Volume 12 Number 62
                       Produced: Fri Apr 15 13:21:17 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Danny Skaist]
Chumrot and Kashrut
         [Jerome Parness]
Egg Matzah and Chometz Nukshe
         [Jeremy Nussbaum]
         [Frank Silbermann]
Glatt meat
         [Percy Mett]
Kashrut Organizations
         [Harry Weiss]
Montreal hechsher
         [Marc Meisler]


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 03:02:35 -0400
Subject: chumras

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

Kitniyos on Pesach is a takana and not a chumra.  Kitniyos derivatives,
like oil etc. are a chumra, since they were never included in the

Really good chumros, are:
The ban on egg matzos, which is a "minhag" [custom] and a chumra, based on a
sfek-sfeka.  It can only be hametz if the juice [liquid] is mixed with
water, and even then only if it sits for 18 minutes. (So if you start off
with rabbinical supervision of the liquid, to insure its purity, there is
really no way that it can become hametz.)

"Schita" from outside the city. Regardless of whether there is any schita
done in the "city" or not. [i.e. an Army base in Bet El.]

Halachically, meat not salted within 3 days may be eaten if treated like
liver, i.e. broiled with direct fire, but such meat may NOT be reheated.
The chumra is to treat liver like this meat and not reheat it.
I recall seeing in "glatt" butchers in N.Y.C. frozen, already broiled,
liver, so this chumra hasn't caught on yet, but give it a chance.



From: Jerome Parness <parness@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 18:09:43 -0400
Subject: Chumrot and Kashrut

I agree with Ben Svetitsky's comments regarding the development of chumrot 
surrounding the question of kashrut because of "timtum ha'lev". I would
suggest, however, that the proliferation of Chumrot leads to both
timtum halev and timtum hasechel. Once one has timtum hasechel, and the
inability to separate custom from law, one gets the proliferation of
chumrot that have the halachic character of ye'hareg ve'al ya'avor (be
kille rather that transgress), the Hasidishization of minhag to law
in less than a single generation - and the further splintering of B'nei
Yisrael into subcasts. The global communications highway, the ability
to travel anywhere in a relatively small amount of time, the ability
and growing custom of jews of different halachic backgrounds to inter-
marry, will eventually, IMHO, lead to the development of sufficient 
halachic pressure, that halachic decisors will HAVE to unify halachic
structure so as not to have B'nei Yisrael tear itself apart on ridiculous
issues. I fear that in analogy with the students of Rebbe Akiva's yeshiva,
and in analogy to the halachic interpretive reason for the destruction of
the Bet Hamikdash, chumrot do little more than increase the capacity for 
sin'at chinam (baseless hatred) amongst us, and increase the likelihood that
we continue to push off the coming of Mashiach. No matter how many mitzvot
we do, the sin of sin'at chinam, as fostered by over-reactive halachization
will wipe our cumulative heavenly merit off our collective slate of good
deeds. Who knows if the trials and tribulations befalling us all in Eretz 
Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael is the result of nothing more, and nothing less,
than the results of sin'at chinam on all sides of the political and religious


From: <jeremy@...> (Jeremy Nussbaum)
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 09:58:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Egg Matzah and Chometz Nukshe

> From: Benjamin Svetitsky <bqs@...>
> I don't understand Jerrold Landau's comments on this point.  I thought
> the Gemara establishes that fruit juice does not cause chimutz
> (leavening) at all, but only sirachon (spoilage), and therefore there is
> no question of chametz at all in egg matzah.  I don't have Rabbi Eider's
> book, but I would like to know if his statements really are inconsistent
> with this.  I've always thought that avoidance of egg matzah is an
> Ashkenazi custom on a par with kitniyot.

I will, "bli neder," get the names that go along with the opinions, but
egg matzoh is not quite the same as kitniyot.  There is no opinion that
kitniyot is chametz or becomes chametz.  With flour and and non-water
liquids, there are at least 3 opinions:

1. It never becomes chametz.
2. It becomes chametz immediately if water gets mixed in.
3. It becomes chametz more quickly, even without water.

