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Volume 16 : Number 104

Thursday, January 26 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 13:11:50 +0000
From: Arie Folger <afolger@aishdas.org>
Re: Pas Akkum - Kashrus

Reb Jacob Farkas wrote:
> Does that mean that these 'questionable' ingredients are expected to be
> used in most or all bakeries?

It depends on the local baking tradition and the particular bread you
are dealing with. Many artisanal bakeries rather sell specialty breads,
but these may contain fats, milk products, or in the case of butter,
both rolled into one. There is a rabbinic prohibition on dairy bread
unless it has a distinct look.

In the US, bakeries tend to sell to other sales outlets, such as grocery
stores. The latter want the bread to have a longer shelf life, thus the
former are more likely to add non-traditional ingredients. I do not know
how prevalent the practice is in the US, as I am not active on the US
kashrut scene.

In Europe, you can actually find in many countries kinds of bread which
are OK. French baguettes are an example, provided they benefit from the
app?©lation pain traditionel (did I misspell this, oh my, I don't even
know. I rarely write in French), which distinguishes it from what you
called "frankenbread". You would still have to find out if lard was used
to grease the pans, though.

> Secondly, how 'questionable' are these emulsifiers and other additives?
> Are they edible and do they have other Kashrus-altering effects on the
> finished bread, e.g. Nosen Ta'am?

Emulsifiers like lecithin, E470-E472, etc. are made with fats and can be
ma'amidim (depends on how it is used. In cookies, I definitely consider
them ma'amidim, in other products, I'd have to see). Thus, they should
be problematic in small quantities, as well. However, sometimes, the
animal-derived or animal-contaminated ingredient within the emulsifier
is one of many, and we might end up with a zeh vezeh gorem. In this area,
I should add that slowly, at least in Switzerland, matters are improving,
in that more and more companies want vegetable emulsifiers. In a few
years, we might conclude that this problem has disappeared. Right now,
though, it still exists.

Other additives keep the bread fresh for a longer period of time and
are milk-based. In one case I briefly looked into, it was unclear how
much milk ends up in the final product. (I would have had to check out
the suppliers, as well, and considering the need, for the few hospital
patients who would be at the particular hospital that ordered its
bread from that bakery, it wasn't worthwhile to carry out such a major
audit.) Perhaps the milk was batel, perhaps not.

It is also fairly common to grease pans with lard, though here too,
the practice is on the wane. I have no idea whether lard is commonly
used in the US for this purpose (my gut feeling is that in this matter,
the situation in the US is better)

Thus, caveat emptor. Before relying on the assumption that bread usually
only has innocuous ingredietns, you have to know the baking tradition
in your country.

Kol tuv,
Arie Folger

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Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 03:53:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Re: Everyone on the Same Level

Moshe Feldman <moshe.feldman@gmail.com> wrote:
> Shu"t Mabit 3:68
> (my loose translation): "I have heard that there are... those who do
> not eat from our food and use different dishes and make themselves
> holy by refraining from eating what is permitted to sages greater than
> themselves, and do not wish to be present at se'udos mitzvah of even their
> close relatives... and this is a chilul ha'Torah to the nations of the
> world because they think of the Torah as being two ("shtei toros")....
> Al ti'hiyu chasidim harbei...

This is what the Mabit seems to be saying:

The "Matir" for Basur B'Chalav is Echad B'Shishim. So, for example when
a drop of milk falls into a pot of roast beef, if that drop is less than
1/60th the vpolume of the beef. the beef is Mutar. I wonder how many
people would be Machmir and not eat from that beef? I'll bet there are
plenty. Yet by refusing to eat from it they are being Mevatel Ma SheTovu
Bo Chachamim.


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Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 10:29:09 -0500
From: Jacob Farkas <jfarkas@compufar.com>
Re: Pas Akum - Kashrus

L. E. Levine wrote:
> Is the implication of your questions that organizations like the OU are 
> wasting resources giving supervision on ingredients that do not require 
> supervision? I sincerely doubt that this is the case....

