Volume 12 Number 49
                       Produced: Tue Apr 12  8:09:41 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chumrot (3)
         [Hillel Markowitz, Ben Berliant, Frank Silbermann]
Chumrot - Glatt
         [Yisrael & Batya Medad]
         [Danny Skaist]
Glatt Pots (3)
         [David Louis Zimbalist, Benjamin Svetitsky, Yosef Bechhofer]


From: <hem@...> (Hillel Markowitz)
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 94 13:45 EDT
Subject: Chumrot

From: <rbook@...> (Robert A. Book)

> Perhaps you could tell them not that "we are keeping this Chumra" but
> that "we are respecting these people here in this community, and they
> keep this Chumra, so we do in their presence."  You could even
> underscore this point by, for example, not insisting on this Chumra when
> visiting friends or relatives in a community which doesn't keep it.

> This way, they will be perfectly justified in keeping your minhag of
> respecting the community, but temporarily going by the Chumrot of the
> community in which they happen to be at a particular moment.

I believe it was the Vilna Gaon who would dip some matza in water in
order to show his family that "gebruchts" was a chumra that he had
taken on himself.

Regarding other matters as well, I also understand that other gedolim
would make of point of telling people "this is a chumra that I observe"
and would not rule that way for others.

Hillel Markowitz    <H_Markowitz@...>

From: Ben Berliant <C14BZB@...>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 14:28:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Chumrot

	My little tale about the my "non-Glatt" pots seems to have
struck a nerve (actually several nerves).  I was hoping for some such
effect.  I would like to respond in part to some of the postings, and
then add some more fuel to the fire.

	Leora Morgenstern's reply (posted to the list, and mailed to me
directly) seems to illustrate precisely the problem I was addressing. 
She asserted "that few non-glatt butchers in America are reliable".  I
don't know whether or not this is true today -- It is certainly true
that community pressure has made many butchers stock only glatt -- But
it was certainly not true twenty years ago when the story occurred.  At
the time, both I and my neighbors were buying from the same butcher, but
they would specify glatt and I wouldn't.  
	As far as "community standards" goes -- I have always respected
the standards of the community, -- and I would be very careful never to
serve anyone anything that would violate their standards.  That's why we
buy only Glatt meat these days, because otherwise it becomes too
confusing to remember whom I can invite any given shabbat.

	I thank Ben Svetitsky (<bqs@...>) for his support,
but I wasn't really insulted by the refusal.  Merely amused.  

	Now for some more fuel for the fire:   to illustrate the
difference between the halachic and non-halachic approach:  

	My sister and brother-in-law are visiting for Pesach.  Since
B-i-l is a Sephardi, we had a discussion about whether he could prepare
dishes using Kitniyot in my house.  Since of both of us are musmachim of
the same institution, we discussed the problems of using my pots,
dishes, etc.  The discussion was really only theoretical, since he knew
it would be too confusing for the family, etc.  
	During chol hamoed, a young man (also a relative), recently
married, visited with his wife, a young woman born and bred in Lakewood. 
Naturally we offered them the normal hospitality of the house, but she
wouldn't eat off our dishes, of course, because we eat "gebroktz" and
she doesn't.

	My starting point with this discussion was the letter by Rabbi
Freundel in the Jewish Press (which I have since read in its entirety in
the Washington Jewish Week).  The letter addressed itself (in part) to
the proliferation of chumrot and the attitudes that may be engendered in
those who keep them. The "gebrokts/non-gebrokts" split has been around
for generations -- but people seem to be forgetting that it is a minhag
-- and therefore does not cast any aspersions on those who do not have
such a minhag.  
	As Frank Silberman observed, those who have adopted the
requirement of Glatt may have created a new family minhag for
themselves and their descendants.  But please pass along the information
that this is a minhag or chumra -- and the Shulchan Aruch does not
distinguish between different levels of "Kosher".

						BenZion Berliant

From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 11:41:30 -0400
Subject: Chumrot

>>>	If the entire community does something that you feel is a chumra,
>>>	it sometimes makes sense to keep that chumra anyway, just because
>>>	you want to be part of the community.

