Volume 62 Number 84 
      Produced: Sun, 08 May 16 10:11:08 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Kedushah problem 
    [Martin Stern]
Discussion of secular law (was Halachically married without civil marr 
    [Dr Russell Jay Hendel]
Machar Chodesh 
    [Abe Brot]
Sefirat Ha-omer 
    [Alan Rubin]
Shema and kedushah 
    [Martin Stern]
Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot (6)
    [Martin Stern  Jack Gross  Yakir Hameiri  Orrin Tilevitz  Dr Russell Jay Hendel  Dr Russell Jay Hendel]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 8,2016 at 05:01 AM
Subject: A Kedushah problem

In the form of the kedushah used for shacharit on Shabbat and Yom Tov by
Ashkenazim (including nusach Sfard), there is the statement:

"Az bekol ra'ash gadol adir vechazak mashmi'im kol mitnas'im le'umat serafim
le'umatam barukh yomeru (or in NS meshabechim ve'omrim)" (I have
deliberately neither punctuated not translated this)

I recently saw a suggestion that the words "'adir vechazak" were an error
caused by a misreading of an abbreviation "'-v-ch-k" which was meant to be
read "ofanim vechayot kodesh".

The text would then read:

"Az bekol ra'ash gadol ofanim vechayot kodesh mashmi'im kol mitnas'im
le'umat serafim le'umatam barukh yomeru (or meshabechim ve'omrim)"

This might be compared to the parallel text in the kedushah deyotser recited
in the berakhah 'yotser or' before kriat shema:

"Veha'ofanim vevechayot hakodesh bera'ash gadol mitnas'im le'umat serafim
le'umatam meshabechim ve'omrim"

The similarity between these is striking and might suggest this emendation
is correct but, without any manuscript evidence, one would hesitate to make
any change in practice. Does anyone know of any such supporting evidence?

Martin Stern


From: Dr Russell Jay Hendel <rashiyomi@...>
Date: Sun, May 8,2016 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Discussion of secular law (was Halachically married without civil marr

Recently, there has been a thread on the rights that the act of marital
acquisition by a man of his wife during the marriage ceremony confer on the man.
I presented Jewish law (MJ 62#78); Irwin Weiss presented secular law (MJ 62#79).
Someone wrote me offlist and asked why a discussion of secular law should take
place on a Jewish mailing list. The purpose of this posting is to clarify how
the exchange of Irwin and me, of secular and Jewish law, helps clarify
principles and leads to appreciation of issues.

Irwin, citing Sir Matthew Hale, described three principles on which they
seem to be based (MJ 62#79):

> (1) there is implicit in the marriage contract an irrevocable consent of the
> wife to sexual intercourse with her husband,
> (2) because such intercourse occurring during the marriage is thus, by law,
> consented to, it is not unlawful, and
> (3) because it is not unlawful, it cannot constitute rape.

Irwin cited early 20th century American cases and pointed out that the law has
evolved. Citing a case before Judge Wilner, Irwin added a 4th principle which
modified principle #(3).

> (4) Then, noting legislative changes over the ensuing years, Judge Wilner 
> went on to conclude (for a unanimous court) that to the extent a person,
> including a husband, may be convicted of substantive rape offenses, he or she 
> is also subject to prosecution for attempting to commit those offenses against
> another person, including his wife.

In contrast, I (MJ 62#78) cited Jewish law to show that *initially* Jewish law
held principles (1) (2) & (4), that is, Jewish law simultaneously acknowledged
that the husband had *acquired* certain rights on the woman's body without her
forfeiting her rights not to be damaged and to receive compensation for such
damage should it occur.

Thus we see that Jewish law is more advanced and comprehensive. It did not have
to evolve but from the beginning was aware of the tension ("danger" if you like)
of allowing one person to acquire rights on another person's body without that
other person waiving their protective right not to be damaged.

I again thank Irwin for bringing this sensitive discussion and topic to very
high professional level. I would hope that other Mail Jewish postings on topics
shared by Jewish and civil law can be treated similarly.

Russell Jay Hendel


From: Abe Brot <abe.brot@...>
Date: Sun, May 8,2016 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Machar Chodesh

Because Sunday was the first day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar, we read the Machar
Chodesh Haftorah on Shabbat.

Clearly, in the period of King Shaul, we did not have a fixed calandar, and the
day of Rosh-Hodesh was *probably* determined by witnesses testifying their
sighting of the crescent of the new moon.

