Volume 23 Number 69
                       Produced: Tue Apr 16 20:47:55 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chol Hamoed and shaving
         [Jeff Mandin]
Paskening from the Rav
         [Isaac Balbin]
Pour Out Thy Wrath
         [David Charlap]
Pour out Thy Wrath
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Poured or Grapes of Wrath
         [Yisrael Medad]
Psak of the Rav Regarding Shaving
         [Melech Press]
Shfoch Hamatcha and Ritual
         [Michael and Abby Pitkowsky]
Using Welches Grape Juice
         [Steven R Weintraub]
Welch's Grape Juice
         [Gershon Klavan]
Welch's grape juice
         [Josh Wise]


From: Jeff Mandin <jeff@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 01:09:54 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Chol Hamoed and shaving

Michael Lipkin asked for a source for Rav Soloveitchik's heter [permit]
for shaving Chol Hamoed.  

R. Herschel Schacter's Nefesh Harav (pg. 189) records that R.
Soloveitchik held that one who shaves everyday is considered "oness"
[externally prevented from taking care] regarding whiskers that grow
Chol Hamoed, just as one released from prison Erev Yomtov is considered
"oness" because he didn't have time to shave.

Furthermore, he argues, in such cases it is a mitzvah to shave so as 
not to be "menuval"[unkempt] during Chol Hamoed and the final yomtov 

Jeff Mandin 
New York City 
212-560-7891 <jeff.mandin@...>


From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 13:31:05 +1000
Subject: Paskening from the Rav

  | From: <Michael_Lipkin@...>
  | This past Chol Hamoed I noticed that a friend was clean shaven.  I know
  | that he does not need to shave for work.  He indicated to me that the
  | Rav of his shul paskened, based on his understanding from Rav
  | Soloveichek, that it is actually preferable to shave on chol hamoed.
  | - Does anyone know the source from the Rav that would generate such a  
  |   psak?

You will find the issue discussed briefly in Nefesh Horav by Rav
Shechter.  As I recall, the argument is that the mishna in Moed Kotton
(16a from memory) and the Gemora make it clear that an Onus (someone who
"can't help it") is free to cut their hair on Chol Hamoed. An example of
someone "who can't help it" is an ex-prisoner who could not shave on
Erev Yom Tov and was looking particularly scruffy as a result. Rav
Shechter then argues in the name of Rav Soloveitchik, that anyone is an
Onus because they could not have cut the hairs that grow over Yom Tov,
before Yom Tov, and as a result they were scruffy (and more to the
point, looked more like mourners) and so they should be permitted to cut
their hair (beards) on Chol Hamoed.  The argument goes onto say that
this is even desirable on account of the person looking like a Menuval
(unkempt person) on the latter day(s) of Yom Tov.

  | - If this was truly the intent of the Rav then why have I not observed 
  |   more of his talmidim adopting this practice?

That's a difficult question to answer because only his Talmidim (and
they will have various possibly different reasons---sociological,
political or halachic) Any Talmidim out there wish to comment?

  | - In a more general sense, it appears to me that since the Rav passed  
  |   away some have become willing to pasken from his teachings where the 
  |   Rav himself never paskened.

If you are a Talmid, and he let you see him act in a particular way then
this is a Psak. If he did not, and did not pasken for you or make the
psak known, then it isn't.

  |   Is this a valid observation?  If so, is it an appropriate process?

The interesting question is of things that Rav Shechter or others knew
and which have now been written down but which were not explicit
Psokim. I doubt that the shaving issue is one of them because I am sure
that he repeated that Psak to many. On say more obscure issues or
hanhogos ask a Rabbi :-) better still ask Rav Shechter, he will probably
pasken like Rav Soloveitchik in many cases, or at least tell you that
you can.

By the way, on the shaving issue there were of course the famous tshuvos
from the Nodeh BiYehuda and Igros Moshe. For many years I couldn't
understand the Gemorra's reasoning as to why one should *not* shave. I
used to think that the argument was self-defeating because people looked
unkempt when it came to the second days of Yom Tov. Then it dawned on me
that in those days, anyone who did cut their beard, didn't use a
Philishave or Norelco and the clean up job probably wasn't a `clean
shave' as we know it (for those who didn't have uncut beards). As such,
the difference in the few days of Chol Hamoed wasn't at all
noticeable. Nowadays, with the clean shave being quite common, it could
be argued that those who now appear like Menuvolim or Aveilim are in
fact Onusim and perhaps this supports the Rav's alleged argument on the


From: <david@...> (David Charlap)
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 96 11:01:23 EDT
Subject: Pour Out Thy Wrath

<aaron.g@...> (Aaron Gross) writes:
>At last year's seder, among the mix of observance levels at the table,
>when it came to the paragraph "Pour out Thy wrath," after birkat
>hamazon, I was at a loss for words to explain, perhaps, the least
>"politically correct" aspect of the Haggadah.
>Any recommendations would be most appreciated.

