Avodah Mailing List

Volume 06 : Number 138

Monday, February 26 2001

< Previous Next >
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 07:48:43 +0200
From: "Carl and Adina Sherer" <sherer@actcom.co.il>
RE: minimising the sakono

On 25 Feb 01, at 9:15, Rena Freedenberg wrote:
>> Maybe he was machnis atzo into a safek sakanah in order to be matzil
>> acheirim (by giving them hope)?

> But there was no safek to that sakano [it was 100% sakanat nefesh].

> What source is there for any halacha allowing suicide to give others hope?
> Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me. What seems more likely is that it was
> based on the fact that Reb Elchonon thought that there was some way that he
> could save at least some lives by going back instead of staying where he was.

Then why the remark about teaching people how to die al kiddush 
Hashem? (And in fact it's b'yadua that before the Lithuanians - for 
R' Elchonon HY"D never made it to the camps - came to get him, 
he gathered all those around him in the Kovno ghetto and gave 
them a shmooze(!) on having the proper kavanah in performing the 
mitzva of dying al Kiddush Hashem! AIch noflu giborim!).

-- Carl

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer

See pictures of Israel. Point your browser to:


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 15:27:08 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Derivatives of Avodo Zoro and senators

Gershon Dubin:
> In the midst of a long learned discussion about AZ ve'abizrayhu,
> RSM made the following observation:

I think you mean Learned, as in the jurist Learned Hand, whose name
has been recently mentioned in Areivim. Certainly my discussion about
holy cows and jumping Jehosaphats cannot be considered "learned" with a
small l. (Flattery will indeed get you nowhere with me, because I know
the truth!)

Seth Mandel:
> It would seem that since it is a deliberately deformed version of the
> name of their god, it would be muttar to use; is it any different than
> a deformation like kratzmich?

Gershon Dubin:
> Yesh lechalek. The Gemara specifically advises being mechaneh shem
> ra to AZ. Beis Galia/Caria, etc.; I have neither Gemara nor CD at
> work. Kratzmich is in that honored tradition of letzanusa de'avodah
> zara. The deliberately deformed names of their god, however, were
> deformed lichvodo, to avoid saying his name...

As R. Gershon astutely notes, there is a difference in the reason for
deforming the name of AZ. However, I do not think that makes a difference
'al pi halokho: it is still not the shem AZ. In this case, I don't have
just my s'voro to go on: the Havvas Yo'ir says it specifically in a
teshuva he has on the issue. See Siman Alef, Hasogo 11-12. He quotes the
Maharam Mintz talking a coin called "tzelemer," and then notes that he
had been criticised for using the name of a certain coin called after
AZ. He responds that he only used the "shem ham'shubbash v'hamut'e"
used in Bohemia, and not the "shem ha'amitti k'lal." According to him,
that solves the problem: if the name was distorted, even by the christians
themselves, it is muttar according to him.

In addition, there is the opinion brought in the Hagohos Maimoniyos
(Hilkhos AZ, Chapter 5, note 3) and in the Yerei'im (siman 245), that it
is only osur to mention the name of an AZ if the name itself was given to
indicate godship and kingship, but if the AZ is called by a common name,
even if they worship it, it is mutar to use. I referred to the issue in
my post by noting that the name of the christian god is just a common
Jewish name, and therefore should be muttar when used not to refer to
their AZ. But I did not quote this opinion of the Yerei'im and others,
because I confess that I don't understand it. The names of the Greek and
Roman gods in themselves do not in themselves denote godship or kingship,
except for the head AZ of the Greeks, "zeus," which comes from the same
root as Latin theos. So according to this, all the Greek and Roman gods
would be muttar? I don't think that is plain pshat in the g'moro, and the
Rambam doesn't mention this. So I didn't bring this as another reason
to permit the goyishe interjections. But for those who are interested,
the Havvas Yo'ir discusses it in his teshuva op. cit.

However, as I noted in the previous post, there are two separate issues
here: a) l'varer dina alibba d'hilkheso, and the sources continue to
suggest that these goyish interjections should be muttar. See also in this
regard the fact that the Mishna in Avodo Zoro 3:4 talks about the "merhatz
shel afroditi" using the exact name of the Greek goddess aphrodite, even
down to the technically correct transcription of Greek tau as a tet in
Hebrew. Why didn't the mishna distort the name? And, as we mentioned,
the holiday of Saturnalia is mentioned without corruption in the mishna
1:3 (the form in the printed mishnayos, something like "starnura,"
is not a deliberate distortion: it is a corruption of the copyists
and printers who did not know the word, but all the old manuscripts
as well as rishonim has Saturnalia). The second issue is what I called
harhoqo y'sera from AZ, or, as R Gershon put it, "the honored tradition
of letzanusa de'avodah zara." From that point of view, the corruptions
that Jews make in the name of AZ itself are an honored/honorable thing
(are we not all honorable men, Brutus?).

R. Gershon:
> The extrapolation to Xmas vs. Christmas is left for the student as
> an exercise.

I might fail that exercise in your class, because I continue to believe
that it is mutar to refer to that day as christmas if necessary. E.g. in
explaining to Israelis why I am off that day ("the business is closed
for christmas") or why I give a shi'ur that night ("it is mutar to learn
on the night before christmas" <grin>). The reasoning is that christ just
means moshiah (the followers of Shabb'sai Tzvi that are still around could
refer to him as their christ in English, see Webster's). So unless we
show kovod or respect for their holiday, e.g. by capitalizing the word,
making it seem as if we acknowledge their claim ch'v to have the moshiah
already, it should be mutar to use the name.

