Articles

A Guide for Mitzvah-Keepers with Housekeepers

December 17, 2008

[Note: So as not to slight anyone, the title “Hagaon” is being restricted to the Ziknei Eretz Yisroel and to Niftarim.] Mi-Hu Yehudi? Here’s an Erev Shabbos “mishap” you don’t…

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The Kashrus of Soaps

December 17, 2008

Over the past several decades the kosher industry has grown considerably. Food companies recognizing the profitability of the kosher market have pursued kosher certification in an effort to increase marketability…

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Hydroponics and Greenhouses

August 20, 2008

One of the greatest challenges in kashrus for Rabanim Hamachshirim today is protecting consumers from tolaim. One method that has become popular, especially in Eretz Yisroel, is to grow vegetables in greenhouses. Also known as glasshouses or hothouses, their objective is to provide a pest-free environment. Farmers working in conjunction with Rabbanim Hamachshirim have successfully perfected this method, which has proven to be an invaluable tool in the fight against tolaim in produce.

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Styrofoam Cups and Aluminum Foil

June 20, 2008

Over the past several decades the kosher industry has grown considerably. Food companies recognizing the profitability of the kosher market have pursued kosher certification in an effort to increase marketability and sales of their products. What has been especially remarkable is that the pursuit of kosher certification has not stopped with food. It is not unusual to find nowadays a hechsher on non-food items. Are there really any viable kashrus concerns with something that is inedible? This article will focus on three popular household items, aluminum foil and pans, Styrofoam cups, and paper towels.

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Chometz Sheavar Alav HaPesach

June 20, 2008

Pesach is a period full of kashrus related halachos. During this unique time we observe various dietary restrictions, which are part of the holiday’s special “halachic diet”. However, kashrus issues associated with Pesach do not end with havdalah after the last day of yom tov. Chometz sheavar alav hapesach, a term that describes chometz that was possessed or controlled by a Jew during Pesach, is strictly forbidden after yom tov is over. This issue is unfortunately quite relevant, since many food manufacturers, distributors, and retail stores may have either full or partial Jewish ownership. In each of these sectors, unless the party or parties involved are shomrei Torah u’mitzvos, any chometz in their possession may very well be forbidden after Pesach.

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Chametz She’avar Alav Ha-Pesach

March 24, 2008

The general rule is that any chametz for which a Jew violated the Biblical prohibitions of Bal Yiraeh U’bal Yimatzei becomes forbidden forever as chametz she’avar alav ha-Pesach. This penalty applies whether the transgression was violated knowingly or unknowingly, and even if the Jew was completely unaware of the prohibitions of chametz or the Yom Tov of Pesach .

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Eich Noflim Giborim

January 23, 2008

In the past three months, Klal Yisroel suffered the loss of two remarkable individuals, Gedolim in their own rights, who for many years maintained a special relationship with the OU. Each left an indelible imprint on the OU, and in a broader sense, profoundly influenced the world of Kashrus. These two giants were Rav Arye Lerman, zt”l, who was niftar on the 29th day of Tamuz, 5767, and Rav Shimon Eider, zt”l, who was niftar on the 16th of Tishre, 5768.

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OU Position on Certifying Specific Animals and Birds

January 21, 2008

Daf Notes: The following article is taken from the soon to be published Sourcebook of the Three Day Harry H. Beren LA Halachic Adventure which is to take place Bs’d August 5-7. We thank Rabbi Seth Mandel and Rabbi Chaim Loike for their efforts in transcribing Rav Yisroel Belsky Shlita’s response concerning the specific animals and birds listed below.

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OU Recommendations for Vaad HaKashrus Supervision

January 21, 2008

A position paper presented by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Executive Rabbinic Coordinator at the ASK OU-RCA Yom Iyun held at OU Headquarters, NYC, May 1, 2007.

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Cholov Yisroel Ricotta Production/First Exclusively-OU Cholov Yisroel Product Ever

January 21, 2008

On Sunday evening, November 25th, I joined Dr. Simcha Katz, Chairman of the OU’s Joint Kashrus Commission, Rabbi Avrohom Juravel, head of OU Kashrus Technical Services, and a group of senior OU Kashrus staff for a special kashering and production at a well-established ricotta cheese company. The evening’s protocol was to kasher the cheese facility’s cholov stam equipment and to supervise an overnight production of cholov Yisroel ricotta for an OU-certified ‘heimishe‘ manufacturer of upscale Italian specialty products.

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