Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 100

Thursday, January 11 2001

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 14:43:28 +0000
From: luntz <luntz@demon.co.uk>
RE: [heicha Kedusha and] Davening

From MPoppers@kayescholer.com =====
>In Avodah V6 #96, CLuntz responded:
>> I have now checked Yoreh Deah
>(siman 124, si'if 3)... <
>I don't have YD at the office, but perhaps
>you meant OC 124:2?

Sorry, meant OC.

>> ...and note that the Rema explicitly provides
>for heicha kiddusha bsha'as hadchak and
>specifically gives the example of
>running out of time.  That, to my mind,
>takes it out of the category of an action
>against the text and puts it firmly within
>the category of "black letter halacha". <
>I know RW can defend his own words, but I think
>you're misreading them -- by "BLH," he apparently
>meant the Halachic _norm_, not Halacha in toto, as
> no one argues that "sha'as had'chak" is an extra-Halachic

Part of what is unfair about this conversation is that we are using a term 
"black letter halacha", which is derived from the secular legal term "black 
letter law" which has a particular meaning, but which, not suprisingly may not 
be a meaning known to those who are not lawyers.

Perhaps we should replace the term "black letter halacha" with the term 
"codified halacha", which I think will give those non lawyers out there a 
better flavour of its meaning.  If hecha kedusha is mentioned explicitly in 
the Shulchan Aruch, it is codified halacha par excellence (although a ruling 
in Mishna Brura, Aruch HaShulchan, Shulchan Aruch HaRav will also, to my mind 
fall within that rubric, although these codified opinions are of course given 
less weight than the SA).

The contrast between heicha kiddusha and women not davening is therefore 
clear. If you want to know about the permissibility of not always doing the 
full chazaras hashatz, go look it up in the SA and you will find it mentioned, 
if you want to know about the permissability of women not davening, go look it 
up where?

>  That said, MB 124:6 couldn't be clearer --
>a takanas CHaZaL is not Mickey Mouse stuff.
>> What is a sufficient bsha'as hadchak is,
>of course, a matter of judgment... <
>...or of p'sak.

the topic under discussion was of a Rav giving a psak.  RRW was suggesting 
many rabbonim (of which note he is one) paskening like the prevailing minhag 
against black letter halacha, and gave heicha kedusha as an example.  I 
countered that heicha kedusha is black letter halacha (ie codified) although 
clearly each Rav needs to exercise his judgment in rendering his p'sak in the 
particular circumstances.

>  I fear that many pasken for themselves
>in this area without considering/understanding all the
>Halachic criteria; since the area has previously
>been discussed on Avodah, let's leave it at that.
>> ...but given that Yoreh Deah 110
>explicitly deals with the conflict
>when workers have to both daven and work,
>this is a not unreasonable matter to take
>into account when making that judgement. <
>How many (the same "many" as above :-)) truly fall
>into this category?

That is a matter for the Rav in question to determine, using his judgement 
(shikul hadaas).  The point is, if somebody comes and says that a certain Rav 
allows heicha kedusha for mincha on the basis of work commitments (how can he 
possibly do such a thing, isn't he poskening against the halacha?) the answer 
is no, heicha kedusha is specifically allowed in certain circumstances, and it 
is perfectly appropriate and within the halachic mainstream to take work 
commitments into account when determining such matters.  Whether these are 
real work commitments or something else is again to be determined on the 
ground, ie is a question of judgement of the meitzius.

> or do they take their time to be
>more important than time spent on t'fillo?  Take
>the situation in my office, a law firm (where Minchah
>is not billable time :-)), and you have a point,
>but is such always the case?  Take the situation as RW
>posed it some time ago (where there may not be a
>minyan unless there is "heicha Kedushah"), and a
>posaik may make that judgement, but is such
>always the case?  Shouldn't we have just a bit of
>yir'as Shomayim when invoking sha'as had'chak
>against a takonas CHaZaL?

Assuming this decision is not being made by a disinterested Rav (he is neither 
employing you nor being employed), but by the employees themselves obviously 
one of the things one has to take into account is is yir'as shomayim, and 
whether this is really being done l'shem shamayim.  On the other hand, one 
genuinely does need to take into account the ben adam l'chavero but no less 
halachic obligations of an employee to his employer.  We potentially have here 
two conflicting mitzvos.  Whether we have actual conflict or a fantasised 
conflict is, in the absence of a rav to decide the matter, a matter for the 
individual's own cheshbon nefesh.  But I think it is important that we do not, 
while pointing that out, to in any way downplay the obligations of an employee 
to an employer, even by implication.


