Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Hopscape


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Hopscape Ale.

This beer is a relatively new winter seasonal offering from the good folks of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. First introduced in the Fall of 2016, this unflavored beer draws its complex hop flavor and name from the four types of West Coast hops used in the brew process --Zeus, Centennial, Citra, and Chinook.

The beer has some definite citrus notes and has a grapefruit like flavor which rivals the Uinta Wyld, another unflavored beer (reviewed here kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-night-suds-uinta-wyld.html) which makes you wonder how they brewed this without any additives.

The Hopscape would go well with most chicken or fish dishes and could easily substitute for a Chardonnay if you were looking to upgrade or downgrade (depending on your perspective on beer) a YT meal.

The Samuel Adams Hopscape Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/244041.

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.

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, May 18, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Behar - Bechukosai

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parshios 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 Vayikra 25:19-22, the Torah contemplates an internal conversation that the farmer will have as to what he will eat during the shmitta period in that the crops from the sixth year will have to last through the eighth year. 

The Medrash states that those who keep the shmitta are strong willed. They watch their field lie fallow while they pay taxes without income. And then they watch others harvest the growth of the field in year six. This is great strength.

But the obvious question is, if Hashem has promised the farmer that there will be enough food and the crops from the sixth year will yield triple an ordinary harvest, why are the farmers called strong willed? They already know that they will not starve!

R' Frand gave two answers. The first analyzes the mindset of the farmer. He will have a full silo and will not starve. But he is forced to sit and watch while the growth of the seventh year is taken by anyone who wants it. He is unnerved by the fact that HIS field is deemed hefker or owner less and anyone can reap the crops, without even saying "thank you." While he prides himself on his generosity in that he will give charity to those who need it, this year the farmer does not get to select who will receive the check, nor does he get credit (in his mind) for supporting the less fortunate. The fact that he must sit back and not prevent others from taking from his field makes him "strong willed."

The second answer is also grounded in human nature --- that people quickly forget the good which was previously done for them. Although the farmer did have a yield 3x the norm in year six, he has already forgotten how bountiful it was and it pains him that others are now harvesting from the field which he pays taxes on.

R' Frand finished this vort with a parable. A man experiences severe tooth pain on Shabbos. Immediately after Shabbos, the man calls the dentist who tells him, why not come in tonight. The man comes to the dentist and after about an hour in the chair, he feels relief from the pain. The man then asks the dentist, what do I owe you? The dentist responds -- half of what you were going to pay me before. When you were in pain you would have paid anything to escape it. Now that you are no longer in pain, think back about what you would have been willing to pay and divide it in half. That's all I am asking you to pay.

The farmer says to himself, yes I did have a great harvest in year six. But that was then. What has been done for me lately? He needs to remember what he felt previously and those of great strength and character will do so and allow for their fields to be harvested by others.

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, May 14, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Dark Matter Black IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the beers I recently brought back from Israel - Dark Matter Black IPA.

This brew is another of the fine beers carried at the Beer Bazaar in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. (Click here https://beerbazaar.co.il for a link to their beer menu). Although the bottle did not give an indication as to who brews this beer, by clicking through their website I learned that it is brewed by the HaShakhen brewery (literally the neighbor brewery). Apparently Beer Bazaar also carries other beers by this brewery and the website allows you to sort by producer.

The Dark Matter Black IPA is somewhat light for a Black IPA and it is not like any other Black IPA that I tried before. The hops in the Dark Matter are somewhat muted, but at least they are present. The "dark" in the Dark Matter leans towards a lighter version of a stout as well. Still, the combination is quite enjoyable and went well with hamburgers made on a charcoal grill.

The Dark Matter Black IPA is certified kosher, but I have been unable to locate it since I took the picture. If you have a bottle handy please post the kosher certification in the comments below. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/41096/265207.

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 check the label on the bottle you are purchasing (since the the kosher beers list link does not include beer brewed in Israel).

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, May 11, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Emor

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 the first pasuk of Parshas Emor it says both the words Emor and V'Amarta. Rashi says that this teaches that adults must teach the children and the Tur says that this is the source of Chinuch in the Torah.The sefer Divrei Yisrael states that if it states Daber and V'Amarta it also could be taught as an instruction to teach since the word Daber is a strong statement --meant for adults and Amar is soft. But R' Frand stated that the lesson is that when you teach children you need to be soft with them. In fact, this is the only time in the Torah that it uses Emor V'Amarta because this must be the approach to dealing with youth.

R' Frand remarked that he does not know how things were in the times of the Torah, but now a parent must be soft and mikarev with one's children. There must be the soft language to not push them away.

R' Frand next quoted a medrash which discussed a will which provided that the money from the estate would only go to the son if he became a shoteh - a fool. The son went and asked R' Yossi B'Rebbe Yehuda and asked --what can I do, I'm not a shoteh and I wont become one. R' Yossi did not have an answer and instead he went to R' Yehoshua Ben Karcha. When he got there, he looked in the window and saw that R' Yehoshua was crawling on his hands and knees and had a pacifier in his mouth and he was crawling after his child. He did not know what to do, he was embarrassed to see this. But R' Yehoshua saw him and said come in. When he brought up the will, R' Yehoshua explained that the son did not want to get married and did not want to act with a child like a parent and be silly. But a parent needs to crawl with his child and stoop to underhand a ball or play in the sandbox. The instruction was --you need to get married and act like a shoteh and do silly things, because that is what being a parent is. You need to do things that get your child laughing and motivated, even if you feel its below your dignity.

R' Frand said a second vort from Vayikra 23:2 which states Aleh Hem Moadai --- these are My Holidays. Hashem gave us a gift of His holidays. But the Jews abused the holidays as it states in the Haftorah of Shabbas Chazon - I hate my holidays with you. 

