Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Savo

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 said his first vort about HaKaras HaTov and quoted the Alshich who cited the well known vort on the first pasuk in the Torah (Bereishis Bara Elokim) that because of what was called first - the Torah, the Jews and Bikkurim, Hashem created the world. This is understandable as it relates to the Torah which preceded creation as well and as it relates to the Jews who are called reishis by Hashem, but why Bikkurim? The Alshich explains that since the concept of Bikkurim is emblematic of Hakaras HaTov, the world was created for the mitzva of Bikkiurim so that we could see the importance of having HaKaras HaTov.

R' Frand quoted the Vilna Gaon on Sefer Yehoshua to illustrate this point. After the meraglim were saved by Rachav, she says to them - I did you a chessed and I want you to do for my family a chessed - I want you to save the lives of my family. The Gaon notes that Rachav says that she wants them to save her because that is Emes whereas saving her family was a chessed. Why the distinction? Because since she did a chessed for them, they are required to do a good deed for her - this is mandatory in order to recognize the good that was done for them. For her family -- that was just chessed.

R' Frand next said a vort on Rosh Hashana. He quoted the Chazon Ish who says that on Rosh Hashana one is allowed to make personal requests. However this is controversial and in the Vilna Gaon quoting the Zohar says that one cannot make personal requests. In fact, we see the tefillos are all about asking Hashem to reveal himself and his glory. If we are devoted servants, it should be incumbent on us to be focused on causing Hashem glory and not on our own needs. The personal needs can be addressed during the Aseres Yimei Teshuva and Yom Kippur.

R' Frand quoted R' Nosson Wachtfogel who heard from R' Leib Chasman who heard from the Chazon Ish the reason he stated that a person can make personal requests. 

He began by telling a story about how the Czar wanted a parade, so he first went to St Petersburg and had a large parade and then went to Moscow and also had a parade. This continued into the smaller cities until he wound up in a small town filled by simple farmers. The townsfolk did not know who the Czar was and they actually feared strangers and would stone them. The Mayor was concerned that if the people were to throw stones, the Czar would order the town to be plowed under, so he asked them not to throw stones. The Czar proceeded through the town to small applause and all was fine.

On Rosh Hashanah, Hashem comes down and is first given a respectful greeting by the Avos. He then comes to Moshe Rabbeinu and gets a similar greeting. He then continues down eventually to the common folk. We don't recognize Hashem's greatness and we are like the simple townsfolk. Our job is to recognize that it all comes from Hashem and that He is responsible for our needs. We are so far removed from the revelation of Hashem's greatness that we don't even recognize it. In a perfect world we would be lauding His revelation and greatness, but we cant. However, we do see that He is responsible for all that we need and He can help us with finding parnassah, or a shidduch or health. By recognizing that it all comes from him, we are revealing his greatness in the only way that a 21st Century Jew can do.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Fat Hoppy Ale




This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Fat Hoppy Ale.

This summer New Belgium celebrated the 25th anniversary of Fat Tire by collaborating with other notable breweries and producing their ode to Fat Tire. The Fat Tire and Friends mix box contains five beers in addition to Fat Tire itself, including: Fat Funk Ale; Fat Hoppy Ale; Fat Pale Ale; Fat Sour Apple Ale (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-fat-sour.html) and Fat Wild Ale.While this would be exciting to most beer aficionados, it is even more exciting to the kosher beer consumer since all of these brews were produced at New Belgium and the 12 pack box even has the Scroll K (Va'ad of Denver) symbol on the bottom of the box.

The Fat Hoppy Ale was produced in collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewery. It has a mix of citrus, leaning towards grapefruit which hits before the glass even gets near the mouth and continues well past each swallow. The beer is a little high on the alcohol content (6% abv) but the flavor does not manifest in the brew. There was some pine which also followed through in each sip and made the flavor profile even more complex.

I could see pairing this beer with charred chicken or even smoked brisket. If you had a good pairing experience, please post it in the comments below.

Please note that not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Fat Sour Apple Ale, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/217618. As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

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, September 15, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Tseitzei

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.

The parsha begins with the laws of the Eishes Yifas Toar who is captured in battle. R'  Frand noted that besides the obvious question as to why there is even a need for the rule, it is puzzling how the soldier would have a desire, based on the connection between this week and last week's parsha.

In Parshas Shoftim, the Torah lists in Devarim 20:3-9, the men who are exempt from battle. When the Torah lists those who are faint hearted, the Gemara explains that this makes reference to those who are afraid because they have sinned. As a result of these exemptions, the only ones going out to battle are the tzaddikim who have not sinned. So if this is the type of solider who is in battle, why was there a need for this law?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Ya'akov Galinski (sp?) who explains that people have a misconception that tzaddikim don't do battle with (and occasionally fall before)their yetzer hara.  A tzaddik will have issues resisting his yetzer hara, however he works at trying to overcome it by setting up gedarim - fences- which prevent him from being in a situation where he might fail. 

