Volume 32 Number 11
                 Produced: Mon Apr 17 22:49:53 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Zev Sero]
Bookburning & Flaming
         [Israel's Media Watch]
Cotton-Seed Oil
         [Bill Bernstein]
         [Dov Teichman]
Kashrus Symbol Query
         [Alexander Heppenheimer]
Kashrus symbol query
         [Barak Greenfield, MD]
Kashrus symbol question
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (2)
         [Binyomin Segal, Shaul Yutav]
Misod Hachamim Unvonim
Other Cities on Purim
         [Carl M. Sherer]
         [Michael Shoshani]


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 14:52:04 -0400
Subject: Bookburning

Yisrael Medad <isrmedia@...> wrote:

>Somehow, there is an echo in the back of my mind of one of my Rabeiim
>muttering something about "if there was bookburning in Judaism, the
>Kitzur would surely be a candidate". 

But there is bookburning in Judaism.  

It is an open halacha that a sefer torah written by a min [early Xian]
must be burned (despite the shemot that it contains, since they refer to
the Xian god, not ours).  Presumably this applies with even greater
force to books whose *content* is objectionable.

When R Yonah repented for burning the Rambam's books, his mistake was
that the Rambam was not a heretic, and his books didn't deserve burning;
I'm not aware of any evidence that he repudiated the *principle* of
burning those books that do deserve it.

Similarly, when the Vilner Gaon burned the Tanya, I'm not aware of any
protests, from either side, that bookburning was wrong in principle; the
chasidim merely objected to his choice of this holy sefer to burn.

There is also a well-known phrase with regard to books that are unworthy
of publication: `yiganez, umutav sheyisaref': it should be hidden away,
or better still burned.  If bookburning were a foreign concept to
Judaism then such a saying wouldn't exist.

I have never before now heard of any genuine Jewish teacher or any frum
Jew object to bookburning.  I have always assumed that the horror of
bookburning was a peculiarity of secular people, who have made a
religion out of books, instead of their contents.  When I was in Yeshiva
and someone found a `brit hachadasha' (New Testament) in a box of books
that was donated to the library, he held a little bonfire, and AFAIK
neither the rosh yeshiva nor the mashgiach had a thing to say about it.
It was taken as a matter of course that this was the right thing to do.

Zev Sero                Programming is an art form that fights back.


From: Israel's Media Watch <isrmedia@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2000 17:08:01 +0200
Subject: Bookburning & Flaming

Well, at least one person heard the same opinion I did.  Of course, the
original intent was not to literally burn the book (amazing how Torah
scholars trained on "kutzo shel yud" so easily twist texts) but I won't
get in to a "flaming situation", pun intended.  I just asked it what I
heard (not from my rebbe) was heard by someone else - and it was!.  As
for the Yoreh Deah - why only that volume of the Arba Turim?  And if I
needlessly needled some people, my apologies.

Yisrael Medad
Israel's Media Watch
POB 6023 Jerusalem 91060


From: Bill Bernstein <bbernst@...>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 21:47:56 -0500
Subject: Cotton-Seed Oil

A friend of mine from Israel was here a few weeks ago and told me that a
number of years ago he got cotton-seed oil for Pesach with a
"chareidi"-type hashgocho, but in subsequent years he could not because
it was considered kitnios.  I asked why cotton-seed should be considered
kitnios, and not only didnt he know but couldnt get a reasonable
explanation out of anyone he asked.  Has anyone heard this about
cotton-seed oil, and does anyone know a rationale for making cotton-seed
kitnios?  KT B


From: Dov Teichman <DTnLA@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 00:55:12 EDT
Subject: Haman"taschen

Josh Backon writes:
<<The halacha (Orach Chaim 695:2) mentions that one should eat *maachal
 zaronim* (seeds) as a remembrance to the seeds eaten by Daniel... >>

What is the connection between Daniel and Purim? (Daniel ate the seeds
much earlier during the reign of Nubuchadnezzar in Daniel 1:12-16.)
Granted that he's mentioned with the alias of Hathach in the Megillah,
whats the connection?
 Dov Teichman


From: Alexander Heppenheimer <Alexander.Heppenheimer@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 20:47:40 -0600 
Subject: Re: Kashrus Symbol Query

In MJ 32:05, Moshe Silberman wrote:

>I am curious about a Kashrus symbol which I saw on a can of Libby's
>fruit cocktail.
>It has a stylized K surrounded by a circle of Hebrew words as follows:
>Qeramin (? - Qoph/Resh/Mem/Yud/Nun) al pi Yabia Omer Cheleq Cheth Siman
>Yud Aleph.
>Can someone provide information on what this is about? Thank you.

