Volume 61 Number 95 
      Produced: Thu, 12 Sep 13 11:18:15 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A pronunciation problem  
    [Arthur G. Sapper]
Another question on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Double-barrelled names 
    [Martin Stern]
    [Yisrael Medad]
Heads Up This Rosh Hashanah (2)
    [Saul Mashbaum  Richard Fiedler]
Kol Nidre essay 
    [Mark Steiner]
Standing in shul 
    [Martin Stern]
To Confuse Satan - A Rosh Hashanah Message 
    [Katz, Ben M.D.]
Wedding Custom 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]


From: Arthur G. Sapper <asapper@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 12,2013 at 11:01 AM
Subject: A pronunciation problem 

To more precisely address Martin Stern's question (MJ 61#92,94) about how
Ashkazanim could have followed Rabbi Ganzfried's view that they should pronounce
the ayin, and how that could be done at the end of a word, I previously set out
the view that he was probably referring to the Litvak pronunciation of ayin as
"an."  Recently, an acquaintance of mine who pronounces Yaakov as "Yankov" (or
perhaps "Yankev," I'll have to listen more carefully next time) told me that he
pronounces "shema" as "sheman."

I also asked Rabbi Jonathan Cohen of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Community
of London how Jews with a Dutch/Portuguese pronunciation pronounce the "ng"
version of the ayin (the so-called "NGayin").  He confirmed Martin's observation
that at the end of a word, "ng" is used:  I asked, "Does the Spanish and
Portuguese congregation pronounce the 'g' at the end of a word -- so that
'shema' is pronounced "shemang?'"  He responded, "As regards NGayin the end of
the word - yes the oldies do say 'Shemang Yisrael'."

As to the beginning of a word, Rabbi Cohen pointed out to me that "etz hayim" is
now pronounced by that congregation as "heshaim" (hesh-aye-eem), which he
regards as something of a corruption.  And to both the beginning and middle of a
word, Rabbi Cohen wrote me that, "'Ba'avoor Daveed Avdecha' is transliterated in
the choir's music books as 'Ban-ga-boor Daveed N-gabdecha' (a source of endless
amusement to younger members of the choir)."

He also wrote:  "However, due to the influence of modern Ivrit, as well as the
dilution of the S&P with Sephardim from other lands, both these peculiarities
are today largely ignored by lay members of the kahal, and even some of the
ministers [rabbis -- AGS].  What remains unequivocally is a determination that
the Ayin be pronounced - whether as 'ng' or gutterally - but not ignored or
treated as an 'Aleph' as it is by many Ashkenazim."

For those interested in learning the gutteral pronunciation of the ayin, you
might go to this link, which has, to my knowledge, the best single collection of
demonstrations available on the Web of what is likely the sound of ancient Hebrew.  


For ayin, go to sound mark 6:46. 
Art Sapper


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 4,2013 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Another question on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

Martin Stern asked (MJ 61#92) how Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried of Hungary, the author
of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, recommended to Ashkenazim that they distinguish
between aleph and ayin.

I suppose the answer is he got it from the big Shulchan Aruch, although the
question is why he would include something not practical for many people
wiithout saying anything.

I found another question.

He never mentions the custom of saying Selichos after Rosh Hashonah and before
Yom Kippur, even though he mentions a lot of other things. Wasn't that well
established then? Or is it because maybe it wasn't mentioned in the original
Shulchan Aruch or by Rabbi Caro?


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Aug 25,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Double-barrelled names

It is generally thought that, according to Ashkenazi tradition, a child is
never named after a living relative. This may be true of Eastern European
Jews, but it would seem not to be the case of those Ashkenazim whose
families, like mine, hail from South Germany.

Many MJ members will be familiar with the name Samson Refael Hirsch whose
father's name was Refael, something latter-day "Artscroll" Jews try to
"correct" to Samson ben Refael, something never done at the time.

