Avodah Mailing List

Volume 04 : Number 251

Tuesday, January 4 2000

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 10:36:37 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Burying Body Parts

On Tue, Jan 04, 2000 at 11:04:22AM -0500, richard_wolpoe@ibi.com wrote:
: Q: Is there any mention of what to do with children's teeth?

Mom (RYAAK's grandaughter) buried my baby teeth, because of Toras Imehah.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 30-Dec-99: Chamishi, Shemos
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 91b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 11:58:24 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: Boys will be boys -- some preliminary thoughts

there are Mishanyos on tapes too.  check out Heichal Hatalmud

Rich Wolpoe 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________

Subject: Re: Boys will be boys -- some preliminary thoughts

> Agreed but also keep in mind the plethora of tora tapes available as 
well - I
> find it difficult to drive and listen to detailed shiurim but there is 
> of "light" material available as well. 
> kol Tuv,
> Joel Rich

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 12:04:56 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: boys will be boys

D Finch: Sports stats are harmless

M Silberstein: they would be a discraction for a gadol

Hocho bami askinon, D. Finch is talking about NOT gedolim, and M Siloti is 
talkng about Gedlim or potential Gedolim

Perhaps 2 standards are legitimate, one for Gedolom and one for NOT Gedolim?

Isn't this RSR Hirsch'es point wrt Eisav?

Maybe if Eisav channeled his agressive behavior onto a football field he would 
have been ok - though never a Yaakov Avinu?

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: boys will be boys 

DFinchPC@aol.com writes
>With all the real dangerous garbage out there, keeping track of who's 
>what in the National League is harmless. 

 My end point is gedolim do not come from listing to sports games .Like
RAV Shkop said you want to exercise take long walks and  memorize points 
of gemarah with a chavrusa.
Moti Silberstein 


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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 12:03:46 -0500
From: "Markowitz, Chaim" <CMarkowitz@scor.com>

> If you are referring to Tamir Goodman, my understanding is that he is
> currently attending a Seventh Day Adventist school and next year he will
> be going to Towson State.
> Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 09:37:18 -0500 (EST)
> From: Sammy Ominsky <sambo@charm.net>
> Subject: Re: Sports
> Here in Baltimore, there's a kid in yeshiva day school who was all the
> rage in the local sports section, on the radio, TV, etc. Hottest high
> school b-ball player in the state. Courted by colleges with nice offers.
> He's going to yeshiva instead.
> - ---sam

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Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 11:58:39 -0500
From: "Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@SINAI-BALT.COM>
RE: murder is crazy

Melech Press wrote:.
"It is the inevitable outcome of the penetration of Torah thought 
by the mental health ideology common in contemporary American 
society which asserts that evil MUST be a consequence of 
psychological disturbance.  Believers in human responsibility for 
moral action have no choice but to assert that sane people commit
evil and that evil is no evidence of insanity"

Sane people will only do evil if they think they can get away with it.
(This is not to say that insane people cannot do evil) The 
perpetrator in halacha has to warned in what is in essence in
public, immediately before he commits the avlah, has to acknowledge
the warning and say he knows he will die but does not care and then
go ahead and commit the crime in public. 

"Rav Weinberg was too great a gadol to have said what was 
attributed to him.  I do not believe that he ever made such a 
statement, at least not as understood by the poster."

It really is amazing how a person is a nogeah bdovor regarding 
himself - before I even read the whole sentence I was in an 
uproar- I'm a liar?!!?  But now I finished the sentence and I'm 
much calmer now. R'Melech could be right, and I may have 
misunderstood the Rosh HaYeshiva ztl, but I heard it from him directly 
and I remember clearly the context in which it was said. You can ask kushyos, but I believe I am reporting, not editorializing.

Kol tuv
Sender Baruch

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 12:35:26 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: YU is a Litvishe yeshiva in the mold of Volozhin (?)


YU is a markeplace and R. Lessin's influence notwithstanding, YU was not "into" 
mussar per se. (things might be changing now).

R. Gorelick gave us hashkofo shmuessen and pointedly told us it was HAshkoo and 
NOT msusar.

R. Y. Weiss did not agree with the ahshkofo of the "mussarnicks".

YU's derech to character devlopment was focused mostly upon the intellectual 
approach of learning, analyizing, thinking, understanding, etc.  It tended to 
avoid the emotional, "romantic" elements.

R. Parness, eg was a math major. His approach was highly methodical.

Just as an aside, R. Lessin is one of a very few people that to me resemble a 
"mal'ach".  I heard him speack publicly justy once in my life, on Kol Nidre 
night 1971.  I barely udnerstood his soft-spoken Yiddish, but the impression he 
made was awesome. I never felt anyone radiate kedusha the way he did that night.

