Read up on all Kashrus Kurrents articles for Kosher news in the year 2000.

Shmitta 5761

For over nineteen hundred years the Jewish people have longed to return to Eretz Yisroel, the land of Israel. It is only in land of Israel that we can realize our full potential as a nation; it is only in the land of Israel that the Torah’s blueprint for life can be completely fulfilled. Over the millennia the most important dimension of this longing was the yearning to once again be able to fulfill the mitzvos hatluyos ba’aretz (agricultural laws), the commandments that can only be observed in the land of Israel. With Hashem’s help many of us in this past generation have realized part of this two thousand year old dream. Yet, this realization has presented us with new challenges.

Charting the Course of Orla

Published Summer 2013
When a tourist comes to Israel from the Diaspora one of the things he has to get used to is the mitzvos hatluot b’aretz, the mitzvos that are unique to Israel. After he gets through taking trumah and maaser, tithing, and makes sure he doesn’t come during shmitta (beware next year!) he is suddenly hit with orla. And when he asks how to cope with this unfamiliar problem he is sometimes given a chart with a list of fruits and orla percentages which, if he isn’t totally confused, the charts will certainly finish off the job. “What do all these percentages mean? And why,” he asks, “can’t someone give me a yes or no answer instead of these percentages?” So what do the percentages on these fruit charts mean?

A Halachic Exercise in self control

Published Summer 2013

SCENE 1: You are hungry. You desperately need something to hit the spot. Suddenly your friend offers you a delicious chocolate frosted cupcake . . . complete with sprinkles. Your mouth begins to water . . . you are just about to take that first irresistible bite when your inner voice raises the age-old query, “How do you know if it is Kosher?” Your ecstasy is short lived. Your hand pulls back and you put the cupcake down. You exercised self control. You are still hungry but you passed the test.

OTZER BAIS DIN: Proper Distribution of Shmitta Produce

Rav Aharon Tendler, Ner Israel Mechina High School

Our rabbis have taught that if the Jewish nation would observe two Shabbosos, they would be immediately redeemed1.  Generally, this is understood to mean that the redemption will come if we observe two consecutive Shabbosos. The question arises as to the significance of two Shabbosos, and many responses have been provided.  There is a beautiful answer offered by the former Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Rabbi Fishman, in his introduction to a commentary on the Yerushalmi Mesechta Shevi’is.  Rabbi Fishman maintains that the two Shabbosos actually refer to the seventh day of the week when we refrain from all melacha, constructive work, and the seventh year of shmitta, when we withdraw our ownership from  the land of Israel and declare all produce ownerless and available for all to take.

Can it be Kosher

How often have we heard the query, “What’s the problem with plain canned vegetables? It’s only vegetables, water and salt in a can!” True. It’s also true that today you can buy vegetables with a hechsher, salt with a hechsher, water with a hechsher even cans with a hechsher! But does 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4? Can a kosher consumer buy canned corn off the shelf or should the kosher consumer beware?

Oven Kashrus: For Everyday Use

Hashem, in His eminent act of chesed, created a world with abundant gifts expressly designed for the enjoyment of man. The Torah often limits, directs or restricts these worldly opportunities afforded to us to help us remember that we do not own this earthly bounty, instead we are using them with the permission of their Owner.