Volume 44 Number 87
                    Produced: Mon Sep 20 22:23:44 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Being Paid for Mitzva Work on Shabbos
         [Joseph Ginzberg]
Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India
         [Chana Luntz]
Following the Customs of the Husband
         [Eli Turkel]


From: Joseph Ginzberg <jgbiz120@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 10:53:19 -0400
Subject: Being Paid for Mitzva Work on Shabbos

Apropos of the issue discussed in several contexts lately, I thought I'd
quote from the Mateh Efraim (R. Efraim Zalman Margulies of Brod ) laws
and customs for Yomim Noraim, a sefer used in many congregations as the
definitive High Holyday rulebook: (translation is mine)

"One who accepts pay for blowing the Shofar on Rosh Hashana or for
translating (the Torah reading) on Shabbos or Holidays will never see
any success (siman Bracha) from that money." (585/13)

Oddly, he also rails against the custom of selling the aliyos for the
high holydays, and calls for them rather to be given to Talmidei
Chachomim, even where this income is needed for the shul (584/17).  I
cannot explain the inconsistency of his being very accepted as a
decisor, and this ruling being so thoroughly ignored.

Shana Tova to all
Yossi Ginzberg


From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 02:25:17 +0100
Subject: Re: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

Dov Teichman writes:
>   I didn't make up that chumra it see the Tur in this siman who says
>   that according to the Rashba (who the halacha is like) one must be
>   careful with ones utensils if you have a gentile cooking in your
>   house. (The Be'er Heitev quotes it too.)

I think the Tur there is talking about a slightly different case to the
one I thought you were talking about.  There are two cases of a non
Jewish maid cooking in a Jewish house: a) she is cooking for the Jewish
household; and b) she is cooking for herself (let's say she is live in).
It is the second case that the Tur and the Be'er Heitev seems to be
addressing - as they specifically use the word "l'atzman" for
themselves, whereas the heter that I referred to in my previous post is
specifically a heter that relates to cooking for the Jewish household
(and in fact the whole heter is based on the idea that, because the non
Jewish servant has no choice in whether she cooks or does not cook,
there is no risk of intermarriage in that, and therefore it is not
within the gezera of bishul akum).  Most modern day housekeepers are not
live in, and tend not to cook for themselves with the pots and pans of
the Jewish household, so I don't think this Tur applies to the case you
brought.  But yes, his words do still stand in that one would need to be
careful, even if one relied on the heter allowing a housekeeper to cook
for the Jewish household, not to allow them freedom to cook for
themselves with the household pots and pans.

On the other hand, I think I made an error in attributing this heter to
the Rashba, it is in fact brought by the Rashba, but he himself doesn't
hold of it.  However, those who quote this heter, quote the position
from the writings of the Rashba, and not direct (even sometimes
referring to it as the "reasoning of the Rashba", which is why I got

>   Furthermore, regarding a housekeeper you employ the Rama also
>   paskens that only B'DIEVED may you rely on the opinion that bishul
>   akum doesn't apply to gentile housekeepers.

Actually, what the Rema says is "B'deved one can rely on those who are
permissive, and even l'chatchila we have the custom to be lenient in the
house of a Yisroel that the maidservants and menservants cook in the
house of the Yisroel because it is not possible that one of the
household did not poke it a little".

But because of the complexity of this Rema I did not bring it my
previous post but rather brought a quote from the Sde Chemed, who states
that the minhag in Ashkenaz was to rely on the heter l'chatchila (see
Sde Chemed (mareches bishulei goyim siman 1)) - and which goes on to say
minhag yisroel k'din hu [ie the customs of yisroel have the halachic
status of din] and there are other sources to this effect, the idea
being to show that there are on whom to rely, for those that allow it,
assuming they are only talking about the housekeeper cooking for the
Jewish household.

>I don't have the sefer with me but see Shu"t Yechaveh Daas Vol 4. #42
>who brings many poskim who do make a distiction between keilim in a
>restaurant and those owned by an ordinary gentile.

