Volume 57 Number 71 
      Produced: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 07:31:55 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A grammatical query 
    [Haim Snyder]
A liturgical conundrum (2)
    [David Ziants  Chaim Tabasky]
An unfulfilled prophecy? 
    [Robert Israel]
Elevators on Shabbos 
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
kocha d'hetera adif (2)
    [Yossi Ginzberg  Yisrael Medad]
    [Ira L. Jacobson]
Shabbat elevators, Refrigerators, etc etc. 
    [Stuart Pilichowski]
Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"? (5)
    [LDHaber  Yechiel Conway  Martin Stern  Marshall Potter  David Ziants]


From: Haim Snyder <haimsny@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 03:01 AM
Subject: A grammatical query

In Vol. 57 # 70, Martin Stern asked:
>There seem to be two forms of the third person plural suffix for plural
>feminine nouns:
>-oteihem (-oteihen in fem.) as in lemishpechoteihem (Gen. 8,19)
>-otam (-otan in fem.) as in lemishpechotam (Gen. 10,5 et al)
>Do they have any different nuances of meaning?

They do differ. The first form is used when each addressee (for example, a
tribe) has multiple families, whereas in the second case, each has only one
family. In other words, the former is addressed to collective units and the
second to a group of individuals.
Haim Shalom Snyder


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 05:01 AM
Subject: A liturgical conundrum

The time that the sepher torah is taken out is called a "eit ratzon" [= 
"a time of divine will"] and so our prayers have a greater effect at 
that time. This also explains the other prayers we say at that time, 
according to the day/occasion.

How it evolved that some of these prayers (e.g. b'rich shmai  and also 
13 middot [= attributes of G-d's emanation] on Yom Tov) are said after 
the aron hakodesh [= cupboard where siphrai torah are kept] is opened 
whereas other (e.g keil erech appayim on weekday or ain kamocha on 
Shabbat) are said before then - is also a question. {Saying "shma 
yisrael" on Shabbat after the sepher is taken out is understandable from 
it's historic context, because the custom came from the fact that Jews 
were not allowed to say sh'ma and so the community had to wait until the 
government police officials left the shul, and so it's public recital 
was delayed till as late as possible.}

There are certain communities mainly sephardi but also some ashkenazi - 
for example the ashkenazi community in Amsterdam - where special prayers 
like tephila shalom l'medina [= Prayer for the Welfare of the State of 
Israel] are also said at that stage rather than afterwards, like most 
ashkenazim are used to.

David Ziants
Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

From: Chaim Tabasky <tabaskc@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 06:01 AM
Subject: A liturgical conundrum

Martin Stern wrote
>> Somebody asked me about the 'Keill erech apayim' said on Mondays and
>> Thursdays before taking out the Sefer Torah.

Some thoughts:

Rav Solovetchik pointed out that tachanunim are said as a continuation of 
tefillah, and that the requests in U'va l'Tzion are part of tachanunim and 
should be recited sitting down. The placement of 'Keill erech apayim' 
doesn't disqualify it as tachanun, but I've never seen anyone say it sitting 

There does seem to be a connection between Kriat HaTorah and rachamim 
(mercy). We insert "Av harachamim hateiva birtzoncha et Tzion" on Shabbat 
and the 13 middot of Rachamim on Yom Tov. 'Keill erech apayim' seems paralel 
to "Av harachamim hateiva birtzoncha et Tzion" in that both ask HaShem to 
bring the redemtion, but on weekdays we say it as an end to exile (yeshua) 
while on Shabbat we say it as a hope for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim and 
the Mikdash.

In the Nusach Ashkenaz 'Keill erech apayim' contains several of the 13 



From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 09:01 PM
Subject: An unfulfilled prophecy?

In Vol 57 # 70 Martin Stern  wrote:
> At the beginning of Vayechi (Gen. 48,6), Ya'akov says "Progeny born to you
> after them (Ephraim and Menasheh) shall be yours; they will be included
> under the name of their brothers with regard to their inheritance."
> AFAIK Yoseph did not have any other sons. Can anyone shed light on this?