Tell it like it is.  Modern society (along with "political correctness")
is not Jewish and Judaism is not part of modern society.  The seder is
not a political statement but a religious event.

In this day, modern society has the idea that evil people should not be
punished for their crimes.  This is not a Jewish idea.  Judaism commands
us to seek justice, punish those guilty of crimes, and root out evil
wherever it may be found.

Refusing to punish criminals and destroy evil only causes that evil to
flourish.  We, as Jews, should not follow such a belief.  This section
of the Hagada puts it very succinctly.  God should punish the people who
have committed great evil against our people throughout the ages.

Now, we're not talking about the everday person who says something
wrong, but in every generation, there has been at least one person in
the world who has stirred up the non-Jewish world in hate with the
intent to destroy us.  Most recently, I can think of and Louis Farrakhan
(ym"v).  In previous generations, there was Adolf Hitler(ym"v), Josef
Stallin(ym"v), Torquemada(ym"v), Nevuchadnezzar(ym"v), many Roman
emperors, many Czars, and countless other people of similar infamy.  It
is extremely unlikely that people with this much hate in them will ever
change their ways, so we ask God to punish them and thus prevent them
from causing any more destruction to us and to the rest of the world.

From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Gilad J. Gevaryahu)
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 15:12:24 -0400
Subject: Pour out Thy Wrath

 paragraph "Pour out Thy wrath," after birkat
>hamazon, I was at a loss for words to explain, perhaps, the least
>"politically correct" aspect of the Haggadah.
>Any recommendations would be most appreciated.

The same question was raised by a guest in my seder, and I have
researched it a bit. The part know as "shfoch chamatcha al ha'goyim" is
found in many variations in old haggadot, but the consensus is that the
version of "Machzor Vitri" (attributed to the grandson of Rashi) is the
first to be put as a formal part of the haggadah (prior to that it was
said as a personal tfilah).  The Machzor Vitri version is even harsher
in its wrath than our current version.

Historically, leyl haseder (the evening of the seder) was a night of
trouble to the Jewish people, it was that night that many of the most
vicious blood libels was perpetrated against the Jews, especially the
allegation of killing young Christian children and using their blood for
the "sacramental" mazzah. The opening of the door to Eliyahu, was
according to some scholars (I heard it years ago and don't know the
original source) actually for the purpose of showing to the outsiders
(the goyim) that nothing of the kind was happening inside, and for the
participants of the seder also an opportunity to see that no dead body
of a Christian child was put in front of the house.  It is at this very
stage while the door is wide opened that we say "shfoch chamatcha al
ha'goyim". It is thus a call to God to take care of the gentiles who do
not recognize Him including the perpetrator of blood libels. I venture
to guess that as a result of censorship, we have a toned down version of
the original.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: <isrmedia@...> (Yisrael Medad)
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 96 14:25:32 PST
Subject: Poured or Grapes of Wrath

As the source for the IDF's current military operation in Lebanon,
that is: "Grapes of Wrath", is to be found in the Revelation of
John the Divine, couldn't the IDF Rabbinate have suggested the
code-name: "Shfoch Chamatcha" (Pour out Thy Wrath) thus giving
a more Jewish connection?

Yisrael Medad
E-mail: isrmedia


From: Melech Press <PRESS%<SNYBKSAC.BITNET@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 96 01:58:59 EST
Subject: Re: Psak of the Rav Regarding Shaving

Michael Lipkin asked about the psak of the Rav ztvk"l regarding shaving
on Chol Hamoed.  He did indeed pasken that one should shave daily because
of kvod hamoed if one was clean-shaven. He offered several justifications
for this psak, all of which revolved around the fact that the prohibition
stems from a desire on the part of Chazal that one be certain to enter
Yom Tov properly groomed ("shelo lehikanes lamoed menuval") and that that
Rabbinic prohibition could not apply in an era where clean-shavenness was
the norm.  Those of us who were his talmidim did in fact shave in the days
before we had beards.
Melech Press

M. Press, Ph.D.   Dept. of Psychiatry, SUNY Health Science Center
450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 32   Brooklyn, NY 11203   718-270-2409


From: Michael and Abby Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 96 00:33:16 PDT
Subject: Shfoch Hamatcha and Ritual

> The question boils down to asking if mitzvos are supposed to be an
> expression of what we feel, and therefor shouldn't be done
> hypocritically, or if mitzvos are intended as exercises to develop a
> desired set of feelings, and therefor should be performed in any case.

