Volume 61 Number 84 
      Produced: Wed, 29 May 13 15:42:35 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Books on Tefillah (2)
    [Sammy Finkelman  Yisrael Medad]
Can a nonJew bring a sacrifice to the Bais Hamikdash 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
HaKedoshah or HaGedushah? (2)
    [Sammy Finkelman  Sammy Finkelman]
Music/spiritual davening 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Practice of Metzizah in the Twentieth Century 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Recent Poll on Jerusalem Post website 
    [Martin Stern]
Tefillah / Bet haknesset 
    [Martin Stern]
The women of the wall (was The Sharansky compromise) (2)
    [Martin Stern  Wendy Baker]


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, May 7,2013 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Books on Tefillah

I made a serious mistake of attribution in Mail Jewish Volume 61 Number
79. In the course of editing my submission, somehow I omitted a quote, and
the first paragraph that I wrote became attributed to Stuart Pilichowski.

What Stuart Pilichowski wrote that prompted my comment was:
SP> ...I've always felt that Rabbis should use their sermons to
SP> discuss / explain the tefillot rather than talk about parashat hashavuah
SP> or current events. There's such an abundance of parasha books out there
SP> . . . but books on tefillah? Books that hit home?

I then attributed to him:
> There are a few books on Tefillah. An old one by B.S. Jacobson, of which
> only part - the more general information - was translated into English.
> More should be available in Hebrew in Israel - if the book can be found.

I wrote that. I wrote the first paragraph that's there, and I wrote the
other ones too.

P.S. B.S.Jacobson's full name was Bernard Solomon Jacobson and he was born
in 1901.

The book in English is called Meditations on the Siddur: Studies in the
Essential Problems and Ideas of Jewish Worship and it was published in
1966 by the "Sinai" Publishing company in Tel Aviv.  It was translated
by Rabbi Leonard Oschry and it consists only of the introductory chapters
of the Hebrew original, but B.S.Jacobson (writing Adar 5726, March 1966)
thought this was (still a valuable book).

Another book on Tefillah is "My Prayer" by Nissan Mindel, published by
Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, Inc (Lubavitch) in 1984. It is subtitled "A
Commentary on the Daily Prayers."

It includes Bircas HaMazon, and on page 297 he writes:
"The benediction includes a plea for sustenance--not through the gifts
of man, but through `Your full, open, holy and ample Hand.'"

I guess the opinion of the Lubavicher Rebbe as to what it really
should say there didn't penetrate, and/or he didn't push it, and/or
the book used the ["holy" --Mod.] Nusach most people have.

Now we're learning that the whole portion beginning with "Ki im Leyadechah"
is a later addition from the time of the Rishonim - possibly it was used in a 
early piyyut somewhere outside of Bircas HaMazon and transferred.

From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, May 11,2013 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Books on Tefillah

I hold the collection of the Besht's comments on prayer, published first in
1938, Amud HaT'fillah [Pillar of Prayer], with approbations from the Gerer,
Sucatzhov, Alexander, Ostrovetza, Boyan, Shtrikover, Piltz Rebbes and other
Rabbis, to be a very worthwhile volume with less than 130 pages.  It was
published in translation in 2011, I see, by Menachem Kallus.
Yisrael Medad

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, May 8,2013 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Can a nonJew bring a sacrifice to the Bais Hamikdash

Can a nonJew bring a sacrifice to the Bais Hamikdash?

Parshas Emor talks about this -- see

A nonJew is allowed to bring an Olah (a sacrifice that is completely 
burnt on the altar) as a free-will offering in the same way that a Jew 
is allowed. The source for this is in Parshas Emor (22:18).

I show how the Parsha explains the three types of human beings and why a 
nonJew can bring only an Olah (burnt offering) while a born Jew and a 
ger (convert) can eat of their offerings.

       Sabba     -          ' "        -     Hillel
Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz | Said the fox to the fish, "Join me ashore"
  <SabbaHillel@...> | The fish are the Jews, Torah is our water


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, May 10,2013 at 01:01 PM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

Eitan Fiorino wrote in Mail Jewish Volume 61 Number 82:

ET> Sammy Finkleman wrote (MJ 61#81):
>> Maybe it was that people continuously kept on making the mistake of
>> replacing HaGedushah with HaKedoshah and in different places, Rabbis
>> tried to get people to say all sorts of alternative phrases to try
>> to prevent this, because HaKedoshah just wasn't right here.

