Volume 35 Number 76
                 Produced: Thu Dec 27  7:01:03 US/Eastern 2001

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Grape Juice (4)
         [Mark Steiner, Shaya Potter, Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz, Barak
Greenfield, MD]
Hair Conditioner and Mikvah
         [Yisrael and Batya Medad]
Hazzan leading mourner's kaddish when both parents are alive
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Jewish community info?
         [Jonathan Katz]
Nichum Aveilim and the Rambam
         [I Kasdan]
Sacramental Use Only
         [Eli Lansey]
         [Carl Singer]


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 22:28:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Grape Juice

On grape juice, the issues are more complicated than some of the writers
realize, because of the changing realia:

As far as the Talmud and Shulhan Arukh are concerned, "grape juice"
which the fresh squeezed juice of the grape.  Today, this term can be
used for reconstituted juice, where water is added to concentrate.
There is an interesting discussion of this in R. Shlomo-Zalman
Auerbach's sefer: the question is whether reconstitution is restoring
the concentrate to its original status of "wine", or whether you have
simply added water to the concentrated wine to the extent that it loses
its identity as wine.

I also heard the following idea from a talmid chacham, though I don't
know whether any of the gedolei haposkim agree: grape juice to which has
been added an anti-fermentation chemical (like a sulfite) is not wine,
because it has lost its potential to become wine.

While on the subject of kiddush beverages, I'll share an insight that my
havrusah and I had this week: kiddush cannot be made on whiskey or other
drinks Shabbos morning UNLESS there is no wine in the city.  This is
clear from the rishonim and poskim.  In fact it seems to me that the
term "hamar medinah" used in this context means in effect a replacement
for wine, i.e. since the city has no grape wine they use other fermented
(or other) drinks.  The Mogen Avrohom asks how it could be that the
universal custom is to make kiddush on schnapps in the morning and even
gedolim, who have wine in the house, do it.  He gives an amazing answer:
in reality they are making kiddush on BREAD.  And although the halakha
is that one cannot make kiddush on bread during the day (only Friday
night), this is because during the day there is no special blessing to
be made (kiddush hayom), so there is no way of knowing that somebody is
making kiddush if he only eats bread.  The schnapps comes to signify
that the BREAD is meant for kiddush!

The following conclusions would seem to be unavoidable, but I have not
yet researched the contemporary poskim on the matter.  Please do not
take this as any kind of "psak", but only as a dvar Torah:

(a) Kiddush on whiskey (in a place where wine is available) is
impermissable unless one eats bread afterward (kiddush clubs take
notice).  Certainly kugel alone will not do.  There may be some yeast
cakes that could also be classified as "bread" for this purpose.

(b) There is no need to fill a large cup with whiskey to make kiddush in
the morning as some "Litvaks" claim, nor is there any need to drink a
large quantity either, as the real kiddush is on the BREAD.  (The
dispute over whether you need to use a big kiddush cup for whiskey would
perforce apply only if you are really making kiddush--or havdalah--on
the whiskey.)

Mark Steiner

From: Shaya Potter <spotter@...>
Date: 25 Dec 2001 10:58:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Grape Juice

> Since cooking wine apparently doesn't deter gentiles from turning wine
> into their god's blood anymore, why do we still say that once wine has
> been cooked, it doesn't need further supervision?  Presumably a 
> Catholic priest's bottle of Maneshewitz isn't kosher because he may
> have blessed it.

Because as I understand it, yayin mevushal is not considered wine
according to halacha, and therefore there is no concern of yayin nesach
which is what is forbidden.

some info


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <Sabba.Hillel@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 16:13:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Grape Juice

> From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
> To continue the grape juice questions:
> I have heard that a large market share for companies like Magen David
> and Manishewitz is the Catholic Church, for communion wine.
> Since cooking wine apparently doesn't deter gentiles from turning wine
> into their god's blood anymore, why do we still say that once wine has
> been cooked, it doesn't need further supervision?  Presumably a Catholic
> priest's bottle of Maneshewitz isn't kosher because he may have blessed
> it.
> (On a separate note, I heard that Manishewitz sells extremely well in
> the American Bible Belt, though probably not for religious purposes.)

