Volume 21 Number 19
                       Produced: Sun Aug 20 23:38:23 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chalavi/B'chezkat Chalav
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Chamar Medina
         [Pinchus Roth]
Halacha = Morality (?)
         [Constance Stillinger]
Heter Iskah
         [Avrohom Weissman]
Kiddush Hachamma.
         [Ari Belenkiy]
Kohanim and Cemeteries
         [Yossi Chaikin]
Yayin Nesech and Non-Religious Jews (3)
         [Binyomin Segal, Robert Rubinoff, Avi Feldblum]


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 15:04:10 GMT
Subject: Chalavi/B'chezkat Chalav

[Chalvi/B'Chezkat Chalav]

As I understand it, the term B'Chezkat Chalav (literally "presumptively 
dairy"), as used in Israeli Hechsherim means that everything (generally 
in a bakery) is either:

a) actually milchig (i.e., contains milk products)
b) Baked in milchig pans, even if it itself does not contain any milk 

As to whether any particular product is in Category (a) or Category 
(b), the endorsement has nothing to say. If the baker is in the know 
and is trustworthy (here I am not setting these up as a Halachic 
requirement either way), one can generally find out from him/her which 
category the product belongs to.

Without trying to give any ruling (for this see your LOR), I believe 
that it is generally accepted that items in Category (b) cannot be 
eaten WITH meat, but can be eaten AFTER meat. Thus, rolls baked in such 
a bakery, even if they contain no dairy products, could not be used for 
a meat sandwich.

Here, actually, we come to another question - the Halachah generally 
forbids baking bread with dairy products UNLESS it is so clearly marked 
that it cannot possibly be mistaken for regular bread. Would the same 
rule apply to bread baked "B'Chezkat Chalav"? Logically, it should, but 
I am not aware of any rulings in this area.

         Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 972-2-864712; Fax: 972-2-862041
<himelstein@...> (JerOne, not Jer-L)


From: <rotha@...> (Pinchus Roth)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 11:07:08 -0500
Subject: Chamar Medina

>From Carl Sherer (MJ 21:8):
> so simple because it is not clear what Chamar Medina is and in any event
> when Tisha B'Av is nidcheh (delayed) as it was this year, Havdala should
> be made on wine after the fast and may be drunk by the person making
> Havdala.

Rav Eider, in his sefer on the three weeks, does not permit meat/wine
right after Tisha b'Av even on a nidchah.  He says that one may not go
directly from mourning to simcha.  Therefore, those issurim of the 9
days which are direct expressions of simcha (meat, wine, music) must
continue until the next morning, while the other issurim (bathing,
washing clothes, wearing freshly laundered clothes) expire immediately.
Note that even meat, wine, and music must be avoided only until the
morning (not midday, as in "ordinary" years) even according to Rav
Eider.  At any rate, the nidchah part of Carl's very interesting posting
might be irrelevant

> 2. The Chazon Ish zt"l held in his younger days that "white beer" (what
> most Americans would call beer - here there is something called black
> beer which is a malt beverage similar to root beer but a sweeter taste)
> was Chamar Medina and could be used for Havdala, but in his later days
> he retracted that psak and suggested using pure (not from concentrate)
> apple juice as Chamar Medina.  Rav Rubin quoted (if I remember
> correctly) Rav Nissan Karelitz shlita and Rav Wassner shlita as not
> agreeing with the Chazon Ish regarding apple juice being Chamar Medina.

My son recently attended the national convention of NCSY, which is of
course an organization under OU auspices that resolves all halachic
questions according to the OU.  My son returned with the astonishing (to
both him and myself) news that they had made havdalah after Shabbat on
COCA COLA.  When my son and a number of others questioned this, the NCSY
leaders told them that the OU has recently ruled that Coca Cola now
qualifies as Chamar Medina in the U.S.  based on the way it is commonly
used and regarded.  I don't know what the relevant criteria were
(drinking for pleasure?  frequency of use in Jewish and/or secular
society?  something else entirely?).  All of Carl's questions in his
original post are relevant to this psak as well.  But the bottom line is
that when there was a good reason (e.g., Rav Eider's reasoning above) to
avoid wine, I relied upon the OU's chidush and made havdalah on Coca
Cola after Tisha b'Av this year.


From: Constance Stillinger <cas@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 22:59:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Halacha = Morality (?)