I think that this may be an oversimplification of a more complex issue.
The attitude towards the nature of ritual has been diverse throughout
the ages.  The Rambam gave medical reasons for observing kashrut which
some disagreed with (see N. Leibowitz, Studies in VaYikra pp. 76-86).
On the other hand many kabbalists saw the potential for cosmic influence
through the performance of ritual (see Daniel Matt's _The Mystic and the
Mitzvot_ in Arthur Green, ed., Jewish Spirituality v. 1).  In direct
regard to the haggadah, no less of an authority than R. Menahem Kasher
in his Israel Passover Haggadah has added comments dealing with both the
holocaust and the state of Israel.  In addition, it is clear that parts
of the haggadah are of post-talmudic origin.

> At last year's seder, among the mix of observance levels at the table,
> when it came to the paragraph "Pour out Thy wrath," after birkat
> hamazon, I was at a loss for words to explain, perhaps, the least
> "politically correct" aspect of the Haggadah.

There is actually a nice addition to the haggadah which is found in the
Rome haggadah of 1521.  It continues after "Pour out they Wrath" with
the paragraph - Pour out your love on the nations which know you and on
the kingdoms that call in your name.  For the sake of the righteous
deeds which they do with the offspring of Yaakov and protect your people
Israel from their attackers.  May they merit to see the best of your lot
and rejoice in the joy of your nation.

Name: Michael Pitkowsky
E-mail: <pitab@...>


From: Steven R Weintraub <stevenw@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 09:18:19 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Using Welches Grape Juice

This is what David Brotsky says:
> Is there any problem using Welches Grape Juice for kiddush or the four cups
> on Pesach. I have heard that there is a controversy over its use because it
> is 'from concentrate'. Has this issue been resolved one way or another?

Actually in addition to this I have a question of Welches Grape Juice in
general.  I've noticed it has a 'K' for years and avoided it.  Then this
Pesah I noticed it was OU kosher for Pesah.  Is it normally under proper
supervision and can be used (and just doesn't have a known hescher

[What I heard is that last year, which was the first time that it was OU
just for Pesach was a sort of experiment to see if it would generate
enough additional sales to make a year-round OU supervision worthwhile
for them, and they would decide after this Pesach season. But this is
just "heard around the street". Anyone actually know something about
this? Mod.]

Steven Ross Weintraub        Office : 512-343-6666 |  O Lord,
PSW Technologies             Home   : 512-453-6953 |    let me talk gently,
nascent Web page : http://www.pswtech.com/~stevenw |  for I might have to eat
external Email : <stevenw@...>               |    my words tomorrow.


From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 10:52:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Welch's Grape Juice

I recently heard Rabbi Yaakov Luban, one of the Rabbinic Administrators
for the OU, explain the Welch' issue.

Basically, Rav S. Z. Auerbach ZT"L has a teshuva in Minchat Shlomo
prohibiting the use of grape juice concentrate for kiddush.  However,
Rav Belsky (in a forthcoming article, probably in the next issue of
Mesorah) discusses the issue and ends up being matir the problem.  Thus,
the position of the OU is that Welch's grape juice MAY be used for

(From what I remember from Rabbi Luban, Rav Belsky's answer came down to
the fact that American grape juice concentrate is better than Israeli
concentrate.[please read the teshuva from Rav Belsky first])

Gershon Klavan 

From: Josh Wise <jdwise@...>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 15:32:46 EDT
Subject: Welch's grape juice

>Is there any problem using Welches Grape Juice for kiddush or the four cups
>on Pesach. I have heard that there is a controversy over its use because it
>is 'from concentrate'. Has this issue been resolved one way or another?

Right. Welch's grape juice is reconstituted.  According to the Chicago
Rabbinical Council, it should not be used for the four cups on Pesach.
(I haven't heard about kiddush, but I would assume that it would apply
as well.)  But, according to the O-U, it is acceptable.

I wouldn't hold my breath on the issue being resolved before Moshiach's
arrival. :)



End of Volume 23 Issue 69