web analytics
December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nine Days’

A Daily Dose Of Tisha B’Av

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Another Nine Days have come and gone, and we gratefully give a sigh of relief knowing that these days of deprivation – no meat, no swimming, no showering, no music, culminating in a 25 hour fast – no food or water – are finally behind us, and the rest of the sun-drenched summer is there for us to enjoy.

Within days, the tragic realities which the Nine Days represent are relegated to a distant storage bin in our warehouse of memories, to be dusted off in 12 months’ time, when the next Nine Days come around. That is the way human beings operate. Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly. People go to hospitals, funerals, to shiva houses, and they genuinely feel awful about the specific situation, but the adage “out of sight – out of mind” holds true. We go on with our lives as soon as we walk out the door.

During the week of Tisha B’Av, we mourn the destruction of the Temple and centuries of tragedy and exile, but for many, it is more of an intellectual exercise. We acknowledge the ruinous event that happened so long ago, but I sense that for many, we are basically paying a shiva call – we are upset, even tearful, but just for a moment. The loss of the Bais Hamikdosh doesn’t really affect our day-to-day lives, at least not in America, not for the current generation of Diaspora Jews. We come and go as we please, without fear, hesitation or restriction. The only thing stopping a person from living la vida dolce are his/ her self-imposed limitations.

I find myself disturbed by my own lack of awareness of how terrible galut is – cushioned by a comfortable and relatively safe North American lifestyle. However, when I say galut, I am including a pre-Moshiach State of Israel. Today, Israel lacks peace and harmony from both within, as religious and secular factions bicker and fight over economic and cultural issues, and externally, as fanatical Muslim factions fueled by blood-lust murder, maim and mutilate indiscriminately.

And of course, there is the predictable, self-righteous indignation from hypocritical international governments who condemn, censor and criticize Israel for employing self-defensive measures. Israel is “damned if they do - and damned if they don’t.”

I try to rectify my “head in the sand” oblivion by taking a time-out every day and reading The Jerusalem Post and Arutz Sheva on-line. Almost daily, a smiling, “eyes brimming with life” photo of a young soldier, or that of a child, or a young mother, or a man eager to take care of unfinished business, look out at me. And accompanying the photo is an age, and a mention of a status – son, daughter, fiancee, spouse, father, mother, grandparent – and a description of how he/she came to a premature and violent death.

And because we are all related, I often see someone I know, or that I feel I know. Sometimes there is a passing resemblance to my own kids, or a friend, or colleague. Or maybe because I know that their dreams and goals and aspirations were the same as mine. And it becomes personal – and real.

The next day, there is the follow-up photo of grieving relatives, their faces exploding with grief as they fall on the coffin in a desperate try to get in one last hug, before the physical essence of their loved one disappears underground.

And for a few minutes, I see and feel the churban. I understand its horror and I finally experience Tisha B’av on an emotional level. Until I click off the web-site. And let my sugar-coated reality rescue me from grief. Until the next day. For like a bitter pill that must be taken daily, we must experience a brief taste of Tisha B’Av on a regular basis, so that we will reach out to our Heavenly Father with genuine tears, and hasten the ultimate Redemption.

Q & A: Bal Tash’chit During The Nine Days (Conclusion)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004
QUESTION: May leftover meat from the Sabbath during the Nine Days be used during the week so as not to violate “bal tash’chit” – the prohibition against wastefulness?
Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, Rosh Kollel
Kollel Ayshel Avraham
Monsey, NY
ANSWER: The Rabbinical prohibition of eating meat during the Nine Days (from Rosh Chodesh Av until Tisha B’Av) as part of a general aveilut custom, the mourning for the loss of the Holy Temple, was discussed (Rambam, Hilchot Ta’aniyot 5:1). The goal is to inspire repentance.The Biblical prohibition of bal tash’chit is based on Deuteronomy 20:19, which specifically mentions fruit trees. Our Rabbis explain that this concept extends to any deliberate, unnecessary loss (Bava Kamma 91b).

This week we discuss the avoidance of bal tash’chit regarding meat during the Nine Days.

* * *

The Gaon R. Shimon Greenfeld, zt”l, was asked this very question (Responsa Maharshag Vol. 4, Orach Chayyim, Responsum 20).

