It didn’t take long for the boardroom at STAR-K Kosher Certification’s headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, to be converted from a lecture hall, where STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Zvi Goldberg presented a PowerPoint about mislabels and fraud, into a makeshift “operating room”. Dressed in a starched white butcher’s coat, performing the delicate “surgery” on the bright red, fleshy section of a beef forequarter laying before him on the table, was STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld. The 38-year veteran menaker explained every step of the process of the ancient mesorah of traiboring to the huddle of the agency’s 14th Annual Kashrus Training Program’s participants surrounding him. The crash course on removing the prohibited veins, arteries, chailev (prohibited fats), and portions that attach to and get nourishment from the chailev, including enabling free flow of blood during the kashering process, was just one of the many invaluable skills that they learned from […]

Q: I made some dough in order to bake bread and separated challah. When I wasn’t looking, someone inadvertently took that piece of separated challah and added it back into the rest of the dough. Now that the dough and challah are all mixed together, how should I proceed?

A: Before we discuss how to proceed, let us clarify one point. The word “challah” has two meanings. It is used as the name of a bread which is braided, baked and commonly eaten at Shabbos meals. It is also used to describe a small piece of dough that was separated from a larger batch of dough in order to fulfill the halachic obligation of hafrashas challah. We are using the word “challah” in that second sense.

Let us discuss the case where challah was mixed with dough and can no longer be recognized. If the batch of dough that the challah fell […]

Chocolate, the king of confections, continues to grow in popularity. Chocolate is surely nature’s sweetest combination of fruit and vegetable, sugar and cocoa beans. Kosher chocolate is a delicious study of technology and halachah. Let’s explore the intoxicating world of chocolate.

Over the years, chocolate manufacturing has continued to grow, both domestically and internationally. Chocolate connoisseurship has reached new heights. Believe it or not, the most expensive chocolate today costs in excess of $90 a pound. The chocoholic delights at the sight of Belgian truffles, French bonbons, Swiss chocolate and other chocolate bars that abound. Most major chocolate manufacturers in the U.S. have reliable kosher certification. Some specialty chocolate manufacturers are kosher certified, as well. Cholov Yisroel chocolate in particular has recently seen unprecedented growth. Today, a Cholov Yisroel consumer can feast on a Cholov Yisroel chocolate equivalent without having to compromise on taste or quality.

Chocolate raw ingredients make a long […]

The Fundamental Question

Should someone be stigmatized because he has a conflict of interest? Apparently, the mainstream media feels this way and ethics review boards often highlight this as a red flag. People are not the only ones who are challenged by this issue. Organizations whose trust and authority hinge on an image of integrity must deal with perceived conflicts of interest, both on the corporate level and with regard to individual employees.

Food certification agencies, whether they oversee kosher, organic, non-GMO, gluten-free or a host of other popular standards1 must all face the inevitable question: How do they ensure that compliance judgements are based on whether the client is meeting its regulatory requirements, without regard to financial considerations?

Government bodies, such as USDA, FDA and health departments largely avoid this question – on the corporate level – because they are funded independently of the businesses they certify.2 Individual inspectors are screened […]

If you are learning in Kollel and wondering if Rabbanus is for you, wonder no more—if you are a member of Kollel Avodas Levi, the Kollel of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, Maryland, that is. The STAR-K Rabbinical Training Program now offers yungeleit in the kollel the opportunity of capturing a glimpse into the multifaceted life inside the Rabbinate. The inaugural lecture series, held between Tu B’Shevat and Shavuos, was a huge success.

“The STAR-K Rabbincal Training Program was borne from the strong interest of a group of twenty-five Kollel Avodas Levi yungeleit to have a series of Rabbonim, community leaders, and other presenters discuss what it takes to be a Rav, community leader, and mechanech,” explains Rabbi Nosson ‘Nate’ Miller, the Kollel Avodas Levi yungerman who spearheaded the program as the Kollel’s liaison.

