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The Paschal Rabbi Lamm
Rabbi asks Arabs not to sell chametz
Sharp drop seen in matzah exports
Passover & the Repudiation of Idolatry
300 Goats and Sheep, 20 Slaughterers, One Willful Rabbi
SALT Friday
The Minhag Of No Matzah On Pesach
What is Beneath the Temple Mount?
Former Shas MK Chaim Amsellem Starts New Party
Learning Arabic at a Jewish school
Before School Ends, Time to Make the Matzo
Monsey, NY – Kiruv Apps Profiled on WSJ “Devoted and Digital” Showcase
A Night Of Watching For Shalit
Lessons From The Rav
In Defense Of Traditional Matrimony
How Women’s Talmud Study Is Unique
SALT Thursday
R. Metzger: Stop rabbi letters ‘trend’
Religious school expels beauty queen
Sa’ar: Part-time yeshiva students to also receive stipends
Bar Ilan University unveils four rare Haggadot
Foreign workers won’t be deported after giving birth
Freedom Tales
Diplomacy Breaks Down Amid Bieber Fever in Israel
HASC Staff Fighting Return Of Disgraced Exec
SALT Wednesday
With a Name Like Heshy
YU Pesach-to-Go 5771
Some Observations Regarding the Mah Nishtannah
A Conversation With Rabbi Yosef Tendlere
In Orthodox Jewish Enclaves, an Alarm Sounds Over Eating Disorders
Conservatives taking kashrut challenge up a notch
Rebranding Conservative Judaism
A Chosen People?
What Is the Jewish Agency That We Need?
National religious rabbis have annulled conversions
SALT Tuesday
Israelis to send chametz to Japan
Telling Jewish Time
Steve Jobs wants your chametz gone
The Real Reasons University Graduates Are Left Wing and / or Secular
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
Rules: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

92 comments

  1. Rabbi Fink makes some great points. I will add another. When I was an undergraduate at allegedly Godless Harvard, I probably had more religious discussions that I would have for the next decade. The social millieu was such that many if not most of my fellow students who had a religious identification would actively defend their religious beliefs and practices. During this time I met the first shomer Shabat Jews I had ever known. And the only faculty member I ever met there who had either a religious or anti-religious agenda was the late Rev. Peter Gomes, the minister of the Memorial Church there.

  2. R’ Gil,

    Here is a link to something that was discussed recently.

    http://www.crcweb.org/Starbucks%20cRc%20Full%20Article%20April%202011.pdf

  3. http://www.vosizneias.com/80707/2011/04/11/brooklyn-ny-ny-times-orthodox-rabbis-sound-an-alarm-over-eating-disorders

    Whatever I start to say sounds bitter and cynical, so let the article speak for itself.
    KT

  4. The debate between Rabbi Fink and Dennis Praeger is just a projection of their conservatism/liberalism. If one is liberal then one believes that mere exposure to to other beliefs would make people become less religious. However, if one is conservative, it takes an active effort not just exposure.

  5. ‘“[a]Our rabbis are as knowledgable about kashrut as their Orthodox colleagues, [b]and care about it as much as they do,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld’

    And here’s the problem. Because [a] is demonstrably false, just by looking at the JTS curriculum. And [b] is just as false, for fairly obvious reasons. So if this trend continues, a) it will be more difficult to find kosher food that we can be certain about and b) it will turn into a divide within Orthodoxy – “do you eat food from a Conservative hashgacha?” While the Rav argued that we should engage in some sort of cross-denominational kashrut organizing, I think it’s a bit too late for that now.

  6. Jon: you write as if there is agreement on hechsherim within Orthodoxy. There isn’t; and, arguably, never has been in the US.

    When TJ’s moved into my neighborhood, they had very nice looking kosher meat with a Triangle-K hechsher so I asked around. No one I discussed it with thought the hechsher was acceptable, despite R. Ralbag’s denomination. And to a lesser extent, this is also the case with Chabad hechsherim.

  7. Jon_Brooklyn:

    I’m a Conservative rabbi. I was surprised to read Rabbi Schonfeld’s statement because I agree with you that it is false. I was part of the first Rav HaMachshir program taught by Rabbi Joel Roth and Dr. Joe Regenstein, and there is a lot about kashrut that I don’t know. I would never give supervision to a factory that produces all those “ides” and so on that you find on a lot of food labels. Of course, it is easier to give supervision if you insist that all the ingredients carry reliable hashgacha to begin with.

    Regarding the issue of Conservative hashgachot causing a divide within Orthodoxy, it need not be. Along with another Conservative rabbi I give hashgacha to a vegetarian restaurant. The food meets our standards and our primary interest was in using their food for catering at our synagogues. It probably does not meet Orthodox standards and the certificate we gave the restaurant says that our certification applies to the Conservative Jewish community. If an Orthodox person calls me and asks about the standards in the restaurant I answer them honestly. Whether they choose to eat their or not is between them, their rabbi and their conscience. Should I not certify food as kosher when it meets my standards?