My questions are unrelated to the practices of the OU or other Kashrus 
agencies. They are specific to items that are produced without their 
involvement. The fact that they research ingredients and enzymes is 
testament to their dedication and responsibility to the general public. 
I would never 'certify' a product unless I were reasonably sure that 
every ingredient is non-problematic. So, from a Hashgokho perspective, 
this is not considered a waste of time and resources, and the 
involvement of the OU Poskim is much warranted.

Whether that translates to any produced food that does not have
certification losing its Hezqas Kashrus is the point of my question. My
assumption is that it doesn't unless there is strong reason to believe
that a) Potentially problematic ingredients are commonly added, b)
The problematic ingredients are Vadai problematic, rather than Safeik
proble matic.

Jacob Farkas

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Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 20:44:27 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Pas Akkum - Kashrus

On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 12:19:54PM -0500, Jacob Farkas wrote:
: Hud'ra Kush'ya L'Dukhta. Is there a Yoreh Deah reason to avoid bread 
: baked by any Palter, Akkum or otherwise, without supervision?

Beer seems to be in a parallel category. As long as the industry
self-polices the ingrediant list, we're pretty permissive.

On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:17:29PM -0500, Zev Sero wrote:
: Shaya Potter <spotter@yucs.org> wrote:
:> If an enzyme needs supervision, why is honey kosher?

: According to many poskim, it's a gezerat hakatuv.

I'm reminded of a nice vertl from the Lubliner on "eretz zavas chalav

Why does the Torah bedavqa choose these two things to praise EY? Aren't
there other items that could equally well be used to show its bounty?

"Hadam ne'eqar vena'asah chalav". Chalav is from a davar tamei, but it
itself is tahor.

Devash comes from the devorah, a davar tamei, and also somehow becomes
tahor. In fact, any bee limbs or flesh that falls into the devash becomes
devash and tahor. (Berachos 6b)

This is the praise of EY, that it's metaheir hatemei'im.

(I'm sure many share my surprise that he assumes it's bee honey and not
date nectar.)

Point is -- see, it's not just the enzymes, if they are a problem
at all. Honey is bichlal sui generis.


Micha Berger             I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
micha@aishdas.org        I awoke and found that life was duty.
http://www.aishdas.org   I worked and, behold -- duty is joy.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                        - Rabindranath Tagore

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Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 13:16:58 +1100
From: "meir rabi" <meirabi@optusnet.com.au>
Maris Ayin of the BP

R Micha Berger asks
>Is the Ben Pekuah a mar'is ayin issue?

In Y:D Siman 13 Taz 4, explaining why an animal that has set foot or
walked on the ground (HifRis Al GuBey KarKa 2 opinions) requires Shechita,
says that it is due to Maris Ayin as o/w people will confuse the BP with
is only Lechatchila. Meaning that if the animal dies or was killed,
it may be consumed. He supports this by arguing that proper Talmudic
form directs us to minimise any Machlokes of the Gemora and therefore
with an opinion that maintains that the BP NEVER requires Shechita, the
counter opinion that requires Shechita only imposes it Lechatchila. He
brings other proofs including the observation that one need not use a
Kosher Chalaf when Shechting the BP. (Shach argues, although all agree
that Simoney Treyfus in the animal are of no consequence and the animal
is Kosher.) I mention this bcs I think it strongly suggests

Oruch HaShulchan also (13-6) says the reason 

Reb Micha further observes
> I would have thought that it's a matter of a "blekh", a heqer by which
> you and anyone else who encounters this calf will avoid issur by not
> accidentally eating the wrong calf without shechitah. Since people will
> remember the hoof, the mistake will be avoided. Or anything that marks
> this from the other calves.

This is the very point I am querying. Take the blech for example, it
is a PHYSICAL device that PREVENTS access to the fire and the risk of
Shemoh YeChateh. It is an effective physical barrier. Would we permit a
large sign above the stove DO NOT TOUCH THE FIRE? Probably not. However,
in other circumstances a MENTAL REMINDER is adequate, as in the case
of almond milk. Nevertheless, we require a Siman that indicates the
true nature of this milk; it is not cow's milk but almond milk. Would
a container in the shape of a fused hoof be an adequate reminder? One
would think not.

