Volume 14 Number 98
                       Produced: Wed Aug 24  0:13:36 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Another factoid on microwave ovens
         [Jules Reichel]
         [Danny Skaist]
Glatt Revisited
         [Bruce Krulwich]
Meru Presentation at AOJS
         [Sam Juni]
Milk and terefah cows
         [Constance Stillinger]


From: <JPREICHEL@...> (Jules Reichel)
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 1994 20:50:45 -0400
Subject: Another factoid on microwave ovens

Microwave ovens heat our food by having energy absorbed by the water molecules.
If something is dry there will be *no* heating. Those who are speculating
that solid foods are different from liquids and that one can analyze which
surfaces absorb what, are in error. It's commonsensical, if there is more
liquid there is more vapor-- but there is always vapor or you are eating 
cold food. Water vapor fills the volume of the enclosure, but, of course,
since the cavity is vented and heat rises, it will feel hotter at the top. 
You don't need a university grant to study this, try it in your house. I won't
detail the experiments but peek into that little window, and feel the surfaces
after microwaving, and you'll be convinced. Can someone explain the halachic
issue *only*, without offering new theories about vapors?



From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 1994 10:36:31 -0400
Subject: Glatt

>Here is my problem. Suppose the lesion is removed, and the lung examined
>by a competent rav, and determined to be kosher. What makes glatt any
>more kosher than regular meat. There is no suspicion that the meat the

Until the Ramah permitted removing the lesion, the animal was considered
not-kosher.  Sephardim who pasken like the Mechaber don't eat meat that had
a lesion, because the  Mechaber does not permit it. Not as a chumra, as
minimal hallacha.

>                            So how is glatt a chumra.

It is a chumra for Ashkanazim to pasken like the Mechaber and not like the

> My question is that the certification declares that the meat was
>brought from chutz la'aretz, out of the country.  Is this the same as
>basar kafu, meat that was not kashered within 72 hours but frozen, and
>kashered at a later time? or is it a seperate category, and there is
>yet hope for me to find a nice steak.

Meat from chutz la'aretz might be anything.  There is meat brought from
Brasil which is not only Glatt but also salted on the spot (within 72 hours)
by a staff sent from Israel.  I believe that restaurants that sell "basar
kafu" (salted in Israel if at all) have a slightly different hechsher.  Read
the fine print.

>                  and there is yet hope for me to find a nice steak.

No way !  The meat in Israel is cut differently. You have to find an
American butcher who knows how to cut steaks the way Americans like
them.  I know of one in Jerusalem.



From: Bruce Krulwich <krulwich@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 1994 11:30:06 -0400
Subject: Glatt Revisited

Mike Grynberg asks:

> The question is as follows. I understood glatt to refer to the outcome
> of the bodek (checker) examination of the lungs with his hands. If all
> is smooth, glatt, then the meat is glatt, otherwise if there is a lesion
> Here is my problem. Suppose the lesion is removed, and the lung examined
> by a competent rav, and determined to be kosher. What makes glatt any
> more kosher than regular meat.

There are a number of issues that get combined in discussions of glatt meat.

First, even the Ramo, who does not require the eating of Glatt meat,
says explicitly that it is a good thing, and this is a simple source for
it's being a good "chumra."  It seems clear (to me at least) from all
sources that the ratzon haShem (what G-d wants) is for us to eat meat
with healthy lungs, so any lesions, while perhaps mutar (permitted), are
a step back from the ideal.  This explains the Shulchan Aruch's
discussion of Glatt meat as a good chumra.

There is a much more important issue nowadays, however, which is that
according to all Kashrus authorities I've heard of, there are in
practice very serious problems with modern non-Glatt meat.  Whatever the
theory of reliable bodkim (lung-checkers), they may not be reliable in
practice.  The same is true of the shochtim.  If nothing else, witness
the fact that there is, to my knowledge, no non-Glatt meat in America
under the hashkocha of a major Kashrus authority.  In fact, the
situation at some meat plants is so bad that a year or so ago three
midwest Kashrus agencies broke precedent and declared as treif several
non-Glatt meat plants, which was very apolitical since one of the
mashgichim involved was a member of one of the kashrus agencies.

The situation in Israel is worse, because (as I understand it) most
non-Glatt meat, besides the same questions about the Shochtim adn
Bodkim, is frozen and shipped before Kashering, which according to many
(most?)  poskim renders it non-Kosher unless it's broiled.

As usual, CYLOR.  I would like more detailed information about the
situation with Israeli meat, if anyone has time to send it in.

Dov (Bruce) Krulwich


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 1994 13:03:25 -0400
Subject: Meru Presentation at AOJS

    Avrum Goodblat (14/80) And Mitchel Berger (14/85) sensitized me some
to the Meru phenomenon.  I spent several hours with Stan Tenon at the
convention, listened to his presentation, and tried to go through some
of the materials.  I do not have an accurate overall picture of the
approach due (partially) to my own limitations in a) topology, b) hyper-
dimensional visualization, and c) Kabbalistic basics.  I am also not
convinced that Tenon's overall synthesis holds water.  I did focus on
some of the elements (or building blocks) in the system, and found them
ranging from the obscure to the intriguing to the fascinating.

   First, in response to the aforementioned postings, a word about Steve:
I had no reason to doubt his convictions in the product or the approach
he was promoting. He seems quite caught up with his discoveries and with
their interface with other disciplines. I see him as very open (and non-
secretive) about his data, and he is overtly inviting others to branch
off and to "carry the ball" in any way they please. He presents himself
as observant, having come there by convictions based on his work. His
ideaology seems parallel to those turned on by the Discovery Codes. I
met several professional Shomre Torah at the Conference who came to be
observant due to their familiarity with Tennon's work.

