Published Winter 2012

On Wednesday, September 7, at 8 p.m. EST, STAR-K made history by hosting the world’s first Eruv-inar. The inaugural long distance interactive presentation allowed participants from around the globe to experience a live workshop highlighting eruv shaylos through the use of pictures of eruvin. STAR-K’s Rabbinic Administrator, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlit”a, has always been on the cutting edge of the juxtaposition of advanced technology and halacha; the Eruv-inar featured Rav Heinemann discussing hilchos eruv.

Published Winter 2012

Torah observant Jews know that turning on the hot water faucet during Shabbos causes cold water to be heated, which transgresses the melacha of Bishul, cooking.  What many don’t know is that even turning on what you think is cold water can also be a problem – if it’s a one-handled faucet.

Published Winter 2012

One of the profound aspects of our Torah Hakdosha is the ability for anyone, regardless of age or wisdom, to appreciate the Torah on his or her own level. For example, Chumash and Rashi are studied by the greatest Torah scholars, as well as elementary school children. This concept is also applicable to Hilchos Brochos. To a first grader studying for a Brochos Bee, or a Talmudic scholar studying Perek Kaitzad Mevorchim in Masechta Brochos, learning about brochos can be fascinating.

STAR-K Welcomes Baltimore’s Tudor Heights Senior Assisted Living

Senior Lifestyle Corporation, a family owned Jewish company and a leader among senior living communities, operating over 75 properties in the U.S, has ventured into the world of kosher, according to Tudor Heights Senior Assisted Living’s new executive director, David Lapin.  Senior Lifestyle residential communities are unique in that they custom-tailor every aspect for the particular populations it services.   In this regard, Tudor Heights now offers a fully STAR-K certified kosher kitchen and dining room, in addition to boasting a local community-based management team that will cater to its kosher clientele, both literally and figuratively!  The newly renovated and expanded 64-room historic retirement community in Baltimore has a 70 resident capacity; it presently accommodates 36 residents.  For more information about Tudor Heights’ assisted living amenities, its Legacy, memory care programs, or its Passover respite program, please call 410-318-8000.

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Q: When my barber works on the area around my ear and temple, what I am allowed to let him do and what should I stop him from doing?

Published Spring 2012

One of the trademarks of the Star-K is that it encourages its staff to respond to consumer kashrus inquiries. All too often, after eating a yummy treat, a consumer will notice a seemingly questionable item listed on the wrapper’s ingredient panel. They will then call the Star-K hotline in a frantic state because they fear they may have eaten something non-kosher, only to learn that they most likely mistook the ingredient for something else or that the ingredient has a kosher counterpart. The following is a list of commonly questioned ingredients that regularly appear on the labels of popular foods that we eat.

Published Spring 2012

Since the Star-K often receives questions regarding the use of electric shavers, this article will address the halachic concerns of removing one’s facial hair.  The Torah states “לא תקפו פאת ראשכם ולא תשחית את פאת זקנך” , Do not round the corners of one’s head, and do not destroy the corner of one’s beardויקרא י”ט כ) ). The Torah continues, “ופאת זקנם לא יגלחו” (ויקרא כ”א ה ) and the corner of one’s beard they shall not shave.

Q: I have a number of utensils which need kashering through hagalah (immersion in boiling water). Which materials may and may not be kashered?

Published Summer 2012

Not too long ago, prior to the flood of Jewish children recordings, my children listened to a popular recording of birthday party songs.   One popular song that stands out in my memory is the song beginning with the following lyrics:

Everyone loves ice cream, yes indeed they do,
Everyone loves ice cream, I do – do you?
Search the whole world over travel near and far,
‘Cause everyone loves ice cream, no matter where they are.

Published Fall 2012

Rabbi Daniel Presman traveled 10,800 roundtrip miles, a 22-hour roundtrip flight from his hometown of Porto Alegre, Brazil, just to attend STAR-K’s ninth annual Kashrus Training Program, July 16-19, 2012, held in its Baltimore offices.

Published Fall 2012

The Community and Its Shechita

One of the most basic features of a functional Jewish community, no matter the size, has historically been the shochet.  Rabbis are a necessity, but were not always available; access to kosher meat is indispensable.  The original American Jewish community of twenty-three Dutch Jews from Brazil, who landed in New Amsterdam (later, New York) in 1654, was led by the celebrated Asser Levy, who was also the shochet.   Well before the first ordained rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Rice, arrived in 1840, shochtim served the needs of American Jews.
In the more established kehilos of Europe, the shochet was also deemed critical.  An intrepid shochet, who risked his life in the early 1930s to provide kosher meat to Jews in Soviet Russia, remarked during an interview:

Published Fall 2012

Unquestionably, the latest operative terms in the burgeoning liquor industry are ‘transparency’ and ‘innovation’. Never before has there been more consumer enlightenment, courtesy of the information highway known as the Internet.  Moreover, new venues have been introduced to tweak standard products or present new ones, so that distilleries can gain a greater share of the market.  What previously was assumed to be a glatt kosher choice in the liquor cabinet has now become not so glatt.

Published Summer 2012

Click here for a handy printable map.

In today’s global market, the furthest regions of the Earth are much closer to home than one could ever imagine.  For example, citric acid – an integral ingredient in soft drinks, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – a common nutrient, and amino acids used in numerous food items, are produced in a variety of Star-K certified Chinese plants.  Star-K certified glycerine is manufactured in the Philippines and shipped to the United States.  Mashgichim are frequently sent to Thailand, Fiji, Vietnam, and Indonesia to oversee production of kosher spices, tuna fish, and canned fruits and vegetables.  The Star-K has an office in Shanghai to administer the supervision and inspect facilities.

Published Winter 2012

On Wednesday, September 7, at 8 p.m. EST, STAR-K made history by hosting the world’s first Eruv-inar. The inaugural long distance interactive presentation allowed participants from around the globe to experience a live workshop highlighting eruv shaylos through the use of pictures of eruvim, which were submitted. STAR-K’s Rabbinic Administrator, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlit”a, has always been on the cutting edge of the juxtaposition of advanced technology and halacha; the Eruv-inar featured Rav Heinemann discussing hilchos eruv.