Volume 12 Number 55
                       Produced: Wed Apr 13 23:20:45 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chumros, Glatt Potts and what nots
         [Isaac Balbin]
Divrei Torah (a.k.a. Tidbits) for Shmini (fwd)
         [Steven Edell]
Ethical Issues
         [David Charlap]
M&Ms and Skor bars in Canada
         [David Sherman]
Reliability of hechsherim
         [Robert Rubinoff]
Wearing kippot
         [Susan Hornstein]
When to wear Kipot
         [Yaacov Fenster]
Yom Tov sheni in Israel
         [Josh Klein]


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 19:42:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Chumros, Glatt Potts and what nots

There is a tendency to call Cholov Yisroel a Chumra and lump it into the
same category as Glatt. This is not an accurate taxonomy. Cholov Yisroel
is an absolute requirement, whether you wear a black hat, crimson yarmulka,
sheitl or otherwise. There is a famous T'shuva from Reb Moshe which many
rely on that allows one to substitute (in the U.S.A.) Cholov Hakampanies.
One could describe this as a *hetter*. People should therefore not call
those who use Cholov Yisrael Machmirim. These people are observing the
plain Halocho in Shulchan Aruch.

By the way,  I recall the Tzitz Eliezer has a T'shuva about whether you
can eat the potatoes that were cooked together with meat that wasn't
prepared according to the standards that you adopt for yourself. He said
you could, and it is a nice piece explaining some of the issues discussed
in mail-jewish.

In respect to electricity on Yom Tov, Rabbi Broyde's good article was
preceded by an excellent exposition quoted in Rabbi Broyde's article
by my friend Rabbi Feitel Levin. It explains the issues clearly and ought
to calm the nerves of some who feel that Poskim are `spooked' into not
making decisions. I had heard that Lehalocho but NOT Lemaaseh Rav 
Soloveitchik Z"TL held electricity wasn't assur on Yom Tov.
Rav Moshe often spent an entire lengthy T'Shuva where he might permit
something, and in the end, because Rav Henkin Z"TL said this same thing
was Assur, Rav Moshe deferred. I think it is a little narrow to conclude
that Rav Moshe had `no guts'. He probably had more guts than any Posek in
the modern era.


From: Steven Edell <edell@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 15:05:30 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Divrei Torah (a.k.a. Tidbits) for Shmini (fwd)

This exerpted part of the Israel Center's Weekly Torah tidbits is being 
fowarded _with_ permission.  I felt it was interesting due to our ongoing 
discussion on women's rights in Orthodoxy.

(part of Parshat HaShavuah summary deleted)
**Included material starts:


Several mitzvot concerning proper behavior of kohanim on duty in the
Beit HaMikdash follow the Torah's account of the tragic deaths of Nadav
and Avihu. One of these is the prohibition of a kohen (or anyone else)
entering the Temple "under the influence of wine". (A kohen who performs
service in the Beit HaMikdash while "drunk" - his service is invalid and
he is liable to "death from Heaven".)

The Sefer HaChinuch defines this mitzva to also include a prohibition
of rendering a halachic decision while under the influence. In the
final paragraph of the Chinuch's treatment of this mitzva, he states
that the first facet of this mitzva applies during the time of the
Temple; the second facet applies in all times and in all places to men
AND WOMEN, since women too may make halachic rulings, if so qualified.

Women can be halachic authorities. This is not a statement born of
today's Jewish-feminist movement; it was clearly stated over 700 years
ago by Rabbi Aharon of Barcelona.

Phil Chernofsky, associate director of the OU/NCSY Israel Center, Jerusalem
Email address (Internet): <philch@...>
Tel: +972 2 384 206      Fax: +972 2 385 186      Home phone: +972 2 819169
Voice mail (messages): (02) 277 677, extension 5757

-Steven <edell@...>


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 94 11:10:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Ethical Issues

<warren@...> (Warren Burstein) writes:

>David Charlap writes:
>>If someone is trying to kill you, you can kill him to defend yourself,
>>but I don't think you can hire a third party to kill him for you.