<StevenJ81@...> (Steve White) wrote:
> I don't think that I can agree with my friend Zvi Weiss on this.  If it
> is true that halacha DEFINES morality (his terminology), then it can
> only be in the sense that that which is NOT halachic is NOT moral for a
> Jew.  In other words, the halacha DEFINES the limits of what MIGHT
> POSSIBLY BE moral.
> However, there is a saying that one can be a scoundrel (? -- is that
> word exactly right) within the law; this suggests that it is possible to
> be immoral even while acting totally in accordance with halacha.  (Note
> that the formal-logical analysis of the if-then above only implies that
> what is moral must be halachic, not that what is halachic must be
> moral.)

If you take Mr. Weiss's statement that Halacha "defines" morality as
an assumption that Halachic behavior (where "Halachic behavior" is
defined as behavior that does not transgress Halacha) contains moral
behavior as a proper subset, then the conclusion that some Halachic
behavior is immoral is logically sound.  However, if Mr. Weiss's
statement is taken to mean Halachic behavior and moral behavior are
identical, then of course it's impossible for immoral behavior to be
Halachic (or for moral behavior to transgress Halacha).

Dr. Constance A. (Chana) Stillinger        <cas@...>
EPGY, Stanford Univ.   Morris's Mommy   "Hoppa Reyaha Gamogam" (Lev. 19:18)


From: <WEISSMAN@...> (Avrohom Weissman)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 10:52:20 +0200
Subject: Heter Iskah

Can someone send me or tell me where to get a form/lashon for a Heter Iskah?

Avrohom Weissman
University of Cape Town   South Africa


From: <belenkiy@...> (Ari Belenkiy)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 00:14:04 -0700
Subject: Kiddush Hachamma.

>From: <david@...> (David Charlap) Subject: Unusual Berachot
<There's one I remember saying in 7th grade.  Bircat Ha-shemesh
<(or was it bitcat ha-chama, I forget which).  it's said once
<every 28 years, when the sun is in the same place it was at the
<time of the Creation.  I was lucky to have gone to a frum grade
<school - the rabbi/principal had us all assemble on the athletic
<field to say the bracha.

The words "at the same place" are misnomer.  This kiddush is said on the
so-called "Tekufa of Shmuel" which is calculated by assigning 365 1/4
days for each Solar year.  Because this (Julian) year is by 11 minutes
larger than actual one this Tekufa is already 17 days later than
astronomical one. Nowadays it falls on April 7 whereas Astronomical
Equinox falls on March 21.

Be careful with the word "Creation"- creation of what?  Rambam says that
according to R.Joshua the first astronomical Tekufa (Equinox point) was
on Adar 29, (9hours before Molad of Nisan) - and this is a formal
starting point for current Hebrew Calendar; however the starting point
for calculation of Tekufot of Shmuel is Adar 22 !! (see Arthur Spier).

(I would appreciate precise reference of where R.Joshua mentioned that
particular time and not only said that "Creation happened to be in
Nisan". Was Rambam the first who gave this reference or Abraham bar Hiya
was ahead?).

So why "28 years"? Because this preserves the day of the week.  That
very first Tekufa (in both schemes) happened on Wednesday.  Each 28 year
we say Kiddush Hachamma on Wednesday (not necessarily the first
Wednesday of Nisan).

Ari Belenkiy


From: <yossi@...> (Yossi Chaikin)
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 23:13:27 +2
Subject: Re: Kohanim and Cemeteries

> When we reacher the outer perimeter
> of the cemetary, my friend who is a Kohen asked that I, my son, and a
> third person join our hands around the perimeter of my friend to form an
> ohel and in this way we accompanied my friendto and from the ohel of the
> Rebbe. When I came home I told this to my older son who told me this was
> a minhag shtus. However, I asked my friend about it he said its commonly
> done for Kohanim who visit the Ohel on thebasis that the Kever of a
> Tzaddik is not m'kabel Tumah. Is this practice of making an ohel around
> a Kohen utilized by other than individuals of Lubavitch leaningswho are
> Kohanim when they visit the Rebbe? What are the halachic ramifications?

The procedure, as I understand it, is for the Kohen to be surrounded by
a large number of persons walking right next to each other, who create a
valid Mechitza (=partition) with their bodies, and this serves to be
Chotzet (interrupt) the impurity from the surrounding graves. Once the
Kohen is inside the Ohel of the Rebbe, the concept that a Kever of a
Tzadik is not Metamei (transmit impurity) applies.

