Volume 48 Number 36
                    Produced: Fri Jun  3  6:30:21 EDT 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Accepting Psak without reviewing sources
         [Michael Pitkowsky]
Artscroll Corrections
         [Martin Stern]
         [Israel Caspi]
         [Orrin Tilevitz]
Bugs in Vegetables
         [Martin Stern]
Kiddush Erev Shavuot
         [Joshua Hosseinof]
More on the dagesh
         [Jeffery Zucker]
Products stated to be non-kosher
         [David Prins]
Seven Complete Weeks
Time for kiddush on Shavuot
         [Baruch J. Schwartz]


From: Michael Pitkowsky <pitab@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 18:23:11 -0400
Subject: Re: Accepting Psak without reviewing sources

Two important teshuvot on this subject can be found in Igrot Moshe v. 6,
YD III par. 91 and especially Igrot Moshe v. 8, YD IV par. 38. Let's
just say that if I tell you what he said and not bring any sources I
would probably be going against his pesak.

Michael Pitkowsky


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:28:19 +0100
Subject: Re: Artscroll Corrections

> Harry Zeltzer asked: It seems a week does not go by without someone
> commenting on errors made by ArtScroll. What are we so obsessed over
> ArtScroll's errors?

I must apologise for causing this phenomenon with my comment (m-j 47#95)

"Even Artscroll, which is generally much more carefully edited, has
several errors, some having been accepted by the general public because
previous editions have carelessly printed them."

As anyone who has tried to proof-read anything of any length for
publication will know, it is virtually impossible to avoid errors
getting through. It is even not unknown for a Sefer Torah to be used for
many years before someone notices a letter, or even a word, to be
missing. This is because of the way the human brain works in that we do
not really read everything in front of us but 'skip' parts which we
'interpolate' from context, i.e. we read what we expect to see rather
than what is really on the page. We have discussed this previously in
regard to computer checking of Sifrei Torah which often throws up such
errors since the computer works differently. On looking at these, a
human reader then sees that they are really there and can correct
them. It is not the computer which 'finds' the error, it only draws our
attention to it.

What I was saying was that this applies even to Artscroll which
generally takes greater care than many previous publishers of Siddurim
who were almost never scholars and were mainly interested in selling
their product. This was then challenged by another contributor who
appeared to believe in Artscroll infallibility, the rest developed from
there. is this really an obsession?

Martin Stern 


From: Israel Caspi <icaspi@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 07:38:37 -0500
Subject: Asparagus

<chips@...> wrote:
> ...the OU (among others) stated that ... asparagus was so problematic
> that it was better to just use the stalks and to throw away the leafy
> part.

Our LOR, apparently following the OU, **requires** the caterers under
his supervision to cut off the leafy part of the asparagus and allows
the use only of the stalk.  Imagine my surprise when I attended a family
simchah, where the caterer was under the Star-K, to find the whole
asparagus -- leaf and all -- being served.  I questioned the (Chabad)
mashgiach who said that he was aware of the issue but that the Star-K
does allow the leafy part to be used.

--I. Caspi


From: Orrin Tilevitz <tilevitzo@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 07:55:29 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Broccoli

In my experience, on rare occasion a large green worm will emerge from
broccoli florets when it is soaked in salt water or when it is cooked.
I have seen this only in farmer's market broccoli.  I have never seen
small bugs, in the water or when I pull the florets apart.


1.  If one finds a single cooked worm together with the broccoli, can
one eat the broccoli? If not, does the pot become traif?  If it matters,
assume that the worm's volume is less than 1/60 of the contents of the
pot (or of the water).

2.  If one regular finds no bugs when one examines, soaks, and examines
broccoli, to what extent is one obligated to heed those who say that the
bugs are there?  Can one legitimately say "lo nitna Torah lemalachei
hasharei--the Torah was not given to angels", and therefore if I can't
find the bugs, they are not there, and the supposed experts were
lookiing at a different sample or just repeating wrong information?

3.  Rav Moshe Tendler is supposed to have said about broccoli, "you wash
it as well as you can and the rest is protein".  Can anyone document


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 09:36:16 +0100
Subject: Re: Bugs in Vegetables

on 2/6/05 10:16 am,  Yisrael & Batya Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:

> When I became religious in the mid, late '60's I don't remember hearing
> anything about bugs in vegetables.  The first I heard about serious
> problems was when the late Chaim Mageni taught us how to clean the
> lettuce for the Pesach seder.

