Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 116

Saturday, February 4 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 12:37:27 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject:
RE: Kashrut reliable enough


[R' Yitzchok Levine:]
> Someone sent me following statement. "People do not really care if
> something is kosher. They only care if it has a hechsher!" >:-}

Which brings us full circle - are we process-focused or results-focused?
If I trust the source of the hechsher, than in "Joel-land"(as my wife
lovingly calls it:-) the "something" is by definition kosher.

KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 12:57:09 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Kashrut reliable enough


On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 12:37:27PM -0500, Rich, Joel wrote:
: Which brings us full circle - are we process-focused or results-focused?
: If I trust the source of the hechsher, than in "Joel-land"(as my wife
: lovingly calls it:-) the "something" is by definition kosher.

... And a mezuzah that I check as frequently as required, has it's
chezqas kashrus, but happens lemaa'aseh have a letter cracked off,
is kosher?

Just pointing out that this is one of my recurring themes.

And it's related to whether there are metaphysical causal laws other
than the changes our acts make on our selves. IOW, your assertion is
consistent with the idea that timtum haleiv is the consequence of the
cheit, and shouldn't necessarily be limited to achilah. And (to revive
an old one) with the idea that bitul beshishim doesn't apply to ta'am
bekeilim because we're talking about our relationship with the keli,
not the quantity of basar within its walls.

My instinct is to agree with you, but there are meqoros that if taken
at face value would bring that into question.

-mi

-- 
Micha Berger             Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of
micha@aishdas.org        greater vanity in others; it makes us vain,
http://www.aishdas.org   in fact, of our modesty.
Fax: (270) 514-1507              -Louis Kronenberger, writer (1904-1980)


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 13:09:02 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: the sun = chessed [was: Eretz Yisrael -- the highest land]


>>The sun, radiating light, is a metaphor of chesed. (I say metaphor,
because in a drought, it's no favor to get more light, heat.)<< [--RMB]

I don't think the sun is a "metaphor" of chessed, I think it's an /actual/
chessed haBorei and the highest kind. The sun sustains us, we eat
sunshine -- and sunshine is free! Think about it, what do we live on,
how do we eat? We either eat vegetation, or we eat animals that live
on vegetation. And what do vegetables eat? Dirt! Dirt plus sunshine.
Without sunshine and photosynthesis this would be a dead world.

 -Toby  Katz
=============


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 14:19:55 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: the sun = chessed [was: Eretz Yisrael -- the highest land]


On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 01:09:02PM -0500, T613K@aol.com wrote:
: >>The sun, radiating light, is a metaphor of chesed. (I say metaphor,
: because in a drought, it's no favor to get more light, heat.)<< [--RMB]

: I don't think the sun is a "metaphor" of chessed, I think it's an /actual/
: chessed haBorei and the highest kind...

As I wrote, in a drought, the sunshine can be midas hadin.

And the northern shade is no less usually a chesed but sometimes
not. So it wouldn't support the original statement

Thus the sun itself isn't one or the other.

-mi


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 12:57:37 -0600
From: "Gershon Seif" <gershonseif@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Rape of Dinah


[R Akiva Miller:]
> Why is the section of Devarim 25:11-12 needed at all? If it teaches
> us that the woman must pay for the embarrasment she caused, don't we
> already know that from the general halachos of nezikin?

Perhaps it teaches us that when evaluating the payment of embarrsment,
the judges should could consider this very very embarassing. The words of
the pasuk, "and you should cut off her hand", while they are taken to mean
monetary payment, sure do sound like they're making a strong statement!


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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 14:13:34 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Subject:
Re: Slavery


>>Slavery?

> I thought slavery was abolished because of the secular laws around us.

More than that, who says it's been abolished at all? If some country
where Jews live should one day legalise slavery, or if one of the
countries which today unofficially allow slavery, e.g. Saudi Arabia,
should one day become hospitable to Jews, I see no reason why a Jew living
there should not buy slaves. The Shulchan Aruch includes Hilchot Avadim
as halacha lema'aseh, because when and where it was written it *was*.

-- 
Zev Sero
zev@sero.name


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 14:25:05 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Slavery


On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 02:13:34PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: More than that, who says it's been abolished at all? If some country
: where Jews live should one day legalise slavery, or if one of the
: countries which today unofficially allow slavery, e.g. Saudi Arabia,
: should one day become hospitable to Jews, I see no reason why a Jew living
: there should not buy slaves...