  8. Charles: I never blamed Conservative rabbis for the divide that’s going to happen. But it will happen.

    IH: Picking the one exception that proves the rule – triangle k – is silly. We both know that, if a whole lot of restaurants start opting for a (free) Conservative certification, the LW and lite portions of Orthodoxy will eat at them, and the RW portions won’t.

  9. Charles,

    Thank you so much for your honesty. It is through that type of honesty that we can build stronger relationships between Jews of all backgrounds and practices.

  10. Jon: I remember similar divisions when I was growing up on the UWS. Butchers were like the Jewish Robinson Crusoe: “this is the shul I go to; and this is the one I won’t go near”.

    Wondering what your thought are on:
    http://www.utzedek.org/tavhayosher/restaurant-listmap.html

  11. The Tav or the map?

  12. Have any rabbis declared triangle-K meat to be non-kosher, or is it only a question of not meeting the glatt standard? Are there any reasonable Orthodox halachic reasons (even minority opinions) to accept non-Orthodox-certified wine or cheese, to eat caviar from sturgeon, or to eat in non-Orthodox-supervised vegetarian restaurants? I was told that in my area, that Conservative congregations rely on kosher caterers which are under Orthodox supervision. Is this not the case for most of North America?

  13. “Have any rabbis declared triangle-K meat to be non-kosher, or is it only a question of not meeting the glatt standard? Are there any reasonable Orthodox halachic reasons (even minority opinions) to accept non-Orthodox-certified wine or cheese, to eat caviar from sturgeon, or to eat in non-Orthodox-supervised vegetarian restaurants? I was told that in my area, that Conservative congregations rely on kosher caterers which are under Orthodox supervision. Is this not the case for most of North America?”

    A Torontonian, eh?

  14. “IH: Picking the one exception that proves the rule – triangle k – is silly. We both know that, if a whole lot of restaurants start opting for a (free) Conservative certification, the LW and lite portions of Orthodoxy will eat at them, and the RW portions won’t.”

    Jon – based on Charles’ honest comment, I would hope this would not be the case.

  15. >A Torontonian, eh?
    No. I live in another province.

  16. The bottom line is why trust Kashrus to individuals to whom you would not even thinking of asking or relying uponm for any other Halachic query

  17. And the answer would be that sometimes, kashrus is pretty simple. I work as one of the co-mashgichim at my university’s “Kosher Kitchen”. I can tell you not much has happened, at all. And when either I or my co-worker has a question, we check with the rabbi supervising.

  18. Sorry, my point was, there aren’t many Halakhic questions I’d trust myself with otherwise, but keeping a place kosher doesn’t require much knowledge on my part at all.

  19. Relying on caterers with Orthodox supervision is not always an option.

    I live in a small New England city. There are three larger cities each about an hour away and they all have kosher caterers, but it can be expensive and inconvenient to use them. If we are having a small dinner, say 30 people, a caterer from that far away is most likely not going to be willing to deliver or else charge an arm and a leg, so someone has to go and pick the food up.

    When we have a Shabbat dinner we really like to keep the costs down but the shul budget doesn’t allow us to subsidize it too much. Some of the families which are having simchas are also really struggling to make ends meet.

    We’ll obviously accept any of the Orthodox-certified caterers from the other communities. We also have one non-kosher caterer who will work in our shul kitchen under my supervision, but having a kosher-certified vegetarian restaurant in our town provides another option. It helps that the restaurant is Chinese and they don’t use cheese, so that eliminates one potential area of difficulty.

  20. The HASC article is bizarre. It basically says that the board is following the orders of the Beis Din of America, and a group of disgruntled staff is trying to strong-arm them. In a dispute between a beis din and employees, should a Jewish organization not follow a beis din??

  21. The HASC article is bizarre. It basically says that the board is following the orders of the Beis Din of America, and a group of disgruntled staff is trying to strong-arm them.

    That’s not what the article says but from what I hear, that is correct. He was proven innocent and HASC wants him back.

  22. No, the article says that the Beis Din’s only “finding” was recognizing that a resolution was reached between the board and Moshe Kahn. It apparently did not adjudicate in regard to the facts of past misdoings or reccomend a specific course of action.

    In any event, if HASC wants to retain its image as a reputable organization and retain widespread public support they are clearly on the wrong track. This is a recurring pathology in small charitable organizations: the founder starts with the best of intentions but as the organization becomes more and more successful he feels a greater sense of entitlement to its successes and begins to treat it as if it were a privately owned small business instead of a charity. Before long most of the family is employed and well compensated and the founder has a nice expense account. The only way to avoid the temptations and conflicts of interest that come along with a successful charity is to have independent board members who are not paid excessively for their time and regular outside audits.

  23. Re: HASC, it seems that the resolution of a pending beis din case (whose subject is unclear) was a private settlement, not “an order of the Beis Din.”

