Volume 33 Number 36
                 Produced: Thu Aug 31 20:59:39 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros
         [Frank Silbermann]
Chalav Stam (5)
         [Zev Sero, Zev Sero, Micha Berger, Mike Gerver, Cynthia Tenen]
Cholov Yisroel and the Chazon Ish
         [Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer]
More Chalav Talk
         [Steven White]
Non-Supervised Milk
         [Zev Sero]
Treif Milk
         [Norman Bander]


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 11:21:15 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:  Chalav Akum and "New" Chumros

Earlier posts quoted Rav. Moshe Feinstein as recognizing that the Talmud
delineates a halachic obligation to ensure the purity of one's milk, but
arguing that the requirements are fulfilled by drinking USDA milk.
According to the quotes, he even went so far as to forbid people from
questioning the halachic commitment of Jews who drink USDA milk.

Yet, in the same psak he encourages a Baal Nefesh not to rely on the
USDA -- and it is also known that he instructed schools under his
supervision to "keep Chalov Yisrael."  Some see a contradiction in this.
Why would he recommend that _anybody_ "keep Chalov Yisrael" if USDA milk
is kosher?

I can think of three reasons, two practical and one kabbalistic.

(1) Rav. Feinstein had the humility to realize that not every Jew
    chose him as their Posek.  Some Jews followed rabbis who,
    for whatever reasons, forbade ordinary USDA milk and he was
    reluctant to shut their children out of any Jewish school.

(2) Keeping Chalov Yisrael teaches children, who may one day travel
    overseas, that milk sold by gentiles is not automatically permitted.
    (This is analogous to the Lubavitcher reluctance to rely on eruvim,
    lest children go somewhere without an eruv and forget the prohibition
    against carrying on Shabbas.)

(3) However beneficial it is for a gentile dairy worker to do G-d's will
    for a reward or out of fear of earthly punishment, and however
    praiseworthy it would be for him to do G-d's will voluntarily,
    it is greater still to fulfill a commandment.  A gentile is not
    commanded to keep milk pure, and doing so out of fear of the
    government -- or even, hypothetically, out of love for the
    Jewish people -- brings less reward into the world than when milk
    is supervised by those who are motivated to fulfill a mitzvah.

Thus even though per Rav. Moshe Feinstein USDA milk is 100% kosher for
_anyone_ to drink, there are reasons to encourage Jews to prefer milk
that has been supervised by Jews.

(In answer to a claimed posthumous renunciation by Rav. Moshe of his
lenient psak, some have suggested that this renunciation might be
fraudulent.  A forgery certainly cannot be ruled out, considering the
widespread and apparently willful misrepresentation of Rav. Moshe's
original psak by those claiming it was merely a one-time heter for one
woman who found herself in desperate circumstances.)

Frank Silbermann
New Orleans, Louisiana


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 18:26:30 -0400
Subject: RE: Chalav Stam

Chaim Twerski <chaimt@...> wrote:

> In the responsa of R. Moshe regarding chalav yisroel, he [...] deduces
> from this that all that is needed is that the non-Jewish farmer be
> fearful of adding non-kosher milk to the mixture.  If so, he reasons,
> if the government fines farmers for adulterating the milk, that too
> would be sufficient.

R Moshe confines his heter to *large companies*, and explicitly excludes
individual farmers.  In fact, he says in so many words that there is *no
heter at all* for buying unsupervised milk from a goyishe farmer (see
the end of the teshuva before the one where he first presents his heter
for chalav hacompanies).

Zev Sero

From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 23:25:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalav Stam

Micha Berger <micha@...> wrote:

> To my mind, the question is whether chalav yisrael is a p'sak (ruling)
> or a takanah (piece of new legislation).
> If we take chalav yisrael to be a p'sak in already existing halachah,
> than your line of reasoning would be correct. This would mean that
> Chazal saw that milk was routinely adulterated, and therefore they
> paskened that it requires supervision. In which case, the presence of an
> FDA (or local equivalent for other countries) would be sufficient
> precaution against adulteration to satisfy the laws of kashrus.
> Caveat: this assumes that the reason for the stringency in the ruling is
> entirely known. 
> [...]
> R' Moshe's ruling about chalav hacompanies takes it as a given that this
> concern does not apply in this case. I don't know why.
> However, if it's a new takanah, then it's not necessarily moot even when
> the reason does not apply. [...]
> Similarly here, perhaps the milk would need Jewish supervision to
> satisfy the takanah -- even when the reason for the takanah doesn't
> apply.

