Volume 57 Number 29 
      Produced: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 08:52:12 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Candle Lighting 
    [Irwin Weiss]
Candle lighting and other timing issues 
    [Michael Frankel]
Forbidden Fruit (and Vegetables) 
    [Bernard Raab]
Hakol Yoducha 
    [Jack Gross]
Hanetz hachammah 
    [Martin Stern]
Is there a pay sofis in Tanach? 
    [Akiva Feinstein]
Meaning of "solet" 
    [David Curwin]
misspelling Hebrew 
    [David Ziants]
MOFET JTEC Jewish Education Portal newsletter 
    [Reuven Werber]
Myth vegi checking has to be hard 
    [Mordechai Horowitz]
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Kol Nidrei 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
    [Eitan Fiorino]
Viddui (Confession) - Intent 
    [Russell J Hendel]


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 15,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Candle Lighting

On the debate about Licht Benschen vs. Licht Tsinden, etc., it seems to me that
we aren't blessing candles at all. Nor are we blessing fire or lighting or
matches or blowtorches.  We are blessing Hashem.  At least that is what the
actual text of the Beracha says. The candles are just an instrument by which to
remember the holiness, quiet, restfulness and pleasantness of Shabbat Kodesh.

Irwin E. Weiss
Baltimore, MD


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Candle lighting and other timing issues

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
>see mail jewish vol 57 #17 for more detail.
>>I looked, but the only thing that comes remotely close to this is the 
>>discussion of nosah and its possible plurals.

quite right. don't know what my fingers were thinking.  make that Vol 37 # 89

Mechy Frankel


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Forbidden Fruit (and Vegetables)

> From: Susan Kane <suekane@...>

> But if the less observant Jews go elsewhere - becoming essentially invisible to
> the frum community - the baseline is raised. Now you have to seek out chumrot in
> order to show particular devotion. 
> Also when a chumra becomes standard practice, it ceases to serve its real
> function, which is to allow people to go above and beyond. 
> Thus I would argue that it is davka very important to continue to serve
> strawberries at kosher functions - so that those who want chumrot will have an
> opportunity to refuse to eat them. 

I love Susan's take on this--it is so perceptive. But we are not the only
religion to seek out such chumrot. The Jains of India, a charedi-like version of
Buddhism, which espouses strict vegetarianism, walk the streets with masks over
their noses and mouths in order to avoid breathing in and possibly swallowing
tiny flies. How long before we discover this chumra?--Bernie R.


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 15,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Hakol Yoducha

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

I recall seeing a teshuva of Chasam Sofer dealing with this very point,
and providing a justification for each of the two versions.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Hanetz hachammah

On Tue, Sep 15,2009, Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...> wrote:
>> This might be the reason that Chazal modified the verse in Isaiah
>> (45,7) from 'borei ra' to 'borei et hakol', in the first berachah
>> before Shema in the morning, so that it should not be mistakenly
>> read as "borei ra hameir et ha'aretz'.
> A bit fanciful; I think it had more to do with negating
> Zoroastrianism.  

While the original verse from Isaiah is a clear negation of the dualistic
principles of Zoroastrianism, the change made by Chazal would seem to have
watered this down somewhat.

Martin Stern


From: Akiva Feinstein <afeinstein@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 15,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Is there a pay sofis in Tanach?

Is there any occurrence of a final pay (with a hirik/dot) as a final letter in
Tanach or other locations? I "heard" from a friend that it appears at least once
and perhaps in the word cesep (not cesef) but he does not recall where. I tried
the  search engines at machonmamre.org which do allow for letter/word searches
with nekudos and it did not come up with anything, but that may not have been
conclusive. Shana tovah!

Akiva Feinstein
Cleveland Heights, OH


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 17,2009 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Meaning of "solet"

For a long time I 
was confused as to the meaning of the Hebrew word "solet". Was it coarser or 
finer (more powdery) than regular flour? On the one hand, solet is clearly a 
higher quality product than regular flour. On the other hand, the Mishna in Avot 
(5:15) says that the sieve would retain the solet - which would mean it was 
coarser. In addition, modern solet found in Israeli supermarkets certainly is 
coarser than regular flour. 
For the past few 
months I've been investigating this question. What I've discovered is that solet 
refers to a product that passed through a number of stages - in the beginning 
coarse and in the end fine. I posted my conclusions here:
Along the way, I 
discovered a number of interesting things, such as the meaning of the phrase 
"kemach solet" found in Bereshit 18:6, and whether or not "semolina" is a good 
translation for solet (the word actually has Semitic 
I'm very interested 
in getting feedback from the readers of this list.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 03:01 AM
Subject: misspelling Hebrew

When I see "Shabbos" spelled with a samech in a modern Hebrew text (such 
as a newspaper), I assume that it is used to emphasise that the word is 
being used by a Yiddish speaker.

K'tiva V'Chatima Tova.
David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Reuven Werber <reuw@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 01:01 AM
Subject: MOFET JTEC Jewish Education Portal newsletter

Dear Mai-Jewish readers,
A new edition of the MOFET JTEC Jewish Education Portal newsletter has 
appeared. It contains learning resources, research papers, news & opinion 
about Jewish education around the globe. You can view it here:

You can sign up for a subscription to the newsletter here:

Best wishes for a prosperous and fruitful New Year,

Reuven Werber
The JTEC Portal Team
The MOFET  Institute


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Myth vegi checking has to be hard

S.Wise <Smwise3@...> stated the following in mail-Jewish Vol.57 #27 Digest:
> >Strawberries and figs are offenders among the fruit, and the likes 
> >of brussels sprouts and asparagus present problems.

