Avodah Mailing List

Volume 30: Number 10

Mon, 02 Apr 2012

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: "Chanoch (Ken) Bloom" <kbl...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2012 21:30:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sfardi Psaq On Matza And Qvi`ath S`udah

On Sun, 2012-04-01 at 08:44 -0600, Jay F Shachter wrote:
> >
> > But Sefardim say mezonos on normal matzos all year, and yet on
> > Pesach they elevate it to hamotzi and use it for the mitzvah as well
> > as for lechem mishneh
> >
> implying, based on standard rules of construction, that they would not
> use it for lexem mishneh when it is not Passover.
> I once had a Sfardi guest for Shabbath who did not accept my use of
> matza for lexem mishneh, so the abovementioned implication seems to be
> correct (at least, based on my N=1 sample size).  But then I read the
> responsum of `Ovadya Yosef that discusses the matter, and after
> reading it I could not understand my guest's conduct, and suspected
> that it was based on ignorance.  Yes, accordance to `Ovadya Yosef,
> matza, when not eaten on Passover, is mzonoth; but it is not spaghetti
> mzonoth, it is the kind of mzonoth over which one should recite
> hammotzi if it is used for qvi`ath s`udah.  This conclusion was not
> stated in his responsum, but I do not see how it can be avoided.

He does agree with that conclusion, but the exact requirements are for
keviat seudah are probably off topic for the teshuva. R' Ovadia holds
that in order to be koveah seduah on pat haba b'kisnin, one needs to eat
216 grams of pat haba b'kisnin (that's about 1/2 pound, I think that's 4
beitzim) and other foods eaten in the meal are not mitstaref as a part
of that shiur. (See Yalkut Yosef, siman 168.) So you have to eat quite a
lot of bread (or matzah) in addition to any other courses you eat to be
koveah seduah on pat haba b'kisnin. The shiur is essentially impossible
to reach unless you're at a pizza party (He holds pizza is hamotzi
anyway, so I'm not sure what you gain.)

There's a third halacha that Rav Ovadia holds that's also relevant.
Namely, the Beit Yosef's ruling is that bread made with mei periot is
pat haba b'kisnin if the taste of mei periot in the bread is noticable,
even if it's not the majority (which is what the Rema holds.)

These combination of these 3 halachot means that quite often Sepharadim
visiting an Ashkenazi household are more machmir about when to say
hamotzi than their Ashkenazi hosts. (And it can be quite inconvenient.)
If once simply changes the rules for keviat seudah, (like one Sephardi
rabbi I know who holds that other foods are mitstaref in the shiur) then
from a practical standpoint, the Sephardic laws of hamotzi become very
similar to the Ashkenazic laws of hamotzi.

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Message: 2
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 01:28:34 GMT
Re: [Avodah] Sfardi Psaq On Matza And Qvi`ath S`udah

R' Zev Sero wrote:

> Keviut Seudah does not simply mean using it as the anchor for a
> meal; there are shiurim given, ranging up to six beitsim or more,
> which is quite a lot.

Yes, there are indeed such shitos, but there is a wide rage of opinions.

At the other extreme, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe O"C 3:32) wrote
about someone who wants to avoid having to say Birkas Hamzon at a wedding:
"Therefore, in this country, where we have so much variety [of food], they
eat only a little bit of bread, he should not eat cake, except less than
the corresponding amount of bread that would be eaten at a meal where one
eats meat and other varieties. And when it is difficult for him to measure
this, he should not eat cake then."

He repeats this psak in the last paragraph of IM O"C 4:41.

I can't find it right now, but I'm pretty sure that elsewhere he
specifically said that it doesn't matter when he eats this pas habaa
b'kisnin -- regardless of whether it is eaten in the beginning or end of
the meal, if it is the same amount as the amount of bread which would be
eaten at a meal, then he must say Birkas Hamazon.

Getting back to RZS's comment that "Keviut Seudah does not simply mean
using it as the anchor for a meal", it seems to me that according to Rav
Moshe, one could have Keviut Seudah even *without* using it as "the anchor
for the meal". Just as one might eat his kezayis of bread at some point in
the meal without eating any other food together with that bread, so too if
one eats a corresponding amount of cake in a meal, then the volume alone
will suffice to require Birkas Hamzon, even if it is not eaten together
with other food.

