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Volume 17 : Number 003

Monday, April 3 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 04:02:07 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Nusach for Bitul Chametz

> Rav Herschel Schechter, in his "B'Ikvei HaTzon", discusses this machlokes
> between Rashi and Tosfos and, IIRC, concludes that one should first say
> "k'afra d'ara" and then "hefker" (no discussion of the vav, though)
> on the basis that one cannot declare the chametz to be ownerless if one
> has already divested oneself of it.

R' Chaim Berlin has a chiddush on the nusach of Biur Chametz. He asks,
why is it that we say d'bi'artey udilo bi'artey? Obviously we do not
have to be mivatel Chametz which we destroyed? His approach is that
mechiras Chametz is, according to some shitttos, problematic (it is
only ha'arama) and thus I am being mivatel even the chametz which I
have gotten rid of via sale. Thus, the mechira is not addressing an
issur d'oraysa and therefore ha'arama is good enough for a d'Rabbonon
(chametz she'avar alav haPesach) Our Rav quoted this chiddush this week
in Shul. On the way home I commented to some chaveirim that this chiddush
only works aliba d'Rashi. However, according to Tosfos' shita of hefker,
it doesn't work mimanafshacch. If you were mivatel, i.e. were mifkir,
the chametz before the goy took possesuion, than how can you sell it
to him? And if you said the nusach of bitul after he took possession,
it's not yours to be mivatel. However, if you hold like Rashi, bitul
is a personal statement about your estimation of the worthlessness of
Chametz and as such no technical kinyan must be effected.

Since we're on the topic, R' Chaim Berlin further states that since
the din of hefker is a kinyan which is being effected by the owner,
if he doesn't understand what he is saying, it is invalid (the Ran). If
so, what about all the am-aratzim who do not understand the nusach of
bittul? (the MB states that that one should say bittul in his own lashon
if he doesn't understand Aramaic) He has a remarkable chiddush. He claims
that it works migeder Hefker Beis din Hefker.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 23:11:57 -0400
From: "Avi Burstein" <aburstein@gmail.com>
RE: Vechatosi Negdi Somid

> So it is  too with aveiros. One should spend a certain few minutes
> daily reflecting upon them - and by doing so one is mekayem the
> Vechatosi Negdi Somid. But there is no need to think about the
> chatoi'im all the time...

And shivisi Hashem lenegdi tamid?

Avi Burstein

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 22:05:24 +0200
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
kashrut for Pesach

I just came from a shiur from the head of the rabbanut kashrut in Israel.
He made several interesting comments

1. Any piskei halacha on electrical devices are fairly useless since
there change/upgrade from year to year. Hence, what was true last year
is not necessarily true this year.
As general examples he gave shavers, hand/facial creams (can have basar
bechalav), glazing for fruits. Thus, RMF has a heter for glazings but
since the technology has changed much of that heter is not applicable.

2. He said that virtually all hotels have major problems. Because of
the expense most equipment is kashered. Since these are huge industrial
pieces the kashering is very problematical both from the halakhic and even
more from the practical side. The raabanut has many rules but he admitted
they are not always enforced because of resistance by the hotel owners.

3. He insisted that on a daily basis that the rabbanut kashrut is a
as good as the badatzim. However, for Pesach he said that they had an
advantage. Most badatzim give few hechsherim for Pesach and charge a
lot of money. Hence they can be very selective and have many masgichim.

For year round he felt that more improtant than the halachic side was
the organizational side. A major posek who cant run an organization (or
have somone run it for him) of hundreds or even thousands of masgichim
is useless. There is no law regulating who can open a badatz hechsher.
He mentioned that recently a badatz was opened under R. Kaduri before
he passed away. Obviously R. Kaduri had nothing to do with the actual
operation of the badatz or who was in charge.

4. He felt that a badatz hechsher was always a good idea. By Israeli
law anything labeled as kosher has to have the hechsher of the local
rabbinate. Hence, any product with a badatz hechsher automatically has
2 hechsherim and two is better than one. I asked that the masgiach is
usually the same person and he answered that it didnt matter since two
organizations were looking into the kashrut it could only help.