But I am modeh that there is a time-honored tradition of letzonus
regarding AZ, and so I must close with some weak attempt (I am sure R'
SBA has a lot of better examples). Since I am too tired to come up with
my usual puns, let me note something that may have escaped the attention
of our haverim: the maiden name of the freshman senator from NY State is
Rodham. I know you all have been wondering where the name came from. I am
quite sure that all of you, upon waking up in the morning, the first thing
that comes into your head is "now where did she get that name." And now
you can be the first on your block to know. Amaze your friends! Confound
your enemies!

Rodham is a place name (I'm sure you all remember, with groans, our
discussion of place names), with -- ham from the same root as hamlet,
meaning village. The rod -- appears from the early sources to be the
word rod with a long o, sometimes spelled rood, meaning cross. So the
place name was "the village of the cross."

All those, therefore, who are careful about expressions relating to AZ,
must be careful to distort the name (caution to R. Mordechai Horowitz and
other people of the right-wing persuasion: this is not, I repeat NOT,
an opportunity to say not nice things about her, or else both R. Micha
and I will stick out our tongues at you and say Yah.) May I suggest
Xham? Or Tselemshtetl? Or, best of all, Kereszt˙r?

That'll fix those politicians! Just wait: we'll give them all names in
magyarul, and they'll think we're cursing them, but won't be able to
sue for libel!

Seth Mandel

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 15:02:56 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
RTam and 72 minutes and minha

Noah Rothstein:
> It should be noted that there were and are many poskim who held the
> full 72 minutes of RT in America, many both l'kula and l'chumra.

> It should be noted that davening mincha shortly after the first shkia
> is not necessarily being somach on RT but rather being somach that one
> can daven mincha, at least up until to a certain point, during bain
> hashmoshos.

I would like to correct what has been said about RT, since his position
has been misrepresented. It is not anyone's fault; misconceptions about
RT have become standard in the past 150 years. These misconceptions
include: 1) 72 minutes is according to RT. 2) RT's shitta involves "fixed"
(i.e. 60-second) minutes. 3) RT allowed davening minha after sundown.

Before people start throwing things in my direction, let me issue my
disclaimers. I do not mean that there is no shitta of 72 fixed minutes
among poskim, and I do not mean that there is necessarily anything wrong
with such a shitta. But it is improper, nay, impermissible (per hamevi
davar b'shem omro) to attribute them RT.

R. Gil Student brought a very involved discussion of RT in the name of R.
Mordy Willig. I would like to simplify the discussion, though, because
the bases of RT's shitta are really quite easy to understand.

The g'moro P'sahim 94a says that a person can walk 10 parsa'os (40
milin) in a day. It brings two shittos about how a person does this: a)
R. Yohanan, that he walks 5 milin from 'alos haShahar ("AHS") to honetz
haHammo ("HHH"), and 5 milin from sh'qi'as haHammo ("SHH") until tses
haKokhavim ("THK"); b) R. Y'huda, that he walks 4 milin from AHS to HHH,
and 4 from SHH to THK.

RT notes (Tos. S.v. R. Y'huda ad loc.) that this contradicts the g'moro
Shabbos 34b that says that R. Y'huda himself holds that there are only.75
of a mil from SHH to THK. RT's solution, as is well known, is that there
are two sh'qi'as, the first at sunset and the second 3.25 mil thereafter;
in P'sahim it is talking about the first SHH; in Shabbos about the second.

All this is well known, but many people do not spend the time figuring
out what the conclusions are. Namely: any attempt to get from milin to
a time measurement will rest on assumptions about how long it takes to
walk a mil, and that must be reconciled with the g'moro P'sahim. All
such attempts to get to a time measurement rest on the assumption that
the g'moro is talking about equinoctal days, i.e. the two days a year
that the period between sunrise and sunset is exactly 12 hours. If you
do not assume that, then there is no way to get from the g'moro to time
measurements: you would not know whether the g'moro is talking about the
long summer days or the short winter days, and even in E'Y the difference
would be substantial. Some of the rishonim note overtly that the g'moro
is talking about t'qufas Nisan and t'qufas Tishre. All I am adding is
that this assumption is implicit in any attempt to get from milin to time.

So: according to R. Yohanan, 10 milin are transversed before the sun rises
and sets, leaving 30 milin for the 12 hour day, meaning each mil takes 24
minutes (do the math yourself, it's simple), and therefore from AHS to
HHH, and from SHH to THK is 120 minutes on an equinoctal day. According
to R. Y'huda, 8 milin are transversed before the sun rises an sets,
leaving 32 milin for the 12 hour day, meaning each mil takes 22.5 minutes,
and therefore from AHS to HHH, and from SHH to THK is 90 minutes.

That is the end of the story. If you hold "4 milin," then that means 90
minutes (on an equinoctal day). If you hold 5 milin, 120 minutes.

Whence, then, the 18 minutes shi'ur? It rests on the assumption that
all 40 milin are walked between sunrise and sunset. Not R. Yohanan,
not R. Y'huda.
 No shitta that rests on R. Y'huda's 4 milin can accept 18 minute milin.
It contradicts the g'moro.

(I know full well that the SA brings 18 minutes l'gabbei matzo. But look
there, and you will see that none of the rishonim or early aharonim
attribute this to RT or even attempt to reconcile it with RT's two
 Everybody knew that RT rested on a set of different assumptions).

