Volume 65 Number 93 
      Produced: Mon, 03 Oct 22 08:49:14 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Eulogy? (2)
    [Micha Berger  Martin Stern]
Is Geirus D'Oraisa? 
    [Elazar Teitz]
Minhagei ta'ut? (3)
    [David Ziants  Michael Poppers  Michael Rogovin]
Sholesh Esrei Midos and the meaning of Nakeih 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Something to think about before Yom Kippur 
    [Ari Trachtenberg]
The name (of?) Hashem 
    [Martin Stern]
Torah Reading on a Taanit Tzibbur 
    [David Olivestone]
What is D'Oraita? (2)
    [Martin Stern  Elazar Teitz]


From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 29,2022 at 11:17 AM
Subject: Eulogy?

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#92):

> The gemara (Sanhedrin 47a) says it's a good sign for the departed if they
> are not properly eulogized (apparently it's a "punishment"). If so, why
> don't we see more people requesting they not be eulogized?

Is it a good sign if it's orchestrated by the niftar, or only if it's min

This seems moderately related:

I am reminded of the Or haChaim on throwing Yosef in a pit vs killing him
outright. Once someone's free will has to be accomodated, hashgachah may not be
absolute. (Or, one could say: it is absolute, and part of what H' works out to
happen is respecting bechirah chofshi.)


Micha Berger
Author: Widen Your Tent

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 2,2022 at 06:17 AM
Subject: Eulogy?

In response to Joel Rich (MJ 65#92):

This is a good point. They would be saving those gathered at the levaya
[funeral] from standing around, possibly in the rain or a freezing wind, from
having to be embarrassed by excessively long praises that they know are somewhat

May I take this opportunity to ask all members to be mochel any perceived slight
and wish you all a gemar chatimah tovah

Martin Stern


From: Elazar Teitz <emteitz@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 2,2022 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Is Geirus D'Oraisa?

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 65#78):

> According to the MaLBiM there is only one ger tzedek in the Torah: Yitro his
> family and their descendants. Even Rut, usually considered the quintessential
> giyoret is really a classic giyoret toshav who abandoned idolatry, observed the
> seven noahide laws and lived among the Israelites accepting their sovereignty.
> Her "conversion" entailed no rituals, no bet din and was actually for the
> specific purpose of marrying Boaz. Till the end of the megillah she is called
> "Rut HaMoAViYa. She would never be accepted today as a giyoret tzedek by
> Orthodox standards.

This was all stated without mention of a single Torah source, and it would be
shocking if one exists. (The Malbim's comment -- if indeed he made such a
comment: David did not provide a source   -- is irrelevant to what follows,
since he is referring to the Torah, while the story of Ruth is in Nevi'im
[Prophets]). If Ruth was indeed a ger toshav, then she was not Jewish, and thus
was not permitted to marry Boaz; and her son Oved, born to a non-Jewish mother,
was not Jewish. While Oved's son Yishai, presumably having a Jewish mother, was
Jewish, there is a Talmudic opinion that the child of a non-Jewish father and a
Jewish mother is a mamzer [illegitimate -- see TB Yevamos 45a], and thus Yishai
and hence his son, King David, would be mamzeirim!

That Ruth is referred to as "Moaviya" also proves nothing, since the term can be
used as describing her place of origin, not her status, just as Uriah haChitti
[the Hittite] and Doeig haEdomi [the Edomite] were full-fledged Jews: not a
Hittite or an Edomite by religion, but by geography.



From: David Ziants <dziants@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 1,2022 at 02:17 PM
Subject: Minhagei ta'ut?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#92) concerning many of the common piyutim, and the way
they were composed (and still printed in most machzorim today):

> Most present-day Ashkenazi congregations tend to split them differently, often
> making nonsense of the piyut.

Our second day shacharit chazan made it his business to do the splits correctly,
and this made me very happy. I just spoke to him, and he says that he remembers
from 20 years ago, that they did it properly this way in the yeshivat hesder in

G'mar chatima tova

David Ziants

From: Michael Poppers <the65pops@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 1,2022 at 10:17 PM
Subject: Minhagei ta'ut?

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 65#92):

> In the Altona machzor, it has "kol teru'ateinu" after the malkhiyot and "kol
> teki'ateinu" after the zikhronot and shofarot.

Ditto the Roedelheim machzor.

From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Mon, Oct 3,2022 at 12:17 AM
Subject: Minhagei ta'ut?