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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 08:53:46 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
Re: [heicha Kedusha and] Davening

On 9 Jan 01, at 18:50, MPoppers@kayescholer.com wrote:

> How many (the same "many" as above :-)) truly fall into this category?
> or do they take their time to be more important than time spent on
> t'fillo? Take the situation in my office, a law firm (where Minchah is
> not billable time :-)), and you have a point, 

Why? Does sh'as ha'dchak necessarily follow from monetary loss? 
If so, does that apply regardless of size of monetary loss? I realize 
that there are New York law firms who bill partners' time at $1000 
an hour these days (halevay alay :-), but I'm not sure that amount 
of money would make a sh'as ha'dchak, certainly not on a daily 
basis for someone with that kind of income level.

but is such always the
> case? Take the situation as RW posed it some time ago (where there may
> not be a minyan unless there is "heicha Kedushah"), 

If people really do have the time to daven a full chazoras ha'shatz 
but want to cop out so they can go to the store to buy something 
during their lunch hour, does that make a sh'as ha'dchak?

> and a posaik may
> make that judgement, but is such always the case? Shouldn't we have
> just a bit of yir'as Shomayim when invoking sha'as had'chak against a
> takonas CHaZaL?

I agree with you. I have never seen a sh'as ha'dchak defined and I 
have never understood how minyanim use this heter to make a 
heiche kdusha on a daily basis (and yes, I have davened in 
minyanim that did so).

-- Carl

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 20:40:10
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
heicha kedusha and hazarat haShatz

David Bannett: <Chana Luntz and previous postings for and against
heicha kedusha, IIRC, all ignore the Rambam and his son R' Avraham who
recommended abolishing the chazarat hashatz and had at least partial
success. Although later posekim reversed their decision, to this day
many Sephardic shuls on Shabbat Mussaf have heicha kedusha and no silent
shmoneh esrei.>

Since R. David and I agree that all the nits that are fit to pick,
and all the quibbles that are fit to quabble, should be:
The Rambam and R. Avraham did not recommend. They abolished hazarat
hashatz. The Radvaz attests that their taqqana lasted till his day in
Egypt, although he was among those who got the Egyptians to go back to
saying hazarat hashatz.

David: <Similarly, the Darda'i Yemenite nusach has heicha kedusha,
great followers of the Rambam, they.>

The Rambams taqqana has nothing in common with what Ashkenazim call heikh
kedusha. (David: I apologize, I know you know this, but your words may
have confused some readers.) The Rambam's taqqana is that everyone in
the tzibbur davens word by word with the shatz, and the shatz says the
entire Shmone 'Esrei out loud, including kedusha.

Joel Rich: <R' Avraham suggested eliminating it (where did you see that
his father did as well?)>

I will bring in the reference tomorrow, b'n, but this is mentioned twice
IIRC in the Rambam's tshuvot, besides the Radvaz, and R. Avraham mentions
it in his tshuvot.

Joel: <because people were talking and spitting etc. instead of paying
attention as they should.>

Since I am picking nits and quabbling, the Rambam does not mention talking
(NO ONE is so far debased as to talk or collect tzedaqa during hazarat
hashatz, nicht wahr?!). Rather, the problem was that people were spitting,
and turning around and not facing mizrah. Halvai these should be our only
problems during hazarat hashatz today! And the Rambam states explicitly
and specifically that this causes a hillul Hashem in the eyes of the
Goyim who see the Jews are not serious about davening. That is in line
with what I proved a few issues ago that the Rambam holds hillul Hashem
is defined by what Goyim see and hear, not only Jews. As to why turning
around is considered a hillul Hashem, all you readers know that Muslims
daven only facing Mekka, all facing the same way, doing 'amida, qida,
and hishtahavaya (all based on how Jews used to daven). R. Avraham even
says that Jews are obliged to daven in straight rows, basing it on the
gemara, and that is in line with what the Muslims do as well (he thinks
they got it from the Jews).

So from Muslim used to that, Jews turning in different directions during
hazarat hashatz indeed leads them to think that Jews don't care about

Joel: <Our goal should be to have people understand the meaning of tfilat
hatzibur (per R'YBS) rather than eliminating it.> Quite right. It is clear
from the Rambam's tshuvot that he did this only bdi'eved, and would have
rather kept silent shmone 'Esreh and hazarat hashatz. But again, halvai
the only problems we have with hazarat hashatz should be his problems.