IIRC the gezeirah (rabbinical enactment) of "steam yeinam' (Their
[normal] wine) was based on the original definitionof "yayin nesech"
(wine of libations [of idols]).  Thus, the definition of wine to be
forbidden was that which had not been cooked.  THe fact that the goyim
now accept cooked wine for their avodas zara does not change the
original takana (decree).

I would think that if a priest offered someone a glass of wine from a
bottle that had been used for communion wine, that it would be forbidden
because of yayin nesech and not just stam yainam.

Similarly, if a sect of idol worshippers puts kosher food in front of
their idols to give the statues "first taste", then even food that was
prepared according to all the laws of Kashrus would become forbidden.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
<sabbahem@...>, Sabba.Hillel@verizon.net

From: Barak Greenfield, MD <DocBJG@...>
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 21:40:05 -0500
Subject: RE: Grape Juice

Joel Rich (<Joelirich@...>) wrote:

> << Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 272:2 states that one may use grape
> juice; who disagrees with this?
>  Barak Greenfield  >>
> FWIW it's very likely that the grape juice referred to in shulchan aruch
> differs from ours.  IIRC the grape juice in the time of S"A was simply a
> mixture which would turn into wine eventually if left alone.  Our grape
> juice will never ferment(or so I'm told).  Thus there could be halachik
> differences between the 2.

Similarly, Elazar M Teitz <remt@...> wrote:

> What the Shulchan Aruch states is that one may squeeze a bunch of grapes
> and make Kiddush. Those who would disqualify grape juice refer to the
> pasteurized product. The difference is that the former is potential
> wine, since left to ferment it will become wine, and is thus in its
> current state considered to be unfinished wine.  The latter, on the
> other hand, can no longer become wine.

Pasteurization might be a relevant distinction, or it might not
be. Shulchan aruch does not state that grape juice is permitted solely
because it is "pre-wine," although it does not overtly reject that
argument. The term used is "wine from the press," implying that it is
already considered wine from the moment it is pressed, without regard to

Additionally, it is important to note that while the opinion of some
authorities prohibiting yayin mevushal (cooked wine, because of presumed
quality degradation) is quoted in shulchan aruch, no separate discussion
is devoted to cooked grape juice. One might reasonably infer, therefore,
that the question of cooked grape juice is merely the same as that of
cooked wine, and if one would use the latter for kiddush, one could use
the former.



From: Yisrael and Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 05:55:33 +0200
Subject: Re: Hair Conditioner and Mikvah

I'm married over 30 years, and I specifically remember learning that
hair conditioner was not to be used before tvila, because it coats the



From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 10:25:29 -0500
Subject: RE: Hazzan leading mourner's kaddish when both parents are alive

>From: Howard Berlin <berlin@...>

>Does anyone know the source for a Hazzan (or any other shul officer) not
>wanting to lead the saying of the mourner's kaddish if both his parents
>are still alive? In our shul, the Hazzan, in the absence of the Rabbi,
>usually "organizes" the minyan (gives the page numbers, etc.) and
>sometimes is the reader (he is usually the fastest). One person, often
>not one required to say kaddish, generally leads the rest of those
>saying kaddish because (as I was told) some of the mourners might make
>mistakes in their pronounciation, etc.
>Is this abstention a minhag? Does it rise from the Kabbalah (the evil
>eye, etc), or is there a biblical prohibition?
>It seems to me that this practice is not uniformly practiced by
>observant Jews. (Or is it?)

When I was a gabbai (before my father A"H was niftar (died)), it was
explained as a matter of kibud av.  That is, a person whose parents are
alive could not say kaddish because it causes grief to his parents (it
is as if he is saying that he wishes to act as if they were dead, chas
veshalom).  Thus, if a person is in a situation where he would want to
say kaddish for someone who has noone to say for him (such as a relative
who has no living sons), then he MUST first ask for permission from both
of his parents.

