Rav Moshe Feinstein’s Heter of Cholov Stam Revisited


rav-moshe-feinsteinBy Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer

Rabbinic Coordinator, Orthodox Union

Halacha states that milk which is produced without hashgacha (r’iyah of a Yisroel) is non-kosher; such milk is termed “cholov akum“. This rule is a gezeirah, lest milk from non-kosher animals be mixed into what otherwise could be assumed to be kosher milk. Milk is only permissible when a Yisroel watches the milking, verifying that milk from non-kosher animal species is not incorporated (Yoreh Deah 115:1, from Maseches Avodah Zarah daf 35b).

In his famous teshuva about regular (not specially-supervised) milk – what we call “cholov stam”, Reb Moshe Feinstein zt”l rules that such milk is permissible, as governmental inspection of dairies serves as verification that milk from non-kosher animals is not present; since governmental inspection establishes the absence of milk from non-kosher animals as a known fact, the rule of Annan Sahadei – that we are all virtual witnesses to the fact – pertains, and it is as if there is actual visual supervision (by Klal Yisroel) of the milk in domestic dairies. (Igros Moshe YD 1:47)

In teshuva 49 (ibid.), Reb Moshe addresses the question of farms. Although there is governmental inspection of dairy plants, where milk is pasteurized and bottled, much of the milk comes from farms, which Reb Moshe describes as often lacking supervision. If so, how could the rule of Annan Sahadei apply to permit milk? Is there not a lapse in supervision, such that the milk was lacking any governmental supervision from the time it was farmed until it arrived at the dairy plant?

Reb Moshe replied to the person who posed this question that Chazal were gozair on milk only at the point of its transfer to a Yisroel (“bo l’yad Yisroel”). Therefore, only milk which comes to the Jewish consumer from dairy processors can be prohibited as cholov akum; milk which is at farms and travels to dairy plants is not yet subject to the gezeirah. Once this milk is at the dairy plants, it is subject to governmental inspection and becomes the halachic equivalent of cholov Yisroel, as Annan Sahadei applies at that point and tells us to treat the milk as supervised by Yisroelim.

An obvious problem arises in modern times, as governmental inspections of dairies – at least today – does not include tests to determine the animal species from which the milk came. (See section of FDA Milk Plant Inspection Form on page.) Government inspectors test milk for bacteria count and the presence of antibiotics, but they do not verify by tests or otherwise which species of animal produced the milk. Such determination can be made by testing fat or casein ratios of milk samples, but the government does not do this. Whereas in former times (and still today at a handful of dairy plants), it was common for dairies to have on-site farms, and government inspectors would thereby physically see the animals present, such is no longer the case. In light of the current situation, that government inspectors do not in any way test milk to determine the source animals, nor do the inspectors see the milking animals, their inspections would appear to be of no use to create a situation of Annan Sahadei! If so, on what do we base our heter of cholov stam in contemporary times?

Rabbi Eli Gersten, based on diyukim in Igros Moshe (ibid. teshuva 49 and YD 3:17), understood and convincingly demonstrated that Reb Moshe held that since Chazal were gozair only upon the final point of possession of milk prior to its transfer to a Yisroel, the lack of meaningful verification at dairy plants is immaterial; so long as government inspectors visit the dairies and see that nothing is being added to the milk (and see no non-kosher species on-site!), the milk is permitted.

I arranged a conference call with Rav Belsky and Reb Zev Osdoba, RFR at Ahava Dairies, who has worked very extensively with state and federal inspectors over the course of many years, and who provided me with reams of documentation on the details of government inspection programs and requirements. Reb Zev revealed the following information (which I later corroborated independently by reviewing state and federal government websites and speaking with dairy companies):

• Currently, the government inspects all milk farms 2-6 times per year.
• Governmental (state) farm inspection protocol specifically includes a provision that only cows are in the farms’ milking parlors and/or cowyard. This provision (formulated in terms of swine) is part of the standard farm inspection form. (See sections of Dairy Farm Inspection Forms below.)
• Government inspectors track the intake and output of all milk at dairies. Thus, the source farms are identified by the inspectors, and they must correlate with farms approved by the government.

Reb Zev also related that state farm inspectors told him that they have never encountered horses, pigs or other livestock (besides cows) on dairy farms, and that were they to do so, they would immediately report it as part of their responsibilities.

