Volume 57 Number 72 
      Produced: Tue, 05 Jan 2010 21:47:34 EST

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

internet ban 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
kocha d'hetera adif 
    [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Prayer for Medinat Yisrael (3)
    [Elazar M. Teitz   Gilad Gevaryahu  Yael Levine]
Prayer for Women Murdered By Their Spouses (2)
    [Orrin Tilevitz  Rabbi Meir Wise]
Spousal Abuse (3)
    [Akiva Miller  David Tzohar  Frank Silbermann]
Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"? (2)
    [Shmuel Himelstein  Martin Stern]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 05:01 AM
Subject: internet ban

Surprising or not, R. O. Yosef did not sign the ban


From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: kocha d'hetera adif

Yisrael Medad should understand that "koach deheteira adif" does not  
mean that a rabbi should permit something that he understands to be  
Rav Ovadiah and many gedolei Torah as well the Chief Rabbinate forbid  
ascent on the Temple mount as we are not sure of the exact areas. This  
would involve one of the most serious transgression in the whole Torah  
since we are all in a state of impurity nowadays.
Others allow some ascent based on various sources.
I would have thought therefore the matter is a Torah doubt which is  
dealt with strictly.
added to the fact that there is no pressing reason to ascend there and  
that doing so is taken as provocation perhaps we should concentrate on  
the tomb of the Patriarchs, Rachels tomb, and those of Joseph and  
Joshua bin Nun which are virtually abandoned. As well as securing  
constant safe passage to the Jewish cemetary on the mount of olives.

Rabbi Meir Wise
Lunching in Bnai Brak


From: Elazar M. Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

Yael Levine wrote:
> Contrary to what Orrin wrote, the author of the tefilla for Medinat Yisrael
> is well known to all - Shai Agnon, perhaps with a small amount of editing by
> Chief Rabbi Herzog.

     Contrary to what Ms. Levine wrote, the exact opposite is true: the prayer
was principally authored by Rav Herzog, who sent it for comment and possible
corrections to his fellow chief rabbi, Rav BenZion Chai Uziel, and to Shai
Agnon, both of whom suggested minor changes which were incorporated.  This is
based on manuscript evidence, which can be read in detail by those who know
Ivrit at www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3707481,00.html 


From:  Gilad Gevaryahu <gevaryahu@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

Yael Levine wrote:
> Contrary to what Orrin wrote, the author of the tefilla for Medinat Yisrael is
> well known to all - Shai Agnon, perhaps with a small amount of editing by Chief
> Rabbi Herzog.

Not so. Yoel Rappel in his PhD Dissertation proved that Shai Agnon was NOT the
author, but was only asked to help with the editing. The main author was Chief
Rabbi Herzog.
Dr. Rappel published a summery of his research at:

Gilad Gevaryahu

From: Yael Levine <ylevine@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Prayer for Medinat Yisrael

Gilad noted that it was Chief Rabbi Herzog who composed the Tefilla for Medinat
Yisrael.  I myself wrote: "... the author of the tefilla for Medinat Yisrael is
well known to all - Shai Agnon, perhaps with a small amount of editing by Chief
Rabbi Herzog." I thank Gilad for the correction. I inadvertently mixed the names
while writing: It was Rabbi Herzog who wrote the Tefilla, and Agnon who edited
the prayer in several places, as is borne out by the fascinating article in the
link that Gilad provided.

Yael Levine


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Prayer for Women Murdered By Their Spouses

>From Yael:
> Contrary to what Orrin wrote, the author of the tefilla for
> Medinat Yisrael is well known to all - Shai Agnon, perhaps with a
> small amount of editing by Chief Rabbi Herzog.

My rabbi had no idea who wrote it, and while I had vaguely
remembered that Agnon may have had something to do with, I was
under the impression that this was something written by the Chief
Rabbinate. so Yael is wrong on that count alone. She may be
correct as a matter of history, but AFIK its authorship is at
best unclear. See
israel_prayers_4.htm But more to the point, even if, as Yael
says, Agnon wrote it (and someone else edited it, meaning that,
as I pointed out, it was a collaborative effort), did Agnon take
it upon himself to write this prayer, or was he asked to by the
Chief Rabbinate? Did Agnon claim copyright protection for this
prayer, as Yael has for her prayers? When it first appeared, was
it attributed to him or to the Chief Rabbinate?

