Volume 32 Number 39
                 Produced: Fri Jun  2  6:00:52 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Coca-Cola (2)
         [William Moss, Eric Jaron Stieglitz]
Comforting a Mourner
         [Rose Landowne]
Erev Pesach- Shabat
         [Kenneth G Miller]
Heter Mechirah (3)
         [Mark Steiner, Richard Fiedler, Shmuel Himelstein]
Kiddush for Daughter
         [Shlomo Pick]
Kosher L'Mehadrin
         [Chaim Tatel]
Kosher vitamins
         [Josh Backon]
Out-of-Print Sifrei Kodesh
         [Josh Backon]
Some Leads on Sources to Difficult Issues
         [Nachum Amsel]
Yom Yerushalayim
         [Eli Turkel]


From: William Moss <william@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 10:27:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Coca-Cola

On:Tue, 30 May 2000 Keith Bloomfield wrote:

>In former years, they used Medium Invert Sugar (MIS) which many people
>believe produces a better tasting beverage.  HFCS is less expensive to
>use than MIS.  Of course HFCS is chametz -- so many bottlers who want

Of course, HFCS is NOT chametz - it is kitniyot (and maybe even safek
kitniyot for purposes of pesach, but let's not go there)

William Moss
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

From: Eric Jaron Stieglitz <ephraim@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 17:09:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Coca-Cola

  I'm sure most people here realize the error, but just in case --

  High Fructose Corn Syrup is not chametz. It is Kitniyot. (Unless
there's something about the production process I'm not aware of.) I'm
simply pointing this out because while Ashkenazim won't eat HFCS on
Pesach, many of the other requirements about what we must do with
chametz do not apply to kitniyot like HFCS.



From: Rose Landowne <ROSELANDOW@...>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 22:14:25 EDT
Subject: Comforting a Mourner

Something is troubling me: We have a Mishna in Avot which states that
one shouldn't attempt to comfort a mourner when the dead person is still
before him, (ie. before the burial) yet I increasingly see the custom of
people lining up at the funeral parlor, before the funeral, before the
kriah, actually, to go in, walk by, and say something comforting to the
family. It used to be that just close family and very close friends
would stop by to see the family, and even this seemed kind of
intrusive. Though I understand that the the intensions are good, it
strikes me as just wrong; it seems reminicent of the non-Jewish custom
of a wake.  Are people experiencing this in other communities? (I live
in Manhattan) Is there any justification for it?

Rose Landowne


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 13:38:21 EDT
Subject: re: Erev Pesach- Shabat

Esther &Sholom Parnes wrote: 

<<< I recall hearing a novel p'sak in the name of Rav Bezalel Zolti ZT"L,
former chief rabbi of Jerusalem. ... Rav Zolti suggested that some of the
matza bakeries bake batches of kosher for Pesach Matzas with the
condition that these matzas be baked specifically "LO L'eshem mitzvat
matza."  These matzas obviously circumvented the Chametz problem and were
edible on Erev Pesach and lechem mishna viable, similiar to the stewed or
fried matza mentioned in Joshua Hosseinof's post. Don't know if this
p'sak was ever used. >>>

I have in my hands my copy of the 5741 (1981) Madrich HaKashrut (Kashrus
Guide) of the Jerusalem Chief Rabbinate. Rav Zolti, who was Ashkenazi
Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem at that time, published the above-mentioned
p'sak on pages 15 through 23 inclusive of that pamphlet. I wish I could
translate the entire t'shuva for you all, but due to its length I hope
it will suffice to give the single paragraph which Rav Zolti chose to
put in bold type:

"They should bake (yesh le'efot) special matzos, to the highest level of
kashrus and avoidance of chometz, but on explicit condition that these
matzos are not made (lishmah) for the sake of the mitzvah. They should
be packaged in special packaging, and it should be written that these
matzos are not valid for performing the obligation of eating matzah on
the Seder night. But they are kosher for all the days of Pesach, and may
be eaten on Erev Pesach."

In the next-to-last paragraph, he mentions that he discussed this with
Rav Elyashiv, who agreed with this "horaas shaah" (emergency measure)
for years when Erev Pesach is on Shabbos. [In other words, this p'sak
would be very useful *every* year, for all sorts of institutions such as
hotels, hospitals, army, and others, where normal eating patterns make
the switch from chometz to matzah difficult. This is not merely a
Shabbos issue brought about by our requirement for Meals and for Lechem
Mishneh, but rather *everyone* would find these special matzos useful,
in any year. Nevertheless, these special matzos are intended only for
Erev-Pesach-on-Shabbos years.

