Volume 60 Number 18 
      Produced: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:47:33 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Birkat Cohanim in Eretz Yisrael 
    [Perets Mett]
In vitro meat (2)
    [Josh Backon  David Tzohar]
Milchigs on Shavu'ot 
    [Joseph Kaplan]
Status of a Ben Pekua 
    [Martin Stern]
What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa? (2)
    [Guido Elbogen  Dr. William Gewirtz]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Sat, Jun 11,2011 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Birkat Cohanim in Eretz Yisrael

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 60#16):

> According to the ReMA and Mishna Brura, in the galut Birkat Cohanim is done
> by the Cohanim only on Musaf of the festivals. The reason is that it must be
> done with "simcha" which is lacking in the Jewish diaspora (I recently
> wrote a post on this subject on my English blog). Only in Eretz Yisrael is it
> done every day (one of the perks of making Aliya!). There are however some
> communities in Israel who follow the diaspora custom: chassidei Gur and some
> communities in Haifa and Tzfat. Does anyone know why these communities don't
> follow the general custom of Eretz Yisrael?

I have no idea why David thinks that Gerrer chasidim in Erets Yisroel do not
duchen (perform Birkas Cohanim) every day.

They do, just like everyone else (and I have just confirmed this, being currently
in Yerushalayim).

The custom prevalent in the Galil (which includes Haifa and Tsfat) of
restricting Birkas Cohanim to Musaf dates back several hundred years, although
no one seems to know the reason for it. (Perhaps someone could correct me on 

Perets Mett


From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Wed, Jun 8,2011 at 03:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat

Orin Tilevitz (MJ 60#16) asked re: the halachic status of in vitro meat:

> An article in the June, 2011 issue of Scientific American, "When Will
> Scientists Grow Meat in a Petrie Dish?",

Here are my comments taken from an ongoing email interaction with Rav 
Arie Folger who published it in December 2009 on his website:

I started out with:

1) "IMHO Kosher (pareve) and not meat. This is *svara* from the gemara in
Bechorot 6b-7b and the ROSH in Avoda Zara II #42. My guess is when this
becomes prevalent, it would still be prohibited on the basis of LO PLOOG
(we don't differentiate)."

[Rav Folger then had  a question on my reading of the ROSH] and I replied with a
clarification and modification]

2) "I'm saying that the 'meat' culture would be like TZIR DAGIM and at most
would be an issur d'rabbanan. Another 2 possibilities: 

"1) the artificial 'meat' would be like the SHILYA (placenta) and cooking it 
with milk would be an issur d'rabbanan (YD 87:7 in Shach and Pri Megadim). Ditto 
for soft antlers (TALPAYIM) or horns or GIDIN. 

"2) the artificial 'meat' would have the din of basar CHAYA or OHF and thus
cooking it with milk would only be an issur d'rabbanan."

[I then wrote]: "It just occurred to me to look at the Chiddushei Aggadot of the
MEHARSHA on the gemara in Sanhedrin 65b and 67b re: the status of the 'calf'
created by R. Hoshiya using the Sefer Yetzira. I wonder if it is 'meat'."

[It isn't !]

I ended up with: "See the Malbim to Bereshit 18:18 re: egel of Avraham being
created by Sefer Yetzira and therefore could be eaten with milk. BTW the
Darchei Tshuva YD I 22 indicates that only because of Marit Ayin would a
cow created by Sefer Yetzira possibly need shechita. It then dawned on me
to check the status of the GAVRA (golem) in the first part of the sugya
and how Rav Zeira was allowed to kill it. See: Birkei Yosef [CHIDA in
Machazik Beracha) ORACH CHAYIM 55 #4; Pitchei Tshuva YOREH DEAH 62#2;
Gilyon haShas to Sanhedrin 19b. And BTW from the Meharsha Sanhedrin 66b
a Golem that SPEAKS **is** a human. Ergo, one that doesn't, isn't."

