Volume 62 Number 12 
      Produced: Mon, 05 May 14 11:07:27 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

Carbon Dioxide (was: Kosher Without a Hechsher) 
    [Perry Zamek]
Kosher without a hechsher (2)
    [Sammy Finkelman  Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]
Matza baking during the Holiday 
    [Sammy Finkelman]
Men and Women: Equal Kedusha? (4)
    [Dr. Josh Backon  Martin Stern  Leah S. R. Gordon  Katz, Ben M.D.]
Plagiarism in Jewish law 
    [Yaacov Fenster]
Sfeika d'yoma of Yom Ha'atzmaut in Chutz La'aretz 
    [Sammy Finkelman]


From: Perry Zamek <perryza@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 06:01 AM
Subject: Carbon Dioxide (was: Kosher Without a Hechsher)

Orrin Tilevitz (MJ 62#11) wrote:
> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 62#10):
>> Soda is an unfortunate choice as an example, since there is a well-founded
>> problem at Pesach that the carbonation may be derived as a by-product of
>> beer production.
> Could someone with food industry expertise please weigh in as to whether 
> modern soda-production would ever rely on carbon dioxide (the source of the
> carbonation) from beer fermentation? It is almost inconceivable to me that
> they'd even be made in the same factories, or on the same lines, and it is not
> that carbon dioxide is rare or expensive to obtain. If nothing else, exhaling
> will do.

This was posted by the Kashrut Authority in NSW (Australia) prior to Pesach:
    "Everyone is aware of the increase in ethanol production for the
    purposes of using it in petrol. As the industry has grown so to has
    the various offshoots of the industry to make it even more
    economical. This has led to the following. The largest ethanol
    producing facility in Australia, that produces its ethanol from
    wheat, recovers carbon dioxide from the fermentation process and
    this CO2 has found its way into the soft drink industry. While there
    are authorities that consider this CO2 as not a Pesach problem, the
    majority forbid its use in soft drinks for Pesach. As such the KA
    must withdraw its blanket approval for Pesach of Soda Water and
    Sparkling mineral water. We are investigating further options but
    for the moment we recommend Beloka Sparkling Mineral Water with whom
    we have organized that they use only KLP CO2. It is freely available
    in supermarkets and stores. We will keep you posted on further
Later notifications expanded the range of carbonated drinks acceptable for
Pesach. But it is clear that this is a problem that is going to expand.
Perry Zamek


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Kosher without a hechsher

Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi holds that people can rely on, or judge, food as kosher
just based on the ingredients and has issued guidelines to follow, although I
don't know where such guidelines are to be found.

I think they may rely somewhat on what the practice in a country, such as that,
now, for instance, all ice cream sold in the USA is kosher, since all the
remaining emulsifying plants in the USA are certified kosher and emulsifiers are
the only questionable ingredient.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein also said this in Igros Moshe YD 1:55 in connection with
vegetable shortening. In Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:41 he writes that it is a 'davar
m'chuar' (an ugly thing) for a kashrush agency to give a hechser to a product
made on equipment that had been used for non-kosher.

Over here: 


someone notes that one time it happened that Rabbi Harvey Senter (the head of
the Kof-K) went to a company that said it had 100% vegetable shortening on its
label, but there was only lard in the plant.

It turned out the government had them use up their old labels because it was not
an allergen concern, so a person might always have to be worried about old labels.

From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Sun, May 4,2014 at 08:01 PM
Subject: Kosher without a hechsher

Orrin Tilevitz wrote (MJ 62#11):

> Martin Stern wrote (MJ 62#10):
>> Soda is an unfortunate choice as an example, since there is a well-founded
>> problem at Pesach that the carbonation may be derived as a by-product of
>> beer production.
> Could someone with food industry expertise please weigh in as to whether 
> modern soda-production would ever rely on carbon dioxide (the source of the
> carbonation) from beer fermentation? It is almost inconceivable to me that
> they'd even be made in the same factories, or on the same lines, and it is not
> that carbon dioxide is rare or expensive to obtain. If nothing else, exhaling
> will do.

See http://www.crcweb.org/kosher_articles/carbon_dioxide_for_pesach.php 
Carbon Dioxide for Pesach

This goes into detail as to how this is done and the difference between the 
original methods of generating carbon dioxide and the current methods. It also
goes into detail as to where the current carbonation is generated from.

With this understanding, we can now address the question of whether carbon
dioxide recovered from a chametz fermentation should be forbidden on Pesach. It
turns out that the technology of recovering carbon dioxide has steadily
progressed over the past 100 years.  At first scientists figured out how to
liquefy the carbon dioxide escaping from these reactions but had no effective
method of purifying these vapors. As such, in those days, the liquid carbon
dioxide likely did have a carryover of taste from the beer or whisky it was made
from, and for that reason, the Poskim of that era concluded that the carbon
dioxide was forbidden on Pesach.

