Articles

Sake and Miso

September 15, 2009

Mailbox י”ז תמוז אשר במהרה יתהפך לנו ליום שמחה כבוד הרבנים החשובים שליט”א תמוה לי קצת הנושא אודות חשש בישול גוים – כי ראיתי הרב בעלסקי שליט”א כותב שכל מתחלה…

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Constant Review is Required: An Inspection Report

September 15, 2009

When this plant was first set up as a kosher facility, it was known that they had a non-kosher plant that produces assorted products on the same campus. Of course, the issue of steam return condensate was brought up. It turned out that condensation from the non-kosher factory was not being returned to the boiler so there was no problem to certify the kosher division.

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Recycled Ingredients

September 15, 2009

A basic phenomenon in chemistry plays a crucial role in industrial kashrus. When two chemicals react with one another, one will be used up before the other. The chemical used up first is called a “limiting reactant” and the chemical which is not used up is an “excess reactant”. Often the excess reactant is recovered, purified, and used again in another production.

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Fish and Meat

September 11, 2009

The Gemara Pesachim (76b) teaches that one may not cook fish and meat together since this combination is considered a sakana. Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 116:2-3) adds that one may not even eat meat after fish or fish after meat unless one eats and drinks in between1. Rama adds that one should not cook open meat and fish in the same oven because of raicha (aroma), though bidieved we say that raicha lav milsa. Magen Avrohom (O.C. 173:1) questions whether this sakana still exists today, however the minhag is still to be machmir.

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Creating Pas Yisroel

August 19, 2009

The Mishna in Avoda Zara (35b) tells us that Chazal forbade pas akum. The Gemara (36b) explains that this was done as a geder to avoid intermarriage. However Tosfos1 bring a Yerushalmi that says that a later Bes Din removed this issur. The exact extent of this retraction is a disagreement between the Mechaber and the Rama. While all agree that bread baked by an akum for personal use is still forbidden, there are differing opinions as to how careful one must be to avoid eating pas palter, bread baked by an akum for the purpose of selling.

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Drinking Coffee on the Road

August 19, 2009

Considering the long days that Mashgichim put in and the hundreds of miles that they drive daily, it is no surprise to hear that most mashgichim rely on coffee to keep them going. While caffeine is a plus for those who work in an office, for those out on the roads those 10 minute coffee stops are quite literally life savers. Let us take a moment to understand if there are any kashrus concerns with picking up a coffee while traveling on the road. This question was presented to the OU poskim Rav Schachter and Rav Belsky.

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Is Sake Kosher?

July 8, 2009

A discussion of the rules of Kosher sake.

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Mechiras Chametz

March 16, 2009

Mechiras chametz accomplishes two functions. It prevents the owners of the chametz from violating the issurim d’oraisah of ba’al yiraeh uba’al yimatzey and it saves the chametz from becoming chametz she’avar alav hapesach (mid’rabanan). Ideally we try to arrange all sales in the most lichatchila manner so as not only to protect the kashrus of the products but also to prevent the owners from violating issurim.

Mechiras Chametz today is typically arranged by authorizing a Rabbi to act as the legal agent on behalf of the one selling the chametz. This same procedure is utilized in regards to mechiras chametz for companies. However the question arises, who may authorize the sale of chametz on behalf of a Jewish owned company?

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Mowed Lawn Aroma

March 12, 2009

A flavor, like a musical chord, is made of a set of notes. The fullness of a flavor is the result of the interplay between the numerous chemical components that constitute the flavor’s profile.

A flavorist creating a fruity flavor – let’s say, peach flavor for an ice cream –will usually need a “green” or botanical note to round out the flavor. One of the popular chemicals used by flavorists to impart “greenness” is called cis-3-hexenol. A whiff of pure cis-3-hexenol reminds one of a freshly mowed lawn.

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Milui V’irui

March 12, 2009

The Gemara Avoda Zara 33a teaches us that one can kasher a barrel that was used to store non-kosher wine with milui v’irui. This is accomplished by filling the barrel with water, letting it sit for at least 24 hours, emptying the barrel, and then repeating this process two more times. There is no need for the 3 days to be consecutive.

There are two explanations in the Rishonim as to why milui v’irui is effective.

K’bolo kach polto – Some Rishonim1 understand that since the issur was absorbed through kevisha it can be purged with kevisha.

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