Volume 6 Number 73

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Can you eat regular cheese.
         [David Chasman]
Inquiring minds want to know [Edible Chametz]
         [Freda Birnbaum]
Kitniyot Oil
         [Danny Skaist]
Pesach Humor
         [Nachum Issur Babkoff]
Rav Blumenkrantz' Pesach Guide
         [Esther Susswein]
Solar Water Heaters (3)
         [David Zimbalist, Avi Weinstein, Lon Eisenberg]


From: David Chasman <chasman@...>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1993 17:37:47 -0500
Subject: Can you eat regular cheese.

I would be interested in some specific references regarding whether it
is permissible to eat cheese where there is no question about the kashrut.
i.e. what is the source of the prohibition of non-jewish cheese - and
where has the issue been discussed.
--David Chasman

[Just to clarify a bit, as David and I have corresponded. There is no
question that there a halakha of gvinat akum - the cheese of an idol
worshipper/ non-Jew. The question is what is the nature of that Halakha.
Is it a "simple" kashrut issue, and if you know that there is no animal
based rennet then the cheese would be allowed, similar to R' Moshe's
psak on chalav yisrael - milk of a Jew. Or is the situation more similar
to pas akum / bishul akum (bread and cooking of an idol worshipper/
non-Jew) where there is decree that is unrelated to the Kashrut status
of the food. Mod.]


From: Freda Birnbaum <FBBIRNBA@...>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 00:04 EDT
Subject: Inquiring minds want to know [Edible Chametz]

Seen recently on BALTUVA and then also on mail-jewish:

>Combat Roach Control System is edible chometz and must be sold
        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^    ^^^^^^

Say what?
Or is this the 1993 version of the doorknob-cleaning story?  Or the
"how do you log off a VAX?" inquiry by A. F. Day to INFO-VAX a few
years ago?

[As already mentioned on BALTUVA, this is serious. The underlying
question is how the definition of edible is set, especially in regards
to to Pesach. Mod.]

Freda Birnbaum, <FBBIRNBAUM@...>


From: DANNY%<ILNCRD@...> (Danny Skaist)
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 04:00:18 -0500
Subject: Kitniyot Oil

>Zev Kesselman
>regarding use of certain oils on Pesach: i.e., the kitniyot gezera
>couldn't possibly apply (by this reasoning) to modern kitniyot oils
>which were not in use at the time of the gezera.  (Don't remember the
>specifics - corn? sunflowers?).

What about Cotton seeds ? The oil was used since the gezera, but
recently cotton seed has become "people food" (ergo kitnyot) as it is
now used as a flour extender in bread.

The "kitniot gezera" as I understand it could not possibly refer to oil
at all.  The gezera was made to avoid the problem where a person would
see a "food" (made with kitniyot flour) being eaten on pessach and
assume that it was permitted. He would return home and make it using his
receipe which included wheat flour.

But since 1) All oils look alike so there is no mistake to be made, or
conversly ALL oils would have to be prohibited, and 2) Wheat oil is
permitted on pessach, there never was a gezera made on oil.

Prohibiting kitniot oil because you might use kitniot, is a siyag on a
gezera.  I understand that those things are not done.

Please consider this a question.  I would appreciate any feedback on this.



From: <babkoff@...> (Nachum Issur Babkoff)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 11:28:12 +0200
Subject: Pesach Humor

In vol.6 #70, Hillel Markowitz brought the Baltimore Va'ad Ha'Kashrus list.
In the end he mentioned "Gold Fish- Freeze dried worms".

When my brother and I attended Ner Israel High School in Baltimore, back
in 79', Rabbi M. Heineman used to hold several pre-Pesach sessions,
where the entire high school ("m'china") would gather in the beit
midrash (study hall), and Rav Heineman would answer questions on
practical matters concerning pessach. The hot issues of the day were,
cleaning dish-washers, and microwave ovens.

There was one guy, who kept on "bugging" him with questions. Finaly,
towards the end, he came up with a real "shaila" (difficult question):

"Rebbi, may one feed goldfish matza on Pesach"? (the problem he was
worried about was "gebrocht's-wet matza).

"That depends". answered R. Heineman.

"On what, Rebbi? asked the eager talmid.

"That depends on whether your fish are "makpid" [careful (to not use) -
Mod.] on "gebrocht's"!


                             Nachum Issur Babkoff


From: <susswein@...> (Esther Susswein)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 21:56:37 PST
Subject: Rav Blumenkrantz' Pesach Guide

Having recently moved out to California from New York, I had a friend from
back east mail me this year's edition of Rav Blumenkrantz' Pesach Guide.

Does anyone know if the products (such a coffee, etc.) listed as being 
Kosher Le'Pesach even without a hechsher symbol are only those available in
the New York area, or are they OK anywhere in the USA?  It is likely that
food products may be prepared or processed in different plants for distribution
to different parts of the country.  