Lest anyone suspect that the opinions I'm citing are a minority view, I'd
like to call your attention to http://tinyurl.com/7mlfgbe (http://www.oukosher.org/index.p
ban/) which explains that this shita was the basis of an OU policy
change a number of years ago. Until that time, the word "mezonos" was
prominently stamped on the wrapper of the rolls which were served with
OU-certified airline meals. But because of this shita, that word was
removed. And I'm confident that most people would agree that these rolls as
far smaller than the 6 beitzim cited by RZS.

(Again, to clarify: I am not saying that anyone has to follow this shita. My only point is that it is *a* mainstream opinion, among other valid opinions.)

Akiva Miller

Credit Monitoring Service
Get 3 Credit Scores+Monitoring. Try Free for 30 Days. Sign Up Now.

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Message: 3
From: Meir Rabi <meir...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 08:04:28 +1000
[Avodah] Exodus Soft Matza, Belila Racha, No Secrets

Our soft Matza is made from a heavy dough that is very rapidly processed.
It is idle for only a couple of seconds throughout its processing.
It is soft because it is not baked for too long.
Also we use a little more water than other Matza makers (other than
Chabad), who use so little water that they end up with a very crumbly dough
which requires enormous pressure exerted through rollers or extended time
pounding the dough, which by the way works only a small part of the dough
sausage leaving the rest of the dough idle.
see more at www.exodusmatza.com
It keeps fresh without refrigeration due to the special packaging that is a
comprehensive barrier to yeast, microbes and pathogens. It is also packed
with an oxygen scavenger.


Meir G. Rabi
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Message: 4
From: "kennethgmil...@juno.com" <kennethgmil...@juno.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 01:45:30 GMT
Re: [Avodah] starting the seder

R' Eli Turkel asked:

> Is there any problem with starting davening early seder night and
> so finishing maariv with Tzeit (or actually a little earlier) by
> time one gets home it is tziet - say kriat shema and immediately
> start kiddush

No problem that I can think of. I wish more shuls would actually do this.

In fact, I'll go a little further, by asking about the range of opinions
regarding when Tzeis Hakochavim occurs. For example, many shuls begin
Maariv on a regular weeknight much earlier than they would on Motzaei
Shabbos. Yet these shuls generally don't remind the people to repeat Shema
later on, unless Maariv was prior to shkia (such as when starting Shabbos
early in the summer).

Similarly, I have seen many shuls where they count Sefiras Haomer, with a bracha, much earlier than they would end Shabbos.

Which all leads me to wonder: What would be wrong with saying Kiddush at
the Seder after one of these early zmanim of Tzeis? If I can count Sefira
with a bracha a mere N minutes after Shkia, why not begin the Seder at that

I *DO* realize that Kiddush is the first of the Arba Kosos, and that all
the mitzvos of the night are linked together in a manner which requires
them to be done at night. But I'm NOT SUGGESTING that we begin the Seder
before nighttime. I'm only suggesting that we use an early zman of
nighttime for this mitzvah.

After all, The Arba Kosos are not d'Oraisa, right? It not like we might say
the Hagada so quickly that the matza would be eaten earlier than we'd end
Shabbos. And even if one *would* eat matza earlier than we'd end Shabbos --
is it earlier than Shema was said in a weekday minyan?

Akiva Miller

The New &#34;Skinny&#34; Fruit
How This Strange 62-Cent African Fruit Is Making Americans Skinny.

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Message: 5
From: hankman <hank...@bell.net>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 19:13:07 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Leading Charedi Posek Says metzitza' Should Not

I think the clarification issued by R. Shmuel Kamenetsky is in full consonance with what the position I espoused. Part of the statement read:

To my knowledge, it has not been proven that the practice leads to
contraction of illness. The halacha is extremely sensitive to health
concerns and it is wrong to insinuate that Jews who are very particular in
the care of their children would be engaging in a practice for thousands of
years which is inherently dangerous.

