Soul Nutrition – Tishrei 5783

Teshuvah is a movement which is above time and is possible in one moment, with one turn of attention. It is within the grasp of-every Jew. The realization that Teshuvah can have such far-reaching effects, is within our potential and should motivate every Jew towards increased joy in his stuudy of Torah and performance of mitzvos.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights – Hakhel

Rashi cites the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah who said, “the men come to Hakhel to learn, the women come to listen, and the reason the children come to Hakhel is to give reward to those that bring them.” The children have the advantage that they “cause others to receive reward for bringing them to Hakhel.”
5 min read. Read More

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A Closer Look: Vanilla

Natural vanilla beans are the second most expensive spice (after saffron), due to limited supply, high demand, and a long and costly growing and manufacturing process. Very little of the vanilla flavor in the world is from natural vanilla beans; artificial or imitation vanilla make up the majority of the vanilla used in most products.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Tzadik Katamar Yifrach – The Righteous Will Flourish Like the Date Palm

OK-certified date products are of the highest quality and our clients’ excellent quality control teams spare no effort to prevent infestation and remove defective products.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Klein

Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB”M – Responsibility of a Kashrus Agency

The core of a kashrus agency’s responsibility is to ensure that all the products under its certification are 100% kosher. As we delve into this matter, we find that a kashrus agency actually has a very complicated balance of responsibilities.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

Hakhel: The Eighth Year

As we begin the Hakhel year, following a year of shmitta, one may ask why we are visiting this topic now that the shmitta year is over. It may be a surprise to many, but the shmitta cycle doesn’t end just because the seventh year has concluded.
8 min read. Read More

Rabbi Avraham Rapaport

Upon Closer Inspection: A Peek Inside the OK Tolaim Department

We carried the news to our Swiss company, expecting them to react with dismay. But they were grateful for being made aware of the issue. “We will not be sourcing any raw materials from [this supplier].”
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Osher Gutnick

Tishrei Recipe: Pulled Sticky Silan Brisket in Pan Juices

This delicious, naturally sweetened pulled brisket is a real crowd pleaser. Its versatile, goes-on-anything flavor profile elevates so many dishes.
2 min read. Read More

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Healthy Spirit – Autumn Health Benefits

As the season transitions from summer to fall, Hashem gives us many opportunities to do teshuvah and make spiritual improvements, like the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Yom Kippur, and Hoshanah Rabba. The fall also provides new opportunities to improve our physical health, as well.
1 min read. Read More

Dina Fraenkel

Joolie’s Dates: The Best Date You’ve Ever Had

As dates are a symbolic food for the Jewish community, we wanted to provide products our loyal date-ers could completely support and trust.
3 min read. Read More

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What’s the Brocha? HaTov V’HaMeitiv

The blessing of HaTov V’HaMeitiv is said when one gives thanks to Hashem for various types of pleasure received.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

Letter from the Editor – Tishrei 5783

n Israel one can never simply buy fruit without knowing the history of the fruit tree it grew on! One needs to know that the mitzvos HaTeluyos Ba’Aretz were observed (shmitta, terumos and ma’asros, etc.).
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

The Pesach Seder and the 4 Cups of Wine

Pesach is called Z’man Cheruseinu (Time of our Freedom) in honor of our redemption from slavery in Mitzrayim and our rebirth as B’nei Yisroel. One of the most significant customs at the Pesach Seder is the four cups of wine, consumed by men, women and children, representing the four words of redemption that were said in Parshas Va’eira: V’hotzeiti (I will take you out), V’hitzalti (I will save you), V’ga’alti (I will redeem you), and V’lakachti (I will take you).
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

Healthy Spirit: Spring Cleaning

Jewish homes around the world just finished a marathon of cleaning in preparation for Pesach. Although dust is not chometz, many take this time to do a deep Spring cleaning of their entire home. This cleaning spree has some health benefits that you may not realize!
1 min read. Read More