In the past, the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) in conjunction with STAR-K, held a similar training […]

Cooking and baking for Shavuos can become a halachically confusing juggling act, alternating between the preparation of milchig, fleishig, pareve, and fish dishes.  Unless you have the luxury of using a separate oven for each, you might want to check out, “Oven Kashrus 101: Using the Same Oven for Meat, Dairy, Fish, & Pareve” [Kashrus Kurrents, Spring 2016], written by STAR-K Kosher Certification Kashrus Administrator, Rabbi Dovid Heber.

Based upon the psak of STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlit”a, Rabbi Heber enumerates the halachos involved for regular gas and electric ovens when “going back and forth”. Using various l’chatchila and b’dieved scenarios, he discusses which food gender preparation combinations are allowed and under which circumstances.

Rabbi Heber’s Kashrus Kurrents article, entitled, “Meat and Dairy-A Kosher Consumer’s Handbook”, also discusses halachos pertinent to Shavuos, including the status of bread served with a dairy or meat meal, eating meat after dairy, and waiting times after […]

Introduction
If there is a word that can be used to describe the unprecedented growth of microbreweries it is explosive’. There are more microbreweries than ever in the U.S., accounting for $22.3 billion of revenue and 21% of market share. In 2015, the brewery count stood at 4,269 breweries: 2,397 microbreweries; 1,650 brew pubs; and 178 craft breweries. In essence, this dynamic growth has in essence reshaped the playing field, both in quality and new offerings. Of course, the success of the microbrewery is changing the face of the beer industry from traditional to innovative, which obviously impacts the typical kashrus perception of a microbrewery.
It was previously assumed that microbreweries were more purist than their ‘big brother’ counterparts. This means that they would not deviate from the strict rules of the reinheitsgebot-German Beer Purity laws. Is this still true today? And if not, what is the kosher status of […]

Published Spring 2017

Shiluach Hakan1 (sending away the mother bird before taking her young) is a mitzvah that is infrequently performed. Its reward is the blessing of a long life – similar to the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents. Let’s examine how, when and where to perform the mitzvah of Shiluach Hakan.
“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you…young birds or eggs, and the mother is roosting…you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall surely send away the mother and take the young for yourself, so that it will be good for you and will prolong your days.”2

Possible Reasons for the Mitzvah

The Rabbis ruled that a person may not state that the reason for the mitzvah is compassion for the mother bird. One commentator interprets the Talmud’s prohibition as applying strictly to reciting this in one’s prayers, as if to establish compassion as the definitive, sole reason. […]

A Jewish-owned store that did not sell its chometz to a non-Jew for Pesach

The Torah forbids a Jew to own chometz on Pesach. In order to dissuade people from owning chometz on Pesach, there is a rabbinic injunction not to eat or benefit after Pesach from chometz which was owned by a Jew during Pesach. Such chometz is known as chometz sheovar olov haPesach, and it remains forbidden permanently.1

For this reason, one should not buy chometz from a Jewish-owned store immediately after Pesach, unless the owner sold all chometz that he owned before Pesach to a non-Jew for the duration of Pesach, and did not acquire any further chometz during Pesach. The laws of mechiras chometz (selling chometz to a gentile for Pesach) are complex; therefore the sale must be made by a competent rabbi or kashrus authority.

If a Jewish-owned store did not sell its chometz for Pesach, may one […]

Have you ever taken a bite out of a coconut macaroon and later doubted your choice of bracha? Was it really “haeitz” or is it “shehakol”? And, what about that matza brei or matzah lasagna? Do they require washing for a “hamotzei” or are they “mezonos”? Guess no more, thanks to STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Dovid Heber’s new Pesach App: “Common Pesach Foods and Their Brochos”:

.

1.A brochah acharonah is recited when drinking at least a reviis (3.8 fl. oz.) within a 30 second span. If one drank between 1.0 fl. oz. (kzayis according to some opinions) and 3.8 fl. oz. (and cannot drink more) within a 30 second span a brochah achronah is not recited. However, if one also requires an al hamichyah or al ha’etz at this time, one can also include al hagefen. See Mishnah Brurah [M.B.] 208:82.

