Volume 53 Number 14
                    Produced: Sun Nov 26  8:41:10 EST 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Halacha, R. Kook and eating Meat (4)
         [Mark Goldin, Mark Steiner, Menashe Elyashiv, Avi Feldblum]
Inspecting tefillin at airport security
         [Mordechai Horowitz]
Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah (3)
         [<FriedmanJ@...>, Gershon Dubin, .cp.]
A not-so wayward kohen
         [Russell J Hendel]
Torah and Ideal State


From: Mark Goldin <goldinfamily@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 00:06:31 -0800
Subject: Halacha, R. Kook and eating Meat

>>There is no evidence that R. Kook was a vegetarian. I have no idea why
>>this gets repeated after many have denied it.
>>Eli Turkel

No evidence?  It is well-known that he was a vegetarian who ate a
symbolic amount of chicken on Shabbat.

Rav Kook wrote a book called "A vision of vegetarianism and peace" in
which he describes the vegetarian ideal.

One of his great disciples was R. David Cohen, "Rav HaNazir", who was a
strict vegan who avoided wearing as well as eating anything derived from
animals.  One of R. Cohen's children married Harav Goren, the chief
rabbi, and another grew up to be She'ar Yashuv Cohen, chief rabbi of

When I mentioned Rav Kook's vegetarianism in front of a young Rabbi in
our shul (definitely not a vegetarian), he said "of course he was, he
was a Kabbalist".  Seems many of the great Kabbalists were also
vegetarian, more evidence for Rav Kook's own practices.  And if there is
any doubt about that, the bios of Rabbi Kadouri who died this year in
his 100's describe him as a famed Kabbalist - and vegetarian.

To sum up my position on this, if anyone is interested (and these are  
just my opinions),

a) it is permitted to eat meat 
b) there is ample evidence that meat eating is not an ideal state, and
one should therefore minimize it
c) causing prolonged animal suffering is completely forbidden and one
should therefore do one's best to not contribute to it.
Practically speaking, if one can't bear to give up meat, keep it to a
minimum, and look for reliable, kosher, free range and other non-
factory farm sources.

Mark Goldin
Los Angeles

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:14:03 +0200
Subject: RE: Halacha, R. Kook and eating Meat

I think the appropriate thing to say about eating meat is that Hazal in
general did not regard eating meat as immoral from the point of view of
the animals themselves.  Yet it is true that they strongly recommended
that eating of meat should be limited, because of the bad effects of
eating meat on the eater.  Just this week, I saw in the Kli Yakar that
Yitzhak sent Esav to hunt deer for him, even though we see they had
goats (that taste like game) in the back yard, in order to teach him
that the eating of meat should be done sporadically, because, the Kli
Yakar says, eating meat can make one bloodthirsty.  (He quotes the
gemara in Hullin that has already been mentioned in the discussion.)
This lesson was so important, the Kli Yakar further says, that Yitzhak
was willing to allow his favorite son (Esav) to risk the dangers
inherent in going out into the wild hunting.  On the other hand, Yitzhak
did not see anything particularly immoral about hunting itself.

From: Menashe Elyashiv <elyashm@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 09:40:47 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Halacha, R. Kook and eating Meat

Did HaRav Kook eat meat? He did write a pamphlet called Hazon Hasimhonut
(vegetarianim utopia). However, his student, R. David HaCohen, aka the
nazir, was a vegetarian. So is his son, R. Shar-yashuv HaCohen (Rav of
Haifa). So was his son in law, R. Goren.

From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 
Subject: Halacha, R. Kook and eating Meat

Mark sums up his opinion on this subject with the following points:

> a) it is permitted to eat meat 
> b) there is ample evidence that meat eating is not an ideal state, and
> one should therefore minimize it
> c) causing prolonged animal suffering is completely forbidden and one
> should therefore do one's best to not contribute to it.
> Practically speaking, if one can't bear to give up meat, keep it to a
> minimum, and look for reliable, kosher, free range and other non-
> factory farm sources.

I think the great majority of us can agree that a) is a correct
statement, although there are a significant number that may hold the
opinion that eating meat on Yom Tov and possibly Shabbat is not just
permitted, but may be obligatory.

I would agree with Mark that there is ample evidence of a valid stream
of opinion within Yahadus that holds his point b) to be correct. I do
not think that there is sufficient evidence to state that the normative
halachic position agrees with his point b). In this last post, he seems
to link point b) with those holding a certain kabbalistic
position. Again, this would indicate this is a viable, but not
normative, position.

The first part of point c) is one that I think is fully agreed to by
halacha. It is not permitted to undertake actions that will cause undo
pain to living creatures. I do not know if the current conditions of
raising livestock violate the halachik requirements of Tzar Baalei Chaim
[causing excessive pain to animals] or not. That determination would be
most directly impacting on a Jewish livestock owner.

The second point in c) above is one that I am not at all convinced has
halachik standing. If we were to posit that the livestock owner is in
violation of Tzar Baalei Chaim, does that result in any halachic
requirement to avoid purchasing meat that originates from that livestock

Practically speaking, what I see from the halachic and other Torah based
sources is that one is free to eat meat, one should do so in moderation,
there are times (e.g. Yom Tov and possibly Shabbat) when it is
encouraged or obligatory to do so, and one should look for reliable,
kosher sources. 

