Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday's Chanukah Tidbits

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on Chanukah tonight. 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.

Although this was the "derush" section of tonight's shiur, Rabbi Frand started the vort by quoting the Shulchan Aruch (O'H 287) in which it is written that a person who benches and forgets to say Al Hanissim in its proper place can say it in the Harachaman section with the prefatory phrase Harachaman Hu Ya'aseh Nissim...

R' Frand quoted R' Yeruchum Olshan (sp?) who asked two questions about this halacha. The first question was ---don't we have a general principle that we don't ask Hashem to perform a miracle? This is based on a Gemara in Berachos which states that if a man knows his wife is pregnant he should not pray that she have a boy because its already been determined what gender the baby will be. The Gemara then asks, but what about Leah? She knew that she was carrying a boy, but she also had a nevu'ah that Ya'akov would only have 12 sons and if she had this boy, Rachel would only have one boy. So Leah prayed that the child would be a girl and the fetus she was carrying switched with the fetus that Rachel was carrying and became Dina. The Gemara answers this question by saying --we don't daven for miracles.

So with this rather long introduction --how can we say a Harachaman that Hashem should make a miracle?

The second question was based on a Mishna in Pirkei Avos which lists the ten daily mitzvos in the Beis Hamikdash, including such open miracles that the fires on the altar were never extinguished by the rain, even though the area was open to the heavens. R' Olshan asked --with all these great miracles, why is the fact that they found a flask of oil such a major event that we make a holiday out of it?

R' Frand answered the questions by explaining that there are two forms of miracles. There are miracles which have been imprinted into the DNA of the world, such as the splitting of the Yam Suf or the falling of the Manna. These were events that Hashem had designed and it is not for us to pray that Hashem performs the miracle.

But there are also miracles which Hashem performs for people who are Moser Nefesh, people who take exceptional steps and Hashem rewards them by changing something for them. 

The miracles in the Beis Hamikdash were imprinted miracles which Hashem had designed the world to allow. But the miracle of finding the oil came as a result of the incredible acts of the Maccabees who left behind their studies and fearlessly fought the Yevanim. R' Frand quoted the Bach on Hilchos Chanukah who said that the Yevanim knew that if they could interfere with the lighting of the Menorah they could (C'vs) end the Jewish People. The Maccabees who were nor military men, left the beis medrash and went out to fight them, against incredible odds. These same men were the descendants of Aharon and part of the tradition of being moser nefesh to light the Menorah as a personal nedavah.

Since they men were moser nefesh, Hashem made a miracle for them and allowed them to find the oil. This is the message of Chanukah and why we say the Harachaman. If we can be moser nefesh, Hashem can make miracles for us. Understanding the miracle of Chanukah allows us to see that if we can stand up and try do more, Hashem will help us.

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 10, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baderbrau Brewery's Lawnmower Lager IPL.

This is another of the beers that I picked up at the Binny's in Lincolnwood over Sukkos. Since we finally have snow on the ground in New York, I thought it was high time that I review a lawnmower beer since its unlikely that my lawn will be mowed again anytime soon.

The good folks at Beer Advocate have classified this beer as an American Pale Lager, but I found that the brew had a lot more character than the typical brew of this style. The beer poured a darker yellow which was not entirely transparent in my pint glass. There was quite a bit of hops and some cinnamon notes which I found pleasant and surprising. There was some citrus as well, but the bitter element was prominent, much more than I could have anticipated in a brew of this style.

The Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL is under kosher supervision by the CRC of Chicago and has a CRC logo on the side of the can.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Baderbrau Lawnmower Lager IPL, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29318/119018.

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, December 7, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeshev

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening along with the summary of a Chanukah vort he said last week. 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's parsha vort was more of a discussion of a Medrash than a traditional parsha vort. The Medrash in Parshas Vayigash asks Mi Haya Michaceh - who would have waited or anticipated and then poses the question about various people. [For purposes of this vort I will just refer to the introductory statement about each person as "Who would have anticipated "].

The first subject was Avraham and Sarah and the Medrash asked, who would have anticipated that they would have a child when Sarah was 90 years old. The next was Ya'akov and the question was, who would have anticipated that he would go from being penniless to having a large family and possessions. The next subject was Yosef and the question was, who would have anticipated that he would have gone from the prison to being Pharaoh's number 2. The next was about Moshe and who would have anticipated that Moshe would have gone from being put in a basket in the river and became the leader that would lead the Jews out of Egypt. Similar discussions were made as to David, Ruth and Chananya, Mishael and Azaryah.

R' Frand remarked that the Medrash is a nechama (consolation) for the Jews that even when it appears that times are bad, there will be an unanticipated positive result. R' Frand remarked that 2017 was the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and who would have anticipated that Israel would be what it is today. [I kept expecting a Trump/Jerusalem reference, but R' Frand did not make one]. He referenced how the Ottoman Empire which had ruled the land for hundreds of years had an unanticipated rapid collapse which led to the possibility of a Balfour Declaration. He also referenced how small yeshivos in America in the 1930s and 1940s grew into Lakewood and Ner Israel and how that in the shadows of the Holocaust, who could have anticipated this success.

R' Frand then quoted R' Elya Svei (sp?) who had a different explanation of the Medrash. He answered the question as if it was not rhetorical --- Yosef anticipated this result. Yosef knew from his own dreams that he would one day rise to leadership. When Yosef heard the dream of the Sar Hamashkim he heard Hashem speaking to him. The three sarigim were a reference to the three leaders who would take the Jews out of Egypt and through the desert - Moshe, Aharon and Miriam. Yosef knew that the four references to Kos Pharaoh were a message that the Jews would undergo four exiles and Hashem would redeem them from each one.

