Volume 25 Number 56
                      Produced: Fri Dec 27 11:16:48 1996

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Menashe Elyashiv]
Beer for Havdala (was Chamar Medinah)
         [Carl Sherer]
Blacks and Moderns in North America
         [Eliyahu Shiffman]
Chamar Medinah (4)
         [Gershon Klavan, Dr Isaac Balbin, Daniel Eidensohn, Avi
         [Deborah Kleinman]
Mistaken Halacha
         [Binyomin Segal]
         [Eliezer Finkelman]
Soda as Chamar Medina
         [Steven Oppenheimer]
Trop on "urtzon shochni seneh"
         [Moshe J. Bernstein]


From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 17:58:32 +0200 (WET)
Subject: Aneinu 

It seems that the reason for saying A. even when Tahnun is not said is the
same reason that Ashkanazim do not say Avinu Malkanu on R. Hashana or Yom
Kippur that falls on Shabbat. What ever is in Shemona Esrei we say, what
ever is outside of Shemona Esrei we don"t say.( Our custom is to say
A.M.even on Shabbat but for a different reason)
Menashe Elyashiv


From: Carl Sherer <sherer@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 01:35:32 +0000
Subject: Beer for Havdala (was Chamar Medinah)

Binyomin Segal writes:

> I personally use wine (except 9 days and motzei pesach when i use
> beer)

Could you explain the origin of your custom to use beer for Havdala 
on Motzei Pesach? This strikes me as a difficult custom to keep as 
one would normally not have beer in the house right after the Chag 
(and, at least here in Eretz Yisroel, it would be difficult to go and 
buy it for several hours after the Chag).

-- Carl Sherer

Please daven and learn for a Refuah Shleima for our son,
Baruch Yosef ben Adina Batya among the sick of Israel.  
Thank you very much.

Carl and Adina Sherer


From: Eliyahu Shiffman <khuia@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 06:52:18 GMT
Subject: Blacks and Moderns in North America

My wife and I will soon be travelling to North America for the first time
since making aliya from Toronto more than five years ago. I admit that I've
already forgotten many things about life there. In MJ, North Americans
sometimes describe themselves or others as being "haredi" or "modern
orthodox" -- and I remember "modern" often being used derogatorily by
"blacks" in Toronto to describe what they saw as the religious inferiority
of others. In Israel, I understand the distinction between Haredim and
Datiim Leumiim, which is primarily wrapped up in people's relationship to
the modern State of Israel. But (he asks naively), in North America, where
one's relationship to the modern State is not the issue, what distinguished
Haredim from Modern Orthodox, besides their fashion choices?

Eliyahu Shiffman
Beit Shemesh


From: Gershon Klavan <klavan@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 10:36:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Chamar Medinah

Rabbi Aaron Rothkof-Rakeffet in Yerushalayim is quite involved with the
soda as chamar medina issue and he might be a good source for
articles/psakim about the topic.

Gershon Klavan

From: <isaac@...> (Dr Isaac Balbin)
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 15:10:22 +1000
Subject: Re: Chamar Medinah

>Elozor Preil asked about Chamar Medinah:
>*I have heard that more than a few Jews use soda or juice for kiddush or
>*havdalah.  Does anyone have any authoritative sources for permiting soda
>*or juice as chamar medinah, especially in light of the ready
>*availability of wine and grape juice in the US today?

Sheilos U'Tshuvos Machazeh Eliyohu, Siman 14 notes that even according
to those who permit Tea and Coffee for Kiddush and Havdoloh, this is
only with Milk and Sugar! One assumes (and this is indeed mentioned in
Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso 60:6 that this means for those who normally
drink it with Milk and Sugar.
The Chazon Ish, as reported in Orchos Rabbeinu page 128, is reported as
opining that in Eretz Yisroel, Beer is not considered Chamar Medina.
In respect of Havdolo on Milk, see Tshuvos Divrei Yisroel who permits it
(as does the Aruch Hashulchan) and notes that the Yismach Yisroel
(Alexander) used to make Havdolo on milk.
Of course there are those who are against all this leniencies (eg Minchas
Shabbos 96:9).