  24. MJ: No, the article says that the Beis Din’s only “finding” was recognizing that a resolution was reached between the board and Moshe Kahn.

    I’m only saying what I hear. I have no problem criticizing HASC or its board or the RCA beis din. Well, I’d be very careful about the beis din. But at least the word on the street for a few years has been that Moshe Kahn was found entirely innocent and HASC has been trying to rehire him for a while.

    The Jewish Week has done some great reporting in the past. And some bad reporting. I don’t know what this is so I refuse to jump to conclusions.

  25. But at least the word on the street for a few years has been that Moshe Kahn was found entirely innocent and HASC has been trying to rehire him for a while.

    Found innocent by who? Concerning what? A finding of innocence implies an accusation of guilt. Who made the accusation and presented a claim?

    So if you are saying that the RCA found this man innocent who is it that accused him of being guilty? And if its a party that really wanted him to resume his role, then so what … all they’d have to do is present their case poorly or with a lack of vigor and he’d win. (And, if one questions whether even the BDA is competent to deal with forensic accounting then that would potentially raise another question as to why they were chosen as the venue.)

    Also, if there is an accusation of improper personal expenditures of a million and a person’s image tarnished and then a finding of innocence, I would think the innocent party would want their good name restored and would trumpet the finding widely and not want a confidentiality provision or would seek its waiver.

  26. All good questions that I would also like answered. But asking questions do not prove guilt. If you were him and were completely innocent, what would you do now? Would you go to the Jewish Week and tell your side of the story or would you duck and hope this dies down? It’s not an easy call.

    I’m not assuming that he is innocent but I’m also not assuming he is guilty. Our community needs watchdogs but unfortunately I’m not convinced our watchdogs are particularly good.

  27. While I could not say what I would do, I suppose whether guilty or innocent its reasonable (if you have the money) to hire (or get the Board to hire for “themselves”) a public relations /political expert like Hank Sheinkopf. But if the person has nothing to hide they have to be more aggressive about putting the facts out there (and certainly hiding behind the good name of the BDA or the RCA is not a sufficient defense).

    And I have to be honest, even if he is 100% innocent, it is unfortunate for him, if he is truly the best man for the job, that the Board is in a position where it can be accused of being stacked with relatives so that outsiders can not be sure the decision is truly at arms length. Particularly, when their decision seems to have some affect on revenues to the institution, potentially requires additional costs (e.g. hiring Sheinkopf) and the entity appears to have functioned successfully for an extended period with his absence. His reappointment might indeed be the best decision but I can certainly understand why that would raise questions for a lot of people; how many arms length boards would go out on a limb even for an innocent man?

  28. From a purely pragmatic perspective it is also reasonable to wonder why, if the organizations top professionals feel he should not be rehired, it is in the best interests of the organization to rehire him? An organization is only as good as the rank the rank and file who work there. It would be one thing if HASC was foundering since his departure. But it seems that the opposite is true.

  29. MJ: Also a good question. I’m interested in hearing an answer, although off the top of my head I can think of a few decent possibilities.

  30. MiMedinat HaYam

    disputes are sent to a bet din for specific purpose of keeping things confidential. you cant argue that, unless you wantto change the bet din system. (which should be changed, the rca bet din being one of them. but thats another point.)

    2. the rca bet din forbids professional bet din attorneys (called “toanim”) unless you hire a real atty (required for secular legal reasons, since denial of a secular atty prevents legal enforcement under almost (if not every) every state’s law.)

    3. the test of acceptance of this (re)hire will be if donors continue to donate and / or volunterrs continue to volunteer. which the (biased) article implies will be a contentious issue for some time to come.

  31. Anyone have any comments of R Metzger and rabbis signed comments-I have mixed feelings.

  32. Biased? Was there something a HASC spokesperson told them that they didn’t print? Was there somebody they should have interviewed that they didn’t? (Remember, the chairman of the board refused t be interviewed and sent them to the outside PR person.) It seems pretty clear to me that one side gave more info and was more forthcoming than the other. That may have been smart from a practical point of view, but it doesn’t make the article biased. And, while you’re right that one test of acceptance is the continuation of donations, another test is whether the professional staff stays.

  33. “If one is liberal then one believes that mere exposure to to other beliefs would make people become less religious. ”

    I’m a liberal and exposure to other beliefs made me MORE religious.

  34. Shachar Ha'amim

    “The only way to avoid the temptations and conflicts of interest that come along with a successful charity is to have independent board members who are not paid excessively for their time and regular outside audits.”

    umm….that’s what every recognized non-for-profit (and certainly ones that have tax deductible status and/or receive government funds) are supposed to have. At least that’s the way it is in israel and I don’t think it’s much different in USA

  35. The article abt women’s learning is strange because it’s not about women’s learning, but about Bet Morasha, which is as far as I know (1) co-ed and (2) less “traditional” in its approach for both genders.
    I suspect there is something to say about women’s learning being “different,” and not in bad ways, but this article, which doesn’t address the existence, nevermind the practices, of other midrashot, is not it.