Similarly, there was someone who was anticipating Moshe rising to prominence--Miriam. She had a dream that her parents would have a son who would lead the Jews out of Egypt. When Moshe was born and the house filled with light, Amram kissed Miriam on the head and lauded her prophesy...and when Moshe was put in the river, Amram hit her on the head and questioned the prophesy. But Miriam was anticipating Moshe's greatness.

I also wanted to do a brief summary of part of the Chanukah vort said by R' Frand last week. He referenced a Rashi in Behalosecha which mentioned that Aharon was saddened when he saw that every tribe was contributing nedavos and the tribe of Levi was not. Hashem then told Aharon, yours will be greater, because you will have the opportunity to light the menorah every day.

R' Frand quoted the Ramban who said that the lighting of the menorah transcended every generation and did not only refer to the menorah in the Beis HaMikdash. It referred to the mitzva that even to this day we continue to light the candles at Chanukah.

R' Frand then asked -- but how is this an answer to Aharon's concern? He was upset that he was not making a nedava, he was not making a contribution. How is the lighting of the candles an answer to his concerns?

R' Frand answered that Aharon's children and grandchildren saw his devotion to the act of lighting and that this became a part of them and they too would be moser nefesh for this act. There is a famous Rashi that says that he had the same enthusiasm on the first and last day that he lit the menorah.

By seeing his excitement and energy and the way that he gave of himself to light the candles, it insured that his grandchildren and great grandchildren would have this dedication to the mitzva of lighting the candles. This was more than just a one time donation to the Mishkan. Aharon understod this and that is why the answer was accepted by him.

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 3, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale.

Although Lakefront started their Smash series almost two years, the first beer that I came across in this collection was the Hull Melon Hops which I found at Binny's in Lincolnwood, Illinois. It was sitting among the generous mix your own six pack collection (from which I mixed more than two sixers) in the back of the store.

After keeping this blonde ale in the fridge for about a week, I shared it with some friends at the Shabbos table, including a Milwaukee native. The beer poured a darker yellow than I was expecting with fragrant hops which I could smell the moment that I brought the glass to my face. There was more than ample carbonation and decent lacing on the glass. Successive sips exposed a broader base of flavor as the beer had some pepper along with the pine. I found myself wishing that I had bought more than just one bottle, as the beer was intriguing to me, much more than the average blonde ale. 

Lakefront Brewery's Smash Hull Melon Hops Blonde Ale is under the kosher supervision of the Star-K (there is even a Star-K on the label). For the experts' take on the brew, please click here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/741/292057.

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, November 30, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayishlach

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 the fifth aliyah of this week's parsha is the troubling story of Dina who was violated by Shechem. R' Frand quoted a vort from R' Elya Svei (sp?) to try to explain how this episode occurred.

There is a Medrash in Parshas Vayeitzei which states that a person should not be praised based on what will happen tomorrow, because it is unknown what will happen tomorrow. When Ya'akov was dealing with Lavan in Vayeitzei, he said to Lavan (Bereishis 30:33) V'ansa Bi Tzidkasi Machar (translated as let my integrity testify for me in the future). In so doing, Ya'akov was saying to Lavan, my righteousness will show that I have worked so hard for you. 

But what was wrong with saying this? Why could he not stand on his integrity?

R' Frand answered that Ya'akov was resting on his deeds, saying that they will insure his success in the future. However, a person needs to know that every day is a present and that each day he needs to have help from above and that he cannot rely on his actions from the day before as insurance that he will be successful today. 

Its not coincidental that the word used for the violation of Dina is "Vay'aneha". The root of inui is similar to the word oneh, which means answer. The Medrash linked the two events to say that a person cannot rely on what happened in the past, he needs to work and daven for the future as well.

R' Frand also said a nice vort about Chanukah which was somewhat linked to this vort. I hope to iyh blog that vort over the weekend.

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, November 26, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shmaltz Brewing - Brewers Wanted Pale Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Shmaltz Brewery's Brewers Wanted Pale Ale.

I found this beer in the mix your own six section in a Price Chopper in Albany. Its a Pale Ale, which to me is always a reason to buy something to try. But the name intrigued me as well. I checked the website and learned this about the beer:

In 2015, the number of U.S. breweries grew to 4,000 for the first time since the 1870s and New York State now has 238 breweries and counting. Now, more than ever, we need more passionate men and women willing to learn the craft of brewing. Shmaltz Brewing teamed up with Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), the Greater Capital Region Workforce Development Boards and fellow New York State breweries to start our first regional Brewers Training Program. A portion of the proceeds from BREWERS WANTED will help train new brewers through this program and help support SCCC’s efforts to create an Associates Degree in Brewing. 

The beer poured a dark gold and had nice lacing and strong carbonation which lasted for more than an hour after the pour. There is a good amount of citrus and hop bite and the beer is clean and refreshing. I unintentionally had some with my daughter's mocha cake and to my absolute surprise, the flavors worked nicely together. If you find this brew and have a positive pairing experience, post it in the comments below.

Shmaltz Brewers Wanted Pale Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the KSA, as are many, if not all of the Shmaltz products.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/262/214845.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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, November 23, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayeitzei

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 Bereishis 31:22, the Torah writes that on the third day after Ya'akov left Lavan's house, it was told to Lavan that Ya'akov had left. In the end of the following pasuk, the Torah indicates that Lavan caught up to Ya'akov at Har Gilad. Rashi writes that at the time that Lavan left to chase after Ya'akov, Ya'akov had a six day head start on Lavan, but Lavan caught up to him in one day because he had kefitzas haderech.

R' Frand quoted the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh who asked -- why did Lavan have kefitzas haderech? If anything, Ya'akov should have had the speed in his trip, much like in his travels to get to Lavan! Eliezer had merited this assistance, so why would Ya'akov not have it on his return trip? And even if not, why would Lavan get it?