In light of this current state of affairs, such that the farms are indeed uniformly inspected for non-kosher animals, and the dairy plants’ inspectors work with the farm inspectors’ data, Rav Belsky ruled that the heter of cholov stam applies for those who wish to rely on it, albeit based principally on farm inspections rather than on dairy inspections. The correlation of data between the farm and dairy inspections extends the farm inspections’ efficacy to the dairies, from which point the milk is “bo l’yad Yisroel” and retains its permissibility.

It should be noted that the above, newly-formulated position on cholov stam is actually the total reverse of Reb Moshe’s heter: Reb Moshe was mattir cholov stam based on dairy plants being inspected by the government, and government inspection of farms was a non-issue due to the concept of “bo l’yad Yisroel”. Now, in contradistinction, government inspection of farms plays the central role, and dairy plant inspection is no longer central for the heter. It is also important to note that the new position does not rely on “bo l’yad Yisroel” and may appeal to those who were not comfortable using this rationale in this case.

As evidenced by the above p’sak and research, the OU continues to pave the way in kashrus technical data and to service those in Klal Yisroel who wish to rely on Rav Moshe’s heter concerning cholov stam.

This article originally appeared earlier this year in the OU’s Daf Hakashrus, which is directed and edited by Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Rabbinic Coordinator at the OU.

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  1. Those who rely only on cholov yisroel don’t need another reason to do so and those who rely on Rav Moshe are not looking for a way to forbid what is permitted. Eilu vo eilu.

  2. i wonder what reb dovid feinstien shlita says about this? shouldn’t he be consulted as he is the one who would know the best what his father the posek hador held.

  3. Did anybody speak to Reb Dovid Feinstein on this? what his father might have said about chlov stam for today generation?This heter is also From Reb Yaakov Eden.

  4. in light of this new revelation -plus- the fact that R Moshe himself wrote in his teshuvos that it is better to be machmitr and use cholov yisroel -plus- the issue of cows having procedures to fix their stomachs which possibly makes them treif, why not just use cholov yisrael? it’s really not the hardest thing in the world. for all the money we spend and all the things we forgo for hidurim and minhagim, is ben and jerrys really that much better than kleins? i was very into my snickers bars until i took on cholov yisrael a few years ago, it’s not such a big deal. there’s a shaila of tarfus deoraisa here! (if the D.A. cows are treif)

  5. Rav Bick ZTL, Rav Henkin ZTL and others all disagreed with Rav Moshe on many occasion, and they were entitled. But unless you are qualified to agree with one psak over another, and in the base sense of a prevailing halachic behavior in your family or community, you should follow whoever is the bigger posek (or poskim), and that often would mean Rav Moshe. However, that having been said, there is no such Halachic status as “Posek Hador”. Rav Moshe ZTL was great beyond great, but there is no reason to consider his psakim more authoritative than let’s say Rav Aharon Kotler or the Chazon Ish. There would be no reason, let’s say, to follow Rav Moshe’s shiurim for the Pesach seder than those of the Chazon Ish. In fact, Roshei Yeshiva and Poskim, such as Rav Hutner, Rav Eli Meyer Bloch of Telz, the Debreciner Rav, the Chelkas Yaakov and others, sided with the Satmar Rebbe over Rav Moshe regarding the obligatory size of a mechitzah in a shul, and/or the permissibility of artificial insemination, which were the two big disagreements that those Gedoim had in halachah. It was indeed Rav Hutner who approached the Satmar Rav asking him to write a refutation to Rav Moshe’s psak about the Mechitzos. You will not find the phrse “posek hador” anywhere in any meaningful way. The Tzitz Eliezer uses it all over the place in his titles, and, I believe, either the Teshuvos Maharshal writes it among the titles to the Ramah, or the Teshuvos Ramah about the Maharshal. But in any case, the title connotes no halachic status.

