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Volume 35: Number 3

Thu, 05 Jan 2017

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Professor L. Levine
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 17:07:18 +0000
[Avodah] Mashgiach and Kosher Standards

The following is from


According to what is on this web site it seems to me that the standards of
supervision that are in place in restaurants,  pizza shops and take outs in
Brooklyn and many other places	leave something to be desired.	YL

Information for this article garnered from OU<http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/common/ar
Yotze VeNichNess - Random Coming and Going
Meat may not be cooked until it has been "Koshered". The meat must be soaked in water, salted, which draws out the blood and then rinsed, HaDocha AchaRona.
A well known illustration of Yotze VeNichNess is found in ShO YD 69:10; in
a case where we last saw the meat we are Kashering when it was left
standing in the kitchen with the non-Jewish servant, after it had been
salted. It is now discovered cooking in a pot. We can not accept the
non-Jewish servant's statement that they rinsed it. The meat is not Kosher
unless we can establish that the non-Jewish servant is in fear of being
discovered to have not washed the meat as it should. This fear is
determined by what is known as Yotze VeNichNess.

Level of Supervision ? Yotze VeNichNess
  1.	It is strongly recommended that a Mashgiach Temidi, a permanent
  full-time supervisor be in attendance from the unlocking of the premises
  until the final closing.
  2.    Where absolutely necessary very frequent Yotze VeNichNess, which means that a Mashgiach pops in randomly a few times every day, would be acceptable.
  3.    The foundation of Yotze VeNichNess is instilling fear. The owner manager must fear being caught doing the wrong thing.
  4.	Comprehensive knowledge of the entire facility and all entries and
  exits, and its nooks and crannies must be mastered providing the
  Mashgiach with the ability to predict ?weak spots? in the system?s
  integrity. A Mashgiach who does not display expertise in these arenas
  does not instill any fear in the owners managers, and is in fact sending
  an undisguised invitation to the owner manager to arrange substitutions.
   5.	 Obviously, the greater the potential gain from cheating the
   greater must be the fear factor. Therefore the frequency of these visits
   depends entirely upon the potential gain from substituting non-Kosher
   with Kosher foods.
   6.	 We must also evaluate the ability of the Mashgiach to ?catch? the
   violation. The owner manager is not going to bring non-Kosher meat into
   the eatery whilst it is still in its non-Kosher livery. We must have
   clear unequivocal guidelines that enable the Mashgiach to discover the
   7.	 Small eateries, restaurants, bakeries and pizza shops, have a far
   greater opportunity and incentive to use non-Kosher ingredients than
   large manufacturers. They must be visited often and rigorously inspected
   to truly create a sense of fear.

What actually satisfies Yotze VeNichNess?
It appears that the Shulchan Aruch, other than providing some general
guidelines, does not define this in detail, because an effective deterrent
is that which creates fear, and this depends very much upon the
circumstances, the incentive to substitute, the nature of the relationship
between the owner manager and the Kosher certifier, and the power of the

Generally speaking:
   a.	 an establishment that uses products for which there is significant
   price differential between Kosher and non-Kosher, requires systems that
   can verify with certainty that substitution has not been arranged.
In the meat final rinse, HaDocha AchaRona scenario, there are a number of significant considerations:
  First and foremost, it applies to a Rabbinic prohibition. Cooked or
  salted blood is not prohibited by Torah Law. In cases of doubt, Rabbinic
  prohibitions are resolved leniently whereas Torah prohibitions are
  resolved stringently.
  Furthermore, even within the Rabbinic lenient rubric:
    i.    A servant of the household is subservient to and in fear of the master and the household
   ii.    Non servant workers are assumed to not be in fear [Shach, PrMg 42; ChDaAs BiUrim 15]
	 1.  The Mechaber, by his description, ?a non-Jew who is a servant
	 in a Jewish home ?? rather than ?a non-Jew who has placed the meat
	 in the pot and we are unsure if it was rinsed?
	 2.  However, Yad Yehuda [41] suggests that even a non-servant will
	 be fearful if he fears a penalty, and Yad Avraham suggests that a
	 servant is fearful without Yotze VeNichNess.
  iii.    A Jewish non-religious worker is more cocky and needs greater vigilance than a non-Jew [Rema ShO YD 118:1]
  iv.    The servant is familiar with the procedures and knows what to do
   v.    The servant knows that members of the household are nearby
  vi.    Any member of the household may pop in at any time
 vii.    The procedure for washing the meat takes some time so there is more fear

  Those ultimately responsible for determining Kashrus must have Orthodox
  Semicha and live a Frum life. It is advantageous to have specific
  training and experience in practical aspects of Kashrus supervision.

