Sunday, May 27, 2007

On post-death baptism by Mormons

Rescuing this from an older source and posting it in response to a friend's post:

According to Mormon theology, all post-death baptism offers is a chance for the deceased person to join the Mormon religion. Since they think everyone else is in hell, they naturally assume everyone accepts. Here's how I picture it.

It is a lovely Shabbat evening in heaven. (It is always Shabbat there). Mr and Mrs Levy and their children have just finished singing Shalom Aleichem when there is a knock at the door. Mr Levy opens it and an angel is standing there, looking uncomfortable.

Mr. Levy smiles. "We were just singing to welcome you. What a pleasant surprise! What a great timing!".

The angel squirms. "Actually, Mr. Levy, I'm just here to ask you if you want to become a Mormon." Mr Levy roars with laughter, and says "No thanks. Are you sure you don't have time for some kugel? In heaven there is always time for kugel!"

The angel enters, says amen to the kiddush, winds up staying for the full meal, and then sadly departs to ask the next person if they want to convert.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Never complain about a 3 day chag again

Taken out of context from religion clause:

From November through February, traditional Hopis are prohibited from engaging in government or significant non-religious pursuits.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Another reason to want to be Sephardi

I so dislike the difficulties caused by the Ashkenazi rules about dairy and meat equipment. Bad enough to need 4 sets of pots, but 6 is really ridiculous. It is interesting to me that in this issue they don't cite Ashkenazi practice. Although the list in question is Sephardi, they usually mention Askhenazic custom when it differs.

The Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin Memorial Halacha Series
Authored by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour (5/8/2007)

To dedicate Daily Halacha for a day please click here. Thank you.

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Description: Is It Permissible to Use A Meat Pot To Cook A Parve Item That Will Be Mixed With A Dairy Item

Is it permissible to cook rice, or some other parve food, in a pot that had been used for meat, and then eat the parve food with milk or another dairy product? We refer, of course, to a case where the pot is clean and does not contain any actual particles of meat on its surface. Does the fact that the pot had been used for meat render it forbidden to use the food cooked in that pot with dairy foods? (This question arises with regard to the traditional "M'gedra" (rice and lentils) which is commonly eaten with yoghurt.)

There is a Halachic concept discussed in the Yoreh Dei'a section of Shulchan Aruch called "Notein Ta'am Bar Notein Ta'am Le'heteira." This term refers to a case like the one described above, of a clean pot that does not contain any meat, but does contain the taste of meat within its walls. When food is cooked in that pot, the taste embedded within the walls now enters the cooked food, and we refer to this "second degree taste" as "Notein Ta'am Bar Notein Ta'am." According to Halacha, if the food cooked in the pot is parve, and thus no violation occurs when it is cooked in the pot (as opposed to a case of dairy food cooked in a meat pot), the food remains parve and may be eaten together with milk. Since the parve food contains only a "Notein Ta'am Bar Notein Ta'am," and not the original taste of meat, it retains its parve status, and one may eat it with milk or other dairy products.

The question then becomes whether or not one may prepare a parve food in a meat pot with the initial intention of eating it with dairy foods. Thus far we have established that a parve food that had been prepared in a meat pot may be used with dairy products. But does this Halacha apply only if this occurred inadvertently, or even "Le'chatechila" (optimally)?

The Shulchan Aruch rules that one may use the parve food with dairy foods only "Be'di'avad" (after the fact, if it was mistakenly prepared in a meat pot). However, in "Bedek Ha'bayit," revisions to the "Beit Yosef" that Maran (author of the Shulchan Aruch) published after writing the Shulchan Aruch, he cites the position of Rabbenu Yerucham (Provence-Spain, 1280-1350) who allowed cooking parve food in a meat pot even with the initial intention of using it with dairy products. This is, indeed, the ruling of Chacham Ovadia Yosef, in his work Yabia Omer. Rabbi Shlomo Amar (current Sephardic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel) likewise follows this position in his work of responsa, and Chacham Ovadia, in an introduction he wrote to Rabbi Amar's work, commends Rabbi Amar for his courage in publishing this lenient position.

It should be noted that this Halacha applies equally in the reverse case, of a parve food prepared in a dairy pot that one wishes to eat with meat. One may cook a parve food in a dairy pot even with the initial intention of eating it together with meat.

Furthermore, this Halacha applies regardless of whether or not the pot had been used with meat or milk within the previous twenty-four hours. Although regarding many Halachot we distinguish between utensils that had been used for meat or milk within the last twenty-four hours and those that have not, with respect to this Halacha no such distinction is made.

Summary: It is permissible to cook a parve food in a meat pot and then eat it with dairy foods, or to cook a parve food in a dairy pot and then eat it with meat, provided that the pot is clean. One may cook the parve food in a meat pot even with the initial intention of eating it with dairy foods, and vice versa. This applies regardless of whether or not the pot had been used with meat or dairy foods within the previous twenty-four hours.

See Halichot Olam, Helek 7, Page 74.

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