I will also add that the way heikhe kedusha is done nowadays, it does not
solve the problem. People still are not paying strict attention during
the beginning, people are going in and out and disturbing the davening,
and people talk after they finish when others right next to them are
still davening.

Rich Wolpoe: <IIRC the Arizal made a special avodah of intently listening
to CH as a separate form of Tefilah iva listening instead of via slient
recitation. If so the two schools have one thing in common, either pay
attetion to CH properly or dispense with it.>

Basically true, but one note: The Rambam's taqqana had full shmone 'Esrei
from beginning to end by the shatz, just that everybody davened together
with him. That is not quite the same as abolishing hazarat hashatz. K't,

Seth Mandel

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 11:03:16 -0500
From: "Ron Bratt" <RBRATT@courts.state.ny.us>
mincha w/o tachanun

From:  Daniel Schiffman
> Does anyone know the source for the minhag of davening mincha without
> tachanun, every day? (My father keeps this minhag, but I do not.)

Rabbi Reisman taught that one reason nusach sefard may omit tachanun is because it requires tremendous concentration and one may have difficulty mustering up this kavanah in the middle of the day.

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 19:26:26
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Mincha without Tachanun

Daniel Schiffman: <Does anyone know the source for the minhag of davening
mincha without tachanun, every day? (My father keeps this minhag, but
I do not.)>

Carl Sherer: <It's fairly common among certain Chasidim. See Sefer Divrei
Torah of the Minchas Elazar Mahadura 3, #83.>

The source of the minhag is clear, and is attested to several times
among aharonim, although usually agav orha.

But first the halakhic background: in the time of the geonim and early
rishonim the custom was not fixed about not saying tahanum at maariv. R.
Sa'adya Gaon testifies that many people did, and there is nothing wrong
with it; the Rambam says "yehidim" (i.e. a few people) say tahanun after
'Arvit, except for Yom Kippur when "everybody says." The widespread
custom, however, in the time of the Rambam in the countries he was in
was not to say it, and in Ashkenaz I don't know of any testimony that
even yehidim said it.

This was not mentioned by the Tur, but the Beis Yosef brings his rebbi
Mahari Abuhab, quoting a Kabbalistic book, that at night there is no
tahanun with reasons 'al pi qabbolo and saying "v'qarov hadavar l'qatzetz
ban'ti'ot" if you do say it at night. The Mehabber codifies that view in
SA 131. But since it was accepted that you say tahanun during s'lihot,
the Mahari Abuhab carves that out with the rational that it is close to
day. The aharonim understood this logically: during bein hash'mashot
you can say tahanun, but not when it is night. And so even though the
MB cautions against ever davening Minha after shqi'a (yes, even on
'erev shabbat), you could still say tahanun if you finished minha right
at sh'qi'a.

However, since the reason brought 'al pi qabbolo is so serious (for
those who have not learned qabbolo, l'qatzetz ban'ti'ot is nothing to
be light about), many people, communities, and all hasidim abandoned
saying tahanun bain hash'mashot.

That's the halokho. The history: at the time chasidus started, many
communities had started davening minha late (vs. earlier minhag ashkenaz,
where you davened before p'lag haminha). Several sources note this; I
just remember off the top of my head a statement in Nefesh Hahayyim that
many people won't daven minha until the stars came out. This was also the
universal custom among hasidim. I have asked many from Europe, and they
all told me that chassidim (and some other places) normally davened minha
after sh'qi'a, and not a minute or two like they do in America (due to the
"misnagdification of chassidim"!), but long after. As has been posted,
many still do on 'erev shabbos at least, and some do even during the
week. None that I have heard of davened before sh'qi'a, although I do
not have testimony about what the Lyubavitche chassidim and the Rebbes
did in Europe. Although they did not see any problem with davening minha
at that time, chassidim took the qabbolo aspect very seriously and would
not say tahanun.

That was the minhag.

Unfortunately, in America, things have changed, but some minhogim have
not. Some people of chassidic background will come to a minha minyan at
minha gedola where they work, but refrain from saying tahanun because
their parents or rebbe had not said tahanun after minha. They do not
understand the second part of the equation, however, that their parents
or rebbe never used to daven minha early.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 15:48:38 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
RE: Mincha without Tachanun

From:  Daniel Schiffman
> Since Hassidim davened mincha very late in the day after dark, therefore
> it was too late for nefilas apayim. This would mean that those who do
> daven earlier might say Tachanun anyway.

I had always assumed that chassidim never said tachanun at mincha because
they regularly davened after shkia. However, I listened to tape from R'
Reisman a while ago where he gave a different reason.

