Published Winter 2014

With a little forethought and planning, you can implement some helpful year-round money saving tips in anticipation of Pesach.

To assess your budget, ask yourself:-  What do I typically spend on groceries per month?

–  What did I spend for Pesach last year?

–  What are the specifics of this year’s Pesach plans?

–  Will I be eating meals at home or eating out?

–  Will I have more expenses because I am entertaining guests?

–  What can I afford this year?

–  How can I cut back on expenses a month or two prior to Pesach?

–  What can I live without?

Decide on your menu, taking into account where chol hamoed falls out on the calendar, as well as fleishig/milchig meals.  Be sure to make a list before you go shopping. Hopefully, you can refer to your post-Pesach notes from the previous year to remind you of your ever-changing Pesach needs.  These could include:

– Number of boxes of matzahmatzah meal, cake meal, and potato starch used

– Number of bottles of wine needed

– Popular brands

– Amount of milk used

– Amount of chicken used

– […]

Q:   When I say  Al Hamichya and make a mistake, I don’t know what to do.  Could you give me some guidelines?

A:    There are three places in the  brocha me’ein shalosh (colloquially known as  Al Hamichya) where the text changes, depending on what was eaten:

(1)    The  brocha starts with the words “ Boruch atah Hashem Elokeinu melech ha’olamal …”, followed by either “ hagefen  ve’al pri hagefen” if a person drank wine, “ ha’eitz  ve’al pri ha’eitz” if he ate fruit from the  shivas  haminim, “ hamichyeh  ve’al hakalkalah” if he ate food made from any of the five types of grain (wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt), or a combination of these phrases if he ate or drank a combination of items.1

(2)    Further on in the  brocha , one says “…  ve’nodeh  lecha al ha’aretz ve’al …”, followed by either “ pri  hagofen”, “ ha’peyros”, “ hamichya”, or a combination of these phrases.

(3)    The  brocha concludes with the words “…  Boruch atah Hashem al …”, followed once again by either “ hagefen  ve’al pri hagefen”, “ ha’eitz  ve’al pri ha’eitz”, “ hamichya  ve’al hakalkalah”, […]

Published Winter 2014

A Fictional Account of a Factual Situation1

PicturesLarge industrial stove, oven, fryer, elegantly set ballroom with tables

Mendy enjoyed his job at Elegant Touch Catering (ETC). His primary responsibilities were in the office, but his sharp eye was noticed by Rabbi Ephraim Rubin, the caterer’s veteran mashgiach, who needed extra help with vegetable checking. Finding people with the skill and acumen to determine acceptability of leafy greens, especially in the pressurized environment of a commercial kitchen, was a challenge for Rabbi Rubin and he was eager to recruit Mendy as an assistant.

After two months of training, and hours squinting in the harsh glow of a light box covered by microfiber mesh cloth, Mendy became adept at detecting tiny translucent thrips and aphids hiding in the folds and crevices of romaine, kale, broccoli, dill, and parsley. Finally, the STAR-K  Kashrus Administrator overseeing foodservice establishments approved him as a vegetable checker. Eventually, Mendy finely honed his […]

Published Winter 2014

Hashem , in his ultimate kindness, has provided man with the keys to unlock some of nature’s most amazing secrets.  For centuries, a great secret has been revealed to man – the bubbling elixir known as beer.

Beer’s ingredients – water, barley, yeast and hops – bear no resemblance to the finished product.  These natural ingredients undergo a series of simple yet fascinating processes to convert them into one of the world’s most popular beverages.  It is not coincidental that alcoholic beverages have been given the distinctive appellation “spirits”, alluding to the fact that these beverages seem to magically emerge from these natural ingredients as if they have been assisted by spirits.  The four steps of beer making are malting, roasting, brewing and fermenting.

THE PROCESS :  The first step of beer making combined barley and water in a process […]