Sunday, December 09, 2018

De Ja Vu in Eretz Yisroel, New York and New Jersey

The Hell in Hellenism

Also See Reb Avigdor Miller, Z"L on the Hyrcanus' Downfall tape # R-22

Greek culture slowly infiltrated Jewish culture, threatening to destroy the Jewish people in ways tyrants could not do through brute force.
After the death of Alexander the Great, the Greek empire in the Mediterranean basin divided into two main sections. The northern empire — which included Syria, Turkey (which was then Asia Minor) and Greece itself — was under the domination of a general called Seleucus, and therefore called the Seleucid Empire. The southern empire, which was basically Egypt and Africa, was under the domination of a general called Ptolemy. These kingdoms would rule the Mediterranean world until Rome.
Sandwiched between them was the Land of Israel. When the two empires were at peace with each other there was a lot of trade to be had. However, when there was war it was a very dangerous place to be.
For various reasons, the Jews favored the southern empire, the Ptolemaic. They had a fascination with Egypt since their original sojourn there, and the large Jewish community in Alexandria also provided a kinship with them.

The Grandeur of Jewish Alexandria

At its height, Alexandria was the wealthiest, most powerful, most influential and most sophisticated Jewish community. The Talmud (Menachos 109b) describes a synagogue of immense proportions that the community built. Jewish artisans of Alexandria each had their own section in the synagogue: the goldsmiths sat in one section, the silversmiths in another, and the carpenters in a third.
Josephus writes that the synagogue was like an amphitheater. It had 8-10,000 seats. It was so large that people in one part could not hear the service taking place in the same room in another part, so in order to answer “Amen” they raised flags and waved.
Even more magnificent was a replica of the destroyed Temple in the heart of Alexandria, complete with priests and the whole ritual of sacrifices, all in accordance with Jewish law. What is strange is that, is that Torah law forbade building the Temple anywhere but Jerusalem!
Nevertheless, the Jews of Alexandria were very proud of their accomplishments and felt that Alexandria was more entitled to the Temple than Jerusalem. In their view, Jerusalem was a very provincial, small, backward city. It was not a city of the world. The situation was similar to the way the Jews of New York sometimes feel vis-a-vis anywhere else in the world.
The Jewish community of Alexandria thought of themselves in very grandiose terms. The irony is that in about 300 years they would disappear as though they never existed. In Jewish history, there are a number of such aberrations, of great Jewish communities that looked like they would last forever, and then it was as if somebody just pulled the plug on them. They disappeared. Alexandria was one of those communities.

The Septuagint

The Jews in Alexandria were so influential that the Greek rulers of the Ptolemaic empire became very interested in Jewish customs, ideas and behavior. Consequently, the emperor of the southern kingdom, Ptolemy,[1] commissioned the first translation of the Torah into a foreign language: Greek.
Until then, the Torah had only appeared in its original Hebrew, and it remained a sealed book. However, from the second century BCE on the Torah became the open book for the world, which it is today. Only the Oral Law — the transmission and interpretation of the Torah, which later became written down and called the Talmud – would remain a “sealed book.”
The Talmud (Megillah 9b) tells how Ptolemy placed 72 Jewish scholars in different rooms and told them to translate the Torah. In miraculous fashion the 72 translations all matched each other. In Greek, the translation became known as the Septuagint, which means “the 70” in reference to the amount of scholars who translated it. This is the basic translation of the Bible that much of the non-Jewish world has today.

Mistranslation of the “Virgin Birth”

