Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  karen, but you can call me confused
E-mail:  not available
Date:  9/19/2011 7:55:00 AM
Subject:  Chalav Akum
Message:  I realize that you hold that Rav Moshe only included the part about the ba'al nefesh to satisfy those who would disagree with his psak. However, others say that he went further and explained himself as below. So, according to this, R. Moshe didn't exactly agree that milk was generally allowed to be consumed without a frum person actually supervising. Could you please respond to the following:

However, Rav Moshe ZTL throws a wrench into the works because he adds to the above that "nevertheless, a baal nefesh ("spiritual person") should be stringent."

Many have taken this to mean that Rav Moshe ZTL believes cholov yisroel to be only a chumrah, or a "good hanhagah", binding only on extra special people.

But Rav Moshe ZTL himself was asked what this means, and he reponded in writing, to Rabbi Weinfeld ZTL of Monsey. The letter has been printed in both Rav Moshe's handwriting and plain text in numerous places. The easiest place for you to see it is probably Rabbi Binyomin Forst's "Hilchos Kashrus", in the back of the sefer.

Rav Moshe writes clearly that it is totally improper for someone who has cholov yisroel available to rely on the milk of the companies, even if the cholov yisroel is somewhat more expensive and more difficult to acquire. The heter was designed, he says, for people with no access to cholov yisroel.

Case closed.

And that's just Rav Moshe's position. Other Rabbonim have disagreed with the entire heter of Rav Moshe altogether (a godol of the previous generation, when asked what he thought of Rav Moshe's heter, replied, "You give me $20 and I'll give you 4 inspectors").

Reply:  This is not a political process. This is straight Halachah, Jewish Law. If there is a requirement to have real supervision, then we probably don't have sufficient supervision from our present day Hashgachot. In actuality, the Law requires us only to confirm that there is no milk from non-Kosher animals in this milk. In today's day and age, that would be ridiculous. There isn't even a chance. Instead of everyone analyzing the words of Rav Moshe Feinstien, let's just look at the merits of the case itself.

We don't need to rely on inspectors. We don't need to rely on Rabbinical supervision. There is a concept that we rely on called "Mirsas" (or Mirtat, depending on what side of the fence you're from). It means that the Company is afraid to put in non-Kosher. If they're afraid to do it, we can rely on it. In the case of Milk, the Company will clearly be out of business if the news reports suggest that they have donkey milk in their cow's milk. Forget government inspectors. Just the regular people will never buy this milk again. Company will be out of business. So, if they want to sneak some donkey's milk into their cow's milk, they would have to pay off 100 employees. There is no benefit to them for that. It isn't even a chance. Jewish Law says that we can rely on this to assume that the milk is Kosher.

Now, if anyone wants to be extra religious and holy and only drink so-called Chalav Yisrael milk, they're welcome to do it. But no one should try to impose their views on others. There are so many things we can work on, and so many ways we can get closer to God. Somehow for me, the milk issue doesn't do it for me. Treating people better, being there for my family, honesty, acceptance, patience, and so on, these are on my list of things to work on. Chalav Yisrael, not on my list right now.

Ketivah Ve'Chatimah Tova!

Back to the Q & A Board