The only other issue which I believe needs to be dealt with is the fact
that we actually (finally) have decent wines which we would not be
ashamed to serve a guest (as opposed to the sickly sweet sugar stuff
which isn't fit for the Mizbeach and which Geonim such as Rav
Soloveitchik forbade for use for Kiddush!). The problem is that the
decent wines cost quite a deal of money (in Australia for example, a
bottle of Baron Herzog or JB. Furst costs upwards of $15.) Also, a
decent red (as opposed to white) is even harder to come by. Clearly then
(IMHO), the leniencies described by the Aruch Hashulchan in Ayin Resih
Beis, Seif Yud Daled are germane (although not exactly for the reasons
he mentions) IMNSHO.

From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 12:17:21 -0800
Subject: Chamar Medinah

>From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
>I have heard many rabbaonim justify using soda for havdalah based on Rav
>Moshe's tshuva. As I recall the justification is as follows - Rav Moshe
>defines "chamar medinah" as something you would serve a guest - not because
>they are thirsty, but as a part of the visit. A claasic example would be
>tea or coffee. Based on this definition - Rav Moshe forbids using soda.
>however today soda is a LOT more "standard" than when he wrote the tshuva
>(late 50s, early 60s??). Today soda may very well fall into Rav Moshe's
>standard even though it did not then.

Rav Moshe's tshuva is Orech Chaim II #75 page 267. While Reb Moshe does
require that the beverage be one that is served not only for thirst, he
also specifies that it be a drink which would never be served just for
thirst. The criterion is whether a person who was served the drink could
refuse by saying he wasn't thirsty. If he could refuse because he wasn't
thirsty then it is not "chamar medinah". He specifically states that
since someone being offered soda could refuse it solely because he was
not thirsty and would not be viewed as refusing the honor - therefore it
is not "chamar medinah". Therefore he allows milk and tea only in
emergency situations. According to this I don't see how you can rely on
this tshuva to permit the use of soda even if it is more standard..

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 10:59:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Chamar Medinah

Isaac Balbin writes:
> The only other issue which I believe needs to be dealt with is the fact
> that we actually (finally) have decent wines which we would not be
> ashamed to serve a guest (as opposed to the sickly sweet sugar stuff
> which isn't fit for the Mizbeach and which Geonim such as Rav
> Soloveitchik forbade for use for Kiddush!). The problem is that the
> decent wines cost quite a deal of money (in Australia for example, a
> bottle of Baron Herzog or JB. Furst costs upwards of $15.) 

Isaac touches here on one of my hot buttons. As many of the Highland
Park members of mail-jewish know, wine is one of the areas I am Machmir
(act in a stringent manner) on. As Isaac mentions, there are plenty of
good and excellent Kosher wines available, especially in the New York
area, and the price here is not so bad. A movie seems to run about $6-8,
newspapers can cost probably $4-5 for a week, eating out at even a low
cost fast food kosher place I'm sure will cost at least $5-7 per
person. You can get good non-mevushal wine for $8-15 a bottle, and
really excellent wine for $15-25 a bottle. If we look at the discussions
in the Talmud about making Kiddush on wine and doing Birchat Hamazon
over wine whenever there is a mezuman (three who eat together), what I
gather is that this was viewed by our Sages as a very important
activity. So why, when it is available in our towns and is not an
expense greater than what many of us spend each week on nareshkeit
(silliness) do we not act in a stringent manner here?

