Volume 41 Number 95
                 Produced: Sat Jan 24 22:31:57 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Fish, Meat, and Milk
         [Zev Sero]
Kashrut of irradiated foods
         [Art Werschulz]
         [Meir Shinnar]
Meat and Fish
         [Batya Medad]
Third Temple Comes from heaven = built by prophecy
         [Russell J Hendel]
Third Temple From Heaven
         [Yisrael Medad]
Use of Reasons in Halacha/Aggada
         [Russell J Hendel]


From: Zev Sero <zev@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 17:55:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Fish, Meat, and Milk

Leah Aharoni <leah25@...> wrote:

> 2. As some posters have noted, the Beit Yosef mentions not eating fish
> and milk together, but one of the acharonim (the Shach or the Taz IIRC)
> comments that this is a scribe's error (taut sopher) and the accurate
> meaning of the Beit Yosef is to prohibit the mixing of fish and meat.

It's the Darkei Moshe, and he doesn't say "ta'ut sofer".  If you read
the Bet Yosef inside, it is absolutely impossible that this is merely a
transcription error, and the DM doesn't say it is.  What he says is
"nitchalef lo basar bechalav" - the BY confused meat with milk.  That
is, the mistake was made not by some copyist but by the BY himself, who
somehow forgot for a moment that the health concern is with meat, not
milk.  That is because we don't find such a concern mentioned anywhere
else, and the chapter the BY gives as a reference is indeed about fish
and meat, not fish and milk.  Those who abstain from mixing fish and
milk assume that the BY meant what he wrote, and his reference to the
chapter about fish and meat was meant not as an exact citation but as an
example of a similar concern.


From: Art Werschulz <agw@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 10:33:53 -0500
Subject: Kashrut of irradiated foods

I've never seen the "irradiated food symbol" on a food product
containing a hechsher.

(1) Do such products exist?
(2) If not, is there any a priori reason why there would be a kashrut
    problem with irradiated foods?

Art Werschulz
GCS/M (GAT): d? -p+ c++ l u+(-) e--- m* s n+ h f g+ w+ t++ r- y? 
Internet: <agw@...><a href="http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~agw/">WWW</a>
ATTnet:   Columbia U. (212) 939-7060, Fordham U. (212) 636-6325


From: Meir Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 17:39:55 -0500
Subject: RE: Kollel

Just to reply to Esther Posen
> Meir Shinar Says: "The Rambam's position is well known even 
> if ignored"
> I believe the Rambam's position includes rabbonim, rebbeim 
> and the like.
> This position appears to be non-viable for most of us.

As in my original post, the rama and bet yosef approves of paid support
bdiavad (post facto), precisely for these needs - the question is the
transformation of this bdiavad to a lecatchila, even when it is
unrelated to the needs of the community. 

> Meir says: "The model of universal kollel is not a sustainable one,
> which is why it was never held until today.  It therefore is
> incompatible with the view of the torah as a torat chayim."  
> I think the problem everyone is having with kollel is that it seems to
> be working fine despite reasonable expectations that it should
> collapse under its own weight.  We have many families with a third
> generation starting their kollel careers. So it shouldn't work at all
> and anybody earning $150,000 in computers should be set forever but
> that is not what seems to be happening.  There is a g-d you know.

There are very few people who know the realities would say that the
kollel system is working fine (and this is from friends within the
kollel system).  What is saving the kollel system (and may continue to
save it for some time) are several factors.  One is precisely that
people, regardless of their pro forma support for the notion of eternal,
universal kollel, do not follow that ideology.  As many have noted, in
America, there are very few who sit learning in kollel past the age of
40 (even 35). 

What happens to them??  A friend of mine, black hat rebbe in a day
school, told me of his son in law - considered one of the better
learners, who was accepted in prestigious kollelim - in his mid 30s, the
opportunities for further kollel funding was diminishing, and  the
expenses for children were increasing.  He started looking for a job in
chinuch - was told for most jobs, don't even bother applying, the ratio
of candidates is 200 to 1 - we will call you, rather than you call us.
He eventually landed a job as a day school rebbe. 

