Consumer Kosher

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher

November 24, 2014

Rabbi Hershel Schachter once told me that if there’s a disagreement in matters of halacha at the OU between him and Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, you are the deciding vote. The halachic decisors at the OU are the three of us. So if there’s a dispute the majority rules. You’re also involved in running the office?…

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Meet the Woman Who Keeps Tootsie Rolls Kosher

November 13, 2014

If you keep kosher, and enjoy eating a handful of Tootsie Rolls or drinking a tall glass of Gatorade, you have Phyllis Koegel to thank. As marketing director of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division, Koegel is charged with convincing companies of the financial and commercial benefits of going kosher—and getting the OU symbol, the most widely…

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Everything You Need To Know About Shemittah

October 9, 2014

Photos courtesy of Keren Hashviis By Y. Dov Krakowski While shemittah (the Sabbatical year of the land) has unfortunately become a hot political topic in modern-day Israel, it is important to remember that shemittah is actually a mitzvah with its own set of halachot. It is especially vital for the American tourist or student who…

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Sukkos

October 7, 2014

The connection between kashrus and Yom Tov is fairly apparent during Pesach. During this special holiday, chometz is strictly prohibited and we fulfill a very unique mitzvah of eating matzah. There are many intricate halachos associated with baking matzah, which if not performed properly, render one’s matzos to become chometz. There are also many halachos associated with the kashrus of wine used for daled kosos, the maror that we eat at the seder, and the list goes on. However, Pesach is not a holiday that has a monopoly on kashrus concepts. Areas of kashrus are also touched upon during other times of the year, even though sometimes the connection may seem hidden. Succos is no exception, as there are topics dealing with kashrus and eating, which are associated with this special time.

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OU Kosher Presents Consumer Hotline FAQ’s for Sukkot

October 5, 2014

OU Kosher presents frequently asked questions to-date on the OU Kosher Hotline (212-613-8241) by consumers in preparation for Sukkot. Questions may also be submitted to kosherq@ou.org. The questions below were answered by  Rabbi Eli Gersten, rabbinic coordinator and halachic recorder. The responses were reviewed by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, OU Kosher executive…

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In Remembrance of Our Loved Ones

September 30, 2014

by Rabbi Moshe Zywica It is customary on Yom Kippur when Yizkor (the memorial service) is recited, as well as on the Shalosh Regalim (Pesach, Sukkot and Shavuot), to light a candle in memory of loved ones who have passed away.  This practice was referenced as far back as the Talmudic times when it was…

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The Spiritual Significance of Shemittah

September 9, 2014

by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb Why would the Torah dictate such a challenging set of laws, requiring that landowners relinquish their land and neither plant nor reap for an entire year? Many great sages have asked this question and have offered a variety of answers. The Rambam offers two very different reasons for shemittah. Firstly, that shemittah is…

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Halachos of the Hive

August 29, 2014

A discussion of the differences between honey and royal jelly in regards to Kosher.

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The OU: Mastering the Challenges of Producing Kosher Wine

August 1, 2014

Over the last ten years there has been a veritable explosion in the certification of kosher wine. Kosher wine is now produced on every continent and in most of the world’s premier wine regions. While the manufacture and handling of kosher wines (and grape juice) involves certain unique challenges, with the OU’s experience and expertise these have been met and overcome, providing consumers an ever- increasing variety of kosher wine products.

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Rope Walker, the Legend

December 30, 2013

Rabbi Ranaan Broderick RFR, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska Wellington, Kansas. Established: April 4, 1871. Location: Exit 19 on Interstate 35. Population: 8,172. Largest and most attended venue: Wal-Mart. Some people drive right by the interstate exit, without even noticing it. It would be a mere one of 627 incorporated cities in the great state…

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