Volume 60 Number 25 
      Produced: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 16:00:22 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A visit to Rome 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
Does one stand for the Kiddush or not? 
    [Mark Steiner]
Eating in Costa Rica? 
    [Dov Zakheim]
Family Mesorah (2)
    [Carl Singer  Chaim Casper]
In vitro meat 
    [Chaim Casper]
Morid Haggoshem (3)
    [Akiva Miller  Harlan Braude  Chaim Casper]
Nedarim and Chumrot 
    [David Tzohar]
Praying Towards Jerusalem (2)
    [Abe Brot  Perets Mett]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: A visit to Rome

First, thanks to those who commented on my original posting (MJ 60#22). You've
taught me a great deal. Now, for a few other observations:

The "Siddur Bene Romi" states specifically (as I only noticed later) that
it's for the communities of Rome and Milan. It is interesting that the name of
the Siddur refers to "Romi" - the way it is referred to in the Talmudic sources
- and not "Roma," as is the contemporary usage today. One caveat - what I might
see as unique here might in fact be similar or identical to the Sefardic
sources, with which I am not familiar.

a) In the lines immediately preceding the Shacharit Amidah, I am used to

""Hashem Yimloch LeOlam Va'ed. Tzur Yisra'el ..." 

In the Romi Siddur, after "LeOlam Va'ed" there is the addition of the verse,

""Biglal Avot Toshi'a Banim VeTavi Ge'ulah Livnei Veneihem."

b) On Monday and Thursday, just before Tachanun, there is an alphabetical
section, with each line beginning with "Techaleh Mimenu" - "destroy before
us ...." followed by 23 items we would like destroyed - Galut, Dever, etc.
The cantor recites each verse aloud, and the congregation responds, "Amen"
each time.

c) after the Torah reading, where I am accustomed to "Acheinu Beit Yisrael
...," the text here is "Acheinu Yisrael VeAnusei Yisrael VeAsarei Yisrael" -
"Our brothers Israel and those who were forced (to convert) and those who
are imprisoned ..."

d) Instead of "Shelo Asani Goy," the text is "She'asani Yisrael" - probably
due to censorship at one time.

e) It seems that during the month of Elul and until Hosahanah Rabbah, those
of Rome add "LeDavid Hashem Ori," but not those of Milan (unless I misread

f) For the counting of the Omer, the Milanese have the standard Sefardic
"Hayom "X" Yamim La'Omer ..." whereas in Rome they have a version I've never
seen before: "HaYom LaOmer "X" Yamim.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Does one stand for the Kiddush or not?

The Mishnah in Berakhot says that if one is making a beracha (hamotzi, bore
pri hagefen) for others, one has to recline (as at the seder).  The Rishonim
say that for "us" sitting is equivalent to reclining for the purpose of this
Mishnah.  For this reason (and perhaps others) the Ashkenaz/Lithuanian
tradition is to sit -- not because of the Kiddush, but because of the
"hagefen."  On Havdalah, the "Litvaks" part ways with the Ashekenaz
"Yekkes."  Real Litvaks sit for Havdalah also, and some of them even for
"vayechulu". We Galitsyaners, however, hold that the bore pri hagefen is
actually part of the Kiddush, i.e. is a bracha over a mitzvah, and those are
said standing. (I am aware that the Rema -- or Remu -- sat for Kiddush and he
was a 16th century Galitsyner.)

I was once at a "Lithuanian" oyfruf where this came up, and I pointed out to
the company that according to their reasoning the rabbi, hatan, and kallah
should all be seated under the hupa when the bore pri hagefen is recited.

Now a comment about the "hagefen/hagafen" dispute.  I think that everything
that my friend Mechy Frankel said is true -- he describes well the ins and
outs of this non-issue, leaving out the astonishing invective that it
evoked, even to the extent of charges of heresy on both "sides."  (I am not
sure that R. Moshe was aware, when asked the question, that he was really
taking sides on the question: who is a heretic?)

