Volume 64 Number 77 
      Produced: Wed, 29 Jul 20 05:38:15 -0400

Subjects Discussed In This Issue:

A matter of names (3)
    [Perets Mett  Stuart Pilichowski  Martin Stern]
Age of the universe 
    [Immanuel Burton]
G-D's existence 
    [David Tzohar]
Induction stoves and bishul akkum (3)
    [Michael Mirsky  Martin Stern]
Kosher as a 'trademark' 
    [Michael Rogovin]
Public Forums 
    [Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett00@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 23,2020 at 07:01 AM
Subject: A matter of names

Martin Stern (MJ 64#76) wrote:

> An interesting problem occurred on Rosh Chodesh. The gentleman who sits next 
> to me in shul (actually one of our Mail Jewish members) has the name David ben
> Avraham but he is at present in hospital (if anyone wants to say tehillim for
> his speedy recovery, his mother's name is Gittel). The gabbai wanted to call 
> me for shelishi but got us confused and called 'me' up by his name in error.
> As it happens, there was another David ben Avraham in the shul. Actually the
> latter's father had been given the Chaver title so he should, strictly speaking,
> have been called up as David ben Hechaver Avraham but that 'slip' should not
> have been significant, at least bedi'eved.
> Had he not been there then the usual procedure when someone not present is given
> an aliyah should have been followed and an alternative would have gone up
> without a formal call by name.

I do not agree. Yes, when a Cohen or Levi is called up in error, his replacement
is oleh without being called formally; to avoid any suggestion that the original
Cohen was not really a Cohen. But, when a Yisroel is called up in error, the
replacement Yisroel can be called by name

Perets Mett

From: Stuart Pilichowski <stupillow@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 24,2020 at 02:01 AM
Subject: A matter of names

In response to Martin Stern (MJ 64#76):

While halacha is built upon the details therein, there are some aspects of
Jewish life where the details are less critical and common sense and
menschlichkeit should prevail.

Stuart Pilichowski

Mevaseret Zion

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Mon, Jul 27,2020 at 05:01 AM
Subject: A matter of names

Further to what I wrote (MJ 64#76):

When I told the hospitalised David ben Avraham about the mix up, he remarked
that it must have been  a gezerah min hashamayim because a few months ago, the
gabbai had called up the other David ben Hechaver Avraham but he had not heard him
say 'Hechaver' so he had gone up in error and got to the bima first. Obviously,
he said, this was the latter's recompense for the 'snatched' aliyah!

Martin Stern


From: Immanuel Burton <iburton@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 23,2020 at 02:01 PM
Subject: Age of the universe

Martin Stern wrote (MJ 64#76):

> I think that the problem could be resolved if one rephrased the problem as "If
> what we think are the laws of nature, as derived from our current observations 
> of the universe, are correct and (crucially) they have applied in the far 
> distant past with no alteration, then it would appear that the world is several 
> billion years old".
> IMHO, most apparent conflicts between science and religion are a result of a
> failure to recognise these differing (usually unstated) assumptions.

There are a couple of problems with this approach:

(1)  How can one test whether or not the laws of nature have changed in the far
distant past?  And what counts as the far distant past if one only has 5780
years of history to play with?  And the problem with a young-old universe is
that for all we know it could all have been created five minutes ago and we all
have false memories.

(2)  If Hashem's seal is that of truth, why would He create a universe that
looks older than it really is, thereby creating a false reality and deceiving us?

Maybe Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks expressed it very well in his book The Great
Partnership:  Religion and science are two quite different things and we need
them both. Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things
together to see what they mean.

Immanuel Burton.


From: David Tzohar <davidtzohar@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 26,2020 at 11:01 AM
Subject: G-D's existence

Joel Rich wrote (MJ 64#76):

> I just wanted to bounce an idea off of you all. I'm doing an ongoing class in
> Rambam's Hilchot Yesodei Hatorah. We compared the Rambam's concept of 
> "knowing" (cognitively) of God's existence with Rav Lichtenstein's Source of 
> Faith piece which focuses on "knowing" as experience.
> It seems to me that there was a fundamental paradigm shift (as defined by 
> Thomas Kuhn), probably as a result of the enlightenment and scientific  
> revolution et al.
> In thinking about it, I would say that, in general, the traditional yeshiva 
> beit medrash approach (as articulated by the Rav) does not look at paradigm 
> shift but, rather, at the independent continuity of a unique discipline of 
> halachic man - yet here it seems to have taken place.
> I'm not sure that my ideas have come out as clearly as I might have liked but
> I hope you will get the general idea. Thoughts?

I'm not sure I fully understand Joel's point concerning a"paradigm shift"
between the cognitive knowledge of the RaMBaM and the experiential knowledge of
Rav Lichtenstein ZTZ'L. Perhaps he could expand on that.

Rav Kook ZTZ'L said in Orot Hateshuva that the cognitive knowledge of Hahem is
built on the intuitive knowledge of the NeSHaMaH which is part of TZeLeM ELoKiM.
If I am not much mistaken, both R'Chaim MeVolozhin (Nefesh Hachayim) and the
Alter Rebbe (Ba'al HaTanya) have a similar view.

