Volume 9 Number 62
                       Produced: Thu Oct 21 23:28:01 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

248 words of Shema
         [Jonathan Katz]
Bicycle on Shabbat/Yom Tov
         [Robert A. Book]
Correction to post about havara
         [Aryeh Weiss]
Pronunciation - Havara (3)
         [Steve Ehrlich, Lon Eisenberg, Michael Shimshoni]
Shtetl finding
         [Mike Gerver]
Simchat Torah
         [Benjamin Svetitsky]
Teimani Pronunciation
         [Aryeh Frimer]


From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 17:29:19 -0400
Subject: 248 words of Shema

 The 248 words of Shema corrsond to the Mitzvot Asseh (positive mitzvot).
There are 365 negative mitzvot, and I belive that this number corresponds to 
the number of bones in the body (as opposed to the 248 which corresponds to
the muscles? of the body).

Jonathan Katz


From: <rbook@...> (Robert A. Book)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 04:13:19 -0400
Subject: Bicycle on Shabbat/Yom Tov

Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...> writes:

> The reason for the prohibition of rolling a
> wheel on Shobbos is due to the groove that will result in the ground

But this couldn't apply to a paved road, could it?  So, one would be
prohibited from rolling a wheel on a dirt road, but not on a hard, paved
road, of the type that would not take a groove.

Mayer Danziger (diverdan!<mayer@...>) writes:
> 1) As one is riding along he might leave the Tchum (2000 amot outside
> the city) without realizing  where the Tchum ends. This applies to Yom
> Tov as well. 

Wouldn't the same prohibition apply to walking (outside the city)?  Yet,
we do not prohibit walking.  Likewise, shouldn't we prohibit a bicycle
outside a city, but permit it in a city where there is no such danger?

> 3) Flat or punctured tires can occur and may lead one to fix or inflate
>     them. This is a prohibition of  Tikun Mana - fixing or completeing
>     a broken or unfinished object. 

Suppose one rides a bicycle with hard rubber tires, rather than
inflatible tires?

--Robert Book


From: aryeh@optics (Aryeh Weiss)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 04:13:17 -0400
Subject: Correction to post about havara

> should at least teach the pronounciation of het and ayin. Still, leaving
> a dagesh kal (the dot that hardens the thaf into a taf) may be more
> "accurate" than changing the thaf into a taf. The bottom line is that
Should say "saf". Sorry about the typo.

Aryeh Weiss
Jerusalem College of Technology


From: <stevee@...> (Steve Ehrlich)
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 14:23 CDT
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

I find the discussion on pronunciation to be almost entirely off the
mark. The notion that there is one model/"correct" way to speak a
language and that people ought to be castigated from deviating from this
"correct" speech is, IMHO, nonsense. I've encountered this most often by
people who make fun of say, Hebrew with a Hungarian accent instead of
the obviously "correct" Hebrew with a (modern) Israeli accent. My friend
(and teacher) Rabbi Bechoffer I think is now proposing the other
extreme: we must all use whatever Dad did, even if Dad was from say,
Galicia and we are from Chicago. To do otherwise is to commit some kind
of issur.

It seems to me that languages and accents are nothing but conventions
used by masses of people to convey meanings to each other. It is no more
or less correct to call a Machzor a "festival prayer book" or a
"Machzor" or a "Machzoir" or the French or Swahili word, as long as the
meaning is conveyed. If enough people got together and called it a
"ungadaga" that would be okay too. If people begin saying a word with
the accent on the first syllable instead of the last, they are not being
immoral or sinful or even "incorrect". They have simply created a
dialect -- a variant form that they communicate with. So what? To argue
otherwise is very similar to saying that English spoken with a Boston
accent is "more correct" then that spoken with a Southern accent. Says
who?  Languages are not top-down phenomena in real life, they are
bottom-up, they are determined, created and adapted precisely by what
people choose to speak, not the other way around. And no form is more or
less "correct" or has more or less "value" or is more or less "corrupt"
then another, Hebrew included.

As for the argument that Mesorah should determine which
dialect/convention we should use, I find it hard to believe that if my
Hebrew has an American accent instead of the Ukranian accent that my
father had, my davening is somehow defective. His father may have had a
Georgian accent or whatever. So? People do not learn their language
skills from their parents as much as from their general environment, and
there is nothing wrong with that.

