Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Noach

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 referencing Bereishis 10:11 in which the Torah states "Min HaAretz Ha Hee Yatza Ashur" -- from that land Ashur went forth. The pasuk states that Ashur built four cities, including the city of Nineveh.

R' Frand quoted the Medrash Rabbah which explains that Ashur went out from the plot against Hashem which was being raised by the people of Babel. Ashur stated to those who were planning their fight that he was not interested in waging war against G-d. To this Hashem stated, since you went out from them, I will reward you with four --the four cities that you will build.

R' Frand next quoted the Chizkuni, who cites a different Medrash which states that the Zchus of Ashur standing up against this plot was the reason that Nineveh merited having a Jewish prophet (Yonah) come and tell them to do teshuva.

More amazingly, the Yalkut Shimoni explains that the teshuva done by Nineveh included acts which we would term as Lifnim M'Shuras HaDin. On the third day of their teshuva, people began returning lost objects which by halacha did not require returning. If a stolen brick was built into the King's palace, they destroyed the palace, even though by halacha the law of Takanas HaMorish would only require the building's owner to pay for the stolen brick and not destroy his own home.

However, in the end, the people of Ashur attacked the Jewish people and were involved in the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash. They were criticized for their actions in Tehillim which states "V'Gam Ashur Nilvah Imam". R' Frand quoted the Medrash on this pasuk in Tehillim which analogizes the people of Ashur to the regression of a bird, stating that yesterday you were a chick and today you are an egg. 

R' Frand quoted R' Leib Baktz (sp?) from Detroit who explained the Medrash as saying that they had regressed from doing heroic things and now what are you? You turned from people into inanimate objects. One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to regress and stop growing.

R' Frand remarked that as people get older its harder for them to keep growing. But even worse is to regress.

He also told a story of R' Chaim Ozer visiting the Chofetz Chaim when the Chofetz Chaim was advanced in age. R' Chaim Ozer remarked - look how much he has grown, I don't recognize him from last year. At this time, the Chofetz Chaim was advanced in age, not like a child who returns from being away at school. But this is what we are tasked with.

R' Frand told a second vort based on the end of Bereishis, where the Torah states in Bereishis 6:8 that Noach found "chen" in the eyes of Hashem. This means that Noach was not saved because of his righteousness, but because he found chen.

R' Frand quoted R' Elya Svei (sp?) who tied this into the story of Dina being violated by Shechem. How could this have happened? He quoted the Medrash Rabbah which states that it occurred because Yaakov put her in the box when he met Esav. But that does not explain why she was punished! The Chassam Sofer learns that this had to do with her missing out on the beracha of chen. When Yaakov was asked by Esav who are these people, Yaakov responds in Bereishis 33:5 that they are the children "asher chanan Elokim es avdecha". The Chassam Sofer explains that Dina was vulnerable because she lacked the beracha of chen, while Noach had it.

We see this one other time in Bereishis as when Yosef is thrown in the dungeon, the Torah writes in Bereishis 39:21 that Hashem was with Yosef when he was in prison and Hashem gave him chen in the eyes of the prison warden.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat



This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat.

This beer is a hybrid in that it combines the phenols of a wheat beer with the hoppiness of a pale ale. The beer poured a warm orange with lots of foam which lasted longer than I expected. There was also a perfect level of carbonation. The first sip was strong cloves from the wheat beer, but successive pours melted in some pine and citrus. 

The experts at BA call this an American Pale Wheat Ale and even though they have more than 3,100 beers in this category, they are mostly summer brews with flavorings and additives. However, this beer's unique taste is not derived from flavorings and I would recommend trying this unique brew if you can find a bottle.

Boulevard 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Kansas City, but the bottle I purchased did not have the certification mark on the label. However, it can be found on the list of kosher certified beers on the Vaad of KC website (http://vaadkc.org/blog).

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link - http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/423/65113.

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, October 8, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale



This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at another of the New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger series, the Atomic Pumpkin Ale.

The Voodoo Ranger series is New Belgium's new extra hoppy line of beers which was introduced in late 2016. I have previously reviewed the IPA (click here for the review http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/02/sunday-night-suds-new-belgium-voodoo.html) but found many other varieties at the Binny's in Lincolnwood, Illinois.

Simply put, the Atomic Pumpkin is unlike any other pumpkin ale you have ever tried. The beer is flavored with cinnamon, pumpkin and habanero chilies. It also has a 6.4% abv which is high for a fruit influence beer. The result is a beer which starts out sweet and then kicks you in the throat with the spicy aftertaste from the chilies. This is not for the faint of the heart or people who can't tolerate maror. But if you do like things which are both sweet and spicy, this is definitely worth trying.

