Volume 13 Number 4
                       Produced: Tue May 10  0:34:32 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Cooking Parve and Basar Be'halab
         [Fred Dweck]
Daas Torah
         [Eli Turkel]
Daas Torah, (brief) Reply to R. Alderstein
         [Mechy Frankel]
Jewish Humor
         [Sam Juni]
Lecha Dodi
         [David Charlap]
Lekha Dodi
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Parave cooked in Meat or Dairy Pot
         [Yacov Barber]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 00:20:18 -0400
Subject: Administrivia

With the postings by Eli and Mechy, I think we have the "sides" in this
issue well represented. I will not accept any postings that simply say
this side is right or that side is right. If you think that you have
something more to say in this issue, I would request the following:

1) Please read at least R. Feitman's article and Eli's article
2) Try and re-read our discussions here already on this topic
3) DEFINE what you mean by "Daas Torah" (I sometimes wonder if half the
disagreement on this issue is different people having different shades
of definition.
4) Be clear about what NEW you are adding to the conversation.

Thanks, your friendly Moderator


From: Fred Dweck <71214.3575@...>
Date: 04 May 94 18:17:54 EDT
Subject: Re: Cooking Parve and Basar Be'halab

In response to Shirley Gee's posting in Vol. 12 #88, One must always
keep in mind that there is a very big difference, halachically, when one
is talking about a utensil which sits on a fire, and food is COOKED in
it, and when something is used cold, or cool, as with a food processor.
In any case, for Sepharadim the halacha is simple. As posted, recently
by Rabbi Moshe Shamah in vol.12 #83 (I think), The "Mehaber" allows it
"lechatehilah." (to begin with.)  For Ashkenazim, unfortunately, it is
not so simple. However, utensils used to cook in, as opposed to utensils
used for cold or even WARM food, the difference between them is very
great, halachically. I cringe when I see them thrown into the same
"pot." (pun intended). I think that people should familiarize themselves
with at least the basics of halacha before expounding, and that goes for
rabbis too! (nothing personal meant to Shirley.)

Fred E. Dweck 


From: <turkel@...> (Eli Turkel)
Date: Mon, 9 May 94 11:44:00 +0300
Subject: Daas Torah

    Rabbli Adlerstein writes

>> The notion of Da'as Torah has been around since
>> the time of Chazal.  Only the NAME of the concept may be new.  To
>> argue that it is new is sort of like arguing that Rambam and the
>> Rishonim were the first to think of Hashem as a Perfect Unity,
>> because they were the first to write about the subject extensively.

>> I have a feeling all of this has been discussed here before.  For
>> those who missed it, my recommendation is to read Rav Yaakov
>> Feitman's excellent article on the matter in Jewish Observer of
>> about two years ago.  I'll dig up the reference if anyone needs it.

    I thought we had we finished with Da'as Torah. But since Rabbi
Adlerstein brings it up I feel compelled to respond. I disagree strongly
with the article of Rabbi Feitman and I began my article, in Tradition,
as a response to that article.

    Daas Torah as currently used is a most modern phenomena. Today it is
mainly used as a political slogan. In the current fight over the
political party Shas, in Israel, supporting the leftist canditate for
the histradut many posters have appeared accusing them of going against
"daas Torah"They in turn have printed posters demonstrating that the
other charedi parties have cooperated with the left when it was for
their benefit and that they follow Rav Ovadiah Yosef as their posek.
   Every chassid believes in Daas Torah, his personal rebbe is the 
representative of daas Torah in this world. As of now Shas, Agudah and
Degel haTorah each have their own official "council of Torah sages" while
Mizrachi has unofficial rabbis from Merkaz harav and various hesder 
yeshivas each speaks for daas torah.
    I get very upset at recent sheelot (questions to a posek) requesting
his daas Torah. In past generations one asked for a psak. Today it has
been elevated to Daas Torah (somehows thats more authorative). In my
article I make the following points.

