Consumer Kosher

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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Mission Not Impossible: The Kosher Jew in a Non-Kosher Milieu

June 12, 2008

It is well-known that when Robert A. Heinlein entitled his most famous novel, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” he adopted a phrase from the book of Exodus. Very often, the kosher consumer feels like a stranger in a strange land. Whether it’s an executive in a hotel during a business trip, or a Ba’al Teshuvah in his parents’ home, kosher consumers must sometimes navigate their way in a nonkosher kitchen. The purpose of this presentation is to offer some points of guidance to those faced with such challenges.

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Does wine vinegar present a concern of stam yainam?

May 1, 2008

Recently a housemaker called the OU’s front desk, concerned that her non-Jewish help had just used kosher red wine vinegar to prepare a salad dressing. Is the dressing, and the…

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What You Need to Know When Passover Arrives on Saturday Night

March 25, 2008

Every year, Jews around the world anticipate hearing the pivotal four questions at their seder tables: this year they’ll be asking themselves a fifth one: Why is this Passover different from most others?

This year, Passover arrives immediately following Shabbat – a rare occurrence that creates unique circumstances, directly affecting the typical Passover preparations. (You may remember that this last occurred back in 2005. Take heart, it will not recur until 2021.) The key adjustments may sound daunting at first, but taken step by step, they are definitely doable.

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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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Meet Me Sunday Night at 10 PM: The Production of Cholov Yisroel Ricotta Cheese

March 6, 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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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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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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Halachos of Hafrashas Challah

January 18, 2008

We are all familiar with the mitzvah of hafrashas challah. When baking large amounts of bread, cake, or cookies, we make a berachah and take off a small piece of dough as the challah. Many bake extra dough in order to be able to perform this special mitzvah.

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