>From Eitan Fiorino
> I will just comment on what appears to be
> an inconsistency in Orrin's posting. First, he makes the point
> that tefilot written for recitation betzibbur may be, or commonly
> are, "unattributed group efforts." Then he goes on to say that
> "part of reciting a tefilah is invoking its author."

I was referring in the first part to all, or nearly all, recently
written prayers. I was suggesting that a reason is that those who
write prayers now, other than Yael, do not feel worthy of their
prayers being attributed to them personally. Obviously, many
piyutim have their authors' names in an acrostic.

> It seems to me that the various appendages that have been made
> to shabbat tefila - and by these I mean various prayers,
> misheberachs, etc - all carry a sociopolitical agenda that has
> nothing to do with statuatory prayer requirements - this is true
> whether recited for cholim, for political figures, for
> governments, for kings, for martyrs, for prisoners, for women who
> create textiles for ritual use in the synagogue (recited in Italy
> reflecting a long tradition of such activity), or, in this
> particular case, for women murdered by their spouses.

I am unaware of any any sociopolitical agenda connected with prayers
for cholim. In fact, I believe the names are publicly announced
is so that individuals who hear their names will pray for them.
(Which is why the recent practice, discussed several times here,
for these names to be recited silently is, IMHO, nonsensical.)
The prayer for the government is mandated by the gemara. You will
see, in 19th-century machzorim for Eastern Europe, page-long
prayers for the czar, czarina, and their various relatives,
mentioned specifically by name. They are without doubt there
purely because of the fear of not so mentioning them. FYI, in my
shul, during the dark days of Bush I, we stopped saying "et
hanasi v'et mishneyhu" in that prayer, and precisely to avoid any
such agenda we didn't put it back when he was voted out of
office. And while obviously Zionism is a political agenda, it is
not the narrowly focused agenda, certainly not one potentially at
variance with other political agendas of Am Yisrael, that I think
some of these other prayers reflect. I don't know anything about
textile prayers in Italy.

> I have to add, just to satisfy my personal myth-busting agenda,
> that despite the claims of the Or Zarua which begin with the
> Tosafist, paytan and crusdade witness R. Ephraim of Bonn, unetana
> tokef was not composed Rabbi Amnon of Mainz; there was no Rabbi
> Amnon who was martyred in early medieval Ashkenaz.

My post specifically referred to a "legend", and while that legend
obviously isn't on your mind, I'll bet you it's on the mind of
many who say the prayer.

From: Rabbi Meir Wise <Meirhwise@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Prayer for Women Murdered By Their Spouses

Yael Levine writes:" that the prayer is widespread abroad". Could she  
please define widespread?
It is unknown in the United Synagogues of Great Britain and the  
Commonwealth ( under the Chief Rabbi). It is unknown in the Federation  
of Synagogues of London and the provinces, the Spanish and Portuguese   
Synagogues, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Comgregations of Britain and  
the Commonwealth, nor has it been heard of in any of the independant  
orthodox synagogues modern or otherwise eg. Ner Israel, Ohr Chodosh,  
Yakar, the Western Marble Arch synagogue, the Machzikei Adass, etc  
etc. Nor has it been heard of in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa,  
Canada, Sweden, Norway,Belgium, holland, Italy, the Czech republic,  
Spain, Gibralter  or any other country I have prayed in.
Could she please name three synagogues abroad where the prayer is read  
to substantiate her claim?

Rabbi Meir Wise
London (abroad)


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

In today's Mail-Jewish (Vol 57 #70), Russell Hendel asked:

> I am publicly requesting ... that the Rabbis discussing
> these agunah cases exhibit some humility and acknowledge
> that there are things that should be done but are not ...

In other words, he accuses the Rabbis discussing these agunah cases of NOT
exhibiting humility.

And he is saying that they have NOT acknowledged that there are things that
should be done but are not.