I don't think this is a prophecy at all.  He's not saying that Yoseph will 
have more children, just specifying the legal status in case Yoseph might 
have some.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sat, Jan 2,2010 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Elevators on Shabbos

Steven Oppenheimer stated in mail-Jewish Vol.57 #69:

>One of the reasons Rav Auerbach, zt"l permitted riding an elevator 
>on Shabbos was that the passengers weight and the elevator motor are 
>both working to brake the elevator car.

It seems to me that this depends on the difference in weight between 
the passengers and the counterweight, and whether the elevator is 
descending or ascending.

Thus, on the average they work half the time in opposition and half 
the time together.

There are other issues, such as lights illuminating (as happens on 
the control panel next to the motor, which the passengers don't even 
see) and sparking.



From: Yossi Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Fri, Jan 1,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: kocha d'hetera adif

A story my father Zt"l used to love about this was of a shtetl rabbi who
discovered his new parsonage was next door to an overly-frum but very ignorant
peasant.  The boor would disturb him every few minutes all day with silly
questions of halacha.
After a  while, losing patience, he told the man as follows:  "Like everyone in
the shtetl, you have a dog.  The Torah say that treif goes to the dogs, so if he
eats it, it's his. Animals have no free choice, so everything your dog does is
the will of Hashem.

"So, next time you have a question about kosher, instead of bothering me, put it
in front of the dog."

A few blissfully quiet days ensued.

When the fellow started up again coming, the rabbi asked him why he stopped the
agreed-upon method.

"Oy, Rebbe, the dog is such a  machmir!"

Thus, being a machmir.....

Yossi Ginzberg
Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection.

From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, Jan 2,2010 at 06:01 PM
Subject: kocha d'hetera adif

Rav Ovadia Yosef makes the point throughout his writings that this is
the characteristic of a Rabbi he is looking for.
Of course, when faced with a situation like the Temple Mount, when he
disagreed with Rav Goren (as if they ever agreed on anything), Rav
Ovadia took the not entrance position despite plausible Halachi
considerations otherwise.


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Sat, Jan 2,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Refrigerators

At 15:02 01-01-2010 +0000, Martin Stern stated the following:

>One way round the problem is to put a time switch that turns the power on
>and off every 15 minutes and a light (for those models that do not already
>have a power indicator) in series with the refrigerator. One can then open
>and shut the refrigerator when the power is disconnected.

That solution was tried in Israel in the 1980s, I believe; not 
necessarily every 15 minutes, but some time scheme.  The result was 
lots of spoiled food, I heard.



From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Shabbat elevators, Refrigerators, etc etc.

I don't know if there's halachik precedent for my following thesis, but here
goes: In 2010 it doesn't matter any longer if an opinion is put forward banning
and prohibiting a shabbat elevator, opening a fridge on shabbat, discontinuing
the use of an Erev or a shabbat clock. The community as a whole has already
accepted it for years and years. It's already an established practice. . . . .
You can't go back in time. The kahal won't abide by it. Agreed?

Stuart Pilichowski
Mevaseret Zion


From: LDHaber <lahaber@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

Binyamin Lemkin writes:
> I know that there was at least one siddur which contained this
> nusach-anybody know which siddur or sidurim this was?

That is what is written in my Roedelheim siddur, Sidur Sefat Emet,  
published by Victor Goldschmidt in Basel.

From: Yechiel Conway <jeremy.conway@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

In answer to Binyamin Lemkin's query, one Siddur which contains the nusach
"shelo asani nochri" is the Chief Rabbi's Siddur (formerly the Singer's Prayer
Regards from Leeds, England.

Yechiel Conway

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

On Thu, Dec 31,2009, Binyamin Lemkin <lemkin@...> wrote:
> I know that there was at least one siddur which contained this
> nusach-anybody know which siddur or sidurim this was?

Baer in his mid-19th century Seder Avodat Yisrael (page 40) in his notes
states that the Tosefta (Ber. 6) uses the term 'goy' and this was followed
by the Seder rav amram Gaon, the Rambam, the Avudarham, the Tur and all
ancient siddurim but the author of the Siddur Veya'ater Yitschak (by
Yitschak Satanov, 18th century Germany) changed it to 'nochri'. Baer
approved of this emendation despite the fact that in rabbinic parlance the
word 'goy' was used to mean a non-Jew since throughout Tenakh the word 'goy
is only used for a nation and brings the Ibn Ezra in support. This is one of
the examples of the classicing movement in 'correcting' the siddur by using
Biblical terms in preference to Rabbinic ones.

