Twenty years in the making, the Orthodox Union Kashrut Division this month is celebrating the 200th issue of The Daf HaKashrus — its highly technical newsletter for OU Rabbinic Field Representatives (RFR’s) around the globe — with a special expanded edition.
Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher, who is actively involved in editing The Daf, noted, “The Daf HaKashrus has served as the essential vehicle to communicate kashrut information and elucidate current important kashrut issues. The proper flow of information is the core of a successful kashrut organization, and after reaching this two hundredth milestone, OU Kosher aspires to further growth in disseminating Torah information and enhancing kashrut standards.”
Rabbi Yosef Grossman, whom Rabbi Genack deemed more than just the Editor of The Daf Kashrus — but the Father of The Daf since its inception 20 years ago — stated, “The Daf HaKashrus began in June 1992, as a means of disseminating OU standards, new information, and current events in fields relevant to kashrut, to all OU RFR’s around the globe on a monthly basis. It has expanded over the years to be received by kosher consumers, rabbinic and communal figures, and kollels.”
Rabbi Moshe Elefant, OU Kosher Chief Operating Officer, and Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, also serve as editors of The Daf HaKashrus. Raizy Rosenfeld, the graphic designer for the publication, has worked with Rabbi Grossman on The Daf for more than ten years and is responsible for bringing the newsletter from black and white prints, to the colorful email received by thousands.
Rulings by OU poskim (halachic decisors) Rav Yisroel Belsky and Rav Hershel Schachter are noted and explained within large portions of the monthly Dafs. Submissions for publication within The Daf HaKashrus are open to all OU Kosher staff worldwide. The inclusion of “Letters of Appreciation,” “Mazal Tovs” and “Condolences” allow for greater familiarity and geniality amongst OU Kosher colleagues around the world. In addition to intense commentary on halacha, The Daf also reprints press releases from the Orthodox Union Public Relations Department written for general audiences on the various programs of OU Kosher; as well as articles from Behind the Union Symbol, the semi-technical magazine written for OU-certified companies.
Articles within the special 200th Daf HaKashrus issue include, “Odd-Numbered Fatty Acids” and “Enzyme Modified Cheese Flavors” By Rabbi Gavriel Price, OU Rabbinic Coordinator; “When is Bishul Yisroel Really NOT Bishul Yisroel? By Rabbi Chaim Goldberg, OU Rabbinic Coordinator; “With an Abundance of Soap” by Rabbi Zushe Yosef Blech, Rabbinic Administrator of Earth Kosher; “Consumer Q & A;” and “Creating the Best Possible Relationship with Kashrut Agencies Worldwide,” by Rabbi Dovid Heber, former OU Rabbinic Coordinator and current Kashrut Administrator for Star-K Kosher Certification.
This special edition, Rabbi Grossman explained, contains many articles from gifted writers and kashrut experts who are either currently, or were previously, employed by the OU (such as Rabbis Blech and Heber). “I take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed articles to this volume and the past 199 issues of The Daf for their insightful and educational contributions. Kosher consumers, Rabbinic Field Representatives (RFR’s), Rabbinic Coordinators (RC’s) and communal rabbis owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these writers for 20 years of outstanding material,” he shared.
Rabbi Grossman reflects within his Editor’s Letter, “I am highly gratified that many individuals have approached me over the years in person, or by other means of communication, to express the pleasure and educational value they have had from The Daf HaKashrus of OU Kosher. May I merit to edit The Daf for many years to come – after all, he who edits 200 issues of The Daf, looks forward to 400 as well.”