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Volume 23: Number 46

Fri, 09 Mar 2007

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Eli Turkel" <eliturkel@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 22:24:29 +0200
[Avodah] attitude to agadot

The current issue of Hakirah (vol. 4) contains an article entitled "Al
HaYachas HaRaui LeDerashot Chazal".

In the same issue there is another article about the Maharl MiPragueand aggadot.
He points out that virtually EVERY Gaon and Rishon took aggadot with a big
grain of salt many stating explicitly that they are no binding
especially when they
have no direct halachic portion. The first person to insist on their
complete validity
was the Maharal and he reinterpreted them so they were not to be taken
literally. Until our times they has been almost no one that takes the
position of
R. Feldman that denying aggadot is kefirah.

A list of rishonim/geonim that allowed that one need not accept every aggadata
is lead by R. Shmuel bar Hofni Gaon followed by R. Shmuel Hanagid, R.
Sherira Gaon,  and later Rambam and R. Avraham ben HaRambam, also R.
Yechiel of Paris, Ramban, Rashba, Ritva,Ran,Ibn Ezra, Radak,Meiri
One of the few taking aggadot literally were R. Shimshon of Sens
(Rash) and R. Moshe Tako of Regensburg

The claim of the author, R. Eisen, is that there is little commentary
of the rishonim on
aggadata because it was not of interest. Thus for example Rif and R.
Chanel skip all
aggadata. Even the works of Maharal fell into disuse and his books
were not republished for several hundred years after they were
written. Rambam writes explicitly that he
intended to write a perush on aggadah but finally abandoned it because
it would not accomplish anything!

When one quotes gedolei yisroel one always has to keep in mind "which" gedolei
yisroel. R. Feldman follows R. Elyashiv but not everyone agrees.Many
others state that one can certainly rely on the overwhelming majority
of Rishonim that state that Aggadatot have no binding effect on
halacha or haskafa.
R. Yechiel of Paris states "If you desire - believe them; anf if uou
do not deire - do not believe them, for no law is determined based
upon them. Abarbanel lists 6 types of derashot that do not obligate us

On a slightly different topic the articles mention the story of the
"one" large frog
in Eygpt. Rashi brings the aggada and then says it is not peshuto shel mikrah.
What does that mean - that Rashi does not necessarily believe that
that happened?
In fact in the gemara that opinion is brought by R. Akiva. Then R. Eliezer be
Azaryah tells R. Akiva that aggadat is not his expertise and that is
not what happened.

kol tuv

Eli Turkel

Eli Turkel

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Message: 2
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 15:03:00 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] Precedent and Change

From: "Samuel Svarc" <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com>
>R' Josh Feigelson as quoted by RMYG:

> >that. So the question is not 'does halakha change'? but rather 'Can
> >halakhic change happen in a conscious manner? Can we actively change
> >halakha, or must it 'change on its own'?

> It all depends on what you mean by "halachic change". The only change that I
> see when learning Gemara or Beis Yosef is, who do we pasken like. For a
> while we could have paskened like X, and now due to a new sevara we'll
> pasken like Y. There is no "real" change, that shitta was always there.

Which is change.  Admit it or not, if halacha was one way for hundreds or
thousands of years, and suddenly conditions change such that a formerly
rejected shitta comes to the fore, particularly in a way that changes
the behavior or attitudes of a significant part of Judaism - that is change.
It's just a type of change that is ratified by the Mishna in Eduyot 1:5,
that doesn't require rov minyan ubinyan.

> For example, the three major revolutions, to my mind, are: Beis Yakkov,
> Chassidus, and Mussar. None of them have made any "real" changes. Beis
> Yakkov doesn't teach anything that is prohibited. Chassidus didn't "change"
> any halachos. And Mussar did it's best to establish that it's really an old
> mehalech (Rabbeinu Yonah is already a rishon, etc.).

Beis Yaakov certainly was a change - from taking R' Eliezer's statement
about women and Torah as proscribing women's learning (which opinion was
consistently held from the Gemara through Rambam to Shulchan Aruch), to
taking it as a specific statement about saving one's daughter from sotah.
See RMB in http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol13/v13n090.shtml#02 .

