Volume 57 Number 26 
      Produced: Sun, 13 Sep 2009 16:31:03 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Candle Lighting 
    [Sapper, Arthur G.]
Candle lighting and other timing issues 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
exact times 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Hakol yoducha 
    [Elazar M. Teitz]
mispelling Hebrew 
    [Michael Kahn]
Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel I - killed by who? 
    [Alex Heppenheimer]
taking numbers in line 
    [Leah S. R. Gordon]
tevilas kelim (4)
    [Akiva Miller  <rubin20@...> Ira L. Jacobson  Ira L. Jacobson]
Viddui (Confession) 
    [Joseph Kaplan]
Western Ashkenazi siddurim (was "Nusach Achid") 
    [Mark Symons]
Yedid Nefesh 
    [Alan Rubin]


From: Sapper, Arthur G. <asapper@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Candle Lighting

> There may be an additional, psychological reason why Jews commonly
> render "licht bentching" into English as "candle lighting" instead of "candle
> blessing," its literal translation.  Many English religious terms, such as
> "blessing," have Christian connotations and emotional resonances.  I suggest
> that Jews often avoid them in favor of either more neutral terms ("candle
> lighting" instead of "candle blessing") or leave the term untranslated and use
> the original Yiddish or Hebrew, which preserves a warmer and more familiar
> ambiance.

A clarification:  I was addressing the original question, "One example which
puzzled us is "licht benching"; why didn't it become "candle blessing"?"

Art Sapper


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Candle lighting and other timing issues

David Guttmann stated in mail-jewish Vol.57 #24 Digest:
>Rambam in a Teshuvah (Blau 255) was asked about the exact time of 
>Netz Hachama.

A common error.  That should be Hanetz.

The he is not he hayedi`a [the definite article], but rather the he 
that indicates the hif`il.  The root is nun vav tzade, and the maqor 
is he qemutza, nun tzeruya tzade.



From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: exact times

I don't know how common it was to pray vatikin (at sunrise). But it seems 
that in pre- clock times, it really did not matter to be so exact when the 
sun set. Why? Because minha & maariv were prayed together, Shabbat started 
when The Cantor said Barchu. And that was before sunset, so that there 
would be no cutting it short. When the trend changed, and maariv moved to 
the night, then exact time was needed. 


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Hakol yoducha

Martin Stern asks: 
> I noticed one difference between the Ashkenazi and Sfardi versions (also
> followed by the Teimani and Chassidic Nusach Sfard) in that the former omits
> the verse "Mah rabu massecha ..." (Ps. 114,24)
> Can anyone suggest the reasoning behind its omission?

     I have always assumed that since the verse in question reads, "How great
are Your works, Hashem, You made them all in wisdom," it is omitted on Shabbos
because those works were made only in the sheishes y'mei hama'aseh [first six
days of Creation].


From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: mispelling Hebrew

Ben Katz wrote:
> ...the major drive of the maskilim [followers of the Enlightenment --MOD] was
> not against Rabbinic Hebrew per se but against Hebrew as it was mispronounced by 
> Yiddish speakers (the culmination of which, in my mind, was to spell shabat with 
> a samach as its final letter).

Did those people spell Shabat with a samach on purpose to show not like the
Maskilim (lahotzi milibam), or accidentally, out of ignorance of the proper
The reason why I ask is because I recently visited a museum where they had a
Talis bag where the word Talis was spelled with a samech. The tour guide said
the bag was made by an am haaretz (ignoramus) who didn't know how to spell.
Afterward, someone else told me it could have been done on purpose to spite the
Maskilim. Which one was it?


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel I - killed by who?

In MJ 57:24, David Curwin <tobyndave@...> wrote:

>I recently read in "A History of the Jews" by Solomon Grayzel the theory
>that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel (the first) was killed by the Zealots,
>apparently in response to his sending Josephus to command the Jews in the
>Galil (Josephus ended up switching sides and supported the Romans). 

