Preparing for Yoshon: Practically Speaking, A Housewife’s Perspective on Keeping Yoshon

When my husband first told me that he would like to start keeping yoshon I asked, “What’s that?” When I found out, my immediate reaction was panic and a feeling of being overwhelmed. To my surprise, it was far less complicated than it sounded. Nowadays, with local bakeries baking yoshon every day and the pizza shop selling yoshon pizza, it’s a breeze to keep the mitzva.

Preparing for Chodosh

The same Torah which does not permit us to eat the meat of an animal that does not have split hooves or chew its cud, also does not permit us to eat from new grain harvest until the barley omer sacrifice was brought in the Bais Hamikdash on the second day of Pesach.

Yoshon and Chodosh Something Old and Something New

The story is told about how in the mid 1970’s the proprietor of a kosher bakery in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood was asked if his products were Yoshon. Not realizing that this Hebrew word, which literally means ‘old’, actually refers to grain which had been planted before Passover, proudly, albeit naively, answered, ” I can assure you that everything in my bakery is 100 percent fresh.” Today, as we approach the millennium yoshon and chodosh have graduated and become household words which have rightfully taken their place among the more popular terms such as Glatt Kosher, Cholov Yisroel, and Pas Yisroel.

Listen to a shiur given by Rabbi Zvi Goldberg

Listen to a shiur given by Rabbi Zvi Goldberg at Congregation Darchei Tzedek, Baltimore on the subject of the various types of schach mats. The shiur includes an explanation of Star-K certified mats.

Guide to STAR-K Certified Schach

The STAR-K currently certifies schach made from bamboo slats held together with monofilament type cord for use during Sukkos. The following is an explanation of the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann regarding this item:

The Guide To Halachic Food Measurements

Conscientious observance of kashrus goes beyond the identification of kosher symbols on your supermarket shelf and the separation of meat and dairy foods and utensils in your kitchen. There are many food related halachos, in addition to those involving preparation and serving. Amongst them are the halachos of shiurim, measurements. They encompass a wide range of issues relevant to food consumption, and have important halachic ramifications.

Eruv Tavshilin

A fundamental difference between Yom Tov observance and Shabbos observance is the allowance of ochel nefesh, food preparation on Yom Tov. “Ach Asher Yei’achel L’Chol Nefesh Hu Levado Yei’aseh Lachem…“1 The Torah permits us to cook, bake, and prepare food on Yom Tov proper, in order to eat the prepared food on that day of Yom Tov. One is not permitted to prepare from one day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov or for after Yom Tov. This prohibition of hachana, of preparing from one day of Yom Tov to the next, presents a problem when the second day of Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos or when Shabbos follows a two day sequence of Yomim Tovim. Can one halachically prepare food on Yom Tov for the Shabbos Yom Tov or for Shabbos?

Matzo: How it is made and how to differentiate between those that are acceptable and forbidden for use.

The production of matzos Kosher for Pesach (KFP) 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 and have not prematurely sprouted. Grinding of the grain must be performed according to the dictates of Halacha which preludes any pre-grind soaking of the grain and which 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 sheltered conditions and shipped to the bakeries.

Pesach Medication: The Halachos and Lists

For many years, Rabbi Gershon Bess has prepared a Guide for Pesach Medications and Cosmetics. This list has been published and distributed by Kollel Los Angeles. For over a decade, STAR-K Kosher Certification in conjunction with Kollel Los Angeles has made this list more widely available to the general public. This guide, available in Jewish bookstores nationwide, has served as an important resource to kosher consumers.

Sefer Kovetz Halachos (Hilchos Pesach 12:4) states in the name of HaRav Shmuel Kamenetzky, shlit”a, that l’chatchila one should take a medication approved for Pesach (see ibid. footnote #5 that mentions the availability and use of reliable Pesach lists and guides).

There are four issues that must be addressed to fully understand the list:

The Halachos of Taking Medication on Pesach
The Importance of the List
How the List is Prepared
Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

I. The Halachos of Taking Medication on Pesach

The following halachos are based on the psak […]

Passover In Brief

Passover, an eight-day springtime festival, commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage. Based on the injunction against eating or possessing leavened bread for eight days, Passover involves a unique set of kosher laws. Kosher consumers are most careful about what they eat on Passover. In fact, many people who do not observe kosher year-round may do so on Passover. According to some accounts, 40% of the kosher market revolves around the Passover holiday.

Feeding Your Pet: Barking Up the Right Tree

Click here for 2019 Pet Food List

To some people, the concept that there are restrictions regarding what can be fed to animals may seem amusing. They wonder: “Really now, must dogs also eat kosher?” Of course,animals don’t need to eat kosher food. However, Halacha clearly instructs people regarding what, how and when to feed them.

The Chumra of Only using Non-Chometz Medications is Nothing New

In the 1920’s, the Jewish community in Germany numbered close to half a million people, who were mostly professionals, in finance, and retail trade. German Jewry thrived within the general culture of the Weimar Republic. As an influx of approximately 70,000 East European Jews flocked to Germany to escape political oppression and violent anti-Semitism, Berlin soon became the center for Hebrew culture, reaching its peak from 1920 to 1924. It had become a safe haven for Hebrew and Yiddish speaking intellectuals, mostly Russian Hebrew writers. Although some Jews emigrated during this time, mostly to America or Palestine, many more did so after the rise of Nazism in 1933. Unfortunately, the majority of Jews remained in Germany, with catastrophic results.