One finds the same phenomenon in the names of many members of the Rothschild
dynasty of Frankfurt-am Main such as Mayer Anschell with sons Anschell
"Anselm" Mayer, Salomon Mayer, Nathan Mayer, Calmann "Carl" Mayer and Jacob
"James" Mayer. It seems, therefore, that adding one's father's name in this
way was normal in the South German Jewish tradition.
I am named Moshe ben Eliezer Moshe, after my father's father, Moshe, while
my father was named after his mother's father, Eliezer Moshe. This always
raised eyebrows whenever I was offered an aliyah and, for many years, I was
unable to explain it.
Recently I found out that none other than the Wurzburger Rav, Harav Yitchak Dov
Bamberger, named one of his sons Yitzchak Seckel. While Seckel is a Yiddish
diminutive version of Yitzchak (parallel to such forms as Dov Baer etc.),
Yitzchak Dov is a "double-barrelled" name and must not have been considered
as two separate names combined but rather as a single name in its own right.

Interestingly, in the course of conversation, a friend from Switzerland whose
family also originated from South Germany said that now he understood how his
grandfather could have had two brothers called Yitzchak Elchanan and Elchanan
Tzvi, something that had always puzzled him previously but which must have been
based on the same way of thinking.

One consequence is that, in this tradition, the custom of naming a child
Ya'akov Yosef after two grandparents, Ya'akov and Yosef, would seem to be
futile since the boy would not be named after either.

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sat, Sep 7,2013 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Haroset

I found this interesting piece of information:

"Susan Weingarten, in 'How Do You Say Haroset in Greek,' in a
wide-ranging survey of what is known about haroset, the thick sauce
into which the bitter herbs (in antiquity most likely lettuce and
endive rather than today's more customary horseradish) are dipped at
the Passover seder, discovers that an early medieval glossary found in
the Cairo Genizah translates the term as enbammous. In the Apicius
collection embamma appears as one of two sauces into which lettuce and
endive are dipped to mitigate the harm done by these vegetables. This
is precisely the function the Babylonian Talmud ascribes to haroset,
apparently preserving a tradition from the distant Graeco-Roman world."

From: Benjamin Isaac, Yuval Shahar (ed.), Judaea-Palaestina, Babylon and
Rome: Jews in Antiquity. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 147.
Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2012.  Pp. ix, 324.  ISBN 9783161516979.

Yisrael Medad


From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashbaum@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 8,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Heads Up This Rosh Hashanah

I commend Richard Fiedler (MJ 61#93) on his informative and erudite posting on
the subject of the Old Moon, the New Moon, and RH.

The following is an interesting homiletical comment on a mishnaic phrase quoted
in Richard Fiedler's posting that I heard in the name of my mentor, Rabbi Joseph
B. Soloveitchik, zt"l:

A passage in the Mishna was cited by Richard as follows:

> Two witnesses came and said: "We saw the Old Moon in the morning and the
> Crescent New Moon in the evening." Yochanan ben Nuri said "They are false
> witnesses!"

This is a useful paraphrase of the mishna. Literally, the Mishna says that the
"witnesses said (referring to the moon) 'we saw it ("rainuhu") in the east in
the morning and in the west in the evening'".

Rabbi Soloveitchik homiletically related this phrase to the remarkably rapid
rise of America as a center of world Jewry, moving from a weak community with a
dearth of Torah scholars to a large, vibrant community with several of the
world's greatest scholars in just one generation, something that happened
previously in Jewish history only over hundreds of years. Figuratively, in the
morning, the moon (a well known symbol for the Jewish nation) was in the east
(i.e. Europe).  Against precedent and indeed nature, in the evening, i.e. a
remarkably short time later, it was claimed that it was already in the west
(i.e. the United States). Although the mishnah cites R. Yochanan ben Nuri's
claim that "that can't be so", ultimately this testimony was accepted.

Rabbi Soloveitchik was very keenly aware of the tragic events that contributed
to this remarkable transformation of American Jewry. That being said, he felt a
great responsibilty towards his adopted community, and dedicated his life to
seizing the moment and strengthening the rejuvenated American Jewish community.

Gmar Chatima Tova.

