The Legacy of Rav Belsky, zt’l

(August 22, 1938 / 25 Av 5698 – January 28, 2016 / 19 Shvat 5776)

Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, zt’l, served as Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987 until his passing in 2016.

Shloshim for Rav Belsky, zt’l, at the OU Headquarters on March 1, 2016

Watch introductory remarks by Mr. Harvey Blitz, Chairman, OU Kashrus Commission:

Read a Summary here 


Remembering Rav Belsky, zt’l

Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, zt'l

Remembering 
Rabbi Belsky, zt”l
By Rabbi Menachem Genack

Rav Belsky, zt”l – An Appreciation
By Rav Hershel Schachter

A Giant in our Midst: The Legacy of Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, zt”l, at the OU
By Rabbi Yaakov Luban

Rav Belsky Remembered
By Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld

Interactions with Rav Belsky zt“l – Redefining the Word “Irreplaceable”
By Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer

HaRav Chaim Yisroel HaLevi Belsky, Zatsal: Recorded, Remembered, and Reflected Upon
by Rabbi Eliyahu W. Ferrell

Nachum Segal Welcomes Rabbi Menachem Genack and Rabbi Yaakov Luban for a brief look at the life of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky zt”lListen Here

Sign up for Halacha Yomis
A halacha-a-day email series in memory of Rav Belsky


Rav Belsky’s shiurim and presentations:

The Certification of Meat – Part I: The Species
Among the most complicated products to certify is meat. In the first part of this maxi-series, Rav Belsky describes step one in the saga of kosher meat: identifying a kosher species.

Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, zt'lThe Certification of Meat – Part II: The Shechitah
The ritual slaughter (shechitah) of meat is one of the most sensitive areas in all of kashrus, and its proper performance requires someone of great piety and scholarship.

The Certification of Meat – Part III: Bedikos
Even if an animal is Nishchat (ritually slaughtered) properly, it is still not yet rendered permissible without certain crucial steps. Among those steps is the Bedikah (inspection). Join HaRav Yisroel Belsky–himself a first-tier shochet–for a thorough and invaluable examination of this topic, including a look at the systems in place to prevent kosher/non-kosher mix-ups.

The Certification of Meat – Part IV: After the Shechitah
In the conclusion of this four-part tour de force discourse on Halacha and biology, HaRav Yisroel Belsky discusses the post-shechitah aspects of meat preparation. Learn here about the need to avoid mix-ups in the slaughterhouse–even between kosher and kosher! Plus, Rav Belsky discusses the the very practical impact of Hilchos Traifos (the laws of organic pathologies) on the consumer.

Let’s Take a Look at Bakers and Cooks
Ever wonder what part of kosher supervision takes the most effort? The answer will surprise you! Join HaRav Belsky as he explores the laws and technology underlying Bishul Yisroel and Pas Yisroel foods.

Vegetable Inspection: An Halachic and Historical Perspective
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Rav Belsky shows us that today’s issues with vegetable inspection are really yesterday’s issues as well!

The Worms in Fish: Non-Kosher or Non-Issue?
We know that there are worms in fish. Why, then, do kosher consumers eat fish?

Over-the-Counter Medicine: Don’t Over-look Kashruth!
Rav Belsky dispels the notion that medicinal liquids need no kosher-approval.

Mezonos Bread: Easy Meal — or Enduring Myth?
Flour and water don’t seem so complicated–until you open up the Code of Jewish Law! Join Rav Belsky as he discusses the laws of making blessings over breads and cakes and then zeroes in on the Mezonos Roll.

A Guide for the Perplexed — about Purchasing Meat
Who can I trust? This is the question we were all asking ourselves after the Tri-state area’s recent tragic meat episode. The OU has answers. In this penetrating talk, HaRav Belsky discusses the meat industry and gives you the practical and insightful advice you need to buy with confidence.