... Assuming the country's slavery laws made halachic slavery, complete
with its humane treatment of slaves, possible. Saudi Arabian law
would not.

-mi


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 20:26:09 +0000
From: Rabbiner Arie Folger <rabbinat@igb.ch>
Subject:
Re: Kashrut reliable enough


RMS wrote:
> Most of the people who reject specific hashgachot do so on the claim
> (whether justified or not is a different issue, and we can discuss the
> evidence needed (see below)) that they violate some specific standard,
> or are mekil. The blanket dismissal of essentially all hashgachot,
> not for personal use, but meikkar hadin, is something that is quite novel.

and <<Rav Moshe
responded (from memory) that how could one not trust the hashgacha of
a talmid chacham, and it was a great bizayon to a talmid chacham to
doubt his hashgacha.>>

Being responsible for the kashrut of a number of establishments here in Basel, 
and just having produced our latest kosher list (all you who will be visiting 
Switzerland in the near future, expect the new list within a two weeks at 
http://www.igb.ch and remember that there is a taqanah that any member of 
Aishdas traveling within 150 miles of Basel should drop by, even for Shabbat 
or whatever. This call has been answered already a few times), I have taken 
great interest in other kashrut agencies' standards, in Europe, Israel and 
the US. Through my numerous conversations with local rabbis and with those 
active in large organizations like the OU or the Rabbanut haRashit leIsrael, 
I have gained *some* insight in this complex organizational world.

I personally agree with RMFeldman's and RMS' interpretation of RSZA's and 
RMFeinstein's responsa on the matter, that one should accept the word of 
yirei shamayim, talmidei 'hakhamim who sign onto their hashga'hot, and that 
one should be mindful of the deOraitot of ben adam le'havero.

HOWEVER, the reality is that while mistakes happen in every kashrut agency, 
and that most of the issues separating kashrut agencies' standards are 
matters of minhag or ma'hloqet on at most a derabbanan, this is not always 
the case.

The truth of the matter is that unfortunately, not all mashgi'him are talmidei 
'hakhamim, and many do not know enough about their responsibilities. Thus, 
many mashgi'him know too little about hafrashat 'hallah and ma'aserot, which, 
in Israel, is serious business.

Mashgi'him may also be insufficiently trained regarding fish and bugs. There 
are even reported cases of inappropriate mashgi'him doing niqur 'helev.

The yirat shamayim and knowledge of the rav hamakhshir is an insufficient 
reference, because he may have inherited problems and it takes time to solve 
them. The obvious American case is the already mentioned half-moon-K. 
However, I know of a case of a great rav, who inherited a kashrut situation 
that is a terrible mess. His first act as the local responsable for kashrut 
in his area, was to fire the intermarried mashgi'him. Despite his best 
efforts, it takes years to improve the situation. Needless to say that with 
such mashgi'him, the likelihood of a mashgia'h's ignorance enabling serious 
mistakes is too high.

So, while I agree that one needs to be dan lekhaf zekhut and to be maqpid on 
bein adam le'havero ahead of certain issues of minhag, it is still important 
to educate oneself.

Let us also remember that the Ramo knew about the bein adam le'havero issue 
and still, while he permitted even the ma'hmirim to eat pat na'htom for the 
sake of one's host or even one's guest, he limited this hetter to pat 
na'htom, and didn't extend it to butter.

As always, there should be a reasonable middle ground respecting both people 
and their legitimate 'humrot, striking a reasonable compromise between them, 
which is of course dependent on time and place.

Kol tuv,

-- 
Mit freundlichen Gr?╝ssen,
Rabbiner Arie Folger
http://www.igb.ch


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 17:21:36 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject:
RE: Kashrut reliable enough


> The truth of the matter is that unfortunately, not all mashgi'him
> are talmidei 'hakhamim, and many do not know enough about their
> responsibilities....
> Mashgi'him may also be insufficiently trained regarding fish and bugs. There 
> are even reported cases of inappropriate mashgi'him doing niqur 'helev.
> The yirat shamayim and knowledge of the rav hamakhshir is an insufficient 
> reference, because he may have inherited problems and it takes time to solve 
> them....

If there is evidence that a kashrut agency is inappropriate and not doing
its job, then of course it can't be relied upon - and no one questions
that if there are documented problems, it may not be relied upon.
Those are the cases that you bring.

