Avodah Mailing List
Volume 16 : Number 115
Thursday, February 2 2006
Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 09:03:02 -0600
From: "Kohn, Shalom" <skohn@Sidley.com>
Subject: Re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese
On Mon, Jan 30, 2006 , R. Meir Rabi wrote:
: Now that we've figured out that honey is kosher in spite of its being a
: product created/converted only through an enzyme of a non-kosher species,
: we may wish to explore why cheese created/converted through an enzyme
: is different.
and on Tue, 31 Jan 2006 our esteemed moderator R. Micha Berger wrote:
: IOW: Why is there usually a kelal of davar hama'amid that doesn't apply
: to bee enzyme?
Forgive my apparent confusion, but the language in both the gemara and
shulchan aruch (YD 115:2) is that cheese is made using "OHR keivat
neveilah" -- in other words, with reference to the actual stomach,
and not the rennets, which AIUI are the digestive juices mixed with
the stomach's contents. The Taz loc. cit. refers to the meat aspects
of the OHR. [This is also a bit confusing, as kosher cheese would
seem subject to the same meat/milk prohibition.) Per the mechaber,
vegetable-made cheese (which I understand to be the prevalent mode of
commercial cheesemaking, at least in the US) is prohibited rabbinically,
again (per the Taz) because of the prevalence of the practice of using
the OR, which the Taz states is still practiced, at least in his time.
(If it is only a problem with the OHR, and that is no longer practiced
today, the question arises whether the entire prohibition on vegetable
rennet may be lifted. See the logic of the Taz there.)
I haven't had the opportunity to explore the general question of whether
stomach contents of a neveilah are prohibited (and concomitantly,
whether contents of a kosher-slaughtered animal are ipso facto kosher,
like the insects in a chicken's stomach??), or to research the matter
beyond the SA, but thought I'd pose the question to the list of whether
enzymes are indeed probematic, as has been assumed.
Shalom L. Kohn
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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 11:28:19 -0500
From: Micha Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Enzymes in Honey & Cheese
On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 09:03:02AM -0600, Kohn, Shalom wrote:
: Forgive my apparent confusion, but the language in both the gemara and
: shulchan aruch (YD 115:2) is that cheese is made using "OHR keivat
Using, not containing. The milk is put within the stomach, or a peice
of stomach is put in the vat with the milk. The piece is removed intact
once the cultures are thriving in the cheese.
There is no visible stomach left within the cheese.
That's why it's a ma'amid issue.
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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 11:34:05 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Most Supervisions "Reliable Enough" (was "all supervisions....)
On 2/2/06, Yitzchok Levine <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> As far
> as refusing to eat in someone else's home, I think that it has been years
> since I was invited to eat in another person's home. I do not make what I do
> public, so it cannot be because of this. In Brooklyn, the people that I deal
> with do not in general invite others to eat at their homes, save for
Interestingly, here in Neve Daniel, people invite others to their homes
all the time. I believe that this leads to a feeling of closeness, and
encourages friendships, both of which have halachic value as they are
kiyumim of v'havta l'reicha kamocha and can help in other mitzvos bein
Contrast that with the *possibility* of violating a drabbanan or chumra
(which according to R. Shimon Shkop isn't problematic anyway because
one is not rebelling against the chachamim--see what I quoted at
http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol16/v16n092.shtml#10), with regard to
which me'ikar hadin one is allowed to rely upon chazakos.
By the way, it seems today that people are less willing to rely upon
chazakos than the Tannaim were. I think that it's fair to analogize the
yirei shemayim and medakdek b'mitvos of today to the cheivrim in the
time of the mishnah. Chaveirim relied on each other not only for terumos
u'maasros (Pesachim 9a--chaver chezka she'eino motzee mi'tachas yado
davar she'eino mesukan) but for taharos as well. In the case of taharos,
the adage "no man is an island" truly applied--it would have been very
difficult to ensure that no other chaver ever touched your food or kelim.
