Volume 46 Number 58
                    Produced: Tue Jan 11 21:57:49 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Cake Substituting for Bread (2)
         [Mark Steiner, Mark Steiner]
Imitation Traif Food (7)
         [Janice Gelb, Akiva Miller, Shoshana L. Boublil, David Curwin,
Frank Silbermann, Arie, Shayna Kravetz]
Kosher Food Anywhere, Anytime (2)
         [Y. Askotzky, Mimi Markofsky]
Kosher in Ventura, CA and Orlando, FL
         [Yosi Fishkin]
Ventura, Cal.
         [Orrin Tilevitz]


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 22:41:14 +0200
Subject: RE: Cake Substituting for Bread 

My reference to O.H. in V46N55 was incorrect--it should have been 177,
not 197.

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 09:02:20 +0200
Subject: RE: Cake Substituting for Bread

	I asked for sources that say that the amount of "cake" (pat
haba'ah bekisanin, PHB)which requires grace (birkat hamazon, BHM)is
different for the sabbath meals than for during the week.

	Yisrael's sources are based on the gemara Ber. 42a, where the
amount of PHB required for washing, ha-motzi, and BHM is "keviat seuda."
Skipping 2,000 years, we arrive at R. Moshe z"l.  In his Iggerot Moshe,
O.H. part 4, chapter 41, we find that this means "satiation," and for
the ordinary person (not the glutton).  Earlier sources give 4
"kebetzim" as the amount.  Note that "satiation" is also the amount for
requiring BHM for regular bread from the point of view of the Torah
(midiorayta), the difference being that with bread we say BHM on less
than this amount, while with PHB we make mezonot.  It's quite clear from
R. Moshe's teshuva, therefore, that there is no basis for ha-motzi on a
kezayit of PHB when eaten by itself (which I personally think is the
real meaning in the gemara Ber. 42a of the term kovea seuda--i.e. eaten
by itself it's a whole meal, though I have NO source for this
derivation).  If Shabbat changes this law, I'd be very interested to
know about it.

	R. Moshe has a big hiddush, however.  He says that "satiation"
with regard the BHM after eating bread and a whole meal, does not
NECESSARILY mean "satiation" from the bread alone.  To say BHM min
hatorah (Biblically) one needs "ve-akhalta" (eating at least a kazayit
of bread) and "vesava`ta" (eating a filling meal which can include other

	Applying this to "cake" (PHB), R. Moshe says the same thing
applies--if one eats as little as kazayit of PHB AND ALSO EATS OTHER
THINGS, then the PHB replaces the bread in this equation, and one has to
wash and say BHM if one is satiated.  Nevertheless, it remains the case
that if one eats ONLY "cake" (PHB) the "satiation" has to be from the
cake alone.

	It follows, therefore, that if one eats only a kazayit of PHB
for seuda shlishit, one should NOT wash etc.  (Unless, as I say, someone
has a source, not quoted at all by R. Moshe, to say that the sabbath
meals change these laws.)

	A very nice explanation for these laws is given by Rashba, not
quoted, however, by R. Moshe to the best of my knowledge.  Updating his
terminology, we can say that PHB has a different "function" from bread,
since it is a dessert, unlike bread.  However, by satiating oneself on
PHB, one has changed the role of the "cake" and "turned it into" bread,
which in any case it resembles.  (This is the reason that the Rashba
gives that one does have to make a blessing on PHB if eaten as part of a
meal, it is enough like bread to be exempted by the bread--however,
please note that other rishonim--e.g., the Rosh--do NOT AGREE with this
idea, and claim that one has to make a mezonot on cake even if eaten
within a meal.)  R. Moshe's innovation fits in very well with the
Rashba's ideas.

	By the way, the term kisanin is explained by Rashi to mean
"toasted wheat."  PHB means the kind of bread usually served with
toasted wheat (after the meal), and the recipe is also given by Rashi
(based apparently on the geonim), and it resembles our "cake."  An
extremely powerful proof for what Rashi says is found in the Tosefta
Berakhot, where there is a ruling (which we don't follow) that someone
who eats toasted wheat makes the beracha "borei minei kisanin."

Mark Steiner


From: Janice Gelb <j_gelb@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 15:15:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...> wrote:
> On the other hand, I know of another major Rav in New York who has
> publicly stated that after 120 years he will be able to say to the bais
> din shel maalah (heavenly court) that in his whole life he never ate
> Pizza -- only Jewish food.

