Volume 35 Number 21
                 Produced: Mon Jul 23  5:05:44 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Batel Beshishim
         [Eli Turkel]
Chas VeChalila and Chalila VeChas
         [Gilad J. Gevaryahu]
Nosach Achid (="Sefard") in Israel
         [Seth & Sheri Kadish]
Nusach Sfard
         [Perets Mett]
         [Andrew Klafter]
sephard customs
         [Howard M. Berlin]
Vetein Tal Umatar
         [David E Cohen]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 09:28:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Batel Beshishim

>Time and again I hear different definitive(?) statements regarding botul
>b'shesheem (and for that matter, botul b'rov) -- but sticking stictly
>with botul b'shesheem --
>The halachos of an "accidental mixture" usually characterized as
>resulting from an accidental event such as "some milk splashed and a
>drop ended up in the (fleisheg) soup" seem to be clear -- or are they,
>what constitutes an "accident" --
>1 - "splashing" -- that is a physical accident causing the unwanted
>2 - reaching for and using the wrong ingredient -- for example, someone
>reaches for the parve box of instant mashed potatoes and inadvertently
>uses a milchig box of (butter flavored / butter added) instant mashed
>3 - finding out after the fact that something was mislabeled.  I.e., you
>learn after using same, that the parve box of instant mashed potatoes
>was mislabled and was really dairy.  -- the difference here is that you
>purposely did what you did -- it was the information that was bad.
>The recent posting about the OU-D tuna fish, seems to refer to a
>purposeful / deliberate mixing -- that is people are asking if this
>deliberate mixture (addition) of milk can be nullified (considered
>botul.)  By extension this would seem to imply that if one takes a ten
>pound box of mashed potatoes -- adding water, one now has, say 1 gallon
>(volume measure) of mashed potatoes -- is the implication that one could
>then add up to 1/64th of a gallon (1/4 cup) of butter and still consider
>the mixture milchig -- not to pasken, but this is absurd.
>Does anyone care to provide sources re: the purposeful, deliberate
>mixing of dairy and meat -- both re: the D'oroysah of doing so and the
>halachas of eating such a mixture.

>From the Torah something is batel independent of the motives behind the
mixture. The laws of how much is needed to mevatel in each case is
complicated by usually the need for 60 times more heter than issur is
only rabbinic.

That one is not allowed to add heter to achieve the factor of 60 is also
only a rabbinic prohibition. Hence, I would assume it only applies when
one added to the mixture with the express intent to be mevatel the issur
that is there. It would not apply to any accidental additions described

R. Moshe Feinstein has a teshuva about ice creams because the agent that
causes the jeeling is treif. He rules that it is not davar ha-maamid and
is therefore batel beshishim. He does not seem to be concerned that all
ingredients are added consciously and so we should say ein mevatlim
issur lechatchila. Rather since the nonJewish firm adds the various
components for their reasons it does not affect my buying the product
once the issur is less than 1 in 60.

Eli Turkel


From: Gilad J. Gevaryahu <Gevaryahu@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 12:01:01 EDT
Subject: Chas VeChalila and Chalila VeChas

The expressions Chas VeChalila and Chalila VeChas are both used. Chalila
is Biblical Gen. 18:25; I Sam 14:45. According to Even Shoshan
dictionary Chas might stem from the Biblical word Chus Jer. 13:14; Jonah

I don't know that first use. 

For Chalila VeChas: Even Shoshan mentions that it is used by the Rosh to 
Sanhedrin 23a. Also Zohar, Ex., Mishpatim, 94b; Nu., Naso, 127b.

For Chas VeChalila: B. Ta'anit 22b, 25b; Bava Metzia 75b, Sanhedrin 101b.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


From: Seth & Sheri Kadish <skadish@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 15:47:11 +0200
Subject: Nosach Achid (="Sefard") in Israel

> > Finally, I have heard that 'nusach achid' was not universally accepted.
> > Perhaps our chaveirim in Israel can report to us about the status of
> > 'nusach achid' today.
> On a personal basis in many shuls I have never seen Nusach achid.  What
> is common is that chazan chooses whatever nusach he wants.  This is done
> in the minyan in tel Aviv University and in many places that have a
> mixed crowd that can not be split into individual minyanim.  In home
> communities it is becoming more popular to split the community into
> distinct davenings based on Nusach.

