Volume 57 Number 30 
      Produced: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 18:10:05 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

2000 Year Old Mikveh Discovered Near Western Wall 
    [Jacob Richman]
Avinu Malkeinu prayer 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
Benjamin Netanyahu United Nations Speech  
    [Jacob Richman]
Candle Lighting 
    [Sapper, Arthur G.]
Diversity of minhag 
    [Michael Frankel]
Forbidden Fruit (and Vegetables) 
    [Gershon Dubin]
Gabbai's Handbook 
    [Heshy Summer]
Is there a pay sofis in Tanach? (3)
    [Alex Heppenheimer  Jack Gross  Elazar M. Teitz]
Jewish family who lived in Israel on continous Basis 
    [Frank Smiles]
kal nidrei? 
    [David Curwin]
Myth vegi checking has to be hard 
    [Carl Singer]
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Kol Nidrei (2)
    [Ben Katz  Michael Frankel]
Viddui (Confession) 
    [Ken Bloom]


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 23,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: 2000 Year Old Mikveh Discovered Near Western Wall

Hi Everyone!

A large and impressive mikveh (ritual bath) from the end of 
the Second Temple period was recently uncovered in 
archaeological excavations that the Israel Antiquities Authority 
is carrying out in the Western Wall tunnels.

I posted photos of the discovery at:


Shana Tova and G'mar Hatimah Tova,


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 24,2009 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Avinu Malkeinu prayer

I've been using - on and off - the Sefat Emet Siddur, which is often known
as the Rodelheim Siddur, which, I believe, was the standard Siddur for many
German Jewish communities, including that of Frankfurt am Main.

I needed to find the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, and didn't find it in the
weekday Shacharit section, where I would expected it to be. Finally, I saw
in the Index that it is listed under the "Rosh Chodesh and Yom Tov" section,
p. 234. The instructions preceding the prayer read (in translation): "From
Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur each day after the Shacharit and Minchah
Shemoneh Esrai, one recites Avinu Malkeinu, except Shabbat and Friday
afternoon Minchah and the day before Yom Kippur. If Yom Kippur is on
Shabbat, one recites it on Friday at Shacharit."

Now my question: how about the the fast days? Is it not said then? It would
indeed seem to me that that is indeed indeed the case, because unlike the
division we have in my Ashkenazic minhag for the text said on other fast
days (zochreinu) and that on the Ten Days of Repentance (kotveinu), the
Rodelheim only shows kotveinu (with a note that at Neila it is chotemeinu).

Another interesting point regarding the Rodelheim Siddur - it gives two
different versions of Avinu Malkeinu - Minhag Ashkenaz and Minhag Polin (the
latter is the one I am familiar with). The difference is basically one of
the order of the lines.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 25,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Benjamin Netanyahu United Nations Speech 

Hi Everyone!

On Thursday, September 24, 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

The speech was excellent and I think it is very important that everyone should
watch and/or read it.

I posted online links to the 3 part video of the speech and the transcript at:

I also created a short address for the page at:

Please share the page with everyone. Thanks!

Shabbat Shalom,


From: Sapper, Arthur G. <asapper@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 20,2009 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Candle Lighting

Martin Stern wrote:
> Pace those who claim the word 'benchen' is used rather than the word
>  'blessing' because the latter is too 'churchy' should realise that the former 
> is actually derived from the Latin word 'benedictum' which means a blessing. 
> Could anything be more 'churchy'!

As one of those who made this claim, I can say that I was very keenly aware of
the "churchy" origin of benchen and that I much appreciate the irony that is
well pointed out by Martin Stern.   Nevertheless, inasmuch as this origin is
highly unlikely to have been known by those who Jews who translated "bench
licht" as "candle lighting," the observation that they chose the word "lighting"
because it struck them as less Christian than "blessing" still makes
psychological and cultural sense.

Art Sapper


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Diversity of minhag

From: Daniel Wells <biuashur@...>
> Even in Frankfurt there was a flux in minhag between that of Yosef Ometz et
> al. over not such a big period of time. Today what is considered Ashkenaz
> proper minhag is also split between Breuer's and Hamburger's conception.

To amplify, if that's what was implied,  R. Hirsch - and thus subsequently the
Breuer's community descended from the old IRG - introduced new minhogim to
Frankfurt and ignored old ones and that had many of the residents annoyed.
-including those in his own separatist q'hilloh (although as is well documented
the majority of his own qohol defied their rov by ignoring his halachic
determination of their obligation to cut ties with the main gemeinde).  there
were plenty of fights and discontent within the IRG especially after the
government granted them the legal right to secede, and there were plenty of
congregants who were quite unhappy with R. Hirsch (so what else is new in the
life of a practicing rav).  one of the things that came up in those internal
debates was precisely R. Hirsch's disregard for minhog Frankfurt.  It is ironic,
that most people today would automatically identify minhog Frankfurt with
Mechy Frankel


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Forbidden Fruit (and Vegetables)

From: Mordechai Horowitz:

It is my understanding that the Star-K is not mainstream on this issue among the
kashrus agencies.  For example, the OU says, for asparagus, "Green asparagus:
Shave down the tips; remove along the stem and in the triangle parts along the
stem and in the tips" Note, in addition, that this is for all the stalks, not a
representative= sample as for the Star-K.

I am not saying who's right and who's wrong, only that it's not cut and = dried.



From: Heshy Summer <hhandls@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 22,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Gabbai's Handbook

I am looking for a gabbai's handbook as a well-deserved gift for an
extremely dedicated gabbai.  Not Artscroll or any of the various luchot, but
comprehensive book of shul minhagim for a learned person.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Heshy Summer


From: Alex Heppenheimer <aheppenh@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Is there a pay sofis in Tanach?