I'm not sure precisely what this means - I can understand people who do
not care to eat food that appears to be outright treif, like imitation
shrimp, but what makes pizza "not Jewish"? Jews from Eastern Europe tend
to think of roast chicken, kishke, etc. as "Jewish food" but Jews from
other parts of the world have their own traditions and standard food
items that do not resemble foods from Eastern Europe. Would this Rav
also object to felafel as "not being Jewish," for example?

-- Janice

From: <kennethgmiller@...> (Akiva Miller)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 19:53:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

Yossi Ginzberg remembers: <<< In the late 1970's, there was briefly a
kosher pizza shop near Herald Square (I think Broadway and 32nd) that
specialized in foods that seemed non-kosher but were actually tofu-based
or the like.  I remember the pepperoni pizza and cheeseburgers, and the
off-putting odors. Since it only lasted a few weeks as I recall, I
assume that others DO have the same feelings. >>>

"Kosher World", named that because they had several areas inside for
Italian foods, Mexican foods, and a few other nationalities. Supervision
by OK Labs. At the northeast corner of 32 & Bway, right next to the
entrance to the PATH and BMT trains. (That's New York City, in case
there's anyone who couldn't figure it out.)

But then our memories part ways: I don't remember cheeseburgers, but I
do remember "meat"-filled calzones. And the pepperoni pizza was a great
favorite of mine. And, by my recollection, it lasted WAY longer than a
few weeks. At least a year, maybe two!

To counter halachic problems of "maaris ayin" ("appearance of
impropriety") there were lots of signs all over the place noting that
all the meat was fake and vegetarian. A similar situation exists today
at "Dairy Palace", a pizza shop in Staten Island (NY) which also makes
extensive use of the fake meats.

At one point in the 80's I happened to shmooze with the guy who had been
their mashgiach, and although I have forgotten his name, a few years ago
I was reading Mail-Jewish and saw I name that I recognized from that
era, so it could be that he is still a subscriber!

Akiva Miller

From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 08:44:31 +0200
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

> From: Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...>
> Subject: Imitation Traif Food
> On the other hand, I know of another major Rav in New York who has
> publicly stated that after 120 years he will be able to say to the bais
> din shel maalah (heavenly court) that in his whole life he never ate
> Pizza -- only Jewish food.

I've got a news bulletin for this distinguished Rabbi: Only one time in
the history of the world was there "Jewish Food" -- and that was the Mon
in the desert.

Ever since then, Jews ate whatever they/their wives found in the local
market place and cooked.

So, Jews in the States eat pancakes and soft ice-cream, Jews in Europe
will eat waffles in Holland and cheese products in France and pizza in
Italy.  In Egypt they ate falafel and in North Africa they ate Couscous.

Even chaulnt (which has different name all over the world) reflects the
local products in the market -- beans, barley meat and potatoes in one
place, in others it will contain wheat and/or swiss chard, different
spices, pumpkin etc.

As a reminder there is also a midrash that posits that for every
non-kosher food, there is a kosher food that tastes the same.

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: David Curwin <tobyndave@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 22:51:46 +0200
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

This issue is discussed in the midrash (Tanchuma Buber Shmini 12, Hullin
109b). The Tanchuma says (my translation):

"God said to Moshe: Warn Israel not to eat bad things, and they
shouldn't mislead you by saying that God forbade Israel to eat good
things. God said that everything I have forbidden to you, I have
permitted something else in its place... I forbid pork, and permit the
tongue of the fish known as shibbuta (mullet, according to
Jastrow). which has a similar taste to pork... And why (do I do all
this)? To give a good reward to Israel for keeping my mitzvot."

So I think we can see that there is certainly an old tradition to eat
"kosher substitutes" and it's nothing to be embarrassed about, but
rather it is God's reward for us not eating traif food.

By the way, if anyone is interested, I run a mailing list called
Israel-Food where we very often discuss these issues (as well as
others).  You can subscribe and view the archives here:



From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 19:54:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Imitation Traif Food

I have been told that in the Messianic Age "the pig will become kosher."
Might not this suggest that people who feel disgust for kosher imitation
bacon bits or parve pepperoni on kosher pizza may be insufficiently
eager for the coming of Moshiach?