From: David Zimbalist <mdzimbal@emubus>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 11:26:58 -0500
Subject: RE: Solar Water Heaters

Yisrael Sundick writes:

>Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchatah says solar water haters are allowed on Shabbat?
>I don't have a copy of the book here, but I do find it somewhat
>surprising since the main problem of a hot water heater on shabbat as I
>recall was the cold water entering and being cooked. One area were solar
>heating could help is in that there is no open flame or glowing element
>which is a problem in of itself. 

The reasoning behind permitting (perhaps) a solar heater is that cooking
with direct sunlight is not considered cooking vis a vis the issur of
bishul on Shabbat.  However cooking with something that is heated by the
sun is considered bishul (Toldot ha'Chamah).

There is also the problem of Marit Ha'Ayin as mentioned in m.j#69.  I am
not sure, but there may also be a problem of something called "Mechzay
K'mevashel" but I have not had a chance to look it up.  As the Sefer
Ha'Chinuch says, all the details are in the third perek of masechet

David Zimbalist
Emory Business School

From: Avi Weinstein <0003396650@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93 23:31:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Solar Water Heaters

>In the first version of the book he says it is allowed, but some people
>don't permit it.
>In the second version (the one with the alef on the back of the binder) he
>says it isn't allowed, but many people permit it.

>My LOR was very upset at this retreat, since it didn't come with any new
>ideas or a retractions, (he used the identical sources) just what appeared
>to be outside "pressure".

Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata's reason for prohibiting the use of solar
heaters on shabbat if I recall correctly was that you may get used to
turning on hot water taps and do so anywhere indiscriminately even when
a solar heater was not the hot water source.

There may have been "pressure" but it is a genuine reason.

From: <eisenbrg@...> (Lon Eisenberg)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 93 10:02:47 IST
Subject: Solar Water Heaters

Zev Kesselman wrote in 6/68 about solar heaters' use not being so clear
cut.  Isn't this the case with most halakha?  I think Danny Skaist has
come close to explaining the true situation; he wrote:

>>From: Yisrael Sundick
>>Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchatah says solar water haters are allowed on Shabbat?
>Yes and No.
>In the first version of the book he says it is allowed, but some people
>don't permit it.
>In the second version (the one with the alef on the back of the binder) he
>says it isn't allowed, but many people permit it.
>My LOR was very upset at this retreat, since it didn't come with any new
>ideas or a retractions, (he used the identical sources) just what appeared
>to be outside "pressure".

Yes, in the first edition he outright permits it.  Is this so
surprising?  In the Mishna Brurah, Chapter 318, the Mehaber writes that
there is no problem of "bishul" (cooking) using the heat of the sun.
The 2 examples he uses are "an egg" and "water".  By the way, the idea
of considering a solar water heater as a "toldah" [ indirect use, such
as heating a piece of metal by the sun and then "cooking" the egg on
it], which is rabinically prohibited (I believe because of "marit
'ayin") is far fetched: Of course water has to be in a vessel (in this
case the solar collectors) to be heated.  The vessel is not heated
before the water enters it; it is all heated at the same time.  IMHO, it
is clear to all that the water was heated by the sun.  Why else would
you use a solar heater?

The one place I think Danny Skaist is not 100% correct is where he says
that in the second edition (of "Shmirat Shabbat KeHilkhatah"), Rabbi
Neuwirth says that it "isn't allowed".  That is not what he says; he
says it's "good to avoid it".  As far as the "kvetch" ("new idea or a
retraction"?) he used to say this (unfortunately yielding to those who
get some kind of enjoyment in finding ways to prohibit things), in the
footnote he mentions that on cloudy days [particularly Fridays], people
use the electric backup to heat the water; in that case, the water is
actually cooked and cold water entering it on Shabbat would also become
cooked.  Fine, so make sure you let the water cool down below "yad
soledet" [45 degrees C] before Shabbat (which is what I do on cloudy

As far as what B. Lehman wrote:

>1) It does not make too much of a difference to the issue if we are talking
>about solar or electrical heaters, as the bottom line is that the cold water
>comes into contact with hot water and does go past the point of "YAD SOLEDET".
>   (electrical heaters just add their own complications)

That is completely incorrect.  Water heated by the sun has a "din" of
cold water.  It is prohibited to mix it with water heated by
electricity, gas, etc., since it (the water heated by the sun) would
become cooked (it doesn't matter that it may be at a higher temperature
than the non-solarly heated water) by that water.  There is certainly no
problem of cold water entering the solar heating system on Shabbat; it
is just mixing cold water with (halakhakly) cold water.

B. Lehman also wrote:

>3) This is a classic case of "MARIT AYIN" Ie. what I know doesn't mean that
>all know. All of us have visitors, and if I have a halachikly legal trick to
>get around a problem, Joe Visitor who does not always know all the finer 
>points of halacha will assume that hot water (eg) on Shabat is fine.

IMHO, this is no "classic case".  You can't make up your own "marit
'ayin"; it needs a rabbinic source.  As far as I know, there is no
rabbinic prohibition against the "legal" use of hot water on Shabbat,
other than the "toldah" prohibition for solarly heated water, and
bathing ones entire body in water heated before Shabbat (IMHO, there
should be no prohibition against bathing in solarly heated water on
Shabbat, since it is halakhakly cold water).


End of Volume 6 Issue 73