Volume 65 Number 10 
      Produced: Fri, 29 Oct 21 09:04:26 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Hebrew Pronunciation (3)
    [Art Werschulz  Martin Stern  Michael Frankel]
Masoretic Pronunciation of Hebrew 
    [Michael R Stein]
Pouring of the leftover blood 
    [Elazar Teitz]
When can 'worms' be eaten? 
    [Dr. William Gewirtz]


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 26,2021 at 01:17 PM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Perets Mett wrote (MJ 65#09):

> Dalet rofui is pronounced like th in the English definite article 'the.

which allows one to elongate the dalet (daleth?) at the end of the first verse
of the Shema.

Art Werschulz

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 26,2021 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Perets Mett wrote (MJ 65#09):

> Dalet rofui is pronounced like th in the English definite article 'the'.

This explains why Shulchan Arukh Harav writes that one should extend the dalet
rofui of echad in the first pasuk of the Shema much longer than the chet - which
is impossible if it is a plosive like the dalet dagush.

Since he almost certainly pronounced it as a plosive, can anyone explain what he

Martin Stern

From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Thu, Oct 28,2021 at 06:17 PM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#09):

> Michael Frankel wrote (MJ 65#08):
>> R. Breuer did NOT demonstrate zeicher in Aleppo codex which he never saw in 
>> the course of his work (and which, in any event, has that part missing).   
>> Rather he developed his nusach based on Leningrad and other exact codices.  
>> And then claimed the eclectic version he developed turned out to be, 
>> miraculously, identical to the Yemenite torah (which was almost but not
>> totally true).
> 1. For the record, R. Breuer's introduction to his TaNaCH states that he
> didn't have the Aleppo Codex "keshehitchalnu lehatkin et hanusach letzorech 
> hamadurah hazot" (when we began to prepare the text for purposes of this  
> edition). And, in fact, photographs of various pages of the Aleppo Codex are  
> appended to the TaNaCH.
> 2. True, that part is missing. But as I recall -- it's been several years 
> since I read it -- R. Breuer's article on zeicher/zecher quotes a 19th-century
> correspondence between a rabbi in Eastern Europe and the custodian of the 
> Aleppo Codex, asking and answering questions about how the Aleppo Codex reads 
> in numerous specific places. 

I am unaware of any article where R. Breuer did this certainly not in his essay
appended to end of Mossad Harav Kook Tanach, nor in his book on ta'amei
hamiqroh.  Where might this article be found?  (And perhaps you are referring to
incident with R. Yaacov Sapir, who did indeed write to Aleppo in 19th century
with a list of specific questions for a local Aleppo-ite to check against the
Keser).  But perhaps you are referring to some other similar sounding incident
which I haven't run across.

It looms as such a noticeable custom these days that it seems puzzling the late
R. Umberto Cassuto z"l, who did travel to Aleppo in the 1940s and was granted
access to the Keser, does not appear to have checked this out (at least I
haven't heard he did so).  Perhaps because the repetition custom was still not
prominent (or even existed) in Cassuto's circles in Italy where he grew up or
when he visited, and it didn't occur to him that anything but zeicher (with
tzeireh) was an issue, or perhaps because he quickly became convinced the Keser
was NOT the ben Asher codex referred to by Rambam (apparently some confusion
over how Ha'azinu should be laid out), that he disregarded importance of tracing
every minor variation down.  But that is speculation on my part.

> One of those places is the end of parshat ki teitzei, and the Aleppo Codex
> custodian wrote that the word there is "zeicher". So while we don't have the
> text of ki teitzei, we have testimony as to exactly what it says.

I do not believe the zeicher-zecher was even on the list of things R. Sapir
asked to be checked. In the 19th century such an issue was still very localized
in small circles of Litvaks who debated what the Gra's actual custom might have

> BTW, my rav, R. Yaakov Kret zt'l, told me that we read zeicher/zecher not
> because of a purportedly different nusach per se, but based on (as a recall R.
> Kret's explanation) a RaShbA in Bava Batra, which explained that King Saul let
> live non-adult-male Amalekites because he read the verse in Ki Teitzei as 
> "macho timche et zechar (similar to zachar - male) Amalek".

Im wondering whether you might be mis-remembering by a tad and thus garbling the
story your Rav actually told you. Talmud in BB recounts the story of Yoav who
mistakenly massacred only males because he mis-read the verse of timche es
zeicher amaleq as zochor Amaleq i.e. with 2 qomotzes.  But zochor, still sounds
very far from zeicher or zecher, so how could he have made such a huge reading

The answer ingeniously provided by a R. M. Rota (Roth?), that Yoav actually read
correctly as zecher, but then interpreted grammer mistakenly after the paradigm
of another two-qomotz word, Oshon, whose semichus form is the two-segol Eshen
(eshen haKivshon).  So he assumed zochor was just the noun in a
noun-construct pair, zochor-zecher, and thus the posuq was telling him to kill
only males. If the original text actually read zecher (two-segols), then Yoav's
mistake in interpreting it as applying to the males becomes more understandable
(because zecher is just the construct state of zochor, after the paradigm of
Oshon and Eshen).  And thus a proof that at time of Talmud, they thought the
text read zecher. 

