Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Looks Like Rav Heinemann Might Be Next on the Cherem List...

Heh. The latest "controversy" in the Jewish world is Shabbos Mode ovens. (I don't have one, yet, but) It seems there is a setting on them that allows one to lower and raise the temp on a delayed reaction on the oven on Yom Tov. Well, it seems the self-proclaimed "Gedolim" have put out yet ANOTHER "Kol Korei" denouncing this practice and claiming it ruins the observance of Yom Tov (and Shabbos, for that matter, too). Information from Kosherquest.org:

Preventing Transgression: Gedolei HaPoskim Asur Shabbos Mode on Ovens
June 4, 2008

The modern electronic ovens presently being sold are no longer simply ovens that cook, but rather sophisticated, computer driven electronic marvels. While in the past, the Halochos pertaining to using ovens on Shabbos and Yom Tov were pretty straightforward, nowadays simply opening and closing the ovens can entail violations of Shabbos and Yom Tov.
The “Sabbath Mode” on many of the ovens sold today actually do resolve many of these issues, and is very useful.
However, utilizing the “Sabbath Mode” to raise or lower the temperature on Yom Tov is a matter which has been presented to the Gedolei HaPoskim and they have all unequivocally rendered their decision that it is absolutely forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov.
Having seen the written explanation for the basis of the leniency, HoRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlit”a, HoRav Shmuel Wosner Shlit”a, HoRav Nisim Karelitz Shlit”a and HoRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlit”a all signed that it is strictly forbidden to rely on this leniency on Yom Tov.

In addition, when a written lenient opinion ("
Daas Yochid") was presented to local Rabbonim, they were also unanimous in their decision that it is forbidden to utilize that feature on Yom Tov.
Among the Rabbonim who signed were HoRav Yechezkel Roth Shlit”a, HoRav Shlomo Miller Shlit”a Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto, HoRav Yechiel Tauber Shlit”a, Rosh Kollel Mechon Hoyroa in Monsey, HoRav Yaakov Horowitz Shlit”a, Rav Of Telze Minyan in Boro Park, Horav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rosh Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, HoRav Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov in Los Angeles.

HoRav Feivel Cohen Shlit”a corresponded with HoRav Elyashiv shlit”a and also expressed his opinion that one cannot rely on the leniency.
HoRav Yisroel Belsky Shlit”a responded publicly that it is forbidden to adjust the temperature on these ovens. Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, Av Bais Din of the Agudah in Chicago also publicly forbade the adjustment of the temperature on Yom tov.
Click HERE to view the Kol Koreh signed by the Poskim, and a letter written by Rav Moshe Shternbach Shlita forbidding its use as well.
The following is a translation of the Kol Koreh sent to YWN by a prominent Rov and Posek:

The development of “Sabbath Mode” operation of ovens seeks to permit the raising and lowering of oven temperatures on Yom Tov. The change in temperature settings is accomplished by pressing keys on a keypad that is connected to the microcontroller built into the oven.

Pressing the keys while in “Sabbath Mode” does not result in an immediate change in oven temperature nor does it have any other observable effect. Allowing this activity is based on the presumption that pressing the keys is merely a “Grama” and is therefore permitted on Yom Tov.

In our opinion, pressing the keys on Yom Tov is strictly forbidden since pressing a key immediately closes an electrical circuit and instructs the microcontroller to carry out an action. Pressing the key is forbidden just as all manipulation of electricity is forbidden on Shabbos and Yom Tov either because of “Makeh B’patish” or because of “Mesaken” as described in Igros Moshe (vol.3 §42 and vol.4 §84) whereby there can be a Torah violation immediately upon pressing the key even if no “fire’”is created.

This operation is not considered “Grama”. [Furthermore, according to a number of authorities, “Grama” does not apply to situations where the eventual outcome is intentional.]
In our opinion, use of “Sabbath Mode” to change the temperature of an oven on Yom Tov represents an assault on the sanctity of Shabbos and Yom Tov and will lead to deterioration in their observance.

We hereby declare that one may not rely on “Sabbath Mode” operation to adjust oven temperatures on Yom Tov despite the presence of a Hechsher on these ovens.