The other opinion was there, but rejected.  But times changed, and the
old shitta had to come to the fore.

Similarly by chassidus - most of their innovations were there, but rejected
by the Gemara and weight of precedent.  And the Gedolim of their period
rejected Chassidus, so you can't even claim imprimatur of Gedolim for these
changes.  See, e.g., Wertheim's book on Chassidism and law, or the polemics
in Wilensky's Hasidim uMitnagdim.

Mussar, if anything, was a change, in transforming behavior-modification
therapy into "limud Torah".

> >In my experience, Orthodox Jews tend not to mind the idea that halakha
> >changes; they just don't want to know that it's changing. That's all
> >well and good, except that the pace of change has increased
> >exponentially in the last century. The challenge that those of us in the
> >M.O. camp feel is this tension between the rapid pace of change in the
> >rest of society, and the struggle of halakha to keep up.

> This is ludicrous. Halacha doesn't "struggle" to keep up. It's all inherent
> in TSBP. Does nature have to "struggle to keep up" when they invent
> something new? When electricity became an issue on Shabbos the poskim didn't
> "invent" the halacha for it, they found the parallels for it in TSBP and
> paskened based on that. The choice of words here reveal a disturbing
> attitude: Halacha is "invented" as new circumstances arrive.

Physics does have to "struggle to keep up" as we find more and more in
the Universe that isn't explained by existing physical laws.  That
halacha for electricity on Shabbat/Yom Tov is settled now (and it's not
entirely) ignores the reality that Halacha did struggle to keep up with
the new technology, for well over 50 years.  The Melamed leHoil's ideas,
based on light bulbs with carbon filaments, are no longer applicable
today.  The Aruch haShulchan's ideas about electric lights on Yom Tov
from c. 1900 have been rejected, as poskim learn more about the nature
of electricity and current flow (there's a good book to educate poskim
about the basics of electrical engineering, so they can posken in an
atmosphere of understanding, by R' Zev Lev).  The correspondence between
the Chazon Ish and RSZA in the 1930s, debating which parallels in Torah
should apply to electricity shows the halacha's struggle to keep up with
new technology.  And then everything changed again with the introduction
of solid-state (transistors) in the 1950s.  In fact, I don't see anything
wrong, other than the fact that "nobody does it", with using my computer
on Shabbat or at least Yom Tov: solid-state screen, indicator lights are
all LEDs, and besides are grama if the machine is already on, keyboards
often use Hall-effect switches rather than physical switches (presence of
a magnetic field closes the circuit), etc,

You make the process sound painless, when in reality it's a big struggle.
And when the laity have more knowledge of new technology, or new science,
than rabbonim/gedolim who never took a science or engineering course, well,
that's a problem.

> > No question
> >there have been major changes: Women's learning is probably the biggest
> >of them, which until 100 years ago was unheard of,

> As I've pointed out already, this, the biggest of all revolutions, didn't
> make any "halachic changes".

Except for the big one: changing 1700 years of psak and precedent.

> >and today women learn
> >in a graduate Gemara program at YU, not to mention Drisha and many fine
> >institutions in Israel.

> These are bona fide changes, but they are of no consequence

Victory by redefinition:
  Change-1 == not really a change because the opinion existed somewhere.
  Change-2 == really a change, but can be disregarded.

So in your view, there are no changes, because you've redefined change
to be either not real, or not relevant.

> >So the question becomes, How can change happen in a way that is still
> >authentic? For many the answer is that if a 'Gadol' says something is
> >okay then that gives an appropriate gashpunka, and conveys a sense of
> >authenticity.

> It is only then that such change *is* authentic. We are talking about
> halacha here, so even those who refuse to recognize Daas Torah, admit that
> in Torah itself Gedolim B'Torah are the highest authorities. If they don't
> approve of an halachic change, what basis is there for such change?

