Avodah Mailing List

Volume 34: Number 128

Thu, 13 Oct 2016

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:43:38 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 2 days RH

On 09/10/16 21:52, Micha Berger via Avodah wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 09, 2016 at 09:45:59PM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> :                                                                   It's no
> : different than how the second day of Shavuos is not the "real" Shavuos, yet
> : we say in our prayers that today is when the Torah was given. Ditto for the
> : second Seder, etc etc....

> The second day of Shavous is quite different than the second seder. The
> second day of Shavuos is the actual anniversary of matan Torah. Shavuos
> is Zeman Matan Toraseinu only in the sense that the zeman is defined by
> the omer, not the date.

(1) Is it?   When Shavuos did not happen to be on the 6th of Sivan, did
they say Zman Matan Toraseinu anyway?

(2) If we were defining ZMT by its relationship to the omer then 
aderaba, the Torah was given on the 51st day of the omer (yetzias 
mitzrayim was on a Thursday and Matan Torah on a Shabbos), so davka the 
second day would be the real ZMT, and in EY they should not be saying
ZMT at all!

Zev Sero                                 Gemar Chasima Tova

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Message: 2
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:14:20 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Are "Hashem" and "Elokaynu" valid Shaymos?

For the purpose of shevu'os, foreign-language Names count as kinuyim.
But they are different from other kinuyim, because when praying in a
foreign language one must use a kinuy that serves as His proper Name
in that language.   If, in our language, "Hashem" is such a Name, then
it would seem to have the same status as "God".  Though perhaps one
could argue that since it's used for the specific purpose of *not* using
an actual Name, it keeps its status as "a placeholder for the Name".

> One of the writers for Kollel Iyun haDaf writes "Hash-m" (or is it
> "HaSh-m"?). Strikes me as "too much". OTOH, I grew up writing "G-d",
> which is actually a name of the Creator that was borrowed from the
> title of the Trinitarian Deity! Whereas RYBS famously held "God" was
> perfectly appropriate. (See personal recollection by R/Dr Josh Backon
> at <http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol06/v06n045.shtml#10>.)

As I have replied many times to this, RJB is making a fundamental error.
The source (AFAIK) for writing "G-d" is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (or
perhaps his source), who says to do this when writing letters that are
eventually going to be thrown out.  The concern is *not* that "God" or
"adieu" are Names that must not be erased, but that since they *are* His
proper names in that language, and are the proper objects of prayer in
that language, it's a bizayon when they are thrown out on a dung pile.

The story with RYBS was on a blackboard, not a letter.  The blackboard
was not going to be thrown out, at least not with the writing still on
it.  So IMO RYBS's point was to object to the spread of this proper
practise to areas where it was by definition inapplicable.  On the
contrary, if one is about to throw out a letter with one of these
pseudo-Names in it, or a blackboard with one of them written on it,
one should davka erase it first!

Zev Sero                            Gemar Chasimah Tovah

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Message: 3
From: Micha Berger
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:20:47 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 2 days RH

On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 10:43:38AM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
: (2) If we were defining ZMT by its relationship to the omer then
: aderaba, the Torah was given on the 51st day of the omer (yetzias
: mitzrayim was on a Thursday and Matan Torah on a Shabbos), so davka
: the second day would be the real ZMT, and in EY they should not be
: saying ZMT at all!

According to Maadanei YT, the 50 days isn't including Shavuos, but
including the first day of Pesach. A day 0. 49 days - 50 "fenceposts". And
as the original Pesach started at midnight, or in the daytime when we
were kicked out (I do not recall which the Tos' YT says), day 0 was
atypically the next day.

According to the Maharal (Tif'eres Yisrael ch 27) says that Hashem
was ready on the 6th, but MRAH delayed the nesinah to the 7th. And thus
mitzido, the zeman was on the 6th. Yom *ha*Shishi, as Rashi notes on
Bereshis 1.

The MA connects Moshe's added day to YT sheini shel golios!

The Brisker Rav says that the 6th is thus zeman matan Toraseinu, the 7th
was the anniversary of qabbalas haTorah. Unlike what I said, but w/out
touching my point.

But in any case, yes... this question is asked.

Still, my point was that Yom Shavuos Sheini shel Golios is unlike other YT
sheini, as it's the only case where the historical event is actually on
the latter date (according to the Tur and SA, who understand th halakhah
as being based on R Yosi). And thus it's harder to understand where YT
rishon comes from than the qedushas hayom of the 2nd day.


Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
mi...@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:57:29 -0400
Re: [Avodah] 2 days RH

On 07/10/16 06:12, Eli Turkel via Avodah wrote:
> We keep today 2 days RH even in EY basically for historical reasons of
> doubt in the past.