5. He said that no one is Israel is knowledgable in all of kashrut. As
round numbers he estimated that some 500 rabbis are expert in one area of
kashrut, some 50 rabbis in 2 areas and many 5 in three areas and no one
more than that. He lives by knowing the expert in each area and knowing
whom to call. He not very jokingly said that his most important tool is
his telephone. He uses Zomet, R. Halperin, Tnuva and a host of pther
specialists. As an example he said he knows little about the kashrut
of fish. Again he doesnt mean Shulchan Arukh but rather the real life
kashrut problems in fish.

6. The rabbinate has started a major upgrade of their kashrut services.
By the end of the year (Rosh Hashana) all 4000 masgichim will have
undertaken a professional course including exams.
By Shavuot the chief rabbinate plans on opening up a web site with
details of many kashrut operations and questions&answers.

As he is in charge of the kashrut for the chief rabbinate he was very
careful not to answer any questions about individual products and/or
rabbis. He referred that again to one's LOR with the caution that many
LORs are not informed about kashrut issues since it involves not only
halacha but many technical issues.

Chag Kasher Vesameach
Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 03:36:13 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: korbanot

On March 31, 2006, Eli Turkel wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 31, 2006 at 11:14:42AM +0200, Eli Turkel wrote:
>: Any explanations here on the opinion of Rambam that Korbanot are because
>: of Avodah Zara. At the same time Rambam is clear that Korbanot will
>: reappear in the days of Moshiach although there would no longer be
>: Avodah Zara.

Rav Dessler (chelek Dalet somewhere if memory serves) claims that the
Rambam was only giving one of several possible reasons in the Moreh. In
fact, continues Rav Dessler, all Rishonim did this. I am wont to add to
this that since the Moreh was addressed to people who were philosophically
inclined, the Rambam chose this particular reason although he wasn't
necessarily being sholel the Ibn Ezra or the Ramban's reason. Besides,
what do you want from the Rambam. It's an offena Medrash (MR Vayikra
22:8). My only problem with my approach is that I'm not a bigger chacham
then the Ramban. Why did he not assume about the Rambam what I take
for granted?

I generally respond to this question by positing that the Ramban
understood that the Rambam could very well have meant only to give a
possible reason but this was his way of making a macha'ah against an
approach that he felt was wholly untenable. Incidentally many of the
Ramban's kushyos would fall away if he understood the Rambam the way the
Ritva in Sefer haZikaron did, that is, that the korbanos were a direct
benefit to klal Yisrael as opposed to being makchish gentile practices
that had not infiltrated amongst the Jews (see Shevel for a partial
quote). The Ritva understands the Rambam as per the above-quoted Medrash,
that we had problems with AZ in Egypt and needed a tikun.

>: On a quick sampling of my shul very few would be comfortable with a
>: new Bet Hamikdash and bringing animal sacrifices. The gemara says that
>: it the kavod of Kohanim to be standing in blood. The bet hamikdash was
>: basically a slaughter house, not what we normally picture as our version
>: of spirituality.

This reminds me of the following pasuk. Yeshaya haNavi states: "ya'an
nigash ha'am hazeh, befiv u'visfasav kibbduni, v'libo rachak mimeni,
va'tehi yir'asam ossi mitvos anashim milumada" I remember R' Avigdor
Miller commenting that the Christians use this pasuk to conjure up the
image of a nation of hypocrites. We were entirely disingenuous in our
avodah. However, this picture is the furthest thing from the truth. Who
travels dozens, and perhaps hundreds of miles on foot, spends thousands of
"dollars" on korbanas, stands all day in the Beis haMikdash and davens,
and is disingenuous? Of course they meant what they said! However, it is
the nature of people to lose sight of the chashivus of something when
constantly exposed to it. Thus, after being around the Beis haMikdash,
one can begin to associate it with a slaughter house. When the Cohanim
were cutting up the korbanos, it looked like a butcher shop. When they
were makriv the nisachim on the mizbaiach, well, it's a barbecue! People
tend to lose their sensitivity to the importance of things and this was
Yeshaya's ta'ana on klal Yisrael. They were insufficiently enthusiastic
about their avodas Hashem.

> One of the things that I think of when saying Mussaf is "Nebich, RSO,
> I not only can't bring qorbanos, I've assimilated to the point where I
> can't even feel that I'm supposed to!"

