Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Korach

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 the Gemara in Sanhedrin 109 which discusses the role of On Ben Pelet's wife. By way of introduction, the first pasuk of the parsha describes Korach's gang which included the instigators - Dasan and Aviram as well as On Ben Pelet. However, the Torah makes no further reference to On and he does not die in the plague or by being swallowed up by the ground.

The Gemara discusses how On's wife talked him out of participating in Korach's rebellion. She reasoned with him by saying --what is in this for you? You won't become a Kohain as this fight is among the sons of Levi and you are from Reuven. You will always be an On, so why get involved? This argument proved successful and On retreated to the inside of the tent while his wife sat outside and warded off Korach and his men. The Gemara links this to a pasuk in Mishlei in which it is written the Wisdom of a woman builds her house.

R' Frand then asked on this Gemara --why was On's wife effective? Korach's complaint was not only about the role that Moshe assigned to his brother Aharon. He also made fun of the shaving of the Levi'im and the fact that Moshe picked them up and waved them like lulavim. He also circulated a story about an indigent widow who Moshe supposedly required to give leket, shichicha, peah and ma'aser from her field. And when she had animals which gave birth, Moshe required her to give the first animal as a bechor and the Kohanim took their priestly gifts. As a result, she and her daughters died of famine. So why was On's wife able to convince him not to join the revolt?

R' Frand answered that On's wife was able to convince On that the revolt was not about the nepotism or the way that the Levi'im were treated. And the story about the woman was "fake news" invented thousands of years before the combover. She convinced him that the machlokes was entirely based on Korach's jealousy and his desire for power. Being a wise observer, she recognized that these other issues were merely devices to garner support, but at its core, a machlokes is never about the ancillary issues. It revolves around jealousy and a desire for money, or in this case, power. And since On was not in line to accede to any of the lofty roles that Korach sought, there was simply no reason for him to get involved.

R' Frand also said a second vort on the complaint by Korach that Moshe was "haughty". R' Frand quoted R' Bunim M'Parshizcha who R' Frand applied in a 20-21st century manner. He theorized that a person could not logically state that Einstein was a genius, but did not have a grasp of physics. You could perhaps say that he did not know how to balance a checkbook, but anyone who knew Einstein would reject the claim that he did not know physics.

R' Frand gave another example of a person saying that Warren Buffet was brilliant but did not know how to pick stocks. Again, anyone who knew him would reject this statement out of hand.

But since Hashem had said that Moshe was an anav and everyone knew him to be that way, what gave Korach the legs to make this argument?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Sfas Emes who stated that there are two kinds of anav. The first kind is a person who knows that he has talents and works hard at trying not to be arrogant or to give the impression that he is important. This person is always worried that people will think him haughty and he thinks about what others may perceive before he acts.

The second kind of anav is someone who has a close relationship with Hashem and by way of the connection, he is an anav. This person does not worry about others' impressions of him and he is naturally humble. 

Moshe was this second kind of anav and this freed him to occasionally take positions which to an outsider might appear to be hubris, but which was really just standing up for what was right.

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, June 18, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Negev Oasis Beer

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Negev Oasis Blonde Ale.

This brew is another of the fine beers carried at the Beer Bazaar in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. (Click here https://beerbazaar.co.il for a link to their beer menu). Although the bottle did not give much of an indication about the style of the beer, I thought that it was cool that there was a beer brewed in the Negev, so I added it to my six pack at the store.

The Oasis poured a darker orange than I expected, but the flavor was pretty close to American Blonde Ales. There was a bit of malt and some citrus, but the overall hop flavor was pretty subdued. I In some ways this beer reminded me of the Layla brew which was produced by a defunct brewery in Ashkelon. I would not mind trying this again if it ever makes it to the US.

The Negev Oasis Blonde Ale is certified kosher by Rabbi Weiss of Kfar HaRo'eh,. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/29093/247241.

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).

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, June 15, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shelach

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

There are two stories of meraglim (spies) which will be read on Shabbos. There is the story in Parshas Shelach wherein Hashem told Moshe to send the spies, making the task a mitzva and there is the story in the Haftorah from the book of Joshua which discusses the spies sent to Jericho.

R' Frand first asked about the spies sent in Parshas Shelach ---If Hashem knew that the task was fraught with danger, why did He order that they be sent in the first place ("Shelach Lecha")? 

R' Frand then quoted the Medrash on the spies sent in the book of Joshua wherein they are referred to as being unparalleled in their endearment to Hashem because they were Sheluchei Mitzva --messengers tasked to perform a mitzva, who risked their lives to do His will. And who were these praiseworthy men who risked their lives - Kalev and Pinchas. And they went forth and were moser nefesh and succeeded.

The Medrash notes that when Kalev and Pinchas entered the city of Jericho, they were pottery  (Klei Cheres) salesman. They simply set up shop out in the open and anyone who wanted to buy pottery would come and buy from them. It was a simple way not to be called spies, since they were out in the open as "salesmen."

R' Frand quoted the Sfas Emes who addressed the first question by stating that Hashem knew that the spies in Parshas Shelach were in a dangerous position. It was for this specific reason that he made the sending of the spies a mitzva ---because if Hashem endorsed the desire to send the spies and made it a mitzva instead of a voluntary act, the mitzva will protect them. However, the spies did not take on this task as a mitzva. Instead they viewed it as a task for personal gain. In contrast, Joshua sent the spies as a mitzva and they viewed it as such and succeeded.

The Sfas Emes then asked ---why did they specifically choose to be pottery salesmen? He answered that pottery is not intrinsically valuable, it is utilitarian and serves a specific purpose to hold or store things. It is for this reason that a kli cheres is not mitamei from the outside and only becomes tamei when something tamei comes into (or in contact with) the inside of the vessel.

