Volume 9 Number 63
                       Produced: Fri Oct 22 11:59:55 1993

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Biblical times
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Mashiv Haruach for 30 days
         [Percy Mett]
Pronunciation - Havara (4)
         [Arthur Roth, Yosef Bechhofer, Lon Eisenberg, Rick Turkel]
         [Percy Mett]
Restaurants in Washington
         [Fred Lerner]


From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 05:52:58 -0400
Subject: Biblical times

I think many of us (including myself) incorrectly use this phrase as some
period in the past (I'm not sure of its bounds).  Don't we, in fact, still
live in "Biblical times"?  Don't we continue to observe the Torah?

[Just a quick reaction: I view the terms Biblical times or Talmudic
times to refer not to the period when the Bible or Talmud is in force
(i.e. that we observe what is written there) but rather as the time
period that corresponds to when the events in the Bible were taking
place (for Biblical times), i.e. from Creation through to about Esther,
and Talmudic corresponds to the period during which the Tanaim and
Amoraim (and maybe Saboraim) lived. I think it is a useful term and
personally see no problem with it. Avi, your Mod.]


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 07:40:15 -0400
Subject: Mashiv Haruach for 30 days

>From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)

>But where does the concept "the chazakah (presumption) that something
>which is repeated 90 times (i.e. 3 amidot per day for 30 days) becomes
>habit and rote" come from?  Also, by the way, you need only 29 days,
>since you have at least 5 times to say muSAF in that period (SimHAT
>ToRAH and ShabaTOT).

1. Shulchan Oruch mentions initially the period of 30 days after which a
chazoko for the new wording is established . This is based on a
Yerushalmi in Taanis. The Mishna Brura notes that there is a machlokes
acharonim as to whether 30 days or 90 repetitions is the determinant of
this chazoko, and suggests that one should be lenient either way (i.e.
90 repetitions for morid hageshem, which takes less than 30 days as
suggested above; 30 days for 'tal umotor' which does not include 90
repetitions, as tal umotor is not said on Shabbos). There is a also a
tshuvas Chasam Sofer - reference not to hand - which advocates 100
repetitions (approximately equal to 30 days including yomtov and

2. The whole issue applies only to Nusach Ashkenaz in Chuts Loorets. Those
who say Morid Hatol in the summer (including all Nuscho'os in Israel)
should never repeat the Shmone Esre if in doubt. It is clearly stated in
Shulchan Orukh that if Morid Hatol was said during the winter season there
is no need to repeat the Shmone Esre.

Perets Mett


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 10:50:48 -0500
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

