Volume 64 Number 05 
      Produced: Sun, 21 Oct 18 15:21:07 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Did they not die? (3)
    [Saul Mashbaum  Sammy Finkelman  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Eleven uneventful years? (2)
    [Martin Stern  Sammy Finkelman]
Hirhurei teshuva 
    [Joel Rich]
How long is a generation? 
    [Martin Stern]
Minyan Choices (2)
    [Yisrael Medad   Martin Stern]
Restaurant doings 
    [Yisrael Medad]
Stresses in kaddish 
    [Orrin Tilevitz]
Were they triplets? (2)
    [Sammy Finkelman  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]


From: Saul Mashbaum <saul.mashbaum@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 04:01 PM
Subject: Did they not die?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#04):

> I noticed today, in the genealogies at the end of Noach, that, unlike those
> at the end of Bereishit, the word 'vayamot [and he died]' is omitted. Does
> this omission have any significance and, if so, what is it?

I can't answer the question, but I can repeat a story I once heard from the
late rov of the shul I daven in, R. Uzi Kalcheim z"l.

R. Kalcheim once was in a hashkamah (early) minyan on Shabbat Parshat Noach, a
quiet and quick minyan. To his surprise, when they came to shvi'i [the seventh
aliyah] there was a lot of excitement in the shul, and the person who got the
aliyah was given a big "yasher koach" by the congregants. 

R. Klacheim was puzzled, since he didn't see any reason why this aliyah was any
different from the previous ones, which didn't engender any excitement. When he
asked someone about this, he was told that this shul has a mesorah [tradition]
that shhvi'i on Parshat Noach is a segulah (propitious omen) for long life,
since, unlike the parallel aliyah in Parshat B'reishit, it doesn't mention the
deaths of the people listed.

Saul Mashbaum
From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Did they not die?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#04):

It's not just that missing. There's a whole pasuk missing!

The genealogies at the end of Noach, unlike those at the end of Bereishit, are
shorter, and do not total up the lifespan, except for Terach but it does it
differently and does give the number of years he lived after he had a certain child.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Did they not die?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#04):

If one checks the geneologies and Noach 11:28, Haran the son of Terach was the
first person to die while his father was still alive. Since Noach was still
alive, Haran was therefore the first person in that line to die. This means
that, as of the end of the list, none of the people mentioned in that list had
died. That is why it does not say "Vayamot".

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Eleven uneventful years?

Irwin Weiss wrote (MJ 64#04):

> The Rabbis make something of the 3 days that went by between Avraham leaving
> with Yitzchak on the way to the Akedah, with nothing set forth in the text as
> to what was happening on the way.  They pack up and leave, and then the text
> says On the third day.... (Bayom Hashlishi).
> In this weeks Parsha, In Breishit 16:16, the text says Avram was 88 when
> Yishmael was born.  In the next sentence, which is 17:1, Avram is 99.
> What went on during those 11 years? Nothing eventful?

The Torah is not meant to be a detailed history book and therefore does not
include material from which we cannot learn something. This would seem to be
the reason for its silence on these 11 years and, similarly, the period of
almost 37 years of the wandering in the midbar where it jumps from the
incident of Korach's rebellion, shortly after the report of the Meraglim in
Av of year 2, to the death of Miriam in Nisan of the last year before
entering Eretz Yisrael.

Martin Stern

From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, Oct 18,2018 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Eleven uneventful years?

In response to Irwin Weiss (MJ 64#04):

Interesting things could have happened. There is a lot left out in the Torah. In
fact, I think, the only things mentioned in Bereishis are things important to
understand in connection with the promise, and how it felt to the Avos, or
rather how it might feel to you if this had happened to you since every person's
reaction is different.

It also doesn't tell you how God communicated and how Avrohom knew it was God
but that is something else.

The war with the 4 kings is only mentioned because at the end of it, Avrohom was
promised the land again (and also told that his descendants would suffer).

That of course means it did not happen before he was 75 and the explanation
given I think in Seder Olam for 430 years in Egypt is wrong. Ibn Ezra at least
says 5 years elapsed from the going out of Ur Casdim till Avram left Charan, but
he's not connecting it to the bris been Habessrim.

I would explain the 430 years in Mitzraim as follows: The settlement was in
fact there for 430 years, and its beginning actually predated the journey of
Avram to Eretz Canaan.

How could that be? Because the descendants of Yaakov married some of the
residents there already (who might have been actually converts made by Avram, or
maybe just people who spoke the same language.)

So the period of settlement was longer than the existence of the Jewish people
(it says Bnai Yisroel) and predated even the birth of Yitzchak.

There was, however, a category of persons in Egypt whom Yosef also was
considered to belong to, Ivrim, and maybe that was related.


From: Joel Rich <JRich@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 21,2018 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Hirhurei teshuva

The Artscroll Yom Kippur machzor has the following comment of the GRA (I could
not find it in his Aderet Eliyahu) on David's contrition after Natan's
admonishment of him for his 'sin' with Batsheva: 

> "David replied to Natan [with just two words]: 'Chatati Lashem [I have sinned
> against HASHEM]'    Natan answered David '[If so] God has removed your sin
> and you will not die'."  (2 Shemuel 12:13)

> The Vilna Gaon notes that according to the Masoretic text there is a space
> after David's brief confession, even though it is in the middle of a
> sentence. This implies that David wanted to say more - he felt that he should
> go into more detail about his sin and the sincerity of his remorse - but was
> so overcome by remorse that he could not speak. He didn't have to. Nathan
> broke in to tell him that he had been forgiven - because his confession,
> brief and incomplete though he thought it to be - was utterly sincere.

