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Parshas Tzav 5774
Candle Lighting Time: 6:48 pm
March 14, 2014
Volume 10 Issue 22
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Dvar Torah

From the Purim Tisch of Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner zt"l 


By Rabbi Yosef Prupas


                 The verse in Tehillim states "You rule over the majesty of the seas; when its waves rise, you silence them." The verse uses the word "seshabchem" which is usually translated as "praise" but in this context means "silence." What is the connection between its two meanings? Our sages explain that the wave's praise is in their silencing. Despite knowing that when they crash upon the shore they will be no longer, they still strive to fully fulfill there mission. This single minded devotion is the majesty of the waves that in turn gives honor to G-d.


Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner reflects: We appreciate one who emerges from Pesach with a heart that rejoices with the newfound purpose born out a newly achieved sense of cheirus, freedom. Similarly, as one takes leave of the holiday of Shavuos, it is noteworthy if a newfound dedication and sweetness in Torah study accompanies. Certainly, if in the aftermath of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Succos, if one emerges with a greater sense of fear of heaven, repentance, andsimcha shel mitzvas, the joy of doing mitzvos, that person is meritorious. But, Rav Hutner surmises, it is a pity if after Purim one remains with the befuddled state of "add'loyada", "until he doesn't know." Rav Hutner then cried out: "This, then, is mypraise! Even though I know that with the heralding of nightfall, the revelry of Purim comes to its climax and ends, nonetheless, the entire time I sit by the Purim table fully engaged." "B'soh galuv ata seshabcheim," as in the crashing waves, our silencing at the end of Purim is a praise to God as well.


For some, Purim is a day of party and fun. We can, however, elevate Purim into something much more meaningful. Something deep can be accomplished on Purim, more than on any other day of the year.


Rav Hutner offers the following parable: There were two friends who in their younger years were study partners, close to each other in both heart and soul. As the years progressed, each one ventured out of their Shtetl to make a life. Each one went in his own direction and the two did not see each other for many years. One day, they happened to bump each other at an inn. With great joy they rushed to embrace. Their hearts opened and the hours passed in happy recollection. Suddenly they were interrupted by their wagon drivers telling them that the time had come to depart. But there was still so much to talk about, reflect upon, and recollect! Their only solution was to inebriate their wagon drivers, cause them to fall asleep, and thereby, enable them to continue their precious time together.


So, too, is Purim. At one time we were all study partners up in the heavenly Yeshiva. There came a point when we were all sent down to this world to inhabit our physical bodies. Our corporeality can be an inhibition, however, which limits our ability to really and truly connect and relate to one another. Therefore, Hashem, in his infinite mercy, ordains that we meet again each year at the Purim Tisch. At that great meeting point of body and soul, we partake in drink that puts the veritable "wagon driver", our physical body, to sleep. This allows our souls to reengage the source of its deepest longing, Hashem, unencumbered by the physicality that is so limiting. 


Purim is a time when we realize the precious joy of being one nation and our need to maintain unity. This is characterized by giving mishloachmanos and charity to those in need. May we be guided by the single minded majesty of the waves and merit to truly utilize the moments of Purim to increase love and friendship with our fellow Jews.



Dvar Halacha

 Halachos of Basar B'Cholov      Part 8



By Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi




In order to transfer taste from one food to another a medium is required [e.g. heat].  Knives are unique in that the pressure caused while slicing can transfer taste.  This is known as duch'ka d'sakina (pressure/pushing of a knife) (Gemara Chullin 8b).  This halachah is not exclusively for knives; there are numerous utensils that create this pressure when pressed against food, which will cause a transfer of taste.  Utensils included are forks, grinders, blenders and food processors (Laws of Kashrus pg. 330-331).


