Volume 60 Number 36 
      Produced: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:21:58 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

    [Martin Stern]
B'racha on crust coated American peanuts - m'zonot or ha'adama 
    [David Ziants]
Davening without talis and tefilin 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Hagbaha after Kriat HaTorah 
    [Avraham Norin]
Hagbaha before Kriat HaTorah 
    [David Ziants]
Hashem as "King" (3)
    [Lisa Liel  Akiva Miller  Baruch J. Schwartz]
l'David H' Ori 
    [Immanuel Burton]
New Zealand 
    [Bernard Raab]
Praying Amida from hand-held electronic device 
    [Sholom Parnes]
Shabbat Shalom (2)
    [Martin Stern  Batya Medad]
Tribal origins of Ashkenazim and Sephardim 
    [Judith Weil]
Who starts the davening (and when?) 
    [Bernard Raab]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Anonymity

Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...> wrote (MJ 60#35):

> Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote (60#32):
>> I hope that this is very much an isolated case
>> and not symptomatic of anything more general.
>> The worst that has happened to me was that
>> I was chucked out of my shul and guards were
>> put at the door to stop me entering.The trouble
>> is that if we do not confront these bullies they
>> will only progress to worse things.
> Democracy only entitles the citizen the right to
> vote unharrassed. There is no democratic right
> to voice opinions or commit acts that are breaches
> of the peace.
> Expulsion of a worker, student or congregant for
> non-compatible behavior is a legal procedure
> and not to be identified with bullying.

I would agree with Guido that such expulsions might be justified if correct
legal procedures are followed. However that did not happen in my case and
when I challenged the expulsion in Beit Din it was ruled that I did not act
improperly. The shul simply ignored the ruling but I decided not to take the
case on to the civil courts for enforcement because it would have caused too
much of a Chillul Hashem.

Martin Stern


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: B'racha on crust coated American peanuts - m'zonot or ha'adama

When I buy  a product, I sometimes notice that they write the 
appropriate b'racha [blessing] next to the hechsher [kashrut stamp], so 
people like myself know what to say. I am very happy for this 
information that is sometimes provided.

This evening, I bought a small packet of American peanuts coated with a 
kind of a thin hard biscuit crust. Because it was dark, I did not notice 
the b'racha indication when I checked that there was a hechsher. A 
situation like this boils down (no pun intended as the nuts were 
roasted) to the laws of "tafel v'ikar"- I think the best translation - 
"a subsidiary item with the main item".

I said "borei p'ri ha'adama" because from what I learnt in shi'urim 
[lectures] and from personal discussion with Rabbanim:-

a) When there is this situation, one just says the b'racha of the ikar 
[main item].

b) Sometimes what is tafel and what is ikar is not always obvious, and 
in these situations it can go according to personal taste.

It is for this reason I made the b'racha I did. If it would have been 
chocolate covered I might have  deferred to shehakol - as the chocolate 
would become my most likeable part. Also on kabukim (similar to these 
peanuts but with a softer and thicker mezonot coating) I might have 
decided mezonot because I like the coating better than the nut.

In the case of this evening's nuts I felt the b'racha I said was the 
correct one - but on reading the information printed on the packet, my 
question is:-

Are there any other halachic factors that could give weight that the 
b'racha is mezonot - and not ha'adama - despite that the bulk of each 
round thing in the packet is a nut?

David Ziants

Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Davening without talis and tefilin

I would think the problem here could be that:

1) You shouldn't make the brachah before its time.


2) If the time occurs while they are on, the proper form of the
brachah would not longer be "L'*" but "Al *"

We say for instance "Al Netilas Yadayim" because it is said after the
performanace of the mitzvhah is completed.

Sofak Brachah L'Hakhel so if there is a question of whether or not to
make a brachah you don't make it, as is the case at a Seder.


From: Avraham Norin <harbashan@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Hagbaha after Kriat HaTorah

In reply to the question from Martin Stern (MJ 60#35):

Rav Yoel Ben Nun points out that hagbah described in chapter eight of the book
of Nechemiah occurred before they read the Torah (although see verse three).
Therefore the Sefardi custom seems more in line with the Biblical tradition.  He
suggest that people used to come to the beit kneset primarily to SEE the sefer
Torah and not to HEAR the kriah. By postponing the Hagba until after the kriah,
the Ashkenazi minhag allows people to hear the words of the Torah before seeing
its words.