>The traditional Jewish view is that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel was killed by
>the Romans - he's listed as one of the 10 martyrs. 

>Has anyone heard or read anything to support Grayzel's view?

Most sources, including the Yom Kippur "Eleh Ezkerah" prayer, and the Tisha
Be'Av "Arzei Halevanon" elegy) do identify the first two of the Ten Martyrs as
R' Shimon ben Gamliel and R' Yishmael Kohen Gadol. But that would mean that the
Ten Martyrs were not contemporaries, since RSBG and RYKG lived at the time of
the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash (69 CE), while the others were
killed during the wars of Bar Kochba and the persecutions after that (c. 135-140

Because of this (plus a number of other arguments), R' Yitzchak Isaac Halevi, in
his historical work Doros Harishonim (Jerusalem ed., vol. 3, pp. 177ff),claims
that this R' Shimon and R' Yishmael are in fact R' Shimon ben Hasegan (the son
of R' Chanina, the last deputy Kohen Gadol)and R' Yishmael ben Elisha, the
grandson of R' Yishmael Kohen Gadol. The two of them lived after the Destruction
(indeed, R' Yishmael was a boy at the time, and was taken as a captive to Rome,
from where he was ransomed by R' Yehoshua - the story is in the Gemara, Gittin
58a), and were contemporaries and colleagues of R' Akiva and the other martyrs.
In this way it makes sense to group all ten of them together, as we find in the
prayers mentioned above..

R' Halevi further points out that while it's true that R' Shimon ben Gamliel
didn't survive the siege of Jerusalem (otherwise, when R' Yochanan ben Zakkai
successfully interceded with Vespasian to spare the family of Rabban Gamliel
(Gittin 56a-b), he would have saved RSBG too), it's unlikely that the Romans
executed him; most likely he either died of other causes, or was murdered by
Shimon bar Giora's faction of the Zealots. (Based on Josephus' description in
his autobiography, R' Halevi argues that Bar Giora's(and Josephus') nemesis,
Yochanan of Gush Chalav, was loyal to RSBG and the other Sages, and that they
supported him; that would have been reason enough for RSBG to be a marked man to
Bar Giora and his followers.)

So Grayzel probably took R' Halevi's idea and extended it a bit.

Kol tuv, and kesivah vachasimah tovah,


From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: taking numbers in line

> From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
> I think that the difference is somewhat obvious. However, we can even
> make the analogy of someone who needs to go to a place and realizes
> that he/she (:-) will get there late and arranges for a friend to go
> stand in line until he gets there. In that case as well, only one
> position is taken  However, the situation may be different if people
> at the DMV are called to different windows based on why they are
> there. For example, in some states (in the United States) someone
> coming to renew a driver's license will actually be given a different
> number than someone coming to get a new license plate for a vehicle (a
> matter of a letter prefix) and have to go to a different set of
> windows.

Yes, those are both important ideas - first of all, I think people are
less irritated by the idea that you will save a spot for a friend
whom you know about, or even a random this-person-needs-help
person, than the idea that you have a sub-culture (hareidim?) who
always help one another at the direct expense of all the other Jews,
and look for the chance to do so (taking multiple numbers without
seeing another hareidi at the time, for instance).  Not to mention the
chillul hashem of the 'group' separating themselves in this way.

As to the special window, I asked the lady if she was renewing her
license, and she was.  She was the 2nd person I had asked; the first
older lady was doing some other kind of business and I think thought
I was a weirdo, going up to her to ask what her business was....  ;)

Bernie R.:
> My thoughts are that you are a wonderful person and an ahavat chesed, now
> that I
> am among the ziknei ha'aretz [elders of the land -MOD].
> A related question: How does this community feel about those who arrive
> early at
> an event and "save seats" for their later-arriving friends? This seems to
> be a
> universally acceptable practice but how does this differ from the
> gentleman who
> took a number for his friend?