However, in the past 50 years, the industry has developed 5 different 
methods of purifying the carbon dioxide:

-- four while it is in the gaseous state, and a fifth after it is liquefied --
to the point that nowadays carbon dioxide recovered from beer or whisky bears
absolutely no taste of the original liquid it was created from. We can surmise
that that this change of facts is why when the question was presented to Rav
Auerbach, he ruled that it is surely permitted!  Rav Auerbach appears to have
held that a vapor / condensate only retains the status of the original liquid if
it also retains the taste of that liquid, and since nowadays the carbon dioxide
has absolutely no taste of the original beverage, it is not forbidden 
as chametz. [See the footnote for an alternate explanation of these 

Of the/kashrus / agencies we conferred with, we found that many chose to take a
strict approach and not allow carbon dioxide from chametz or even kitnios (but
they took varying approaches to verifying the source of the carbon dioxide)

but others came to the conclusion outlined above that one may be lenient nowadays.

Due to the (commendable) strictness with which people traditionally treat
questions of chametz, the cRc only certifies seltzer or soda after verifying
that the carbon dioxide is not recovered from chametz (but does accept it from
kitnios sources).  While this may not be required on strict halachic grounds, it
is within the spirit of halachah to be machmir on this matter.


The following are some relevant facts about the current carbon dioxide 

  * Nowadays, beer companies typically do collect the carbon dioxide
    vapors escaping from their fermenters for reuse in their products,
    and it is very rare for them to sell the carbon dioxide to others.
  * Most whisky and ethanol produced in the United States is kitnios,
    not chametz.
  * Due to an overabundance of carbon dioxide byproduct, it is uncommon
    for a producer (e.g. a whisky or ethanol plant) to recover the
    carbon dioxide unless they have a specific buyer in mind.  In fact,
    typically the carbon dioxide resellers are the ones who install the
    collection equipment in the producer of their choice, and then
    remain with that producer for many years.  As such, although many
    new ethanol plants have opened up in the USA in recent years, it may
    take many years before the carbon dioxide produced in those plants
    is ever used in seltzer.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Matza baking during the Holiday

Yisrael Medad  wrote (MJ 62#10):

> Does any know of a source that discusses matza baking during the Holiday?
> Possible? Problems? Permitted? Prohibited (and why)?

I have read that the Sephardim hold that minor bits of chametz contained in
matzoh may be batul, (See link below) and so bake thick matzos, like it was
originally, before approximately 1650 among Askenazim when they switched to
baking thin matzohs well in advance of Pesach. (square machine matzohs
originated around 1850)

It would be a problem to bake such matzos in Pesach because on Pesach you cannot
be mevatel chametz. I think in general you cannot be mevatel anything you are
not allowed to possess, but this needs more clarity.

See http://www.kashrut.org/halacha/?law=pesach

"Chametz is Batel (considered irrelevant) when it is 1/60th or less of a food
item, only when mixed before Pesach."

This site is run by the children of Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi, and, it says, with his
direct supervision. The name sounds Sephardi, and the Wikipedia page for him
says he was born in Venezuela, although he studied under the Chazon Ish and
later Rabbi Aaron Kotler, and became the leading posek for the entire Lakewood
community. (He separated from the Lakewood yeshiva in 1980, and moved to Har
Nof, Israel in 1993, but back to Lakewood in 2009.)


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Men and Women: Equal Kedusha?

Josh Berman asked (MJ 62#11) if there is a hierarchy in Judaism (e.g. Men vs women).

This is discussed in the Mishna Horayot 3:7: a man takes precedence over a
woman in life and death, rape and returning lost items whereas a woman takes
precedence over a man when it comes to be redeemed from captivity, tzedaka (Rambam
Matanot Aniyim 8:15, Yoreh Deah 251:8). See also: Shulchan Aruch OC 167:14, and
YD 251:9).

Josh Backon


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 05:01 AM
Subject: Men and Women: Equal Kedusha?

Josh Berman wrote (MJ 62#11):

> I know that there is a totem poll in Judaism. A mamzer is very low on the
> totem poll while a kohen gadol and a king are very high. We all know, for
> instance, that a Kohen is higher than a Levi because a Kohen is more holy. I
> was wondering if similarly a man is holier than a woman or visa versa. Just
> like we give a kohen more respect than everyone else because he is more holy,
> should men get more respect because they are more holy than women? Or perhaps
> women should get more respect than men? Does anyone know of any sources for
> this? It is an interesting topic.

I think Josh may well be under a misapprehension regarding status. Though
there is a mitzvah to honour a cohen (Vay. 21,8), it may be overridden by
other circumstances. For example, the Mishnah rules after listing the
various rules of precedence (Hor. 3,8) that a mamzer talmid chacham [learned
offspring of a forbidden relationship] takes precedence even over a cohen
gadol am ha'aretz [ignorant high priest].