Therefore: a 72 minutes period from SHH to THK is NOT RT; if it
were, it would contradict the very g'moro that RT is trying to
explain. Furthermore, the 90 minute period or 120 minutes is only on
equinoctal days. The rishonim and aharonim were not fools: they knew
the days differed in length, and so they knew that the g'moro P'sahim
could only be talking about equnoctal. Fixed minutes is impossible
to reconcile with the g'moro. However, how to adjust the 90 minutes
or 120 minutes in the different seasons is not so clear. Pashtus from
the g'moro shabbos would indicate that it should be adjusted according
to the amount of light left after SHH, i.e. the degrees the sun has
descended below the horizon. However, that is a complicated calculation,
since the sun descends the fastest in spring and fall, and slower in the
winter, and slowest in the summer. For simplicity, and because of the
halakhic importance of sho'os z'manniyos for issues like q'rias sh'ma'
and t'fillo, some aharonim used sho'os z'manniyos rather than degrees
below the horizon.

Who came up with the impossible idea that RT's 4 milin means 72 minutes,
even if they are not fixed? That is not so clear. Look in all the
rishonim and early aharonim: the idea does not exist. They discuss at
length RT's shitta, but NONE mention 72 minutes, or, indeed, any fixed
time value. The practice of waiting 72 minutes is first brought in the
name of R. Sholom Belzer and R. Hayyim Tzanzer by their talmidim (both
of whom were talmidim of the Hozeh of Lublin, could it be it came from
him?). This is according to R. Hayyim Benish in HaZ'mannim BaHalakha,
who has researched the development of the shi'urim of time. He claims
that prior to that time, all those who followed RT, which was most of
Europe, did their calculations according to observation.

RT devotes a lot of time to discussing which mitzvos depend of his first
sh'qi'a and the second sh'qi'a. In M'nahos 20b, s.v. nifsal, RT gives
a formalistic means of distinguishing: "mishetishqa' hahammo" means
the second sh'qi'a, whereas "mish'qi'as hahammo" means the first. In
Z'vahim 56a, s.v. minayin l'dam, he talks at length about the tomid,
and decides that the dam of the tomid is nifsal after the first sh'qi'a,
in accordance with the rules.

So what about minha? Well, RT addresses the onset of shabbos, time
for q'rias sh'ma' at night, the end of a ta'anis, neros hanukka... but
not minha. The probable reason is that the g'moro and the mishna don't
use either of the l'shonos: the mishna says (B'rakhos 4:1) that it is
'ad ha'erev according to hakhomim, and 'ad p'lag haminha according to
R. Y'hudah.

Now hold on, you who are reading this will tell me. You will say, "Are
you telling me that RT discusses when the tomid is nifsal, and when a
ta'anis is over, but never discusses until when you daven minha?"

Aha, I will answer, he does... BUT. The secret, dear peruser, is that
in all of Ashk'naz and in France, throughout the time of the rishonim
and well into the time of the aharonim, everyone -- that's EVERYONE,
in case you missed my drift -- davened before p'lag haminho. Every
day. Anyone who knows SA knows this is what the R'Mo' says in siman 233
that in Ashk'naz, we have to daven before p'lag every day. The R'Mo'
discusses what to do b'dieved, but that is missing in the books of most
rishonim. They just discuss the practice, that every day you daven before
p'lag. So for RT it made only theoretical difference whether the time of
minha is up until the first or second sh'qi'a, because l'ma'ase it never
happened. And judging from his position about the tomid, since the z'man
of the t'fillos were supposed to correspond to the t'midim, it appears
that he would hold that one cannot daven after the first sh'qi'a.

Yes, the Darkhei Moshe and the R'Mo' bring that b'dieved, the Maharil
used to daven up until "samukh l'THK." But look at the explanation the
R'Mo' brings in the name of the Maharil in the Darkhei Moshe in siman
232. There is no mention of RT's calculations, nor of how his position
would justify it.

I am therefore claiming that there is no basis according to RT for
davening minha after sundown. There is a basis according to various
other issues, including those brought by the Maharil, but not RT. And the
biggest ra'ayo I have is simple: the first time the Beit Yosef and the
Darkhei Moshe, and following them the SA, mention the shitta of RT is in
siman 261, about qabbolas shabbos (the Tur does not discuss it). Where is
the discussion in regard to RT's position about how late you can daven
minha? Why are both the SA and R'Mo' completely silent about this issue
which apparently should be nogea' l'ma'ase every day? My explanation
is that they understood that this is not an issue that RT has taken a
position on, and addrabbo, the implication is that he agrees with what
the talmidim of Rabbenu Yona say b'ferush in B'rakhos, that after sundown
minha is posul.

As I said, and as is well documented, everybody used to daven minha
before p'lag throughout Ashk'naz (how they calculated p'lag is an
issue better left for another time). The first evidence we have of
people davening later occurs, like so many other changes in minhogim,
in the 19th century, where testimony from multiple sources indicates that
people in Eastern Europe would not daven minha until late, usually well
after sundown. This was not originally exclusively a Hasidic practice,
according to the evidence. But two forces fought against this widespread
custom: the Vilner Ga'on and the Alter Rebbe of Lyubavich. Following the
Gro', most Litvish misnagg'dim began to be careful about davening minha
before sundown, and certainly to be m'qabbel shabbos before sundown. Other
sectors of the Jewish population continued the 19th century innovation of
davening minha late, and I mean really late, not a wimpy 7, 8, 10, or 12
minutes after sundown, and similarly being m'qabbel shabbos late. This
is still practiced in some parts of the world: I have seen frum Jews
driving to shul on Friday about 20 minutes after sundown in Stamford Hill,
and others can tell us whether this continues in S. Africa or Australia.

