Volume 61 Number 96 
      Produced: Mon, 21 Oct 13 15:28:10 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A pronunciation problem 
    [Martin Stern]
Another pronunciation problem 
    [Martin Stern]
Daf Yomi and Masechet Shekalim 
    [Shmuel Himelstein]
Early Evidence for Mechitzot 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Educational Resources and Cool Videos for Sukkot  
    [Jacob Richman]
Electric Menorahs for Chanukah 
    [Steven Oppenheimer]
More Hakafot 
    [Menashe Elyashiv]
Preparing during shmoneh esrai 
    [Joel Rich]
Question regarding Birchat Hamazon 
    [Gideon Schulman]
Sleeping in the Sukkah 
    [Joel Rich]
Technology and halacha 
    [Joel Rich]
The Noach Page 
    [Jacob Richman]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 12,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: A pronunciation problem

Art Sapper wrote (MJ 61#95):

> 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").
> ...
> 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)."

This illustrates a further peculiarity in the Dutch/Portuguese pronunciation
in which they differ from other Sephardim: that they pronounce a veit the
same as a beit.

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 2,2013 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Another pronunciation problem

Most books on halachah state that one should extend the pronunciation of the
dalet of the word echad in the first verse of the Shema. Only the Teimanim,
who pronounce a dalet without a dagesh as a fricative 'th', as in the English
word 'the', can do so. All other Jews pronounce a dalet as a plosive 'd',
which by its very nature cannot be extended, whether it has a dagesh or not.
Why do the halachah books continue to rule this way?

Martin Stern


From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 23,2013 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Daf Yomi and Masechet Shekalim

I was told by my brother-in-law, Harav Prof. Yosef Tabory, that:

a) Masechet Shekalim is the only Masechet in the Daf Yomi cycle which is
based on the Yerushalmi, the reason being that it is the only Masechet in
Mo'ed which has no Bavli.

b) The Daf Yomi uses the Vilna Shas pagination for Shekalim, not that of
Shas Lublin. As the two have different Mefarshim, the pages do not coincide.
The Vilna one has more dapim.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 29,2013 at 03:01 AM
Subject: Early Evidence for Mechitzot

I found a reference to this subject as far back as Volume 17 Number
13 (08 Dec 1994) and also last year in Volume 61 Number 59 (04 Dec
2012).  There's a new book out - Chad S. Spigel, Ancient Synagogue Seating
Capacities: Methodology, Analysis and Limits.  In discussing the
relatively small size of seating in relation to the supposed demographics,
this point is made by the reviewer:

"Another possibility is that in many cases only male adults worshiped in
the synagogue, not women or children. While rabbinic literature tends often
to include women and children in synagogue life, it is impossible to
determine whether this reflects reality."


Yisrael Medad
Post Office Box 9407
Mobile Post Efraim 4483000
Shiloh, Israel


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Mon, Sep 16,2013 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Educational Resources and Cool Videos for Sukkot 

Hi Everyone!

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday that commemorates how protective 
"Clouds of Glory" surrounded the Jewish people after leaving 
Egypt during the forty years of wandering in the desert. 
It also commemorates how the Jews lived in temporary dwellings 
during that same time. 
Sukkot begins Wednesday night, September 18, 2013.

All the links and resources below are posted on the new
Sukkot resource page at:

My English Hebrew Dictionary - Sukkot Vocabulary Study Sheets

Each Hebrew word has vowels, as well as an English transliteration. 
The Hebrew words are displayed as graphics. This means you don't 
need special fonts to view them. 
To view the list of all the words on the site, visit:

Created this week: Sukkot Hebrew Songs with Audio, 
Hebrew Text (with Nikud), English Tranlslations

Free Sukkot Clipart

Whether you need a picture for your child's class project, 
a graphic for your synagogue, Hillel or JCC Sukkot
announcement, the Jewish Clipart Database has the pictures
for you. You can copy, save and print the graphics in
three different sizes. 

Sukkot Cool Videos
62 cool Sukkot video links.
There is something for everyone.

To learn more about Sukkot, I posted on my website 
57 site links, ranging from from laws and customs to games and 
recipes. Site languages include English, Hebrew, Russian, 
Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian.

The address is:

Please forward this message to relatives and friends, 
so they may benefit from these holiday resources.

Happy Sukkot!
Chag Sukkot Sameach!