 2. This depends on the percentage of grape juice. If there […]

Over 30 years ago, STAR-K Kosher Certification recognized a deep community need for a hotline. Today, the STAR-K Kosher Hotline answers close to 100,000 questions, annually, from consumers calling in from around the world. It is comprised of a team of seven highly-trained receptionists who answer the questions from a written script. All answers are pre-approved by one of the STAR-K Rabbonim, who are available to elaborate on certain questions. As the phones continue to ring off the hook since Shushan Purim, the hotline has received close to 6000 questions, in addition to the many hundreds we received via email and our app. These are the top ten questions that have been asked.

If my oven is self-clean, do I just turn it on to kasher it?

It’s not enough since the door and opposing face of the oven don’t usually get hot enough to clean. First clean those areas, then turn […]

It was discovered last year that much of the beer sold in Baltimore and surrounding counties was distributed by Jewish owned companies, creating a significant issue for our community. It seems  the problem will repeat itself this year, since it was not possible to arrange a proper mechiras chometz with these companies. The following is a brief explanation of the issue.

What exactly is Chometz?

The Torah[1] forbids eating any Chometz – leavened grain products during Pesach. Simply defined, leavening is dough or batter that has increased in volume either through yeasts or chemical means. The process of how this happens is the following.

A chemical leaven such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) react with compounds naturally present in the dough to produce carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide (CO2) released from this reaction becomes trapped inside the dough, thereby causing the dough to expand – and rise.

Another way to cause dough to rise […]

Effective June 12, all beer in Maryland can be assumed to be from after Pesach and is permitted to be purchased anywhere.

It came to our attention last year that two large beer distribution companies, who are the exclusive distributors of their brands in Baltimore, are Jewish owned. Due to numerous challenges, a proper Mechiras Chometz was not possible for this year. As a result, many brands of beer sold in our area will be “Chometz She’avar Alav HaPesach”. The problematic beer supplies will not be depleted until sometime in June. Please check our website after June 1st for an update. Until that time, the beers on the list HERE should not be purchased. All other brands are permitted.

The above information applies only to Baltimore City and Baltimore County and the other counties listed in the alert. Montgomery County is NOT affected by this alert. We do not have any information […]

A colorful, cutesy “Kosher Basics” PowerPoint was the springboard for a well-received interactive presentation made by STAR-K Kosher Certification Assistant Director of Supervision Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld for Cornell University senior dietetics students, on February 28. It preceded a tour of the STAR-K certified kosher kitchen on the Ithaca, New York, campus for the future registered dietitians.

The presentation topics included: The Torah basis for Kashrus, ingredient sources, ritual slaughter, dairy and meat, vegetable checking for infestation, grape and wine products, Bishul Yisroel, the role of a Kosher certification agency, how to set up a kosher kitchen, and the practical application of the Kosher rules. Chef Jason Haus and mashgiach Gavriel Ress were also present to provide a comprehensive overview of the Cornell Dining team who work together to accomplish STAR-K certified dining at Cornell.

“To make it practical for them, we formulated and discussed various menus,” notes Rabbi Kurcfeld. “I emphasized the […]

All Star-K Establishments

All Star-D Establishments

Stores in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

 7-11

Fords Lane, Hooks Lane, Old Court road (at Greenwood), Reisterstown Road (near Slade Ave)
 Royal Farms