This nusach became accepted throughout Germany in the 19th century and also
in countries like England which derived their customs from there. One
possible factor in this may have been that by then the term 'goy' had
acquired a pejorative sense and was avoided by those Jews who wished to
avoid antagonising the host society and obtain civil emancipation from it.

Martin Stern

From: Marshall Potter <pottermr@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

There are several siddurim that contain the language "shelo asani nochri" that
have been commonly used in the US.  I believe that most of them are based on
German siddurim following the language in the Heidenheim siddurim/machzorim from
Rodelheim.  Two of the most common in the US are the Hirsch Siddur published by
Feldheim and the Hertz Siddur published by Bloch.  Another common siddur of the
past that has this language is the Sefat Emet that published by Hebrew
Publishing Company (HPC).  Again this is based on the German, Heidenheim siddur
published in Rodelheim as noted on its title page and I believe this was used by
German Jewish communities in New York and elsewhere.  The critical editions of
the Machzorim by Goldschmidt also show this language as Nusach Acher. Also note
that the "Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the
British Commonwealth of Nations" also called the Singer Prayer Book also has
this language at least in the second edition published in 1962 and afterwards
that was published under the direction of Rabbi Israel Brodie, Chief Rabbi. Many
of the original Chief Rabbi's of England were from Germany so I would expect
that is possibly why they have similar customs.  However, note that the new
Koren-Sacks Siddur which was co-sponsored by the OU does not have this language,
I however do not have the new Singer Prayerbook that was published under Rabbi
Sacks authority, so I was unable to check if that siddur kept the same nusach as
the older editions. Other siddurim that probably were based on the Singer Siddur
that also have this language and include the Daily Prayer Book by Philips also
published by HPC and the Siddur Kol Bo HaShalem also published by HPC.  
Additionally, I found that the Ben Zion Bokser siddur published by HPC also has
this language, however this siddur is considered a traditional Conservative
siddur, meaning that there were no changes in the Amidah as are found in the
official Conservative Siddur but at the same time it does not include the bracha
"shelo asani isha" or any alternative.  I was unable to find my copy of Baer's
Avodat Yisrael to check on what he used as I may have loaned it out, but most
probably it also uses the language "shelo asani nochri" as he was a disciple of

I believe that the language "shelo asani nochri" was used for two reasons. 
First the term "goy" was understood by non-Jews as a derogatory term and some
thought it was best not to say this where non-Jews would understand this as a
possible curse on them and also that the term "goy" as used in Biblical Hebrew
means nation as we are considered a "goy kadosh", a holy nation.  So if the term
was understood this way, we would be saying, thank you for not making us a
nation and this would obviously be incorrect.  So it was thought by some that a
more "correct" Hebrew term would be "nochri" or "strangers", ones who do not
have the requirement of the mitzvot upon them as do we as Jews. Some discussion
of the tensions found in the siddur based on language issues can be found in
Stefan Reif's book, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer. 

Also note that I think the correct sefardic pronunciation of the bracha is
"shelo asani nochri" and not nachri as the vowel is a kamatz katan.  Similarly
in another of the brachot you will notice that the pronunciation is "she-asa li
kol tzorki", who has supplied me with all my needs, again the kamatz is a kamatz

Corrections to any mistakes that I might have made are appreciated.

Marshall Potter
Silver Spring, MD

From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

From: Binyamin Lemkin <lemkin@...>
> I know that there was at least one siddur which contained this
> nusach-anybody know which siddur or sidurim this was?

First of all the correct pronunciation should be: "shelo asani nochri".

The kamatz under nochri is "katan" [=short] and so has an "o" sound. 
(This assertion might renew a discussion that was in mail-jewish a 
number of years ago.)

This rendering was (and probably still is) in the "Singer's Siddur" used 
in the (orthodox) united synagogue in the UK.


End of Volume 57 Issue 71