The Haftorah speaks of a royal Rosh Hodesh dinner, where David's place was empty
on the first day of Rosh Hodesh. When David was missing also on the second day
of Rosh Chodesh, Shaul asked his son Yonatan why David did not attend the dinner
"also yesterday and also today".

If Rosh-Chodesh was determined by the testimony of witnesses, why was there a
need for two days of Rosh-Chodesh?

Avraham Brot


From: Alan Rubin <alan@...>
Date: Fri, May 6,2016 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Sefirat Ha-omer

Martin Stern (MJ 62#83) wrote about the problem of forgetting to count the Omer
on the late evenings in Northern latitudes.

When I was acting as shliach tzibbur when I was an avel it was always my custom
to recite the count aloud directly after finishing shacharis. Considering that
counting the omer is a Biblical commandment and much of the daily prayers is
only custom I am surprised that this is not adopted everywhere.

Alan Rubin


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, May 8,2016 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Shema and kedushah

In MJ 61#97, I wrote:

> In an essay "Reading between the lines of the Shema" included in my book "A
> Time to Speak" (Devorah Publishing), I noted (p.24) that the word kadosh has
> the same gematria, 410, as the word shema and suggested that this might be one
> reason for the connection between kedushah and shema in several places in the
> liturgy (birkhat yotser, Shomer Yisrael after tachanun, mussaf kedushah etc.).
> I wondered whether the fact that the word kadosh is repeated three times in
> the kedushah might also be connected to the number, three, of paragraphs in
> Kriat Shema.

Over the ensuing years, I have had some further ideas on this topic, comments on
which I would welcome from others.
Firstly, this idea might be implied in the introductory statement to the
kedushah for mussaf in the Sefardi nusach (also adopted in Nusach Sefard):
Keter yitenu lekha HaShem Elokeinu malachim hamonei malah im amekha
Yisrael kevutsei matah yachad kulam kedushah yeshaleishu 
Also, interestingly, the normal way of writing the number 410 is tav-yud. If
the letters are reversed (which makes no difference to their gematrias),
they form yud-tav, which is the prefix for the third person (he/she/it) in
the future (or, strictly speaking, continuous since there are no tenses as
such in classical Hebrew) form of the hitpaeil of a verb, which carries a
reflexive meaning. Possibly this may also be an allusion to the reciprocal
relationship of Am Yisrael with the melachim.
The First Beit Hamikdash stood for 410 years. That might also be a
coincidence but it may have some significance though I have no idea as yet
what that may be,
Another point I noticed was that the word kadosh is malei, i.e. it has a
vav. whose gematria is 6. The navi Yeshaya heard the malachim call out
kadosh three times, and this verse is the first one in every kedushah. This
vision took place in the Beit Hamikdash, the place of greatest kedushah in
the world. Also he noted that the malachim had 6 wings (6:2). On the other
hand, the novi Yechezkel (1:6) only saw them as having 4 wings and the
gematria of the letter dalet is 4. The Gemora (Chagigah 13b) notes this and
explains that the number of wings was reduced after the churban.
Still these two letters, dalet and vav, are in the middle of the word kadosh
 an interesting coincidence perhaps. If they are removed we are left with
kash, straw, which is easily blown away and, as the navi Ovadya prophesied,
represents Eisav whose power will be consumed by the fire of Yaakov when
Mashiach comes and establishes his kingdom, bimhera veyameinu
After the churban, there was galut Bavel, which lasted 70 years - the
gematria of ayin, the last letter of the word shema. Similarly the previous
galut Mitsrayim was followed by 40 years - the gematria of mem - wandering
in the midbar, and mem is the middle letter of the word shema.

A lot of coincidences - or is there something more to all this?

Martin Stern


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, May 6,2016 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

Saul Mashbaum wrote (MJ 62#83):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 62#81):

>> As Rabbi Shimon Hagadol of Mainz put it all too well in his piyut Kol
>> Shinenei Shachak for the second day of Rosh Hashanah "Eilu va'eilu betsiftsuf
>> metsaftsfim" which can be loosely translated "They all twitter like birds" -
>> i.e. they sound beautiful but are essentially meaningless.
> Although the suggested translation is reasonably close to the literal meaning,
> it is diametrically the opposite of the author's intention in context. This
> beautiful piyyut describes the Jewish people, and the angelic host, praising
> Hashem, each separately and then both together. The praise they offer to
> Hashem is exalted, profound,and meaningful; Rabbi Shimon Hagadol of Mainz
> surely did not mean to suggest that both the Jewish people and the angels
> praise Hashem with meaningless twitter. This may possibly apply to those who
> mindlessly sing An'im Zmirot, but not to the joint praise of Hashem described
> in the piyyut Kol Shinenei Shachak.

