Volume 32 Number 72
                 Produced: Fri Jun 30  8:20:55 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Announcing the Molad after the event
         [Gershon Dubin]
         [Shoshana L. Boublil]
Gelatin, Glycerine, and hechsherim
         [Mark Steiner]
Kosher vs. M'hadrin
Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures
         [Boruch Merzel]
Tikun Sofrim (2)
         [Carl Singer, Barry Best]
Yehe Shmeh Rabba and Barchu
         [Zev Sero]
Yehe Shmeh Rabba Mevarach (2)
         [Gershon Dubin, Baruch J. Schwartz]


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 09:18:51 -0400
Subject: Announcing the Molad after the event

From: Jonathan Grodzinski <JGrodz@...>
<<Chaim's question seems to suggest that the purpose of the announcement
is that we should either do something or have some "kavanah" (special
thoughts) at the moment of the Molad. - is anyone aware of any such

	The Gemara says that the posuk in Yeshaya which decries people
who do not look in wonder at the works of Hashem.  I had heard that the
reason for announcing the molad, aside from the practical (until when
can you say kiddush levana) is that one is thereby reminded of the
wonders of Hashem inherent in the heavens.



From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 12:34:37 +0300
Subject: Gelatin


I just read a wonderful Shu"t by Rav Avramski, published in Tzitz
Eliezer part IV Siman 32.

He brings there all the details of the process for making gelatin and
the relevant halachic issues.

His summary (Rav Avramsky) is fascinating: He says that it is muttar
(permitted), but continues to support those who forbid it b/c of issues
of rabbinical respect, as the rulings that stated that gelatin is
forbidden are based on misinformation on how gelatin is created and the
relevant halachot, and that this misinformation has been desimenated to
the public, so that it could cause (what I would call) social-religious
problems as people might think that rabbis pasken as it is convenient
for them.

Here is also a quote from a Teshuva by Rav Ya'akov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of
Ramat Gan (Ashkenazi) on the subject of gelatin (my translation):

The question posed to Rav Ariel:
(4) The Kula of Gelatin is not accepted by any rabbi who isn't Noge'ah
BaDavar.  It is famous that Rav Chaim Ozer was lied to with regards to
the method of preparing gelatin, and his Heiter should not be relied on
in this matter

Rav Ariel's response:
(d) The things said with regard to the Gelatin are libelous (Alila
Mamash), and Hotz'at Shem Ra on Gedolim of Yisrael.  Not only Rav Chaim
Ozer permitted Gelatin, also Rav Frank and Rav Avramsky, and in the
Tzitz Eliezer and more and more.  Even those who forbid it do not see it
as forbidden Mi'Doratia).

Shoshana L. Boublil


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 14:00:42 +0300
Subject: Re: Gelatin, Glycerine, and hechsherim

    Recently, the questin of gelatine came up again, in the context of
mehadrin, humrot, and hechsherim (i.e. the Israeli 'rabbanuyot' allow
the use of animal gelatine, relying on the responsum of R. Hayim Ozer
z"l, though the rabbanim themselves don't eat it; the OU does not allow
ANY product which contains nonkosher animal derativates).  BTW, I
wouldn't call R. Hayim Ozer's view a "heter" which implies some kind of
legal fiction, such as the heter mechira.  It's simply a kula, i.e. a
lenient ruling, on the basis of pure halakhic reasoning, without any
ideological motivation.

    The discussion in effect centered around whether gelatine itself is
kosher, on the basis that the "meat" in the gelatine lost its prohibited
status on account of being rendered "dust" by chemicals and heat.  If
not, then, because gelatine is a jelling agent (davar hamaamid), any
puddings or cakes (e.g.  cheese cakes--I saw myself gelatine in the
pantry of a Jerusalem bakery under the rabbanut) made with it are
equally forbidden.

    Glycerine, however, used in many products to make them smooth, is a
somewhat different case.  It, too, falls under the lenient ruling of
R. Hayim Ozer, and has two other extenuating characteristics:
1.    It is not a jelling agent.
2.    It has no taste (so states R. Moshe in his famous teshuva about blended

According to standard rules of halakha, even if glycerine is completely
tref, mixtures containing it are "batel berov", i.e.as long as the
glycerine does not constitute over half of the mixture, the food is
permitted--if you accept these two premises.