We have a sacred responsibility to protect our children from danger and
that responsibility is paramount. However, in the absence of an inherent
danger from our performing mitzvos or following our traditions, we must
follow them. In my view, there has been no demonstration of an inherent
danger associated with Metzitzah B?Peh.

He wrote, ?in the absence of inherent danger,? but we can clearly infer
from these words that if that danger can be shown to his satisfaction, he
too would insist on a procedure that avoided the inherent danger. So I
again submit that if the evidence of the risk of metsitsa bepeh by a
carrier of the herpes virus can be shown, ie. if the evidence in the death
of an infant can positively be relateded to the virus infection of the
mohel, even if the risk is small,  then RSK would agree that this be
strictly avoided (perhaps by testing the prospective mohel to see if he is
a carrier of the virus.).

Kol Tuv

Chaim Manaster
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Message: 6
From: David Wacholder <dwachol...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 00:10:35 -0400
[Avodah] ret: costa concordia - and Specialization

   1. Sabbath Desecration for Pikuach Nefesh classically applies only to
   the endangered Yisrael, not to the non-Jewish populace. Notwithstanding the
   paucity  of sources in support, we know that Vaa Ha'arba Aratzos  Committee
   of Four Lands made a major exception. Where the region has only a Jewish
   Midwife - she must serve even calls coming clearly from non-Jews. This
   ruling came without previous  documentary support, with a view  to stop a
   new pogrom or similar from developing.
   2.  To this day, those with duty - midwives and  doctors - should serve
   all of humanity even on Sabbath. Mishnah Berurah's objections lead to a
   discussion of the specific Mechaber and Sefer.  All other decisors
   considered the "Takanah" even more valid and effective today than it was at
   the time of the original ruling.
   3. The midwife, based on licensing and specific designation - MUST take
   care of the patients, where required by law.
   4. Perhaps the Captain knew he was incapacitated and therefore "claimed"
   the status of a passenger.  Were there other officers to replace him?
   5. ==
   6. Many sforim dealt with war and soldiers' duty to each other at risk
   of their own life, and doctrine may have changed over the years.
   8. ==
   9. In the Chazal times there were very small towns and a sick person, or
   a Kallah or Hashem forfend... need of burial etc. Once the cities grew -
   and daily in the bigger cities there is a funeral, and on Lag B'ormer 20
   crews from one band is not sufficient.
   10. The system becomes specialization. Rules of many sorts govern who
   can handle a corpse and where they can be buried. The classic Rabi Akiva
   Meis Mitzvah case becomes rare.
   11. On a 12 hour flight, with the "Fasten Your Seat Belt" sign, and no
   special license, I am tied down from even knowing precisely when the Meis
   was put onto the plane, which meis it was etc. Certainly - except Tehillim
   - there was no physical connection  with the Meis.  It was a  lot more
   disconnected than a Shabbos where I could have looked to make sure no new
   developments occurred. Except putting on Tephillin, should I have made
   Brachot etc?
   12. Conversely, assuming Rabbi Z of Queens NY who handles and organizes
   all Taharos in a vast territory,  the Mitzvah is mutal - obligated with
   specificity onto that person or group or those llcensed.
   13. Commanding Officer on a vast ship began his stewardship of the trip,
   and it is his until some rescue ship outranks him and orders him off.

David Wacholder
Cell: 917-742-7838
Email: dwachol...@gmail.com
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Message: 7
From: David Cohen <ddco...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 10:34:12 +0200
[Avodah] Taaroves kitniyos

The policy of the Israeli rabbinate and other kashrus organizations is to
label any product containing even small amount of kitniyos derivatives as
"only for those who eat kitniyos."  In recent years, a number of rabbanim
have "made headlines" by stating that the prohibition of being mevatel an
issur lechatchila does not apply to kitniyos, so the many products where
less than half of the mixture is from kitniyos (which are batel berov) may
be eaten by Ashkenazim, despite the labeling.  To simplify things, let's
assume we're talking about a case where the mixture was made before Pesach.
 I have never seen anybody explicitly defend the position that "ein
mevatlin isur lechatchila" *does* apply to kitniyos.

