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Welch's Grape Juice

Red Hare's Photo Red Hare 29 Jul 2012

If food doesn't have a hechsher, you can't nec. rely on it as Kosher. For something used for a ritual like grape juice, it has to have a hechsher.

Josephal, you dofn't know me but I worked for kashrus agencies over many years. I know what I'm talking about.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 30 Jul 2012

Any action taken by a jew should take into consideration, will it make me closer to hashem or not. Its not an assur muttar question.
If someone says prove to me that it's assur, it appears that he is just trying to follow the letter of the law and left out the connection to his creator.
The correct question should be how will this affect my relationship to my creator, not prove that its assur.

So lets rephrase "prove that its assur" as "what makes you think that this will negatively affect my relationship with God?"
Still essentially the dame question. Drinking Welch's grape juice will have the same effect on my relationship with God as drinking Kedem or Manischewitz, unless it's forbidden. You seem to be arguing that the starting assumption is that its forbidden, I say there needs to be a reason for that to be a starting point.
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sal's Photo sal 30 Jul 2012

So lets rephrase "prove that its assur" as "what makes you think that this will negatively affect my relationship with God?"
Still essentially the dame question.

It is not the same question at all. It is similar to saying prove that its not poison, if not I'll drink it. Unless you don't compare distance to god as poison and something that must be avoided at all costs.

Drinking Welch's grape juice will have the same effect on my relationship with God as drinking Kedem or Manischewitz, unless it's forbidden. You seem to be arguing that the starting assumption is that its forbidden, I say there needs to be a reason for that to be a starting point.


Am I correct in understanding that you believe I should be allowed to put anything into my mouth unless I have a reason to believe its assur?
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 30 Jul 2012

It is not the same question at all. It is similar to saying prove that its not poison, if not I'll drink it. Unless you don't compare distance to god as poison and something that must be avoided at all costs.

To compare kashrus to poison is IMO to completely ignore that we have halacha and a derech hapsak.
If a piece of treif is battul berov/60, one can confidently eat any of the pieces, and perhaps all of them. Would you do that if I dropped a cyanide laced potato in your cholent?
there are rules to psak and kashrus, and to compare it to poison is to ignore those rules.

Am I correct in understanding that you believe I should be allowed to put anything into my mouth unless I have a reason to believe its assur?

Any reason to suppose otherwise?

The very fact that something is mass produced in a factory where there are a bunch of things going on, and dozens of ingredients, identifiable and otherwise, may well be a reason to assume that there is a problem, but that is vastly different than assuming everything is assur until proven otherwise.
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sal's Photo sal 30 Jul 2012

To compare kashrus to poison is IMO to completely ignore that we have halacha and a derech hapsak.
If a piece of treif is battul berov/60, one can confidently eat any of the pieces, and perhaps all of them. Would you do that if I dropped a cyanide laced potato in your cholent?
there are rules to psak and kashrus, and to compare it to poison is to ignore those rules.


Please don't take me out of context.
I'm talking about a case where its assur and you start comparing cases where its batul and therefor muttar.
We are not comparing rules of kashrus, we are comparing the loss that a person gets if his soul is damaged. Which should according to any orthodox jew be at least comparable to poison. If someone says I will only not drink this if you prove that its not poison he does not care about his life. The same can be said about someone who will only not eat unless proven assur doesn't care about his soul.


Any reason to suppose otherwise?

You answered it yourself.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 30 Jul 2012

Please don't take me out of context.
I'm talking about a case where its assur and you start comparing cases where its batul and therefor muttar.
We are not comparing rules of kashrus, we are comparing the loss that a person gets if his soul is damaged. Which should according to any orthodox jew be at least comparable to poison. If someone says I will only not drink this if you prove that its not poison he does not care about his life. The same can be said about someone who will only not eat unless proven assur doesn't care about his soul.

I'm sorry, I thought it was clear that my response was to a general sounding statement if yours, that assuming muttar until proven assur is a bad thing. As a general statement I believe that that is very incorrect.