R' Frand answered that Hashem wanted Lavan to catch up to Ya'akov, so that Ya'akov would have the confrontation with Lavan in which he said in Bereishis 31:32 that whomever had taken Lavan's idols would die, because this would be the key to later ending the Jews' galus.

R' Frand quoted the famous Medrash in Eicha in which the patriarchs individually prayed that Hashem would end the galus. This began with Avraham praying and saying that in the z'chus of his sacrificing Yitzchak, Hashem should end the galus and Hashem said, no. Yitzchak then prayed and said that the galus should end in the z'chus that he did not challenge his father over the akeidah and Hashem said, no. Ya'akov too prayed and asked for the end of galus in the z'chus of his actions in the house of Lavan and Hashem said, no. Even Moshe prayed and asked that the galus end in the z'chus that he led the Jews in the desert for 40 years and Hashem said, no. Until Rochel prayed and said that the galus should end in the z'chus that she gave her sister the signs and helped her trick Ya'akov so that Leah would not be embarrassed, and for this Hashem agreed that there would be an end.

The Ohr HaChaim HaKadish explains that this conversation or prayer to Hashem occurred as the Jews were passing by Rachel's tomb on the way to Bavel. This needed to happen there and it was for this very reason that Lavan and Ya'akov had to have the confrontation that they did. Although the death of Rochel seemed to be a tragedy, it was the Divine reason that the Jews would have an end to their galus.

R' Frand also mentioned a vort in the name of the Rokeach who wrote in the sefer Galya Raza that Ya'akov was supposed to live 180 years like his father Yitzchak. However, he lost 33 years and only lived 147 years. He had a novel reason for this loss and it was also linked to Lavan. In 31:44, the Torah mentions the treaty made between Lavan and Ya'akov. As part of this event, they build a pillar of stones. Although Ya'akov called his pillar "Galed", Lavan called it Yiga Sahadusa. The Rokeach writes that this was the sole time that Aramaic was written in the Torah and it was a tragedy that Ya'akov was responsible for. As such, he lost 33 years (the gematria of Gal).

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting R' Simcha Zissel who said in the name of R' Epstein that on the same day that Columbus sailed for America, the Spanish began the expulsion of the Jews under the Inquisition. Although this seemed like Tzadik V'Ra Lo, it was the beginning of a process in which there would be an America to bring in and save the Jews who were fleeing oppression.

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, November 19, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shmaltz Brewing Death Hoppy Black Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Death Hoppy Black Ale.

I first saw this beer when I went to the Total Wine & Liquors opening in Westbury last week. As an aside, the store is quite impressive. They built out an old Sports Authority and turned it into two stores, one for the sale of beer and the other for wine and spirits. This is due to an arcane NY law which bars (pun intended?) the sale of beer and wine in the same store. When I visited for the opening they put on quite a show and I got to see the racks of kosher wine in one store and the many varieties of kosher certified beers (and munchies) in the other.

But back to the beer. Its an American Dark Ale which poured jet black with significant foam which quickly dissipated. Despite the color there was no coffee or stout taste. Instead it was dark IPA and a tasty one at that. The alcohol is on the low end for an American Dark Ale at 7%, but the complexity of the flavor made it worth the 9.99 for a six pack.

Shmaltz Death Hoppy Black Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the KSA, as are many, if not all of the Shmaltz products.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/262/252726.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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, November 16, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Toldos

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 Gemara in Bava Basra 16b states that Avraham died on the date when Esav returned from the field and Yaakov was cooking lentil soup. The Gemara explains that when the Torah writes in Bereishis 25:29 that Esav was tired, it was due to Esav having committed five major sins earlier in the day. 

Although the Gemara in Bava Basra details the five sins and links them to other pesukim in the Torah, Rabbi Frand indicated that he wanted to focus on one particular sin --the rejecting of the Ikar (most important). The Gemara in Bava Basra explains that Esav rejected the Ikar by saying, why do I need the Bechora (first born rights)? The Gemara ties the use of the words Zeh Li to the statement made by the Jews after they crossed the Yam Suf  "Zeh Keili V'Anvehu". 

R' Frand quoted the Tolner Rebbi who explained the connection between the two pesukim by quoting another Gemara which states that the visions of the slavewoman when crossing the Yam Suf were more clear than the visions that the prophet Yechezkel had. But how can that be, since the week before the Jews were on the penultimate lowest level of tumah and the angels had remarked that both the Jews and Egyptians were idol worshipers? Meanwhile, in order to merit a prophetic vision, a prophet must improve himself to be worthy!

The Tolner Rebbi explained that Hashem gave the Jews a wonderful power -- the power of Teshuva, the power to improve and repent for what was done wrong. This was how the slavewoman merited the clarity of vision...and it was thoroughly rejected by Esav. Indeed, when Esav said why do I need the Bechora, what he was truly saying was, I can't repent, I can't change, I'm too far gone. How can I have the Bechora and do the Avodah in the Beis Hamikdash, when I am such a Rasha? I don't have the power to change or do Teshuva.

R' Frand also linked this to a saying of the Kotzker Rebbi who noted that Esav's use of the words Haliteni Na (loosely translated in context as, please give me) in Bereishis 25:30 is odd, because the verb is more appropriately used in reference to animals, not people (see Gemara Shabbos). But when viewed in connection with Esav saying that he lacks the human element of change, it is logical. Esav is saying that he is like an animal, he can only act and cannot improve. This is a rejection of the important concept of 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, November 12, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Tropical Snow Storm IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Brewery's Tropical Snow Storm IPA.

This beer is unlike any other IPA I have ever tasted. The first pour gave off a sweet scent which Mrs KB and I both thought was reminiscent of lychees. But the beer itself is not flavored and the tropical scent was all hop driven. It reminded me of the grapefruit flavor in Uinta Wyld (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-night-suds-uinta-wyld.html) which also makes you think that it has added flavor, but does not.