  It is critical to Kashrus, that only those who are Shomer Torah Umitzvos
  have ceredibility. All facts relevant to Kashrus must be verified by such
  people. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein,zt?l insists that a reputation for honesty
  and integrity does not suffice to provide the necessary evidence required
  for Kashrus. [Igros Moshe 40, I:54 and II:43]

 1.    Mashgichim
    a.    must live a Frum life.
    b.    should be trained in practical aspects of Kashrus supervision.
    c.    ought to be paid by the Kashrus organization and not by those being supervised.
            i.    this is generally not a viable option.
  2.    Mashgichim mostly serve a dual function, they assist the business and they also supervise it.
  3.    Such arrangements are far from ideal, but we should endeavour to at least ensure that the Mashgiach:
   a.    is able to directly attend to his primary function without impediment.
   b.    is not required to perform menial tasks which undermine his stature and authority.

Level of Supervision ? Shomer Shabbos
  4.	A Shomer Shabbos owner manager cannot be his own Kosher Mashgiach.
  This does not constitute effective Hashgocha. We have recently witnessed
  tragic cases where Shomer Shabbos proprietors were caught [and heaven
  help us ? how many have not been caught] selling non-kosher product. This
  more than proves the inherent deficiency of such arrangements.
   a.	 Although some may defend this as being Halachically justifiable,
   [eid echod neomon bi?ussurin, one witness is acceptable regarding
   questions relating to Kashrus] this arrangement is seriously flawed and
   invariably leads to tragedy and erosion of the value and performance of

Level of Supervision ? Conflict of Interest
  5.	The OU insists that restaurants and caterers must be supervised by
  a Mashgiach who has no financial interest in the facility. While this
  policy is undoubtedly one to aspire to, individual Rabbonim must assess
  the Kashrus needs of their communities and determine whether it is
  feasible to maintain such standards.
  6.	The entire facility or at least the storage areas for these foods
  must be locked whereby the Mashgiach alone or his designates have access
  to these foods.
  7.    A non-Shomer Shabbos person must not have access to the locked areas.
  8.    Locks and seals must be tamper-evident.
  9.    Security requirements can be met by having a key available in an envelope sealed with at least two seals.
10.    Whenever an emergency occurs requiring access to the key, the Mashgiach must be notified and the overseeing rabbi?s approval must be sought.
11.    The lock must then be changed to offset the risk of the key having been copied.
12.    Foods requiring Bishul Yisrael, Jewish participation in the cooking,
are not adequately provided for with Yotze VeNichNess. A Mashgiach Temidi
is required, unless a locking device is in service which makes it
impossible to relight the pilot light without the PIN code the Mashgiach.
[this is an OU standard which I do not believe is fact a Halachic
13.    Commercial food production in or for first world markets, is
strictly governed by Health and Safety and Traceability requirements. This
means that every single step must follow pre-defined documented protocols
that are designed and verified by external auditors. In short, it is
basically impossible to alter ingredients or processes without going
through a long investigation that requires full documentation. And it is
certainly not worth their while.
   a.	 As such, Yotze VeNichNess may not be required at all, since there
   may well be adequate evidence to provide a Halachic ruling by being able
   to access these records.

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Message: 2
From: Rich, Joel
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 13:14:24 +0000
[Avodah] dvar reshut

Is there a true concept of dvar reshut or at every moment is there only one
thing that maximizes HKB"H's happiness with us? (I realize one could say
these are not mutually exclusive)
Joel Rich

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Message: 3
From: Martin Brody
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 09:57:23 -0800
[Avodah] Yaakov v Yehuda

Micah Berger asked
" Is it so hard to believe that for all his greatness,
Yehudah still didn't reach his father's level?"

Not according to Brachot 34B.( In the place where BT's stand, Tzaddikim don't)
Yehudah did teshuva Yaakov didn't.