This comment is perhaps typical of the many on this subject by
contributors who ask whether 'Bugs in Vegetables' are a new phenomenon
or a chumrah introduced by ultra-orthodox 'fanatics'.

I think the Medads have hit the nail on the head: 40 years ago people
were simply unaware of the existence of infestation unless it was so bad
as to be immediately obvious. Then people like .cp. <chips@...>
did some experiments as he wrote (ibid.):

> I think  some mis-information is causing some confusion.
> But those who say there was never a problem with broccoli - Baloney!
> Back then I took some broccoli (and califlower) over a few weeks period
> ruffled the flowerts then dunked them flowerts first into a large bowl
> of slightly soapy water. I saw enough that I simply stopped eating the
> flowerts of both. Frozen broccoli was much better as far as bugs went,
> probably due to the flowerts opening up, but I try to avoid them as
> well.

Gradually this knowledge became more widespread and supervisory
authorities became much stricter in their rulings. The observant world
seems to be dividing into two on this matter. Some are now afraid to eat
any vegetable that has not been positively verified to be bug-free,
others that to be so careful is to imply previous generations were not
really frum (la'ag al harishonim). However, now that we have more
information on infestation, we are not really in the same situation as
40 years ago so being more careful is in no way a denigration of
previous practices let alone a slur on our predecessors. In each
generation we have to do our best to comply with the Torah in the light
of the information before us and it is just that we now know facts of
which they were unaware. Even today many either are unaware of, or
choose to ignore, this problem which explains Yisrael Medad's conundrum

> I visited the Star-K site and found that artichoke hearts cannot be
> checked.  I am nonplussed.  For about four months from December til
> almost Pesach, 'live' artichokes are eaten here in Israel in
> considerable numbers by a significant portion of the population. In
> addition, there are cans of artichoke hearts sold year round.

Martin Stern


From: Joshua Hosseinof <JHosseinof@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 12:48:30 -0400
Subject: Kiddush Erev Shavuot

The question if you are allowed to make kiddush on the first night of
Shavuot early is discussed by Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yechaveh Da'at vol.6
#30.  He brings many of the same sources as mentioned already on
Mail-Jewish, and indicates that the source of this minhag is from R'
Yakov Pollak.

He however concludes that you can be lenient in this case for several
reasons - the main one being that Sefirat Haomer in our times is
according to most rishonim only a mitzvah d'rebanan.  But even if R'
Yakov Pollak is correct in the interpretation of temimot, we are dealing
with a safek derabanan, and the time period after sunset "bein
hashmashot" is also a safek yom/safek leyla (possibly day/possibly
night) - therefore from that point of view he argues you can certainly
justify saying kiddush after sunset.

Additionally, the only Yom Tov night where we must definitely wait until
Tzeit Hakochavim is the night of the seder on Pesach as brought down in
Tosafot and the Rosh (Pesachim 99b) since the pasuk refers to eating the
meat of the korban pesach on this "night".  According to the Gemara
(Berachot 27b) and one is allowed to make kiddush of any Shabbat and Yom
Tov during daylight.  The gemara in Pesachim 99b adds a restriction of
the night of the seder where kiddush must be after nightfall (tzeit
hakochavim), but we have no other Talmudic source or Rishonim that add
such a restriction for Shavuot or other days of Yom Tov.

I would also add that the "temimot" reasoning is faulty for another
reason - we are not strict at the beginning of the 49 days to bring in
the second day of Yom Tov as early as possible (or in Israel to make
havdalah as early as possible).  If you're going to require 49 complete
days at the end of the omer and prevent Shavuot from being brought in
early, then to be consistent you should be doing the reverse at the
beginning of counting the omer by ending the first day of yom tov of
Pesach early.

Rav Ovadia Yosef's conclusion is that in those places where people can
wait until Tzeit Hakochavim to make kiddush without undue hardship they
should do so.  But in Europe and other places where sunset gets to be
quite late in the summer, and the members of the household do not want
to wait so late for dinner, and it also cuts out of the time for
learning of Tikkun Leil Shavuot, in such situations you are allowed to
make kiddush and eat while it is still daylight.  If possible, he adds,
people should try and wait until sunset to make kiddush and eat the
meal.  And it is also good for them to eat a kezayit of bread again
after Tzeit Hakochavim finally arrives.