His questioner, a noted scholar, cited the Bnei Yissaskhar (by the Admor R. Zvi Elimelech Shapira, the Dinover Rebbe, zt”l) who quoted the sefer Ikrei Dinim in the name of Kol Eliyahu, where we find a view that if meat is left over from the Sabbath meal during the Nine Days, it would be proper to eat it even during these days. He cites as proof the Talmud (Chullin 17a), where the Gemara discusses “evarei besar nechira – limbs of meat from an animal killed by stabbing,” i.e., not ritually slaughtered. Such meat was permitted to the Children of Israel prior to their entry to Eretz Yisrael, as the verse states (Deuteronomy 12:21), “Ki yirchak mimcha hamakom asher yivchar Hashem Elokecha lasum shemo sham, ve’zavachta mi’bekarcha u’mitzoncha asher natan Hashem lecha ka’asher tziviticha, ve’achalta bi’she’arecha bechol avat nafshecha – If the place where Hashem, your G-d, chooses to put His name will be far from you, you may slaughter from your cattle and your sheep that Hashem has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your cities according to your heart’s desire.”

From this verse we see that after they finally entered the Land of Israel, besar nechira is no longer permitted even if they subsequently travel to other lands outside Israel, and meat may only be consumed after ritual slaughtering.

The Gemara then discusses whether the limbs of animals that were stabbed prior to entry into Israel were permissible. The Gemara concludes “Teiku,” (Tishbi yeva’er kushiyot u’ve’ayot – When the prophet Elijah (who lived in Tishbi, a town in the territory of Naphtali) heralds the arrival of Mashiach, he will personally resolve this particular question).

The Rosh (Chullin ad loc. siman 23) explains the practical difference resulting from this Gemara. When someone vowed to abstain from eating meat during a certain period of time, but some meat was left over from a time prior to his vow, or there was an enactment of the Beit Din to prohibit a certain substance, we would be more lenient in allowing its use since the Gemara remains unresolved (teiku). It would seem that, similarly, meat left over from the Sabbath during the Nine Days would be allowed. Is this so?

The questioner points out - and R. Greenfeld agrees – that the Gemara cannot be taken as proof for our situation: for instance, would we assume that the prohibition of chametz on Pesach means only chametz that is newly acquired on Pesach, and not chametz possessed before Pesach? Of course not! The Sages extend this prohibition even to wheat of Kardunia (Cordyene), which, Rashi (Pesachim 7a) explains, is hard wheat that does not easily become chametz.

We see that regarding a Rabbinical prohibition it does not matter if the prohibited item is possessed before or after the prohibition takes effect.

If so, how can a scholar, as quoted by the Bnei Yissaskhar, wish to make a comparison and permit meat or wine that has been left over from an earlier period of time once the prohibited time, namely, the Nine Days, has arrived?

This view has to be reconciled not only with that of the scholar who wishes to opt for permissibility but also with that of the Rosh as well, who stated the practical difference between a case where one vowed to abstain from eating a certain food [such as meat] or where the Beit Din enacted a decree to prohibit a substance [such as cheese or cooked vegetables], and the case of besar nechira, i.e., meat from a stabbed animal, because his setting the time [or the Beit Din setting the time] when the prohibition is to take effect is not the same as a Torah-set time; we cannot differentiate between that which remains from before and that which he will now aquire ? both should be prohibited to him.

R. Greenfeld now seeks to explain and reconcile these views according to the Gemara in Chullin, for in regard to the vow the Torah did not prohibit that particular substance at that time, but rather the individual accepted upon himself a prohibition as a seyag (lit., a fence around the Torah law) or, similarly, the Beit Din did likewise, and there is now a doubt as to what the intention of the individual who made the vow or the Beit Din’s intention was. Does the prohibition apply only to that which will be acquired at the set time, or also to that which is in one’s possession already?

Since we find regarding besar nechira that the Torah only prohibited such limbs from the time of the Children of Israel’s entry into the land, [perhaps] the Torah had no intention of prohibiting that which they already possessed, but rather only newly acquired meat from a stabbed animal.

Thus, though normally we would say that in the case of any set time at which a matter becomes prohibited, such as chametz before Passover or food on Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, there is no distinction between the newly acquired food or that already in one’s possession, as all are prohibited. However, since there is a doubt in the Gemara regarding meat from a stabbed animal, we should apply the same rule regarding every enactment and individual vow – the intention may not have been to include that which was in one’s possession from before. Since it is a safek, a doubt regarding the enactment or vow (which is of Rabbinic rather than Biblical origin), we would be lenient.