Dina Fraenkel

Layer By Layer: Behind the Scenes of Cabbage Inspection, Part 2

In the first installment (Chanukah 5782) we discussed the basic halachic guidelines regarding insects in produce. In this installment we will take a look at how the OK inspects a cabbage farm.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Benzion Chanowitz

Pesach Recipe: Tuna Crudo with Radish, Citrus Zest & Shallot

Crudo, Italy’s take on raw fish, is often thinly sliced and dressed with citrus and olive oil. The key is to prepare food with fine ingredients, so you don’t need to do much else to it.
1 min read. Read More

Kim Kushner

Traveling With Rabbi Levy OB”M

We are coming to the second yahrzeit of Rabbi Levy, on Acharon Shel Pesach. It is a time when we can think about how Rabbi Levy conducted himself and how we can follow in his footsteps and try to emulate even some of what he stood for.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld

What’s the Brocha? Rice

Rice is the seed of a grass species called “oryza”, which has many varieties. It is a staple food for half of the global human population, especially in Asia and Africa. Rice was initially cultivated in China and India, and later spread to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

An Ounce of Prevention

The Receiving System developed by the OK allows us to be proactive in ensuring that only approved ingredients will go into certified products.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

A Closer Look: Tree Nuts

Many simple nut products are processed by repacking facilities that process other products and cross-contamination can be an issue, mostly for Passover, especially when dealing with products that are packed into retail packaging.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

How Changes to the Supply Chain Affect Kosher Certification

Part of this is staying ahead of the curve and addressing challenges even before they arise by creating contingency plans. After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka

Soul Nutrition Pesach 5782

The Pnei Menachem of Gur would also ask Hashem to remove the chometz (Yetzer Hara) within him [and we follow his example], even though Hashem is the one that put it there.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights: Season of our Freedom and Festival of Matzos

Our Rabbis explain that chametz is symbolic of haughtiness and conceit — traits so deleterious that they are at the root of all negative traits. This is one of the reasons why even the minutest amount of chametz is forbidden — haughtiness and conceit must be completely nullified.
3 min read. Read More

Dina Fraenkel

Remembering Our Founding Leaders

It is our utmost honor and privilege to uphold the standards and mission set forth by Rabbi Berel Levy OB"M and continued by his son Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M. They were dedicated to high level kosher supervision, no matter the personal cost, and embodied the mission to spread the wellsprings of Torah to the distant corners for the earth [as Moshiach instructed the Baal Shem Tov] through the certification of kosher food.
1 min read. Read More

Dina Fraenkel

Letter from the Editor – Pesach 5782

At the OK, we are constantly asking ourselves a similar question. “What is Hashem saying (in the Heavens) about the decisions we are making here down below?”
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Soul Nutrition Chanukah 5782

The Bais Yosef famously asks why we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days when the actual miracle occurred for 7 days. There are many answers to this question but here are “8” interesting ones…
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Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights: Chanukah 5782

Every individual has his “one cruse of oil,” begging to be discovered. A person may not uncover this internal connection to Gd in the ordinary circumstances of his life. But when challenged, as in the case of the Maccabees, this inner connection will surface. And when this Divine bond comes to the fore, “[Gd will] deliver the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few,” for nothing can withstand its power.
3 min read. Read More

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A Closer Look: Breakfast Cereal

Any product which is not considered pas is considered a tavshil and subject to the Bishul Yisroel requirements. However, breakfast cereals are not served at official meals, so the final product is not considered oleh al shulchan melachim (fit for a king’s table) and is not subject to the Bishul Yisroel requirements. In addition, cereals are not considered important by themselves without the milk.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Is Vegetable Oil Always Kosher?

