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
Comments or questions regarding these answers can be emailed to Only generic questions and answers are posted here. All sensitive questions and answers are kept strictly private.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it muttar to salt lettuce on Shabbos, or is it part of the gzaira of me’abed? My understanding is that something that is never preserved (e.g. peeled cucumbers) has no salting problem, in which case it should be fine to salt lettuce. Is that correct?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I get migraines, especially on Sundays. Someone told me that grapes could be a trigger for migraines. He suggested that I speak to a Rabbi and ask what I should do for this coming Shabbos to try and see if I don't have grape juice or wine if I get a migraine on Sunday. My question is, what should I do for kiddush and havdala if I don't use grape juice or wine?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a set of sterling silver flatware which was given to me from a deceased relative's estate. They did not keep kosher, and I am planning to kasher it. I know that they used it, but it looks new - I checked in between the prongs on the forks. May I toivel it first? I'm trying to do as much as possible as early as possible.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a pinched nerve in my neck. B"H it's not painful, but I was given exercises from the physical therapist to do twice a day to help heal the moderate carpal tunnel syndrome I have. There is a possibility that the pinched nerve is causing the carpal tunnel. Am I allowed to do these neck exercises on Shabbos?
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