Volume 36 Number 07
                 Produced: Tue Mar 19  5:28:17 US/Eastern 2002

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bacon in Maple Syrup
         [Bernard Raab]
Birkat Cohanim
         [Ben Katz]
Birkat Kohanim
         [Chaim Tatel]
Birkat Kohanim (was "Birkat Cohanim")
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
         [Janet Rosenbaum]
         [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid's Persuh on Chumash
         [Caren and Steve Weisberg]
That's **it??**
Unmarried Men not Wearing a Talit Gadol
         [Chaim Tatel]
Unmarried men wearing Talis
         [Carl Singer]


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 16:15:32 -0500
Subject: Re: Bacon in Maple Syrup

>From: Yaakov Fogelman <top@...>
>Re bacon in maple syrup, I heard years ago from Rav Levy that it is OK
>in that the bacon is no way a food ingredient, but is briefly dipped in
>to aid the boiling process.

>From: <NISHMAT@...> (Rabbi Yisroel Finman)
>Although a small amount of fat is needed during the process of recucing
>tree sap into viable syrup, no reputable kashruth organization allows
>the use of lard. The word BACON on the bottom of the Trader Joe's brand
>maple syrup has nothing to do with the ingredients. It is the name of
>the manufacturer of the plastic container.

In an attempt to get to the bottom of the "OU bacon" issue, I sent Email
to two maple syrup manufacturer organizations, plus I found the North
American Maple Syrup Producers Manual on line. I strongly believe that
Rabbi Finman is right about the word embossed word on the bottom of the
container, but have not verified that aspect.

Regarding the issue of fat added to the syrup, it appears that this is
indeed possible. From the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual:

"Chapter 7  Maple Syrup Production
Operating the Evaporator

C. Keep foaming under control. Vigorously boiling sap can foam
excessively, in a sense, boiling over. When this happens, a defoaming
agent (also called foam inhibitor) should be used to reduce the foaming
mass. Over the years, many fatty substances have been used as defoaming
agents including whole milk, cream, butter, vegetable shortening, and
vegetable oil. Commercial defoamers are available, and generally should
be used. Avoid old defoamers and those containing animal products as
they can impart a rancid off-flavor to the syrup. Use defoamer
sparingly. It only takes a drop or two of liquid commercial defoamer to
bring a foaming mass under control and excessive amounts may impart an
off-flavor to syrup. Producers desiring "organic" certification should
check permissible defoaming agents."

The following is the text of the Email I sent to the Ontario Maple Syrup 
Producers Association:

"Please settle a dispute for me. Is there any fat used in the processing
of maple syrup, either added to the product or to the machinary in such
a way that might contact the product? Even in miniscule amounts?  If so,
what is its function and what sort of fat is most commonly used?  Thanks
for your help--B. Raab"

This is the response I received today (3/10/02):

"Hello! The only place that might expose an oil to maple syrup is when a
defoaming cup is attached to the evaporator. The oil used is vegetable
oil e.g. mazola, etc. and a couple of drops will quell the foaming
action should the syrup get boiling hard enough to rise too high in the
pan and "boil-over" It usually sits there UNUSED but is a safety measure
when or if needed. I must emphasize that the amount used is only a few
drops and only when needed.

Kenneth A. McGregor, P.Ag., CAC
30959 Wyatt Road, R.R.#6,
Strathroy, ON
N7G 3H7
Tel. 519/232-4596
FAX  519/232-9166
aka - owner, manager Auxsable Valley Farms
    - sec./treas. Ontario Maple Syrup
                  Producers Association
    - member "Beechwood" dance band
<end Email text>

I believe this should settle the matter conclusively:
1. The word "bacon" on the bottom of the container in no way refers to the 
contents of the container, but is most likely the logo of the container 
manufacturer (Bacon Industries, Inc.?)
2. While a small amount edible fat could be deliberately (though 
rarely)introduced in the maple syrup processing, a vegetable fat is strongly 
3. Anyone who wishes to question OU certification should find a different 