R Moshe says that Chalav Yisrael is a takana, not a p'sak.  And from
this fact he deduces that even at the time that the takana was made,
there was no real danger that the milk was adulterated with more than
1/60 of treif milk, because if that were a real worry then there would
have been no need for a takana - the milk would automatically be
forbidden as a safek de'oraita (a doubt that arises under a Torah law).
So he says that the takana only applies when there is *no* such worry,
when we can be reasonably confident that if any treif milk has been
added it's surely less than 1/60 - that's when the takana of chalav
yisrael applies!  And so he discusses only a case where it has already
been factually established that there isn't a real worry, and the only
problem we have is the takana.  Where this assumption is not valid, then
his heter doesn't apply.

Having established that, he shows through some complex reasoning that
the takana takes effect at the moment that the milk is transferred from
the possession of a goy to that of a Jew.  And it's at that moment that
supervision is needed, in order to make the milk kosher, and the fear of
govt sanctions constitutes supervision for the purpose of this takana.
This is how R Moshe establishes that even though private farmers are
*not* afraid of govt sanctions, and therefore their milking is
considered unsupervised, and it is forbidden for a Jew to buy their
milk, nevertheless it's OK if the company supplements the production of
its own cows with milk from private farmers, because the need for
supervision only takes effect at the point where the milk is transferred
from the possession of the company to that of a Jew.  But this is only
true so long as we are not actually worried about adulteration, and the
only problem is the takana.

Zev Sero

From: Micha Berger <micha@...>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 07:40:54 -0500
Subject: Re: Chalav Stam

On Wed, Aug 30, 2000 at 11:25:20PM -0400, Zev Sero wrote:
: R Moshe says that Chalav Yisrael is a takana, not a p'sak. ...

Zev and I discussed this before in another venue.

R' Moshe, in the first responsum (Y"D 1:47), refers to the enactment of
chalav yisrael as "pasku". It's only once you get to the posthumous vol
8 that we hear it called a takanah. As the teshuvos that actually left
R' Moshe's hand are more reliable (particularly WRT something like
precision in wording), I stand by my assertion that R' Moshe held it was
a p'sak.

That said, it would be his own chiddush. The only other way one could
explain R' Moshe's heter would be to say that the law is a gezeirah
whose purpose was codified into the law -- despite the fact that there
is no citation of the halachah that includes it in the same sentence.

The Chasam Sofer (Y"D 107) calls chalav akum "ne'esar biminyan"
(prohibited by a full count [of the Sanhedrin]). The Shach (Hil S'feik
S'feikah 17,18) deals with the issue of safeik g'zeirah lihachmir (that
in case of a doubt in a gezeirah, like a Torahitic law, one assumes the
more stringent side) WRT chalav akum. His resolution, FWIW, is that
mixing milk would be min bimino (a thing mixed into its own kind), and
is therefore batul birov (nullified by a majority). Similarly, the Nodah
Biyhudah (O"Ch 66) holds that chalav akum is a d'Rabbanan, not a ruling
about a di'Oraisa.

Micha Berger
(973) 916-0287        

From: Mike Gerver <Mike.Gerver@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 14:36:37 +0200
Subject: Chalav Stam

ERSherer's posting in v33n34, regarding Garelick Farms milk in
Massachusetts, is not quite accurate.  Garelick Farms did have hashgacha
to begin with.  They lost it when they replaced the synthetic vitamin A
in their milk with all-natural shark liver oil, hoping to attract the
natural food crowd. Instead, they alienated their kosher customers as
well as their vegetarian customers (those who drink milk), and lost more
business than they gained. So they switched back to synthetic vitamin A,
and got back their hashgacha.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

From: Cynthia Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 09:49:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Chalav Stam

At 10:41 AM 8/30/00 +0000, <ERSherer@...> wrote:
>The rest of the story, as
>they say, is that Gurelick has apparently discontinued the adding of
>whatever it was that prevented its acceptability and is now also
>certified by the VH.

