Oven Kashrus: For Yom Tov Use

To download and print a handy summary of the halachos regarding oven use on Yom Tov, click here.

Yom Tov celebrations could never be complete without the traditional piping hot delicacies from past generations. However, the kosher homemaker must be well educated on how to prepare Yom Tov meals without fear of transgressing a Torah or rabbinic prohibition.

When mentioning the prohibition of work on Shabbos the Torah writes, “Do not do any melacha (work prohibited on Shabbos).”1 This prohibition applies to melacha performed for food preparation, as well as other non-food purposes. In stating the prohibition of melacha on Yom Tov the Torah writes, “You shall not do laborious work.”2

In addition, when giving the initial command about the Yom Tov of Pesach, the Torah writes, “No work may be done on them (first and seventh day of Pesach), except for what must be eaten for any person, only […]

Sheimos Guidelines

Updated June 2024

The Torah forbids discarding objects with innate kedusha (holiness) into the trash or recycling bin. Objects which have innate kedusha must be placed in sheimos, which must be buried.

(Objects that acquire kedusha after being used for a mitzvah do not need to be placed in sheimos but do need to be disposed of with special sensitivity. This is discussed further below.)

SHEIMOS: Disposing of Objects with Kedusha

The following objects are included in this category:

Any of the names of Hashem

Sefer Torah or Sefer Torah cover

Seforim, whether handwritten, printed, photocopied, or downloaded and printed (e.g., Chumashim, Siddurim, Machzorim, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, etc.)

Bentchers

Pages of a sefer that became detached or fragments of a sefer, even if there is no writing or print on them

A sefer’s cover that has been removed from the sefer

Binding tape that became detached from a sefer

Printed material primarily intended to quote or explain Torah, even when containing […]

Pre-Purchase Advice – for Ovens and Cooktops

Visit the STAR-K website at www.star-k.org.php73-40.lan3-1.websitetestlink.com.php73-40.lan3-1.websitetestlink.com.php73-40.lan3-1.websitetestlink.com for lists of oven products under STAR-K certification.

The Mitzvah of Shatnes

This article is an attempt to provide a review of some of the pertinent details of the mitzvah of shatnes, to educate consumers so that they avoid purchasing garments containing shatnes, and to dispel many of the myths about certain types of clothing and textiles that do or do not contain shatnes. We hope to reduce the all too frequent instances in which the joy one naturally experiences upon purchasing a new garment is diminished when shatnes is discovered.

The Spice of Life: A Kashrus Overview of Salt & Pepper

The use of spices in preparing food has played a role in history disproportionate to their nutritional value. A ransom paid by Alaric the Goth that included three thousand pounds of pepper delayed the attack of Rome for two years. The discovery of the New World was due, in great measure to the search for such spices; that was the main objective of the early trans-Atlantic explorers. Our Rabbis tell us1 that the Torah is compared to salt and the Mishna to pepper. Indeed, the kashrus issues related to salt and pepper give us sufficient reason to analyze these primary food ingredients.

It’s Takke a Taco

Those tried and true N.Y. subway travelers of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s remember the memorable poster of the smiling Indian holding a delicious corned beef sandwich with the caption, “You don’t have to be Jewish to Love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye.” Today, with the virtual explosion of ethnic foods, you don’t have to be Japanese to enjoy Sushi, you don’t have to be Italian to enjoy ravioli or minestrone, and you don’t have to be Mexican to enjoy tacos and burritos. However, the common link between all these ethnic foods is that today the kosher consumer can sink his teeth into a delicious enchilada or schwarma that bears reliable kosher certification.

Oven Kashrus: For Shabbos Use

To download and print a handy summary of these halachos, click here.

Cookin’ just ain’t what it used to be. Technological advances have taken the old stovetop and oven and upgraded them to be safer, more efficient, and smart for today’s lifestyle. They are also far more complicated. With these transformations, the observant Jew is faced with challenges that did not confront him in the past.

To understand how these changes affect the halachic use of the stovetop on Shabbos and Yom Tov, it is worthwhile to review some laws and concepts as they relate to cooking on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

DEFINITION OF MELACHA

Cooking on Shabbos is a Torah prohibition derived from the constructive acts performed in erecting the mishkan. This forbidden act is known as a melacha. There are 39 categories of prohibited acts.

MELACHA OF COOKING

The prohibition of cooking on Shabbos is defined as the act of using heat to […]

She Sells Sea Shells – But Are They Kosher? The Kashrus Status of Glucosamine and Other Arthritis Remedies

As the kosher consumer crosses Maryland’s spectacular Chesapeake Bay Bridge, it is hard to imagine that glucosamine, one of the most widely used arthritis remedies is derived from the seafood shells found deep in the waters below. Sea shells are not the only surprising source of muscle and joint remedies. The l’vona (frankincense) used in the Bais Hamikdash, deer antlers, and an array of animals including sharks and bees, also contain the raw materials of over-the-counter arthritis supplements.

Kashrus Guide for the OB/GYN Patient

Updated June 2024

When visiting an obstetrician/gynecologist, a patient may be given prescriptions or recommendations for an array of products by her physician. The patient may be confused about whether a particular product is kosher. The following guide was prepared to help clarify the kashrus issues regarding these products.1

Ideally, one should purchase medicinal products and vitamins with a reliable kosher certification. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. In the event a product is not kosher approved, one should consult her rav, as one does with any halachic question.

The following guidelines in this regard are the halachic ruling of Rav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a, STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator.

NOTE: The following are general halachic guidelines and cannot possibly cover all scenarios. Under no circumstances should an individual forgo taking a prescribed medication without first consulting her physician and rav.

CHOLEH SHEYEISH BO SAKANA: ONE WHO IS ILL AND WHOSE LIFE MAY BE IN DANGER

A choleh […]