The idea that RT's shitta justifies davening after sh'qi'a, I think, is
a 19th century idea, that came about as an attempt to provide a halakhic
basis for the common practice. So the MB, quoting the Pri M'gadim (one
of the later aharonim), says that the R'Mo' doesn't mean you can daven
minha up until THK, he means a quarter-hour before, based on a s'voro
that according to RT, minha is OK up until the second sh'qi'a. But look in
the Maharil and the Darkhei Moshe, and the Mogen Avrohom and the Taz: no
trace of such an idea. Surely they would mention something so fundamental
to this shitta? The Mogen Avrohom explains the R'Mo', and it is clear
from his explanation that he doesn't consider this connected to RT.

So to conclude (finally!), I think that R' Moshe Shulman is partially
right when he says:
> The FACT is as follows: The machaber, The Ramah, the Mogan Avraham and the
> Taz ALL rule according to RT. The minhag in Europe (excluding the Litah)
> was according to RT (L'hachmer and L'kilah)... This is not a 'Hungarian'
> thing... Even Russian chasidim like Sqvere follow RT.

He is right that the minhag all over Eastern Europe, before the influence
of the Gra and the Ba'al haTanya changed things, was to daven minha
late and be m'qabbel shabbos late, after sh'qi'a. He is also right
that everyone accepted RT regarding the issue of qabbolas shabbos. But
davening minha late is not from RT. What he mentions from the m'habber,
the R'Mo', etc. is only in regard to when one must accept shabbos,
and certainly not the time of minha, because in the time of the Mogen
Avrohom and the Taz they were still davening before p'lag. And, as I
said, 72 minutes is not a shitta that can be reconciled with RT at all,
but does make some sense in connection with the actual times stars came
out in the summer in Eastern Europe.

One last point. R. Noah says: <R' Moshe Wolfson, shlita, has said that
if people could see the tremendous brocho they get from tosfos Shabbos,
they would add hours to Shabbos.> That is true, but one might ask why
R. Wolfson does not give the same musar to people in regard to davening
minha and being m'qabbel shabbos well before sh'qi'a. After all, according
to the g'moro the main issue of tosfos shabbos and yom tov is to start
early. My answer is that I am sure R. Wolfson would prefer that people
daven minha on Friday afternoon early, but he cannot change the custom
of all his congregants so simply. Exhorting them to keep shabbos late,
that is something that is well-engrained in Hasidic custom. But davening
minha early: in the past 200 years primarily only the talmidim of the
Gro' in Europe, and, following them, the yeshivos, did that, and those
are not his congregants; they do not daven the Hasidic nusah, so-called
nusah sfard.

I would also make one caveat to what R. Carl said about davening minha
after sundown: <IIRC R. Moshe held that was about 7 minutes in the US, and
here in Yerushalayim it's 2.5 minutes.> This, as far as I can ascertain,
was said in the name of R. Moshe. R. Moshe himself does discuss that you
can consider the day not over yet for several minutes after sundown for
issues like hefseq taharo and the day regarding a b'ris. He does NOT say
this in regard to davening minha, possibly because the MB is so shtark
about it when he says better daven by yourself than daven (or even finish
davening) after the sun is no longer visible to our eyes. Whether R. Moshe
orally was meqil against the MB I do not know. But I do know that RYBS
insisted that under no circumstances could minha be davened after sundown,
and he paskened like the Gro' also in regard to a bris on shabbos.

Best wishes,
Seth Mandel

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:38:35 EST
From: Joelirich@aol.com
Parshat Zachor

Prior to the nes of purim, was there a specific shabbat (other than in
its normal turn) that parshat zachor was read?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:30:47 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Voss Iz Der Chilluk? #2: MC vol. 1 p. 102

On Sat, Feb 24, 2001 at 10:30:51PM -0500, C1A1Brown@aol.com wrote:
: On Micha's second teirutz - what difference does it make if the B"D is a 
: tzibbur-like corporate entity?  Bottom line the chiyuv devolves onto all of 
: the members involved...

But it devolved in a different way. The ba'al hashor and ba'al habor are
paying as individuals. The dayan is paying as part of the unit. Therefore,
we can't compare the amount each pays. The dayan only pays 1/3 because that
was the amount he contributed to making the unit.

Personally, I prefer my first teiretz, anyway. Apparantly, so do you:
> The first teirutz (the hitztarfus and sibah language match perfectly!) is
> Telshe and beats my attempt at a Telshe teirutz. Yours matches the derech
> better - I'll mark mine as an alternate.

Despite this, RSG gave essentially the same answer, feeling it was more
typical of the Hungarishe approach.

Despite your praise, note that I have not been able to play the chaburah's
game -- I still haven't gotten out of my derech to be able to solve the
problem according to others. (Last week doesn't count -- I phrased the same
answer multiple ways, but I came up with the answer according to R' Shim'on's


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:36:46 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Birur vs. Safek

On Sun, Feb 25, 2001 at 08:39:18AM -0500, Kenneth G Miller wrote:
: If I understand the example properly, hanging the mezuzah cannot be an
: example of "birur", because the diagonal follows neither shita, not
: vertical nor diagonal.