My understanding, however, is that most Ashkenazi synagogues in America
are strict on the first night of Shavuot to wait until Tzeit for saying
Maariv.  I always have to add a little disclaimer for our Sephardic
congregation schedule in Teaneck due to the inevitable questions from
people who believe that you cannot say Arvit of Yom Tov of Shavuot at a
time earlier than Tzeit Hakochavim.  It seems clear from all the sources
however, that the main issue, even for Rav Yakov Pollak was kiddush and
eating the meal, and not what time the synagogue says Arvit.


From: Jeffery Zucker <zucker@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 00:32:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: More on the dagesh

While we are discussing subtle properties of the dagesh, I have long
been puzzled concerning the phrase in the 'geula' berakha just before
the morning Shemoneh Esrei:

  mi KHamokha ba-elim H', mi Kamokha ne'dar bakodesh

Why is the initial kaf in the first 'K(h)amokha' not dotted, while the
kaf in the second one is?  I cannot see any difference between the two

Thanks for any help,



From: David Prins <prins@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 13:29:33 +1000
Subject: Products stated to be non-kosher

Several writers have commented on the role of a kashrut authority to
state that something is not kosher.

The London Beth Din Kashrut Authority specifically lists items as being
not kosher in its kashrut guide, and denotes with the notation "NK",
meaning "Not Kosher", rather than just omitting reference to the
product.  See for example www.kosher.org.uk/updates.htm


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 21:52:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Seven Complete Weeks

Shulchan Aruch 494, very first Mishna Beurarah note.


From: Baruch J. Schwartz <schwrtz@...>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 07:50:40 +0300
Subject: Time for kiddush on Shavuot

Ed "Shmuel" Norin asks about the earliest time we can make kiddish on
Sunday night, Erev Shavuot.

The short answer to his question is: if you want to follow the view that
kiddush should be delayed until nightfall on Shavuot, then you should
find out when sunset is and add whatever number of minutes is customary
in your community--thirteen, eighteen, or whatever.

The long answer:

An excellent, thorough treatment of this topic may be found in B.
Hamburger, Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz, Volume 4, Bnei Berak 5764, pp.
344-369. There it is demonstrated conclusively that the now-prevalent
custom among some Ashkenazim (apparently unknown among Sefardim) of
delaying the time for kiddush on Shavuot Eve is quite recent and far
from universal (not practiced by those following Frankfurt or other
western Ashkenaz ritual).

Insofar as this practice derives from the purported need for the final
day of Sefirat HaOmer to be complete ("temimot"), this was first
mentioned by the Shela"h in the 16th century (citing a not-much-earlier
source). Even the Shela"h stated, explicitly and forcefully, that Arvit
is held, and kiddush in shul is recited, while it is still daylight, and
suggested only that kiddush at home should be delayed until after
nightfall. It was the Ta"z, a few decades later, who innovated the idea
that Arvit too should be delayed (though, to be sure, the Ta"z did not
write "until nightfall"). The humrah, in both of its forms, and the
entire line of reasoning that leads to it, has subsequently been opposed
by many authorities.

If the issue is not one of the supposed "completeness" of Sefirat HaOmer
but rather simply a question of the proper time for davening Arvit, it
is well known that some Eastern Ashkenazic communities have, in recent
times, been very insistent on Arvit never being said before
nightfall--weekdays, Shabbat, and Yomtov. This, however, has nothing
specific to do with Shavuot.

Therefore, after reading Hamburger's informative summary of all the
opnions, I would suggest that those minyanim that always insist on Arvit
being said after nightfall (tzet hakokavim) obviously should do so on
Shavuot as well. They should calculate the time for Arvit exactly as
they do on a regular Shabbat; no later. Minyanim in which Arvit on
Shabbat and Yomtov is normally said before nightfall should feel free to
do precisely as they do on regular Shabbatot, and should perhaps
announce that according to some authorities kiddush should be delayed
until nightfall, but that not all authorities agree on this.

When our shul was being organized, we decided that an additional, early
minyan would be held all summer long, but we made Shavuot an exception.
After reading Hamburger's book, I now believe that this was an error and
I wish we had not done so.

Baruch Schwartz


End of Volume 48 Issue 36