Another difference in this brew is that it is an unfiltered IPA, which is something that I can't remember seeing or tasting before. Although hefeweizen and American Wheat beers are commonly unfiltered, I don't recall ever seeing that in an IPA.

The beer was not as sweet as it smelled, but that is not a bad thing. It was floral and hop forward and it went well with Mrs KB's cranberry chicken. Although the beer is 6% abv, I did not detect any alcohol flavor in the brew.

The Tropical Snow Storm is only available in the 12 Beers of Winter mix box (2 per box) and does not appear to be sold in six or twelve packs on its own. I emailed Saranac to see whether it is available in six or twelve packs outside of the NYC area, but they never responded to my email.

Saranac Tropical Snow Storm IPA is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit as is every other beer produced at the Matt Brewery plant in Utica, NY. Keep in mind, Saranac has begun to brew many different varieties off site, so check bottles for kosher certification from the Va'ad of Detroit.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/307405.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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, November 9, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Chaye Sarah

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 recounting the story of Avraham and his interaction with Efron which runs the entire first aliyah of the parsha. R' Frand noted that in Bereishis 23:16, Ephron's name is spelled two different ways, once with a vuv and once without. R' Frand observed that while many words in the Torah are sometimes spelled malei or chasser, it is unique that the words are spelled differently in the same pasuk.

R' Frand quoted the Medrash which writes that Efron was a person who was stingy and while he did not know that the Torah would reflect this personality trait in the spelling of his name, it does teach us a lesson.

R' Frand quoted the Alter M'Kelem who tied this into a story involving R' Yonasan Aibshetz who was involved in a debate with world scholars. They believed that an animal could be taught to act and behave like a human, but he argued otherwise. The scholars took a cat and trained it to walk on its hind legs and carry a waiter's tray. This took some time, but once they completed the task, they made a party and invited R' Yonasan to attend. When R' Yonasan arrived the cat was serving as a waiter. But soon thereafter, R' Yonasan took out his snuff box which (unbeknownst to him) also had a small mouse in the box. When R' Yonasan opened the box, the mouse jumped out and the cat returned to its natural state and chased the mouse on all fours. 

The Alter explained that Efron pretended to be regal and magnanimous, initially offering Avraham the cave for free. But later in the story he asked Avraham to pay the value of 400 shekel and in specific form of payment. Thus Efron was exposed as being money hungry and the second  time that his name was written in teh pasuk it was spelled chasser, because his true nature was being stingy and lacking the personality trait of generosity.

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, November 5, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Blue Moon's Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale.

I found this beer in the little Target in Elmont, NY, although I had not yet seen it at any local beer store. As I had never seen any kosher certified apricot beer, I knew that I had to buy some so I picked up a six pack. (Since the beer was for sale in six packs, I would assume that it is also available in twelve packs, although I did not see any on the shelf).

They say that good things come to those who wait, but my life long wait for kosher apricot beer was not worthwhile (although Mrs KB did give the beer a thumbs up). The carbonation is strong, perhaps a little bit too strong. The beer poured a cloudy light orange and had a scent of kids lip gloss (yes, I have three daughters). The first sip was heavy with artificial faux fruit flavor and although I tried this beer both ice cold and closer to room temperature (and even after being left out to let the carbonation die down) the artificial sweetness overwhelmed the beer and was just not enjoyable for me.

Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat Ale is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, as is every other current variety of beer produced by Blue Moon. For the experts take on this beer, please click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/306/308084

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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, November 2, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayera

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 discussing the people of Sodom's attempts to get at the angels who came to visit, the Torah notes in Bereishis 19:11 that even though the people had been struck blind while attempting to get into Lot's house, they persisted in trying to gain entry after being blinded.

R' Frand quoted the Sforno who explained that the people were so driven by their desire to get at the angels that they did not recognize the miraculous event which occurred and were undeterred from trying to reach the angels. He gave an example of a person who is on his way to do something that he should not do and then gets into a massive car accident. The person should realize that this is a message of deterrence, not try to get a cab to get him to where he had wanted to go in the first place.

R' Frand next quoted R' Elya Svei, who explained that this is the power of desire and is yet another proof to the ma'amar chazal that jealousy, desire and honor remove a person from this world.

R' Frand tied this into Bilaam and his desire for the $$ for cursing the Jews. Bilaam met all sorts of hurdles and had the open miracle of his donkey talking to him. Yet, his desire to be paid for cursing the Jews blinded him from seeing the evil of his ways.

[This is yet another example of the "daf laughing at you" as this week in Chelek we learned about Bilaam and Sodom].

R' Frand also tied this back to Lot. When Lot separates from Avraham initially he goes to Sodom because of the lavish greenery. But soon thereafter it becomes apparent that Sodom is a "sin city" and Lot eventually gets captured in battle. But after Avraham saves him, Lot goes right back to Sodom, because Lot's desire for money gets the best of him.

R' Frand also said a second vort which related to the Akeidah. R' Frand quoted the gemara in which it states that when a Jew wants to do a mitzva and is prevented from doing so, Hashem credits him for the mitzva. Meanwhile, when an akum intends to do a good deed, but is prevented, he does not have the same credit. But why is there a difference?

The Meshech Chachmah explains that this a result of the Akeidah. Avraham wanted to perform the act, but was prevented from doing so. This desire became part of our spiritual DNA and is another example of the concept of Sefer Bereishis being ma'asei avos siman l'banim.

R' Frand also cited to the Meshech Chachmah who noted that Avraham called the mountain (known as Moriah) as Har Yeraeh. This was a desire that Hashem look out and be reminded about how much the Jewish people want to do the right thing.

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, October 29, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Badenbrau South Side Pride Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baderbrau's South Side Pride lager.

I picked this up at the Binny's in Lincolnwood (Chicago area) in their vast mix your own six pack rack. Baderbrau is a a local Chicago brewery (the South Side makes reference to the South Side of Chicago) so it was not surprising to find it in the mix section.