OK Kosher, under the leadership of Rabbi Berel Levy OB”M, was the first agency to set up this system for all kosher supervised oils. Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB”M, who succeeded his father as the Kashrus Administrator of the OK, gave his body and soul to fortify kashrus around the world, especially for bulk oils.
6 min read. Read More

Dayan Yitzchok Teller

Layer By Layer: Behind the Scenes of Cabbage Inspection (Part 1)

Lo nitna Torah l’malachei hashareis – The Torah was given to human beings, not to angels. Consequently, when the Torah prohibits eating insects, it means the insects that we can see with a naked eye. So, how do we apply this practically?
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Benzion Chanowitz

Chanukah Recipe: Savta Sol’s Sfinj

Sfinj is an airy Moroccan doughnut that’s served plain, sprinkled with sugar or soaked in honey. The leavened dough is shaped into rings and deep fried until golden and crispy with a fluffy interior.
2 min read. Read More

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Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB”M: Flavor Production

The OK has many flavor houses where we have full time mashgichim monitoring the systems there, in addition to the full time employees in our office. We have special systems set up to monitor the receiving of all ingredients (in all certified companies) to ensure that only acceptable ingredients make it into the approved areas in the companies, as well as many checks and balances and individual procedures tailored to the unique realities in each facility. This multi-faceted and custom designed approach makes every product certified by OK Kosher Certification “kosher without compromise”.
6 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

An Overview of the Laws of Shmitta

Although this mitzvah is given to those who reside in Eretz Yisroel, everyone can learn from this mitzvah about the importance of faith in Hashem and not to rely on their own power and wealth, which is the way of the nations of the world. The Jewish people view themselves as custodians of wealth in this world, but their true mission is to prepare themselves for eternal life in the World to Come.
9 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shmuel Eidelman

Healthy Spirit: Hot Water

When drinking hot water, the temperature should be between 120-140°F to avoid burns.
1 min read. Read More

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Making Kosher Cheese

The rededication of the Beis HaMikdash, made possible by Yehudis’s victory, still has a spiritual relevance today. Our shuls and Batei Medrashos, where we daven and learn Torah, are considered Mikdashei Me’at (small temples).
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

What’s the Brocha? Granola Bars

Granola bars are essentially whole oats which are combined with other ingredients, including syrups or binders, and are cooled or baked to achieve the desired shape.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

Editor’s Letter – Chanukah 5782

We are now well into the shmitta year and it’s the perfect time to reflect on the spiritual side of shmitta, a time when we take a break from the daily grind and chaos and strengthen our emunah and bitachon in Hashem.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Soul Nutrition Tishrei 5782

The question is: Why would Moshe Rabbeinu want to be erased from all three books? Why couldn’t he just be left in the book of tzaddikim?
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights: One Day

Even though the existence of night and darkness on Rosh Hashanah is an observable phenomenon (and recognized by Torah Law as well),2 from a spiritual perspective, that darkness is subordinate to the primary quality which is one of brightness and illumination.
4 min read. Read More

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A Closer Look: Sugar

Sugar is used in almost all types of foods, such as baked goods, beverages, chocolates, and candy, among many others. The average American consumes over 100 pounds of sugar a year.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

The Mitzvah of Hafrashas Challah

Hafrashas challah is a mitzvah that only applies when the dough is owned by a Jew at the time of kneading.
7 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

Supermarkets & Symbols

Remember; take the time to check every product you purchase for a valid kosher symbol, whether the item is brand new to you or a household staple. It may just change your list.
2 min read. Read More

Fraida Simon

Should I Eat This?

As any rabbi working in kashrus will easily attest, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “Is this hechsher acceptable?” Or, “Can I eat this product?” “Can I eat in this restaurant?” “Do we rely on this hechsher?”
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Kesselman

Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB”M: Why Does Bamboo Schach Need a Hechsher?