If the Gedolim refuse to address their concerns, except in a "you can't do
that, and are evil for even asking" mode, they feel justified in ignoring
the Gedolim.  There's a real precedent for this, one you regard as authori-
tative - it's called Chassidut.

> I think what is missing here, is not the Gedolim's understanding, but rather
> those people's understanding. They don't understand that a true Gadol can
> understand them. When Pirkie Avos says (6,2), "Whoever toils in Torah
> l'shmah receives many things... and [people] get counsel from him...", it
> applies in all generations, including our own.

Of course a Godol can understand the shoel.  But if the Godol never
actually speaks with the people he's banning, or with the proponents
of ideas he's banning, how can he understand the shoel?  How can he
address the shoel baasher hu sham?  "People get counsel" implies actual
contact between the Godol and the person he's acting upon.  In the
Slifkin case, among others, that didn't happen.  Similarly, in the case
of the Chasidim that didn't happen - the Vilna Gaon reportedly refused
to see emissaries from the Chasidim.  And so, the Chasidim didn't feel
bound by the Godol Hador.

> >So here's the question: How to acknowledge the tremendous struggle of
> >many Jews to live committed halakhic lives while they have been shaped
> >by such 'newfangled' values as historicism, science, and gender
> >equality, values which halakha is still only beginning to deal with, and
> >which many Gedolim seem unable to deal with in a way that speaks to an
> >important segment of the amcha (not to mention the vast majority of Jews
> >who aren't shomrei halakha)? Do we simply write them out, and say 'Sorry
> >Charlie, your values have no place in the world of halakhic Judaism'? Or
> >does halakha contain within it the ability to adapt and deal with these
> >new categories, while retaining its authenticity? I for one believe it
> >would be a disservice to Hakosh Baruch Hu's Torah to say that it
> >doesn't.

> The disservice I see is the implicit zilzul of Torah that this POV has.

Well, yes.  Torah always fights against the "-isms" of the moment.
But eventually it gives in, if those "-isms" are not directly contradictory
of Jewish fundamentals (like atheism); or rejects large parts of the Torah
world.  Halacha gave in to Chasidism, even if it took close to 100 years.
Halacha gave in to women's education.

> "Newfangled" values are raised up to levels of profundity that Gedolie
> Torah, people who inherently must be incredibly wise, are unable to "get a
> handle on it". So who can do it? "We", those who do understand these values,

If the Gedolim don't try, avoid secular education, avoid scientific
training, how do you think the Gedolim will "get a handle on it"?
Miraculous ruach hakodesh, like the late Lubavitcher Rebbe?  Oh, right,
he *did* have scientific and secular training.

> we'll do it. How will we intersect with halacha? Once again, we'll do it.
> Halacha is something that any "Bar bei Rav", or someone a few steps past
> that, can figure out. In reality, it's the reverse. Torah is the subject
> that has limitless profundity, a subject that only the greatest experts,
> those that have spent their lives immersed in it, are qualified to pass
> judgment. The rest of reality is limited, there is an end to it.

If the Gedolim refuse to confront change, and deal with it constructively,
the amcha feel justifed in finding smaller rabbis who are willing to
deal with it constructively.  And if those rabbonim have less knowledge
of Torah, so they have trouble finding suitable precedents, then there
are problems.  But it's almost impossible to become great in both Torah
and secular studies.  Only a few have managed it, e.g. RYBS, and he's
rejected by the non-Modern Torah world, for having the wrong politics
on Israel.  The gedolim of YU, who have sufficient training in both sides,
are rejected by the non-Modern world.

If Gedolim, and potential Gedolim, are rejected for political reasons,
those who adhere to them are still going to adhere to them, despite
the protestations of those Gedolim who hold different political opinions.

> >It's late. I'm sure that's enough food for fodder.

> The tone is distinctly annoying. Doesn't it get cold on Mt. Olympus?

I don't know, does it?