The beer indicates on the front of the can that it is "decocted" which was not a term that I was familiar with. The side of the can explains that this "beer flavored beer" is actually "triple decocted Munich Helles" but that does not really explain anything. Searching the web brought me to beer and brewing magazine (www.beerandbrewing.com) which maintains a dictionary of terms (including decoction) for which it explains:

The basic principle of decoction is to remove a part of the mash, boil it, and return it to the main mash, which is held at a constant temperature. There are two different aims in boiling one part of the mash:

1. To use physical pulping, which impacts the cell walls of the malt.

2. To raise the temperature of the bulk mash to a defined higher temperature after mixing both parts. (In the days before thermometers, the decoction method made a multi-temperature mash achievable and repeatable.)

The boiling of the grains helps to destroy the cell walls and makes the starches more accessible to the malt enzymes. This is particularly important for under modified malts where boiling helps to break down the cell walls.

I can't say that this explanation really helped me in understanding how this made the beer unique and the flavor itself was pretty generic for a lager, not watery like a macrolager, but not earning any points for special malt flavor. Overall, the beer is a non-obtrusive brew which would go well with a hot dog or pizza while watching a game.

The Baderbrau South Side Pride lager is under kosher supervision by the CRC of Chicago and has a CRC logo on the side of the can.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Baderbrau South Side Pride Lager, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29318/239275.

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, October 26, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Lech Lecha

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 his vort by quoting the gemara in Berachos 7b in which R' Yochanan states in the name of R' Shimon Bar Yochai that until Avraham, no one had called Hashem an Adon (master) until Avraham used this terminology to address Hashem.

R' Frand then quoted the sefer Ishei Yisrael which was written by the Maggid of Vilna who asked --why do we begin davening every day by saying the prayer Adon Olam? He answered his question by quoting a gemara in Tamid which described the process of offering the Tamid sacrifice of the morning. 

The gemara in Tamid states that they would not begin the process until sunrise and since they were indoors, they required someone to go out and relay to them that the sun had in fact risen. As part of the process, there was a question asked to the "outsider" if the skies above Hebron were alight as well. The Maggid of Vilna then asked --if the sacrifice was being offered in Jerusalem, why did the process involve asking whether the sun had risen in Hebron?

The Maggid answered that in beginning the Tamid process, they wanted to invoke z'chus avos. In order to do that, they would mention the city of Hebron which was where our forefathers Yitzchak and Yaakov were born (I would have presumed that it had to do with Ma'aras HaMachpeilah, but that was not the answer he gave). 

R' Frand then tied the vort back to Adon Olam, explaining that the reason that we begin Shacharis with that prayer is to invoke z'chus avos by reminding Hashem that his beloved Avraham was the first person to call him an Adon.

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, October 22, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA


This week's Sunday Night suds looks a New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA.

This is another of the New Belgium extra hoppy beers in the Voodoo Ranger line. The beer is made with an interesting mix of hops which (according to the NB website) include Delta, Bravo, Centennial, Cascade, Calypso, Mosaic. Some of these are familiar to me, but there are a few varieties (Calypso and Delta) which I have never heard of.

I picked up three of these when in Chicago for Sukkos and enjoyed two with family in the sukkah and brought this one back. The two were consumed with roasts and were not overwhelmed by the rich meats. This is a beer which holds it own with a steak and has complex and deep flavors, slightly reminiscent of a barleywine. This is also not coincidental as the Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA is 9% abv.

The New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA 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 The Voodoo Ranger IPA, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/260043.

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, October 19, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Noach

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 referencing Bereishis 10:11 in which the Torah states "Min HaAretz Ha Hee Yatza Ashur" -- from that land Ashur went forth. The pasuk states that Ashur built four cities, including the city of Nineveh.

R' Frand quoted the Medrash Rabbah which explains that Ashur went out from the plot against Hashem which was being raised by the people of Babel. Ashur stated to those who were planning their fight that he was not interested in waging war against G-d. To this Hashem stated, since you went out from them, I will reward you with four --the four cities that you will build.

R' Frand next quoted the Chizkuni, who cites a different Medrash which states that the Zchus of Ashur standing up against this plot was the reason that Nineveh merited having a Jewish prophet (Yonah) come and tell them to do teshuva.

More amazingly, the Yalkut Shimoni explains that the teshuva done by Nineveh included acts which we would term as Lifnim M'Shuras HaDin. On the third day of their teshuva, people began returning lost objects which by halacha did not require returning. If a stolen brick was built into the King's palace, they destroyed the palace, even though by halacha the law of Takanas HaMorish would only require the building's owner to pay for the stolen brick and not destroy his own home.

However, in the end, the people of Ashur attacked the Jewish people and were involved in the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. They were criticized for their actions in Tehillim which states "V'Gam Ashur Nilvah Imam". R' Frand quoted the Medrash on this pasuk in Tehillim which analogizes the people of Ashur to the regression of a bird, stating that yesterday you were a chick and today you are an egg. 

R' Frand quoted R' Leib Baktz (sp?) from Detroit who explained the Medrash as saying that they had regressed from doing heroic things and now what are you? You turned from people into inanimate objects. One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to regress and stop growing.

R' Frand remarked that as people get older its harder for them to keep growing. But even worse is to regress.

He also told a story of R' Chaim Ozer visiting the Chofetz Chaim when the Chofetz Chaim was advanced in age. R' Chaim Ozer remarked - look how much he has grown, I don't recognize him from last year. At this time, the Chofetz Chaim was advanced in age, not like a child who returns from being away at school. But this is what we are tasked with.

R' Frand told a second vort based on the end of Bereishis, where the Torah states in Bereishis 6:8 that Noach found "chen" in the eyes of Hashem. This means that Noach was not saved because of his righteousness, but because he found chen.