I am unaware of whether this is available in the NYC area, as I only saw it in the mix your own six pack section of Binny's. I bought the only two they had out (the shelf with the seasonal beers had a marker for the Atomic Pumpkin, but was sold out).

The New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin 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 The Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Ale, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/277641.

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!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday's Thoughts on Teshuva - The Rabbi Frand Teshuva Derasha 5778 - Part II

The following is a continuation of my summary of some of the thoughts said by Rabbi Frand in his teshuva derasha recorded at a Just One Life event in Brooklyn on Tuesday. (The first part can be found here http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2017/09/thursdays-thoughts-on-teshuva-rabbi.html). Same rules as usual apply. I have attempted to summarize many of the thoughts to the best of my abilities. Any inconsistencies are the results of my transcription and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand next asked --how does one's making sacrifices in the name of someone else's trouble, cause mercy from Hashem? And, how can we become more empathetic?

R' Frand answered the first question by stating that if the person knows that you are suffering with him and feel for him, then he knows that he is not alone. Because the worst thing for a person is to think that he is abandoned. When Hashem gave the Satan permission to bring troubles to Job, He told him that you can't kill him. So how did he make sure that the troubles did not kill Job? By making sure that he had three friends who were there for Job to consult and commiserate with.

R' Frand related that he had met two women suffering from the same disease and with the same troubles. One was upbeat because she had friends and support from her community, even though it dd not solve her medical or other non-financial issues. And the other woman was despondent, because she felt that no one cared about her troubles.

R' Frand then asked, but if the person does not know that you are effected, how does it help? The people in the concentration camps did not know that the Rebbetzin was not having sugar in her tea! R' Frand answered that it works on a different level. The pasuk in Ha'azinu (Devarim 32:4) states that Hashem's punishment and methods are perfect. The who is suffering receives no more than he should get. But now the balance is being upset. He is supposed to suffer, not the other people. This is why a person goes to a Rebbi, because he really feels for that person and suffers with them. And then Hashem kivayachol says --he's not supposed to be feeling that too.

R' Frand told a story about a friend of his who met the Spinker Rebbi years ago in the mountains. He told the Rebbi that his mother was very sick and he asked the Rebbi to daven for his mother. The following year he wound up back in the mountains and came across the Rebbi. Before he could open his mouth, the Rebbi asked him --how is your mother. This man was not a chassid, and surely the Rebbi saw countless people who asked him to daven for them. This is a tzaddik and Hashem says that is not what I wanted. And when an entire community does this, Hashem says that is not what I wanted.

R' Frand then addressed his second question by analyzing Moshe. At the time that Moshe was named the leader of the Jews he had a very sparse resume. All that we knew about him was that he took action to protect a Jew being beaten by an Egyptian, that he went out and saw the Jews' troubles and that he intervened to save Yisro's daughters when they were under attack. So how did Moshe become this person?

R' Frand quoted R' Chaim Shmuelevitz who explained that Moshe's power was that he saw their troubles. He looked in their faces and saw how they were suffering. R' Frand said that you need to look at what people are enduring and you need to listen to their problems. You may not have advice for them, but its important to be an ear to listen and (my words) a shoulder to cry on.

R' Frand quoted the Alter M'Kelem who explains that one needs the Koach HaTziur - he needs to be able to imagine what the person feels like. To be at a seder where a childless couple sits and listens to other people's children ask the Mah Nishtanah, without children of their own. Once you imagine this you can get involved and be the shoulder or ear for them.

R' Frand then told a story which he termed "incredible" but he knew that it was true because the woman told it to him. Its a story about two men who met by chance and shared a car ride together and resulted in a great friendship. Both men were baalei teshuva and talmidei chachamim, both with the same dreaded disease. One of the men passed away and his wife did not know how she would support the family. She contacted organizations, but the money was not enough...until one day she got a call from the other man who said "consider me your brother, and a brother will always take care of a sister." The man continued - what are your biggest worries? She said that her husband had a personal debt of more than $30,000. He sent her the money. He then asked what else are you worried about? She said that the bank was threatening to repossess their home. He took care of this debt and told his own children that they needed to "tighten their belt." And then he liquidated his pension fund to pay off the entire mortgage. This was not a millionaire. Nor was he a man who she had ever met. He had simply shared a car ride with her husband by chance, but he felt a responsibility.

R' Frand remarked that this man obviously had a big heart. But it was his ability to imagine his wife with the same problem if he had died of cancer which drove him to care for "his sister." But while this might be a bridge too far for most, there is something you can do, just ask. If you know someone has a problem, just ask how you can help. Cancer is not contagious and neither is unemployment. And dont pass on an opportunity to ask just because you dont want to remind them. They are thinking about it all the time anyway, so show you care.

R' Frand told a story about a man who got up from shiva and came back to shul and no one said a word. They did not ask how he was doing, they just continued their conversations.

