Volume 60 Number 24 
      Produced: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 01:21:50 EDT

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A visit to Rome (2)
    [Martin Stern  Tony Fiorino]
Does one stand for the Kiddush or not? (2)
    [Michael Frankel  Stu Pilichowski]
Eating in Costa Rica? 
    [J Wiesen]
Facing the Temple Mount in Prayer 
    [Chaim Casper]
In vitro meat  (2)
    [Robert Israel]
Slaughter with a light saber 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 01:01 PM
Subject: A visit to Rome

Mark Steiner <marksa@...> writes (MJ 60#23):

> 1. I think that the rite is better described as the Benei Roma rite
> rather than the "Italian" rite.  There is no such thing as the Italian rite
> really, since Italy was a single country only recently.

This may well be correct but the Roman rite is the last vestige of the
original minhag prevalent throughout central Italy. It was replaced in
Tuscany by the Sephardic one after the expulsion from Spain because of the
massive influx from the Iberian peninsula. The old French rite continued
until quite recently in three communities in the Valle d'Aosta (Asti, Forli
and Moncalvo) in the extreme North West and there were many Ashkenazi, as
well as Sephardi, communities throughout Piedmont, Lombardy and Venetia in
the North. In the South, before their expulsion by the Spanish rulers of the
Kingdom of the two Sicilies, the Jews followed the Romaniot rite of the
Greek speaking Byzantine communities. Thus Italy was a mosaic of minhagim
but it is slightly pedantic of Mark to object to referring to the Roman rite
as Italian which it can be described as being par excellence.

Martin Stern

From: Tony Fiorino <tfiorino@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 26,2011 at 06:01 PM
Subject: A visit to Rome

Mark Steiner <marksa@...> wrote (MJ 60#23):

> 1. I think that the rite is better described as the Benei Roma rite rather 
> than the "Italian" rite.  There is no such thing as the Italian rite really, >
since Italy was a single country only recently.  For example, Torino has a
> siddur which is also sui generis, so does Cuneo.  (Both are in the Piedmont
> district, in the Northwest of Italy near the Alps.) Tuscany (Florence to
> Livorno) uses the Sefardic siddur.

Correct; although I do think in a broad sense it is possible to speak of an
Italian nusach in which there are a set of shared elements.  The geographic
variations in the siddur (and in liturgical tunes themselves) was at one time
much greater; the dissemination of printed siddurim beginning at the end of the
15th century did much to standardize the various geographic variants of the
Italian nusach, and the influx of Spanish exiles into many cities and the
presence of Ashkenazim in many cities also influenced the evolution of the
nusach as well, which currently carries a more pronounced Sephardic influence
than it did a few centuries ago.   At one time, in many large cities there would
be Sephardic, Ashkenazic and Italian shuls.  Before the ghetto in Rome was razed
and the Tempio Maggiore built, the synagogue (le cinque scole, "the five
synagogues") was home to congregations representing Italian (Roman and
non-Roman), Sicilian, Castilian and Catalonian  minhagim - and there were also
syngogues adhering to the Ashkenaz (German) and French minhagim as well.  As
demographics shifted, some cities lost the "multicultural" aspect and adopted a
single nusach (or, lost their Jews entirely).

> 2. The Roman rite is more or less identical to the siddur of R. Saadia Gaon.
> 3. I am surprised that Shmuel didn't notice that the Friday evening maariv has
> different berakhot from the weekday, as R. Saadia introduced special
> Sabbath content, e.g. "Blessed art thou ... who finished his work on the
> Seventh Day..." (asher kilah ma`asav bayom hashvi`i).  The Rishonim were
> well aware of this blessing and more or less forbade it, as a change in the
> formula (matbe`a shtav'u chachamim).  R. Saadia obviously believed that as
> long as the end of the blessing (hama`ariv `aravim) remains the same, it is 
> not "changed."

Saadia has other differences that were not incorporated into (or were lost from)
the Italian nusach.  Whether these elements of the nusach reflect direct
influence of Saadia or a common source in the old Eretz Yisrael nusach is
unclear - I would guess the latter is more likely.  Saadia hailed from Egypt and
spent considerable time in Eretz Yisrael before becoming Gaon of Sura and was
far more tolerant of litugical diversity than, for example, his predecessor
Natronai - who is cited by Amram as opposed to "ashe kilah maasav" as well.  The
Rishonim of course never saw Saadia's siddur; if they had, they might not have
been as opposed to "asher kilah maasav" . . . I would have to think it is likely
that the RID, Tzidkia haRofei (Shibbolei Haleket), and Natan ben Yechiel (the
Aruch) mere among the Rishonim who did say "asher kilah maasav."

