OU KOSHER to Present Mesorah Conference IV on Perspectives of Eretz Yisrael at Lander College

OU Kosher will provide a halachic, historic and archeological perspective of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the special mitzvot that are connected to this holy land when it presents Kedushas Ha’Aretz and its Mitzvos, Sunday, June 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p. m. at Lander College in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens.

The program, The Harry H. Beren ASKOU Mesorah Conference IV, follows previous mesorah conferences presented at Lander College – a division of Touro College — to large and enthusiastic audiences, The Mesorah of Kosher Birds and Animals, and The Pareve Mesorahs. In addition, the kosher birds and animals conference was presented last summer in Los Angeles to another large group.

As with the case of many OU Kosher programs, the conference is made possible by a grant from the Harry H. Beren Foundation of Lakewood, NJ in memory of Harry H. Beren, z”l. Admission to the conference, which is open to both men and women, is $10, except for OU members for whom it is complimentary. An OU certified box lunch will be available for $10.

As with the previous conferences, Mesorah IV will feature “The Two Ari’s,” Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky and Dr. Ari Greenspan. Not only are they experts on the mesorah (tradition) of kosher food, but they are experts on the archeology of Israel and serve as tour guides to the Kotel tunnels and to Ir David (City of David) one of Jerusalem’s archeological sites, which dates back to the time of King David.

Unlike the previous mesorah conferences, which dealt specifically with food, OU Kosher has expanded the boundaries of this seminar beyond food, but still with kashrut implications.

According to Rabbi Yosef Grossman, Director of Kashrut Education and conference coordinator, “This program also has to do with kashrut, because foods that come from Israel are governed by specific mitzvot that apply only to Eretz Yisrael. Before an orange or tomato comes from Israel, for example, some of the crop must be set aside as terumah, the portion once given to the kohen, and ma’aser, the tithe once given to the Levi, and since there is no Temple, the portion that we may not eat is left to decay and disposed of in a respectful manner. In Israel, a religious person will only shop in a store which has a reliable kashrut certification that this has been done.”

Conference sessions are as follows:

Two other presentations which have been added to the program are “The Expanding Boundaries of Eretz Yisrael Found in Tanach” with Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, another noted scholar from Israel who will be joining the program; and “The Shulchan and Schulchanot of Shlomo HaMelech,” with Dr. Kelman.

Rabbi Grossman pointed out that a newly created ASKOU DVD, for use on computers with DVD drives, will be distributed free of charge to all ASK OU Mesorah Conference participants. This DVD contains 91 major ASKOU presentations by OU experts, including past Mesorah Conferences, the Los Angeles Halachic Seudah at Prime Grill restaurant, as well as shiurim and divrei chizuk by such noted Roshei Ha Yeshivah and Rabbonim as Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, Rav Asher Weiss and the Nirbater Rav, Rav Ahron Teitelbaum.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Rabbi Grossman.

212-613-8212, or register online at http://www.ou.org; http://www.ou.org/ou/event_more/askou_mesorah_conference_iv.