The Letter Samech

Thank you for publishing Rabbi Ozer Alport’s insightful article about the letter samech. I would like to add, if I may, that the pizmon of Bemotzoei menuchah kidamnucha techilah, which is recited on the first day of Selichos, follows the order of the alef-beis but omits the samech. Rabbi Orshansky, zt”l, of Gateshead suggests that since, as mentioned in the article, the only two pesukim in the Torah which begin with a samech are by the sin of the Golden Calf and that of the 10 Spies, we do not want to invoke the memory of these sins. This may also be the reason that the 10 pesukim recited at tekias shofar, seven before and three afterward, contain all the letters of the alef-beis save for the letter samech.

Regarding the recent article about ancient Jewish sites in England, I am told that there is a stadium in Newcastle which is built over an ancient Jewish cemetery. I would appreciate if readers would be able to shed more light on this matter.

Yours faithfully,