From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Hagbaha before Kriat HaTorah

Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote (MJ 60#35):

> David Ziants <dziants@...> wrote (MJ 60#34):

>> a) Hagbaa before K. haTora is an aidot hamizrach thing although I have
>> seen chassidim do it as well. In all the Ashkenazi shuls here, they do
>> it afterwards.

> I have always thought the Sefardi custom of showing the Sefer Torah before
> reading from it makes more sense than doing it afterwards. I wonder 
> what is the reason for the Ashkenazi custom.

I heard once - do not know where from - that to do hagba'a before 
reading was the original practice for everyone. At some time in history 
there became a trend for people to leave shul straight after hagba'a, 
assuming that this was the most important aspect of the kriat haTora . To 
avert this trend, Ashkenazi shuls started doing hagba'a at the end.

Re what I wrote in MJ 60#34 concerning Sephardim having a hard time with 
an Ashkenazi style Sepher Tora which is on rollers without any solid 
encasement - I have also seen Ashkenazim have a hard time with a 
Sephardi style Sepher Tora trying do g'lilla [rolling the sepher] as 
this does not have to be rolled as the encasement is just closed. People 
do not give up on their customs easily!!

David Ziants


From: Lisa Liel <lisa@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Hashem as "King"

Ira Bauman <irabauman1@...> wrote (MJ 60#35):

> In preparation for Rosh Hashana, I would like to see if any person can shed
> some light on these problems I have with the Rosh Hashana liturgy.
> A major theme on RH is the "coronation " of Hashem as king.  Is king the
> best we can do?  Is it even appropriate?  I understand that the Torah is
> replete with anthropomorphic comments to allow us a better understanding of
> Hashem.

As I understand it, the key is the difference between a Moshel and a 
Melech.  A Moshel rules from outside and needn't have anything to do 
with those he rules over.  A Melech comes from the people, represents 
the people, *embodies* the people, so to speak.  He is the avatar of the 

When we say that Hashem is our King, we are saying more about ourselves 
than we are about Him.  On one level, it's very gayvadik [presumptuous] to call
Hashem our King, because it implies that we are on such a level.  Yisrael, 
Orayta, vKudsha Brich Hu: Chad Hu [The Jews, the Torah, and Hashem are, 
so to speak, one].

During the dhaleth of Kriyat Shema, we're supposed to "crown Hashem" 
as well.  Which I understand to mean that we have to pay attention to 
the Melech relationship we have with Hashem.

> Perhaps it is bad enough to compare Hashem to a king, but
> the qualities we attribute to Him seem to compare him to the wrong leaders.
> I understand that my points may seem heretical but I would honestly like to
> see an approach that would address these concerns and allow me to conduct my
> tefillos with the utmost sincerity.
On the contrary: Idi Amin and Qaddafi were Moshlim, and not Melachim.  
Queen Elizabeth... well, I expect that a British subject would be a 
better person to address this, but as I understand it, the royals are 
considered to be symbols of Britain.  That comes closer to what we'd see 
as a Melech.

There's a question asked about Kings David and Saul.  What was going on 
after Saul was ostensibly fired for not wiping out Amalek as commanded?  
What was going on after David was anointed by Samuel?  And the answer is 
that a Melech must be recognized by Hashem and by the people.  Lacking 
either of those means that the person isn't really a Melech.  Between 
Saul's failure and David's anointing on the one hand and Saul's death 
and David's accession on the other, Saul was king in the eyes of the people and 
David was king in the eyes of Hashem.  But neither was fully Melech so 
long as that state of affairs continued.


From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Hashem as "King"

Ira Bauman asked (MJ 60#35):

> A major theme on RH is the "coronation" of Hashem as king.
> Is king the best we can do?  Is it even appropriate? ...
> When I think of a monarch I can think of a beneficent figurehead
> such as Queen Elizabeth.  Or I can think of a leader with actual
> powers of life and death over his subjects, like Idi Amin.

The problem lies not in our comparison of Hashem to a king, but in the change
from what a king used to be, and what a king is today.

> Even if one can cite a modern leader who has power and is
> beneficent to his people would that be a proper comparison to
> our Creator?  He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and
> transcendent. How do we deal with such an inadequate comparison?