R' Frand also spoke about R' Meir Zlotowitz ztl. People came afterwards to pay shiva calls, even though they did not know him, just as an appreciation for Art Scroll. A certain person came to pay a shiva call and was crying. He explained that 15 years ago he stopped putting on tefillin because he was angry at Hashem because his grandfather died. But when he would bump into R' Zlotowitz, he would ask how he was doing. Do you want to talk? And this was whenever they bumped into each other. The man said that Sunday morning he started putting on tefillin because of R' Zlotowitz, because he would ask, how are you doing. R' Zlotowitz was a busy man, known worldwide and certainly powerful. Everyone has an Art Scroll sefer. But he was not too busy or powerful or famous to ask a regular guy on the street how he was doing.

R' Frand spoke about the 13 middos which we said every morning of selichos. The gemara relates that Hashem told Moshe not to say the 13 middos, but "yasku" --do the 13 middos. We may not be able to liquidated our accounts to help others, but if we show we care and ask about others, we will be acting like the 13 middos which Hashem says will bring forgiveness and mercy.


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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Oats McGroats Stout


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at "Samuel Adams" Oats McGroats Stout.

I used the quotes around the Samuel Adams because this beer, along with four other varieties, are part of the Samuel Adams "Brewing the American Dream" line in which they partnered with other breweries as a mentor, in order to help them develop and distribute product. The beers include collaborations with five breweries: Three Ninety Bock (made with Roc Brewing Co.); Desert Kaleidoscope IPA (made with Bosque Brewing); Time Hop Porter (made with ChuckAlek Independent Brewers); Tea Party Saison (made with Woods Beer Co.) and Oats McGoats Stout, which was partnered with Brewery Rickoli. (For a great article on the mentor program, click here http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/beer/ct-sam-adams-beer-mentor-program-20170717-story.html).

The beer poured a dark black, darker than even a Guinness Stout. The first pour released an aroma of dark coffee and the sip was not disappointing. But this beer is more than just a stout as there are chocolate notes and even a bit of spice. The beer was not as thick as I was expecting, but that just allowed me to appreciate it with Mrs KB's sliders as the beer was not a meal in and of itself.

The Samuel Adams Oats McGroats Stout 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/35/279348.

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 28, 2017

Thursday's Thoughts on Teshuva - The Rabbi Frand Teshuva Derasha 5778: Part I

The following is a summary of some of the thoughts said by Rabbi Frand in his teshuva derasha recorded at a Just One Life event in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Same rules as usual apply. I have attempted to summarize many of the thoughts to the best of my abilities. Any inconsistencies are the results of my transcription and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

R' Frand remarked that the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is like the gavel which starts a court proceeding and the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur it is the gavel at the end of the court case. We must make our case during those ten days as the line in the U'Nisaneh Tokef of who will live and who will die is not an overstatement. And no one can win this judgment on his own merits, as we know that our actions do not alone justify a positive verdict. Instead we ask Hashem for mercy.

But how do we get mercy? What is done to merit mercy? The gemara in Shabbos teaches that anyone who shows mercy to others, Hashem will show mercy --as He is merciful, you should be merciful. People come to R' Leb Schteinman (sp?) and ask --how can I convince Hashem to show me mercy? He says --be merciful to others.

At the end of Selichos every day we say a prayer called "Machnisei Rachamim" which sounds like a request for others to bring our prayers before the Merciful One. Who are the bringers? Some explain that it refers to angels, but we are not supposed to pray to angels. The Chofetz Chaim explains that it refers to the poor and unfortunate. We ask that those who we have helped, should bring our tefilos before the ultimate Merciful One.

R' Frand then began to develop the shiur as a message that if one is merciful to others, he can earn a bounty of mercy from Shamayim.

R' Frand's first example were the biblical characters - Dasan & Aviram. These men made Moshe's life miserable on many occasions. They ratted him out when he killed the Egyptian. They challenged him after Pharaoh made the Jews work harder. They tested Moshe's warning not to leave over the Manna until the following day. They joined Korach in his revolt, even though they could not even get the Kehunah.

R' Frand added another example in the name of the Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel. After the Jews left Egypt in the beginning of Beshalach, the Torah writes that Pharaoh said to "Bnei Yisrael." But the Jews had already left. Who was he talking to? The Targum explains that it was Dasan & Aviram.

So how did they get out of Egypt and not die in the plague of darkness? The Maharal Diskin explains that they were the kapos in Egypt. And when the taskmasters beat them because the Jews did not fullfil their quota, they suffered and did not take it out on the other Jews. When they complained to Moshe about the stink after the work got harder, they were talking about their own festering sores from being beaten.