For the same reasons as we do in chu"l every yomtov.  Until the fixed
calendar was established, all of EY outside Y'm was like chu"l for RH.
The difference between RH and other yomim tovim was in Y'm, where on
most years they only kept one day, but on the rare occasion when they
kept two it was not misafek, but as a takanas chachamim, i.e. the first
day was vadai midrabanan, and the second day vadai mid'oraisa (the
reverse of our situation today).

That is the origin of the "yoma arichta" concept.  Nowadays really
every yomtov is "yoma arichta" in this sense, because both days are
vadai yomtov, but we act as if there were a safek, because the takana
is to do what our ancestors did, and they had a safek.  On RH sometimes
even our ancestors (i.e. the ones in Y'm) had no safek, so we don't
pretend that we have one.

> In fact the Baal Hamaor claims that there were
> periods of time in the early middle ages where only day of RH was kept
> in EY since we now have a permanent calendar

Yes, but who says they were right to do so?   Or, looking at it another
way, by definition they were right to do so because at the time those
who paskened that way were the local majority, but now that the local
(and global) majority paskens otherwise, *we* consider what they did to
have been wrong.

> Rav Dessler asks that if so the 2nd day of RH is not the "real" RH. If
> so how we can say in our prayers that today we are being judged,  today
> is the day the world conceived (hayom haras olam), today the books of
> life are opened etc.
> I was not clear about his answer. Assuming the two days are for
> different types of "din" what happened before the institution of a 2 day
> RH and during the period the Baal Hamaor describes.
> Are people from EY and chutz la-aretz judged on different days.
> Basically the question boils down to the question of how a takanah of
> the rabbis can effect heavenly judgement

That one's easy.  Mekadesh yisrael vehazemanim.  *All* the zemanim exist
only by the rabbis' decision on when to sanctify the month.  We tell the
Heavenly court when to sit, so if we tell it to sit for two days it
does.   Presumably when the majority of rabbanei EY told it to judge
their flocks for only one day, it complied with that decision.

Zev Sero                                 Gemar Chasimah Tovah

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Message: 5
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 15:49:58 +0000
[Avodah] Declaration to annul future vows

A couple of weeks ago I raised the issue of why we say Hataros Nedarim
every year given that the last paragraph refers to vows in the future.
The response was that Hataros Nedarim works for past vows, but not for
future vows.

However, today's Halacha-a-day contains the following:

Can an individual at home say Kol Nidrei?

Although annulment of previous vows can only be made in the presence
of three men, an advance declaration to annul future vows can be made
alone. Therefore, one may say the version that refers to the coming
year but not the past year. The introductory lines before the words
'Kol Nidrei' should also be omitted. (1)

Footnote (1) is

  1.  ??? ????? ???? ??.

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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:00:09 -0400
Re: [Avodah] whole wheat challah

A few anecdotes:

(1) In 1949, on the ship from Europe to Australia, my father overheard
a passenger telling off his brother for smoking on Shabbos.  To which
the brother replied, "You're not such a tzadik either; I saw you eating
black bread on Shabbos".  My father repeats this as an example of what
happens when one doesn't know what's a melacha de'oraisa and what's a
mere culturally-dependent good practise.

(2) My grandfather AH lived with us, and in his final years his doctor
told him to eat only wholemeal bread, so the whole family switched to
wholemeal bread so we'd all be eating the same thing.  During that
period one of our regular Shabbos guests was a young woman who was just
becoming observant; one Shabbos she was at another home, and saw that
they ate white challah, and said "you must not be real Lubavitchers,
because Reb Arel has wholemeal challah".

(3) R Betzalel Wilshansky AH was one of the first bachurim from the
Kherson area, in the south of the Ukraine, to come to learn in
Lubavitch.  In those days yeshivos didn't have their own kitchens, and
bachurim ate "days" at various homes; having come such a distance to
the yeshivah, R Betzalel was invited to eat all his meals at the home
of the then-LR, the Rashab.  Although the Rebbe's household was fairly
well off by the standards of Russia at that time, like everyone else
they ate black bread during the week and white on Shabbos; but in
Kherson, which was a much richer region, they ate white bread all week
long.  So the Rebbe instructed his rebbetzin that Tzali Khersoner was
to be given white bread, because that's what he was used to.

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Message: 7
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 16:44:33 +0000
[Avodah] Shabbat Morning Kiddush over Schnapps in a Plastic

Please see the article on this topic by Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky at


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Message: 8
From: jay
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 18:11:46 -0600 (CDT)
[Avodah] Selig

In Yiddish, there is a name, derived from the German name Selig, that
is normally spelled with Hebrew letters that indicate the
pronunciation "Zelig".  In German, however, which does not allow
terminal voiced consonants, the name Selig is pronounced "Zelik".
A few weeks ago there was a discussion on this mailing list about that
topic, in which, inter alia, the following three comments were made:

> In German a G at the end of a word turns into a K sound.  It used to
> be the fashion in Yiddish to spell German-derived words as close to
> the original German spelling as one could get, presumably to show
> off one[']s mastery of that language.