    (I will assume the embarassing gaffe about Miriam being Moshe’s “mother” can be blamed on an editor rather than the author.)

  36. Rabbi Hoff’s article on marriage is interesting, but he does not elaborate on the reason WHY, from a Torah perspective, same-sex marriage is looked on with more disdain than other flagrant authorizations of Torah prohibitions.

  37. Shachar Ha'amim

    “Former Shas MK Chaim Amsellem Starts New Party”

    your headline in incorrect English. it reads as if he is a former MK and no lonnger in the Knesset
    It is MK Chaim Amsallem formerly of Shas.
    Shas kicked him out of the party, but he hasn’t resigned from the knesset.

  38. Shachar Ha'amim

    “Rabbi Hoff’s article on marriage is interesting, but he does not elaborate on the reason WHY, from a Torah perspective, same-sex marriage is looked on with more disdain than other flagrant authorizations of Torah prohibitions.”

    Frankly it doesn’t say why same-gender marriages are forbidden to bnei noach (I refer to marriages – what would be the equivalent of lav of lo taaseh knmaaseh mitrayim for Jews – not acts of inetrcourse). why can’t a bnei noach society permit same-gender marriages? especially as the rambam says that bnei noach regulate and consummate marriages however they want to do so.

    if a single gentile man sleeps with a gentile woman married to another gentile woman according to the laws of the State of Vermont why isn’t that arayot of eishet isha?

  39. >The Satmar Rebbe, Reb Yoel ZT”L once discovered a small unbaked pocket of flour in one of his Matzahs during Pesach. Horrified, he said “If this could happen in our (Satmar) Matzah Bakery in which I instituted the highest level of stringencies and hashgachic care; now I truly understand why my grandfather the “Yismach Moshe” had the minhag not to eat Matzah on Pesach. That year the Rebbe refrained from eating Gebrochts on the last day of Pesach, with his reasons ultimately known only to him.

    If I didn’t know better I’d say

    1. It never happened.
    2. He made it up.
    3. It was a set up.

  40. Good article on the impact that the charedi work ethic has on Israel’s economy:
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/sns-rt-life-us-israel-ultrtre73d25w-20110414,0,3597567,full.story

  41. The matzah article fails to mention the GRA who holds that one fulfills a mitzva deoraysa for each czayis of matzah eaten over the 7 days of Pesach.

  42. Doesn’t the GRA hold that there is a kiyum of eating matza throughout pesach?
    KT

  43. 1) i don’t understand the no matza article. maybe we shoudn’t eat anything year round. period. maybe there was an unknown problem with the shochet’s knife. maybe the lettuce checker missed a bug. maybe the anti-semitic factory worker slipped ham into a production line when the mashgiach wasn’t looking.

    2) i have no problem in principle with schools teaching second (really third) languages, whether spanish, arabic or klingon. but how about improving hebrew instruction first?

    3) re. the references in the jpost article to contemporary muslim denial of jewish connection to the temple mount: in the 19th c. jews once recieved official encouragement to pray on the temple mount during a bad drought. i guess the muslims recotnized the jewish connection then.

  44. You think the hard core hasidic rabbis in the article care about the Gra’s opinion? 🙂

  45. “in the 19th c. jews once recieved official encouragement to pray on the temple mount during a bad drought.”

    Interesting. Source?

  46. You made me look -see here from R’ Y Haber:
    The Gaon of Vilna, R. Eliyahu, (Ma’aseh Rav 185) famously maintains that this d’rasha does not negate the mitzva of eating matza on the other days of Pesach entirely. Rather, whereas on the first night, the mitzva is chiyuvis, obligatory, on the other nights, it is kiyumis, optional. In the Seifer Achilas Matzos B’Yisrael by Rav Shalom Yehuda Gross shlita, many other views both in Rishonim and Acharonim are presented agreeing with this approach of the Gra. Among them are: the view of the Geonim that t’fillin are not worn on Chol HaMo’eid Pesach since t’fillin are an os (a sign), and Pesach already has an os, the eating of matza. This strongly implies that the eating of matza even the rest of Pesach is a mitzvah act and is consequently considered an os. Even the Rosh who disagrees and maintains that t’fillin are worn on Chol HaMo’eid, does not necessarily reject this particular premise.[1] The Aruch HaShulchan (475) also agrees with the view of the Vilna Gaon. (See the above Seifer for many other supporters of this view.)
    KT

  47. “Good article on the impact that the charedi work ethic has on Israel’s economy:
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/sns-rt-life-us-israel-ultrtre73d25w-20110414,0,3597567,full.story

    Anything you can do to stick it to the Chareidim, right J?

  48. Lawrence Kaplan

    Note the idiocy in the article about the Karaites purposefully distorting the verse re eating matazah for seven days.