And it was in the merit of their taking the beating on behalf of their fellow Jews, that these men merited life and being part of the travels in the desert. How did they get out of Egypt if they did not leave with the rest of the Jews? The Maharal Diskin and the Be'er Mayim Chayim explain that they had their own personal kriyas yam suf. There is even a suggestion of this in a pasuk in the Az Yashir. The pasuk states that Ki Va Sus Pharaoh --when Pharaoh's horses were entering the sea and Hashem made the sea come crashing down on them and the Jews were walking on dry land. The pasuk appears to be out of order. The Jews first walked on dry land and then Pharaoh entered and then the sea came down! The Maharal Diskin and the Be'er Mayim Chayim explain that after the Egyptians were swallowed up by the sea, then Dasan & Aviram came through on dry land in their own krias yam suf. The pasuk cannot be referring to the rest of the Jews, since they were already long gone. It is Dasan & Aviram who got these special miracles because they had empathy for their fellow Jews.

Why is this middah what causes a person to be saved? Because this is the middah that Hashem uses when he reveals himself to Moshe. He appears in a bush and not a high tree according to Rashi. Because He wants them to know that he is with them in their troubles.

R' Frand said that a person does not need to jump into the Hudson River or a burning building to show empathy or sympathy. He just needs to show people who are going through troubles that he cares.

When there was a fire in the city of Brisk that destroyed half of the city, R' Chaim slept on a bench in shul. Why? Because if half the city was homeless, he was not going to sleep in his bed. Rebbetzin Kotler would not put sugar in her tea during the entire WWII because Jews were suffering in Europe.

R' Frand told a story about R' Shach who during the first Gulf War slept with his head partway off the bed so that he would be woken constantly when he moved. His students told him that he needed his sleep and asked why he was doing this. He responded that American boys came to him before the war and asked whether they should go back to the USA. He told them no, they should stay and learn and the learning will keep them safe. But in America, their parents were not sleeping well. And if those parents were not sleeping well, then neither would he.

R' Frand told a story about the Tolner Rebbi who was walking home once late at night and saw a boy who was wandering aimlessly. He asked the boy why, and the boy said that mashgiach in his yeshiva had thrown him out. The Rebbi settled him in and gave him a bed...and then went out to find the mashgiach. He knocked and knocked until the mashgiach came down in his pajamas and bathrobe. The Rebbi said to him --you are sleeping in your pajamas? You may need to throw a boy out of the yeshiva, but how can you sleep comfortably in pajamas in your own bed? You should be sleeping in your own clothes in a chair.

R' Frand said that you don't need to be a gadol to show you care. He made reference to all the chessed being done over the last month for the people of Houston and Florida. People said tehillim, gave money, sent food and supplies and gave up their time to fly down and tear out wet carpet and dry wall to help out those who were suffering. [Ed note --I know two incredible kids from my neighborhood who recently lost their mother in a tragedy, but less than five weeks later they flew down to Houston to help in this recovery process. Its a testament to their level of rachamim and chessed].

R' Frand told the story of R' Leibowitz of the Houston Kollel which is situated in a part of Houston which was not flooded. That neighborhood was serving 2,000 meals a day to the people who were flooded. The OU raised $1.2 million for Houston in a matter of weeks. And when South Florida was hit, the Jews of Atlanta took in 1,000 families. R' Frand remarked that the Jewish Community in Atlanta is a nice sized community, but its not Brooklyn. And yet they took in all these families and gave them floors to sleep five or six people.

R' Frand supposed that Hashem must be looking down from Shamayim and saying "look at My children."

R' Frand then told a story about a Jew who walked into a shul in Jerusalem and he sees Jews saying tehillim with fervor. He asked what happened? Was there a terrorist attack? He was answered that they are saying Tehillim because there is a tsunami in Texas. The man said, I don't know what a tsunami is and I don't know Texas, but if there is a Jew in trouble I need to pray for him.

There was much more to the shiur and I will iyh try to finish the summary in a Motzei Yom Kippur 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, September 24, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Double Bock


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Double Bock.

As explained by the experts at BA
Bocks--you know, those beers with goats on the label--are relatively strong German lagers. Doppelbocks--as the name might suggest--are typically even stronger and contain enough malty goodness that they've been considered a meal in a glass for centuries. Generally they have a very full-bodied flavor and are darker than their little Bock brothers and sisters and a higher level of alcohol too. They range in color from dark amber to nearly black, and dark versions often have slight chocolate or roasted characters.
The Double Bock is a dark brown beer which poured with above average lacing and decent carbonation. Its rich, almost as full bodied as a barley wine and the alcohol is present behind the malts. The beer is high on the abv scale, even for a dopplebock as it is 9.5% abv. But the alcohol flavor is not off putting and the beer would go well with rich meat dishes such as brisket or cholent.