He explained exactly what tachanun is. Basically, he explained that
tachanun represents our total and complete submission to HKBH, and,
if done improperly/insincerely, one is chayiv misa (in some way).
Therefore, chasidim refrain from saying tachanun at mincha when it is
difficult to concentrate properly (as opposed to shacharis, when one's
mind is free and clear of the hassles and burdens of daily living).
(This is obviously a very brief summary; you'll have to listen to
the tape to get the full flavor and to hear the ra'ayos he brings).
(This explains why these chasidim omit tachanun whether they daven mincha
before or after shkia.)

I should mention that RYR said this explanation only as a limud z'chus
for those yidden who don't say tachanun at mincha; he explained that
the proper course of action is to force oneself to concentrate and then
say tachanun.

KT Aryeh

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 14:16 +0200
From: BACKON@vms.huji.ac.il
Re: Learning out loud

[I just answered the identical question on MAIL JEWISH with an extended
explanation how it works and what it could do to Jewish education]

[Could we avoid starting such parallel discussions? Limit your question
to the single most proper venue. Thanks. -mi]

See Pirkei Avot 6:6 on *arichat sefatayim* and the Maharal in Derech Chaim
6th Perek "she'im motzi b'safa arucha b'yoter mo'il l'havanat hadavar heitev
velo ka'asher yilmad b'lev".


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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 10:42:19 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: Some Thoughts on Limud Zechut

From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com [mailto:MPoppers@kayescholer.com]
> Perhaps Tosfos held "mayim acharonim" to be nothing more than an aitzah
> tovah (a thought that I personally have no proof for but which was
> mentioned to me some time ago)?

But that's exactly my point.  Tosfos may hold that, but that contradicts the
gemara which mentions not only the issue of melach sdomis but also brings a
pasuk "ki shem Hashem ekra--elu mayim rishonim, havu godel leilokenu--elu
mayim achronim."  The rishonim other than Tosfos understand this din as a
takkanah drabbanan--as hachanah (cleanliness) for bentching.  As Dr. Chaim
Soloveitchik pointed out, people ate with their hands until the late Middle

Kol tuv,

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 12:58:16 +0000
From: yidubitsky@JTSA.EDU
Rashbam and IE

RIZ writes:
> ...It is my understanding that the view of the Rashbam was censored
> out of the usual Mikraot Gedolot texts.  In fact, there appears to be no
> Rashbam commentary in the first few parshiot.  The Hama'or edition of
> Mikraot Gedolot has some Rashbam on parsha bereishit ...  It is possible
> that the Merkaz Harav chumash has more of the peyrush.  I remember
> seeing the Shulsinger 6 volume "chumash" many years ago which contained,
> apparently, the full text of the Rashbam....and when did the Rashbam's
> peyrush on the beginning of bereishit fall into disfavor (and by whom)?
> My own supposition is that some printer got a notion into his head as to
> what belongs on the page and what doesn't.....

Just to clarify some misconceptions. It is true that early printers may be
faulted for numerous errors of omission or commission, but I am afraid the
"censor[ing of Rashbam] out of the usual Mikraot Gedolot" is not one of
them. The early printers of the Humashim/Nakh with peirushim included
those mefarshim most commonly used by people in that time and place,
and of course also which manuscripts were available. Chances are that
Rashbam was not being studied [or, for the yeshivishe amongst us: learned]
in the late 1400s, early 1500s, and probably not much after that either.
The first printing of Rashbam al ha-Torah was in Berlin, 1705. This, as
is still the case with many of the standard Mikraot Gedolot editions,
was based on a manuscript lacking text in many places. Only in 1882
did D. Rosin finally print an edition that was based on two separate
manuscripts that includes much more, and of a qualitatively superior
level, of the peirush. But even this lacks commentary to many perakim;
there simply is no manuscript in the world AFAIK that includes all of his
peirush. [Why certain texts (or: sefarim) fall into disuse or out of use
may often be due to various reasons. I assume many would like to think
this primarily is due to Hashga.hah, but I for one am not convinced....]

Rosin, therefore, added where he could peirushim relevant to those
pesukim which Rashbam speaks about elsewhere in his peirush. The
Shulzinger edition, of which RIZ speaks, is merely a copy of the Rosin
(Breslau 1882) edition. The Mosad ha-Rav Kook's *Torat Hayim* includes
the texts and many notes of Rosin's text, and many more that they added
themselves. The *MG ha-Maor* uses Rosin's text as well.

