Volume 30 Number 80
                 Produced: Tue Jan 11  5:54:21 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Buying Bread In A Non-Jewish Bakery.
         [Immanuel Burton]
Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks (6)
         [Edward Black, Mordechai Shlomo Bendon , Percy Mett, Alan
Rubin, Mark Steiner, Bernard Kozlovsky]
Mayim Achronim
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
Welcoming Guests
         [Carl SInger]


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 12:59:14 -0800
Subject: Buying Bread In A Non-Jewish Bakery.

My understanding of the Halachah is that in an area where Jewish-made
bread is not available one may purchase commercially-made bread from a
non-Jewish baker, provided that all the ingredients, baking utensils,
etc are kosher.

If one is able to bake one's own bread (or if one has a breadmaking
machine so that one doesn't even have to get one's hands dirty), does
one have to go the effort of baking one's own bread, or can one still
buy the non-Jewish bread?

A second question that I have is how far away does the nearest Jewish
baker have to be before one is allowed to buy from a non-Jewish baker?

Just as an aside, this matter came up on a recent holiday. [A quick note
for my American colleagues. The British term "holiday" translates to
what we would call "vacation". Mod.]

Immanuel Burton.
 Immanuel Burton Photography        |         Tel: 020-8458 1624
 57, St George's Road               |         Fax: 0870-063 1163
 London                             |       Email: <photos@...>
 NW11 0LU                           |         Web: http://www.ibphoto.co.uk


From: Edward Black <eblack@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 23:21:43 +0000
Subject: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks

The up to date position from England for malt whisky drinkers is that
the kashrus authorities here continue to follow a teshuva originally
promulgated by Dayan Weiss some years ago with full knowledge of all the
relevant facts about the distilling process and use of sherry casks.

I was given a copy of this five page teshuva (Minchat Yitzchak Siman 28
(B'Inyan Scotch Whisky Maychashash YY"G[Yayin gefen]) by Rabbi J Conway
who heads the United Synagogue's Kashrut Authority.  I have also
discussed the subject with Dayan Ch. Ehrentreu who is the Av Beth Din of
the United Synagogue Beth Din.

Dayan Ehrentreu has not only confirmed the acceptability of the teshuva
of Dayan Weiss but has such malt whisky (Macallan's) in his own home.

Kind regards

Edward Black

From: Mordechai Shlomo Bendon 
Subject: Re: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:39:20 +0200

The Psak Halacha was issued in Britain by the late Dayan Abramski. He
was considered by many, including HaRav Moshe Feinstein, to be the
leading Posek in Europe at that time and the leading expert in Kashrut.

Dayan Abramski examined the technique the distilleries used very
carefully. It is the case that the cask barrels that they use, having
previously contained Yayin Stam, have been kept outside and open to the
elements for many months, thus changing the status of the barrels. It is
not even an inyan of Bitul BeShishim. According the halacha, the barrels
have nothing edible or drinkable connected with them. As far as kashrut
is concerned, these barrels have no status what so ever.

That the whisky manufacturers claim that the barrels improve the taste
of the whisky is of no concern to us!

Please note: When discussing Single Malt whiskies, one must be careful
to define one's terms.

Whisky (without an 'e') is Scotch, ie comes from Scotland.  All other
countries should spell their grain based drinks with an 'e'. American
Burbon whiskey for example.

Single Malt is a pure barley grain based distilled drink.  There are
many different single malt distilleries in Scotland all producing their
own unique single malts.

Each makes their own single malts using their own particular method of
distilling. The water used is drawn from a local water source which adds
to the single malt's unique taste.

Blended Scotch is a mixture of different single malts with a pure grain
alcohol base. It is obviously a lot cheaper to produce.

The psak halacha issued by the OU that stated that blended whiskies were
fine but single malts were a problem is extremely difficult to
understand, bearing in mind that blended whiskies indeed contain
themselves many different single malts by definition!

For further information, contact the LBD (London Bet Din - DZ) .

From: Percy Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 15:39:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks

So what's new? This is a very old question, and is well known to those
of us in England who have been drinking whisky (yes, there is no 'e' in
Scotch whisky) for as long as we can remember.