You answered it yourself.

I answered why there is reason to assume that there may be a problem with Welch's grape juice (and other mass produced foods). I thought we were on somewhat of a tangent WRT assuming muttar or assur given no positive reason to assume assur.

Basically, I believe that:
1, there is a reason to assume that Welch's grape juice may be a problem, hence it requires a hechsher
2, There is no reason, or halachic basis, to start off assuming assur on an unknown
3, comparing kashrus to poison is a ridiculous analogy.
clear?


ETA: here is the quote from you that I said I disagree with, "you are assuming that its muttar unless proven otherwise. This concept of Judaism is flawed. As it assumes that Jewish law is something that need to be avoided instead of being sought after" (emphasis added)
Still sounds like a general statement to me.
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sal's Photo sal 31 Jul 2012

I'm sorry, I thought it was clear that my response was to a general sounding statement if yours, that assuming muttar until proven assur is a bad thing. As a general statement I believe that that is very incorrect.


I answered why there is reason to assume that there may be a problem with Welch's grape juice (and other mass produced foods). I thought we were on somewhat of a tangent WRT assuming muttar or assur given no positive reason to assume assur.

Basically, I believe that:
1, there is a reason to assume that Welch's grape juice may be a problem, hence it requires a hechsher
2, There is no reason, or halachic basis, to start off assuming assur on an unknown
3, comparing kashrus to poison is a ridiculous analogy.
clear?


ETA: here is the quote from you that I said I disagree with, "you are assuming that its muttar unless proven otherwise. This concept of Judaism is flawed. As it assumes that Jewish law is something that need to be avoided instead of being sought after" (emphasis added)
Still sounds like a general statement to me.


I will try to clarify my point.
There are to attitudes one can have towards judaism A) The goal is to have a connection to god. The torah gives us 613 opportunities to accomplish this. B) I would like to do whatever I want and enjoy. Since I believe the torah is true, I must do everything I can to avoid transgressing anything.
Hence the difference between the 2 should be obvious. Is the Torah an opportunity or is in an obstacle. The difference is whether you follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law.
The premise that if its not assur it will automaticly not have any affect on the relationship with god is simply not true. See chulin 37B. Yechezkel did not eat meat that had a shayla, even if the psak was muttar. Obviously its not about mutar or assur. It is about a framework and its goal.

When someone says the only reason not to do something is because its assur. Therefor evidence of issur is needed fits with the 2nd category. I will do what I want unless in conflict with the torah. The attitude of the first category is not so. It is not about doing what I want rather its about becoming closer to god. Just because something is muttar does not mean it follows the spirit of the law. Whence do we have the concept naval birshus hatora.

Poison was just used as a mashal. Not every detail of a mashal will match up to the nimshal. Torah nimshal limayim. How can you compare the two?
There are times when seforim pasken a certain way and add shomer nafsho yizaher mi'ze.
Clearly there is a torah attitude.
While you are arguing from halacha I'm not disputing the position from halach. I am arguing that the second attitude towards judaism is flawed.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 31 Jul 2012

I will try to clarify my point.
There are to attitudes one can have towards judaism A) The goal is to have a connection to god. The torah gives us 613 opportunities to accomplish this. B) I would like to do whatever I want and enjoy. Since I believe the torah is true, I must do everything I can to avoid transgressing anything.
Hence the difference between the 2 should be obvious. Is the Torah an opportunity or is in an obstacle. The difference is whether you follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law.
The premise that if its not assur it will automaticly not have any affect on the relationship with god is simply not true. See chulin 37B. Yechezkel did not eat meat that had a shayla, even if the psak was muttar. Obviously its not about mutar or assur. It is about a framework and its goal.

When someone says the only reason not to do something is because its assur. Therefor evidence of issur is needed fits with the 2nd category. I will do what I want unless in conflict with the torah. The attitude of the first category is not so. It is not about doing what I want rather its about becoming closer to god. Just because something is muttar does not mean it follows the spirit of the law. Whence do we have the concept naval birshus hatora.

