Volume 63 Number 76 
      Produced: Tue, 20 Mar 18 10:06:02 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A Masoretic joke? 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Depriving the minyan of the opportunity to say tachanun 
    [Joel Rich]
Gelatin (2)
    [Orrin Tilevitz  Michael Rogovin]
Using secular music when davening 
    [Saul Mashbaum]
Who are the "minim"? 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee (2)
    [Martin Stern  Sammy Finkelman]


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 14,2018 at 08:01 AM
Subject: A Masoretic joke?

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 63#75):

> In nearly all chumashim, however, this weeks second parashah, Pekudei, which
> has 92 verses, has no such note printed after it. R Menachem Mendel
> Schneerson z"l (1902-1994; the Lubavitcher Rebbe) was once asked why, and he
> responded as follows:
> It is necessary to check older prints of the chumash, for in my opinion, this
> originates from a printers omission, which was later copied by other printers.
> Perhaps the original siman consisted of the phrase bli kol / without any [see
> Devarim 28:55], which has a gematria of 92. Perhaps a young printers
> apprentice saw the phrase bli kol siman / without any siman and misunderstood
> its meaning, so that Parashat Pekudei was, in fact, left without any siman.
> (Quoted in Otzrot Tzaddikei Ugeonei Hadorot)
> https://torah.org/torah-portion/hamaayan-5761-pekudei/



Aharon Ahrend has a detailed article in Rabbi Mordechai Breuer's Festschrift
(vol. 1 p. 157) titled "The Mneumotechnical Notes of the Numbers of Verses
in the Torah Portions" where he goes through the history of these notes. Turns
out Pekudei's mnemonic was first erroneously dropped in the Venice Mikraot
along with Toldot's

and Haazinu's 


This edition had a number of other errors in regards these notes which he

(such as Vayikra 


getting the mnemonic "Tzav"

or Lekh Lekha 


getting "Michenadev" instead of "Michenadvei").

In later editions the mnemonics for Bechukotai, Vayechi, Yitro were each
dropped too. An edition in 1859 (which had some of its own errors,


added them all back in except Pekudei's, and that's why you often still see
it missing.

In old texts we can still find mnemonics for its 92 verses such as



Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 15,2018 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Depriving the minyan of the opportunity to say tachanun

The Mishnah Brurah (O"C 131:26) contains a psak that always interested me - Tov
lizaher shelo yichnas hachatan l'beit haknesset (a chatan should not go to shul)
- in order not to deprive the minyan of the opportunity to say tachanun. 

The Piskei Teshuvot (O"C 13:23) takes issue but the Chashukei Chemed (Yoma S2:)
has an insight on a related question which goes into a somewhat broader issue.
He was asked whether one who has the choice of going to two minyanim can choose
to go to the one where a chatan is davening in order to skip tachanun. His
response is if he is going for that reason it's not appropriate (he's running
from a mitzvah), but if he's going to be part of the simcha or for the midat
harachamim (the attribute of mercy) it's permitted. 

So back to my favorite question - OK, but what does HKB"H want of me?

Joel Rich


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 13,2018 at 11:01 PM
Subject: Gelatin

Josh Backon (MJ 63#75) says that the basic problem of rennet and gelatin are the
same. I don't think that's quite true.

The issue with rennet, as Josh points out, is that the stomach lining is dried
out and so not edible. But 

(a) it's inedible and 

(b) at no point is it poisonous. 

Gelatin is made by first dissolving bones and (if it's not the old version of
Kojel) skin in a mixture of concentrated sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. So
it's poisonous at that point. The resulting slurry is neutralized, the inorganic
matter precipitates out, and what's left is edible protein. So this issue here
is whether the formerly-nonkosher status is "chozer veneor [returns and 'wakes

R. Chaim Ozer held that it did not, and that is the heter followed by the
Israeli rabbinate (but not by major kashrut organizations in the US). 

As I understand it, R. Sheinkopf held that any prohibition did not apply to
bones. So Kojel was pure bone gelatin. 

Today, it's vegetable gelatin, under OU certification.

From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 14,2018 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Gelatin

In response to Dr. Josh Backon (MJ 63#75):

In Israel, gelatin that does not meet US standards is regarded as kosher under
the Chief Rabbinate. I believe that the late Rav Ovadia Yosef also approved of
it (along with carmine) as well. This may be because they use leniencies to
encourage more kosher products (I also saw cheese from Europe with a Triangle-K
(a US agency) in markets under the CR. This would go nowhere in most kosher
markets in the US.

The case for gelatin always seemed strong to me in that Kolatin is OU-approved
real bovine gelatin and is pareve. If it is no longer meat at all, then what do
the origins matter? But I am certainly no expert on the nuances involved
(although the same question was asked rhetorically by a leading rabbi at YU in
my presence)

Michael Rogovin


From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashbaum@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 15,2018 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Using secular music when davening

When I taught at the high school in Providence RI many years ago, the practice 
was to sing the piyyut "VeKol Maaminim" on the Yamim Noraim to the melody of the
well-known Yiddish lullaby "Of'n Pipichik."