It's hard to articulate this, but most diveri Mussar I've heard are about making
one feel "bad" or "guilty" about some shortcoming.  R. Lessin seemed more about 
opening one up to the presence of shomayim, of connecting to very lofty 
spirtiual heights...

I'm confident that whenever he did speak, he made a very deep powerful 
impression.  His influence as an individual must have been awesome.  However, I 
still doubt that he significantly altered the YU landscape on the whole.

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: YU is a Litvishe yeshiva in the mold of Volozhin (?) Cur
YU was a marketplace of ideas. So was Slabodka. It happens, one assumes, 
that the Alter was an individual so captivating, and his population one so 
thoughtful, that many of his students became Ba'alei Mussar, like my hero 
RAEK, R' Chatzkel Sarna, R' Yitzchok Hutner, etc. In RIETS, on the other 
hand, the Mashgi'ach was not as captivating as others (i.e., let us say, 
RYBS, and, to a lesser extent, R' Dovid Lifshitz) and the student body 
was, like most Americans, less thoughtful. You may not have noticed, but 
there is, again, little difference in this respect between RIETS and the 
Lithuanian mold yeshivos - even those claiming direct lineage from 
Slabodka - today in EY and America. Mussar, to my lasting dismay, is 
essentially dead.

Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 13:12:07 -0800
From: "Aaron Berger" <devaar@earthlink.net>
Re: Avodah V4 #249

What am I missing here? Is there more of a hava amina that YU is for
everybody than there is that a traditional yeshiva is for everybody?

I think we may be experiencing reverse-elitism here.


"IOW, YU - as represented by R. Miller who was more-or-less Dr. Belkin's #2
man -
was aware it was not for everybody."

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 13:20:28 -0500
From: gil.student@citicorp.com
Re: Mayim achronim

RA Miller wrote:

<<Similarly, there is a dispute between the Mechaber and Rema about women 
reclining, but this dispute is based on the sociological status of women as it 
relates to this practice of reclining, not on any general carte blanche for 
women to be lenient.>>

No.  There is no disagreement that today all women are chashuvos.  The Rema 
explicitly states that women do not recline because of the Ra'avyah's shitah 
that there is no obligation for anyone to recline.

[In the sefer Zichron HaRav, R. Mordechai Willig quotes a lomdishe explanation 
from the Rav with two dinim in heseiba.  His two dinim are probably right but 
the application to the Rema is very difficult.]

<<- -- so too, women are exempt from mayim acharonim because the obligation of 
mayim acharonim is based on dirty hands, and women tend to keep their hands 

That is exactly the minority opinion upon which I am suggesting women rely.

I am not suggesting any carte blanche heterim.  Just making an observation.  It 
is clear in the first case that women are relying on the minority opinion.  I 
was suggesting that same in the second case for lack of a better explanation.

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 13:27:00 -0500
From: "Clark, Eli" <clarke@HUGHESHUBBARD.COM>

R. Mordechai Torczyner raises some questions regarding my post on
recreation.  I would like to respond to them seriatim.

He writes:
>A. I am confused by REC's apparent suggestion that the idea of leisure qua
>leisure for the average Joe is not so recent; to prove this, I need only
>point to the Halachos regarding Tiyyulim on Shabbos and Tisha beAv, and
>during Niddah periods.

I do not view these examples as contradicting my thesis; perhaps we are
using the term leisure differently.  The twentieth century has witnessed
a phenomenal rise in standards of living; labor saving devices of all
kinds were invented, manufactured and marketed on a mass scale.
Universal public education removed children from the house at
increasingly early ages.  Consequently, for what I believe is the first
time in history, the average middle class woman was freed from
dedicating the majority of her day to caring for children (except the
very young), laundry, cooking,  and other housekeeping activities.
(This also enabled the woman to enter the workplace; but that is another
thread.)  The twentieth century also witnessed the introduction of the
5-day work week and the 8-hour work day.  Suddenly, a broad segment of
the population had vast amounts of time that needed to be filled.  Whole
industries sprung up to meet this need.

Frankly, I do not see this development as coextensive with taking a walk
on Shabbat.

>B. REC suggests that we start with the Rambam, but I am perplexed by the
>choice of this guide. The Rambam does present a relatively early concrete
>perspective on engagement beOlam haZeh, but there are scattered earlier
>For example:
>1. The last lines of Yerushalmi Kiddushin regarding tasting everything the
>world has to offer, and
>2. Eruvin 54a advising parents against stinting on their Olam haZeh in order
>to leave wealth to their children.
>One could argue that this is not necessarily an issue of leisure, per se, but
>I believe it fits into the discussion as a precursor, if nothing else, of the
>later views. It is easier for one to argue that there is value in observing
>nature when a Tanna has said the same thing, even if the former did so as a
>means of reciting Berachos and the latter does so to enable him to have
>energy to learn Berachos.