Could you be more specific, I was looking in Vol 4 siman 42, and aside
from one position which he brings that in the cafes of the Ishmaelim,
where it is known they drink coffee all day, there is a problem, I could
not find anything of relevance (and Rav Ovadya roundly rejects this

There are indeed a number of sources brought in that teshuva about how a
restaurant/cafe is not the place for a Jew because that is where the
time wasters are, and it causes socialisation, but none of those
comments purtain to the kashrus of their kelim per se.  And, of course,
Rav Ovadiah holds in that teshuva that drinking coffee is mutar and
effectively rejects these opinions (By the way people were asking on
this list about drinking coffee in non Jewish restaurants/cafes, and the
assumption of those answering seemed to be that the cups that this
coffee is being put into are paper/plastic, but of course the discussion
of drinking coffee in cafes predates the existance of paper/plastic
cups, and Rav Ovadiah's summation in that teshuva is instructive "it is
permitted to drink coffee of non Jews, and there isn't in it any
question of cooking of gentiles, and the achronim write, that this was
the simple minhag in all places"

>However, even if you dont make that distinction, and you say that the
>kelim in a restaurant are considered NOT bnei yoman, the Shulchan Aruch
>still says that one may NOT l'chatchila ask a gentile to cook in his
>utensils for you (YD 122:6)

So how do you explain the coffee case, which would seem to raise exactly
the same issue?  Although Rav Ovadiah does not deal with it explicitly,
the implication from his discussion there in that teshuva is that he is
following the "efsha" which follows in the Shulchan Aruch in that siman,
that an "uman" (ie professional) it is OK because he makes sure his
vessels are clean, which would seem to argue in favour of a restaurant
(the reason I say that it is implicit is that he discusses the fact that
the coffee pots are dedicated for making coffee, but does not refer to
this siman at all, which is a surprising omission if there is an issue
there).  Another possibility is that the cooking is not done
specifically for the Jew, it is done for all those who patronise the
restaurant, so it does not fall into the category of the Jew asking for
eg coffee to be specifically make.

>Another issue to consider about these Jaine Indians is although they
>claim to be very strict vegetarians, do gentiles have believability to
>that effect? Some of the preparers of the food may not be as frum as we
>think. I doubt that they have Ne'emanus to say "we guarantee that there
>are no bugs or animal products in our food."

They certainly don't have direct nemanus to say for the purposes of
issur v'heter that they do not have bugs or animal products in there
food if they know that on that basis a Jew will rely on their word to
eat there.  A more subtle question is whether the category of "masiach
l'fi tumo" ["an innocent or by the way statement"] applies in this case.
See the whole discussion in Yoreh Deah siman 69 si'if 10 including the
Shach there. (Brief summary of some of the ideas, the Shulchan Aruch
says in this siman that if there was a non Jewish servant to was putting
meat into a pot, and it was not known whether it was properly kashered
before he did so, if the servant knows the minhag of the Jews of doing
hadacha, you can rely on the statement of the servant that he did it
coupled with the fact that Jews were going in and out or there was a
child there old enough to understand.  However the Beis Yosef elsewhere
says that the concept of masiach l'fi tumo only applies to allow a woman
to marry, and not in questions of issur v'heter. The Shach tries to
explain how come the Shulchan Aruch seems to allow masiach here, even
coupled with another requirement, when he does not allow it in the Beis
Yosef and the argument the Shach makes is that reliance on such
statements only is not permitted in d'orisa matters.  An alternative
argument, which I think the Sde Chemed brings, is that the reason the
Shulchan Aruch allows it in this siman is because there are two
conditions, the one being the statement, and the other which might allow
one to permit it. See also the Rema there which allows either
alternative.  But all this is talking about a servant in the house of a
Jew, and, given what has been said above, it is more likely a leniency
will be found there).

However, again note that the coffee case ought to be similar, in that
the same questions ought to need to be asked about the cafes.  And yet
Rav Ovadiah et al seem to rely upon the fact that it is known that they
use a specific vessel for cooking coffee, because otherwise it would
spoil the taste (is this a form of anan tzadi?.  This is even though
there is nothing but commercialism in the non Jewish cafes.  I would
have thought the idea that it is known that the Jaines are strict
religiously would make this case stronger than the coffee case.