> Amihai alluded to Avraham Ibn Ezra's polemic against those who
> allegedly defamed the shabbat by insisting that the biblical day started
> in the morning and ended the next morning....Does anyone have more
> detailed knowledge of what particularly bothered Ibn Ezra (if, indeed,
> the dream about shabbat hamalka issuing a complaint against the Rashbam
> was actually cited by Ibn Ezra)

and RRW suggested:
> Is it possible that the Ibn Ezra's polemic was against the Kara'im?

U. Simon has a famous (and fascinating!) article entitled "Le-darko
ha-parshanit shel ha-RAB"E al-pi sheloshet bi'urav le-fasuk e.had" in
the *Bar-Ilan Annual* vol. 3 (1965) pp. 92-138. In it, he details the
three *different* peirushim Ibn Ezra gives to the "va-yehi erev va-yehi
boker" pasuk, and the reasons (e.g. different audiences) he did so.
Without going into great detail, there are serious doubts as to whether
it was the Rashbam's comment that IE was challenging.

Bi-tefilah la-Ma`avir yom u-Mevi lailah she-yanhileinu yom she-kulo
Yisrael Dubitsky

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Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 13:04:02 -0500
From: MPoppers@kayescholer.com
Re: Shvi'i

In Avodah V6 #99, ABannett replied:
> As my Sabba could testify there is a more accurate nosach: Ve'Hasevi'i
> ratzita bo.

Correct...and perhaps your Sabba (or SMandel, as part of explaining why
he chose to publicize "uvash'vi-i," a reading that I've seen no source
for & which, IMHO, makes little sense) could elaborate (on Mesorah rather
than Avodah, if he feels his reply would put us to sleep ahead of our
"Shabbos m'nuchah" :-)) on the nussach?

All the best from
Michael Poppers * Elizabeth, NJ

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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 15:21:31
From: "" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Re: Shvi'i

> As my Sabba could testify there is a more accurate nosach: Ve'Hasevi'i
> ratzita bo.

Michael Poppers:
> Correct...and perhaps your Sabba (or SMandel, as part of explaining why
> he chose to publicize "uvash'vi-i," a reading that I've seen no source
> for & which, IMHO, makes little sense) could elaborate (on Mesorah rather
> than Avodah, if he feels his reply would put us to sleep ahead of our
> "Shabbos m'nuchah" :-)) on the nussach?

Hoo boy, I see I got myself in trouble now, with R. David's progeny
(indubitably a heir to his wits) and a baal qore from Elizabeth both
questioning my motives for perpetuating inaccurate nusha'ot. But I learned
from R. David not to give up so easily. And there is what to discuss here,
so l'hagdil Torah ulha'adirah here goes:

First, two of 'amudei hora'a for nusha'ot, R. Sa'adya and the Rambam,
don't have this phrase at all. R. Sa'adya does not have the whole
paragraph starting "v'lo n'tatto"; the Rambam has it (in MUSAF!!),
but ends off "zera' Y'shurun 'asher bam baharta, hemdat yamim oto qarata."

So then we are left with R. 'Amram Gaon and the Roqeah. In his edition
of R. 'Amram, Daniel Goldshmidt has "uvash'vi'I ratzita bo" etc., and in
the footnotes sayts that 3 mss. all have it that way, "but nevertheless
it appears that it is not part of the original (Ms. M does not have
it in Musaf, and R. Sa'adya also does not have it)". [Aside: I do not
understand his parenthetical remark. First, what difference does it make
that Ms. M doesn't have it in Musaf, it does have it in Shaharit? Second,
R. Sa'adya is not a raaya for R. 'Amram: they differe on many things. I
may be misunderstanding him; R. David, maybe you understand this?]

At any rate, regardless whether the nusah is original in R. 'Amram Gaon's
work, it appears in 3 of the best mss. of that work (M, Z, and A), all of
which are pretty old (M is 14th-15th century). So the nusah "uvash'vi'i"
is attested in old mss., and none of those have "v'hash'vi'i." (M.,
accroding to Goldshmidt, is Sefaradi; Z. is Italian, and A. is northern
French. Perhaps our esteemed haver Yisrael Dubitsky can date the ms. Z
for us: it is JTS # 4074 (previously Halberstam 489/490).

Now to the Roqeah. Unfortunately, R. Herschler's edition of the Roqeah's
siddur lacks any apparatus, and R. Herschler z'l was more concerned with
the Roqeah's perushim than he was with textual accuracy: from photos of
a couple of pages of the mss. I have noted several inaccuracies in the
printed edition. None of these change the perush, but they are relevant
for establishing the text of the siddur. With the caveat, therefore, that
I have not checked the mss. of the Roqeah's siddur myself, R. Herschler
has the text as (drum roll, please!) "uvash'vi'i."

