LE: 85/X154647

The Learner's Minyan Home Page

Ask A Question (synagogue help desk)

Q & A Archives

Liturgy Quiz

The Sage's Simcha (puzzle)

The Transliterated Siddur

Synagogue Survival Kit (book offer)

The Sage's Simcha

Sample Puzzle #2: 
My synagogue follows the custom of never calling up a father and son at the same time.  For example, a father and son could not have consecutive aliyot, or hag'bah (Lifting the Torah) and gelilah (Dressing the Torah), and so on.  But the day before yesterday my father and my grandfather went to services with me and we all stood on the bima at the same time!  And yesterday my father led the service and wore t'fillin while my grandfather and I did not!  Today I drove  my grandfather to shul in terrible weather that kept many older people at home.  He was rewarded by being called to Torah.  What were the first words of his aliyah?  

(As always, you may assume that no violations of halacha have occurred.)

Here are what some previous guest-sages have written:

Jun 5, 1997 - 22:54 -

My solution and/or comments: Her grandfather is her MOTHER's father, not her father's father.
About me: Meredith Warshaw
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

Jun 10, 1997 - 13:28 -

My solution and/or comments: This is a family of kohanim. Day 1: They stood together on the bima during Simhat Torah to say Birkat Kohanim. Day 2: The father lives in Israel and keeps only 1 day of holiday, thus he donned tefillin on Shemini Atzeret, while the others did not. Day 3: The grandfather is called for the first aliya of parashat Bereshit, read on the Monday or Thursday following Simhat Torah.
About me: Eldad Ganin
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

Jun 13, 1997 - 19:14 -

My solution and/or comments: My guess is the start of Devarim. Day 1 is a Shabbat and as someone else posted, there a several ways in which three people can end up on the bimah. Reading Gabbai, calling Gabbai, aliyah, (as well as others). Day 2 is Tisha b'Av on a Sunday. Monday's reading would be from Devarim, right? -a
About me: Andrew Bowen
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

Jun 15, 1997 - 01:52 -

My solution and/or comments: Eldad and Andrew, you guys are terrific! I had actually had a different solution in mind when I wrote the problem, and now I'm wondering just how many valid solutions might exist. To find my intended go back to Eldad's solution but invalidate it by assuming that all three reside in chutz laaretz (diaspora)! Hint: You may also assume that I intended *all* the given facts to be significant except the weather.
About me: Jordan
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

Jun 18, 1997 - 18:09 -

My solution and/or comments: Sorry, I'm at my end on this one. I can't think of what event would have just the leader of davening wearing tefillin on the day following a festival - or what that festival is. -a
About me:
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

Jun 20, 1997 - 12:44 -

My solution and/or comments: Major punt. I peeked in a copy of the Kitzur Shulcan Aruch under Laws of Tefillin, and came up empty. Of somewhat interesting aside, you can't lay teffilin if you have an upset stomach, lest you pass gas and defile the wearing of tefillin. So perhaps this is the day after Shavuot, and the son and Grandfather ate too much cheese!
About me: Andrew Bowen
My e-mail address: -
How I found your page:

What a cheezy answer!  Here is the originally intended answer:

"Im ke-sef tal-veh et a-mi..." [Exodus 22:24]   

Because:  Yesterday was Chol Ha-Moed Pesach.  (We were singing Hallel when everyone removed their t'fillin except the sheliach.  C.f., Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:19.)  The day before yesterday we were duchening on Pesach.  (We are kohanim).  Since we drove to shul, today wasn't Shabbat or Yom Tov, so it must be the reading for second day of Chol Hamoed Pesach.

Yasher Koach to all who tackled this one!

(c) Copyright 1997 by Jordan Lee Wagner.  All rights reserved.

The Sage's Simcha is a syndicated feature available to Jewish newspapers. For more information contact Jordan Lee Wagner.


See another sample puzzle