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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 08:02:53 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <email@example.com>
Subject: About Kashrus
I received the email below this morning. Given what the person wrote,
I am honoring his desire to remain anonymous. However, he did give me
permission to post what he sent me.
I wrote recently that those following Avodah are probably "tiring"
of the discussions between Moshe Feldman and me regarding this issue.
However, I think that readers will find the remarks below from a third
party regarding this discussion of interest.
"I've been following the discussion on Avodah. It galls me that people are
bringing in a sefer that B'FERISH states it shouldn't be used for p'sak
(A'layhu lo yibol). You should call them on the mat. They will most
probably say that you can't use the sefer to be m'tami milso l'milsa
but it CAN be used for the exact same scenario. This distinction is a
false one for several reasons.
1. The people who did give haskamas (as opposed to one son who refused to
give an haskama, precisely because of what is happening [that people will
pasken from the sefer] and the author included this letter in the first
volume [which shows that he is honest - not that it isn't a concern])
didn't make such a distinction. They hold one shouldn't pasken from the
sefer - period.
2. The p'sak changes based on the person. It can very well be that since
RSZA knew this person (the author of Ali lo yibol) for MANY years (as
is clear in the sefer) he paskened for that person on his level. [As for
the story about R' Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, which would seem to contradict
assertion 2 by showing that a person like RYCS(onnenfeld) also relied on
this "heter" so we should also. It doesn't and in fact bolsters it. One
needs to know the reality of those days. J There WASN'T many hashgachos
on meat in those days, in fact there were only two, the ashkenaz and
the s'fard (and when the Zionists got control over the ashkenaz one the
perushim in Yerushalayim opened their own slaughterhouse). RYCS(onnenfeld)
knew intimately the standard of both hashgachos and might very well relied
on the s'fardishe one L'CHATCHILA (when I learned in Mir Yerushalayim
one of the ramim told me that sefardishe shchitta according to the BY is
more chamur then the Rema) and even if he didn't rely on it l'chatchila
it could very well have been because of some chumra that only the
Ashkenazim kept and nothing in the din, and for ben adam l'chavero he
forwent that chumra (but not a din). A sefardishe household in those days
could only have gotten their meat from that one sefardishe shechitta so
RYCS didn't have to wonder about anything else besides if he approved
of that shechitta or not. This cannot be compared to today where meat
comes from all over the globe (Argentina, EY, USA etc.) and the things
that are used with it are from different hashgachos and one doesn't know
what the standards of hashgacho are on all those products, unlike RYCS
who knew the standard for the products he was given.]
The reason I don't post this myself is because I wish to retain my
lurking status. It has been sorely tested these past couple of days and
I'm afraid if I post on one thing I will post on everything and find
myself back in the situation that prompted me to become a lurker.
P.S. I admire that you investigated and then implemented and now keep to
certain standards in Kashrus. Unfortunately, I don't know the halachos
well enough to decide on standards. I rely on what I saw in my fathers
house and the questions that I have asked to Rabbonim. When I first
married I asked R' Belsky what meat should I buy in Flatbush, and now
when I moved to ---------- I asked one of ---'s dayanim where I should
buy my meat, etc."
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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 08:54:48 -0500
From: Yitzchok Levine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Kashrut reliable enough
At 09:48 PM 02/01/2006, Meir Shinnar wrote:
>Is it true that most hashgachot are so unreliable that it is wrong
>for people to rely on them? I. E., my refusal to eat outside the home
>is not a statement about my personal humra, but a statement that I think
>meikar hadin the food is suspect trafe. This position is reflected in
>several of RYL's posts - that there are such severe problems in kashrut,
>that he can't give to other people food that he won't eat, etc - that
>the problem isn't merely his humra, but the ikkar hadin of kashrut,
>and that position, is, IMHO, highly problematic. FUrthermore, he
>doesn't apply it to just a few hashgachot on a certain spectrum - but,
>at least according to the posts, almost across the board.
I do not believe that I have ever implied in any of my posts "that most
hashgachot are so unreliable that it is wrong for people to rely on them."