R' Frand closed this part of the vort by noting that a person who goes to work needs to realize that he is serving as a "butcher, baker or candlestick maker" because he needs to earn a living in order to support a family and give tzedakah and not to simply amass personal fortune. We are vessels which hold our souls and we need to realize that the jobs we perform are a mechanism to fulfill a task, not an end of itself. This is not an easy mindset to have as there are many distractions which may cause us to feel a need to work in order to earn prestige or build our bank accounts. But if a person who works realizes that this is simply a means to support his family and to use the earned funds to perform mitzvos, he can succeed like Joshua's men.

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, June 11, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Citradelic (the other one).

Last year New Belgium introduced the first Citradelice (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/05/new-belgium-citradelic-tangerine-ipa.html) a fantastic tangerine flavored beer which drew accolades wherever I brought it. For reasons I can't fathom, this year New Belgium created another beer which it also calls Citradelic, although with the extension of "exotic lime ale." But other the name, these two brews have very little in common.

The beer has a hazy pale straw color with a hint of citrus emanating from the glass, but the sips are all artificial lime, almost like someone poured lime juice into a bottle of blonde ale and mildly shook it up.

If you are into sweet lime flavor, this beer might be for you. If you are looking for a beer light on hops but calling itself an ale, this beer might be for you. But if you are looking for an ale with a little hint of fruit, just keep walking down the beer aisle.

The New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Citradelic Exotic Lime Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/262267.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, June 8, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Beha'alosecha

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Bamidbar 11:1, the Torah states that the Jews were "K'Misonninen Ra" in the ears of Hashem. R' Frand opened the parsha portion of the shiur by exploring what the word Misonninen meant. He first quoted the Ibn Ezra as cited in the Ramban which states that the Jews says words of sinning. But how do we see that from the pasuk and what was their sin? 

The Ramban rejects this interpretation and instead states translates the word as complaining. He notes that the Jews had just left Har Sinai which was close to civilization. They were now travelling in real desert and were wondering what they would eat and drink. But the language that they used was indicative that they were complaining about their own lot, akin to the pasuk in Eicha (3:39) which states "Mah Yisonnen Gever"  --of what shall a living man complain? 

The Ramban explains that Hashem's problem was that the Jews made themselves out as if they had real problems and it appeared as if they were rejecting the good that Hashem had done for them. The Jews should have been happy and joyous that Hashem had taken them out of Egypt with many great miracles and then given them the Torah. But instead they expressed a "woe is me" attitude which showed no regard for all the good they had received. R' Frand remarked that Hashem does not tolerate those who do not show thanks for what they received.

R' Frand quoted the Brisker Rav who said that a man who has a penchant for jealousy or anger is a deficient person. However, one who does not recognize the good that another person has done for him is not even a person.

R' Frand also quoted a Rashi on Devarim 32:6 wherein the Torah states "Ha L'Hashem Tigmilu Zos Am Naval V'Lo Chacham" -- Is this to Hashem that you do this, you vile and unwise people? Moshe is chiding the Jews for complaining about the good they received. Rashi compares them to a carcass of a dead animal - a neveilah.

R' Frand then connected this with Bamidbar 11:4-6 wherein the "asafsuf" complained about not having meat to eat and how they longingly remembered the gourds and watermelons they ate in Egypt. In the next pasuk the Torah describes the Manna as like coriander seed and the color like the bedloach. Rashi explains that the one who made the complaints in 11:4-6 was not the same as the One who described the Manna. The Jews complained --we only have the Manna to eat and Hashem spoke in praise of the qualities of the Manna and said look at this miracle which you are rejecting.

R' Frand also quoted a story from R' Pa'am who said that a man once came to him and said that he was having shalom bayis issues. Why? Because every day when he came home from work the house was a mess and strewn with toys and this was impacting his relationship with his wife as he constantly complained about the state of the home. R' Pa'am commented that how many families would give anything to have a home full of messy children instead of childless marriages.

R' Frand also talked about how the greater the person, the greater their sense of recognizing the good that Hashem has done for them. He quoted a Medrash on Parshas Shemos that when Hashem told Moshe to leave Yisro and go down to Egypt, Moshe said to Hashem --first I need to ask Yisro's permission because he has hosted me these years in Midyan. R' Frand commented that Moshe did more good for Yisro than Yisro did for Moshe, since Moshe saved Yisro's daughters at the well and married one of them. Yet in Moshe's eyes it was important to recognize the good that Yisro did for him.

R' Frand quoted the Baalei Mussar who say that a person has a natural inclination not to thank someone who helped him, if the doer gets paid to do that job. But we see from Moshe that there is a need to thank everyone who helps you.

R' Frand had a few more stories to illustrate this point, but I may save them for a future blog post.

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, June 4, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale.

I remember going on a tour of the FX Matt Brewery not long after I started writing this blog and being amazed that craft brewers were actually canning beer. It seemed to me at the time that the only beer that came in cans was Bud or other macro lagers and I could not remember trying a beer from a can which did not taste like metal. The tour guide explained that they had engineered cans which did not react with the beer and that (then) beer could be canned without a reduction in flavor.

Fast forward to 2016 (yes I know its 2017) and I caught my first glimpse of the Samuel Adams nitro cans. Much like the concept behind the rocket widget in the Guinness bottles, these nitro cans are manufactured in a way that the beer which is poured is creamy and tastes almost like it came from tap. And yes, the Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale is creamy. The pour gave foam which was reminiscent of having beer straight from the tap at the brewery with reach cream at the top of the glass.

Although the good folks at BA call this is a witbier, it really is light on the phenols and there is little to no clove taste in the brew. But it is rich and creamy with a little of complex flavor towards the end of the swallow.

The Samuel Adams Nitro White Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the can. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/197070.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Strawberry Tart Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Strawberry Tart Ale, yet another of the proliferation of tart ales which is sweeping breweries across the nation.