The Samuel Adams Double Bock 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/35/44785.

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!

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!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Dayblazer Easygoing Ale


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium Dayblazer Easygoing Ale (in the 24 oz can!)

I had seen this beer for a few years, but for reasons I can't explain, I was never really motivated to buy it. I think partially it was the size of the can and the fact that I could never find it in loose six pack bottles. But when I saw the loose can in Albany at Oliver's I took the plunge.

The Dayblazer is an American Blonde Ale, which on the scale of beer education/growth is a few pegs above macrolager and not truly an ale. But that's not to say that it does not have redeeming qualities, or that you can't enjoy one on a hot summer's day after you finish tarring the roof (or doing a 13 mile bike ride).

The beer poured a golden yellow with good foam retention and some hop scent, if not bite. Its low on the alcohol scale for an ale (4.8% abv) but the flavor is not as mild as a macrolager. Not that it held its own with the veal stew that I tried it with, but it would do well with pizza. So the bottom line is if you are looking for a hop forward ale with lots of citrus and pine, this beer is not for you...but then again no American Blonde Ale would be either.

The New Belgium Dayblazer 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 The New Belgium Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/262695.

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, August 24, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Shoftim

Now that Elul has returned, R' Frand has begun giving shiurim again via TCN. 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 laws of Ir Miklat (city of refuge) are mentioned in Shoftim, but were previously also mentioned in Parshas Mishpatim which states that a person who did not set a trap, but as he did kill Hashem set a location for him to go. (Shemos 21:12) The end words of the pasuk are an acronym for Elul and the Chachamim connect Elul with Ir Miklat.

What is the connection between the two? R' Frand noted that the person who killed unintentionally had to go to an Ir Miklat for what could be 70 years. But he did this unintentionally, so why is he exiled? R' Frand answered that if a person is makpid not to violate a mitzva and builds in protection from committing an act, Hashem will make sure that the person does not come into a situation where he might unintentionally violate the law. So too with the unintentional killer. A person may engage in dangerous activities, albeit without the slightest intent to kill. But by putting himself in that situation, there is a possibility that he might kill.

R' Frand linked this to the gemara in Avodah Zarah where R' Chanina Ben Tradyon was being taken out to execution. The executioner asked, if I hasten your death, will I get a place in Olam Haba? R' Chanina responded, "yes". So the executioner removed the moist materials which were meant to prolong the pain. R' Chanina died quickly and the executioner jumped into the fire and died as well. The gemara contained a statement that on this Rebbi cried, saying there are some who earn Olam Haba from a lifetime of action and others who earn it in one minute. The same statement is found in two other gemaras with similar stories.

But why did Rebbi cry? R' Frand explained that it was because he recognized what could be accomplished in a minute.

R' Frand quoted a shmooze from the Kelemer Maggid who told a parable about how the people in a graveyard were told that they would come back to life for an hour. Some people went and visited and assisted their parents because they felt that they had been lacking in this mitzva while alive. Others went and learned Torah, while still others did acts of gemilas chessed.

The Kelemer Maggid remarked that this is what can be done in an hour. But who knows if they even have an hour?

R' Frand then tied this back to the person who is exiled to Ir Miklat. He is sent away because he killed unintentionally, but it resulted from his lack of awareness of the value of human life. So he is sent to the Ir Miklat, a place where the Levites live. These are people who devote their lives to service in the Beis Hamikdash. These people re-educate the killer and show what a meaningful life is.

This is what Elul is about. The Ir Miklat is a physical place, but Chodesh Elul is a spiritual place where one can reflect on the meaning of time and take steps to make our time well spent.

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, August 20, 2017

Belated Sunday Night Suds - New Belgium Fat Tire Special Edition Belgian White


This week's Belated Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's Fat Tire Special Edition Belgian White. [Post is belated due to family road trip before school].

I found this beer in Oliver's in Albany, a beer store which I have come to believe may be the greatest beer store on the East Coast. I had never seen nor heard of Fat Tire experimenting with a witbier, so I picked up a six pack and split it with a friend.

The beer itself was unlike any Fat Tire I had ever tried, including last year's Fat Tire and friends series. After trying two of these, I still can't really tell what makes this a Fat Tire Belgian White, as opposed to a witbier produced by New Belgium Brewery.

This is not to say that the beer itself was unremarkable or weak. The beer poured a golden amber with good carbonation and lacing. There were phenols present, but they were a little more subtle then your average witbier and the citrus was a little more forward than I would have expected as well. The combined flavor and the low end alcohol content (5.2% abv) make this a beer which you can actually have more than one of at a meal.

The New Belgium Fat Tire Special Edition Belgian White 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 The New Belgium Fat Tire Special Edition Belgian White, click here beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/275731.