As a related aside - for anyone who is ever in Rome for Shabbat, I recommend
forgoing the Tempio Maggiore (despite its magnificence) because the acoustics
are impossible - rather, just a short distance away, on the isola Tiberina, is
the Tempio dei Giovani, a delightful and small Beit Haknesset in which one can
better experience and appreciate the nusach, in particular the responsive
dynamic between the chazan and the kehilla.  And of course, in Jerusalem is the
Italian Beit Haknesset, on Rechov Hillel.


From: Michael Frankel <michaeljfrankel@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Does one stand for the Kiddush or not?

Akiva Miller <kennethgmiller@...> wrote (MJ 60#23):

> Marilyn Tomsky asked (MJ 60#22): 

>> Does one stand for the Kiddush or not? 

> According to Shulchan Aruch (Rav Yosef Karo) 271:10: "One says 'Vaychulu'
> standing, and then says 'Boray Pr'i Hagafen' and then Kiddush."

I doubt SA ever said that.  Since editions of SA we normally peruse do not
include a pointed text, the 'Boray Pr'i Hagafen' quoted above includes an
unstated reflexive modern ashkenazic presumption that R. Karo's final word
should be pointed with a qometz, instead of the common s'faradi practice (and
"authentic" ashkenazic practice for that matter), of "borei p'ri haggefen" -
pointed with segol. 

It is of some interest that R. Moshe Feinstein was asked about a related issue -
the pronunciation of morid haggoshem vs morid haggeshem (incidentally a
fascinating case study in religious sociology. When I was a child there was not
an Ashkenazi siddur in existence that had anything but "morid haggoshem" with a
qometz.  But over the course of just a few years following R. Moshe's death, we
suddenly have Artscroll and others offering up "morid haggeshem".  Such a
"radical" change in such a conservative social venue merits explanation.  But I
digress).  R. Moshe responded that of course the correct thing to do was say
morid haggoshem (with qometz), calling upon sanctified Ashkenazi mesorah
which had always done so, and pointing as well to its position at the end of a
phrase which justified use of the biblical pausal form. But this was incorrect.
In fact, Ashkenazim had always said morid haggeshem with a segol just as
s'faradim do to this day.  (Very easy to verify for anyone interested -
just go to the digitized rare books collection at the Jewish National and
University library (JNUL) site and look at any ashkenazic siddur prior to 1750
or so). 

What happened was a coup by some 18th century proto-maskilim who pronounced all
versions of Hebrew not conforming to biblical grammar to be in error, and
changed the nusochos of Ashkenazi davening wholesale.  Why and how this actually
succeeded is yet another story, but it is bemusing to contemplate the irony that
such a paragon of old world halochic learning as R. Moshe, would, in effect and
doubtless unwittingly, be cast in the role of a defender of haskolish
innovations.  While R. Moshe doesn't mention "haggefen" vs "hagoffen",
the reasons he adduces apply even more clearly to that case (haggefen is
unambiguously the end of a sentence, while morid haggeshem is not) and he would
undoubtedly have dismissed the appropriation of current s'faradic practice for
ashkenazim  while, perhaps, not realizing it was also the pre-maskilic
ashkenazic practice.  

A few years ago, that fellow - I forget his name just at the moment [Rabbi
Binyamin Hamburger - MOD]  - who heads the Ashkenazi minhog revival efforts gave
a talk at the local yeshiva here in Silver Spring, and afterwards I remember
asking him just what minhog he was trying to revive, or at least what year he
was aiming at, as Ashkenazi minhog had changed radically over time.  As I recall
he didn't bother to answer the question, perhaps because I didn't express myself
clearly enough, or perhaps he simply didn't take me seriously.   But I felt
then, and still do, that the whole enterprise was, and is, dubious at best.

Mechy Frankel


From: Stu Pilichowski <cshmuel@...>
Date: Tue, Jul 26,2011 at 02:01 AM
Subject: Does one stand for the Kiddush or not?

Haim Snyder <haimsny@...> wrote (MJ 60#23):

> In MJ 60#22, Marilyn Tomsky asked:
>> Does one stand for the Kiddush or not?
> The question is somewhat ambiguous as there are 4 different Kiddushim:
> Shabbat evening, Shabbat morning, Hag evening and Hag morning. 
> There is almost universal agreement that whether one sits or stands while
> reciting the Kiddush, one must sit while drinking.
> Shabbat morning and Hag morning are considered the same way by almost every
> one. He maintains that one must sit for these Kiddushim, even if your father
> stood.

IIRC the story is of R' JB Soloveitchik giving a shiur / lecture on a practical
halachik topic. 
Afterwards the participants in the shiur / lecture see the Rav acting contrary
to what he summarised as the preferred practice. When they challenged him he
meekly replied (and I paraphrase, of course), "What can I do? This is how my
father practiced." or "This is my family custom and I cannnot deviate therefrom."  

