Volume 63 Number 36 
      Produced: Fri, 09 Jun 17 02:05:42 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A strange arrangement of korbanot (3)
    [Orrin Tilevitz  Gershon Dubin  Immanuel Burton]
Another musaf observation 
    [Martin Stern]
Emotional support versus Issur negiah? 
    [Joel Rich]
Forbidden Relationships 
    [Irwin Weiss]
Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations (3)
    [Freda B Birnbaum  Leah S. R. Gordon  Martin Stern]
Hilcheta demeshicha 
    [Immanuel Burton]
Is Mincha Different? 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Kissing the tzitzit 
    [Martin Stern]
Shoftim-Mesorah Chain 
    [Ben Katz, M.D.]


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: A strange arrangement of korbanot

Martin Stern asks regarding the piyut "Ya Eli", which, AFIK, is said most of the
time in most shuls with an eastern-European nusach on shalosh regalim as the
introduction to musaf, why the author might have arranged the korbanot in an
apparently non-logical way. How about: meter and rhyme?

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 08:01 AM
Subject: A strange arrangement of korbanot

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#35):

> This year I was in a shul on Shavuot which sang a piyut as an introduction to
> Ashrei. What struck me was that the refrain "Vetodah vela'olah velaminchah
> velachatat vela'asham velashelamim velamiluim, kol korbanekha" seemed to have
> the various offerings in a rather random order.

Vayikra 7:37 explains most.

From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Thu, Jun 8,2017 at 08:01 PM
Subject: A strange arrangement of korbanot

Martin Stern (MJ 63#35) asked about the order of the sacrifices in the pre-Musaf piyut on Yom Tov.

I found an explanation in the Siddur Kol Yaakov (Mesorah Publications,  Brooklyn, 1987).  The piyut is 
joyous prayer longing for the rebuilding  of the Bais Hamikdosh, and the order of the sacrifices is 
explained as follows:

The todah - the thanksgiving offering - is mentioned first because the fact of having been returned to the 
Land of Israel and the rebuilt Temple will be the cause for an enormous sense of thanksgiving.

The olah - the elevation offering - is mentioned next because its being consumed entirely on the Altar 
represents our longing for elevation in God's service and our dedication to God, and so it takes precedence 
over offerings that atone for sin.

The minchah - meal offering - is particularly praised by God, who heaps praise on a poor man who can't 
afford anything more than simple flour and oil, yet still wishes to bring an offering to express his 
dedication to God.

The commentary then says that the two types of sin offering mentioned next are of greater holiness than 
the peace offering, but doesn't explain why they are in this order.  Could it be that it's because after having 
lived in Exile we will be required to bring sin offerings to atone for any sins before we can then start 
bringing peace offerings?

The inauguration sacrifices are mentioned last because they will be offered only once, when the third 
Temple is dedicated; they will never be needed again because the third Temple will be eternal.

Immanuel Burton.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jun 4,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Another musaf observation

I noticed a very slight difference between the minchat nesachim [meal offerings]
brought with each lamb of the musaf offering on Shabbat and other days (Num.

On Shabbat it states "Uvayom Hashabbat shenei kevasim benei shanah temimim
ushenei esronim solet minchah belulah vashemen venisko [On the Shabbat day [you
shall bring] two perfect lambs in their first year and two isaron-measures of
fine flour mixed with oil together with its wine-offering] (Num. 28:9).

On other days, when seven or fourteen lambs are brought (together with bulls and
rams), it refers to the meal offering as "... ve'isaron isaron solet minchah
belulah vashemen lakeves ha'echad ... [one isaron-measure of fine flour mixed
with oil with each lamb ...]" (with slight variantson the various days).

One might have expected that, on Shabbat, it would have used the same formula,
so, from the differing wording it might appear that the two lambs on Shabbat
form a single unit and their minchat nesachim is also prepared and brought as
such, whereas on other days each lamb and its minchat nesachim is brought

Am I reading too much into the text or has this difference been noted by any of
the commentators?

Martin Stern


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 6,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Emotional support versus Issur negiah?