I agree that before performing any activity one should evaluate whether this will bring them closer to or further from Hashem. (Whether neutrals exist is a separate issue.) But I deny that that translates into "assur until proven muttar". I further deny your assertion that one who says that "assur" must be backed up is part of the second group you listed.
One can easily make the argument in the opposite direction in fact. With the proper attitude and perspective, every physical pleasure can bring one closer to a level of Ahavas Hashem. By limiting my physical pleasures unnecessarily, I am limiting my opportunities to raise my love for Hashem. Hence, unless something is assur there is no reason not to partake/participate and enjoy God's creation.

Re: Yechezkel, First of all, there is a reason why that is not even suggested for the hamon am, secondly that is a red herring, we aren't talking about meat that had a (legitimate) shaila asked on it, we are talking about an unknown quantity with no reason to assume a problem (obviously NOT Welch's grape juice).

Poison was just used as a mashal. Not every detail of a mashal will match up to the nimshal. Torah nimshal limayim. How can you compare the two?

If you want to compare vadai treif to actual poison, that's understandable. Comparing safek treif to poison doesn't even start.

There are times when seforim pasken a certain way and add shomer nafsho yizaher mi'ze.
Clearly there is a torah attitude.

Maybe only in the specific cases, the majority of which, I am guessing, are relying on a kulah to be mattir, but they all certainly have a good reason to be assur (I could be wrong, but I would be quite surprised). That has no bearing whatsoever on the subject at hand.

While you are arguing from halacha I'm not disputing the position from halach. I am arguing that the second attitude towards judaism is flawed.

I am arguing against your initial statement, that not accepting assur until proven is a problematic position within Judaism.
The second attitude you listed is certainly flawed, but I deny your lumping people into that group because they refuse to agree that assur is the starting point.
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josephal's Photo josephal 31 Jul 2012

Clearly one point we both agree on is Halacha does not require a hechsher. I would not trust the US government and their laws when it comes to kashrus. Not because of trust, but rather because of method of implementation. A judge can't judge such cases. What will happen in the lawsuit? Will they accept my rabbi to testify what is considered kosher? In the end of the day it will be up to a secular judge to issue a judgement.



Let’s ignore the details of the above legal scenario, as my main point was apparently not clear enough. I’m speaking more generally; the risk of litigation (e.g., food allergy lawsuits and the like) keeps the food industry as a whole honest (in spite of misinformed comments to the contrary). A company’s fear of getting caught for violating its claims to the public (which means lawsuits, huge financial losses or bankruptcy) is sufficient grounds halachically to rely on those claims. That risk alone is more trustworthy than sporadic visits from a rabbi. The halachah says that we can rely on this to assume the product is kosher (save for the aforementioned exception).

In our case with Welch’s grape juice, as a result of that fear (whether the improbable risk of litigation exists or not [since the majority of Orthodox Jews don’t drink it]), calling the company and asking how their grape juice is processed is enough to establish kashrut. But let’s forget “asking the company” their process already; visiting the production plant itself establishes the facts for sure; so the issue is how Welch’s grape juice is produced, and the bottom line remains that it is 100% kosher according to halachah.

I suggest familiarizing yourself in-depth with the concept of mirtat in halachah. If you’re not able to study the original sources, see, for example, the writings of the Chazon Ish or Rav Moshe Feinstein that deal with government controls and kashrut; perhaps you might understand why they ruled the way they did. See also Rav Ovadiah Yosef for some truly eye-opening views on kashrut (that they are “eye-opening” only shows how far we have moved from normative Jewish law). Everything I’m stating here is based on halachah and Shulchan Aruch, only we don’t know anymore because everything we do in kashrut is chumrot and not the standard halachah. For this confusion you can thank our kashrut-industrial complex.