R' Frand quoted R' Elya Svei (sp?) who tied this into the story of Dina being violated by Shechem. How could this have happened? He quoted the Medrash Rabbah which states that it occurred because Yaakov put her in the box when he met Esav. But that does not explain why she was punished! The Chassam Sofer learns that this had to do with her missing out on the beracha of chen. When Yaakov was asked by Esav who are these people, Yaakov responds in Bereishis 33:5 that they are the children "asher chanan Elokim es avdecha". The Chassam Sofer explains that Dina was vulnerable because she lacked the beracha of chen, while Noach had it.

We see this one other time in Bereishis as when Yosef is thrown in the dungeon, the Torah writes in Bereishis 39:21 that Hashem was with Yosef when he was in prison and Hashem gave him chen in the eyes of the prison warden.

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, October 15, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat



This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat.

This beer is a hybrid in that it combines the phenols of a wheat beer with the hoppiness of a pale ale. The beer poured a warm orange with lots of foam which lasted longer than I expected. There was also a perfect level of carbonation. The first sip was strong cloves from the wheat beer, but successive pours melted in some pine and citrus. 

The experts at BA call this an American Pale Wheat Ale and even though they have more than 3,100 beers in this category, they are mostly summer brews with flavorings and additives. However, this beer's unique taste is not derived from flavorings and I would recommend trying this unique brew if you can find a bottle.

Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Kansas City, but the bottle I purchased did not have the certification mark on the label. However, it can be found on the list of kosher certified beers on the Vaad of KC website (http://vaadkc.org/blog).

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/423/65113.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale



This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger series, the Atomic Pumpkin Ale.

The Voodoo Ranger series is New Belgium's new extra hoppy line of beers which was introduced in late 2016. I have previously reviewed the IPA (click here for the review http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/02/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html) but found many other varieties at the Binny's in Lincolnwood, Illinois.

Simply put, the Atomic Pumpkin is unlike any other pumpkin ale you have ever tried. The beer is flavored with cinnamon, pumpkin and habanero chilies. It also has a 6.4% abv which is high for a fruit influence beer. The result is a beer which starts out sweet and then kicks you in the throat with the spicy aftertaste from the chilies. This is not for the faint of the heart or people who can't tolerate maror. But if you do like things which are both sweet and spicy, this is definitely worth trying.

I am unaware of whether this is available in the NYC area, as I only saw it in the mix your own six pack section of Binny's. I bought the only two they had out (the shelf with the seasonal beers had a marker for the Atomic Pumpkin, but was sold out).

The New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin 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 The Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/277641.

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!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday's Thoughts on Teshuva - The Rabbi Frand Teshuva Derasha 5778 - Part II

The following is a continuation of my summary of some of the thoughts said by Rabbi Frand in his teshuva derasha recorded at a Just One Life event in Brooklyn on Tuesday. (The first part can be found here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/09/thursdays-thoughts-on-teshuva-rabbi.html). Same rules as usual apply. I have attempted to summarize many of the thoughts to the best of my abilities. Any inconsistencies are the results of my transcription and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand next asked --how does one's making sacrifices in the name of someone else's trouble, cause mercy from Hashem? And, how can we become more empathetic?

R' Frand answered the first question by stating that if the person knows that you are suffering with him and feel for him, then he knows that he is not alone. Because the worst thing for a person is to think that he is abandoned. When Hashem gave the Satan permission to bring troubles to Job, He told him that you can't kill him. So how did he make sure that the troubles did not kill Job? By making sure that he had three friends who were there for Job to consult and commiserate with.

R' Frand related that he had met two women suffering from the same disease and with the same troubles. One was upbeat because she had friends and support from her community, even though it dd not solve her medical or other non-financial issues. And the other woman was despondent, because she felt that no one cared about her troubles.

R' Frand then asked, but if the person does not know that you are effected, how does it help? The people in the concentration camps did not know that the Rebbetzin was not having sugar in her tea! R' Frand answered that it works on a different level. The pasuk in Ha'azinu (Devarim 32:4) states that Hashem's punishment and methods are perfect. The who is suffering receives no more than he should get. But now the balance is being upset. He is supposed to suffer, not the other people. This is why a person goes to a Rebbi, because he really feels for that person and suffers with them. And then Hashem kivayachol says --he's not supposed to be feeling that too.

R' Frand told a story about a friend of his who met the Spinker Rebbi years ago in the mountains. He told the Rebbi that his mother was very sick and he asked the Rebbi to daven for his mother. The following year he wound up back in the mountains and came across the Rebbi. Before he could open his mouth, the Rebbi asked him --how is your mother. This man was not a chassid, and surely the Rebbi saw countless people who asked him to daven for them. This is a tzaddik and Hashem says that is not what I wanted. And when an entire community does this, Hashem says that is not what I wanted.

R' Frand then addressed his second question by analyzing Moshe. At the time that Moshe was named the leader of the Jews he had a very sparse resume. All that we knew about him was that he took action to protect a Jew being beaten by an Egyptian, that he went out and saw the Jews' troubles and that he intervened to save Yisro's daughters when they were under attack. So how did Moshe become this person?

R' Frand quoted R' Chaim Shmuelevitz who explained that Moshe's power was that he saw their troubles. He looked in their faces and saw how they were suffering. R' Frand said that you need to look at what people are enduring and you need to listen to their problems. You may not have advice for them, but its important to be an ear to listen and (my words) a shoulder to cry on.

R' Frand quoted the Alter M'Kelem who explains that one needs the Koach HaTziur - he needs to be able to imagine what the person feels like. To be at a seder where a childless couple sits and listens to other people's children ask the Mah Nishtanah, without children of their own. Once you imagine this you can get involved and be the shoulder or ear for them.