Saul Mashbaum

From: Richard Fiedler <richardfiedler@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 11,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Heads Up This Rosh Hashanah

Further to my submission in MJ 61#91 and the subsequent discussion, on the fact
that Erev Rosh Hashanah 2013 was preceded by a unique astronomical event, the
presence of the Old Moon before dawn Erev Rosh Hashanah. here is the Old Moon as
seen from my home in the Jewish Quarter looking east over Har HaZeitim, the
Mount of Olives, to the east.


The picture, taken with my iPhone, is of the Old Moon on Wednesday, September 4,
 at 5:44 AM.

Normally such sightings of the Old Moon are prevented by the Dehiyyah Molad
Zaqen. I believe that the purpose of that rule was to prevent an Old Moon from
appearing Erev Rosh Hashanah. This rule postpones by one day Rosh Hashanah when
the Molad is in the  19th through 23rd hour. Actually in the last two millennia
was the rule needed to prevent a visible Old Moon only 74 times  and, of these,
only 4 were in the 19th hour. It was quite surprising that the Molad of
2013, which was 16 hours and 830 parts, thus not subject to the Molad Zaqen
rule, was preceded by a visible Old Moon.

The reason for this unique event is the result of a very unusual path of moon
for this year. The Astronomical New Moon (Conjunction) was over Antarctica and
it took two revolutions of the Earth before the moon had moved high enough in
latitude to be seen in Israel.

Richard Fiedler
Sod Ha'ibur


From: Mark Steiner <mark.steiner@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 11,2013 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Kol Nidre essay

In time for Yom Kippur, my brother, the noted linguist Prof. Richard
Steiner of YU, has published an extremely important essay on Kol Nidrei,
which can be read at the following link:


Gemar Hatima Tova to all,

Mark Steiner


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Aug 23,2013 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Standing in shul

Eitan Fiorino wrote (MJ 61#92):

> Eric Mack wrote (MJ 61#91):
>> Many stand for certain portions of P'sukei d'zimra [the collection of Psalms
>> and other verses recited before Bar'chu].  Specifically, it is customary to
>> stand for
>> a) "Baruch She'amar" (the blessing at the start of P'sukei d'zimra;
>> b) "Mizmor l'toda", on weekdays, and "Hodu", on Shabbat;
>> c) the verses and blessings from "Vay'varech David" thru "Yishtabach", which
>> is the blessing recited at the end of P'sukei d'zimra

> I just need to point out this is according to minhag ashkenaz; other groups
> have different practices regarding standing during different parts of tefila,
> including during the noted portions of pesukei d'zimra, as well as kaddish,
> barchu, and keriat hatorah and in particular during the last few pasukim of a
> sefer and aseret hadibrot.

May I just add that some of these customs are not universal amongst
Ashkenazim. For example, the custom in Frankfurt-am Main was not to stand
for Hodu (Hallel Hagadol) on Shabbat and for many other places which standard
Ashkenazi (Artscroll clone) siddurim indicate. However I agree with Haim Snyder
(MJ 61#92) that the crucial point is to avoid any problem of Lo Titgod'du
which can lead to discord in shul - these customs are not yehareg ve'al
ya'avor [so important that one needs to uphold them in all circumstances].

Martin Stern


From: Katz, Ben M.D. <BKatz@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 4,2013 at 02:01 PM
Subject: To Confuse Satan - A Rosh Hashanah Message

In MJ 61#94, Mois Navon wrote:

> One of the most prominent features of the Rosh Hashanah service is
> the blowing of the shofar. The Talmud teaches that while there is
> an initial set of blasts done to fulfill a divine command, there are
> numerous additional blasts done "to confuse Satan."

This is not a "reason" brought by Rambam for shofar blowing, and for good 

Ketivah va-chatimah tovah to all!


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Tue, Sep 10,2013 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Wedding Custom

In MJ 61#94 Carl Singer wrote:

> As Chaim Casper notes (MJ 61#93) the mehitzah's are getting higher - then 
> again I was at one wedding (Skverer) where men and women were in separate rooms.
> I found most humorous one wedding where the photographer who was on a ladder 
> to shoot over the mehitzah to the women's dancing had a small monitor mounted on
> his ladder -- and guys were "watching" the women's dancing via the monitor.

At my kids' weddings, we had a female photographer for the dancing pictures. 


End of Volume 61 Issue 95