My recollection is that it is out of consideration for the second and
third viewpoints that Ashkenazim do not eat egg matzoh.  This is
good incentive to review.

One issue that came up for me on first learning the reasons given is about
the distinction between e.g. fruit juice and water.  In "actuality,"
fruit juice is mostly water, and it's not obvious why diluting the fruit
juice should contribute to something becoming chametz.  After all,
water is just infinitely diluted fruit juice :-)

Not to discourage anyone from posting, and not to hold myself as an
example of "good" posting, but...

I was bothered by the postings quoting R. Eider on egg matzoh.  I was
bothered because there are many primary sources on this issue, and
secondary/tertiary sources do not generally give the whole range of
issues and opinions nor do they necessarily reflect the practice of
all segments of the Orthodox community.  It seems to me that R.
Eider's text is useful as a pointer to these primary sources, and also
as an indicator of current practice.

I am curious what people have to say about the validity of regional
practices.  There seems to me to be a trend towards "the" halacha
without room for difference of opinion or of following the viewpoint of
a local rabbinical authority.  At times this comes out as local authorities
unwilling to rule against what they perceive to be the common practice
(at least not to rule leniently when the practice has become to forbid).
One frequent example of this is regarding the eating of gelatin.  My
question is, in our age of instant global communication and worldwide
travel, is there still room for regional practices (e.g. some places use
this and some don't) or are we now a single global community?

Jeremy Nussbaum (<jeremy@...>)


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 16:23:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Glatt

In Volume 12 Number 49, David Louis Zimbalist and Yosef Bechhofer
pointed out that "Glatt" is the normative halacha, and that
"non-glatt" is a leniency provided to some communities for which
glatt was not available, and even then against the protests of some poskim.
This sounds like a good reason for keeping glatt, or, at the very least,
preferring glatt when it is available.

Is eating glatt meat on non-glatt dishes also a kulos, or is the refusal
to eat glatt meet on non-glatt dishes a Chumrah?

I've heard that if one finds a piece of meat in a street where the
majority of butchers are kosher, the meat is declared kosher.  Do I have
any obligation to avoid dishes, otherwise-kosher, used in the
preparation of such meat?

Furthermore, what is the basis for rejecting nonGebrokt utensils?

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


From: <P.Mett@...> (Percy Mett)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:18:17 -0400
Subject: Glatt meat

<leo@...> (Leonard Oppenheimer) writes (vol12 #4):

> I do not know the specifics of this Psak.  I can say, though, that NO
> posek says that non-glatt is treif.  Glatt kosher is a chumrah, as has
> been explained several times.  The issue is the reliability of the
> butcher, supra.

Sorry, but you are wrong. I don't know what goes as glatt in USA, but
the traditional meaning of glatt is meat from an animal whose lungs have
no removable sirches (growths?). The R'MO allows as kosher an animal
with certain types of removable sirche.

The mechaber in Shulchan Oruch explicitly forbids such meat. Therefore
non-glatt meat is certainly treif according to the mechaber, whose
opinion is rigidly adhered to by sphardi/oriental communities.

Ashkenazim follow the psak of the RMO allowing non-glatt; however some
askenazim choose to be machmir on non-glatt and on using 'begossene
fleysh' (meat which was not salted within 72 hours but was rinsed off or
hosed down during that period and subsequently salted).

However, there is frequently a practical side to this, as evidenced by
the content of many recent postings. The term glatt is often used to
cover many other issues. I wonder whether some people are using the term
glatt not in its original sense but to convy a wider meaning.

Perets Mett 


From: <harry.weiss@...> (Harry Weiss)
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 94 14:37:18 
Subject: Kashrut Organizations

The posting of Howard Joseph in MJ 12 #47 raises a problem that has
bothered me for some time.  There were discussions on MJ about this
problem last year.

Many people are ready to jump and say this Hashgacha or that Hashgacha
is no good.  This problem has gotten out of hand.

