Monday, February 5, 2018

Riddles of Israel vs. America

Riddle time! Here are two perplexing riddles about the difference between Israel and the US:

1) Which of the Sages is quoted by name very frequently in the US - hundreds if not thousands of times daily - but never in Israel?

2) What is the significant design difference between shuls (synagogues) in Israel and shuls in the US - that is to say, there is a very prominent feature that is found in every shul in Israel that I have seen, but which is missing from many and perhaps most shuls in the US?

Answers in the next post!

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39 comments:

  1. Answer to no. 2 - the U.S. flag and sometimes Israeli.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, that's not what I had in mind at all!

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    2. I've never seen an Israeli or American flag in an Israeli shul.

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    3. Sorry, got it wrong way round

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  2. 1) The Rav, zt"l
    2) Well there's lots of things. Colour coded chairs for Ashkenazi vs Sephardi shuls, those neat shtenders at every seat that open up so you can store your tallis there, prominent washing stations outside the sanctuary, loud air conditioning units that blast frigid air onto the people sitting right below them...

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  3. Rav Moshe

    Chandeliers?

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  4. 1 - Rabbi Yishmael (at the end of Korbanos)?

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  5. 1 - Rav Moshe Feinstein

    2 - A sink for the Kohanim

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  6. For number 1, I'd guess Rav Soloveitchik.

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  7. I meant Talmudic Sages. And you do *sometimes* hear Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Moshe quoted in Israel. I'm talking about one of Chazal, that you never hear quoted in Israel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And for that matter, shuls where the rabbi quotes R' Soloveitchik, the statements are likely not "quoted by name". It's taken for granted everyone in the room agree on who "the Rav" refers to.

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  8. Yored lifnei ha'teivah?

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  9. 1. By "Sages," Mishnah, Gemara or both? Is it Hillel?

    2. The bimah or other place where Torah is read is in the middle of Israeli shuls (at least all the ones I've been too).

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    Replies
    1. I don't recall ever davening in a shul in the States where the Bimah wasn't in the center. Except for the one where there was literally no other space to put it, except before the Aron.

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    2. Then you should keep trying out shuls in the States!

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  10. Replies
    1. Shuls which daven Nusach Sefard will have such signs.

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  11. 2. Bomb shelter.... never seen one in a shul in Chutz La'artez, never seen a shul without one in Israel.
    (also if you are talking specifically about the US, a 220 Volt electric socket, every single shul in Israel has many, yet no shuls in the states do)

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  12. 1) Hillel
    2)gross towel that a million people use to dry their hands

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  13. j.... was not a sage.

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  14. 2) Kids munching Bamba

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  15. 1) Israeli custom to start with Hodu, skipping "Rabbi Yishmael Omer..."

    2) Bima elevated from the rest of the seating area in the men's section.

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  16. רבי חנניה בן עקשיא

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  17. 2) Daily Birkat haCohanim?

    1) Hillel??? Don't think so, I hear a lot about him in Israel...

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  18. 1) Maybe HaRav Samson Raphael Hirsch?
    And the other way round it is HaRav Avraham Itzhak HaCohen Kook, who is cited all the time in Israel, but practicaly not in America.

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  19. 2. A "duchen" - a raised platform in front of the shul for the kohanim to stand on when they 'duchen'

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  20. Bar Kapara (because in Israel you say the short ketores)?

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  21. ...because in Israel you say the short ketores?

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  22. Most US shuls are carpeted, while Israeli ones - like many Israeli homes - are tiled. All the better for spongiya, that water-wasting practice...

    But you asked for Israeli shuls... I'd agree to the duchan, or at least a duchan rug.

    Something different about the Ezras Nashim?
    A small vestibule? (while US shuls sometimes have a whole hallway or zigzag pathway to get from the front door into the sanctuary?)

    I was also gonna guess R' Soloveitchik with the allowance that he is not often found in the Gemara.

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  23. 1) Moshe Feinstein
    2) An "Assur Ldaber bshaas Tefillah" sign.

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  24. 1. The Rav
    2. A social hall and classrooms. Israeli shuls are not places to meet and make friends like US shuls are, and there are no classes for children.

    Louise

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oops, I meant it the other way around and that is not what you asked.

    Louise

    ReplyDelete
  26. 1. R'Chananya ben Akasha
    2. The bimah raised on a platform with steps in the middle of the shul.

    ReplyDelete
  27. 1. R. Akiva (Love thy neighbor as thyself)

    2. Light bulbs dangling from the ceiling without a fixture

    ReplyDelete

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