    Reb Moshe z"l WROTE (not "stated in private") about blended whiskey
which, according to R. Moshe's assumption could contain glycerine, "Kol
harabbonim shosim zeh"--all the rabbis drink it.  He did himself,
however, refrain from drinking blended whiskey in his own home (he
writes); not so at a kiddush in shul, so as not to embarrass the hosts.

    The question to be raised here is: should there be a different
standard of kashrut for supervising agencies than for private
individuals (who have the right to follow their rabbis and drink or eat
that which the Shulchon Arukh permits)?  Why do the OU and other
agencies ignore principles of "bitul"?

    The only argument I have heard for this is attributed to the
so-called "Hungarian rabbis" (i.e. those rabbonim affiliated with Satmar
at least as far as kashrut is concerned) whose views, naturally enough,
are generally not represented on mail-jewish.  Namely, for a Jewish
organization to certify officially a product as "kosher" when it in fact
has a trefa ingredient (albeit nullified by "bitul") is tantamount to
taking a kosher product and deliberately pouring into it a trefa one, in
order that the result should be rendered kosher by bitul.  We, after
all, have a rule--ein mevatlin issur lekhithila, which states that the
leniency of "bitul" can only be applied after the fact.  Of course,
everybody knows that this strict rule does not apply in general to foods
prepared by Gentiles.  But the mahmirim of Williamsburg and Boro Park
(and I mean this only as a geographical reference, not as has veshalom,
a put-down) seem to claim that for a Jewish supervising agency to put
its imprimatur on a Gentile product the product must adhere to the same
rules as though Jews had made it (in which case, ein mevatlin issur
lekhathila).  Chassidim also tend to take literally and seriously the
Talmudic statement (quoted by Rashi) that trefa substances dull the mind
(metamtemin et halev), which they say is a fact that has nothing to do
with bitul; i.e. even a product which is permitted can dull the mind.
And would you want your children's mind dulled?

    We have here an entirely new area of Jewish law--the halachos of
supervision, i.e. the endorsement by rabbis of products made by
Gentiles.  The only example of this prior to the modern period is the
supervision of Gentile wine, a practice mentioned in the Mishna.  In the
various kehillot, prior to the modern period, Jews "knew" which Gentile
products could be eaten (even if they had nonkosher ingredients like
possible blood spots in the eggs, such as cakes) and they did rely on
laws like bitul (Tosafot Betza, 16b, km"l kimha iqqar); as Tosafot
states, "since there is no reason for suspicion [rei`uta], we don't
worry about anything [lo haishinan lshum davar]."  The breakdown of the
traditional kehillah, in my opinion, led to the anti-Tosafot principles
practiced in today's supervising agencies, even in the OU.  Today, the
burden of proof is on the matir.  But this is an entirely new issue
which I'm not sure is appropriate for mail-jewish.


    The rapid changes in food technology which, according to kashrut
professionals speaking off the record, make it almost impossible to
trace every single ingredient in a product (who has money to send a
permanent mashgiach to Japan, for example, and what Jew would want to
live there).  There are also unsolved and perhaps unsolvable problems
concerning the status of genetically modified food.  So I suspect that
even the Badatz hechsherim may have to revert back to Tosafot
philosophy, assuming they have not tacitly already.


From: <dovid@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:26:49 +0200
Subject: Re: Kosher vs. M'hadrin

> Now that we have clarified the difference between Mehadrin and Rabbanut
> hashgacha in Yerushalaim, can someone explain the differences between a
> Teudat Kashrut and an Ishur Kashrut? 

A (over) simple translation of the ishur klashrut is "this is to certify 
that all products in this store have the hechsher of some Rabbi." It 
is used when the Rabanut won't give a regular hechsher as things 
stand. Perhaps if the store would be for a trip to the source the 
Rabanut would find it okay -- but perhaps not


From: Boruch Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 11:06:44 EDT
Subject: Re: Pre-Chuppah Wedding Pictures

 Judith Weil writes that she has always heard that the custom of Bride
and groom not weeing one another before the wedding "is very Jewish".
Among the reasons she offers is:

<< It is that the excitement of seeing her beloved could
 bring on the bride's menstruation.>>

If this were indeed the case then how can we permit the groom to
participate in the "Badeken"----when the excitement and sense of
anticipation is at an even greater level ?