You are so sweet; thank you!  But it felt a bit weird, like sure it's
nice to the lady, but is it at the expense of other people.  On the other
hand, those other people were going to be waiting for me.  On the
third hand, they might have been able to go earlier since I left....

Re the guy who took a number for his "friend" - I think there is no small
objection to the idea that you might have a friend come in, and you will
recognize him by his costume, and you might not, but in any case, no
other Jews around will be your friend in such a manner, and you can tell
because they are not just like you.

But was I so different?  I didn't offer my number to a man, but a woman,
for instance.  Quite possibly if I'd seen a frum-looking older woman, I would
have picked her.  I would have felt weird about approaching a man.  I was
offering my number to a stranger, who became my ally in that instant.
I think all of us make snap judgments about who is an ally among all the
strangers we constantly encounter.  It just tastes yucky when we revisit
it explicitly.



From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: tevilas kelim

Rabbi Meir Wise wrote:

> Some time ago during the discussion on tevilas kelim I
> apparently raised some eyebrows by stating that in
> extremis (ie where there is neither mikve nor water - eg
> in the mid west of America) there is an authority who
> allowed to toivel in a sink or bath filled with the cold  
> tap fully open! I was asked online and offline for the
> source but I am getting old and couldn't remember where I
> had read it. B'H today my beloved son Rabbi Shlomi Wise
> reminded me. It is brought in Otzar Dinim Uminhagim of
> Rabbi J D Eisenstein (Hebrew publishing company new york
> 1917) on page 148 under tevilat kelim. The heter is
> brought in the name of Harav Reb Avraham Yosef Ash in  
> Newyork (all one word).

I am one of those who was very surprised to hear of this ruling, though I don't
think I wrote you about it. Please thank your son for me, for providing this source.

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce everyone to a wonderful web site
which has thousands upon thousands of old and out-of-print Hebrew books
available for reading -- for FREE, ON-LINE. You don't even have to give them
your name or email address. Just go there and read!

This particular book is there (along with many others), and you can read it by
clicking here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=37057&pgnum=1
or go straight to the article Rabbi Wise mentioned, which is here:
Note that the book has several pages of preface and such at the beginning, and
so you have to tell the website that you want page 159, in order to read the
page 148 which Rabbi Wise referred to.

Rabbi Wise also wrote:

> I believe that rabbi Yaakov Yosef ash was none other than
> the first and only chief rabbi of new York after whom the
> rabbi Jacob Joseph school us named.

Sorry, but you got a bit confused. The article in Otzar Dinim Uminhagim does
indeed quote Harav Reb Avraham Yosef Ash, and you copied that accurately, but
then you wrote about "rabbi Yaakov Yosef ash".

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef was indeed the Rabbi Jacob Joseph who was New York's Chief
Rabbi, and that school was named after him. But his name was not Avraham, and I
don't know if he ever used the name "Ash".


A few decades ago, the Jewish Observer magazine published an interesting article
about Rabbi Jacob Joseph, titled "A Chief Rabbi for New York". It can be read on
the Internet at http://www.tzemachdovid.org/gedolim/jo/tpersonality/rjj.html

That article refers to a "Rabbi Abraham Ash" who was a predecessor to Rabbi
Yaakov Yosef, who very well may have been the rav referred to in Otzar Dinim

Akiva Miller

From: <rubin20@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: tevilas kelim

> I believe that rabbi Yaakov Yosef ash was non other  
> than the first and only chief rabbi of new York after whom the rabbi  
> Jacob Joseph school us named.
Rabbi Avraham Yosef Ash was NOT Rav Yakov Yosef, but a predecessor of

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 04:01 AM
Subject: tevilas kelim

Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...> stated the following in 
mail-jewish Vol.57 #24 Digest:

>The heter is brought in the name of Harav Reb Avraham Yosef Ash in 
>Newyork ( all one word).
>I believe that rabbi Yaakov Yosef ash was non other than the first 
>and only chief rabbi of new York after whom the rabbi Jacob Joseph 
>school us [sic] named.