Firstly, whether the whisky is single malt or not is largely a red
herring.  Many cheap whiskies are matured in glass, but most -whether
single malt or blended - are matured in oak casks. [Not caskets - that's
something else.]  The main reason for using oak is that the wood imparts
a colour to the whisky. New casks cannot be used for whisky because the
dry wood would soak up too much of the liquor. As it is, a significant
percentage of the whisky disappears by evaporation. Most whisky
distillers use casks previously used for sherry. I suspect that this may
have something to do with the fact that casks used for other wines might
lend a conflciting tatste to the whisky, but I don't know.

It is widely accepted in England that the use of sherry casks does not
give a ta'am lishvach to forbid the whisky. Some individuals are more
machmir and restrict themselves to Glenmorangie 10 years old, Balvenie
15 years old, and Cardhu. I take no repsonsibility for the provenance of
the casks used by these distilleries (but I am happy to recommend the

I have no idea what difference the evidence of someone who does the
Hashgocho (most likely of tinned fish) in Scotland makes. There is no
drinkable Scotch whisky under hasgocho.


Perets Mett

From: Alan Rubin <arubin@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 18:44 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
Subject: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks

This would have been extraordinary psak and a curious way of proceeding.
After all whisky is a staple of any kiddush in the UK and it is well
known that whisky is matured in old sherry casks.  In fact whisky is
colourless after distillation and much of its colour comes from the
cask.  I think that it is not just the more expensive ones that are
matured in sherry casks.

The London Beth Din Kashrut Guide lists whisky as permitted without any
qualification.  Personal observation on many occasions leads me to think
that our Rabbis are fully satisfied with the Kashrus of whisky,
including single malt :-)

Alan Rubin     <arubin@...>

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 22:47:00 +0200
Subject: Re: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks

        Since we we just had a sholom zochor (a grandson), the subject
of whiskey actually came up at the table, without knowing of Rabbi
Riskin's about face.

        I'm not sure we can apply bitul beshishim if there really is
wine absorbed in the walls of the casks.  You would have to take the
ratio of the entire volume of the walls to the volume of the capacity of
the cask--since the Talmud requires this chumrah.  That is, you are not
allowed to estimate how much wine there is in the walls of the casket.
Given this, I doubt that the ratio is one to sixty (but we can ask a
mathematician like Professor Turkel).

        On the other hand, we do have an ruling by R. Moshe, Y.D. vol 1,
62, 63, 64 stating that wine (alone among the forbidden substances) is
nullified in water in the ratio of 1:6 not 1:60, although the matter is
in dispute among the poskim.  He further rules that this law applies not
only to water but to whiskey as well, i.e. that wine is nullified in the
proportion of 1:6 in whiskey as well as water.  (I.e. just as we don't
say "boreh pri hagafen" on diluted wine less than 1:6, so does the wine
lose its wine-character altogether in this proportion.)  It is certain
that the amount of wine in a bottle of whiskey would be less than 16%.
Nor would it matter even if you tasted the "wine" in the whiskey,
because wine, when diluted to the proper proportion, is "no longer

        R. Moshe states explicitly that he regards whiskey containing
less than 16% wine as permitted, though (because of the controversial
nature of his ruling) he recommends that "baalei nefesh" refrain from
drinking such "blended whiskey."  On the other hand, R. Moshe z"l tells
us (at the beginning of 62) that he himself DRANK BLENDED WHISKEY more
than once in shul, where he didn't want to offend a baal simcha.  That
is, Reb Moshe tells us that he drank a beverage which might have
contained nonkosher wine--and also, he adds, animal derived glycerine
(he adds about the glycerine, "all rabbis drink it", as it has no
flavor).  I don't think you could get a better recommendation than that.
(Note that this kula is much more far reaching than the so-called
"cholov akum" "heter".  It involves two very controversial rulings.)  So
I hope nobody will tell us that Reb Moshe didn't take his own rulings
seriously, or that they were for others, "Modern Orthodox," etc.  I
should think we can learn a kal vachomer to "cholov hacompanies," but I
won't belabor the point.

	I'd like to conclude by noting that in looking at R. Moshe's
teshuva I see that he remarks that a number of poskim hold that stam
yaynom even today is forbidden in benefit, which fits exactly the point
I made in my last posting, recommending NOT giving "stam yaynom" to
anybody as a gift.  Boruch shekivnani (the correct form of this
benediction, addressed to Hashem).

