Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Bo

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand's first vort discussed the interplay between Moshe and Pharaoh during the plague of locusts. In Shemos 10:8, Pharaoh asks Moshe - who will be going when you leave, using the language "Mi V'Mi." Moshe responds to Pharaoh in Shemos 10:9 that our youngsters and elders will go. Two pesukim later, Pharaoh then says to Moshe that only the older men shall go, because this is what you are asking for.

The obvious question is, why does Pharaoh tell Moshe that he only wants the grown men, when Moshe just told him that he wanted everyone to go?

R' Frand answered by first quoting a Medrash which stated that the conversation revolved around a pasuk in Tehillim which "Mi Ya'aleh B'Har Hashem, U'Mi Yakum B'Mkom Kadsho."

The sefer Kobetz HaMinchos gives a little background to the conversation and explains the connection with the Medrash. Apparently, Pharaoh's version of religion involved only the elders and the wizened men. Religion was not for the young or even the proletariat in Egypt. Moshe on the other hand stressed that we need our youngsters to be engaged in religion, because they are our future.

This debate played out in the pesukim. Pharaoh asked who is going, based on his view that only the elders need or should go. Moshe responded - our youngsters and our elders and mentioned the youngsters first to make a point. Pharaoh responded that Moshe did not truly want the youth to go, because they would not appreciate religion.

The second vort tied into a question that R' Frand asked a few weeks back as to why Hashem had to use the word "Na" in instructing Moshe to ask the Jews to please ask the Egyptians for gold and silver (and clothes) before leaving Egypt. The Gemara in Berachos writes that Hashem even said to Moshe - tell them that I am doing this to keep my promise to Avraham that the Jews would leave Egypt with great wealth.

R' Frand answered this time by quoting R' Zalman Sorotzkin who explains that until the post Shoah generation, no one understood this concept. He made reference to his first trip to Israel and seeing all the Mercedes and VWs. He was aghast at how there were so many German cars and how he would never consider buying a German car and giving them money, when they had been responsible for the deaths of six million Jews.

But in Israel, the West German government gave them cars at reduced prices as reparations for the acts of the Nazis. This was the subject of significant debate at the time, as many did not want to take the reparations, saying that the Germans should not have the satisfaction of having "repaid" their debt.

The same misgivings were had in Egypt. The Jews had seen their babies thrown into the water or baked into buildings. They had been abused for generations. And now, why should the Egyptians feel that they had paid the Jews for their troubles?

To this, Hashem said to Moshe, ask them please to take the money and tell them its to keep My promise to Avraham. This is is not about getting back to an even footing, its a favor to me.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Tea Party Saison


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the "Samuel Adams" Brewing American Dream series - the Tea Party Saison.

The beers in this series were prepared in collaboration with five breweries. In addition to the Tea Party Saison, the other four beers are Three Ninety Bock (made with Roc Brewing Co.);  Desert Kaleidoscope IPA (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/12/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-desert.html) which was partnered with Bosque Brewing; Time Hop Porter (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2018/01/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-time-hop.html) which was partnered with ChuckAlek Brewery and Oats McGoats Stout, (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/10/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-oats.html) which was partnered with Brewery Rickoli. (For a great article on the mentor program, click here http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/beer/ct-sam-adams-beer-mentor-program-20170717-story.html).

The Tea Party Saison was made in collaboration with Woods Brewery and although it calls itself a Saison, it tasted more like a wild or sour ale. The beer has a high end alcohol content at 7.40% abv, but the alcohol flavor is not exceedingly strong. The beer poured a dark cloudy gold and I was unable to see through the beer in the glass. The yeast gave this beer somewhat of a lemon iced tea flavor, almost like a half & half iced tea. This was a decent change of taste, but I would not be interested in having another one of these.