R' Frand quoted the Dubno Maggid who gave a mashal to a person who had several children who became ill. He went and found the best doctor and paid to move him near his house. The doctor came up with a medication and the kids were all healed. There was a recurrence and the doctor was brought back and he made more medicine, but the kids refused to take it because it was too bitter. As time went by, he would see the doctor and scowl at him. The doctor said, what can I do -- I made the medicine and it worked the first time, but the children wont take it again. Its not my fault. The man responded, I know that its not your fault, but every time I see you I am reminded that there is an opportunity for them to get better if they only took the medicine, but they wont. And the fact that they wont take the medicine just kills me and I am remembering this when I see you.

The Dubno Maggid said --these are the holidays when you can come close to me. You are off from work and can come to shul and be enhanced in the yom tov and you wont take advantage of them. They are like the doctor which reminds me of what you could be.

R' Frand quoted the Seforno who notes that the pasuk states Mikraei Kodesh --there are things you can do to make the holidays Kodesh. But if you don't do these things to make yourself and the yom tov elevated and instead its just a feeding frenzy, it wont be Moadai. It would just be Moadechem and these are what the Navi states are despised.

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, May 7, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shiner Homespun Cream Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Shiner Homespun Cream Ale.

As explained by the gurus at BA:

Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in. Adjuncts such as corn or rice are used to lighten the body. It is not uncommon for smaller craft brewers to brew all malt Cream Ales. Pale straw to pale gold color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma though some micros have given the style more of a hop character. Well carbonated and well attenuated.

The Shiner Homespun Cream Ale poured a golden yellow, almost like a pilsner. There was little to no hops or bitterness but still a little floral element. The Homespun Cream Ale is 5% abv, but again the alcoholic taste was not present. There was a little foam and lacing which lasted for about half an hour. The beer did have a rich and creamy element and would go well with burgers, hot dogs or other BBQ fare.

The Shiner Homespun Cream Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit although there is no symbol on the the bottle. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Shiner Homespun Cream Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/143/250044.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, May 4, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Acharei Mos - Kedoshim

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 Vayikra 16:5 the Torah states that the Kohain Gadol took two goats as Chatas offerings. R' Frand quoted the sefer Shemen HaTov who asks the obvious question ---they are not both Chatas offerings! A Chatas requires shechitah by a Kohain and preparation and offering on a mizbayach. Although one of the goats was offered as a Chatas in the traditional manner, the second goat (the Se'ir L'Azazael) was brought to the desert and thrown off a cliff. So why does the Torah state that both goats were brought as a Chatas?

R' Frand answered by observing that the two goats were supposed to be "twins." The gemara explains that the two goats were to be equal in stature, size and value. The Kohain Gadol would then draw lots to determine which was brought on the altar and which was sent out.

But if the Kohain Gadol did not have both goats, then no goat could have been brought on the altar. It was only because he had two goats that he could do the lottery. So the second goat allows and enables the lottery, even if it is not brought as a true Chatas, because if you allow or enable something to occur, you get credit as well.

R' Frand then compared this to the Yissachar-Zevulun partnership, observing that one who supports and funds another person's Torah study, shares in the reward for the learning of Torah. The facilitator has the same halacha as one who does the act. So without the goat being brought to the desert, there would not be a goat brought on the altar.

R' Frand then tied this into the pasuk in Kedoshim ="V'Ahavta L'Reacha Kamocha" --taught as love your neighbor like yourself. R' Akiva famously observed that this is a major principle (Klal Gadol) of the Torah. Yet there is a different teaching of R' Akiva which on the surface would appear markedly different. The gemara in Bava Metzia 62 discusses two people walking in the desert with only enough water to sustain one of them. Ben Peturah stated that they should share so that one does not witness the death of the other. But R' Akiva there states --you drink it because your life comes first. 

How can this be the same R' Akiva?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Chidddushei HaRim who says that there is a different between gashmius (materialism) and ruchnius (spirituality). In the physical realm, your life comes first, because there is a possible loss. But in ruchnius, if I allow you to learn then I will get the reward as well --- I won't lose by this because the enabler gets reward. This is a klall gadol BaTorah -- in learning Torah. Similarly, the goat going to the cliff is the enabler which allows the other goat to be brought as a Chatas.

Rabbi Frand also said a second vort on the "V'Ahavta" pasuk. He quoted the Ramban who said that it is not possible to love another person as much as yourself. Perhaps if the other person was your spouse, or your child. But not a total stranger! And this would be why R' Akiva says that your life comes first, because he did not mean that it be taken literally.

But what does it mean then? The Ramban answers that a person should want someone else to have the same just as him. The same parnassah, the same nachas from children, etc. The Ramban writes that some people will say --you can be as rich as me, but not as smart, or as much respect/honor. Or maybe even a person will say you should have everything, but not on my level. But this is what the mitzva tells us ---you need to be happy that he has just like you and not be jealous of him.

R' Frand mentioned a study which observed that people who are on Facebook are generally less happy, because they see others and they are jealous that other people have things nicer than them. There was a story about a woman who went to a wedding instead of a beach party, but she spent the entire wedding checking Facebook for the beach party and she could not enjoy the wedding.

A good example of someone who lived this concept was Yehonasan who was happy and wanted David to be the king.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting a Targum Yonasan who interprets the eulogy given by David for Yehonasan where he stated that his love for him was greater than the love "of two women." The Bobover Rebbi explains that these two women were Leah and Rachel. Although Rachel could have kept Ya'akov for herself, she gave the signs to Leah, even if the result could have been that she would have married Esav. This is the great love for another as oneself.

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, April 30, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Tartastic


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Tartastic, a self described "lemon ginger sour ale."

