Volume 7 Number 89

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accenting of Hatzlicha in Hallel
         [Dov Bloom]
Innovative Jewish Elementary School in Gush Etzion
         [Mike Berkowitz]
Mailing List for Divrei Torah
         [Moshe Gresser]
Question on Hekhsher
         [Charles Arian]
Trop of "mate ephraim" with a tipha
         [Dov Bloom]


From: <bloomdov@...> (Dov Bloom)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 16:49:56 +0300
Subject: Accenting of Hatzlicha in Hallel

     Steven Friedel pointed out in V7-80 the commom opinion among those
who are careful about dikduk to accent "hatzlicha" on the last syllable.
This is according to the Minhat Shai, but it flys in the face of
standard grammatical rules. It also is not supported by evidence in the
important Masoretic manuscripts.

     Rav Mordechai Breuer in his seminal work "Keter Aram Tzova
ve-haNusach Hamekubal shel ha Mikra" makes a convincing argument against
the Minhat Shai.

(The following is all from memory so I may be off a bit).
     The Minhat Shai's only "proof" was from the fact that there was a
"hearat mesora" (Massoretic note) about hoshia-na being mil'el, and
hatzlicha-na is _not_ mentioned there as being mil'el (argument from
silence). Breuer explains why there is a note on hoshia - it's in a list
of hapex legomenon (phrases that only appear once) where there exists a
pair, one with a vav and one without a vav. So the argument from the
silence of the Mesora means nothing. We should follow the good
manuscripts which reflect the real Mesora on pronunciation of this word.
They all predate Minhat Shai. The Remah (R Meir Halevi Abulafia in
Masoret Syag LaTora, most important Rishon who dealt with these issues)
and Baal Or Torah don't discuss this and only Minhat Shai has this

Dov Bloom.


From: <etzion@...> (Mike Berkowitz)
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 93 08:19:52 -0400
Subject:  Innovative Jewish Elementary School in Gush Etzion

Since the subject of Jewish Education is near-and-dear to all of our hearts, I 
thought to share the experience of a group of parents in Gush Etzion with a 
new/old system.  The following description of the school, its raison d'etre 
and its results was written by R. Elyakim Krumbein, chairman of the school 

DISCLAIMER:  While R. Krumbein is on the faculty of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and 
while the majority of the other faculty members and many others connected with 
the yeshiva send their children to the Orot Etzion school, there is no 
connection between the two institutions.  I would disclaim further, but the 
fact is that R. Aharon Lichtenstein (co-Rosh Yeshiva of Har Etzion) has been a 
supporter of Orot Etzion since its inception.

