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 which was published and distributed by Kollel Los Angeles. A partnership with STAR-K and the Kollel to make this information more widely available to the general public is still going strong after more than a quarter century. The Medications and Cosmetics Guide, available in Jewish bookstores nationwide, serves as an invaluable resource for kosher consumers seeking to purchase these items for Yom Tov.

Sefer Kovetz Halachos (Hilchos Pesach 12:4) states in the name of HaRav Shmuel Kamenetzky, shlit”a, that lechatchila one should take a medication approved for Pesach and mentions the availability and use of reliable Pesach lists and guides (see Hilchos Pesach, ibid., footnote 5).
The halachos pertaining to medication and cosmetic use on Pesach are based on the joint psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlit”a, and Rabbi Gershon Bess, shlit”a. Halachos that appear in […]

Feeding Your Pet: Barking Up the Right Tree

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.

A Guide to Erev Pesach That Occurs on Shabbos

Note: This article was originally written for Kashrus Kurrents 2001 and revised for the 2021 Passover Guide. The halachos apply whenever Erev Pesach falls on Shabbos. The next occurrences will take place in 2025 and then not again until 2045.

Many of us are quite familiar with the regular Erev Pesach routine: The bechorim go to a siyum, the chometz is burned, and we prepare for the Seder. However, every so often,1 Erev Pesach occurs on Shabbos and we must modify our routine. Let us review the halachos of Shabbos Erev Pesach.

Thursday – Taanis Bechorim/Bedikas Chometz

On a regular Erev Pesach the first-born males (bechorim) are obligated to fast. This year the fast is pushed back to Thursday. Those bechorim who do not wish to fast should attend a siyum. Thursday night after tzeis hakochavim (when it gets dark), one should immediately perform bedikas chometz. A bracha and […]

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.

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.

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 Guidelines for Individuals with Diabetes & Food Allergies

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; waiting many hours until Shulchan Aruch; knowing the carb content of a single hand matzah.

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

I. Matzah

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

These shiurim are different than listed prior to 2020. See here for explanation. These calculations are based on the use of a Pupa Tzelem hand matzah (10 matzos to a pound).

In the case of a medical […]

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?