Josh Backon

From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 13,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat

I think that the question of kashrut of in vitro meat is similar to that of
using non-kosher bones for gelatin. There is a machloket - the machmirim say
that the bones must be from a kosher animal. The meikilim say that the bones
are to be considered as a chemical element far removed from the original
living animal. AFAIK the stringent poskim are in the majority (maybe someone
can provide the identity of the poskim?).

Similarly the stem cell is only a biochemical element. But perhaps it is
different since the stemcell is a BIO-chemical element and would be
considered still part of the living animal.

David Tzohar


From: Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 10,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Milchigs on Shavu'ot

I have a good friend who told me that he asked his father what his
great-grandfather (the father's grandfather) ate in his shtetl on Shavu'ot.  "He
was very makpid to eat fleishigs," the father replied.  "Of course, considering
the lack and expense of meat, that meant eating parve with a fleishig spoon."

Joseph Kaplan


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 10,2011 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Status of a Ben Pekua

Josh Backon <backon@...> wrote (MJ 60#17) with regard to a Ben

> Last but not least: since many poskim rule that there is no din of CHELEV
> (forbidden fat) in BP, then there's no din of NIKUR ACHORAYIM. In other words
> a kosher sirloin steak !!

Actually, removing the chelev is not particularly difficult, and if that were
the only problem we would be enjoying sirloin steak already. Unfortunately
there still is the prohibition of the gid hanashe [sciatic nerve (Biblically) and
femoral nerve (Rabbinically)] just as in the case of a chayah [wild animal], whose
hindquarters we also do not use. 

The many branches of these nerves make their complete removal very difficult as
a glance at any diagram of an animal's anatomy as in e.g. Chullin Illuminated by
R. Yaaakov Dovid Lach shows. This requires great expertise (on the level of a
surgeon's) and in all probability would 'ruin' the appearance of the meat. I
would not be surprised if what is left would be so shredded that it is only
suitable for mincing. Perhaps we would get the oxtail which is not served by
these nerves but it is mainly bone and hardly top quality meat. 

For those who want to learn more about the problems in removing the gid hanashe,
Chullin Illuminated has a very readable exposition (in English) in its analysis
of the seventh chapter of Chullin (pp. 193-196).

Martin Stern


From: Guido Elbogen <havlei.h@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 10,2011 at 12:01 PM
Subject: What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa?

The sticking point in the discussion in the last 7 digests (MJ 60#11 to 17)
appears to be the fallacy of a day being lost.

Does crossing from the CST zone at 11:30 pm Monday into the EST zone which is
12:30 am Tuesday cause loss of an hour or even a civil day since there was no

So, too, no day is lost crossing the halachic dateline.

The current date and as such the day of the week changes but in fact the same
result would be achieved by travelling at top speed in the reverse direction -
just a sunset marking the new day would be perceived somewhere along the route.

While there is a minority opinion that 49 sunsets have to be counted for Sefirat
HaOmer leading to a discrepancy after crossing the dateline when to celebrate
Shavuot, most opinions according to piskei teshuvot hold that the current count
of the omer is totally dependant on the date.

Thus crossing at 10 am in an easterly direction would require immediately the
next day's omer to be counted without bracha thus enabling the following evening
with a bracha.

Crossing westerly would not require a count for the new day since that day had
been previously counted.

Similarly, crossing from Australia on a Sunday morning to New Zealand would
obligate a worshiper to find a minyan for Monday morning's  Kriat haTorah
without having to re-pray Shaharit since that worship is only required once
between sunrise to sunrise.

That all halachic events occur only according to the actual date decided by the
Beit Din or, in its absence, by calculation is illustrated by the well known
decision that a younger baby born 1 Adar II will have his Bar Mitzvah in a
non-leap year 29 days earlier than a baby born 29 Adar I (born 2 days earlier).

Rav Vozner, several year ago, determined for the same reasons that a baby born
on 2 Kislev and then flown the same day on the Concorde to the US arriving 1
Kislev should have his bris on 9 Kislev, 8 days after the actual birth date and
not on 8 Kislev.

