Volume 32 Number 77
                 Produced: Mon Jul  3  6:24:24 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ishur vs. Teudat Kashrut
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
Mixed Couples
         [Eli Turkel]
Ratners (2)
         [Jeanette Friedman, Bill Coleman]
Rav on praying in synagogoue without a mechitzah (2)
         [I. Balbin, Eli Turkel]
Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz? (3)
         [Aliza Fischman, Aharon A. Fischman, Aviva Fee]


From: Joshua Hosseinof <hosseino@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 10:41:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: re: Ishur vs. Teudat Kashrut

A teudat kashrut is what we are all familiar with, a Mashgiach
periodically or constantly on the premises, especially during opening
times to light the ovens as necessary to avoid bishul akum.  An Ishur
(as far as I know) is only a certification that the establishment has
given a list of all the ingredients used and the rabbanut has approved
them, but there is no actual Mashgiach ever present to verify this.  Two
places I know of that have this "Ishur" are the Burger King in the
Malcha kanyon, and the Burger Ranch near Lev Yerushalayim.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 16:22:57 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Mixed Couples

> There was an interesting article about this whole issue recently in the
> Israeli magazine, 'Horim V'Yeladim', which amongst other things
> mentioned that often, children in such cases end up extreme in either
> direction, e.g. one of the boys in such a family would for a while "jump
> at every mezuzah" (quoted from memory).
> >From the little bit of anecodatal evidence I've heard on this (and it
> seems intuitively right), it seems that in such cases, children are in
> the long-term more likely to end up non-observant than where both
> parents are observant.  Does this square with people's experiences? Of
> course people also leave observancy even if they grew up in an observant
> family, but that may be for different reasons.
In the few cases I know it depends more on the mother than the father.
The cases I know the children were not extreme.

Eli Turkel


From: Jeanette Friedman <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 09:55:55 EDT
Subject: Re: Ratners

According the supervision service, Lansky's Lounge was so successful,
they decided to expand it and become treyf. Thee owners are not frum,
but wonderful people and finally saw that the old time business was
going away, people don't go to the destination anymore because they go
to their own neighbor eateries. And people's tastes have changed. Kasha
varnishkes aren't the coolest thing in the world anymore. The
construction on the bridge also killed their commuter business. The only
time they were busy was during the nine days and Pesach, at those times
when they were open.

The owners were hemorraging money, which is not a halachic requirement
when running a kosher restaurant, so they are expanding Lansky's and
will turn treyf in the fall. They will leave a sentimental vegetarian
section which will be treyf as a memorial to the old Ratners. They were
sorry to lose their kosher clientele. They hired a very fancy chef. who
does modern recipes, but the vegetarian section will be treyf because
they have only one kitchen.

It was the owner's decision, not the supervision service.  In fact, you
will still be able to buy Ratner's frozen products from the factory,
which are under hashgacha timidis of the Kof K., which you will find in
the frozen foods section of your supermarket.

So the hespaid for the blintz is silly, misinformed and now you have the


From: Bill Coleman <wbc@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 08:12:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Ratners

Anonymous wrote:

>We are supposed to stand
> for a certain level of behavior.  The kashrus organizations for better
> or worse have often had the role of arbiter placed on them or assumed it
> voluntarily.  They obviously feel that their even appearing to
> countenance certain types of behavior is problemmatic, and they have
> responded accordingly.  I suspect they would rather be out of the morals
> business,but have had this thrust on them.  If we have problems with
> this then we need to do a better job of policing ourselves individually.

I think the point of the original post was that we, the kosher consuming
community, should make it clear that we rely upon the supervising
organizations for the kashrut of the food and NOT for the moral behavior
of anybody.  I would be happy to thrust them OUT of the morals business
-- how might we do so?