>I don't see why not.  Can't one hire a bodyguard?  If A is trying to
>kill B, not only may B kill A in self defense, but so may a third party
>(even if the third party's life is not in danger), in defense of B.

I think these are different cases.  If someone's threatening you, a
third party can certainly intervene.

But if someone threatens you for a future date (say, a threatening
letter), you couldn't then go out and hire someone to find and kill
the sender of the letter.  The difference is that, at the time of the
hiring, your life's not in danger.  You're effectively contracting for
murder, and not defense.


From: <dave@...> (David Sherman)
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 04:25:09 -0400
Subject: M&Ms and Skor bars in Canada

This is for the benefit of other Canadian readers who are chocoholics. :-)

It's well known that Hersheys in the U.S. has a reliable hechsher (OU? I
forget which one), but does not put a hechsher symbol on its products.
Hersheys Canada does put a COR on its kosher Canadian-made products.
Skor bars sold in Canada (other than those brought in by the kosher
stores) are labelled for the Canadian market (i.e., include French), but
do not carry a hechsher.  If you look carefully, however, you see they
say "imported by Hershey Canada Ltd.".

I called the Consumer Relations dept. at Hershey Canada, and received
confirmation that "imported" is in fact imported from the U.S., and the
Skor bars are made at the Hershey plant under supervision.  They're not
labelled with a hechsher because none of the U.S. Hershey product is so
labelled.  Therefore, they are kosher, and one can buy a Skor bar at any
newsstand rather than looking for the ones imported from the U.S. by the
kosher stores.

M&Ms recently received approval from the OU.  M&Ms sold in Canada are
like Skor bars: packaged for sale here and marked "imported by", in this
case Effem Foods of Bolton, Ont.  I called their Consumer Affairs dept.
and was advised that the M&Ms sold in Canada are indeed from the U.S.
and are under the OU supervision.  They will show a hechsher once new
packaging is printed in the future, but (I was told) they are supervised
even without showing it yet.

Sorry to interrupt the more important halachic discussions, but if you
like junk food, this ranks right up there :-)

David Sherman


From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...> (Robert Rubinoff)
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 1994 14:06:20 -0400
Subject: Reliability of hechsherim

>> From: <Janice.Gelb@...> (Janice Gelb)
>> Subject: Re: Glatt Pots
>> You seem to be saying here that there are two kinds of hasgachot in the
>> given community for butchers: one that is reliable and one that is not.
>> How long could a hashgacha organization stay in business if it was
>> known or proved to be unreliable?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: quite a long time.  I can
think of at least two kashrut organizations that are quite clearly
unreliable, but are still very much in business.

After all; what would make them go out of business?  Only a refusal of
food producers to use them.  And the reality is: many food producers
don't know anything about kashrut; they just assume that whatever a
Rabbi tells them is correct.  They have no way of knowing whether the
hechsher is reliable.

And many consumers don't know either.  Given how many people assume you
can just look at the ingredients list to tell whether something is
kosher, it's hardly surprising that lots of people just assume that any
hechsher is okay.  The number of people who actually worry about the
reliability of a hecsher is probably a very small portion of the
"kosher" market.

Even people who do know that some hechsherim are questioned may just
assume it's all politics or squabbling over money.  (After all, it
probably is in some cases.)  It doesn't help that there is often so much
secrecy about the nature of the problems.  For example, consider the
current concern over Best/Sinai 48. From what I've been able to find
out, the position is this: the Rabbis who certify the plant say the meat
is kosher.  Other Rabbis say there are problems, and the meat is not
acceptable.  But nobody will even say what the alleged problems actually
are.  So who should I believe?  And if this can happen, how can I trust
any hechsher?  (You know, even the O-U has had at least one product
refused certification in Israel!)

