Volume 30 Number 59
                 Produced: Sun Jan  2  8:48:45 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Administrivia - Chumrot
         [Avi Feldblum]
Cholov Yisrael
         [Joseph Geretz]
Chumrot (2)
         [Fred Dweck, Elanit Z. Rothschild]
Chumrot & Cholov Yisroel
         [Oren Popper]
Chumrot Revisited
         [Moshe Goldberg]
Supervision of kashruth
         [Perets Mett]
Types of gezeirot
         [Binyomin Segal]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 08:48:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Administrivia - Chumrot

Hello all, and welcome to the new (secular) calendar year of January 2000.
Thanks to the diligent efforts of our Shamash staff, we have had all our
Y2K patches installed, and we are running with no interuptions. The topic
of Chumrot have come up as part of the Cholov Yisrael thread, and one
poster mentioned that we have discussed this a number of times on
mail-jewish. I suspect that this might be one of the "favorite" topics for
our list, so I did a quick check of the Fullindex file, and here is a not
fully inclusive list of volumes and issues that have discussed it:


So you can see from the shape of the curve above that it is time for this
topic to get hot here once again. I would recommend that people take the
time to read some of the earlier discussions, but as the great majority
were a number of years ago, I suspect we will follow many of the same
threads again. But I think we have a lot of new people, and there has been
time to forget what was said then, so I'll let it roll.

One comment, which I repeat in one of the submissions below, is that I
think there have been sufficient postings on the Cholov Yisrael thread
that show that the fundimental question is not requiring Cholov Yisrael vs
allowing Cholov Akum but rather what is the halachic status of a
non-jewishly supervised container of milk in a US supermarket - Cholov
Yisrael or Cholov Akum.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 22:08:56 -0500
Subject: Cholov Yisrael

Regarding Cholov Yisroel, Isaac Balbin wrote:
> (As far as Lubavitch are concerned, most don't follow the dictum of
> the Alter Rebbe anyway because there is a specific Chumroh in
> Lubavitch about heating to a higher temperature. In most Chalav
> Yisroel around the world it is not heated to this temperature and
> Lubavitchers the world over use it)

Could you (or anyone else) explain this please? What is the significance
of heating in regards to milk? I understand that Lubavitchers hold a
higher temperature is necessary in order to achieve a state of Mevushal
(cooked) for wine, but I don't see the significance of heating milk in
regards to any sort of Kashruth issue. Although, if there is indeed some
sort of relevant heating issue, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


From: Fred Dweck <fredd@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 08:32:36 -0800
Subject: Chumrot

I have no need to quote any of the other postings. I have only one thing
to say, regarding chumrot:

With chumrot, we are, in fact, second guessing Hashem, and
*disrespecting* Him. Hashem, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a perfect
document, in the Torah. He clearly let us know what He wanted us to do
and not to do. In some cases, Hazal derived certain "new" halachot from
the language of the Torah, such as putting a fence around the Torah,
etc. However, the chumrot of today seem to assume that Hashem either
didn't know how to (chas veshalom) or was afraid to tell us what He
*REALLY* wanted of us, so we will now tell Him what He neglected to tell
us, and justify it by saying; "that's what He REALLY wanted." That
position assumes that the Torah is not perfect and smacks of - if not
actually transgresses - "Bal Tosif." The Torah clearly tells us what
we can and cannot do, eat; how we should and should not act, etc. As an
example, (and only as an example) the Torah does not mention Chalav
Yisrael at all. Do we assume that Hashem forgot to put it in, and we are
"helping" Him or editing His Torah? Certainly, we have a clear
obligation to make sure that the milk is kosher, but where in the Torah
does it say anything about that it has to be "Jewish milk?" How dare we
have the lack of respect and awe of Hashem, to degrade - by
implication - the perfection of His Torah? Hashem is perfect and his
Torah is perfect. Let's not degrade the Torah by adding to it. "Kol
hamosif goreah."  (all who add, detract)!

[Rabbi Dweck, you confuse me here. In previous postings you have clearly
indicated that Chazal, at least through the period of the Sanhedrin, and
most likely through the chasimas hatalmud (the "sealing" of the Talmud")
had the right to create gezerot - decrees. Milk that comes from a
milking that was not seen by a Jew is a halachic concept that clearly
dates back to the Talmud. The only discussion I understand is whether
from a halachic perspective what we often call cholov stam or cholov
hacompanies is halachically equivalent to cholov yisrael or not. So as
an example, I think the cholov yisrael chumra / requirement is a poor
choice for the point you are trying to make. Mod.]