Let My People Know: The OU Poskim Answer Questions All Across the Shulchan Aruch (2011)
OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, provide practical guidance on issues spanning the breadth and depth of Yahadut.  Tune in as they address such questions as: Are there halachic issues with cruise ship departures on Erev Shabbos? How does a Shabbat-observant Jew run an Internet business? Can “implants” of genes from non-kosher species render kosher food forbidden?

Your Children and Your Charity (2010)
Shabbos and Kashrus observances often prompt questions for rabbis. But some questions are so complex, not just any rabbi will do. OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, provide practical guidance for giving charity and raising children. Tune in as they address such questions as: To whom do I give Tzedakah? How much Tzedakah do I have to give? Can I give Ma’aser to a needy relative?

Kashrut in the Workplace
OU Kosher presented a webcast, “Kashrut in the Workplace,” featuring OU Senior Halachic Consultants Rav Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Hershel Schachter. The event was moderated by Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator and Vice President of Communications and Marketing at OU Kosher.

What’s Wrong with This Chicken? – 8-Part Full-length video
An aspect of home kashrut not so well-known is the avoidance of traifos. Despite its colloquial usage to mean “non-kosher,” a traifa is actually a bird or quadruped with a certain type of bodily defect that renders it non-kosher even when slaughtered correctly! In OU Kosher’s new video, Harav Yisroel Belsky is joined by two OU rabbinic coordinators with vast expertise in the certification of meat and poultry, Rav Nosson Goldberg and Rabbi Chaim Loike. Together, they elucidate in a clear and thorough fashion the red flags in raw chicken that YOU need to know.
Part I   |   Part II  |  Part III  |  Part IV  | Part V  |  Part VI  |  Part VII  |  Part VIII

Click Here for More of Rav Belsky’s Shiurim and Presentations


Pesach Webcasts

OU Kosher Pre-Pesach Webcast 5773 (2013)
OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, provide practical guidance for the Seder and for Pesach preparations. Tune in as they address such questions as: Is quinoa Kitnios? Must I check a summer home for chometz? What if my job involves serving chometz during Pesach? Are all pills allowed? Are any pills allowed? Was enslavement in Egypt “good for the Jews”?

OU Kosher Pre-Pesach Webcast 5771 (2011)
OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, provide practical guidance for the Seder and for Pesach preparations. Tune in as they address such questions as: How far must one go in one’s cleaning? Do I search for chometz in my house if I’m going away for Pesach? What if I can’t recite the entire Hagaddah or understand the Hebrew? Can I go to work during Chol HaMoed?

OU Kosher Pre-Pesach Webcast 5770
OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, provide practical guidance for the Seder and for Pesach preparations. Tune in as they address such questions as: How far must one go in one’s cleaning? Is there any chometz I shouldn’t sell? Isn’t chometz in a non-Jewish store always safe after Pesach? Is machine-matzah better than hand?

OU Kosher Pre-Pesach Webcast 5769 – Practical Issues in Hilchos Pesach (2009)
OU Kashruth’s Senior Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah V’Da’as, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, return to focus on issues of practical halacha related to Pesach. This year’s topics include: Is Quinoa on the list of Kitniyos?; What areas need to be searched for chometz?; How do I prepare my oven and my sink? Do I need to worry about Cheerios in my daughter’s dollhouse? What distinguishes one kind of matzah from the other? Questions were drawn from within the OU and from e-mails sent in by interested consumers.

Practical Issues in Hilchos Pesach
The Orthodox Union’s prominent Poskim, Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah V’Da’as, and Rav Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbenu Yitzchok Elchanon, focus on issues of practical halacha related to Pesach. Topics include: Erev Pesach that falls on Shabbos; which inedibles (e.g., paper towels and plates) require Pesach certification; Kitniyos; the Seder; Mechiras Chometz; and kashering.

Current Shaylos in Hilchos Pesach 
Presented by: Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky as part of Harry H. Beren ASK OU program.