   What I came away with  were some distinct areas which impressed me,
some which were over my head, and some which I found to be arbitrary
(or, at least, too loose to be reliable). I am commenting only on
some of these.

   Steve presents a system where the Hebrew alphabet is first translated
into a trenary (in contrast to binary) numeric base, going in sequence
from Aleph to Tav, followed by the final forms of the Manzapach in
letter order (Chamnapatz). These 27 letters are thus translated to range
from 000 to 222.  He then takes the first sentence of the Torah and
shows that the sequence of the letters follow (fairly consistently) the
AABA paradigm, where A is the converse of B (e.g., 002 vs. 200). (Steve
claims to have stumbled upon this by discerning a symetry in the Pasuk
intuitively, and then chasing it down by mathematical permutations.)
This unit is enough to knock your socks off.

    Steve alluded to the assertion that the repetitive pattern of symmetry
which is inherent in the first Pasuk gets repeated in elaborated form in
succesively larger units (Parsha, Sefer, etc.). I believe that he believes
so, but I wonder whether this has been explored adquately at this time.

   (Steve was able to explain a standard phrase in a basic Kabbalastic
text, called Sefer Yetzirah, by noting that a key word is in fact a
mere listing of letters.  I did not follow this to the end, but those who
did were impressed.  Specificaly, the phrase is "Tola Eretz al Blimah",
translated as "The world is based on Blimah", where the latter word has
alternate translations.  Steve showed that if we take the sentence as
"The world hangs on the letters Bais Lamed Yod Mem Heh", the primary
value of these letters in his numeric symmetry system jumps out at you.)

   Steve is quite taken by the general Mobeius-type shape.  He uses
the shape as an allegorical medium, representing various unit of com-
munication and relationships (mostly between Man and G-d).  I understood
this unit, but found it unconvincing.  Other listeners were VERY impres-
sed by this unit.

   Steve manipulates his Mobeius-flame model in space, and manages to
display fairly well all of the Hebrew letters (viewed two dimensionally -
you see these well if you close one eye to minimize depth perception).
(The letters are seen in Rashi script.) I found this unit interesting,
and even entertaining. I am not taken by the conclusions offered: that
this implies that this shape is intrinsic to the intent of the language.

   Lining up his Flame Strip in the hand (it fits quite naturally over
the thumb and fingers), Steve posits than we can view the sequence of
letters in the Torah as a succession of gestures.  He then analyzes each
letter into a specific stance and gesture, using the hand motion requ-
ired to produce that letter as a marker, and butressing the meaning with
a string of data based on the (anthropomorphic) shape of the letter, the
approximate meaning of the letter name (e.g., Bayis or house for the
second letter, Zayin or spear for the seventh). I was not impressed
by the validity of these associations. I must say that some of the
Rabbinical audience who knew basic Kabbalah did find these associations
consistent with Kabbalistic tenets of the intrinsic meaning of these

  As an alternate to analyzing text sequence as non-verbal chains of
communications, Steve and his folks have reportedly taken the 27 letters
and set them to musical notes following their Aleph-Bais sequence.  They
then created a musical tape of Braishis which they offer as an alternate
medium of communication (I think),  but also as a tool which brings out
the letter symmetry  of the text in a different way.  ( I missed hearing
this tape because I decided to get some swimming in.  I will try to get
it from Meru, but my aesthetic appreciation is limited, so I don't
expect any Eurekas.)

   The taurus is focal in Steve's work.  It links up with his Flame, and
it seems related to the deviations in trenary symmetry which seem to
occur at the beginning and end of Psukim. A key construct seems to be
recursiveness of form and circularity of process.  (At last, the bagel
has been accorded its place in Judaism.)

   Taking the presented attitude at face value, the elements in the
structure which I was able to relate to seem to offer a ripe area for
text-based research, using algorithms which are not very far removed
from the Discovery approach.  I wonder why this has not blossomed into
larger research endeavor.  Perhaps, the requirement for multi-talents
in several areas simultaneously is a deterrent.  However, I am not at
all convinced that we have a true package here, rather than several
avenues which are related loosely, if at all. I can see an enthusiastic
computer wiz setting up an analog in little time to pursue this aspect
of the approach.

I expected to find a handout of prominent Torah thinkers who endorse the
project. I was curious to see the form of endorsement (implied in Mitchel
Berger's post) attributed to Rabbi Steinslatz.  I didn't find it.  Either
the Meru Foundation P.R. unit is faulty, or these endorsements have yet
to happen.

While I can understand the enthusiam of researchers who feel they are
discovering a unified field, I look forward to piecemeal presentations
which allow the intelligent curious who are not multi-talented to under-
stand and evaluate findings.

The address of the Meru Foundation is P.O.B. 1738 San Anselmo, CA
94979.  The phone # is 415-459-0487. They have a collection of lite-
rature and tapes, etc.

     Dr. Sam Juni                  Fax (212) 995-3474
     New York University           Tel (212) 998-5548
     400 East
     New York, N.Y.  10003


From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 1994 14:48:46 -0400
Subject: Milk and terefah cows

I'm confused.  I thought an animal (in this case a cow) had to be dead
to be considered terefah (torn).  Milk cows are still alive, though.

Does any surgery render a milker treif?  Or a wound that has not healed?


[I believe that the technical term "treifah" refers to an animal that is
currently alive, but is considered to be unlikely to be able to live out
the next 12 months. An animal that has already died is considered a
"nevelah". Part of the interesting Halakhic discussions (at least for
me) in this milk issue is how to deal with a situation that normally
indicated a serious problem with the animal 1500 years ago (hole through
the stomach) but which now may have a different origin and does not
indicate probable death within 12 months. Mod.]


End of Volume 14 Issue 98