 A-Z Savings

6307 Reisterstown Road
 Sam’s Discount Warehouse

 BJ’s
 Save-A-Lot

 Colonial Liquors
Savings Center

4003 Seven Mile Market

 Costco
Seven Mile Market

 CVS
Shoppers Food Warehouse

 Dugan’s Liquor
Shoprite

37 Aylesbury Road, Timonium

 *Dunkin Donuts

1508 Reisterstown Road (at Old Court Road)

7000 Reisterstown Road (near Fallstaff Road)
 Trader Joe’s

 Food Lion
 Walgreens

 Petco
Walmart

 Petsmart
Whole Foods

 Rite-Aid
 Wine Loft

For updated information, regarding stores where chometz may be purchased, please see www.star-k.org/passover.
* Only these two locations of Dunkin Donuts are under the certification of Rabbi Sholom Salfer. Please note that it is permissible to purchase products at these Dunkin Donuts on Motzei Pesach, April 18, ONLY AFTER 9:40 p.m. (this time meets the requirement of ושﬠיש ידכב).

Consumers in other communities should check with their local Vaad Hakashrus for regional store information.

Major Jewish Owned Supermarkets that do not sell their chometz

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 (2 weeks after Pesach)

[...] Read More

The following chart offers guidelines for products that are ( חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח (שעה”פ . “Yes” next to a product indicates the product is subject to the halachos of חמץ שעה”פ . Following Pesach, one may purchase these products only from a Jewish owned store that properly sold its chometz, or from a store owned by a gentile. “No” next to a product indicates the product is not subject to the halachos of חמץ שעה”פ . These products may be purchased at any store after Pesach.

Product

?חמץ שעבר עליו הפסח

 Barley (if pearled, raw and packaged)
No

 Beer
 Yes

 Bran (Wheat, Oat)
 Yes

 Bread /cake/cookies
 Yes

 Cereal with primary ingredient of wheat, oats or barley
 Yes

 Chometz content is more than a k’zayis.
 Yes

 Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the cooked product (e.g., Corn Flakes cereal)
 Yes

 Chometz content in entire package is less than a k’zayis but is greater than 1/60 of the […]

The following is a list of pet foods approved for Passover 2017 when produced in the U.S. Products with identical names from foreign countries may have different formulations, thus compromising their Passover status. Since formulas are subject to change, make sure to check all labels. There should be no chometz listed. A product listing both meat and dairy ingredients may not be used any time during the year. (See “Feeding Your Pet: Barking Up the Right Tree” for more information)

CATS

Blue Wilderness Grain Free (dry): Adult (Indoor Chicken, Weight Control, Duck, Salmon, Trout, Red Meat, Rabbit), Kitten (Chicken)
Evanger’s: When bearing cRc Passover approval.
Friskies (canned): Classic Paté Classic Seafood Entrée, Classic Paté Salmon Dinner, Classic Paté Country Style Dinner, Classic Paté Chicken and Tuna Dinner, Classic Paté Mariners Catch
Merrick Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet (canned): Real Chicken, Real Duck, Real Salmon, Real Turkey
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free (dry): Adult […]

NOTE: Products bearing STAR-K P on the label DO NOT contain Kitniyos or Kitniyos Shenishtanu (kitniyos that have been manufactured and transformed into a new product)

 Anise4
Dextrose (possibly chometz)
NutraSweet1

 Ascorbic Acid1,3 (possibly chometz)
Emulsifiers 3
Peanuts 2

 Aspartame1
Fennel 4,6
Peas 

 Beans (including Green Beans, Edamame, etc.)
Fenugreek 2,6
Rice 5

 Bean Sprouts
Flavors3 (possibly chometz)
Seeds

Caraway, Poppy, Sesame, Sunflower

 BHA (in corn oil)
 Glucose3 (possibly chometz)
Sodium Erythorbate1

 BHT (in corn oil)
Guar Gum 3
Sodium Citrate1 (possibly chometz)

 Buckwheat (Kasha)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (possibly chometz)
Sorbitan 1

 Calcium Ascorbate1,3  (possibly chometz)
Isolated Soy Protein
Sorbitol 1

 Canola Oil (Rapeseed)
Isomerized Syrup 
Soy Beans 

 Chickpeas
Lecithin 
Stabilizers 3

 Citric Acid1,3  (possibly chometz)
Lentils
Starch (possibly chometz)