Anyway, nothing to do with Rashba who explains Talmud Kfshuto and simply lays
the blame on Yoav's teacher who did teach correctly but then didnt follow-up to
make sure little Yoav learned his lesson properly. And nobody suggests it is the
origin of the custom for the doubled reading. It is rather a bit of clever
pilpul by R. Rota and don't think the chidush goes back any further than that.
(I first saw the attribution of this bit of cleverness to R. Rota in a footnote
by R. Moshe Sternbuch in one his volumes of Moadim BeHalochoh).  

Also Arthur G Sapper wrote (MJ 65#09):

> ...
> There is little doubt (really, no doubt) that the absence of the dagesh was
> meant by the Masorites to signify the unvoiced "th" sound.
> ...

Well, I at least have such doubt "unless you can point me to a transliteration
of Hebrew into a local European language (German, Yiddish, French,..?) with such
a convention.

> ...
> I have seen accounts of Ashkenazic rabbis in the Late Middle Ages or
> post-Rennaissance (but before Reform), upon their exposure to certain
> pronunciations preserved by Sephardim, adopting those pronunciations.
> ...

I would be interested in other examples.  The only one I am familiar with was R.
Natan Adler, one of the Chasam Sofer's two mentors who adopted a sefardic accent
(and some other stuff as well), which basically got him fired and his minyan
officially banned.   The only other Ashkenazi worthy I heard of with great
expertise in sefardi culture was Chacham Tzvi, but other than his familiarity I
haven't read he adopted the sefardi accent.

Mechy Frankel


From: Michael R Stein <m-stein@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 26,2021 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Masoretic Pronunciation of Hebrew

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the exhaustive study of this subject by
Geoffrey Khan, Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge (chair
founded by King Henry VIII in 1540, by the way): 

The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, volumes 1 & 2.  

Volume 1 includes recordings by one of his students (IIRC) of sections of
B'reishit and T'hillim read in this reconstructed Tiberian dialect.

The Preface and the Introduction to the first volume should be of interest to
anyone who has been reading the postings about Hebrew Pronunciation on Mail Jewish.

Both volumes of Khan's work can be downloaded as pdfs from 



From: Elazar Teitz <emteitz@...>
Date: Tue, Oct 26,2021 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Pouring of the leftover blood

Martin Stern asked (MJ 65#09):

> In Eizehu mekoman, it states regarding the chata'ot penimiot (sin offerings 
> whose blood was brought into the heichal - temple proper) that after the various
> sprinklings - all of which were indispensable to their effectiveness - any
> leftover blood was poured "on the western base of the outer altar" but, if
> this was not done then the offering was post facto valid.
> However, regarding the chata'ot chitzonot (sin offerings whose blood was applied
> to the 'horns' of the outer altar), the leftover blood was poured "on the
> southern base of the outer altar" but there is no statement that, if this was
> not done, then the offering was post facto valid.
> Does this mean that the pouring of the leftover blood was an essential part of
> the offering?

There is no sacrifice which is disqualified by failure to pour the leftover
blood on the altar.  It is mentioned only in the cases of offerings whose blood
was brought into the heichal (Mishnayos 1 and 2) *because* these offerings are
disqualified if any of the sprinklings are omitted, and thus one might think
that the same is true for the pouring of the leftover blood. However, all the
other sacrifices, whether they require two or four sprinklings (Mishnayos 3, 4,
5 and 6), are valid post facto if only one sprinkling was made. Hence, a
fortiori they are valid if the leftover blood was not spilled, and thus it need
not be spelled out.



From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Wed, Oct 27,2021 at 05:17 PM
Subject: When can 'worms' be eaten?

Michael Rogovin asks (MJ 65#09):  When can 'worms' be eaten? 

He cites the views of Rav Belsky ztl who permitted worms embedded in the body of
salmon and other fish and other posekim who disagree. While the gemara
differentiates worms found in the belly of the fish which must be removed to
those in the flesh of the fish, which the gemara assumed grew there and are not
considered worms.

In reality, the worms in the flesh of the fish were ingested when they were
microscopic, and they were small enough to be able to through the stomach
membrane to enter the body of the fish. At the point of ingestion, they were not
yet a worm and invisible to the naked eye. These anisakid nematodes grew inside
the salmon. Jews have traditionally eaten such fish as the worms never existed
outside the flesh of the fish.

The rabbis thought they somehow came into existence inside the flesh of the fish.
We now know they were ingested, not as treifene worms but as invisible microscopic
amoeba.It is the widespread practice by the traditional Jewish community that
determines halakha as opposed to the (occasionally mistaken) reasoning of
posekim. Particularly in areas of halakha where scientific knowledge is central
and changing, change in practice based on new scientific knowledge must be
strongly examined both when proposed as a basis for leniency or stringency.


End of Volume 65 Issue 10