Frank Silbermann	New Orleans, Louisiana		<fs@...>

From: <aliw@...> (Arie)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 18:37:11 +0200
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

in mj 46/53 and earlier:
> > Today, I find the same psychological (?) revulsion re: foods that
> > are obviously traif.  I couldn't eat / enjoy a kosher "cheeseburger"
> > even knowing that it's tofu.  Kosher fish tinted red to look like
> > shrimp is a similar turn off for me.  Having grown up knowing that
> > these are traif I just can't stomach them.
> I cannot, from a purely psychological perspective, eat bacon bits or
> bacos or whatever they are called. They are pure vegetarian and
> Kosher, but to me, the smell and flavor of eating this particular
> substance is just not in the cards for me.  I know, intellectually,
> that they are Kosher. But, I just can't eat them.

I was surprised to see how deep the "psychlogical revulsion" goes.  I
always understood that we do not eat treif because that is Hashem's will
(or won't), and not because treif food is revolting, disgusting or
whatnot. It may be "heavenly" but we stay away because we are commanded


btw, Grill flavor "bisli" tastes just like bacon bits, which, I am told,
taste like bacon. Bisli may be revolting, but not because it tastes like
treif food.

From: Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 15:02:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Imitation Traif Food

Andy Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@...> writes:
>I know of another major Rav in New York who has publicly stated that
>after 120 years he will be able to say to the bais din shel maalah
>(heavenly court) that in his whole life he never ate Pizza -- only
>Jewish food.

And what exactly did this sage think was Jewish food?  Knishes? Tagine?
Chopped liver?  With the possible exception of foods designed to address
halachic issues (e.g., cholent, gefilte fish), I can't think of anything
that constitutes "Jewish food" in the sense that this rabbi seems to
have meant.  Ashkenazi foods are, in essence, the foods of Eastern
Europe.  Sefardi foods are, in essence, the foods of the Mediterranean.
A Polish or Italian Christian would recognize and consume the respective
area's 'Jewish' food with equal gusto -- albeit with different names for
some items. (One woman's kreplach are another's pirogy.)  I don't know
enough to make the same sort of statements about Teiman or Asian Jews'
cuisine but I haven't heard anything to suggest that Jews in those parts
of the world invented their own cuisine, rather than adapting the local
version.  North America's version of 'Jewish' food is largely either
Eastern Europe (the 'deli') or Israel/Asia Minor (felafel, etc.).

It seems to me that pizza has just as much claim to be "Jewish food" as
chopped liver; possibly more in that, if you make it in a large enough
lot, you get to make an extra brachah: le-hafrish chalah (to separate
dough) while making the crusts' dough.  Jewish is as Jewish does.

Kol tuv from
Shayna in Toronto (who can't imagine eating anything with antennae, kosher or


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 21:06:35 +0200
Subject: Kosher Food Anywhere, Anytime

Those who travel to far flung places and do not have access to kosher
food or are not in a positiion to prepare decent kosher meals should
check out www.labriutemeals.com.

kol tuv,
Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer & examiner
<sofer@...>  www.stam.net  1-888-404-STAM(7826)  718-874-8220

From: <AUNTIEFIFI@...> (Mimi Markofsky)
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 21:39:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Kosher Food Anywhere, Anytime

With regard to kosher meals at outside venues: I would recommend LaBriut
meals to anyone going to an area where kosher food is going to be
questionable.  They are packable meals that need no refrigeration or
microwave to heat and are pretty tasty.  They have a website,
www.labriut.com, and many grocery stores now carry them.

Mimi Markofsky


From: Yosi Fishkin <Joseph@...>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 22:45:46 -0500
Subject: Re: Kosher in Ventura, CA and Orlando, FL


On GoDaven.com, there are minyanim listed for both Ventura, CA and
Orlando, FL (both happen to be the local Chabad), and both include
contact information. I would recommend that you use that info to contact
those minyanim and ask them about the kosher food situation.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Good luck!

Yosi Fishkin, MD
www.GoDaven.com - The Worldwide Minyan Database


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 07:19:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Ventura, Cal.

I haven't been there in over 10 years, but one could always get food
with a reliable hechsher, such as bread an cottage cheese, in the local
supermarkets.  For hot meals, we drove to LA.  I suggest you contact the
local Chabad rabbi,Rabbi Yakov Latowicz, 5040 Telegraph Road, Ventura,
CA, 93003, (805) 658-7441; FAX (805) 659-9657, <chabadventura@...>


End of Volume 46 Issue 58