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, August 17, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Re'eh

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on www.learntorah.com. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

In Devarim 14:22, the Torah states the mitzva of giving tithes (Ma'aser). R' Mansour mentioned that in an agrarian society, the tithe came from wheat, but in our time it is from money. He also quoted the gemara which makes a play on the words used for the mitzva of ma'aser --aser ti'aser which is literally translated as you shall give tithe. However the gemara in Ta'anis uses the word become wealthy --give ma'aser so that you will become wealthy.

R' Mansour quoted the story in the gemara where a child coming out of school was asked what did you learn today? He said that we learned this pasuk. R' Yochanan then taught him, give ma'aser so that you become wealthy. 

The medrash on this states that the wise man goes to the right, but the imbecile to the left. But what does this mean and how does wisdom connect with charity?

R' Mansour explained that the fool prays, but is looking for how many pages are left in the book (on the left side of the siddur) while the wise man looks at the right to see how much he has accomplished. The same can be said about learning, where the wise man is happy about how much ground he has covered, while the fool says the book is so long...

R' Mansour developed this thought by drawing a parallel between the work of learning and the giving of charity. He quoted the Kedushas Tzion who cites a gemara which states that in divrei Torah a person can be poor in one place but wise in another. There may be scant commentary on a sugya when it is mentioned in one gemara, but the footnote tells you that it is also mentioned in another mesechta where there is more explanation. 

R' Mansour gave another explanation. He said that when one starts learning gemara, it can be very discouraging, quoting a medrash on Bereishis 1:2 where the Torah states that there was darkness on the surface of the deep, that the pasuk refers to the Talmud Bavli which is dark and challenging. But after one gets bearing, the brain clicks in and the gemara can be understood. 

Applying this to the gemara, when a person is a young man the Torah may be very challenging and he feels "poor" in knowledge, but when he has more background in learning and he can pick up more, he feels "wealthy."

There is also a gemara in Megillah which states that a person who states ya'gati u'matzati --I worked and I found, he can be believed. This applies in the case of Torah, a person who toiled in learning Torah and says that he benefited and retained, should be believed. It may be hard in the beginning when you are working hard. But every great Rabbi had a period of toiling before it clicks. And when the person finally does have a retention and deeper understanding, he feels like he has found something.

R' Mansour said that giving charity is the same thing. A person may only feel a loss when he gives the tithe. He may look at the recipient while looking at his own bills and say, I could use that money to pay my bills. In so doing, he only looks to the current state. To this R' Yochanan consoles --you need to see the long term, the giving of the tzedakah will lead to wealth. Don't be the fool that only looks to your own financial needs, realize that giving the money will have a return. In the same way, dont be discouraged that the learning is heavy and that there are so many pages in the book. Do the work and it will come back to benefit you in the long term.
 
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, August 13, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Samuel Adams Harvest Hefe


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Samuel Adams Harvest Hefe.

Although this beer is part of the newest fall seasonal mix box from Samuel Adams, I found it in the mix your own six refrigerated section of the Albany Colonie Price Chopper.

[Ed note--an anonymous commenter tipped me that it was not part of the variety pack. After I found it in the mix your six I checked the Sam Adams website and it clicked through the seasonal variety pack link, but its not part of the variety pack. Post a comment if you find it in sixers].

This beer is not your average hefeweizen. It starts with the phenols and then adds some levels of complexity with cinnamon and nutmeg. I'm sure that I must have had cinnamon spiced beer before, but this beer is unusual as it tastes like the offspring of a box of redhots and cloves.

The beer has a lower level of alcohol (5.4% abv) and could probably be used as a session brew. It worked well with chicken marsala and would probably match with other mild chicken dishes.

The Samuel Adams Harvest Hefe 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/35/294588. (Keep in mind, this beer is so new, there are virtually no reviews as of today).

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 10, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Eikev

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on www.learntorah.com. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

The Parsha contains a pasuk which states - "lest you eat and be satiated and then build nice homes and live there." (Devarim 8:12). The Torah uses the term homes in plural form and says that they will be nice. The pasuk also states that the person will also have a lot of livestock and gold and silver. This is the epitome of success. However the Torah also warns about the possibility that the person will become conceited and say in his heart - I did this based on my strength and ability which brought me to this level of success.

R' Mansour noted that the Torah is not saying that a person should not work. Instead, the Torah is warning about thinking that the success can be attributed to his own actions without the assistance of Hashem.

The Targum explains on the pasuk that Hashem gives you the ability to be successful (Devarim 8:18) that Hashem gives the person the idea which is used to be successful. R' Dessler explains that the thought is like a light bulb, but it only lights because it is connected to the power source -Hashem. After all, why did this person have the idea and not someone else? Because Hashem wanted him to go forward with this plan.