1.  There is no such thing as "the" gadol hador since the end of the
  Sanhedrin. I just finished reading the responsa of the Rivash #271
  (circa 1400 in Spain/Alegria). I strongly recommend it for anyone who
  can read sheelot u-teshovot. He discusses the question of a rabbi in
  Germany who demanded that all rabbis and yeshivas in France and Germany
  receive his permission as he is the gadol hador. The Rivash disagrees
  strongly and says that no rabbi has any authority over outside
  communities unless they consider this rabbi as their main rabbi
  (rov limudo memenu). He also has an interesting discussion of the modern
  institution of semicha and what is its purpose. He points out that all
  major takanot (e.g. against polygamy) were done by courts of local
  communities not by individual rabbis.
      Hazon Ish (among others) insists that the principle of majority rule
  does not apply today. It applies only when all the decisors are physically
  together and when one has a mechanism to decide whose vote is more important.

2. Rabbis can and do make mistakes. Hatam Sofer (responsa CM 191) says
  that even the sanhedrin in the Temple probably made errors since any
  divine spirit that would prevent mistakes would violate the principle
  that Halakhah in not in  Heaven. Most commentaries assume that in a
  disagreement that one side is right and one side is wrong and the
  idea of "Elu v'elu divre elokim chaim" is very limited.

3. Historically Jews have always differentiated between halachic and 
   non-halachic areas. Those who most stress "Daas Torah" would be the least
   likely to follow Rambam's views on philosophy even though most of
   shulchan Arukh is based on the Rambam. I doubt if one was required
   to believe that Bar Kochbah was the Messiah even when Rav Akiva declared
   that to be his opinion. There is a disagreement between Rav Shimon,
   Rav Yehudah and Rav Yosi in the Gemara about attitudes towards the
   Roman government. I know of no one who says we "pasken" this disagreement
   based on the normal rules that we go along with Rav Yosi. Certainly
   both Rishonim and Achronim have treated aggada and medrashim on the Torahc
   as different than halachas in the Gemara.

        The bottom line is that should rely on one's individual posek and
   there is no requirement to listen to someone else's gadol "Daas Torah"
   especially on nonhalakhic issues. We end up with each gadol telling
   the other one that he is not really a gadol.



From: Mechy Frankel <frankel@...>
Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 16:51:54 EST
Subject: Daas Torah, (brief) Reply to R. Alderstein

With no particular wish to re-open any Daas Torah discussions (i'm also
under the impression this is a previous muchly masticated thread) I need
to at least take issue with R. Alderstein's suggestions (Vol 12 #97)
that a) the concept goes back to Chazal and b) R. Yaacov Feitman is an
excellent source of info on same.

1. For the issue of relative antiquity as well as a general review, I
would suggest (instead of the Jewish Observer) looking at L Kaplan's
article on Daas Torah in "Rabbinic Authority and Personal Autonomy" pp.
1-60, ed. by M.  Sokol, a volume in the Orthodox Forum Series (sponsored
by RIETS), Jason Aronson publishers. Its a tad froth mouthed but
contains much information and many valuable references.  In brief,
Kaplan attempts to demonstrate the relative youth of such a concept and
represents it as a development completely antithetical to the ancient
and traditional give and take process of halachic argumentation, which
seeks, instead, to cut off all discussion by dint of ex-cathedra

2. I probably shouldn't do this since I haven't actually read the R.
Feitman article R. Alderstein references, but will anyway. Having
occasionly seen other stuff by this author he appears to me a vigorous
and talented polemicist who fairly predictably reflects Agudaist thought
(nothing wrong with this of course, its a free country). I'm reminded of
an article by R. Feitman (I think) weighing in on the highly emotionally
charged question of R. Hutner's (z"l) view vis a vis Zionist
responsibility for the Holocaust. In any event the editorial and
ideologically driven preferences and selectiveness of Jewish Observer
articles are familiar to many, and I am also familiar with a JO
published article by R. Weinberger on the same subject - where daas
torah is described as a close cousin to nevuah (my paraphrase). So I
feel fairly comfortable in guessing that R. Feitman also reflects these
JO party line positions, and thus is kemerchak mizrach lemaarav from
Kaplan's.  I find Kaplan (also a bit polemical) infinitely more

