Volume 44 Number 98
                    Produced: Sun Sep 26  7:26:15 EDT 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu after Mincha
         [Tony Fiorino]
Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India (5)
         [Janice Gelb, Martin Stern, David Riceman, Akiva Miller,
Bernard Raab]
Coffee (2)
         [Hanno Mott, Bernard Raab]
Dairy Bread
         [Israel Caspi]
New Chumra?
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Opening Of The Ark During Chazoras Ha'Shatz
         [Martin Stern]


From: Tony Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 09:59:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Aleinu after Mincha

> >> 15) Aleinu is not said after Minchah.
> > This was also the custom in Germany when Minchah was followed 
> > immediately by Ma'ariv.
> I also saw this many years ago in the main Ashkenazi Shul in 
> Amsterdam.

This is also the Italian practice.



From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 10:07:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

--- Martin Stern <md.stern@...> wrote:
> As far as halakhah is concerned, the statement of a non-Jew, or for
> that matter a non-observant Jew, cannot be relied upon in matters of
> issur vehetter (permitted and prohibited things) in the absence of
> corroborating evidence. This applies only where they make a statement
> that, for example, a certain food is kosher, in answer a direct
> question from a Jew about it.  [snip] The point at issue is not
> whether the non-Jew is telling the truth but whether we are permitted
> to rely on the statement of someone not bound by (or not observant of)
> halakhah for our own religious requirements.

The quote to which I was referring did not say anything about trusting
the Jaines if we asked whether their food was kosher. The message seemed
to me to be asking whether we could believe them when they said that
they guaranteed that they abided by their own observances of having no
bug or animal products in their food.

-- Janice

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 20:19:02 +0100
Subject: Re: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

We cannot ask them directly about their bug policy in the restaurant
because that is effectively the same as asking them if it is
kosher. However we can carry on a conversation in general terms in the
course of which the information may be disclosed by them without their
realising what we are trying to find out.

I will give an example of what I mean from an incident that happened
some years ago when I was asked to supervise a caterer who was
personally not particularly observant. He wanted to cook stir-fry
vegetables in a large piece of pareve equipment and transfer it into
meaty serving dishes. This should not be a problem but to be on the safe
side I wanted to find out when the serving dishes had last been used. In
this case I could have probably asked directly since he would probably
not have had the faintest idea why I would want to know but I decided
that, in case he might, I would proceed indirectly. While the vegetables
were being transferred, I engaged in general conversation about how busy
they were and when they had had their last function. This conversation
took place on a Friday; I knew that generally they only catered on
Sundays but had the occasional midweek affair. His first reaction was
that he could not remember so I asked if they had any since the previous
Sunday which he answered in the negative. Because of this roundabout
approach he was unaware of why I wanted the information.

I hope that this makes a bit clearer the sort of approach one should
take with non-Jews, or non-observant Jews, when determining whether the
food they are offering is acceptable.

Martin Stern

From: David Riceman <driceman@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 08:17:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

  I'm surprised no one has mentioned the problem of tikroves avoda zara.
I once had a Hindu colleague who told me that both her mother and her
mother-in-law, whenever they cooked, took a bit out of the food and
offered it to the gods.  I don't know how similar Jain and Hindu
practices are, but you may want to investigate.

David Riceman

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 09:07:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

This has been a very interesting topic, but for most of us it is rather
theoretical, as we're not planning trips to India. But there are similar
situations which are very practical. For example, David Pris sent a post
about coffee in non-kosher restaurants, and I think others have too.

Another example is the Slurpee frozen drinks sold at 7-Eleven
convenience stores. Almost all the flavors are certified kosher, but one
or two are not kosher, and there is usually no rabbinic supervision once
the syrups leave the factory. So can we drink them rom the stores? Rabbi
Sholem Fishbane, Kashruth Administrator of the Chicago Rabbinical
Council, wrote a long article on this question, and it is online at

I strongly recommend it to everyone interested in this question. He
discusses many pros and cons relating to various topics, such as whether
or not we can trust the syrups to be the actual supervised versions (and
not from other brands), and whether or not to worry that the machine may
have been used previously for the non-kosher flavors. (Spoiler: He
concludes that there is plenty of good reason to allow drinking them
from any 7-Eleven, but there are also good reasons to have the local
rabbis supervise it.)

Akiva Miller

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:32:03 -0400
Subject: RE: Can one eat at Jaine restaurants in India

>From: Martin Stern:
>As far as halakhah is concerned, the statement of a non-Jew, or for that
>matter a non-observant Jew, cannot be relied upon in matters of issur
>vehetter (permitted and prohibited things) in the absence of
>corroborating evidence. This applies only where they make a statement
>that, for example, a certain food is kosher, in answer a direct question
>from a Jew about it.  However, if they make such a statement without any
>such 'prompting' in the course of general conversation (meisiach lefi
>tumo) they can be believed. A Jew can steer the conversation along lines
>that might elicit the information so long as he does not ask directly.

As a practical matter, one needs to question a hindu (or buddhist) holy
man regarding their practice in some detail. He is in no position to
offer his opinion regarding "kashrus" as such. If their practice is
acceptable to your halachic disposition, you need then inquire of the
restaranteur whether or not he adheres to the strict interpretation of
*his* religious reqiurements as you were given to understand them. He is
in even less position to opine on the issue of "kashrus". Is this not
allowed in a direct way? He is unlikely to be able to guess what answer
you are looking for, if he gives it a second thought.