Avi Feldblum


From: Mordechai Horowitz <mordechai@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 16:32:29 -0500
Subject: Inspecting tefillin at airport security

From: Moshe Bach <moshe.bach@...>
> Hi.  I recently flew on several domestic flights in the US.  I was
> invariably stopped at security, because my tefllin were suspicious to
> the security personnel.  They went through my hand luggage, opened my
> tefllin case, looked at the tefillin, then let me go.  I don't
> particularly like strangers handling my tefillin.  Does anyone have
> advice on how to avoid these checks?  (Obviously I don't want to check
> tefillin in checked baggage, which could get lost.)

A bigger worry could be is that the "security" personnel decide they
want to open your tefillin and inspect them on the inside.  The Rabbi of
my shul once had to talk security out of it.

I think this would a be a good issue for the OU and Aguda to work on to
ensure Homeland Security educates inspectors on what tefillin is.


From: <FriedmanJ@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 16:26:56 EST
Subject: Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah

Toilet paper, the shliach tzibbur and Simchat Torah

As a simchat torah baby tossed out of the men's section at the ripe old
age of 9 for being female, I remember doing a number of things to the
shliach tzibbur.

First we tied his shoe laces together.
Then we bound him up, tight, in his tallis.
Then the men carried him out to the middle of Crown Street
And someone followed with the shtelah.
The whole minyan would follow into the street.
While all of this was going on, he was challenged never to break his
chazarat hashatz.
Yes. this was mussaf.

And the shul was the Agudath Israel of Crown Heights.

I guess all those people must now be shot to death for not being members
of the ultra-so-serious chumrah of the moment club.


Around here (Teaneck Eir Hakodesh) hakafot are over by 9 and there is no
shul hopping.

How borrrrrring.

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 22:13:31 -0500
Subject: Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah

From: Alan Krinsky <adkrinsky@...>
> What are the halakhot/customary practices for the repetition of the
> Musaf Amidah on Simchat Torah?

Unfortunately the "customary" practices are far different than the

Somehow the idea of joy at the completion and re-beginning of the Torah
has become confused in the eyes of many people with a raucous and
disgusting kind of behavior, some of which you describe.

When a person, shliach tzibur or individual, stands before Hashem in
shemoneh esrei, he is doing exactly that-standing in front of Hashem,the
King of Kings.  If this is what these people consider appropriate under
these circumstances, they are to be pitied for their lack of any sense
of propriety.

I would leave that shul post haste and either find another, at least for
Simchas Torah, where the decorum was more appropriate for a House of God
rather than a bar in a seedy section of town or, if I couldn't find one,
I'd daven at home.


From: .cp. <chips@...>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:22:46 -0800
Subject: Re: Musaf Shaliach Tzibur on Simchat Torah

Way back when in the '70s , a teacher of mine drove into us how
disturbing/distracting the Shaliach Tzibur on Simchas Torah with jokes
was totally unacceptable. Unfortunately at that time there was jokes
being done at all the minyanym in the area except for the Yekki minyan.
I've been told that the jokeing has lost its cache in the area since
that time, hopefully no minyan does it now.



From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 00:15:22 -0500
Subject: A not-so wayward kohen

Two additional points

1st) The issue was formulated in terms of whether this Kohen was
"behaving properly." Several postings point out that we "should judge
him favorably"


But it is equally important to emphasize that his "proper behavior" is
not a prerequisite to receiving an Aliyah. A very famous
symbolic-interpretation Midrash points out that "Just as the sweet
incense offered on the altar was compounded from 11 ingredients, one of
which had a bad odor (when considered by itself) so too a communal
quorom (minyan) "smells nicest" when the community is mixed with good
and bad people. Precisely by approaching God with "bad smelling people"
do we affirm that we **are** a community and do not weed out people.

So even if the Kohen is behaving improperly (which he isnt) he STILL
should get the aliyah.

2nd) Let us review WHY Kohen's get an aliyah. Originally Aliyahs were
given by Merit. The wisest most righteous people would get the aliyahs
first. But then fights broke out on who was wisest and who was most
righteous. In an effort to avoid fights the Talmudic sages decided to
make the receipt of Aliyahs based on the FORM of the person vs the
CONTENT. A Kohen received first INDEPENDENT of how wise he was, then a
Levi and then A yisroel.

So we see that the whole purpose of giving a Kohen an aliyah first is so
that we (on Mail Jewish) should not "fight" about who will get the
aliyah! The aliyah is based on form! not content!

As I frequently point out an awareness of the reason for commandments
enhances our understanding of them.

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.RashiYomi.com/


From: chi <c.halevi@...>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 16:13:26 -0600
Subject: Torah and Ideal State

Shalom to All:

Immanuel Burton wrote that 
>If the state in which Man was first created is the ideal, then does
>that mean that not having the Torah is the ideal?  After all, the Torah
>wasn't given to Adam.  In fact, he didn't even have the seven Noahide

Aw. c'mon, let's cut some slack for Adam. If you can believe that our
Forefathers (and mothers) observed the Torah even before it was given,
might we not believe it about Adam, who directly spoke to God and
directly was answered by Him?

Also, consider some of the laws of our Torah. In no particular order:

Adam had no parents, hence could not obey or disobey the mitzva to honor
them. Coveting objects: really, what objects were there to covet? He did
not murder, according to the Torah.  He was not taken out of Egypt - in
fact, he was driven out of Paradise. Not much chance to commit adultery
when there's only one woman, and she's your wife, and later there's only
daughters and granddaughters etc.. Stealing: from whom? False testimony?
No courts. Worship false gods? Are you kidding? He knew his Creator in a
way we can not really fathom; no temptation there.

Nu, I know these are not perfect analogies. However, I did want to make
the point that we can never judge Adam by our standards.

Kol tuv,
Yeshaya (Charles Chi) Halevi


End of Volume 53 Issue 14