Volume 57 Number 54 
      Produced: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 15:37:56 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Bowing (2)
    [Stuart Pilichowski  Ben Katz]
Daf Yomi resources 
    [ Fay Berger]
English Aruch ha-Shulchan 
    [Dovi Jacobs]
Judith and Hanuka 
    [Eitan Fiorino]
Misheberach for cholim (4)
    [Harry Weiss  Orrin Tilevitz  Ben Katz  Perets Mett]
Sh patrani m - onsho sh laze 
    [Evan Rock]
Two Birkat Hamazon questions 
    [Ben Katz]


From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Bowing

I haven't seen it in the US, but in Israel there's a lot of bowing going on
during Lecho Dodi Friday nights.....

What's that about?

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion

From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Bowing

It has always seemed to me that we do less bowing than we should.  In Biblical
times people were always bowing or prostrating themselves before others.  The
word "baruch" is actually from the root "berech" which means knee, so I would
venture that all berachot originally involved bowing.


From:  Fay Berger <JuniperViv@...>
Date: Wed, Dec 9,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Daf Yomi resources

When I was in Alon Shvut for six weeks,I attended a " Daf Yomi Sheur"  for 
women.Upon my return to the States I follow "Daf Yomi" on the computer at 
http://www.steinsaltz.org. This would be helpful to people who don't have access
to a "Daf Yomi Sheur"

Fay Berger


From: Dovi Jacobs <dovijacobs@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 13,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: English Aruch ha-Shulchan

HanukkahSameach to all. I haven't posted for a while, but work on the online
Arukh ha-Shulchan is nonetheless proceeding steadily:
*The vast majority of Orach Chaim is finished. The only part still unfinished is
the laws of se'udah and berachos, which are slowly but surely being added by my
partner Netanel.*Significant portions of Yoreh Deah have been finished for a
while. In addition a new contributor, Assaf Azaryah, is currently adding new
simanim on Basar ve-Chalav and Taarovos.*And yet another new contributor began
setting up the Aruch ha-Shulchan he-Asid on Zeraim.
I personally have taken a break from the Aruch ha-Shulchan for a while in order
to work on other seforim. That is one reason I haven't posted. But in the
meantime someone brought me back to the AHS when he began work on a new angle:
Translating the AHS into English. I helped him set up the infrastructure at the
EnglishWikisource for draft translations, and also took a stab at a bit of
translating myself:
sample translation)
All translation pages have direct links back-and-forth to the Hebrew. I have
noticed that besides myself, all of the regular contributors to the Hebrew
Wikisource are native Israelis. It may be that Americans have trouble typing in
Hebrew and using an all-Hebrew interface. If that is the case, maybe such people
would enjoy doing English translations.
Drafts are fine and initial mistakes are OK, because the work can be improved
and rated as time goes on. I hope the framework for an English version will
allow new people to contribute.
Hanukkah Sameach,Dovi Jacobs


From: Eitan Fiorino <afiorino@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Judith and Hanuka

> From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
> I have a comment and a question for this learned group:
> The RMA on the shulchan aruch siman 670 dealing with Chanukah 
> states that there is a custom to eat dairy because of the 
> miracle that occurred with dairy after Judith fed it to the 
> enemy.  The mishna berurah adds that Judith was the daughter 
> of Yochanan the high priest and there was a decree about 
> forcing espoused women to have immoral relations with 
> "tafsar" (I am not sure who that
> is) and so Judith cut off the head of the chief antagonist.
> Comment: This is not the story in the book of Judith.  Milk 
> is only mentioned in the Judges story with Yael, and there is 
> no immoral decree in Judith.
> Question: What is the source of the story the SA and the RMA 
> are familiar with?
>  How did the story of Judith get linked with Chanukah?  
> According to the book itself the story takes place in the 
> immediate aftermath of the return from Babylonia in 586 BCE.  
> There are historical problems with the book and many scholars 
> believe it actually was written in the Maccabean era to 
> bolster morale, but how did it get accepted Jewishly?

Great question (and not only because I've wondered the same thing myself) . . . 

By way of background, the book of Judith is contained in the Apocrypha, a
collection of interesting books, many dating from the bayit sheni era, that were
not canonized by Jews and excluded from the Christan canon by Jerome (hence the
other name, Deuterocanonicals) because he could find no Hebrew originals (though
I think some Christians do view some or all of these books as canonical).  In
any case, the group includes, in addition to Judith, First and Second Macabees
and Ben Sirach.  Judith was writtin in Hebrew by a Jew.  The greek and latin
translations survived (thanks to their dueterocanonical status), and there were
medieval back-translations into Hebrew.

The story in Judith, which clearly reworks the Yael-Sisera episode from Shoftim
(which does involve dairy), has the heroine getting Nebuchadnetzar's general
drunk with wine and then killing him.  David Golinkin has an article called
"Hanukah Exotica" in which he tries to sort out the origin of the custom, but he
does not get very far.  Apparently there were some versions of the story that
circulated among Jews in medieval times in which milk AND wine were given by
Judith to the general (one of these versions is in the sabbatian sefer Chemdat
Yamin).  However, this story was not presented as having taken place during the
period in which Hanuka occurred.  Golinkin doesn't really offer any explanation
of how the setting and era of the Judith story was changed.