However, most of the times, the problems are not documented - and even
worse, frequently the people raising the issues have financial stakes
in raising the issues. (there is a psak of rav moshe in one case that
a kashrut supervisor who raises issues about another hashgacha should
bring it to bet din, and if, because of the issues he raises but does
not bring to bet din, he takes over the supervision of the place under
the first hashgacha, one may not use his hashgacha any more - and that
is a very real issue with many hashgachot...)

The question is the ne'emanut of someone who is yere shamayim if there
are no documented issues - and that is a different question. Ne'emanut
does not mean that one is guaranteed it is correct - nor is one obliged
to put one's head in the sand - but that one can rely upon it unless
one has other information - and I am unaware of a major posek who has
decreed that the laws of ne'emanut and hezkat kashrut no longer apply,
although much of the community clearly acts that way.

Meir Shinnar


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 18:23:31 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject:
Killing kinim on shabbat


I just was listening to a shiur by R. Solomon Drillman -
<http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm?shiurID=711692> where he mentions
asking R'YBS about one of our favorite topics - the gemara's position
that kinim do not procreate through pirya vrivya. He states that R"
YBS felt it must be "nishtaneh" and that this type of kinnim maybe
existed at that time but not now and thus he(R'YBS) would have to say
that today you'd be chayav for killing one on shabbat!

KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 22:33:30
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Subject:
Re: Shabbos and no eruv: Carrying medicine, medical device, etc.


>What is the halacha when there is no eruv and a person needs to go to
>shul, a shiur, etc., but that they also need to take medicine along with
>them, or a medical device, etc.

>Are there heterim?  Can you have a koton carry it?

Your question isn't clear. There are 5 categories of CHOLEH on shabbat:
meichush/k'eivim b'alma, choleh b'miktzat, choleh she'ein bo sakana,
choleh she'yesh bo sakanat eivar, and choleh she'yesh bo sakana. Then
one has to analyze what melacha is involved: d'oraita by a Jew, d'rabbanan
by a Jew, d'oraita by a goy, d'rabbanan by a goy, taking medication, 
eating medicinal foods, amira l'nochri, and bishulei akum.

Stam going to shul or a shiur is no excuse for violating an issur shabbat.

Obviously the type of medical disorder is needed in order to give a
psak on your question both for the medication and the medical device.
These are discussed in SEFER REFUAT HA'SHABBAT which goes into great detail
(every possible medical disorder and device) and in the Nishmat Avraham
on Orach Chayim. 

KT

Josh


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 22:14:13 +0000
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Shabbos and no eruv: Carrying medicine, medical device, etc.


RAY wrote:
> What is the halacha when there is no eruv and a person needs to go to
> shul, a shiur, etc., but that they also need to take medicine along with
> them, or a medical device, etc.
> Are there heterim? ?áCan you have a koton carry it?

Medicine can be deposited at destination before Shabbat. However,
regarding devices, there are a number of responsa dealing with a person
who has a catheter and bag for collecting urine. Off hand, I recall
that RMF, REWaldenberg and either the Shevet haLevi or Min'hat Yits'haq
wrote on this topic. I recall that at least the two latter permitted
walking around with the device (bag included) where there is no eruv,
provided that it is NOT a reshut harabim deOraita. The topic is indexed
in the Bar Ilan Responsa Project (i.e., you can find it even without a
search). You may also search for catheter spelled in Yiddish and using
the modern Hebrew word for it (which I unfortunately forgot).

Regards,
Arie Folger


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 15:39:57 -0500 (EST)
From: droth@pobox.com (David Roth)
Subject:
Re: Sabbath mode wall ovens


Dear Friends,

[See this page (and links found on this page) at the Star-K web site
for background information:
http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-cooking-SM.htm]

The models of ovens designed for Yom Tov use (by means of the
somewhat inaccurately named "Sabbath Mode") are designed so that you
may adjust the temperature of the oven using a grama switch.  In
this mode, the LED display showing the temperature is disabled.

Assuming that one may use the grama switch to change the temperature
on Yom Tov, would someone please help me understand why there's a
problem with actually showing the temperature in the oven?  If
actually adjusting the heating element itself via grama isn't a
problem, why is showing the temperature such a big problem?

