Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Went to a very interesting couple of Shiurim on last shabbat


Two young Israeli men spoke and both talks were good. It will be the one thing along with the davening at shule and also Rabbi Sprung's Shiur and Leor Broh's droshas I will miss on my shabbosim in the country until we can come in for a shabbes with friends in the city. It will mean that I will treasure each moment of the davening and the shiurim even more intensely.
However it says in the Talmud that one needs to be supporting one's family and if I can do so, it is my duty to do so and not just to take any only $12 an hour job doing simple work but to take work in the profession I am trained in and earn a good wage.
Anyway the topic of one of the talks was the importance of saying the after bracha called the Birchat Mazon which is a long prayer that we thank Hashem for the sustanance from which we have benefited. It was a practical shiur. No one had ever spelt out to me before the time we need to say this prayer is as long as we are still digesting the food. The young man talked about the miracle of food being translated into energy to do Hashem's will and it is quite amazing. I will say the birchat Mazon with new vigor and insight now. Here is today's halacha.

1) It is always proper to recite Birchas Hamazon loudly and clearly, as saying it loud ensures that all the words are recited properly and also brings about better Kavanah, concentration and understanding of the words being recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)

Moreover, it is praiseworthy to always recite Birchas Hamazon from a Siddur or Birchon, and not recite it from memory. (See what the Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 1 quotes from the Sefer Hachinuch and the Sefer Chasidim)

2) This is especially important on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh and other times when additions are added to the text that aren't recited on a regular basis (e.g. Retzei or Ya'aleh V'yavo) as saying it loudly and from within a Siddur will make it less likely to inadvertently omit the required additions of the day. (Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)

The talk plus today's halachot are to ensure that I say the after bracha and the birchat Mazon with renewed vigour.


Ilana Leeds said...

How long must one wait after eating meat before eating dairy?

The Talmud relates that the great sage Mar Ukva contrasted his approach to waiting after eating meat with that of his father: “If Father would eat meat now, he would not eat cheese until the next day at this time. I, though, will not eat [cheese] at this meal, but I will do so at the next meal” (Chullin 105a). Mar Ukva’s father was super-stringent and went beyond the requirements, whereas Mar Ukva went according to the letter of the law.

Ilana Leeds said...

Mar Ukva’s practice of “waiting until the next meal” is seen by halachic sources as being the basis for the requirement to wait after eating meat before eating dairy. Posekim, however, do not agree on how long Mar Ukva waited. Some opine that Mar Ukva simply provided us with a general rule: Do not combine dairy and meat at the same meal; and, if you eat a meat meal, you cannot have dairy until the meat meal has been completed. Any further waiting is optional. Others maintain that Mar Ukva advocated waiting a specific duration of time, and that this is what halachah requires.

Ilana Leeds said...

Must one wait after a dairy meal before eating meat?

After eating dairy, one can eat meat so long as he does the following: 1. separates the meals by reciting the necessary berachot, 2. cleanses his mouth, 3. rinses his mouth, 4. washes his hands. One may clean his mouth by eating or drinking something pareve. Any solid pareve food other than dates, raw flour and greens can be used. Steps 2-4 may be done in any order, but the berachot should be recited right after the dairy meal is over. One must wash his hands and clean his mouth even if he feels that they are clean. An exception for washing one’s hands is made for one who used utensils and had absolutely no physical contact with the food.

If the meal to follow consists of poultry and not beef, there is no need for one to cleanse his mouth or wash his hands. (This is because mixing poultry with dairy is only rabbinically prohibited.) Although there is no halachic requirement to wait after eating dairy before eating meat, some wait an hour or half an hour, based on a statement found in the Zohar. (The Zohar’s exact wording can be found in the commentary of the Vilna Gaon on Yoreh Deah 89:1.)

Ilana Leeds said...

Isn’t the halachah different after eating hard cheese?

Rema posits that if one wants to eat meat after eating hard cheese, he should wait for the amount of time that he waits after eating meat before eating dairy. Commentators note that Rema is only referring to hard, aged cheese since such cheese adheres to the mouth and leaves an aftertaste, somewhat similar to meat.

What qualifies as hard, aged cheese?
According to halachah, this is cheese that is aged for six months or so. However, since modern manufacturing techniques enable cheese-makers to develop hard cheese in less time, contemporary halachic authorities do not agree on the matter. The posekim of the OU Kashrut Department have ruled that cheese that is endowed with a unique texture or lingering taste—akin to the texture or taste classically acquired via aging—qualifies as hard cheese, regardless of the precise aging period.

Some of the cheeses that require waiting include Parmesan cheese (usually aged for ten months), Swiss cheese (aged for at least sixty days) as well as aged cheddar (aged anywhere from a few months to several years). (Please note that not all cheddar is aged. Fresh cheddar that is manufactured, packaged and sold within a period of days lacks the unique qualities of aged cheddar.) Similarly, one should wait after eating the following cheeses (if you can find kosher versions!): Asiago medium cheese (aged for six months), Asiago old cheese (aged for a year) and Sap Sago cheese (aged for five months).
Many posekim are of the opinion that one need not wait after eating cheese that is melted since melting compromises the texture and flavor of the cheese. Thus, there is no need to wait after American cheese, as it is a blend of cheddar cheese and additives that has been melted and re-formed. This is the OU’s position as well.

Ilana Leeds said...

How long does it take to digest food in the stomach would depend on the food and that is a question for a doctor.