 Confectioner’s Sugar  (possibly chometz, look for KFP symbol)
Maltodextrin1 (possibly chometz)
String Beans 

 Coriander4
Millet 
Tofu 

 Corn
MSG3 (possibly chometz)
Vegetable Oil 3

 Cumin4
Mustard 
Vitamin C 1,3(possibly chometz)

1. Kitniyos Shenishtanu
2. Should be avoided on Pesach.
3. Unless bearing a reliable Passover certification.
4. Only acceptable when the certifying agency has documented that all chometz issues have been resolved.
5. Those people who eat rice on Pesach should confirm their rice is Kosher L’Pesach and free of problematic additives. For more […]

SPONSORED BY THE CHESED FUND/PROJECT EZRA
PIMLICO RACE COURSE
Clubhouse Parking Lot
ENTRANCE ONLY FROM HAYWARD AVENUE

3 Blocks East of Park Heights Avenue

Monday, April 10, 2017

between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Closed cans or bottles will not be accepted to avoid the hazard of explosion. Please be considerate by burning chometz, not plastic. Dumpsters will be provided for large amounts of chometz. Also, please do not abuse this service by bringing excessive amounts of chometz or trash.
RECYCLING is encouraged. Designated dumpsters are available on site.
NO BULK TRASH (non-food related) will be permitted. After chometz is burned,
is recited.
For sponsorship opportunities, please call Frank Storch at 410-340-1000.
THE CHESED FUND/PROJECT EZRA
BALTIMORE CHOMETZ BURNING 2017

Erev Pesach (after the time of Biur Chometz)

If you find chometz on Erev Pesach after the latest time for biur chometz:

If you sold your chometz earlier that morning: You should move the chometz that you found to the place that you are storing the chometz that you sold.
If you did not sell your chometz earlier that morning: You should burn it.

First day of Pesach

If you find chometz on the first day of Pesach: You should cover it with a utensil.

Second day of Pesach

If you find chometz on the second day of Pesach, or if you found chometz on the first day of Pesach and had covered it:

If you sold your chometz before Pesach, or you said ‘Kol Chamira’ before Pesach, or the chometz that you found was less than a kezayis: You should cover it with a utensil if you find it on the second day, or keep it covered […]

The following chart, prepared with the assistance of R’ Eli Reidler, indicates the latest times for eating and burning of chometz, and the time for lighting candles on
Erev Pesach, Monday, April 10, 2017
All times listed are local Daylight Saving Time (except Phoenix, AZ).

City

Eating

Burning

Candle Lighting

 Atlanta, GA
 10:54 am
 12:08 pm
 7:46 pm

 Baltimore, MD
 10:23 am
11:38 am
7:21 pm

 Boston, MA
 10:00 am
11:16 am
7:02 pm

 Brooklyn, NY
 10:12 am
11:27 am
7:12 pm

 Buffalo, NY
 10:32 am
11:47 am
7:34 pm

 Chicago, IL
10:07 am
11:22 am
7:08 pm

 Cincinnati, OH
 10:54 am
12:09 pm
7:52 pm

 Cleveland, OH
 10:43 am
11:58 am
7:44 pm

 Columbus, OH
 10:48 am
 12:03 pm
7:47 pm

 Dallas, TX
 10:44 am
11:57 am
7:35 pm

 Denver, CO
 10:16 am
11:31 am
7:15 pm

 Detroit, MI
 10:49 am
12:04 pm
7:51 pm

 Far Rockaway/Five Towns, NY
10:11 am
11:26 am
7:11 pm

 Hartford, CT
 10:07 am
11:22 am
7:08 pm

 Houston, TX
 10:39 am
11:52 am
7:28 pm

 Indianapolis, IN
 11:01 am
12:15 pm
8:00 pm

 Lakewood, NJ
 10:13 am
11:28 am
7:12 pm

 Las Vegas, NV
 9:57 am
11:11 am
6:52 pm

 Los Angeles, CA
 10:10 am
11:24 am
7:03 pm

 Memphis, TN
 10:16 am
11:30 am
7:10 pm

 Miami, FL
 10:38 am
11:51 am
7:23 pm

 Milwaukee, WI
 10:08 am
11:23 am
7:10 pm

 Minneapolis, MN
 10:29 am
 11:45 am
7: 34 pm

 Monsey, NY
 10:12 am
11:27 am
7:13 pm

 Monticello, NY
 10:15 […]