No, I meant it was not an example of p'sak, because we follow neither
shitah. We treat the problem as a safeik that would need birur if there
wasn't some way to be yotzei both.

I'm classing mezuzah with safeik and birur because we don't just sit
down and say "halachah ki-" and follow accordingly.

Which is also what we so often do when we are chosheid for a shitas
rishon. We ignore halachic process which put a shitah to rest, and deal
with it as a safeik -- which then motivates playing safe.


Micha Berger                 When you come to a place of darkness,
micha@aishdas.org            you do not chase out the darkness with a broom.
http://www.aishdas.org       You light a candle.
(973) 916-0287                  - R' Yekusiel Halberstam of Klausenberg zt"l

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:58:32 -0500
From: "David Glasner" <DGLASNER@ftc.gov>
Re: minor fasts

David Glasner:
> But in connection with minor fasts where there is no melachah involved,
> no d'oraisa, and a prolongation of tza'ar and inui nefesh, what is the
> justification for routinely adopting the more stringent opinion?

Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: Pashut: That the confusion between Nacht_1 and Nacht_2 may lead to
: chillul Shabbos by the less sophisticated.

Not so sure. Who say's it's hilul Shabbat? Because someone doesn't follow
your humra doesn't make him a m'halel Shabbat. 30 minutes after sh'kiah
what hilul Shabbat is there?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:23:30 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Mocking Avodah Zarah

From: "Gil Student" <gil_student@hotmail.com>
> Not long ago, I argued on Areivim that it is only permissible to 
> mock Avodah Zarah, not a mitzvah.

It is definitely not pashut that it's a mitzva, as you say. I quoted an
Ari z"l who does say it's a mitzva gedola.

R' Seth, this is NOT what I meant when I left the exercise to the Student.


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:18:29 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
AZ-derived interjections

From: Steve Katz <katzco@sprintmail.com>
> what matters is your das when you say "Goodbye."

Das or da'as?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:19:41 -0500
From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@juno.com>
Who can be a dayan?

From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
> That was an explanation for how someone can pasken, not how a beis 
> din can operate.

I'm afraid you lost me. As we say around here, voss is der chiluk?


Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:43:54 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: minimising the sakono

From: Carl and Adina Sherer [mailto:sherer@actcom.co.il]
>> Maybe [R' Elchanan] was machnis atzo into a safek sakanah in order to be
>> matzil acheirim (by giving them hope)?

> So I'm allowed to move to Azza if I'm moving there to strengthen 
> those who are there already? 

Presumably, it's muttar to be machnis atzmecha into a safek sakanah only if
the benefit to the acheirim is likely to be as great as, or greater than,
your sakanah.  E.g., you may jump into a river to save a drowning person
even if you're not trained as a lifeguard, so long as you are a decent
swimmer and believe that your chances of drowning do not exceed the chances
that you will save the person in the river.

So in your example, how likely is it that your presence in Azza will
actually cause people there, who might have otherwise died, to live?

Kol tuv,

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:52:27 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
Eiver min Hachai

Q1: If a Gentile eats a lobster that is now dead but was put into a
boiling pot while living, is he over Eiver min Hachai?  (sources please)

Q2: If a Gentile dismembers a creature while alive and then later  kills
it.  Is he allowed to consuem the limb that was removed while living.

Best Regards,
Richard Wolpoe
Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com (at Information Builders)

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 12:53:24 -0500
From: "Wolpoe, Richard" <Richard_Wolpoe@ibi.com>
RE: minor fasts

Richard Wolpoe wrote:
: Pashut: That the confusion between Nacht_1 and Nacht_2 may lead to
: chillul Shabbos by the less sophisticated.

David Glasner:
Not so sure. Who say's it's hilul Shabbat? Because someone doesn't follow
your humra doesn't make him a m'halel Shabbat. 30 minutes after sh'kiah
what hilul Shabbat is there?

And if you are not choseish for the Gra's shita {lkula or lechumra} how
can you not be mechallel shabbos?

Rich Wolpoe

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 20:24:20 +0200
From: "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il>
RE: minimising the sakono

[If we're drifting away both from the theoretical and from that which is
lima'aseh for us personally, then perhaps I should take the discussion
back to Areivim. -mi]

On 26 Feb 2001, at 11:43, Feldman, Mark wrote:
> Presumably, it's muttar to be machnis atzmecha into a safek sakanah only if
> the benefit to the acheirim is likely to be as great as, or greater than,
> your sakanah...

> So in your example, how likely is it that your presence in Azza will
> actually cause people there, who might have otherwise died, to live?

Given that your criterion for being matzil acheirim was "by giving them
hope," probably a lot more likely than you think. If I were to move to
Kfar Darom tomorrow morning, is it more likely that I would encourage
people by my being there than it is that R"L I would be killed? Depends
how long your time line is, but in the short run there is no question
that then answer is yes. Over the longer run, the chance of getting
killed R"L might increase, but I'm not sure you can ever say (at least
in the current situation) that it is more likely than not.

-- Carl


Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for my son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.
Thank you very much.