In order for schach to be considered kosher, it must follow certain guidelines.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

Tishrei Recipe: Braised Maple Lamb Shoulder Chops

The aroma of this dish is out of this world. The flavors in the sauce really enhance the tender lamb, taking it to the next level. It’s a perfect main for a yom tov dinner.
1 min read. Read More

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A Shmitta Miracle

The Komemiyut moshav in Israel is one of the only places in Israel where shmitta has always been observed to the letter.
1 min read. Read More

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Healthy Spirit: Fall Superfoods

Cooler weather doesn’t have to mean the end of fresh fruits and veggies. These superfoods are at their peak during the fall harvest season.
1 min read. Read More

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From the Desk of Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld Tishrei 5782

The Talmud (Yoma 35b) mentions Rabbi Eliezer ben Charsom as an example of someone who, despite his status and intense schedule, invested much time in Torah studies.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

What’s the Brocha? Bananas & Papaya

In Seder Birkas HaNehenin1, the Baal HaTanya writes that there are three opinions on the parameters for defining a tree for the sake of the brocha.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

Share Your Spirit Tishrei 5782

The past year has seen some great challenges in the world due to COVID-19 and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our rabbanim and staff, and especially our devoted mashgichim for going above and beyond the call of duty for kashrus this year.
1 min read. Read More

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Letter from the Editor Tishrei 5782

Hashem created the world with the asara ma’amaros (ten words) and our world is an upright structure with everything controlled by Hashem, down to the smallest details.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

"Acharon Shel Pesach, Soul Nutrition" With Drawings Of Yellow Pyramids and Flowers

Soul Nutrition – Pesach 5781

We don’t find any other Yom Tov which has a special name denoting the last day – there’s no Acharon shel Sukkos or Acharon shel Shavuos.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

"Remembering Rabbi Leizer Teitelbaum OB"M" With A Photograph Of Him Speaking Into A Microphone

Remembering Rabbi Leizer Teitelbaum, OB”M

By Rabbi Hershel Krinsky, OK Senior Rabbinic CoordinatorWhen I came to learn in the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva at 770 Eastern Parkway in the summer of 5729 (1969), Reb Leizer had already been there a few years (he was a few ...
1 min read. Read More

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"The History of Mechiras Chometz" With A Photo Of The Author Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld In The Corner

The History of Mechiras Chometz

The sale of chometz before Pesach is a common occurrence, practiced by Jews all over the world, but it didn’t start that way.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld

"Pesach Oils" Surrounded By Colorful Images Of Avocados, Coconuts, And Pistachios. Image Of Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka, The Author, In The Corner

Pesach Oils

Like oil, the Jewish people have undergone crushing challenges that brought out inner greatness. Like oil, the Jewish people have spread out across the world and disseminated the wellsprings of the Torah wherever we have gone.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka

Remembering Mrs. Thelma Levy

Those of us who work at OK Kosher feel that we are part of the OK Family. The matriarch of this family was Mrs. Thelma Levy, A”H.
2 min read. Read More

Estee Butman

"Kosher Medicine Lists: By Don Yoel Levy OB"M" With Photographs Of Pills

Kosher Medicine Lists

Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, OB"M. This article was originally published in Kosher Spirit for Passover 5778-2018.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

"What I Learned From Rabbi Levy OB"M" Remembering Rabby Levy On His Yartzeit, 22 Nissan"

What I Learned From Rabbi Levy, OB”M

Remembering Rabbi Levy on his Yahrzeit, 22 Nissan
3 min read. Read More

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"Mono- And Diglycerides" With Photograph Of Author Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Mono- and Diglycerides

Mono- and diglycerides (of fatty acids) are the most common emulsifiers used in food manufacturing.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

"Meet The OK Kosher Executive Kashrus Vaad, Facilitated By Rabbi Eli Lando, OK Kosher Executive Manager" With Photographs Of Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld, Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, and Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Meet the OK Executive Kashrus Vaad

The Executive Kashrus Vaad (Rabbinical Council) has been in the role of maintaining and further developing the kashrus standards of the OK for the past year.
8 min read. Read More

Rabbi Eli Lando

"From The Desk Of Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld, Chairman Of The OK Kosher Executive Kashrus Vaad" With His Photograph And Drawings Of Wheat And Barley

From the Desk of Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld – Pesach 5781