Stuart Pilichowski 
Mevaseret Zion, Israel 


From: J Wiesen <wiesen@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Eating in Costa Rica?

Seeking information on buying food in Costa Rica (e.g. milk, bread).

We will be out in the sticks where there are no restaurants, so we  
will be cooking our own food.  What are we likely to find?

Are there kashrut agencies in Costa Rica?  Do they have a hechsher  

Is the milk generally accepted as kosher?

Are cheeses available?

We are vegetarian, so meat is not an issue.




From: Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 24,2011 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Facing the Temple Mount in Prayer

Richard Fiedler (MJ 60#22) and Akiva Miller (MJ 60#21) discuss whether
one must turn towards the kodesh k'doshim (45 degrees to the left when facing
the kotel).  

I will have to admit that I see people doing both: davening straight
ahead and slightly turned to the left when standing at the kotel.   But I
draw your attention to the guides who take you underground for the walk
along the lower kotel.  They point out the place at the underground wall
where you are standing the closest to the kodesh k'doshim.  They mention
there is a yeshiva just above there.   And they discuss why in 1967 did
the (non-dati) Israeli troopers go to what we call the kotel (it made for
a great drasha on Tisha B'Av a couple of years ago).   The result of
their action is that now one must turn towards the left when standing at
the kotel if we want to "aim" our prayers to the kodesh k'doshim unless,
of course, one wanted to daven at that underground spot or at that
unnamed yeshiva.

As to Bernard Raab's question, "Is the proper direction east/southeast or
northeast?":  Back in 1973-4, David Hartman asked his (male) philosophy
students to stay after class for minhah as it was his father's yarhzeit. 
We were on the Mount Scopus campus which is to the north of the temple
mount.   So we turned southwards in order to fulfill the mandate of
Haza"l to daven towards the kodesh k'doshim.   Even a liberal directs his
tefilot to har habayit and the kodesh k'doshim

Finally, Bernie makes the point that the shortest distance to Europe from
Boston and New York is to go up and over the globe, not necessarily go
straight east to Europe.   But even Euclid would agree that the geometry
that bears his name would not claim that the shortest route is
necessarily the most direct route.  On the other hand, when I have flown
from Miami to Rome or Tel Aviv on El Al or Alitalia, we always go
straight northeast over the ocean as that is the most direct and the
shortest route.   Thus, when I daven in shul, I always turn to the
northeast in order to direct my tefilot to Israel, Yerushalayim, Har
Habayit and the kodesh k'doshim.

B'virkat Torah,
Chaim Casper
North Miami Beach, FL


From: Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat

Chaim Casper wrote (MJ 60#23):

> I went looking in Yad Moshe, Daniel Eidensohn's index of Rav Moshe
> Feinstein's, zt"l, rulings and I did not find where Rav Moshe ruled that
> a non-kosher food item that has gone through hozer v'nei'ar would be
> returned to the traife status.   For example: non-kosher beef bones are
> dried out completely (or soaked in poisonous acid).   Then they are
> ground into a powder.   Then water is added to the powder to make an
> edible paste.   Hozer v'nei'ar would say that that a "new" substance
> regains its original traife status.   But did R' Moshe say that?
> Indeed, R' Chaim Ozer Grodinski, zt"l, the major posek of Europe prior to
> WWII would say no, and in fact he permits pepsin(!) made from the
> stomachs of pigs.   And, of course, this overlooks the Rama's p'sakim of
> yavesh k'etz and davar hadash being mutar.


Do we follow the NODA B'YEHUDA  (Yoreh Deah Siman 26) who reads the
Rambam (Maachalot Assurot 14:10) as following  Rabbi Meir in the
gemara in Avoda Zara 67b [re: the stomach lining of a nevela] and
thus, only what's derived from a kosher animal is permitted for
making rennet]? Or do we follow the Rema YD 87:10; Pri Chadash
103:2; Pitchei Tshuva 87:21 who follows the Shach YD 114:21 and the
ROSH on Avoda Zara 2:34, who say that even from a nevela [a kosher
animal that was not slaughtered, or a non-kosher animal] there is no
Toraitic prohibition if the stomach lining was completely dried out
like dust? Since the Mechaber follows the Ri MiGash that davar ha'maamid
is mi'derabban, we can be lenient. Even though there is a rabbinic 
prohibition of eating food that is unfit for human consumption (see: Minchat
Cohen Hilchot Taarovot Chelek Aleph 9; Pri Toar 103; Shaagat Aryeh 75; Pri
Megadim Shaar Ha'taarovot 5:6) this is not the case if the material was in a
mixture (YD 103) [zeh v'zeh gorem muttar] especially as in this case it's 
batul b'shishim rather than batul in a ratio of 1:1000.

