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!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday's Rosh Hashana Tidbits

The following is a brief summary of some of thoughts said over by R' Frand on Rosh Hashanah 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 did not speak on Parshios Netzavim - Vayelech this week and instead said a vort which was linked to the moadim as mentioned in Parshas Emor. In Vayikra 23, the Torah recites laws related to the various festivals, starting with Pesach and continuing to the Omer and Shavuous and then to Rosh Hashanah followed by Sukkos and Shemini Atzeres. But in between the laws of Shavuous and Rosh Hashanah, the Torah interjects the law of Peah in Vayikra 23:22.

R' Frand next quoted the gemara in Rosh Hashanah 32 which asks --from where do we know that we are to say Malchios in Mussaf of Rosh Hashanah? The gemara answers by quoting the end of 23:22 which states that Peah should be given because I am Hashem your G-d and immediately thereafter 23:23 states in the Seventh Month on the First Day...

R' Frand observed that this connection appears to be a bit tenuous. Why is this the source for saying Malchios?

R' Frand also quoted the gemara which asks why Peah appears smack in the middle of the chagim, for which Rashi explains that anyone who sets aside Peah, it is equivalent to building a Beis Hamikdash and offering the sacrifices for the holidays therein. 

But there are many mitzvos in the Torah, so why is this the mitzva which generates such a reward?

R' Frand answered that the mitzva of Peah is different than any other form of tzedakah. In general when a person gives charity they have a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that they are benefiting someone else which can add to the ego. The person looks at the recipient and feels pride that he is helping the person with the gift that he chose to give. Even when the charity is a matanah b'seser - a charitable donation where both the donor and recipient are not aware of each other's identity, there is still a feeling of pride for giving the donation.

However, when one leaves the corner of his field as Peah, the person does not actively give any donation. Instead, the poor man comes on the property and takes the crop from that corner. The donor does not feel that he is giving anything of his own and is forced to admit that this portion of the field does not belong to him. 

R' Frand observed that there is a difference between one who fails to give maaser ani and one who does not give Peah. A person who fails to give a required donation to the poor is labelled someone who steals from the poor. But one who does not set aside the corner of the field as Peah is simply a thief.

R' Frand told a story he heard from R' Avraham Ozbant (sp) who is the Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe in Riverdale, NY.  He said that when the yeshiva first opened, the Rav would pay his rebbeim twice a month and often had issues making payroll. Baruch Hashem he had a group of donors who would lend the yeshiva money when needed to make payroll.

But one week all of the donors had legitimate excuses and could not help the yeshiva. The Rabbi was torturing himself and did not have a settled mind in order to learn. The night before the payroll was to be paid, he put his arms up in the air and said to Hashem --this is not my yeshiva, its Yours. I have done all I can to raise the funds to make payroll, now I need Your help.

He returned to the Beis Medrash with a clear mind and began to learn, knowing that he had done all that he could. After Ma'ariv that night he was approached by a stranger who asked if the Rabbi could speak with him. Yes, the Rabbi replied, but I need this to brief as I want to continue my learning. The man gave the Rabbi an envelope with a $20,000 check inside.

Peah tells us that the world is Hashem's and that the section of the land to be harvested by the poor man does not belong to the landowner. This is why the Peah law appears in the middle of the holidays and the mitzva has a comparison to building the Beis Hamikdash and offering the Rosh Hashanah sacrifices. Because by accepting the obligation to give Peah a person crowns Hashem as king by recognizing that He is in control of the world.

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 10, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Ronen Brewery Birah Hodit


This week's Sunday Night Suds beer review looks at Ronen Brewery's Birah Hodit (loosely translated as Indian Beer).

Ronen is a division of the productive Israeli Brewery called Srigim which produces beer under various lines including Fat Cat (my daughter Tali's favorite beer logo --click here for the review  http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/02/sunday-night-suds-beer-bazaar-fat-cat.html) as well as Beer Bazaar and Emek Haella (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/03/sunday-night-suds-emek-haela-irish-red.html). A link to the main brewery website can be found here www.srigim-beer.co.il/emekhaela.

The beer poured a dark gold with lots of foam and lacing which lasted more than twenty minutes after the pour. There are some hops forward in the brew and the coppery, piney taste was somewhat reminiscent of the (formerly certified kosher) Redhook LongHammer IPA. There is more than a decent amount of bitter in each sip, but the flavor seems a little too heavily influenced by the alcohol content (its 6.5% abv).

The Birah Hodit is certified kosher by the Rabbanut of Mateh Yehuda. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/34175/115358.

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).

Also, 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 check the label on the bottle you are purchasing (since the the kosher beers list link does not include beer brewed in Israel).

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 7, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Savo

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 quoting some of the pesukim in the Tochacha where the Torah states in Devarim 28:45 that the curses will come because you failed to observe the mitzvos and commandments that Hashem commanded you. The following pasuk then states that "they" will be a sign and a wonder on you and your offspring forever.

R' Frand quoted the Maharil Diskin who stated that if the second pasuk was taken literally, it would be the worst of the curses. All of the horrible events such as the Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust had an end to the curses. But this seems open ended.

R' Frand explained that the Mahril Diskin reads these two pesukim differently. The first part of the pasuk says that they will come on a person until he is destroyed and that it comes because you did not keep the mitzvos in a way that it had an impact on your children. The impact will be for generations because you did not do mitzvos in a way that your children will want to do them too.