From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 18:25:36 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Birkat Cohanim

>From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
>Mark Symons asked <<< In the phrase Am K'doshecha Ka'amur, does Ka'amur
>qualify Am K'doshecha - Your holy people, as it is said - which is what
>it sounds like when the kahal recite this as a phrase immediately after
>the chazan calls out Cohanim - but why is it necessary to add Ka'amur?
>Ben Katz answered <<< In Sidur Rav Sadia Gaon the language is "kohanay am
>kedoshecha ka-amur" with the phrase Mr. Symons is troubled by modifying
>the priests, not standing alone.  It seems to me this girsa makes the
>most sense and obviates the difficulties posed. >>>
>I don't see how this text solves anything.
>The word "ka-amur" is always followed by a quote which supports the idea
>which had preceded the "ka-amur". This is most commonly seen in all the
>various versions of Musaf, which talk *about* the Korban Musaf, and then
>say "kaamur -- as it is said:" followed by the source of the korban in
>the Torah.
>So too by the text which the chazan says when there is not any duchaning
>in shul: (paraphrasing for brevity) "HaShem, please give us the bracha
>which should be given by the Kohanim, Your holy people, as it is said,
>'Yivarech'cha...' " (Or, according to Rav Sadia Gaon, "... by the
>Kohanim of Your holy people...)
>But when you pluck these words out of context, it loses all
>meaning. "The Kohanim [of] Your holy people, as it is said!" I don't get

        "Am kedoshecha ka-amur" sounds like a stand-alone phrase.  That
seems to be why the congregation says it aloud after the hazan says the
word "kohanim", which appears to end the preceding sentence.  When one
reads the phrase "kohanay am kedoshecha", the last two words modify
kohanay.  Then "ka-amur" just means "as follows".  I agree that ka-amur
often introduces a proof text, but here (at least according to RS"G) it
seems to introduce a quote (like "laymor" in the Bible).

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph. 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 08:13:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Birkat Kohanim

Yisrael Medad wrote: 

>A while back there was a discussion on whether Kohanim should be
>congratulated when descending the Duchan and then, to complicate the
>issue, what response do they reply.

>Well, recently, I've taken to telling them "Avodah Tova" which can
>easily mean "good job done" or

In the Yeshivos where I learned and in many shuls I have davened in, the
custom is for the congregation to say "Yasher Koach" and for the Kohen
to respond "Baruch Ti-hyeh (May you be blessed)."

"Yasher Koach" is a variation of "Ye-Yasher Kochacha," meaning "may your
strength be restored.

As a Kohen, I appreciate the sentiment voiced by the congregants.

It is not easy holding one's arms at shoulder-height or above for the
5-10 minutes it takes for duchening, especially in places where the
Kohanim sing.

Chaim Yitzchak HaKohen Tatel

From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 17:05:50 +0200
Subject: Re: Birkat Kohanim (was "Birkat Cohanim")

Akiva Miller stated in mail-jewish Vol. 36 #05 Digest:
      The word "ka-amur" is always followed by a quote which supports
      the idea which had preceded the "ka-amur". This is most commonly
      seen in all the various versions of Musaf, which talk *about* the
      Korban Musaf, and then say "kaamur -- as it is said:" followed by
      the source of the korban in the Torah.

I fully support the logic of this position; "ka'amur" modifies what
follows it.  However, there is an unfortunate error.  Not "*all* the
various versions," since the Sefardi musaf text does not always detail
the sacrifice by quoting it.



From: Janet Rosenbaum <jerosenb@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 16:50:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Blood

Frequently, when someone is buried, their bloodied clothing is buried
with them, if possible.  (I have heard that this is only customary, but
please correct me if there is a halachic requirement.)  Has anyone ever
heard of a custom to dispose of menstrual blood respectfully, such as by
burying it?