There is an additional, unique halachic aspect in regard to knives. When a serrated there is concern that it was not cleaned well and some residue remains on the knife that may rub off onto the next food being cut (Rashi Chullin 112a s.v. kee'shus, Taz YD 94:13, Shach YD 94:29, Chochmas Adom 47:3).  For example, if one used a knife to cut pizza, even after the knife was rinsed off there may remain some pizza grease on the knife.  If one would then use the knife to cut something fleishig the milchig grease may rub onto the meat product.  Some Poskim explain that this concern is not applicable nowadays, since in modern society knives are generally washed off well, therefore they are like any other utensil which is assumed to be clean of any residue after being washed off (Darkei Teshuva 96:4)  L'halachah, one may rely on this opinion (Rabbi Biberfeld, shlit"a).


As a general rule any utensil that has not been used for more than 24 hours ("aino ben yomo") will transmit an undesirable taste ("no'sain ta'am lif'gam").  If this undesirable taste is transferred into another food, it will not prohibit the food (Shulchan Aruch YD 93).  If, however, the food which was absorbed was at the time of the transfer a good taste ("no'sain ta'am l'shevach") even if it became "stale" [i.e. it was not used for 24 hours] the utensil will require kashuring (Shulchan Aruch YD 93, Shach YD 93:3).  Therefore, if one were to cut a milchig food with a clean fleishig knife (or vice versa) that has not been used [with either hot milchigs or fleishigs] within 24 hours, any taste that was transferred from the knife will not prohibit the food.  However, the knife should be kashured.


The one exception is if one cuts a davar charif (sharp food).  The sharp taste is able to rejuvenate the stale taste in the knife to implant a good taste into the sharp food (Shulchan Aruch YD 96:1, Shach YD 96:6).  Practically speaking, if one cuts an onion with a fleishig knife, even if the knife has not been used within 24 hours, the fleishig taste transfers into the onion, rendering at least part of the onion fleishig.  Therefore, the minhag is to have 2 separate knives for both milchig and fleishig (Rama YD 89:4).  Practically, in order to avoid many potential kashrus problems in the kitchen, it is essential to also have pareve knives. (Magen Avraham 451:34, Aruch Hashulchan YD 89:16).


Which food is considered "sharp" is a dispute amongst the Poskim.  The Gemara [Chullin 111b], when describing a case of davar charif uses the example of a radish.  Most Poskim hold that the Gemara was not teaching that exclusively radishes, rather any food that is sharp like radishes (Aruch Hashulchan 96:13).  Possible examples of  sharp foods are: radishes, garlic, leek, onions, horseradish, olives, lemons, esrogim, sour apples, sour plums, sour pickles, sauerkraut, salted herring, and spices (See Laws of Kashrus pg. 322- 323, Kashrus in the Kitchen Q & A pg. 106).  L'maaseh, there are Poskim who hold that any food that can be eaten by itself without cringing is not a davar charif  (Rabbi Biberfeld, shlit"a quoting Rabbi Shmuel Felder, shlit"a).  According to this opinion many of the foods mentioned would not be considered sharp.


There is a machlokes haposkim whether a davar charif which absorbed taste can import that taste into something else.  For example, if someone cut an onion with a fleishig knife [rendering the onion fleishig] and then grated the onion in a food processor [or used a pareve knife], can the onion now impart the fleishig taste into the blade of the food processor or knife?  Another common scenario is, if someone cuts a davar charif with a fleishig knife [rendering the onion fleishig], on a pareve cutting board, does the fleishig taste transfer in the cutting board, making it flieshig?  The Magen Avraham [451:31] and Chochmas Adom [49:10] hold the davar charif will impart the fleishig taste.  However, the Even Ha'ozer [YD 96:3] argues that it cannot.  L'halachah, one should ideally follow the stringent opinion, however b'dieved (ex post facto) one may rely on the lenient opinion (Rabbi Biberfeld, shlit"a quoting Rabbi Shmuel Felder, shlit"a).


If one cooked a davar charif, it can be assumed that it lost its sharpness and would be considered a non- sharp food if cut afterwards (Pischei Teshuva YD 96:4).








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