Volume 12 Number 16
                       Produced: Thu Mar 10 23:44:16 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Beer - is it kosher?
         [Robert Israel]
Beer -- is it kosher?
         [Dick Schoeller]
Kashrut of Tilapia, Isinglass
         [Steve Wildstrom]
Kodesh HaKodashim
         [Mitch Berger]
Non-sulfited wine
         [Eric Safern]
Oat matzot
         [Lawrence J. Teitelman ]
Olive Oil
         [Adam P. Freedman]
RAMBI on-line
         [Daniel May]
         [Joshua Sharf]
Women and time-dependent Mitzvot
         [Gavrie Philipson]


From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 01:43:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Beer - is it kosher?

In vol. 12 #8 Stephen Phillips <stephenp@...> writes:

> I believe beer contains an ingredient called Isinglass (sp?) which is
> of animal origin, but the amount involved is so small as to be
> considered "Botul Beshishim" [nullified because the amount is less
> than one sixtieth]. 

I know very little about beer, but I do have Digital Webster:

isin7glass \'uEz-en-,glas, 'uE-zin-\ n
[prob. by folk etymology fr. obs. D huizenblas, fr. MD huusblase, fr. huus  
sturgeon + blase bladder]
1: a semitransparent whitish very pure gelatin prepared from the air bladders  
of fishes (as sturgeons) and used esp. as a clarifying agent and in jellies  
and glue
2: MICA 

Presumably it's meaning #1, used as a clarifying agent.  No problem if it's a
kosher fish; sturgeons, though, are not kosher.  I'd appreciate it if someone
could tell us where isinglass actually comes from these days.  Assuming it's
from a non-kosher fish, I don't see how this has a kashrut status any 
different from pig gelatin.  

Does the "Botul Beshishim" idea really stand up here, for an ingredient that 
is deliberately added and changes the physical properties of the product?  If 
so, there are a lot of other products that should fall in the same category,  
but do need hechshers.  

I have been told, for example, that most apple juice available in the stores 
here is not kosher because gelatin is used as a clarifying agent.  But the 
same people who tell me this have no problem with beer.

Robert Israel                            <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics             
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Y4

From: <dick@...> (Dick Schoeller)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 00:51:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Beer -- is it kosher? 

While I cant speak to the kashrut of commercial beer in general, I can
comment on Isenglass and its use in beer.  Isenglass is made from finely
ground sturgeon swim bladder.  It is suggested in some sources as a means
for homebrewers to precipitate materials from the beer that would make it
cloudy.  This is a technique that was only ever used in British brewing
styles and which with modern filtration techniques is almost unheard of
today in commercial brewing.  The amount suggested in homebrewing is on
the order of a teaspoon per 5 gallons of beer.  I don't know how much would
be used in large batch brewing.  I'll leave it to others whether this amount
intentionally included is a problem.

Dick Schoeller                  | <dick@...>


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 10:04:30 EST
Subject: Re: Kashrut of Tilapia, Isinglass

In MJ 12:11 <RUBIND.BSACD1@...> (David Rubin) asks about the
kashrut of tilapia. If the requirement is that the fish have scales and
fins, tilapia definitely qualify. Tilapia is a freshwater fish just
beginning to be farm-raised in America. I believe there is extensive
tilapia aquaculture in Israel.

Also, in the ongoing discussion of beer, there's some confusion about
the meaning of "isinglass," The term has two unrelated meanings: It's
either a form of mica or a transparent membrane taken from the air
bladders of the (dubiously kosher) stugeon. The stuff that might be used
in, and later filtered out of, beer is the mineral, though diatomaceous
earth would be a more likely candidate.


From: <mberger@...> (Mitch Berger)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 09:31:00 EST
Subject: Re: Kodesh HaKodashim

In his introduction to the book of Bamidbar [Numbers], the Ramban contrasts
Mount Sinai with Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount). Sinai was qadosh [sanctified]
only while the divine presence was there, as soon as the revelation was over
it was permissable to go up on the mountain. Moriah is sanctified for eternity.
The Ramban writes that the distinction rests in the Sinai was sanctified by
the A-lmighty, the sanctification was effortless (since He can do anything
without effort), and therefor temporary. Moriah was sanctified through human
indeavor, which G-d values more.

Alng similar lines, last month I heard R. Aharon Solevietchik shlit"a speak
about the distinction between the first and second commonwealths. The first
state, built by Yehoshu`a [Joshua] only sanctified the land for the duration
the we held the land. The land was acquired by kibbush [conquest] and as soon
as the conquest was nullified, so was the qedushah.
The second state, by Zerubavel, Ezra, Neschemiah, et al, was acquired through
yishuv [settlement]. We sat down and lived Jewish lives there, and de facto,
the state existed. This qedushah is permanent, and holds to this very day.

R. Aharon found the root of this second distinction in the dialectic given
by Avraham Avinu [our father Abraham] to the descendants of Heit:
	ger vitoshav anochi imachem
	I am a foreigner and a resident with you
This dichotomy, between the ger [foreigner] and toshav [resident] defines the
Jewish condition. Life is a delicate balance between the nation which lives
on its own might, and the foreigner that more directly lives by G-d's chein
R. Aharon even quoted Hitler (ysv"z), on his reply to Himmler's question if
the Gypsies should be included in the Final Solution. To Hitler, Jews and
Gypsies are alike - they are geirim. It is the Jews' ability to survive as
geirim/toshavim that challenges the other nations, and is the cause of their

To this, I'd like to add that the Navi predicts the same theme to recur in
the End of Days. Here we see Gog and Magog wage war on Israel. They ask the
Creator for one mitzvah so that they too can merit being a Mamleches
Kohanim viGoy Qaddosh [A Kingdom of Preists and a Holy Nation]. Hashem gives
them Succah. After some incelement weather, they leave the Succah, kicking it
on the way out.
In my eyes, we see Gog and Magog, two nations or a king and a nation, that are
called The Roof, and The Roofer. Their attitude is contrasted with the
mitzvash of Succah, of living as geirim in an ohel arai [a temporary dwelling]
and they just can't do it. At the first sign of trouble, they can no longer
live dependent on G-d.
Again we see it is the ability to be ger vitoshav that defines what it is to
be Jews.

