Volume 27 Number 17
                      Produced: Sun Oct 26 22:49:15 1997

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buttle b' SHeeshim
         [Michael Hoffman]
Counseling and Halachic Issues
         [Susan Chambre]
Historical Distortions
         [Meir Shinnar]
Pluralism and Politeness
         [Michael J Broyde]
Rav Boruch Rabinovich
         [David Oratz]
When death occurs on Yom TOv where Shabbos directly follows
         [John Kraus]


From: Michael Hoffman <hoffmanm@...>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 19:34:06 +0200
Subject: Buttle b' SHeeshim

>The note re: Kosher Maple Syrup brings up this question.
>How do the various kashrut organizations deal with Buttle b' Sheeshim
>(something being nullified because it is less than 1/60th of the mixture)
>(a) this ingredient is accidentally introduced into the mixture
>  (as in tradition, a drop of milk splatters into fleishig soup) vice
>(b) when this ingredient is purposely added (per the maple syrup example, or
>the add 1 tsp. of milk to every gallon of chicken soup -- per some mythical

 There definitely is a difference between lechatchilah and bediavad.  If
a non-kosher substance accidentally fell in, all the rules of bittul
apply, such as bittul b'shishim.(The laws of bittul don't apply if we
are still aware of the issur, even if it is less than 1/60 e.g. if the
issur is sharp, or changes the consistency or colour of the mixture,
since it would be contradictory to say that the issur is annulled while
we still see or feel it.)
 To use our example - if a small piece of lard accidentally fell into
the maple syrup, it would be permissible according to halacha to eat the
maple syrup, since the lard is boteil. The lard does not change the
colour or consistency of the mixture an can be regarded as if it wasn't
there.  (There is an interesting machlokes brought down in the Pischei
T'shuvah Yoreh Deah 116:10 if one is allowed to be stringent and not eat
something that is boteil b'shishim or if it would be "chashash
apikorsus" to be stringent where the Amoraim were not.)
 If the lard was always added intentionally to the maple syrup, the
halacha is very different, even though we are left with exactly the same
mixture containing less than 1/60th of lard. The problem in this case
would be "bittul issur l'chatchila" (=intentional annulling) and the
halacha is that the mixture is forbidden to the person who did the
annulment and also to the person/s for whom the food was
intended. Therefore in a case where the maple syrup has a hechsher, and
the producer made it for the Jewish market - it would be forbidden to
Jews. If the factory has no hechsher, the halacha might be more lenient,
since the produce was not meant for Jews, and "bittul issur bi'dei akum"
is allowed (if it is a non-Jew who does the bittul there is no issur,
for he is not aware of doing anything wrong, and the mixture has a din
of bediavad.)
 It is ironic that from a certain point of view the product (with
bittul) without a hechsher might be halachically better than the product
with a hechsher, and I certainly don't want to imply that one should go
out looking for products with no hechsher.
 It could also be a problem where the non-Jew did the bittul and the
product has no hechsher, because of a Rivash (quoted by Rabbi Akiva
Eiger to Yoreh Deah 99:5 d"h "v'chein") that states that if the bittul
was done "stam" for whomever would by the product, that it is to be
considered that the bittul was done specifically for the buyer, and
would thus be prohibited.  The rules of bittul issur by non-Jews are
very complex and could differ between places where there are very few
Jews (where the producer has no interest in the Jewish market and where
he does not add volume because of the Jews) and products that are aimed
for the Jewish market etc.  In certain countries where there are only
very few Jews the local Rabbinates have no choice but to include in
their kosher lists also products that are produced with bittul issur -
but products that bear good kosher symbols should (hopefully) be
produced using only kosher ingredients.

Have a healthy winter,
Michael Hoffman


From: <Smchambre@...> (Susan Chambre)
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 16:54:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Counseling and Halachic Issues

Aside from the general halachic issues in this post which require a LOR,
I suggest that Chaim look more closely at the work of the Chofetz Chaim
which illuminates the enormous complexity associated with loshon hora
since listenening to statements that stem from a person's anxiety is
understood to be of a slightly different nature.