Now we may consider that wherever possible Chazal would impose the
maximum device to avoid the risk, a blech for the stove and if such
a parallel exists the same for almond milk. BP seems to defy this
assertion. By permitting a BP with a fused hoof we are permitting with
a MINIMUM heqer. And this is supported & extended by the Remo who,
indicates that Shoom ShaAr Dovor TaMuAh is sufficient to allow the BP
to be killed and consumed.

BTW I presume (correct me if I am mistaken) Reb Micha's distinction
between Heqer and Maris Ayin is that Heqer applies to the one who
is engaged in the activity and Maris Ayin applies to the outside
observer. The Aruch HaShulchan however (13-6) ties those two notions

Reb Micha continues
>Jumping back a bit:
>>Would it permitted to cook/serve meat and almond milk provided it is
>>served in an almond shaped container?

>                                                     Almonds in the "milk"
> would be a natural symbol, there is a logical reason why anyone who sees it
> would identify the liquid as almond milk. An almond shaped dish would be an
> artificial reminder....
> So this question becomes: What do we need to avoid mar'is ayin? A natural
> reminder, or is a commonplace artificial one sufficient? Given that either
> is sufficient to avoid others' misjudgment, why would natural reminders be
> better?

This is my point; (perhaps I am missing something bcs I do not follow
Reb Micha's distinction between heqer & MA) so I ask, if we follow the
guide of the BP, ANY MINIMUM symbol should be adequate, even though this
is not the norm; just as there is no norm for BP to have a fused hoof. It
is simply an alarm that reminds that SOMETHING (without specifying what)
is different. To use your words, Reb Micha, "Why would the snoop avoid
misdjudging you when he sees you killing and eating a cow just because
of a fused hoof? Or even less than that acc to the Remo"


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Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 23:17:36 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: Emunah, Perakim and the Mabul

On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:56:55AM -0500, Mlevinmd@aol.com wrote:
: I do want to point out that we do not find any RIshon of stature, to my
: knowledge, ( I exclude Aristoteleans such as R. S. ibn Tibbon and others)
: who wrote that anything after the Maaseh Breishis is a moshol.

I'm wondering: and who amongst the Aristotilians?

: The Rashbo's comments about those who claim that Avraham and Sara were
: chomer and tsurah and the 12 Shevatim represent 12 segments of the
: Zodiac are well known. Extreme allegorizations seems to have been
: rejected long ago and we need to find other answers for the problems
: of archeological evidence.

I didn't see the Rashba as questioning their historicity. Identifying
a symbol doesn't mean the literary character is "only" symbolic, it
can rather mean that the historical person's life stands as a symbol.
Is that not peshat in "ma'aseh avos siman labanim"?

On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:07:05AM -0500, Shinnar, Meir wrote:
: One question, of course, is what do you mean by saying that "the mesora
: gives evrey indication that a particular story is history". That is a
: matter of personal interpretation, and is not clear.

Let's first make a Kantian distinction between analytic judgements and
synthetic ones. Analytic judgements are tautologically true, true by
definition, or inherently false because they're paradoxical. Synthetic
judgements are ones that, as a matter of fact, happen to correspond
to reality.

Analytic: All black houses are black.
Synthetic: My house is not black.

Analytic statements must be true. As in "Lamah li qera -- sevarah hi!"
They are neither mesorah, nor philosophy, nor science.

When I speak about mesorah vs science, I'm saying that any resolution
of the two that I personally can find acceptable can not involve only
scientific synthetic judgements. There must be some way to deduce the
conclusion from mesoretic ideas.

WRT ma'aseh bereishis, some may argue how widespread acceptance
of ideas that assert an old universe actually were before the 19th
century. However, one can not honestly question that working with mesorah
alone, it is possible to be led to that conclusion.

: Eg, as in a prior debate, prior to the rambam, I think that every source
: I am aware of would have viewed the beginning of parshat vayera as a
: historical event, with three angels appearing to avraham. (can you find
: anything to the contrary?)

: Comes the rambam, based on the science of his time, on the problem of
: angels being corporeal beings...