Back to the subject, Moriah was sanctified by Jews living as geirim vitoshavim,
belnding bitachon [Trust in the A-lmighty] with hishtadlus [personal effort].
This causes a permanent qeddushah.
By contrast, Sinai - sancitified by the Creator of the World - is only
temporarily Holy.


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 00:51:57 -0500
Subject: Re:  Non-sulfited wine

<sue.zakar@...> (sue zakar) asks about kosher wines without added sulfites.

One should be aware that *all* wines contain some sulfites, as a natural
by-product of fermentation.

Almost all wines have sulfur dioxide added at a certain point, to halt the
fermentation when the wine has reached the proper alcohol content.

I understand some wine makers in California are making wines without *added*
sulfites.  However, I am not aware of any *kosher* suppliers doing this.

I'm not sure about this, but based on my understanding of the process,
grape juice should *not* have added sulfites.  You can check the bottle
for the warning label, if you like.  Do you get headaches from grape

You should check with a Rav, however, since getting headaches may not be
enough of a reason to use grape juice instead of wine for the Four Cups.

In any event, only those people who are alergic to sulfites need be
concerned.  There is no evidence that these substances are harmful,
especially when you consider wine contains *alcohol* - a neuro-toxin :-)

				Eric Safern


From: Lawrence J. Teitelman  <csljt@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 12:46:12 EST
Subject: Re: Oat matzot

> From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>

> This is not, of course, a psak, but people should at least be aware that 
> a number of modern poskim feel that oats are not really one of the 
> "chameshat haminim" (the five types of grain according to the halachah), 
> and that therefore one is not yotze by eating oat matzah.

Some of the more recent printings of the Kehati Mishnayot have a discussion
of the status of oats. I believe that it appears before Masekhet Challah.
(The Otzar Mefarashei ha-Talmud on Masekhet Challah is now available and
probably contains some material relevant to this issue as well.)

Larry Teitelman


From: Adam P. Freedman <APF@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 9:01:06 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Olive Oil

With regard to the ongoing discussion of olive oil and its Pesach kashrut:
Rabbi E. Eidlitz, in this year's discussion of Pesach products, stated that
only olive oil marked "virgin" or "extra-virgin" are K for P without a
hechsher this year. The laws for olive oil labeling have recently changed,
and olive oil marked "pure" or "extra-pure" is likely to have additional
processing that may render it problematic for Pesach. The virgin oil comes
from the first and second pressing of the olives, whereas other olive oils
can use additional chemical means to extract oil from the olive residues.

Adam Freedman


From: Daniel May <dmay@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 1994 13:13:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RAMBI on-line

	RAMBI (rishimat ma'amarim b-mada'ai ha-yahadut) is a long running 
index to articles in all areas of Jewish studies. Until recently, in 
order to do a literature survey of specific topics, one needed to 
manually flip through each RAMBI annual - each of which is often 
published after a significant lag time.
	Thankfully, RAMBI is now on-line. I imagine that it can be 
accesses through any of the university libraries in Israel, although I 
usually use the University of Haifa as a gateway. 
	While the database is excellent (although it only contains 
articles published after 1986), the commands used to manipulate it are 
often cumbersome. It takes some practice...

now for my question...

	Lately, I have been using RAMBI on-line quite frequently. 
However, due to the fact I am accessing it from a remote location, it is 
time very time consuming to go through various sets of records manually. 
On many (actually, almost _all_ ) libraries that I have used, sets of 
records can be e-mailed to any address. 
	Does RAMBI have such capabilities?
	Furthermore, if there is a complete set of instructions 
available, I would very much appreciate a copy. 

Daniel May (<dmay@...>)


From: <jsharf@...> (Joshua Sharf)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 10:03:42 EST
Subject: Salt

Joey Mosseri asks about iodized salt and Pesach.  Iodized salt has corn
starch in it.  This is, of course, a kitniyot derivative and may not be
eaten by Ashkenazim.  Regular salt, of course, is just NaCl.

Joshua Sharf


From: Gavrie Philipson <GAVRIE@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 94 00:51:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Women and time-dependent Mitzvot

Bob Smith writes:
>    The problem with this approach is that it no longer appears to be
> valid.  Apparently, as the time from the revelation at Mt Sinai
> Unfortunately, the temptations that I face are faced by my wife and
> daughters as well, and they need and deserve the strenghthening that can
> come from tsisit and tefillin or am I missing something here?  Are these
> prayers "magical incantations" that only work when men say them or
> shouldn't we all, men and women alike, be meditating on these things as
> we start off each day?

IMHO, this approach is invalid. You don't put on tzitzit for the 
*reason* that they strengthen you. That fact is just a human 
explanation for this mitzvah. The tzitzit don't strengten you by 
the fact that you wear them and look at them - rather, the fact that 
you keep the *mitzvah* of wearing them guards you from "evil 
thoughts". If not so, can you please explain to me how looking at 
some wool strings could help keeping you from bad thoughts ?!

Because women aren't commanded to wear tzitzit - In fact, some poskim 
say they're considered 'beged ish' - they won't assist them nor 
strengthen them. I wouldn't call these "magical incantations" - but 
simply "heavenly mitzvot" :-) !

- Gavrie Philipson
  Jerusalem College of Technology


End of Volume 12 Issue 16