    I find Yosef Bechhofer's observation on G-d's name (important,
according to him, to end in "noi" rather than "nai") interesting because
there was a psak halacha that focused on this point at least 30 years
ago.  I am 95% (but not 100%) sure that the posek was Rav Frank z"l in
Yerushalayim; perhaps someone could either confirm this for certain or
supply the correct name.  In what follows, I will refer to Rav Frank in
this context without worrying about this doubt.
    This psak stated that it was perfectly OK for Ashkenazim to change
havara and daven, lein, etc. in sefaradit Hebrew EXCEPT that G-d's name
could not be changed.  I have heard a number of people daven from the
amud or receive an aliyah and make brachot with the pronunciation
'bAruch atAh ... nOi", which I assume (never asked) is a conscious
effort to follow the above psak.  Later, another posek (I thought it was
the Rav, but I'm obviously mistaken in view of the opinions attributed
to him on this topic in other MJ postings) commented after the death of
Rav Frank that even the restriction on G-d's name applies only to those
who originally spoke/davened/learned in Ashkenazit and NOT to those for
whom havara sefaradit was "safa d'yankuta" (literally, "the language
associated with nursing", obviously referring to the form of language
one was first taught as a young child).
    This later "psak" was greeted with skepticism in many quarters
because of the observation that an attempt to explain what Rav Frank had
REALLY meant would have been more believable if it had been made while
Rav Frank was still alive and able to respond.  In addition, we all know
that we cannot "pick and choose" what we like from various poskim;
others, most notably Rav Moshe Feinstein, ruled that davening/leining in
havara sefaradit is kosher only bediavad in an Ashkenaz shul, i.e., it
shouldn't be done in the first place but would not have to be done over
again for this reason after the fact.  Nevertheless, for those who can
validly rely on the two opinions quoted above, there is no problem with
havara for anything except G-d's name, AND EVEN THEN, only for those who
switched havara in their own lifetimes.
    In addition, Rav Frank's reason for excepting G-d's name had nothing
to do with the change in meaning from "G-d" to "my masters" which Rav
Bechhofer mentions.  In many situations, there are two meanings for the
same word (or for two words with the same pronunciation), and the
distinction is made based on context.  Nobody would suggest that neither
word ever be used until a difference in pronunciation between them could
be instituted.  In havara sefaradit, "G-d" and "my masters" have the
same pronunciation, and there is no conceptual problem with
distinguishing them based on context alone.  Rav Frank's reasoning had
to do with the kedusha (holiness) of G-d's name itself rather than the
fact that another word sounds similar.  His exception applies to ALL of
G-d's names, including "y-oh" vs.  "y-ah", even though this has no
possible ambiguity in meaning.
   Along the same lines, I have heard (but never seen in writing --- can
anyone confirm?) that all prayers INCLUDING BRACHOT can be said in any
language except for G-d's names, which have no acceptable translations
into any other language because of their holiness.  Thus, "Blessed be
art Thou, Hashem Elokeinu (said the real way), King of the Universe, who
hast taken bread from the ground" would supposedly be a halachically
acceptable substitute for Hamotzi.

Arthur Roth

From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 93 10:35:11 -0400
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

a) I am pleased that my original posting has provoked much interesting

b) I have no issue with my friend Steve Ehrlich (I see when we discussed
this in person I misunderstood him). I believe there is a logical
distinction between "Accent", i.e., Southern accent vs. "New York"
accent vs. "Midwestern" Accent etc., and "Pronunciation". Such as how to
pronounce a letter, or even a vowel. Now, some accent is of course
unavoidable, and there is no need to change one's accent, but
pronunciation is decidedly different. I believe that the issue of how to
pronounce a cholam is one of accent (generally) and not of pronunciation
(Although I find the "Chadorim" that teach cholam as "oy" their students
highly annoying - as bad as the schools criticized in my original
posting, because they are intentionally using accent as an ideological
tool), whereas the distinction in almost all consonants, and some vowels
(such as how to say a kamatz) to be one of pronunciation.

3) I believe (albeit without sufficient research) that Aryeh Frimer is
somewhat inaccurate. "Galvata" is the plural and "Galuta" the singular,
and similarly "Metivata" is the plural of "Mesivta" (or, Galvasa -
Galusa; Metivasa - Mesivta :-) )

4) BTW, in checking my sources I noticed that Rav Kook has two teshuvos
on Havara - i.e., not to change Havara - in Orach Mishpat, his SHU"T on
Orach Chaim.

From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 09:28:23 -0400
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

To support Joe Abeles's statement:
"It is well-accepted that the Sephardic tradition is more correct and
has suffered less distortion through the centuries, certainly on this
point."  Although he was talking about "het" and "`ayin", let me point
out an other item from which I infer distortion by the AshkenaZIM: the
SADeh (some incorrectly call it a TZAdiq).  Isn't it curious that
Ashkenazim tend to pronounce it exactly like the German "z" (or Yiddish
TZadeh)?  Imagine pronouncing it like that with a dagesh in it (causing
it to be doubled): Instead of having, for example, "hasSEdeq" (the
righteousness) you get "hatzTZEdeq" (what a mouthful!).

From: <rmt51@...> (Rick Turkel)
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 93 10:36:00 EDT
Subject: Pronunciation - Havara

Several correspondents rail on in m.j 9#52 about the proper
pronunciation of the Hebrew "resh" as it applies to davening.  A little
logic and a little linguistics shed a lot of light on this topic.