Beautiful! I remember a schmooze from R' Yerucham (Levovitz) outlining a
similar idea. He wrote that we are so shakua b'chet that we don't even
see the problem of being over an aveira chs'v and immediately going
back to our gemaros. We don't feel the chomer ha'inyan of being over on
the ratzon haBoreh. Much like RMB writes, we don't even comprehend the
kirvas Hashem that we are lacking.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 04:33:13 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Avdus

On April 1, 2006 Micha Berger wrote:
> My LOR was speaking about tefillah and being an eved H', vs learning and
> being a sar lifnei hamelekh. It's the eved's tefillos that get answered,
> he has an intimacy that a sar lacks. (The SR was obviously both.) The
> reference is to Berakhos 34b, the answer Rabbi Gamliel gave his wife as
> to why he asked his talmid, R' Chanina ben Dosa to daven for his sick
> son. The wife wondered why the rebbe would need his talmid to daven for
> him -- who is greater? (I like the image of a wife who is so proud of
> her husband's accomplishments.) R' Gamliel's answer was that RCbD is
> the eved, whereas he is the sar.

I've always had a problem with this Gemara. Since avdus is the tachlis
of Torah u'Mitzvos (see Chovos haLevavos sha'ar bechina and shaar
Avodas Elokim), how can R' Yochanan ben Zaki have considered himself
greater than R' Chanina ben Dosa and yet be lacking, in comparison to
his talmid, in the mida of avdus? I have several approaches but they
all seem unsatisfactory.

Simcha Coffer

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 23:27:16 +1000
From: "SBA" <sba@sba2.com>
3 Kedusha Questions

1) The Boruch She'omar al seder hatefilah [by the baal Torah Temimah]
writes that the word should be Kakosuv al Yad 'Neviacho' - not 'Neviecho'
which is plural, as this ['Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh'] was only written by
one Navi.

Seems to me to be a fair statement.
I am wondering if any of the chevra have a comment on this?

2) Belzer chassidim have [presumably upon order of the rebbe] very
recently [15-20 years ago?] amended the nusach from 'al yad Neviecho'
to 'al yedei' . [There is such a nusach, IIRC, in the Machzor Vitri -
but, AFAIK, no one says it so].

My guess is that they assumed that 'neviecho' being plural - goes with
'al yedei' - rather than 'al yad'. But if the baal TT is correct, than
lechoreh they should have left 'al yad' alone and amended 'neviecho'...

3) Another Kedusha question.
Does anyone know of a source for the minhag of many to 'bow' right and
left when saying 'Vekoro zeh el zeh ve'omar'?


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Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2006 12:24:50 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: Sheva Berachos

R' Gershon Dubin wrote:
> Anyone have any idea what a newlywed couple would do at the seder re:
> sheva berachos, taking into account ein osin mitzvos chavilos chavilos,
> nir'eh kemosif al hakosos, etc.?

In Seder HaArukh vol. 1 there is a section that discusses this topic,
here is a summary:

The issue would be Mosif al Haqosos, there seems to be no mention of
Ein Osin Mitzvos Havilos Havilos as being problematic [perhaps because
Birkhas Hasanim is always recited post Birkhas Hamazon and we don't find
that to be problematic either -jf]

There are four approaches to reciting Sheva B'rakhos during the Seder;

1) Recite the Sheva B'rakhos on the same Qos being used for benching.
(HID"A, R' Yaaqov Emdin)

2) Recite Sheva Berakhos in the usual manner, on a separate Qos
altogether, using the Hassan's benching Qos (Darkei Moshe, Igros Moshe
Even Ha'ezer 1, siman 95, --In this Teshuva RMF quotes his son RDF with
a few interesting Hidushim WRT the 4 Qosos -jf)

3) Using 2 Qosos, as usual, and use the Sheva B'rakhos Qos for Qos Revi'i
(R' Yaaqov Emdin)

4) Using 2 smaller Qosos for benching and for Sheva B'rakhos [or using
half filled Qosos for both], and combining the two in a larger Qos for
drinking. (HID"A mentions this 'in the name of hakham ekhad', but does
not hold of these methods himself)

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 15:25:39 -0400
From: "Michael Y. Kopinsky" <m1@kopinsky.com>
Trumos Umaasros

I have heard reports that many peppers and other vegetables found in
supermarkets are imported from Israel. Are there guidelines about when
you have to be choshesh for this? Have any of the Kashrus organizations
issued statements about this?