Not everyone has the time to do research, but if you did your research, I won't think you are not following halacha. But I don't believe its a solution that fits all. If that works for you go ahead, but you can't argue against those who use hechsherim to determine the kashrus.



Those who use hechsherim to determine kashrut are woefully unaware of the lack of supervision that these hechsherim are supposedly guaranteeing. There are cases on and off-the-record detailing astonishing negligence regarding kashrut supervision (including not-so-secret cases involving our sacred cow, the OU). You, in fact, unwittingly make my point by bringing up concepts like chazakah; we’re allowed to rely on chazakah because of mirtat. Relying on mirtat, as already mentioned, is much more reliable from a halachic standpoint than occasional visits from a rabbi. No need for a hechsher.

I think anyone would be appalled at how the system that supposedly ensures kashrut really runs. I suppose there is no way of knowing that unless you familiarize yourself with kashrut industry insiders from as many hashgachah companies as possible.
The bottom line is you should rely on a product's ingredient panel; again, the halachah says this is reliable to assume it’s kosher. Ultimately, it is far more dependable and trustworthy than current rabbinical supervision.


This is assuming you are right. I didn't do research so I don't know.

I don't think you are correctly shifting the burden of proof.
You are assuming that its muttar unless proven otherwise. This concept of Judaism is flawed. As it assumes that Jewish law is something that need to be avoided instead of being sought after.


The assumption is that it’s mutar based on halachah; it should not be any other way. Either something is kosher or not; my comment was directed at those implying that Welch’s grape juice was not kosher without really knowing. The onus of proof lies with them to explain why it isn’t kosher.



You can't compare to the past. A) Food wasn't mass produced like it is today. B) Ingrediants were not imported from the 4 corners of the earth.
There are more potential problems.
There was no need for an FDA before factories started mass producing food, neither was there a need for a hechsher.


Food in the
US began to be mass produced in the late 19th century. With the creation of the first kosher certification in 1924 (the OU’s kashrut division) it took approximately 35 years for there to be any kosher certification after mass production of food was already well underway. So I ask again: what did people do before kashrut organizations existed? What has changed?

I can read the ingredients and it tells me nothing. I don't even know what some of them are.


You may absolutely rely on ingredients alone to determine kashrut, as our FDA is sufficient (halachic) guarantee that the food is kosher. I imagine you take the Shulchan Aruch as authoritative; if so, it is a source that allows relying on ingredients.
I feel I need to emphasize that only the Torah determines what kosher is, not some government agency; however, if the Torah itself says that we can rely on government food regulations, then it is 100% kosher. That is not a debate.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 31 Jul 2012

....

Do you have a source for government being a sufficient level of supervision for halachic purposes? (Besides for RMF's teshuva on chalav yisrael, only because I would question whether one can extrapolate from that.)
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josephal's Photo josephal 31 Jul 2012

Considering how often people who have a financial interest in being honest end up in jail for trying to increase their financial interest by being dishonest, this is not a very effective argument.



The fact remains that food companies in the USA are on the whole transparent with these issues in spite of your comment (which clearly stems from lack knowledge of the industry). Cases of dishonesty for financial gain don’t work very well (nor for long) in this particular industry. See my comments to Sal; I dealt with this there.

Or you can have a hechsher do the legwork for you.



The question is how much legwork the hechsher is doing for you. Again, see my post to Sal.

How much expertise do you have in the relevant halachic issues that you are so comfortable with your assertion?



I could say I’m a rabbi, an industry insider or Mr. Bojangles, but how would you know? The issue is whether Welch’s grape juice is kosher according to halachah. If one knows how halachah works, then an objective determination can be reached on the kashrut of Welch’s grape juice. Welch’s grape juice is 100% kosher.

It is only relatively recently that hashgachos are relevant due to mass produced food. Beforehand, people made most of their food themselves.



Already addressed in my post to Sal.


you may be right, but if the level if incompetence is so high among those trained, how likely is it that I will be able to do any better on my own?



