Volume 18 Number 58
                       Produced: Wed Feb 22 18:05:59 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Calf found alive in shechted cow
         [Mike Gerver]
Fish & Meat & Chemistry
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Hashgachot in Israel
         [Janice Gelb]
Individual Piety versus Communal Responsibility
         [Meir Shinnar]
Kashrut in Israel (2)
         [Warren Burstein, Janice Gelb]
Minimally Kosher
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Steak Sauce
         [Israel Botnick]


From: <GERVER@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 2:39:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Calf found alive in shechted cow

    In v17n88, Meylekh Viswanath mentions the interesting halacha that a
live calf found in the uterus of a shechted cow can be eaten without
shechting, since it is considered already shechted. An even more
interesting consequence of this, which I heard about a few years ago,
occurs if the calf grows up and has offspring. This second generation
calf is considered half shechted and half not shechted. It can never be
eaten even if it is shechted, since you can't shecht half an animal, and
you can't shecht an animal that is already shechted. If the original
calf goes on having descendents, and you don't keep track of them, then
after several generations _all_ cattle will have the status of being
part shechted and part not shechted, and it would never be possible to
eat beef again. To avoid getting into that situation, live calves that
are found in the uterus of a shechted cow are killed immediately.

    I'm sorry I don't know the source for this, I heard it during a
shiur, perhaps someone who does know can tell us the source.

Mike Gerver, <gerver@...>


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 14:26:06 -0500
Subject: Fish & Meat & Chemistry

if there is a danger in eating fish and meat because of chemical
reactions, why is one permitted to eat them one after the other,
presumably leading to both in the stomach simultaneuosly.  it would seem
more logical to have a mandatory waiting period (similar to meat & milk).

eliyahu teitz


From: <janiceg@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 1995 10:40:17 -0800
Subject: Hashgachot in Israel

In Vol. 18 #48, Harry Weiss writes regarding kashrut certification 
in Israel:

> There have been numerous cases cited in the Jewish Media on this issue
> during the past few years.  The most famous case I can remember have to
> do with clubs or halls in Tel Aviv which had belly dancers.  The Court
> ordered the Rabbanut to certify these as kosher, despite the Mashgiach
> being unable to enter as a result to modesty issues.  There have also
> been a number of cases involving Shabbat observance.  [...]
> I am also not saying whether the Rabbanut was correct in the above
> cases, but these are cases where the secular Court dictate Rabbinical
> issues to the Rabbanut.

This also works the other way: politics influencing the rabbanut's
certification. For example, when the International Conference on
Lesbians and Jews was supposed to be held at a kibbutz in Israel, the
rabbanut threatened to take away the kashrut certification on candy the
kibbutz made, despite the fact that none of the attendees of the
conference would be in any way involved in the making of the candy.
I've also heard of other cases where certification was threatened to be
withheld, or was withheld, because of things that had nothing to do with
the actual kashrut of the establishment in question. (I don't have the
details on others since I didn't save them at the time. I remember the
candy incident because I reported on it for JSPS at the time.)

-- Janice

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: <meir@...> (Meir Shinnar)
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 95 16:05:48 -0500
Subject: Individual Piety versus Communal Responsibility 

There has been raised by several respondents the issue of Rabbanut hechsherim
using kulot.  Specifically, one respondent it was said
> Is the rabbinate providing kashruth certification for the hilonim
>(unobservant)?  IMHO, we shouldn't worry about contorting the system to
>prevent the hilonim from transgressing; the transgressions are their

There is a  story of the Rav Kook,zt"l, who allowed meat to be served
during the nine days at a factory restaurant, because if only dairy would
be served, many would eat at a nonkosher restaurant..

R. Ovadia Yoseph, when a Rav in Egypt, found out that the community hospital
kitchen was traif.  He justified finding a heter for kashering the traif 
dishes, because then everyone would  eat kosher.  Similarly, in Israel,
he allowed cafeterias to have milk and meat lines open at the same time,
even if there was a  possibility of confusion.  One of the stated reasons
for trying to find a heter is precisely so that more people can eat kosher.

Thus, the Rabbanut does seem to rely many times on heterim, which allow
many more places to be kasher.  Another posek, given the same question, 
may well have decided l'humra.     However, the  rejection of these heterim 
raises two serious and related issues:

a) Is individual piety worth more than communal observance?  While there
is a principle that you do not do an averah in order to save another
from a more serious averah, does this apply to humrot?  That is, if the
rav hamakom gives a heter, and you would like to be mahmir, is the
observation of your individual humra better than the fact that the
community, by following the heter, avoids a more serious avera?