Michael Y. Kopinsky

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Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 21:46:44 -0400
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Mezonot Bread

I wrote the following earlier in the day but mistakenly sent it to Areivim:

As I sadly sit at Ben Gurion Airport for the trip back to the US,
I thought the chevra might find the insert from the Weiss cuisine (OU
and Rabbi Binyomin Gruber Dayen of Muncie certified) {no comment on the
taste of the alleged meat that was included :-)

"There is a dispute among Poskim concerning the proper Bruche(sic)
for this roll. Please consult your own rav)

I tried calling my Rav (not sure why they don't capitalize) but for
some reason my cellphone didn't work over the Atlantic. I chose to make
Hamotzei since I was taught this was the position of virtually all Poskim.

Am i missing something? The insert included info on Weiss' mission so
I assume they could have put a bit more detail if they felt it was needed.

Joel Rich

But now I'm even more confused-on the trip back (this time the hashgacha
is OU, Jerusalem Edah Charedit) I read "The rolls are Halachically
"Pas Kisnin" and their brocho is "mezonot"

Some interesting differences in spelling and terminology - the rolls
were diferent-this pm's were oblong!(neither had any taste)

Any ideas
Joel Rich 

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Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 19:15:44 +0200
From: Minden <phminden@arcor.de>
Re: Mezonot Bread

R' Joel Rich wrote:
> Bruche(sic)

Cur non?

> I tried calling my Rav (not sure why they don't capitalize)

It's not a title in front of a name here, but a regular noun. So: "Meet
Dr. Plouni, who is a rav," or "Meet Rav Plouni who works as a doctor."

> But now I'm even more confused-on the trip back (this time the hashgacha
> is OU, Jerusalem Edah Charedit) I read "The rolls are Halachically
> "Pas Kisnin" and their brocho is "mezonot".
zsh: command not found: Fmt

ELPh Minden

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Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 13:21:29 -0400
From: "R Davidovich" <rdavidovich@cox.net>
Re: kashrut reliable enough

>It cited him as saying that anyone who was known to worry about hilkhot
>shabbat and taharat hamishpacha could be relied on for kashrut.

Sorry, but I see a major difference between kashrus and the other two sets
of halachos that would lead one to worry about one and not the other two.
And this goes for all the heated comments made that condemn others for
being "motzi la'az on all the people who eat from this hechsher or that
one" etc.

When it comes to Shabbos and ThM, relying on a person's ne'emanus means
that you trust that person to have learned the halacha correctly and
acted in accordance with halacha.

When it comes to kashrus in a home in today's industrialized
food-production world, a person's reliability is unrelated to the
hechsheirim he uses. I trust the housewife's ability to keep her keilim
separate and soak/salt the meat properly. I trust that she knows enough
not to have inadvertently cooked on Shabbos. But the baal habayis doesn't
use hechsher X because he is learned in the halachos anymore than I do.
We accept a hechsher because it seems to be accepted by people in my
circles and we are comfortable with relinquishing our responsibility
in this area to other dozens or hundreds of people we don't even know.
L'moshol; If I have a friend whose company I enjoy, that does not obligate
me to enjoy the company of all my friend's friends.

With this understanding, it is certainly not nearly as insulting not to
trust the same hechsheirim other people might trust, since this depends
on factors having nothing to do with the ne'emanus of the other balebos.


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Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 14:38:44 -0400
From: "Meir Shinnar" <chidekel@gmail.com>
Re: kashrut reliable enough

On 4/3/06, R Davidovich <rdavidovich@cox.net> wrote:
> Sorry, but I see a major difference between kashrus and the other two sets
> of halachos that would lead one to worry about one and not the other two.
> And this goes for all the heated comments made that condemn others for
> being "motzi la'az on all the people who eat from this hechsher or that
> one" etc.

Of course, we can all make all the hilukim that we wish. Your position
is very common today. However, remember that it is not I who am claiming
that reliability in shabbat and taharat hamishpacha means reliability
in kashrut....

