Volume 48 Number 29
                    Produced: Wed Jun  1  5:38:30 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Broccoli (8)
         [Carl Singer, Akiva Wolff, Robert Israel, Alexis Rosoff Treeby,
Shimon Lebowitz, W. Baker, Akiva Miller, MEIR Shinnar]
Kiddush Erev Shavuot
         [Martin Stern]
Minyan / shul
         [Ira L. Jacobson]
Mistakes in Torah Reading too Insignificant to Correct?
         [Mike Gerver]


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 10:47:32 -0400
Subject: Broccoli

> My understanding is the chumrah on broccoli and asparagus is not that
> Halacha changed, nor does it illustrate a precipitous march to the right
> as much as DDT has become illegal, making the bug infestation nearly, if
> not completely impossible to eliminate in those types of vegetables.
> So no, our parents were eating clean vegetables, not assur bugs.

If there are people making chumrahs based on scientific findings such as
post-DDT bug infestation is (nearly) impossible to eliminate ....  then
this is a VERY strong statement in essence saying that broccoli and
asparagus are no longer kosher.  are there scientific sources to support
this claim re: bug infestation? The implication is that any restaurant
or caterer serving these is serving treif.

We are growing broccoli in our garden (without any chemicals) and I've
seen no such infestation.

Carl A. Singer, Ph.D.
Passaic, NJ  07055-5328

From: Akiva Wolff <wolff@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 15:04:14 +0200
Subject: RE: Broccoli

I don't think this is correct. My understanding is that DDT was used
primarily to control mosquitos, not crop pests. There are other
pesticides used for spraying broccoli and other such crops, and to my
knowledge they are still being used. I am very doubtful that the insect
problem is worse now than it was in previous generations. On the other
hand, the growing popularity of 'organic' farming, where artificial
pesticides are not used, may have some affect - but that is more recent
and isolated and certainly wouldn't account for the phenomenon described
here - which has taken place with conventionally-grown (i.e. use of
artificial pesticides) vegetables.

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 13:24:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Broccoli

DDT was not used as an agricultural pesticide until around 1945.  Before
that time, and even more so before the introduction of refrigeration,
there would have been considerably more insect infestation in food than
there is now.  And yet, as far as I am aware, frum Jews did eat
vegetables in those days.

Robert Israel                                <israel@...>
Department of Mathematics        http://www.math.ubc.ca/~israel 
University of British Columbia            Vancouver, BC, Canada

From: Alexis Rosoff Treeby <alexis@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 06:36:04 +0100
Subject: Re: Broccoli

That's fine if we go a generation or two back--but what about further,
to pre-pesticide days?

And this doesn't explain the increasing number of "prohibited" fruits
and vegetables or the stringent cleaning required by some
authorities. (A few weeks ago I saw "kosher peaches" being advertised at
a greengrocer's in Hendon. I think this was a low point.)

Alexis Rosoff Treeby
London N12

From: Shimon Lebowitz <shimonl@...>
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 08:45:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Broccoli

And *when* did you say DDT was invented?  (I asked "reb google" that
shaila, and got:

> DDT the first of the chlorinated organic insecticides, was originally
> prepared in 1873, but it was not until 1939 that Paul Muller of Geigy
> Pharmaceutical in Switzerland discovered the effectiveness of DDT as an
> insecticide (he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and 
> physiology in 1948 for this discovery).

I have never heard of there having been a new movement around WWII to
suddenly *start* eating leafy vegetables.

Does anyone know of sources for such a movement?

Shimon Lebowitz                           mailto:<shimonl@...>
Jerusalem, Israel            PGP: http://www.poboxes.com/shimonpgp

From: W. Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:36:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Broccoli

If this is the case, what did they do before DDT and other insecticieds
were developed in the mid--200th century?  Didn't people eat broccoli
and asparagus?

Wendy Baker

From: Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 12:50:29 GMT
Subject: Re: Broccoli

I would agree with this, *IF* the manner of checking them today would be
the same as the manner of checking them in the pre-DDT days.

But that does not seem to be the case. For example, the Star-K (at
http://www.star-k.com/cons-appr-vegetables.htm) offers about a dozen
different sets of diections on how to check various kinds of fruits and
vegetables. Here are their directions for checking broccoli:

>>> 1. Wash florets thoroughly under a strong stream of water.
>>> 2. Agitate florets in a white bowl. (Note: It may be helpful to add
some dishwashing liquid to the water, as it aids in removal of insects.) 
>>> 3. Examine the water to see that it is insect free.
>>> 4. If it is insect free you may use the vegetable.
>>> 5. If insects are found, you may redo this procedure up to three
times in total. If there are still insects, the whole batch must be

Was this the common procedure for broccoli 100 years ago? I really doubt
it. My guess is that they simply rinsed it, looked at it, and if they
didn't see any bugs, they ate it.

But I admit that I am writing from ignorance, and I am willing to learn
more. Are there any seforim from the pre-DDT era which specify exactly
HOW to check such vegetables? 

Akiva Miller

From: MEIR Shinnar <Meir.Shinnar@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 09:35:37 -0400
Subject: RE: Broccoli

The problem is that people ate vegetables even prior to DDT. One could
argue that the DDT time was relatively bug free, but that was a
relatively short interval.

Rav Auerbach, in one of his tshuvas, brings the fact that people were
not strict on bugs in his youth (pre DDT) as suggesting that perhaps one
needn't be as strict - and we also know that rav moshe feinstein wasn't
very strict post DDT.

