Page 31 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 27

Basic HTML Version

F r e e h o f —R e c e n t R espon sa L i t e r a t u r e
25
if a tape has a cantorial rendition of a prayer and then is cleared
for re-use, does not this constitute an erasure of God’s name?
Feinstein, in Igrot Moshe, Yore Deah 173, warns against using the
tape recorder merely for the pleasure of listening to cantorial mu­
sic. He invokes the statement in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 101a)
in which the Torah complains to God: “Thy children have made
a song of me.” If the tape recorder is employed for a worthy pur­
pose such as the instruction of children, there is no objection to
it or even to the erasure, since no letters are actually there.
Of more serious concern are those inventions involving ques­
tions about the kashrut of food, as for example, the use of the
deep freeze. It is forbidden to delay eating meat as long as three
days from the time of slaughtering to the time it is salted. The
rationale for this prohibition is the belief that the blood (which
is of course prohibited) dries up in these three days and therefore
can no longer be extracted by the soaking and the salting (Shulhan
Arukh, Yore Deah 69:12). How, then, can the freezer be uti­
lized if the meat put into it will not be used perhaps for a
month? More specifically, frozen meat was prohibited if it was
in a state that prevented the blood from coming out (cf. Be’er
Hetev and Pithe Teshuvah to Yore Deah 69:1 and also Darkhe
Teshuvah). Feinstein, discussing this matter (in Yore Deah
27:28), permits the use of the freezer on the ground that pro­
hibited frozen meat comes in contact with water or with ice
(which was the usual type of freezing known in the past). This
contact could be deemed equivalent to cooking and would there­
fore prevent any later blood extraction by salting. But in the
modern freezer the meat does not come into contact with either
water or ice. It is frozen dry. When thawed it returns to its origi­
nal state and the blood can be extracted by salting. Thus there
is no objection to the use of the freezer.
The problem of the refrigerator or electric icebox is entirely
different. Here the question of kashrut is not involved (unless
possibly someone kept meat too long in the freezer compartment
near the ice). The involvement is the use of the electric icebox
on the Sabbath. When the door is open a light goes on. That can
easily be remedied by simply unscrewing the bulb before the
Sabbath. More serious, however, is this problem: When the door
is open and the cold air escapes, the freezing machinery is activa­
ted immediately to reduce the temperature to the proper level.
It is this starting an electrical machine on the Sabbath which on
the usual ground (the spark which is fire) is prohibited.
This question has in recent years been widely discussed in
America, in England and in Israel. Perhaps the fullest dis­
cussion is by Hillel Posek, who originally discussed it in his maga­
zine Ha-Posek for 1942; and now in Hillel Omer #160, it is again