The Rambam's problem with seeing mal'achim is inherent in mal'achim as
defined by mesorah. Not "based on the science of his time". The science
and philosophy of his time didn't have much to say about the visibility
of angels. He was mechadeish a new conclusion based on the implications
of saying that mal'achim aren't gashmi. An analytic judgement coming
from the terms as defined by TSBP. That's not "philosophy" as much as
straight sevara extrapolating from mesorah.

: The second problem is that you view that science is something that is
: inherently extrinsic to the mesora - and therefore view the conflict
: as between internal (mesora) and external (science). The problem is
: that the mesora itself recognizes that the truths of science, which are
: a product of the human reason given to us by hashem...

Still, there is a difference between that which we know because it was
given at Sinai, or built entirely from that which was given at Sinai
(or to later nevi'im, in the case of aggadita), and that which we know
because it was emprically experienced, or inductively reasoned from
that experience. Experience vs. revelation are different sources of
synthetic truths.

They can not disagree. We concur that if they seem to, we misunderstand
something. My assertion is based on the difference in our readings of
the Moreh -- a topic I don't think either of us want to revisit. But
I'm making a point about when it's possible that it's the Torah that
was misunderstood.

I see it as a breach of emunas chakhamim and belief in TSBP to think that
the mesoretically transmitted position is wrong in light of information
obtained in another manner. If the mesorah is of two or more voices,
as it is on Bereishis 1, or silent, then one isn't whittling Torah to fit.

: The question, of course, is when science and the mesora seem to conflict.
: As the mesora tells us (and you seem to agree) that the historical truth
: is not something that is important to it...

Again, even a tafeil isn't the same as ayin. 

My own little quirk is to follow the Maharal and REED that two people's
realities can contradict. Just as in maqas dam -- water for one can be
blood for another. I therefore would not assume that archeology and
history conflict with mesorah. Rather, the Torah is written from the
perspective of people who life in a world of nissim, the people in the
naaratives. Science is studied by people who live in one of hesteir panim.

Had Ovadiah (just to randomly pick a navi) been a scientist, he would
have found a different set of writings when looking at ancient history.

But I called that a "little quirk" because I realize it's a huge concept
to swallow.

: To use your example - even within the mesora, thunder and lightning were
: viewed by many as direct manifestations of hashem's gvura, and there
: are aggadta describing the meaning. For many of us today, thunder and
: lightning are manifestations of physical phenomena - not fundamentally
: different than other weather events (and probably better understood
: than many other weather events) - but our theistic resolution is that
: hashem's gvura is manifested precisely through these physical phenomena.
: Is that understanding and relationship to thunder and lightning different
: than most ba'ale mesora five hundred years ago? Is that problematic?

Do they make conflicting claims about thunder? Does any rishon or any
member of Chazal say that lightening isn't light caused by a buildup
of voltage from the cloud to the ground, leading to leaping charge,
and from that heat, and light?

Positiing a "god of the gaps" is saying that one only needs religion as
a stopgap until a scientific conclusion comes along.

You're giving an example of the difference between science's "What" and
"How" and religion's "in order to". No potential for contradiction.

Claims about the mabul, migdal bavel, the avos, or even matan Torah
aren't inherently religious, but they are about the belief system,
about emunah, trust, in chachamim as an information source.

To simply skip to what I feel are the key points:

1- Secondary in importance doesn't imply absent. Claims that aren't the
point are still claims. If one trusts the source of the information,
then the centrality of the particular claim is irrelevent.

Trust in the mesorah as a source of information is part of the 8th
ikkar. As is denying the concept of Torah having a "heart" and a "shell".

When the mishnah speaks of "megaleh panim shelo kalahakhah", the example
brought by the Tosafos YT and other peirushim is of coming up with a
new peshat in "veTimna haysa pilegesh".

2- When I speak of "supported by mesorah", I mean that the mesorah makes
a claim, or makes every synthetic statement necessary to be mechadeish
the claim. As opposed to making contrary statements, without a second
tzad to the machloqes for an al mi lismokh.

: Also See the discussion within the ramban (hardly a rationalist)about
: how Greek physical science understanding of the rainbow affects our
: understanding of the brit made with noah.

Again, because there is a difference between chidush in the face of
silence and shinui from explicitly transmitted statements.