Bill Coleman


From: I. Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2000 09:01:22 +1000
Subject: Re: Rav on praying in synagogoue without a mechitzah

> From: Lawrence  Kaplan <lkapla@...>
> In Mail Jewish Vol. 32, #64, I. Balkin refers to Rav Soloveitchik's
> "famous advice to a talmid to stay at home and not hear Tekias Shofar
> [on Rosh ha-Shanah] rather than do so in a shul without a mechitzah."
> This is a common misformulation of what the Rav actually wrote.
> It is
> for this reason that the Rav was very careful to indicate that his
> ruling that one should stay at home on Rosh ha-Shanah and not hear
> tekias shofar rather than "enter a synagogue whose sanctity has been
> profaned" refers only to those syagogues where men and women sit
> together during prayer.

I am certainly not in a position to refute Dr Kaplan's clarification, as
my information is from second generation texts. I wonder whether Dr
Kaplan would comment on my understanding that the Rov tended to be
strict and forbid things which might have been permitted me-ikkar Hadin,
if those things had been adopted as special practices of reform or
conservative.  I don't have my Nefesh Horav handy, but my recollection
is that this was an impression I had while reading it.

Associate Professor I. Balbin, PhD, Department of Computer Science, RMIT,
GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001, Australia

From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 16:29:17 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Rav on praying in synagogoue without a mechitzah

> From: Lawrence  Kaplan <lkapla@...>
> The Rav sharply distinguished between synagogues which have no
> mechitzah, but do have separate seating, and synagogues which have mixed
> seating.
> In light of the above, and
> given the Rav's exceptionally careful use of language, there is no doubt
> that if the synagogue in question had no mechitzah, but had separate
> seating, the Rav would have told his questioner to enter into it to hear
> tekias shofar.

When I was in the shiur we were told it also made a difference whether
the shul officially belonged to the Conservative movement or not.

Eli Turkel


From: Aliza Fischman <fisch.chips@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 09:24:50 -0400
Subject: re: Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?

[The following two articles came in independently, and I thought it
would be interesting to send them out as they came in, two slightly
different perspectives on the event. Mod.]

> <<From: Anonymous 
> Last night, at about 10:30, someone started pressing the buzzer to my 
> apartment. This went on incessantly for 5 to 10 minutes; since I wasn't 
> expecting anyone, I called down on the intercom, but no one answered. I 
> was not about to let anyone in at that time of night, especially since 
> I'm a single woman living alone in a "borderline" neighborhood.
> A few minutes, later, the phone rings: "Hello, this is Reb Ploni of the 
> XYZ Organization. [a meshulach from an organization with which I was 
> familiar, and previously considered quite reputable] I was here before 
> but you didn't answer the door, and I'd like to come up and talk to you 
> for a minute." "Excuse me, but do you know what time it is? I have to 
> get up for work at 5:30 and went to bed more than half an hour ago." 
> Opinions, please...>>

	That is completely absurd, and you were right not to answer the
door.  If they were in such dire straits they could have come to you at
a normal hour.  Unfortunately, I have had other experiences with
meshulachim that are similarly bothersome.

	My daughter was born 4 days before Rosh Hashanah (Elul 5758/
Sept 1998).  As many new mothers do, I went straight from the hospital
to my mother's house.  About 2 hours before the fast was over on Tzom
Gedalia there was a ring at the doorbell.  I was nursing, my mother had
gotten undressed and into bed (she was not fasting well), and my father
wasn't home from work yet.  As such, my husband answered the door.
There were two Hebrew speaking meshulachim.  My husband speaks Hebrew,
but, like most Americans, is by no means fluent.  He explained that this
was not his home and that my mother was asleep because she was not
feeling well, and that my father was not home.  These men had the
chutzpah to actually say, "Please wake your mother-in-law."  My husband
was astounded.  As he was arguing with them that (a) my mother was
probably not tzanua enough for him to go into her bedroom (b) she was
not feeling well and (c) there is the issue of kibud av v'em, even with
in-laws, my daughter finished nursing.  I then got up and went to the
door, defending my husband(my Hebrew is a little better).  They kept
repeating, "We just want to talk to her for a few minutes, please wake
her."  It took 10-15 minutes to get them to leave.  (If we had had money
with us, we probably would have just given them, so they'd leave, but I
don't think they take Visa.)