I believe that the ultimate question is: whether the siddur is written in
Biblical or Rabbinic Hebrew.  In Rabbinic Hebrew, linguists tell us, there
was no pausal form for gefen, geshem, etc.  Therefore it is irrelevant
whether "morid hageshem" is the end of the sentence or not.
In Ashkenaz, there were any number of "Biblicizers" who tampered with the
siddur to "improve" the Hebrew, and not all of them could be regarded as
"off the derech" maskilim.  To give an example -- in the Sefaradi siddurim the
plural "nun" is used (ma`aritzin, makdishin) as in Mishnaic Hebrew.  A
glance at old Ashkenazi mahzorim, reveals that this was the Ashkenaz
tradition as well.  The same goes for the Mishnaic suffix "okh" which we
find in the Sefaradi siddurim which was edited to Biblical "kho" by the
Biblicizers of Ashkenaz.  In many yeshivas today, the authority of the
Vilner Gaon is invoked to change Biblical "veshivkhakho" in the present
Ashkenaz siddurim to "ushvokhakho", which does not reflect any period of
Hebrew.  I agree that our current siddurim have been tampered with to
"purify" the siddur of rabbinic elements.  But I believe that the Gaon had
in mind the vocalization "ushvokhokh", which would be the Mishnaic form
(aside from the suffix, the word shevakh in Biblical Hebrew became shvokh or
shvakh in Rabbinic Hebrew and thus in Yiddish), and lo and behold, I found
this pronunciation in medieval Ashkenaz mahzorim.  Here's another example of
Mechy's ironic conclusion that (in my words, not his) the way to recover the
original dikduk of the siddur is to ignore "dikduk". [NOTE: this subject is
complicated by the fact that during the 14th century, for example, the reading
tradition did not distinguish well between kometz and patach.  This is why
Hebrew words in Yiddish such as batim (of tefillin), shvakh, are pronounced

The issue is not only grammar but also vocabulary (e.g. the term "kedusha"
in Rabbinic Hebrew can refer to the verse in Isaiah "Kadosh kadosh
kadosh...", but of course, not in Biblical Hebrew), but this is the
beginning of a much longer story.


From: Dov Zakheim <dovszakheim@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Eating in Costa Rica?

In reply to J Wiesen (MJ 60#24):

Lubavitch is active in San Jose [capital of Costa Rica - MOD]. And there is a
food store, rather large as I recall. Contact Lubavitch.


From: Carl Singer <carl.singer@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Family Mesorah

Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 60#24) in his discussion of standing or sitting for kiddish
brings out a most important vector -- that of what I'll call a personal or
family mesorah.

> IIRC the story is of R' JB Soloveitchik giving a shiur / lecture on a practical
> halachik topic. Afterwards the participants in the shiur / lecture see the Rav
> acting contrary to what he summarised as the preferred practice. When they
> challenged him he meekly replied (and I paraphrase, of course), "What can I do?
> This is how my father practiced." or "This is my family custom and I cannnot
> deviate therefrom."

Since many of us live and daven within communities that are heterogeneous at
some level.  For example, it's rare that many of us daven with people whose
grandparents were from the same town as ours. Or for that matter no one in my
shul was bar mitzvah at the same shul as me, went to the same schools, etc.

This may not apply to some enclaves, Kiryat Joel or KAJ -- but for many of
us -- the remnants of personal or family mesorah are singular experiences.

*Halachically -- what weight should these carry vs. the kehillah -- both in
individual and communal activities?*

Carl Singer

From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Family Mesorah

With reference to what Stu Pilichowski (MJ 60#24) wrote (see above).

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, shlit"a, told me that this occured just after the
Rav, zt"l, gave a shiur at YU on the mitzvah of "zakhor et Yom
HaShabbat."   R' Riskin said he was in attendence when Rav explained that
according to the RaMBa"M, zt"l, both kiddush and havdalah are derived
from this mitzvah.   So just as one sits for kiddush, one would also sit
for havdalah.  