    Unfortunately, many of those who use Rav Moshe’s psakim do so only when he is maikel. He permitted Cholov Yisroel (only b’shas hadchak – though they don’t pay attention to that part of the psak); he lowered the height of the Mechitzos — psakim such as these made life much easier for the Modern Orthodox, and even the out-of-town Orthodox communities. They believe they need Rav Moshe’s psakim to facilitate their mission as Modern Orthodox rabbis, or to be able to cater to the not-so-frum and do Kiruv. That is not a bad thing. A psak is a psak. However, when the same Rav Moshe prohibits Shabbos clocks (in most cases), or prohibits going to college, or paskens unequivocally that boys are prohibited m’doraisa to be “just friends” with girls, the same rabbonim with “Rav Moshe’s mechotzos” and cholov stam suddenly rely on “other poskim” (though in the case of boys being friends with girls, there are no poskim of anywhere near that stature who disagree with Rav Moshe). Part of it is due, too, to the fact that, at least in America, the other two personalities who were considered Gedolei Hador of that caliber were Rav Aharon Kotler and the Satmar Rav ZTL. Because of Rav Aharon’s stance on college and secularism in general, and the Satmar Rav’s stance on Zionism, there was no way in the world that those two Torah giants were going to be considered authoratative in what constituted the Orthodox community in America in those days. Instead, Rav Aharon was largley ignored, as it was predicted the followers of his hashkofo would become “mere tourist attractions” (thats a quote from Rav Y.B. Soloveichik in his “Five Addresses” about who he refers to as “seperatist Orthodox”. Rav Aharon was the leader of that Hashkafa), and the Satmar Rav was passed off as extreme by these people. In other words, it was “safe” for people to accept Rav Moshe and ONLY Rav Moshe because once you accept someone’s psakim in hilchos shabbos and kashrus, for example, you are forced to at least think about considering the fact that their stance against college or Zionism comes with as least as much authority. Of course, Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L deserved all the honor and respect that he received. He was a Gaon among Geonim and a Tzadik among Tzadikim, and one of the great Halachic authorities of our times. Thats not the issue. The issue is the fact that people pick and choose which Gaon-among-Geonim to follow when and because it is comfortable for them to do so.

    The Gedolim in the days of the Shulchan Aruch and shortly thereafter have agreed to accept the psakim of the mechaber (and the Rema) as authoritative. The Shach writes that one cannot even claim “kim li” against a psak of the Shulchan Aruch. This is akin to accepting someone as your “Rebbi”, where you follow his psakim. This is the same thing that happened when, let’s say, Klal Yisroel decided that the period of Chazal has ended after the 7th generraiton of Amorayim (Mar Zutra, Mar bar Rav Ashi, etc), and nobody from here on in can add to the Gemora. There was no “halachah lmoshe misinai” that told us that the Gemora was sealed; it was the accepted reality told to us by our Gedolim. The same thign applies to accepting the Shulchan Aruch and Rema.

    Because the Gezeirah was that a Jew has to supervise the milk, NOT that you have to have some kind of insurance that it is Kosher. Rav Moshe’s heter – however far one takes it – is to interpret the Gezeirah that any kind of insurance is sufficient to fulfill chazal’s gezeirah, which would make American milk cholov yisroel. But that itself is a matter of interpretation. If the Gezeirah was simply that you need a Jew supervising the milk, then even Rav Moshe would concede that even if you have reaosn to be comforatable that the milk is kosher, you still did not fulfill the gezeirah. In addition, even if you will accept Rav Moshe’s interpretation that the gezeirah is only that you need insurance not specifically Jewish supervision, who says that the laws are sufficient insurance that would satisfy chazal? If the penalty for violaitng the law is a fine, but the company will make more profit by violating the law, then how do we know that law is insurance? Very very often stores violate the Kosher Consumer laws. They put trief meat in the Kosher section etc, and they get fines that do nto deter them from being repeat offenders. Then there is the question as to who says the laws are being honestly enforced? As a certina godol said about the heter of the inspectors: “You give me two hundred dollars and I’ll give you four inspectors.” What halachic basis is thee to believe the inspectors are doign their jobs, being that Akum have no ne’emanus haalchicly?

    Rav Moshe’s Teshuva (YD:5) says simply that the heter to eat cholov stam is “only b’shas hadchak”. Its pretty short and sweet. And this letter coincides with the letter to Rabbi Weinfeld of Monsey as well. Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L, in a letter to a Rabbi Weinfeld in Monsey, printed in “Hilchos Kashrus” by Rabbi B. Forst of Far Rockaway, explained what he meant with his “heter” for cholov stam. He says that even though there are rationales for saying that nowadays all dairy processed under government supervision has the status of cholov yisroel, it is still not proper to drink milk except under Jewish supervision, even if it is a bit more expensive or difficult to acquire. In a teshuva, someone – obvisouly not Rav Moshe – did put the titles on the teshuvos, and the title on this one says “Hidur l’hishtamesh b’cholov yisroel”, even though the Teshuva says it is indeed not merely a hidur but permissible b’shas hadchak. So the “yad zorim” did get in there, but its obvious they did not make up the Teshuva. In Rav Moshes subsequent Teshuvus, particularly the one in the last volume of IM, where he says his heter for Cholov Stam is only meant “bshas hadchak.” Thats a quote.