> But the argument above is only al pi din.   The fact is that the American
> Orthodox community of 2011 is so far to the right of the American
> Orthodox community of the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.  Kojel (made from
> non-kosher slaughtered cows in Belgium) and Kraft and Borden's Cheeses
> (using rennet made from the lining of cows stomachs) were considered
> kosher back then.   But as the community moved to the right, we have
> rejected the permissible rulings that made these products acceptably
> kosher.   In other words, the reality did not change, only our
> relationship to reality changed.

In the immortal words of a sociologist friend of mine: it's due to the
Magyarization (Ingarishization [tm]) of American Orthodoxy since the mid-1960's.

> As to Josh Backon's point that there is a prohibition on eating
> disgusting things, I can only say he would be surprised at some of the
> ingredients that go into the food we eat.  Years ago I pointed out at
> Camp Yavneh where I was working at the time that the glaze on M&Ms can be
> made from insect shells.   What kind of meat goes into hot dogs, balogne
> and salami--Prime cuts?  Josh himself provides a recipe for p'tcha which
> my father LOVES but turns my stomach to no end.  

Josh Backon
[who hangs the recipe for PITCHA on the refrigerator door so the whole
family can go on a diet :-) ]

From: Robert Israel <israel@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 04:01 PM
Subject: In vitro meat 

Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...> wrote (MJ 60#23):

> And finally, look at a
> list of questionable ingredients in any kosher discussion: Sodium
> Citrate, Tri-Calcium Citrate, Residual Fuse Oil, Iso-Amyl Alcohol, Acetic
> Acid, Ethyl Acetate, Iso-Amyl Acetate and Ethyl Alcohol.  

The mention of "Residual Fuse Oil" caught my eye. As far as I can tell, 
there is no such thing. A quick check of Google found only 
<http://www.ok.org/Content.asp?ID=214>, which contains Chaim's list, and 
two other pages that quote it. I suspect this is a typo for "Residual Fusel 
Oil". Fusel oil, or fusel alcohol, is produced naturally during 
fermentation, and is found in many alcoholic beverages: see 

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


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 25,2011 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Slaughter with a light saber

Chaim Casper <surfflorist@...> wrote (MJ 60#23):

> Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz asked a ridiculous Daf Yomi question:
> http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/07/ridiculous-daf-yomi-question.htm
> l  If you shecht [slaughter] an animal with a light saber, is the animal
> kosher?
> A serious answer would be no. While on one hand the light saber would
> have no p'gamim (nicks), on the other hand how would you check the knife?
> B'dikah of the knife by running your hand down the blade is an integral
> part of the process.
> Secondly, does the light saber burn/heat (i.e. cook) the flesh as it cuts
> through the simanim (the majority of the esophogus and the trachea)?  If
> it does, the meat would be traife as it is being cooked before it is
> slaughtered.

The main point is that the "blade" has no "mamashus" [physical existence]. In
"real" terms, it would be like using a laser beam, rather than a blade, to
create the slice. The original question in the daf yomi of Fourth of July -
Chulin 8a (appropriate isn't it) was that if someone heats a blade to a white
heat and uses it, is it valid? The question is whether the blade cuts the flesh
before or after the heat causes the flesh to separate in front of it. Since Rav
Zeira rules that the blade is what starts the cut and the incision spreads as it
is cut, the burn of the the heat is not considered as if it was burning the
trachea and esophagus before the slaughter.

In the case of a laser (or light saber) the flesh is vaporized rather
than cut. Thus, it would be treated as if it was "burned" rather than
slaughtered, which would make it a neveilah.

Another point is that the wound is cauterized as it is made. For
example, when Luke Skywalker lost his hand to the strike of Darth
Vader's light saber, the wound was cauterized as it was made and did
not bleed. In the dapim for the beginning of Chapter two of Chullin
(27 - 29), we see that the blood must flow freely. In fact, Rebbi
Yehuda says in the mishna that even if he slaughters a bird correctly,
it is not kosher until he cuts the major blood vessels. We also see a
similar law involving chaya [non-domesticated animals] or kodshei
beheima [domesticated animals brought on the altar] in the discussion
in the gemoro.

This means that if the cut was cauterized as it was made so that the
blood could not flow, it would not be a valid shechita [slaughter] (IMHO YMMV).

The halacha of the flesh immediately at the place of the cut is
different. However, that would be a subject for a different post.
I would continue the logic of the heated blade from 8A as well. Since
the gemora does not mention the idea of "cooked before being
kashered", it seems that it does not consider that a problem.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz 


End of Volume 60 Issue 24