> As I explained, that's because in German it's spelt with a G.  But
> since Yiddish no longer slavishly follows German spelling, that
> should be irrelevant.

> ... the only reason to spell it with a gimmel is to copy the German
> spelling, which most people have no interest in doing.

Well.  This is quite a calumny against my Yiddish-speaking ancestors:
They misspelled words in order to show off their mastery of the German
language; they copied German spelling; in fact, they slavishly
followed it.  I think my Yiddish-speaking ancestors deserve better
than that.  And, although this article perhaps belongs more on Areivim
than on Avodah, since the original calumnies were allowed to appear on
Avodah, this article must appear before the same audience.

The first thing to note is that the set of Latin letters which Germans
use to spell their language includes the letter K, and Germans have no
difficulty using that letter when the spelling of a word calls for it
(as in, "Ich bin der Kaiser und ich will Knodel").  We also note that
the phoneme /g/ exists in German, and wherever it does, it is
represented by the letter G (as in "Carl Gauss" -- German allows
initial consonants to be either voiced or unvoiced, it is only
terminal consonants that may not be voiced).  When a G appears at the
beginning of a syllable, it is always voiced; it is pronounced /k/ at
the end of a syllable, but that is because the /g/ phoneme does not
exist in German at the end of a syllable.

But if Selig is pronounced as if it ended with a K, and if the letter
K is available when one spells German, why isn't it spelled with a K?

The second thing to note is that languages tend to be spelled the way
they were pronounced when their spelling was standardized.  This is
obvious to people who are literate in English, which we all are.
Because English pronunciation is so very different now than when its
spelling was standardized, it is obvious to every one of us that
English is spelled the way it was pronounced four hundred years ago,
not the way it is pronounced now.  But you can also see this even in
languages like Russian that have barely changed at all in the past
eight hundred years -- cf. the spelling of shto and yevo.  So, if
Selig is spelled with a G, that is plausibly because it was once
pronounced that way.

The third thing to note is that Yiddish is not descended from modern
German.  Yiddish is descended from Middle German.  More precisely,
Yiddish is approximately 80% descended from Middle High German, 15%
from Semitic elements (Hebrew and Aramaic) and 5% from Slavic
elements, with trace amounts of Latin and molybdenum.

Finally, we note that native speakers of Yiddish have no trouble
pronouncing terminal voiced consonants in the Germanic component of
their vocabulary.  Compare the Yiddish 1st-person singular indicative
"hoob" to the German "habe" (where the terminal /b/ is followed by a
vowel), or the Yiddish 2nd-person singular imperative "hoob" to the
German "hab" (where the "b" is pronounced /p/).  This cannot be
attributed to Hebrew influence, because native speakers of Yiddish are
incapable of pronouncing Hebrew phonemes that did not exist in Middle
High German (e.g., they cannot pronounce the /th/ in "Shabbath", and
mispronounce it as "Shabbos").  It can therefore only be due to the
fact that terminal voiced consonants existed in Middle High German.

So, it is quite plausible -- in fact, more plausible than not -- that
if native speakers of Yiddish spelled "Zelig" with a gimmel, that is
because it was pronounced that way, and that if there are some people
today who pronounce it "Zelik", they, and not my ancestors, are the
ones who are influenced (I shall not say "slavishly following", out of
Ahavath Yisrael) by German.

                        Jay F. ("Yaakov") Shachter
                        6424 N Whipple St
                        Chicago IL  60645-4111
                                (1-773)7613784   landline
                                (1-410)9964737   GoogleVoice

                        "Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur"

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Message: 9
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2016 22:53:54 -0400
Re: [Avodah] conservatism in davening

R' Eli Turkel wrote:

> In the RH davening there seem to be several (ashkenazi)
> minhagim which are clearly wrong nevertheless they are
> tradition and not changed.
> Some examples
> In several piyutim the beginning of each phrase has been
> transferred to the end of the phrase. One example is ...

and then he gave several examples.

I once read an article by Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, where he discussed this
exact phenomenon. I believe it was titled, "Chazan v'Kahal, o Kahal
v'Chazan?" (or maybe the reverse) His main goal was to explain why the
instructions go one way for some piyutim, and the other way for others.

Originally, a great many (all?) of the piyutim were designed to be said
primarily by the chazan, and the tzibur would respond with a response.
Sometimes this response was just a word or two, and sometimes it was a
whole line. Often the tzibur gave the same response through the entire
piyut, and occasionally it would vary.

