Machine Matzos: Timing is Everything!

Reviewed March 2024

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 matzos 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 matzos with fine mehadrin hechsherim are readily available on the supermarket shelf.  Are all machine matzos created equal?

Regarding matzah baking and the time parameters for chimutz, leavening, the Shulchan Aruch1states, “One should not leave the dough dormant, not for a moment.” If the dough is constantly being worked the chimutz process is impeded.However, the Shulchan Aruch continues, “If the dough is left dormant for a ‘mil’, the dough […]

Bracha On a Newly Flowering Tree: Birchas Ha’ilanos Guidelines

Spring 2009

Q: There is a bracha which is recited once a year upon seeing a newly flowering tree. I have a number of questions regarding Birchas Ha’ilonos:

When is the optimal time to say this bracha?  Does the bracha have to be said during the month of Nisan? 

What rules apply concerning the location of the person when saying the bracha?  How far away can you be from the tree when saying the bracha?  Can you be inside a house or other structure?  Can you be in a car?  Is it necessary to be at a site where there is more than one tree?

What limitations are there regarding the type of tree over which this bracha may be recited?  Does the tree need to be fruit bearing?  How old should the tree be?  Can the tree be orlah (less than three […]

The Visitor’s Halachic Guide to Hospitals

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.