1. Fill basin with water and some liquid cleanser* or special strawberry 
wash(such as Tsunami 100).
2. Soak strawberries while agitating the water.
3. Rinse strawberries under a stream of water.
4. It is preferable to cut off the top with a small amount of the flesh.
5. Strawberries may now be used.

Checking dates and figs
It is recommended to open and do a visual inspection on a few out of the 
container, (even if they have a hechsher). If they have no insects, one 
can assume the rest do not.
Examine three stalks in a bunch as follows:

Checking Asparagus Leaves:
1. Check under a few of the triangular-shaped leaves on the side of the 
2. If one insect is found, then all the stalks must be checked.
3. If no insects are found, proceed to check tips.

Checking Asparagus Tips:
After checking leaves, follow this procedure:
1. Wash thoroughly under a strong stream of water.
2. Agitate in a white bowl.
3. Examine the water to see that it is insect-free.**
4. If it is insect-free you may use the vegetable.
5. If any insects are found, then this procedure must be done on all 
tips of all the stalks. You may re-do this procedure up to three times 
in total. If there are still any insects, the whole batch must be 
discarded or tips must be cut off.

You win on the brussell sprouts


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 15,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Kol Nidrei

In a book which I am reading, the claim is made that Rabbi Samson Raphael
Hirsch abolished the reciting of Kol Nidrei in his community. Does anyone
know if that was indeed the case, and if so, why?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 16,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: viddui

>From: <chips@...>
>As for going to singular, I do recall >seeing a version of viddui in the
>singular in print, but don't recall >where and it may have been a viddui
>that one was saying for themselves >and not as part of any prayer.

In the Italian nusach, the vidui recited by the chazan during shacharit and
mincha (which is inserted into the 4th beracha and precedes selichot) is in the
singular - "ashamti, bagadti, gazalti, dibarti dofi ..." 

Paramus, NJ


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 15,2009 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Viddui (Confession) - Intent

Ken writes 
> The vidui in our tefillot is parallel to the vidui of the Kohen
> Gadol on Yom Kippur. He confessed sins for am yisrael that were not his own,
> because am yisrael had sinned.
> So, what does the Kohen Gadol accomplish by doing that? What do we accomplish by
> following the lead of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur? And what is accomplished by
> saying this vidui every other day of the year (for Sepharadim and others who say
> vidui during tachanun).

I agree with Ken's reason (that is the communal confession resembles the Kohen
Gadol (high priest)). Let me therefore tie in my thesis with his.

a) The CHAZAN (Cantor) represents the Kohen Gadol - his job is to utter a
communal confession. For this reason when I am cantor I utter the prayer as is
(I am NOT deviating from our rich communal history as one person sloppily suggests).

b) Contrary to what one person suggests I **have** asked in a proper Rabbinic
setting my ideas over 10 years ago. The response I received (Similar to some
responses on Mail Jewish) are that 1) I should say the communal confession AND
ALSO 2) say the proper individual confession in the required format. As I
indicated JUST AS THE COMMUNITY has a certain template so too the individual has
a certain template. In fact as I pointed out the rambam twice in the laws of
repentance says 'This is the STANDARD TEMPLATE" He says this on two different
confession versions leading me to argue that individuals SHOULD use the
INDIVIDUAL version. I am curious whether the person who attacked me for not
requesting rabbinic guidance disagrees with this conclusion.

c) Since examining the multiple postings on this I have come up with a new idea.
Certain sins are DONE BY COMMUNITIES. Maybe e.g. the synagogue ostracized some
individual (See recent issues of MJ for such an example). Then EVEN ACCORDING TO
ME the SYNAGOGUE AS A WHOLE (Each individual) must say the COMMUNAL CONFESSION
(Because the sin was communal). 

d) I note in passing the amusing posting that someone had a teacher who
mentioned the "individual confession template" It follows that if I had gone to
that Yeshiva school I would not be a "deviator from the community" (My point
here is that the suggested argument that I am deviating doesn't take into
account that many Rabbis have argued similar to me)

e) Finally some one might ask: OK you have a point about an additional
confession using the individual template. But why do you omit the communal one.

I have answered this and no one answered me. I **only** advocate omitting the
communal template in specifically individual sins (like murder, adultery,
robbery). Based on known texts I feel it is wrong for me to cop out and confess
in the plural...I have to take full responsibility for what I have done. I also
feel that there are explicit sources prohibiting this and classifying it as
slander of the Jewish people. I am not the high priest. How dare I confess "We
committed a murder We committed adultery...." If *I* have a sin I should so
confess...leave the community out. Although no one has ever approved this
practice of mine no one ever answered my question. 

So I ask: If one asks a religious question about a Rabbinic custom (which one
feels is wrong) and no one answers the person are they obligated to follow the
custom. Is omission a partial support? Can they consider it a "misleading
custom" (Minhag Tauth) which we are justified in abandoning? Perhaps we should
have a separate thread on this as I think it may be the crux of the matter. 

Russell Jay Hendel; Http://www.Rashiyomi.com


End of Volume 57 Issue 29