Although this beer sounds like a Radler (or as we American's call them, Shandy) this is not a lemonade infused lager. Instead, this is yet another of the invasive species known by a nickname "Tart Ale", but more correctly classified as a Wild Ale. 

As explained by the gurus at BA:

Sometimes Belgian influenced, American Wild Ales are beers that are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus or Brettanomyces Anomolus), Pediococcus or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various "sour mash" techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be quite strange, interesting, pleasing to many, but also often deemed as undesirable by many.

I have been trying to like Tart Ales and have tried a few such as the Leinenkugel BeerGarten Tart  (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-leinenkugel-beer.html); the Boulevard Tell Tale Tart (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-boluevard-tell-tale.html) and the New Belgium Fat Sour Apple Ale (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-fat-sour.html). I have gained an understanding for the flavor profile of the brew as the yeast does create a sourness almost like souring grapefruit juice, without the artificial sweetness of a Radler/Shandy.

The Tartastic is true to the style and poured a light maize with no noticeable lacing average to mid level carbonation. The beer is on the low end of the abv scale as its only 4.5% abv, so if you wanted to have more than one, it would not be overly intoxicating (although I don't know why you would consider having more than one at a sitting). 

I am hard pressed to find any food to pair this with and would welcome any suggestions in the comments below.

The Tartastic is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but 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 Tartastic click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/246993.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Tazria-Metzorah

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 Vayikra -- the Torah states "Zos Toras HaMetzorah" --this is the Torah of the Metzorah. The Medrash on this pasuk links it to a pasuk in Tehillim which (loosely translated) states -- who is a man who wants life...keep your tongue from evil...

The Medrash links the pesukim through a story of a peddler which in the language of the gemara is a Rochel. The Medrash on the pesukim is about a story of a peddler who calls out, asking "who wants the elixir of life"? R' Yannai approached the peddler, but the peddler said - you don't need this. R' Yannai persisted and the peddler said --who wants life, keep your tongue from speaking evil. R' Yannai remarked that he had said this pasuk all of his life, but never understood its importance until he heard it from the peddler.

R' Frand observed that R' Yannai's remark was odd. Since he was R' Yannai why would he not have understood the pasuk's importance until he heard it from the peddler?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Tzadok HaCohen M'Lublin who explained it was not what the peddler said, it was that HE said it. The word Rochel (peddler) is intentionally similar to the Hebrew word for a gossip - Rechilus, because the peddler would go around from house to house and repeat the gossip he had heard. What was important to R' Yannai was recognizing that this peddler was a reformed tale bearer and that he (the peddler) recognized that the secret to life was to not tell tales about others (like he used to do). 

R' Frand took an aside to talk about how people who used to have a particular problem can be effective in helping others overcome the same problem --much like Alcoholics Anonymous coaches are former alcoholics. 

R' Yannai now understood the importance of the pasuk in that he recognized that people who used to be tale bearers could leave that behind and do teshuva in order to earn "life".

R' Frand also said another longer vort which I hope to reproduce in a separate posting on Motzei Shabbos.

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, April 23, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Baltika #4 Dark Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baltika #4 Dark Lager.

To me, the Baltika Brewery was a mythical place which found itself on the OK list of kosher certified products, but I had never seen it in the United States with hashgacha...until I found myself in Oliver's a beer store beyond belief located in Albany, NY.

What was I doing in Albany? It was a work related trip, but every time that I travel to a city outside of my local area, I check BA for well reviewed beer stores where you can mix a six or buy singles for a decent price. So when I got sent up to Albany in February I did a search and found that Oliver's had excellent selection and prices and knew that I had to make a stop. In truth, I actually stopped in twice, the first time on the next to last day I was going to be there, but the staff talked me out of buying that day because it was going to be in the 20s overnight and they thought the beer would freeze. So I came back the next day after bought the beer we were going to use for shalach manos, along with many other bottles which have been (and will be) reviewed on this blog.

The Baltika #4 calls itself a dark lager, and there are some darker wood/caramel aspects to the brew. The beer poured (from an oversized 16.9 oz bottle) was more amber than a traditional lager and there was some malt and breadiness. Having said that, the flavors of the brew were not overly complex and the alcohol content (5.6% abv) was in line with the style of beer.

The Baltika #4 Dark Lager is under kosher supervision by the OK, but I am not certain if every beer produce by Baltika is under kosher supervision. For a list of the Baltika 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 Baltika #4 Dark Lager click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/401/2235.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, April 20, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shemini

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 Vayikra 10:1-3, the Torah tells the story of the death of Nadav and Avihu who were killed after bringing an "Esh Zarah" (loosely translated as a strange fire) after which their father Aharon remained silent. In discussing Aharon's silence, the Torah uses the term "Vayidom". 

R' Frand commented that this tragedy would have killed any simcha that was related to the underlying event. He surmised about what people's reaction would be if after a new shul was opened and people were celebrating, a beam fell and killed someone. People would never look at the shul the same way. And since they were two sons of Aharon the Kohain Gadol, it would be an even greater tragedy.

Moshe then tells Aharon that I will be come close to those who sanctify me. Rashi explains that Moshe told Aharon that Moshe knew that this had to happen - that the Mishkan had to become sanctified through the impact on someone close to Hashem and I knew it would be either me or you. Now I see that your sons Nadav and Avihu are even greater than you or I.

But what did Moshe mean that something had to happen? Did he mean that a tragedy had to happen? Why did there need to be tragedy?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Duvno Maggid who gave a mashal that a country decided to build a capital city for the country. They brought in an expert architect and the finest materials. They also wanted to build a world class hospital with the best and latest technology. Of course, the hospital needed the greatest doctor in the world. They built the city and the hospital and they inaugurated it. Someone developed a headache and he went into the hospital. The world renowned doctor treated the man personally, but a few days later he died --from a headache! The board of directors for the hospital did an investigation, during which the chief doctor got up and said -- this is the greatest thing that could have happened. He explained that without this event, people would think that they had no need to take care of themselves because they had a great hospital and doctor. Now that this person died, they would know that they still needed to take care of themselves.