The Rav spent that Shabbat at YU.    Before mozaei Shabbat Ma'ariv, R'
Riskin said over the shiur to everyone in the [Morgenstern?] shul and
encouraged them to sit for Havdalah.   The Rav joined them for Ma'ariv. 
At the end of Ma'ariv, everyone except the Rav sat down for Havdalah.  
When asked why was he standing for havdalah after what he had said in
shiur that week, the Rav answered, "My father stood for havdalah, my
grandfather stood for havdalah and I, too, stand for havdalah."   As I
have taught here in North Miami Beach many times, there are times where
minhag trumps halakhah (see the Magen Avraham, OH 223:3).

Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat

Josh Backon (MJ 60#24) wrote in reply to my submission (MJ 60#23):

> Do we follow the NODA B'YEHUDA  (Yoreh Deah Siman 26) who reads the
> Rambam (Maachalot Assurot 14:10) as following  Rabbi Meir in the
> gemara in Avoda Zara 67b [re: the stomach lining of a nevela] and
> thus, only what's derived from a kosher animal is permitted for
> making rennet]? Or do we follow the Rema YD 87:10; Pri Chadash
> 103:2; Pitchei Tshuva 87:21 who follows the Shach YD 114:21 and the
> ROSH on Avoda Zara 2:34, who say that even from a nevela [a kosher
> animal that was not slaughtered, or a non-kosher animal] there is no
> Toraitic prohibition if the stomach lining was completely dried out
> like dust? Since the Mechaber follows the Ri MiGash that davar ha'maamid
> is mi'derabban, we can be lenient. Even though there is a rabbinic
> prohibition of eating food that is unfit for human consumption (see:
> Minchat Cohen Hilchot Taarovot Chelek Aleph 9; Pri Toar 103; Shaagat
> Aryeh 75; Pri Megadim Shaar Ha'taarovot 5:6) this is not the case if the
> material was in a mixture (YD 103) [zeh v'zeh gorem muttar] especially as
> in this case it's batul b'shishim rather than batul in a ratio of 1:1000.

As an extension of our discussion of hozer v'neior, Dr Josh Backon raises
the issue of rennet.   Both rennet (an enzyme made from the stomach of
cows) and pepsin (an enzyme made from the stomach of pigs) were the
subjects of R' Chaim Ozer Grodinzski zt"l's teshuvah.   R' Chaim Ozer
permitted both even though their original sources were non-kosher because
each is a davar hadash (newly constituted product that is now considered 
kosher as opposed to its original non-kosher substance) and we don't say 
hozer v'neior (a non-edible product does not regain its prior
non-kosher status when it is rehydrated).  Despite the source of the
heter, our right leaning community today does not accept this heter as
rennet and pepsin are classed as davar ma'amid (coagulating agents) which are
never negated (afilu b'elef lo batel) (the ruling of the Ri Migash who
held it to be d'rabanan non-withstanding).   Once the non-kosher rennet
and pepsin are added to the kosher milk, they make the milk and resulting
cheese non-kosher.
But suppose the rennet and pepsin are not added directly to the milk,
rather they are added to another solution which is then in turn added to
the milk.    The rennet and pepsin could be considered batel in that
solution if it was less than 1 part in 60 (batel b'shishim) as their
coagulating abilities would do nothing to that solution.   This was the
premise of Rabbi Isaac Klein who was for many years the head of the
(Conservative) Rabbinical Assembly Halakhah Committee which is why he
said that Kraft and Borden's Cheeses were kosher.   The non-kosher rennet
and pepsin are negated when added to a solution that in turn is added to
the milk; the resulting cheese would therefore be kosher.
On paper, this is a good idea, but in reality it doesn't work out.  For a
paper I wrote for my practical halakhah rebbe, R' Melekh Schachter, zt"l,
I contacted Borden's head chemist back in 1979-80.   The chemist told me
two things: 

A) the rennet and/or pepsin constituted more than 50% of the
solution that would be added to the milk, and 