    Rav Moshe’s heter is that it is possible that American milk is NOT cholov stam but cholov yisroel. if you hold that it is permitted, you don’t need a heter. CY is not a chumrah, it is a l’chatchilah, and there is a big difference. Everyone should be makpid on cholv yisroel halachicly, even according to Rav moshe – he says this clearly – unless there are dire circumstances. Rav Moshe sayus clearly in more than one place that unless there is a shas hadchak or some kind of dire need, it is not proper to drink cholov stam. Rav Moshe had his reasons for not making rules enforcing what he held to be correct. Perhaps he felt that not everyone was holding, yet, by doing the right thing. Who knows. Rav Moshe’s psak in his seforim that non Cholov Yisroel is not permitted except in strained circumstances. The last Teshuva, on this, in fact, is to a Yeshiva.

    I probably would have interpreted Rav Moshe’s early Teshuvos – the statement “baal nefesh yachmir” is ambiguous enough to merit such an interpretation, for sure. But Rav Moshe himself, in two places – a letter that was first published NOT in Igros Moshe, but in other places (most notably Rabbi Binyonim Forst’s Pischei Halachah) and the latest Igros Moshe, printed not too long ago, Rav Moshe himslef interprets what he means – and he states clearly that he means you cannot drink Cholov Stam unless its a shas hadchak. In the last volume of Igros Moshe there is a teshuva on cholov yisroel where he explains what he means in previous teshuvos. Rav Moshe says – writes, rather, in a few places, that his heter to drink cholov stam is not meant to be used l’chatchilah, but rather ONLY B’SHAS HADCHAK!. Those are his words, not mine, and, in more detail, is reiterated by him in a second place.

    The issue of cholov yisroel does not have naything to do with minhag. Whether your family does or doesnt use cholov yisroel, there is still a halachah in shulchan aruch that says you have to keep it. And Rav Moshe says that bshas hadchak, if you must have cholov stam, there is a heter. According to Rav Moshe, that heter (a) applies to all of klal yisroel equally, and (b) is halachic, not minhag-driven, (c) applies ONLY bshas hadchak – not a heter to buy Hershy bars, and (d) is still to be used only by non “baalei nefesh”, which he says should not rely on the heter. R’ Moshe Feinstein after hearing that he ate cholov stam – it sickened him such that he threw up.

    As far as Utensils are concerned, the rule is, that when you cook something in a utensil, the utensil takes on the status of the item cooked in it. So if you coooked pork, the utensil takes on the status of pork, such that whatever you cook in it has the stats of pork; if you cook cholov akum in a pot, then whatever is cooked in that pot gets the status of cholov akum. Of course, the rules of Ben Yomo apply across the board as well – for the first 24 hours, the pot retains the status of the item cooked in it even bdoeved; afterwards, it is assur lchatchilah to cook in the pot, but bdieved the food may be eaten. That applies whether the food cooked in the pot was pork or cholov akum or whatever.

  6. Chaim-
    I’ve never seen the teshuva where R Moshe says that it is only ok B’shaas hadchak so I cant comment on that, but you should just know that R Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik was mattir chalav stam as well. “It is well known among Rav Soloveitchik’s students that the Rav when he resided in the United States drank packaged milk that did not have any special Rabbinic supervision. Rav Genack mentioned in a Shiur at Yeshiva University that the Rav told him that there exist three considerations to be lenient. First, if no non-Kosher animals are found in the herd of animals that is being milked (“Ein Bedro Tamei”) some authorities rule leniently. Second, we may rely on the government (USDA) supervision and inspections to insure that the milk we consume is from cows. Finally, the rabbinic edict forbidden drinking milk from an animal that was milked by a non-Jew technically does not apply today since the cows are milked by machines. ” http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/735843/Rabbi_Chaim_Jachter/Chalav_Yisrael_-_Part_I:_Rav_Soloveitchik%27s_View
    I’m sure that you will argue that you cannot possibly follow him, and you are certainly entitled to, but it is quite possible that the MO community, of which I am proudly part of, follows the Rav on this and other psakim that you mentioned like college (although I am not sure how he paskined on Shabbos clocks). So please refrain from saying that MO just picks and chooses (although the point about girls is well taken).

  7. Unfortunately, just about all of the comments, including an extremely long one, have no clue as to what Reb Moshe meant. Reb Moshe held that M’ikar HaDin, Cholov Stam is permitted and equivalent to Cholov Yisroel. He was not the first great Posek to hold this opinion, so did the Pri Chodosh (admittedly, he also got flack from his contemporaries). I am aware that many members of Reb Moshe’s family use Cholov Stam, even in a place where Cholov Yisroel is available. As for the problem of Treifus because of punctures to the cows, stomachs; that problem, if it is a problem, is exactly the same for company Cholov Yisroel (the companies cannot single out the cows that may be subject to the problem for their milking run).