R' Mansour also quoted the Meshech Chachmah who links this concept to Birkas Hamazon - the grace after meals. It is usually thought that the benching is said because a person should thank Hashem after having the food. However, the Meshech Chachmah writes that a person benches because after he eats he may feel satiated and high on himself. The next thought would be, I am feeling great and I alone am responsible for this. Thus the pasuk "lest you eat and be satiated" which is linked to the pasuk about benching - "v'achalta, v'savata u'beirachta" - you should eat and be satiated and then immediately - bench.

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, August 6, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Leinenkugel Anniversary Lager


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Leinenkugel Anniversary Lager.

I admit that when I saw this at Oliver's in Albany I had no understanding of which anniversary Leinenkugel was celebrating. So I picked up a bottle and went to their website and read the background to this beer which explained that:
With over 550 years of brewing experience combined, this collaboration between Leinenkugel's and Hofbräu München celebrates Leinenkugel’s 150th anniversary with a blend of German tradition and American ingenuity. Brewed in the spirit of Reinheitsgebot, Leinenkugel’s Anniversary Lager is a German-style amber lager that incorporates some imported, German malts with unique American hops to create a beer that is flavorful, balanced, and refreshing.
Having iced the beer for a few days in the fridge, I tried it for dinner with Mrs KB's grilled filet and roasted purple potatoes. The beer poured a rich orange and had more body than I was expecting. There was malt, but also some hops and even a bit of nutty flavor. The beer has some creaminess as well, which was surprising for a bottled brew. 

Leinenkugel Anniversary Lager is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union, and has an OU on the label. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about this brew, please follow this link beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/710/279990

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 3, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Va'eschanan

Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on www.learntorah.com. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

Last year I posted for this parsha based on a shiur on learntorah.com entitled "Suspended Mountain at Matan Torah." At the time I posted part of the shiur since the shiur was an hour long, but I regretted not giving more of it. To remedy, I have reposted the highlights from last year along with some more of the shiur. [The new portion follows the ----- below].

This week's parsha contain the Torah's second explicit discussion of matan Torah. There is a famous medrash which states that at matan Torah, Hashem held the mountain over the Jews' head and told them - if you accept the Torah then great, if not you will be buried here.

The medrash is difficult to understand and has been the subject of many explanations. In this shiur, R' Mansour offered a novel interpretation in the name of the Chida. 

The Chida began his explanation by noting that the giving of the Torah was the wedding of the Jewish people and Hashem. But this creates a greater question - if this is a wedding then why was there an element of compulsion by having the mountain over their heads?

R' Mansour prefaced the answer by making reference to the concept of the Onnes - one who rapes a single girl. The rule applicable to this situation is that if the girl wishes to marry her attacker - he must marry her and is forbidden from divorcing her for all of his days.

The Chida applies this rule to matan Torah by way of the following scenario - before the Jews married Hashem, they had a concern - what if the Jews committed sins and Hashem wanted to kivyachol divorce them? Hashem solves this problem by making the chuppah "under duress" and that as a result, Hashem must follow the rule of the Torah and cannot send the Jews away.

R' Mansour then digressed to discuss how this week is called Shabbas Nachamu - that the Jews should be consoled. But why should the Jews be consoled - what changed from last week? Last week during Shabbas Chazon we were in galus and there was no Beis Hamikdash. This week too, there is no Beis Hamikdash and we are still in galus!

R' Mansour answered this quandry by discussing what the Beis Hamikdash stood for prior to its destruction. When it was around, the Jews would get kapparah based upon the avodah of the Kohanim. But this also allowed them to be lax, because they knew that the avodah would get them forgiveness.

R' Mansour then gave the following analogy - there was a great artist who painted a painting on site at a mountain. The artist finished the painting and took a few steps back to get perspective. He then took another few steps back. And then another few. Now, the artist was stepping backwards near the edge of a cliff. The bystanders yelled - "look out the edge is near", but the artist was solely focused on the painting and continued to walk closer to the edge. Out of desperation, one of the bystanders ran to the painting and cut it with a knife. The artist exclaimed "what did you do that for?" The man answered - you were so focused on the painting you would have fallen off the cliff.

So too the Jews kept looking at the Beis Hamikdash and thinking - this will cover all our acts. So Hashem  needed to destroy it in order for us to regain perspective. Even though He had to destroy His house and the Shechinah had to go into galus.

-----
At this time the Jews were nervous - will Hashem divorce them and send them away forever? The answer is that since the Jews were the me'anes, Hashem is stuck with them and cannot divorce them for all time.

R' Mansour tied that into the haftorah - Nachamu Nachamu Ami. As discussed above, yes things are the same as last week and the troubles of the week of Chazon are still here in Nachamu.  But Hashem's message is - you are still My nation ("Ami"). Hashem says to the Jews, you are still my nation and  I am not going anywhere. 