Note that many of these humrot probably do not have the status of prior
minhag.  I am not arguing that Ashkenazim should eat kitniyot if the Rav
is Sepharadi.

b) Does the Rabbanut have the status of mara d'athra?  If it does, to
what extent is one allowed, and perhaps obligated, to accept all the
heterim of the Rabbanut, especially befarhesia, to the extent that one
does not have a clear, well defined minhag against it?  For example, if
invited to dine at a restaurant with a Rabbanut hechsher, by not
accepting because of questions about the kashrut, would one be motzi
la'az and o'ver against the authority of the mara d'athra? (As a side
note, being motzi la'az on the Rabbanut and meheze keyohara are two
aveirot that seem to have become accepted.  A number of the stories
about Rabbanut hechsherim did not even consider that there may be
heterim involved).

 There is a story that the Dayan of Vilan made the Gra eat a chicken
that the Gra declared trafe, because the Dayan was the mara d'athra, and
he declared it kasher.  Yiftach bedoro keShmuel bedoro.

Many of the major critics of the Rabbanut hechsherim do not accept the
Rabbanut Harahsit and Mekomit as mara d'athra.  Indeed, sometimes the
mashgichim themselves do not accept the Rabbanut HaMekomit as their
posek, in spite of the fact that they are paid by it. Criticism of the
hechsherim is part of the general attack on the legitimacy of the
Rabbanut by those that do not view themselves as part of the general

However, for those of us who accept the traditional ideal of forming a
kahal in Eretz Israel, and accept the Rabbanut as the mara d'athra, how
can we reconcile that acceptance with the cavalier dismissal of their
hechsherim as being too mekil?  In our attempt to enhance our own
observance, are we denying our communal responsibility?

Meir Shinnar


From: <warren@...> (Warren Burstein)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 13:57:33 GMT
Subject: Re: Kashrut in Israel

Elhanan Adler writes:

>8) As for kashrut: Yes there are different standards, humrot, etc. You
>can't enforce maximum kashrut (whatever that is) throughout a state wide
>system. In Israel there is hardly a public institution or major place of
>work whose lunchroom isn't kosher - i.e. the people who eat there are
>not eating treif (even if relying on leniencies I might personally
>prefer not to use). You would have to really go out of your way to in
>Israel to find really non-kosher food ingredients (try to find something
>really non-kosher in an Israeli supermarket). Don't knock a situation in
>which the vast majority of Israelis are eating basically kosher
>food. The more observant Jews are aware of this and pickier in terms of
>what they buy and where they eat. Orthodox tourists should be aware of

I think what Orthodox tourists should do is ask their LOR before they
go.  I don't have any problem with the next to last sentence above,
just so long as "the more observant Jews" are not assumed to be
identical to "Orthodox" in the following sentence.

 |warren@         bein hashmashot, in which state are the survivors
/ nysernet.org    buried?

From: <janiceg@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 11:40:35 -0800
Subject: Kashrut in Israel

In Vol. 18 #54, Elhanan Adler says:
>8) As for kashrut: Yes there are different standards, humrot, etc. You
>can't enforce maximum kashrut (whatever that is) throughout a state wide
>system. In Israel there is hardly a public institution or major place of
>work whose lunchroom isn't kosher - i.e. the people who eat there are
>not eating treif (even if relying on leniencies I might personally
>prefer not to use).

On the other hand, I worked for a technical writing firm in Holon and
was assured during the interview that the lunchroom was kosher.
However, one day we all had to work very late and, per Israeli law,
they served us dinner. I noticed that the dairy dinner seemed to be
served on the same plates and using the same silverware as for the meat
lunches. When I inquired about this with the boss and owner of the
company, I was told that "separating dishes for meat and dairy is only
for 'super-kasher'" so he hadn't lied when they told me the lunchroom
was kosher!

I don't know that I'd categorize this as a "leniency"...

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 11:14:54 +0000
Subject: Minimally Kosher

Warren Burstein wrote:
>All that is needed is to have no food brought into the hall while the
>immodest display is going on (what's in there can stay, we don't have
>to suspect that the guests brought in treif food in their pockets).

