Volume 65 Number 11 
      Produced: Wed, 03 Nov 21 15:56:51 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Hebrew Pronunciation (4)
    [Frank Silbermann  Ben Katz, M.D. Orrin Tilevitz  Martin Stern]
When can 'worms' be eaten?  
    [Ben Katz, M.D.]


From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Fri, Oct 29,2021 at 10:17 AM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

I can appreciate Rabbis not wanting Ashkenazim to change their Loshon Kodesh
pronunciation to Sephardic pronunciation, because we don't know which is correct
-- and probably each has superior elements, so both should be preserved.  All
the more so if the question is switching to the way we pronounce secular modern
Hebrew (which I believe loses more distinctions in sounds than traditional
Askenazi or Sephardi pronunciation).

But why keep one's traditional variant of Askenazi pronunciation when we do at
least know the correct Askhenazi pronunciation?  (It's the pronunciation
described in my Hebrew school textbooks.  You know, like vav with a dot above is
pronounces like the vowel in "go, show, Moe, blow" and vav with a dot to the
left is pronounced like vowel in "boot, shoot, hoot, fruit."  We know it's the
correct pronunciation because these books say that's how it's pronounced.  Also,
in the English transliteration on the laminated sheet of the Torah blessing when
get an aliyah, for those so honored that are unfamiliar with the Aleph-Bet. )

And, come to think of it, how did we know that this is the correct Ashkenazi

From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 31,2021 at 11:17 PM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#10):

> 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 meant?

I do not believe he was aware of this change in pronunciation.  Otherwise he
would have told you what to do.  In fact the Shulchan Aruch specifically says
not to say "echad-de" (he spells it as in Yiddish with an ayin after the daled)
which is what people attempt to do to prolong the hard stop of the daled.  (I
have heard ba'alay keriyah do the same thing with the word va-avadtem; they try
to emphasize the daled.)

From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 1,2021 at 09:17 PM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Mechy Frankel wrote (MJ 65#10):

> Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 65#09):
>> Michael Frankel wrote (MJ 65#08):
>> ...
>> 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 ...  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).
> ...
>> 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.
> ...

I found my copy of R. Breuer's article. It is called Mikraot Sheyesh Lahem
Hechrea. I could not find a working link for the original article, but an English
translation appears at


Mechy is correct that European correspondent was R. Sapir. R. Breuer reports the
following portion of that correspondence (p. 25):

"THE QUESTION: 25, 19: zkr with five dots?


To which R. Breuer comments:

"That is to say: zkr in the Ketter is pointed with a tzere under the zayin, not
a segol."

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, Nov 2,2021 at 09:17 AM
Subject: Hebrew Pronunciation

Further to Orrin Tilevitz's submission (above), the concluding paragraphs
of Rav Breuer's article are of interest:

> Where does that leave us? The answer should be thoroughly self-evident.
> Weve already mentioned that the custom of repeating the word zkr was
> totally unknown to our ancestors, and is nothing but a modern innovation of
> our own generation. It is this and all similar situations that Chatam Sofer 
> had in mind when he declared: Any innovation is forbidden by the Torah.
> It seems that the time has come to revert to finer days, to return to the
> customs of our sacred ancestors, as they practiced them steadfastly since the
> dawn of our history.
> Let's read parashat zakhor the way it was read by all the gedolim of Ashkenaz
> from time immemorial. When we cast aspersions on the correct text of Tanakh,
> where there never, ever was any doubt to begin with, we are only doing
> ourselves a disservice.
> Let's erase the memory of Amalek definitively, and not in a manner tainted
> with doubt! Before actually concluding this discussion, however, I wish to
> offer yet one more observation.
> It is common knowledge that the correct version of the Torah is in fact a
> matter of dispute in many places. While most of those disputes were long ago
> resolved by Ramah, there were a few cases where Ramah himself remained
> dubious. One of those should be mentioned, i.e., the dispute of va-yehi vs.
> va-yihyu (Bereshit 9:29). Ramah cited both opinions without deciding between
> them; only Or Torah and Minchat Shai decided and ruled in favor of va-yehi,
> and that ruling was accepted by all Ashkenazic communities. The Yemenites,
> however, still write va-yihyu, and there is no question today that only that
> reading accords with the Masorah.
> There are other such disputed cases as well, e.g., in Devarim 23:2, the word
> dakkah (ending with he) as it is written by most Ashkenazic soferim, but
> dakka (ending with aleph) according to the opinion of the Yemenites,
> abad, and others. There are also seven other places where the readings of the
> Yemenites differ from those of both the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.
> Nevertheless, although in each of those cases the reading of the Yemenites is
> the one that accords with the Masorah, it would never occur to anyone that
> we should instruct our Ashkenazic soferim to change the version of the Torah
> that has been their tradition for hundreds of years, and was approved by both
> Or Torah and Minchat Shai. And all this notwithstanding that today it is a 
> fact beyond all doubt that those readings are not the ones that were 
> sanctioned by the Masoretes of Tiberias.
> So ask yourself this: When someone listens to the reading of parashat zakhor
> from an Ashkenazic sefer torah, in which the text at Bereshit 9:29 reads
> va-yehi, is he not saying, essentially, that he deems the customs of our
> ancestors, and the rulings of both Or Torah and Minchat Shai concerning the
> text of the Torah, sufficiently reliable even where those readings fly
> directly in the face of the Masorah, and even when there is a well-founded
> suspicion that the very validity of the reading has been irreparably
> compromised?
> But then that same person reads and repeats zaykher / zekher, thus
> averring, effectively, that to him neither the customs received from our
> ancestors nor the rulings of Or Torah and Minchat Shai are reliable, even when
> every proof in the world supports their position, and even when the issue
> could not possibly affect the validity of the reading to any extent or in any
> shape or form.
> These are two inherently contradictory positions that no rational person can
> possibly reconcile or accept

Martin Stern


From: Ben Katz, M.D.<BKatz@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 31,2021 at 11:17 PM
Subject: When can 'worms' be eaten? 

Dr. William Gewirtz wrote (MJ 65#10):

> 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.

In this regard people may be interested in a short article that I wrote:



End of Volume 65 Issue 11