  8. Chaim: the letter that said b’shas Hadchak was written to a yeshiva which had been using only cholov Yisrael for a while, and wanted to switch. That is a special circumstance, and does not apply to everyone.
    As for using only heterim but ignoring chumros, I’m sorry, but we don’t do that. I have my Rav who I use. If he tells me something is ok, I listen. If he tells me it’s not ok, I also listen. Many frum Rabbonim do the same thing. Your point about fertility procedures can be turned around – many people rely on R’ Moshe’s heter (people in kollels and chassidim all over – look at A TIME, which is run by chassidim!), but they still use Shabbos clocks. Rabbonim decide on which poskim to quote, and you follow your Rav.
    Regarding your point on girls, yes it is a problem, but I have to point out one thing: if you ask a Modern Orthodox Rav if it’s ok, they won’t say yes. So yes, it occurs frequently, but no MO Rabbonim say it’s allowed.

  9. In Reb Aharon time in lakewood they use cholv stam There is a joke in lakewood there is cholv yisrael because of the Satmar Rebbe and in Williamburg by Satmar there is kollel because of Reb Aharon.Reb Eliyahu Meir Bloch they say when he open Telz he bought a cow for cholv milk

  10. Very simply put. When Rav Moshe gave the Heter was before the problem of cows being rendered Treif by having incisions made in their stomachs. Also I learned in MTJ when Rav Moshe was alive. All the milk and dairy products served were cholov Yisroel despite the cost and the fact that the Yeshiva was strugling financially.

  11. If what Chaim said is true, that chalav stam is only bishaas hadchak, then how can Rav Belsky, shlita allow, and how can the ou give a lechatchila hechsher to all of the chalav stam products that they do

  12. see the followin article re: the treif cows.


    The Cholov Yisroel farms remove all of the procedured cows & have a full time mashgiach to make sure non of those cows are used in error.

    I brought a Lakewood yunerman to Reb Moshe’s house when I observed him uses cholov stam. Reb Moshe told him “in Lakewood there is no heter to use cholov stam, the teshuva was written for people that don’t have access to cholov yisroel at all”- Ice cream, etc was never intended only plain basic milk.

  13. I’m surprised that someone can write an article about cholov stam without mentioning the problem of the hormone injections which render the cow a treifa and the milk assur. If there is no mashgiach to prevent this (and we know the government allows this) how can the milk be kashur?

  14. 11: Read my previous post. R’ Moshe’s letter stating b’shaas hadchak was for a certain case, not for everyone.

    Regarding the issue of the procedure on cows’ stomachs, first off, this applies to cholov Yisrael milk the same as cholov stam. In many cases, they’re the exact same cows; for example, I’ve been told that Haolam and Miller’s cheeses come from the same plant. They just have certain time slots where mashgichim come to watch, and that gets packaged as Haolam. They’re the exact same cows!
    Secondly, R’ Belsky reviewed the issue, and paskened that it’s not a problem. I was told the reasoning was as follows: a treifah is not an animal with a wound. It means an animal that will die within a year. When we inspect the lungs and other organs, it’s to make sure it didn’t have a fatal wound which would have caused it to die. R’ Belsky observed cows that had undergone the stomach procedure. He saw that teh vast majority of the cows that went through it survived the year. Obviously, some cows died during the year – they could die from other causes also. However, he determined that the procedure doesn’t cause a cow to die within a year, and therefore does not render it a treifah.

  15. I dont know about Haolam cheese but the dairy farms which are used by the cholov Yisroel companies do NOT allow any cows which have had the incision made on their stomachs.

  16. If you guys want, instead of writing megillos on matzav.com about all those that ever had a say in cholov yisroel, you can send all your megillos to me and I will make one big sefer, please send it to:

    PS I won’t mention that you wrote your peirush on the INTERNET

    GO Find a Job Publishers

  17. firstly, the pri chodoshes heter is based on something totally different which r moshe himself does not hold of. secondly the bshas hadchak teshuva was to a yeshiva. thirdly, we’ve all heard stories about what he told different peolple but we really should only go by what he published. fourthly, my point was not halachic. for those who want to rely on these psakim, you have every right to and are in no way going shelo k’din but for those who don’t have a clear p’sak or rav they can talk to, it’s really not the hardest thing to keep cholov yisrael in the larger jewish communities. i don’t in any way feel as if i’m being moser nefesh in forgoing cholov stam

  18. > Chaim (comment #5) quotes a letter from Reb Moshe in which he states “…it is still not proper to drink milk except under Jewish supervision, even if it is a BIT more expensive or difficult to acquire.”