R' Frand then told a story which he termed "incredible" but he knew that it was true because the woman told it to him. Its a story about two men who met by chance and shared a car ride together and resulted in a great friendship. Both men were baalei teshuva and talmidei chachamim, both with the same dreaded disease. One of the men passed away and his wife did not know how she would support the family. She contacted organizations, but the money was not enough...until one day she got a call from the other man who said "consider me your brother, and a brother will always take care of a sister." The man continued - what are your biggest worries? She said that her husband had a personal debt of more than $30,000. He sent her the money. He then asked what else are you worried about? She said that the bank was threatening to repossess their home. He took care of this debt and told his own children that they needed to "tighten their belt." And then he liquidated his pension fund to pay off the entire mortgage. This was not a millionaire. Nor was he a man who she had ever met. He had simply shared a car ride with her husband by chance, but he felt a responsibility.

R' Frand remarked that this man obviously had a big heart. But it was his ability to imagine his wife with the same problem if he had died of cancer which drove him to care for "his sister." But while this might be a bridge too far for most, there is something you can do, just ask. If you know someone has a problem, just ask how you can help. Cancer is not contagious and neither is unemployment. And dont pass on an opportunity to ask just because you dont want to remind them. They are thinking about it all the time anyway, so show you care.

R' Frand told a story about a man who got up from shiva and came back to shul and no one said a word. They did not ask how he was doing, they just continued their conversations.

R' Frand also spoke about R' Meir Zlotowitz ztl. People came afterwards to pay shiva calls, even though they did not know him, just as an appreciation for Art Scroll. A certain person came to pay a shiva call and was crying. He explained that 15 years ago he stopped putting on tefillin because he was angry at Hashem because his grandfather died. But when he would bump into R' Zlotowitz, he would ask how he was doing. Do you want to talk? And this was whenever they bumped into each other. The man said that Sunday morning he started putting on tefillin because of R' Zlotowitz, because he would ask, how are you doing. R' Zlotowitz was a busy man, known worldwide and certainly powerful. Everyone has an Art Scroll sefer. But he was not too busy or powerful or famous to ask a regular guy on the street how he was doing.

R' Frand spoke about the 13 middos which we said every morning of selichos. The gemara relates that Hashem told Moshe not to say the 13 middos, but "yasku" --do the 13 middos. We may not be able to liquidated our accounts to help others, but if we show we care and ask about others, we will be acting like the 13 middos which Hashem says will bring forgiveness and mercy.


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, October 1, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Oats McGroats Stout


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at "Samuel Adams" Oats McGroats Stout.

I used the quotes around the Samuel Adams because this beer, along with four other varieties, are part of the Samuel Adams "Brewing the American Dream" line in which they partnered with other breweries as a mentor, in order to help them develop and distribute product. The beers include collaborations with five breweries: Three Ninety Bock (made with Roc Brewing Co.); Desert Kaleidoscope IPA (made with Bosque Brewing); Time Hop Porter (made with ChuckAlek Independent Brewers); Tea Party Saison (made with Woods Beer Co.) and Oats McGoats Stout, 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 beer poured a dark black, darker than even a Guinness Stout. The first pour released an aroma of dark coffee and the sip was not disappointing. But this beer is more than just a stout as there are chocolate notes and even a bit of spice. The beer was not as thick as I was expecting, but that just allowed me to appreciate it with Mrs KB's sliders as the beer was not a meal in and of itself.

The Samuel Adams Oats McGroats Stout 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/35/279348.

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, September 28, 2017

Thursday's Thoughts on Teshuva - The Rabbi Frand Teshuva Derasha 5778: Part I

The following is a summary of some of the thoughts said by Rabbi Frand in his teshuva derasha recorded at a Just One Life event in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Same rules as usual apply. I have attempted to summarize many of the thoughts to the best of my abilities. Any inconsistencies are the results of my transcription and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand remarked that the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is like the gavel which starts a court proceeding and the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur it is the gavel at the end of the court case. We must make our case during those ten days as the line in the U'Nisaneh Tokef of who will live and who will die is not an overstatement. And no one can win this judgment on his own merits, as we know that our actions do not alone justify a positive verdict. Instead we ask Hashem for mercy.

But how do we get mercy? What is done to merit mercy? The gemara in Shabbos teaches that anyone who shows mercy to others, Hashem will show mercy --as He is merciful, you should be merciful. People come to R' Leb Schteinman (sp?) and ask --how can I convince Hashem to show me mercy? He says --be merciful to others.

At the end of Selichos every day we say a prayer called "Machnisei Rachamim" which sounds like a request for others to bring our prayers before the Merciful One. Who are the bringers? Some explain that it refers to angels, but we are not supposed to pray to angels. The Chofetz Chaim explains that it refers to the poor and unfortunate. We ask that those who we have helped, should bring our tefilos before the ultimate Merciful One.

R' Frand then began to develop the shiur as a message that if one is merciful to others, he can earn a bounty of mercy from Shamayim.

R' Frand's first example were the biblical characters - Dasan & Aviram. These men made Moshe's life miserable on many occasions. They ratted him out when he killed the Egyptian. They challenged him after Pharaoh made the Jews work harder. They tested Moshe's warning not to leave over the Manna until the following day. They joined Korach in his revolt, even though they could not even get the Kehunah.

R' Frand added another example in the name of the Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel. After the Jews left Egypt in the beginning of Beshalach, the Torah writes that Pharaoh said to "Bnei Yisrael." But the Jews had already left. Who was he talking to? The Targum explains that it was Dasan & Aviram.

So how did they get out of Egypt and not die in the plague of darkness? The Maharal Diskin explains that they were the kapos in Egypt. And when the taskmasters beat them because the Jews did not fullfil their quota, they suffered and did not take it out on the other Jews. When they complained to Moshe about the stink after the work got harder, they were talking about their own festering sores from being beaten.