My friend asked him what his other options were. He said (and he was
always very RW) that if he couldn't get a job, he would have gone to law
school (something that stunned my friend, as it is in violation of
kollel ideology).  This is quite widespread, although many people don't
have the talents or the ability at age 35-40, with no marketable skills,
to start anew.  There is a reason why Touro is opening up in Brooklyn -
precisely because there is a large market of people in their 30s, with a
kollel background, who have no place to go.  This is clearly against the
kollel ideology.  While there exist coherent RW ideologies for this type
of merger of parnasa with learning (eg Ner Israel), it is clearly
rejected by the kollel ideology.  The kollel system is surviving only
because most of its members are violating its tenets. 

A second factor is that there are few third generation kollel families
yet - and many are supported by their families.  I know some people who
felt that they had to work into their 70s so their grandchildren could
eat, as their children were in kollel.  Again, this is not a sustainable
ideology.  It is dependent on the community as a whole not following
this ideology. 

In Israel, it is only sustainable by the fact that most Jews don't buy
into it - and therefore are able to support the kollelniks, regardless
of their own preferences.  An ideology that depends on much of the
community not following it can not be a torat hayim.  While we all
believe that there is a god, this is more of a case that there exists a
knesset - and with all of my religious zionism,  I wouldn't confuse the

> I believe that despite all the non-religious Jews in Israel, the
> simple fact is that Torah is undergoing a renaissance not a death
> spiral since the holocaust.  Torah had very little power in Europe.
> They were schlepping guys out of the Mir and into the Communist party.
> And the average religous male and female person today knows far more
> about Torah then ever before.  Torah has indeed become available and
> integral to the entire Orthodox jewish community.  There are no
> villages like the one my grandfather grew up in where the Rov new
> kitzur shulchan oruch.  And again, nobody gets paid very much for
> sitting in kollel. I am not sure why I care about Agnon's excuse for
> not being religous.  We all have our excuses and our chips on our
> shoulder.

First, no one said that Agnon was not religious (one should be careful).
Agnon was remarking on the remarkable phenomenon that the adherence and
reverence of tora that had marked the Jewish community for so long has,
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries disappeared.  The question is
the etiology.

Second, while we all appreciate the growth of the torah community, we
must realize that the overall Jewish community has gone a drastic

Third, I am glad that Esther Posen recognizes the radical nature of the
current culture, and that it is not merely a recreation of the European
world.  However, the cost of the increasing knowledge of torah is at the
expense of separating it from an integral, vibrant community - torah is
not supposed to be confined to a monastic community, and that leads to
drastic changes in the very nature of torah.

> Meir says "Furthermore, the position of kollel today is different than
> 100 years ago, or even thirty years ago.  Rav Salanter argued that
> when a Jew learns in Kovno, he stops a Jew in Paris from converting.
> Today, when a Jew learns in Bne Brak,..."
> I say that, one of the problems with this line of reasoning is that it
> is not being supported by anyone of the stature of Rav Salanter.  The
> other problem is that Torah holds up the world in a meta-physical
> sense and has meta-physical powers so learning torah does not always
> have to be supported by rational arguments"

1) The issue of whether lines of reasoning need to be "supported by
anyone of the stature of Rav Salanter", rather than depend solely on the
evidence and logic, is one of the major fault lines between RW and LW,
and whether one believes in accepting the truth from any source.

2) Given the radical nature of the kollel movement,  and the change in
psak it requires (this extends in many areas - eg, the requirement of
the ktuba for the husband have been essentially nullified for much of
that community), one would hope for some rational justification. 

> I say that it depends what you consider the general community and the
> "general community" Meir is refering to is losing the battle of
> defining the norm which is why they create their rabid anti-kollel
> response.  They can throw in the towel or not throw in the towel but
> given the size of the chassidi and hareidi/kollel community in America
> how can they proport to be the general community?