* * *

P.S.  On the other issue, I'm sorry, I conflated the posts of MYG and
MSS - you were both expressing such similar views on the YCT debate,
that I must have attributed things said by RMYG to you.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 3
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 17:38:48 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Medrash

Micha Berger wrote:

> I would have thought that the topic is a non-starter until someone actually
> finds a maqor that says "I am choleiq with the Rambam, aggadic stories that
> seem like tall tales are historical", or with the Ritva, the Rashba, the
> Maharsha, the Maharal, the Gra, the Maharitz Chajes, RSRH, RYSalanter... And
> for that matter someone who is maximalist WRT another famous topic, R' Feldman
> in his overview to The Juggler and the King (pg xxii), said besheim haGra.
> That would be enough to say there are two sides to the matter. I do not see
> how an idea with such a list of supporters could ever be dismissed altogether.

Well on this one we have the Maharsha, who says "I don't know who forced"
the Aruch to take the tail tale non-literally.  Which means that the
Maharsha holds that one needs a reason to take such stories non-literally,
and in this case he sees no such reason.

On the other side of the spectrum, I've never heard of *anyone* who
takes the RBBC stories literally, so arguments against such a position
are using a straw man.

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 4
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 17:38:54 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Medrash

Micha Berger wrote:
> MTNB are a means of deriving halakhah, which means that for every case but
> these four mitzvos. DeOraisos must come from chumash, regardless of the
> question of MTNB. And there are no other divrei Soferim in Nakh. This one
> derashah would be the only example for us debate.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean here, but if you mean that there
are no other dinim learned from Nach, you are mistaken.  Several laws
of Shabbos come from Nach.  They are, of course, derabanan.  Yeshayahu
and Yirmiyahu are just as much Rabbanan as R Shimon and R Yehuda.
(Indeed, even Moshe Rabbenu, when he was not quoting HKBH, was Rabbanan,
and therefore birkot hanehenin and the nusach of the first bracha of
benching are derabanan.)

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas

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Message: 5
From: "Chana Luntz" <chana@kolsassoon.org.uk>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 22:58:41 -0000
Re: [Avodah] Vashti's tail

RZS writes:

But it's 
> impossible to read this into the actual gemara which says 
> that Gavriel came and made for her a tail.  Not that as a 
> result of this story she *became* a "tail".
> Bear in mind that the first opinion, that she developed 
> tzaraat, is not attributed to angelic intervention.  Skin 
> conditions do develop naturally, and do appear suddenly; that 
> it happened just at the right time for it to cause her 
> downfall and Esther's rise was clearly miraculous, but the 
> outbreak itself would not be supernatural.
> But the second opinion rejects that approach, and insists 
> that her disfigurement wasn't some mere skin outbreak, but a 
> supernatural event, one that requires the instrumentality of 
> Malach Gavriel; perhaps the reason why this was necessary was 
> to drive home to her that she hadn't merely suffered from bad 
> luck, but was being punished for her misdeeds.  I think the 
> fact that the gemara names Malach Gavriel is a clear proof 
> that we should *not* try to look for natural explanations, 
> and like the Maharsha we should accept that the author of 
> this opinion meant it literally.
> Of course we don't have to hold like that opinion.  We can 
> prefer the first opinion, which is also Torah. 

But if we are reading the gemora closely, is it indeed clear that there
are two opinions? The gemora there starts off by commenting on the pasuk
that Vashti refused to come and asks - let us see, she was a pritzus as
the master said the two of them intended for a dvar averah,  so what was
the reason she did not come: amar Rav Yosi bar Chanina melamed parach ba
tzaraas bmatnita tana uba gavriel v'osa la zanav.  Now if you in fact
have two opinions, don't you have an amora (Rav Yosi bar Chanina)
arguing with a braisa (ie a tana)?  Now Rashi and Tosphos say that Rav
Yosi's opinion is based on a drasha brought in the Yerushalmi which
learns nigzar, nigzar from Uziah so there is some kind of textual
support - and we are talking aggadita, so maybe the general halachic
rules don't apply.  But isn't it somewhat odd to juxtipose the opinion
of an amora - especially where that opinion seems to be given as the
answer of the general question and then just throw in a tannaic opinion
that argues if you are going to say there are two legitimate opinions
and we don't have to hold like the second opinion.  Rather, if you are
to say there are two opinions the first amoraic, and the second
tannitic, I would have thought you would need to say that we have to
hold like the second opinion.