If I have given you this impression, then I apologize to you and to any
other readers who think that this is my position.
I have stated more than once that what I do is for me, and that others
have the right to decide what they will or will not use. I do not (nor
should I) fault anyone for relying on a particular hashgocho, if they
feel that it is reliable. Indeed, part of the kashrus scenario that I
adhere to is based on what many might consider non-kashrus issues. I am
not going to state what these are publicly on Avodah, but I am willing
to share them with anyone who writes me personally.
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.
Someone sent me following statement. "People do not really care if
something is kosher. They only care if it has a hechsher!" >:-}
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Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 09:35:11 -0500
From: "Shinnar, Meir" <Meir.Shinnar@rwjuh.edu>
Subject: RE: Kashrut reliable enough
> I do not believe that I have ever implied in any of my posts "that
> most hashgachot are so unreliable that it is wrong for people to rely
> on them." If I have given you this impression, then I apologize to you
> and to any other readers who think that this is my position.
> I have stated more than once that what I do is for me, and that others
> have the right to decide what they will or will not use...
but then he says
> 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...
There is a clear contradiction between the first and the last parts of
the post. While RYL does not want to be in the position of judging the
kashrut of others (an emulable trait), he does believe that most people
(and at the least he does say many) rely on the hashgachot that they do
out of ignorance - because he believes those hashgachot are intrinsically
so bad that they are pasul meikar hadin, rather than on the basis of his
own humrot. That position is, IMHO, quite problematic, and is being motzi
la'az on many people and rabbanim. WRT to the last statement, the notion
of hezkat kashrut, if it means anything, does mean that if something has
a hechsher by someone who is yere shamayim, I may eat it - so the people
who won't eat something with a hechsher who have to justify themselves...
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 17:33:15 +0200
From: Moshe Feldman <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: About Kashrus
On 2/2/06, Yitzchok Levine <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in the name of a lurker:
> "I've been following the discussion on Avodah. It galls me that people are
> bringing in a sefer that B'FERISH states it shouldn't be used for p'sak
> (A'layhu lo yibol). You should call them on the mat.
Hate to tell you, but both the Igros Moshe and Shmirat Shabbat
Ke'hilchata say that you shouldn't pasken from them either. The point
of a shu"t is to provide halachic material for the reader to use in
asking a shaylah, and for a rav to use in making a psak. I'm not
paskening (I'm not a rav) but merely explaining the practice in my
community, which is led by a Rav (a big talmid chacham) who has spoken
about the status of the rabbanut kashrut and the ability of one to
rely on me'ikar ha'din.
In addition, one might analogize this book to Minhagei Maharil. IIRC,
Dr. Haym Soloveitchik told us that this work was compiled by a talmid of
his who was not a major talmid chacham, and that the work merely records
the actions of the Maharil without necessarily understanding the basis
for those actions. Nevertheless, poskim (notably Ramo) quote this work.
For that matter, the gemara itself often cites the actions of the amoraim
without knowing the halachic basis for those actions, and then tries to
figure out the basis.
> 2. The p'sak changes based on the person. It can very well be that since
> RSZA knew this person (the author of Ali lo yibol) for MANY years (as is
> clear in the sefer) he paskened for that person on his level.
Except that if you read what was reported by Rav Guttal, who is the rav
at Michlalah, he was reporting what RSZA said to say to *all* the foreign
students who learn at Michlalah and go to people's houses for Shabbos.
We discussed this particular statement before on Areivim, and people
confirmed that their daughters who studied at Michlalah were told this.
(I will also note that we ourselves hosted women studying at Michlalah,
as well as bochrim studying at the Mir and at Brisk, and they didn't
inquire into the hechsherim we used. As far as I saw, they ate just
about everything we served. They didn't know us in advance and were set
up to go to our house via http://anywhereinisrael.com/. By the way, any
of you who have children studying in Israel--or yourself are visiting--
are welcome to contact us to host them/you for Shabbos.)