Martin Stern (MJ 65#92) mentioned that in the minyan he attended for
R"H, the piyutim were recited correctly, as written. 

This is a pet peeve of mine for many years and while I have no issue with
communal singing of the piyutim (rather than responsive readings), I do agree
that they should be recited as written. As I have posted on MJ before they are
written as AA BB CC...ZZ but are almost universally recited as A (spoken), AB
(sung), BC (sung)...YZ (sung), Z (spoken or sung). Not only does this leave you
with some verses (the end or a few in the middle of Melech Elyon and
ma'asei Elokeinu) hanging, but more importantly it prioritizes the niggun
over the meaning of the words and the latter is (IMHO) far more important
than a catchy tune.

This affects l'keil orech din, and the other piyutim Martin mentioned. The
verses are connected to each other in pairs, the second half of the pair
responding to the first. It made sense to read the first line and have the kahal
respond, but once communal singing took hold somehow the tradition of the chazan
reciting the first line was kept instead of starting the niggun with it and what
we have is a poetic mess. 

I always encourage hazzanim to correct this, but when one did, the kahal was
confused and some complained. One of the best things about davening at home
in 2020 with my daughter was that we did these correctly. I expect to beat
my head against the wall forever on this, but at least the chazan on day 2
where I davened this year did ein kitzvah correctly (i.e. the way it was
written) because he saw a facebook post thread about it and chose to learn
it correctly. That is a person who respects nusach (even if it did confuse
the kahal who had never heard it done correctly before).

Gmar Tov!

Michael Rogovin


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 30,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: Sholesh Esrei Midos and the meaning of Nakeih

On a fast day, over a year ago, it came to me what the term "V'Nakeih Lo
Yenakeh" means. 

The usual recitation of 13 attributes stops, for some unknown reason, at
V'Nakeih - maybe to appeal for something favorable. Does anyone know an
explanation? I also read there are different ways of totalling 13 although maybe
none of them would stop the Middos at V'Nakeih, which is an interjection, and
not a Middah to my understanding.

Rashi to Shemos 34:7 claims that the plain meaning is that Hashem does a little
bit of both clearing and not clearing - i.e. exacts punishment little by little
This seems to be the way he understands the posuk. But he says, our Rabbis
darshened [interpreted] he overlooks - for those who do teshuva or repent and he
does not overlook - for those who do not. (This comes from Yoma 86a - also in
Shevuous 39a)

But I think that these are not the natural interpretation of the Posuk. The
problem hinges on the meaning of two words Nosai (carry) and Nakeih
(which really means consider innocent)

The true meaning, I think is - Nosai - those who carry [accept the burden (of
people coming to the wrong conclusions)] of 3 different kinds of sins but he
does not declare it right. Hashem forgives, but he does not declare something
that is a sin not to be one (and also, as generations go on, it gets easier and
easier to get things wrong so the old sins get added to the new ones).

In other words: He (figuratively) carries sin, but does not consider it right in
the first place - an important distinction.

Am I the first one (of which we have a record) to see it this way? Someone
thanked me for this explanation and said this was a rebbeshe Torah, but I don't
know what that means - something different from what a Rabbi might say?

And let me add, that the same meaning is at Shemos 20:7 where it says you should
not carry the name of Hashem in vain - for falsehood - to support something that
is not coming from God - because God will not say that is not wrong that it is
OK - what carries the name of God for falsehood. And you can do this without words.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, Sep 30,2022 at 12:17 PM
Subject: Something to think about before Yom Kippur

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 65#92):

> In On Repentance (p. 142), the Rav writes:
> "In truth, however, it is to God alone that man is to feel subservient. The
> Torah teaches us, for example, to love and cherish our children. At the same
> time, the story of the Akeidah demonstrates that parental love is not an
> absolute value. Whether it be family, friends, the government - we must not
> pledge absolute loyalty to any of them. It is prohibited to subjugate oneself 
> to any power or cause other than the Master of the universe."

It would seem that the Akeidah actually taught the opposite!  In many ways,
Avraham failed the test by not arguing for his own son like he did for S'dom. 
Avraham was a classic extrovert, and one of his main flaws was that he took
himself and his family for granted (compare the language of how he treated three
angels ["please"], to how he subsequently treated his wife ["hurry up and make
(food)"]).  G-d tested this flaw and saved Avraham from sin, but he might have
never regained Sarah's faith after that experience.