As to the scholar who wished to be lenient, his leniency only referred to eating meat on the Nine Days, which is not specifically prohibited according to the law. Rather, eating meat is only specifically forbidden from erev Tisha B’Av at chatzot (noon), when it is surely forbidden [even if some meat were left over from the Sabbath - there is no doubt about this]. As to the rest of the Nine Days, the Sages only enacted a ‘fence’ in order to ensure our discomfort and to make us mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple. If this is the case, possibly they only made an enactment regarding that which one will acquire or cook, but as to that which is already in our possession or was previously cooked, its consumption would be permitted.

Regarding wine, R. Greenfeld notes that if this prohibition only applies to that which we will acquire during this period, but not to that which one already has, there are many people who have extensive stocks of wine and, as such, we will cause the entire minhag of aveilut during the Nine Days to be cast aside.

We must thus understand that this aveilut is not a din but a minhag that our Sages imposed in earlier times. For this reason they allowed us to eat meat and drink wine at a seudat mitzva such as a brit, a pidyon ha’ben or a siyyum, the completion of a tractate. If this were based on a din, we would not be allowed to consume wine and meat.

Therefore, if one prepared food for the Sabbath, and due to means beyond his control some of the food was left over for weekday consumption, i.e., due to his being incarcerated on the Sabbath for a minor offense (something that often happened in Europe in R. Greenfeld’s time), since the food was prepared for the Sabbath it is considered food left over from a seudat mitzva, and leftovers from a seudat mitzva should be permitted for consumption during the Nine Days.

R. Greenfeld adds: “We must also state that to waste food is a prohibition of bal tash’chit, and if he prepared food for the Sabbath and, due to some unexpected reason beyond his control, he was unable to eat it and he were to discard this valuable meat, this would be a violation of bal tash’chit. Our Sages never intended the custom of aveilut to override a clear prohibition.

This rule, however, applies only to meat or a cooked dish that will spoil. Wine, which keeps for many days (and may improve with time), does not warrant leniency. Fear of bal tash’chit does not allow consumption of wine during the Nine Days.

One who would rely on this scholar should only do so where there will be a loss due to food spoilage, namely, food prepared for the Sabbath or another seudat mitzva (meals eaten at a celebration of mitzvot such as a brit milah, pidyon ha’ben of a firstborn son or a siyyum of a significant portion of Torah study).

The fact that the threat of spoilage of food causes leniency during the Nine Days is a demonstration of how meticulous our Torah is regarding the money of a Jew, “Chassa haTorah al mamon Yisrael” (Chullin 49b).

However, we caution that in today’s times of ample refrigeration, freezers and food storage options including sealing products to preserve food quality, storable food should be treated as wine. Leniency would not be warranted during the Nine Days, as bal tash’chit is not a viable threat. Rather, to ensure the freshness of the food to be stored, be sure to wrap it well and freeze it as soon as possible for later use.

Q & A: Bal Tash’chit During The Nine Days (Part I)

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004
QUESTION: May leftover meat from the Sabbath during the Nine Days be used during the week so as not to violate “bal tash’chit” – the prohibition against wastefulness?
Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, Rosh Kollel
Kollel Ayshel Avraham
Monsey, NY
ANSWER: In a conversation I had with Rav Spivak, he suggested that I deal with his question in depth, especially considering its timeliness, for the sake of the many rabbis who are faced with similar questions as well as for our readers’ edification.The accepted custom prevalent among most of Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewry today is to refrain from eating meat from Rosh Chodesh Av until the morning of the 10th of Av. This is based on the Rema (Orach Chayyim 551:9), who notes that we “hide the slaughter knife” from Rosh Chodesh and on. This has also become the minhag in Eretz Yisrael even for the Sephardim, who usually follow the rulings of the Beit Yosef, according to whom the restrictions apply to the week in which Tisha B’Av falls, as opposed to from Rosh Chodesh and on.The practice of not eating meat and other mourning restrictions regarding the cutting of hair, wearing new garments, washing and donning fresh clothes, and bathing, from which we abstain during these Nine Days, are due to our great national tragedy, the destruction of our Beit
Hamikdash, the Temple in Jerusalem. Rambam (Hilchot Ta’aniyot 5:1) states that these were instituted “in order to awaken in the hearts a path to repentance, that this [observation of mourning] shall be a reminder of our and our forefathers’ evil ways … resulting in the misfortunes that befell them and us [to this very day]. Through reminding ourselves of these matters, we will return, repent, and do good, as the verse (Leviticus 26:40) states, ‘Ve’hitvadu et avonam ve’et avon avotam bema’alam asher ma’alu [b]i, ve’af asher halchu immi be’keri – Then they shall confess their sins and those of their forefathers, for the treachery with which they betrayed Me, and also for having behaved toward Me in a casual manner.’”

