Volume 14 Number 81
                       Produced: Wed Aug 17 12:42:16 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Milk
         [Avi Feldblum]
         [Shoshanah Bechhofer]
Fasting & Drugs
         [Shalom Carmy]
         [Danny Skaist]
Fri night kiddush
         [Jonathan Katz]
Medication on Yom Kippur to ease Fast
         [Jerrold Landau]
Milk is OK
         [Yitzchok Adlerstein]
Milk Problem Information (2)
         [Aryeh A. Frimer, Lon Eisenberg]
NY News Story
         [Susan Slusky]


From: mljewish (Avi Feldblum)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 12:33:15 -0400
Subject: Administrivia - Milk

I spoke with the OU, heard from others of you as well. The OU this
afternoon says that there is no problem, and says that the Vaad of
Baltimore agrees with this. I do have here some submissions that explain
what the issues are, I will drop a copy off with Rabbi Luban to see if I
can get some additional info about the halakhic issues involved. But the
consensus of reports I am getting in is that you can go and have your
milk for lunch (OK I'm eating a bit late).

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: <sbechhof@...> (Shoshanah Bechhofer)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 01:41:25 -0400
Subject: Fasting 

There has been some discussion of problems with fasting and possible
solutions, and I can perhaps add some information based on personal

I fast very poorly, not because of caffeine withdrawal but because I get
dehydrated easily.  It took me a couple of years to figure out that I
shouldn't do things like walk home for the break between Musaf and
Mincha on Yom Kippur, as the exerted energy was more harmful than
sleeping for an hour was helpful.  I drink a lot for a few days before
the fast, and as I said, conserve energy during the fast itself.  A
little less shuckling perhaps, and not standing for leining.  Eating
salty foods before the fast begins also seems to help me retain some of
the fluid I drink.

When I have been pregnant during fasts, this problem has been even more
severe especially since dehydration can lead to premature labor.  I have
always been told by our posek that it is preferable for me to keep the
fast and stay in bed the entire Yom Kippur than to make it to shul and
risk having to break the fast early.  In fact, the only time I ever
broke a major fast was one Tisha B'Av when my doctor felt strongly that
I was liable to go into premature labor because of other conditions in
that pregnancy (my fourth).  So I had to drink (but not eat) in shiurim
and it felt pretty weird.

Of course you must ask a Rov, and I don't know what the status of taking
medicine on Yom Kippur is (is it considered food?) but the principle of
the matter as I was instructed was: fast more important than daavening
in shul.  And I don't get the impression that it was because I am
female, but that fasting is de'oraisa.

BTW, there is also a condition called I don't remember what where a
person gets very low on blood sugar and can have similar symptoms
(lightheadedness, dizziness, vomiting).  Besides calling your LOR, I'd
also check with my doctor if I were having problems fasting and it's not
attributable to caffeine.

Hope this helps.

Shani Bechhofer
Northwestern University


From: Shalom Carmy <carmy@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 01:17:32 -0400
Subject: Fasting & Drugs

1. Phenomenologically, most of us know that the feeling of 
not-having-eaten (=empty stomach) is not identical with experiencing 
hunger pangs or headache.

2. On Yom Kippur we indeed adopt an "angelic" posture, transcending our 
ordinary need for nourishment. On other fast days our abstention carries 
an aspect of mourning: we are morose and depressed.

2'. As the Kotzker Rebbi reportedly said: On Yom Kippur, who needs food? 
On Tisha B'Av, who wants to eat?

3. Re migraine medication: Question: does the drug come in a capsule that 
has nutritional value?


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 08:51:28 -0400
Subject: fasting/cofee

>Sam Saal
>Just as we say "Mishenichnas Adar marbim b'simcha," we should say
>"Mishenichnas Elul, marbim b'caffeine-free."

I have been saying for years "Mishenichnas Av, m'mayit b'simcha and

I have found it sufficient to start cutting down on Rosh Hodesh Av and Rosh



From: Jonathan Katz <frisch1@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 09:38:45 EDT
Subject: Fri night kiddush

I still have not received an answer to the question of why "tov me'od" (in
the pasuk which some say before kiddush) refers to death. In what way does
it refer to death? Does anyone know or have a source for this?