The Tea Party Saison is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the bottle. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/292909.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

If you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

Lastly, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Va'era

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

In Shemos 7:26-8:11 the Torah tells the story of the plague of frogs which descended on Egypt. As part of this discussion, the Torah writes at 7:28 that the frogs would descend everywhere in Egypt from the palace to bedroom to the kitchen of the servants. In bringing the plague, Hashem commands Moshe to tell his brother Aharon to bring up the frogs, using the word "V'Ha'al" (8:1). The Ba'al Ha'Turim notes that this is one of two places in the Torah where Hashem uses that word. The other occurrence is when Hashem tells Moshe to bring Aharon up to Hor HaHar where Aharon will die. (Bamidbar 20:25). 

But what is the connection between the two events? [An entertainment lawyer in attendance at the shiur in WH theorized that the connection was both croaked. But I will supply R' Frand's answer as well].

R' Frand quoted the gemara in Pesachim which discusses how Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya threw themselves into a fiery furnace rather than bow down to an idol of Nebuchadnezzar. The gemara explains that they drew a kal v'chomer from the frogs. Since the frogs were all over Egypt from the bedrooms to the kitchens and these frogs chose to fall into the ovens rather than the beds, Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya chose to fall into the furnace. These frogs did not even have a mitzva to die Al Kiddush Hashem, but people do have this obligation and so they chose to enter the furnace.

The Ba'al HaTurim then quoted a Medrash on Tehillim which notes that when the Torah discusses the death of the frogs after Moshe prayed to Hashem there is no mention that the frogs that were in the oven died like all the other frogs...because those frogs who threw themselves into the ovens did not die! Moshe & Aharon had a chance to sanctify Hashem's name but did not do so. For this reason they would die on Hor HaHar.

R' Frand then quoted Tosfos on Pesachim which asked, why did Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya have to draw a lesson from the frogs? There are three mitzvos which a Jew must die rather than transgress. Since idol worship is one of those three mitzvos, this would have been enough of a reason for Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya to fall into the furnace, rather than bow to the idol! Tosafos answers that the idol was not truly an idol. It was a statue of Nebuchadnezzar had made of himself which he wanted people to worship to show their loyalty to him. He did not view himself as a deity and the bowing was not meant to treat him that way. Thus Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya had a real reason to draw a kal v'chomer from the frogs.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting R' Kalmanovitz of the Mirrer Yeshiva who said that each person who saw the people bowing to the idol said to himself, someone should stand up and say no and act in the name of heaven. Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya said to themselves, we could be like all the others and bow down, or we can make a statement that this is not right. They drew their inspiration from the frogs as any of the frogs could have said --why do I need to be the one that falls into the oven instead of the bedroom. But the frogs did not dodge this task and Chananya, Mishael and Azaraya decided that they would not either.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Time Hop Porter


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the "Samuel Adams" Brewing American Dream series - the Time Hop Porter.

The beers in this series were prepared in collaboration with five breweries. In addition to the Time Hop Porter the other four beers are Three Ninety Bock (made with Roc Brewing Co.);  Desert Kaleidoscope IPA (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/12/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-desert.html) which was partnered with Bosque Brewing; Tea Party Saison (made with Woods Beer Co.) and Oats McGoats Stout, (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/10/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-oats.html) which was partnered with Brewery Rickoli. (For a great article on the mentor program, click here http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/beer/ct-sam-adams-beer-mentor-program-20170717-story.html).

The Time Hop Porter was made in collaboration with ChuckAlek Independent Brewers and is brewed as a somewhat light, but hoppy Porter. The beer has a lower alcohol content at 5.30% abv, but has a complex developed flavor. The beer poured a rich dark brown, almost the color of Guiness, but not as thick or rich. Still, the beer had some unexpected hoppiness which together with the malt gave an interesting bit of bitterness. I enjoyed it with Mrs KB and her older brother who thought it was similar to that famous British stout. Although I thought it was a bit lighter, I did enjoy the beer as a rich dessert.

