say streimel) something decried even by the
(Chassidic) Sefer "Minhag Yisrael Torah".

Since they often daven minchah after sunset, when they claim that it is
forbidden to say tachanun (something unheard of among Jews from Western
Europe), the person involved extended this "issur" to minchah even before
sunset, hence his "reason".

Martin Stern


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Tevillas Keilim

Martin Stern wrote:

>Since this is certainly a safeik derabbanan [doubtful case in rabbinic law]
>it is clear that no berachah should be made.  I suspect that the Dayan whom
>Alan mentions may have meant this since there can be no harm done in
>tovelling china and doing so gets one out of the safeik derabbanan.

Martin's suspicion is mistaken.


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Tevillas Keilim

Alan Rubin:
>> A local Dayan is quite firmly of the opinion that china need not be
>> tovelled and will tell this quite firmly to people he meets going to
>> the mikvas keilim [ritual bath for utensils --MOD].

Martin Stern:
> ... there is some dispute as to whether our china nowadays comes
> under the category of earthenware, which does not require tevilah,
> or, because it is fired at such a high temperature, it is considered
> to be a form of glass that does require tevilah miderabbanan
> [according to rabbinic law]. 

Therefore, if one holds that the glass coating makes modern china
inherently kosher and parve -- just like ordinary glass utensils --
then one definitely should tovel them.

Frank Silbermann             Memphis, Tennessee


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Western Ashkenazi siddurim (was "Nusach Achid")

From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>, M-J 57#07:
> ....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.
> <<snip>>

Please could you elaborate more and give some examples. I assume that 
you are talking about orthodox siddurim. I think this is the first time 
I heard this.

How was "the pronunciation expunged"?

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Mon, Aug 24,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Western Ashkenazi siddurim (was "Nusach Achid")

> From: David Ziants [mailto:<dziants@...>] 
> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 3:38 AM
> To: Tony Fiorino; Mail Jewish
> Subject: Western Ashkenazi siddurim
> Eitan,
> Please could you elaborate more and give some examples. I 
> assume that you are talking about orthodox siddurim. I think 
> this is the first time I heard this.
> How was "the pronunciation expunged"?


If you look at Ashkenazi siddurim from before, say, the 17th century - the
vocalization matched that of Rabbinic/Mishnaic Hebrew.  The most pervasive
revocalization was the systematic imposition of the masculine possessive
vocalization - for example, my (Italian) siddur reads in baruch sheamar
"uv'shirei david avdach nehalelach hashem elokenu uneshabechach uneromemach
unegadlach venamlichach . . ." - forgetting any differences in the specific
words there from nusach to nusach, the vocalization was at one time the same in
Ashkenaz, whether the rite was French, German or Polish/Eastern European (as it
existed before the rise of chassidim).  Though there was noise with regard to
the use of Rabbinical versus Biblical Hebrew in the siddur as early as Shabtai
Sofer, it was only during the haskala [the "Jewish Enlightenment" --Mod.] that
the widespread lampooning of Rabbinic Hebrew as a coarse corruption of Biblical
Hebrew took hold.  This was part of a broader attack of the maskilim [Haskalah
advocates --Mod.] upon what they viewed as the backwards-looking, uncultured and
insular orthodox, who represented an obstacle to their vision of the integration
of Jews into modern enlightened society.  In any case, the move to Biblical
forms was supported by orthoprax grammarians like Shlomo Zalman Hanau and Isaac
Satnow (by "orthoprax" I mean to say I am uncertain that their approaches would
survive any contemporary "Orthodox" smell tests, as silly as those smell tests
might be).  By the time Wolf Heidenheim published his version of the siddur, the
switch was complete and total, and for whatever reasons, his siddur seemed to
mark the end of any consideration of the matter.  Outside the influence of
Germany (e.g., chassidim in Eastern Europe, all non-Ashkenazim in Italy, North
Africa, and the Levant), these changes never took hold, and the original
vocalization (as constructed by the authors of the tefilot; chazal and whomever
else) remained intact.

I'm no expert on this by any means and there are some pieces of the story that I
don't remember or don't know - for example, exactly how revolutionary in terms
of pronunciation was Shabtai Sofer's siddur (which received the very strong
endorsement of Council of the Four Lands, the vaad haaratzot [see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_the_Four_Lands --Mod.]) and how
significantly did it pave the way for Heidenheim; what led to the adoption of a
completely new form of vocalization among western European Ashkenazim at such a
late time; and why, in the face of maskilic attacks on Rabbinic Hebrew, was
there not a retrenchment on the old forms of vocalization.  These off the top of
my head.

Hope that clarifies,



End of Volume 57 Issue 10