We don't?  Then why do we have to have a mashgiah in the first place?  Those
who are publically violating the Torah SHOULD be suspected of bringing treif
food in their pockets.

Elhanan Adler wrote:
>As for the belly dancer case itself (I believe it was in Ashdod) -
>let's face it - claiming that the mashgiah would have to run out of the
>hall and therefore leave it unwatched is a rather weak excuse. We are
>talking about a 15-20 minute "show" towards the end of the wedding - in
>the main hall, and the mashgiah is usually in the kitchen the whole time

I think that giving kashruth certification in such a case is dangerous.
It seems to me that that would imply that the rabbanite is condoning
such behavior. Doesn't certification mean that it is permissible to eat
there?  If you aren't even permitted to be there, how can you eat there?

Elhanan Adler also wrote:
>As for kashrut: Yes there are different standards, humrot, etc. You
>can't enforce maximum kashrut (whatever that is) throughout a state wide

Why not?  Some standard is enforced.  I'm just suggesting raising that
standard to what the rabbanite today calls "mehadrin" (which really
means that the one certifying it would eat it himself); I'm not
suggesting attempting to use every stringency (such as only X's
shehittah [ritual slaughter]).  As I've said previously, I don't want to
be fooled into eating something that MAY BE kosher, where the kashruth
is kvetched by using leniencies accepted only by a small minority, as
the standard.

Elhanan Adler also wrote:
>Minimal kashrut is one of the
>big success areas - I prefer this state to one where 20% of the public
>is eating 100% kosher and 80% is eating 100% treif - it's called being
>responsible for your fellow jew (kol yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh)

I don't want to be fooled into eating something that is not 100% kosher
lekhathilla [to begin with] (bedi`avad [after the fact] is fine for
unusual circumstances, not as the norm).  Even the current kashruth
supervision doesn't guarantee that the majority will eat (minimally)
kosher.  There are places like MacDondalds and plenty of others where
you can buy 100% non-kosher food; those who want to eat it will do so.
Yes, there are plenty of traditional people who wouldn't, but those same
people would still only eat in the establishments with (my suggested
level of) certification.

Binyomin Segal wrote:
>One of the big underlying topics on this list that sneaks up all the time
>is ahavas yisroel (loving fellow jews) and achdus (unity). We might ask
>ourselves - exactly what is "Jewish Unity"? Chazal's formulation is - Kol
>Yisroel Areivim Zeh LaZeh (Every Jew is A Guarantor/CoSigner One for the

The best way for me to be responsible for my fellow Jew is by setting an
example, not by contorting the system to make what he chooses to do

Warren Burstein wrote:
>Although one might get the impression that the Israeli public is
>divided into Datiim and Chilonim (sometimes just Haredim and
>Chilonim), there is *spectrum* of practice.  There are even those who
>consider themselves to be Dati who have no problem with Rabbanut
>hechsherim, and do not appreciate being treated as if they don't

Yes, and I think I am one of those "centrists"; however, I am afraid we
are fooling ourselves into believing that there are "no problem with
Rabbanut hekhsherim".  Yes, the rabbinate (as a part of the government)
is a good thing, but it must stand up to the anti-religious elements
(especially in the current government) and enforce lekhathillah Torah

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5658438 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: <icb@...> (Israel Botnick)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 95 10:07:47 EST
Subject: Steak Sauce

Lon Eisenberg asked
<< I don't understand the use of nullification in 60 here; that is normally
<< applied because the taste is indistinguishable.  In this case, what do
<< we care about the taste?  The taste of meat with fish is not prohibited;
<< their mixing is prohibited since it is unhealthy to eat them together.

In yoreh deah 116, the Darkei moshe quotes some earlier rishonim
that we dont follow nullification in 60 for fish and meat because while
1/60 may be a significant ratio for removing taste, it isn't necessarily 
so for removing danger. The pischei tshuva there says that the majority 
of acharonim are lenient, that nullification does apply. 

It would seem that the lenient position assumes that the danger of
fish and meat doesn't exist at a ratio of 1 in 60. (It may not be
there in 1/50 either but the rule is that we treat dangerous items
at least as strictly as prohibited items regarding nullification).
If something were so potent that it was dangerous even if nullified
by 1/60, it would still be assur as the shulchan aruch says there
that the venom of a snake isnt batel even in 40 seah.

Israel Botnick


End of Volume 18 Issue 58