Kol Tuv,
David


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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 20:29:37 +0000
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Rape of Dinah


RGS wrote:
> But Mark, although you were saying just that in your first paragraph, your
> second paragraph sets off some alarm bells... What you seem to be saying
> is that the Torah gave it's laws for the needs of ancient times. Since
> there weren't modern sensitivities then, it was ok. But now we have
> become more sensitive and the Torah is apparently insensitive. But not
> to worry, although we grew past the Torah's "insensitivities", Halacha
> fixed the Torah's shortcomings... Surely, the Torah's sensitivities are
> eternal and don't need Rabbinical fixing!

> Perhaps I misunderstood you?

See Rambam at the end of hilkhot 'avadim, where he states his theory that the 
Torah intentionally left some areas of morality open, with the implicit 
expectation that teh rabbis will fill that gap according to the needs of the 
[progressing?] society. Perhaps this is the kind of thing RMD was thinking 
of?

Arie Folger


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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 20:59:11 -0500
From: "Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer" <ygb@aishdas.org>
Subject:
Re: Kashrut reliable enough


This whole conversation mystifies me. Does no one remember that there is
a Meseches Demai (currently being studied as the Daf Yomi Yerushalmi)?
Ne'emanus is not automatic by any stretch of the imagination. It is a
privilege that is earned (Chaveirus) not an automatic right.

KT,
YGB


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Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 04:01:37 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: Most Supervisions "Reliable Enough" (was "all supervisions....)


[URL for "Rupture and Reconstruction": <http://tinyurl.com/9jh9h> -mi]

R' Moshe Feldman wrote:
> By the way, it seems today that people are less
> willing to rely upon chazakos than the Tannaim were.

That seems to fit with the modern trend that people want to be *sure*
that they're doing the right thing, Sounds like very much the same
mindset that causes people to try to be yotzay *all* the shitos, and
not be satisfied with the ikar hadin.

For more details, see "Rupture and Reconstruction" by R. Dr. Haym
Soloveitchik.

Akiva Miller
who is trying not to take sides, just to illustrate the poster's point


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Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 04:07:21 GMT
From: "kennethgmiller@juno.com" <kennethgmiller@juno.com>
Subject:
Re: Kashrut reliable enough


[I'm accepting this post with the notion that the final question be taken
rhetorically. I won't accept a list of "what's wrong with x" posts, but
am interested in the question being posed -- the number of hechsheirim
we do not use without really knowing why not. -mi]

R' Yitzchok Levine wrote:
> I find that in general many people today are "blissfully"
> ignorant of what is going on in the world of kashrus. They
> are willing to eat at a certain place or use a certain
> product because so and so does. When you ask so and so, he
> often tells you that another so and so eats there or uses
> the product. Who really made the evaluation regarding
> reliability is often not known.

I agree, but I would just like to point out that it goes just as strongly
in the other direction as well: Most people do not know WHY hechsher
XYZ has a bad reputation. They only know that no one else eats from it,
and <<< who really made the evaluation regarding reliability is often
not known. >>>

For example, can anyone cite specific reasons problems which exist at
Hebrew National which do not also exist at places which have better
reputations?

Akiva Miller


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Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 06:21:00 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
Subject:
Re: Reliability of Kosher Agencies


At 04:17 AM 02/03/2006, Moshe Feldman wrote:
>My only point
>is that every hashgacha makes mistakes, and that in some cases,
>whether or not a hashgacha makes the list of "trustworthy" hashgachos
>may be an issue of popular perception, etc.

Here we finally agree 100%! :-)

Yitzchok Levine 


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Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 08:34:49 -0500
From: "David Riceman" <driceman@worldnet.att.net>
Subject:
Re: About Kashrus


From: "Yitzchok Levine" <llevine@stevens.edu>
<citing anonymous (henceforth RA)>
> It galls me that people are
> bringing in a sefer that B'FERISH states it shouldn't be used for p'sak

This is an interesting attitude. IIRC the Pri Megadim says the same
thing, as does Igroth Moshe. Does RA refuse to use them for psak? The
only way I know to avoid having a sefer used for psak is by not
publishing it.

David Riceman 


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Date: Fri, 03 Feb 2006 10:29:41 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <llevine@stevens.edu>
Subject:
Chezkas Kashrus - Is it still valid?


Recently there has been considerable discussion on Avodah and Areivim
about the concept of Chezkas Kashrus regarding hashgachas and eating in
other's homes. I have been wondering the following;

Given the fact that today we get our food from all sorts of places and
that there can be all sorts of problems, is it possible that the concept
of Chezkas Kashrus may not be applicable in our times?

I am not saying that it is not. I am simply raising the issue for
discussion.

Good Shabbos
Yitzchok Levine 


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