Huh?  Are you sure?  I live in the Boston area, and last I looked,
nothing had changed.  --BTW, Garelick *used to* have a hecksher when we
first moved here about 5 years ago.  They were the "natural" milk,
without additives, etc.  Then (about a month or two after we came) they
started adding shark liver oil as their source for Vitamin A rather than
the normal industry source.  The Vaad withdrew the hecksher;
announcements got made in the pulpit, and the observant community
stopped buying Garelick.  There were a couple of big ad campaigns pro
and con for a while, then it all died down.

So are you telling me that after five years Garelick actually got the
message about lost sales?

--Cynthia Tenen
Meru Foundation   http://www.meru.org   <meru1@...>


From: Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer <sbechhof@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 06:15:48 -0500
Subject: Cholov Yisroel and the Chazon Ish

While the Minchas Yitzchok states that the Chazon Ish did not permit
Chalav Stam, from the Chazon Ish himself it seems that while he rejects,
as Mark Steiner wrote, the leniency of powdered milk, he is willing to
accept the logic of the Pri Chadash, that where it is not economical for
farmers to use non-kosher milk the decree of Cholov Yisroel does not



From: Steven White <StevenJ81@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 17:48:54 EDT
Subject: More Chalav Talk

The fact that the subject of Chalav Yisrael and "Chalav HaCompanies"
keeps coming tells me, if nothing else, that people have strong feelings
on the subject.  But does the answer *have to be* black or white?  I can
see a couple of different ways of looking at this.

For example, consider the following.  Reb Moshe's teshuva seems to
indicate that at very least if Chalav Yisrael is not available in your
area, you can rely on the USDA and purchase "Chalav HaCompanies."  The
question I pose is "How much do you have to go out of your way, and for
what products?"  Even in places where Chalav Yisrael milk is available,
for example, the only (or only decent) milk chocolate around may well be
"Chalav HaCompanies" milk chocolate.  It seems to me to be entirely
consistent with both Reb Moshe's primary-level preference for Chalav
Yisrael and his allowance of "Chalav HaCompanies" to say that you should
use the Chalav Yisrael products you can find, but that you can also use
supervised products that are "Chalav HaCompanies" when comparable Chalav
Yisrael products are not readily available.

Now, you may argue that chocolate is not an essential foodstuff, and
that this is a trivial example.  (You'd be wrong, but that's another
story. (;-) ) However, we would have been in the same situation with
tuna fish in the US about three years ago, and tuna is probably *not* a
trivial matter in most of our diets.

Here's a different type of example: Cheese under supervision, Gevinat
Yisrael, but made from Chalav HaCompanies.  In this case, the
combination of the USDA *and* that porcine milk does not make cheese
might be a stronger argument than relying on the USDA alone.

The last thing I am qualified to do is to be a posek.  But I think there
are creative ways to look at these things, and those of you who are
poskim owe it to your constituents to look at them.

Steven White


From: Zev Sero <Zev@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 23:31:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Non-Supervised Milk

Binyomin Segal <bsegal@...> wrote:

> I wonder if I could get further clarification. A few years back, when I
> was looking into importing Mars bars (from Australia I believe) for a
> fund raising event (prior to the OU's certification) I tried to
> investigate this very question, as I found it hard to believe that Mars
> was using supervised milk. 

The Australian Mars bars are not supervised, in the sense that Perets
Mett used the term.  Someone visits the factory every year or so, and
the company has agreed to notify the kashrut authority if there are any
changes to the production.  Such products are made from chalav
hacompanies even in the UK.

When Perets said that nobody in the UK allows supervised products to
contain chalav hacompanies, he was referring only to products that are
actually under hashgacha, not to products which are merely listed in the
kosher list.  The LBD kosher list makes this distinction, and uses the
word `supervision' in the same sense that Perets did.

Zev Sero


From: Norman Bander <Nbander@...>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 12:43:12 EDT
Subject: Treif Milk

For what it's worth: I searched Westlaw and Lexis (the two dominant
search engines in the legal profession) for any instance of a case where
someone had been summoned to court for mixing cow's milk with the milk
of any other animal.  I have not been able to find one instance of this
occuring in any state ever.  This, of ocurse, doesn't mean that it never
happened.  Nor does it mean that that there aren't any of these cases in
these two databases.  It only means that I've not found any.


End of Volume 33 Issue 36