As I noted in my post for the New Belgium Tartastic (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/04/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-tartastic.html) I have been trying to like Tart Ales and have tried quite a few over the last  year, including the Leinenkugel BeerGarten Tart  (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-leinenkugel-beer.html); the Boulevard Tell Tale Tart (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-boluevard-tell-tale.html) and the New Belgium Fat Sour Apple Ale (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-fat-sour.html). 

Unlike many of the tart ales that I have tried, the tart flavor derived from the yeast is not the most prominent note in the beer. Instead, this beer has the distinct flavor of strawberry with a slight tang. You have read that correctly, if you were to take strawberry jam and and bottle it in thin liquid form, it would be this Strawberry Tart Ale.

If you are looking for something different with some fruit to try at your Shavuous table...I still would not recommend this beer in six pack form. But if you are patronizing a beer store that lets you buy singles, then you should pick up a bottle of this brew and share it with others as it probably goes well in shot glasses with (sweet, not savory) blintzes.

Saranac Strawberry Tart is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit as is every other beer produced at the Matt Brewery plant in Utica, NY. Keep in mind, Saranac has begun to brew some of its High Peaks series off site and these bottles do not have kosher certification from the Va'ad of Detroit.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about the brew, please follow this link www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/269740.

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).

Important Disclaimer - 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, May 25, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Bamidbar

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In the beginning of Parshas Bamidbar, the Torah mentions the names of the various Nesi'im. Although I never focused on these names, R' Frand highlighted that the tribes of Asher and Naftali had Nesi'im with "interesting" names. The Nasi for Asher was called Pagi'el Ben Achran and the Nasi for Naftali was called Achira Ben Einan. R' Frand quoted Rabbeinu Ephraim, who explained that these names were actually nicknames which the Nesi'im took on in place of their birth names.

Why did these people take on these other names? Rabbeinu Ephraim explains that they were meant to protect their respective tribes from the influence of the tribe of Dan who had brought an idol called Michah with them from Egypt. For Asher, the name chosen was Pagi'el which loosely means the one who attacked G-d -- a reference to the idol worshipers in Dan Hashem put me in a bad situation. [Kudos to Shlomo Jessel for catching my error]. Similarly the name Achran means that the tribe of Dan were corrupt.

Similarly, the name for Naftali also identified the evil in Dan's midst. The name Achira means my brother is evil. And the name Einan implies that he (Dan) was thrown out by the cloud.

R' Frand identified three lessons which could be learned from these Nesi'im. The first lesson is that bad neighbors can lead to a bad result, even when one lives in a nice town. The second lesson is that one must take action in order to avoid being influenced by the evil neighbor. 

The third lesson was said in the name of R' Chaim Shmulevitz and requires an introduction. The Gemara in Sanhedrin 19 discusses a person who is sometimes called Palti and alternatively Paltiel. This "person" was encouraged by King Saul to marry his daughter, although she had already been betrothed by David. Although he married her, he placed a sword in the ground in between her beds and announced that if she was touched, that person should be felled by the sword.

R' Chaim asked - but what purpose did the sword serve? The same way that it was placed in the ground, it can also be removed from the ground! He answered the Palti knew that she was a married woman from Day One, but was concerned that he would come to rationalize and possibly be with her. So he placed the sword in the ground on Day One to remind himself every time that he looked at the sword, how strongly he felt on Day One that this was wrong.

R' Frand remarked that this same lesson can be seen in the Nesi'im. They realized immediately that Dan was involved with Avodah Zarah and took on changes to their name so that they would always remember the repugnance they felt to Dan's Avodah Zarah.

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, May 21, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Hopscape


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Hopscape Ale.

This beer is a relatively new winter seasonal offering from the good folks of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. First introduced in the Fall of 2016, this unflavored beer draws its complex hop flavor and name from the four types of West Coast hops used in the brew process --Zeus, Centennial, Citra, and Chinook.

The beer has some definite citrus notes and has a grapefruit like flavor which rivals the Uinta Wyld, another unflavored beer (reviewed here kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-night-suds-uinta-wyld.html) which makes you wonder how they brewed this without any additives.

The Hopscape would go well with most chicken or fish dishes and could easily substitute for a Chardonnay if you were looking to upgrade or downgrade (depending on your perspective on beer) a YT meal.

The Samuel Adams Hopscape Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Star-K and has a Star-K certification mark on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35/244041.

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.

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, May 18, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Behar - Bechukosai

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parshios 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.

In Vayikra 25:19-22, the Torah contemplates an internal conversation that the farmer will have as to what he will eat during the shmitta period in that the crops from the sixth year will have to last through the eighth year. 

The Medrash states that those who keep the shmitta are strong willed. They watch their field lie fallow while they pay taxes without income. And then they watch others harvest the growth of the field in year six. This is great strength.

But the obvious question is, if Hashem has promised the farmer that there will be enough food and the crops from the sixth year will yield triple an ordinary harvest, why are the farmers called strong willed? They already know that they will not starve!

R' Frand gave two answers. The first analyzes the mindset of the farmer. He will have a full silo and will not starve. But he is forced to sit and watch while the growth of the seventh year is taken by anyone who wants it. He is unnerved by the fact that HIS field is deemed hefker or owner less and anyone can reap the crops, without even saying "thank you." While he prides himself on his generosity in that he will give charity to those who need it, this year the farmer does not get to select who will receive the check, nor does he get credit (in his mind) for supporting the less fortunate. The fact that he must sit back and not prevent others from taking from his field makes him "strong willed."

The second answer is also grounded in human nature --- that people quickly forget the good which was previously done for them. Although the farmer did have a yield 3x the norm in year six, he has already forgotten how bountiful it was and it pains him that others are now harvesting from the field which he pays taxes on.