In the case of something like bugs, I wonder if there isn't another
factor involved.  After all, as I understand it, when it comes to
animals there are dozens of treifas that an animal could have.  However,
unless there is a reason to do a check, we do not check for most of
them, because we are somech on the rov [rely on the fact that the
majority of animals do not have these treifos].  The only ones we do
check are things where, although the majority of animals do not have
these defects, there is a significant enough percentage that do [motzui]
(I have heard concepts such as 10% bandied about, but I don't know how
accurate these percentages are).  Examples of these include sirchos on
the lungs, which is why there is always a lung check done.  But even
though the other treifos would render the meat treif d'orisa, if in fact
they are in the animal, and in theory we could do the check, we are not
required to do so.  Similarly, I understood that the reason we have to
check for bugs, is because they are motzui, ie they occur in a
significant enough number of cases that we have to check.  But if in the
case of lettuce plus Jaines, we reduced the number of occasions where a
bug occurs in vegetables presented to us down to a tiny fraction, could
we not rely on the rov in such a case and not have to do our own check,
even allowing for the few bad apples among the Jaines?

And in the case of other mixtures - would we not need not only a bad
apple Jaine, but an absence of bittel (this is assuming that the Jaines
are what they have been made out to be on this list, I know nothing
about them in reality) - and since their meals are meant to be
vegetarian, they would need to taste vegetarian, even if a bad apple
Jaine was mixing in the wrong thing.  So what is the likelihood that
there is any such admixture, and even if there is, what is the
likelihood that there is one where bittel does not work, and are we into
sfek sfeka territory, and being chayesh for really unlikely

I am just throwing out some thoughts here, I haven't really thought
about the issue before it got raised on this list, and we are getting
into lots of areas I haven't learnt very thoroughly.

Still, it seems to me, of all of these questions the most serious
question appears to remains as to whether the food the Jaines prepare is
or is not the sort of things that either can be eaten raw or one would
put on the tables of royalty, either with bread or as a side
dish/dessert (and of course note the extensive discussion about the
latter and where the Shulchan Aruch derives the latter).  And since I
have no idea what dishes they serve, and I don't have a great deal of
knowledge as to what the Queen eats, I have no idea whether they fall
within that category or not.  I also don't know to what extent one ought
to factor in the fact that, from what I gather from this list, these
people live in places in which kosher food is not very common (eg you
probably can't get pas yisroel [Jewish bread] in such places) which
might also be a factor in which shitas one is allowed to rely on.

gmar tov


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 15:28:25 +0300 (IDT)
Subject: Following the Customs of the Husband

I found 2 interesting teshuvot over Rosh Hashana

1. If an Israeli man marries a non-Israeli woman shortly before yomtov
outside of Israel but they plan on moving to Israel.  RSZA paskins (2
line teshuva) that the husband keeps 1 day of yomtov and the wife keeps
keeps 2 days of yomtov!  I saw an explanation by others that keeping 2
days of yomtov is so strong a minhag that being married does not
over-ride but only living in Israel. So husband and wife have different

I also saw a teshuva that an ashkenazi woman who marries a sefardi must
keep the custom of not eating kitniyot on Pesach because it is such an
old custom that she does not take over her husband's customs.  (IMHO
this is not the generally accepted psak among poskim).

2. about lighting candles for shabbat the Tzitz Eliezer asked an elderly
Hungarian Posek who informed him that his wife's family had the minhag
that everyone in the family comes and stands next to the woman while she
lights candles and his wife insisted that they keep her family minhag.
This posek did not know the reason for the custom but the Tzitz Eliezer
tries to justify the minhag.  In any case it was not unusual for
families to follow part of the customs of the mother in terms of mitzvot
like candle-lighting.

3. I previously brought down that R. Moshe Soloveitchik lived by his
in-laws after his marriage and it seems clear that his wife (and
nother-in-law) followed their own customs in the kitchen and that this
continued later in life.  I would assume that this was a common

Gmar Tov,
Eli Turkel


End of Volume 44 Issue 87