Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The Bais-Din "Mishpat Sholom" is misinformed and is of the erroneous opinion that shoulder pads do not have to be checked for Shatnez.

I personally asked each of the Mishpat Sholom Dai'yonim "if they know the technical part of shatnez testing". They all responded unequivocally "we know absolutely nothing about the actual testing of Shatnez".

I asked how you can give a Hashgocha on something that you know nothing about. They responded that the Hashgocha is that the individual is an Erlicher yid.

We suggest that each one should ask a "Sheila" by a Shatnz-expert, if they may wear clothing that "shulder-pads" are not checked as a matter of policy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Bs’d INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL SHATNEZ LABORATORIES by R' Yosef Sayagh 641 7th Street, Lakewood NJ 08701 (732) 364-7056
E-mail Editor: Yosef Stolz Los Angeles California

"Bitul Regarding the Linen Fibers that are found in the Cotton Fill of Shoulder Pads" – Aug ‘06

We would like to discuss shoulder pads that are constructed by placing raw fibers in between two layers of felt. The raw fibers are pressed and matted between two felt pad covers .The cotton fill sometimes contains linen fibers.

Question: Are the linen fibers botel? Answer: There are two cases:
1) The linen and cotton fibers are all the same color.
2) The linen fibers are a different color than the cotton fibers.

Case #1: If the fibers of linen are the minority and are not noticeable because they are the same color as the cotton fibers, the poskim have paskened l’heter, since they are botel. [If the fibers of linen are the majority, even though they are not noticeable, then bitul obviously does not apply.]

Case #2: If the fibers of linen are a different color than the cotton and are clearly noticeable, for example the linen fibers are brown and are mixed with white cotton fibers, it is a mach'lokes of poskim whether the fibers are botel.

What is the basis of the argument? The Tashbeitz [Vol 2, Teshuvah 4] says in the name of the Rashba, Ran, Ra’avad, and Tosafos: “The general rule of bitul does not apply when the issur is noticeable”[The Gilyon Ma’harsha (Yora Deah, 98:4) and the Taz (Orach Chaim, 632:3) say that this general rule because it is noticeable it isn't botul even if it is the minority is a din Mideoraisa,.

The Levush (see Minchas Yitzchok, Vol 10, end of response 97) says that this is only a din Miderabbonan.]What is the reason that something that is noticeable (nickar) cannot be nullified by the majority (botul berov)?

There are two explanations given:
1. Because the rule of nullification applies only when everything is totally mixed together. If the issur is noticeable, it is not mixed together.

2. The Tashbeitz says that the rule of nullification applies when everything is mixed together, if however the issur is situated in a known place, i.e. on the surface and not blended in with the heter, it can simply be removed. Why apply the rule of bitul when you can simply remove the issur?

The difference between these two explanations would be, if the issur is noticeable but it is not removable, according to the first explanation, the fact that it is noticeable renders it a separate entity, therefore the rule of bitul will not apply. [The fact that it is not removable does not change the ruling and it remains ossur.]

However, according to the second explanation, being noticeable is not the deciding factor. It all depends on if the issur is removable. Therefore, if the issur is not physically removable, even if it is noticeable, the rule of nullification (bitul) will apply. Rashba says that if an issur is noticeable but not removable, the rule of bitul will apply. [see Minchas Yitzchok (Vol 10, end of response 97) ]

The Tzemach Tzedek (Yora Deah, response 70 #5) adds that if it is only possible to remove the issur with great effort, one can rely on bitul. [See Malbushei Yesha (2, seif 11)]

Conclusion: If the fibers of linen are the minority but are noticeable, for example the linen fibers are brown & are mixed with white cotton fibers, then: According to the Tashbeitz, Rashba and Tzemach Tzedek; even though the linen fibers are noticeable, the rule of nullification applies, as explained above.

However some poskim paskened that there is certainly a makom to be mach'mir and it is appropriate to have these types of shoulder pads removed. They base this on the fact that, as noted above, some poskim conclude that the general rule of nullification does not apply when the linen fibers are noticeable, even though it is not possible to remove them.

Shoulder Pads -Joseph Abboud Men’s SuitR’ Dovid Ginsburg (Chicago) found brown linen fibers in the white cotton fill of a Joseph Abboud men’s suit, as seen in pictures below.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Vitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin, and was identified as necessary to prevent rickets and other diseases affecting bones. Vitamin D is called the "sunshine vitamin", because it is produced in the body by the reaction of solar UV irradiation with cholesterol.