R' Frand gave an example of a person who is trying to lose or maintain their weight. If they are invited to a wedding and know that there will be all sorts of tempting foods, the smart move would be to eat a full healthy meal before going to the wedding, so that the person will not feel hungry and desire to partake in the shmorg. 

The problem is that the fences are only effective when a tzaddik is in an environment over which he has control. However, when the tzaddik goes out to battle, he is thrown into an environment of chaos where there are no fences to keep him in line. It is in such an environment that he may encounter an Eishis Yifas Toar and it is is for that reason that the law exists.

R' Frand also spoke about the concept of returning lost objects and made reference to the pasuk in Devarim 22:2 that if the owner of the lost object is not nearby, there is an obligation to bring the object in using the word "V'asafto". R' Frand quoted the Ba'al HaTurim who notes that the word V'asafto appears only twice in the Tanach - here and Melachim II 5:6, in discussing the gathering in of someone with Tzara'as.

R' Frand quoted the sefer Merapeh L'Nefesh which explains that the law of Hashavas Aveidah is not only about objects, but is equally applicable to people. If you see someone who appears to be lost in the wrong path, there is an obligation to help him right himself and return to the derech. 

R Frand quoted the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh who explains that the use of the word Shor in Devarim 22:1 is allegorical and really refers to a person who is like an animal. You should return him to Achicha - bring him back to Hashem's ways. When the Torah states later in Devarim 22:2  that the lost item is "Lo KaRov" it is a reference to the end of days when many Jews may be off the derech. At this point one must gather the object "El Toch Beisecha" - bring him into the Beis Medrash so that he can learn.

The Merapeh L'Nefesh states the same concept by Tzara'as. A person gets Tzara'as because he is Tzar Ayin - he has a very narrow view on things and people and he does not see the whole picture. It is incumbent on us to gather him and show him the wonders of Torah life.

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, September 11, 2016

Sunday Night Suds - Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Leinenkugel's Grapefruit Shandy.

Its no secret that I am not a fan of the Radler/Shandy style of beer. I don't think that the big guy upstairs intended for lemonade and lager to be joined together. But this beer was not your average Shandy, largely because it did not taste like a Shandy.

The Grapefruit Shandy poured a deep cloudy yellow with about two inches of foam. But the foam was about the only resemblance this had to beer. The taste reminded me of store brand/no frills grapefruit juice. The alcohol content was imperceptible and at most it bore a passing resemblance to a wine cooler. If there was lager in this brew, I did not notice it.

Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, and has an OU on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/710/159431

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).

Also, 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, September 8, 2016

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shoftim

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 Devarim 17:18, the Torah writes that a King should have two sifrei Torah (as opposed to the average Jew who only needs to write one). The Gemara in Sanhedrin states that one of the Torahs is to be kept in his storehouse and the other is to travel with him.

R' Frand quoted the Sefer Ner Uziel who explains that a Jew generally should be the same on the inside as the outside - tocho k'barro. However, a King is commanded to be different. While he is to be humble at home, he needs to an imposing and fearful presence when he is outside of the home. If is for this reason that he has two sifrei Torah - one to read at home to remind him that he is to be humble and yield to others and one to take with him as a reminder that he must have an awe inspiring presence outside the home.

R' Frand next quoted a pasuk from Vayelech (Devarim 31:7)  where Moshe calls Yehoshua and tells him to be strong and courageous. R' Frand asked - where should the "comma" be in the pasuk? One would think that it would be before the words Chazak V'Ematz. However, the notes on the pasuk place the "comma" earlier in the pasuk as it precedes the words "L'einei Kol Yisrael" and as such the pasuk is read "before the eyes of all of Israel be strong." Why? Because the King or leader needs to be strong before the eyes of the people. 

R' Frand made a parenthetical joke that generally if one acts as a King in public he needs his wife the Queen to remind him to be humble at home.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting the Chassam Sofer who discussed how when King David knew that he would be dying he asked that his son Shlomo be given his mule to ride on. This was significant as there is a general concept that two kings don't share (make use consecutively of)  the same items. So why the mule and why would a king ride a mule? Even Avraham and the Moshiach used donkeys.

The Chassam Sofer answers that a mule comes from a union of a horse and a donkey. A horse is a royal creature and a donkey is lowly. The resultant offspring has characteristics of both - haughtiness and humility. This is the role of the king.

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!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Labor Day 2016 Kosher Beers List

As a community service, Kosher Beers publishes a list twice a year of the beers which are known to be certified kosher. The list will be updated periodically until the next edition (Purim 2017/5777). For the Labor Day 2016  edition, I will again be using scribd to upload and maintain list. All newly added beers are in bold.


Kosher Beers List Labor Day 2016