Mike Berkowitz

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< The Orot Etzion School in Gush Etzion >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A. Raison d'etre
     Orot Etzion is a unique elementary school of modern-Orthodox/Zionist 
orientation. While it is presently an official part of the State-Religious 
network, it started out as a private school, the brainchild of a group of 
parents - mainly from America- who were dissatisfied with the education 
offered them by "the System". It is truly unusual for religious non-haredi 
people in Israel to initiate a school. Perhaps these parents' "foreign" 
background and insufficient experience with the local bureaucracy nurtured 
their conviction that they could succeed in making something better. Much to 
everyone's surprise, they did. Of course, all credit goes to the ribono shel 
     What motivated the founding of Orot Etzion? I mentioned disillusionment 
with the existing schools. This breaks down into two parts. First, there is 
the very natural and commendable ambition of parents for their children to get 
an education they consider "good". On the other hand, starting a new school is 
a community issue and needs to be justified on the public level. Why not let 
the existing, official system maintain its monopoly on education ? Two 
answers- 1. Intensive Torah learning should be encouraged on a community level 
as a value in its own right. The State System is not doing this sufficiently 
in our view. 2. The mamlachti-dati  standard cannot alone meet the unique 
religious-Zionist challenge of this generation. Elaboration of this latter 
point follows:
     There is a rivalry between the haredi and the modern-Orthodox world over 
the right to represent the authentic Torah viewpoint. At stake are a variety 
of crucially important issues- Is the State spiritually significant, or a 
secular vehicle of mere utilitarian import? Does the outside world contain 
values which we should esteem and learn from, or is it an article of faith 
that value can be generated only by the consciously Torah-committed? What kind 
of "teshuva" should we strive for today -- a graduated process which could 
have mass appeal, or a more exclusivist "all-or-nothing" emphasis? Of course 
we won't get into these questions themselves. My point is that the religious 
Zionist community has answers,  but they are not taken seriously, because the 
haredim are perceived to be the authoritative spokesmen of Torah Judaism. 
There is a growing perception  that traditional religious Zionist values --  
identification with the community at large, army service, tolerance of 
differing viewpoints, value of physical work, "darkhei noam" etc.-- are 
credible Torah standpoints only when they are championed by bona fide talmidei 
chakhamim. Unfortunately, the rel. Zionist world is saddled with a  self- and 
public image of Torah mediocrity, which in large measure, is factually 
grounded. This existential flaw pulls the ideological rug from under us, 
believing as we do that our larger purpose is to propagate our ideals. In our 
view, the mamlachti-dati system as presently constituted teaches these ideals, 
but does not cultivate the Torah-intensive institutions needed to serve as 
their spiritual platform. If we are not willing to make the effort to increase 
our credibility and shed our apparent commitment to limited Torah achievement, 
we may as well, as they say in Israel, "fold up the flag".

B. Curriculum
    Orot Etzion's founders selected a curriculum which they felt conducive to 
achieving their ends. It is called "Barkai" and was pioneered by Rav Dan 
Be'eri. Some key elements:
1. Reading and writing are taught in kindergarten. Experience shows that 
almost all (about 95%) children can learn to read at this age. Orot Etzion 
uses an effective method -- one-on-one teaching for short time periods (20 
min.) every few days. By Pesach the kindergarten is ready to switch to a 
"class" format, and engage in the study of Chumash.
2. A hallmark of our approach is the application of the sound educational 
philosophy of Chazal -- "ben chamesh l'mikra etc.". The young child's mind is 
not ready for analysis or significant appreciation of mifarshim. It *is* ready 
for a straightforward understanding of the text, when presented realistically 
in terms the child can grasp. The child can understand a systematic 
presentation of the realities of the "non-technological" world which is the 
environment of the Tanach, and this facilitates his identification with the 
text. Above all, the child learns texts precisely, willingly, and 
enthusiastically, when chanting in unison with taamei hamikra is a central 
feature of the classroom experience. The educational value of  "trup" is 
manifold -- enhancing meaning, fostering precision, and "charging the 
atmosphere". Ground is covered quickly, and rich dividends are reaped in the 
child's sense of accomplishment and self-image -- for example, when he 
experiences his first siyum of the entire Chumash in second or third grade.
3. After study of Chumash, the pupils go on to study the rest of Tanach, until 
fifth grade. During this time they cover most of Tanach, the notable 
exceptions being some of the difficult sfarim from neviim acharonim etc. The 
next major effort is Mishna, which we view as being a prime vehicle for 
inculcating the basic concepts of Torah sheb`al peh in the halachic realm in a 
way which young students can grasp, without being hampered by the additional 
technical difficulties of Gemara. When the student eventually faces Gemara, he 
is thus forearmed with a wealth of exposure to the world of Halacha which will 
enhance his study.
4. I have dwelt mainly on the unique aspects of the program. By no means do we 
ignore other aspects of Torah and general education. In brief -- Mifarshim and 
Midrashim are taught in the framework of parshat shavua, or in the "second 
round" of chumash (simultaneous with Neviim). Secular studies are pursued on a 
high level (our students have done exceptionally well on standard state-wide 
5. A very important aspect of the school, which also sets it apart from the 
public system,  is the educational atmosphere. Elements: small classes (25 or 
less); atmosphere of yirat shamayim; respect and "non-egalitarianism" in 
teacher-student relations; separation of sexes in all classes. A unique aspect 
of the school of which we are especially proud is the happiness in the 
classroom, which is generated by the joy of the learning itself, rather than 
"sugar-coating" the learning experience with extensive extra-curricular 
activities and assorted "bribes" and tricks used to get the child to learn 
something without him realizing it. We credit this achievement in large 
measure to the satisfaction of completing whole sifarim etc. as outlined 
above. In this case again we have seen that "quantity is quality".