It is interesting that such fairly major figures from the haredi world
such as rav moshe, RSZA, and Rav Gustman, some of whom were even viewed
as posek hador, seemed to view the kashrut issues differently - that (at
the least) the widely used major hashgachot were all essentially reliable
meikkar hadin - and that therefore classical issues of reliability and
hezkat kashrut did apply. Furthermore, there was a downside in being
machmir in refusing to use these hashgachot in public affairs - even
if one wished to be machmir in one's own home. The food industry had,
during their time, already evolved that all the issues that people raise
today about the complicated nature of the ingredients already existed.
However, they all seemed to feel differently - and what is telling in
much of the discussion that there is utter disbelief that they could
possibly have held such positions - as it seems so much against the
current zeitgeist.

Meir Shinnar

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Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 14:25:04 -0400
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: yerusha

R' Eli Turkel wrote:
> However, that is not the essence of the question. Even assuming her
> answer that in many cases the daughters get most of the inheritance.
> Dividing the inheritance equally still does not satisfy the Torah.
> In my personal observations very few people leave their inheritance as
> given by halacha. Even if one finds a halachically valid way around the
> question was whether this violates the spirit of the Torah. For example
> in Israel the rabbinate frequently requests the sons to be "mochel"
> their portion (and the bechor his extra portion) to the daughters. While
> certainly valid I doubt it what was done by Chazal.

Hazal instituted certain Taqanos that encouraged equal distribution
of a person's estate, thus allowing daughters to inherit along with
their brothers. See Gemara K'Suvos 52b, Rabbi Yohanan in the name of
Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai states that the reason for instituting Kesuvas
B'nin Dikhrin was to encourage fathers to include their daughters in the
inheritance. The Gemara then asks how can the Rabanan make a Taqanah that
is contrary to the Torah, that sons inherit, daughters don't inherit. To
which the Gemara responds with a Drasha from a Pasuk in Yirmiyah. So
Hazal was quite in favor of seeking ways in the equal distribution of
one's estate among sons and daughters.

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 22:51:14 +0400
From: "Simon Montagu" <simon.montagu@gmail.com>
Re: 3 Kedusha Questions

On 4/2/06, SBA <sba@sba2.com> wrote:
> 1) The Boruch She'omar al seder hatefilah [by the baal Torah Temimah]
> writes that the word should be Kakosuv al Yad 'Neviacho' - not 'Neviecho'
> which is plural, as this ['Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh'] was only written by
> one Navi.
> Seems to me to be a fair statement.

If it were plural there would need to be a yud between the alef and the
kaf. Without the yud, it's a pausal form of the singular, as in Shemot
7, 1.

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Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 15:54:06 -0400
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
RE: Vechatosi Negdi Somid

>> So it is too with aveiros. One should spend a certain few minutes
>> daily reflecting upon them - and by doing so one is mekayem the
>> Vechatosi Negdi Somid. But there is no need to think about the
>> chatoi'im all the time...

> And shivisi Hashem lenegdi tamid?

Also technically impossible. See Nefesh haChaim (Shaar Dalet Perek Beis)
..."for behold there are many halachos in Shas at which time a person is
involved in them he must concentrate all of his mental activity on their
physical qualities...and it is virtually impossible to have a perfect
[mental] connection [to Hashem] as would be appropriate..."

At the same time, see Tanya (L'A 26) that one must "establish specific
and auspicious times coupled with the appropriate mental composure to
contemplate the greatness of Hashem against Whom he sinned such that
his heart should be 'broken' in earnest... "

However, he goes on to say that as soon as one has fulfilled this

"one must entirely divest himself of any vestiges of 'depression' and
believe, a complete belief, that Hashem has removed his sin and that He
is ever-forgiving ...and this is the true happiness..."

I suppose I have made two points.

1) It is veritably superhuman to keep one's machshava on Hashem 24/7 (a
feat the Avos accomplished their entire lives, according to the Rambam
in the Moreh)

2) Thinking about chata'im is meritorious only if it leads to teshuva.
Otherwise, depression, in general, is a chet. R' Avigdor Miller notes
that in Talmud, we always find "atzvus" combined with "atzlus" thus
indicating that "atzvus" is actually a bad mida (I'm sure many Freudians
would disagree with me...)

Simcha Coffer

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