You shouldn’t do it on your own unless you know what you are doing. You should always ask your posek. This is what the halachah requires.

most foods do not require more than a "yotze venichnas".



And yotze venichnas is based on mirtat. See Sal's post for this issue.


indeed it is not a Torah concept, it is a service to help those that are interested fulfill a Torah concept.



It’s sad to say but the kashrut industry has by and large lost sight of what is kosher (in a very literally sense of the word). Try to get to know as many industry insiders and I think your eyes will be opened. It is well-known that the kashrut-industrial complex often implements guiding principles that contradict the halachah.

what goes on in those countries is as much of a hechsher as what goes on in the US. The symbol on the label is not what makes or breaks a hechsher. The fact that a particular Rabbinate gives out a list instead of printing a symbol is just a different way of broadcasting the same information.



You’re missing the point. The point is that they are Okaying products that do not have rabbinical supervision at all. They are relying on that particular country’s FDA-equivalent to determine kashrut, which from a halachic standpoint is more reliable than sporadic visits from a rabbi.


Nothing needs a hechsher, but everything needs to be kosher. The question is then what is the easiest, most reliable way of ensuring that the food is kosher.



“Reliable” and “easiest” are worlds apart. Certainly, the most reliable way to ensure food is kosher is to ascertain this yourself if you have the proper knowledge. Again, I realize this is not practical for the average person, but it’s not impossible. One caveat; you have to really know what you are doing and not rely on hearsay, the internet (Hashkafah.com included), books, etc. You have to go to the original sources and actually understand how the massive system of halachah works. If you don’t, ask your posek.
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josephal's Photo josephal 31 Jul 2012

If food doesn't have a hechsher, you can't nec. rely on it as Kosher. For something used for a ritual like grape juice, it has to have a hechsher.

Josephal, you dofn't know me but I worked for kashrus agencies over many years. I know what I'm talking about.


The halachah disagrees with you on both points. See my post to Sal.
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sal's Photo sal 31 Jul 2012

Let’s ignore the details of the above legal scenario, as my main point was apparently not clear enough. I’m speaking more generally; the risk of litigation (e.g., food allergy lawsuits and the like) keeps the food industry as a whole honest (in spite of misinformed comments to the contrary). A company’s fear of getting caught for violating its claims to the public (which means lawsuits, huge financial losses or bankruptcy) is sufficient grounds halachically to rely on those claims. That risk alone is more trustworthy than sporadic visits from a rabbi. The halachah says that we can rely on this to assume the product is kosher (save for the aforementioned exception).

In our case with Welch’s grape juice, as a result of that fear (whether the improbable risk of litigation exists or not [since the majority of Orthodox Jews don’t drink it]), calling the company and asking how their grape juice is processed is enough to establish kashrut. But let’s forget “asking the company” their process already; visiting the production plant itself establishes the facts for sure; so the issue is how Welch’s grape juice is produced, and the bottom line remains that it is 100% kosher according to halachah.

I suggest familiarizing yourself in-depth with the concept of mirtat in halachah. If you’re not able to study the original sources, see, for example, the writings of the Chazon Ish or Rav Moshe Feinstein that deal with government controls and kashrut; perhaps you might understand why they ruled the way they did. See also Rav Ovadiah Yosef for some truly eye-opening views on kashrut (that they are “eye-opening” only shows how far we have moved from normative Jewish law). Everything I’m stating here is based on halachah and Shulchan Aruch, only we don’t know anymore because everything we do in kashrut is chumrot and not the standard halachah. For this confusion you can thank our kashrut-industrial complex.




Those who use hechsherim to determine kashrut are woefully unaware of the lack of supervision that these hechsherim are supposedly guaranteeing. There are cases on and off-the-record detailing astonishing negligence regarding kashrut supervision (including not-so-secret cases involving our sacred cow, the OU). You, in fact, unwittingly make my point by bringing up concepts like chazakah; we’re allowed to rely on chazakah because of mirtat. Relying on mirtat, as already mentioned, is much more reliable from a halachic standpoint than occasional visits from a rabbi. No need for a hechsher.