The Duvno Maggid then explained the nimshal --the Jews in the desert knew that they were getting the Mishkan, a place where they bring sacrifices. People would think --we can do whatever we want and the sacrifices will be brought and forgiveness will be granted. Moshe's message was that people can't think that the Mishkan will attain forgiveness for them without any concern for their own actions. In fact, the Mishkan itself could kill them if they were not careful with how they acted in the Mishkan. R' Frand remarked that it was akin to radiation - it can cure, but it can kill if those who use it are not careful.

R' Frand also quoted the Ba'al HaTurim who states that the word Vayidom appears twice in Tanach. Here in Vayikra, as well as when Yehoshua made the sun stand still in the battle in Gidon.

But how are the two connected? In Gidon the sun kept shining, but here Aharon was silent.

R' Frand quoted R' Yehuda Klein in a sefer called Kol Yehuda [or Kol Aryeh, I'm not sure]. He cited to the story of the creation of the sun and moon and the Medrash that they were the same size and that Hashem told them to reduce and the moon eventually reduced itself and the sun remained HaMaor HaGadol. 

The Kol Aryeh explained that when the moon complained that the sun and moon were the same size and that both should not wear that crown, the sun should have responded, or at the very least said - lets go to a din Torah. However, the sun kept its mouth shut and was silent. Thereafter the sun became known as the Maor HaGadol, because it did not argue with the moon.

This also links to the gemara which states that the aluv who hears insults and does not respond, is loved by Hashem like the sun in its might. Why? Because the sun should have stuck up for itself, but it stayed silent. This is the strength of the sun. And this was also the strength of Aharon --he kept silent --an attribute that he learned from the sun.

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, April 6, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits and Pesach Crossover

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

Rabbi Frand began the vort by quoting the first of the four questions which asks that on all other nights we eat "Chametz U Matza" but on Pesach, only Matza. The first question is usually translated as "on all other nights we can eat Chametz or Matza, but on this night it is all Matza." Rabbi Frand remarked that this is not quite accurate as the actual language would lead to a translation of on all other nights we eat Chametz and Matza. However, we do not usually eat both Chametz and Matza with dinner [he's never been in my house on a Shabbos when Mrs KB gives me a challah and a matza to make Hamotzi]. 

But if the correct statement is truly Chametz or Matza it should say that, much like the last question which states that on all other nights we either eat sitting up or reclining, using the term "bain". If the intent was Chametz or Matza, it should have said "bain Chametz U'Matza."

R' Frand answered by quoting the Sefer Binyan Ariel who writes that the phrase is accurate as we do eat Chametz and Matza. He explained that there is a Karban Todah (which is mentioned in this week's parsha) which is an animal offering along with bread. Some of the bread is Chametz and some of the bread is Matza. The Korban Pesach is similar to the Korban Todah as both are eaten for a lesser time than the Shelamim, but the Korban Pesach is accompanied by only Matza. So when the Mishna writes that all year long we eat Chametz and Matza, it refers to our Karban Todah, but on Pesach our Karban is accompanied solely by Matza because that was what our forefathers ate when they left Egypt.

R' Frand then continued to develop the vort by quoting R' Avraham Bukspan from Florida who explains why the normal karban has both and the karban Pesach does not. He quoted R' Hirsch who explains that Matza is bread in its crudest form, without human intervention ---its just flour and water. However, Chametz is man's manipulation of the natural elements which yields a more sophisticated product than the original elements. 

When a person brings a Karban Todah to thank Hashem there are two elements - recognizing that Hashem is the one who saved you, without human involvement. But there also is a human element in which you are involved and you have to do your hishtadlus, effort to make sure that you find the correct doctor and see him regularly. Similarly, a person on a sinking ship has to get into the lifeboat and not say "Hashem will save me."

A person who brings the Todah recognizes that there is involvement of Hashem, along with his own efforts to achieve the specific result. But a Karban Pesach is all Hashem. We were ordered to sit in our houses and do nothing, while the Malach HaMaves roamed the street. So we eat the Matza and recognize that it was just Hashem who saved us, without any human involvement.

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, April 2, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Whizbang Blonde Ale


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

This beer is another of the recent limited releases from the New Belgium brewery (I believe that they call this a "special release"). I picked this up on a trip to Maryland for a wedding in January and have not seen it in the NY Metro area. 

When I saw this bottle I was intrigued by the classification they gave it as the terms "hoppy" and "blonde ale" are oxymoronic (or in the words of the gemara "tarta d'sasra"). Blonde Ales are typically subdued in their bitterness and light in color. I had never seen nor even heard of a blonde ale that was anything bolder than a typical Kolsch.

So after chilling in this in the refrigerator for almost a day, I opened this on Shabbos and shared it at lunch with Mrs KB and our friend Wayne F. The beer poured a darker, richer yellow than I expected, almost like the Crayola color maize. There was some hoppiness there with a bit of bitter, but the hops were pronounced without being as bitter as an IPA. There was some breadiness as well. 

If I had to classify this, I would call it a cross-over between a typical blonde ale and an IPA. In fact, if you are looking to broaden your beer education by wading into IPAs, this would not be a bad choice to start with.

The Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but 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 Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/246979.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, March 30, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 parsha vort by discussing the karban oleh v'yoraid - a sacrifice which varies in its offering based upon the wealth of the donor. A poor man can give a karban which is a mincha (meal offering) while a wealthy person offers a cow.