	R. Moshe's remark also tells us a lot about the tzaddik R. Moshe
was and the great emphasis he put on "beyn odom lahavero" in deciding
what to do in concrete situations.  In this, he is only going in the
tradition of such gedolim as the Remo, for example, who performed a
wedding in Cracow on Shabbos, when the negotiations between the
mechutonim did not end before "licht benshn" Friday afternoon (he was
almost run out of Cracow for this).  In the Shulchan Arukh O.H. 331, he
repeats the ruling for posterity and remarks that it is based on the
concept of kvod habriyos, not to humiliate the baalei simcha by
cancelling a wedding.  (Even though weddings on Shabbos is a type one
gezerah which cannot be abrogated.)

Mark Steiner

From: Bernard Kozlovsky <BKozlovsky@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 07:24:59 -0500
Subject: Malt Whisky and Sherry Casks

Yisrael Medad asks a question regarding the kashrus of single malt
scotch given the common practice of aging in sherry casks. According to
his post Rav Riskin recently reversed his psak and allows such scotch.

The Vaad Hakashrus of Baltimore (Star-K) published an extensive review
of kashrus in the liquor industry by Rabbi Tzvi Rosen, and basically
allows single malt scotch unless the scotch is listed as being aged
exclusively in sherry casks such as Macallan scotch. We do not otherwise
have to assume that there are sherry casks involved unless the company
specifically states it. The fact that the wine is greater than 60 times
that of the wood is mentioned. If one wanted to be strict in avoiding
any possibility of sherry casks being used Glenmorrangie was mentioned
as being aged exclusively in bourbon casks.

If one wishes to review the entire article it can be read on the Star-K site
at:http://www.star-k.com/list.html under Kashrus on the rocks.

[As I went there and read it, I'd like to clarify two points made
above. Here is the quote:
>From a Halachic standpoint, even if the scotch is aged in sherry casks,
the scotch is more than six times the volume of the wood, and it is
Kosher. If people would like to avoid any sherry wine flavor, and it is
not clear whether the scotch was stored in sherry wine casks, they can
be stringent. 

So as far as "allow", the article clearly allows all Whisky, and the 1:6
(not 1:60) refers I would think to R. Moshe's psak refered to by Mark
Steiner. Mod.]

					Bernie Kozlovsky
					Baltimore, Md.


From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 10:14:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mayim Achronim

One of the posters in the mayim achronim thread stressed that the water
has to be poured from a cup rather than from a faucet, and it turns out
that neither of us know why.

Can someone here address the difference between water from a cup vs.
water from a faucet?  Does this difference relate at all to the
difference between drawn and non-drawn water, as in a mikvah?



From: Carl SInger <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 07:24:46 EST
Subject: Welcoming Guests

[I figured an Issue focused on good Scotch Whisky would be an
appropriate issue for Welcoming guests :-)  Mod.]

Ephraim Dadashti's story is quite interesting and important.
Not to equate dress code with frumkite, but ....
 Having come to shule in (military) uniform or when my luggage chose to
go to a destination other than the one I selected, I've usually been
warmly, welcomed.

The following is an over-generalization from my several decades of being
a wandering Jew:

In what I'll call "mature" congregations, those that are sure of their
Yiddishkite and their hashkofeh, when someone comes into shule who's
"different" he's nonetheless welcomed -- frequently most warmly -- often
extended hospitality to include meal invitations, etc.  Yes, he or she
might be stared at, in the same way that in a jar filled with white
marbles, we notice the solitary green one.

In contrast (and if this seems too familiar or makes someone angry, so
be it!)  in what I'll refer to as "not yet mature" congregations, those
who perhaps have a preponderance of BTs, etc., wear a grey suit instead
of a black one, or chas ve halileh a striped shirt (Ephraim -- maybe it
was the white shirt :) instead of the white and you may think that
you've contracted leprocy.

In a perfect world when a stranger comes to shule who looks different --
and often it's more than just clothing style, it's grooming and visible
signs of some physical or mental situations -- we wouldn't stare, we'd
welcome them with open arms, make sure they have meal arrangements, etc.
I'm not there yet (I try to be, but I rumors to the contrary I am
human.)  But I think it's worthwhile mode of behavior -- perhaps
stemming all the way back to Avraham avienu standing by the petach of
his ohel.

Carl Singer


End of Volume 30 Issue 80