The principal, Rabbi Nachman Cohen, told me that the choice of this melody was
intentional. He said that the piyyut expressed emunah pshutah, the fundamental
and uncomplicated faith in HaShem everyone can share, even those unlearned and
not intellectual. The melody of a children's song is appropriate for this message.

Saul Mashbaum


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Mar 19,2018 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Who are the "minim"?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 63#75):

> David Tzohar wrote (MJ 63#74):
>> However minut (apostasy?) as a concept still exists and therefore in birkat 
>> ha minim we should be thinking about those who are still attracted to this
>> concept.
> The word min means literally a 'specific type of thing' as in the 'arba minim'
> taken on Succot or the 'sheva minim'  with which Eretz Yisrael is blessed. 

It means variety, and you could also maybe translate it better as "a form of" or
"a kind of"

Now this is an adjective and not a noun. So it sounds like something is left
out, (a variety of ...) or that the word "min" is substitution for another word.

But it actually seems it is that it is the word "min" that was censored and
replaced by a word like "tzeduki" And the word "min" is old and appears in the
copy of the Talmud written on parchment by a relative of R. Shimshon of Sens in
Paris in 1343 that was in the possession of a Jewish family in a small town in
Germany called Pfersa or Pfersee from at least 1610 through the mid to very late
1700s and is now now called the Munich manuscript. (It was later somehow sold to
a monastery, and later acquired by the Bavarian government but was not
known as the Munich manuscript till the maybe even after 1900 with some people.)

"Min' also appears the Mishnah Torah, or Yad, of the Rambam (at least the
version that have come down to us) in Teshuvah - Chapter Three paragraph 7 where
he lists the five different ways for people to be Minim (basically that's
there's no director of the world, or that there's two or that there is something
else. He also lists three categories of Epicursim: (basically people who hold
there's no contact between God and men or never was; or specifically disputes
the Torah) and apostates - who just says some part or parts of the Torah or all
of it, are not valid (without denying the possibility of Torah)


So it would seem to be an old word, or the result of censorship not much later
than when the attacks on the Talmud began circa 1240.

And this last idea could be right. There's a  book by a non-Jew , a man by the
name of R. Travers Herford B.A. (originally published 1903) on a website


that gives a clue as to the derivation of the word  "min" on page 362.

He quotes somebody called Levy, I think that's a J. Levy who wrote a few books
in German in the from approximately 1867 through 1889, I think referring to his
Neuhebraisches Worterbuch, 1876-1889. (citing N. H. W., hi. 104 a ) as saying it
derives from an Arabic root 'man' meaning to lie, speak falsely.

Which would actually mean it was a word used by Jews writing in Arabic, (like
the Rambam)  and it could mean that this was a replacement for some other word
that originally appeared in the Talmud and when they were forced to stop using
it, or thought it a good idea, they picked an Arabiic word maybe meaning the
same thing.

I managed to find out what (Marcus) Jastrow says. His book was also originally
published in 1903. This is the third "min" and he translates it on page 776 as
sectarian or infidel. he cites a few instances. Avodah Zarah 65a and 26b,
Horayos 11a, Gittin 45b, Tosephta Bava Metzia II 33, Yerushalmi Berachos IX 12d
are examples. I am not sure he had a clear idea. Rashi to Avidah Zarah 26a has
idolatrous priests whether Jewish or not. I am not sure too many people really

You can slowly look it up here: (there may be better places)


Travers Herford also says Levi also compared it to the Syriac (essentially an 
Aramaic dialect) 'mania' meaning madness. But that word comes from the Greek.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 13,2018 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee

Stuart Pilichowski wrote (MJ 63#75):

> Why is the sentence "Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee ..." to be said both before
> and after the Elokai Netzor tefillah at the end of Shemoneh Esray?

Whether to do so is a matter of dispute and, for example, the Western Ashkenazi
tradition is only to say it at the end of Elokai Netzor.

Martin Stern

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 16,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee

In response to Stuart Pilichowski (MJ 63#75):

While I know about saying it twice, I looked in several standard Siddurim, and I
found it printed twice, both before and in the middle of the Elokai Netzor
tefillah only in the Artscroll siddurim. Most (older at least) siddurim leave it
out before. The Sephardim don't have Elokai Netzor at all. On Yom Kippur Elokai
Netzor is replaced by the Al Chait's with the posuk going Yehiyou Lerotzon
printed before it.

I later found it in a few siddurim, with names like Zichron Moshe and Tefillas
Yaakov, and it is in the pocket bencher by Ziegelheim, distributed at bar
mitzvahs and other occasions.

The simplest explanation is that this represents the conclusion of the Shemoneh
Esrei,  or is one way of doing this, and there are two possible places to say it
- before the Elokai Netzor tefillah (which is technically a personal petition)
or near the end of it.

The Artscroll Yitzchak Yair siddur contains an explanation in Hebrew that it is
good to say Yehiyou Lerotzon also (that is say it twice) before [the Elokai
Netzor prayer] according to the Mishnah Berurah 122:3 because then you can
interrupt yourself for Kaddish and Kedusha, but it also recommends shortening
the Elokai Netzor tefillah in the laws for Elokai Netzor.

One Artscroll siddur surprised me by saying the Chazan should say Yehiyou
Lerotzon Imrei Fee (quietly) after completing his repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei


End of Volume 63 Issue 76