Of course Shaul is correct. I was aware of it and specifically chose this
phrase as melitzah [euphuism] to describe what seems to me to be the result
of the attitude of those who, like Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 62#82), think:

> But kids singing An'im Zmirot is so very cute. Do you really mean the
> chazzan is supposed to know the meaning of the words? How often does that
> happen?
> We have kids that sing An'im Zmirot by heart. They don't know how to read
> yet - their parents/grandparents taught them the song so they could kvell
> over their ayniklach / grandchildren in shul.

Martin Stern

From: Jack Gross <jacobbgross@...>
Date: Fri, May 6,2016 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

One of the images, drawn from Isaiah LIX, depicts the Deity as a helmeted
warrior ("chavash kova...") 

I found this quite puzzling: why would the prophet ascribe to the Omnipotent the
need for **defensive** military gear?  

I came up with a plausible approach -- but I'll leave it as a cliffhanger, to
allow list members the opportunity to explore the issue. 

Shabbat shalom


From: Yakir Hameiri <yakir.h@...>
Date: Fri, May 6,2016 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

Pardon me if this has already been pointed out, but I have heard/seen from
a number of sources (which I do not have before me) that specifically
because of the "holiness" of Shir HaKavod (An'im Z'mirot) there is a custom
that it is sung by young children who are purer than (some) adults.


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Sat, May 7,2016 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

Joseph Kaplan wrote (MJ 62#83):

> Having been davening in Orthodox shuls for almost seven decades (and having once
> been a minor boy who led An'im Zemirot and Adon Olam), I find it strange to
> believe that anyone would seriously think that the reason boys lead those part
> of the services is "hinukh". 
> Really? It teaches them to be a hazzan? Really? There is, of course, hinukh
> involved in learning how to be a hazzan, but it comes after bar mitzvah in Youth
> Minyanim and the like.

So we share a common background--davening in Orthodox shuls for over 6 decades
and having been a minor boy who led An'im Zemirot, etc. (as well as Yigdal on
Friday night). The differences are that 

(1) I can sing and

(2) immediately post-bar mitzvah I graduated to leading services on occasion in
the big shul. (I detested "youth minyanim" because my contemporaries were not

The reason I was comfortable standing up there and doing what I needed to do is
that I was no stranger to the process. One does "not learn how to be a hazzan"
from leading An'im Zemirot, but what one does learn is understanding and feeling
the interaction between the Shatz and the congregation when An'im Zemirot is
said responsively, when the shatz says the last few lines before Aleinu and of
the Shir Shel Yom, and starting the congregation in a particular key for Ein
Keloheinu, etc.. This is an invaluable skill necessary for any baal tefilah.
Sure, one could learn those skills later, but the earlier one learns them, the
easier it is.

From: Dr Russell Jay Hendel <rashiyomi@...>
Date: Sat, May 7,2016 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

Martin Stern, MJ 62#83, argues, concerning my position that young girls,
should be allowed to lead the congregation from the pulpit in the
recitation of An'im Zemiroth, as follows:

> I must disagree with Dr Hendel on this. Though these songs may not have
> halachic significance as vital components of public prayer, our sages
> included them in our liturgy, not purely for the emotional and evocative
>  atmosphere they may create.

First of all we must be very careful when we speak about "our sages". "Our
sages" could refer to the Talmudic sages, the Early authorities (Rishonim),
the Geniuses (Geonim) etc. Many of the Piyutim we have in our liturgy - Ayn
Kaylokaynu, Adon Olam, Yigdal, An'im Zemirot - were post-Talmudic. Hence their
authority is lesser.

I think the best way to answer this is to cite the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B.
Soloveitchick, who, as I explained in MJ 62#81, said he did not recite Psalm 29
when the Torah was returned.

Let us carefully think about this.

1) Certainly Psalm 29 is an important work written under inspiration (Ruach
Kodesh). Hence it is more important in *origin* than An'im Zemirot

2) Why then did the Rav not say it? Because its *inclusion* in the service
was for purposes of fill-in, atmosphere, or song. To use Martin's own language
on which Martin agreed with me (partially) "it may not have halachic
significance as a vital component of public prayer"

Using Briskian logic, the Rav is distinguishing between *origin* and *inclusion*.