One of my children was reluctant to speak to a guidance counselor about
his feelings about his Rebbeim because of his strong sense that it was
loshon hora. This is the flip side of the issue.

Susan Chambre


From: <meir_shinnar@...> (Meir Shinnar)
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 97 12:31:35 -0500
Subject: Historical Distortions

In the recent discussions about historical distortions, one respondent
said about Artscroll books that might not distort

>(Another book that comes to mind is the translation of the biography of
>Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld zt"l, which has a very good chapter on Rav
>Kook zt"l.)

The introduction to the recent English translation of Orot by Rav Kook
discusses this book in some detail.  It shows that this book is full of
errors, especially about the relationship of Rav Kook to what became the
Edha Haharedit.

This book is, however, one of the few instances where the Rav Kook is
mentioned at all in any of the Artscroll books. The fact that the
description is somewhat positive does make an impression.

This brings up the issue of distortion by omission. It is a source of
wonder to me that Artscroll can publish so much on 20th century Jewish
history and thought without mentioning the Rav Kook, zt"l, Rav
Soloveitchik, zt"l, or the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt"l, clearly three gdolim
who have had tremendous impact both on Jewish thought and action.

Rav Soloveithchik zt"l is mentioned in the Stone Humash.  This may be
because of the Stone family's relationship with the Rav (the Stone
Humash even mentions Rav Lamm because of this relationship).  He has not
been mentioned, to my knowledge, in any other publication.

Secondly, one respondent said that it was inappropriate to say that the
Netziv read a newspaper, because we don't know what type of newspaper it
was - the Yated Neeman, New York Times, or a British tabloid.  However,
we do know. In the original Hebrew, the Mekor Baruch, it is fairly
explicit.  There were two major Jewish newspapers, a haredi one and a
more maskilish paper (I don't have access right now to the Mekor Baruch,
and can't give exact citations).  The Netziv preferred the more
maskilish paper to the haredi paper, as it was more accurate.

Lastly, the main issue is the censoring and remaking of history in order
to present history the way it should have been.  Many both on the list
and in private discussions agree that this occurs, but do not view it as
a major problem.  After all, it is done by the hareidi camp "leshem
shamaim".  I just ran across the following from the Rav Kook zt"l that
specifically addresses the issue of why this support of "fables of
faith" should upset us.

from Rav Avraham Itzhak HaCohen Kook: Between Rationalism and Mysticism
Benjamin Ish Shalom, SUNY 1993, page 17, from a manuscript of the Rav
Kook, now also in Orot Haemuna

The enslavement of the intelligence and its stupefaction result from
certain influences, and the more holy the influences, the greater the
damage done, amounting to the corruption of prophecy in God's name,
actions of wickedness and impurity, idol worship and abomination.  Thus
when the attempt to stupefy the intelligence is presented in the name of
faith, of fear of Heaven, or diligence in Torah and fulfilling of
mitzvot, it becomes a terrible lie and a filthy impurity.  Then the holy
ones of the Most High, God's pure servants, must go forth to redeem the
world and Israel, the Torah, and all that is holy to the Lord from these
destroyers.  Let them be who they may: liars who want only to cheat
their fellows or fur-cloaked deceivers, weak of spirit and small of
mind, whose own intellectual light has been obstructed, their feelings
dulled, and their imagination coarsened, who purposefully and thoroughly
trample down the reality before them, their own faith enrooted in mere
fables of faith...  And thus souls stumble and fall, and human beings
live the lives of beasts, degradation without knowledge or
understanding, without human honor, that most basic element in
recognizing the honour of Heaven that fills the world, that gives life
to all, and animates spirit and soul.

Meir Shinnar


From: Michael J Broyde <mbroyde@...>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 13:08:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Pluralism and Politeness

A series of recent posts discuss pluralism in discourse with Orthodox,
Conservative and Reform Jews.  I would like to make a number of
observations about these topics.

(1) Politeness is not a form of pluralism.  It is a cultural norm that
governs a variety of different interactions we have with people.  It is
very contextual, and determined by society.  In our American society it
is crucual to understand that we rarely express our disagreements with a
person's philosophical or religious views with invectives or mocking,
and the people who do use such languge are viewed as in error.  It is
close to a form of chillul hashem when one engages in such conduct in
our society.  Little is gained by it, also.