And in the last paragraph, Rav Zolti mentions that he also discussed it
with Rav Shalom Masas, who was then the Sefaradi Chief Rabbi of
Jerusalem, who held that these special matzos should not be eaten all
day, but only at night and in the morning, in order to make use those
rishonim who hold that the prohibition of eating matza on Erev Pesach
does not take effect until chometz becomes prohibited.

This p'sak *was* actually used. I was in Jerusalem that year, which was
an "Erev Pesach on Shabbos" year. I clearly remember seeing packages of
"Matzot L'Erev Pesach" on the grocery shelves. They were in a plain
white box, with blue lettering, which explained that these matzot were
"kasher l'mehadrin min hamehadrin", and could be eaten both on Erev
Pesach and for the whole week of the holiday, just not at the
Seder. (and that they were baked by Yehuda Matzot.)

I do not know if such matzos were made in 1994.

Akiva Miller


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 13:33:05 +0300
Subject: Re: Heter Mechirah

    There are a number of differences between the sale of hametz before
Pesach and the sale of all Eretz Yisrael before shmita.

    In the first place, the sale of Eretz Yisrael is forbidden and the
consensus is that it is a Biblical prohibition.  It makes no sense to
violate a Biblical prohibition to avoid a rabbinic one.  The Hazon Ish
went so far as to say that the sale is invalid because it is done by a
representative (shaliach), and "ein shaliach lidvar avera" [one cannot
appoint an agent to violate the Torah].  Rav Kook held that a temporary
sale was not forbidden, while even a temporary sale would remove the
sanctity of shmita from the fruits of Eretz Yisrael.  This is
problematic reasoning which already distances it from the heter mekhira
of hametz.

    I add that Rav Kook z"l explicitly forbade Jews from working the
land directly even after the heter mekhira and advocated the use of
"shmita goyim."  Needless to say, this stricture was not and is not
observed.  His ruling is also based on the lack of a Jewish state at the
time the heter was promulgated, so it is even arguable that Rav Kook
would agree with the Hazon Ish today.

    The Hazon Ish wrote a letter distinguishing explicitly the two heter
mekhira concepts, even without mentioning the prohibition of selling
Eretz Yisrael:

    In both cases we have a legal fiction, because it is evident that
the seller does not have real intention to sell.  But in the case of
hametz, we can rely on the deeper principle that Jew intends to do what
is right, and the Torah wants him to get rid of his hametz before
Pesach.  Hence we can rely on his deeper instincts and recognize the
sale.  In the case of shmita, the opposite is the case: we assume that a
Jew does NOT want to sell Eretz Yisrael and does NOT want to avoid
observing shmita.  Hence the "sale" of the entire Land of Israel is
halakhically invalid as a sale.

From: Richard Fiedler <dfiedler@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 08:35:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Heter Mechirah

> Basically, we allow people to sell their chametz for pesach because
> they would have a "hefsed merubah" (big loss) if they had to destroy
> all their chametz ($50 bottles of liquor especially).

If you are to say that the reason we sell chametz is that we will suffer
a "hefsed merubah" I think that you should reexamine whether or not you
should sell chometz.

After all what is the price of complying with HaShem's will? You
probably spend more than the cost of your chometz for a lulav and esrog.

With regard to $50 Dollar Scotch I am one great fan of single malt
scotch. I have been known to have $100 Dollar Scotch in my home. But B"H
Purim comes just in time to help me get rid of the problem and if I
cannot accumulate a large collection of scotches so be it.

To me the sale of chometz is something we continue more to give kavod to
those rabbis who perhaps in different circumstances gave the original
heterim than we do to HaShem's Mitzvot.

Ironically we do just the opposite in the shmitah year disregarding the
heterim that get around a much greater problem for Am Yisrael.

Richard Fiedler
Efrat, Israel

From: Shmuel Himelstein <shmuelh@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 14:14:33 +0300 
Subject: Heter Mechirah

One of the posters recently pointed out that the Heter Mechirah for
Shmittah should only be used by kibbutzim, etc., where there is a large
loss, but not by consumers.

It seems to me that the poster must have misunderstood the entire
concept. The Heter Mechirah applies ONLY to someone who owns land. It
has nothing whatsoever to do with the consumer, who obviously doesn't
sell any land.

If, then, the Heter Mechirah is indeed valid, there is no Halachic
impediment on anyone buying produce from such land.

