The task of food preparation aboard a modern cruise ship is enormous. Activity begins even before the first passenger comes aboard. Needless to say, food is central to a cruise. “Kosher Cruise” may simply imply that the food is kosher; other halachic issues may not have been addressed by the kosher certification agency. In this article, we will examine kashrus, as well as other topics including Shabbos, davening and tznius.

Kashrus

Providing kosher supervision on a cruise ship is not an easy task. “Mega-ships” can carry over 4,000 guests.1 Food preparation occurs around-the-clock in multiple locations. Most often, a ‘kosher cruise’ means that an entrepreneur has booked a number of cabins aboard a large ship. In such an arrangement, kosher and non-kosher food will be prepared and served simultaneously.

The traveler must have confidence in the kashrus agency that is certifying the cruise. In order to instill confidence, a reliable kashrus organization must address many issues.

What arrangements have been made to accommodate […]

In the last issue of Kashrus Kurrents the following appeared in “Hot Off the Hotline:”

Q: On Shabbos does an observant Jew have to close a website that is selling products online?

A: Yes. As in the case of a regular business transaction, no electronic business transactions may be made on Shabbos or Yom Tov on a website belonging to a shomer Shabbos businessman. The web site may remain open for informational purposes, if the shopping cart on the website is shut down. The time Shabbos or Yom Tov begins is determined by the entrepreneur’s geographic location.

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This article is a further clarification to the Hot off the Hotline question…

Q: On Shabbos does an observant Jew have to close a website that is selling products online?

Based on information that the Star-K received from two credit card companies, Rav Heinemann had answered that since purchases are accomplished by entering a credit card number, whereby the bank immediately transfers funds from the purchaser’s account to that of the vendor, web commerce would be prohibited on Shabbos.

However, many of our Kashrus Kurrents readers informed us that this information is erroneous regarding weekend transactions. After much research to further clarify this issue, Hot off the Hotline is presenting the corrected version of how credit card business is transacted generally, and specifically how it is […]

Amongst the number of recent eye opening events that have impacted the Jewish community, a discovery was made last May regarding the halachic status of New York tap water. The New York kosher consumer was shaken by the fact that New York tap water, which had the reputation of being one of the most pure, clean, and natural water available, contains unwelcome visitors called copepods that are visible to the human eye. In spite of that fact that this was a New York discovery, the Star-K hotline in Baltimore was abuzz with inquiries of “Can we drink the water?!” This is the Star-K response regarding copepods in drinking water based on discussions with Rav Moshe Heinemann Shlit”a, Star-K Rabbinical Administrator.

Q: What are copepods?

A: Copepods, also known as “insects of the sea,” are crustaceans that are found wherever water is found. […]

How can you learn to deal with the challenges of supervising a first-class hotel’s kosher kitchen which is next to its non-kosher kitchen? Where does one find the opportunity to tour a flavor plant to better understand the kosher manufacturing process? Who will train you to find the less obvious thrips and aphids when checking a restaurant’s vegetables? What will give you the preparation to administer – or perhaps, pioneer – a communal kosher certification agency?

Star-K Kosher Certification recently provided the platform for these unique learning opportunities and more. In its new complimentary certificate program, Star-K’s Kashrus Training Program allowed Kollel yungerleit of Yeshivas Ner Yisrael to experience the field of kosher supervision first hand. Held July 12-16, at Star-K’s offices in Baltimore, Maryland, the five day intensive seminar was limited to 25 students who have studied Yorah Deah.

Ner Yisrael Kollel fellow Moshe Schuchman’s sentiments regarding […]

by Dr. Tzvi White, reviewed by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Star-K Rabbinic Administrator

Home ownership, the American dream. After moving in one hopes it doesn’t turn in to an American nightmare. So many things to take care of; so many things to consider. Utilities, the structure, the appliances – the list is seemingly endless. Dealing with normal home issues is hard enough, just think how many more issues have to be considered in a kosher compliant home. Kosher mezuzas on all entrances. Kosher appliances to make the kosher kitchen user friendly. No trees hanging over the backyard area where the sukkah is to be built. Moreover, does anyone realize that roofs, porches, balconies and landings have to be kosher as well? How do you make a porch kosher compliant? The answer – build a ma’akeh.

What is a ma’akeh?

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One of the many ways Klal Yisroel serves the Ribbono Shel Olam is through the performance of mizvos hateluyos ba’aretz, mitzvos that are dependent on land. Those who live in the land of Israel have many opportunities to fulfill these mitzvos. In chutz la’aretz, the mitzvah of hafrashas Challah is one of the only agricultural mitzvos that we are obligated to perform.1

Unbelievable but true.

Overheard conversation between Mother and a precocious seven year old at a typical supper table…

“Now dear you must eat your fruits and vegetables!”

“I just finished a delicious double portion.”

“Great what did you eat?”

“A yummy chocolate bar.”

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.

Appliance manufacturers, with the aid of modern technology, have designed kitchen appliances to be safer and more efficient while incorporating various features to enhance operation. However, the integration of this technology may pose a challenge to their proper use on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
In 1997, a historic technological project was launched between a major appliance manufacturer and a kosher certification agency. Whirlpool Corporation (manufacturer of KitchenAid) approached the STAR-K to help modify their ovens for use on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Prior to that time, many of their appliances did not conform to halachic guidelines. Following some adjustments, a successful mode was developed. Whirlpool called this “Sabbath Mode” and was awarded a patent in 1998 for this concept.

STAR-K certification on appliances falls into two categories:
1. Sabbath Mode, includes models that have unique software/hardware designed to specifically address our concerns.
2. Sabbath Compliant, includes models that the manufacturer wanted […]

The same Torah which does not permit us to eat the meat of an animal that does not have split hooves or chew its cud, also does not permit us to eat from new grain harvest until the barley omer sacrifice was brought in the Bais Hamikdash on the second day of Pesach.

Ezra Hasofer established ten takanos (laws) covering a wide spectrum of Jewish life.1 The purpose of these takanos was to enhance Torah study, Shabbos, the Jewish communal court system, and the sanctity of the Jewish home and marriage. One of the takanos was that salesmen should travel from town to town to supply perfume and fragrances to the women of each community.2 It is clear that these items were important in Jewish life since ancient times.