Bi-mkhilat kevod Toratekha, I disagree.  The Yerushalmi you cite is an
important source in any discussion of asceticism in Judaism.  Hazal, in
contrast to other contemporary schools of thought (the Essenes and
others), are rejecting an approach rooted in contemptus saeculi.  The
source seems plainly polemical in nature.

But I think there is a world of difference between rejecting asceticism
or monasticism and embracing leisure as a positive religious value.  The
same applies to the Gemara in Eruvin.

In contrast, I would point to Ketubbot 59b (cited, I think, by R. Lamm),
which does discuss the problem of leisure for a woman, but one that
presumably did not apply generally.

>C. REC then points out that people need a certain segment of free time, and
>are not capable of the intensity of a Vilna Gaon. Recreation serves as a
>Although REC does not appear willing to go this far in his preliminary
>thoughts, that seems to render recreation a Chiyyuv, as a recharger, rather
>than as a Mutar means of spending time when one is not learning.
>Obviously, this is more than a semantic point. If recreation is to be used as
>a recharger, we don't select our recreational activity based on redeeming
>value, but rather based on its ability to recharge our cells to a maximum
>extent over a minimal passage of time.
>This is based on the simple calculation that the Torah one learns with the
>recharged batteries will outweigh the gain of morally/culturally edifying
>recreational experiences. If that is not true, then the activity is not
>recreation, at all; it is a much-needed part of one's education.

I am afraid I do not find this analysis to be at all persuasive.

As my initial post indicated, I think there is a very strong argument
for recreation as a hekhsher mitzvah.  But only that.  You seem to feel
that an activity that will enhance one's learning becomes ipso facto a
hiyyuv.  But this raises many problems.  As I wrote in my initial post,
any approach to recreation requires an appreciation of a person's
subjective needs.  But hiyyuvim tend to impose objective obligations.
If, as R. Mordechai suggests, recreation is a hiyyuv, would he say that
the Gra was mevatel his hiyyuv?  Also, I am at a loss to find any
evidence for R. Mordechai's argument that an activity that enhances
one's fulfillment of a mitzvah becomes a hiyyuv in itself.  To the
contrary, the available evidence suggests otherwise.  For example,
according to R. Mordechai's reasoning, there should be a general hiyyuv
to eat before a ta'anit.  There should be a general hiyyuv to be
meshaheh before tefillah.  And so on.

In any case, I appreciate your careful reading of my post and your
thoughtful comments.

Kol tuv,

Eli Clark

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Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 13:53:51 -0500
From: "Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@SINAI-BALT.COM>
RE: Value of Shas (V4#250)

"I think the real reason why we center on Shas is because it's fun. As I've
said in the past, many are confusing the joy of intellectual stimulation
with having religious experience."

I have been told that in pre war Europe you could see professors 
and students talking in learning on Shabbos while smoking...

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 10:59:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Registry of "Who is a Jew"

With permission, I would like to quote a disturbing
fact mentioned by Carl Sherer inIn a conversation we
were having off list:

--- "Carl M. Sherer" <cmsherer@ssgslaw.co.il> wrote:
> One very telling point about the state of mind of
> chilonim today is
> the statement by the Minister of Aliya (Prof. Yuli
> Tamir) regarding 
> the latest predominantly non-Jewish Russian and
> Ethiopian aliya.
> She said she was in favor of it continuing, inasmuch
> as it would 
> have the salutary effect of separating the Jewish
> religion from
> the Jewish nation! (R"L).

This got me to thinking about a front page article I
saw in the Yated Ne'eman last week. It seems that R.
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, (along with others in Torah
leadership positions) has decided to set up  an
independent registry to keep track of who is Jewish.
This idea has been bandied about in the past because
of questionable conversions on the part of
Conservative, Reform and even some Orthodox rabbis,
but has never been adopted.  But now with the massive
influx of Russians who are not Jewish being allowed
into the country under the "Law of Return" (because of
the antiquated and non halachic definition of difining
Jewishness as having at least on Jewish grandparent),
there seems to be sufficient numbers to justify such a
radical call to action. Add to this Agunos who have
been "freed" by the Rackman court, it presents a real
and present danger on the part of Klal Israel as to
potential marriage partners. Hence the call of a