Martin Brody

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Message: 4
From: via Avodah
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 14:05:07 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Tichleh Regel Min Hashuk


From: Akiva Miller via Avodah  <avo...@lists.aishdas.org>

>> ....Here's another way of  phrasing it: If Pirsumei Nisa on Friday night 
dependent on commercial  activity, and there is zero commercial activity
among the Jews at that time,  then the Pirsumei Nisa on Friday night MUST be
referring to the  non-Jews.

By the way, so far I've been asking about Friday night. What  about Saturday
night? How much commercial activity was there among Jews on  Motzaei
Shabbos? If there was little or none, yet the mitzva and pirsumei  nisa is
still relevant even on Motzaei Shabbos, then this is a similar proof  that
Pirsumei Nisa refers to non-Jews.  <<

Akiva  Miller

I think you are translating "Tichleh Regel Min Hashuk" too literally.   I 
don't think it means "until the last shop closes."  I think it means: 
a] until the last passerby is no longer out in the street and/or 
b] until *that time of night* when passersby usually stop being out in the  
market [or out in the street].
Thus, if shops close at midnight most nights of the week, midnight would be 
 the time of Tichleh Regel Min Hashuk even on Friday night and Motzai  
But again I don't really think "shuk" means literally "market" here but  
more generally, outside, out on the streets.
Otherwise -- there are cities where shops are only open 9 to 5, and any  
time after sunset would already be too late to light the menorah -- if you are 
 overly literal with the words "Tichleh Regel Min Hashuk."

--Toby  Katz


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Message: 5
From: Sholom Simon
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2017 13:06:16 -0500
[Avodah] Chezkas Kashrus of Sifrei Torah

>Students of RYBS have to deal with the question of whether a chazaqah
>disvara /can/ change. RYBS famously said that tan lemeisiv cannot:
>     Let me add something that is very important: not only the halachos
>     but also the chazakos which chachmei chazal have introduced are
>     indestructible. We must not tamper, not only with the halachos,
>     but even with the chazakos, for the chazakos of which chazal spoke
>     rest not upon transient psychological behavioral patterns, but upon
>     permanent ontological principles rooted in the very depth of the
>     human personality, in the metaphysical human personality, which
>     is as changeless as the heavens above. Let us take for example
>     the chazaka that I was told about: the chazaka tav l'meisiv tan
>     du mil'meisiv armalo has absolutely nothing to do with the social
>     and political status of women in antiquity. This chazaka is based
>     not upon sociological factors, but upon a verse in breishis --
>     harba arbeh itz'voneich v'heironeich b'etzev teildi vanim v'el
>     isheich t'shukaseich v'hu yimshal bach -- "I will greatly multiply
>     thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children,
>     and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee".
>     It is a metaphysical curse rooted in the feminine personality...
>Notice RYBS opens with a kelal, "the chazakos which chachmei chazal have
>introduced are indestructible." And yet he continues by talking about
>the perat, "[t]his chazaka is based not upon sociological factors,
>but upon a verse in breishis..."

(Apologies if this is a tangent that warrants a different subject heading.)

Apparently some of the students disagree?

Tradition ? Winter 2014 (Rabbi N. Helfgot)

In a famous episode in 1975, the Rav strongly 
denounced a proposal raised by R. Emanuel 
Rackman, z?l to reevaluating the validity of the 
Talmudic dictum ?a woman would always be rather 
married to anyone (even a scoundrel) than be 
alone? in the modern context. R. Rackman called 
on religious authorities to reevaluate the reach 
of this dictum as a way of addressing the scourge 
of modern day recalcitrant husbands who did not 
give their estranged spouses a get. The 
reevaluation of this principle might be an 
opening to examine the use of halakhic annulment 
of marriages. The Rav vigorously maintained that 
this principle, like all hazakot of Hazal, was 
?an ontological statement? about the nature of 
women, not subject to changing historical factors or changing social mores.

R. Lichtenstein in both private conversation with 
a number of talmidim over the decades, including 
this author and in remarks in public shiurim, 
noted his disagreement with the Rav?s assessment 
of this hazaka (and expressed astonishment at the 
vehemence of the Rav?s opposition at the time) 
given the clear cut evidence in the Rishonim in 
Yevamot and other places in Shas which clearly 
indicated that this hazaka was not one that 
applied in all contexts and at all times and in all situations.

