The Drinks of a New Generation

Published Summer 2009

Those of us who remember the famous marketing jingles of years past certainly recall the memorable multitudes of people locking their arms together while singing the praises of a soft drink, “What the world wants is the real thing!”  Today, that exclamation resounds throughout the beverage industry while most of the world is looking for the healthy, natural, nothing artificial, real thing …  others just want something yummy.

Drinking Responsibly: Taking stock of the Star-K Liquor List

Published Fall 2009

Since the appearance of the first Star-K approved liquor list over 12 years ago, the liquor industry has become visibly spirited, sophisticated and very high profile.  As society moves in that direction, so has the kosher consumer.  Whether or not this is meritorious is not for us to editorialize.  However, baruch Hashem, life cycle simchos continue to abound, and a hearty l’chaim is still an integral part of sharing in one’s simchos.  Briefly, Kashrus Kurrents wants to update its readership concerning the past and current trends that have taken place, as well as how we arrived at our conclusions, under the direction of our esteemed Rav Hamachshir, Harav Moshe Heinemann, shlita.

Eating Her Curds? No Way

Published Spring 2011

If Miss Muffet was a conscientious seminary girl, sitting down to a meal of curds and whey would not be so simple.  There is much to consider.  Was the milk Cholov Yisroel?  Does the milk have to be Cholov Yisroel?  Was the starter culture Cholov Yisroel?  What rennet was used to coagulate the milk?  Did the mashgiach add the coagulants to make the curds and whey?  Are all curds and whey created equal?

A Cut Above: Shechita in the Crosshairs, Again

Published Fall 2012

The Community and Its Shechita

One of the most basic features of a functional Jewish community, no matter the size, has historically been the shochet.  Rabbis are a necessity, but were not always available; access to kosher meat is indispensable.  The original American Jewish community of twenty-three Dutch Jews from Brazil, who landed in New Amsterdam (later, New York) in 1654, was led by the celebrated Asser Levy, who was also the shochet.   Well before the first ordained rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Rice, arrived in 1840, shochtim served the needs of American Jews.
In the more established kehilos of Europe, the shochet was also deemed critical.  An intrepid shochet, who risked his life in the early 1930s to provide kosher meat to Jews in Soviet Russia, remarked during an interview:

Glossary of Kosher Terms

Batul – to nullify. Batul refers to a situation when a small amount of one food is accidentally mixed into a larger amount of a different food. When the ratio is one part to 60 parts or less, the smaller ingredient is generally considered to be null and void.

Personal Stories: Becoming Kosher

If WE Can Do It, So Can You!!
Naomi Lazerow

I was raised in a home where I was told, “you’re Jewish.” That was the extent of my Jewish education. On the Jewish holidays, we went to my grandmother’s and ate the appropriate foods. On Passover we ate matzah but didn’t have a seder. My mother, a widow with four small children – my three younger brothers and me – lived in a non-Jewish neighborhood in Baltimore. We stood out as different, even though we didn’t really know what made us different. My husband Carl was raised in a very assimilated family and attended a large Reform Temple. Needless to say, when we married, we never would have predicted we’d have a kosher home some day.

Why Eat Kosher?

Adapted from: On Judaism: Conversations on being Jewish in Today’s World, by Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, pages 219-236. With permission from Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, Ltd.

From the first man and woman we learn about the significance of eating. Adam and Eve were given simple, clear instructions. As guardians of the Garden of Eden they were permitted to taste everything in the Garden. There was only one restriction: they could not eat from one particular tree. If they did, they would die. Isn’t it curious that the Creator’s first conversation with Adam and Eve focuses on the do’s and don’t about food. Superficially, there is nothing about these instructions that strikes one as having implications for eternity or immortality. Just – this you may eat, that you must avoid.

Keeping Kosher…and Staying Kosher!

It’s one thing to keep kosher; it’s quite another thing to stay kosher! Kashrus mix-ups are inevitable, even in the most scrupulous of kosher homes. So, when in doubt about a mix-up, don’t feel bad or embarrassed about asking a shaila (question in Jewish Law) of a Rav (Orthodox rabbi) or kashrus organization.

How to Make a Home Kosher

Healthy food choices and dieting are 21st century buzzwords. It seems that more than ever people are making positive dietary changes. For thousands of years, Judaism has offered a dietary blueprint. Not only does the Torah guide us in our food choices, it commands us to separate dairy and meat, and wait a customary length of time between eating meat and dairy dishes. Today, we find Jews of all ages and backgrounds with a growing interest in kashrus and kosher homemaking. For first-hand accounts of people who have kashered their homes click here.

Kosher 101

The Jewish religion incorporates within its tenets a regimen of dietary laws. These laws determine which food is acceptable and in conformity with Jewish Law. The word kosher is an adaptation of the Hebrew word meaning fit or proper. It refers to foodstuffs that meet the dietary requirements of Jewish Law.

Star-K’s Kosher for the Clueless but Curious

Rabbi Apisdorf, well-known author of the successful award-winning Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Survival Kit, has collaborated with STAR-K on the just released Kosher for the Clueless but Curious.