Volume 61 Number 73 
      Produced: Thu, 28 Mar 13 17:22:51 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A grammatical query 
    [Martin Stern]
Chalav Yisrael (3)
    [Mark Steiner  Frank Silbermann  Isaac Balbin]
Is the Torah true? 
    [Ari Trachtenberg]
Matza for the Seder 
    [Steven Oppenheimer]
matza in Nissan 
    [Ari Trachtenberg]
Orthodox Jews and the aliya crisis 
    [Martin Stern]
Who Has The Obligation? 
    [Immanuel Burton]


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sat, Mar 16,2013 at 06:01 PM
Subject: A grammatical query

Can anyone explain why some parts of the pi'eil verb 'bikeish' lose the
dagesh [diacritic --mod] in the middle letter, kof, e.g. 'mevakshim',
the plural participle.

It seems that this is not true of pi'eil forms of other verbs e.g. the
parallel 'meshamrim' which does have a dagesh in the mem (Yonah 2,9).

Martin Stern


From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 04:01 AM
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

Daniel Cohn wrote (MJ 61#72):

> Isaac Balbin writes (MJ 61#70):
>> This is a canard and part of charedi indoctrination. The fact is that the
>> Chazon Ish - yes, the Chazon Ish himself, ruled permissively, as did 
>> Acharonim before them. The summersaults that they tried to perform to twist 
>> his wordslater, are just that.
> Can you provide, or better, quote the Chazon Ish heter on this? From what I
> know, the Chazon Ish even rules that powdered milk has the same (forbidden)
> status as milk itself.

Isaac is correct and Daniel is correct.  The Hazon Ish ruled that there is no
difference between powdered milk and milk, thus the heter to eat supervised
cheese which is not from chalav Yisrael (accepted by many) based on the
grounds that one cannot make cheese from the milk of nonkosher animals -- this
heter does not apply to powdered milk, since you can powder any milk.  

At the same time, the Hazon Ish goes on to say that milk with government
supervision is valid.  I wrote an analysis of this view on Mail Jewish some
years ago.

Since there are many rumors about the Hazon Ish, I'll add one:  when this
position became known, he was attacked so bitterly that he remarked, "Next
they will say I permitted an eshes ish (adultery)."  

The heter itself appears in Hazon Ish, Yoreh Deah, 41, right after the strict
view on powdered milk (this is the one quoted by those who want to make the
heter go away).

From: Frank Silbermann <frank_silbermann@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 61#71):

> Arukh Hashulchan criticizes "echad migedolei haachronim"
> for permitting chalav stam.

Rav. Moshe Feinstein relied on the U.S.D.A. regulation for his opinion.  If this
regulation did not exist when the Arukh haShulkhan was written, how can it be
viewed as dissenting from his opinion?  Clearly, he is a later sage who took the
earlier view into account.

The question is who are these "majority of (20th century American) poskim" with
reputations as halachists comparable to Rav. Moshe Feinstein who dissent from
his position on this issue?

Frank Silbermann            Memphis, Tennessee

From: Isaac Balbin <isaac@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Chalav Yisrael

Daniel Cohn replied to me.... <<see quotes in this digest's MSteiner response --
Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 41:4)

The Chazon Ish doesn't accept R' Tzvi Pesach Frank's view that the Gezera didn't
apply to Milk powder (a widely held view now, especially by the Rabanut), but I
am not sure how that is relevant.

The Chazon Ish is clear, and everyone has tried to say he didn't mean what he
wrote L'Maaseh [in practice] etc. However, R' Wosner writes in one of his
Tshuvos [responsa] that the Chazon Ish certainly held the same way as R' Moshe.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Is the Torah true?

David Tzohar wrote (MJ 61#72):

> No less an authority than HaRav Kook ZTZL thought that there ...
> is absolutely no contradiction between Torah and Science,

The fundamental difference between Torah and Science is the choice of
axioms.  Those who believe in Torah choose to accept creation and the
G-d given oral and written tradition, whereas those who believe in Science
choose to accept Occam's razor, repeatability of experiments, and our ability
to account for major variables with only an empirical sense of their
probability distributions.

The only way to force consistency between these two sets of axioms in the
face of a prima facie contradiction is to bend one (or both) sets of axioms as
needed.  Fortunately, both systems are amenable to such "massaging".


From: Steven Oppenheimer <steven.oppenheimer@...>
Date: Wed, Mar 13,2013 at 10:01 PM
Subject: Matza for the Seder

There is a difference of opinion among the poskim as to whether one
can/should use machine shemura or hand shemura matza.

(Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, z"l (Av Bet Din of the Edah HaChareidit) and
Rabbi Mordechai Gifter z"l (Telshe Rosh HaYeshiva) were of the opinion that
machine shemura matza is better lechatchila.)