Steve Ehrlich

From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 05:52:57 -0400
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

Just because Ashkenazic pronunciation does not distinguish between kamaz
gadol and kamaz katan, that does not mean the Sephardic pronunciation
(where kamaz gadol sounds like a long patah) is incorrect in words where
the replacement of the kamaz gadol by patah would change the meaning.

From: Michael Shimshoni <MASH@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 12:33:58 +0200
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

Aryeh Weiss in his interesting article on Havara has this passage:

>Yemenite pronounciation preserves certain differences between hard and
>soft consonants. It is not clear that it is "most accurate", though it
>is certainly interesting. Most people dont understand Yemenite
>pronounciation -- a fact that makes its use in ritual questionable.

I do not follow that.  What has the "understanding" got to do with it.
Unfortunately  many people  do not  understand  all the  words of  the
prayers irrespective of  pronunciation.  Is that a  reason to consider
the prayers of  these people as "questionable"? I seem  to have missed
what Aryeh Weiss had meant.

Michael Shimshoni


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1993 3:19:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Shtetl finding

Gary Levin, in v9n24, asks for information on Kolki, Poland, which he
says is 20 miles from Minsk in the province of "Voloynia". In v9n27,
Henry Abramson recommends that he look in the "Shtetl Finder" by Chester
G. Cohen (Periday, Los Angeles, 1980). A much more comprehensive book
along the same lines is "Where Once We Walked" by Gary Mokotoff and
Sallyann Amdur Sack, which can be ordered from Avotaynu, Inc., PO Box
1134, Teaneck, NJ 07666, or by credit card from 1-800-866-1525. It lists
21,000 towns where Jews lived in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as
15,000 alternate names. It does have some mistakes (e.g. they have the
town where my grandmother was born mixed up with another town of similar
name), but is a good place to start.

Gary's query, by the way, seems garbled. I assume "Voloynia" is
Volhynia, which is in Ukraine, nowhere near Minsk. And it has been 200
years since a town 20 miles from Minsk would have been in Poland.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 19:52:42 -0400
Subject: Simchat Torah

I've seen two reasons why Simchat Torah is celebrated on Sh'mini
Atzeret: one practical, and one spiritual.

The practical one is that we really should start the Torah on Rosh
Hashanah, the beginning of the year.  We're kind of busy then, though,
so we put it off until after Sukkot when we won't be preoccupied with
more immediate mitzvot.  Sh'mini Atzeret has no other mitzvot at all!

The spiritual one notes that Sukkot, of all holidays, is most taken up
with Torah she-be'al peh.  The most basic definitions in the sukkah, in
the arba' minim, in the 'aravot in the Temple, and in the libation of
water are not found in the Torah at all, but depend entirely on oral
tradition.  Even the question of what the sukkah represents is not
settled in the Torah!  It is thus appropriate that the Written Torah be
allowed to reassert itself in a big celebration at the end of Sukkot.

Ben Svetitsky     <bqs@...>     (temporarily in galut)


From: Aryeh Frimer <F66235@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 04:13:22 -0400
Subject: Teimani Pronunciation

One interesting proof for the correctness of the Yemenite Pronunciation
comes from the Halakhic requirement to extend the letter "Daled" in the
word "EHAD" in the first line of kriat Shema. (Orach Hayyim 61:6) In
all other pronunciations this is nigh impossible. Just Try saying:
EHADDDDDDDDDDDD......" However, Yeminite pronunciation distinguishes
between a Daled Dagush (hard) pronounced "D" and a Daled Rafeh (weak)
which is pronounced "TH" (as in the). The Daled of EHAD has no Dagesh.
According to Yeminite pronunciation it is hence a "Thaled".
There is no difficulty whatsoever in saying "EHATHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTH....."

     Speaking about correct pronunciations allow me to note some other
common errors:
     "Haleiv Yisrael" (Milk of a Jew) - not Holov Yisrael
     "Reish Galvata" - not reish Galuta (See Yekum Purkan)
     "Reish Metivata" - not reish Metivta (See above)
     "Shiluach Hakein" - Not Shiluach hakan
           But it is "Shiluach Kan Tzippor"
     "Meiteevee" (or Meiseevee) -not Meitivai (or meisivai)
     "Bedee'avad" - not Bedieved
     "Harei at mekudeshet li betaba'at ZOH.. - not ZOO
     Probably "Teikoh" (file it away) not Teikoo

             The list goes on and I would appreciate additions


End of Volume 9 Issue 62