  49. MiMedinat HaYam

    j kaplan:

    i meant biased towards the org. but as you say, they prob based their info on only side’s cooperation, via paid spokesman. (i guess he earned his consultantcy.)

    like you say — depends on (paid) professional staff. i said volunteers, as that is what the article implies. but paid staff might have other reasons to stay, while volunteers theoretically have no reason to stay. assuming volunteers are a major source of assistance.

    not eating matzah — reminds me of igrot moshe on not eating gebrokts all year long, (?lest one forget and eat matzah ball on pesach?) RMF categorically rejects such thinking, in a classic answer to (ridiculous) chumrot.

  50. MiMedinat HaYam

    to j kaplan: note too, that the jewish week is ideally suited for press flack. other papers, not as much. (but …)

  51. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding no matzah — hungarian jews NEVER had a minhag of no gebrokts — thus, the liska’s minhag is in defiance of his grandparents’ legacy.

  52. regarding the matzoh story – of course the late satmarer rebbe’s grandfather was not the yismach moshe as incorrectly reported in this VIN version. rather his grandfather was the yeitiv lev (who was also my great great grandfather). the yismach moshe in turn was the yeitiv lev’s grandfather.

  53. ABBA: “in the 19th c. jews once recieved official encouragement to pray on the temple mount during a bad drought.”

    SHLOMO: “Interesting. Source?”

    ABBA: it is mentioned in the consular records of james finn (british consul in jerusalem). there was a bad drought in 1855 (following bad year previously). muslims, christians and jews all conducted special services (jews held a series of fasts). nothing worked. finally the pasha sent the jews a message permitting them to ascend har habayit to daven at the dome of the rock. jews politely declined and instead requested permission to daven in Dovid Hamelech’s tomb (yes, i know evidence for this site poor at best). it started to rain that very day (i didn’t understand if before of after the jews davened) and real relief finally came a few weeks later.

  54. Regarding “Sharp drop seen in matzah exports” the question is one of (unstated) volumes, not revenue. While the revenue may have dropped (i.e. due to FX) the volumes may be less, more or the same.

  55. It’s amazing to me that Israeli matzah is much cheaper, in the United States, than American made matzah. I don’t understand why this is, especially factoring in shipping costs. I consider it a mitzvah to buy Israeli products whenever possible anyway. We bought a five pound box of “Negev” matzot (actually five 1-lb. boxes) for $4.99 and a one pound box of machine shmura for something like $9. US-made matzah is half again as much at least.

  56. The sharp drop in matzah imports from Israel does not mean there is less matzah purchased in the US. It is logical that fx rates make Manishewitz and Streits relatively cheaper and increase their sales.

  57. Regarding R. Sokolow’s drash on idolatry, the oft-repeated drash regarding sheep being taboo to the Egyptions has been challenged, I understand, by excavations near Giza in which they found evidence of massive slaughter of cows, sheep (and pigs) presumed to feed those who built the Great Pyramid.

    Also, of course, the mikra tells us the Jews lived separately from the Egyptians in Eretz Goshen, where they had been domesticating, eating and presumably sacrificing cows and sheep since their invited arrival in Egypt as a people.

  58. MiMedinat HaYam

    to charles — negev matzot are an exception — made in israel, distributed by manishewitz (competing withtheir nmatzot.) also, check the box — may be only 12 ounces, not a pound.

    (almost) all israeli food products are cheaper than american products. except in israel — its much more expensive in israel than in america. quirks (advantages) of the distribution channels in israel. everyone here knows its cheaper to buy the israeli product in america and bring with you to israel.

  59. Not in NYC! Certainly not things like Tirat Zvi meat or Gad (or Tnuva) Cheeses…

  60. MiMedinat HaYam

    many “israeli” chesses are made in new jersey.

    and i’m talking about what the industry considers grocery (and frozen food) items.

    either way, meat (poultry) is a whole other industry, compared to reg food products. and they tend to be less than american kosher poultry products (if any exist — i cant think of any. empire is a has been, still riding on its old reputation, and its not practical for stores to carry empire. and empire isnt interested in reg stores. they only want price club costco, bj’s, and shoprite. similar to reg us consumer brands only want wal mart, target, etc. not the mom and pops, that still exist in kosher food industry. and those mom and pops that we consider big are small pishers in the grand scheme of things.)

  61. and the opposite for grins: http://tinyurl.com/69xbrsy.

    We found them in our local small supermarket a number of months ago. There’s an OU, but not OU-P, on the label as well. We died laughing when we saw the inkjet on the top of the can, which made us look at where it was sourced.

  62. MiMedinat HaYam

    IH: thats a badatz for pesach, not an ou. and its a fairway brand.

    perhaps we should have the ou stop outsourcing its hashgacha in israel to the badatz, per other discussion on this blog. (ou has a habit of outsourcing to other (acceptable) hechsherim. perhaps badatz should not be considered acceptable.)