For the piyutim which have maintained this sequence, the instruction in the
machzor is "Chazan v'Kahal" - the chazan leads and the congregation
responds. (In a quick search to find examples, most of what I find is
individual pesukim which the leader says and the others repeat, such as the
pesukim immediately before Tekias Shofar on RH, or the Shema when taking
out the Sefer Torah.)

But in many cases, this has changed. For some reason, the people wanted to
say the stanzas too, and not merely hear them from the chazan. Perhaps this
happened when siddurim became cheap and easy-to-obtain; I don't remember if
Rav Henkin gave any cause for it. But in any case, people ended up saying
the paragraph prior to the chazan, and these are labeled "Kahal v'Chazan" -
the people say it and then the chazan repeats. (The easiest-to-find
examples might be any of the Pizmonim in selichos. My guess is that L'cha
Dodi is in this category too.)

The problem with this setup only arises when people confuse the Recital
with the Response. When we all knew our roles in shul, this was a simple
matter, but when everyone wants to say everything, it gets all messed up.
My favorite example is V'Chol Maaminim. Rav Henkin cited it too, but I
don't remember which line he chose as his example. I'll use the line that
appears in the popular song: "V'chol maaminim sheHu chai v'kayam, haTov
uMaytiv lara'im v'latovim."

Now consider, please, which makes more sense:

"Everyone believes that He lives and endures; He is good and does good to
the evil and to the good."


"He portions life to all the living, and everyone believes that He lives
and endures.
"He is good and does good to the evil and to the good, and everyone
believes that He is good to all."

And beside making less sense than the original way, there's another problem
with the modern arrangement (and I think Rav Henkin mentioned this too):
The modern arrangement has a half-stanza at the beginning, and a
half-stanza at the end, and most chazanim don't know how to fit them into
the tune.

R' Eli Turkel labelled these developments as "clearly wrong" and "errors",
and I don't know whether Rav Henkin was less harsh, or perhaps even more
disapproving. But in any case, I will surely agree that these things are
difficult to change. (My pet peeve is a closely-related phenomenon, that in
Kedusha on Shabbos morning, most people seem to mumble Kadosh and Baruch,
while they enthusiastically sing the chazan's parts.)

Akiva Miller
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Message: 10
From: saul newman
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 08:56:45 -0700
[Avodah] kneppel etiology

it  seems to be  harder to find kneppel'ed lulavs.  i can understand
pre-packaged lulavs [which i hadn't seen in the marketplace here before ]
kneppels won't pass muster with litvishe hechshers.
but even the regular shipped in bundles seem to be kneppel free.  does
anyone know if kneppling is a genetic or infectious deformity of the date

gmar tov to all
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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2016 16:42:26 -0400
Re: [Avodah] conservatism in davening

On 10/10/16 22:53, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:

> But in many cases, this has changed. For some reason, the people wanted
> to say the stanzas too, and not merely hear them from the chazan.
> Perhaps this happened when siddurim became cheap and easy-to-obtain; I
> don't remember if Rav Henkin gave any cause for it. But in any case,
> people ended up saying the paragraph prior to the chazan, and these are
> labeled "Kahal v'Chazan" - the people say it and then the chazan repeats.

I think that is basically what happened, but it's a *little* more
complicated.   For instance, the chazan would start "Ha'ochez beyad
midas mishpat", and everyone would answer "vechol ma'aminim shehu Kel
emunah", and then the chazan would say it too, so as not ch"v to exclude
himself from that "kol".  Then he would start the next line, "habochen
uvodek", etc.   The problem, I think, began when chazonim started
singing tunes that made the first part, i.e. the response to the last
call, and the second part, i.e. the next call, sound like they were
one continuous item.

Consider what usually happens in kedusha; the chazan says "Baruch kevod
Hashem mimekomo", in a tone that clearly indicates it's the end of a
sentence, and then begins "Mimekomo Hu yifen", in a tune or tone that
clearly shows it's a new thing. But imagine if they would start singing
from "Baruch kevod", and continue the tune right into "Mimekomo hu
yifen", so that it sounded like the continuation of "Baruch kevod".
People would start copying them and do it too, and the siddur printers
would then print it that way, and we'd be where we are now with the

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Message: 12
From: Simon Montagu
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2016 01:40:30 +0300
[Avodah] Kaddish after Torah reading at Minha

I know that we don't say Kaddish after the Torah reading at Minha on
Shabbat because we say the Kaddish before Shemone Esre almost immediately

Why does the same apply to Yom Kippur, when there's a massive Haftara
before we get to that Kaddish? Is it a kind of Lo Felog, that the reading
on YK minha shouldn't seem more important than on Shabbat, or what?

GHT, GY, and MA!
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Message: 13
From: saul newman
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2016 08:48:12 -0700
[Avodah] alenu edit


what group besides chabad spits?
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