ET> I'm not exactly sure what Sammy is suggesting here. Who said anything
ET> about Rabbis trying "to get people to say all sorts of alternative phrases?"
ET> The only alternatives that have been discussed are "hakedosha" and
ET> "hagedusha" and the substitution of one for the other is only possible
ET> in nusach ashkenaz because others lack the phrase in which one or
ET> the other word is/would be found.

I'm talking about the Sefardi, Italian and Yemenite versions. I think they
might be variations on the original nusach here.
Haashera doesn't make too much sense either, so maybe those versions are
an attempt to avoid the "HaKedoshah" error.
The section beginning with "Ki im Leyadcha" (or earlier?) is not in the
Machzor Vitry, Martin Stern said in Mail-Jewish Volume 61 Number 81,
so it originated in the west after the time of Hai Gaon or so. It actually
could have been composed before the time of Hai Gaon, but as a piyyut by
someone in the west in the century or so before Hai Gaon in 1006 CE told
the western communities not to send any more questions to Bavel but to rely
on themselves, because, I assume, he didn't have a good successor (although
he lived, as it turned out, till the age of 99 in 1038 CE).

This could have been part of a piyyut which dropped out of use, and people
wanted to save that section and transferred it to Bircas Hamazon.

I would say that because it is using a word "Hagedoshah' which was rather
rare and I'd expect early. So, a poem, 1,000 to 1,200 years ago, but not
at first included in Bircas HaMazon.

ET> I find it puzzling that the claim that "hakedosha" is a printer's error
ET> is so widely held despite what seems to be a lack of evidence.

Peole say printer's error because they don't want to say an error in
transmission (of anything) could have happened so early. It's wrong because
it makes the time period when this error would have occured much too late.
This had to happen in the era of the Rishonim, and it had to happen over and
over again.

This could not have stemmed from a printer's error. What edition of what
Siddur/Hagadah could have been so influential? In the case of the loss of
some words from Oleynu, that was done over and over again, and was not an

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Sun, May 12,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: HaKedoshah or HaGedushah?

Eliezer Berkovits wrote (MJ 61#77):

> A local Medakdek (here in London) has suggested an alternative text:
> 'HaGedushah' which would make more sense. Has anyone come across this
> version? Can anyone explain the popular text?

This subject was discussed in MJ 36#90 (in connection with the Birnbaum
Siddur and correction Philip Birnbaum might have made) and followed up in MJ
36#97/98 and MJ 37#4/5/6 in the summer of 2002.

In MJ 36#90 Jonathan (Rav Yehonatan) Chipman says that his favorite
correction in Philip Birnbaum's Siddur is one he made in the footnote to the 
third blessing of Birkat Hamazon, and you can indeed find this on page 763 of 
his Siddur where he writes that the context supports 'HaGedushah' and that in 
the Spanish Siddur it is 'HaAsheirah' and that it has been suggested to read 

The Moderator (Avi Feldman, I think) noted this as well - that the text of
(at least some of) Eidut Hamizrach has "he-ashira" (the details of the
footnote hadn't been mentioned by Jonathan Chipman).

In MJ 36#97 Yisrael Medad wrote that he once had a copy of some handwritten
medieval text which actually said "gedosha" which he brought to his
daughter, but when it came time to prepare the wedding Birchon gift for the 
guests, he couldn't find the source (meaning he couldn't find out where it had 
been taken from?) but she had it printed up as gedosha anyway. He said recently 
in MJ 61#78 that
> My daughter researched it and her wedding bencher 2002 was printed with
> g'dusha. I sent it off to Prof. Moshe Halamish who wrote a scholarly
> article on it:
> http://tinyurl.com/cd8x9kh
but I was not able to access that article.

In MJ 36#98 Baruch Merzel wrote that R' Baruch Epstein, Z"L, the baal of
the "Torah T'mima", was the first to offer this emendation in his sefer "Baruch
She'omar". He writes further that R' Baruch Epstein's father, the baal Aruch
Hashulchan, would not endorse this without textual proof from earlier
siddurim or other sources, and that R' Baruch mentions this in his book of 
memoirs entitled "M'kor Habracha".

Later, in MJ 37#4 David Lefkowitz also cites "Baruch SheAmar", which says
that the real text is gedosha, but, he says, we read it as "kedosha" (not
sure if he is quoting the book here or not. And is someone attempting to say
there is a K'ri and K'siv here?) He further notes that both the gimmel and
koof are letters whose pronunciation uses the same part of the throat. He also
says the Otzar HaTefillos Siddur brings the alternate text of "gedosha" (brings
it as an alternative?).