But in MJ 57:68, Rabbi Meir Wise wrote:
> We all agree that it is a problem

And in MJ 57:59, Rabbi Elazar M. Teitz wrote:
> This is not to say that the system is perfect; it is not.

These are just tiny excerpts from the several posts that these rabbis have
written. They DID acknowledge that improvement is needed, and I don't see where
their humility was lacking.

THEREFORE, I think that Mr. Hendel should point out which rabbis he was
referring to, because these two don't count.

OR he should apologize to these two rabbis.

OR he should clarify what he meant.

(My guess is that Mr. Hendel should have directed his comments towards other
rabbis, but not not towards "the Rabbis discussing these agunah cases".)

Akiva Miller

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sun, Jan 3,2010 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Russel B. Hendel complains that"the Rabbinate is not doing its job"
concerning matters of divorce.But what exactly is the "job" of the
Rabbinate? Is it to grant divorce on demand regardless of the circumstances?
Or is it to apply the  Halacha as related in the Shulchan Aruch and handed
down by gedolai tora of each generation.The tora obligates us to accept the
wisdom and authority of the dayyanim of our generation.In the tora dayyanim
are called "elohim" implying that the source of their authority is not
temporal but divine
      The bet din is obligated to seek shalom bayit before deciding to force
one of the parties to grant or recieve a divorce.I know of a case (one of
many) where even though one of the parties was adamant in demanding a
divorce the bet din held out for shalom bayit and in the end after over a
year of proceedings the couple reached conciliation. Of course not every
story has a happy ending but
IMHO the emphasis should be on saving marriages rather than dissolving
them.In the tora the goal of making peace between husband and wife is so
important that in the ceremony of Sotah the holy name of G-d is rubbed
out.The tora urges the dayyanim not only to seek justice but to pursue

From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Spousal Abuse

Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...> V57 N70 :
> I would like to suggest that the Rabbinate has failed (independent of
> any particular story).  I first give an analogy from mathematics.
> In 1986 mathematicians had the famous "Tulane" conference on Calculus.
> The argument presented there was the following:"If the national passing / 
> failure rate of Calculus is 50% then the problem can't be the poor student 
> preparation...if the failure rate is that big the problem lies with us 
> the teachers....we must change our method of teaching to remedy the high
> failure rate."  In the past 25 years numerous attempts have been made to
> provide totally different approaches to teaching calculus.

And did any of the new approaches allow all students passing trigonometry
to continue through calculus?  (It is conceivable that needed brain structures
might be present in only some of the students.  Rectifying that via new teaching
methods might be as hopeless as changing the music department's methods
so that any student could master sight reading and music composition.)

> The analogy is the following: If we have the type of cases that Jeanette
> Friedman mentions (and we do) then the Rabbinate has failed. Jeanette clearly
> states the problem in her posting:  She went to a typical high school and took
> typical courses and was never prepared for the things that people don't talk
> about! 

The rabbinate may have failed.  Or, it may simply not be possible to teach
all students all the things that any one of them might later need to know.
Just as a medical diagnostic test much balance concern between type alpha
versus type beta errors, so might a curriculum have to balance the danger
of making students ignorant versus making them cynical.  It may be like in
computer security, where you have to balance the danger of leaving people
unprepared to protect themselves against a new theoretical hacking exploit
versus giving hackers new ideas to try.

I don't know that the curriculum cannot or should not be improved.
However, as I tell Socialists, the absence of Utopia does not a condemn
the Establishment.

Frank Silbermann            Memphis, Tennessee


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

That is the text of the British "Authorized Daily Prayer Book" ever since
its first edition in 1890, and through the latest edition of 2007, by Chief
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs. I wouldn't be surprised if it was taken from

Shmuel Himelstein

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jan 4,2010 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Whose siddur contains "shelo asani nachri"?

On Sun, Jan 3,2010, Marshall Potter <pottermr@...> wrote:
> 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 katan.

(David Ziants <dziants@...> made much the same point.)

I wish someone would tell this to Artscroll who claim that their system of
transliteration is based on Ashkenazi consonants and Sefardi vowels! If they
want to use the latter, they should get them right!

Martin Stern


End of Volume 57 Issue 72