Also, both of the paragraphs in V'aleihu lo yibo are not psakim to the
author but psakim to other rabbanim. (I do agree with you that psakim
to individuals should be taken with additional grains of salt.)
> RYCS(onnenfeld) knew
> intimately the standard of both hashgachos and might very well relied on the
> s'fardishe one L'CHATCHILA
Except that RSZA's citation of this example proves that he believes that
RYCS believed that he was compromising his standards (perhaps just a
chumra) in relying on the shchita.
> even if he didn't rely on it l'chatchila it could very
> well have been because of some chumra that only the Ashkenazim kept and
> nothing in the din, and for ben adam l'chavero he forwent that chumra (but
> not a din).
Exactly! Which is what RSZA was trying to prove--which is that because
all major rabbanut hechsherim are reliable for ikkar ha'din, therefore
even one who is *machmir* should not be machmir when eating at others'
> P.S. I admire that you investigated and then implemented and now keep to
> certain standards in Kashrus. Unfortunately, I don't know the halachos well
> enough to decide on standards. I rely on what I saw in my fathers house and
> the questions that I have asked to Rabbonim. When I first married I asked R'
> Belsky what meat should I buy in Flatbush, and now when I moved to
> ---------- I asked one of ---'s dayanim where I should buy my meat, etc."
Why not ask those rabbonim whether you can eat at others' houses only
if you verify that they meet those standards, or whether you can eat at
someone you know to be a yirei shamayim and medakdek b'mitzvos without
investigating their standards?
Go to top.
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 21:36:43 -0800 (PST)
From: Gershon Seif <email@example.com>
Subject: The Torah's eternal sensitivities (was the rape of Dina / the Torah's response to sex offenders)
Mark Dratch wrote:
> Yes, the Torah is timeless, but it is also timely. And it allowed
> for--and obligated-- development in these matters. Didn't the Ramban
> at the beginning of Parashat Kedoshim tell us that we are obligated
> to go lifnim mishurat ha-din because it is possible to be a naval
> birshut hatorah. If the shurat ha-din was so perfect, why the need to
> go beyond? And what makes the lifnim any better than the shurah?
That is simply wrong pshat in that Ramban! That wasn't the Ramban telling
us to lifnim mishuras hadin. That was the Ramban's understanding that
there is chiyuv D'Oraisa to be Kedoshim. Had there not been that mitzva,
we might have not realized the Torah set the limits as taught in the
Mitzvah of Kedoshim Tihyu.
> Aren't there other correctives in halacha based upon changing sensitivites
> (i.e., kiddush Hashem, hillul Hashen, darkei shalom, etc.)? (These may
> not change a de'orita, but they certainly influence how those mizvot
> are fulfilled).
I have no idea what you mean by this. Please elaborate. My point of
contention is where the Torah is explicit about something. How can
that not be eternal. These areas of halacha you're bringing up are not
> Don't we have all sorts of takkanot in order to deal with these kinds
> of problems-- take as an example shtar chatzi zakhar (in order to make
> sure that daughters don't lose everything when their brothers get the
> entire inheritance)?
I really feel foolish now. What's a shtar chatzi zakhar? If you mean a
shtar that is written within the guidelines of the Torah, in what way is
that updating the sensitivities? The possibilty for this type of shtar
> Doesn't a court-- any court-- have the authority of onshin she-lo min
> ha-din and the authority to accept ANY witness, even those who are
> otherwise invalid, if the circumstances require it?
True, but that is what R' Micha, Ilana and others have explained
already. The court, or Melech, was given a separate mandate to
maintain civli order as they saw fit. This isn't one-upping the Torah's
sensitivities. They are keeping to their mandate to do so.
> Think of Beis Yaakov and formal Torah educaton for women (I view it is
> a lekhatchila, not a bedieved).
What? The chiyuv D'oraisa of limud HaTorah never changed. The reasons for
women's limud haTorah nowadays are utilitarian. That doesn't translate
into our sensitivities towards women studying Torah have changed. At
least that wasn't what the Gedolim who gave the Bais Yaakov movement
the green light, had in mind.