Mechy Frankel                                  H: (301) 593-3949
<frankel@...>                           W: (703) 325-1277


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Fri, 6 May 1994 12:31:12 -0400
Subject: Jewish Humor

    In response to my query re references on Jewish Wit, I received some
comments which included implicit grinning at "useless research." Some
enlightenment may be helpful:

    It is difficult to investigate personality of an individual or a
culture by focusing on attributes which the person / culture presents to
the limelight, since such attributes will be polished and homogenized.
What we need is raw uncensored material. Hence the advent of research
into dreams, slips of the tongue, garbology, grafitti, humor, and folk
insults/curses. It is precisely because the lay person considers these
aspects too trivial (or even taboo) to contentd with consciously, that
these offer such high potential returns in revealing basic dynamics
about its creators.

     Humor, as a focus, is especially salient for Jewish culture, since
it is intrinsic to the Jewish stereotype and way of life. In fact, as a
"psych out," the dismissing of research into this area by relatively
intelligent posters is precisely the prerequisite to establish it as a
research focus to uncover important dynamics which have not been

Dr. Sam Juni                   Fax: (718) 338-6774
N.Y.U.    400 East
New York, N.Y.  10003


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Fri, 6 May 94 17:44:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Lecha Dodi

<RGOLDFINGER@...> (Rivka Goldfinger) writes:
>As to turning to face the doors of the Shul, what if the doors are on
>the east side of the Shul...?

I always thought facing the door was for the benefit of new mourners.
Facing them is a symbolic act of welcoming them back to the community.
As such, I don't think it really matters where the doors are.

The Tzefat custom is interesting, though.  I wonder where that one got


From: eisenbrg%<milcse@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Mon, 9 May 1994 01:56:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Lekha Dodi

I can't find any sources for the correct direction to face for the last
verse.  Yes, it says in the Rinat Israel siddur to face west (at least
in parenthesis), which I do, but based on what?  I've noticed that a few
others do the same that I do, but many face the back (which is
northwest, away from Jerusalem).  One individual doesn't turn at all!


From: <barbery@...> (Yacov Barber)
Date: Sun, May 01 19:58:50 1994
Subject: Parave cooked in Meat or Dairy Pot

>If the fleshig pot has been cleaned thoroughly and at least 24 hours
>have passed since it was last used to cook meat, then it may be used (with
>intent) to cook parve items which can then be consumed with dairy. The
>reverse is also true; 

 I feel this needs some clarification; If the pot has not been used in
the last 24 hrs, you are NOT permitted to take that pot and cook
potatoes in it IF you are intending to eat those potatoes together with
meat for supper.(e.g. if you are eating meat for supper and the only
clean pot to cook a side dish in is a milchig vessel that hasn't been
used in the last 24 hrs you can't use it.) However if you have allready
cooked potatoes and THEN (bedieved) you decide to have it as part of
supper, you would be permitted to eat the potatoes together with the
meat. The Ramo adds that one can eat them together only "bemikrei
hatzorech" for example if you don't have any other cooked potatoes we
will not insist that you cook more potatoes. However if you have two
pots of cooked potatoes one cooked in a fleishig pot and one cooked in a
milchig pot that hasn't been used in24 hrs , one should use the fleishig
 If the milchig pot HAD been used in the last 24 hrs you can't initally mix
the potatoes with the meat. However if the potatoes became mixed with the
meat you are permitted to eat them together.

                Yacov Barber
South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation
Phone: +613 576 9225
Fax: +613 528 5980


End of Volume 13 Issue 4