R' Mansour also tied this into a story in Parshas Vayishlach. After Ya'akov leaves Lavan he crosses the river and fights the angel of Esav. When he has subdued the angel, the angel gives him the beracha that his name will change from Ya'akov to Yisrael. A number of pesukim later, following the story of Dina, Ya'akov brings sacrifices and then is addressed by Hashem. Hashem then tells him your name is Ya'akov. But that will not be your name anymore, it will be Yisrael.

Why does Hashem repeat the same beracha that Ya'akov had already received from the angel? It would be like going to a Rebbi for a beracha and he says a beracha that the recipient should get married. He protests, I'm already married. He asks, why do I need the beracha if he already has it?

R' Mansour answered that the angel had an ulterior motive. The angel was saying --you were Ya'akov, the heel. But now you are higher --you are Yisrael. But if you sin now you can't slide back and blame your acts on being a heel. You are not just Ya'akov anymore. And while you may not, your children will be susceptible.

So Hashem straightens this out by saying to Ya'akov first --your name is Ya'akov. You will be called Yisrael, but don't worry. You will always be Ya'akov.

The message from Hashem is --you are Ya'akov. Even when Bnei Yisrael are not going to Bnei Yisrael and more like Ya'akov, don't be concerned. Because you will still be Ya'akov and I will tolerate their acts.

R' Mansour compared it to a husband whose wife has a drug problem. The husband says, don't worry, he will stay with her through rehab, even though she has chased illegal drugs. Kv'yachol, Hashem says, even though you are in rehab and have been in rehab for nearly 2,000 years, I will stay with you and stay loyal to you.

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, July 30, 2017

Sunday Night Suds - Uinta West Coast IPA


This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Uinta's West Coast Style IPA.

The West Coast Style IPA is one of the latest offerings by this quality brewery. Although the neither the can nor the website explain where the beer derives its name from, the website identifies four hops which give this beer its unique flavor -Denali, Mosaic, El Dorado and Chinook.

The beer is on the higher end of the abv spectrum (for a single IPA) as it is 6.30% abv. There is quite a bit of hop bite in the beer and even though I had a bad cold when I drank it with Mrs KB's awesome salmon dinner (you never know what you can find under hashgacha in the local Walmart) I could taste the pine and even a bit of the alcohol backbone.

The website indicates that the beer has pineapple, mango and pine elements. I tasted the pine (see above) and even a bit of the mango. I did not detect the pineapple but this is not surprising since the beer is unflavored and I had a cold (also see above).

Uinta West Coast Style IPA is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union and bears an OU on the can For the experts' take on the Uinta West Coast Style IPA, please click here www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1416/285570.

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, July 27, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Devarim


Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on www.learntorah.com. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.

In Devarim 1:17 the Torah states that a Judge should not fear any man who is litigating before him because the judgment is Hashem's.

R' Mansour told a story which tied into this pasuk. There was a young Rabbi named R' Rephael who was named Chief Rabbi of Hamburg. Soon after he was named Chief Rabbi, a man came before him and complained that he was the victim of a fraud which had been perpetrated by the president of the shul.

After hearing the man's tale of woe, the Rabbi summoned the president to appear for a din Torah. The president did not answer the summons. The Rabbi then sent a second summons and again the man did not show up. The Rabbi next threatened the president with excommunication if he failed to appear on the third court date. However on the third court date, the President did appear...and when he did he told the Rabbi this was all a sham. The president explained that although R' Rephael had been chosen as Chief Rabbi, the people were still concerned about his ability to determine issues. As such, they concocted the fraud story in order to see if the Rabbi was strong enough to threaten the President if he failed to appear at a din Torah.

The president concluded that since the Rabbi made the proper decision to threaten the president if the president failed to appear for the din Torah, the people of the community were certain that the Rabbi was fit to lead.

R' Mansour gave a second explanation of the pasuk. He stated that if a Judge slants his decision because of a personal affinity for one of the litigants, he causes Hashem to work harder. Hashem had made a determination before Rosh Hashanah as to how much money each of the litigants should have for the year. If the Judge slants his decision and causes the transfer of money against the weight of the testimony, Hashem must work harder (kiviyachol) to make sure that the improper winner loses that money in some way and that the improper loser regains the sum of money which was taken from him. Thus when reading the pasuk, we see that Moshe was stating fact - don't fear any man and make an improper decision, because the Judgment is Hashem's and He will then have to fix what you have slanted.

It is "ironic" (or in the words of a former chavrusa Doniel H, the daf is laughing at you) in that this topic was covered in portions of Sanhedrin which we have been learning in Daf Yomi over the last week and a half.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click http://www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!