Avi Feldblum


From: <Deb546750@...> (Deborah Kleinman)
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 11:12:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Cheese

I am replying to the discussion on cheeses. I usually just listen in to the
interesting discussions and have never before offered an answer but I am
currently writing a kosher cookbook "Secrets of Fat-Free Kosher Cooking"
Avery Publishing and I have become familiar with the various discussions on
the kashrus of cheeses.
According to the ArtScroll "Kashruth" the problems with cheese are
several......cheese produced by non-Jews is considered "g'vinas akum" (cheese
produced by a non-Jew), as someone already stated on mail-Jewish. And the
milk must also come from a kosher animal.  Another very important part of the
problem is the enzyme rennet used in hard cheeses. This enzyme comes from the
lining of a calf's stomach. Now a calf is a kosher animal, but the important
thing here is the calf must be schected according to kosher law or else its
stomach lining cannot be used to make kosher cheese.
People can tell themselves that the rennet doesn't come from a pig stomach,
but no one can believe that a non-kosher cheese producer is going to use the
stomach of only ritually slaughtered calves. So, hence the problem with


From: <bsegal@...> (Binyomin Segal)
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 21:56:54 -0600
Subject: Re: Mistaken Halacha

Mechy Frankel brings up an interesting point in his recent discussion of
Torah texts:

*4.  This all leads one to connect to a much broader and troubling issue,
*one which has appeared in various contexts in many other places.  What
*is the proper halakhic position when the basis of the original decision
*is definitively shown to be in error.  Today's question of the
*"vayihiyu" vs "vayihi" is yet another interesting example.

This issue is addressed - in a different context - by both Rav Moshe and
Rav Ovadia Yosef (i apologize for the lack of cites - this is from

The question they both address is havara (pronounciation of Hebrew) -
specifically is one allowed to change his personal custom in

Both seem to agree that there must - at one time - have been one correct
havara. Both accept that personal mesorah - ie what my father(s) did is
sufficient to rely on.


Rav Ovadia Yosef takes it as obvious that Sephardic havara is
scientifically proven to _in_fact_ be the correct havara, and therefore
one would be allowed to switch to that havara.

Rav Moshe is seemingly unimpressed with evidence besides
Mesorah. Mesorah seems to be for him the overriding evidence - therefore
one may not switch his personal havara in any direction.

I would be curious to know if there are any other places where tshuvot
directly or indirectly address this issue.



From: <Finkelmans@...> (Eliezer Finkelman)
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 15:25:05 -0500
Subject: Shukkling

Dear mail-jewish

A couple of months ago, my friend Rabbi David Derovan told me about a
research topic of his: Opposition to "Shukkling" in rabbinnic sources.

In the course of our discussion, I recalled a Hasidic master's answer to
the question, "Why do your followers move when they pray, while you stay
  As I remember it, the Hasidic master answered with a daring
comparison, more or less: "When a man first gets married, he does now
know exactly what to do to please his wife.  It takes some thrashing
about.  An experienced married man knows exactly what his wife needs,
and hardly has to move at all."

But naturally, I cannot remember where I saw this source.  Do you think
any of those who read mail-Jewish can find the source for me?


Eliezer Finkelman


From: Steven Oppenheimer <oppy@...>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 23:41:38 +0000
Subject: Soda as Chamar Medina

Regarding the consideration of soda as Chamar Medina, Rabbi Simcha Bunim
Cohen writes in his book Radiance of Shabbas that he asked Rav Moshe
Feinstein, zt"l, in 1984 (5744) about using soda as Chamar Medina since
today everyone drinks this beverage at weddings.  Rav Moshe answered,
nonetheless, it is not to be considered as Chamar Medina.

Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, however, does permit the use of
soda as Chamar Medina.  ( See Radiance of Shabbos and also Shut Divrei

Shut Divrei Chachomim also writes that Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv,
shlita, permits soda as chamar medina as does Tzitz Eliezer.  ( See Shut
Divrei Chachomim, page 86).

It seems that there are certainly lenient views, although the custom
seems to be otherwise.

I hope this is helpful.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.D.S.


From: Moshe J. Bernstein <mjbrnstn@...>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:54:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Trop on "urtzon shochni seneh"

Regarding the question on the trop of "urtzon shochni seneh" where the
tipcha is on shochni, not, where we would have expected it, on urtzon,
it is possible that the baalei mesorah wanted to avoid the notion that
God's presence or domicile is limited to the bush which is what
"shochni-seneh" would mean ("the favor of [He who dwells in the
thornbush]"). as a result, they produced the more unusual combination
'urtzon shochni'.
 moshe bernstein


End of Volume 25 Issue 56