Volume 11 Number 48
                       Produced: Thu Jan 27 23:44:59 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Hayim Hendeles]
Kosher Wine
         [Rivkah Isseroff]
L.A. Earthquake
         [Daniel Faigin]
Reply to Isaac Balbin on comment of the Rav on adoption
         [Alan Zaitchik]


From: Hayim Hendeles <hayim@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 94 12:40:02 -0800
Subject: Re: Gedolim

 One poster wrote the following about my earlier comments:

 	Everyone knows who were the recipients of Rav Schach's
 	"antagonistic behavior".  Hayim's posting implicitly compares
 	the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita and Harav Steinzalts with Korach
 	and Zimri.  That is uncalled for.  Hayim is the one who needs
 	to do Tshuva for his Bizayon Hatorah.

Chas V'shalom, and G-d forbid to say such a thing. However, perhaps
your misinterpretation of my innocently-intended-words is hasgacha
(Divine Providence) teaching us a valuable lesson as to how many arguments
begin.  Someone misinterprets a statement written with pure and noble
intentions, to imply horrendous conclusions that were never intended.
Perhaps if we might consider the possibility that the writer never
intended such implications, we could avoid an argument.

 If you read my complete post, I referenced the disputes between the
 Rambam and the other Rishonim, as well as Reb Yaakov Emden vs. Reb
 Yonasan Eibshitz zt"l. Furthermore, in an earlier post, I also referred
 to the Lubavitcher Rebbe as one of our Gedolei Hador. My intent was
 to show that sometimes, even the greatest of Gedolim are forced to
 dispute each other. The current "disagreements" should be viewed similiarly.

 Also, someone took offense at my comments as assuming that I implied
 Rabbi Shach is the #1 Gadol Hador, thereby denigrating the other
 Gedolim. This was not my intent. To be perfectly frank, I have not
 personally tested any of the Gedolim, and therefore do not know, nor am
 I qualified to judge who is #1 and who is #2. Furthermore, with all due
 respect, I don't believe anyone else on the net is either. From our
 perspective, these are ALL giants and it is foolish for us to engage in
 a dispute as to who is bigger and who is smaller.

 My position is that these are all Gedolim that Kllal Yisroel looks up
 to, and we ought to give ALL of them the respect they so richly
 deserve - even if our agenda differs from theirs.  Am I asking
 something unreasonable? Is this too much to ask for?

 Hayim Hendeles


From: Rivkah Isseroff <rrisseroff@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 13:47:59 -0500
Subject: Kosher Wine

Art Werschulz asked about the details of kosher wine-making.  At last
there is a subject on MJ upon which I can comment on with a solid base
of knowledge and experience! A few years ago Yitz and Hilda Applbaum and
my husband and I started a Kosher winery--Teal Lake Cellars (under O-K
hashgacha).  Although we knew little of the specifics when we began, we
are now pretty well up-to-date on most of the intricacies of kosher
winemaking.  Some of the specific concerns re: yeasts and other
additives are addressed in an article by Rabbi DOn Yoel Levi of the O-K
in an article on kosher winemaking in "the Jewish Homemaker", the O-K
publication, sometime last year.You can probaly call their office at
718-692-3900 for the exact reference.

   GRAPES.  You asked where to get kosher grape extract.  I
   don't know that it exists, but it wouldn't surprise me if
   it did.  I heard that in years past that Kedem was
   having grapes crushed in California and then shipping
   the "must" to New York.  I have not heard that this is
   still being d  one, but it is possible.  
        Before you purchase grape extract however, it is
   important to consider that the quality of the wine that you
   make depends mostly on the quality of the grapes that went
   into that wine.  You may not be happy with the wine that is
   produced this way.  
        I think a better method is to have grapes crushed for
   you at a local vinyard.  There are excellent vinyards on
   Long Island, and some may have extra grapes which they
   would be willing to sell as a "custom crush".  You would
   have some idea of the wine these grapes can produce by
   tasting (or having someone else taste) the wines previously
   produced by this vinyard.  Prices for grapes will run you
   $400 to $2000 a ton in bulk, more for custom crush.  You
   should be able to get about 160 gallons of wine from one
   ton of grapes.  
        If you are going to make your wine mevushal, you will
   want to do so after the juice and the skins are separated. 
   For a white wine this is shortly after crush and for a red
   wine, this is after fermentation.  You do not want to heat
   the must with the skins in place because this will make it
   taste bad.  Leaving the juice on the skins adds the color
   and some of the flavor to the wine.  So if you are making a
   red wine, until you are ready to perform the heating, it
   will have to be under supervision.  
        Heating the juice to make it mevushal may adversely
   affect the flavor of the wine.  It gives it a caramel type
   flavor.  There is some lattitude with different supervising
   rabbis as to how hot and how long  the juice needs to be
   heated.  The proccess today is similar to flash
   pasturization.  Juice is run through a heat exchanger,
   usually gas fired, and brought up as rapidly as possible to
   about 185 degrees, then rapidly cooled.  
        Finding a vineyard on Long Island with excellent
   grapes, a flash pasturizer, and a willingness to do a
   custom crush may be a bit tricky.  If this wine is just for
   you, I would stronly recommend doing a non-mevushall wine. 