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive, Room 251B
Cambridge, MA 02139


From: <LANDAU@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 09:51:03 EDT
Subject: Medication on Yom Kippur to ease Fast

Joshua Teitelbaum has asked about taking medicine on Yom Kippur to ease
the fast (without which he would suffer from migraines, nausea, etc.).
Of course, for a psak, one must consult one's LOR, but I have heard a
psak in the past for a similar situation.  Several years ago, my father
was suffering from back problems, and needed daily medication.  He was
told that he could take the medication on Yom Kippur, with the minimal
amount of water needed to down the pills.  (My father then told the
Rabbi that he could even do better than that -- he generally takes his
pills without water).  I myself have suffered severe allergies over
Tisha Beav, and was told that there is no problem in taking a pill.  The
halachic issues are as follows: 1. Taking a pill is not derech achila.
As well, the size of the pill is far less than a kezayit (this is an
issue only on Yom Kippur, not Tisha Beav).  Therefore, from the point of
view of the taanit, the taking of pills would not be a problem.
2. Aside from the issue of the taanit, taking medication on Shabbat and
Yom Tov would only be permitted if one would be sick enough to be
bedridden otherwise.  As well, it is permitted if the medication is
needed on a daily basis (my father's situation).  Certainly, a migraine,
and the nausea and vomiting that may accompany it, would put one into
the category of being sick enough to warrant the taking of medication.
There is still the question of whether one can take the medication on
Yom Tov to prevent this situation, or whether one must wait until the
situation arises (when it may be too late to take medication).  For this
one would need a psak, although my suspicion is that it would be
permitted if the past history indicates that the onset of symptoms would
be extremely likely.

A related question, if anyone has been in this situation.  If one takes
a daily dose of an asthma medication from a puffer (ventolin,
beclovent), would it be permitted on Yom Kippur?  (Yom Kippur, being so
early this year, falls right in the middle of the ragweed season.)  I
can think of no reason why not given that asthma symptoms can be
potentially dangerous, but I may be missing something.

Jerrold Landau, Toronto


From: Yitzchok Adlerstein <ny000594@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 09:19:29 -0800
Subject: Milk is OK

The purpose of the following is to reassure everyone about the
status of dairy products.  I do so with the following caveat in
place: in the interests of speed, I have not reconfirmed
information, nor even taken the time to reexamine the sources.  I
justify this only because when questions of national import arise,
often what happens is that panicked rumors spread, which are later
scotched after more deliberation.  This is precisely what happened
here, it seems.  A real problem arose, leading to some initial
halachic decisions that should not have leaked to the public.  They
did - even to mail-jewish.  After more consideration and speaking
together, several decisors have apparently decided that the problem
can be dealt with.

UNOFFICIAL information from a major supervisory agency as of
Wednesday morning has it that Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Yisroel
Belsky, Rav Chaim Kohn, and Rav Moshe Heinemann all agree that
dairy products may continue to be consumed.

The question arose as a consequence of new data on the growing
prevalence of a procedure to relieve gas pressure in the stomachs
of cows through the insertion of a tube.  [About a year ago, I
recall reading in a science journal that a major contributor to
global methane pollution is cow burps!  Little did I realize that
there would be kashrus implications.]  The perforation of the
stomach renders an animal a trefah.  Vets suggest that about 4% of
all animals are treated this way.  That is enough, of course, to
make their milk NOT botel [rendered nugatory] one part in sixty. 
The Chazon Ish holds in the Rambam that even if an animal can be
shown to live more than a year after sustaining an injury that
makes it a trefah according to the gemara, that it is still a
trefah.  The laws of trefah are fixed by statute, sensitive only to
the state of affairs that held in the time of the gemarar.  Thus
the problem.