    >> And so, just what is “a bit more expensive?” In one of our local kosher supermarkets this week cholov stam (OU-D)sells for #1.79/half gallon. A 1/2 gallon of cholov Yisrael is $2.99. That’s a whopping 67% more expensive. Others have pointed out that the cost of mashgichim should add but a few cents per 1/2 gallon. If this is so, what we see here is a scandal of huge proportions. The kosher consumer is being ripped off big-time by individuals in the production and distribution chain.

    To add insult to injury, a huge premium is being paid for a product which is known to be inferior. A recent expose confirmed what we consumers already knew: poor refrigeration practices by purveyors of cholov Yisrael leads to premature spoilage. When I got tired of having to pour a 1/3 of the container of overpriced milk down the sink I’d enough of cholov Yisrael.

  19. I spoke to Rav Eliyashev re: Rav Belsky’s HETER on the operated cows..Rav Eliyashev said YOU CAN NOT RELY ON THAT HETER, the cows are TREIF, hence the milk is cholov-treif.

  20. Rabbi Gordimer did not once mention the main problem today with cholov stam which is the DA cows. These cows are rendered treife by the veterinary procedures where their stomaches are punctured. The incidence of DA on the dairy farms has more than quadrupled since Rav Moshe’s days and now average over 5%. Bittul B’shishim is 1.67% so they are no longer battel. If Rav Moshe were alive today, he would surely asser all cholov stam. The OU went out of its way to ascertain that there are only cows being milked and no horses or pigs. Why couldn’t they also ascertain the percentage of these treife cows? Perhaps they did and they refuse to report the findings for fear of losing major income or causing a tumult in the Jewish community. Bottom line is that any G-d fearing Jew should not consume any cholov stam products.

  21. That YU article seems odd – i always thought rabbi soloveitchik was makpid on cholov yisroel – anyway, orthowatch misses an important point. Whether or not there are individuals in the ‘mo’ community who actually follow rabbonim, there are community-wide practices that the rabbonim do not address, or if they do, they are ignored. Every gadol in brooklyn a few years ago signed a kol koreh about TV, and what happened? since MO rabbis for some reason didnt sign on(although they admit it’s assur – it’s a davar pashut), we can have Tv’s! yay! forget about what rav pam, rav shmuel birnbaum and every other talmid chacham in brooklyn says – i dont have to follow them because im MO, and those rabbis are only for the black-hat people – so i live on with my tumah-box, destroyign my children and myself, doing one issur deoraysoh of lo sasuru and al tifnu after another, and you know why? because someone forgot to show this kol koreh to rav hershel shachter!

    Internet usage not for parnosa and without a filter, television usage, movies with tarfus, boy/girl relationships, the status of the issur deoraysoh of negiah as being ‘optional’, all are things that are ridiculously common in MO circles to the point where it baffles the mind how we(the yeshiva world) are supposed to even take thems eriously when they start barking about how bad kollelim are and about how we all need to shavel, believe in evolution, focus on living a life ‘within the context of halacha’ instead of being growth-focused, when they say that we should listen to ourselves ‘think for ourselves’ and not ‘blindly’ follow Gedolim on issues of hashkafa(the pele yoetz brings this kind of thing as the definition of apikorsus, it happens, although this is not surprising) – it becomes somewhat of a joke when bedieved and lechatchila become one entity and when honor is given to the worst reshoim in history because they helped make a state that they thesmselves thought was atheistic and non-religious – the brochos levatalos said in commemoration of a state(why no hallel when yehoshua captured aeretz yisroel? not zionistic enough, i guess)