Yeast:        It is relatively easy to obtain kosher yeast.  Red
   Star makes several types which have the OK Hashgach.  These are
   first class yeasts also used in non-kosher wines, and you will need 
   yeast for the fermentation.  Surprisingly, many are also Kosher for 
    Pesach (best to check with the OK on the specific yeast you choose).There
   are other ingredients which you may need to obtain, and
   they are a bit more difficuly however.  You may need to use
   tartaric acid to correct the balance of the wine, or use
   bacteria to induce malolactic fermentation  (to convert malic to 
    lactic acid).  The tartaric
   acid can be obtained from Safeway whith OU hashgacha (we buy ours in 
    bulk).  The malolactic bacteria is more of a problem:
   you may have to obtain it from a wine supply lab and then repassage 
   the bacteria a number of times to sequentially dilute any nonKosher or 
   wheat-derived nutrients used in the broth that the bacteria is grown in. 
   My advice is not to make a wine that requires this step.

        The time it takes for primary fermentation depends
   upon the type of yeast that you use and the grape varietal. 
   During the fermentation, it is necessary to stir the must
   occasionally.  This can be a problem.  Consider that the
   harvest ordinarily occurs in the Fall and there are all the Yom Tov 
   days at closely spaced intervals that you will not want to
   be tending to your wine.  Since the day of the crush is
   usually dictated by the amount of sugar in the grapes (the
   degrees brix) all of this may occur at a very inconvenient
   time.  Farmers will not like to keep grapes on the vine one
   day longer than necessary (every day chances a rain that
   will render the crop worthless).  THe vineyard can usually
   predict the date the grapes will reach adequate ripeness
   based on previous records of the vines involved and the
   average temperatures during the Summer.  So if you have a
   choice, it is nice to find a vineyard with excellent fruit,
   and with a ripening date which will allow you to crush
   after the holidays.
        Once the wine has gone through primary fermentation
   and has been pressed (the juice and skins are separated),
   you may  want the must to go through malolactic
   fermentation.  For red wine and for chardonay, this will
   greatly improve the flavor.

A very good resource book is "From Vines to Wines, The Complete Guide to 
Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine" by Jeff Cox, Garden Way 
Publishing Ponwal, Vermont, 1985, $10.95, 240 pages.  

If you need information on how to get the fermentation vats, or press, 
let us know! Good luck!

Rivkah Isseroff


From: <faigin@...> (Daniel Faigin)
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 17:18:06 -0500
Subject: Re: L.A. Earthquake

On Sat, 22 Jan 94 20:08:44 , <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss) said:

> Preliminary reviews show damage to Valley Torah HS to be minor.  Does anyone
> have the status of the other Jewish facilities in Los Angeles.

According to the LA Times, congregations in all parts of the valley were
hit. At Valley Beth Shalom (Conservative), Shabbat services were shifted to
the newer but smaller social hall, as the ceiling came down in the larger
one. The University of Judaism (Conservative Seminary) incurred as much as $2
million in damage, including the destruction of ancient Bibles and other
Jewish books. The acoustic ceiling of the main auditorium collapsed; the
school at UJ will reopen on Monday.

In terms of Orthodox facilities, there are two principle communities in the
San Fernando Valley. One is centered in North Hollywood; I haven't heard of
much damage in that area. The other is in Northridge, near the CSUN campus. In
particular, there are active units of both Chabad and Young Israel there.
Given the damage to buildings and facilities I saw in that area, I'd expect
that they suffered quite a bit.

