Avodah Mailing List

Volume 41: Number 60

Tue, 15 Aug 2023

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2023 10:34:13 -0400
Re: [Avodah] The Arukh haShulchan on eating borcht made by a

R' Micha Berger wrote:

> For the actual words
> https://www.sefaria.org/Arukh_HaShulchan,_Yoreh_De'ah_112.1
> It increases my belief that the main reason why we today
> need to look for hekhsheirim is the existence of those very
> hekhsheirim. And before we made such things an efshar levareir,
> kashrus was a lot easier.

For certain products, I question the premise that "we today need to look
for hekhsheirim".

Let's look, for example, at foods such as domestic unflavored beer, corn
starch, salt, unflavored ground coffee, and unflavored water even with
fluoride. These are listed by the Star K (
not needing a hechsher. (Other kashrus organizations have similar lists;
choose whichever you prefer.)

Yet, one can also find these items *with* a hechsher, sometimes pretty
easily. Am I obligated to do so? Does anyone disagree with this Aruch

Suppose I am at the store, and I see two brands of table salt, one with an
acceptable hechsher and the other without. This seems to be an example of
what RMB referred to as "efshar levareir", but the AhS seems to be saying
that I do not need to worry about the possibility that tiny amounts of
treif might be mixed into the one that lacks a hechsher; rather, it *is*
kosher. If so, I do not see how halacha should influence my choice of which
salt to buy.

Akiva Miller

Postscript: I am not advocating the above approach for *all* products, but
*only* for those where a reliable source has investigated the current
manufacturing practices, and has concluded that the product is
sufficiently innocuous. For other items, relying on bittul is dangerous,
because there are so many details where bittul doesn't work. For example,
there are so many non-kosher flavorings out there, and we know that this is
a category of ingredient where bittul doesn't work. Maamid is another
example, and I'm not proficient in knowing which foods might have an
ingredient which brings the food to a particular consistency or solidity.
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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 11:53:33 -0400
[Avodah] Another Second Temple Era Menorah found

See "Ruins of one of the world's oldest synagogues found in Russia"
(Jewish Chronicle, 15-Aug-2023) https://bit.ly/3QH7uco or

See there for the pictures of the remains of the menorah sculptures. The arms
are curved. And this is contemporary with Bayis Sheini.

The evidence is pretty consistent.

    One of the worlds oldest synagogues dating back nearly 3000 years
    has been unearthed by a team of archaeologists near the Black sea
    in Russia.

    A team from the Phanagoria Archeological Expedition discovered the
    ruins of the synagogue which formed part of the ancient Greek city
    of Phanagoria.
    Inside the rectangular structure, which is 21 m deep and 6 m wide,
    were several menorahs, altars, fragments of marble steles, including
    one bearing the word synagogue in the original Ancient Greek. The
    team also found tablets with dates from the first century.
    Researchers say the synagogue date back to the Second Temple Period
    (597 BC to AD 70) and stood for approximately 500 years until
    Phanagoria was sacked and burned by barbarian tribes.

    The foundation said: The analysis of the fragments of the preserved
    decoration allows us to conclude that the synagogue was erected at
    the turn of the millennium and existed for at least 500 years.

    They added: The presence of a robust Jewish community within the
    city already in the 1st century AD is corroborated by depictions of
    menorahs on amphorae and tombstones from that era.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 Integrity is choosing to practice our values
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   rather than simply professing them.
Author: Widen Your Tent                  - Brene Brown
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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Message: 3
From: Joel Rich
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 17:06:29 -0400
[Avodah] Davening priorities

Which would you choose ? davening Shacharit on a parked plane after
misheyakir but before hanetz or on a flying plane after hanetz? Why?
Joel Rich
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Message: 4
From: Joel Rich
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 17:03:57 -0400
[Avodah] Minyan Man?

Davened in the bet Knesset in Ben Gurion airport (NATBAG). There were about
15 men at various points in their private tfilot. One individual walked up
to the amud and proceeded to daven out loud the entire tfila (kaddish,
barchu etc) as if he were a shaliach tzibur. People (including new
arrivals) answered even though they were at different points (if at all) of
davening. There were possibly two people davening at his pace. Analysis?

Joel Rich
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