I have been told that if one of his parents has been niftar, the person
must still ask permission of his living parent.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz - <sabbahem@...>


From: Jonathan Katz <jkatz@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 11:08:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Jewish community info?

Looking to relocate, I am starting to investigate Jewish
communities. Can anyone point me to a good source of information on the
topic? Data on kosher restaurants is easy to find on the web, but what
about information about shuls, schools, mikvahs, etc. or contact
information for these places? Any help would be appreciated.

(In case there are readers out there who are willing to share their
experiences, among the locations I am considering are:

West Hartford
Philadelphia metro area
Chicago metro area
Atlanta metro area
Sharon, MA
Baltimore/Washington DC and metro area
Tenafly, NJ)

Jonathan Katz


From: I Kasdan <Ikasdan@...>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 09:09:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Nichum Aveilim and the Rambam

The Rambam (Avel 14,1) holds that nichum aveilim (among other mitzvos
enumerated there) is a Rabbinic halacha that (nonetheless) is a g'milus
chesed rooted in the posuk (verse) "V'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha" (loosely
translated - "Love thy neighbor as thyself.") The Rambam bases himself
on this posuk even though the gemorah in Sotah (14) learns out nichum
aveilim from the fact that Hashem was m'nachem (comforted) Yitzchak
after the death of his father and that we must imitate G-d in this (as
well as other practices) based on the posuk "acharei Hashem Elokeichem
taleichu" (loose translation -- "follow in the ways of G-d").

[As asides, The Rambam holds that imitating G-d is a positive Torah
mitzvah (Mitzvah 8) (although he learns it from a different posuk from
that brought down in Sotah).  The Rambam also holds that "V'ahavta
l'reiacha kamocha" is a general mitzvah that is not counted in the 613.
(See Sefer Hamitzvos Shoresh 2).]

My question -- Why does the Rambam eschew learning nichum aveilim as a
g'milas chesed based on imitating G-d, i.e., as the gemorah in Sotah
does, in favor of saying that it is rooted in "V'ahavta l'reiacha
kamocha" (as to which, for example, the Kesef Mishnah on the spot -- by
his silence, after bringing down the halacha -- apparently can offer no
source)?  In other words -- what is the intrinsic difference in learning
this g'milus chesed from "V'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha" as opposed to
learning it from imitating G-d?

[The Frankel edition indicates that the Rambam held that nichum aveilim
is a din d'rabanon based on a gemorah in Sanhedrin. However, that does
not fully explain the Rambam because 1. the gemorah in Sanhedrin makes
no mention of "V'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha" and 2. the Rambam certainly
could have held that the gemorah in Sotah is an asmachta b'almah with
respect to learning nichum aveilim from the fact Hashem comforted
Yitzchak, i.e., that nichum aveilim is a Rabbinic mitzvah even according
to the gemorah in Sotah, albeit a Rabbinic mitzvah rooted in a g'milus
chesed in imitating G-d as opposed to one rooted in "V'ahavta l'reiacha


From: Eli Lansey <elansey@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 14:47:07 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Sacramental Use Only

>> Last Shabbos I came across a bottle of Kedem grape juice, purchased in
>> the U.S., with the statement "For Sacramental Use Only" on the label.
> It's TAX related -- regular wine/grape juice is taxed by the states, but
> sacremental wine is exempt from tax

If the issue is a tax matter, if one uses it something other than
sacramental use is it considered tax fraud?


From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 11:54:41 EST
Subject: Wine

<<  From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
 (On a separate note, I heard that Manishewitz sells extremely well in
 the American Bible Belt, though probably not for religious purposes.) >>

Above story brought back a memory of 30+ years ago.  While in the Army I
was invited to the home of one of my officemates, a Colonel from rural
Ohio -- someone who likely had never been close to a Jew before me.  So
that I would feel more at home, he bought a bottle of Mogen David wine
for his guest (me.)

  I still remember that kindness, over 30 years old, it reflected his
family's genuine warmth and hospitality -- but don't ask me where I left
my glasses 30 minutes ago.

Kol Tov
Carl Singer


End of Volume 35 Issue 76