I suspect that Mr Bauman is American, and certainly not British. Over the years,
I have observed that Americans regard Queen Elizabeth as a mere figurehead,
while the British have a deep and abiding respect for the monarchy in general,
and usually for the Queen herself as well, to a degree that Americans (myself
included) simply cannot fathom. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but I don't think so,
and even if I am, it would not have been an exaggeration a few centuries ago.

"How do we deal with such an inadequate comparison?" We deal with it however we
can, because it is all we have. It is true that Hashem is far above anything
this universe has to offer. But if we're going to be a stickler for such
details, then we'll be left with nothing. Rather, as inadequate as the
King-metaphor might be, it's still the closest match we have.

For some people, telling them that "Hashem is greater than anything you can
imagine" is an effective way of conveying His greatness. But most people need
some poetry, an analogy of some sort, in order to grasp the idea. And for those
people, in earlier centuries, a King fit the bill well enough.

I agree that for us today, a King is *not* a great way to describe Hashem. But
that's not because Hashem is a bad King; I think it is because the modern world
has too many bad kings. And that's a shame. And we are the poorer for it.

Akiva Miller

From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Hashem as "King"

In MJ 60#35, Ira Bauman <irabauman1@...> asks about the theme of God's

This is a crucial concept in Biblical thought, in rabbinic midrash, and, as
Ira's post notes, in the liturgy of Rosh Hashanah. In fact, it's central to the
liturgy all year -- every brachah includes the words melek ha-olam; the essence
of reciting Shema is the formal declaration of one's acceptance of the "Yoke of
the Kingdom of Heaven;" the Kaddish is a prayer that God's kingdom be
established; etc. It is impossible to imagine Jewish prayer without the kingship
There is quite a lot of literature on this, and here is a book I would like to
recommend, written by a prominent Jewish biblical scholar: Marc Zvi Brettler,
God is King: Understanding an Israelite Metaphor, Sheffield, England, 1989. An
excellent treatment of the topic, including a detailed consideration of the
phrase "hashem malak" in the Psalms -- a phrase that is in our prayers every day
of the year.

The kingship image is one of the many, many examples of how a profound
understanding of the ancient world, in which our texts and traditions came into
existence to which they refer exclusively, is essential for proper intent in
performing the mitzvot. One who imagines God's kingship in terms of a modern
monarch (or worse, president or prime minister) will have a hard time carrying
out the mitzvah of kabbalat ol malchut shamayim in a way approaching what the
Sages had in mind, but one who knows what kingship was all about in the Ancient
Near East has a good chance of doing so.

Ketivah vahatima tovah to all,

Baruch Schwartz


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2011 at 12:01 AM
Subject: l'David H' Ori

In MJ 60#35, Martin Stern wrote:

> The custom of saying l'David H' Ori is
> relatively recent and was not accepted everywhere. In particular, many
> communities in Germany did not say it at all and this would seem to have
> been the original custom in England since it was not included in the 
> earlier editions of the Authorised Prayer Book (Singer's).

I have a first edition (1890) of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book 
referred to, and l'David H' Ori is included (page 85).  What has changed 
since then, though, is the rubric concerning the point up to which one 
adds this Psalm:

- The original rubric stated that it is said until Hashanah Rabbah.
- The 1962 edition stated that it's added until Shemini Atzeret (without 
clarifying whether this includes Shemini Atzeret).
- The 2006 edition states clearly that is is said up to and including 
Shemini Atzeret.

I have a Rosh Hashanah Machzor printed in London in 1834 that does not 
include l'David H' Ori.

The two editions of the Siach Yitzchak Siddur (London, 1864 and 1889) 
that I have also do not include l'David H' Ori.  It is also absent from 
another Siddur published in London in 1871.

I also looked in a Machzor for Yom Kippur evening published in Basel, 
Switzerland, with a copyright date of 1970, and found that l'David H' 
Ori was absent.

The Avodat Yisrael Siddur (on which the Hebrew text of the Authorised 
Daily Prayer Book was originally based) does not appear to include 
l'David H' Ori.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 10:01 PM
Subject: New Zealand

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 60#33):

> According to the Auckland Hebrew Congregations website, there is an "eastern 
> suburbs shtiebel." Does anyone know where this "shtiebel" is, whether it has 
> regular shabbos davening, and whether it follows normative Orthodox practices?  
> A contact would be helpful too. My email to the main shul office in Auckland has 
> gone unanswered (I have not yet tried calling).