We need to look at Malachi 3, which says:

"From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my ordinances,
and have not kept them; Return to me and I will return to you, says the
Lord of hosts; But you said, HOW SHALL WE RETURN:?"

The answer comes at the end of the chapter:

"Remember the Torah of Moses my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for
ALL ISRAEL, with the statutes and judgments:"

The very next Pasuk is: (If you do this, then...)

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great
and terrible day of the Lord:"

It is my opinion that the chumrot of today - which increase on a daily
basis - are NOT the Torah of Moshe His servant! We have a great need to
go back to "THE" Torah, and to stop second guessing Hashem with our own
ideas of what He prefers.

"Gal Enai Ve'abita Niflaot Mi'toratecha!"

Rabbi Fred (Yeshuah) E. Dweck

From: Elanit Z. Rothschild <Ezr0th@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 10:44:08 EST
Subject: Re: Chumrot

    I would just like to add one thought on chumrot (because however you
slice it, the issue always boils down to the who and the what and no
general answer will suffice):

    It is very important for everyone to realize that whenever you are
machmir on a certain issue, you are subsequently being maikel on
something else.  It happens even if you don't realize or intend it to
be.  The question is which will make you a better Jew.  And only the
individual can answer that one.

Elanit Z. Rothschild


From: Oren Popper <opopper@...>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 22:30:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Chumrot & Cholov Yisroel

In MJ Volume 30 Number Carl Singer wrote:

<<Ours is a loving G-d who wants us to thrive and enjoy the richness and
beauty of the world that He created for us, not one who wants us to
suffer in order to prove our loyalty.  "Harder" is better may on the
surface sound right, but it's wrong.>>

Rabbi Shemtov in his post did not contrast "Harder" with "Easier", he
contrasted "Better" with "Easier".  As you correctly pointed out,
"Harder" does not always mean "better".

In this specific case (of Cholov Yisroel) I believe there is a
distinction to be made. Unlike the case you presented with the Eruv,
where it is clearly muttar according to certain opinions; a person
choosing not to rely on the Eruv is either machmir according to other
opinions (regarding the definition of reshus horabim), or has an extra
chumra just in case something might happen to the Eruv, or maybe the
Eruv itself may not be up to a certain standard.

Cholov Yisroel vs. Cholov Akum is clearly different.  Using Cholov
Yisroel exclusively should not be viewed as a chumro, it is a clear din
is Shulchan Oruch.  Those who wish to use Cholov Akum have a heter (only
in extreme cases - as pointed out by Yosef Braun).

[As has been pointed out by a number of posters, the position of those
who drink "cholov stam" or "cholov hacompanies" is that this is not a
heter for Cholov Akum, but that it constitues Cholov Yisrael as per the
Shulchan Aruch, and that insisting on what we call "cholov yisrael" is a
chumrah beyond that required by the Shulchan Aruch. Mod.]

Andrew M Greene wrote:

<<Halacha is a system in which certain things are permissible and others
are forbidden.  To *always* rule l'chumrah is to move things from the
permissible category into the forbidden category, which, I believe, is a
violation of bal tosif [do not add new commandments to the Torah].>>

There is a Chassidic story (I'm sure one of our distinguished readers
could fill us in with the exact details) about a woman who came with a
Chicken which had a Sheilo to one of the Rebbe'im. The Rebbe tried for a
very long time to find a heter for the chicken.  When the woman saw it
is not so simple she told the Rebbe: if there is a problem, please don't
try any more, I can forgo this chicken. To this the Rebbe answered that
the chicken is begging to be elevated by being deemed kosher and eaten
by a Jew.

<<While there are, no doubt, people who seek out the easiest way to
follow halacha, it does not follow that we must seek out the most
difficult way to follow halacha. And to suggest that those who follow a
less machmir position must be seeking the easy way out is divisive and
smacks of disrespect for people who make an earnest effort to live
according to the mitzvot.>>

These are two distinct issues. One, as Carl Singer correctly pointed
out, is that "harder" does not always mean "better". There is a case to
be made for following Hashem's will in the best way.