When OK Kosher certifies shemurah matzah productions, we are meticulous about the process from the moment of harvesting.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

"Share Your Spirit: Shiloh, The Art Of Wine: Ancient Roots, Modern Winery" With An Image Of A Bottle Of Red Wine

Shiloh – The Art of Wine

The relationship between Shiloh Winery and OK Kosher is a natural one. Shiloh’s wines are at the very top of their field, consistently winning international gold medals.
2 min read. Read More

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"Kosher Spirit: Certified Sould Nutrition" With Image Of OK Kosher's Logo

Letter From the Editor – Pesach 5781

Hand in hand with hundreds of rabbinical coordinators and rabbinical field representatives, and with immense siyata d’shmaya and a shared goal of unwavering kashrus standards, the Executive Kashrus Vaad is leading the OK ahead to a very bright future.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Soul Nutrition – Chanukah 5781

“What tzaddikim accomplish on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a simple Yid can accomplish on Zos Chanukah.”
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights – What is Chanukah?

On a basic level, the message of Chanukah — that spiritual light can overpower military might — teaches us the supremacy of soul over body. Although we are a composite of body and soul and although the soul needs the medium of the body in order to express itself, the supremacy of the soul is not limited; the soul invigorates the body, and controls its functioning.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables are vegetables that are processed, sealed, cooked, and stored in cans. This is a low-cost method to extend the shelf life of the vegetable. It also provides consumers with a convenient and cheap way to enjoy vegetables, no matter the season.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

OK Around the World – Spotlight on India

OK Kosher makes many visits by qualified, trained mashgichim regularly throughout the year to supplier sites across the country. This is to verify the kosher status of their products for our certified clients to be able to buy approved and supervised ingredients from them. Bulk liquid shipment, often referred to as ISO tank shipment, of vegetable oils is also quite common in this industry. This is a central piece of any kosher certification of oleochemicals, as the status of the tankers ultimately affects the kashrus of the end product.
4 min read. Read More

Dina Fraenkel

Gevinas Yisroel

Kosher cheese requires kosher milk (either Cholov Yisroel or Cholov Stam), kosher rennet (from a shechted kosher animal or microbial), kosher equipment, AND the participation of a Shomer Shabbos Jew. Only with all of these conditions can the cheese be Gevinas Yisroel and kosher.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Hershel Krinsky

Small Batch Sufganiya Babka

The key to delicious babka is layering your fillings. Start with a wet base (see below), followed by a crunch/texture layer (chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.) and sprinkle with a dry filling.
2 min read. Read More

Naomi Elberg

Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy – Is Butter Kosher?

For a long time, kashrus agencies considered butter a Group One ingredient—a category applying to products that are kosher without supervision. However, ongoing developments in food production have introduced many kashrus concerns, invalidating common assumptions. 
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

Rabbi On the Road – Egypt & United Arab Emirate with Rabbi Ouriel Allouche

A few times a year I travel to Egypt to visit the OK certified facilities spread across the country. There is even a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo, which has been operated by Air Sinai since the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement (signed in 1979). It’s a short flight – only about an hour! My most recent trip took place in February 2020.
2 min read. Read More

Rabbi Ouriel Allouche

Healthy Spirit – Citrus Fruits

The winter isn’t generally known as the season for fresh fruits and vegetables, but citrus fruits are at their peak during the winter season.
1 min read. Read More

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Your Kosher Kitchen – Fryers

Many Jews have the custom to eat fried foods on Chanukah to commemorate the miracle of the pure oil found in the Beis HaMikdash. There are many different ways to fry food, but this article will focus on the traditional deep fryer and the new fad on the market, the air fryer.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Levi Schapiro

From the Desk of Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld – Chanukah 5781

As we always approach matters of ruchniyus, the lessons we learn from our history should be taken into our own lives in a practical way. Just as we all strive for spiritual growth as individuals, the OK’s approach to kashrus as an organization aims for the highest standard of supervision. We do this even when the product at hand is permissible according to some, in the spirit of not compromising on the spiritual level of purity.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