1) The origin of many items can be very holy and lofty like Psalm 29

2) But the reverence we have for it in the liturgy depends on how it is
*included*. Mizmor Ledavid (Psalm 29), recited on the return of the Torah, has
no "reverence laws" associated with it. For example, you can talk during recital
of Psalm 29, something you can't do during prayer or recital of the shma.

So the inclusion of An'im Zemirot at the end of the service leads has no
reverence rules (such as a prohibition of talking). This leads me to conclude
that it is *included* just as a song.

I now use these concepts to respond to other postings on this issue. Mark
Steiner stated (MJ 62#83):

> An`im Zemirot is an extremely important piyyut, in fact I doubt whether kids
> should be allowed to say it. It marks the victory of Maimonides (and R.
> Saadya) over the anthropomorphist trends in Ashkenaz.  The poem is in two
> parts:
> the first part is an apology for the second part; the second part is a list of
> many  of anthropomorphic depictions of God in the Bible and Rabbinic
> literature (e.g.,  that God "wears tefillin").  I strongly believe that if not
> for the Rambam, the first part of the poem would not have been written.

First, I did not know of the background on An'im Zemirot and thank Mark for
enlightening me on it.

But I respond to Mark using the same distinction as I used for Martin. The
*origin* of An'im Zemirot may be holy and reflective of an important
controversy; but its *inclusion* in the prayer is non-reverent; it is an
inclusion for song and atmosphere.

Let me go a step further. Let me take some other songs:

1) Yigdal, which has an interesting origin: It is a poetic summary of the 13
principles of faith of Maimonides.

2) Adon Olam

3) Lechah Dodi, the poem in which we poetically prepare for the Sabbath which is
compared to a bride. It was written by a kabbalist.

Maybe An'im Zemirot is a poor example. But the entire Kabalat Shabbat service
(Service prior to Sabbath) is not prayer but rather Psalms and songs designed to
put us in the mood for Shabbath. You can talk during this service.

Wouldn't it therefore be "cute" if little children (boys and girls) recited the
Lechah Dodi to put everyone in a mood for Shabbath. That certainly is part of
everyone's Chinuch.

In conclusion, I just wanted to point out that I do agree with Martin and Mark
that reverential parts of prayer should not be treated like a song. I have heard
people sing Kedushah to the melody of Jerusalem the Golden. I personally do not
do this because I *do* consider Kedushah a holy reverential part of the service
and I feel it improper to contaminate it with popular song.  So I certainly am
sympathetic to this attitude. But I strongly believe that some, possibly all, of
Lechah Dodi, Adon Olam, Yigdal, An'im Zemirot, Ayn Kaylokaynu, are just there
for mood and there is nothing wrong with little children of either gender
reciting them from the pulpit and leading the congregation.

Perhaps, Martin, Mark and myself can reach a compromise. Would we be willing to
allow little children to lead in the singing of Lechah Dodi (Possibly, An'im
Zemirot is holier since we do open the ark for it)?

Russell Jay Hendel;

From: Dr Russell Jay Hendel <rashiyomi@...>
Date: Sun, May 8,2016 at 12:01 AM
Subject: Some thoughts on An'im Zemirot

There is a recent thread on whether minor girls can lead the congregation in
An'im Zemirot. I recently wrote a posting (MJ 62#83) responding to a halachic
decision by a halacha committee (MJ 62#82).

As I looked over my posting I was surprised to see a blatant omission. The
purpose of this posting is to supplement my criticism of the halachic decision
with one additional item.

Rabbi Aryeh Frimer (MJ 62#82) stated concerning allowing minor girls to sing
An'im Zemirot for purposes of hinukh:

> There is no obligation of hinukh on minor females regarding mitsvot and rituals
> that will not be obligatory - and certainly if they are forbidden - when the
> child becomes an adult

This obviously was a crucial component of the decision of the halacha committee.
But it is simply wrong. Biblically obligated prayer is a biblical commandment
that applies to both men and women. (There are however opinions that women are
not obligated to the Rabbinic commandment to pray 3 times a day). No one
disputes that women are biblcially obligated to pray. But if so, minor girls
should be educated (hinukh) in this important commandment. In fact, chanting
An'im Zemirot is good practice in praising God, an important component of prayer.

My humble apologies to the Mail-Jewish community for overlooking this very
important point in my response posting (MJ 62#83).

Russell Jay


End of Volume 62 Issue 84