So that we will not present ourselves as guiltless, saying it is only our forefathers who sinned in their time, but not us, our Sages clearly stated (Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1), “Any generation in which it [the Temple] is not rebuilt is deemed as if that generation had destroyed it.”

Since the first two Temples were destroyed, the future third and permanent Temple awaits us [in heaven], as we see from various verses in Tehillim, such as (122:3), “Yerushalayim ha’benuya ke’ir shechubrah lah yachdav – Jerusalem that is built as a city that is joined together.”

The Gemara (Ta’anit 5a) quotes R. Yochanan, who explains as follows: “The Holy One, Blessed be He, said, ‘I will not enter (lit. come to rest My presence in) the heavenly Jerusalem until I can enter the earthly Jerusalem.’” The Gemara asks, “And where do we find a heavenly Jerusalem? Indeed we do, as the verse (supra) states, ‘Jerusalem that is built as a city that is joined together.’”

As to how this city and Temple will appear [come down to us], we have yet another verse in Tehillim (147:2), “Boneh Yerushalayim Hashem, nidchei Yisrael yechaness – The builder of Jerusalem is G-d, He will gather the outcast of Israel.” Metzudat David (ad loc.) explains that Hashem will, in the future, build Jerusalem and He will gather in all the exiles from the corners of the earth.

However, from yet another statement of R. Yochanan (Bava Batra 75b) we see that we must merit to be ingathered to Jerusalem at the time of the ultimate redemption. Rabbah said in the name of R. Yochanan, “[The] Jerusalem of the world to come will not be like [the] Jerusalem of the present world. To the Jerusalem of this world – he who wishes to go up may do so. However, [to the] Jerusalem of the time to come – only those who are invited [merit it] will go up.”

We thus see the greatness of Jerusalem and our Holy Temple. When the Sages instituted the mourning period for this loss and the relevant observances introduced over time, it became greatly significant in our approach to this national catastrophe. Thus we must have a clear reason to diminish from them even one iota.

Bal tash’chit (lit. “not to waste”) is a prohibition which Rambam lists as Mitzvat lo ta’aseh 57 of the prohibitory commands in Sefer Hamitzvot, based on the verse (Deuteronomy 20:19), “Ki tatzur el ir yamim rabbim lehilachem aleha letofsah, lo tash’chit et etzah lindo’ach alav garzen, ki mimenu tochel ve’oto lo tichrot, ki ha’adam etz hasadeh lavo mipanecha bamatzor – When you besiege a city for many days in making war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; for you may eat from it, and you shall not cut it down; for is the tree of the field a man that you shall besiege it?”

Rambam explains that “all types of [deliberate] loss are included in this prohibitory command, such as one who burns a garment for no reason, or one who destroys a vessel. By doing this they also violate the command of lo tash’chit and are liable for lashes [malkot]. And [since every punishment requires a warning] the warning is here [in this same verse], ‘for you may eat from it, and you shall not cut it down…’”

The Gemara (Bava Kamma 91b, Perek HaChovel), explains that this applies not only during a siege but to any cause of deliberate loss. Regarding trees, only a tree that bears fruit may not be cut down, but for an ilan serak, a tree that bears no fruit, the second verse is applicable
(Deuteronomy 20:20): “Rak etz asher teda ki lo etz ma’achal hu, oto tash’chit… – Except a tree that you know not to be a tree for food (i.e., a fruit-bearing tree) may you cut and destroy…”

The verse addresses a case of siege, and even then we are only permitted to destroy the tree when there is a clear need. The Gemara notes that in a case of potential monetary loss, such as where the value of the lumber is greater than that of the fruit (91b – Rashi s.v. ve’im haya me’uleh bedamim), a fruit-bearing tree may be cut down as well.

Thus our question should be further strengthened: If one cooked for the Sabbath without being able to prepare an exact amount [Rema, Orach Chayyim 551:10, is instructive in this regard - one must cook an exact amount and not be left with any extra, alluding to bal tash'chit] and some was left over, should we not permit its consumption, due to the gravity of this lo ta’aseh commandment, overriding the importance that our Sages attached to our mourning observance for this tragic period?