First, since Hebrew originated in Eretz Yisrael, we can assume that
there was only one original pronunciation.  Thus, there is no kedusha
[holiness] inherent in any pronunciation other than that found to be the
original variety.  (Most people seem to agree that the Yemenite is the
closest.)  All others result from 'accents' caused when a native speaker
of any language tries to pronounce another.  Thus, when one encounters a
sound in a foreign (i.e., non-native) language that doesn't occur in
one's native language, one tends to substitute the closest native sound
for the strange one, since it is easier to pronounce because of
familiarity.  Differences arise over time within a language that is
dispersed geographically because of the influence of the surrounding
languages.  That's how Sefaradit became different from Ashkenozis, and
how different accents arose within the latter - they mirror the
different accents in Yiddish, many of the features of which can easily
be traced to those of the native coterritorial languages.  That's also
the simplest explanation for the shift of stress in Ashkenazic Hebrew
from the final to the penultimate syllable - there are no central- or
eastern-European languages with a predominant final stress.

As far as the "resh" is concerned, in my experience most Israelis seem
to pronounce it as a rolled gutteral, since most of the early Yishuv
[settlement] came from eastern Europe and that's how it's pronounced in
Yiddish and most of the local languages.  Since children learn
pronunciation more from their peers than their parents, even those
Israelis whose parents or grandparents came from North Africa or other
Arabic-speaking areas (where it was a front trill) adopted the Yiddish
"resh." English, in contrast, has a rounded front "r" which, more than
anything else, marks an American or Brit pronouncing Hebrew.  Most of us
have a hard time reproducing a gutteral "resh" in slow, practiced
diction, much less in rapid speech or during davening.  I actually do
better with an "`ayin" than I do with a "resh" despite years of trying.
I was once told by a phoneticist that my "resh" travels all over my
mouth, depending on the immediate phonetic context.  I assume that this
is true because a rolled gutteral "resh" is easier for a native English
speaker to articulate in some phonetic environments than in others, and
I tend to use a trilled front "resh" when the rolled gutteral one
doesn't work for me.

My only point in all of this is that we should stop beating up on people
because of their flawed pronunciation of Hebrew.  We all pronounce it
with one or another accent which differs from the original to a greater
or lesser degree.  It's more important to dwell on the meaning of our
prayers than on the minutiae of diction as long as we are basically

In the interest of equal time, I think I'll bentch Rosh Chodesh Gveret
Cheshvan next year.  :-).

Rick Turkel         (___  ____  _  _  _  _  _     _  ___   _   _ _  ___
(<rmt51@...>)         )    |   |  \  )  |/ \     |    |   |   \_)    |
Rich or poor,          /     |  _| __)/   | __)    | ___|_  |  _( \    |
it's good to have money.            Ko rano rani,  |  u jamu pada.


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 93 07:40:15 -0400
Subject: Rashi

>From: <dhg@...> (David Gerstman)
>I've been wondering for awhile how unusual is it to be descended from
>Rashi.  Assuming that there've been 30 generations since Rashi, is it
>reasonable to assume that if his descendents only doubled every
>generation and that he'd have about 1,000,000,000 descendents right now.

There is a slight misconception here. Even if there are nominally a
billion descendants of Rashi today, there is likley to be a large
element of double counting. Every time one descendant of Rashi marries
another such descendant, their progeny will be double counted according
to these calculations.

I think it reasonably safe to assume that very few Sephardim could claim
descent from Rashi. I am by no means convinced that even a majority of
Ashkenazim are Rashi's descendants.

Perets Mett


From: <Fred.Lerner@...> (Fred Lerner)
Date: 21 Oct 93 14:02:57 EDT
Subject: Restaurants in Washington

  Are there any kosher or vegetarian restaurants in Washington DC that
would be open the last week in December?
  (As I don't receive mail.jewish, could any replies be sent directly to
me at <fred.lerner@...>)
  -- Fred Lerner


End of Volume 9 Issue 63