R' Frand finished this vort with a parable. A man experiences severe tooth pain on Shabbos. Immediately after Shabbos, the man calls the dentist who tells him, why not come in tonight. The man comes to the dentist and after about an hour in the chair, he feels relief from the pain. The man then asks the dentist, what do I owe you? The dentist responds -- half of what you were going to pay me before. When you were in pain you would have paid anything to escape it. Now that you are no longer in pain, think back about what you would have been willing to pay and divide it in half. That's all I am asking you to pay.

The farmer says to himself, yes I did have a great harvest in year six. But that was then. What has been done for me lately? He needs to remember what he felt previously and those of great strength and character will do so and allow for their fields to be harvested by others.

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, May 14, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Dark Matter Black IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the beers I recently brought back from Israel - Dark Matter Black IPA.

This brew is another of the fine beers carried at the Beer Bazaar in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem. (Click here https://beerbazaar.co.il for a link to their beer menu). Although the bottle did not give an indication as to who brews this beer, by clicking through their website I learned that it is brewed by the HaShakhen brewery (literally the neighbor brewery). Apparently Beer Bazaar also carries other beers by this brewery and the website allows you to sort by producer.

The Dark Matter Black IPA is somewhat light for a Black IPA and it is not like any other Black IPA that I tried before. The hops in the Dark Matter are somewhat muted, but at least they are present. The "dark" in the Dark Matter leans towards a lighter version of a stout as well. Still, the combination is quite enjoyable and went well with hamburgers made on a charcoal grill.

The Dark Matter Black IPA is certified kosher, but I have been unable to locate it since I took the picture. If you have a bottle handy please post the kosher certification in the comments below. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew (yes its on BA), please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/41096/265207.

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).

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, May 11, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Emor

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In the first pasuk of Parshas Emor it says both the words Emor and V'Amarta. Rashi says that this teaches that adults must teach the children and the Tur says that this is the source of Chinuch in the Torah.The sefer Divrei Yisrael states that if it states Daber and V'Amarta it also could be taught as an instruction to teach since the word Daber is a strong statement --meant for adults and Amar is soft. But R' Frand stated that the lesson is that when you teach children you need to be soft with them. In fact, this is the only time in the Torah that it uses Emor V'Amarta because this must be the approach to dealing with youth.

R' Frand remarked that he does not know how things were in the times of the Torah, but now a parent must be soft and mikarev with one's children. There must be the soft language to not push them away.

R' Frand next quoted a medrash which discussed a will which provided that the money from the estate would only go to the son if he became a shoteh - a fool. The son went and asked R' Yossi B'Rebbe Yehuda and asked --what can I do, I'm not a shoteh and I wont become one. R' Yossi did not have an answer and instead he went to R' Yehoshua Ben Karcha. When he got there, he looked in the window and saw that R' Yehoshua was crawling on his hands and knees and had a pacifier in his mouth and he was crawling after his child. He did not know what to do, he was embarrassed to see this. But R' Yehoshua saw him and said come in. When he brought up the will, R' Yehoshua explained that the son did not want to get married and did not want to act with a child like a parent and be silly. But a parent needs to crawl with his child and stoop to underhand a ball or play in the sandbox. The instruction was --you need to get married and act like a shoteh and do silly things, because that is what being a parent is. You need to do things that get your child laughing and motivated, even if you feel its below your dignity.

R' Frand said a second vort from Vayikra 23:2 which states Aleh Hem Moadai --- these are My Holidays. Hashem gave us a gift of His holidays. But the Jews abused the holidays as it states in the Haftorah of Shabbas Chazon - I hate my holidays with you. 

R' Frand quoted the Dubno Maggid who gave a mashal to a person who had several children who became ill. He went and found the best doctor and paid to move him near his house. The doctor came up with a medication and the kids were all healed. There was a recurrence and the doctor was brought back and he made more medicine, but the kids refused to take it because it was too bitter. As time went by, he would see the doctor and scowl at him. The doctor said, what can I do -- I made the medicine and it worked the first time, but the children wont take it again. Its not my fault. The man responded, I know that its not your fault, but every time I see you I am reminded that there is an opportunity for them to get better if they only took the medicine, but they wont. And the fact that they wont take the medicine just kills me and I am remembering this when I see you.

The Dubno Maggid said --these are the holidays when you can come close to me. You are off from work and can come to shul and be enhanced in the yom tov and you wont take advantage of them. They are like the doctor which reminds me of what you could be.

R' Frand quoted the Seforno who notes that the pasuk states Mikraei Kodesh --there are things you can do to make the holidays Kodesh. But if you don't do these things to make yourself and the yom tov elevated and instead its just a feeding frenzy, it wont be Moadai. It would just be Moadechem and these are what the Navi states are despised.

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, May 7, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Shiner Homespun Cream Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Shiner Homespun Cream Ale.

As explained by the gurus at BA:

Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in. Adjuncts such as corn or rice are used to lighten the body. It is not uncommon for smaller craft brewers to brew all malt Cream Ales. Pale straw to pale gold color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma though some micros have given the style more of a hop character. Well carbonated and well attenuated.

The Shiner Homespun Cream Ale poured a golden yellow, almost like a pilsner. There was little to no hops or bitterness but still a little floral element. The Homespun Cream Ale is 5% abv, but again the alcoholic taste was not present. There was a little foam and lacing which lasted for about half an hour. The beer did have a rich and creamy element and would go well with burgers, hot dogs or other BBQ fare.

The Shiner Homespun Cream Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit although there is no symbol on the the bottle. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Shiner Homespun Cream Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/143/250044.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, May 4, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Acharei Mos - Kedoshim

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Vayikra 16:5 the Torah states that the Kohain Gadol took two goats as Chatas offerings. R' Frand quoted the sefer Shemen HaTov who asks the obvious question ---they are not both Chatas offerings! A Chatas requires shechitah by a Kohain and preparation and offering on a mizbayach. Although one of the goats was offered as a Chatas in the traditional manner, the second goat (the Se'ir L'Azazael) was brought to the desert and thrown off a cliff. So why does the Torah state that both goats were brought as a Chatas?