It is important to realize that the most widely used version of the Christian Bible, the King James version, is not a translation of the Hebrew Bible. It is a translation from the Greek Bible. That is one of the reasons why there are so many errors, mistranslations and lost nuances.
Just to give an example, the Septuagint was translated by the Catholic Church into a Latin Bible, the Vulgate. The famous King James version is basically a translation of the Latin version. Therefore, it is an English translation of a Latin translation of a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. That is a lot like playing “telephone.” What someone says at the beginning is not going to come out exactly the same way at the end. Maimonides identifies a number of places where the basic ideas of Christianity are based simply on bad knowledge of Hebrew or on the lack of a translation.
The classic example is the story of the virgin birth. The Christian Bible attributes it to a verse in the prophet Isaiah (7:14). The Hebrew word there is not “virgin” but alma, which means a “young girl.” Now, a “young girl” can be a virgin, but if the prophet wanted to emphasize the miraculous nature of the event and leave no room for misinterpretation there is a better, unique Hebrew word for virgin.
The Greek word, however, for “young girl” and “virgin” is the same. Therefore, in the Septuagint when the translation of the prophet Isaiah was written they used the Greek word that means either “young girl” or “virgin.” In the Latin translation, only the word “virgin” already appears. Latin readers in the Roman Catholic Church saw this as an unmistakable reference to the doctrine of Immaculate Conception.
One of the reasons the Protestants departed from the Catholic Church many centuries later was because Luther and others complained about that mistranslation. They refused to accept the doctrine of Immaculate Conception simply because they were Biblical scholars enough to know that that is not what it said in the original.
That is just one example. The late Rabbi Reuven Margolies (1889-1971), a great Torah scholar, well also a self-taught Greek and Latin scholar. One of his many books is devoted to pointing out all the places where the Septuagint is different than the original Hebrew text. He found about 700 such variations — and he had an explanation in every one of the places why they did it.

How the Septuagint Changed the World

Despite advantages to teaching the non-Jewish world the Written Torah, the Sages of Israel did not welcome the opportunity. “The day when the Torah was written in Greek was as unfortunate for Israel as the day of the Golden Calf” (Soferim 1:7). They even combined it with two tragedies – the death of Ezra and the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem – and made it a public fast day (the tenth of Teves). Perhaps the reason was because they saw that the translation would open the door for usurpers and new religions claiming to supplant or succeed the Torah.
At the same time, the translation gave a dangerous stamp of approval to Greek language and culture. This allowed Greek culture and values to enter the Jewish world. From the time of the Septuagint onward, it was very hard to draw a line and say, “We are going to take this amount of Greek culture, but we are not going to take the rest.” What is going to happen is that they are going to take the rest. They are going to become more Greek than the Greeks, which is a Jewish trait. The Jews were super-Germans, super-Socialists, and are super-Americans, because the burden is upon them to prove themselves.
Here, too, the burden will be upon them to prove themselves Greek. And they will, indeed, out-Greek the Greeks. That was fallout from the translation of the Septuagint.

The Hellenists

About the year 200 BCE, there arose among the Jewish population a group called the Misyavnim, meaning Hellenists, who adopted Greek culture as a way of life to such a degree that, almost invariably, they gave up their Jewish culture and identity.
For instance, the Greeks were great believers in nudity. Their sports were done in the nude. Their bathhouses were attended in the nude. In the ancient world, the Jews and some Arabs were the only people who were circumcised. Thus, if you wanted to be a good Greek, you were embarrassed to go to the bathhouse or participate in sports. Consequently, Hellenized Jews underwent painful operations — at a time with minimum anesthetics — to restore their foreskin and appear Greek.
Imported along with the Greek language, customs and sports were Greek idols and modes of worship. Temples to the Greek gods and statues of Zeus littered the countryside. Each Greek home had its own set of idols, a patron god custom-made for the family, as well as a whole set of sacrificial rites. Worst of all, Greek strongholds embraced all the terrible moral looseness of the Greek world.
As time passed, more and more Jews not only spoke like Greeks, but took on their customs, attitudes and behaviors, which on so many levels were antithetical to the values of Judaism. Estimates are that a 30-40% of the Jewish population became Hellenists. Most of the upper class was simply swept away by this tide of Hellenist thought.
Some were no doubt simply ignorant of Jewish life and tradition. Others, however, became vicious self-haters. The Greeks found many willing collaborators among the Jews in their attempt to eradicate Judaism and install the more “enlightened” pagan culture of theirs in Israel. These Hellenist Jews hated their brethren and openly sided with the enemies of Israel who attempted to destroy the Jewish nation and faith. They hated themselves for being Jewish and resorted to things like painful cosmetic surgery not only to blend in better with the Greeks but as a sign of defiance in their attempt to remove any trace of being Jewish from their bodies. Naturally, the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks (which we will discuss next) was a great disappointment to them.
Jews true to Judaism were an increasingly shrinking island awash in a sea of Greek culture. They were victims of a cultural revolution that in a short time would have completely swamped them.
However, historical currents were at work which would give the besieged Jews an opening not only to stop the momentum of Greek culture, but reverse it and replace it with a brand new aspect of Jewish identity that would provide spiritual nourishment for countless generations in the future. That nourishment would become known to posterity as the story of Chanukah.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Is this part of the movement of "rearing its head again"? de ja vu? We think so!