Lest one think that bal tash’chit, as set forth by the Torah in its literal sense of cutting down a fruit-bearing tree, bears little relevance to our modern day and age, this problem is addressed in a recent responsum.

The Gaon R. Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvot VeHanhagot Vol. I, Choshen Mishpat 831) discusses a case where a person wishes to remove from his garden a fruit-bearing tree because he needs that space. The reasons can vary, such as sitting in the garden without fruit falling upon him, or the fruit attracting unwanted creatures or insects. Such cases would allow us to be lenient, as each involves a disturbance to the property’s fundamental purpose, which is the standard we use.

R. Sternbuch notes that if one wishes to clear a path so that one may stroll there, this does not justify cutting down a fruit-bearing tree. He reminds us of R. Chanina’s statement in the Gemara (Bava Kamma 91b), “My son Shib’hat did not die [for any other reason] except for having cut down a fig tree before its time [while it was still bearing fruit].” The Gemara does note Rabina’s statement, “If its value is greater than the fruit it (the tree) produces, we are permitted [to cut it down].”

Yet the element of danger (sakana) should be factored into such a decision, and we have a rule (Chullin 10a), “Chamira sakanta me’isura – we are stricter regarding a danger [to one's well-being] than with a matter that is forbidden by law” in that we take even more precautions.
Thus, R. Sternbuch concludes, such a decision should be undertaken in consultation with several rabbis.

An obvious question is whether this impending sakana only applies to the specific case noted by the Torah (trees), an example of which is the death of R. Chanina’s son, or whether there is a sakana in any kind of waste. We thus must be very careful regarding any type of waste in all matters of everyday life.

(To be continued)

The Latest In Kosher Food: Sauces and Dressings

Friday, August 9th, 2002

As many of us begin searching for the perfect dairy or fish meal for the Nine Days, it seems a great time to review some of the wonderful kosher sauces and dressings that can be found in the local grocery or supermarket.

Chef Myron's (Myron's Fine Foods, Star-K parve) is a line of cooking and dipping sauces that come in eye-catching bottles and mouth-watering flavors. We used the Szechuan sauce as a marinade for grilled vegetables. It added just the right amount of kick without being too overwhelming. We also tried the Tsukeyaki sauce, which is recommended for seafood. We marinated salmon for two minutes and then broiled it. The hint of lemon added to the ginger sauce gave it a wonderful flavor. They also have sauces for meat and poultry and dipping sauce for vegetables. For more information and recipe ideas visit their website at www.chefmyrons.com.

Lucini (Lucini Italia Company, Star-K parve) produces a line of authentic Italian oils and vinegars that are beyond compare. We tried the Premium Select Extra Virigin olive oil as a dressing on salads and loved the taste. We used a light coating for frying and saut?ing and were surprised at how much the flavor of the foods was enhanced. In our home we only use olive oil for cooking; now we will always reach for Lucini first. For more information and a complete product listing, visit their website at www.lucini.com.

Chef Cary Randall's (Cary Randalls, OU parve and dairy) dairy free Real Caesar dressing is just one of the incredible dressings and sauces produced by an incredible company. With an eye for what consumers really want, they have produced healthy, light, fat-free salad dressings that taste as good as they look. We have tried Honey Mustard, Roasted Garlic and the Carrot Wasabi Ginger and found each one better than the other. The sauces can be also be used as marinades for fish and poultry or use the Roasted Red Pepper the next time you make pasta. The two latest products in their line are barbecue sauces in original and Chipolte Mango. We recommend having both on hand the next time you grill ? you will be surprised how much flavor is added to your food. They can be found on the web at www.caryrandalls.com.

Beigel's (I. Beigel Baking Company) is famous for their cake, cookies and rugelach. For more than five generations their pastries have graced Shabbos tables in thousands of Jewish homes. Today, they offer a whole new product line. They have recently purchased the world-renowned Windmill Farms Organic Bread company, which makes challahs and bread baked with only pure and natural products ? never treated with chemicals of any kind. We tried the whole wheat challah and rolls, and even the most finicky of our children came back for seconds.

For a perfect Nine Days, a piece of salmon or halibut grilled or broiled (after marinating of course), a large tossed salad (with oil or dressing) and a toasted whole wheat roll. What could be better?

That's all for now. Next month ? on the road again for more perfect snacks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/jewish-fress/the-latest-in-kosher-food-sauces-and-dressings/2002/08/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: