Security

In these turbulent times, many people have installed alarm systems in their homes which give them a sense of security. There are various types of burglar alarms which are either connected to a central system or not. But one thing is clear; the system will only work if all the wires are intact, the switches set in the right sequence and the unit is in working order. It is a good idea to test it every now and then to make sure the system is in proper operating condition. Just one frayed connection can invalidate the whole system.

Terumos and Ma’asros

Published Spring 2002 | Updated June 2016

As a result of the State of Israel’s blossoming agricultural advances and innovative marketing strategies, Israeli food exports to foreign markets in all sectors continue to grow and flourish. Some consumer products are very well known to the American marketplace, such as Jaffa oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, clementines and parsley, Carmel tomatoes, Arava peppers, and candies, jams, jellies, canned tomatoes, olives, and pickled products. Other industrial products used for manufacturing are tomato sauce, tomato paste, orange oil and spices. New marketing avenues include private label manufacturing, the purchase of American companies by Israeli companies, and the use of Israeli components in the manufacturing of American labeled products.

Olive Oil: The Contemporary Industry of Antiquity

Olive oil, the liquid gold of the ancients was touted for its nutritional, medicinal, and cosmetic value. As a fuel it illuminated the home. As a food ingredient it was a feast to the palate. Olive oil production is one of the world’s oldest industries. Interestingly, much of this ancient industry has not changed over the millennia.

Dried Fruit: Nature’s Way of Wrinkling Gracefully

It has been called nature’s candy. It’s a sweet source of nutrition whose popularity is on the rise. Commensurate with its growing popularity is its demand. In today’s global economy the dried fruit trade literally spans the entire globe. Apples from China, prunes from Bulgaria, figs from the Middle East, dates from Tunisia, or raisins from South America, and of course apples, peaches, plums, raisins, figs, and dates in the good old USA. Naturally, this growth presents a whole new set of challenges to kashrus agencies. How do you send a mashgiach to supervise date productions in Pakistan, raisin productions in Iran, or plum productions in Bulgaria?

It’s Kosher on Paper Only

Published Spring 2008

If you have ever left cookies in the oven a little too long, and they became stuck to the pan, you know what a frustrating experience it can be.  Imagine multiplying that feeling hundreds or thousands of times, and you will begin to understand one of the major problems that commercial bakeries and food producers face all the time.  To avoid this problem, food manufacturers use release agents to grease the pans.  These agents are frequently found in a spray form, like PAM, and must always be kosher certified.  Paper pan liners may also be used as release agents, particularly in bakeries.  They provide more consistent browning and baking with no added fat or calories, and require less clean-up.  Pan liners are also used by candy makers, and may be used as cupcake holders or wraps for frozen gefilte fish.  Consumers are also discovering […]

Raising Cane: The Kashrus and Other Halachic Issues of Cane Sugar

Published Summer 2009

It is noteworthy that in both Jewish and secular sources, the first recorded references to cane sugar are attributed to Jewish kings. In Shir HaShirim1, Shlomo Hamelech writes “Yaari Im Divshi,” “My forest with my honey.” Some commentators2 deem this to be referring to cane sugar and deduce that sugar canes are considered trees. Secular sources indicate that cane sugar was first used by man in Polynesia, and from there it spread to India. Darius of Persia invaded India, where he found “the reed which gives honey without bees”. Darius was the son of Achashveirosh and Esther and was, therefore, Jewish. (Hence, cane sugar seems to be a ‘royal Jewish food’!) We […]

When Does One Pray When There Is No Day

Published Summer 2007

Refer to attached map

For a further discussion on this topic see Sefer Shaarei Zmanim –  Siman 11 here.

There was a time not long ago when kosher food was available only in major Jewish metropolitan areas. Finding kosher certified products on the road was a daunting task. “Kosher Tours” were limited to a few select areas. Today, the Star-K and other kosher symbols appear on thousands of food products. Kosher food is available from Fairbanks to Fiji, and from New Zealand to Norway. Kosher tours are now available to Alaska and Antarctica. With so many north and south destinations easily accessible to kosher consumers, the observant Jew now faces an array of fascinating questions. In parts of Alaska, and other locations north of the Arctic Circle, there are periods of time during the summer when the sun never sets and […]