Kashering – A hotel kitchenette requires the same method of kashering for Passover as a home kitchen. Please consult the “STAR-K Pesach Kitchen”  for more information. Kosherization must be completed before Passover.

Bedikas Chometz – One who is staying at a hotel and did not bring any chometz into the room should perform bedikas chometz without a brochah. Some hotel rooms have a “mini-bar” that is pre-stocked with drinks and snacks by the hotel. If there are food items in the mini-bar which are not kosher for Passover, one should ensure that the staff removes those items. Alternatively, the mini-bar should be sealed off and the staff informed that the guest bears no responsibility for those items. Ice from the icemaker may be used, but the ice bucket in the room should not be used. The coffeemaker also may not be used. One must ensure that a […]

Cooktops

Electric smoothtops may present a problem of kashering for Pesach. Check with your rav.
Electric cooktops may pose a problem with adjusting the temperature on Yom Tov.
Electronic ignition may pose a problem with initiating a flame on Yom Tov.
Cooktops (gas or electric) may have a light or light bar that turns on when the burner is turned on. Some of these light bars also increase or decrease as the temperature setting is adjusted. Some cooktops may also have simmer lights that turn on and off as one enters or exits a very low setting.
Avoid electronic controls. After return of power from a power failure, these units will probably stay off.
Avoid induction cooktops. They work well, but are not usable on Shabbos or Yom Tov.
12-hour cutoff – should have a way to disable or override.

Ovens
12 hour Cutoff

Should have a way to disable or override.

Temperature Adjustment on Yom Tov

If you desire to change […]

Yom Tov celebrations could never be complete without the traditional piping hot delicacies from past generations. However, the kosher homemaker must be well educated on how to prepare Yom Tov meals without fear of transgressing a Torah or rabbinic prohibition.
When mentioning the prohibition of work on Shabbos the Torah writes, “Do not do any melacha (work prohibited on Shabbos).”1 This prohibition applies to melacha performed for food preparation, as well as other non-food purposes. In stating the prohibition of melacha on Yom Tov the Torah writes, “You shall not do laborious work.”2 In addition, when giving the initial command about the Yom Tov of Pesach the Torah writes, “No work may be done on them (first and seventh day of Pesach), except for what must be eaten for any person, only that may be done for you.” (Shmos 22:16) The Ramban explains that the contrast of terms (work versus […]

The following is a checklist reviewing items commonly found in the kitchen and how to prepare them for Pesach.

Utensil

Preparation

Baby Bottle
Since it comes into contact with chometz (e.g., washed with dishes, boiled in chometz pot), new ones should be purchased.

Baby High Chair
Clean thoroughly. Preferable to cover the tray with contact paper.

Blech
Libbun gamur. Should preferably be replaced

Blender/Food Processor
New or Pesachdik receptacle required (plus any part of unit that makes direct contact with food). Thoroughly clean appliance. The blade should be treated like any knife and should be kashered through hagola.

Smoothie Machine
New or Pesachdik receptacle required (plus any part of unit that makes direct contact with food). Thoroughly clean appliance. The blade should be treated like any knife and should be kashered through hagola.

Can Opener
Difficult to clean properly. Should be put away with chometz dishes.

Candlesticks/Tray
Clean thoroughly. Should not be put under hot water in a kosher for Pesach sink.