The Time Hop Porter is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the bottle. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/194093.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

If you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

Lastly, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shemos

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand began the vort by quoting the gemara in Sota 11a which states that as a reward for the righteous Jewish ladies actions in Egypt of encouraging their husbands to have children, the Jews were zoche to leave Egypt with great reward. The meforshim explain that the men did not want to procreate as they saw the children being thrown into the river or used as bricks and they were wondered why should they make children who were doomed. However the Jewish women were able to convince them to continue and have children nonetheless. Hashem rewarded the Jewish people for these acts by giving them the great wealth when they left Egypt.

Rabbi Frand asked four questions on this gemara. The first question was a rather basic question - how was wealth a reward for their encouraging their husbands to have children? What was the connection between the two?

The second question had to do with the mechanism of receiving the wealth. In Parshas Bo (Shemos 11:2) Moshe is told to ask (Daber Na) the Jews to please request that the Egyptians give them gold and silver vessels. Why did Hashem need to ask the Jews to please request the gold and silver from the Egyptians when they knew that they would be leaving Egypt with these items as payment for their labors? Why ask them with a "please" to ask for their wages?

The third question was related to the second in that it asked - why did Hashem need to use this as the mechanism for extracting payment for the Jews? 

The fourth question was based on a comparison of the request for payment in Shemos vs Bo. In Shemos 3:22, the Jews are told to ask for gold and silver vessels and clothing. But in Shemos 11:2 the Jews are only told to ask for gold and silver, without reference to clothes. Why?

R' Frand answered these questions in the name of R' Elya Svei who quoted the Seforno in explaining that the request to the Egyptians was a sign of bitachon. At the time that the Jews has asked, the Egyptians had just sustained the ten plagues and lost their first born sons. When the Jews would walk out with their possessions, the Egyptians would be riled up and angry and would have motivation to chase after them. So Hashem asked the Jews to make this request as a sign of their trust in Hashem that we would take care of them.

This also explains why the reward for working in Egypt did not just appear on their doorsteps. This was a growth process so that the Jews would learn to have faith in Hashem, much like tying the lamb to their bedposts.

This also explains why Hashem had Moshe ask the Jews to "please" take their wages from the Egyptians. This was not a simple request for payment, it was a show of faith.

R' Frand also quoted Rashi who explained that the clothes were the most difficult for the Egyptians to give up. It was for this reason that the first request made was for the Jews to ask for gold/silver and clothes, but the second time they were only told to ask for gold and silver. But the Jews did make the request for all three classes of goods.

R' Frand then answered his initial question. The reason that this was a reward for the women encouraging their husbands to have children is that the action of having children was a show of faith in Hashem continuing the Jewish people. The Jews learned this faith from the women and cemented it by asking for the payment which became their great wealth. 

R' Frand closed the vort by noting that leaving with great wealth was also Hashem's way of keeping His promise to Avraham. Rashi and the Ramban explain that Avraham was punished for asking, how do I know that the Jews will inherit the land, and this was a sign of lack of faith. But in asking for payment the Jews showed that they did have faith and were able to "fix" Avraham's slight failure. By leaving with the great wealth the Jews showed that they had a "wealth" of emunah as well.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - 20 Pounds of Pumpkin


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at 20 Pounds of Pumpkin.

The 20 Pounds of Pumpkin is a pumpkin ale, but unlike many other pumpkin ales it does not have an overpowering pumpkin flavor and the spices added to the brew process (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) are also quite muted.

This not to say that the beer is weak or watered down. It truly is an Ale and it has more hop backbone than one would normally find in a pumpkin ale. It does have some pumpkin flavor, but the flavor is subdued and does not scream pumpkin. I could see pairing this with apricot chicken or other poultry dishes.

The Samuel Adams 20 Pounds of Pumpkin is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the bottle. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/229621.

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

If you are reading this post more than six months after it was written, please note that it is possible that the product is no longer still certified kosher. To verify that the product is still certified kosher, please click on the kosher beers list link on the top left corner of the blog.

Lastly, if you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!