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Shaking up Your Passover Menu, or Have Some Fun in the Pesach Kitchen: It’s not Just Matzah

On Passover, we’re all looking for those new and different appetizers and entrees that aren’t the same old same old recycled boring ones. This year, shake up your Pesach menus with the following extra special and fun recipes by Eileen Goltz.

Lo Basi Ella L’orer: Glass

The laws regarding kashering glass are especially confusing, because the opinions range from one extreme to the other מקצה לקצה.
• Rashba (Teshuva 1:233), Ran (Pesachim 9a) – glass is smooth, hard and does not absorb (or absorbs very little) and therefore does not need to be kashered. דשיעי וקשים ובליעתם מעוטה מכל הכלים
• Ra’ah (Brought by Ritva Pesachim 30b) – Glass is boleya and is polet like metal, but may not be kashered with hagalah because we are concerned that it might crack, משום דחייס שמא פקעה.
• Mordechai – Glass has the status of cheres, הואיל ותחלת ברייתו מן החול.

Lo Basi Ella L’orer: Cheres

In the times of Chazal, cheres was made from various baked clays. In modern times common examples of cheres include earthenware and stoneware. The Gemara Pesachim (30b) tells us that a cheres utensil cannot be kashered with hagalah התורה העידה על כלי חרס שאינו יוצא מידי דופיו לעולם. Even libun gamur is not permitted in situations where there is a concern that one might not be milaben properly for fear of cracking. Therefore, one may not kasher china by putting it through a self cleaning cycle of the oven. In such cases, the only permissible kashering is to place the utensil into a potter’s kiln which gets much hotter than libun chamur. This demonstrates that one is not concerned about potential damage.

Lo Basi Ella L’orer: Tata’ah Gavar

When a cold item is placed onto a hot surface, Halacha tells us to view the cold item as though it were hot, even though the item remains cold. Conversely, if a hot item is placed on a cold surface, we view the hot item as becoming cooled down. However, in this case we say that until it cools down, there is a kdei klipa transfer of ta’am. This concept is brought in the Gemara Pesachim (76a) and referred to as ta’tah gavar (the bottom surface overpowers).
The Shach (92:36) brings two criteria for deciding which surface is considered the “ta’tah”.
• The bottom surface because heat rises or because the top item weighs down upon the bottom.
• The stationary surface because the item that remains in its place is considered dominant.

Lo Basi Ella L’orer: Extended Irui

Irui can only kasher the outer layer of a kli. Hot water poured against a cold kli is an example of חם לתוך צונן (hot onto cold) of which we say (Pesachim 76a) תתאה גבר ואדמיקר ליה בלע. The bottom surface succeeds in cooling down the water but not before the water succeeds in kashering the topmost layer.

The Kosher Status of Papain

In the early twentieth century, Belgian colonists in the Congo noticed that the Congolese were careful to store elephant meat in papaya leaves. Intrigued, they found that the papaya leaves, besides protecting the meat, tenderized it. Laboratory analysis demonstrated that a particular enzyme, called papain, was the agent of the process.

Ta’tah Gavar

Rabbi Eli Gersten
When a cold item is placed onto a hot surface, Halacha tells us to view the cold item as though it were hot, even though the item remains cold. Conversely, if a hot item is placed on a cold surface, we view the hot item as becoming cooled down. However, in this case we say that until it cools down, there is a kdei klipa transfer of ta’am. This concept is brought in the Gemara Pesachim (76a) and referred to as ta’tah gavar (the bottom surface overpowers).

Too Much to Eat: Is Gluttony a Disease or a Choice?

Judaism teaches that we are to enjoy the beauty, benefits, and bounty of creation. However, when it comes to overeating, Judaism is clear that too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

What Bracha Does One Recite on a Granola Bar?

If one does not understand the process involved in creating a granola bar, one could study the ingredient panel a hundred times and still not be able to answer the above question. However, through our access to the companies that produce these bars we are privy to information that is important in resolving this issue.

Lo Basi Ella L’orer: Bishul Akum

Questions of bishul akum surface all the time, and it is important when reviewing products and ingredients to be mindful of the issues of bishul akum. The following are some recent issues that have been discussed in the office relating to bishul akum.