As regards the relative precedence of males and females, it also depends on
the matter in question (Hor. 3,7) so it is impossible to make any
generalisation regarding levels of kedushah.

In fact the Midrash (Seder Eliyahu Rabba 9,1) states explicitly "I call
heaven and earth to bear witness that anyone - Jew or non-Jew, man or woman,
slave whether male or female - if his deeds are worthy the Divine spirit
will rest on him".

Martin Stern

From: Leah S. R. Gordon <leah@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Men and Women: Equal Kedusha?

In reply to Josh Berman (MJ 62#11):

Leaving aside 

(1) the cultural misappropriation of "totem pole" and 

(2) the perhaps faulty assumption that Judaism has a one-dimensional holiness

I am left wondering why anyone thinks that it would be a good idea to
discuss who is holier, women or men, from a Jewish perspective.  Hurtful,
inaccurate, offensive, problematic, immaterial, impossible - yes.  But

--Leah S. R. Gordon

From: Katz, Ben M.D. <BKatz@...>
Date: Wed, Apr 30,2014 at 09:01 PM
Subject: Men and Women: Equal Kedusha?

In reply to Josh Berman (MJ 62#11):

The Mishnah on Horayot 13 a states that if you can only save 1 individual, a man
takes precedence over a woman.  Some explain this because a man has more mitzvot
to fulfill.  However, this statement is not brought down in many codes and many
acharonim seem to ignore it.  

See the interesting article,A man takes precedence over A woman when it comes
to saving A life, in the current issue (Spring 2014 Issue 47.1) of Tradition.


From: Yaacov Fenster <yaacov@...>
Date: Fri, Apr 25,2014 at 09:01 AM
Subject: Plagiarism in Jewish law

> In MJ 62#09, Ephraim Tabory noted "a psak reported by Ha'aretz newspaper
> today (March 31, 2014)".  If a rejoinder posted at URL
> http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol32/v32n057.shtml#12
> is to be believed, the newspapers (apparently, as per that Avodah V32#57 digest,
> JPost also reported the matter) did not accurately explain the issue -- see
> there for details.

The original question and responsa was at:


There is a very long stream of comments (And responses by Rav Yosef) in which it
would seem that he misunderstood the question and that he is staunchly against
plagiarism. Rav Yosef is not one to back away from defending his opinions so I
doubt that allowing plagiarism was the message that he intended to convey.

However having read the original question I find it very hard to understand how
he could misunderstand the situation. I tend to believe that in reality he did
not take the time to actually read it through and understand it properly. I
believe that this illustrates an important point - relying on the Internet for a
Halachic ruling can be very problematic.


From: Sammy Finkelman <sammy.finkelman@...>
Date: Thu, May 1,2014 at 06:01 PM
Subject: Sfeika d'yoma of Yom Ha'atzmaut in Chutz La'aretz

Not too many years ago in Israel they realized that, this not being an actual
Rabbinical holiday or day of mourning decreed by Chazal, like Lag B'Omer, they
could move some days around as much as they wanted to, and this has happened
with Yom Hashoa and Yom Ha-Atzmaut. Yom Ha-Atmaut now very rarely comes out on
the 5th of Iyar.

The 5th of Iyar can come out on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and, rarely, on
Shabbos. Not only is it pushed back if it comes out on Shabbos,  but now if it
comes out on Friday it is pushed back to Thursday, and if it comes out on Monday
it is moved ahead to Tuesday.

This is because the day before Yom Ha'atzmaut in Israel is Yom Hazikoron, to
commemorate the Israeli war dead. This happened because nobody ever selected a
different day (in the USA there are 2 days for such purposes, Memorial Day and
Veterans Day)

And if Yom HaZikoron was on Sunday, events would be scheduled for Saturday
night, and people would violate Shabbos to do so.

So the only time that Yom Ha'Atzmaut can now come out on the 5th of Iyar is if
that year it comes out on a Wednesday (and the first day of Pesach was a Thursday)

This year it was be observed on the 6th of Iyar, a Tuesday.

I don't know what people who say Hallel (or omit Tachanun) in Chutz L'Aretz
should do. The 5th of Iyar, the 6th of Iyar, or both?

The Anshei Agudath Mamod calendar - and maybe a calendar you may have on your
wall - still says Monday the 5th of Iyar, the 20th day of the Omer, and also
notes it is Taanis Sheni Kamah.

Rabbi Harry Maryles wrote on his blog in 2012 that the Psak of Rav Ahron
Soloveichik was that whatever you do, it should go by the actual date, and not
the date observed in Israel.


All this moving around of the dates really got going in the last 15 years. There
is a Hebrew Wikipedia page that gives the history of all these dechiyot, and
when they started, which I think maybe was once linked to by Gil Student in his
Hirhurim (Torah Musings)  blog, but I don't know where to find it. Maybe
somebody can find it.


End of Volume 62 Issue 12