The other issue is suggesting that following a less machmir position
means seeking the easy way out. I did not read this suggestion in Rabbi
Shemtov's words, and I totaly agree with Andrew that following a less
machmir position is not the easy way out. Just look at all the
differences in rulings between Sefaradim and Ashkenazim. In this case
following one ruling as opposed to the other is clearly not seeking the
'easy way out' but a mandated ruling to follow the ruling and minhag of
one's forefathers. (On the light side of things, the joke goes that the
reason Sefaradim say selichos beginning on Rosh Chodesh Ellul while
Ashkenazim say it only during the last week of Ellul, is that Sefaradim
need extra forgiveness for eating Kitniyos on Pesach :-)).

Oren Popper


From: Moshe Goldberg <mgold@...>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 09:17:16 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Chumrot Revisited

Once again, mail-jewish finds itself discussing the topic of chumrot
[stringencies]. But, in this case, the same issue has both an
oversimplified statement and a fine example demonstrating the error

> From: Eliezer Shemtov <shemtov@...>
> 	Sometimes one finds oneself in an UNUSUAL situation where a
> Chumroh might lead to a kulo or even an Isur. 

As has been stated many times before in mail-jewish, EVERY chumra
carries along with it one or more kulot [leniencies] in either the same
or some other mitzva.  Something like a well-known law of physics:
     "Every chumra has one or more accompanying kulot."  One example is
to decide to be more stringent than an earlier custom.  This almost
always conflicts with the value of "la'az" [disparaging remarks] about
previous generations (see the beginning of Gittin, around page 6).

Another example appears in the same issue of mail-jewish. Any chumra
either costs money or time, which might well have been spent on a
different (more important?) mitzva. See below.

> From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
> And not to take any parnoseh away from any sheitelmachers, but my wife
> covers her hair with mail-order synthetic hair wigs.  When I offered to
> buy her a human hair wig she replied that we should instead, send
> another $1000 to our favorite Yeshiva.  She's always been much smarter
> than I am.  (But apparently she doesn't know the cost of sheitels, $1000
> doesn't cut it any more.)

  Moshe Goldberg -- <mgold@...>


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 18:29:18 +0000
Subject: Supervision of kashruth

There has been some comment on the list recently about standards of
kashruth supervision. In particular this affects airline passengers, who
may not know in advance the source of the supervision.

Most airlines flying out of London, England (but not, currently, El Al)
can supply kosher meals with the brand name Hermolis. This company has a
catering facility supervised by the Union of Orthodox Hebrew
Congregations (of London) which uses the kashruth symbol 'Kedassia'.

According to the rulings of its parent Beth Din, the only milk allowed
is Cholov Yisroel and all bread is Pas Yisroel. Mezonos rolls are
specifically permitted on airline meals in accordance with the Psak of
the Av Beth din, Rav H Padwa Shlita.

The shechita includes a number of hidurim, including no post-shechita
stunning of cattle, and inspection of the legs of poultry for possible
damage to the tsomes hagidin.

In practice, although the UOHC rabbinate does not require it, for
several years now all the meat has been glatt.

A high standard of bedika is required for vegetables, and many
vegetables are in fact not available under kedassia supervision because
of the difficulty in inspecting them adequately.

Perets Mett


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 17:38:33 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Types of gezeirot

Mark Steiner's analysis of gezeirot based on the Hazon Ish is, I believe,
mistaken in one minor detail.

  * Actually, yekkes who are strict about cholov yisroel and lenient about
  * mayim aharonim, according to this analysis, are contradicting
  * themselves, unless, of course, they believe on factual grounds that
  * government supervision is not reliable, because of the lack of
  * enforcement, etc.  But note that even cholov yisroel may not be
  * reliable, because of the halakha that the mashgiach need not even be in
  * the line of sight continuously as the cows are being milked.  I myself
  * have witnessed such hashgacha, and frankly, if there really were a
  * problem with milk coming from pigs or donkeys, this sort of hashgacha
  * would not prevent such fraud.

There is another logical possiblity. Although many poskim do agree in
theory to the idea of these two categories (or at least something akin
to these two categories) deciding which geziros fall into which category
is not simple. Hence, although the Hazon Ish puts Chalov Yisroel into
the "changeable" category he may (or may not) agree that mayim achronim
is in that category. Similarly, although Yekkes seem to agree that such
a category exists (and that mayim achronim is in that category) they
need not agree that cholov yisroel is in the changeable category.



End of Volume 30 Issue 59