B) one needs to add only 2-3 drops per 1,000 lbs of milk to coagulate it into

Thus, the rennet and pepsin were not even batel b'rov (negated by constituting
the majority of the solution).   The solution would therefore still be
considered a non-kosher product by everyone (even zeh v'zeh gorem would
not apply).   And so those who hold davar hama'amid afilu b'elef lo batel
would not be able to use this concept to eat Borden's (and pressumably
Kraft) Cheeses.
B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 08:01 AM
Subject: Morid Haggoshem

In the thread "Does one stand for the Kiddush or not?" (which, for the benefit
of anyone searching the archives, was originally titled "Stand or not?"), Mechy
Frankel wrote (MJ 60#24):

> It is of some interest that R. Moshe Feinstein was asked about
> a related issue - the pronunciation of morid haggoshem vs morid
> haggeshem (incidentally a fascinating case study in religious
> sociology.  When I was a child there was not an Ashkenazi siddur
> in existence that had anything but "morid haggoshem" with a
> qometz.  But over the course of just a few years following R.
> Moshe's death, we suddenly have Artscroll and others offering
> up "morid haggeshem".

I, too, am old enough to remember when every Ashkenazi siddur had "haggoshem".
I'd just like to offer a note about the sequence of events.

In the autumn of 5740/1979, I was learning in a certain yeshiva near Haifa, and
one of the teachers reported something very interesting. So interesting, in
fact, that at the time I noted it in my siddur, and I will copy it here for the
benefit of the group:

"According to Rav Xxxx, a sign was posted in many places around Yerushalayim
around Simchas Torah 5740 (including Yeshivat Torah Ore, which presumably
indicated Rav Scheinberg's approval). The sign advertised a sefer proving that
for reasons of grammar, the main one being that Hageshem is NOT at the end of
the sentence, the gimel should have a segol, and that it's a mitzvah to fix the
siddurim, and that this psak was agreed to by Rav Shach, and by the Beis Din of
the Eida Chareidis."

I come not to offer any opinions about whether this word should have a kamatz
("hagashem") or a segol ("hageshem"), only to point out that this tumult began
no later than the autumn of 1979, well over 6 years prior to Rav Moshe's passing.

(After writing the above, I noticed that this issue is also raised in Halichos
Shlomo on Tefilah, page 102, which quotes a letter written by Rav Shlomo Zalman
Auerbach, apparently to the author of the sefer I referred to above. That letter
is dated Marcheshvan 5739, the autumn of *1978*. I suspect that the author had
shown or given a pre-publication copy to Rav Auerbach for his comments, and then
it was published in the autumn of 1979.)

Akiva Miller

From: Harlan Braude <hbraude@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Morid Haggoshem

In MJ 60#24, Michael Frankel wrote:

> R. Moshe responded that of course the correct thing to do was to say
> morid haggoshem (with qometz), calling upon sanctified Ashkenazi mesorah
> which had always done so, and pointing as well to its position at the end 
> of a phrase which justified use of the biblical pausal form. But this was 
> incorrect. In fact, Ashkenazim had always said morid haggeshem with a segol
> just as s'faradim do to this day.

A rabbi giving a shiur on this topic said that Rabbi Y. Kaminetsky, zt"l 
disagreed with Rav Moshe, zt"l as to whether the phrase was, as Michael
explains, the end of a phrase or actually part of the next sentence in the
Shemoneh Esrei, 
which would justify "haggeshem" (see "Emes L'Yaakov al haTorah" Breishis 3:19,
pg: 46)

The rabbi further claimed that Rabbi S.Z.Aurbach, zt"l in his later years 
supposedly changed his nusach to 'haggeshem' after studying a lengthy tshuva on
the matter (sorry, I don't recall who authored the tshuva).

