From the Desk - Hard Boiled Eggs
Shalom Friends! Just a quick email this week to remind you of two great events coming up at Beth Ora.
This week is our Kehilla Shabbat in honour of the Women of Beth Ora. There will be lots of community participation, including a Great Debate (Did the Jews Worship an Idol: Unravelling the mystery of the Golden Calf, Polly Storozum vs. George Gross) and a rousing rendition of a Woman of Valour by our alternative choir. There will also be a special surprise for each of the women attending. This is such a special program that my parents have decided to travel from England to our freezing climate just so they can be there! I hope you can be there too!
I also want to remind you about the Beth Ora Blood Drive, taking place on Wednesday March 13th. Just one donation saves four lives so I hope you’ll make every effort to join us for this important initiative.
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What’s the Deal with… Hard Boiled Eggs? Many of us are familiar with the practice of checking eggs for blood spots and the necessity to remove any blood spot that one finds. But there are situations in which it is impossible to check! Penney Glazer asked about a hard-boiled egg which can’t be checked. On the other hand, it might happen that one is eating a hard-boiled egg and finds a blood spot inside. In such a situation, are we allowed to eat the egg? What’s the deal? The practice of checking eggs before eating them goes back to the days when commercial eggs were products of fertilized hens. This was due to the concern that the blood might actually be the early stages of an embryo. Today, eggs are no longer produced in this manner. The vast majority of eggs which are found in supermarkets today are the product of hormonal and artificial stimulation, not a result of the natural reproductive process of chickens. These mass produced eggs will never develop into chickens. Indeed, the vast majority of eggs sold for food are derived from hens that have never been near a male in their lives! If you find blood in a battery egg, it comes from a broken blood vessel in hen, which is not forbidden. Nevertheless, most authorities in Jewish law insist that even mass produced eggs should be inspected for blood spots. In the event that blood is found, however, one need only discard the actual bloodspot while the rest of the egg may be used. This is in order to preserve the original custom of checking eggs, to avoid the appearance of impropriety and not to confuse people about the appropriate halachic practice. That being said, if for whatever reason a mass produced egg was used without having been checked, the food may nevertheless be eaten. Moreover, it is permitted to forgo checking such eggs if doing so would impose significant inconvenience or difficulty. For instance, a chef who is preparing an egg-based dish for hundreds of people need not check every egg. In such a situation one may rely on the fact that most eggs do not contain blood spots. Another instance would be the case of hard-boiled eggs. Although Rabbi Moshe Feinstein had the custom to peel back the white to check the surface of the yolk for blood spots, this is not halachically required. Therefore, there is no problem with eating hard-boiled eggs even though one cannot check them beforehand. In the event that one does find some blood while eating a hard-boiled egg, it would be appropriate to remove the blood but the rest of the egg can be eaten.