The bottom line is that there is a wide range of stringency and
thoroughness behind the various hechsherim (leaving out blatant fraud),
and there are undoubtedly some whose level of supervision would be
considered inadequate by almost anyone, except that most people just
don't know, so the agency continues to operate.



From: <susanh@...> (Susan Hornstein)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:18:40 -0400
Subject: re: Wearing kippot

Ari Kurtz suggests wearing kippot only when performing acts of kedusha
(holiness, elevated purpose, sanctifying Hashem's name).  I would like
to suggest making all our acts ones that demonstrate holiness and that
sanctify Hashem's name.  The corollary for wearing kippot should be

Susan Hornstein


From: Yaacov Fenster <fenster@...>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 22:42:01 -0400
Subject: Re: When to wear Kipot

> From: Ari Kurtz <s1553072@...>
> we should wear kipot only when performing acts of kidushah . This will
> also give some meaning to these things on our head . So what do sane people
> think of this ? 

Two things spring to mind:
 a) ATA MAGZIM !!! (You are going overboard in your reaction)
 b) What part of your life isn't "performing acts of kidushah" ? Jewish
life is all encompasing and not limited to the times your are praying.
Your jewishness should be evident whether praying or whether concluding
a buisness transaction.  An interesting story springs to mind:
 A few days ago in an outlying town in the US which doesn't have any (to
my knowledge) Orthodox jews, a priest walked up to me and asked whether
I wear my kippa all the time, or just on Passover at Shul. He also asked
whether it was something I had received for my Bar Mitzva... He had a
hard time accepting the fact that I have been wearing one from as long
as I can remember.
 Also, where exactly where you planning to perform these "acts of
kedusha" so that no one would see us ? Are we to see no more groups of
religious jews stopping everything and going off to the side to daven
Mincha ? What happens when somebody offers you a cheeseburger ? Do you
continue to pretend to be non-religous ? Where do you draw the line ?

% Yaacov Fenster		(603)-881-1154
% <y.fenster@...>	
% <fenster@...>   Yaacov.Fenster@zko.mts.dec.com DTN 381-1154


From: <VTFRST@...> (Josh Klein)
Date: 10 Apr 94 09:04:00 EST
Subject: Yom Tov sheni in Israel

The question of keeping yom tov sheni in Israel is one that has bothered me 
for some time. I was approached on motzei first day Pesach by a student who is 
at yeshiva here (Israel) for a year. He was looking for a minyan of 'yom tov 
sheni' observers. There are such things in Rehovot, but Rav Kook has forbidden 
them to be announced from the pulpit (although word of mouth is OK), since he 
says that *everybody* should keep one day, as residents of Israel. The student 
further complicated matters by saying that his rabbi had asked him "Did you 
keep two days YT on Sukkot (in Israel)?" On hearing 'yes', the rav paskened 
that the student had to hold similarly for the other regalim. The implication 
is that one can't correct a mistake, which I find hard to believe.
I have heard the following ways of observing YT for those not resident full-
time in Israel:
1) Keep 2 days, fully.
2) Keep "1 1/2 days"-- daven like the kahal (ie hol hamo'ed, not hag), but 
don't do melacha. In practice, those who hold this have been known to ride 
buses on YT sheni, as long as someone else pays.
3) Keep 1 day, but only if you're staying here the whole year, or at least 
once cycle of regalim.
4) Keep 1 day.
Practice #4 makes most sense to me. I find it hard to believe that olei regel 
in the time of the Beis Hamikdash kept two days YT, if they came from Bavel, 
say. I'd be interested to hear halachic/historic justifications for the 
various shittot 1-3.
As a side note, it's accepted that Israelites (I won't say Israelis in this 
case) who are in hutz la'aretz keep one day. On the other hand, the current 
chief rabbi of Eilat is a chabadnik who holds that in chutz la'aretz you keep 
two days, regardless. Since Eilat is outside  the bounds of Eretz Yisrael, he 
(and other CHabadniks, I've heard) keep two days YT there.
Josh Klein VTFRST@Volcani


End of Volume 12 Issue 55