>> Considering the importance of keeping the Minhagim of one's fathers,
>> exactly how much freedom will my grandchildren have to drop this Chumra?
>> To bind my descendents for perhaps thousands of years, unnecessarily,
>> to an additional rule for the sake of my own personal convenience and
>> popularity seems to me to be more than a little selfish.

Leonard Oppenheimer (Vol.12 No.41):
>	In any public practice, Minhag HaMakom has precedence over
>	Minhag Avos. ..  The issue also touches on the prohibition
>	of "Lo Tisgodidu", which is taken by our Sages to include
>	not dividing Jews into seperate camps of practice, and
>	the rabbinic adage "Al Tifrosh Min Hatzibbur", (do not
>	seperate yourself from the community).

Before I accept the view that one should make one's practices more
restrictive to match the general community, I would like to see some
evidence that it goes the other way as well, i.e. that someone with more
restrictive practices than the general community should loosen them.
Otherwise this view would create be a bias toward ever-increasing

Frank Silbermann	<fs@...>
Tulane University	New Orleans, Louisiana  USA


From: MEDAD%<ILNCRD@...> (Yisrael & Batya Medad)
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 94 08:27 IST
Subject: Chumrot - Glatt

Re: Posting in Vol12 No38 on the chumrot of Glatt -
In the "Michtav Eliyahu" on the portion of Shmini, he brings down
the Tanchuma on Nada & Avihu that their sin was *Shachtzanut* -
boldness, hubris & pride, in thinking that they were overconfident
in assuming extra obligations and that when one chooses to be strict,
the punishment is suited to that strictness rather than the norm.
To initimate that non-Glatt may be akin to traif is treading too near
the example of Nadav & Avihu.

Yisrael (& Batya) Medad


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 04:58:49 -0400
Subject: Glatt

>Leonard Oppenheimer
>Unless one knows something specifically about the practices of the
>non-Glatt butcher, I would be VERY hesitant about using their products.

>been explained several times.  The issue is the reliability of the
>butcher, supra.                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

How does anybody know that the "glatt Butcher" is really selling "glatt
kosher" meat ?  In the final analysis you are trusting a man to sell you
meat that is only as good as his own personal word.  (have you ever
watched the butcher cut your meat off the side of beef with the plumba

If he says he is selling "glatt" then you trust him. But if he says that
he is selling "kosher" then you don't trust him.

In fact anybody who sells non-glatt "kosher" has a migu. If he wanted to
lie he would have said it was glatt and been believed.

If I was an unscrupulous butcher selling meat with a "substandard"
hechsher I would definitely call it "super glatt".

Has anybody bothered to count the number of "glatt kosher" tongues for
sale.  Assuming that there is only one tongue per animal (if more than
one the animal isn't kosher at all) somebody is getting ripped off !

How can you trust anybody who sells "glatt kosher" when you know
(see tongues/animal) that there is fraud somewhere in the system.



From: David Louis Zimbalist <dzimbal@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 23:07:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Glatt Pots

There has been quite a bit of hot discussion recently about the
"chumrah" of Glatt.  I do not know the details of the halachah
myself, but I have heard R. Chaim Soloveitchik, in a speech on
the history of halachah, mention that Glatt is not a chumrah
but rather it is the baseline of kashrus.  Non-Glatt was allowed
in Europe only as a kulah because of the near impossibility of
acquiring Glatt meat.  

When observant Jews moved to America they brought the kulah 
with them, and it served, for a time, as one of the distinctions
between certain communities of observant Jews.

I may be misremembering the speech, but if I am not, those who 
malign the concern of those who worry about "Glatt pots" 
may want to rethink their positions.

