Q: There is a brocha which is recited once a year upon seeing a newly flowering tree.  I have a number of questions regarding Birchas Hailonos: 

Q: May one enter a non‐kosher restaurant to get a drink of water, use the restroom or attend a business luncheon?  If a person does enter such an establishment, may he eat kosher items such as whole fruit?  May one buy a cup of coffee at a non‐kosher facility, such as a highway rest stop or Starbucks?

Published Summer 2009

Those of us who remember the famous marketing jingles of years past certainly recall the memorable multitudes of people locking their arms together while singing the praises of a soft drink, “What the world wants is the real thing!”  Today, that exclamation resounds throughout the beverage industry while most of the world is looking for the healthy, natural, nothing artificial, real thing …  others just want something yummy.

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 […]

Other News From The STAR-K

UPCOMING STAR-K PROGRAM
to Enhance Kashrus Awareness for Mashgichos

Q:       I had a bottle of wine stored in the shelving unit on the door of my refrigerator.  I was in the kitchen, and I saw my non-Jewish hired help open the refrigerator.   She knows that she is not allowed to touch my wine, but did not pay attention to the fact that opening the refrigerator moves the wine on the door.  Can I still drink the wine?

Published Fall 2009

Introduction:
Since the appearance of the first Star-K approved liquor list over 12 years ago, the liquor industry has become visibly spirited, sophisticated and very high profile.  As society moves in that direction, so has the kosher consumer.  Whether or not this is meritorious is not for us to editorialize.  However, baruch Hashem, life cycle simchos continue to abound, and a hearty l’chaim is still an integral part of sharing in one’s simchos.  Briefly, Kashrus Kurrents wants to update its readership concerning the past and current trends that have taken place, as well as how we arrived at our conclusions, under the direction of our esteemed Rav Hamachshir, Harav Moshe Heinemann, shlita.

Q:       I would like to buy a warming tray that has been manufactured for the Shomer Shabbos community. It is a glass covered warming tray and has a variable temperature dial with a removable knob. It can be set at a minimum temperature of 110 0F and a maximum temperature of 230 0F. It has a sticker on it stating that it is intended solely for the reheating of cooked foods and is not intended to be used for cooking. How may this tray be used on Shabbos?

Published Winter 2009

One of the most beautiful scenes in Yiddishkeit is the family gathered around the table for Kiddush,  a special moment for which we wait all week.  On Yom Tov, the beautiful melody1 ushers in each of the Shalosh Regalim with much excitement.

Published Winter 2009

The eighteen mashgichos who attended STAR-K’s Mashgicha Enrichment Program, November 2-3 in Baltimore, Maryland, had only one complaint: it wasn’t long enough. Although it lacked nothing in the way of organization or detailing of comprehensible and practical information, the women would have appreciated even more face time with the STAR-K experts. The experience of meeting fellow mashgichos from so many communities, being able to ask questions throughout the presentations, and the camaraderie felt by the program’s end, made it worth the trip!

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.

Published Spring 2009


Meticulous, scrupulous and passionate are terms that describe the fervor, zeal and seriousness displayed by the kosher consumer regarding Pesach kashrus in general, and Pesach matzohs in particular.  The kosher consumer has become more sophisticated and savvy with each passing year.  Kosher consumers are willing to pay top dollar for a quality kosher product.   Pesach matzohs are no exception.  Machine matzohs with fine mehadrin hechsherim are readily available on the supermarket shelf.  Are all machine matzohs created equal?

Published Spring 2009
Updated Fall 2018

A person visiting a hospital patient is performing the great  mitzvah  of  bikur cholim .  It is one of the  mitzvos  for which a person reaps benefits in this world, while the principal reward is saved for the next world.  While visiting the sick, some  halachic  issues may arise.  This article addresses these issues from the visitor’s point of view.  Questions affecting the patient (such as adjusting the bed, using the call button, and asking the staff to perform tasks on  Shabbos ) are important issues that should be posed to one’s rabbi.