: Our theistic belief is there - but true theistic belief is that the
: details of the history and science is irrelevant to hashem's being and
: our avoda.

You do not believe this, though. You wouldn't move belief in the
historical avos, yetzi'as Mitzrayim or matan Torah to this periphery --
even though we could in theory internalize the truths Hashem relayed
through these events either way.

:> The idea that the mesorah includes beliefs, even as non-essentials,
:> which are simply stopgaps until science gives us a "real answer" is a
:> "god of the gaps" approach to religion.

: take another example. Books considered within the mesora have a fairly
: detailed understanding of disease, based both on theology and Greek
: medicine.

Not so. Perhaps we also disagree on a third point -- you're enlarging
the list of things called "within mesorah" and therefore allow one to
say that if we can question that labeling in the case of medical texts
written by ba'alei mesorah we can question that labeling in everything
but the core of emunah and avodah.

But not every Jewish book is TSBP.

: In one of the sichot of rav ZY Kook, he holds essentially that prior to
: lech lecha is (and from the wording I can't tell which) either prehistory
: and parahistory - not something over which we have detailed information.
: The avot are such a fundamental part of the context of the halacha that
: they become more problematic to allegorize.

We discussed this back in v2, and someone faxed me the RZYK. I didn't see
his pei-reish-hei historia as a claim that it's ahistorical. Archeologists
speak about "prehistoric" cave men, and don't use the term to mean

RZYK is saying that the history of the Jewish people begins with Lekh
Lekha, and everything before it is therefore prehistory. Which then allows
him to discuss the purpose of including that prehistory in the Torah.

: Note that the rambam does allegorize many events, and some meforshim even
: understand him to say that such a foundational event as the akeda, because
: a mal'ach is mentioned, must therefore be occuring in a prophetic dream.

My problem isn't with allegorization. It's with denying TSBP statements
of historicity. (Without an al mi lismokh.)

:> But neither is the option before us. The question isn't on life without
:> explanations, but life with conflicting explanations.

: The issue is the range of explanations offered by the mesora. In one
: extreme, it offers a comprehensive explanation of the entire universe -
: and our avoda plays an important role in the universe. In the other
: extreme, it offers an understanding primarily of hashem's relationship
: to us and the universe - but not of the universe itself(not something
: so small, but still less) - and our avoda has therefore a different role.

You write "primarily" and yet use it to exclude the possibility of
ancillary information.

As for


Micha Berger             Man is a drop of intellect drowning in a sea
micha@aishdas.org        of instincts.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 21:49:28 -0500
From: Micha Berger <micha@aishdas.org>
Re: women, mitzvot and sachar

On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:14:30AM +0200, Shoshana L. Boublil wrote:
: At this point, I would like to analyze a woman's day with regard to
: mitzvot:
: So, we have 3 major categories that impact women's lives, take many
: hours and much energy, but for which they, apparently, have no Sachar:
: Having children;
: Educating children;
: Mitzvot SheHaZeman Gerama.

"Gadol hametzuveh ve'oseh mimi she'eino metzuveh ve'oseh". The
implication, contrary to RtSB's conclusion is that the different is
quantity, not quality. More sechar -- as opposed to getting sechar
vs. not.

But we're faced with conflicting ma'amarim. Because we can't know
"secharan shel mitzvos". So, LAD, it would mean that the greatness of
the sechar of the "metzuveh ve'oseh" is one factor among many. If all
else were equal, the sechar would be more. But all else is never equal,
nor are we aware of what "all else" is! Thus, we can't know which mitzvah
has greater sechar.

And so, without knowing secharan shel mitzvos, we can't map quantity of
chiyuvim and issurim, nor even the number of mitzvos actually performed
to sechar.

I think this proves the berakhah is not over extra sechar.

But 2nd, as already noted, "shelo al menas leqabeil peras" is the
correct attitude we should bring to our own avodas Hashem. Why would
Chazal write a berakah to indoctrinate us with the opposite attitude by
daily recitation?


Micha Berger             Man is equipped with such far-reaching vision,
micha@aishdas.org        yet the smallest coin can obstruct his view.
http://www.aishdas.org                         - Rav Yisrael Salanter
Fax: (270) 514-1507      

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