My personal observations of Israeli synagogues are very different than
what Eli Turkel reports.

On the one hand, I've never been in a regular Israeli minyan that allows
the chazzan to choose whatever nusach he wants (though others have told
me about such places).  The only exception has been army reserve duty.
I suspect that TA university isn't a typical example precisely because
it is such a "mixed crowd" of people who are thrown together temporarily
(like the army).  But in permanent communities - I've never seen this
done.  Nor have I seen an Ashkenazic community split into distinct
davenings based on Nusach.  Rather, even if new communities are very
mixed, in the end the Ashkenazic element always seems to opt for "nusach
achid" when a shul is established.

On the other hand, I have been in countless Israeli shuls that purposely
advertise themselves as "Nusach Achid," their express purpose in doing
so being to appear as open as possible to all Jews, and to make sure no
one feels that "his" nusach is being discriminated against.  (Whether or
not this actually works, of course, is another story entirely!)  Another
factor in the decision to choose "Nusach Achid," as I pointed out
previously, is that it was long adopted in most state religious schools,
which then influenced the choices of parents as well, when it came time
for them to choose a nusach for a newly established shul.

I'm actually quite curious as to why our mutual observations are so

In any case, this whole issue has very little to do with avodat Hashem,
because He hears sincere prayers in any nusach.  However, I really do
think it is of considerable historical interest (which is why I've
posted a lot about it).  Future generations of religious Israelis may
someday want to know why many of the customs they received differ
considerably from those that their ancestors observed in Chutz la-Aretz.

Seth (Avi) Kadish
Karmiel, Israel


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 12:00:03 +0100
Subject: Re: Nusach Sfard

Seth Kadish wrote:

>4) The reason for the above appears to be historical: The talmidim of
>the Baal Shem Tov made aliya in the late 18th century, and mostly
>settled in the north (Tzfat and Tiberias).  Among Ashkenazim, that gave
>them the earliest claim to be setting "Minhag Eretz Yisrael" (the Custom
>of the Land of Israel).

Yes and more. Not only were the "18th century" immigrants chasidim, but
so were the immigrants in the "19th" and "20th" centuries.  How did Kfar
Chasidim get its name?  It was founded by chasidim. The founder of Bnei
Brak (Yitschok Gershtnkorn) was a Polish chosid. So amongst "Ashkenazim"
in Erets Yisroel, Nusach "Sfard" was firmly entrenched before WWII.

>6) The upshot of all of this is paradoxical: Non-Chasidic Ashkenazic
>Jews are the *only* immigrants to Israel who, once they immigrate, are
>told that many of their age-old customs are not "the Custom of the Land
>of Israel."  Religious immigrants from all other lands, from Yemen to
>Kurdistan, from Persia to Georgia, from Iraq to Tunisia - they all kept
>their communities' customs in Israel, and built synagogues using those
>customs and their own nosah, even if their customs or nosah had never
>been "the Custom of the Land of Israel."  But among Ashkenazic Jews -
>any customs not those of the chasidim or the Vilna Gaon have been wiped
>out.  (The classic examples being Tefillin on Chol ha-Moed without a
>berakha, or "Barukh Hashem Le-Olam" in Maariv.)  I personally find this
>to be very sad.

Not putting on tfilin on Chol Hamoeid is common to ALL the groups listed
above!  The reason it is the accepted minhog in EY is not restricted to
the influence of Chasidim and Perushim (followers of the Vilner Go'on)
but has much to do with the authority of the Beis Yosef (who lived in
Tsfas) as the Moron d'Aro d'Yisroel, as the writer acknowledges in his
next piece:

>7) Finally, among Sefardim, Rav Ovadia Yosef has tried to create a
>unified system of custom and psak for all eastern Jews, basing his own
>"Custom of the Land of Israel" on Rav Yosef Karo, even when the age-old
>customs of North African Jews or Yemenites differ from the Shulhan


From: Andrew Klafter <andrew.klafter@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:02:28 -0400
Subject: Orthodox

> From: Anonymous
> Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 13:02:29 +0300
> Rabbi Leo Jung z"l often referred to himself as being a "Jew". He felt
> that adjectives only serve to modify and detract from the real thing and
> that there is only one authentic Judaism

Probably most of us agree that there exist halakhic standards to
delinite "one authentic Judaism" and we wish that all of klal Yisrael
were shomrei torah u'mitzvos (observant of the torah and commandments).