This reaction occurs just under the skin. However, many people do not get enough sunlight, and Vitamin D is now routinely added to milk to ensure an adequate amount together with the calcium in the milk.

The Halachik issues relating to Vitamin D, however, are quite interesting. Two commercially available forms of this vitamin are available, Vitamin D­­­2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D­­­2 is produced by irradiating a chemical called ergosterol, converting it to ergocalciferol (Vitamin D­­­2).

Ergosterol is produced by a fungus, so named because it was first isolated from a fungus growing on rye (ergot). Today, a strain of yeast that produces a far higher yield of ergosterol is grown in large fermentors and although it requires a Kosher certification, as do all fermentation products, it poses no innate Kashrus concern. Passover certification would depend on the Passover status of the yeast.

Vitamin D3 is produced by irradiating 7-dehydrocholesterol, a product derived from the cholesterol found in the skin, which is thereby converted into cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). It is the source for this cholesterol that poses the potential Kashrus concern. Sheep's wool has been used as a clothing material since the dawn of time (see Sota 11a, where according to one opinion the clothing supplied to Adam and Chava was wool).

While on the sheep, however, wool is dirty and oily, and wool processors wash raw wool with various chemicals to remove this grease. From this washing process hey obtain wool grease, which is processed into a lubricant called lanolin. When lanolin is further processed and irradiated it is converted into Vitamin D3. The question is whether lanolin itself is Kosher, since it is an excretion from a live animal. For many years, some authorities recommended avoided using Vitamin D3 under the mistaken belief that the lanolin was somehow animal fat that was exuded from the flesh into the wool, a misunderstanding of the term wool "fat".

Were this to be the case, it would have been forbidden as Basar Min Hachai (flesh from a living animal). Upon further clarification, however, it was determined that lanolin was actually a secretion of the skin, and this concern became moot. Its status as a secretion of a living animal, however, does leave room for discussion. It may be argued that it is still subject to the rule of Yoze, something that is produced by a forbidden animal (in this case, one that is not properly slaughtered) remains prohibited. Much has been written on this point, with Halachik authorities arguing on both sides.

Some have argued that since, during processing, the lanolin becomes inedible it is no longer a subject of concern since the prohibition is only one of Yoze and not an inherent prohibition. In addition, some have argued more to the point - that wool is a permitted item per se and items derived from it pose no Halachik concern. On the other hand, some have argued that lanolin should be treated as any other prohibited excretion, and they thus avoid using Vitamin D3.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kosher purveyor beef sources Vs Non-kosher Purveyor beef sources

In order for a purveyor/ slaughterhouse to control his sources of beef he must be the purchaser or grower of the beef. That is to say that the purveyor / slaughterhouse must have suffecient outlets to market his kosher and his non-kosher as well, as almost 90 % or more of the beef must be sold off as non-kosher (when you have a 20% kosher ratio-Glatt would be even less of a ratio).

Every Purveyor / Slaughterhouse must therefore operate on שבת ויום טוב וחול המועד including the trucking, plant (maintanence) etc. which involves many Halachic issues which we don't want to get into.

So actually we are left with a problomatic scenario; A Glatt / kosher purveyor that wants to control fully his beef sources must become a first & foremost a Non-kosher purveyor of beef, and in order to compete with the other larger non-kosher purveyors of beef he will also sell directly product labeled as Glatt or kosher (at a somewhat higher price) in order to make up the difference of his loss on the non-kosher, but he is actually owning & operating a NON-KOSHER slaughter-house,
(selling Glatt & kosher beef & poultry as a "side business").

The big question is "What does the strictly Glatt kosher purveyor do"? Most of the Glatt purveyors contract with the Non-kosher slaughterhouse to only take the small percentage of Glatt beef, the other 90% + of non-Glatt beef or non-kosher beef is left for the non-kosher slaughterhouse to get rid of. Therefore the Glatt purveyor is at a disadvantage as he can't control completly his beef sources. On the other hand he doesn't have to concern himself with Halachic issues of Shabbos, Yom-Tov, Chol Hamoed, מיסחר בדברים אסורים etc.

Allways check what type of Glatt purveyor is your supplier.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A certifier the consumer can rely upon

The certification has been in the past mostly for industrial products.
As of late it has been available for the commercial and retail consumer as well.