The Gemara in Menachos 110a states that whether the person spends $2,000 on a sacrifice or $2, it is all the same to Hashem, as long as he has the proper intent.

R' Frand quoted the Taz who asks why the wealthy man does not have a better stature? If they both have the same pure intent, shouldn't the man who spent more have a higher stature?

R' Frand answered by making what he called an "updated" reference to the answer of R' Bunim M'Parshischa (sp?). There are two people who attempt to make a 2 PM flight. The first man gets to the airport 90 minutes before the flight and sits around in the departure lounge until it is time to board. The second man barely makes it to the gate before they are about to close the plane's door.

The second man sits down next to the first, who asks him --what took you so long? He responds -- what difference does it make, I made the flight.

R' Frand remarked that R' Bunim said that all Hashem wants from a karban is to bring a person close to Hashem. Some people need to spend $2,000 to feel close to Hashem, while others are able to do so by spending $2. But to Hashem, all that matters is that the donor has "made the flight" in that he feels close to Hashem. As long as the person has made the flight, it does not matter if he got there two hours before or two minutes before. As long as the person feels a true connection with Hashem, it does not matter what he spent to get there.

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, March 26, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale.

As my family knows, I am not a fan of cherry flavored alcoholic products. The Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale is one of least favorite beers (outside of shandys) and similar cherry flavored alcohol products remind me of Robitussin.

So when I brought home a six pack of New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale, my purchase was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. But after chilling a bottle (or two) and opening it, Mrs KB and I discovered that the New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale was not a typical cherry flavored alcoholic product.

The beer poured a dark brown, almost cola like color. The first few sips evoked thoughts of black ales with their rich nutty flavors melding with the hops. There is some extra sweetness, but its not cloying. Additional sips had a bit of alcohol taste, but again, not overwhelming. The carbonation was medium in intensity and worked well to bring out the nutty flavor of the brew.

Although hard to find in six packs (its more often found in the mixed Folly 12 pack), the Cherry Almond Ale is worth the effort if you have ride a few extra miles to find it. I would recommend pairing it with steaks or other charred meats.

The Cherry Almond Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but 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 Cherry Almond Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/263324.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, March 23, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Vayaykhel - Pikudei

This evening R' Frand did not say his usual shiur and there was a substitute maggid shiur who spoke on the badim (rods) of the mishkan. I also heard a shiur from R' Mansour in connection with Pesach/HaChodesh and I would like to briefly summary of some of the thoughts said over in the shiur. 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' Mansour.

R' Mansour's shiur was a discussion of a derasha given by a R' Lichtman in Lebanon in 1940. The derasha involved seven question and I will try to summarize them herein.

The first question involved the name for the upcoming holiday -- it is sometimes referred to as Pesach and other times as Chag MaMatzos. R' Mansour asked - since we no longer have a Karban Pesach, but we still eat matza, why don't we call the holiday by the Chag HaMatzos name? To add the question, he observed that the main food we eat on Pesach is the matza and the pesukim tell us that we eat the matza because we left in haste and the dough did not have time rise. So again, why don't we call the holiday by the matza name? 

The next question refers to Yirmiah where he writes that Hashem said to the Jews - I remember the chesed that you did for me when you were a young nation--in that you followed me into the desert. But what is the great thing about going to the desert? The Jews left the prison of Egypt and went to the desert. If a person is in hell and they are told that they are free, do they care where they are going? Anywhere is better than jail! So why is Hashem so complimentary that we left prison for Egypt? 

R' Mansour prefaced the next question by stating that "the question will confuse you all." (I believe that was stated by R' Lichtman). The question involved the plague of darkness in which 4/5 of the Jews died. These Jews were those who did not want to leave Egypt? But if they were slaves or prison inmates, why would they not leave if they had the possibility to go? Furthermore, when the Jews got to the desert and things went wrong, the remaining Jews said --why not go to back to Egypt? But again, even if things are bad, why would they say go back to Egypt? Egypt was a land of flowing milk and honey for the Egyptians, but for the Jews it was flowing with pain and troubles!

The last question involved the request by Moshe to the Jews that they go to their Egyptian "friends" and ask them for jewelry and valuables. Why were they described as friends? The Jews were not friendly with the higher echelons of Egyptian society!

R' Mansour answered by quoting a gemara in Rosh Hashana 11 which states that the Jews left Egypt in Nissan, but the hard work of Egypt stopped six months earlier in Tishrei. R' Lichtman explained that previously, the Jews had been slaves for 210 years and no one rebelled or spoke out against the Egyptians. But then Moshe and Aharon come and demand that Pharaoh let the Jews go. Pharaoh senses that there is a rebellion. And when a tyrant thinks that there is a rebellion, he wipes out a city block. So Pharaoh passes a law that the Jews now had to collect their own straw to make bricks. The Jews complained to Moshe as if to say --why are you making worse for us?

But Pharaoh's plan did not work as Moshe and Aharon returned to Pharaoh and then the plagues came. The people started to swing towards Moshe's side and Pharaoh realized this. So Pharaoh decided to swing the pendulum back -- he passed a law on Rosh Chodesh Tishrei which abolished slavery. The Jews reacted well to this and found themselves as equals. And once they were accepted as equals they ran towards the Egyptian way of life. Pharaoh knew that this would bring the people back to his side and also make them comfortable enough to leave the Jewish way of life. 

The Jews became addicted to this way of life, much like the Jews did in pre-WW II Egypt. R' Lichtman made comparison to the Jews of Europe and the level of Torah scholarship prior to the age of Enlightenment. After all the years of persecution, once the doors were opened to the Jews, the assimilation began. R' Mansour noted the irony that this was being said/written by a Rabbi on the eve of the Holocaust (1940).