Contributions to the solution include (according to RUMOR!!!):

Milk is really botel in a majority mixture of like substance (i.e.
other milk) by Torah law.  Requiring 60 is miderabbanan [rabbinic]. 
Such being true, we can rely on certain minority opinions that we
might not rely on for a d'orayso [Torah law].  1) The Rashba holds
that if an animal lives for twelve months, it is in fact not a
trefah.  The procedure used is known not to affect the viability of
the animals.  2) Shut Melamed Leho-il held that the rule of the
gemara about nekev she-alsa krom [a perforation that healed by the
overgrowth of fresh tissue is inadequate to remove the status of
trefah] does not apply to the stomach, but only to other areas.  3)
Rav Moshe had a teshuvah somewhere that the gemara just mentioned
does not apply to a SURGICAL procedure, meant to assure that there
would be no untoward effects of the perforation.

:-) If you really want to be frum, you can move out here to LA for
a few weeks, and wait till the storm blows over.  Local info has it
that less than 1% of the animals here are treated, because of
better feed.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
Yeshiva of LA


From: <frimer@...> (Aryeh A. Frimer)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 09:37:25 -0400
Subject: Milk Problem Information

Humra of the Century
	At Daf Yomi last night, I learned of what may be THE kashrut
story of the century. It seems that it is standard procedure to aid
birthing cows by releasing stomach gasses with a syringe needle into the
stomach. The problem is that such a stomach puncturing renders the cows
treifot and hence the subsequent milk they give is forbidden. In
Cleveland, the Halav Yisrael firms have presumably purchased a whole new
stock of Dairy cows which have not been punctured. This could develop
into a REAL problem for Jews throughout the world. Meat presumably is
mostly from steers and hence no or little problem Halachically.
	Aside from the fundamental issue of drinking milk, it raises the
question of the deffinition of treifot as defined by Hazal. If all Dairy
cows are stomach punctured at one time - it must mean that it is not
health threatining to them and that they will live to a ripe old age. Do
we simply say "nishtaneh ha-Tevah" (nature has changed) as has been
invoked many a time with respect to other issues? Does the metziut
(experimental fact) undermine or redefine chazal's determination? Or do
we say that Halacha creates its own reality, defines its own rules. Did
the halacha that an animal with a punctured stomach is forbidden to be
eaten preceed the rationale (treifah) and is independant of it - or did
it result from it. If the latter, then can the Halakha change with the
realization that it is based on wrong science. These issues are perhaps
less pressing than the immediacy of knowing whether we should drink 4
glasses of milk a day or indulge in cheese cake, but are IMHO of equal
	I'm sure we all would appreciate updates on this developing news

From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 11:14:47 -0400
Subject: Milk Problem Information

I heard about a potential problem in shul (in Monsey, NY) this morning:

Apparently, there is a new surgical procedure done on the utters of cows to
cause them to produce more milk.  It seems possible that doing this surgery
converts the cow to a terepha [not kosher].  The following questions come
to mind:

1. Is milk from a cow that is a terapha prohibited?
2. If so, do we consider the source of the milk, namely the cows, and use the
   concept of nullification in the majority (bitul berobh) (I was told that
   currently, about 5% of the cows in the US undergo this surgery)?
3. Or do we consider all the milk as a unit, in which case we would want
   nullification by less than 1/60, which we don't have with 5% =only 1/20.

Perhaps soon we will all be drinking only xalav israel [milk under the
supervision of Jews.


From: <segs@...> (Susan Slusky)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 94 09:23:14 EDT
Subject: NY News Story

I heard an interesting story on the radio news this morning.
Apparently a scam artist has been working midtown Manhattan with a new
gimmick. He's bearded and yarmulked with glasses broken and looking generally
bruised and askew. His story is that he's a scholar from Jerusalem,
that he's come up by train from Washington to give a paper at Columbia,
and has just been mugged and lost all his money. His wife died in an
Arab terrorist bus attack. His story goes on and on. And people give
him enough money for a ticket back to Washington. How was he identified
as a scam artist? He told the story to someone who recognized it as the same
story her brother had heard from someone a few weeks ago in the same

My reaction:
I take it as a compliment. Jews are so generous to their fellow
Jews in trouble that it is profitable to run such a scam. And the people
who gave him money all get mitzvah credit (whatever that is) since
they clearly thought they were doing a mitzvah. 

But I'm always interested in other people's reactions.

Susan Slusky


End of Volume 14 Issue 81