Not a maaseh shehaya [an event that occurred] but I'd appreciate your thoughts: 

Reuvain is a Modern Orthodox senior citizen. In his community, presumed social negiah restrictions 
[physical contact between members of the opposite sex] are generally not observed (e.g., hello includes a 
social hug between the sexes), although Reuvain is meticulous in his observance of them. 

He is in his office in a conference with two colleagues when Miriam, the wife of a third tier social friend, 
also well past childbearing age, comes to the office door and says with a tear in her eye, "Reuvain, I hate to 
do this to you." 

Reuvain quickly asks his colleagues to excuse them, and Miriam blurts out, "David (her husband) just 
passed away," and she begins to slump, crying. Reuvain quickly gets up and walks to her and hugs her to 
comfort her and keep her upright. As he does so, he realizes she did not make any request or action 
alluding to any need prior to his action, but she did seem to very much appreciate it. She also belonged to 
the portion of the community which did not presume a social negiah restriction. 

Was Reuvain's action preferred, acceptable, or prohibited? If not preferred, what should he have done?

Joel Rich


From: Irwin Weiss <irwin@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Forbidden Relationships

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#34):

> Do the laws of arayot [forbidden sexual relations] fundamentally fall into the
> category of mitzvot bein adam laMakom [laws between a person and his Creator]
> or mitzvot bein adam lachavero [laws between two people] -- or, perhaps, both?

In parashat Naso (Bemidbar 4:6) we read "Ish o Isha Ki Ya'asu Mikol chatot
ha'adam, lim'ol ma'al BaShem... [When a man or woman commits any of the sins
against man, [thus] acting treacherously against G-d, and that person is [found]

This pasuk (sentence) to me means that committing a sin against a fellow person
IS also a sin between a person and his Creator - the line is blurred.

The mitzvot in both categories are important.  We should endeavor to follow the
ethical rules and adhere to our obligations to our fellow persons as much as we
try to be careful about Kashrut or Shabbat.  From an intellectual standpoint, it
may matter into which category a mitzvah falls, but from a practical standpoint,
we are equally obligated.

And, it seems, parenthetically, that both men and women are so obligated.

Irwin Weiss
Baltimore, MD


From: Freda B Birnbaum <birnbaumsssj@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations

Carl Singer asks (MJ 63#35):

> ... But it is a deceitful telephone solicitation that caused this post:
> I got a telephone call from a noted Brooklyn yeshiva, the typical -- 
> "Last year you gave us $X -- can we mark you down for $2X this year?" 
> This yeshiva rang a bell in my memory -- over 20 years ago when our 
> eldest son was looking for a yeshiva this one told us that they don't 
> take "out of town children."  (Yes, they have dorms.)  At that time my 
> wife and I agreed that they wouldn't get our "out of town" money.  I was 
> sitting at my computer when the call came and I double checked -- I did 
> not give them money last year -- or EVER.
> I don't like tilting at windmills -- but I'm wondering what others would 
> do? Drop the subject, or contact the Yeshiva's leadership.

I often get calls saying similar things, not always asking for 2X, but asking
for the same as last year, and I have taken to saying "Please send me an
envelope and I'll see what I can do -- I don't make commitments over the phone".
 This is usually followed by a request for half the amount, to which my reply is
the same.  This sometimes is repeated more than once, for half of THAT amount,
at which point, I say, "I don't think you understood me: I don't make
commitments over the phone" and hang up.

Freda Birnbaum

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 63#35):

This would be very upsetting to me in his place.  In fact, I think he should
make public the name of the yeshiva that had such chutzpah to insult his
family, then ask for money and lie to him (!).  At minimum, yes, contact the
leadership and explain the whole situation.  This may save a future family from
being insulted in the same way?

However, he might also get a reply like, "Thank you so much for contacting
Yeshivat HaGezel.  Perhaps you would like to be added to our Special Donor list
since you have communicated with us an extra time."

--Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Frequent and/or Deceitful charity solicitations

In response to Carl Singer (MJ 63#35):

Such tactics are not specific to Jewish charities. We get similar "cold calls"
from ostensibly upright non-Jewish ones as well. My wife made a few donations to
some with a national reputation for probity and got on their databases,
resulting in regular phonecalls asking her to increase her donations. 