Share Your Spirit – Chanukah 5781

Interacting with Rav Don Yoel, I saw a gentle man; I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice. But he was also unbending when it came to kashrus. 
2 min read. Read More

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Letter From the Editor – Chanukah 5781

Now, more than ever, it’s comforting to know that some things never change. We are committed to doing the job at hand and ensuring that the kosher consumer can rely on us for products that are kosher without compromise.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Soul Nutrition – Tishrei 5781

Sukkos is known as Z’man Simchaseinu (the Festival of Joy) because it shows Hashem’s love for the Jewish people. Sitting in the sukkah is akin to getting a hug from Hashem because one is surrounded from all sides by the sukkah.
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Chassidic Insights: At One With the King

There is nothing arbitrary about a name given in the Holy Tongue: the very letters that constitute such a name disclose the intrinsic nature of the entity named. The name of the New Year festival, “Rosh HaShanah,” literally means not “beginning of the year,” but “head of the year.” I.e., the relationship of Rosh HaShanah to the other days of the year parallels the relationship of the head to the other organs of the body.
3 min read. Read More

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Your Kosher Kitchen: Frying Pans

Someone taking a fleishig utensil and using it for milchig, or vice versa – sounds familiar? If you have been quarantined for long enough this is bound to happen. The actual halacha is beyond the scope of this article but this will provide an overview for one to better understand the actual question at hand. Can the frying pan be kashered? Does it make a difference if it’s from treif or from milchig to fleishig? What about from fleishig/milchig to pareve? Can I have my favorite frying pan kashered for Pesach?
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Yakov Teichman

Who’s Behind the OK: Interview With Reb Eli Methal

R’ Eli is someone who takes the ma’amarei chazal of עשה תורתך קבע. אמור מעט ועשה הרבה. והוי מקבל את כל האדם בסבר פנים יפות ...as a mission statement to live by. His dedication to getting things done and in the most pleasant manner possible is remarkable and a great example for others.
2 min read. Read More

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What is Bitul?

OK Kosher only certifies products that are kosher without relying on nullification. This means that 100% of the ingredients must be approved as kosher in order for the finished product to be OK certified.
4 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Reflections from Her Grandchildren: Mrs. Thelma Levy a”h

Savta was a fountain of emunah. As a young girl she understood the importance of growing in Torah and observance and every time Savta spent Yom Tov at my home, I would tell my children how special it was that a large family can descend from one person who sacrificed everything to marry a yeshiva bochur and lead a life of Torah and avodah.
5 min read. Read More

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First Fruits: An Overview of the Laws of Orlah

It’s Erev Rosh Hashanah and the table is set beautifully, with the tray of apples and honey prominently in the center. Of course, everyone has their personal favorite type of apple – the Gala, the Honey Crisp, the famous Red Delicious... But, there is a new variety of apple on the market that has taken the United States by storm with its instant popularity. The Cosmic Crisp (scientific name WA-38) is an apple with dark red skin, like the color of wine, creamy white flesh, a pleasant flavor and an extended shelf life. It is so dense that the apple feels heavy when held.
6 min read. Read More

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker

Remembering Rabbi Don Yoel Levy: Kosher Transport

We usually use this forum to discuss important issues concerning various types of kosher foods, their production methods, equipment, etc. But another vital issue that must be addressed is transport. How do kosher products get from one factory to the next and, ultimately, to stores and your kosher kitchen?
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Don Yoel Levy OB"M

Tishrei Recipe: Apple Blueberry Turnovers

These are just delicious. Fresh, defrosted, with pie dough or puff pastry. It’s like the comfort food of desserts.
2 min read. Read More

Danielle Renov

Rabbi on the Road: Columbia & Ecuador with Rabbi Yoni Rappaport

It’s a bit of a luxury to be able to daven with a minyan on annual visit trips, since the factories are often located far away from a Jewish community. It is truly amazing how Jews have an inherent bond with each other, regardless of where we are from in the world, and can connect anywhere!
1 min read. Read More