    All and all, we look at MO as a growing community – one with a dark past, and a mixed future – there are elements that are wonderful – young israel took steps in the normal, ‘right’ direction(pardon the pun), and so did communities in eretz yisroel. Rav hershel shcechter and others like him are bringing them back to a level of normalcy, but there are negative elements as well – the feminist rabbis, the evolutionist ones, the ‘partnership minyan’ crazies, a ‘professor of talmud’ who doubts yetzias mitzrayim and says so in his shiur to a bunch of bochurim, a man who claims that the rambam just made a bunch of errors, and nebach, rav chaim brisekr and all other meforshim on the rambam just didnt know anything about academic studies – not like the great and mighty college man this shnuk is, oh no, he knows what the rambam meant! this idiot cliams the rambam just forgot gemaras and was relying on his memory – nebach, klal yisroel didnt know it for 700 years of amazing pilpul and toiros on the rambam, nebach! we all needed mr. apikores here to show us the light! – and so on – all call themselves MO, all are not shunned, or at least not shunned enough by mo(wanna know who is shunned? a professor, a very MO professor, decided with his knowledge of history that zionism was the worst thing to ever happen to the jewish people – they ddint give him an aliyah in shul! but the guy who believes in apikorsus and ruins people’s neshomoms – what? you’re closed minded? intolerant? no aliyah? how dare you! he might be offended! get your nose out of the gemora and get into the ‘real world’ down here with all us tumah-fied laitzonim!

    And so hopefully in a few years MO will cease to exist – so will ‘yeshvishe’ people – just normal yidden serving hashem the way He wants us to – the liberal crazines will become just another conservadox hybrid of nonsense, sparing us the grief.

    Back to the cholov yisroel topic – the OU(which includes of course, Rav Yisroel Belsky) is facilitating those that wish to rely on the heter of reb moshe, even though it is beshas hadchak, the same way the rabbanut’s hecsher in eretz yisroel gives its hecsher on all sorts of unreasonable kulos, to be matzil people. Not every one of reb moshe’s relatives is reb moshe; not all of them are even rabbonim, and so their actions are subject to the same scrutiny as anyone else’s and do not constitute ‘maysoh rov’.

    IS there any mekor that the chazon ish was noteh kulah on cholov stam? it’d be kind of funny, since reb moshe’s heter only applied in america, not in eretz yisorel or any other country – why the chazon ish would be addressing america is strange, but not that strange, as he did pasken on issues outside of eretz yisroel(like the famous date line teshuvah), but we need a mekor for this – reb moshe was a chiddush, for sure, and not everyone signed on – where did you hear that they had cholov stam in lakewood? i dont buy it, but even if it’s true, that was shas hadchak since there were no cholov yisroel companies back then.

    Go somewhere cheaper – in my supermarket, it’s not like that all. Plus, if you’re worried about spoilage, buy quart botles instead.

  22. “it is still not proper to drink milk except under Jewish supervision, even if it is a bit more expensive or difficult to acquire”.

    Another big issue that Reb Moshe sites is if the Cholov Yisroel products are spoiled, sour and not up to par. That was the issue in the Midwest cities on a continuous basis.

  23. the importance of eating cholov yisroel cannot be understated – one’s emunah is greatly affected by eating cholov akum(safek cholov akum?), and a few dollars extra is a small price to pay for spiritual benefits.

  24. matis: I’m not going to debate Modern Orthodoxy with you again. We’ve done it before, and it gets nowhere.
    You say the importance of cholov Yisrael is immense – according to R’ Moshe, all milk in the US is cholov Yisrael! Learn his teshuva, and you’ll see that. His letter saying b’shaas hadchak was aimed at a yeshiva, not the general public. It is often quoted as an attack on cholov stam, but it’s entirely incorrect.
    21: As I’ve stated a few times in this thread already, R’ Belsky paskened that the procedure does not make the cow a treifah.

  25. “a few dollars extra is a small price to pay for spiritual benefits.”

    If it’s true that cholov yisrael producers and distributors are ripping us off and reaping unreasonable profits for an inferior product, then there should be a mass boycott of those products. Maybe a few weeks of zero profits will send the message that we won’t be abused any longer. Prices need to come down to a reasonable level (even 10% more than cholov stam would be acceptable…but not 60-70%) and industry-norm refrigeration practices must be instituted. Until then, our souls are not helped by supporting “erliche” price gougers who deliver spoiled milk to their Yiddishe brethren. “Spiritual benefits” should not come at the cost of being patsies for these (safek?) ganovim.

  26. “Plus, if you’re worried about spoilage, buy quart bottles instead.” Advice from Matis

    Huh? Quarts cost even more! They’re a bigger rip-off then the 1/2 gallon containers.

    By the way, during my years in Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva the candy machine in the lobby was filled with cholov stam products (Hershey Rolos were my favourite). I guess the bochur who stocked it succeeded in sneaking these items past the hanhallah. If not (according to you) the Yeshiva was practically guilty of lifnei iveir.

  27. Oh, Matis: I’m curious to know what parnassah you make off of Matzav.com. After all, you pointed out internet use earlier as a problem in the MO community. You’re doing the same thing.