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 14:29:45 -0500
From: "Feldman, Mark" <MFeldman@CM-P.COM>
RE: minimising the sakono

From: Carl M. Sherer [mailto:cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il]
> Given that your criterion for being matzil acheirim was "by giving
> them hope," probably a lot more likely than you think. If I were to 
> move to Kfar Darom tomorrow morning, is it more likely that I would 
> encourage people by my being there than it is that R"L I would be 
> killed? Depends how long your time line is, but in the short run 
> there is no question that then answer is yes. 

Just to make it clear, I was trying to be melamed z'chus on Rav Elchanan
Wasserman. My guess is that it is rare that giving hope to people will
actually lead to their lives being prolonged. It probably happens more
with people weakened & even emaciated by the Holocaust than in a normal
war situation.

Kol tuv,

Go to top.

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 19:36:37 -0000
From: "Seth Mandel" <sethm37@hotmail.com>
Qaddish Part I

This is the first installment of my long dreaded series on Qaddish.

(c) 2001 Seth Mandel
Part I: Basic Text and Meaning

Before I start: 1) I am going to take the liberty of putting the material
that might normally be in the footnotes in the body of the article. I
want to encourage looking up the source. Just skip the items in []'s if
you don't want the footnote material. 2) there are two main threads here,
when qaddish is said, and its language. I will get to both, but not at
the same time. Please have patience. The subject is long and complex.

The yesod hayesodos in considering qaddish, the basic fact that must
be considered, is the surprising (to the modern eye) unanimity of the
earliest sources. All of them agree when it is recited. All of them
agree on the basic language, and the language of most of qaddish is
clearly Aramaic.

The meaning of the prayer, according to its p'shat, is that G-d's name
should be sanctified in the world that He made, as is His will, and that
He should establish His kingdom speedily, and (therebye?) His name will be
elevated higher than any mortal praises. [The fact that it does not mean
"in the world that He created according to His will" is clear from the
paraphrase printed in the siddur when the Sefer Torah is taken out on
Shabbos: "Al hakol yitgaddal v'yitqaddash... sh'mo... ba'olamot shebara,
ha'olam hazze v'ha'olam habba, kirtzono v'kirtzon y're'av." He did not
create the worlds according to our will, rather it is His will that His
name be sanctified. Mippi MvR RYBS. That is also why the Gra' insists
that it should be "div'ra, kir'uteh," and not "div'ra khir'uteh." The
issue is not what I saw some suggest in Avodah a while back, but that
kir'uteh is not in the same clause as div'ra. Al pi diqduq, the Gra'
is unquestionably correct: either a) you can claim that the normal
rules of the T'NaKh that have a soft beged kefet after vowels is not
operative in L'shon Hazal and the absence of trop. In that case, it would
be a hard kaf anyway. Or b), if you hold the rules of soft beged kefet
should apply anyway, you would have to say that phrases determine what
is soft and what is hard in the absence of trop. In that case, kir'uteh
must be hard, because it is in a separate clause, or, more technically,
is an adverbial phrase modifying the main predicate, and not part of
the subordinate clause "which He created."].

Thus this is a prayer, quite literally, for qiddush haShem: may His Name
(haShem) be m'quddash (yitqaddash), as is His will.

[This is p'shat. There are various mystical interpretations. One, which
touches on what the previous paragraph discussed, is given by the Roqeah
in his Perushe Siddur haT'filla, p. 243: "May the great Name Y-K, with
which He created the world according to His design, be sanctified,"
following the Medrash that He created this world with the letter he
and the world to come with yod. That this is not p'shat is even clear
from the Roqeah himself, who admits that sh'meh is Aramaic (p. 242),
not Hebrew "shem Y-K." In Aramaic, the corresponding phrase would be
"shum Y-K," because shum/shom is the Aramaic for Hebrew shem; this is
also the Aramaic word that lies behind the Hazal phrases "mishum she-"
or "al shum ma?"]

This prayer bears obvious parallels to prayers of sects that were extent
at the end of the time of the Bayis Sheni. The Christian "Lord's Prayer"
shows obvious similarities. The Dead Sea sect, the Essenes (if different),
the Jewish Christians, and others, all expected G-d to establish His
Kingdom very soon (in whichever way they believed), so it should come
as no surprise that they prayed for it. They were all expecting the
moshiah imminently and believed they lived in the times of the ashalto
dig'ula. But speculation on the precise relationship of qaddish to Jewish
sects I will leave to others; my purpose here is bringing evidence from
Jewish sources concerning the development of Qaddish.

It is clear that qaddish was said in the time of the g'moro, although
it was referred to by its response line y'he sh'meh etc. R. Micha has
already quoted from R. de Sola Pool the two places it is mentioned
in the g'moro and the various medrashim that mention it. However,
the earliest sources discussing fully the nusah and the occasions it
is said are five: the siddur of R. 'Amram Gaon (d. 875 CE); the siddur
of R. Sa'adya Gaon (d. 942 CE); the various books by Rashi's talmidim
(Mahzor Vitry, HaPardes, Siddur Rashi, etc. (written mostly 1100-1120 CE);
the Rambam's siddur t'filla, an appendix to Hil. T'filla in Mishne Torah
(1175 CE); and the Roqeah, both in the Roqeah and in his Perushei Siddur
(d. 1238 CE). In turn, these represent 5 different chains of tradition: R
'Amaram Gaon, the Babylonian geonim; R Sa'aday, a forerunner of today's
Sefaradi traditions; Rashi's talmidim, France (before the expulsion
in); the Rambam, possibly Islamic Spain but certainly Yemenite; and the
Roqeah, Ashkenaz.

