Ask the Rabbi

STAR-K CERTIFICATIONrealizes that there is no substitute for a person's own Rav. However, in today's busy and connected world many people have difficulty getting in touch with their Rabbanim when they are needed. In an effort to offer a solution to this challenge, STAR-K launched its Institute of Halachah as a public service. Over the years, the agency's Kashrus Hotline has answered more and more halachic questions beyond the scope of Kashrus information, from consumers the world over, beyond the standard steady stream of inquiries regarding the kosher status of foods and certified Sabbath mode appliances which has made the STAR-K Kosher Hotline famous. The formation of a separate official division within STAR-K testifies to the need for addressing these issues.

The Institute of Halachah is directed by HaRav Mordechai Frankel, under the guidance of HaRav Moshe Heinemann, STAR-K's Rabbinic Administrator. It is an invaluable resource for a diverse array of rabbis to discuss general halachic matters, as well as gain access to source materials for shiurim and answers to congregants' questions.

Shailos may emailed using the form below, or called into the Institute of Halacha at 410-484-4110 x238. Rabbi Frankel or on occasion another STAR-K Rabbi will respond to your email or return your call if you leave a message and phone number.
Previously Asked Questions
  • Is it muttar to drink black coffee on airplanes? Can one rely on the fact that stam kaylim aino ben yomo (the utensils have not been used in the previous 24 hours), or is it the fact that the coffee pitchers - which may have been washed together with treif - are returned to the airplanes quickly, and it may not be 24 hours from when they were washed? Thank you.
  • I have two sons ages 14 and 19. This summer we have a 14 year old niece staying with us from Israel. It often happens that everyone else in the house has to go out and just one of the boys and the niece are home for a certain time period. Are they allowed to be in the house together for any period of time? Does it make a difference if both boys are here or only one? What about if my ten year old daughter is also home or playing right outside the house? What about my husband?
  • Is it acceptable to give medicine to an animal (pet) on Shabbos? My family’s pet dog has seizures and could die without his medication. I will be home alone and will be the only one available to give the dog his medicine. Is this acceptable or not? Please cite sources so that I may see it inside (Kitzur Shulchan Orech, Shulchan Orech, Mishna Berura). Thank you for your time.
  • If a person is a vegetarian is he allowed to bake dairy bread?
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