I think anyone would be appalled at how the system that supposedly ensures kashrut really runs. I suppose there is no way of knowing that unless you familiarize yourself with kashrut industry insiders from as many hashgachah companies as possible.
The bottom line is you should rely on a product's ingredient panel; again, the halachah says this is reliable to assume it’s kosher. Ultimately, it is far more dependable and trustworthy than current rabbinical supervision.




The assumption is that it’s mutar based on halachah; it should not be any other way. Either something is kosher or not; my comment was directed at those implying that Welch’s grape juice was not kosher without really knowing. The onus of proof lies with them to explain why it isn’t kosher.




Food in the US began to be mass produced in the late 19th century. With the creation of the first kosher certification in 1924 (the OU’s kashrut division) it took approximately 35 years for there to be any kosher certification after mass production of food was already well underway. So I ask again: what did people do before kashrut organizations existed? What has changed?


You may absolutely rely on ingredients alone to determine kashrut, as our FDA is sufficient (halachic) guarantee that the food is kosher. I imagine you take the Shulchan Aruch as authoritative; if so, it is a source that allows relying on ingredients.
[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]I feel I need to emphasize that only the Torah determines what kosher is, not some government agency; however, if the Torah itself says that we can rely on government food regulations, then it is 100% kosher. That is not a debate.


You seem to be more knowledgeable than i am. Hence I can't argue.
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sal's Photo sal 31 Jul 2012

I agree that before performing any activity one should evaluate whether this will bring them closer to or further from Hashem. (Whether neutrals exist is a separate issue.) But I deny that that translates into "assur until proven muttar". I further deny your assertion that one who says that "assur" must be backed up is part of the second group you listed.


Are we understanding the statement "muttar unless proven assur the same."

Its not either assur until proven muttar or mutter until proven assur, there is plenty of room in the middle. Just because we say innocent until proven guilty does not mean he is actually innocent rather we will treat him as such. There would not be a court case if we considered him absolutely innocent. Therefor when we make a statement innocent until proven guilty we are not talking about a case that there is absolutely no reason to think he is guilty. Rather its referring to a case where there is a reason to believe he is guilty, but our legal system says that we will treat is as innocent until proven guilty. (In real life this happens not to be true.)
This is how I understand the statement. Muttar unless proven assur means that whether or not we have a reason to think its assur we will still treat it as muttar. Hence the statement "muttar unless proven assur".


One can easily make the argument in the opposite direction in fact. With the proper attitude and perspective, every physical pleasure can bring one closer to a level of Ahavas Hashem. By limiting my physical pleasures unnecessarily, I am limiting my opportunities to raise my love for Hashem. Hence, unless something is assur there is no reason not to partake/participate and enjoy God's creation.


See ramchal on prishus.


Re: Yechezkel, First of all, there is a reason why that is not even suggested for the hamon am,


Hacol l'fi madreigaso.

secondly that is a red herring, we aren't talking about meat that had a (legitimate) shaila asked on it, we are talking about an unknown quantity with no reason to assume a problem (obviously NOT Welch's grape juice).


as explained above, statements like muttar until proven assur only comes into play when there is a possibility.

If you want to compare vadai treif to actual poison, that's understandable. Comparing safek treif to poison doesn't even start.


I'm referring to the precautions one would take. Why doesn't sofek traif not compare to poison? If you have meat that is sofek nevaila safek shechuta you would not eat it.

Do you have a source for government being a sufficient level of supervision for halachic purposes? (Besides for RMF's teshuva on chalav yisrael, only because I would question whether one can extrapolate from that.)


I think it would be by hilchos yayin nesech, but I'm not sure. Will have to look it up.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 01 Aug 2012

Are we understanding the statement "muttar unless proven assur the same."