The 1970 edition (printed in Israel) has the same information.  I 
find it hard to believe that Rav Yaakov Yosef would be referred to by 
R' JD Eisenstein as "Harav Reb Avraham Yosef Ash."

The latter rav is written up at 

I have never seen an additional surname attached the name of Rav 
Yaakov Yosef and therefore continue to assume that Yosef (or Joseph) 
was his surname.  See 
http://www.ameinu.net/frontier/jf_1-00_adler.html , for example, 
which tells us that "Rabbi Joseph had been born in Kovno (Lithuania) 
in 1848, and as a youth studied at the famous yeshivah (talmudic 
academy) at Volozhin under Hirsch Leib Berlin and Israel Salanter."

I have a photocopy of the news report of his funeral, in which we are 
informed that factory workers along the way threw heavy objects at 
the funeral procession.

JD Eisenstein, by the way, is the grandfather of the 
Reconstructionist clergyman Ira Eisenstein.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: tevilas kelim

Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...> stated the following in 
mail-jewish Vol.57 #24 Digest:

>The heter is brought in the name of Harav Reb Avraham Yosef Ash in 
>Newyork ( all one word).
>I believe that rabbi Yaakov Yosef ash was non other than the first 
>and only chief rabbi of new York after whom the rabbi Jacob Joseph 
>school us [sic] named.

I had said that I found it hard to believe that Rav Jacob Joseph 
would be referred to by R' JD Eisenstein as "Harav Reb Avraham Yosef 
Ash."  Indeed, it is clear that these were two separate 
individuals.  See 

 From this reference we learn that Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Ash died in the 
spring of 1887.  Rav Jacob Joseph arrived in New York on July 7, 1888 
and spent Shabbat aboard the ship that brought him.

This is a fascinating and detailed description of the process leading 
to the selection of a Chief Rabbi for New York (including the 
possibility of choosing the son of Rav Yitzhak Elhanan 
Spektor).  Among other things we read of the scorn expressed by the 
German American Jewish leaders, as well as by Sabato Morais of the 
relatively new Jewish Theological Seminary, who declared that Rabbi 
Joseph is not cultured and does not have the literary attainments 
that a rabbi should possess.

Later these opponents referred to him as broadly tolerant and liberal minded.

The Jewish radicals, socialists and anarchists, who were even more 
opposed than the Reform and JTS people, continued their criticism 
even after the rabbi had arrived.  In fact, the first Yom Kippur Ball 
was organized by these people in protest against the new Chief Rabbi.

Sadly, over the years the Chief Rabbi became little more than an 
employee of the Butchers Association and died in poverty.

His name was written in Hebrew yod vav zayyin peh alef.



From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Viddui (Confession)

Russell Jay Hendel makes a very detailed argument why he says the Al  
Chets in the singular and omits several that he believes don't apply  
to him.  I'm curious.  Can he cite any halachic sources who say this  
is the proper way of saying the viddui?  Also, does he know of any  
siddur, modern or ancient, that has the viddui in the singular, or  
which include instructions to omit those that do not apply?  I guess  
what I'm really asking is this:  I have never heard anyone else do  
what Russell does.  That, of course, doesn't mean very much; there's  
a great deal that I haven't heard of that I should know.  So what I  
would like to know is whether Russell came up with this procedure by  
himself through his own logic, or whether there is some earlier  
halachic source that says to do it this way.

Joseph Kaplan


From: Mark Symons <msymons@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Western Ashkenazi siddurim (was "Nusach Achid")

Why was nusach originally set in Mishnaic Hebrew in the first place 
rather than in Biblical Hebrew?

Mark Symons
Melbourne Australia


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 13,2009 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Yedid Nefesh

Some information about Yedid Nefesh can be found in an article by Rabbi 
Etshalom on Psalm 93. Look at Page 5 onwards of 

Alan Rubin


End of Volume 57 Issue 26