-- Sholom
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Message: 6
From: Zev Sero
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 13:47:50 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Mashgiach and Kosher Standards

On 05/01/17 12:07, Professor L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> The following is from
> http://www.kosherveyosher.com/mashgiach-standards.html
> According to what is on this web site it seems to me that the standards
> of supervision that are in place in restaurants,  pizza shops and take
> outs in Brooklyn and many other places  leave something to be desired.  YL

Ironically you found this on the site of a hechsher that almost nobody 
trusts.  Australia's equivalent of Mr Israel Steinberg.

What you have to understand is that the OU does not determine the 
halacha.  It has its standards, based on its clientele and what level of 
supervision it believes they need.  Other hechsherim are the OU's 
*equals*, if not greater, and have every right to set different 
standards, especially if their clientele is different.

For instance, I have been told (but haven't seen it inside) that the 
Darkei Teshuvah (R Tzvi Hirsh Shapiro of Munkatch) would not give a 
hechsher on food, but on the proprietor.  If he couldn't trust the 
proprietor to work without supervision he wouldn't give the hechsher no 
matter how strict a supervision the fellow was willing to endure.  In 
other words, his rigorous standards in choosing clients allowed him to 
employ very loose standards in supervising them.  The OU has the exact 
opposite policy: it certifies anyone who wants it, and it does so by 
treating *everyone* as untrustworthy.   Each approach is legitimate, but 
they result in very different business models. An organisation the OU's 
size simply can't run on the Darkei Teshuvah's principles; a  boutique 
hechsher run by a single yerei shomayim, and taking on no more business 
than he can personally handle, can.

Zev Sero                May 2017, with its *nine* days of Chanukah,
z...@sero.name           be a brilliant year for us all

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Message: 7
From: Isaac Balbin
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2017 04:58:41 +1100
Re: [Avodah] electronics on shabbat

As I recall, Tshuvos Minchas Asher prohibits it as Makeh B'Patish and is
firmly machmir. My copy is on loan to a Rav so I can't check my memory. I
can't recall which of the 3 Chalokim I saw it.

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Message: 8
From: Micha Berger
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 18:23:15 -0500
Re: [Avodah] Chezkas Kashrus of Sifrei Torah

On Thu, Jan 05, 2017 at 01:06:16PM -0500, Sholom Simon via Avodah wrote:
: >Students of RYBS have to deal with the question of whether a chazaqah
: >disvara /can/ change. RYBS famously said that tan lemeisiv cannot:
: Apparently some of the students disagree?
: Tradition  Winter 2014 (Rabbi N. Helfgot)
:     In a famous episode in 1975, the Rav strongly denounced a proposal
:     raised by R. Emanuel Rackman, z"l to reevaluating the validity of the
:     Talmudic dictum a woman would always be rather married to anyone (even
:     a scoundrel) than be alone in the modern context....
:                              The  Rav vigorously maintained that this
:     principle, like all hazakot of Hazal, was an ontological statement
:     about the nature of women, not subject to changing historical factors
:     or changing social mores.
:     R. Lichtenstein...  noted his disagreement with the Rav's assessment of
:     this hazaka (and expressed astonishment at the vehemence of the Rav's

HOWEVER, on this particular issue RAL also said that he does not believe
this was the central aregument being employed against RAR's BD. So, while
this testimony touches on our question about whether chazaqos can change,
it does not mean RAL would have approved RER's BD even had RYBS remained

This was just one ilne in a longer speech. Because the idea is intriguing,
is gets discussed and argued. But as RAL noted (according to RARaffetR),
the primary argument RYBS gave against was that it shows a disconnect
from mesorah and baalei mesorah. To think you can solve a problem that
bothered everyone before you in a manner that would have been available
to them had they just thought of it, and thereby changing so many
fundamental halakhos.