The Tolner Rebbi links these pesukim to the following pasuk (28:47) as one long pasuk. The first pasuk states that these will come upon you because you did not observe the mitzvos and commandments, the second pasuk explains that it will stay as a sign and a wonder forever, but the third pasuk explains that this results from a failure to serve Hashem with happiness. If a person shows their children that the mitzvos are meaningful to us, it will inspire them. But if the mitzvos are by rote and the holidays are just great meals, the curses will come, because your children will c'vs reject the mitzvos and not follow through with them.

R' Frand then linked the thought to the pasuk in the end of the parsha (Devarim 29:3) wherein Moshe tells the Jews that Hashem has not given them the heart to know, the eyes to see or the ears to hear "until this day." R' Frand explained that Moshe was telling the Jews, "now, I see that you get it."

How did Moshe see that they got it? Rashi explains that this day Moshe wrote a sefer Torah and gave it to the sons of Levi. All the Jews then came to Moshe and said to him ---we also accepted the Torah at Sinai, so why do they get the sefer Torah and tomorrow they will say to us that it was given to them and not us! Upon hearing this, Moshe was happy ---because the Jews were complaining that they wanted the Torah.

R' Frand quoted R' Olshan who cited R' Wachtfogel who explained that the use of the word tomorrow ("machar") was a code word, much like the word "machar" used in the description of the sons statement at the seder ("mah ha'avodah hazos lachem) --its referring to the kids. The tribes were not specifically upset that the sefer Torah was given to the tribe of Levi, they were upset about machar -- tomorrow the tribe of Levi will say, we got something to give over to their children and we don't have anything to give over to our children. We need something to give to them and to have a continuity to religion.

When Moshe heard them complaining that they had nothing to give to their kids, then he knew that today, the Jews were an understanding nation.

R' Olshan also tied it to the gemara in Nedarim which discusses Yirmiyahu's statement about why the churban came---because the Jews abandoned the Torah. The gemara explains that this was because the Jews did not make a beracha before learning Torah. The Mefaresh on that gemara explains that the Jews were learning Torah and said the beracha, but did not say the part of the beracha which says that the Torah should be passed to "tzetza'inu."

This was the curse, that these came upon you because you did not inspire your children to want to continue to do the mitzvos.

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 3, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Golden Hour Helles Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Golden Hour Helles Lager.

I'm not generally a fan of the Munich/Helles lagers as I often find them to be mild, but this beer was an exception. It poured a creamy darker yellow than I was expecting and did not have the scent of a eurolager which I was expecting. There was some malt, but also a citrus (mostly lemon) which I was not expecting and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the brew.

The only Golden Hour Helles Lager that I have seen came in the summer mix box which also included a tropical beer called "Golden Yuzu" which is not under kosher supervision. I would have considered buying more of the Golden Hour Helles Lager if I could have found it in six packs as it would be a nice accompaniment to lighter Rosh Hashanah meals.

The Samuel Adams Golden Hour Helles Lager 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/35/263942.

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, August 31, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Ki Tseitsei

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 noting that the maftir of Parshas Ki Tseitsei is the same portion which is read for Parshas Zachor and that if a person did not hear Zachor in Adar he can fulfill his obligation by hearing this week's parsha, provided that the Ba'al Koreh has this in mind.

He then quoted Rashi who asked why the issue of remembering Amalek comes immediately after the discussion of not having dishonest weights and measures. He answered that a person who cheats in his weights and measures should be worried that a foreign enemy will attack.

But this answer is not logical. There are many aveiros in the Torah, none of which carry with them a concern about being attacked by enemies as punishment!

R' Frand next quoted the Netziv, who asked three questions (including the question as to why enemies would attack due to weights/measures). The other two questions were: (1) why is the issue of weights and measures mentioned in the desert when people did not sell things in this manner anyway, and (2) why does the Gemara in Bava Basra state that the sin of weights and measures is more severe than the act of adultery?

R' Frand began the Netziv's explanation by first making reference to the Netziv's explanation for why the "big three" aveiros (Killing, Adultery and Idol Worship) hold the position of being yehareg v'al ya'avor (one must give up their life to observe). He explained that every sin has one of three sources--either desire, a denial of Hashem or is caused by a middah ra'ah - a bad trait such as jealousy, rage, or haughtiness.

Each one of these ties into one of the big three. A person commits adultery because of desire. A person kills because of a bad middah such as rage which sends him out of control. A person worships idols because he denies Hashem's existence. 

Which is the worst of the big three? Clearly it must be idol worship, because there is no rationalization for the act. A person may have been driven to kill or compelled by desire to commit an immoral act, but the only reason a person would engage in avodah zarah is because he rejects Hashem.

This is why the sin of having dishonest weights and measures is viewed so severely. He is not stealing because of desire, because the extra quarter that he makes on the sale of beef (even added up over a day) does not give him a windfall. A person who steals a car or a large sum of money does so because he desires the object. That would be why the sin of not stealing is not found next to Amalek.

But a person who cheats his customers to the tune of a few cents per pound does so because he does not believe that Hashem is control of the world and insuring that each person gets the parnasa he is due. 

R' Frand closed the vort by connecting it back to the mention of Amalek, for which the parsha tells us that Amalek attacks when one is not "Yirei Elokim", he has no belief that Hashem is in control of the world.

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!