And it was in the merit of their taking the beating on behalf of their fellow Jews, that these men merited life and being part of the travels in the desert. How did they get out of Egypt if they did not leave with the rest of the Jews? The Maharal Diskin and the Be'er Mayim Chayim explain that they had their own personal kriyas yam suf. There is even a suggestion of this in a pasuk in the Az Yashir. The pasuk states that Ki Va Sus Pharaoh --when Pharaoh's horses were entering the sea and Hashem made the sea come crashing down on them and the Jews were walking on dry land. The pasuk appears to be out of order. The Jews first walked on dry land and then Pharaoh entered and then the sea came down! The Maharal Diskin and the Be'er Mayim Chayim explain that after the Egyptians were swallowed up by the sea, then Dasan & Aviram came through on dry land in their own krias yam suf. The pasuk cannot be referring to the rest of the Jews, since they were already long gone. It is Dasan & Aviram who got these special miracles because they had empathy for their fellow Jews.

Why is this middah what causes a person to be saved? Because this is the middah that Hashem uses when he reveals himself to Moshe. He appears in a bush and not a high tree according to Rashi. Because He wants them to know that he is with them in their troubles.

R' Frand said that a person does not need to jump into the Hudson River or a burning building to show empathy or sympathy. He just needs to show people who are going through troubles that he cares.

When there was a fire in the city of Brisk that destroyed half of the city, R' Chaim slept on a bench in shul. Why? Because if half the city was homeless, he was not going to sleep in his bed. Rebbetzin Kotler would not put sugar in her tea during the entire WWII because Jews were suffering in Europe.

R' Frand told a story about R' Shach who during the first Gulf War slept with his head partway off the bed so that he would be woken constantly when he moved. His students told him that he needed his sleep and asked why he was doing this. He responded that American boys came to him before the war and asked whether they should go back to the USA. He told them no, they should stay and learn and the learning will keep them safe. But in America, their parents were not sleeping well. And if those parents were not sleeping well, then neither would he.

R' Frand told a story about the Tolner Rebbi who was walking home once late at night and saw a boy who was wandering aimlessly. He asked the boy why, and the boy said that mashgiach in his yeshiva had thrown him out. The Rebbi settled him in and gave him a bed...and then went out to find the mashgiach. He knocked and knocked until the mashgiach came down in his pajamas and bathrobe. The Rebbi said to him --you are sleeping in your pajamas? You may need to throw a boy out of the yeshiva, but how can you sleep comfortably in pajamas in your own bed? You should be sleeping in your own clothes in a chair.

R' Frand said that you don't need to be a gadol to show you care. He made reference to all the chessed being done over the last month for the people of Houston and Florida. People said tehillim, gave money, sent food and supplies and gave up their time to fly down and tear out wet carpet and dry wall to help out those who were suffering. [Ed note --I know two incredible kids from my neighborhood who recently lost their mother in a tragedy, but less than five weeks later they flew down to Houston to help in this recovery process. Its a testament to their level of rachamim and chessed].

R' Frand told the story of R' Leibowitz of the Houston Kollel which is situated in a part of Houston which was not flooded. That neighborhood was serving 2,000 meals a day to the people who were flooded. The OU raised $1.2 million for Houston in a matter of weeks. And when South Florida was hit, the Jews of Atlanta took in 1,000 families. R' Frand remarked that the Jewish Community in Atlanta is a nice sized community, but its not Brooklyn. And yet they took in all these families and gave them floors to sleep five or six people.

R' Frand supposed that Hashem must be looking down from Shamayim and saying "look at My children."

R' Frand then told a story about a Jew who walked into a shul in Jerusalem and he sees Jews saying tehillim with fervor. He asked what happened? Was there a terrorist attack? He was answered that they are saying Tehillim because there is a tsunami in Texas. The man said, I don't know what a tsunami is and I don't know Texas, but if there is a Jew in trouble I need to pray for him.

There was much more to the shiur and I will iyh try to finish the summary in a Motzei Yom Kippur post.

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 24, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Double Bock


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Double Bock.

As explained by the experts at BA
Bocks--you know, those beers with goats on the label--are relatively strong German lagers. Doppelbocks--as the name might suggest--are typically even stronger and contain enough malty goodness that they've been considered a meal in a glass for centuries. Generally they have a very full-bodied flavor and are darker than their little Bock brothers and sisters and a higher level of alcohol too. They range in color from dark amber to nearly black, and dark versions often have slight chocolate or roasted characters.
The Double Bock is a dark brown beer which poured with above average lacing and decent carbonation. Its rich, almost as full bodied as a barley wine and the alcohol is present behind the malts. The beer is high on the abv scale, even for a dopplebock as it is 9.5% abv. But the alcohol flavor is not off putting and the beer would go well with rich meat dishes such as brisket or cholent.

The Samuel Adams Double Bock 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/35/44785.

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!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Honey Rye Pale Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Honey Rye Pale Ale.

With Rosh Hashanah around the corner, what better time to review a "honey" beer. I use the quotes around honey since this beer is not actually brewed with honey as the honey is the species of malt. (If you are looking for a beer which is actually brewed with honey, pick up some Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat --reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2008/05/sunday-night-suds-blue-moon-honey-moon.html).

The Honey Rye Pale Ale poured a deep maize (for those who remember that Crayola crayon color). There is some sweetness in the foam and in the beginning of the sip, but there is considerable rye bitterness which gives this beer an interesting after taste. There is a bit of citrus and hop bite which reminds you that this is a Pale Ale, but its certainly not a strong Pale Ale. The beer has a 5.8% abv, which is about average to low for the style.

The Honey Rye Pale Ale is a seasonal limited release and there are two bottles of it in the Beers of Fall Variety Pack. I swapped my other to my good friend and home brewer Dan R, and picked up some other interesting Sam Adams products which I will iyh review over the newxt few months.

The Samuel Adams Honey Rye Pale Ale 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/35/279354.

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!