Since that is not the case, and since there are so many people who tout
their own personal/political philosophies as "Judaism" or as "New
Judaism" of some kind, it has become necessary come up with some way of
identifying Jews and Judaism which are faithful to traditional beliefs
and practices.  The idea of classify and defining normative Jewish
beliefs or defining heretical Jewish beliefs and practices is very old.
There are ancient rabbinic sources, for example, which consider what the
proper conduct should be with a Torah scroll written by a non-believer
(sefer torah she kasvah min).

And then there is the question about the varieties of approach to
various issues from within traditional Judaism.  What is the appropriate
level of engagement in the surrounding gentile culture for a believing
Jew?  Is the medieval Sephardic approach or the medieval Ashkenazic
approach (of intense engagement vs. severe insularism respectively) more
suitable for the 21st century in America.  Does the creatio of the
modern State of Isreal have messianic or other religious signficance.
Hence terms like "modern-Orthodox," "religious-Zionist," "charedi,"
"misnagged" and "chassid"....

Rabbi Jung, z'l, may have been making an important point about the
belief that all Jews are one, and there is only one Torah, one Shulchan
Aruch, etc.  Nevertheless, it is important to debate the above and other
contemporary and timeless issues which confront the Torah community in
the 21st century.  It would be impossible to do so without using terms
which signify theological, political, and sociological leanings.  I, for
one, do not think using such terms serves to "detract from the real
thing."  Also, I believe that many of the different approaches within
the Torah world demonstrate that there is more than one Authentic



From: Howard M. Berlin <berlin@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 10:52:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: sephard customs

To all:

Many thanks for all suggestions about suitable books describing
differences in minhagim of Sephardim/Ashkenazim. I settled on the
following two, which I just finshed checking out of a nearby university

Ashkenazim and Sephardim. their relations, differences, and problems as
reflected in the rabbinical responsa. Zimmels, Hirsch Jakob.  Oxford
University Press. 1958.

A treasury of Sephardic laws and customs. the ritual practices of
Syrian, Moroccan, Judeo-Spanish and Spanish and Portuguese Jews of North
America. Dobrinsky, Herbert C. Ktav/Yeshiva University Press. 1988.

The first one is more historical while I find the second very informative.
Nevertheless, both make for enjoyable reading.

 /~~\\       ,    , ,                          Dr. Howard M. Berlin, W3HB


From: David E Cohen <ddcohen@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:00:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vetein Tal Umatar

Eric Simon asked why we are still using "Tekufat Shmuel," which assumes
a solar year of exactly 365.25 days, to calculate Tekufat Tishrei, when
the world recognized years ago that this inaccurate, and swtiched from
the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

This question has bothered me for a long time as well.  I don't have the
exact reference on me now, but R. Moshe Feinstein zt"l has a teshuva
where, IIRC, he claims that the Abudraham was aware of the inaccuracy of
that calendar when he nonetheless gave the date of November
twenty-something (on the Julian calendar -- which corresponds to
December 4 on our Gregorian calendar).  Had the Abudraham wanted the
date for she'eilat geshamim to change due to the known inaccuracy in the
Julian calendar in use at the time, he would have given the date is
november something-teenth, which would correspond to November
twenty-third (approximately) on our Gregorian calendar.  I don't
remember how he showed that the Abudraham was actually aware of this

It would seem to me that perhaps a Sanhedrin is not technically required
to change our practice, since if the use of "tekufat shmuel" to
calculate the date was not actually instituted as halacha, but was
simply the most accurate method available at the time for calculating
when the equinox actually was.  However, practically speaking, it would
probably be only the Sanhedrin that could make this change, since there
needs to be one uniform practice for this throughout the Jewish people,
and the chance of all of the poskim getting together and deciding that
this change should be made seems rather remote.



End of Volume 35 Issue 21