In MJ 57:29, Akiva Feinstein <afeinstein@...> asked:
>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.

The only one I've found is in Mishlei 30:6. The word is "tosp"
(tav-vav-sin-pay), where the final letter has a dagesh and a sheva.

Kol tuv and kesivah vachasimah tovah,

From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 20,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Is there a pay sofis in Tanach?

One, in Mishlei (30:6:) "Al Tosp al devarav" (Tav vav samech peh -- the last
two letters both have schwa nach).  
--Usually mispronounced as "Al Toseph", when encountered in mas. Megilla ;-)

The schwa under the final peh is standard treatment for any dagesh kal at
end of a word -- e.g., "at" (thou, fem.); "vayichad Yitro".

Shavua tov V'shana tova
--Jack Gross

From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 20,2009 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Is there a pay sofis in Tanach?

There is one, in Mishlei 30:6 -- "Al tosp al d'varav."


From: Frank Smiles <fsmiles@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 21,2009 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Jewish family who lived in Israel on continous Basis

Does anyone have information on the Jewish family in Galil that lived
in Israel continuously through all the generations.
The Rambam says we always needed 10 Jews living in Israel to keep the
calender going so we want to find out info about them.
thank you

smiles from aish kodesh
beit shemesh aishkodesh.org.il


From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 20,2009 at 05:01 PM
Subject: kal nidrei?

I heard Rabbi Avraham Yosef (the Rabbi of Holon) speak on the radio last
week, and he said that the correct pronunciation is kal nidrei, not kol
nidrei. Obviously Ashkenazim who pronounce every kamatz as "o" would still
say "kol nidrei", but as someone who follows the "Israeli" pronunciation,
and distinguishes between kamatz katan and gadol, should I say "kal" or
"kol"? The Rinat Yisrael machzor has "kol" with a kamatz katan. But on the
radio, he said it had to do with the meaning of the word in Aramaic. I
didn't catch the details. 
Any ideas?
Thanks and Shana tova,
David Curwin


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Myth vegi checking has to be hard

I'm sure that there are many effective processes, both personal (in one's
own kitchen) and commercial (large scale) for checking vegetables.
I imagine we can enlist industrial engineers (my Master's Degree reads
"Industrial and Operations Engineering" but it, fortunately is a misnomer.)
to evaluate and / or design such processes and, as necessary, related

A basis for going forward is an understanding (we can't hope for agreement)
of what is being looked for or screened.

Those who live in the New York City area will recall the issues with tap
water a few years ago.

It is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, not to find bugs of some size
in virtually any plant (fruit or vegetable.)   A microscope will reveal a
plethora of same.

Scientifically, one could convert to size / color / movement  parameters:  X
nanometers if stationary and of a camouflaged color (a stationary red bug on
a strawberry would be harder to find than a moving black bug) vs. Y
nanometers for a moving bug black bug .....  And thus would we say that
anything below some standard is considered hefker and does not render the
food unacceptable.

What needs to be assessed is the halachic standard by which we screen.  Is
it the "naked eye" under normal lighting conditions or is it some other
standard?   Is there a "machmir" strand here?  If you say that you screen
for anything larger than some X  can I be more machmir by claiming that I
screen for  items that are one tenth of X.   Or is it simple foolishness to
declare a more stringent standard than halachically mandated?



From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Kol Nidrei

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> 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?

It is true.
He did it to show that it wasn't that important.
There is a whole anti-semitic literature on kol nidrei, which argued that it was
proof that Jews weren't trustworthy.  In the middle ages when a Jew testified in
court he often had to specifically take a Jew Oath that kol nidrei would not
absolve him from lying during his testimony.

From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Kol Nidrei

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
> 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? 
quite right.  he did.  but not in his more famous/longest lasting post in
Frankfurt.   [It] happened much earlier in his career in Oldenburg (or possibly
Emden. According to a footnote in the late Noah Rosenbloom's insightful but
rather controversial bio of R. Hirsch there was a masorah [tradition --MOD] in
the family of the late Lord Jacobowitz that the qol nidre affair occurred a
little later, when R. Hirsch was living in Emden) and was apparently only a
brief innovation even in that community. Anyone can understand R Hirsch's
discomfiture with qol nidre as it mirrors that of many of us - but I do like the
tune.  It was a prime candidate for elimination by the german reformers - though
it was so deeply embedded in Jewish ritual consciousness that even they
encountered considerable resistance when trying to eliminate it - [Leopold?
--MOD] Zunz didn't want to hear of it.  Heinrich Graetz , who was, quite
literally, a ben bayis [member of the household --MOD] and devoted acolyte of R.
Hirsch at this time, takes some credit for spurring R. Hirsch into adopting this
innovation.  if noted at all (and to give r. klugman's bio credit, although I
find it both agenda driven and deficient, he does note this incident)  it is
usually glossed over in the R. Hirsch retrospectives which seek to lionize a
proto-charedi hero while obfuscating his almost complete disconnect/disagreement
with modern charedi hashqofic norms.
Mechy Frankel


From: Ken Bloom <kbloom@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 18,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Viddui (Confession)

>From <chips@...> (M-J V57#27):
> 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.

The only singular version I've seen is in the piyut
"Lecha Eli Teshukati" by R' Avraham ibn Ezra, which
precedes Arvit of Yom Kippur in the Sephardic rite.


End of Volume 57 Issue 30