The word is "carmine," which is a red coloring derived from some sort of
insect. Almost all fruit cocktails sold nowadays use this coloring for
their cherries: formerly they used an artificial coloring called FD&C
Red #2, but the FDA withdrew their certification from it because it's a
suspected carcinogen.

On the face of it, carmine shouldn't be kosher since it comes from an
insect. The point is, though, that R' Ovadia Yosef wrote a halachic
responsum (which appears in his responsa Yabia Omer 8:11 - hence the
reference you noted) declaring it kosher. If I recall correctly, his
reasoning is that the carmine undergoes various chemical processes that
make it (temporarily) inedible; there are similar arguments in the
writings of earlier authorities about cochineal (another red dye) and
shellac, both of which are derived from insect secretions.

As to whether you can rely on this leniency and eat the fruit cocktail -

(If you want a fruit cocktail without this problem, Ungar's still uses
Red #2. I don't know if there are any others.)

Kol tuv y'all,

From: Barak Greenfield, MD <docbjg@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 11:09:53 -0400
Subject: RE: Kashrus symbol query

Al Silberman asked (M-J 30:5) about unusual lettering on Libby's fruit

The word spelled "Qoph/Resh/Mem/Yud/Nun" seems to be
carmine. Additionally, the following information comes from the web site
of the Young Israel of Houston

"Libby's Fruit Cocktail contains carmine in the red cherries and bears
the carmine type of symbol of the kosher overseers of America. We do not
recommend this product."

Perhaps someone with access to the Yabia Omer 8:11 (citation printed on
the can) can find out why he permits carmine.

Barak Greenfield


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 13:20:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Kashrus symbol question

It is the Hashgacha of the Half-moon K, the notation in hebrew indicates
that the product contains carmine, a red coloring derived from dried up
insects.  The reference to Yabia Omer vol.8 is to a Teshuva of Rav
Ovadia Yosef discussing gelatin (which he permits as kosher).  Part of
that Teshuva goes into the issue of Carmine which he permits as well
based on similar reasoning and based on earlier teshuvot by other poskim
who permit such coloring derived from dried up insects.  (My reading of
the Teshuva in question sees the discussion of Carmine as more
theoretical than Halacha L'maaseh, so I'm surprised that the Half-moon K
will certify carmine as kosher based on that Teshuva).  The OU, OK,
Chof-K, and Star-K consider anything containing carmine as non-kosher.


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 11:19:42 EDT
Subject: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

Several interesting opinions were brought in MJ 32#05 about the Kitzur
Shulchan Aruch including :Yisrael Meidad quotes: "if there was
bookburning in Judaism, the Kitzur would surely be a candidate".

I found the book irritating since it is full of Hebrew grammatical
errors. I checked many editions, and most of them carry the same errors,
with the exceptions of the new editions printed in Israel and the Mosad
Harav Kook editions. I did not research the sources of the errors, i.e.,
was it the author or the printer's. Recently I protested vigorously to
the school of my children for using an edition full of errors. In one
case I found 10 errors on a single page. Most errors had to do with
masculine feminine mix up, which I attribute to the Yiddish influence of
Eastern Europe.

In some respect Chayei Adam took over as the better abridgment of the
two.  The legend has it that it was named Chayei Adam so that no Kitzur
of it could be made.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 14:37:34 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

SBA writes
  * The KSA is without doubt the most popular, most accepted and widely used
  * Sefer Halocho in the history of Am Yisroel. It has been reprinted
  * hundreds of times in dozens of languages.