Its not either assur until proven muttar or mutter until proven assur, there is plenty of room in the middle. Just because we say innocent until proven guilty does not mean he is actually innocent rather we will treat him as such. There would not be a court case if we considered him absolutely innocent. Therefor when we make a statement innocent until proven guilty we are not talking about a case that there is absolutely no reason to think he is guilty. Rather its referring to a case where there is a reason to believe he is guilty, but our legal system says that we will treat is as innocent until proven guilty. (In real life this happens not to be true.)
This is how I understand the statement. Muttar unless proven assur means that whether or not we have a reason to think its assur we will still treat it as muttar. Hence the statement "muttar unless proven assur".

It may be that we have been talking at cross purposes and using terminology to mean different things, so I will try to clarify.
Suppose we have an activity that I would like to do on Shabbos, I am leaving out food stuff for the moment, we will call this activity X. X doesn't obviously violate any halachos of Shabbos, and the rabbi is not within walking distance. Can I do X? I would say yes, and my understanding from your comments is that you would say no.
(A food example that just occurred to me is probably a food with no known bug problems, do I have to check anyways, or can I eat it because there's no reason to assume an issur?)

See ramchal on prishus.

And is he the only opinion on the matter?
the story that comes to mind is that reportedly RSRH took a trip to the Alps, and explained it by saying that after he dies, God will ask "did you enjoy my Alps?"
Whether or not the story is apocryphal, it was told to me (in a Torah home), clearly as a legitimate Torah value.

Hacol l'fi madreigaso.

Agreed, but its still a red herring.

as explained above, statements like muttar until proven assur only comes into play when there is a possibility

See my clarification, and examples.
Like I said above, maybe we are using the same terms for different ideas, but I hope my clarification above helps.

I'm referring to the precautions one would take. Why doesn't sofek traif not compare to poison? If you have meat that is sofek nevaila safek shechuta you would not eat it.

The reason that the comparison doesn't hold is because we have halachos that tell us how to treat a safek.
If I have 3 steaks and 1 is for sure treif, mideoraisa I can eat at least 2, if one is poison I would not eat any (and it would probably be assur too).
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warren's Photo warren 01 Aug 2012

I live in Israel and I've never seen Welch's on the shelves here. So I have no need for a position on this myself. But some questions.

Whether one is of the opinion that it needs a hechsher or not, does it currently have one? If it does, who is it? If it doesn't ...

If one is truly knowledgeable in halachah and actually does research (such as calling Welch's) to find out their process, I'm sure you'd be surprised that Welch's is categorically kasher. Anyone who knows the sources would have to admit as much, whether they like it or not.

Could you tell us what their process is yourself?

By “doing research,” however, I not only meant asking the company but also doing the legwork, like visiting the plant and seeing the process for yourself. The fact remains there are absolutely NO problems with the kashrut of Welch’s grape juice whatsoever. The burden of proof is on those who disagree.

Or have you visited the plant? What did you see there?
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josephal's Photo josephal 01 Aug 2012

I live in Israel and I've never seen Welch's on the shelves here. So I have no need for a position on this myself. But some questions.

Whether one is of the opinion that it needs a hechsher or not, does it currently have one? If it does, who is it? If it doesn't ...


Could you tell us what their process is yourself?


Or have you visited the plant? What did you see there?


The grape juice has the single letter K, and is under the supervision of Rabbi Leonard H. Lifshen (JTS graduate). Whether his supervision is adequate or not is completely irrelevant to me in determining the kashrut of Welch's grape juice. I do not differentiate between letter K or OU supervision, simply because I do not determine kashrut by using hechsherim for reasons already stated (see my most recent post to Sal -- all these issues are already answered there).
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warren's Photo warren 01 Aug 2012

The grape juice has the single letter K, and is under the supervision of Rabbi Leonard H. Lifshen (JTS graduate). Whether his supervision is adequate or not is completely irrelevant to me in determining the kashrut of Welch's grape juice. I do not differentiate between letter K or OU supervision, simply because I do not determine kashrut by using hechsherim for reasons already stated (see my most recent post to Sal -- all these issues are already answered there).