From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Morid Haggoshem

Michael Frankel writes (MJ 60#24)
> (haggefen is unambiguously the end of a sentence, while morid haggeshem is not)

I was in one of the Rav's Boston Sunday morning gemara shiurim when he
explained this.   Based on the GR"A (who else?), the first mishnah in
Ta'anit is really a discussion of how one understands the second tefilah
of the Amidah, M'hayeh Hametim (also called Gevurot).   If one believes
that included in this tefilah is a prayer for rain, then one would say,
"mashiv haruah u'morid hagAshem" as this would conclude the first
sentence of the tefilah and would require a qametz.  (The rules of
grammar require that words like geshem, shemen, hesed, lehem, etc would
change the antipenultimate {next to last} syllable's segol {the three
dot, upside down triangle shaped vowel} into a qametz {a T shaped vowel}
or what is called a "segolite".  Thus, at the end of a sentence or
phrase, these words would read gAshem, ShAmen, HAsed, LAhem, etc.).  But
if you held this phrase was just one in a long train of superlatives
about HaShem, then HagEshem would not be the end of the sentence or
phrase and would be pronounced with a segol.

It goes without saying that the Rav like the GR"A pronounced the word,

Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Nedarim and Chumrot

The subject of nedarim (vows) in last week's parasha made me wonder whether
the concept of vows is at all relevant today.

The first halacha of hilchot nedarim in the Shulchan Aruch says "Anyone who
makes a vow, even though he fulfills it is called evil and a sinner".

However the Mechaber goes on to say that it is permitted to make a vow if
the intent is to motivate one to do a mitzvah with more hiddur or to
increase Torah learning. According to the SA the vow must be said out loud
but according to later authorities if one repeats doing the hiddur three
times he is "muchzak" (considered as if) he said the vow out loud.

I have a question. Does this hold true when someone takes on a chumra
(stringent observance of a minhag or halacha)? For instance someone who up
till now has eaten meat according to the kashrut standered of the ReMA, and
now wants to upgrade to the standard of the SA. If he eats glatt-chalak meat
three times is it considered as if he made a vow? If so he would need
hattarat nedarim (release of the vow by a bet din) in order to go back to
his old minhag, In other words is being machmir tantamount to making vows?

David Tzohar


From: Abe Brot <abe.brot@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Praying Towards Jerusalem

In MJ 60#22 Bernard Raab asked, "Is the proper direction east/southeast or
northeast?" when discussing praying towards Jerusalem from the US.

I recently attended a seminar at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavne where several Jewish
astronomical / calendar topics were addressed. One of the speakers, Yisrael
Feuchtwanger, addressed Bernard's question in a very unique way. I will try
to summarize his thoughts.

We are all aware of the lines of latitude and longitude that are used to
define positions on the earth. The lines of longitude are, in fact, "great
circles" that intersect each other at the north and south poles. If we
follow a line of longitude, which is also called a meridian, we will be
travelling *precisely* north or south.

Now let's imagine that we define a new set of great circle meridians that
all intersect each other at Jerusalem. Let's call these the "Jerusalem
Meridians". Clearly, if we were to travel along the Jerusalem Meridian that
goes through our city, we will be travelling to Jerusalem in the shortest
possible path. From New York, the Jerusalem Meridian travels, in
fact, northeast as it leaves the city (just like the El-Al plane). From
Seattle, the Jerusalem Meridian is just slightly east of north.

If you have a globe handy, stretch a string from New York to Jerusalem, and
you will see the direction of the "Jerusalem Meridian".

This concept is not new. Many people (including myself) advocate praying
along the great-circle-route that goes through Jerusalem. Feuchtwanger has
extended the concept of lines of longitude or meridians to demonstrate their
analogy to prayer directions.

Best regards,
Avraham Brot

From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Wed, Jul 27,2011 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Praying Towards Jerusalem

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 60#24):

> Finally, Bernie makes the point that the shortest distance to Europe from
> Boston and New York is to go up and over the globe, not necessarily go
> straight east to Europe.   But even Euclid would agree that the geometry
> that bears his name would not claim that the shortest route is
> necessarily the most direct route.

What does this sentence mean? In Euclidean Geometry the shortest route is the
most direct route (if such a concept exists).

But that is irrelevant, as geometry on a spherical surface (the Earth) is not



End of Volume 60 Issue 25