C. Basic facts of Orot Etzion
    The school is now completing its fifth year. As mentioned, it started out 
as a private institution, but this year was granted official status. While it 
is supervised by the Education Ministry, it is autonomous in matters of 
curriculum. The school has a non-selective admissions policy.
    Currently we have grades kindergarten-fifth grade, and plan G-d willing to 
add one grade each year until eighth.
     Due to our achievement of govt. recognition we receive subsidies. 
However, this covers only a fraction of our costs. This is because our 
curriculum requires more teaching hours than the standard government school, 
and also because of our small classes. The difference is made up by private 
donations and by tuition. Scholarships are granted on the basis of need. (No 
child has ever been turned away because of financial problems!)


Anyone wanting more particulars about the school/curriculum can write to me or 
R. Krumbein at this address.


From: <MGRESSER@...> (Moshe Gresser)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 11:49:12 -0400
Subject: Mailing List for Divrei Torah

Does anyone know where I can subscribe to e-mail lists that will send
me divrei Torah, e.g., on Parshat HaShavua or Mishna or midrashim?
My address is <MGRESSER@...>
Thanks.  Moshe Gresser


From: Charles Arian <CARIAN@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 13:08:08 -0400
Subject: Question on Hekhsher

A new kashrut-supervising organization seems to have popped up in the
Baltimore - Washington area: Mid-Atlantic Orthodox Rabbis (MAOR). Their
symbol is a K out of which sprouts the left half of a Menorah. Their
rabbinic supervisor is a Rabbi Moshe Blitz.

They supervise a couple of caterers here as well as a kosher
butcher-baker- deli which was previously not supervised.

I have been told by some people in Baltimore that they are "not
reliable"; but nobody seems able to give a reason *why* they are not
reliable, other than what seem to me to be essentially political
questions, i.e., that nobody but the "official" Va'ad of Baltimore or
Washington, respectively, should give hashgacha.

If anyone has any solid reasons not to trust their hashgacha I (and the
students who eat at AU Hillel) would be most grateful. E-mail is

Rabbi Charles Arian
AU Hillel


From: <bloomdov@...> (Dov Bloom)
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 93 17:02:54 +0300
Subject: Trop of "mate ephraim" with a tipha

The rule is that the antepenultimate word in the sentence, gets a mercha
(a connecting trop) if its connected to the last word (a rule called
continuous dichotomy in English). The exception is if the word is "long"
according to certain grammatical standards that have to do with how many
syllables there are before the accented syllable. Since "bin-nun" is
short, the word before it follows the usual pattern. The other names in
the list are all "long" according to the rule, so the second word from
the end gets a tipha (a disjunct accent). If it has a tipha, the
preceeding "real" disjunct accent must be a zakef. So its all the fault
of Nun for having a unusually short name for that generation.

If I may add a plug, a wealth of booklets on taamei hamikra and Mesora
can be ordered from Zimrat Publications
                    Kibbutz Maale Gilboa
                    D.N. Gilboa 19145 Israel Attn Dov Bloom
                    Phone (972) - 06-539542.
The books were written (all in Hebrew) by Mechael Perlman, z"l, who was a
preeminent pedagogue in the field of taamei hamikra (trop) and mesora.


End of Volume 7 Issue 89