Volume 63 Number 80 
      Produced: Thu, 12 Apr 18 05:44:10 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Egg Matzo (2)
    [Martin Stern  Michael Rogovin]
On which Shabbat should Shir Hashirim be read? (3)
    [Martin Stern  Dov Bloom  Sammy Finkelman]
Shir HaShirim throughout the year 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Voluntary exile? 
    [Martin Stern]
Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee 
    [Mark Steiner]
    [Dr. William Gewirtz]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Egg Matzo

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 63#79):

> AFAIK all Ashkenazi authorities in Israel pasken that all "matzah ashira
> including egg matza is to be considered chametz gamur on the safek that it
> contains some water moisture and so is assur bekolshehu.

This sounds an exceptionally stringent ruling. I thought that such matzah
was generally allowed to those who could not eat regular matzah on health
grounds though the custom certainly was that Ashkenazim abstained otherwise.
Also I believe Ashkenazi poskin did permit egg matza for hotels and other
large institutions on Erev Pesach when it fell on Shabbat, as happened ten
years ago, since lechem mishneh was required for at least two meals and it
was completely impractical for them to provide that otherwise - if it were
considered chametz gamur that would be impossible.

> When they were Rav Rashi Harav Mordechi Eliyahu and Rav Ovadia Yosef gave a
> hechsher to one specific type of matzah ashira (not egg matzah) which had no
> trace of water moisture.

Of course they were Sephardim and allowed eating matzah ashira throughout

Martin Stern

From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Tue, Apr 10,2018 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Egg Matzo

In response to David Tzohar (MJ 63#79):

If egg matza were safek issur karet, one may not possess any at all throughout
Pesach. That is not how authorities in the US (or presumably Israel where it is
in supermarkets) pasken as normative halacha. If you can have it in your house,
give it to your children and elderly parents, it is not chametz gamur, let alone
a chametz derivative. I do not see how you can have it both ways.

Michael Rogovin


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 09:01 AM
Subject: On which Shabbat should Shir Hashirim be read?

Avraham (Alan) Friedenberg wrote (MJ 63#79):

> Normally Shir Hashirim is read on Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach, but this year
> there is no Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach. Here in E"Y we read it last Shabbat,
> the first day of chag. In chu"l, it's read next Shabbat, the 8th day. Why
> isn't it read on the same day everywhere?

The original Minhag Ashkenaz was to read it on the last day, probably to
avoid having it on the same day as Tefillat Tal which consisted of very
lengthy piyutim that could easily take the best part of half an hour (hardly
anyone says them any more but they can be found in older machzorim). Also
delaying it meant that it was more into the season of Spring to which it

In E"Y this is not possible since there is no eighth day of Pesach so there
is no alternative but to say it on the first day.

Martin Stern

From: Dov Bloom <dovbbb@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 03:01 PM
Subject: On which Shabbat should Shir Hashirim be read?

In response to Avraham (Alan) Friedenberg (MJ 63#79):

The reason Eretz Yisrael and Chutz Laaretz read Shir haShirim on different days
is calendericly simple. Chutz Laaretz has 2 shabbatot over Pesach, so they can
choose the second one (8th day) for shir hashirim. The megilot were read toward
the end of the chag according to massechet Sofrim. In E. I. there is only one
Shabbat, the first day, so Ashkenazi minhag to read it on Shabbat would leave only
the first day.

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: On which Shabbat should Shir Hashirim be read?

In response to Avraham (Alan) Friedenberg (MJ 63#79):

Obviously because it is supposed to be read on a day that is Pesach, and also
the first day is not really desirable.

Here is a Q & A about why you read Shir Hashirim when:


It says that it is not recited on the first day(s) because many say many piyutim
in the prayer for dew (tal) on those days, and saying Shir HaShirim would place
an excessive burden upon congregants and their families, and/or because it
references something that took place after the first day:

Lesusati brichvei Paroh dimitich rayati (Shir HaShirim 1:9)

It's said on Shabbos because of the idea that it's talking about Yom Shekulo

This is one of those customs of the synagogue, like Hakofos on Simchas Torah -
even finishing the reading of the Sefer Torah on Simchas Torah and Yizkor - that
were probably developed (or their current versions were developed) in Chutz
L'Aretz, and then, relatively  recently, were adapted to Eretz Yisroel where
there is one day less Yom Tov.

Interestingly, originally, Shir Hashirim was not read all at once.

There is an article in Hakirah 


which writes that Masechet Soferim, 14:16.37 describes the custom as it existed
during the middle of the Geonic period (circa 750-850 CE):

"Shir HaShirim is read on the last nights of the additional day of the holiday
in the Diaspora, half on one night, half on the second night. Ruth is read on
the night after the first day of Atzeret up to half and is completed on the
night after the last day of the holiday. Some say: In all we begin on the
Saturday night before the holiday."

The author of this article, Zvi Ron, writes adds that Masechet Soferim concludes
that this is all based on custom.

He also writes

"Siddur Knesset Gedola describes a Yemenite custom of reading the megillot
before mincha divided into parts. The first four chapters of Shir haShirim were
read on the seventh day of Pesach, and the rest on the eighth. In Israel, since
there is no eighth day, the reading took place over Shabbat Chol haMoed and the
seventh day, or if there was no Shabbat Chol haMoed, on the first and seventh
days of Pesach.