Has it come to this? We are talking about severing our
ties to our bretheren.  If such a registry is adopted,
then over time, we will never be able to marry out of
the registry because there will never be any certainty
aas to who is a Jew, who is a mamzer, who got a proper
divorce.  Additionally, Kiruv will effectively be
destroyed. No one wants to be mekarev a Mamzer into
Klal Israel. Of course the leadership of Conservative
and Reform will be outraged by such a decision. wich
will cause ever more alienation and maken it harder to
do Kiruv work on those whom we DO know about their
Yechus.  And what about the sincere soul searcher who
was likely a Tinok Shenishba? What do we tell such an
individual searching for Emes when he comes to us from
outside the registry? Sorry, we don't know your
Yechus? It just doesn't sit well with me to do such a
thing.  The very thought of saying that we can no
longer say with any degree of certainty the vast
majority of Jews in the world are indeed Jews is mind

A less severe but important result of such a registry
would be in the traditional help we get from the
non-Frum community in supporting Jewish education and
various other educatioanl or social agencies run by
the Frum. Can you imagine going to the Jewish
Federation for financial support when they realize we
don't consider them certain Jews anymore?

There is something wrong with this picture.  There has
to be another way. 

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

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Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 14:00:04 -0500
From: "Allen Baruch" <Abaruch@SINAI-BALT.COM>
Re: murder is crazy

Micha Berger wrote (V4 #250):
"The reason for the chiyuv misah has to do with the severity of the 
deed itself."


"Beis din is charged with preserving the kehillah -- for which
willingness to worship A"Z even on pain of death is more 
damaging than mere worship. They're containing seeds of rebellion,
not meeting out sechar va'onesh."

Why then were they so careful as to lean over backwards in order 
not to kill?

kol tuv

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 13:09:39 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: murder is crazy

On Tue, Jan 04, 2000 at 02:00:04PM -0500, Allen Baruch wrote:
: Why then were they so careful as to lean over backwards in order 
: not to kill?

I originally formed this position while arguing with a Reform Jew about
Shabbos and chiyuv misah. Mid-polemic isn't really when people tend to
stand back and think about the consequences of their idea.

Thinking out loud... perhaps if capital punishment were more frequent,
society would view life as cheap? We also just explained the primary cause
for that rarity, because we want both elements of: a- a serious act; b-
the act should be motivated by rebelliousness to the extent that it's more
important to the person than the consequences.

I'm not sure, though, about my premise. I'd be happier if I found more mekoros
for saying that beis din is more concerned with organizing society than with
judging individuals. Anyone want to give me a hand?


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 30-Dec-99: Chamishi, Shemos
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 91b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 21:35:15 +0200
From: "Akiva Atwood" <atwood@netvision.net.il>
RE: Re[2]: Separation of religion and state in Israel (was Ortho

> and therefore chareid perceive chilonim as being
> "in-your-face" wrt to public
> chillul Shabbos, etc...
> Or perhaps this is an issue of chotei/umachti.  In private,
> one influens only
> oneself and one's family. While in public, one is influencing
> socity at large to disragard Shabbos, etc.

Both views are held, actually. Some chilonim (Meretz, for example) are
perceived (correctly) as the first type. Others are seen as being the second

Note that the second view is more of a general hashkafic view of chilul
shabbos and its effect on society, while the first view is a comment on the


A reality check a day keeps
the delusions at bay (Gila Atwood)

Akiva Atwood, POB 27515
Jerusalem, Israel 91274

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 14:38:48 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: Baseball halochoh

FWIW one of my rebbe's objected to baseball due to the the bitul zman of siting 
on the bench.  he felt that soccer and basketaball were more effeceint sports 
for excersize...

Rich Wolpoe

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Baseball halochoh 

I would think that baseball, being a means of physical excericize that isn't 
too boring to expect a kid to pursue regularly, is a chiyuv di'Oraisa midin 
"vinishmartem mi'od linafshoseichem".

Anyone who has a stationary bike collecting dust in the basement knows that 
the hardest part of excercize is making it interesting enough to make you keep 
at it. Baseball qualifies. For most people; YMMV, as does mine.


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Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 21:41:25 IST
From: "moshe rudner" <mosherudner@hotmail.com>
The Golan


I am researching the issue of the Golan for the upcoming referendum.

Please let me know (preferably off list, but use your own discretion) why 
Israel should or should not give away the Golan in exchange for a peace 
treaty with Syria.

Thank you.

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 14:45:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Sammy Ominsky <sambo@charm.net>
Re: The Golan

moshe rudner wrote:

> Please let me know (preferably off list, but use your own discretion) why 
> Israel should or should not give away the Golan in exchange for a peace 
> treaty with Syria.

