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 […]

In the Plain of Spain, an OU Rabbinic Consultant Seeks Out Olives and Other Kosher Products

Spain – the very name evokes images of sunny Mediterranean beaches, Flamenco dancing and bull fighting. For the OU, Spain evokes images of artichokes, olives, fish and a plethora of other kosher food products. Nearly 50 Spanish enterprises turn to us for their kosher certification. The OU has several dedicated field representatives who work in […]

Hydroponics and Greenhouses

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.

The OU’s Spice Maven Tells Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

The spice products certified by the Orthodox Union include tropical aromatics (pepper, cinnamon, cloves, etc); leafy herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, etc.); spice seeds (sesame, poppy, mustard, etc.), and dehydrated vegetables, among others. Spice companies typically produce blends such as curry and chili powders, poultry seasoning and all sorts of other custom blends.

Styrofoam Cups and Aluminum Foil

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.

Avoiding the Pesach Pounds

(Reprinted from the Spring 2008 issue of Jewish Action, the quarterly magazine of the Orthodox Union. To obtain a copy of Jewish Action or to subscribe, call 212-613-8137.)

HONORABLE MENTION: Yaakov Holi, Brooklyn, NY – The Jewish Center For Special Education (Chush), Grade 3

HONORABLE MENTION Hi, My name is Yaakov Holi. I am 10 years old. I go to a yeshiva called the Jewish Center for Special Ed. I am in the third grade. I am writing to you today in reference to your Annual OU essay contest. In the next few lines, I will tell you about […]

Yaela Goldblatt, Providence, RI: Providence Hebrew Day School, Grade 6

Stranded in Montana Back when my parents were growing up in Connecticut, it was hard to go into any store and find a lot of certified kosher foods. People would read the labels and look to see that there were no non-kosher ingredients used in the product. Of course there were Kosher stores around here […]

Tamar Levy, St. Louis, MO: Block Yeshiva High School, Grade 9

Dearest Sarah!!! I’ve been trying to find a time where I could just sit down in a quiet area and write to you. You know it’s really hard to do that in my house, because there are so many people, and it’s always so noisy. I’ve wanted to write to you, for a while now, […]

Tamara Elliott, Sacramento, CA: Shalom School, Grade 5

It is a commandment to keep kosher. When you keep kosher, you feel closer to Hashem. If you stop keeping kosher, slowly but surely, you do not understand what your neshama wants. You stop going to shul, and start disobeying your parents. It takes a lot of work to keep kosher. A lot of times, […]