   What does kabalas ol malchus shamayim require of the lomeid hatorah,
   person who studies Torah? First, we must pursue the truth,
   nothing else but the truth; however, the truth in talmud torah
   can only be achieved through singular halachic Torah thinking, and
   Torah understanding. The truth is attained from within, in accord
   with the methodology given to Moses and passed on from generation to
   generation. The truth can be discovered only by joining the ranks of
   the chachmei hamesorah. It is ridiculous to say "I have discovered
   something of which the Rashba didn't know, the Ktzos didn't know,
   the Vilna Gaon had no knowledge, I have discovered an approach to the
   interpretation of Torah which is completely new." One must join the
   ranks of the chachmei hamesorah -- chazal, rishonim, gedolei achronim
   -- and must not try to rationalize from without the chukei hatorah and
   must not judge the chukei mishpatim in terms of the secular system of
   things. Such an attempt, be it historicism, be it psychologism, be it
   utilitarianism, undermines the very foundations of torah umesorah, and
   it leads eventually to the most tragic consequences of assimilationism
   and nihilism, no matter how good the original intentions. Second,
   we must not yield -- I mean emotionally, it is very important -- we
   must not feel inferior, experience or develop an inferiority complex,
   and because of that complex yield to the charm -- usually it is a
   transient and passing charm -- of modern political and ideological
   sevoros (logic). I say not only not to compromise -- certainly not to
   compromise -- but even not to yield emotionally, not to feel inferior,
   not to experience an inferiority complex. The thought should never
   occur that it is important to cooperate just a little bit with the
   modern trend or with the secular, modern philosophy. In my opinion,
   yehadus (Judaism) does not have to apologize either to the modern
   woman or to the modern representatives of religious subjectivism.
   There is no need for apology -- we should have pride in our mesorah,
   in our heritage. And of course, certainly it goes without saying
   one must not try to compromise with these cultural trends, and one
   must not try to gear the halachic norm to the transient ways of a
   neurotic society, which is what our society is.

   I also was told that it was recommended that the method afkinu rabanan
   l'kidushin minei be reintroduced. If this recommendation is accepted,
   and I hope it will not be accepted, but if it is accepted, then
   there will be no need for a get. Ha-isha niknes b'shalosh d'rachim:
   b'kesef b'shtar ub'bia, the get of a gerushah (divorced woman) -
   we will be able to cross out this mishna, this halachah; every rabbi
   will suspend the kidushin. Why should there be this halachah if such a
   privilege exists? Why should this privilege be monopolized by rabanus
   haroshis in eretz yisrael? Why couldn't the Rabbinic Council do just
   as well as the rabanus haroshis, if the problem is afkinu rabbanan
   l'kidushin minei? [ribono shel olam], what are you, out to destroy
   all of it? I will be relieved of two masechtos; I will not have to
   say shiurim on Gitin and Kidushin, and then Yevamos as well.

   I want to be frank and open. Do you expect to survive as
   Orthodox rabbis? Do you expect to carry on the mesorah under such
   circumstances? I hope that those who are present will join me in
   simply objecting to such symposia and to such discussion and debate at
   the Rabbinical Convention. When I was told about it, I thought, "would
   it be possible?" I can not imagine at the Republican or Democratic
   National Convention that they would introduce a symposium on communism
   and democracy, that perhaps communism should replace democracy in the
   United States. Could you imagine such a possibility? I could not.
   There is a certain system of postulates to which people are committed,
   and such a discussion...

More of the same elided. See
for a transcript of that portion of the shiur, and for an audio of the whole

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A person must be very patient
mi...@aishdas.org        even with himself.
http://www.aishdas.org         - attributed to R' Nachman of Breslov
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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Message: 9
From: Michael Poppers
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 21:15:02 -0500
Re: [Avodah] yaakov vs yehuda

In Avodah V35n2, R'Micha wrote:
> Meanwhile, I understand what I took to be RnIE's point. This business
with HQBH fulfilling the words of tzadiqim still has to deal with the
culpability of the one dying. Perhaps Binyamin's total innocence would
have been enough to trump a tzadiq's words. <
Yet BhT understands that R'uvein's "es shnei vanai tamis" (42
<http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0142.htm>:37) had a consequence
(perhaps because the two subjects he identifies are not "innocent"s!).

Speaking of which, what is *p'shat* in R'uvein's words/which "two sons" was
he referring to?  In this week's *sedra* (46
<http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0146.htm>:9), four sons are listed; and
at the time he said "es shnei vanai tamis", one would think at least three
if not all four were already born....

A gut'n Shabbes/Shabbas Shalom
and all the best from
*Michael Poppers* * Elizabeth, NJ, USA
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