David Zimbalist

From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 12:36:02 -0400
Subject: Glatt Pots

Leonard Oppenheimer evidently missed my point.  Perhaps I was too terse.
After quoting me:

>> Why does it get my goat?  Because, where do you get off refusing an
>> invitation from a Jew who is shomer mitzvot??  Can you PROVE that his
>> meat is tref?  Can you PROVE that he violates any mitzvot whose
>> violation makes his kitchen untrustworthy?

he responds:

> If in fact one KNOWS that another Jew is abiding by a non-acceptable
> Kashrus standard, then proof of what they do with the meat in the
> kitchen is irrelevant.  The kitchen, by definition, is tainted with
> traces of meat from a sub-standard Kashrus source.  One need not prove
> what else that person does or does not do.

In fact the chazaka of kashrut applies not just to your friend Reuven
around the corner but also to the mashgiach you don't like.  Even if
you prefer not to buy a certain brand of meat, you have no right to
call it tref, precisely because a mashgiach -- "Ed echad" -- said it is
kosher.  Boycotting Reuven's kitchen because he bought this meat
contravenes the same chazaka.  There is no "taint."

The phrase "non-acceptable Kashrus standard" is mealy-mouthed.  And
"sub-standard Kashrus source" is nothing but lashon hara.  The relevant
halachot are those of chazaka and neemanut.  It's the chazakot of
kashrut that make social life possible.  The refusal to observe these
chazakot is not only rude, it definitely leads to sinat chinam.
Speaking personally, if someone refuses to eat in my house because of
kashrut, I usually conclude that this person's moral standards are
unreliable, and I can live without his friendship.  May I add that
this has happened to me very rarely in the educated communities in
which I have been fortunate enough to live.

Perhaps, as Leonard wrote, the severity of Kashrut laws comes from the
danger of "Timtum ha-lev."  But law is law and chumrah is chumrah.
Let's remember the distinction.  And the more obvious timtum lev lies
in the splintering of communities over chumrah one-upmanship.

Ben Svetitsky         <bqs@...>

From: <YOSEF_BECHHOFER@...> (Yosef Bechhofer)
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 1994 23:55:25 -0400
Subject: Glatt Pots

Glatt is a Chumra?

     A lot has been written here lately pro and con the "chumra" of
Glatt Kosher. I would like to point out that keeping glatt is not a
chumra, on the contrary, NOT keeping glatt is a "kulla" - a leniency
which, while widely accepted, should be recognized as a deviation from
the baseline norm (just as a chumra is a stringency which, while widely
accepted, should be recognized as a deviation from the baseline norm).

     Let me explain. (A good discussion of the issues may be found in R.
Ovadia Yosef's "Yechaveh Da'as" 3:56.)  The Mechaber in Shulchan Aruch
Yoreh De'ah 39:10 writes that in order that a cow be considered kosher
it must be absolutely free of any adhesions ("sirchos") whatsoever. This
is the opinion of many Rishonim. Such meat in America is called "Cholok"
glatt (a term roughly analogous to "mayim acharonim water", i.e.,
"smooth smooth"), and, Sefardic Jews may only, according to the
overwhelming majority of their Poskim, partake of such meat.

     The RaM"A there cites a custom to be lenient in Ashkenaz on sirchos
that can be brushed away with a stroke of the hand.  Although the GR"A
and many others argue with the RaM"A, the prevailing kulla in Ashkenazic
societies is to allow small and easily removed sirchos, and these are
included in our modern definition of "Glatt".

     Sometime in history, however, Shochtim began removing sirchos with
rough rags and their fingernails, relying on a subsequent inflation of
the lung to insure that the removal of the sircha had not left a
puncture wound (the reliability of such a test in halacha is
questionable). Even more Poskim, including the TaZ (ibid.  17), Reb
Chaim Volozhiner and the Pri Megadim, bemoan this custom and even go so
far as to call such Shochtim "Feeders of Treifos to Am Yisroel". It is
true that the Chasam Sofer found a rationale for the kulla, but as with
all other kullos, the bottom line is that the majority of opinions are
stringent, their reasoning constitutes the simplest derivation Psak from
earlier sources, i.e., Shas and Rishonim, and therefore, the Mekilim,
while certainly within legitimate halachic parameters, are the deviators
from earlier norms.

     Now, if you want a good example of a true "Chumra", the ban on
Kitniyos on Pesach is an excellent one!


End of Volume 12 Issue 49