I reread the thread before asking. But I'll try again.

In post 5 you said that if one is truly knowledgeable and does one's research one will find it's kosher. So have you done that research? If so, what did you learn. If not, how did you reach your conclusion that research will show it's kosher?

I'm going to skip arguments about whether to rely on hechshers or not - I am only trying to understand what arguments you have for it being kosher based on research.

In post 14 you said that research includes visiting the plant (so I'm hoping to see that you say somewhere that you've visiting the plant (or someone else did) and what you or they saw). You say there that the burden of proof is on those who say it isn't kosher, but I have no opinion. I just want to understand yours.

In post 29 you said that we can rely on a company's claims about its process to the public. But if you've mentioned what Welch's claims I missed it.
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sal's Photo sal 01 Aug 2012

It may be that we have been talking at cross purposes and using terminology to mean different things, so I will try to clarify.
Suppose we have an activity that I would like to do on Shabbos, I am leaving out food stuff for the moment, we will call this activity X. X doesn't obviously violate any halachos of Shabbos, and the rabbi is not within walking distance. Can I do X? I would say yes, and my understanding from your comments is that you would say no.


If the rabbi is within walking distance would you ask? if yes why?



(A food example that just occurred to me is probably a food with no known bug problems, do I have to check anyways, or can I eat it because there's no reason to assume an issur?)


And is he the only opinion on the matter?


You failed to point out other opinions. Do you even know what the ramchals opinion is?

the story that comes to mind is that reportedly RSRH took a trip to the Alps, and explained it by saying that after he dies, God will ask "did you enjoy my Alps?"
Whether or not the story is apocryphal, it was told to me (in a Torah home), clearly as a legitimate Torah value.


See kesubos 104 rebbi before he died said even my smallest finger didn't have ha'na'a from this world. I'm not trying to prove anything. You are bringing stories so I'm giving you back stories.

Agreed, but its still a red herring.


See my clarification, and examples.
Like I said above, maybe we are using the same terms for different ideas, but I hope my clarification above helps.

The reason that the comparison doesn't hold is because we have halachos that tell us how to treat a safek.
If I have 3 steaks and 1 is for sure treif, mideoraisa I can eat at least 2, if one is poison I would not eat any (and it would probably be assur too).


A mashal will not be the same in every scenario.

You are twisting the point by pointing out the differences. My point is when there is a question involved you should avoid it like you would for physical harm. Not in a case where it is clear that it is muttar.
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israeli4ever's Photo israeli4ever 01 Aug 2012

If the rabbi is within walking distance would you ask? if yes why?

I doubt that I would go out of my way to ask if I can't think of a problem. Maybe I would bring it up if I happen to see him

You failed to point out other opinions. Do you even know what the ramchals opinion is?

You are right, I confused the Ramchal with something else. Now that I have seen at least part of it, I still fail to see how he contradicts my point.
As you may have noticed, Prishus is the step from Tzaddik to Chassid. To call someone anything less than a tzaddik for not practicing prishus is illegitimate according to the Ramchal.


See kesubos 104 rebbi before he died said even my smallest finger didn't have ha'na'a from this world. I'm not trying to prove anything. You are bringing stories so I'm giving you back stories.

I am bringing a story to show that when properly directed, physical enjoyment is an Authentic Torah Value.
If I have time and patience, I will try to get textual sources.

A mashal will not be the same in every scenario.

You are twisting the point by pointing out the differences. My point is when there is a question involved you should avoid it like you would for physical harm. Not in a case where it is clear that it is muttar.

I am nit twisting anything. Vadai poison to vadai treif is tolerable. Anything less than that holds no water, assuming you accept the halachic process.
Halacha yells us how to treat a safek treif, and it is not comparable to how we would (be required to) treat safek poison.
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