Unfortunately many Kohanim misunderstand this practice and surround
themselves with three or four people holding hands in a loose
circle. The gaps left in that way render the status of the Mechitza

Rabbi Yossi Chaikin 
Constantia Hebrew Congregation - Cape Town, South Africa
P.O.Box 47 - Plumstead - 7800
Telephone: +2721-75-2520


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 1995 21:03:43 -0500
Subject: Yayin Nesech and Non-Religious Jews

In response to Carl's question re wine touched by amn irreligious Jew.

There is a Torah prohibition of deriving benefit from something used for
idol worship. This includes yayin nesach (wine that was used in an
idolatrous libation). The rabbis added a category called "Stam Yaynam"
literally "plain wine of theirs" that refers to wine that was touched by
a non jew - but probably not used in an offering.

Now, this extra stringency was not legislated on "cooked wine" (yayin
mevushal). Cooked wine - that is wine that has been heated after
fermentation to a temperature somewhere between 104 and 212F - was not
used in the Temple and it seems it was not used in idol worship
either. As such most restrictions re a non-jews touching it were not
imposed upon wine that had been cooked. (Just as an aside - non cooked
wine is seen as the preferred type of wine for kiddush et al, as it is
wine that could be used in Temple service.)

For  various reasons the VAST majority of kosher wine sold today is cooked
in this way. It avoids all sorts of problems (like waiters at a wedding).
However it does (so they say) affect the delicate flavor of good wines. I
believe, Golan - in an attempt to be a really good wine - is one of very
few wineries that do not cook their wine.

As for the second issue - ie non-religious Jews treated as non-Jews here
- I believe the Chazon Ish is clear that they are treated as JEWS - and
so the wine would be permitted. But since the issue comes up
infrequently I'm not sure its clear what "normative" practice is. CYLOR.

Hope this helps

From: <Robert_Rubinoff@...> (Robert Rubinoff)
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 95 14:34:52 -0400
Subject: Yayin Nesech and Non-Religious Jews

> [I believe that the Mishne Brura brings down the opinion that a Mechalel
> Shabbat Befarhesia - public desecrator of Shabbat - is treated in a
> similar manner as a non-Jew in relation to the laws of wine, and
> therefore if they hold opened wine containers it may not be used. The
> two basic questions that are raised with respect to this opinion that I
> am aware of are 1) Is this a majority or minority opinion? and 2) does a
> non-religious Jew today qualify as Mechalel Shabbat Befarhesia. Mod.]

I've always wondered something about this.  Does this mean that someone
who is not shomer shabbat but does observe kashrut cannot pour his own
wine (unless it is mevushal ["cooked"; the prohibition here does not
apply to mevushal wine])?  This seems like an odd consequence of the
rule, but it does seem to follow.


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum>
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 1995 22:47:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Yayin Nesech and Non-Religious Jews

(Really about Mevushal and non-Mevushal, but I wanted this to come after
what I was replying to rather than before)

Binyomin Segal writes:
> For  various reasons the VAST majority of kosher wine sold today is cooked
> in this way. It avoids all sorts of problems (like waiters at a wedding).
> However it does (so they say) affect the delicate flavor of good wines. I
> believe, Golan - in an attempt to be a really good wine - is one of very
> few wineries that do not cook their wine.

OK, I pulled out my copy of the Skyview Passover wine list (if you like
good wine and you live within reasonable driving distance to Riverdale,
NY and do not know of Skyview - shame on you and send me email) and did
a quick check. Golan does have one Mevushal wine in the list, Yarden is
the label that has no Mevushal among the Israeli labels, Gan Eden and
Teal Lake among the California labels, most of the French reds are not
Mevushal (of course all the Rothschild's are not Mevushal). It is
interesting that there is no non-Mevushal Italian selection.

If we remove Kedem, Manischewitz and Carmel - which you can argue
corresponds to the majority of the kosher wine sold, I will not argue
with that - from consideration, since in my very personal opinion I have
yet to see a worthwhile (just from my taste in wine) selection from
them, the numbers are interesting. I count 84 Mevushal selections to 79
non-Mevushal selections. (It's the lack of any non-Mevushal Italian
selections that send the majority to the Mevushal side.)

Just a note that non-Mevushal is not as uncommon as some might think.

Avi Feldblum
enjoyer of non-Mevushal wines


End of Volume 21 Issue 19