On the other hand, could you not understand the braisa as being brought
in support of Rav Yosi bar Chanina (ie of his basic point, which is that
Vashti did not come because there was something desperately embarressing
about what had occurred to her)?  Of course, you can only do this if you
make the leap that you do not want to make, which is that the reference
to Gavriel in the braisa is an idiomatic or allegorical one used to
indicate an extraordinary coincidence that was not a coincidence but
part of the divine orchestration behind the scenes, not that Gavriel
literally came and made her a tail.  But if you do understand it that
way, then what you have is one opinion, not two, with tzaaras and zanav
being different ways of giving an insight into the nature of Vashti and
her embarressment.  After all, as I questioned in an earlier posting -
it does not seem to me so axiomatic that an immoral non Jew would
necessarily have the same horror of tzoraas as a Jew steeped in Torah
would - but of course if Vashti did indeed regard it as no different to
a tail, that is clearly a different matter.

> Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with 

Shabbat Shalom


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Message: 6
From: saul mashbaum <smash52@netvision.net.il>
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2007 02:10:03 +0200
[Avodah] Tzeit

R. Marty Bluke wrote: 
>One creative solution that is used in at least 1 shul that I know of in Israel is to do the following. In Chazaras Hashsatz of Neila skip all the selichos, duchen and then right after chazaras hashatz (before avinu malkenu, kaddish tiskabel, etc.) go back and say all the selichos you skipped. This allows you to duchen (before shkia) while not having to shlep afterwards as you are saying all the selichos which take some time. By saying them before kaddish tiskabel they are still connected to the chazaras hashatz. 

This creative solution is very old. See SA OC 623:5 Mishne Brurah ot 8, who suggests this, citing the Magen Avraham, who cites the Hagahot Maimaniot.
Saul Mashbaum
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Message: 7
From: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 20:08:09 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] Concord wine for 4 kosos

I came up with the following originally as a joke, for "The Chumrah of the
Month Club". However, I now repeated it so many times, I can't see the flaw in
the reasoning. Please talk me down...

A hybrid of concord grapes and old-world grapes is seedless, ie a mule. This
is why the former is called Vitis labrusca, and the latter, Vitis vinifera. I
believe that this inability to crossbreed to produce fertile offspring is
halachically sufficient to consider them two species.

So, how do we know that concord wine is yayin for 4 kosos? Why isn't it chamar
medina? Perhaps its use, and making a hagafen/hagefen on it is a practice
entrenched before the botony was better known?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha@aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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Message: 8
From: "herb basser" <basserh@post.queensu.ca>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 19:30:49 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Vashti's tail redux

So I wrote Segal (he is the academic expert on Midrash Esther as I mentioned
earlier) about Vashti's tail and here is the tail end of my question and his

>So what did you say in your commentary about VAshti's tail? I guess it
wasnt an inyan of >znius just embarrasment about the tail-- is there a remez
in the pasuk here?

What, you don't own the book!? Following are some relevant, but abridged,
passages from my discussion of the text (with the notes removed):