Bimbo Bakeries USA, a subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo—one of the world’s largest baked-goods conglomerates with America’s largest private-label bread-baking business—made the decision in 2017 to drop the world’s largest kosher symbol, the OU (Orthodox Union) certification, from many of its products.

In recent months, consumers have noted that certifications have begun to drop off a large portion of the business’ Kof-K certified products as well, which included nationally distributed household-staple sandwich breads and buns such as Stroehmann, Oroweat, Arnold’s, Brownberry and Freihofer’s.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Brown Rice very infested


 I recently found worms in a bag of brown rice.  I happen to live a few houses away from a leading kashrus expert in Lakewood, and I called the Rav to tell him about the problem. 

He “happened” to be checking brown rice at the time of the phone call (!), and, as he gives checking demonstrations, he offered to show me what is going on with brown rice these days.  

I watched with his wife as he showed brown rice that looked perfectly clean when checked over. Then he put that same rice into a wire mesh colander and gave it a tap over a white plastic plate. What looked like tiny brown dust particles came out, onto the plate.

I said something like, “Ok, it’s tiny shards of chaff.” He said, ”Look again. They’re walking.”  I looked again and, sure enough, they were tiny little bugs, and they were walking!  The Rav said they were lice. Another shake, more came out. Another shake, even more came out. The Rav said that there were thousands of lice in that plastic container of brown rice.  As if that wasn’t bad enough…

I asked about a certain brand of gourmet rice, thinking it was surely clean. The Rav said, “It’s the worst.” He put some of that gourmet brown rice into the mesh colander and gave it a tap: nothing. Gave it another shake: nothing. Gave it a third tap: a black weavel came out. Another tap, another black weavel came out.  The Rav said that quinoa is a much greater problem, and must also be shaken out over a plastic plate with a finer mesh strainer.

Brown rice and quinoa infestation seems to be a problem that people should know about.

Thank you and kol tov,

I’m sorry, but I forgot to mention that there is also a recurring infestation problem with dried beans and chickpeas.

(After beans have been soaked in water over night, I put a few (say, 8 to 10) on the palm of my hand and check them, one-by-one - and then flip them to the other palm to check the other side of them, one-by-one.)  I regularly find infested beans - yet so many yirei Shamayim still do not know that beans must be checked!

Clean meat 100 glatt? It's for real ! It's the future!

No Chasidishe shechita required, no Tzomes Hagidin issues, All Bais Yosef, No Nikur issues, No salting issues, no 3 days, No Star-k, Tevya, no double seals, etc.

But is it Kosher?

NoClick to go to company websiteAs we’ve recently learned, Israel is home to the most startups per capita 
in the world, so we weren’t surprised to learn that there are several startups 
doing lab-grown meat from the Promised Land, which also boasts the
 most vegans per capita. Tel Aviv-based SuperMeat raised about $230,000 on crowdfunding site Indiegogo to produce chicken cultured from animal cells. The company says its lab-grown poultry will be cleaner than conventional meat for 
several reasons, from removing carcinogens such as arsenic from conventionally grown chicken to adding nutrients into the meat during production.
Supermeat's production process
What came first: the chicken or the egg? Or the test tube? Credit: SuperMeat
Two other Israeli startups often mentioned are Future Meat Technologies, led by Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Yaakov Nahmias who licensed his technology to SuperMeat, and Meat the Future, also led by an academic, Shulamit Levenberg, a professor of biomedical engineering at Technion,
 Israel Institute of Technology.
No issues with Agri, Aarons, Empire, Marvad, Braekel, etc.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Din-Torah this week about meat

A person asked a neighbor if they have room in their freezer for a large meat order they just got?
Neighbor, sure, put it all in I have plenty of room. The neighbor takes out a few pieces at a time.
After they thought they had all of their meat removed from the neighbors freezer, the neighbor bring over a package of meat and says "this is your also"!