From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 20,2013 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Electric Menorahs for Chanukah

Most people are aware that it is preferable to light Chanukah candles with oil
and wicks and that, if oil is not available, wax candles may be used.  The 
majority of the poskim frown upon the use of electric menorahs and rule that 
should one make a beracha when lighting the electric menorah, it would be a 
beracha levatala [a blessing in vain].  There are many reasons why the use of an 
electric menorah is not allowed to fulfill the mitzvah, too detailed for this 
short message.

What may be less well known is that both Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach z"l and
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv z"l permitted using an electric menorah in a pinch,
when oil or wax candles were not available.  They even permitted one to recite
the beracha on the lighting of this electric menorah (Halichot Shelomo, Moadim
page 283, Ashrei Ha'Ish, Moadim page 264, Kovetz Teshuvot 3:103).

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z"l permitted lighting an electric menorah without a beracha.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Menashe Elyashiv <Menashe.Elyashiv@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 27,2013 at 03:01 AM
Subject: More Hakafot

In Israel, we have Hakafot 4 times at most: Shimini Aseret night, 
morning, some do after Minha, & Hakafot Sheniyot with music.
Some Hasidim outside Israel have Hakafot on the first night.
Does anyone outside Israel have Hakafot on the first day morning? or on 
mosaay Simhat Torah? Of course not today [27 Sep 2013 --Mod.], because tonight is 


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 25,2013 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Preparing during shmoneh esrai

The S"A/M"B seem pretty clear about appropriate behavior during chazarat
hashatz. How does one explain the seemingly common practice to take off
tfillin, unsheathe lulav and esrog, and even make a bracha on them during
chazarat hashatz?

SA OC, Hilkhos Tefilah, 124:2, and the MB ad loc. s"q 17. 

The SA is available on WikiSource at <http://j.mp/1fwbYJk>,
and the MB at <http://j.mp/18lSrrW>.  (thanks to Micha Berger)

Kol Tuv
Joel Rich


From: Gideon Schulman <gideonds@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 14,2013 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Question regarding Birchat Hamazon

During Birchat Hamazon I add the host-blessing addition from Brachot 46a.  A 
number of times, people have responded at the end "Mevareikh mevorakh [may the
blesser be blessed]".  

I am struggling to find a source for this.  Can anyone help?

Gideon Schulman


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 25,2013 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Sleeping in the Sukkah

Would be interested in discussing how to view the Rama's being "mchadeish"
[coming up with his own reason] (OC, Hilkhos Sukkah,639:2) for a seemingly
well established practice of not sleeping in the sukkah.  
You can follow along on WikiSource at <http://j.mp/1gUyd9Q (thanks to Micha 

IIUC the usual approach (e.g. by kapparot) is to assume that older and greater
Rabbis had a reason for establishing the practice.  It also seems clear that
there was not a Mesorah (existing traditional explanation) as to the reason, or
the Rama would have known and stated it.  It would then seem one has a number of 

1. Do an actuarial analysis of a few winters and determine whether the practice
seems driven by cold, marital status or something else (just kidding, I know
that's not what's done)

2. Keep the practice as a chok (i.e. admit we don't know the reason and simply
continue the practice unabated)

3. Guess as to the reason (i.e. as a prescriptive not a descriptive reason -
siman vs. sibah) and act on it even though it may be incorrect.

4. Reject the hypothesis that the minhag was accepted by greater Rabbis and just
trash it

How do poskim decide?

Kol Tuv
Joel Rich


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Wed, Sep 25,2013 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Technology and halacha

What is the earliest example of halacha responding to changes in technology
(meaning a specific discussion of how to apply existing halachic constructs to a
new technology, e.g. corrective lenses for a Torah reader - is he able to
perform as a reader who can discharge the obligation of parshat zachor for a

Joel Rich


From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Sun, Sep 29,2013 at 08:01 PM
Subject: The Noach Page

Hi Everyone!

I updated the Noach Page which has links to children parsha
pages, commentary pages, songs, humor items (including the
Bill Cosby Noach skit), and a section on Noach stamps,
graphics and clipart. I also added Noach word search pages in 
three languages.

The address is:

In addition to the Noach page, I added two Noach songs to
the Hebrew Language songs section at:

- Leaving Noach's Ark (Chava Alberstein)
- Noach (Matti Caspi and Chocolate, Menta, Mastik)

Each page includes a video, Hebrew text with nikud and
an English translation.

Shavua Tov! - Have a good week!


End of Volume 61 Issue 96