All the sources refer to what we call hatzi qaddish as the basic qaddish.
So let's look at what the sources have as the nusah (together with
the indications of when the tzibbur should answer amen, for those who
note it):

R. 'Amram Gaon	R. Sa'adya Gaon	Mahzor Vitry	Rambam	Roqeah
Yitgaddal	"	          "	         "	   "
yitqaddash	"	          "	         "	   "
sh'meh rabba	"	          "	         "	   "
[amen]	       [amen]	         ?	        [amen]	  ?
b'alma di v'ra	"	        b'alma div'ra	"	  b'alma div'ra
kir'uteh	"	         "	        "	   "
v'yamlikh	v'yamlekh	 "	      v'yimlokh	   "
malkhuteh	"	         "	        "	   "
--		v'yatzmah purqaneh --	      v'yatzmah purqaneh -- 
--		--		--	      viqarev m'shiheh   -- 
--		--		--	      v'yifroq 'ammeh    -- 
b'hayyekhon	"	        "	        "	   "
uv'yomekhon	"	        "	        "	   "
uv'hayyehon	uv'hayye	uv'hayye	"	uv'hayye
d'khol beit Yisrael khol beit Yisrael " 	"	   "
ba'agala	"	        "	        "	   "
uvizman qariv	"	        "	        "	   "
v'imru amen	"	        "	        "	   "
[Amen	        "	        "	        "	   "
Y'he sh'meh rabba "	        "	        "	   "
m'varakh l'alam	m'varakh l'alma  "	    m'varakh l'alma	"
Ul'almei 'almayya] "	        "	        "	   "
'yitbarakh	"	      v'yitbarakh	"	   "
[amen]	       [amen]	       ?	     [amen]	  ?
v'yishtabbah	yishtabbah	"	    yishtabbah	   "
v'yitpa'ar	yitpa'ar	"	    yitpa'ar	   "
v'yitromam	yitromam	"	    yitromam	   "
v'yitnasse	yit'alle	"	    yit'alle	   "
v'yithaddar	v'yitnasse	"	    yithaddar	   "
v'yit'alle -- "	    yithallal	   "
v'yitqalles	v'yitqalles   v'yithallal*  v'yitnasse 	v'yithallal
sh'meh d'Qudsha	"	        "	       "	   "
B'rikh Hu	"	        "	       "	   "
[amen]	       [amen]	       ?	     [amen]	  ?
L'ela mikkol	"	        "	   l'ela l'ela mikkol   "
birkhata v'shirata  birkhata shirata  birkhata shirata	birkhata shirata	"
tushb'hata	"	        "	    v'tushb'hata	"
v'nehemata	"	        "	       "	   "
da'amiran b'alma  "	        "	       "	   "
v'imru amen	"	        "	       "	   "
[amen]	       [amen]	      [amen]	     [amen]	[amen]


1) Double quotes in a column serve as ditto marks referring to the first
column, that of R. 'Amram Gaon. So, for instance, a ditto mark by the
Roqeah means he has the same word and form as R. 'Amram.

2) There are no vowels in any of the sources. My vocalization above,
therefore, is open to question and challenge, and, in the case of the
third column, is almost certainly wrong regarding the vocalization of
the first two words (more on that later on).

3) The third and fifth column do not mark where the tzibbur answers amen.
So it is impossible to determine whether they think the tzibbur should
answer amen after yitbarakh (like R. 'Amram Gaon) or nothing at all.

4) My transliteration using Sefaradi pronunciation is certainly wrong
in a couple of the cases; it was used for consistency.

The Mahzor Vitry has v'yithallal in the nusah of the qaddish. However,
in his discussion of the qaddish he says "v'yitbarakh v'yishtabbah...
v'yithaddar v'yit'alle: seven [verbs] corresponding to the seven heavens,
and those who add v'yitqalles, which makes eight, add it to correspond to
the heaven which is above the hayyot." This would show that the eighth
verb, if present, would be yitqalles, not yithallal as in the nusah. It
is possible, but by no means certain, that this is a quotation from one
of the Geonim, but the nusah actually used was yithallal.

Conclusions as far as the nusah goes:

1) outside of differences in vav's and other grammatical forms, the
only major disagreement in nusah is the presence of v'yatzmah purqaneh
in R Sa'adya Gaon and the Rambam. R. Sa'adya has just that one phrase,
and the Rambam has three, neither one matching exactly the two phrases
found in later nusah Sefarad.

2) A major difference from current custom is the locations where the
tzibbur answers amen. The three out of the five that mark these places
show unanimity: amen is answered after a) sh'meh rabba, b) v'imru amen, c)
(v')yitbarakh, d) B'rikh Hu, and e) v'imru amen. Neither the Rambam nor R.
Sa'adya have amen after v'yatzmah purqaneh.

3) [Small issue: note the Rambam always has l'elo doubled, and all the
nusha'os have mikkol all year round.]

In light of the fact that all the words other than the 9 or 10 verbs
starting with (v')yit... are clearly Aramaic, it would seem that the verbs
should be, as well. Many of the rishonim refer to the prayer being in
Aramaic, and the Zohar does as well, without qualifying their statements
with "part of qaddish is in Hebrew." If the verbs are Aramaic, then the
vocalization given above is correct (i.e. in Aramaic, there would be a
patah before the last letter).