> What about polygamy?
What about it? Rabbeinu Gershom wasn't saying the Torah wasn't as
sensitive as him. He had practical considerations for why it was better
to not allow it.
I thought slavery was abolished because of the secular laws around us. Do
you have a source that says otherwise.
(or alternitavely, RSRH explains that many of the laws of the Torah of
slavery themselves indicate it's not the best option.)
> Kiddushei Ketanah? Etc.
Wasn't it still prevalent in Europe not so long ago? We stopped doing
it because we think the Torah is wrong?
> And what about a husband's right to hit his wife?
Excuse me???? Is there any source you have that says the Torah allows
this and only now we don't? This I gotta hear!
> Or a wife's obligation to wash her husband's feet?
Was that D'oraisa? I don't know of any such posuk. If chazal say it's
d'oraisa, they are saying that what is the norm in any given generation
is what's understood to be the agreement at the time of marriage. That
is very different than you saying that an explicit statement of the
Torah isn't timeless.
> There was also a development of the sexual laws and the laws of
> yichud...(See Sanhedrin 21a-b for example).
not sure whee you're going with that one. Please elaborate...
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 13:34:29 GMT
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Rape of Dinah
R' Mark Dratch wrote:
> This also grates on my ears and conscience, but we cannot
> be anachronistic and impose modern sensitivities to the
> ancient world.
One way to avoid imposing our modern sensitivities is to compare
two passages of the Torah itself, and dispassionately analyze their
similarities and differences.
For this purpose, I propose comparing the sections of the current
topic with Devarim 25:11-12. In the former case, we find an assault on
the genitalia of a girl, and in the latter we find an assault on the
genitalia of a man.
On Devarim 25:12, Rashi says that the woman who assaulted the genitals of
the man who was fighting with her husband has to pay for the embarrassment
he suffered. Comparing this to the case of a man who assaulted the
genitals of a girl, I have several questions:
(1) Perhaps both halachos are gender-neutral, but for purposes of
illustration the more common genders are described. Thus, just as the
woman must pay for embarrasing the man she assaulted, so too must a
man pay for embarrasing a woman that he assaulted. And in the other
direction, if an older woman committed statutory rape upon a young boy,
perhaps he'd have the right to marry her even without her consent. (I
admit that this is a gigantic chidush that I never heard of before.)
(2) Or, perhaps both halachos are gender-specific. This would be
consistent with our instinctive feeling that if a man is raped by a woman,
this does not give him any unusual right to marry her. But if so, then
perhaps a woman who is raped by a man does not have any right to sue
for damages (unlike what I suggested in my post of yesterday).
(3) 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?
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Date: Thu, 02 Feb 2006 10:41:41 -0500
From: "Avroham Yakov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Shabbos and no eruv: Carrying medicine, medical device, etc.
Can anyone let me know the halacha, or point me in the right direction...
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?
Go to top.
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 11:54:35 -0500 (EST)
From: "Micha Berger" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Tefilas Haderech nowadays (erratum)
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 01:06:03PM +0000, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>: There is no problem of bracha levatala when you are saying a tefila which
>: is a bakashas rachamim. As long as you are being mispallel to Hashem it is
>: an appropriate tefila....
> Then why don't we make tefillos nedavah anymore?...
> Benching is hoda'ah, not nehenin or mitzvah. Yet it's an exception
> to safeiq deOraisa lechumrah because safeiq berakhos lequlah -- again,
> because of the risk of berakhah levatalah.
My mind wandered midpost.
Benching is hoda'ah, not nehenin or mitzvah. Yet it's an exception to safeiq
berakhos lehaqeil because it's deOraisa. The gemara doesn't dismiss the
question on the grounds that hoda'ah or shevach can never be levatalah.
I think my head just swapped the ends around because the question would have
been stronger that way. But it's a problem with RSW's idea either way.
Go to top.
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