BY RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX
(Copyright, .1965, JTA, Inc.)
Why is the letter "Shin" found
on one side of the head Tefillin
made with four stems instead of
the usual three?
A number of reasons are ad-
vanced for this, although the tradi-
tion is an ancient one dated back
from the days of Moses at Sinai.
Some claim that the extra stem is
like the letter "Yod" and therefore
it is as if there were two letters,
the "Shin" and the "Yod" which
spell "Yesh" which is the word
for existence. This symbolizes the
Almighty as the source of existence.
Others say that the reason for the
additional stem is that this would
indicate a raised letter which would
have four margins, even though it
has three sterns. This indicates
either the outstanding feature of
the script which should be indelibly
engraved in our hearts or the fact
that the words of faith should be
thoroughly felt through our whole
Why must the hand Tefillin
be put on first before the head
Tefillin and then taken off last
after the head Tefillin is re-
The Rabbis explain that since
the verse of the Bible which speaks
of the head Tefillin refers to it
in the plural, this meant to infer
that whenever the head Tefillin
are on the person they should
never be there without having the
hand Tefillin on too, so that when-
ever the Head Tefillin is worn
there are always two Tefillin on the
person. Some take this to signify
that one should never entertain
thoughts in his mind unless they
are fit and proper to put into
action and unless one means to
put them into action. Judaism
has always been a positive dynamic
religion rather than a theoretical
and metaphysical system of con-
Is it necessary to have the
Hebrew name of the individual
on the tombstone marking his
One of the purposes of the tomb-
stone is so that whoever visits the
grave will offer a prayer on behalf
of the deceased. This being the
case the Hebrew name of the
deceased should be on the tomb-
stone so that the prayer which is
offered in the Hebrew will include
his name, as is the traditional way
of praying for a deceased person.
Futhermore, since living persons
are usua 11 y named after their
deceased relatives, the H e b r e w
name inscription on the tombstone
is often the only clue to the iden-
tity of the name originally given
the child at a time when the He-
brew name is forgotten, as is so
often the case in recent times.
Why is it a custom to an-
nounce the exact moment at
which the new moon will appear
during the Saturday morning
service before its appearance?
This is reminiscent of the an-
cient times in which the Jewish
tribunal in Jerusalem would re-
ceive word from the witnesses who
were sent to observe the moon
identifying its moment of appear-
ance on the horizon, since it was
the appearance of the new moon
which signified that a new month
was to be counted on the Jewish
calendar. Even today when all this
reckoning is done mathematically
by computation, we at least know
the exact moment on the Sabbath
before the appearance of the new
moon so that the worshippers will
be mindful of the fact that a new
moon is soon to appear as a dem-
onstration of the Almighty's in-
finite wisdom and providence. It is
related that in days of old the
populace used to assemble before
the doors of the Holy Temple
when the new moon was expected.
By a miracle the doors would
open by themselves and the gather-
ing would understand that that
was the pr e c i s e moment of the
appearance of the new moan
(Pirke D'Rabbi Eliezer, chapter
Why is this particularly done
on the Sabbath?
Originally as it appears from
the Seder of Rabbi Amram Gaon
this announcement was made on
the day of the new moon itself.
However, in later times, including
our own, the greatest assembly of
worshippers were present in the
synagogue on Sabbath morning
and thus the announcement was
made during the Sabbath morning
services so that as. many people as
possible could hear it. The first
day of the month. (Rosh Chodesh)
apparently diminished in observ-
ance and, importance through the
Israel Seeks to Secure
$50,000,000 in Surplus
Commodities From U.S.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel
has opened discussions with the
United States on the renewal of
sales to Israel involving an esti-
mated $40- to $50,000,000 in sur-
Israel Ambassador Avraham
Harman met on this topic with
Orville Freeman, U.S. secretary of
agriculture. No details have yet
been specified on the categories
Sen. Jacob K. Javits, New York
Republican, warned that the State
Department may try to resume
massive aid to Egypt during the
congressional recess. "The admin-
istration," he said, "is rendering
a disservice to all foreign aid pro-
grams end seriously impairing its
relations with the Congress if it
attempts a post-adjournment end
run on Egyptian economic aid."
He urged the administration to
disclose the extent of current ne-
gotiations with Egypt "and consult
with the Congress and the Amer-
ican people." He asked what as-
surances America had that Nas-
ser's efforts to prepare an exter-
mination war against Israel would
not be facilitated by American aid.
Sean Connery, who has
achieved international fame in
his series of secret agent por-
trayals, now enacts the most
powerful role of his career as
the degraded warrant officer
in Kenneth Hyman's production,
"The Hill," directed by Sidney
Lumet. A searing drama of the
experiences and emotional con-
flict of a group of British soldiers
confined to a stockade in North
Africa during World War II, the
picture is presented by Metro-
Goldwyn-Mayer and Seven Arts.
Now at the Fox Theater.
Israeli - Danish Exports
Israel's exports to Denmark
totaled $4,100,000 last year com-
pared with imports from that coun-
try amounting to $6,200,000. Israel
supplies Denmark with citrus fruit
and its by-products, tires, cotton
and woolen yarns, bathing suits
and polished diamonds.
THE DETROIT JEWISH• NEWS
Friday, October 29, 1965-11
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