But the issue of what one should use at the seder is a discussion for
another time.

The question for the present discussion is a very practical one.  Supposing
you buy hand shemura matza for the seder to be used for lechem mishne.  You
have some machine shemura matza, but because there are poskim who question
the use of machine shemura matza, you would prefer to use the hand shemura

You open the box of hand shemura matza and all of them are broken!  (Yes,
this does happen.) What do you do now?

Rabbi Yisroel Feinhandler (Responsa Avnei Yashpe, 7:66:6) advises the

Give everyone less than a kezayit of the machine shmura matza that one is
using for lechem mishneh and a full kezayit of the hand shemura matza to
fulfill the mitzvah of achilat matza.  When one makes the bracha he should
have both types of matza in mind.  Both types of matza should be present
before him when he makes the bracha.

Steven Oppenheimer, D.M.D.


From: Ari Trachtenberg <trachten@...>
Date: Fri, Mar 22,2013 at 01:01 PM
Subject: matza in Nissan

Does anyone know the halachic basis for the custom not to
eat matza from the start of the month of Nissan until the seder night?



From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Orthodox Jews and the aliya crisis

Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, writes on this topic in the
Jerusalem Post (8 March)


First he notes the low and declining aliya, especially from the West:

> According to the [Central Bureau of Statistics], in 2012, just 16,557 people
> from around the world made aliya, which is slightly more than one-tenth of one
> percent of world Jewry...

> This lack of enthusiasm hardly bodes well for our nations age old hope to be
> a free people in our own land, as the national anthem puts it.

> Consider the following: last years figure was the lowest recorded since 2009
> and the third-lowest in the past two decades...

> No less disturbing is the fact that aliya from the West, where the bulk of
> Diaspora Jewry resides, managed to contribute barely one-third of the 2012
> total.

> Out of the five to six million American Jews, a paltry 2,290 members of the
> tribe made the journey home to Zion last year according to the CBS...

> Clearly, the appeal of aliya in recent years has begun to lose steam...

He continues that, from am Israeli perspective:

> It is difficult to overstate the gravity of this situation. The steady and
> continuing decline in Jewish immigration to Israel is no less an issue of
> national security than borders, terrorism or missile defense...

and opines that this should influence Western Jews

> At a time such as this, precisely when aliya is dwindling, it is incumbent
> upon each and every Orthodox Jew in America and elsewhere to look in the
> mirror and ask himself with unadorned honesty: Where do I really belong? A
> surge of Orthodox aliya from the West could potentially light a spark, setting
> an example for other Jews to follow...

> Now that we have a sovereign Jewish state, moving to Israel is easier than
> ever before.

> So no more excuses! The call of Jewish destiny and the cry of previous
> generations must no longer be ignored. It is time for American, Canadian,
> Australian, British and other Orthodox Jews to set an example for their
> brethren, leave behind the exile and finally come home.

I think he has not taken into account what is possibly one of the major
disincentives to Orthodox Jews, that the Establishment in Israel, as
embodied in the Supreme Court and the 'left leaning' media, is largely
indifferent, if not antagonistic, to Orthodox Judaism.

This has led to a reaction in some Orthodox circles of becoming far more
insular and withdrawn from general society. Israel has become polarised,
leading one to feel forced to adopt a position with which one is not
entirely happy. 

At least in Western states the government does not interfere in the internal
workings of Jewish communities and Orthodox Jews can operate as they see
fit. The non-Orthodox are also free to form groups according to their own
principles and so do not need to agitate against Orthodox practice, as they
do on a regular basis in Israel.

So why should Orthodox Jews put themselves under the rule of those hostile
to their way of life who wish to recreate them as 'new Jews' emancipated
from the 'ghetto mentality of religious tradition' - "lihyot am chofshi -
chofshi min hamitsvot"?

Martin Stern


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Sun, Mar 10,2013 at 07:01 PM
Subject: Who Has The Obligation?

I was reading through a book called "The Complete Torah Reading 
Handbook" by Dr Ely Simon, and in a section therein about who is called 
up to the Torah it lists various people who must be called up, such as a 
bridegroom on  his wedding day, the father of a newborn child, and so 
on.  This subsection is entitled "Chiyuvim" ("those who are 
obligated").  I have seen this term used in other sources too.

My question is:  On whom does this obligation fall?  Can a person in one 
of these categories 'seize' a calling-up to the Torah if he isn't 
actually called?  Or does the obligation fall on the people organising 
the calling up?  What, if any, remedial measures are needed if the 
obligation isn't met?

Immanuel Burton.


End of Volume 61 Issue 73