Meir Shinnar


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 13:52:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Kiddush Erev Shavuot

on 31/5/05 11:43 am, <jf@...> wrote:
> Unfortunately, Ed, I do believe that you must wait until nightfall (app.
> time when Shabbos ends) for you to daven and say Kiddush since you must
> wait for 49 FULL days before you can start davening and accepting Yom
> Tov.

In the same issue Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...> also wrote:

> Unlike a normal Erev Shabbat where it is possible to bring in Shabbat
> early (after plag hamincha), it is not possible to do this for Shavuot.
> The reason is that the Torah commanded us to count "seven complete
> weeks" with regard to counting the Omer.  Since the count ends that
> evening, we must wait until nightfall. That would be the same time as
> you would be able to make Havdala had it been a Shabbat.

and Shayna Kravetz <skravetz@...> wrote:

> Because of the reference to 'sheva shavu'ot t'mimot' (seven complete or
> perfect weeks) in the description of the mitzvah of sefirat ha-omer, it
> is not possible to bring in Shavu'ot early, as I understand it.  Making
> an early kiddush would curtail the last day and thus fail to complete
> the omer.

Clearly these correspondents have all misunderstood the significance of
the word 'temimot'. We have a general principle of 'miktsat hayom kekulo
- that a part of the day is considered as the whole day' so, for
example, an aveil r"l gets up from shiva on the morning of the seventh
day and does not wait until nightfall.

However this principle is generally understood to refer to day as
opposed to night (otherwise shiva would terminate shortly after
ma'ariv). The significance of the 'sheva shavuot temimot' is that each
of the 49 days should consist of both a day and a night i.e. the omer
should be brought, and counted, in the evening on the first day and not
the following morning.

Therefore the almost universal custom of waiting on the last day until
nightfall for ma'ariv and kiddush is certainly a chumra. As Lipman
points out, it was introduced by R' Ya'akov Pollak and, as I pointed
out, strongly denounced by the Yoseph Omets.

However, I have my doubts about his claim regarding ma'ariv before plag
haminchah. I take it he is referring to the custom in some communities
of davenning minchah and ma'ariv together between plag haminchah and
night (an apparent contradiction according to either opinion in the
Gemara) which was only permitted because it would be almost impossible
to assemble a minyan again later.

I think his reference to the Maharil must be to the most unusual custom
in Worms of fasting on Rosh Chodesh Sivan (the anniversary of the
massacre of the community during the Crusades) when this fell on a
Friday. Neither of these circumstances would apply to Erev Shavuot so it
seems difficult to accept davenning any earlier than minchah immediately
before plag haminchah and ma'ariv immediately after.

However, when all is said and done, every community should conduct
itself in accordance with its own customs though a qualified OR could
surely find a hetter for an individual with special needs to bring in
Shavuot early.

Martin Stern


From: Ira L. Jacobson <laser@...>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 15:36:07 +0300
Subject: Re: Minyan / shul

At 08:04 31-05-05 -0400, Carl Singer stated the following, first quoting

>> And more pointedly, some shuls might not get a minyan if they
>> depended only on their members.  And some people davening there pick
>> that particular shul precisely to try to ensure that there will be a
>> minyan there.

> It's not the shul that needs a minyan but the community. 
> What the shul needs is to pay its electric bill and that doesn't
> happen min hashamayim.
> There are, indeed, people who go out of their way to help make a
> minyan (say davening at a more distant shul or at a less preferable
> time.)  But there are many people who USE whatever shul is most
> convenient for them -- do they not have an obligation to help support
> that shul.

If you are talking about a community with a single shul, then you are
likely right that the community needs the minyan.  But within walking
distance of my house, for example, there are about a dozen shuls, some
with three and four minyanim every morning (thus suiting a large variety
of people, who wake up at different times and start work at different
times).  As it happens, I choose to daven most mornings in a shul that I
drive to, although the ten-minute walk would do me more good than the
drive.  Of the 10 to 20 people who daven there every morning, I think
that over half are not members.  Whereas many of the members probably
daven in other shuls.

If it were necessary for the daveners to support both the shuls of which
they are members (and where they daven Shabbat and yomtov) as well as
the ones where they daven on weekdays, I suspect that everyone would
suffer.  People would stop strengthening minyanim that need their
presence, and some might even stop davening in a minyan.

This is not to suggest that the people don't put the daily coin into the
pushke, but if you are talking about supporting two or more shuls in a
serious way, then I think that would be a hardship for many people.  A
classic case of "yotze sekharo behefsedo."

IRA L. JACOBSON         


From: <Gevaryahu@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 10:16:52 EDT
Subject: Mistakes in Torah Reading too Insignificant to Correct?

Bill Page (MJ48n25) writes:

> What sorts of mistakes in leyning should a gabbai let go? .... one
> shouldn't correct a "minor" mistake, that is, one that doesn't
> seriously change the meaning. [and] offer[s] a few handy
> guidelines:... the word 'kol' with a cholom instead of kal with a
> kamatz;

Kaf Lamed in the Torah are spelled exclusively with a Kamatz Katan (875
times) or Cholam (92 times), thus always pronounced by both Asahkenazi
and Sephardic readers as "Oh" and never "Ah". There is a but single case
in the entire Bible where Kaf Lamed has a Kamatz Gadol and that is in
Tehilim 35:10 per the masorah.  Since there is only one way to pronounce
Kaf Lamed, and not two, a mistake like that should not be listed. Ba-al
Keri-ah ought to know how to pronounce a word which appeared numerous
times in the Torah and pronounced in only one way. However, if the kaf
Lamed has a prefix, then there are changes to the punctuation of the
Kaf, and there one needs to memorize the nikkud.

Gilad J. Gevaryahu


End of Volume 48 Issue 29