On my mailing list (mail.liberal-judaism), someone suggested adopting
congregations in need. That's an interesting idea. The following is a list of
the congregations I know about in the San Fernando Valley; you might also
consider contacting the Chabad houses in the area to better identify the
Orthodox congregations (with which I have less contact).

	Adat Ari El (C) (N. Hollywood) [818 766 9426]
	Adat Elohim (R) (Thousand Oaks) [805 497 7101]
	Adat Yeshurun (Sephardi) (N. Hollywood) [818 766 4682]
	Beth Meier (C) (Studio City) [818 769 0515]
	Chabad (O) (Northridge) [818 784 9987]
	Chabad of the Valley (O)  [818 784 9985]
	Congregation Beth Kodesh (C) (West Hills) [818 346 0811]
	Congregation Bnai Hayim (C) (Sherman Oaks) [818 788 4664] 
	Congregation Ner Ma'arev (C) (Encino) [818 345 7833]
	Kol Tikvah (R) (Woodland Hills) [818 348 0670]
	Steven S. Wise (R) (Encino) [818 788 4778] 
	Temple Ahavat Shalom (R) (Northridge) [818 360 2258]
	Temple Aliyah (R) (W. Hills) [818 346 3545]
	Temple Beth Ami (C) (Reseda) [818 343 4624]
	Temple Beth Hillel (R) (N. Hollywood) [818 763 9148]
	Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf (R) (Arleta) [818 899 2202]
	Temple Beth Torah (R) (Granada Hills) [818 831 0835]
	Temple Judea (R) (Tarzana) [818 987 2616]
	Temple Ramat Zion (C) (Northridge) [818 360 1881]
	Temple Solael (R) (West Hills) [818 348 3885]
	Valley Beth Israel (C) (Arleta) [818 782 2281]
	Valley Beth Shalom (C) (Encino) [818 788 6000]
	Valley Outreach Syn. (R) [818 341 3867]
	Young Israel (O) (Northridge)

I do know that the Commission on Social Action in the Reform Movement has
established a relief fund to help congregations and congregants affected by
the earthquake; for details, see v3n94 of the m.l-j digest (those details
aren't appropriate here). I'm sure the umbrella organizations of the other
movements have established similar funds; you might try contacting them.

Social Action Chair, Kol Tikvah (R)
Moderator, Mail.Liberal-Judaism


From: Alan Zaitchik <ZAITCHIK@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 1994 23:20:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Reply to Isaac Balbin on comment of the Rav on adoption

Isaac Balbin asks, concerning a comment the Rav made to me about
it's being "crazy" to worry about yichud and adoption,
>I wonder why the Rov FORBADE you to read it. Was this because this might
>be upsetting, at which point one must ask why the prohibition as opposed to
>advice to ignore it? 
	I am sure it was a colorful way of expressing his feelings about
	the issue, with the secondary intention of reassuring me. The
	Rav often spoke in dramatic terms.
>If the reason is Toiv Sheyiyu Shogegim, then maybe
>the Rov agrees, but thinks it is a matter that Roiv would be Nichshal
>on and hence better left alone. 
	Can't you just accept the fact that the Rav thought the whole
	issue a non-issue? Why did he characterize it (actually the
	people who pushed it) as "crazy" ? Do not focus on
	the WORD "yichud" but take an honest look at the implicit
	proposition entertained by those who worry about yichud and adoption:
	"being alone with an adopted child could involve behaviors
	or temptations or suspicions of the above, which differ from
	being alone with a biological child"? Do you think there is
	a higher incidence of incest between adoptees and their adoptive
	parents than in the general population?! Seriously, can't you see
	that worrying about this is truly "crazy" (the Rav's term --
	not mine).
>I should point out that Rav Waldenberg also has a whole Kuntres on Yichud in
>Tzizt Eliezer, and from memory, he also warns against the problem
>of Yichud. Rabbi Bill Altshul recently told me that in an article on the issue
>Rabbi Nachum Rabinovitch questions why Chazal didn't seem to warn about
>this problem in all of Shas.
	Actually Chazal would not have been in a position to comment 
	explicitly on yichud and adoption-- but of course they could have 
	commented on yichud and "ham'gadel yatom", which apparently
	they did not. I suppose that this just shows that they,
	like the Rav, and unlike those whom the Rav was debunking, saw
	no issue here.


End of Volume 11 Issue 48