	In our area all meshulachim must come with a teudah (a
certificate) from the local Va'ad HaRabanim (Orthodox Rabbinical
Council) that states that they are a worthy, honest recipient to receive
a part of our Ma'aser money.  This certainly help to weed out some of
the fakes.  (Unfortunately, that had become a big problem in our area.)
However, I believe that all agencies that wish to raise Tzedaka money
have to train their meshulachim in certain basics of Derech Eretz.  They
should also realize that by being rude they will actually LOSE money,
because, as Anonymous stated, they are now off of her list for future
years.  I am not chas v'shalom stating that all meshulachim are bad.  I
am, however, stating that they need to realize that people don't usually
appreciate strangers coming to their homes late in the evening and that
their main job is marketing.  As such, they need to act with Derech
Eretz and even a little bit of anava (humility).  Many meshulachim do
their job well, unfortunately, there are those that are intimidating (we
don't answer the door any more when we see this one man), and rude (like
those described above).  They tend to ruin for the rest of the batch.

From: Aharon A. Fischman <afischman@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 12:59:58 -0400
Subject: RE: Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?

With Regards to Anonymous -  Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?

My wife and I have come across similar situations, and have also been
disillusioned.  Following the birth of my daughter, my wife and I stayed
at my in-laws house to give time for my wife to recover, and to have (In
my case anyhow much) help taking care of our newborn.  One evening,
after Tzom Gedaliah, My mother-in-law was resting due to long hard day.
A meshulach came to the door asking for donations for a Jewish
institution. I mentioned that I didn't live there, and that my wife's
mother was sleeping.  I would gladly take an envelope and information,
and pass them along to her.

That wasn't enough for the meshulach.  He produced a canceled check from
the previous years donation, and said that I should go wake my
mother-in-law up so that he could talk to her.  We (my wife had joined
me by that point) said no, we're not going to do that, leave an
envelope, or leave with nothing.  Eventually, he left.

Aside from the shock at the situation, and the lack of Derech Eretz
[rudeness] that occurred, from a halachick standpoint the whole
situation seemed wrong.  I/We have a positive commandment to give
charity, and a positive commandment to respect our parents, and by
extension our spouses parents. Halacha does not mandate which Tzedakot
you must give to, but only that you give, but Halacha is _very_ specific
about respecting your parents, and that would include not waking them up
when sleep is so crucial.  In other words, giving to this gentlemen was
a reshut (optional commandment), while waking my wife's mother up would
be a violation of a required commandment.  If this institution was
directly supporting a Torah lifestyle, wouldn't the wake up request on
its face seem ludicrous?

Back to the point, there seems to be on the part of a small minority of
individuals a severe lack of derech eretz, and unfortunately, it may
negatively affect legitimate and proper institutions.  I hope it doesn't
get to that.

<afischman@...> (no longer.com)

From: Aviva Fee <aviva613@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 08:11:45 PDT
Subject: Re: Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz?

As to the question of Whatever Happened to Derech Eretz? In reference to
collectors, I can only relate my personal feelings:

There is an incredible yetzer hara when it comes to giving tzedakah -
both for the meshulach and for the giver.  It is important to understand
that and deal with it.

Just because Reb Ploni of the XYZ Organization comes to your door does
not necessarily mean that XYZ Organization is disreputable.  It may
perhaps mean that they have done a bad job of outsourcing their

Also, if Reb Ploni is from Eretz Yisroel, then perhaps it is an accepted
minhag to ring someone's bells at a late hour.  Also, if you live in
Manhattan, it is hard for an outsider to think it is late when there is
so much activity.

>>Needless to say, although I formerly thought this was a very worthy cause, 
>>I have crossed it off my donation list.

I understand your frustration.  If the organization is really
worthwhile, then one strike from a bad meshulach should not put the
organization on your bad list.  Yes, the meshulach did lack derech
eretz, and it is inexcusable.

But on the other, would you like to be in his shoes?

My humble opinion is that it was correct for you not to give in this
case.  Just do not let this one bad apple ruin you day.

Have a good shabbos!



End of Volume 32 Issue 77