Neither Maccabees 1 nor 2 contains the story, nor does megilat antiochus.  I
don't remember if it is found in Josephus and I wonder about sefer yosifon,
which was a major source of Jewish "history" in the medieval period.  There is
story in the sheiltot that contains some elements of the reworked Judith story
(as cited by Ben in his quote of the Mishna Brura) - it is about the daughter of
Matityahu, who was to be married and the governor was going to defile her first,
so she put on rags and wandered the city distributing wine - Judah and brothers
then used her as ploy to fake compliance with the decree and then killed the
governor by cutting off his head.  There are piyutim for shabbat chanuka in
Ashkenaz and Italy that mention Judith as well (eg, odecha ki anafta and yetanu
tzidkot - it does not appear that either of these mentions dairy though).  It is
a common theme on chanukiot in fact - I have a replica of an early modern German
chanukiah which has an image of Yehudit holding up a severed head.

So it appears, as is not uncommon with midrash, that multiple motifs and
elements from various sources were amalgamated and interwoven to create new
midrashim (James Kugel does a masterful job of dissecting this process with
multiple midrashic themes around Yosef in his book "In Potiphar's House").  It
would be interesting to fully survey the sources to try to identify from where
each key element derives.

Parenthetically, there is no reason to assume that the practice (or minhag) of
eating dairy on hanuka actually arose from a textual source.  It is perhaps
equally probable that the textual source evolved from the practice - in other
words, the motivation, in a very broad sense, for these elements coming together
was to try to understand this practice in the first place!  As far as I know,
the earliest sources mentioning the custom are from the 14th century, whereas
all of our sources for the individual themes predate that.  Could it have been
that the milk element from the Yael story was added to the Yehudit story, which
was moved to the time of hanuka based on the story in the sheiltot, in an effort
to explain this practice, which was observed for some completely different
reason?  Not to be completely mundane about this - but did they even have meat
in the middle of the winter in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries?

Chag urim sameach!



From: Harry Weiss <hjweiss@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Misheberach for cholim

> From: michael perl <michael_perl9@...>
> Listed there is a misheberach for a sick man and for a sick woman but the only 
> differences are adjusting for daughter of/son of and grammatical -ba'avuro vs 
> ba'avura. To me, it just seems like a convenience. . . .When the communal 
> misheberach became popular someone kept it separate even in plural form and 
> was followed without much question.
> So, am I right? Is there anything I am missing?

The Misheberach for men has Uremach Everarv UShezah Gidav referring to the 
248 limbs and 365 sinews in a man (which totals 613) .  that is not in the 
Misheberach for women.

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Misheberach for cholim

I don't know about Chabad, and I suspect that as a sociological matter the
separation in some shuls is related to sex segregation in restaurants and
cemeteries, but in some versions, the misheberach for women only adds "Sarah,
Rivka, Rachel veLeah" to the men's names. Of course, no particularly good reason
bars adding the Imahot to the men's misheberach, so in my shul we just lump
everyone together.

From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Misheberach for cholim

The misheberach (prayer for healing) for men usually includes the line about the
number of bones and sinews they have (248 and 365) while the misheberach for
women does not include exact numbers (just stating "all" of them). I was told
the reason is that "no one knows" how many bones and sinews a woman has, and
hence the different versions of the tefillah (prayer).  Aside from the fact that
248 and 365 are (obviously) symbolic numbers and not correct in any anatomical
sense, I always assumed it satisfied some higher sense of modesty/propriety to
separate men and women even when praying for their recoveries; kind of like how
you cannot have men and women join together for a zimun for birchat hamazon
(introduction to the grace after meals), even a husband and wife.

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Misheberach for cholim

My experience in many shuls has been that a single communal mi  
shebeirach is made for men and women.

However the suggestion that the nusach for men and women is different  
has some substance.

If you look carefully you will see that the male version mentions 248  
limbs, but the female version does not.
So maybe there is some justification for the rov who made two separate  
mi  shebeirachs.

Perets Mett


From: Evan Rock <theevanrock@...>
Date: Mon, Dec 14,2009 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Sh patrani m - onsho sh laze

The Rambam (zt"l) mentions in his discussions of free will that a man may be
punished for his hataim in this world. The punishment may be inflicted on his
minor children since they are his chattel until such time that they are men ( I
assume that means until they become bnei mitzva.)

If I understand him correctly, since the minor may come to harm for the hataim
of his father, wouldn't it be more appropriate for the bar mitzva in a
respectful manner recite the brakha "sh patrani m - onsho sh laze? " Since he
has survived the danger of potentially being punished for the hataim of his father.

Hag Urim Sameakh,



From: Ben Katz <BKatz@...>
Date: Thu, Dec 17,2009 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Two Birkat Hamazon questions

From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
> I've run across a custom of adding a four verses to the end of Shir 
> HaMaalot before birkat hamazon.  Tehillat Hashem yedaber pi, 
> Va-anachnu nevarech Kah, Hodu LaShem ki tov, and Mi yemallel yeshuot Hashem.
> I first saw this in a Conservative context, where it's very common, 
> but I've run into it in Orthodox homes as well.
> Does anyone know what the source is of adding these verses, and if 
> there are issues pro or con to adding them?

I always thought that the 4 added lines were to "tone down" the Zionism of the
shir hamaalot psalm.


End of Volume 57 Issue 54