    Eleui veleui dvrei eloykim….
    Why are some people disturbed when others follow and adhere to different halachoes than they do? Modern, Yeshivish, CHassidish, Israeli and good ole sefardim just know that hashem loves diversity in minhagim and pasak.

    You are more holy, you are less, you are ruining your neshama, you are full of terafus….its all mishegas….. Reb Moshe, Satmar Rav, Rav Aharon they are a good threesome and there are others who have written different tshuvos on the same issue.
    Eruv,,,Rav Roth — terrific,,, Reb Moshe— outstanding,, whether you use the Brookly Eruv or not you can come and visit me in Flatbush with simchah.

  29. Rav Moshe’s later teshuva printed in the last volume of Igros Moshe ( and previously iwith a copy of the handwritten teshuva in the OU’s Daf Hakashrus) was NOT written to a yeshiva, but to Rabbi Ochs in Toronto SPECIFICALY REGARDING INDIVIDUALS. Please do not make things up!

  30. shua, what you deem as a rip-off is only because you do not understand the circumstances: If a cholov yisroel milk factory were as big as, say, a major conglomerate that produces cholov stam – if they had the same budget, paid the same for special hashgacha procedures, and had the same amount of clientele, then you’d have a point.

    Let’s look at the facts:

    Cholov yisroel companies appeal to a tiny minority of a minority. Those that buy kosher are one story; out of all kosher foods in america, 66% are purchased by goyim. This means that only 44% of all kosher food is bought by yidden. Of that 44%, a minority of it is cholov yisroel. These companies also have to pay for different hashgacha procedures, despite their limited budget, size, and clientele.

    They also cannot afford the same equipment as the big conglomerates – this is why it may not last quite as long(my experience is that it lasts pretty long – in my yeshiva, it lasts until the expiration date; so just buy a bottle with a later date, or a quart-container).

    Before people attack the yiddishe companies, suggest hurting their parnosa with a boycott and all sorts of other disgusting things, i think you should look at the facts.

    Also, there is a mitzvah to buy from yidden.

    The spiritual benefits I was talking about are because there is a machlokes if cholov stam is kosher or not, and even those that hold it is, disagree on it’s status as lechtachila or bedieved for those that already follow this shita.

    Some, many even, hold it is cholov akum 100%, and thus could be looked at as a safek. When something is so serious as cholov yisroel, which greatly affects one’s emunah, it is very reasonable to buy only cholov yisroel. It is interesting to note, as an aside, that one can find feminism, evolution, ‘equality’ between goyim and jews, heretical attitudes with regards to chazal’s scientific knowledge, notions of ‘unity’ with reform and conservative apikorsim, an utter denial of emunas chachamim and daas torah, and other forms of apikorsus, almost exclusively among those that drink cholov stam – no, I am not suggesting that drinking cholov stam will automatically make you into an apikores, but the correlation is quite outstanding.

    I have no taynos on one who is short on cash – or who live in out-of-town places where it’s hard to find cholov yisroel, or where it’s more expensive, but honestly, if you are buying new cars, fancy suits, $2000 shaitlech, and the like, I think a few dollars extra a week will not hurt for benefits in ruchnius.

    It also happens that in gashmius, there are benefits – I lost a lot of weight when I gave up cholov stam a couple of years back. Why? because entenmann’s, and all the snacks you see in the supermarket(well, not all), are cholov stam, and very tempting(and cheap).

  31. israel is real – unity is great, but unity with enemies of hashem is disunity and the cause of sinas chinam and machlokes. We are not, for instance, supposed to recognize reform or jews for jesus because of ‘unity’, even though they are (misguided) jews and our brothers.

    You’re not supposed to have the atttiude of ‘yu do what you want, i do what i want’, because that means you dont care about hashem’s honor or the severity of violating his torah. ‘ragsonim’ the gemora calls us, for a reason – dont stifle it with hippie philosophies – unity is great, qwhen it is unity with hashem. violating torah by being mischaber im reshoim is a perud, not a yichud.

    It should bother you to see others do averos – they’re destroying the world and themselves(including you), like the medrash says about the man who says he’ll sin and dont bother me because im not hurting you – he’s like a man in a cabin on a boat with thousands of people – he thinks that making a hole in his cabin is not going to hurt anyone, and is angry when the passengers tell him ‘you fool! dont you realize you’ll have us all drown cv’s! but this idiot thinks it’s just his cabin!

  32. I love defenses of the honor of Hashem based on sina. And the causal argumentation of Baki – mind-boggling – I wouldn’t want to know where you learned how to learn…