I think now I can rest my case (although I am sure R. David will have
quibbles to quabble with me about: I am leaving him plenty of room
"l'hitgadder bo"). We have shown that the oldest sources have the vav. So
even though the version with the he' makes more sense (I do agree with
that), the rishonim, who knew what they were doing, must have understood
what their nusah meant. I have some ideas, but I shall leave them for
another post, since they are only guesses.

Seth Mandel

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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 02:47:38 +0200
From: "D. and E-H. Bannett" <dbnet@barak-online.net>
Shabbat, gender

R'SethM wrote:
> shabbas qodshokh...vo " at Shaharis, which is now standard Ashkenaz
> and Sefarad (but not Teimon)

As it has become customary for me to add a few words to those of R'
Seth, I would like to point out that the Yekkes also do not accept the
vo version in the morning or the vam in mincha. They say vah at all
Shabbat tefilot. See Roedelheim or Avodat Yisrael siddur.

It would appear that there are or were three nuschaot and some give each
a fair turn.

Shabbat ....bah
Yom Shabbat ...bo
Shab'tot ....bam

For those too young to remember, the main use made of these three forms
in the US in the first half of the previous century was to describe the
state of shmirat Shabbat. Friday night bah: the wife ran home to light
candles and make Shabbos while the husband remained in the store. In the
morning bo: the wife opened the store while the husband went to shul.
Saturday afternoon bam: they closed the store.


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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 09:16:31 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
Re: Learning out loud

From: YFel912928@aol.com Yaakov Feldman
> What's common-practise/halach-l'maaseh regarding learning out loud?
> Shulchan Orach HaRav disallows it, and accounts it of no avail unless
> one is delving into something in his mind...

RSZA (Halichos Shlomo p. 75) brings the Shulchan Orach HaRav (Hilchos Talmud
Torah 2:12) which says that mitzvas talmud torah is like any "mitzva
hat'luya b'dibur," and therefore, if one learns without saying the words out
loud (when it is possible to do so), he he has not fulfilled "chovas mitzvas
v'l'madetem osam."

RSZA calls this a "chidush gadol, v'tzarich iyun."  Since understanding
Torah is the ikar component of limud hatorah, it is certainly sufficient to
be thinking in Torah.  (And, therefore, I would assume that "if the
individual truly learns better in silence, and is able to retain that way
better," it is better to learn silently rather than out loud.) 

And even though there is a limud of "chaim haim l'motzeihem .... l'motzeihem
b'peh," this is fulfilled when one is learning with a chavrusa, and one
person is saying and his chaveir is listening.  Id.


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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 09:24:35 -0500
From: "Stein, Aryeh E." <aes@ll-f.com>
Re: heicha kedusha

From: Gil.Student@citicorp.com
>David wrote:
>> Chana Luntz and previous postings for and against heicha kedusha, IIRC, all 
>> ignore the Rambam and his son R' Avraham who recommended abolishing the 
>> chazarat hashatz and had at least partial success....

> Fascinating.  Do you have a source for that?

The words of the Rambam and his son R' Avraham are brought in Halichos
Shlomo p. 120 (in the footnotes).


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Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 08:26:40 EST
From: Zeliglaw@aol.com
Fwd: Dvar Torah Umada - Vayechi

an excellent review of the mkorros and history of Meoras Hamachpelah
                                Steve Brizel

The Cave of Machpelah
David Kahn

This weeks portion opens with our Patriarch Jacob's request to Joseph that
he be buried in Cana'an next to his forebears. Later we read how Joseph
fulfills this request -- "And [Jacob's] son's carried him to the land
of Cana'an and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which
Abraham purchased with the field for a possession of a burying-place from
Efron the Hittite before Mamre" (1). Abraham's purchase is well documented
in the Bible (2); so much so that our sages say it is one of three places
that clearly belongs to the Jewish people (3). In the city of Hebron
there is a centuries-old massive building, made from large Herodian-style
stones, purportedly on the site of the cave of Machpelah. This article
hopes to shed some light on the authenticity of this claim by examining
early eyewitness accounts and more recent archeological finds. The
substantiation of our claim to the cave of Machpelah is very important;
our sages compared it with the fulfillment of the Ten Commandments (4).