Gmar Tov--Bernie R.


From: Hanno Mott <hdm@...>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:39:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Coffee

> From: Chana Luntz <Chana@...>
> 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.

Of course, the last sentence in the above would seem not to apply to
those persons who don't order and drink regular coffee but order and
drink espresso which is especially made for them.

Hanno D. Mott

From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:32:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Coffee

>From: David Prins <prins@...>
>Do not use a coffee machine; non-kosher hot drinks found in the same
>machine probably go down the same pipe.

I assume he means a coffee machine which does indeed serve other
beverages.  Many coffee machines serve only coffee.

G'mar Tov--Bernie R.


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Subject: Dairy Bread

The OU has finally responded in the affirmative to my inquiry as to
whether or not they are the kashruth supervisory agency behind the
"K-Dairy" designation on Arnold's line of dairy breads.  Their answer
is:  "Yes it is true.  We checked out the ingredients to make sure they
are kosher, but...the dairy issue prevents us from endorsing the product
at [sic] OU Kosher." 

So...after reading all the postings, IMHO and FWIW it's worth, here's my

1.  Since, under certain circumstances (Shavuot, etc.) dairy bread is
    permitted, it cannot be said to be non-kosher.

2.  Chazal, for all their prescience, did not express their legislation
    for a situation of a commercial food industry such as now exists.
    What they wanted was some way of differentiating between dairy bread
    and the usual (parve) bread.

3.  In their society, where bread was home-baked -- and even that which
    was purchased from professional bakers did not come in the type of
    wrapping with ingredients listed that now is the standard -- the
    Shulchan Aruch required that the shape of dairy bread be different
    from that of the usual (parve) bread.  But any way of ensuring that
    dairy bread is not mistakenly eaten with meat (small quantity to be
    eaten at a single meal, etc.) is satisfactory.

4.  If Chazal had legislated in our modern-day environment of
    wide-spread commercial food preparation in which it is an almost
    universally necessary to check wrappers not only for kashrut symbols
    but to learn whether the product is parve, dairy, dairy equipment,
    etc., is it not reasonable to assume that they surely would have
    agreed that a dairy designation on the bread's wrapper meets the
    standard of distinguishability?

5.  Rabbi Howard Jachter's apocryphal-sounding story about the
    anonmymous rebbetizin who mistakenly served her husband dairy bread
    with a meat meal obviously did not check the warpper to find out if
    the bread was kosher to begin with; had she done so, she would have
    noticed the dairy designation and would not have been misled.
    (Mistakes happen. Do we ban coffee whitener which, in spite of its
    "Non-Dairy" label is halchically milchig, because some rebbetzin may
    have mistakenly served milchig non-dairy creamer to her husband at a
    meat meal?  Why should we all be made to suffer because of someone's
    error, even if that someone is a rebbetzin?)

5.  Koach d'hetera adif: apparently -- according to the postings -- a
    number of Gedolim and kashrut supervising agencies also agreed that
    a dairy designation on the bread's wrapper meets the halachic
    standard of distinguishability (even though some retracted their
    approval for political rather than kashrut considerations).

6.  Those who wish to be machmir by refarining from eating dairy bread
    -- tavo aleihem b'racha; those who do buy and eat dairy bread for
    the reason(s) stated above -- yesh al mi lismoch.


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himels@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 21:14:43 +0200
Subject: New Chumra?

We just found a packet of tissues made in Israel, with the comment on
it: "Mi'f'al Shomer Shabbat" (i.e., that the company is Shomer Shabbat)
in Hebrew. These particular tissues are often used as Shabbat toilet

What I didn't understand is that the word Shabbat is spelled out Shin,
Dash, Bet, Dash, Tav.

I know that the dash is sometimes used between the letters Alef and
Lammed to avoid spelling out God's name, but can anyone give me a
logical reason for the dash in the word "Shabbat" above?

Shmuel Himelstein


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:01:42 +0100
Subject: Opening Of The Ark During Chazoras Ha'Shatz

on 24/9/04 11:04 am,  <Phyllostac@...> (Mordechai) wrote:

> Additionally I would like to note what I saw in the luach of minhogim of
> bnei Ashkenaz that I recently posted about. It says there that in
> shacharis and mussaf of rosh hashonoh and all the tefillos of yom
> hakippurim the aron hakodesh remains open during chazoras hashatz, with
> the exception of during kedushoh and birkas cohanim, adding in
> parentheses 'unlike the instructions of later machzorim to increase the
> numbers of openings and closings'. It goes on to say that their custom
> is that a mispalleil is given the honor of opening it for the beginning
> of chazoras hashatz, closing it before kedushoh, opening it for lidor
> vodor.......right after kedushoh, a cohen closes it at the beginning of
> 'ritzei', opens it after birkas cohanim and closes it before kaddish
> tiskabal.

The luach to which Mordechai refers is based on the minhagim of
Frankfurt on Main which is variant on the West German minhag and differs
in many respects from what is usually called Minhag Ashkenaz nowadays,
especially on the Yamim Noraim (see my previous posting and Daniel
Goldschmidt's critical edition of the machzor).

> So perhaps the many openings and closings practiced in some places is a
> relatively new development.

This is definitely the case and there are many variations in this
minhag.  Probably it was introduced to enable more people to participate
by being given this kibbud.

Martin Stern


End of Volume 44 Issue 98