Feb 20, 2011

Cat Poop Coffee Error Lesson

A good example of why you should always try to find the actual source, the original response, and not just rely on someone quoting something, is the cat poop coffee post that preceded this post.

I originally saw the article regarding Rav Efrati's psak on Ynet, referencing the original on Moreshet. Had I not searched for the original on Moreshet, I would have thought that Rav Shach allowed the drinking of urine, as that is how the Ynet article quotes one of Rav Efrati's references.

Looking at the original on Moreshet, I saw that Ynet made a mistake, as Rav Efrati qas quoting the Shach, not Rav Shach. The Shach was one of the preeminent commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch, and he lived about 380 years ago. Rav Shach was one of the gedolei hador and leading rosh yeshivas of the past generation.

The mistake was probably the error of an ignorant journalist who saw an interesting article, and the name "Shach" was familiar, so he wrote Rav Shach. He probably even thought that Rav Efrati was being disrespectful by saying "Shach" and not "Rav Shach"!!!

Another mistake I was just  made aware of was something I did not catch at first. The ynet article talks about the coffee being passed through the zeved ha'bar, from the chatuliya family. I looked it up and got a translation of Felidae, and the info on that from wikipedia. In the original Moreshet article it talks about the nemaya, which is a mongoose, I am told by the Zoo Rabbi, and actually the animal is a civet cat.

It does not seem like it would make a difference as far as the halacha is concerned, and perhaps there are different types of coffees being passed through different types of animals, but again we see how the article bastardized the original.

Whenever possible go to the original source.

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