Might I suggest that one way to avoid this is to send all donations anonymously.

Martin Stern


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Tue, Jun 6,2017 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Hilcheta demeshicha

Martin Stern (MJ 63#35) asked about dividing up the Torah reading on the first
day of Shovuos if it were to fall on Shabbos.

Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler (formerly of the New West End United Synagogue in London,
UK) lists in his book T'Nu Kavod Latorah suggestions of where to insert extra
breaks in the Torah reading. The breaks that he suggests in what is the Torah
reading for the first day of Shavuot which are not currently breaks in the
Shovuos reading are:

Exodus 19:9 - three verses into the current Levi.
Exodus 20:18 - four verses into the current fifth portion.

These are the breaks that Martin suggested.  I haven't seen any other listing of
suggested places to insert extra breaks, so this might indeed be it.

The Ethiopian Jewish community Beta Israel starts counting the Omer on the day
after Pesach, which means that they celebrate Shovuos on the 12th day of Sivan,
which can currently fall on Shabbos.  I don't know if they have the same Torah
reading practices, but, if they do, how do they divide up the Torah reading when
12th Sivan is on Shabbos?

Immanuel Burton.


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Is Mincha Different?

Joel Rich (MJ 63#35), in his question: 

"why isn't mincha mentioned?", 

stemming from a passage in Shulchan Aruch 90:9, quotes the Hebrew text: 

"V'hu hadin bnai adam hadarim b'yshuvim..." 

which he translates as: 

"Similarly one who lives in a settled area...".

My sense of Hebrew as used in that context would seem to me to actually mean:

"small, out-of-the-way villages with a very small Jewish population".

If I am correct, that would probably answer his question of 'why no Mincha

Yisrael Medad



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 5,2017 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Kissing the tzitzit

It is customary to kiss one's tzitzit each time the word occurs in the
Shema. It struck me that it might be appropriate to kiss them near where
they are attached to the tallit on the first two occasions where their
attachment to its corners is emphasised - tzitzit al kanfei vigdeihem /
al-tzitzit hakanaf. Incidentally, in this second case, the word tzitzit is
in semichut, as is clear from the trop (merecha tipecha) which joins the
words, so perhaps it is more correct not to kiss the them until both words
have been said.

However, there might be good reason to kiss the tzitzit nearer the other end
of the knotted portion at the third mention and when saying emet in order to
bring to mind the allusion of the tzitzit to the 613 mitzvos - the number -
5 - of knots + the number - 8  of strings + the gematria of tzitzit - 600
(if spelled malei cf. Bamidbar Rabba 18:21 and the comment of the Eitz Yosef
ad loc.) so that the whole of the tzitzit are visible then. Possibly this is
hinted to by ureitem oto rather than ureitem otam to emphasise the
significance of each one of the tzitzit rather than the four taken together.

I have not seen any source for these ideas, so they remain purely
speculative unless someone else can provide one.

Martin Stern


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 7,2017 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Shoftim-Mesorah Chain

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 63#35):

> I read a fascinating article on the mesorah chain:
> http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20252&st=&pgnum=474
> However it raises the question as to whether the shoftim were really part of
> it.
> It also doesn't deal with broader question of why we don't see the Sanhedrin
> etc. mentioned in Nach.

There are many historical reasons why a lot of things are not in Nach.  For
example, nobody ever davens, which is probably why Chazal came up with
circumlocutions that mean davening, such as lasuach and others.

The earliest historical evidence for the Sanhedrin that I am aware of is the
gospels, ironically enough.  The earliest named character in Avot 1:1 is Shimon
haTzadik, who could be one of 2 priests towards the end of the 2nd temple
period, either 2nd or 3rd cent BCE, roughly contemporaneous with Ben Sira and a
little before the era of the Maccabees.  No one knows when the Sanhedrin began;
the rabbis assume there always was one because they retroject rabbis way back
into the Biblical period.


End of Volume 63 Issue 36