By the time that the plague of darkness came it was so comfortable that the Jews did not want to leave Egypt. People did not want to go from the comforts which they had been acclimating to over the last six months. Many people did not want to leave Egypt and go with Moshe. This is why it was great that the Jews wanted to go to Egypt, because it was no longer Rikers Island, it was Beverly Hills.

R' Mansour gave the analogy of all the people being at the airport to go away for winter vacation and the TSA announcing that the Moshiach had come. How many people would ask --why would he come now? Couldn't he come after vacation?

When the Jews eat matza they remember that they did not say --lets stay-- they ran with Moshe and ate the bread which did not have time to rise. This is also why the Torah writes that the Jews should go to their Egyptian friends, because at that point they were the Jews friends. It also explains why the Jews wanted to go back to Egypt when things were difficult in the desert --because they remembered the last six months of the good life in Egypt.

Lastly, he answered the first question of Chag HaPesach --because we recognize that even though we did not deserve it and had begun to assimilate, Hashem passed over their homes. But Hashem looks at us and says, I'm also calling it Chag HaMatzos, because the Jews ran when Moshe said to leave.

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, March 19, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Glutiny Golden Ale and Pale Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Glutiny line of beers which are not kosher for Passover, but are "gluten free."

I used the quotes around the words gluten free, since the Glutiny products are technically free of gluten, but as opposed to some other beer substitutes, they are made with barley. As explained by the brewery, the Glutiny products are "brewed using an enzyme to break down the proteins that trigger a reaction from gluten sensitive drinkers. Therefore, these beers are being referred to as “gluten removed” instead of gluten free. The beers fall within the FDA guidelines of less than 20 parts per million."

This could also be the reason that the Glutiny products are much more full bodied than the first generation gluten free products. The Pale Ale actually tastes like a Pale Ale with some hop bite, some citrus, decent carbonation and an intriguing flavor profile. The Golden Ale is a bit more subdued and has little in the way of hops or pine and was on the weaker side. Still, it did not have the ersatz taste of beer made with grain substitutes and was quite refreshing.

Although the two Glutiny products are under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, 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 Glutiny Pale Ale beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/192254. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Glutiny Golden Ale beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/199865.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, March 16, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Sissa



The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 32:17-18 there is an interesting conversation between Moshe and Yehoshua in connection with the voices of the Jews. In Shemos 32:17, Yehoshua tells Moshe "the sound of battle is in the camp." In response, Moshe tells Yehoshua in Shemos 32:18, that it is a "sound of distress."

R' Frand quoted the Yerushalmi which recounts that Moshe's response to Yehoshua was a rebuke. Moshe said to Yehoshua - you are going to be the next leader of the Jewish people, don't you know the difference between the sounds from the Jews? 

R' Frand analogized this to a mother who hears her baby crying and knows whether the sound is a cry because of pain, hunger, diaper or other problem. This is what Moshe was telling Yehoshua that he needed to be tuned into.

R' Frand next quoted R' Schwalb who writes that Yehoshua thought that he heard a drunken crying from the Jewish people which he interpreted as the beginning of a rebellion against Moshe and Hashem. Moshe responded to Yehoshua - yes they are drunk, but it is because they are in pain and are drinking to take the edge off of their concerns and troubles. They think that I (Moshe) have died and that they will be without a leader in the desert. So they drink to avoid thinking about how they may be lost.

R' Frand closed the vort by observing that this is the role of a psychologist or psychiatrist. They may hear or observe the same things as other people, but they are able to recognize it for what it is and they can discern the source of the problem.

R' Frand also said a second vort on the breaking of the luchos. R' Frand asked the famous question - since Hashem had already told Moshe in Shemos 32:7-8 that  the Jews had created the Egel, then why did Moshe bring the luchos down before breaking them? He could have left them up on Har Sinai or in the alternative, he could have broken them when he was up on the mountain, once Hashem told him about the Jews' actions!

R' Frand quoted the Ramban on Parshas Eikev, who explains that Moshe destroyed the luchos because he came down and saw the Jews' dancing in front of the Egel. This was too much for Moshe as the Jews had not only sinned, they were rejoicing in their sin.

R' Frand also quoted the Seforno who said that Moshe broke the luchos specifically because (as stated in Shemos 32:19), Moshe saw the Egel and the dancing before it.

R' Frand also quoted the Mishna Berurah (I did not catch the cite) who writes that the Arizal had a simcha in his doing mitzvos and that this simcha is what allowed him to reach that high of a spiritual level. 

R' Frand tied that into the acts of the Jews ---before they danced, the Jews had sinned but could do teshuva for their acts, even though this was avodah zarah. But once Moshe saw that they were dancing and rejoicing, he had no choice but to break the luchos, as they were no longer capable of doing teshuva.

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, March 12, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Emek Haela Irish Red Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Emek Haela's Irish Red Ale.

This is another one of the beers which I picked up in the Beer Bazaar stand in Machane Yehuda and so far it is the best of the bunch. In fact, it might be the best Israeli beer I have ever tasted.

Emek Haela is one of two breweries which are run by Srigim Breweries (the other is Ronen). A link to the main brewery website can be found here www.srigim-beer.co.il/emekhaela.

The beer poured a rich dark copper which bordered on brown. There was decent carbonation, although it did not rise to the level of some American beers. There was not a specific flavor which stood out for this brew, but there was some hops, a little honey and caramel notes and a pleasant malt character in the background which made this a well balanced beer. I would rank this above any American Irish Red that I have ever tried, although it did remind me somewhat of the (late) Pete's Wicked Ale. 

The Emek Haela is certified kosher, but I left the bottle at the home where we had our Purim sedua and I can't recall who issued the kosher certification. If you have a bottle handy please post the kosher certification in the comments below. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/34175/128573.

