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Volume 40: Number 4

Mon, 17 Jan 2022

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 12:20:21 +0000
[Avodah] Bishul Akum - Playing With Fire OU Kosher

The following is from


Thousands of years ago, the Rabbis of old recognized that Jewish identity
is the key to the survival of Klal Yisrael. To this end, they enacted three
sets of food laws to limit socialization: bishul akum, pas akum, and stam
yainom (cooked food, bread, and wine prepared by gentiles). This was based
on the realization that bonds of friendship are established by eating
together, and breaking bread with a stranger is the first step to
developing a closer relationship. For thousands of years of exile, the
biblical and rabbinic laws of kosher have formed a natural fortress that
prevented the assimilation of the Jewish people into many different
cultures of the world. Today, with spiraling assimilation wreaking havoc at
a frightening rate, the prophetic vision of Chazal is all the more
apparent. It is significant that even for secularized Jews, a kosher
kitchen often remains the last bastion against intermarriage and

See the above URL for the entire article.

From the end of this article

Here is a short quiz of ten questions to test your knowledge of some of the
finer points of kosher: All the questions have one answer alluded to by the
title of this article.

  1.  What kosher problem may be obviated by using a touch-tone phone?
  2.  Contemporary rabbis dispute the use of a light bulb to solve which kosher concern?
  3.  3. Of what particular interest is it to the Jewish community what the Queen or King of England serves at royal dinners?
  4.  Why is MTBY printed on some cans of OU tuna fish?
  5.  What situation became exacerbated by the introduction of stoves with electronic ignitions?
  6.  How can kosher food be rendered non-kosher without adding a single ingredient?
  7.  What law of kosher was instituted to prevent intermarriage?
  8.  What halacha of kosher is often of greater concern when husband and wife both work?
  9.  Sephardim and Ashkenazim disagree whether a wood chip can be used to resolve what issue?
  10. What relevant law of kosher is unknown to many people?

Yitzchok Levine

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Message: 2
From: Micha Berger
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 17:02:15 -0500
[Avodah] Davening for a good esrog on Tu biShvat

Something about the custok of davening for on Tu biShvat for a good esrog for next
Sukkos eludes me...

What is the connection between Tu biShavat and esrogim? Because the esrog consumes
so much water, amd doesn't grow in an annual esrog season, its terumos and maaseros
follow those of vegetables. Esrogim aren't included in Tu biShvat.

(Ironically, neither is bukser...)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 When one truly looks at everyone's good side,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   others come to love him very naturally, and
Author: Widen Your Tent      he does not need even a speck of flattery.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                      - Rabbi AY Kook


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