R' Frand answered by observing that the two goats were supposed to be "twins." The gemara explains that the two goats were to be equal in stature, size and value. The Kohain Gadol would then draw lots to determine which was brought on the altar and which was sent out.

But if the Kohain Gadol did not have both goats, then no goat could have been brought on the altar. It was only because he had two goats that he could do the lottery. So the second goat allows and enables the lottery, even if it is not brought as a true Chatas, because if you allow or enable something to occur, you get credit as well.

R' Frand then compared this to the Yissachar-Zevulun partnership, observing that one who supports and funds another person's Torah study, shares in the reward for the learning of Torah. The facilitator has the same halacha as one who does the act. So without the goat being brought to the desert, there would not be a goat brought on the altar.

R' Frand then tied this into the pasuk in Kedoshim ="V'Ahavta L'Reacha Kamocha" --taught as love your neighbor like yourself. R' Akiva famously observed that this is a major principle (Klal Gadol) of the Torah. Yet there is a different teaching of R' Akiva which on the surface would appear markedly different. The gemara in Bava Metzia 62 discusses two people walking in the desert with only enough water to sustain one of them. Ben Peturah stated that they should share so that one does not witness the death of the other. But R' Akiva there states --you drink it because your life comes first. 

How can this be the same R' Akiva?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Chidddushei HaRim who says that there is a different between gashmius (materialism) and ruchnius (spirituality). In the physical realm, your life comes first, because there is a possible loss. But in ruchnius, if I allow you to learn then I will get the reward as well --- I won't lose by this because the enabler gets reward. This is a klall gadol BaTorah -- in learning Torah. Similarly, the goat going to the cliff is the enabler which allows the other goat to be brought as a Chatas.

Rabbi Frand also said a second vort on the "V'Ahavta" pasuk. He quoted the Ramban who said that it is not possible to love another person as much as yourself. Perhaps if the other person was your spouse, or your child. But not a total stranger! And this would be why R' Akiva says that your life comes first, because he did not mean that it be taken literally.

But what does it mean then? The Ramban answers that a person should want someone else to have the same just as him. The same parnassah, the same nachas from children, etc. The Ramban writes that some people will say --you can be as rich as me, but not as smart, or as much respect/honor. Or maybe even a person will say you should have everything, but not on my level. But this is what the mitzva tells us ---you need to be happy that he has just like you and not be jealous of him.

R' Frand mentioned a study which observed that people who are on Facebook are generally less happy, because they see others and they are jealous that other people have things nicer than them. There was a story about a woman who went to a wedding instead of a beach party, but she spent the entire wedding checking Facebook for the beach party and she could not enjoy the wedding.

A good example of someone who lived this concept was Yehonasan who was happy and wanted David to be the king.

R' Frand closed the vort by quoting a Targum Yonasan who interprets the eulogy given by David for Yehonasan where he stated that his love for him was greater than the love "of two women." The Bobover Rebbi explains that these two women were Leah and Rachel. Although Rachel could have kept Ya'akov for herself, she gave the signs to Leah, even if the result could have been that she would have married Esav. This is the great love for another as oneself.

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, April 30, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Tartastic


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Tartastic, a self described "lemon ginger sour ale."

Although this beer sounds like a Radler (or as we American's call them, Shandy) this is not a lemonade infused lager. Instead, this is yet another of the invasive species known by a nickname "Tart Ale", but more correctly classified as a Wild Ale. 

As explained by the gurus at BA:

Sometimes Belgian influenced, American Wild Ales are beers that are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus or Brettanomyces Anomolus), Pediococcus or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various "sour mash" techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be quite strange, interesting, pleasing to many, but also often deemed as undesirable by many.

I have been trying to like Tart Ales and have tried a few such as the Leinenkugel BeerGarten Tart  (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-leinenkugel-beer.html); the Boulevard Tell Tale Tart (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-boluevard-tell-tale.html) and the New Belgium Fat Sour Apple Ale (reviewed here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2016/08/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-fat-sour.html). I have gained an understanding for the flavor profile of the brew as the yeast does create a sourness almost like souring grapefruit juice, without the artificial sweetness of a Radler/Shandy.

The Tartastic is true to the style and poured a light maize with no noticeable lacing average to mid level carbonation. The beer is on the low end of the abv scale as its only 4.5% abv, so if you wanted to have more than one, it would not be overly intoxicating (although I don't know why you would consider having more than one at a sitting). 

I am hard pressed to find any food to pair this with and would welcome any suggestions in the comments below.

The Tartastic is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Tartastic click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/246993.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Tazria-Metzorah

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Vayikra -- the Torah states "Zos Toras HaMetzorah" --this is the Torah of the Metzorah. The Medrash on this pasuk links it to a pasuk in Tehillim which (loosely translated) states -- who is a man who wants life...keep your tongue from evil...

The Medrash links the pesukim through a story of a peddler which in the language of the gemara is a Rochel. The Medrash on the pesukim is about a story of a peddler who calls out, asking "who wants the elixir of life"? R' Yannai approached the peddler, but the peddler said - you don't need this. R' Yannai persisted and the peddler said --who wants life, keep your tongue from speaking evil. R' Yannai remarked that he had said this pasuk all of his life, but never understood its importance until he heard it from the peddler.

R' Frand observed that R' Yannai's remark was odd. Since he was R' Yannai why would he not have understood the pasuk's importance until he heard it from the peddler?