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 check the label on the bottle you are purchasing (since the the kosher beers list link does not include beer brewed in Israel).

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!

Purim 5777/2017 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 (Labor Day 2017). For the Purim 5777/2017 edition, I will again be using scribd to upload and maintain list. All newly added beers are in bold.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday's Purim Tidbits

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand in his shiur this evening. With Purim around the corner, both the halacha and post halacha sections were about Purim. I have attempted to reproduce the post halacha vort 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 mentioned that although you don't need to cross the ocean to learn Torah, he was very impressed with a vort he read in a journal published in England in connection with what I believe was a kollel dinner. (I am a little fuzzy on the details of the event). The vort was written by R' Aryeh Masher (sp?) on Manchester and discusses the piyut Shoshanas Ya'akov which is said after the Megillah is read.

R' Frand said that the statement "shekol koivecha lo yevoshu" - that all who have faith in You will not be humiliated and will not come out wanting --this he said is the main message of the megillah.

R' Frand remarked that it is not so simple to see how the Jews put their faith in Hashem. One could say that after Haman's decree came out the Jews fasted and went into mourning and that this was a show of faith in Hashem. But R' Masher stated that it is more pronounced in the megillah. He noted that earlier in the megillah, Esther is chosen to be the Queen, although she was not the prettiest. But once this happened, the Jews did not say --OK, we have one in the palace, we will be saved. But the Jews did not rely on this and Mordechai in particular says something to Esther which demonstrates that he is putting his faith in Hashem.

When Mordechai comes to Esther and tells her to go to the king, she is hesitant as even she could not visit the king without permission. When says this to Mordechai, he does not respond with the statememt "you are our only hope --you have to do this and without this we will all be destroyed." But Mordechai did not push the proverbial panic button. Instead, Mordechai tells her "if you don't go, the Jews will be saved from another source." Mordechai in effect is saying, if you don't want to be the one that saves the Jews, there will be another way.

R' Frand said that this is the lesson of "shekol koivecha."

R' Frand said that this applies to our every day life as well. A business opportunity may come your way and you feel that "this is it." This will make your business successful and it must go forward. But if a person has faith in Hashem, he will know that Hashem sets his income from Rosh Hashanah and whatever happens with this opportunity, the money you are supposed to have will come to you.

R' Frand said that R' Masher tied it into the statement in davening - "baruch hagever asher yivtach b'Hashem, v'haya Hashem mivtacho" --blessed is the man who puts his faith in Hashem and Hashem will be his faith. The statement appears redundant. But the Malbim explains that the first part of the statement is the blessing to the person who believes that Hashem will save him, but the second is praise to the belief that the person has that Hashem will find the means to save him and its up to Hashem to determine how it will happen.

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, March 5, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Malka IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds takes a holiday spin by looking at Malka Brewery's Hindi IPA.

This is another of the beers which I picked up in the Beer Bazaar in Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem. I chose these beers without knowledge of their provenance and basically just chose IPAs and Pale Ales because those are my favorite styles. The proprietors of Beer Bazaar do offer a beer tasting which I have been told are two oz shots of ten beers for 20 shekel (approximately $5.25). However, since I was on my way out to meet the rest of the family for dinner, I did not have the opportunity to try it.

The name of the beer Hindi IPA is almost a redundancy as Hindi would be slang for someone from India and an IPA is an India Pale Ale. However unless you can read Hebrew, you would not know that the beer was actually called "Hindi".

The beer poured a dark copper and there was some hops which hit my nose when I raised the glass to my face. The carbonation was low and the alcohol backbone was a bit stronger than I expected for a beer with a 6.2% abv. As I consumed successive sips of this brew I did not notice a development of flavor as it was basically some hops together with a bit of breadiness.

The Malka Hindi IPA is certified kosher by Rav Shlomo Ben Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Mateh Asher regional  council and there is a certification mark on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/32374/143829/.

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 check the label on the bottle you are purchasing (since the the kosher beers list link does not include beer brewed in Israel).

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, March 2, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Terumah

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 began with a quote from the Medrash Rabbah which states that the world was not worthy of creating cedar trees and that they were only created for the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash.

R' Frand quoted the sefer Menachem Zion which interpreted a Gemara in Ta'anis 20 which can explain the Medrash Rabbah. The Gemara says that a person should be soft like a reed and not hard like a cedar. The meaning of this Gemara is that a person can't interact with society or be in a relationship if their attitude is --its my way or the highway.

R' Frand said that when applying this to the Medrash Rabbah we see that a person should stand on principle and not compromise when it comes to aspect of religion. Because once a person (or a form of religion) begins to compromise on principles, its a slippery slope and they lose the appearance of their religion.

R' Frand developed this vort by quoting a Rashi which states that Ya'akov saw with Ruach HaKodesh that the Jews would eventually be travelling in the desert and would need the Atzei Sheetim to build the Mishkan. So Ya'akov took the cedar trees to Egypt and commanded his children that when they leave Egypt they should take the trees with them.

R' Frand observed that this did not start with Ya'akov, but actually began with Avraham who planted the trees in Be'er Sheva ("Vayeeta Eishel'). R' Frand quoted R' Avraham Bukspan who explained that Avraham Avinu was an iconoclast and stood separate from the rest of the world when he was the first to separate from idol worship and created the concept of monotheism. Avraham was unflinching and straight like a cedar and would not allow for polytheism. Ya'akov saw this and incorporated it into his thinking and the Jewish DNA.

R' Frand said a second vort in the name of R' Jonathan Sacks who asked why Terumah, Tezaveh, half of Ki Sissa as well as Vaykhel and Pikudei are all in Sefer Shemos? It would have made sense to put them in Sefer Vayikra which is dedicated to the laws of the acts of Kohanim in bringing sacrifices. Why are they in sefer Shemos?