While I agree that the Kitzur is very popular, and frequently used, I
believe that is despite the fact that it is NOT very accepted.

As Rabbi M. Meiselman used to say, we orthodox jews agree about 90% of
halacha. We just always talk about the other 10%. - A collary of this
idea is that the Kitzur is accepted about 90% of the time - that is it
is accepted when it does not disagree with the other more authoritive

It is used in classrooms (but rarely in the Beis Medrash where there is
no teacher to point to other sources) because it is relatively straight
forward and relatively complete. Notice too that the new editions often
include other opinions. I would bet that two of the most popular
editions currently are the Kitzur with "Divrei Mishna Brura" and "Piskei
Mishna Brura" (the words of the mishna brura and the halachik decisions
of the mishna brura). As a teacher myself I can't imagine using the
Kitzur in a class without first - at least - checking my copy of "Divrei


From: Shaul Yutav <Tshaul@...>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 11:29:58 +0200
Subject: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch

       I heard that when the "Chaye Adam"  (literally translated "men's
life") was asked why he choose this name he said "I hope that no one will
write a 'Kitzur' to my book" ("Shortening men's life").
   Dr. Shaul Yutav


From: A.J.Gilboa <bfgilboa@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 14:54:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Misod Hachamim Unvonim

> From: David Herskovic <crucible@...>
> Why is the piece beginning 'misod chachomim unevonim' not said before
> the Yotsros for Musaf on Shabbos Shekolim and Shabbos Ha'Chodesh and at
> the beginning of the Krovets on Purim morning?

I believe that "misod" is a kind of "rshut" in which the hazzan prefaces
his recitation of the piyyutim of musaf of yamim nora'im by a
"rationale" for interrupting the flow of the "standard" tfilla by
interjecting piyyutim. This formula may have been introduced to overcome
objections of posqim who felt that these "non-standard" interjections
were inappropriate. So the hazzan is saying that the piyyutim are of
very ancient origin, that they were composed by sages, and that they are
appropriate to the occasion. The purpose of the piyyutim of yamim
nora'im is to beseech, etc. "lhalot ulhannen pne melech ...". For other
occasions where the custom is to interject piyyutim, the text of the
"rshut" must be appropriate to the occasion, as well. Could someone
check to see if there is an equivalent "rshut" for the occasions that
David mentions in his post?

Yosef Gilboa



From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 12:41:14 +0200
Subject: Other Cities on Purim

Gershon Dubin writes:

> <<a)  as for Chevron - as Yerushalayim
>     b)  as for T'veriya, ditto>>
> 	IIRC the Gemara says that Tveriah is a safek (doubtful case)
> because of uncertainty as to whether the sea (Kineret) is considered a
> wall.  They should therefore read on both days.

That is in fact what happens there.

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


From: Michael Shoshani <sh0shani@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 09:33:15 -0500
Subject: Re: Yeast

In MJ vol 32 No 07, Barak Greenfield, MD wrote:

>On a medically-unrelated note: why is yeast prohibited to be used on
>Pesach?  Apparently, according to the book, commercially available yeast
>has not a trace of chometz in it, and only chometz and se'or (old dough
>used to ferment other dough) are prohibited on Pesach.

Yeast, whether for baking or brewing (the strains are different), is a
fungus.  It is no more chametz than a mushroon is; furthermore, all
commercially available baking yeast is grown exclusively on molasses,
and has been for decades.  Perhaps people forbid it because of its
primary usage; ie mixing with dough. Since one cannot mix flour and
water on Pesach, then yeast would be useless.

IF yeast were propogated in a flour solution, it would be a different
story.  But modern yeast does not become chametz until the moment it is
mixed with flour and water.  If you put yeast in water it will
reactivate and will start producing the gas bubbles that provide the
texture in bread--but it is still not chametz at that point.

Many people assume that since yeast assists in the fermentation of the
dough that it MUST be chametz.  If that were so, baking powders would
also be prohibited over Pesach because they too assist fermentation.
Since we have kasher lepesach baking powder, that cannot be the case.

Michael Shoshani
Chicago IL


End of Volume 32 Issue 11