 The Talmud's objection is not directed towards a specific feature of the
text, but to an apparent inconsistency in the plot as embellished by the
midrash. Having taken such pains to vilify Vashti  and paint her as a
sluttish and immoral creature, how are we to account for the fact that she
does not in the end agree to exhibit herself before the royal guests? This
would appear to be an act of mod?esty and propriety. The two answers that
the Talmud produces both state that she had been stricken with a
humiliat?ing blemish, leprosy or the "tail."
It is not obvious why these particular blemishes were chosen. Rashi tries to
show that they were inspired by gezerah shavah "s {...} The "tail  "
interpretation, according to Rashi  , was deduced by analogy to 1 Samuel
9:24: "And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and
set it before Saul, etc." "That which was upon it" is designated in Hebrew
as the 'aleha, using the same word that in Esther 2:1 means "(decreed)
against her." R. Johanan  in TB 'Avodah zarah 25b identifies the 'aleha of 1
Samuel with the 'aliyah, the fat-tail of the sheep. Hence the extension of
the identification of Vashti 's "decree" with the growth of a tail .
Rashi's explanation, though ingenious, does not seem warranted by the actual
wording of the passage. It is entirely likely that R. Yose bar Hanina "q:
and the author of the baraita  had simple chosen two examples of bodily
afflictions that would be likely to cause humiliation, especially to a naked
woman.  {...} The significance of the tradition about Gabriel  giving her a
"tail is not as clear-cut. The commentators are not in agreement about what
precisely is being referred to. A persistent tradition reads this tail as a
euphemism for a penis,  while others insist that the text means what it
says. In either case we have a graphic (and comical) image that serves to
contradict {...} her femininity, including the very ideal of female beauty
for which Vashti was prided by Ahasuerus and which initially gave rise to
his command to exhibit her be?fore his guests.


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Message: 9
From: "Jonathan Baker" <jjbaker@panix.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 20:04:28 -0500 (EST)
[Avodah] vashti

I mentioned this thread, and the comment of the Meharsha, to my wife. 
Her reaction: "Why not?  Humans are sometimes born with tails.  Today,
they're removed at birth, but they may not have done so in antiquity."

See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tail

and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&;cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=3284435&dopt=Citation

that last for a true tail with vertebrae, which are comparatively rarer.

        name: jon baker              web: http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker
     address: jjbaker@panix.com     blog: http://thanbook.blogspot.com

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Message: 10
From: "Zvi Lampel" <hlampel@thejnet.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 19:44:06 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Tzinius and the ILG

Wed, 7 Mar 2007 from: "Micha Berger" <micha@aishdas.org>

> I am throwing out the possibility that Issurim deRabbanan are made when
society evolves to the point that a rule can be defined legally, rather than a
set of values given for people to decide situationally. <

How about "when society evolves to the point that a rule MUST be defined legally, rather than a
set of values given for people to decide situationally," because too many people became ineffificent in situational judgment, and therefore formal, more blanket rules were deemed necessary? I think this is a traditional approach. (Compare Rambam re: R' Yose HaGlili and poultry with milk, as I think you've recently pointed out; and Rambam on why the nusach of Shemoneh Essray was standardized.)

Zvi Lampel

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Message: 11
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 20:22:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Concord wine for 4 kosos

Micha Berger wrote:
> I came up with the following originally as a joke, for "The Chumrah of the
> Month Club". However, I now repeated it so many times, I can't see the flaw in
> the reasoning. Please talk me down...
> A hybrid of concord grapes and old-world grapes is seedless, ie a mule. This
> is why the former is called Vitis labrusca, and the latter, Vitis vinifera. I
> believe that this inability to crossbreed to produce fertile offspring is
> halachically sufficient to consider them two species.
> So, how do we know that concord wine is yayin for 4 kosos? Why isn't it chamar
> medina? Perhaps its use, and making a hagafen/hagefen on it is a practice
> entrenched before the botony was better known?

Lich'ora, this is the same shaila as the Muscovy duck.  It's clearly
a different species, both zoologically and halachically.  Deliberately
creating a crossbreed would be kilayim.  But it looks like a duck, it
walks like a duck, it swims like a duck, it quacks like a duck, and it
tastes like a duck.  On that basis, many poskim in the 19th century
paskened that it's kosher like a duck.  Lich'ora the same poskim would
have no problem with the concord grape.

As for those who assered the Muscovy duck, perhaps they were merely
being machmir because off tamei is deoraita.  The requirement to use
wine for kiddush, arba kosot, etc, as well as the choice of bracha
to make over it, are all derabanan.  Perhaps even they would say that
if it looks, grows, tastes, squeezes and ferments like a grape, it's
included in what Chazal meant by "grape".

Zev Sero               Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's
zev@sero.name          interpretation of the Constitution.
                       	                          - Clarence Thomas


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