Also, in MJ 36#98 Ben Z. Katz writes that he has seen some rare editions of
the birchat hamazon with "gedushah" [he didn't say how old]. He saw it in one 
old Hagaddah, and it is also in the new Eidah birchon. And he's been told that 
the Rav (meaning, I think, Rav Yosef Dov Ber Soloveitchik) said "gedushah".

As a followup, in MJ 37#6, Saul Mashbaum said that Rav Hershel Schecter,
one of the Rov's most outstanding students, had noted in his book Nefesh Harav,
page 148, that the Rav said "Hagedushah".

And it is a fact that the Rav *did* make some changes in his prayers.
Jonathan (Rav Yehonatan) Chipman wrote back in MJ 36#90 that he added the word 
"Yom" to "Shabbat" at the end of the middle brakha of Shaharit for Shabbat so 
that the word "Bo" would be grammatically correct, and this was on the basis of
sevara, not a text.

Ben Katz said he noted several other changes when he recently (as of August
2002, at the beginning of Elul) attended a simcha in Boston and davened at
his old shule and he discussed them with a learned member of the
congregation, and they were hoping to come out with a siddur "nusach Brisk". He 
noted that changes might have originated with one of Rabbi Yosef Dov Ber
Soloveitchik's forbears.

In MJ 37#5, Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka, from Ottawa, Canada, writes that the
Rabbinical Council of America Madrikh, which he prepared, and his The
Haggadah for Pesah, both refer to the alternate reading of "hagedushah" in the
Birkhat HaMazon (but apparently don't outright change it).

Also in MJ 37#5, Ezriel Krumbein writes that The Jewish Observer, after the
passing of one of the recent Gerrer Rebbes, quoted him as saying the word
Tohorah is used in the the Al HaMichya because it is referring to the produce of
Eretz Yisroel, and he says maybe this could apply here too, especially since the 
Al HaMichya is a kind of shortened version of Bircas HaMazon. However, in Al
HaMichya we are talking about eating food in Tohorah, meaning in context
eating the type of food you can only eat when Tahor, so it is a reference to the
absent Beis HaMikdosh, as is the reference to the city of Yerushalayim - the 
whole section there is about the Beis HaMikdosh and the Al HaMichya itself talks
about the land where we should eat from - the point being now this is produce 
not from Eretz Yisroel. There is an idea like that in the Hagadah's second 
Brachah on the wine.


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Wed, May 29,2013 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Music/spiritual davening

In M-J V61#83, Leah wrote:
> The whole congregation was singing, and the melody suddenly entered
> my brain with a deep meaning of the words, and I was literally,
> though subtly, moved to tears at the strength and the feeling
> of the prayer and the moment....

That happens to me, occasionally, when we sing Mimkom'cha on Shabbat
Shacharit Kedusha to Reb Shlomeleh's niggun.

Yisrael Medad


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, May 9,2013 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Practice of Metzizah in the Twentieth Century

My post in Mail-Jewish Volume 61 Number 81 contains an error:

In quoting what Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn wrote in his book "Bris Milah" at
Halacha 66 page 69, the moderator deleted a line when he sent it to me for
approval, and I did not notice, so it came out like this:

> The Talmud considers metzitzah to be a therapeutic imperative
> (Shabbos 133b; see O.C. 331:3 with M.B. notes 4 and 36). It strongly
> admonishes those who delete this portion of the bris, warning that
> any mohel refraining from practice. Additionally, Zohar bases the reason
> for metzitzah on

That should be:
> The Talmud considers metzitzah to be a therapeutic imperative
> (Shabbos 133b; see O.C. 331:3 with M.B. notes 4 and 36). It strongly
> admonishes those whodelete this portion of the bris, warning that
> any mohel refraining from performing metzitzah is to be removed from
> his practice. Additionally, Zohar bases the reason for metzitzah on

I spelled Rabbi Krohn's name wrong, too, as Pesach. That was entirely my

Now in what context is all this? Shabbos. Meaning that some Mohelim in the
time of Rav Papa (prounounced Puhpaw) did or wanted to omit this on Shabbos
because they thought it both unnecessary and a Melachah on Shabbos (and, it
goes without saying, not part of the mitzvah itself).