And could you please find out if they observe Shabbat on Saturday, since
apparently there are still some among us who cling to the idea that there are
Jewish communities somewhere that follow the p'sak of the Chazon Ish regarding a
halachic dateline which differs from the international dateline (which would
require that they observe Shabbat on Sunday)?

Thanks -- Bernie R.


From: Sholom Parnes <sholomjparnes@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2011 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Praying Amida from hand-held electronic device

Thanks to David Ziants (MJ 60#35) for clarifying this issue.

I was under the impression that these people were worshipping their I-Pods!

A happy & healthy New Year to all.

Sholom J Parnes
Hamelech David 65/3
Efrat 90435 ISRAEL


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Shabbat Shalom

Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...> wrote (MJ 60#35):

> Growing up most people only said Shabbat Shalom on Shabbat.
> Some would also say it on Friday when shopping for Shabbat.
> Nowadays people start saying it from Wednesday morning.
> WHY?
> When and where did this start?

I have not come across this but I would imagine that the source would be
that until Tuesday evening we consider the days to be after the previous
Shabbat whereas from Wednesday morning we consider them to be before the
coming one. A practical consequence is that one can make havdalah only until
Tuesday evening if for some reason one were unable to make it earlier.

On the other hand, I have noticed that some people are avoiding saying
Shabbat Shalom or Gut Shabbos on Fridays as they always used to do and say
Erev Shabbat Shalom or Gut Erev Shabbos instead, which strikes me as

Martin Stern

From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Shabbat Shalom

In reply to Joseph Mosseri wrote (MJ 60#35):

The week is divided in half, or really three parts.  There's before 
Shabbat, Shabbat and after Shabbat.  3, 1, 3.  Before Shabbat is 
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  That's why you can say Shabbat Shalom 
as a preparation for Shabbat on Wednesday.

Batya Medad


From: Judith Weil  <weildj@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 13,2011 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Tribal origins of Ashkenazim and Sephardim

I have come across a contention that Sephardim are primarily from the tribe
of Yehuda while Ashkenazim are primarily from Binyamin. I was told that the
source for this is Ovadia verse 20, and the Rashi on this verse. The verse
states that Yehuda was exiled to Sepharad, which the Targum translates as

This is all very well, but Ovadia is prophecy and not history. Is anyone
aware of any historical indication of the origins of the Sephardi and
Ashkenazi communities?

Judith Weil 


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 12,2011 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Who starts the davening (and when?)

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 60#34) :
> I'm not sure if this is an halachic issue or soothing a pet peeve --
> In many congregations there is a very visible clock and everyone seems to
> wait for posted z'man for davening to begin.
> The Chazen is posted ready at the bimah and "they're off!"
> I find in some congregations the Chazen begins -- "v'hoo rachum" or "ashray"
> as appropriate and the congregation then follows moments later.
> In other congregations the Rabbi is the first to begin.
> BUT -- In other congregations it seems that a congregant (or congregants)
> seems to pre-empt  the Chazen by rushing to be the first to shout out the
> above (even when the Rabbi is present).

In our shul the minhag was that the gabbai would ask the sh'tz to wait for the
proper time on the clock while various members shouted that the clock was wrong!
Too fast! Too slow! This routine was de rigeur at every nearly every minyan.
Some years ago our trusty clock went to clock heaven and I discovered the
"satellite clock". This is a clock which comes with an antenna to pick up a
signal which is broadcast several times each day by the US National Institute of
Standards and Technology in Colorado. This signal is detectable throughout the
country, and is used by the clock to automatically adjust the digital display to
well within one second. (You have to select the time zone.) Amazingly, this
clock has been accepted by all as the official time  of the shul, and there are
NO more arguments. Typically, the sh'tz stands at the shdender with his eye on
the clock, and begins at the announced time as the seconds display passes "00".
Nobody looks to the rabbi, the gabbai, the president, etc. The clock rules! BTW,
although they are widely known as satellite clocks, I do not believe that these
clocks, widely available in the US, have anything to do with satellites. I
believe that the signal is only available in the US, and, I imagine, parts of
Canada and Mexico as well.

Bernie R.


End of Volume 60 Issue 36