Rabbi Yoni Rappaport

Healthy Spirit – Its Tea Time

As we sit in our sukkahs, warming up with a hot glass of tea after the seudah, we’re doing more than just relaxing – we’re actually improving our health! Brew yourself a glass of your favorite tea and reap the benefits.
1 min read. Read More

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Share Your Spirit – Tishrei 5781

I always sensed that Rav Don Yoel Levy Z”L was different from, and ‘beyond’ others. This edition taught me. It is very rare that I am moved to tears. And grasp a deep if not fully understandable ‘connection’.
1 min read. Read More

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Letter from Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

As the Vaad Administrator, I am blessed to work alongside my colleagues on the Vaad, and to have the tremendous support of our New York headquarters and regional affiliate offices in Europe and Israel. Our staff’s widespread expertise and collective years of experience will be the foundation for the Vaad’s work now and in the future. Additionally, OK Kosher has amassed a tremendous record of teshuvos from our esteemed Poskim, which are the basis for all OK certification policies and guidelines.
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Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

Dear Reader – Tishrei 5781

Of course, our offices will never be the same without Rabbi Levy, OB”M; his mere presence, even the way he walked down the hall greeting each staff member with a smile, is sorely missed by all of us. We are comforted by keeping his legacy alive and continuing to uphold his high kashrus standards. We are going to be reprinting some of his past articles on kosher in the pages of the Kosher Spirit. It’s reassuring to see that, slowly but surely, the kosher standards that Rabbi Levy wanted to see become mainstream are becoming part of the standards of many reputable agencies.
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Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

A Master Teacher

Over the years, I never left a conversation with Rabbi Levy without learning some new concept or principle of Kashruth. His explanations were exact and with a level of detail equal to my understanding at the time. It is my experience this is a gift given from G-d to Master Teachers. I consider it a blessing to have been taught these things by Rabbi Levy.
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Britt Nichols

The Rebbe’s Soldier – Personal Reflections of Rabbi Don Yoel Levy by a Member of the Shechunah, כאן צוה ה׳ את הברכה

All Rabbi Levy’s accomplishments shared one common denominator: first and foremost, he was the Rebbe’s chossid. The Rebbe’s directives were his shlichus, and the Rebbe’s mivtzoim were the platform from which he spread them to the world.
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Anonymous

Our Partner and Supporter

We were so blessed to really know Rabbi Levy and saw firsthand the tremendous care he showed to the Shluchim and especially their children. From the very first day of establishment of the Tzeirei Hashluchim Winter Camp, he was our partner and supporter in ensuring the children’s camps’ success.
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Gedalia and Bassie Shemtov

Letter From Rabbi Osher Gutnick

One of the first things I noticed when I started working at the OK was how unyielding Rabbi Levy was when it came to kashrus principles. Rabbi Levy made abundantly clear what his life mission was: Kashrus without compromise. This is the path which he prepared for us and entrusted us to follow.
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Rabbi Osher Gutnick

מלמד על אהרן שלא שינה

Rabbi Levy was also of that cloth— שלא שינה. He cared to do things right—completely right; he would patiently work even years on an issue until it was indeed made right.
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Rabbi Avraham Teichman

A Giant in Kashrus

Over the course of my work at the OK, I had the merit to observe a giant in kashrus, who was extremely focused, with a clear sense of mission, and a great role model to people like me, who were trying to learn the delicate balance between real kashrus standards and good customer service.
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Rabbi Yosef Dovid Chanowitz

He Was Like A Father To Me

Writing about Rabbi Levy is probably the biggest challenge I have; much more than writing reports. English is not my mother language, but words spoken from the heart will enter the heart, and will be understood iy”h by all readers. My first feeling upon hearing of ...
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Rabbi Ouriel Serfaty