From today's Arutz-7 report:


Led by former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Avraham Shapira, representatives of a 
group of 1,200 rabbis of the organization called Ichud HaRabbanim - the 
Union of Rabbis for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel - 
published a halakhic [Jewish legal] ruling, forbidding the transfer of the
Golan Heights to the Syrians and the uprooting of Jews from their homes in
the Land of Israel.  Attached to the ruling is a call for Jews to act
"with self-sacrifice" - but within the law - to prevent the destruction of
Golan communities.  In addition to Rabbi Shapira, the signatories include
Rabbis Dov Lior, Zalman Baruch Melamed, Tzefaniah Drori, Nachum
Rabinowitz, Chaim Druckman, Eliezer Waldman, Meyer Fendel, Sholom Gold,
Shabtai Zelikovitz, and others.  A meeting of the organization's leaders
took place at Rabbi Shapira's home in Jerusalem this morning. 

The ruling reads as follows:
a. The Golan is part of the Land of Israel that was granted to the Tribes 
of Israel by the A-lmighty, as recorded in our holy Torah.  The Golan was 
settled by Jews in the 1st and 2nd Temple periods, as our Sages tell us 
(and as confirmed by Josephus).  According to Jewish Law, it is forbidden 
to uproot Jewish settlements in Eretz Yisrael.

b. The abandonment of the Golan involves a mortal danger for the entire 
country.  Withdrawing from the Golan will not bring peace, but the 

c. It is unethical to remove Jews from their homes that they have built 
with self-sacrifice and at the behest of the state.]

d. Tens of thousands of Jews will stand against those who uproot us from 
our land and who wheel and deal with our security.  Every Jew must take 
part in the legal public activities and act with self-sacrifice to prevent 
the destruction of the Golan communities. 

e. We call upon the government of Israel not to tear away this precious 
part of our Land, and not to cause a split in the nation.

f. We call for a national convention of rabbis to strengthen the Golan. 
"Let us strengthen and let us be strong on behalf of our nation and the 
cities of our G-d."

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 14:18:16 -0600
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Administrivia: Avantgo?

If anyone has experience with Avantgo for the PalmPilot, could they please
contact me? I was wondering how do-able it would be to make Avodah an
Aventgo channel.


Micha Berger (973) 916-0287          MMG"H for 30-Dec-99: Chamishi, Shemos
micha@aishdas.org                                         A"H 
http://www.aishdas.org                                    Pisachim 91b
For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah its light.         

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Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 15:23:48 -0500
From: richard_wolpoe@ibi.com
Re[2]: sefardi minhag

My impression is that being machmir is NOT new to the MB
Certainly it is true that Ashkenazim were "machmir" legabei kitniyos, etc.  What

What IS new is the concept of being yotzei lechol hadeios as a more gneral 

EG, the KSA - who is a mcahmir in many ways - takes the MGA's zamn for tzeis 
BOTH lekulo and lechumro for zmaein tefillo

The MB adds a level of complexity by being chossesh for BOTH the Gro and the 

The Remo and others more-or-less takes a chumro shito and  run with it.

The MB takes conflicting deios and comes out with a prescription to be chosehis 
for all-of-the-above.  This is different  than merely selecting the single most 

I know RYGB and others disagree, but I attribute this to the MB's mussar 
hashkofo of giving kovod to every shito.  Contrast this with say YU we were 
encouraged to take a firm stand lchumro/lekulo

EG R Y Weiss onece told us that - in his opinion - salt substitutes such as 
Potassium Chloride were not Salt legabie melicho.  I asked even tha  le kullo 
that if something were in Potassium chloride we would not consider it as 
moluach.  And he said yes, EVEN leukulo IOW it was NOT salt period.

I suspect many yeshivas would have taken the chumros of both and said you are 
not yotzei melicho but it can foul up the meat if it sits in potassium chloride

Rich Wolpoe 

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: sefardi minhag 
A Clark, Eli wrote:
: If one learns Yoreh De'ah, one is struck by the fact that, siman after 
: siman, the Rema basically disregards all of the different shitot in the 
: Rishonim and writes the we are noheg le-hahmir.

: This point is also made by Mahartz Chajes.

I hate to re-open the question of Mishnah Berurah and "ba'al nefesh yachmir"...

    Well, wait a moment. I really don't. Just thought that apologetic tone was 
    appropriate. Anyway, as I was saying...

.. it seems we have here the precedent for paskening lechumrah just to "be 
safe". It would appear that contrary to my earlier asumption, this isn't
a 20th century thing.


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