Parshas Ki Seitzei 5778
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August 24, 2018
Volume 14 Issue 23
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Dvar Torah

The Right Measure 
By Rabbi Yakov Langer 
            
Remember that which G-d did to Miriam on your journey from Mitzrayim (Devarim 24:9). This story of Miriam is recorded in Bamidbar (12). Moshe had separated from his wife, Tzipora, so that he would be constantly prepared for prophecy. Upon learning of this, Miriam suspected that Moshe had made that decision on his own. She approached their brother Aron and related Moshe's actions, adding that Moshe's reasoning was mistaken. In truth, Moshe had been following G-d's instructions. G-d became angry at Miriam for speaking lashon hara - negative speech, and she was consequently inflicted with tzaraas. In accordance with the laws of a mitzorah, Miriam stayed in quarantine for seven days. Out of respect for Miriam, G-d did not command the Jews to travel until Miriam completed her cleansing process.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether this directive counts in the calculation of the 613 mitzvos. Nonetheless, there is a clear Torah dictum that we remember the story of Miriam as a motivation to refrain from lashon hara. To that end, there are those that have a custom to read this verse daily. With further analysis, we can find an additional lesson in this story.
The Mishna in Sotah details how the punishment of a sotah is in accordance with her particular sin and establishes as a general rule that G-d punishes in the manner in which a person sinned - midda k'neged midda. The Mishna extends this principle to good deeds; G-d rewards in the manner of the deed. Miriam is cited as an example. "Miriam waited for Moshe for one hour... therefore the Jews in the desert delayed seven days for her". In Mitzrayim, Paroh had decreed, "Any male that is born shall be thrown into the river" (Shemos 1:22). Miriam's mother gave birth to Moshe and was eventually forced to place him in a basket in the river. Miriam followed the basket and stood near the river to see what would happen and was ultimately in position to intervene.
Interestingly, Tosfos points out that the Mishna's language of "one hour" cannot be literal. There is a concept of G-d's reward being 500 times greater than His punishment. If Miriam was to be rewarded with a corresponding amount of time, it would be 500 times more. Working backwards, if the Jews delayed seven days for Miriam, then the time she waited must have been one-five hundredth of seven days, an amount closer to twenty minutes.
At face value, Miriam's waiting for Moshe was a simple act of chessed. Yet looking deeper, there may have been a more noble intent. The Gemora (Sotah 12b) tells us that Miriam prophesized, ''My mother is destined to bear a son that will rescue the Jews". Perhaps it was for this reason that she waited near Moshe, to ensure the safety of the future Jewish leader. Such an act would be of national importance and therefore immeasurably greater than a simple act of chessed.
Based on this, the Chassam Sofer explains that until Miriam spoke slanderously about Moshe, G-d had afforded her the benefit of the doubt and deemed her deed to be of incalculable magnitude and too great for any earthly reward. However, as soon as Miriam suspected Moshe of wrongdoing without giving him the benefit of the doubt, and considering that he may have consulted with G-d, G-d reciprocated in kind and interpreted her act as a basic chessed. As a result, it was possible for her to receive her reward in this world and she merited that the Jews delayed for seven days in her honor.
This too is included in the Torah's instruction, "Remember that which G-d did to Miriam". We must remember the entire account, not merely the punishment meted out for speaking lashon hara, but also Miriam's reward and the circumstances surrounding it. By not judging Moshe favorably, Miriam lost out on an infinitely greater reward. When we see someone doing an apparent misdeed, we must be dan l'chaf zechus and avoid jumping to conclusions. If we can heed this precept, especially during this time of judgment, G-d will repay us midda k'neged midda and give us the benefit of the doubt in all of our actions, judging us favorably and we will merit a k'siva v'chasima tova.

 
Dvar Halacha
CHOLOV AKUM: Cholov Stam - Dairy Equipment
Part 6

Based on the Sunday morning Halacha Shiur 
given by Rabbi Y. Biberfeld, Rosh Kollel
Written by: Ovadia Gowar

Previously we brought R' Moshe's heter (leniency) that thousands of Jews rely upon to consume cholov stam. In his teshuvos, R' Moshe writes that despite his heter, it is appropriate for someone to be strict and to drink only cholov yisroel. Let's say a person wants to be machmir (strict) and treats cholov stam as being cholov akum i.e. non-kosher. How should this person behave regarding keilim (vessels) that have previously been used to cook cholov stam?
 
There are two specific areas where this question becomes practical:
#1 - A person goes to a relative who cooks them pareve food using their cholov stam dairy pots
#2 - Pareve food products made on dairy equipment. Some hechsherim (such as Kof-K) put a DE ("Dairy Equipment") designation on the hechsher when it is made with dairy equipment.
 
(As a matter of interest, the OU used to have a DE designation, but removed it. Now it is only D ("Dairy"). There are two main reasons for this. (1) It is confusing to consumers. (2) There is concern that sometimes some actual dairy residue remains on the equipment after the previous run. This would cause the subsequent food to become dairy)
 
The Rema says in 115:1: "Cholov akum causes the keilim in which it is cooked to become forbidden, just like other prohibited food...". The Rema is very clear in his stance that cholov akum will cause the keilim to become treif.
 
R' Moshe was asked how to kasher machinery that had been used with cholov akum. In that teshuvah, R' Moshe brings his heter but says that it is appropriate to be strict and to kasher the machinery. In particular, he says that if one wants to be machmir and to treat cholov stam like cholov akum, then the keilim need to be kashered with hagalah twice. So clearly R' Moshe holds that keilim used with cholov akum are a problem, just like the Rema.
 
So what does a person do when he wants to be strict and regard cholov stam as cholov akum? Should he not eat pareve food cooked in dairy keilim by his more lenient friends/relatives?
 
The Darchei Teshuvah brings from several poskim that nowadays, because it is not common to find non-kosher animals on dairy farms, we can permit using cholov stam dairy keilim when in a difficult situation. Here he is relying on the Pri Chadash's heter. We previously mentioned that almost all the Acharonim argue on the Pri Chadash. However, because this is a difficult circumstance, the Darchei Teshuvah says that even a strict person can rely on the Pri Chadash's heter.
 
Shaarim Metzuyanim B'Halacha says that if a person is makpid (particular) to drink only cholov yisroel visits somebody who uses cholov stam, then there are two heterim to rely on with regards to using the keilim: (1) The Darchei Teshuvah that we mentioned above, and (2) R' Moshe's heter.
 
Furthermore, in a person's house we can make an assumption that the keilim are not bnei yoman (haven't been used for the last 24 hours). The implication of this is that the absorbed taste in the keilim goes bad and is no longer treif. This can be combined with the two heterim mentioned by the Shaarim Metzuyanim B'Halacha to strengthen the basis to be lenient. (However, with food produced in a factory you cannot assume this since much of the equipment is used on a continuous basis.)
 
So in another's house, there is definitely a basis to be lenient with dairy equipment even if one is normally strict. One's rov should be consulted for one's specific circumstances.

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