Volume 12 Number 34
                       Produced: Thu Mar 31  8:35:34 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Genetically altered Pig Enzyme is Kosher?
         [Eric Burger]
         [Susannah Greenberg]
New JEWISH Gopherspace
         [Avi Jacob Hyman]
Pastoral Care in Israel
         [Nadine Bonner]
The kashrut of Beer
         [L. Joseph Bachman]
The mitzvah of matza and omer customs
         [Eric Safern]
         [Elliot Lasson]
         [Gedalyah Berger]


From: <ericb@...> (Eric Burger)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 1994 11:18:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Genetically altered Pig Enzyme is Kosher?

A recent Washington Post article (front page, Sunday 3/27) discussed
the socio-political issues surrounding genetically altered foodstuffs.

One example was the (well publicised in the U.S.) issue of the use
of Bovine Growth Hormone for increasing milk production.

The other was the use of a genetically altered pig enzyme for use
in cheese production.

The angle of the story was that the producers of the enzyme, in
parallel with seeking U.S. FDA [Food & Drug Administration] approval,
seeked hallachic and hallal [Islamic] approval.

The bottom line:  the product received hallachic, but not hallal

Arguments given by rabbis interviewed for the article (I don't
have it in front of me now, so I can't quote...) supported their
hallachic approval by saying the product was an *enzyme*, not
a *pig* enzyme.  "It's like copying music from a tape; it's not
the tape that's being used, but the music."

The Islamic representitave said that the product was a *pig*
enzyme, and thus did not meet hallal.

I don't see how processing a porcine product makes it less from a
pig.  Although there is a de minimus precedent (e.g. the 1/60th
content rule), I didn't think it applied when the ingredient in
question was a basic component of the foodstuff.  Rennet has been
a key component of non-kosher cheese for centuries.  Does
isolating the key enzyme in rennet make it "pure"?

Eric William Burger


From: <sjg@...> (Susannah Greenberg)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 11:47:59 EST
Subject: Michlalah

I'd like to take issue with Aryeh Frimer's categorization of Michlalah
as a-zionist. I have first hand experience since I spent two years there
85-87.  I found the staff there to be entirely encouraging of moving to
Israel.  There were half day Tiyulim every other week and then a couple
of longer ones twice during the year whose purpose was to inculcate
Ahavas Eretz Yisrael. Kedushas Ha'Aretz and the specialness and beauty
of Yerushalayim were stressed over and over again by teachers who ranged
from Kippah Sruga to Bekishe.  That is how I defne zionist - accepting
the centrality and importance of Jewish people living in and
contributing to Israel.

If you define Zionism as saying Hallel on Leyl Yom Ha'Atzmaut with a
Bracha and making a barbecue in the afternoon then you are right that
was not part of the official program (although not necessarily
officially put down either) On Yom Hazikaron, when the siren was
sounded, Rav Copperman (the head of the school) stopped talking about
the subject at hand and read the touching eulogy of David Hamelech for
Yonatan.  Most felt that it was a Torah way of appreciating the
tremendous price that has been paid for the privilege to live in Eretz
Yisrael.  In the afternoon, students were encouraged to go to Har Herzl
to see for themselves how great and overwhelming the sacrifice.  I
recall, that they served meat (a rarety) on Yom Ha'Atzmaut, because it
was felt that a Seudah thanking Hashem for the gift of E'Y was in order.
Hardly an a-zionist thing to do.

Indeed, the school does not have an official political affiliation.  It
has better things to do with its time (like teach Torah).

Susannah Greenberg

----- End Included Message -----


From: <Avi_J._Hyman@...> (Avi Jacob Hyman)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 18:27:50 -0500
Subject: New JEWISH Gopherspace

Dear Friends on the Information SuperHighway,

I am pleased to tell you that Jewish Studies Judaica eJournal has now
opened it's
JEWISH STUDIES GOPHERSPACE.  Gopher is a program used to scan material in
an easy-to-use menu style over the internet.

Included in the Jewish Studies space are direct connections to libraries,
actual texts and articles for reading on-line or downloading, information
about programs at universities, and lots of other stuff related to Jewish
Studies and Judaism in general.

To find it, you need access to gopher, which universities have. Instead of
typing MAIL to enter your mail account, try typing GOPHER. You may need to
set your computer to VT100 emulation. If it works, you will see a menu
screen pop up. If it doesn't, speak to your local computer services person.

Here is the path to follow:
Other gophers around the world / U.S. gophers / New York State gophers / 
     NY-Israel Project of NYSERNET / Electronic Journals / 
             Jewish Studies Judaica eJournal

Please have a look and then tell me what you think.
All the best, Avi Hyman  (<ahyman@...>)


From: <n.bonner@...> (Nadine Bonner)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 11:31:46 -0500
Subject: Pastoral Care in Israel

    David Kramer is upset with my assessment of pastoral care in Israel,
but still nothing he says refutes the original poster's contention that
Israeli hospitals do not provide pastoral care.  He listed several
organizations that visit the hospitals, but the hospitals themselves
offer no religious counselling or services.
    Unfortunately I have had the unique experience of spending large
amounts of time in hospitals, first in Israel and then in Boston, with a
child stricken by cancer.  The Israeli experience was a nightmare I will
not go into here.  Suffice it to say that Moshiach will have a hard time
persuading me to return to Israel.  As an aside, David's contention that
parents are required to stay with children 24 hours a day is as he says
"nonsense."  At least at Hadassah, where we were locked out of the ward
at night and forced to sleep on the floor in the hallway if we wanted to
stay with our daughter.  We were also locked out when the cleaner washed
the floor -- despite her constant screaming for us.  In Boston, they
managed to wash the floor around us.
  I would like to point out that in hospitals in the US, all new
patients are asked to list a religious preference.  If one stays more
than a day in hospital, a chaplain of your own religion will visit.
Even the Catholic hospitals have Jewish chaplains.  If you need
counselling or religious guidance, a chaplain will provide it.  If not,
they just pass the time of day and go on.  They are paid by the
hospitals to provide this service.  Israeli hospitals do not do this.
It is as simple as that.


From: L. Joseph Bachman <jbachman@...>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 1994 23:26:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: The kashrut of Beer

I saw the following the the alt.beer (:-)) newsgroup.  My newsreader has 
a habit of automatically subscribing me to all sorts of interesting 
newsgroups.  You never know when or where you'll find something interesting.

----begin attached news post-----
From: Paul Stassi <Paul.Stassi@...>
Subject: Animal Products??

I have been reading this thread for some time and holding back my
comments.  I have worked in the brewing industry for 13 years, all with
Miller Brewing Company, all in a technical role.  I know of no animal
products that are used in the production of Miller products, including
isenglas and/or gelatine.  So I believe that vegetarians should feel
free to drink Miller products without concern.

I hope this helps clear up the concern's expressed.  Maybe some of the
Coor's and/or AB netters out there who follow these groups will clarify
the use of animal products in their products.

 ------end attached news post

Last fall, I took a course presented by the Etz Chaim Center of Jewish
Studies in Baltimore called the "ABC's of keeping kosher," in
preparation to kashering our home.  The instructor was a member of the
staff at the Baltimore Va'ad (the Star-K people).  As I recall,
alcoholic beverages are generally considered Kosher without a hechsher,
except for products containing wine or grape brandy, dairy products
(hence the Irish cream controversy), and tequilla with the worm.  This
is generally kosher, not Kosher for Pesach.

Joe Bachman


From: <esafern@...> (Eric Safern)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 1994 13:13:10 -0500
Subject: Re: The mitzvah of matza and omer customs

In Vol. 12 #29, <engelson-sean@...> (Sean Philip Engelson) writes

>Others, e.g, the Vilna Gaon hold that the commandment [to eat matzoh]
>holds all seven days, such that eating matsah after the seder fulfils a
>qiyum mitsva.

Well, the Rav at the hotel I'm staying at talked about this during his
Drasha on Shabbos.

He seemed to accept this opinion - the first day is a Chiyyuv De-Oreisa,
while the other days are Mizvot Aseh Mi-doreisa (you're not me-chayev).
He then asked why we only make a bracha 'Al Achilas Mazah' the first
day.  (Ignoring galus issues) By Succos, where the same pattern holds,
we make a special bracha 'Leyshev BaSuccah' each day.

He found the answer in a Meiri, where it explained that it's possible to
avoid eating mazoh for the rest of Pesach.  Succos, by contrast, we are
*obligated* to sleep in the Succah, and it's *impossible* to go more
than three days without sleep.

What I'm not clear about, is 

a) Exactly why this explains the special bracha, and 

b) What about shabbos chol-hamoed? If you don't eat gebrokts, how you
can you avoid having matzoh in order to be koveya shalos seudos on

I was not able to communicate my questions clearly to the Rav, so here
they are...



From: <Elliot_David_Lasson@...> (Elliot Lasson)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 10:17:05 -0500
Subject: Tilapia

David Rubin asks about the kashrut of a fish called "Tilapia"
(not Wanda).  I looked in the Artscroll Kasruth book which has
an extensice listing of kosher and nonkosher fish.  Tilapia
belongs to the cichlidae family and is kosher.

Elliot D. Lasson
Oak Park, MI


From: Gedalyah Berger <gberger@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 1994 12:04:48 -0500
Subject: Yedchem

> From: <Michael.Rosenberg@...> (Michael Rosenberg)
> I have never felt that I
> understood the exact difference in nuance between "yedchem" "yadeichem?"
> Is there a difference?When is one used over the other?  And why?

"Yedchem" is singular, i.e., "your hand (or arm, in the case of
tefillin)," and "yadeichem" is plural, i.e., "your hands."

BTW, the sheva under the dalet in "yedchem" is a good example of a
"sheva merachef," i.e., a sheva the vowel before which is a tenu`ah
ketanah which was a tenu`ah gedolah in the original form of the word.
In this case, in the original form, "yad," there is a kamats, a tenu`ah
gedolah, under the yod; in the form "yedchem," the kamats has turned
into a segol, a tenu`ah ketanah.  This creates confusion as to whether
the sheva in question is nach or na`, since in general a sheva following
a tenu`ah geolah is na` and one following a tenu`ah ketanah is nach.
The question is particularly important for the word at hand [:-)],
because of the special significance attached to meticulously pronouncing
every word of keri'at shema` correctly.  I do not have a pesak; whether
a sheva merachef is na` or nach is a machloket among linguists.  Ask
your LOR, or your LSL (local Semitic linguist), I guess.

[and/or go back and read the detailed discussions on this some time ago
on mail-jewish :-). Mod.]

A gutten mo`ed,

Gedalyah Berger
Yeshiva College / RIETS


End of Volume 12 Issue 34