Our family hosted one Shabbat a friend who is Lubavitch and visitor to
town who asked for a family to host him.  We had David Elliot chickens.
The visitor adamantly refused to eat the chickens saying that the
Bostoner Rebbe prohibited them because he did not like the activities of
Lubavitch.  The following day our Lubavitch friend did not eat the
Kishke which had Satmar Hashgacha.  Last week we read Parshat Shmini
discussing laws of Kashrut.  In addition, I did a CD search of Tanach
and Shas and could not find the Halacha that Hashgacha organization must
be politically correct.

I can see rejecting a Hashgacha from a non Orthodox Rabbi or
organization because they do not accept Torah Mishamayim and even admit
to allowing non Kosher cheeses and wines, ignore problems regarding
Shabbat, etc.

There are other organization who allow various items that a person may
not wish to use such as gelatin, kitniyot on Pesach or non Chalav
Yisroel.  These organizations have generally been very forthcoming about
which products contain those items.

The problem is more as Rabbi Joseph said Sinat Chinam and Lashon Hara
(maybe Motze Shem Ra would be more correct).  The other problem that
causes this is the large amount of income derived in the Hashgacha
business.  Whether the organization is profit making or non profit, but
using these revenues to support their bureaucracy there is still a
financial incentive to hurt the reputation of the competition.

Unfortunately Klal Yisorel is the big loser in the whole matter
(particularly in the more isolated areas).  Unfortunately I am not
optimistic about an improvement in the near future.



From: Marc Meisler <mmeisler@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:18:58 -0400
Subject: Montreal hechsher

With all due respect to Rabbi Howard Joseph, I would like to take
exception to his anger towards the rabbi in Boston who said that he would
not rely on the Montreal Va'ad.  I lived in Boston for several years and
knew most of the congregational rabbis to at least some extent.  I am not
sure which one Rabbi Joseph is referring to but I cannot imagine any
of the ones that I know making such a statement without some basis.  I
also cannot believe that any of them would say not to use a specific
hechsher, but rather that they would say that they do not recommend it.  I
believe that no one can be faulted for saying this.  If someone does has a
reason for not accepting a hechsher they cannot lie and say they do.  I am
curious as to what context this Rabbi made this statement.  Was he asked
if he relies on it or did he offer the information?  Threatening to take a
Rabbi to a Beis Din over such an issue seems to me to be an over-reaction.
 A more appropriate reaction is to contact the Rabbi and get his side of
the story.  Rabbi Joseph may know the ins and outs of the kashrus of the
city but maybe the other Rabbi knows something Rabbi Joseph does not and
this could be the impetus to rectify the problem (if one does exist).  I
must say that I personally know nothing of the Montreal Va'ad nor its
reliability and this message is by no means meant as an opinion on such,
only as a response to the the general issue raised by Rabbi Joseph.
I think that Rabbi Joseph does raise an interesting issue, though I do not
know if he intended to raise it.  To what extent do we have to follow our
LOR on such issues.  In the context that the issue was raised in the
message I would ask this question:  If the person who was told that the
Montreal hechsher was not reliable came from a community where their LOR
said it was, can they still use it in their new community?  I ask this
same question based on my own situation.  In Boston there was a specific
hechser that was not accepted by my Rabbi (I will not mention the hechsher
or the Rabbi because that is not the issue and I don't want this to lead
to Lashon Hara).  While in Boston we did not use products with this
hechsher.  Now we live in Silver Spring.  At least some products with this
hecsher are acceptable by our LOR and the local Va'ads (the Washington
Va'ad and the Baltimore Va'ad).  What does that mean for us?  If we don't
use it, can we eat at a function under the supervision of the Va'ad?  I
was recently at a wedding and our Rabbi from Boston was in attendance.  It
was catered by a caterer under the Star-K (Baltimore) and he ate there. 
Should he not have because they may have used X hechsher?
I am very interested in other reactions to this issue.  I know we went
through a long discussion months back on the subject of LOR's and Gedolim
but I am looking more for a specific issue.

Marc Meisler                   1001 Spring St., Apt. 423    
<mmeisler@...>           Silver Spring, MD  20910


End of Volume 12 Issue 62