R' Frand answered by quoting R' Tzadok HaCohen M'Lublin who explained it was not what the peddler said, it was that HE said it. The word Rochel (peddler) is intentionally similar to the Hebrew word for a gossip - Rechilus, because the peddler would go around from house to house and repeat the gossip he had heard. What was important to R' Yannai was recognizing that this peddler was a reformed tale bearer and that he (the peddler) recognized that the secret to life was to not tell tales about others (like he used to do). 

R' Frand took an aside to talk about how people who used to have a particular problem can be effective in helping others overcome the same problem --much like Alcoholics Anonymous coaches are former alcoholics. 

R' Yannai now understood the importance of the pasuk in that he recognized that people who used to be tale bearers could leave that behind and do teshuva in order to earn "life".

R' Frand also said another longer vort which I hope to reproduce in a separate posting on Motzei Shabbos.

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, April 23, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Baltika #4 Dark Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Baltika #4 Dark Lager.

To me, the Baltika Brewery was a mythical place which found itself on the OK list of kosher certified products, but I had never seen it in the United States with hashgacha...until I found myself in Oliver's a beer store beyond belief located in Albany, NY.

What was I doing in Albany? It was a work related trip, but every time that I travel to a city outside of my local area, I check BA for well reviewed beer stores where you can mix a six or buy singles for a decent price. So when I got sent up to Albany in February I did a search and found that Oliver's had excellent selection and prices and knew that I had to make a stop. In truth, I actually stopped in twice, the first time on the next to last day I was going to be there, but the staff talked me out of buying that day because it was going to be in the 20s overnight and they thought the beer would freeze. So I came back the next day after bought the beer we were going to use for shalach manos, along with many other bottles which have been (and will be) reviewed on this blog.

The Baltika #4 calls itself a dark lager, and there are some darker wood/caramel aspects to the brew. The beer poured (from an oversized 16.9 oz bottle) was more amber than a traditional lager and there was some malt and breadiness. Having said that, the flavors of the brew were not overly complex and the alcohol content (5.6% abv) was in line with the style of beer.

The Baltika #4 Dark Lager is under kosher supervision by the OK, but I am not certain if every beer produce by Baltika is under kosher supervision. For a list of the Baltika brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Baltika #4 Dark Lager click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/401/2235.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, April 20, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shemini

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

In Vayikra 10:1-3, the Torah tells the story of the death of Nadav and Avihu who were killed after bringing an "Esh Zarah" (loosely translated as a strange fire) after which their father Aharon remained silent. In discussing Aharon's silence, the Torah uses the term "Vayidom". 

R' Frand commented that this tragedy would have killed any simcha that was related to the underlying event. He surmised about what people's reaction would be if after a new shul was opened and people were celebrating, a beam fell and killed someone. People would never look at the shul the same way. And since they were two sons of Aharon the Kohain Gadol, it would be an even greater tragedy.

Moshe then tells Aharon that I will be come close to those who sanctify me. Rashi explains that Moshe told Aharon that Moshe knew that this had to happen - that the Mishkan had to become sanctified through the impact on someone close to Hashem and I knew it would be either me or you. Now I see that your sons Nadav and Avihu are even greater than you or I.

But what did Moshe mean that something had to happen? Did he mean that a tragedy had to happen? Why did there need to be tragedy?

R' Frand answered by quoting the Duvno Maggid who gave a mashal that a country decided to build a capital city for the country. They brought in an expert architect and the finest materials. They also wanted to build a world class hospital with the best and latest technology. Of course, the hospital needed the greatest doctor in the world. They built the city and the hospital and they inaugurated it. Someone developed a headache and he went into the hospital. The world renowned doctor treated the man personally, but a few days later he died --from a headache! The board of directors for the hospital did an investigation, during which the chief doctor got up and said -- this is the greatest thing that could have happened. He explained that without this event, people would think that they had no need to take care of themselves because they had a great hospital and doctor. Now that this person died, they would know that they still needed to take care of themselves.

The Duvno Maggid then explained the nimshal --the Jews in the desert knew that they were getting the Mishkan, a place where they bring sacrifices. People would think --we can do whatever we want and the sacrifices will be brought and forgiveness will be granted. Moshe's message was that people can't think that the Mishkan will attain forgiveness for them without any concern for their own actions. In fact, the Mishkan itself could kill them if they were not careful with how they acted in the Mishkan. R' Frand remarked that it was akin to radiation - it can cure, but it can kill if those who use it are not careful.

R' Frand also quoted the Ba'al HaTurim who states that the word Vayidom appears twice in Tanach. Here in Vayikra, as well as when Yehoshua made the sun stand still in the battle in Gidon.

But how are the two connected? In Gidon the sun kept shining, but here Aharon was silent.

R' Frand quoted R' Yehuda Klein in a sefer called Kol Yehuda [or Kol Aryeh, I'm not sure]. He cited to the story of the creation of the sun and moon and the Medrash that they were the same size and that Hashem told them to reduce and the moon eventually reduced itself and the sun remained HaMaor HaGadol. 

The Kol Aryeh explained that when the moon complained that the sun and moon were the same size and that both should not wear that crown, the sun should have responded, or at the very least said - lets go to a din Torah. However, the sun kept its mouth shut and was silent. Thereafter the sun became known as the Maor HaGadol, because it did not argue with the moon.

This also links to the gemara which states that the aluv who hears insults and does not respond, is loved by Hashem like the sun in its might. Why? Because the sun should have stuck up for itself, but it stayed silent. This is the strength of the sun. And this was also the strength of Aharon --he kept silent --an attribute that he learned from the sun.

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, April 6, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits and Pesach Crossover

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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.