From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahem@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 13:57:03 -0500
Subject: RE: Gomel

>From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
>      In our shul, sometimes a minyon (exactly) will gather near the
>      ezras nashim and answer the bracha.  It does not have to be during
>      the aliyos but could be after minyan.  That way the woman is not
>      embarassed and it is easier on the rest of the congregation.
>      Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz
>Excuse me, but what is there to be embarrassed about, and what does it
>mean it "makes it easier on the rest of the congregation" (obviously the
>Women are not embarrassed to bench gomel. Why should they be? And why
>does a woman benching gomel make it tough on the men?

Some women are embarrassed to speak up in shul (when making the bracha
with all the congregation listening).  Since there are women for whom
this is the case, then a minyon off to the side to hear her makes it
easier for her.  Additionally, sometimes the acoustics of the particular
shul would make it difficult for the entire minyon to hear her.  For
these reasons it has been found simpler under certain circumstances for
a minyon to gather at the mechitzah after shul (before kiddush) and
answer amein to a woman saying the bracha.  I have been told that the
reason that a man normally does it at the time of an aliya is the
practical one of being the time when he is at the bimah and saying
brachos anyway.

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


From: Caren and Steve Weisberg <nydecs@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 13:50:33 +0200
Subject: Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid's Persuh on Chumash

R. Moshe succeeded. The version on library shelves is censored with a
note from the editor (Langer). A few copies of the original exist. Rabbi
S. Lehman has one. He was involved as Langer consulted with him. Rabbi
Lehman's lecture on this is available at www.613.org, I believe.
Langer's son was quite pleased when I made him a copy of the tape.



From: <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai)
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 23:51:49 EST
Subject: That's **it??**

<<From: Yeshaya Halevi <chihal@...>
    For years I've noticed that at the very end of the Megilla of
Esther it says that Mordechai became second only to the king, was a
white hat-wearing good guy and did many things to help his fellow Jews.
In the middle of this laudatory phraseology comes this very puzzling
description: "And he was 'ratzooy' -- accepted/acceptable -- by the
majority of his brothers (fellow Jews)."

      Mordechai is just "acceptable?"  "Accepted?"  Here's a man who
saves all his fellow Jews from being murdered, and that's **it??** The
best he can do is be "accepted (or acceptable) by the majority?"  And
there's actually a minority of his fellow Jews who don't accept him?

      I've always taken this to be a wonderful insight into human
psychology; that you just can't do enough to satisfy some people. Is
there more -- or even less -- to it than that?  

Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi (<chihal@...>)>>

Ibn Ezra on the verse you cite (Esther 10:3) says something very similar
to what you wrote above, albeit as a comment on the fact that Mordechai
was recorded as being ratzui only to most (and not all) of his brothers,
in the Megillah.

He states 'ki ein yicholes bo'odom liratzos hakol ba'avur kinas hoachim'
(a person does not have the ability to appease everyone due to
jealousy). Words of wisdom to ponder....



From: Chaim Tatel <chaimyt@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 08:06:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Unmarried Men not Wearing a Talit Gadol

Eliezer Finkelman wrote:

>1) Does anyone on Mail Jewish have more information than I do about the
custom of unmarried men not wearing a talit gadol?<

As I was taught, the custom is based on finance.

In Spain and Germany, when the Jews were relatively well off
financially, the custom was to wear a tallis Gadol from the Bar Mitzvah
ceremony and on.

In eastern Europe, where the Jews were not so well off, the custom was
to wait until the wedding.



From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 09:42:49 EST
Subject: Unmarried men wearing Talis

I'm wondering what the various customs -- and social implications are.

We're talking about a man in say his 40's or beyond who was never
married -- perhaps because of the war (WW-II) or whatever (not my
business.)  Some wore tallis godol, others didn't.

It looks strange to see an older adult male in shule not wearing a
tallis godol -- when a guest walks into shule w/o a tallis, one
frequently wants to provide him with a "house tallis" or point him to
our tallis rack -- but that can be awkward.

Kol Tov

Carl Singer


End of Volume 36 Issue 7