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Shlomo Pick <picksh@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 13:25:14 +0200
Subject: Kiddush for Daughter

shalom ve-yom yerushalayim sameiach

The "rebbe" in question re: kiddush for a daughter, was R. Ya'akov
Yisrael Kanyevsky, the Steipler, zt"l.  Lema'aseh, the question arose
concerning one of my daughters if I had to make a kiddush (she was a
preemie and it was after a ceasarian) and I heard the story in Bnei
Brak. So I asked, the Steipler's grand-nephew, who said the story "lo
hayah ve-lo nivra1" (never was nor ever created).  and that's that!

shabbat shalom


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 08:29:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Kosher L'Mehadrin

I was in Yerushalayim for Pesach this year. I was discussing kashrus
issues with various people and kept getting the same comment. They said
that they wouldn't eat from "regular" Rabbanut or most American
hechsherim because they are not "Mehadrin."

But they couldn't explain the difference between "kosher" and "Kosher

Does anyone have a good explanation?

Last week I saw a label on fresh veal that said "Chalak (Glatt)
L'Mehadrin." Is this really extra-Glatt?

Chaim Tatel


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Thu,  1 Jun 2000 14:44 +0300
Subject: Re: Kosher vitamins

There have been many poskim who permitted the taking of any medication
even though it may have been derived from a nonkosher ingredient. These
poskim include: the Achiezer YD 11 s"k 5; Tzitz Eliezer Chelek Vav 16,
Chelek Zayin 32 oht chet; Chelek Yod 25 s"k bet. We heard this in a
shiur from Rav Dr. Avraham Sofer the author of the Nishmat Avraham.

Josh Backon


From: Josh Backon <BACKON@...>
Date: Thu,  1 Jun 2000 14:17 +0300
Subject: Re: Out-of-Print Sifrei Kodesh

Try www.zionbooks.com and their link to the ARCHIVAL project. They will
locate any out-of-print sefer and provide it in printed copy or

Josh Backon


From: Nachum Amsel <namsel@...>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 20:29:03 +0300
Subject: Some Leads on Sources to Difficult Issues

I have to do some research (not provide Halachik Psak) for educational
purposes, based on "real life" situations(lesson plans, etc.). I have
turned to a few very knowledgeable educators and Poskim for help, but
they have either been too busy or have not been able to find anything
useful. I am hoping that fellow MJ'ers can give me some sources as
leads, and it also may provide some interesting topics for future

Please remember what I need is NOT Psak Halacha but where these issues
are discussed, or a few crucial sources on each of the four issues
below. To help move things along, I would appreciate a private response
to my email as well as the Mail-Jewish. Thank you in advance.


1. PUBLISHING A PAPER -- On what grounds can a (Jewish, frum) paper or
   editor print a story about the events and lives of people (that
   affects and/or hurts their lives) even if it is "newsworthy"? Who
   discusses this? Is it not Lashon Hara? Is it "Litoeles"?

2. WHEN DOES SELF-DEFENSE BEGIN? -- A man is being mugged by someone he
   recognizes. The mugger says that if he goes to the police and gets
   sent to jail as a result, then the mugger vows to kill the man when
   he gets out of jail in three years. The man being mugged has a gun in
   his pocket. Is this called self defense and can the man kill the
   mugger now? Is "Zerichat Hashemesh" valid even if it is only 3 years
   from now that the man will be in danger of being killed?

   progressive Parkinson's's disease which will eventually kill
   him. Using the "stem cells" from a fetus and transplanting it into
   his brain will save his life and make him normal and healthy
   again. The couple decides to get the wife pregnant with the intention
   of killing the fetus and using the stem cells to save the husband's
   life. Is getting pregnant for this purpose allowed? Is performing an
   abortion for this purpose then allowed?

4. A man's medicine ( a widower) is accidentally left on the counter and
his two small children consume it. They get very sick and both their
livers are gone. Unless they get new livers, they will both die. They
are put at the top of the donor list, but finding a donor in the 48
hours they have left is very doubtful. A healthy person (who is a "blood
type? match) can donate part of his or her liver of a child and the
liver tissue will regenerate. It is a risky operation but not too
risky. But each healthy individual can only do this for one person. Both
children have the matching blood type to the father. To which child
should he donate his liver to (they are both in equal danger, boy 10,
girl 8. If he does nothing, both will die)?  

Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel 
Tel: 972-2-586-4262 Fax: 972-2-586:3034 Mobile: 972-52-635-360


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 13:41:17 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Yom Yerushalayim

Yom yerushalayim is celebrated in shuls on thursday night/friday.
Because of problems with chillul shabbat many of the public ceremonies
are on thursday during the day.

Eli Turkel


End of Volume 32 Issue 39