Rabbi Frand began the vort by quoting the first of the four questions which asks that on all other nights we eat "Chametz U Matza" but on Pesach, only Matza. The first question is usually translated as "on all other nights we can eat Chametz or Matza, but on this night it is all Matza." Rabbi Frand remarked that this is not quite accurate as the actual language would lead to a translation of on all other nights we eat Chametz and Matza. However, we do not usually eat both Chametz and Matza with dinner [he's never been in my house on a Shabbos when Mrs KB gives me a challah and a matza to make Hamotzi]. 

But if the correct statement is truly Chametz or Matza it should say that, much like the last question which states that on all other nights we either eat sitting up or reclining, using the term "bain". If the intent was Chametz or Matza, it should have said "bain Chametz U'Matza."

R' Frand answered by quoting the Sefer Binyan Ariel who writes that the phrase is accurate as we do eat Chametz and Matza. He explained that there is a Karban Todah (which is mentioned in this week's parsha) which is an animal offering along with bread. Some of the bread is Chametz and some of the bread is Matza. The Korban Pesach is similar to the Korban Todah as both are eaten for a lesser time than the Shelamim, but the Korban Pesach is accompanied by only Matza. So when the Mishna writes that all year long we eat Chametz and Matza, it refers to our Karban Todah, but on Pesach our Karban is accompanied solely by Matza because that was what our forefathers ate when they left Egypt.

R' Frand then continued to develop the vort by quoting R' Avraham Bukspan from Florida who explains why the normal karban has both and the karban Pesach does not. He quoted R' Hirsch who explains that Matza is bread in its crudest form, without human intervention ---its just flour and water. However, Chametz is man's manipulation of the natural elements which yields a more sophisticated product than the original elements. 

When a person brings a Karban Todah to thank Hashem there are two elements - recognizing that Hashem is the one who saved you, without human involvement. But there also is a human element in which you are involved and you have to do your hishtadlus, effort to make sure that you find the correct doctor and see him regularly. Similarly, a person on a sinking ship has to get into the lifeboat and not say "Hashem will save me."

A person who brings the Todah recognizes that there is involvement of Hashem, along with his own efforts to achieve the specific result. But a Karban Pesach is all Hashem. We were ordered to sit in our houses and do nothing, while the Malach HaMaves roamed the street. So we eat the Matza and recognize that it was just Hashem who saved us, without any human involvement.

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, April 2, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Whizbang Blonde Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale.

This beer is another of the recent limited releases from the New Belgium brewery (I believe that they call this a "special release"). I picked this up on a trip to Maryland for a wedding in January and have not seen it in the NY Metro area. 

When I saw this bottle I was intrigued by the classification they gave it as the terms "hoppy" and "blonde ale" are oxymoronic (or in the words of the gemara "tarta d'sasra"). Blonde Ales are typically subdued in their bitterness and light in color. I had never seen nor even heard of a blonde ale that was anything bolder than a typical Kolsch.

So after chilling in this in the refrigerator for almost a day, I opened this on Shabbos and shared it at lunch with Mrs KB and our friend Wayne F. The beer poured a darker, richer yellow than I expected, almost like the Crayola color maize. There was some hoppiness there with a bit of bitter, but the hops were pronounced without being as bitter as an IPA. There was some breadiness as well. 

If I had to classify this, I would call it a cross-over between a typical blonde ale and an IPA. In fact, if you are looking to broaden your beer education by wading into IPAs, this would not be a bad choice to start with.

The Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/246979.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, March 30, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayikra

The following is a brief summary of some of the 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 parsha vort by discussing the karban oleh v'yoraid - a sacrifice which varies in its offering based upon the wealth of the donor. A poor man can give a karban which is a mincha (meal offering) while a wealthy person offers a cow.

The Gemara in Menachos 110a states that whether the person spends $2,000 on a sacrifice or $2, it is all the same to Hashem, as long as he has the proper intent.

R' Frand quoted the Taz who asks why the wealthy man does not have a better stature? If they both have the same pure intent, shouldn't the man who spent more have a higher stature?

R' Frand answered by making what he called an "updated" reference to the answer of R' Bunim M'Parshischa (sp?). There are two people who attempt to make a 2 PM flight. The first man gets to the airport 90 minutes before the flight and sits around in the departure lounge until it is time to board. The second man barely makes it to the gate before they are about to close the plane's door.

The second man sits down next to the first, who asks him --what took you so long? He responds -- what difference does it make, I made the flight.

R' Frand remarked that R' Bunim said that all Hashem wants from a karban is to bring a person close to Hashem. Some people need to spend $2,000 to feel close to Hashem, while others are able to do so by spending $2. But to Hashem, all that matters is that the donor has "made the flight" in that he feels close to Hashem. As long as the person has made the flight, it does not matter if he got there two hours before or two minutes before. As long as the person feels a true connection with Hashem, it does not matter what he spent to get there.

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, March 26, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale.

As my family knows, I am not a fan of cherry flavored alcoholic products. The Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Ale is one of least favorite beers (outside of shandys) and similar cherry flavored alcohol products remind me of Robitussin.

So when I brought home a six pack of New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale, my purchase was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. But after chilling a bottle (or two) and opening it, Mrs KB and I discovered that the New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale was not a typical cherry flavored alcoholic product.

The beer poured a dark brown, almost cola like color. The first few sips evoked thoughts of black ales with their rich nutty flavors melding with the hops. There is some extra sweetness, but its not cloying. Additional sips had a bit of alcohol taste, but again, not overwhelming. The carbonation was medium in intensity and worked well to bring out the nutty flavor of the brew.

Although hard to find in six packs (its more often found in the mixed Folly 12 pack), the Cherry Almond Ale is worth the effort if you have ride a few extra miles to find it. I would recommend pairing it with steaks or other charred meats.

The Cherry Almond Ale is under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, but not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Cherry Almond Ale click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/263324.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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, March 23, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshios Vayaykhel - Pikudei

This evening R' Frand did not say his usual shiur and there was a substitute maggid shiur who spoke on the badim (rods) of the mishkan. I also heard a shiur from R' Mansour in connection with Pesach/HaChodesh and I would like to briefly summary of some of the thoughts said over in the shiur. 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' Mansour.