I know members of a distinguished hasidic family, where the father made
the son take a neder not to go to kollel before sending them to a well
known litvishe yeshiva.  The son decided, with the encouragement of the
rosh yeshiva, to violate the neder, and stayed to learn.  This is not
rare. This hesitancy is quite wide spread, not just in the Modern
Orthodox community, although people in more RW communities are more
hesitant to speak out publicly.

> Esther says, "there are far more kollel children in Bais Faiga and the
> Lakewood Cheder in Lakewood New Jersey then there probably are all
> over the United States.  The community kollel represents a tiny
> minority of kollel learners in the United States.  And actually most
> day school principles resent that when there are enough "frummy" kids
> in town they open their own schools.  Which one can argue drains funds
> but usually the funding source is different...

Lakewood Cheder and the Lakewood community are dependent on the
contributions of the outside community.
The community kollel may represent a tiny minority.  However, one clear
reason for the community kollels springing up because it is viewed as  a
source of funding - both for the people in the kollel itself (who no
longer drain the resources of Lakewood or the parent community which
sent out the kollel people) as well as for the parent community.  This
represents both the lack of self sufficiency of the parent community, as
well as a drain on the host community.
WRT to the second phenomenon - about secondary schools - there are
communities where a kollel sprang up, the local day school wasn't
sufficiently "frum", as it served both the Orthodox and traditional
communitiesso a second school opened up, and eventually, both schools
closed (the RW school had a sufficiently negative financial impact on
the other school that it couldn't recover even once the RW school

Meir Shinnar


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 19:32:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Meat and Fish

      1. As far as I am aware Sephardim do not eat meat and fish
      together too.

In general, sefardim eat fish after meat, use the same utensils, same
plate, etc.  In Israel this is frequently seen at smachot.  Also, when
serving first course, the same utensil is frequently used for the fish
and meat, with the gravy mixing.



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 23:40:54 -0500
Subject: Third Temple Comes from heaven = built by prophecy

Regarding the long discussion (v41n88) on the 3rd temple coming down
intact from Heaven I would use a symbolic approach. HEAVEN is symbolic
of PROPHECY. Quite simply then, I would interpret this to mean that God
promises us to prophetically tell us construction details, measurements
and locations of places. Because of the long exile even the best logic
(and our Gedolim have plenty of it) can't restore everything.

Since we are discussing this (restoring the 3rd temple) I might mention
how a Rabbi from the Temple institute came to Baltimore a year ago.  He
told us how he reconstructed a choshen. They used a computer listing the
attributes of all the stones and all midrashim. In the end he said that
it was color that allow them to identify the stone of each tribe.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2004 21:02:28 +0200
Subject: Third Temple From Heaven

      Jeffrey Woolf <woolfj@...> wrote "the Sefer Yere'im
      does not list a commandment to rebuild the Temple as one of the
      Taryag Mitzvot."

as an indication that the Temple will come down from Heaven
If I am not mistaken, this is quite a minority view.

Yisrael Medad


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 23:41:42 -0500
Subject: RE: Use of Reasons in Halacha/Aggada

Avraham Etzion claims that the Akaydah was a request not a command.

First of all even if this is true, NA would still mean PLEASE (The word
you use when making a request).

But Avraham focuses on a general problem when REASONS ARE GIVEN. Does
the reason SUPPLEMENT the commandment or DEFINE it.

Here is another example that I heard from the Rav (Rabbi Joseph Baer

We are told that Chanukah candles must be capable of burning a half hour

The Rav explained that his position was that this explanatory phrase did
not just supplement the chanukah enactment but defined it.Hence, since
today people are out in the streets more, the Rav requires that his
Chanukah candles burn several hours.

I think this example nicely illustrates the difference between a

Applying this to the Akaydah we have the following; Of course, Rashi
says that the Akaydah was to show the non-jewish world that Abraham
believed in God independent of reward.

But did Rashi say this to SUPPLEMENT the command or to DEFINE its
nature.  If to DEFINE its nature than indeed there was no command but a

However recall that Abraham took a knife and was prepared to kill his
son. He wouldnt have done this unless he had received a direct
order. Hence we must interpret the Akaydah as a command and we must
interpret Rashi as giving a supplemental reason to this command

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 41 Issue 95