"Similarly, Kohelet was read in two parts over Shmini Atzeret and Simchat
Torah,61 and in Israel in three parts over the first day of Sukkot, Shabbat Chol
haMoed and Shmini Atzeret. Ruth was also read over the two days of Shavuot,
ending with Ruth 2:12 on the first day, and completing the rest on the second
day. Since there is no option to divide Ruth in Israel, it was all read at one

And he writes also:

"That the additional holiday day of the Diaspora figures so prominently in this
custom suggests that this custom may not have been practiced in Israel at all."

But he thinks, though, that what is described in Masechet Soferim may be a Chutz
L'Aretz version of what was originally an Israeli custom.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Shir HaShirim throughout the year

I see at http://www.dailyhalacha.com/m/halacha.aspx?id=2636 that in some places
Shir Hashirim was (and is) read every Friday night.

It's in the siddur, but is more usually, if anything, said at home.

I think my father's father used to say it at some point because my father knew
the niggun, or at least some version of the beginning anyway, with Yiddish

"Shir Hashirim, Asher L'Shelomoh. An anderer gesang hut gezingun ein meylech,
ober diza gezang hut gezingen ein meylech ben meylech, ein chucham bein chucham."

And that's meylech, pronounced with a tzeirah sound, not a segol, not melech
like I would normally pronounce it. 

And I don't know any more, but it obviously goes on.. And I don't know on what
occasion that might have been sung and by whom.)

The webpage I refeerenced above says that in Aleppo (except for those who would
go to the Eliyahu Hanabi Cave, where it was read after Maariv was over, followed
by some mishnayos and kaddish) Shir Hashirim was read by all members of the
congregation reciting it together in a special melody before the kaddish before

In Morocco, it was divided among the members of the congregation, and each
member read a chapter in a different tune.

But more common these days in most synagogues that follow the customs and
traditions of Aleppo is to recite it between Minchah and Maariv, resulting in
Lecha Dodi being recited after the onset of Shabbat - so they say a few words
separately to accept Shabbos.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Apr 9,2018 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Voluntary exile?

Having spent Pesach in Dubrovnik with a group predominantly from Israel, it
struck me that it was hardly appropriate for them to say in Mussaf "umipnei
chata'einu galinu mei'artzeinu ... [because of our sins we are exiled from
our land]" since, having left voluntarily, it might be mechze keshikra
[appear to be a lie]. Perhaps they should have substituted something like
"umipnei chata'einu azavnu et artzeinu ... [because of our sins we have
abandoned our land]"!

Any comments?

Martin Stern


From: Mark Steiner <mark.steiner@...>
Date: Tue, Mar 27,2018 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Yehiyou Lerotzon Imrei Fee

Sammy Finkelman wrote (MJ 63#78):

> Haim Snyder wrote (MJ 63#77):
> ...
>> The Gr"a therefore says that if they [the verses 'Hashem sefatai tiftach ...'
>> and 'Yiheyu leratzon imrei fi ...' - MOD] are part of the prayer they should be
>> said by the reader who should repeat the prayer in its entirety.
> That sounds like it is an innovation of the Vilna Gaon. Maybe correct, but not
> universally adopted.

I believe that the Sefardim (Mizrahim) have the minhag that the Vilna Gaon
adopted.  If so, it is not such an innovation.

> The Chazan's repetition actually at one time was the principle tefila, by 
> which unlearned people could participate by answering Omein. The Rambam 
> actually stopped the individual Shemoneh Esrei in Egypt and it remained  
> stopped there for over 300 years, maybe 350 years,  until it was restored 
> by Rabbi David ben Shlomo ibn Abi Zimra (1479-1573) circa 1539

This contains two errors.  The writer did not look carefully at the website he
cites.  The Rambam "abolished" the repetition of the amida, not the silent
amida.  The reason he did so was the talking that went on, to such a degree that
most people were not listening to the repetition by the Cantor. However, the
website itself errs in one way.  In his responsum the Rambam makes clear that
during the week, when there was a smaller group in the synagogue, he ruled that
the repetition of the amida should be carried out.


From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Thu, Mar 29,2018 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Zemanim

I thank both David E Cohen (MJ 63#72) and Dr. Michael Frankel (MJ 63#75) for
their comments. 

Just two brief observations. 

While Mr. Cohen responded to my literal question, it did not resolve my
fundamental query, which was probably worded imprecisely. Stated more precisely,
I am still in search of major rabbinic figures who utilized depression angles
correctly. The reference to early modernity was not all that definitive; I
skimmed through the book and RYMT ztls multiple references to it without finding
what I was looking for. The reference to the Hamburg calendar with misheyakir
equated to 8.5 degrees, makes it a less than a trustworthy source. misheyakir is
normally assumed between 10.2 and 13 degrees by the vast majority of poskim in
Europe and the ME.

Dr. Frankel points were accurate but not as critical as one might imply. First,
anyone worried about the secondary impacts of altitude, temperature, etc. can,
as he suggests, add a few minutes to the times printed that are based on
depression angles. Second, and much more fundamentally, the prior dependence on
observation involved yet greater variability between two observers. Anyone
doubting that need only compare the opinions of Rav Herschel Schacter and Rav
Moshe Feinstein ztl with the various opinions of other poskim on the time of

Except in highly anomalous situations, a depression angle accounting only for
latitude and season, disregarding all secondary factors, will vary
inconsequentially compared to the variability inherent in the reliance on the
observation of different individuals. As well, our tendency to follow more
stringent opinions in the use of depression angles for the transition between
days obviates any need for any adjustments based on secondary variables.


End of Volume 63 Issue 80