  63. MiMedinat HaYam

    thats paschal rabbi lamm, without a “b” — joke by r dratch, at a book signing for this hagadah, at the soy seforim sale last year hosted by our “baal haBlog”, r gil.

  64. Charles, you got a great price for you matzah. Matzah in five-pound packs is a typically a loss-leader in the weeks before Passover. Israeli brands of matzah may be cheaper due to higher volume production, lower quality, lower costs, or having a wider scope of products to recoup their profits. I’m happy to buy products made in Israel if they offer equal or better value than their competitors. Chag Sameach and good luck with your income taxes!

  65. MiMedinat HaYam

    israeli products are cheaper because thats the market, not because of quality diff’s, not because of supply chain issues, not because of larger production runs; its just microeconimcs.

  66. MMhY: yes, I was pointing out the Badatz vs. OU re: Pesach as an aside. Fairway on the UWS sometimes carries that brand, but I haven’t seen it there recently. In fact, once we noticed the Badatz inkjet, we went looking for more with no success. We saved the cans for Pesach 🙂

  67. >israeli products are cheaper because thats the market, not because of quality diff’s, not because of supply chain issues, not because of larger production runs; its just microeconimcs.

    MiMedinat HaYam: I wasn’t disparaging Israeli made products. Yesterday, I bought a five-pack of OSEM brand (Israeli made) matzah. I don’t really understand your critique. Can you elaborate on how the “market” and “microeconomics” is setting the price of Israeli made matzah below that of American made matzah? Is there a mitzvah to prefer Israeli made matzah? If so, even if you get better value from American matzah, would you buy Israeli matzah instead?

  68. Did anyone see R A Z Ginsberg’s piece in the FTJT about R S Eliyahu’s views re Hakravas KP Bazman Hazeh? Can anyone verify for me what the CS and R A Eger wrote to R T Kalisher ZL on this issue?

  69. Decrease to US could be partially the result of Streits paying tribute and now being sold more in US. Thus, less need for Israeli matzot.

  70. Lawrence Kaplan

    Steve: IIRC, RJDB has a lengthy rtkcle about this in one of the volumes of CHP.

  71. “Steve Brizel on April 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    Did anyone see R A Z Ginsberg’s piece in the FTJT about R S Eliyahu’s views re Hakravas KP Bazman Hazeh?”

    I hadn’t read the FTJT-But due to Steve’s question I decided to read R Ginzberg’s words. In general I agree with his conclusion “korban Pesach on erev yom tov on the Temple Mount is an exciting and inspiring idead but at what sacrifice” To paraphrase one of Prof Kaplan’s comments on my posting of kdarko bkodesh R Ginzberg in an article that discusses serious ideas has to put in remarks such as: “an article that was published in a small Torah journal…was noticed by a prominent secular journalist”; “the secular left…”; “Due to the many requests I received asking for the opinion of the gdolei hador” “neither am I qualified” ; “the leader of the small group a well known actiivst rabbi…”

  72. Shachar Ha'amim

    On Pesach it is a mitzvah to take a peanut (or peanut butter) and hold it and say Leshem Yichud Kusdhe Brich Hu…Hineni Muchan U’mzuman Lekayem Mitzvas Lo Taaseh Shel Ba’al Toysif; say borei pri ha’adama and eat the peanut.

  73. IIC, both the CS and R A Eiger ZL supported R Kalischer ZL, at least with respect to the Lomdus, and voiced concerns only re feasibility. That IMO, is a far cry from saying that either of the Gdolei Acharonim vehemently opposed R Kalischer ZL, whose Lomdus, RHS told me, can be found in more than a few places in SA:YS, in one of the Nosei Kelim Al Atar.

  74. Prof. Kaplan, you recollect correctly. Rav Bleich (RJDB) does cover the issue of the ability to bring a korban Pesach tomorrow. Aside from the political and military consequences in doing acts which are likely to precipitate a war with the Muslim world, there are serious halachic impediments -as described by RJDB (to the best of my recollection).

    First, there is the question of being able to certify a kohen or kohanim to perform the avodah. While there are kohanim with family traditions attesting to direct patrilineal lineage to famous kohanim such as the Shach and Ketzot, more definitive certification is apparently required. After all, there is an issur karet involved. It would appear that an acknowledged navi will be required to make such an identification. Then there is the question of the required priestly vestments even for an ordinary kohen. For example, there is apparently a dispute as th the nature of the avneit. Is it linen as the other vestments, or is it the same as for the kohen gadol? In the latter case, the identity of the techeilet, argaman, and tola’at shani must be first established. While some believe the techeilet source and color to have been established, there is less evidence for the latter dyes and colors. Then there is the issue of the location of the temple altar. While the korban Pesach may be slaughtered anywhere in what was the temple courtyard, the blood must be sprinkled or poured where the altar once stood. That place is not definitively known.