She didn't recognize it, and she didn't want to take it.
So they went to their Rav for a psak.
The Rav looked at the packaging of the meat, he saw that it was from a South American Shechita.
He called someone knowledgeable in kashrus of meat and asked "do you know who shechts in this place"?, He responded that's Tevya's Ranch.

The people that used the neighbors freezer said "what? we would never take into our house Tevya's Ranch".

So evidently it wasn't theirs and a "Mich'shoil' was avoided.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Anti-Vaxxer email

Reb Yudel, nothing about the vaccines?
So you must be an anti-vaxxer? 

So publish the following;





                                                          Rav Moshe Sternbuch Writes Letter To 

Rav Malkiel Kotler About The...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kashrus certifier's ethics

      Kosher Certifier’s Ethics

 We in the field of Kosher Certification have accepted a fiduciary responsibility on behalf of the kosher consumer at large. Therefore, we owe our fidelity to the Kosher consumer to uphold and maintain that fiduciary responsibility. Executives who face troubling decisions are often confused about how to arrive at the right, moral and ethical course of action. This is not surprising since by definition a “moral dilemma” is one where there is no clear right and wrong, only positives and negatives.

We should be guided in our moral reasoning by the insight that comes from respecting the moral rights of the Kosher consumer; justice to colleagues and peers; consequences and outcomes; explaining and defending to others as well as to ourselves the decisions we make. Have I searched for all alternatives? Are there other ways I could look at the situation? Have I listened and considered all points of view of my colleagues and peers, while still maintaining high ethical standards?

Even if there is sound rational for this decision, and even if I could defend it to the kosher consumer, does my inner sense tell me this is right? Will my colleagues, peers, and the educated Kosher consumer agree with my rational? Does this decision agree with my moral beliefs and with my personal principles and sense of responsibility to the Kosher consumer? Would I want others representing the kosher consumer to make the same decision and to take the same action if faced with the same circumstances?

What are my true motives for this action? Would this action infringe on the moral rights and dignity of others? Would this action involve deceiving others in any way? Would I feel this action was just (ethical or fair) if I were on the other side of the decision? Am I being unduly influenced by others who may not be as sensitive to these ethical standards?

How would I feel (or how will I feel) if (or when) this action becomes known to the educated Kosher consumer? Would others feel that my action or decision is ethically and morally justifiable to the educated Kosher consumer? Can I justify my action as directly beneficial to the Kosher consumer and to their betterment in general?

We can stretch and expand our moral reasoning and ethical judgment and sharpen our ethical sensitivity and moral awareness by thinking through particular dilemmas in light of the above. If we consider all the questions discussed above with real intent and pure motives, then we can be confident that we will come with the Almighty’s help, to sound and ethical decisions.

When we achieve clarity as to the issues of the dilemma, we are better prepared to make a decision that is both right and defensible. We must remember that our goal is to achieve an ethical course of action in all areas affecting the kosher consumer, not to find a way to construct a rational argument in support of an unethical decision. Our daily decisions do (at times indirectly) impact the Kosher consumer. We live in a world where other concerns e.g. profits etc., often come into conflict with the concern for ethics and principles; and where society is demanding a higher standard of transparency, and a higher ethic of social responsibility to the Kosher consumer.

We must be willing and able to give the Kosher consumer in fact, that which the kosher consumer believes he / she is getting in theory. We owe it to ourselves…..we are all “individuals joined together and known as the Kosher Consumer’s advocate”.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CDC ALL ROMAINE "except Positive & kosher garden" SHOULD NOT BE USED!! Positive or Kosher garden CAN be used

CDC Identifies Romaine Lettuce as Likely Culprit in 11-State E. Coli Outbreak- 


Bodek claims that "their Laboratory says they don't have the E.coli".
On the other hand, "Laboratories say  that their products are infested".