One of the best known advocates of this lenient position was R' Yitzchak
Elchanan Spektor (Be'er Yitzchak OC 11), who makes the case that "ein
mevatlin issur lechatchila" does not apply to kitniyos, and thus permits an
alcoholic beverage whose majority ingredient is honey, and whose
minority ingredient is buckwheat .  He was disputing the conclusion of the
Nishmas Adam (Shabbos uMoadim 119: 33) who maintains that this beverage is
forbidden.  What is interesting, though, is that the Nishmas Adam does not
actually base his opposition on "ein mevatlin isur lechatchila" at all, but
rather on the fact that in this particular beverage, the
kitniyos ingredient is what gives it its taste (just as the chametz
ingredient is what gives taste to kutach haBavli, sheichar haMadi, etc.),
so it is not batel at all, despite being in the minority.  Thus, the Chayei
Adam does not really address the question of bitul kitniyos lechatchila,
which is the only relevant question when it comes to the many products that
are labeled as "for kitniyos eaters," but where the kitnniyos ingredient
has no noticeable contribution to the taste, if it is even clear from the
ingredient list which ingredient is kitniyos at all.

When I asked about this, I was told that "the minhag is not to eat taaroves
kitniyos," except when there's some other extenuating circumstance.  (I've
already received my pesak, so I'm posting here for the purpose of
theoretical discussion only.)  It is clear that practically speaking, this
has been the practice of the last few generations, since we have come to
rely on kashrus agencies, and their policy is not to "certify for
Ashkenazim" anything with even a trace amount of kitniyos.  The kashrus
agencies are presumably just following the same approach to bitul that they
take with bitul of "real" issurim, which was discussed at length in this
forum a few months ago.

As I see it, since we are dealing with a minhag, the most important
question is simply what was the historical minhag (in the era before modern
hechsherim)?  Did Ashkenazim eat minority-ingredient kitniyos mixtures that
were purposely made before Pesach, or did they not?  Does anybody know?

(As an aside, this is a case where a "Rupture and Reconstruction"
textualism can lead to kula, rather than to chumra.  Based on mimesis,
nobody I knew growing up ate taaroves kitniyos, so that's the end of the
story.  But due to the lack of a textual source explicitly stating that the
minhag included a prohibition on taaroves, I am questioning whether or not
that really was the minhag before the "rupture.")

Chag kasher vesameach,
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Message: 8
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:24:20 -0400
[Avodah] HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky's Statement On Metzitzah


I wish to clarify remarks that were attributed to me on the subject 
of metzitzah b'peh.

The practice is indeed time honored and is followed by the majority 
of the Orthodox Jewish community today around the world, as it has 
been for thousands of years.

To my knowledge, it has not been proven that the practice leads to 
contraction of illness. The halacha is extremely sensitive to health 
concerns and it is wrong to insinuate that Jews, who are very 
particular in the care of their children, would be engaging for 
thousands of years in a practice that is inherently dangerous.

We have a sacred responsibility to protect our children from danger 
and that responsibility is paramount. However, in the absence of an 
inherent danger in performing mitzvos or following our traditions, we 
must follow them. In my view, there has been no demonstration of an 
inherent danger associated with metzitzah b'peh.

The statement, "I don't think there is a response to them," referred 
specifically to those who allegedly said that it would be invalid to 
use a tube where there are demonstrable health issues present 
regarding either the mohel or the child.

Similarly, my comment that in my community "as far as I know they do 
metzitzah with a tube" refers to a case where a health concern has 
been established. In no manner was it intended to suggest that I 
believe that it should be universally adopted.

In no way should what I said be misconstrued as supporting the 
curbing of, or outside interference with, metzitzah b'peh. In fact, 
we have very effectively self-regulated the practice over the past 3,500 years.

Jews have made tremendous sacrifices over the millennia to properly 
observe our religious obligations and traditions. It would be a shame 
to return to the days when parents and circumcisers feared performing 
the hallowed bris, which enters every Jewish male into a covenant with G-d.

