Passover Articles

Images of the Ages 
Words of the Sages

A conversation with Rabbi David Holzer, whose The Medieval Haggadah Anthology combines two of his own personal passions—the teachings of his mentor, the Rav zt”l, and his lifelong fascination with Hebrew manuscripts.

Kashering Checklist

Here’s a handy guide to “kosherizing” your kitchen for the holiday. LIBUN GAMUR Surface must be heated to a dry temperature of approximately 850° (i.e. self-clean oven) or until it begins to glow. HAGALAH Surface should be completely cleaned with hot water and unused for 24 hours. Surface should be completely clean and dry. The […]

Passover Terms

MATZA Matzah is made of specially supervised flour and water, which must be baked before the dough has had time to rise — within 18 minutes or less. It is the only product based on the five grains (wheat, barley, oat, spelt & rye) which Jews may eat during Passover, and it must be made […]

OU-Kitniyot & OU-Matza Ashira Products 2015

Items listed in this section are specially supervised products and approved for use when bearing an OU Kitniyot or an OU Matza Ashira (matzo products baked with eggs, juice or honey instead of water) – products are recommended for those of Sephardic descent, but not for those of Ashkenazic heritage with the exception of small children and […]

Kitniyot – It’s all about the Custom

Although there are many definitions as to what constitutes kitniyot, the bottom line is that it all depends on the reigning custom (minhag). Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt’l, the pre-eminent 20th century American posek, explains that once a minhag is established, it does not readily change, even if circumstances change. For example, the minhag was to […]

Quinoa for Passover!

The status of quinoa, the grain-like crop, was the most-asked question for the last few years on the OU’s various kashrut forums across the web and in person. Following an intensive, multi-year investigation and an internal debate into quinoa’s status, the Orthodox Union has decided that it can certify quinoa for Passover. In addition, OU […]

The Story Behind OU Kitniyot

Consumers have long been accustomed to various designations associated with the OU symbol (OU-D, OU-Parve, OU-Glatt, OU-Fish and of course OU-P). This year consumers will be finding more and more stores stocking products with yet another designation, OU-Kitniyot. Why the new designation? What does it really mean? Since medieval times it has been the practice in […]

Birkat Ha’Ilanot: Blessing for Blossoming Trees

“Hai man denafik beyomei Nissan vechazi elanei d’ka milbalvi omer…” (Tractate Brachot 43b) If one goes outside during the month of Nissan and sees trees that are blossoming he recites a blessing (Birkat Ha’Ilanot). The bracha is noted in the tractate Brachot and the Code of Jewish Law (O.C. 226). Baruch atah Adonay Elohaynu melech […]

Cocoa – No Beans About It

Ashkenazic custom does not allow eating kitniyot (legumes) on Passover. Included in this category are rice, corn and all types of beans. So why are we permitted to eat chocolate on Passover? Isnʼt chocolate derived from the cacao bean? Although they are referred to as beans, cocoa beans are not legumes at all. They are […]

Choco-rific! Choco-licious! Choco-kosher?

There are few foods that arouse excitement and stir emotions as passionately as chocolate. Chocolate has been enjoyed for centuries, though developments in the chocolate industry over the years have brought with them unique kosher (and kosher-for-Passover) challenges and opportunities. The chocolate industry is divided into two basic segments: chocolate makers and confectioners. Chocolate makers […]