A 25 Year Retrospective on Kashrus Kurrents

Approximately twenty-five years ago shortly before “Pesach” 5738 Mr. A. J. Levin, a vice president of the Orthodox Jewish Council, began publishing Kashrus Kurrents. In that first issue, printed on the familiar yellow paper with the blue Kashrus Kurrents logo, it was deemed necessary to advise the Baltimore community that they cannot rely on labels or advertisements that merely states ‘Kosher for Passover’. From that same issue we learned that the fledgling Star-K organization had just inaugurated its kosher hot-line whereby one could get accurate kashrus information Monday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A most welcome and popular feature was a list of items that did not require special Passover certification. Included were specific brands of sugar and cocoa as well as a number of commonly used over the counter medications. Compiling the list required substantial research by volunteers […]

Pas or Pas Nisht: Reviewing the Laws of Pas Akum

Life is made up of a long chain of experiences. Some bitter, some sweet, some mundane, and some exciting. Let me share one with you. About ten years ago I had the good fortune to have an inspiring experience in Morocco, of all places. The purpose of my trip was to inspect various Star-K companies that exported olives and olive oil to the U.S. The inspiration came as a result of spending two days with the remnant of the once thriving ancient Jewish community of Meknes. Meknes was home to many Rabbanim, Geonim, and Tzadikim. The Ohr Hachaim HaKodosh, the great luminary who wrote the famous commentary on Chumash, was born in Meknes. The Jewish cemetery dates back 1200 years. Today barely two hundred families remain. The Rav of the small kehilla is a holy Jew by the name of Rabbi Chaim Kasous, who had served […]

FOOD FIT FOR A KING: Reviewing the Laws of Bishul Akum & Bishul Yisroel

It is not uncommon for food manufacturers to call us with a keen interest in kosher certification but who don’t have the slightest idea what it takes to produce a kosher product. What complicates matters is that they would like to have a kashrus tutorial capsulized into a telephone conversation. Obviously, we can’t give a thorough kashrus course over the phone, but we can categorize practical kashrus into three main areas: ingredients, equipment, and process.