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky

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Message: 9
From: "Prof. Levine" <llev...@stevens.edu>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 07:42:32 -0400
[Avodah] Chief Rabbi Metzger: Women can lead Seder

 From http://tinyurl.com/6mbs9vv

Ashkenazi chief rabbi delivers Great Shabbat 
sermon in Jerusalem, explaining that Jewish law 
permits women to lead the Passover Seder in the 
event that their husbands are not available ? 
Wives and daughters must be allowed to take part 
in the reading of the Haggadah even if the husband is at home.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger publicly 
declared that women are allowed, according to 
Halachah (Jewish law), to lead the Passover 
Seder, and it is even obligatory to allow women to read parts of the Haggadah.

See the above URL for the rest of this article.
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Message: 10
From: "Danny Schoemann" <doni...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 13:55:48 +0300
Re: [Avodah] hilchot pesach

>> - the only problem being a technical one of getting the chametz since 
>> the rabbi buys back the chametz only motzei shabbat

> This could be got around very simply, by having the goy stipulate that he 
> gives permission for people to help themselves to his chametz after Pesach.

R' Dovid A. Morgenstern shlita mentioned this at his 2nd Shabbos-Hagodol
Drosho. (I wasn't at the first, so I don't know if he gave the same one
twice; 2 blocks and 80 minutes apart.)

He mentioned that there would be a problem with Muktza, since Bein haShmoshos the Chametz is forbidden.

He also mentioned the issue of stealing from the Goy - since (the sales he
is aware of) do not have any stipulations attached; he said they were
complicated enough without adding loopholes.

- Danny

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Message: 11
From: "Dr. I. Balbin" <isaac.bal...@rmit.edu.au>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 12:06:55 +1000
Re: [Avodah] hilchot pesach

[The details of a particular brand really are off topic for Avodah. And
this forum isn't really a constructive venue to resolve conflicting
kashrus claims. Still, I rejected emails asking if "Real Matzah" product
is available where they live. It is thus clear some people are already
taking my allowing the theory raised to be discussed with a validation
of the product itself. So, since I inadvertantly polluted the conversation
space, I feel I need to approve a post that says there's another side. But
it doesn't touch the subject of pliable matzos or belila raka. -micha]

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 22:49:28 +0300
From: Eli Turkel <elitur...@gmail.com>
> I recently went to a shiur of R. Avraham Yosef on Pesach. Some of his
> points were

> 2. Soft matzot are preferable to our regular matzot when one is sure the
> hasgacha.

On that matter, the Rabbinic Council of Victoria (the major State in
Australia in regards to Jewish life) issued the following statement in
respect of the specific Hashgacha of the soft matza made in Melbourne,
through the business/supervision of our own correspondent, Meir Rabi.


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Message: 12
From: Zev Sero <z...@sero.name>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 10:53:51 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Sfardi Psaq On Matza And Qvi`ath S`udah

On 1/04/2012 9:28 PM, kennethgmil...@juno.com wrote:
> R' Zev Sero wrote:
>> >  Keviut Seudah does not simply mean using it as the anchor for a
>> >  meal; there are shiurim given, ranging up to six beitsim or more,
>> >  which is quite a lot.

> Yes, there are indeed such shitos, but there is a wide rage of opinions.
> At the other extreme, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe O"C 3:32) wrote ...

Yes, there is the small end of the range too, but RMF is citing that
end lechumra, not lekula.  Because there are shitos that even a small
amount might count as kevias seudah, one should be careful not to eat
that amount without washing *on real bread*.  But RMF would surely not
recommend that someone rely on such a small amount to wash and say
hamotzi and bench, let alone to use it for lechem mishneh!

Zev Sero        "Natural resources are not finite in any meaningful
z...@sero.name    economic sense, mind-boggling though this assertion
                  may be. The stocks of them are not fixed but rather
                 are expanding through human ingenuity."
                                            - Julian Simon

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Message: 13
From: "Joseph I. Lauer" <josephla...@hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 11:12:34 -0400
[Avodah] Commentary magazine article by Yoram Hazony, "A

    The April issue of Commentary magazine has an article by Yoram Hazony 
entitled "A Bombshell from the Rav", a review of "The Emergence of Ethical 
Man" (2005), edited by Michael Berger based upon ten handwritten notebooks 
of Rav Soloveitchik zt"l.
    The article is available by subscription at 
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-ravs-bombshell/ and an 
extended version of the essay is available at 
    Joseph I. Lauer
    Brooklyn, New York 


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