    Finally, there is the question of what to do about the ‘gid hanashe’. According to the Rambam, the animal must be spit broiled with the ‘gid’ intact. According to the Ra’avad, that makes the entire animal ‘treif’.

    Given the various important halachic and practical problems, the recurring proposals to reintroduce the korban Pesach appear doomed to failure. The matter is best left for the messianic age when we will again have prophesy and instructions for the rebuilding of the temple and all its sacrafices.

  75. Should we be asking Clergy of other religions to prevent Jews from violating a mitzvah? If so, why just chametz, why not Shabbos? Why not kashrut?
    Slippery slope to say the least.

  76. “Aside from the political and military consequences in doing acts which are likely to precipitate a war with the Muslim world, there are serious halachic impediments”

    Besides committing suicide there are serious halachik impediments.

    Why certain topics although Torah and certainly learning should certainly not be discussed on web.

  77. For a most ironic setting for a concert, especially this section of the Haggadah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4ajGrQbpf8A

  78. Y Aharon wrote:

    “Aside from the political and military consequences in doing acts which are likely to precipitate a war with the Muslim world”

    This Galus rooted rationale hardly was relevant or an operative consideration in 1948, 1967 1973 or the Entebbe rescue. It also ignores the fact that anti Semitism and Holocaust denial is a huge part of the Muslim world’s educational and cultural milieu.

  79. “On Pesach it is a mitzvah to take a peanut (or peanut butter) and hold it and say Leshem Yichud Kusdhe Brich Hu…Hineni Muchan U’mzuman Lekayem Mitzvas Lo Taaseh Shel Ba’al Toysif; say borei pri ha’adama and eat the peanut.”

    +1 Like

  80. “It would appear that an acknowledged navi will be required to make such an identification.”

    In other words, you’re waiting for nissim geluim. A warning: You might wait forever. A fact: No one posits that nissim will be needed to rebuild the mikdash or reestablish the avoda.

    “For example, there is apparently a dispute as th the nature of the avneit. Is it linen as the other vestments, or is it the same 1as for the kohen gadol?”

    Nu? There are lots of machloket. We judge the best we can, or we do nothing.

    “In the latter case, the identity of the techeilet, argaman, and tola’at shani must be first established. While some believe the techeilet source and color to have been established, there is less evidence for the latter dyes and colors.”

    Actually, the identification of the latter two are a lot more solid than that of tekhelet (which is pretty solid itself).

    “Then there is the issue of the location of the temple altar. While the korban Pesach may be slaughtered anywhere in what was the temple courtyard, the blood must be sprinkled or poured where the altar once stood. That place is not definitively known.”

    We can pinpoint it pretty accurately now, and even more so if we were allowed to actually, you know, *look*.

    “Finally, there is the question of what to do about the ‘gid hanashe’. According to the Rambam, the animal must be spit broiled with the ‘gid’ intact. According to the Ra’avad, that makes the entire animal ‘treif’.”

    Again, a machloket. At *some* point we’re going to have to stop saying “Rambam says X and Raavad says Y and we can’t do anything about it.” Looking at my tzitzit, I see I already have. 🙂

  81. The 2007 version:

    http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1171894541122&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    Looks like another potential vector in the definition of Orthodoxy (cf: Who is Modern Orthodox).

  82. Steve Brizel on April 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    “Y Aharon wrote:

    “Aside from the political and military consequences in doing acts which are likely to precipitate a war with the Muslim world”

    This Galus rooted rationale hardly was relevant or an operative consideration in 1948, 1967 1973 or the Entebbe rescue.”

    It is a Torah rooted value- vchai bahem. 1948 and 1973 were started by Israel’s neighbors, 67 was started by Israel after clear acts of war by Egypt. Note the wariness of religious Jews even in that case to go to war R Warhaftig was the last cabinet member to sign on for the war.Entebbe a rescue operation is entirely different-of course, since then rescue operations have rarely succeeded.

  83. I promised myself that I wouldn’t get into another of those useless debates with Steve B. However, I was naive enough to believe that he wouldn’t object to my post. His argument, once more, misses the mark. As Mycroft pointed out, there is no comparison between the defensive and retaliatory wars that Israel has fought, and deliberately instigating one with entire Arab – if not also Moslem, world. Make no mistake, regardless of how reasonable we Jews consider our religious use of the temple mount to be, such an overt act which harks back to temple times is a definite red line for Moslems. Their anticipated reaction is predictable, especially since Israel would have little or no support from the US for such an audacious and ill considered act. You may disagree, but are you prepared for the consequences if you are wrong?

    Nachum, your militance and activism appears to have overruled your perception of normal halachic attitudes. I spoke of a navi, not of someone who comes down from the sky. The resurrection of prophesy will come, when GOD decides that the time is ripe and has a suitable candidate in mind. If you believe that this may never happen, then you would be denying the words of various prophets to the contrary.

