Response to Rebuttal of R. Ysoscher Katz About Waiting After Eating Hard Cheese

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By Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, Chair of the Department of Talmud issued a responsum regarding waiting after eating pizza that is sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I published a critique of this responsum, to which R. Katz posted a rebuttal in a comment on Matzav.com, as follows:

צר לראות איך נעלמו מהכותב מקורות מפורשים שלגמרי סותרים דבריו

1) עי’ ט”ז סי’ פ”ג סק”ד: אבל נלענ”ד דדוקא בגבינה מתולעת יש להחמיר כן… אבל בגבינה ישנה אין להחמיר … כי אם מי שנוהג בתוספות פרישות וזהירות. ונהוג עלמא כהט”ז.

2) גם נעלם ממנו דברי הבאה”ט סי’ פ”ט ס”ק י’ דמרק של בשר דינו כתבשיל של בשר שלכו”ע אין צריך לחכות שש שעות מעיקר הדין משום שגם לפי רש”י לא שייך החומרא כיון שאינו חומר עב.

3) נתחלף לו “בדיעבד” הלכתי בדיעבד מילולי. (Colloquially) דברי הפוסקים מלאים במקרים בו הם מציעים להחמיר מעיקר הדין אף שההלכה כדברי המקילים ו”בדיעבד”, כשקשה מדי להחמיר סומכים על המקילין. זהו דעתי כאן. ההלכה כדעת המקילים. עם כל זה טוב
להחמיר, אם זה לא מקשה יותר מדי.

The three points of objection raised by R. Katz are immaterial:

R.Katz writes: The Taz holds that there is no need to wait after eating aged cheese (unless one normally conducts himself with extra [optional] strictness). This is common (halachic) practice.

Correction: Accepted p’sak (e.g. P’ri Megadim (YD 89 [1]), Chochmas Adam (40:13), Aruch Ha-Shulchan (YD 89:11), and many others) is that one must indeed wait after eating aged cheese, like the Shach (YD ibid. s.k. 15). Halacha has been codified as such, in contradiction to R. Katz’ assertion that this is not the Halacha.

  1. Katz writes: The Be’er Hetev holds that there is no need me-ikar ha-din to wait after eating a marak shel basar, a meat soup (i.e. there are no separate-standing pieces of meat), for even Rashi would not require waiting when the food is not a thick substance.

Correction: This is inapplicable, as the Be’er Hetev qualifies that this applies to “that which is tzalul (clear, or liquid-thin)”. Parmesan cheese sprinkled onto pizza may be softened due to the heat, but it does not achieve a liquid state. Hence, R. Katz’ point does not apply.

  1. Katz writes: Poskim commonly advise one as the ikar-ha-din to be machmir, even though the actual Halacha goes according to the “b’dieved”/lenient opinion. In such cases, when it is too difficult to be machmir, one can rely on the b’dieved/lenient opinion, as that is the actual Halacha – and this pertains to the issue at hand (of waiting after Parmesan sprinkled onto pizza), as since the actual Halacha goes according to the lenient opinion, although one should ideally be machmir, he need not be machmir if it is too difficult.

Correction: It is not at all clear that the actual Halacha goes according to the lenient opinion in the case at hand – but even if it would be so, my objection was to R. Katz’ understanding of the sources, not to the actual practice that was advised. (It should be noted that Parmesan, with its pungent Umami flavor and aftertaste, may arguably qualify as a cheese that has meshichas ta’am and would necessitate waiting even when melted. It is far from certain that the Yad Yehuda would not advise waiting in this case.)

{Matzav.com}

11 COMMENTS

  1. About Rabbi Ysoscher Katz
    Rabbi Ysoscher Katz received ordination in 1986 from Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, dayan of UTA Satmer. Rabbi Katz studied in Brisk and in Yeshivat Beit Yosef, Navaradok for over ten years. A graduate of the HaSha’ar Program for Jewish Educators, Rabbi Katz has taught at the Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls and SAR High School. He was a leading teacher of a daf yomi class in Boro Park for over eight years. He is also the Rabbi of the Prospect Heights Shul in Brooklyn, New York.

    BUT: He is the Chair of the Department of Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Director of YCT’s Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies. from which separated itself from Klal Yisroel. SADLY IS A SHONO U’PIRESH!!!!

  2. As a kashrus proffessional for over 20 years, I’e had a strong recommendation for kashrus poskim- “please” learn the metzius. From first hand knowledge, Rabbi Gordimer is an expert in the dairy industry, both halachikly as well as the practical. He will win this argument- guaranteed!
    Besides all of the above he is an abolute Mentch. His stand against this “orthodox” element is totally l’shem shomayim.
    Chazak v’ematz!

  3. Katz is typical of YCT: pick a da’as yachid that nobody paskins like, and run with it. There is no concept with them of da’as Torah. They are not orthodox AT ALL. There are now four “streams” of Judaism, only one of which is real: Orthodox, open orthodox, conservative, and reform.

    Shem resha’im yirkov.

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