To all of the above we affix our signatures:
{HoRav) Yosef Shalom Elyashiv
I have seen the lengthy words of the Rov that permitted the above and they are Halachically incorrect and it is clearly forbidden.
(HoRav) Nisim Karelitz
There is no Heter for the above, nor will Grama accomplish here.
I affix my signature, awaiting the redemption.
(HoRav) Shmuel Wozner

Surely, surely one is obligated to protest this leniency with all our might. Such leniencies are a great degradation in the foundation of Shmiras Shabbos and those that are careful with the honor of Shabbos will bring an eternal Brocho upon themselves.
(HoRav) Yechezkel Roth, Head of Karlsbad Bais Din
Aside from the actual prohibition, there lies herein a breach in the wall of Shmiras Shabbos and Yom Tov through which the Jewish nation is sanctified thoughout the generations.
(HoRav) Yaakov Horowitz, Rav ,Telz Minyan
(HoRav) Elya Ber Wachtfogel
(HoRav) Shlomo Miller, Rosh Kollel, Kollel Avreichim Toronto
(HoRav) Yechiel Tauber, Rosh Kollel Mechon L’Hoyroa, Monsey, NY
(HoRav) Gershon Bess, Rav Kehilas Yaakov, Los Angeles

June 5, 2008

Now, I know who a couple of these people are and I personally don't hold of psakim by them at all (many of these people were involved with the Slifkin thing and the wig thing and the internet thing). Hell, I've never even heard of most of these dudes.

Here's where the strong-arming comes in. Rav Heinemann, a MAJOR American Posek and head of the Star K, one of the most respected Kashrus organizations in the United States, disagrees and says use of this oven is completely PERMISSIBLE.
June 6, 2008
Regarding Star-K certified Sabbath Mode ovens

Rav Heinemann, shlita, stands by his Psak that it is permissible to raise and lower temperatures on Yom Tov on ovens equipped with that particular Sabbath Mode feature. 

Check out his psak and explanation thereof below:

It is interesting to note that he mentions, in discussing why one MAY use these ovens utilize them on Yom Tov, the issue of ingesting things NOT visible to the naked eye, like the New York Microbe thing a few years back. His thesis there: God didn't intend for people to go nuts keeping the Torah. He gives other examples as well. It's kind of long, but here's the audio (hope this works... And it's about 52 minutes long.):

Here's a direct link to Rav Heinemann's site: Rav Heinemann on Shabbos Mode.

So, it seems Rav Heinemann will be a "Daas Yachid," a single voice, here, won't it. Wonder how long until he's in Cherem for being a kofer...

Anyway, should I ever get a Shabbos Mode oven, I'll know I have upon whom to rely when I gleefully use my oven on Yom Tov.


Kylopod said...

This has personal significance for me, because I live in Baltimore. I think this "group" has picked on the wrong person. R' Heinemann is highly regarded in the right-wing community, and Star-K has a reputation for being machmir.

I admit I've never quite gotten the hang of the idea that you're permitted to punch buttons on yom tov. If an authority I respected investigated the matter and concluded it was forbidden, I'd be willing to accept the ruling. But this "group" has shown repeatedly that they jump to conclusions before learning all the facts, and that R' Eliyashiv's level of involvement in these cases is very questionable. The group doesn't simply hold machmir opinions but seeks to impose them on communities that have never accepted their authority. They are trying to take over Orthodoxy, and they do not deserve our respect.

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

"R' Eliyashiv's level of involvement in these cases is very questionable."

Besides, isn't he supposed to be very ill and in the hospital.

As I've stated many times on this blog, I don't hold these people are Gedolim and I have no respect for most, if not all, of them. I find their attempt to hijack Orthodox Judaism to be disgusting, and all that's going to happen is the more they impose chumrahs, the less people are going to observe.

Remember the line Princess Leia gives Tarkin in the original Star Wars? "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your finger..."

Never mind the bad English accent she tried to use. She was right. And that's what's happening here.

This is part of the problem with Jewish globalization. The way Mesorah is supposed to work is you live in your town or village and follow its mesorah, be it halachic or minhagic (is that a word?). Now, with everyone in everyone else's business, there is no mesorah. It's gone.

Oh, well. As my wife likes to say now, it has nothing to do with us.

Kylopod said...

"This is part of the problem with Jewish globalization. The way Mesorah is supposed to work is you live in your town or village and follow its mesorah, be it halachic or minhagic (is that a word?). Now, with everyone in everyone else's business, there is no mesorah."

That's an excellent point that I never really thought of before.

Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People said...

Thanks! You'll like this. A friend of ours who visited us for Pesach pointed this out to us. She has the chumrah of not eating garlic or anything with any kind of garlic products in it on Pesach because in her ancestors' town in Europe, they had the minhag to not eat garlic because it used to be stored in flour or fermented in beer. We had to cook around her needs for the meals she was with us. I mentioned the minhag imposition thing to her (not complaining, per se, just pointing out), and she told raised this point.

It's really very true.