R' Mansour's shiur was a discussion of a derasha given by a R' Lichtman in Lebanon in 1940. The derasha involved seven question and I will try to summarize them herein.

The first question involved the name for the upcoming holiday -- it is sometimes referred to as Pesach and other times as Chag MaMatzos. R' Mansour asked - since we no longer have a Karban Pesach, but we still eat matza, why don't we call the holiday by the Chag HaMatzos name? To add the question, he observed that the main food we eat on Pesach is the matza and the pesukim tell us that we eat the matza because we left in haste and the dough did not have time rise. So again, why don't we call the holiday by the matza name? 

The next question refers to Yirmiah where he writes that Hashem said to the Jews - I remember the chesed that you did for me when you were a young nation--in that you followed me into the desert. But what is the great thing about going to the desert? The Jews left the prison of Egypt and went to the desert. If a person is in hell and they are told that they are free, do they care where they are going? Anywhere is better than jail! So why is Hashem so complimentary that we left prison for Egypt? 

R' Mansour prefaced the next question by stating that "the question will confuse you all." (I believe that was stated by R' Lichtman). The question involved the plague of darkness in which 4/5 of the Jews died. These Jews were those who did not want to leave Egypt? But if they were slaves or prison inmates, why would they not leave if they had the possibility to go? Furthermore, when the Jews got to the desert and things went wrong, the remaining Jews said --why not go to back to Egypt? But again, even if things are bad, why would they say go back to Egypt? Egypt was a land of flowing milk and honey for the Egyptians, but for the Jews it was flowing with pain and troubles!

The last question involved the request by Moshe to the Jews that they go to their Egyptian "friends" and ask them for jewelry and valuables. Why were they described as friends? The Jews were not friendly with the higher echelons of Egyptian society!

R' Mansour answered by quoting a gemara in Rosh Hashana 11 which states that the Jews left Egypt in Nissan, but the hard work of Egypt stopped six months earlier in Tishrei. R' Lichtman explained that previously, the Jews had been slaves for 210 years and no one rebelled or spoke out against the Egyptians. But then Moshe and Aharon come and demand that Pharaoh let the Jews go. Pharaoh senses that there is a rebellion. And when a tyrant thinks that there is a rebellion, he wipes out a city block. So Pharaoh passes a law that the Jews now had to collect their own straw to make bricks. The Jews complained to Moshe as if to say --why are you making worse for us?

But Pharaoh's plan did not work as Moshe and Aharon returned to Pharaoh and then the plagues came. The people started to swing towards Moshe's side and Pharaoh realized this. So Pharaoh decided to swing the pendulum back -- he passed a law on Rosh Chodesh Tishrei which abolished slavery. The Jews reacted well to this and found themselves as equals. And once they were accepted as equals they ran towards the Egyptian way of life. Pharaoh knew that this would bring the people back to his side and also make them comfortable enough to leave the Jewish way of life. 

The Jews became addicted to this way of life, much like the Jews did in pre-WW II Egypt. R' Lichtman made comparison to the Jews of Europe and the level of Torah scholarship prior to the age of Enlightenment. After all the years of persecution, once the doors were opened to the Jews, the assimilation began. R' Mansour noted the irony that this was being said/written by a Rabbi on the eve of the Holocaust (1940).

By the time that the plague of darkness came it was so comfortable that the Jews did not want to leave Egypt. People did not want to go from the comforts which they had been acclimating to over the last six months. Many people did not want to leave Egypt and go with Moshe. This is why it was great that the Jews wanted to go to Egypt, because it was no longer Rikers Island, it was Beverly Hills.

R' Mansour gave the analogy of all the people being at the airport to go away for winter vacation and the TSA announcing that the Moshiach had come. How many people would ask --why would he come now? Couldn't he come after vacation?

When the Jews eat matza they remember that they did not say --lets stay-- they ran with Moshe and ate the bread which did not have time to rise. This is also why the Torah writes that the Jews should go to their Egyptian friends, because at that point they were the Jews friends. It also explains why the Jews wanted to go back to Egypt when things were difficult in the desert --because they remembered the last six months of the good life in Egypt.

Lastly, he answered the first question of Chag HaPesach --because we recognize that even though we did not deserve it and had begun to assimilate, Hashem passed over their homes. But Hashem looks at us and says, I'm also calling it Chag HaMatzos, because the Jews ran when Moshe said to leave.

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, March 19, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Glutiny Golden Ale and Pale Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Glutiny line of beers which are not kosher for Passover, but are "gluten free."

I used the quotes around the words gluten free, since the Glutiny products are technically free of gluten, but as opposed to some other beer substitutes, they are made with barley. As explained by the brewery, the Glutiny products are "brewed using an enzyme to break down the proteins that trigger a reaction from gluten sensitive drinkers. Therefore, these beers are being referred to as “gluten removed” instead of gluten free. The beers fall within the FDA guidelines of less than 20 parts per million."

This could also be the reason that the Glutiny products are much more full bodied than the first generation gluten free products. The Pale Ale actually tastes like a Pale Ale with some hop bite, some citrus, decent carbonation and an intriguing flavor profile. The Golden Ale is a bit more subdued and has little in the way of hops or pine and was on the weaker side. Still, it did not have the ersatz taste of beer made with grain substitutes and was quite refreshing.

Although the two Glutiny products are under kosher supervision by the Scroll-K/Va'ad of Denver, not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. For a list of the New Belgium brews currently under supervision, please click on the link on the left side of my home page for my latest Kosher Beer List.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Glutiny Pale Ale beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/192254. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium Glutiny Golden Ale beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/199865.

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).

Please Note - 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.

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!