I wonder if others think this thought coheres with the following insight from
R'YBS regarding the execution of R'Chananya ben Teradion (Avodah Zarah 18a)
where the executioner was given Olam haba [the World to Come] in return for his
alleviating the former's suffering - an act that only took a short time:

> In response to this Divine verdict, R'Yehudah HaNasi cried, marveling at how
> some individuals merit the World to Come only after a lifetime of effort,
> while others acquire such reward after only brief effort. The Rav emphasized
> that the executioner not only earned a share in the World to Come, but
> achieved the same level as did R'Chananya in this regard.
> Why did R'Yehudah HaNasi have such an emotional reaction to the afterlife
> destiny of the executioner? The answer is that although prior to this
> incident R'Yehudah HaNasi had certainly understood the redemptive power of
> teshuvah, he had not previously appreciated the redemptive power of hirhur
> Tshuva [awakening" of repentance]. If teshuvah is indeed a multistep process,
> involving sin recognition, remorse, and resolve, how can an individual
> possibly be considered righteous after only a moment's thought? Only through
> hirhur Tshuva, which is spontaneous, instinctive, and sudden. In one second,
> an individual can live the jarring experience of awakening from spiritual
> slumber.

Joel Rich


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 04:01 PM
Subject: How long is a generation?

At the Berit bein habetarim, HKBH informs Avram (Ber. 15:13-14) that his
descendants will live as aliens in a foreign land where they will be
enslaved and suffer for 400 years ... after which they will go out with a
great treasure. This was to be the Shibud Mitzrayim which in the end only
lasted 210 years since HKBH reckoned the keitz, i.e. subtracted 190 years
(the gematria of keitz) from the original 400.

My problem is with a later promise (Ber. 15:16) that the fourth generation
would return to Eretz Kena'an. If HKBH had originally intended the Shibud
Mitzrayim to last 400 years, then this would imply that a generation was to
last 100 years, which is long even by antediluvian standards let alone the
10 generations from Noach to Avram.

Is it possible that HKBH had always intended Shibud Mitzrayim to last only
210 years, which would have made the four generations comparable to the
latter? If so, why did He mention 400 years in the first place? The only
explanation that I can think of is the principle of "be'itah achishena [I will
hasten it at its appointed time - Yeshaya 60:22 cf. San. 98a]" i.e. it would be
at most 400 years but could be less if the circumstances require it.

Any comments?

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Minyan Choices

Joel Rich asks (MJ 64#04):

> If you were in a situation where you could only pray with a minyan once that day
> (Shacharit or mincha - assume a non-Torah reading day), which would you choose?

The one that had difficulty gathering together a quorum.

Yisrael Medad

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 05:01 PM
Subject: Minyan Choices

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 64#04):

I would choose whichever was next on the principle of "ein ma'avirin al
hamitzvot [do not pass over the opportunity to do a mitzvah]".

Martin Stern


From: Yisrael Medad  <yisrael.medad@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 01:01 PM
Subject: Restaurant doings

Carl A. Singer wrote (MJ 64#04):

> My wife and I were in fairly small restaurant when the following happened:
> We washed and began eating -- there was a large group (20+) in the same room 
> but with a folding screen mechitzah between us. We soon became aware that 
> this was a shloshim observance.  Someone finished a Gemorah and began saying
> the hadran. When it got to kaddish, I stood up as my table was distant, but  
> within earshot.
> Then it turned out the group went on to daven Mincha (I had already davened). 
> The women gathered on our side of the room / mechitzah. Should I have
> interrupted my dining for kaddish, kedusha, etc?  What is proper under these
> circumstances? [No there was no other dining area]

I am not sure if the presence of women who moved into the area he was in is an
additional or essential factor. Off the top of my head, perhaps the situation is
parallel to davening at the Kotel and I seem to recall a decision that every
minyan is its own and one need not join in. I stress "need not" and so the
answer is: it's your option.

As for the women, I wouldn't feel the need to separate myself for that short

Yisrael Medad


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Stresses in kaddish

Where are the stresses in the phrase "tushbechata nechemata" and, whatever the
answer, is there a reliable source for it? 

I usually, reflexively, stress the penultimate syllable, but some guy corrected
me today, claiming that all words in the kaddish are stressed on the final
syllable. I asked him how he knew, and the two reasons he gave are suspect: 

(1) Most Hebrew words are mil'ra [stressed on final syllable]

This is wrong, but anyway irrelevant since kaddish this is Aramaic and not Hebrew

(2) ArtScroll says so.

ArtScroll is not infallible!

Also, an internet source I found claims the "be'alema" is stressed on the second
syllable. Is this true? Again, please give sources.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Were they triplets?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#04):

> In Ber. 11:26, it states that "And Terach was seventy years old, and he
> begot Avram, Nachor and Haran ...". Does this phraseology imply that they were
> triplets?

If that langiage meant that, it would also mean that for the three sons of
Noach, and it clearly does not because it says:

And Noah was five hundred years old; and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
(Ber. 5:32)

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
(Ber. 7:6)

These are the generations of Shem. Shem was a hundred years old, and begot
Arpachshad two years after the flood. (Ber. 11:10)

If he was 100 years when it was 2 years after the mabul [flood] he was 98 at the
time of the flood.

The same language is used in Ber. 5:32 and Ber. 11:26,.

What it means is that, in some way, it is considered like it was happening at
one time - it was one long extended event that took place after a long time in
which he probably didn't have children.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 16,2018 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Were they triplets?

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#04):

I remember a shiur in which we were told that this was not necessarily the case.
It was compared to Noach's three sons who were definitely not triplets and were
two years apart (as we see from Shem's age after the flood). In both cases, the
Torah means that at the age specified, the father had had the three sons who
were all significant to the story.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


End of Volume 64 Issue 5