Coffeemakers
Metal coffeemakers that have brewed […]

Food

Brochah Rishonah

Brochah Achronah

Gefilte Fish (with or without matzah meal)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Grape Juice
Hagefen
Al Hagefen
See footnotes #1 and #6

Grape Juice mixed with water or other beverages
See Footnote #2
See Footnote #2

Kneidlach (matzah balls)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Macaroons (from shredded coconut – still nikker3)
Haetz
Borei Nefashos

Macaroons (from ground coconut or paste)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Matzah (wheat, whole wheat, oat, spelt)
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Matzah Brei
See Footnote #4
See Footnote #4

Matzah Cereal (from matzah meal)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah, Egg5
Mezonos5
Al Hamichya5

Matzah Kugel/Stuffing
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Lasagna7
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Matzah Meal Cake
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Meal Rolls8
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Matzah Pizza7
Hamotzi
Birchas Hamazon

Potato Kugel (made from shredded potatoes – still nikker3)
Hoadama
Borei Nefashos

Potato Kugel (from potatoes ground into pudding-like substance so potatoes are no longer nikker3)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Potato Starch Cake
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Quinoa (cooked)
Hoadama
Borei Nefashos

Quinoa Flour Products (e.g. quinoa cake and cookies, quinoa pancakes)
Shehakol
Borei Nefashos

Taigelach (matzah meal cooked in sweet syrup)
Mezonos
Al Hamichya

Wine
Hagafen
Al Hagefen See footnotes #1 and #6

1. A brochah acharonah is recited when drinking at least a reviis (3.8 fl. oz.) within a 30 second span. If one drank between 1.0 […]

The production of Kosher for Pesach (KFP) matzos involves a great deal of meticulous work. The process begins with the inspection of wheat kernels to ensure that they have not been adversely affected by moisture in the air or prematurely sprouted. Grinding of the grain must be performed according to the dictates of halachah, which precludes any pre-grind soaking of the grain and requires special preparation of the milling equipment to ensure that no contamination exists from non-Passover flour in the grinders and filters. The KFP flour is then loaded onto trucks, either pneumatically or in bags under controlled conditions, and shipped to the bakeries.
A bakery which has been kashered for Pesach will have already prepared special water (mayim shelanu) to be used for Pesach matzos. Hand matzah bakeries do not use regular municipal water for fear that the chemicals added to the water may affect the leavening qualities […]

When Mesivta Ne’imus HaTorah Menahel Rabbi Laib Schulman approached STAR-K Kosher Certification about teaching a few of his students some Kashrus basics, the non-profit agency was eager to comply. Rather than start off with something as simple as what is behind a kosher symbol or basic kitchen kashrus rules, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld went with his gut feeling—literally and figuratively—planning a memorable once-in-a-lifetime presentation. He wowed the boys at STAR-K’s Baltimore offices, on January 4, with his three different-sized chalafim (shechting knives), two cow lungs, and a cow’s hoof!

In addition to demonstrating the chalaf sharpness test on a student’s nail and explaining which knife is used for which type of animal, Rabbi Kurcfeld discussed the five basic halachos of shechita, mentioning the types of animals that need to be schechted. He also reviewed the split hoof and fish scale kosher criteria, the difference between a neveila and a […]

The Torah forbids discarding holy objects by throwing them into the trash. Some objects always have kedusha and must be placed in shaimos. Other objects gain kedusha once they are used for a mitzvah and need to be treated with special care.

SHAIMOS
Objects which have innate holiness, kedusha, are shaimos. This means that, when discarded, they must be wrapped in plastic and buried. The following objects are included in this category:
1. A Sefer Torah.
2. Sefer Torah covers.
3. Tefillin, tefillin bags, mezuzos, and mezuzah covers.
4. Siddurim and bentchers.
5. Seforim, whether handwritten, printed, photocopied or downloaded and printed (e.g., chumashim, siddurim, machzorim, seforim, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, etc.).
6. A quote from tanach, chazal, Rishonim or Achronim, that has been printed or written with the intention of explaining Torah, or to teach us how to conduct ourselves according to hashkafos haTorah.
7. Invitations from organizations and individuals that […]