I have yet to find any solid Jewish source for this custom that would
justify the inconvenience caused to guests and other participants.
Boruch Merzel


From: Carl Singer <CARLSINGER@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 06:27:56 EDT
Subject: Re: Tikun Sofrim

I've found the responses quite interesting and helpful. 

Consider now that texts have been modified (including censorship,
clarification, etc.) -- for example, We've an 1860 Vilna Shas
(Sanhedrin) that belonged to my wife's Greatgrandfather -- it has
certain "censored" passages -- and those scholars who are expert in this
domain know the lineage of many such changes.

So here's a more general question -- and not vis a vis the Torah, which
has a unique, holy position in halacha but re: texts in genreal.  How do
we deconflict the mesorah vs. the "scientific" lineage.  For example,
the newest version of a given text, as authored, edited, etc., by frum
Jews and published by a frum publishing house (I'm using "frum" to
exclude Karites, J4J and others.) is not consistent with the scientific
lineage (older, rarer copies of the same text -- as examined by a
non-halachic "librarian" so to speak.)

Carl Singer

From: Barry Best <barry.h.best@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 12:06:11 -0400
Subject: RE: Tikun Sofrim

There was some talk recently about the hypothetical case of unearthing
an ancient sefer torah.  In a similar vein, but more practical, with all
of the manuscripts that are being recovered and printed in our
generation, have there been instances where we have found halachic
decisions of Rishonim that were previously unknown and contradict
accepted rulings of Acharonim?  Is there an accepted way of handling
such a circumstance?


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 14:23:34 -0400
Subject: Re: Yehe Shmeh Rabba and Barchu

Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...> wrote:

>I would be interested if anyone can cite primary sources specifically
>confirming that yehe shmeh rabba (unlike the response to Barchu) is not
>to be repeated by the hazzan or persons saying kaddish but rather said
>along with the respondents. 

And who tells you that Barchu is different?  Perhaps those chazanim who
say the response to Barchu together with the people are more correct 
than those who wait until the people have finished?

Zev Sero                Programming is an art form that fights back.


From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 09:23:24 -0400
Subject: Yehe Shmeh Rabba Mevarach

From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
<<It seems obvious from the sources that yehe shmeh rabba mevarach etc.
is a congregational response to the kaddish and not primarily designed
to be said by the hazzan (or whoever is reciting the kaddish). Only in
passing is it mentioned that the hazzan should also recite this line
(Rema 46:1).  According to Tefilla Kehilchata 25:7 note 24 (plausibly
interpreting MB 46:2), the hazzan should say this line together with the
congregation, quietly, and continue aloud from yitbarach veyishtabach>>

	It is my impression that this question applies as well to the
responses in kedusha: Kadosh, Boruch and Yimloch.  The source-providers
may have something on this as well.


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 09:53:50 +0200
Subject: Yehe Shmeh Rabba Mevarach

Gershon Dubin wrote in response to my question about yehe shmeh rabbah:

"It is my impression that this question applies as well to the responses
in kedusha:  Kadosh, Boruch and Yimloch.  The source-providers may have
something on this as well."

My reply and clarification:

To the best of my knowledge, the repetition of baruch hashem hamevorach
le-olam va-ed by the person reciting Barchu, and the clear instruction
that the hazzan is not supposed to repeat Kadosh, Baruch and Yimloch in
kedusha but at most say them with the congregation quietly, and the
clear instruction that the congregation is not supposed to say
nekadesh/na-aritzcha, le-umatam and uv-divrei kodshecha in kedusha --
all these are explicitly established in the halachah, primary and
secondary sources. I was asking about yehe shmeh rabbah specifically
because I was not able to find direct reference to the person saying the
kaddish saying it together with the congregation -- though, as I say, I
am quite sure this is indeed correct.

Baruch Schwartz


End of Volume 32 Issue 72