G-d certainly makes the rules ... but one of those rules was to relegate free
will to man, with which to attempt to refine the rules when it seems appropriate.
As the good book says, and Rabbi Joshua repeats (in the Akhnai oven affair):
"Not in heaven is she".

May you all have a g'mar chatima tova ... and, if I have been wrong or offensive
(here or before), please forgive me.




From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 2,2022 at 06:17 AM
Subject: The name (of?) Hashem

There seems to be a basic difference between the conclusions of "Keil erekh
apayim", said after the first selichah, and "Keil Melekh", said after the
subsequent ones.

The former ends "vayikra beshem Hashem vesham ne'emar" which translates "and he
called on the name of Hashem as it states: ... ", followed by Shem. 34:6-7. 

The latter ends with the quotation of Shem. 34:5, ending "vayikra beshem Hashem",
followed by the following two verses. While there is some dispute among the
commentators as to whether it also means "and he called on the name of Hashem"
or "and he called on the name 'Hashem'", the word "beshem" certainly carries an
etnachta which separates it from the word "Hashem". So why do many ba'alei
tefillah read it as if the two are joined (as with the conclusion of "Keil erekh

Martin Stern


From: David Olivestone <david@...>
Date: Sat, Oct 1,2022 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Torah Reading on a Taanit Tzibbur

At minchah on Tzom Gedaliah I was given the third aliyah (which includes reading
the haftarah). The Torah reading includes two instances where the congregants
say some phrases aloud before the baal keriyah (Torah reader) reads them. Was I
supposed to say them with the congregants or wait to read them along with the
baal keriyah?


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, Sep 29,2022 at 04:17 PM
Subject: What is D'Oraita?

Yisrael Medad wrote (MJ 65#92):

> Martin Stern (MJ 65#91) wrote inter alia in response to one of my examples
> that I provided, in an attempt to illustrate what I thought was obvious, that:
>> This is not to claim Chabad are not Orthodox
> which is an example of what I was trying to protest (and had one post censored
> and cancelled on the subject): that some people on this list involved in the
> discussion on this matter are trying to exploit a simple distinction I had
> made in all innocence in another battle.

I fail to understand why my statement is an example of what Yisrael was trying
to protest, especially if put in the context of what I had written:

>> In response to Yisrael Medad (MJ 65#90):
>> ...
>>> I trust Chabad passes her perception of "classic Orthodox sources" and that
>>> she halt her attempts to place Orthodox Jews out of the fold.
>> I would not use the term "classic Orthodox sources" for Chabad and suspect
>> that neither would Chana Luntz. This is not to claim Chabad are not Orthodox
>> but merely that they are secondary, rather than "classic" sources and what
>> she wanted was some earlier authoratitive source.

My main objective was to distance myself from those who claim that Chabad are
not Orthodox but, rather, a deviant sect.

Martin Stern

From: Elazar Teitz <emteitz@...>
Date: Sun, Oct 2,2022 at 10:17 PM
Subject: What is D'Oraita?

Yisrael Medad writes (MJ 65#92):

> I will try to restate my point: in using the term "d'Oraita" I meant that
> conversion as a command/mitzva and its how-to-do process does not appear in
> the Five Books of Moses in any written form.
> Therefore, claiming the "Torah" also includes what the Rabbis interpret 
> through Oral Law, and that therefore conversion is "d'Oraita"... is silly,
> wrong and useless.

As I pointed out previously, there is no question that conversion is not a
"command/mitzva."  To the best of my knowledge, there is no one who claims that
it is; it is not included by any of the many commentaries which list the 613
commandments.  But to say that because the written Torah does not include the
process, it means that the process is not d'Oraita, certainly does not follow.

For example, consider t'fillin.  Unlike conversion, it is a commandment.
However, there is as much about the "how-to-do process" (that the t'fillin are
boxes of leather from kosher species of animals, that they are to be black, that
they are to be square, that they are to contain parchments with four distinct
paragraphs from the Torah, what body parts are meant by the words "on your
hands" and "between your eyes,"  what time of day they are to be put on, etc.)
as there is about the "how-to-do process" of conversion.  Is it Yisrael's
contention that these particulars, too, are not d'Oraita?

The same can be said about virtually every mitzva [positive commandment] and
aveira [negative commandment].  The commandment is written; the process is Oral
Law. Does that make them not d'Oraita?  In fact, some commandments are not
written explicitly: e.g. nowhere does the Torah state that one may not eat meat
and milk which have been cooked together.  Would Yisrael contend that the
prohibition to do so is not d'Oraita?



End of Volume 65 Issue 93