    As to the halachic impediments, you appear to take a rather cavalier attitude about their resolution. If it were that easy, why hasn’t it been done? Why is there no consensus as to how to resolve the issues that I mentioned? Surely those who push for ressurect

  84. Oops! I inadvertently hit the post icon. To continue..
    Surely those who push for the return of the korban Pesach, must marshal very cogent arguments to resolve the outstanding issues and convince the large majority of leading poskim of the various camps. Otherwise the proposals are merely of academic interest. Good luck on that venture! The alternative is for a small group to sneak into the temple mount and to shecht a few lambs. They’ll have to wait for a very foggy erev Pesach to succeed in such a gambit at some unknown cost to themselves and the country. Besides, without popular – or, at least, governmental consensus for a korban Pesach, it would be strictly forbidden for individuals to enter the area where the temple courtyard stood.

    As to the identity of argaman, I have read the proposal that it comes from the same dyestuff as techeilet, but is not exposed to solar UV radiation while still wet from the dyebath. I have not seen much to support this supposition. We know what the color of techeilet should be based on the talmudic assumption that it is the same as indigo. What, however, is the true color of argaman? In the absence of such knowledge, how can we be sure that the source is the murex trunculus? Then, again, if we are currently – to my knowledge, having difficulty in producing an indigo colored dye from the murex trunculus snail, how can we claim to be able to produce a true argaman?

    Hopefully, the issue will be resolved soon with the return of prophesy and kingship to Israel. One of the missions of such a prophet and king would be to convince both Jews and Gentiles of their authenticity. Then plans could be made at the prophet’s instruction of rebuilding the temple and offering the korban Pesach. Then our yearly prayers for ‘leshana haba’ah biYerushalayim’ (may we celebrate a real seder next year in J’lem) will be fulfilled.

    Y. Aharon

  85. Mycroft, as R’ Rakeffet pointed out recently- and as many others have- it’s a good thing religious authorities don’t have to decide whether or not to send people to war. He remembers one of his roshei yeshiva bitterly criticizing Israel for going to war in 1956 and having that reaction.

    As to the Har HaBayit, I’m reminded of Animal House: “They’re going to nail us no matter what we do…” A simple excavation at the back of the Kotel plaza is enough to provoke cries of “undermining Al-Aqsa.” These people are nuts. I think they’ve spent their capital here. And I’m convinced that the Muslims will be at a loss if faced with confidence and assertiveness. Of course, *that* would be a miracle, but b’derech hateva. (Like, by the way, everything that’s happened since 1945.)

    Y. Aharon, I don’t see the distinction between “navi” and “supernatural.” How do I know a navi is “recognized” if something supernatural doesn’t happen? (Remember that the Torah says that.) Certainly I believe that there can be neviim without it, but who else would follow them?

    (By the way, what navi speaks of a return of nevuah? To the contrary, many of the later ones seem to hint that their era is ending.)

    “As to the halachic impediments, you appear to take a rather cavalier attitude about their resolution. If it were that easy, why hasn’t it been done? Why is there no consensus as to how to resolve the issues that I mentioned? Surely those who push for ressurect”

    I could say fear of the new, but I’ll be generous and say interia. Why after sixty years do the charedim still have a problem with the idea of a state of Israel?

  86. “Nachum on April 18, 2011 at 1:35 am
    Mycroft, as R’ Rakeffet pointed out recently- and as many others have- it’s a good thing religious authorities don’t have to decide whether or not to send people to war. He remembers one of his roshei yeshiva bitterly criticizing Israel for going to war in 1956 and having that reaction”

    “it’s a good thing religious authorities don’t have to decide whether or not to send people to war”-agreed and of course, religious authorities are not the ones to decide whether or not certain decisions should be made in the attempt to get peace-it is the political leaders who decide whether or not a country gives up control of territory-as in Suez after the 56 war, as in Yamit et al, as in Gaza, as in anyplaces in Yehuda v Shomron it is not for the religious authorities to decide-it is for the political leaders of Israel.

  87. “Their anticipated reaction is predictable, especially since Israel would have little or no support from the US for such an audacious and ill considered act.”
    Not even no support-it would be active condemnation-such provocation would be an action similar to the biryonim. Of course, if the elected leaders of Israel wish to engage in national suicide-it is their decision.I doubt they will.

  88. Mycroft wrote:

    “It is a Torah rooted value- vchai bahem. 1948 and 1973 were started by Israel’s neighbors, 67 was started by Israel after clear acts of war by Egypt. Note the wariness of religious Jews even in that case to go to war R Warhaftig was the last cabinet member to sign on for the war”

    It is a Torah rooted value, if it is based on the relevant information at hand. Merely holding out in the face of relevant knowledge to the contrary or supporting a solution imposed by certain political leaders without consulting the experts in the military and intelligence fields IMO cannot be considered the exercise of VChai Bahem any more than blindly undergoing a medical or surgical procedure in the absence of consulting an expert in the field.

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