The Chazon Ish according to his Kuntress holds that the dateline cannot be an
unalterable halachic longitude creating an untenable scenario of a husband
making havdala at one side of the table and his wife lighting candles and making
kiddush at the other end.

The idea of the dateline as surrounding the land masses is probably a throwback
to Yehuda HaLevi in the Kuzari who holds that the dateline is between the the
most eastern and the most western habitation relative to Jerusalem but not
necessarily exactly 90 degrees east of Jerusalem.

As such Samoa aligning itself with countries to the west of the dateline as an
extrapolation of the Chazon Ish's decision would not appear to be catastrophic
for the Jew living in that island having to suffer a one time six day week.

Up to the introduction of the International Date Line  every place on earth had
at one time in their day exactly the same date and same day of week as everyone

Between the IDL and easterly to the halachic date line there are locations
that the civil day and halachic day are not the same. As such a visiting Jew
according to most opinions should try keeping two days Shabbat or at least the
main Lo Taaseh mizvot.

From: Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...>
Date: Fri, Jun 10,2011 at 04:01 PM
Subject: What Day Of The Week Will Shabbos Be In Samoa?

Bernard Raab <beraab@...> wrote (MJ 60#17):

> Dr. William Gewirtz <wgewirtz@...> wrote (MJ 60#16):

>> My apologies for not being clear. If you believe in following the local
>> custom of Jewish communities (something I personally favor), it does not
>> imply that the international dateline is "halacha-lema'aseh" (i.e. the
>> practical halakhic dateline).

> I am very anxious to hear how that is so, since when my son was in Australia,
> he assumed that he was not to call us in the US on Sunday morning because he
> was under the impression that we were still enjoying Shabbat. Was he wrong?

>> Again, it is also important to separate the issue of how a traveler is to
>> practice (when to daven or count the omer) from how permanent residents
>> of a particular locale are to practice.

> I look forward to Dr. Gewirtz's paper, and would ask him to elaborate on the
> last point. In particular, is he suggesting that a traveler to Australia from
> the west during the sefirah period should be observing Shavuot a day after the
> local community? Would he do so even if he intends to stay or to settle in
> Australia? If the latter, when does he transition to the local calendar?

Both of your questions relate not to the issue of what day it is in a particular
locale (the so-called dateline issue) but 

1) the more common question of how Jews in different time zones are to behave
when it is Shabbat or a Holiday in one locale when it is not in the other and

2) how a traveler is to behave when traveling between locales (the question
about Shavuot).

Previously, I was primarily addressing the day of the week in a particular
locale not the issues raised by your questions. As I have maintained continually
these questions are independent.

On your first issue, there is a considerable halakhic literature addressing not
just such date-line related queries, but the more prevalent case of US/Israel or
even east-coast / west-coast issues in the US. Sending faxes/emails, leaving
messages, working on behalf of one for whom it is still or already Shabbat, etc.
have been dealt with extensively. I do not see how the dateline would be
consequential in changing any ruling with respect to two people in different

My view on your second issue is that we would normally follow local custom once
we have arrived in a locale like Australia from the US and having missed a
sunset. There is a minority opinion (I have heard it in the name of the Rav ztl
and others) that suggests for the first week we keep 2 days of Shabbat (Saturday
and Sunday in Australia); by extension this might apply to Shavuot as well. In
both cases, after the first Shabbat or after Shavuot, you follow local custom
regardless of the length of your stay. On the other hand, I suspect even those
who would celebrate Shabbat twice (their first week) might not follow that
practice with respect to Shavuot that is perhaps only communally set. There is a
yet more isolated opinion (I believe of Lubavitch) that one stays on their
personal omer count, and not the communities', and hence celebrates Shavuot for
two days starting on the community's second day when one travels to Australia.
However, I believe the majority of decisors would suggest celebrating Shavuot
with the community particularly given that we celebrate a second day of Shavuot
in the Galut in any case. I view that sefaika deyoma covers you in any case.


End of Volume 60 Issue 18