The 10 Commandments for the Prudent Passover Consumer

I. Thou Shalt Read Product Labels Carefully
     – Make sure a reliable Kosher for Passover certification appears on the package. Don’t assume the product is kosher for Passover just because it is in the Passover section of the supermarket.

Stores Where Chometz May Be Purchased After Pesach

Click here to view the listing of stores where chometz may be purchased after Pesach 2016


FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE HALACHOS REGARDING PURCHASING CHOMETZ AFTER PESACH CLICK HERE:

Quinoa: The Grain That’s Not

Tired of potatoes, potatoes, potatoes for Pesach? Try quinoa (“Keen-Wa”), a sesame-seed-sized kernel first brought to the United States from Chile nineteen years ago, according to Rebecca Theurer Wood. Quinoa has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains for thousands of years, growing three to six feet tall despite high altitudes, intense heat, freezing temperatures, and as little as four inches of annual rainfall. Peru and Bolivia maintain seed banks with 1,800 types of quinoa.

But What Could be the Problem With…

As Pesach nears, the grocery bills mount and the bank account dwindles, the Jewish housewife courageously attempts to hold the household budget intact without compromising her strict standard of Pesach Kashrus. She asks: Are there products in the marketplace that live up to their claims of fresh, pure, natural, or additive-free that can be purchased worry-free without special Passover certification, or are there legitimate kashrus concerns that would require the product to carry reliable Kosher for Passover certification? Let us take a behind-the-scenes look at some of these potential products.

The Busiest Day of the Year: The Laws of Erev Pesach

Erev Pesach is one of the busiest and most unique days of the year. With every hour comes another set of halachos. Many halachic times, including the time for searching for chometz and the latest time for eating chometz, are well known. However, many halachos of Erev Pesach are often confusing and not commonly understood. The purpose of this article is to elucidate some of the lesser known laws of Erev Pesach.

Now You See It Now You Don’t: Understanding Kitniyos & Kitniyos Shenishtanu

As is commonly known, the Torah prohibits chometz on Pesach, and the consequence of chometz consumption on Pesach is very severe. In order to distance us from the possibility of violating Torah precepts, chazal with their supreme insight, instituted a minhag as a protective fence. The minhag to guard us from chometz violations is to refrain from consuming kitniyos on Pesach.

WHAT ARE KITNIYOS?

Kitniyos are popularly defined as legumes. But what are legumes? The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 453, defines kitniyos as those products that can be cooked and baked in a fashion similar to chometz grains, yet are not halachically considered in the same category as chometz. Some examples are rice, corn, peas, mustard seed, and all varieties of beans (i.e., kidney, lima, garbanzo, etc.). The Torah term for the fermentation of barley, rye, oats, wheat, and spelt is “chimutz;” the term given for fermentation of kitniyos is “sirchan.”

The Bais […]

The Kashrus, Shabbos, and Pesach Guide to Cosmetics

Ezra Hasofer established ten takanos (laws) covering a wide spectrum of Jewish life.1 The purpose of these takanos was to enhance Torah study, Shabbos, the Jewish communal court system, and the sanctity of the Jewish home and marriage. One of the takanos was that salesmen should travel from town to town to supply perfume and fragrances to the women of each community.2 It is clear that these items were important in Jewish life since ancient times.

Pesach Guide for Individuals with Diabetes

Adapted from Jewish Diabetes Association article by Nechama Cohen

The challenge of diabetes seems ten-fold when it comes to Pesach. There are a whole new set of considerations — four cups of wine at each Seder; a many-hour wait until Shulchan Aruch; knowing the carb content of a single hand matzah.

These are real concerns for people with diabetes and related health issues, who wish to fulfill the requirements of Pesach al pi halachah without compromising their health. STAR-K has turned to the Jewish Diabetes Association (JDA) for answers and the JDA has kindly provided the following guidelines to help you prepare your matzah and wine.

I. MATZA

The stipulations for minimum shiurim for matzah, which follow, are based on the psak of Rav Moshe Heinemann, shlit”a.

NOTE: These calculations from the STAR-K are based on the use of a Tzelem Pupa hand matzah.

In the case of a medical condition, one may fulfill the mitzvah […]

Guide to Selling Real Chometz Before Pesach

Although להלכה, any chometz may be sold before Pesach, there are pious individuals who do not sell “real” chometz, but rather give it away, burn it, or eat it before Pesach. How does one define “real” chometz? A food for which there is an issur of בל יראה ובל ימצא דאורייתא (there is a Torah prohibition of ownership on Pesach) is “real” chometz. This includes all items that are חמץ גמור, real chometz (bread, cake, pretzels, pasta, etc.). It should be noted that people who do not sell real chometz may purchase real chometz from a Jewish owned store that sold their chometz.

However, תערובת חמץ where the חיוב ביעור (obligation to burn) is only מדרבנן(rabbinic), or at least according to some opinions only מדרבנן, is not חמץ גמור. In addition, ספק חמץ medications and non-edible items, as well as products processed on chometz equipment, are not considered to be חמץ גמור. These products are sold before Pesach […]

Machine Matzos: Timing is Everything!

Published Spring 2009


Meticulous, scrupulous and passionate are terms that describe the fervor, zeal and seriousness displayed by the kosher consumer regarding Pesach kashrus in general, and Pesach matzohs in particular.  The kosher consumer has become more sophisticated and savvy with each passing year.  Kosher consumers are willing to pay top dollar for a quality kosher product.   Pesach matzohs are no exception.  Machine matzohs with fine mehadrin hechsherim are readily available on the supermarket shelf.  Are all machine matzohs created equal?