Responding to a Responsum

R. Ysoscher Katz, Chairman of Department of Talmud at YCT and Director of YCT’s Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies, published a responsum about waiting after eating hard cheese. I penned a critique of the responsum, R. Katz issued a few strident defenses of it, and I posted a few strident rebuttals. Readers are welcome to click here to view my final word on the matter, with links to the original repsonsum, the critique, the defenses and the rebuttals.

(Readers are also invited to click here for a brief d’var Torah on this week’s parshah.)

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7 Responses

  1. dr.bill says:

    Rabbi Gordimer, I was surprised that you, an acknowledged expert in the area of dairy products, took on a “generalist” who probably got it roughly right.  I doubt that you are aware of what more academically inclined experts have done to the teshuvot of acknowledged gedolai olam in the world of psak in their unique areas of expertise.  By contrast, your critique was not even close to being all that devastating.
     In my mind you chose to battle cogently over each tree while missing the forest.  Not waiting in the case of mixed (with mozzarella), melted, possibly not hard cheese – for which the chumrah of waiting is perhaps only a minhag- bedieved (in its colloquial meaning), has a (more than adequate) basis for a lenient ruling.
    Personally, I think waiting only one hour, has a bullet-proof rationale, something I am unclear whether or not you agree.  I just skimmed the dialogue and may have missed some of the salient points.
     I also wonder (and do not know) if (pre-) grated parmesan in a kosher pizza shop is the real thing or some marketing “equivalent.”
     I liked your article on this week’s parsha and its message.

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      Dr. Bill and MB: Thank you for the comments.

      My issue is not with the bottom-line decision of R. Katz, but rather with the methodology of process and accuracy of information.

      Yes, grated Parmesan is the real thing.

      Have a good Shabbos.

  2. mb says:

    I haven’t  read the details, but I am interested in the subject. Indeed it has been the custom of my community to not wait after any cheese (assuming you either drink or something to clean the mouth.)

    But in R.Katz’s pesak, why would cooked parmesan not be permitted with no waiting time, when there is a  the ruling of Yad Yehud, who said it’s not necessary to wait. Cooked hard cheese loses it’s intensity.


  3. mb says:

    I doubt if grated “Parmesan ” is the real anything!

    Parmigianno Reggiano is protected under Italian law and MUST be produced with animal rennet. Kosher Parm.Regg. is produced, of course with the rennet of a kosher slaughtered animal.

    The stuff kosher pizza shops sell? Yucky!

    Bon appetit.

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      American Parmesan, unlike Parmigianno Reggiano, must be aged for (only) 10 months and need not use animal rennet. Grated Parmesan in pizzerias is this American Parmesan, which, due to its age, qualifies as “gevinah kashah”, after which one should wait, absent other possible factors.

      • mb says:

        Or you could have said, one need not wait, absent other possible factors.

      • Avrohom Gordimer says:

        No, as one must wait after aged cheese, unless it is demonstrated that the need to wait has been obviated. Please note that not all poskim accept the Yad Yehuda’s approach, and that among those who do accept it, many do not interpret it as creating a heter unless the aged cheese is no longer b’en – in contrast with the case under discussion.

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