(2) Inter-Orthodox discussions are grounded on more substantive grounds,
and the "rules of discourse" have to reflect that fact.  There is a
significant distinction to be found in discussing what is the halacha
with one who is in error as to what the halacha is -- but accepts the
halachic system as binding -- as discourse with one who rejects these
basic principles.  To'eh bedevar halacha (one who errs on a matter of
halacha) no matter how serious never becomes a mumar or apikores.
Rishonim engagaged in profound debate about many issues without ever
undermining each others status as orthodox Jews.  As noted by the Sefer
Ha-Ikkrim 1:2, the Rishhonim discussed issues of belief without ever
labelling each other heretics. Respect here is more than politeness; it
is acceptance of common membership in the community of halachic Jews.

(3) On the side issue of Rav Moshe's view of Conservative and Reform
rabbis, and their status, it is clear that Rav Moshe distinguished
between the two groups.  When discussing reform rabbis, he labels their
conduct as always violative of Jewish law, and their status as eligible
to sit on a beit din as clear (they cannot).  When it comes to
Conservative rabbis, he states that the same is "presumptively" true
(See Iggrot Moshe YD 1:160, at page 321.).  This reflects a norm of
Jewish life in America, which is that there was a time (perhaps not
over) when a small number of people deeply committed to halacha and who
were personally fully observant served in different capacities in
conservative synagogues, or other synagogues where conduct that
categorically violates halacha was done.  Thus, one has always
encountered specific Conservative rabbis whose gitten where accepted by
specific Orthodox poskim.

Michael Broyde

Michael J. Broyde
Emory University School of Law
Atlanta, GA 30322
Voice: 404 727-7546; Fax 404 727-3374


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 07:49:29 -500
Subject: Re: Rav Boruch Rabinovich

 In Mail Jewish 27/14 Jeanette Friedman refers to the tragic story of
her uncle Rav Boruch Rabinovich. However, it is unfair to tell of part
of the tragedy out of context. He was (and is) a great Talmud Chochom
who had overflow crowds in the "zionist enclave" Mea Shearim listen to
his drashos after the holocaust -- despite his belief at the time "that
there should be a Medionat Yisrael".  Soon after the war, his wife, the
daughter of the previous Munkatche rebbe (who handpicked this "heretic"
for a son - in - law) died, leaving him with a houseful of little
children. In an act that many chasidim viewed as lese majeste for the
head of a royal dynasty, he soon afterwards married the maid.  He then
moved to South America and went to University, actions not quite
consistent with being the head of one of the largest chassidic courts.
 I must admit that I was unaware of the fighting that went on at his
son's wedding (although I was aware that he was part of the triumvirate:
the Rebbe zecher zaddik levracha, the rebbe Shlita, and the rebbe Yimach
Shmo!)  On the other hand a different nephew of Rabbi Rabinovich told me
that when he came in for his son's wedding, he knew that they were
planning to coronate his son as the rebbe, and outsmarted them by being
the first petitioner to give the New rebbe A "kvitel" right after the
 I certainly cannot judge the trauma Ms. Friedman suffered at the
wedding, and the sinas chinom certainly is and was a tragedy, but it is
part of a larger tragedy that should be kept in perspective.



From: John Kraus <jmk@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 20:47:58 +1000
Subject: When death occurs on Yom TOv where Shabbos directly follows

I am just wondering if any one would know the Halacha that is practiced
around the world with respect to my question. On Simchat Torah Night,
one of my freinds mothers (A'H) past away. They went to the Rav of the
Yeshiva Communtiy, and they were told to start saying kadddish, not to
receive Hakafot or an Aliyah and not to dance. The 'proper' shiva was to
start after Shabbos on sunday .(Simchat Torah was on thrusday
night). The Adass communtiy, of which they are affiliated with wanted
the burial to be on second day Yom Tov. The family decided for numerous
reasons that the burial should take place on sunday. I have heard
various comments and thoughts on whether kaddish should have been said
before the burial or not, do you know of any cases like this ?

Please let me know if you do, i am very interested to know.


End of Volume 27 Issue 17