Monday, January 5, 2015

Bloggers, Tropicana Orange Juice and... Rav Chaim Kanievsky

Once again a halacha shaila, in this case a shaila about bugs in OJ is debated and  commented on by bloggers and news websites. This is a shaila that should be debated by mashgichei kashrus and rabbonim involved in kashrus not by newspaper editors, columnists and  bloggers who have no expertise in this matter.
Lets keep this issue in the bais hamedrash not on the web and blogshphere. With regard to Rav Chaim let both sides send Rabbonim involved and present the shaila to him. A video will only prove the side that was presented.


  1. You are correct that halachic topics are the purview of the beis medrash and decisions should be rendered by those who have been magiya l'hora'ah. However, I disagree that halachic discussions do not belong on 'blogs'. Lomdei Torah who are fortunate to spend all day in yeshiva have every right to be 'mefalpeil' in halachic matters even though they "have no expertise". As long as they realize that their perspective is limited and will ultimately yield to the p'sak rendered by a seasoned poseik, this is part of the learning process. Other lomdei Torah are confined to desk jobs the majority of the day, but they also want to be part of the halachic discourse. They (we!) too appreciate the background of the shai'lah and want to be part of the back and forth. Blogs, when run appropriately, can be a wonderful forum for this. Your qualms are in the realm of final p'sak. The specific journalist whom you are targeting makes clear that he is merely presenting his view of the issues and does not promote himself as a poseik. Why should the tzibur only hear one word practical conclusions, 'mutar' or 'assur', and not gain from the entire sugya? Also, Rav Chaim is a very wise talmid chacham. This should go without saying, but you imply that that he can be misled and will pasken without detecting that there might be another side that needs to be presented.

  2. What blogs exactly? I've seen pretty benign coverage on news sites but nothing in the blogosphere?

  3. Fotheringay-PhippsJanuary 5, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    You're conflating the "bloggers" issue with the "both sides" issue. These have zero to do with each other.

    The fact that rabbonim are willing to put their names on things without hearing both sides is a huge problem in our generation IMHO, but is by no means limited to things which are presented to them by bloggers.

  4. I read elsewhere that Rav Kanievsky said that the Chazon Ish used to strain/filter his juice because of bugs on the skins! So, do you think the oranges have changed?