When Kosher and Allergen Issues do not Converge

Rabbi Dovid Polsky, the remarkably patient and knowledgeable managing attendant of the OU’s ever-ringing Kosher Consumer Hotline, does not see a day go by – or even a morning — without receiving a call that touches on the overlap between kosher certification and allergen concerns.

“I see that Miller’s Heavenly Chocolate is labeled OU-pareve. Yet I also see a declaration of ‘may contain dairy.’ How could this be?”

“The soy milk I just bought states that there is no dairy or lactose in the product. And yet the kosher label says OUD. I’m confused.”

The answer to both of these questions, of course, is that although kosher and allergen considerations often converge, they are not identical.

Aish M’aish: Bishul Yisroel

In many companies the method for dealing with the issue of bishul akum is to have the mashgiach light the pilot light of the boiler. This is based on the ruling of the Rama (Y.D. 113:7) that if a non-Jew lit his fire from a fire that was lit by a Yisroel, then the food cooked with that fire would not be subject to the issur of bishul akum.

Rav Moshe zt”l’s Heter of Cholov Stam Revisited

Halacha states that milk which is produced without hashgacha (r’iyah of a Yisroel) is non-kosher; such milk is termed “cholov akum”. This rule is a gezeirah, lest milk from non-kosher animals be mixed into what otherwise could be assumed to be kosher milk. Milk is only permissible when a Yisroel watches the milking, verifying that milk from non-kosher animal species is not incorporated. (Yoreh Deah 115:1, from Maseches Avodah Zarah daf 35b)

Mesorah Fish: An Analysis of Kaskeses – Part and Present

On Sunday February 19th, the Orthodox Union presented a conference on awide variety of subjects pertaining to Mesorah of various “pareve” subjects. The following is a look at the topic I presented, “An Analysis of Kaskeses – Part and Present”.

Chametz Sheavar Alav HaPesach

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. Chametz sheavar alav hapesach, a term that describes chametz that […]

Pas and the Jewish Home

In this article, we will iy”h, focus upon some general aspects of “pas”.We will see that Pas has a unique status in the Halacha because of its chashivus. This involves numerous halachos of Orach Chayim, and Yoreh Deiah. Foods made from the chameishas minei dagan, the following five types of grain, have a special significance in the halacha. They are: Chita,Seora, Kusemes, Shipun, and Shibboles Shual. Wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats. Bread made from these minim exclusively, has been assigned by chazal the special status of lechem. The Tur notes that this is because they have been singled out in the Torah among the minim produce for which Eretz Yisrael has been praised. The passuk in Devarim 8,8 states Eretz Chita Useorah Vegefen Vereon Eretz Zais Shemen Udvash chita, seorah. are the main types encompassing all of the rest.

The Kashrus of Dishwashing Soap

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 […]

Gluten-Free Flour Power: Celiac Sufferer Helps Others by Helping Herself

In 1999, Jules Shepard of Catonsville, MD, was diagnosed with celiac disease. An avid baker, she perused gluten-free cookbooks, hoping to return to a nearly normal diet. She found that the recipes relied predominantly on rice flour, often yielding dry and crumbly results. Shepard decided to experiment with other gluten-free flours. She bought a variety […]

Why Food Matters

You know that what you eat you are, But what is sweet now, turns so sour– We all know Obla-Di-Obla-Da But can you show me, where you are?.. Savoy Truffle George Harrison The Beatles We all eat to live but the vast majority of us truly live to eat. We think about what we will […]

The Birds of the Bible, or, Solving the Mystery of Which of the Species are Kosher and Which are Not

In the books of Leviticus (Ch. 11) and Deuteronomy (Ch. 14), the Bible discusses the species of animals, fowl, and fish which are kosher and can therefore be consumed. The Bible identifies two characteristics through which kosher mammals can be identified: chewing the cud and having split hooves. The kosher species of fish are likewise […]