David Tzohar


From: Michael Mirsky <mirskym@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 23,2020 at 07:01 AM
Subject: Induction stoves and bishul akkum

R' David Tzohar wrote (MJ 64#76):

> IMHO the question of how induction stoves work is totally irrelevant. In the
> same way as pickling herring or cooking in a microwave oven is considered,
> lekulei alma [according to almost all Orthodox poskim] cooking, an induction
> oven's mode of action is also bishul and is, therefore, forbidden when done by
> a non-Jew without any Jewish contribution (definitely for all Ashkenazim and 
> some Sefardim) and is, of course, forbidden d'oreita on Shabbat. If there are 
> any meikel [less stringent] poskim, I am not aware of them.

The key phrase that he said is "without any Jewish contribution". How the stove
works is therefore very relevant. In a gas or electric stove a Jew turns on the
gas or switches on electricity to the element, and the non-Jew can cook all day,
as long as he doesn't turn the stove completely off at any stage.

But for an induction stove, each time the pot is removed, the power shuts itself
off. So the question is if a Jew puts the pot on the induction stove (starts the
heating process - equivalent to lighting the fire I assume), and afterwards the
non-Jew removes the pot, doesn't the Jew have to replace the pot on the stove
again (ie relight the fire) in order for the non-Jew to start cooking another
batch of food?

Michael Mirsky

From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 24,2020 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Induction stoves and bishul akkum  

In response to David Tzohar (MJ 64#76):

Respectfully, if one does a Google search for Induction and Star K, you will
find that the Star-K (which is pretty machmir on many issues of kashrut) does
not hold this way. While they would presumably not allow one to use an induction
stove or microwave on Shabbat, they do not consider them to be normal cooking and
that bishul akum does not apply. Other hechshers disagree, but there is room to
rely on the Star-K's position.

Michael Rogovin

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 26,2020 at 03:01 PM
Subject: Induction stoves and bishul akkum

In response to David Tzohar (MJ 64#76):

There is a definite halachic distinction between various methods of 'cooking' as
regards bishul akum. For example smoking (as in the preparation of smoked
salmon) is not considered as cooking in this regard though it would be with
respect to Shabbat. The same is true of steaming which is one reason why canned
vegetables, for example, may not raise a problem of bishul akum.

Whether induction stoves can be compared to these is, however, IMHO very
doubtful since the cooking process with them is much more similar to ordinary
cooking where heat is transferred from the 'fire' directly to the food through
heating the pot in which it is contained, and not indirectly through smoke or
steam. On the other hand there is, I suppose, room for an expert rav to hold

Martin Stern


From: Michael Rogovin <michael@...>
Date: Fri, Jul 24,2020 at 10:01 AM
Subject: Kosher as a 'trademark'

Yisrael Medad (MJ 64#75) wrote:

> I presume that Michael Rogovin meant Orthodox Rabbis when he wrote (MJ 64#74):
>> The word kosher should not be the property of one set of rabbis.
> I point this out not because I doubt he intended any other 'stream' of Judaism
> but because in Israel, with the makeup of its High Court for Justice and 
> Justice Ministry, altering the system as he suggests would most probably have to
> include all kashrut 'standards' of all 'streams' of Judaism.

I was not really thinking about the distinction in Israel, but giving it some
thought, I am not so sure. Mostly because I do not know where to draw the line
between denominations. Who decides whether someone (or their affiliation) is
Orthodox enough? There are some Conservative rabbis who are stricter about
kashrut than some Orthodox rabbis. There are Orthodox seminaries on the left
that are rejected by the RCA. There are Orthodox certification agencies on the
right that ought to be rejected but are not.

Perhaps before someone can sign a teudah or provide supervision, they ought to
pass an objective test, and they should have in a public record some indication
of where they learned and obtained smicha. Organizations can be required to
publish their standards and provide information about their staff/members.
Public disclosure may be a better system than empowering a self-selected group,
especially when the current system is known to be less than reliable.


From: Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz <sabbahillel@...>
Date: Thu, Jul 23,2020 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Public Forums

Carl Singer wrote (MJ 64#76):

> I find that there are several public JEWISH forums online. These range from
> benign Kosher Costco  (How are the lines at the Brooklyn store?  Do they have
> ___ today?) to political sites.
> It seems that many folks treat these as private -- as if everyone in this group
> is their best friends, etc. I see derogatory comments and names (one individual
> uses "GOY" repeatedly, etc.)
> Comments, please.

I would say that such people should study the Chofetz Chaim on Shmiras halashon.
Even if they were indeed "private", derogatory comments or names would still not
be allowed. As far as realizing that this is indeed public, perhaps one could
bring up the fact that the internet is not only public, but permanent. Consider
the fact that people are castigated for having said something improper decades
ago, even when it would not have been improper at that time.

Hillel (Sabba) Markowitz


End of Volume 64 Issue 77