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, May 20,2013 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Recent Poll on Jerusalem Post website

The Women of the Wall's activities are:

1.Good, they are helping to bring equality to prayer practices              38.24%
2.Bad, they are politicizing religious practice                             47.36%
3.Okay, but they should compromise and wait for egalitarian section of wall 10.55%
4.I'm not sure                                                               3.85%

Total votes (20 May 13) :1896

Considering that the Jerusalem Post is certainly not a chareidi paper and
its readership is more inclined to dislike that sector, as seems evident from
their responses to articles concerning it, these figures are certainly rather
interesting in showing the relatively low support for the Women of the Wall.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, May 10,2013 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Tefillah / Bet haknesset

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 61#82):

> The shul experience - 2- 3 hours on a Shabbat morning - as long as it
> is..... isn't geared towards a "religious experience."

How much more so the, at most, 50 minutes (more likely 25 minutes) on an
ordinary weekday morning.

The only answer is to prepare oneself by studying the tefillot.

One possible way to get round the express-train davenning is to start
davening before the official starting time and then let the tsibbur "catch
up". Of course this means getting up earlier in the morning but, if one
really wants to daven properly, then one may have to make some sacrifices.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, May 10,2013 at 02:01 PM
Subject: The women of the wall (was The Sharansky compromise)

Yisrael Medad  wrote (MJ 61#82):

> In MJ 61#81, Martin brings Leah Abramovitz's views on the Women of the Wall.
> Under Anat Hoffman's leadership, yes, the prayer customs they want to
> introduce there are simply a tool of a Reform activist.

Though it pretends to be a grassroots initiative to uphold women's right to
pray, it has made it clear that its ultimate aim is "to liberate Judaism
from the ties of an Orthodox hegemony". It is not surprising that someone
named after a Cena'ani avodah zarah should want to bring avodah zarah to the

Today's (Rosh Chodesh) mass pray-in with thousands of women from across the
religious spectrum coming to protest at the antics of Anat Hoffman's group
completely eclipsed the group of at most a few dozen of her followers and
should convince everyone as to who are the real Women of the Wall.

Martin Stern

From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Wed, May 29,2013 at 02:01 PM
Subject: The women of the wall (was The Sharansky compromise)

>From David Cohen (M-J V61#83):
> First off, I want to make it clear that I roundly denounce the physical and
> verbal violence employed by hooligans against the Women of the Wall on
> Friday.  Such uncivilized behavior is completely unacceptable, especially
> coming from those who fancy themselves benei Torah.
> That being said, the despicable behavior of some critics of WoW does not
> make all criticism of the group's positions illegitimate, and I think that
> the discussion can, and should, continue.
> <<snip>>
> I suspect that many of those most strongly opposed to WoW take for granted
> that a woman wearing a tallit could only be doing so because she is someone
> who does not accept the binding nature of halacha, and thus they see WoW as
> a precedent that can lead to all sorts of organized non-halachic activity
> at the Kotel.  If spokespeople associated with WoW would stop talking
> about "breaking Orthodox control" of the Kotel and taking down the mechitza
> each day, and make it clear that they are simply looking to do something a
> little "different" within the big tent of halachically acceptable behavior,
> then I think a lot of the heat would die down, and the critics -- even
> those who believe WoW to be misguided and "holding incorrectly" -- would be
> more willing to "live and let live."

In my original post on this topic, I believe I mentioned that this position 
was the position of the original group of Women of the Wall.  I know many 
of them, as I was very involved in women's Tefillah Groups and the women's 
Tefillah Network at that time.  The intention was to have a halachic 
service, not reciting kedusha, Kaddish or Barchu as part of the service, 
at the Kotel.  That is what they did, and they were answered by horrific 
attack.  I think that, particularly over time, rankled many women, often 
not halacha observant, who joined the group.  It is an example of what 
happens when one doesn't permit what is allowed, putting extra fences 
around the Torah. I am sure many know the Midresh about Adam telling Chava 
not to touch the Tree in the Gan Eden to make sure she doesn't pick and eat 
the fruit.  When the snake touches the tree and says see nothing happens, 
she tries it herself and nothing happens.  This leads her to figure that 
picking and eating the delicious-looking fruit will be OK, so she does, 
leading to all kinds of trouble.  It is  not an identical situation, but 
if a halachic service is met with violence, for the non-halachic, why not a 
non-halachic service?  It can't be worse.  I think this really is what has 
happened and I am sorry, because it is kind of impossible to put the genie 
back into the bottle.

Wendy Baker


End of Volume 61 Issue 84