Scholars differ as to who built the building on the site. Rabbi Ishtori
HaParchi (Kaftor VaFerach) mentions a tradition that the huge stones
were taken from the site of the Temple at the time of King Solomon (5).
Many historians claim that the building was built by Herod, due to the
fact that the stones bear a striking resemblance to the stones of the
walls surrounding the Temple Mount (i.e. Western Wall) presumably built
by him (6). B.Z. Luria argues that Herod built the Temple itself, of
which no stones remain, but not the walls surrounding the Temple Mount.
In addition, the historians of Herod's time do not attribute such a
building to him, although many other buildings are mentioned. Luria
asserts that other walls built with the same style stone (i.e. the
palace of Hyrkanus ben Joseph of Beit Tuvia in modern-day Jordan;
approx. 8 km west of Amman) predate Herod by at least 150 years (7) and
posits that the building was built by Edomites around the beginning of
the second century BCE (8).

These scholars concede that the building existed at the time of Herod.
A difficulty then arises when we read Josephus' description of the
Patriarchs' tombs -- "Their tombstones can be seen in this city until
today. They are made of beautiful marble..."(9) -- without any mention
of the magnificent wall surrounding them. J. Braslavi offers as possible
explanations that Josephus himself never visited Hebron and based his
description on others; or that he forgot to write about it; or that a
scribe copying the manuscript inadvertently omitted it (10). Much more
difficult is the story in the Talmud concerning Rabbi Banaah who went to
mark the graves of the Patriarchs as a warning to Kohanim and others to
avoid coming too close and thereby becoming ritually impure (11). As R.
Banaah was of the later Tanaaim, over 200 years after Herod, of what
need was there to mark the graves when they were already clearly marked
by the present building surrounding them? R. Ishtori HaParchi solves the
problem by emending one letter in the text (me'ayein instead of
metzayein); he went to inspect the graves, not mark them (12). Rabbi
Isaac Alfasi (RIF) writes that R. Banaah experienced the story recounted
in a dream (13) and all dreams have inaccuracies (14).

The earliest written description of a building on the site is by an
anonymous traveler from Phlaknetinus (570 CE) who describes a basilica
with four rows of columns or gates. There were two separate entrances
for Jews and Christians.(15)

Caves do exist under the building and we have many reports of people
who have entered them. Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela (1171) reports "A man
went down steps with a lit candle in his hand; he went down into one
cave, where there was nothing, then a second, until he came to a third
and behold there were six graves." Rabbi Pesachya of Regensburg visited
ten years later and reported that the second cave was locked with heavy
iron. Thirty years later (1210) Rabbi Shmuel ben R. Shimshon states that
there were three tombstones in the lower cave. Dovid HaReuveni (1523)
and R. Gershon ben R. Eliezer (1624) entered the upper cave and were
blocked from the lower cave by an iron gate. Other rabbis of the 18th
and 19th centuries reported seeing entrances into the upper caves.(16)

The Italian architect Armet Pierotti described his entrances into the
caves. The first was on November 8, 1856. He entered through an
underground passageway in the Mosque of Jeulie and saw a cave filled
with wooden caskets. He also noticed other natural openings that
connected the interior of the cave. The second, on August 25, 1859, is
described dramatically. "I saw how they rolled back a carpet and
afterwards opened with a key an iron lattice and the Sheikh went down
steps 70 cm. wide chiseled out of bedrock." Pierotti tried to sneak in
with the entourage but was discovered and only managed to reach the
fifth step before being beaten and removed. He claimed to have bent down
and seen tombstones in the northern part of the cave and to have
discerned a rock wall on the southern side near the steps that connect
the upper cave with the lower cave.(17)

At the end of November 1917, when General Allenby discovered that
Hebron was not being defended by the Turks, he sent a light force,
headed by Colonel R. Meinertzahgen, to organize an administrative
apparatus there. The Colonel's search for leaders of the community led
him to the Cave of Machpelah, which he found deserted. At one point,
behind the symbolic monument of Abraham's tomb, he discerned a door
slightly ajar at the base of one of the walls. The door was 4 feet (1.2
m) high; inside, the floor was bedrock and slanted downward at a 45
degree angle. At the bottom was a room about 7 yards across. The rock
floor was more or less straight with a few cracks in it. The walls,
which did not appear to be too straight, were covered with a thick layer
of dust and smoke. The impression was one of dirt and neglect. At one
end of the room he saw a cement or stone rectangle about 2x1 meters,
flanked by four engraved metal pillars, two on each side.

