Undercover: The Halachos of Schach

Published Fall 2009

When our Torah speaks about the Festival of Sukkos it states, “Chag HaSukkos Taaseh Lecha B’Aspecha Migornecha U’Miyikvecha.”1  “The Sukkos holiday should be observed at the time that you harvest your grain and your wine,” during the fall.  Our Chachamim, sages, have taught us that this pasuk has another esoteric meaning.  The sukkah, in which we dwell during this chag, should be made from the unused parts of the harvesting grain and wine, namely the stalks of grain and twigs of the vine.  These are the items that should be used for the schach, the covering, which is placed on top of the sukkah instead of a permanent roof.

Hot Off the Hotline

(All answers are based on the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita, Star-K Rabbinic Administrator.)

Q: What type of aged cheese requires one to wait six hours before eating meat?

A: Generally speaking, aging of cheese is an ongoing process, which occurs when the bacteria found in cheese breaks down the lactose (the milk sugar), creating lactic acid, thereby changing the physical property of the cheese, giving it a sharper flavor.

A good example of this aging process would be if someone were to leave a wedge of Muenster cheese in a nice warm environment until the cheese becomes “tangy.” The housewife would call it spoiled; a cheese maven would call it flavorful. Historically, flavorful cheese took about six months to age. The longer the cheese aged the harder it became. In Italy today, one can find some […]

The Importance of Accurate Kashrus Information

As Bnai Torah we tend to consider ourselves sophisticated and knowledgeable regarding matters that we deem important. We are not easily swayed by glitzy advertising, nor are we apt to blindly follow recommendations from others unless we are convinced that the proffered advice is sound and based on actual knowledge. When making a major purchase such as an automobile, or deciding which yeshiva or seminary is the right choice for our son or daughter, we make a decision after deliberate and careful investigation of the facts. Of course, we do accept the opinion of others, but only after we are convinced that the one dispensing advice has factual knowledge of the issue at hand.

Do Bee Don’t Bee- A Halachic Guide to Honey and Bee Derivatives

Published Fall 2010

As we look toward the beginning of the new year, we turn our thoughts to teshuva, and the hope that our tefillos will be answered for a sweet new year.  This request has been symbolized for hundreds of years on Rosh Hashana by eating challah and apples dipped in honey.1

National Kashrus Lecture Series

Star-K’s National Kashrus Lecture Series features various topics delivered by Star-K administrators. Topics cover: Glatt Kosher Meat Today, Kosher Travel, The High Price of Kosher Foods, Caterers and Restaurants, Meat and Poultry, Kosher Liquors, Shabbos & Yom Tov Appliances, and the Kashrus of Medicines & Vitamins. Cassettes of these lectures are available through the Star-K office. For more information, click here or call Star-K,
(410) 484-4110.