However, the Mahzor Vitry, Siddur Rashi, and HaPardes both bring the
same quotation in the same words. I shall translate it into English,
since it is rather lengthy and the transcription of Hebrew is difficult,
but it is in Mahzor Vitry, s. 9 (p. 8 in the standard edition); Siddur
Rashi s. 11 (p. 9 in standard edition), and Sefer haPardes, (p. 323 of
Ehrenreich's edition):

Yitgaddal is the language of the pasuq "v'hitgaddilti v'hitqaddishti
v'noda'ti l'eine goyim rabbim v'yad'u ki Ani HaShem" (Ez. 38:23) "I
will be exalted and I will be sanctified, and I will make Myself known
before the eyes of many nations; then they will know that I am HASHEM"
(Stone translation). This is said in connection with the war of Gog and
Magog. And it [qaddish] begins in Hebrew and not in Aramaic, and that is
because the Name of HQB'H will be yitgaddal and yitqaddash in the future,
that His great Name will be exalted and sanctified, as it says there
"and then they will know that I am HASHEM." [His Name] now is not read
the way It is written, for It is read with Alef Dalet, and written with
Yod He, which is Aramaic. For the kinnuyim are with Alef Dalet, since
the Shem ham'yuhad is in Aramaic, and we are not allowed to say It as
It is written. So we say sh'meh rabba in Aramaic, since in the 'Olam
haBa It will be read as It is written, as it says "on that day HASHEM
will be One and His name One" (Zach. 14:9). And since it [qaddish]
starts in Hebrew, it continues in Hebrew until it reaches the Name
that is written in Aramaic, and when it finishes talking about the Name
written in Aramaic, it goes back to Hebrew with v'yitbarakh v'yishtabbah
v'yitpa'ar v'yitromam v'yitnasse v'yithaddar v'yit'alle, seven [verbs]
to correspond to the seven heavens, and those who say v'yitqalles,
which is an eighth, say it to correspond to the heaven that is above
the hayyot. And afterward when it comes to talking about the Name, it
concludes in Aramaic. And we say tushb'hata v'nehemata, because it says
in the aggadta that all the praises that David said in the Book of Tillim
[sic] he said for the day of nehemta, consolation. As it says "v'elle
divrei David ha'aharomin" (II Sam. 23:1), i.e. ha'amurim l'yom aharon
("the are the last words of David," i.e. those he said concerning the
last days. And so on Shabbos we say "'al kol divrei shirot v'tushbahot
David ben Yishai 'avdakh m'shihakh," and similarly we say here "l'ella
min kol birkhata shirata tushb'hata v'nehemata," in other words, You
are to be praised more and more than all the praises that the prophets
and David have said concerning the day of consolations.

The logic here is sometimes difficult to follow, so please look at the
source. But what is clear is that Rashi's talmidim are saying that all
the verbs are in Hebrew. (This paragraph in the sources says at the end,
after another explanation of why we say nehemata, that this is "mippi
Rabbenu Sh'lomo," i.e. Rashi himself, but it is unclear whether this
refers to the whole section.

Now the fact that the verbs are in Hebrew, in and of itself, does not
mean that they would not be vocalized differently. First of all, about
half of hitpa'el verbs in the Bible take a patah both in the perfect
and imperfect (as R. David Bannett has pointed out: va'ethannan, not
-- nen, and hit'annaf, not -- nef.) Second of all, in Hazal Hebrew,
patah is standard (as is shown by all the old manuscripts of Mishnayos
with vocalization. So, for example, in all the old siddurim before
grammarians started changing readings, the q'dusha of Shaharit on
Shabbos has titgaddal v'titqaddash, both with patah. And in Shokhen 'Ad,
titbarakh, titqaddah are still standard. So even if the verbs are Hebrew,
the vocalization should be the same as in Aramaic.

However, the Gra in Ma'ase Rav, s. 54, says "both yitgaddel and
yitqaddesh have a tsere, in accordance with the opinion of Rashi that
they are Hebrew."

Note that the Gra does not say that in regard to the other verbs, even
though the same Rashi sources say they are Hebrew, and I think that is
significant. In my opinion, the Gra' knew very well that a tsere is not
necessary if they are in Hebrew, but derived his opinion from the fact
that these two word are not only Hebrew, but derived from the pasuq
in Ezeqiel.

It must be noted that even though in the Bible, the third person masculine
singular varies between a patah and a tsere (hit'annaf vs. hitpallel),
there is no such variation in the first or second person. Those forms
always have a patah. There is no form like hitpallelti or hitpallilti in
the T'NaKh -- EXCEPT for the two words in the pasuq quoted in Ezeqiel,
hitgaddilti v'hitqaddishti. I think that the Vilner Gaon noted this and
was saying that the words are Hebrew, from the pasuq (following Rashi),
and since the pasuq was maqpid not to use a patah, but rather a hiriq,
then we should follow its lead and use the equivalent of a hiriq in an
accented syllable, namely a tsere.

The position of Rashi's talmidim does have some outside support. Some of
the verbs are rarely, if ever attested in Aramaic. B'n, I will discuss
that issue in the next post, as well as the opinion of the Ari.

Go to top.


[ Distributed to the Avodah mailing list, digested version.                   ]
[ To post: mail to avodah@aishdas.org                                         ]
[ For back issues: mail "get avodah-digest vXX.nYYY" to majordomo@aishdas.org ]
[ or, the archive can be found at http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/              ]
[ For general requests: mail the word "help" to majordomo@aishdas.org         ]

< Previous Next >