He answered by looking back at the beginning of Sefer Shemos - its all about complaints - Shemos, Va'era, Bo, Beshalach, Yisro - the Jews are complaining about things - some rightfully, but all complaints. How does one make a nation out of a group of people who are constantly complaining?

Hashem says - I will give you a way to make a nation - have them all work together towards building a Mishkan - one will bring money, one will bring skill, one will bring strength - but they will work together towards a common goal. And once people start working together, the complaints fall away.

R' Frand quoted R' Ya'akov Kaminetsky who comments on the flags in Sefer Bamidbar. The Jews were told that they should travel in camps with certain flags. But this happened in the second year of the midbar. Why? Because flags can be a source of dissension. They could not have had the flags in year one, because they would be at each other's throats. But once there was a central force - the Mishkan that drew them together, then they could have some individuality. So first they needed the Mishkan in Sefer Shemos to bring them all together and stop complaining.

R' Frand closed by quoting a thought from R' Nachum Lansky who said that the end of Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim end with similar words - a discussion of how things occurred before the Jewish people. But the end of Shemos says that the events occurred before Bnei Yisrael - because they were becoming a nation.

He ended by telling a story about Mr. Goldberg who checked himself into the Cleveland Clinic with heart problems but checked himself out and went to a hospital in Brooklyn. The doctors in Brooklyn asked him - why did you come here? Were the doctors not treating you in Cleveland? No, he replied. Were the nurses inattentive? No, he responded. Was the food poor? No, that was not a problem. 

So why did you come to Brooklyn they asked him - he responded - because I needed something to complain about.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds pays homage to the upcoming NHL trading deadline by looking at New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger IPA.

The Voodoo Ranger IPA is part of a new line of New Belgium products including a Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale and Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA. To date, I have only seen the Voodoo Ranger IPA which was available in singles at the Total Wine in Towson, MD and in Folly (mix) 12 packs in the NY area.

The Voodoo Ranger is dark golden in color and has nice lacing with coated the glass for at least 15 minutes after the pour. There is a good amount of hop bite with decent carbonation. The pine and citrus had some complexity and successive sips gave hints of grapefruit and other citrusy flavors. Additionally, although the beer was 7% abv, there was not a strong alcoholic flavor to the brew.

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 Voodoo Ranger IPA, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/259546. 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).

Please Note - 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.

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, February 23, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Mishpatim

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 observed that there are three times in which the Torah mentions the laws of Eved Ivri - in Mishpatim (Shemos 21:2); Behar (Vayikra 25:29) and Re'eh (Devarim 15:12).

R' Frand noted that there is a fundamental difference between the way that the Torah refers to the Eved Ivri in this week's parsha and in Behar and Re'eh. In this week's parsha he is referred to as an Eved - a slave. However in Behar he is referred to as a brother and in Re'eh he is obliquely referenced as one who is sold. Why is there a difference?

R' Frand quoted the Malbim who explains that in Mishpatim he is referred to as slave since he needs to be defined. But once he has been identified as a slave, the Torah does not need to refer to him as a slave ever again, as it is a derogatory term and we need to protect his honor.

R' Frand observed that this respect is shown to a man who is a thief and among the dregs of society. Still, the Torah makes sure not to label him as a slave again, in order to protect his honor.

The second vort that R' Frand said involved the death punishments which are mentioned in Shemos 21:15-17. In these three pesukim the Torah mentions the death penalty for one who hits his parent (21:15), one who kidnaps (21:16) and one who curses his parent (21:17).

R' Frand quoted R' Schwalb who asked why the law of kidnapping comes in between the two laws dealing with offenses against a parent? He answered that it is teaching that a parent should not be a helicopter parent - one who hovers over and stifles his child -dictating terms for the child.

R' Frand observed that when a child is young, the parent needs to look out for the child. But as a chid gets older, the parent needs to back off and not control the child or attempt to live vicariously through the child.

R' Frand quoted R' Yochanan Zweig who observed that the Aramaic word for son is "Bar". Bar also means outside - that when the child grows up, the parent needs to be on the outside.

R' Frand then returned to the vort on why the kidnapping rule is in the middle. A parent who hovers over and dictates to the child, could G-d forbid evoke a reaction in the child which could lead to striking or cursing the parent. Yes, the parent needs to guide the child and be a source, but he can't dictate the child's life as he runs the risk of alienating the child and causing a negative reaction.

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, February 19, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds turns Sundae Night with a look at New Belgium's second collaboration with Ben & Jerry's - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale.

Last year, Ben & Jerry's and New Belgium did a dual cross-over in which New Belgium produced an ice cream influenced beer (Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale) and Ben & Jerry's manufactured a corresponding product (Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale). I did not get a chance to try the New Belgium product, but I did find the Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the supermarket (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/04/sundae-night-suds-ben-jerrys-salted.html).

This year, Ben & Jerry's is not producing an ice cream product, but New Belgium did brew the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale. And unlike last fall when their North Carolina brewery was not yet on-line, this year's product is available on the East Coast, thanks to the new brewery location.

The beer poured a dark gold with some carbonation. But as I lifted the glass to my nose, the first thing that hit me was the vanilla. The first few sips were similarly influenced, although I did begin to taste the chocolate and a little bit of the ale backbone. The New Belgium website indicates that they used a Blonde Ale as the base for this beer, but this Blonde Ale is very, very mild.

I would not recommend having this beer with any kind of meat or poultry dish. No, the beer is not made with ice cream and unlike the Samuel Adams Dark Chocolate Bock it is not dairy. Having said that, the brew is light and sweet and while it went well with our Melaveh Malka pizza meal, it would not pair with main meat courses.

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 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/236603. 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).

Please Note - 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.

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!