The archeologist L.H. Vincent has difficulties with Pierotti's account
above. At a later date, his associate, E.J.H. Mackay, asked
Meinertzahgen to show him the door through which he entered the cave,
but they found it sealed. Vincent himself describes two entrances to the
caves underneath -- one sealed off near the symbolic monument of Isaac's
tomb, the other in the same room at the opposite wall, which separates
that room from Abraham's tomb mentioned above. Vincent managed to
measure the depth of this second cave -- 4.25 meters. There was a
strong wind blowing in the cave and a low doorway on the western side of
the southern wall. Two steps were carved out of the bedrock in the
doorway. This fits the description of other ancient Jewish subterranean
burial places. (18)

It should be pointed out that for over 700 years, Moslem control of the
site severely limited Jewish or Christian access to the building. Jews
were only allowed to enter the southeast entrance and to climb until the
seventh step. A hole in the wall at that spot continues into the
building and is opposite one of the entrances to the caves below.

After the Six Day War, General Moshe Dayan sent a thin girl named
Michal into the second cave described by Vincent. She measured it with
footsteps and took pictures. Dayan publicized this when he was Minister
of Defense in 1976. (19) It as also brought in his book, "Chayai Im
HaTanach". The entrance leads to a 3x3 m room, which contained Moslem
artifacts. On one side is a tunnel which connects underneath the sealed
entrance described by Vincent. At the end of the tunnel are 16 steps,
which lead to another sealed entrance. In the middle of the tunnel is
another entrance, sealed by stones.

In 1985, archeologist Dr. Zev Yevin, described in an article more
details concerning this second cave. In a recent interview given to
Nachrichten aus Israel (News from Israel), a German news agency, Yevin,
former Deputy Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, explained
that in 1980 he enterethe cave with others to determine whether or not
damage had been caused there. The facts surrounding this entrance were
kept secret for political reasons. They opened a floor plate in the
cave and lowered themselves into an oval chamber (3 m diameter) from
which a passage led to a second smaller oval room (2 m diameter). The
chambers are similar to other burial chambers common at the time of
Abraham 4000 years ago. In the larger room they found pieces of a lamp
and a clay jug from the Crusader period; this would seem to confirm the
report of the Arab traveler Ali El-Harawi that Christian monks entered
the caves in 1119, found bones and washed them with wine. In the smaller
chamber they found clay shards from the 8th-9th centuries BCE (first
Temple period). In the upper cave they found Latin script containing the
names Jacob and Abraham.(20)

From all of the above the following conclusions can be reached. The
outer walls of the building considered today to be on the site of the
cave of Machpelah are probably over two thousand years old. There are
caves under the building which descend more than one level. (21) The
cave seems to have been in use at the time of the first Temple. As far
as can be determined, recorded history has continuously considered this
site to be the traditional burial place of the Patriarchs.

Rabbi David Kahn, JCT Alumnus, is a computer programmer and was Ram in
the JCT one-year program for English speaking students from overseas.

(1) Bereishit (50:13)
(2) Bereishit (23:1-20)
(3) Bereishit Rabah (79:7)
(4) Bereishit Rabah(58:8) see Matnot Kehuna there
(5) Kaftor VaFerach (Chapter 11)[Lunz (p.300); Edelmann(p.48)]
(6) BT Succah (51b)
(7) Josephus, Antiquities (12,11)
(8) Sefer Hevron ed. Oded Avishar [Katav 1970 (p. 273-276)]
(9) Josephus, Wars of the Jews IV (9,7)
(10) See 8 above (p.286)
(11) BT Bava Batra (58a)
(12) See 5 above. This answer is supported by the end of the story there
that states "He went in, looked ('ayein), and came out".
(13)She-alot UTeshuvot HaRif I (313)
(14) BT Berachot (55a)
(15)Hebron, LeHaram El-Khalh, L.H. Vincent, E.J.H. Mackay, F.M. Abel,
Editions Ernest Leroux Paris, 1923 (p.157)
(16) Igarot Verishmei Bikur (Sha'ar IV)
(17) Machpela, Armet Pierotti(p. 95)
(18) See 8 (p. 277-284) and 15 above
(19) Kadmoniyot, Shana Tet, Choveret 4 [36], 1976 (pg.129-131)
(20) Ha-Uma (The Nation - quarterly) "Cave of Machpelah and the Monument
upon it", Z. Yevin, No. 127 - Spring 1997. The article contains a
detailed map. Confirmed by oral communication.
(21) See 11 above concerning the double caves of Machpelah

Dvar Torah Umada
Department of Public Relations
Jerusalem College of Technology - Machon Lev
21 Havaad Haleumi St., POB16031
Jerusalem, 91160 ISRAEL
Tel: 972-2-675-1193 Fax: 972-2-675-1190

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