אבד “איש עקרונות” מן הארץ

Rabbi Binyomin Neufeld is a Rabbinic Coordinator at OK Kosher Certification
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Rabbi Binyomin Neufeld

Kosher Without Compromise Was a Way of Life

Kashrus had to be without any form of compromise, only after that was assured could any customer relations issue enter the conversation. Even when things were good enough he constantly pushed and prodded to do better and enhance kashrus standards and systems even more.
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Rabbi Elisha Rubin

“הדלת היתה פתוחה עבורנו תמיד”

Rabbi Ouriel Allouche is a Rabbinic Coordinator at OK Israel
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Rabbi Ouriel Allouche

A True Leader

Rabbi Levy showed me what it means to be a true leader—he led us with conviction, with principle, with a clear plan, and with true concern for each one of us. This is what propelled the OK to the top of the kashrus world and what will keep us focused on our mission to continue the shlichus that Rabbi Levy established for each one of us.
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Dina Fraenkel

A Shliach for Klal Yisroel

Rabbi Levy’s passion for and dedication to kashrus were the driving forces in his life. It was his shlichus and his responsibility to Klal Yisroel— both to bring as many types of kosher food as possible to the community, and to ensure that the standards of kashrus were the highest possible. Nothing ever diverted him for those goals.
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Chasha Brownstein

The Loss of My Dear Friend

There are no words and feelings to describe the shock and pain of the great loss of [Rabbi Levy], so young, so active, and so important, the driving force and centerpiece of his family, and the head of the OK Kosher Family. He was a great man full of love and respect to all mankind, and when we needed some good advice he was always there for us.
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Rabbi Shimon Lasker

A Man of the Highest Standards

When I discussed the details with Rabbi Levy, it was clear that despite the fact that there were certain leniencies that could be applied, the OK certifies products “lechatchila” and we will not be certifying this product. When another hechsher reached out to them, willing to certify based on the leniencies, the company said no. The company recognized and appreciated the high standards of the OK.
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Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel

Tatty

I had the privilege of working alongside my dear father at OK Kosher and I enjoyed an extremely close working relationship. I admired my father’s scrupulous honesty, determination to do the right thing and adherence to the highest standards of kashrus without compromise.
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Chaya Camissar

Woman With A Mission

“There would have been no OK if not for Mrs. Levy,” says Rabbi Menachem Hacohen, former member of the Knesset, Chief Rabbi of Romania, and family friend, “She kept everything together. She made sure that bills could be paid, rabbis would receive their salaries, and they could continue to grow.”
6 min read. Read More

Dovid Zaklikowski

My Savta, Mrs. Thelma Levy ob”m

My Savta (great-grandmother) has been a fixture in my life from a very young age.
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Racheli Camissar

My Savta, Mrs. Thelma Levy ob”m: My Savta & My Zeidy

My Savta (great-grandmother) is someone I looked up to. She was a strong woman who always encouraged me and cared about me.
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Sara Fogelman

My Savta, Mrs. Thelma Levy ob”m: A Few Moments with My Savta, my Great-Grandmother

I know my job as a preschool teacher had a special place in her heart. She would often recount the story of how she became a preschool teacher, appointed by the Frierdiker Rebbe [Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn of Lubavitch], after she married Rabbi Berel Levy o.b.m.
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Chana Fogelman

דברים לזכרו של דודי הרה”ח הרב דן יואל ליווי ע”ה נשיא ארגון הכשרות העולמי או קיי

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld is a member of the Kashrus Committee and the Director of OK Israel
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Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld

דברים לזכרו של דודי היקר, הגאון החסיד הרב דן יואל בן הגאון החסיד הרב דובער ע”ה ליווי

Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld is a member of the Kashrus Committee and the Foodservice Rabbinic Coordinator at OK Kosher Certification
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Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld

A Friendship More Valuable Than Gold

He didn’t only give tzedakah; he was interested in every aspect of our lives and our community development. To him the money part was insignificant in comparison to the activity being done.
3 min read. Read More

Rabbi Shimon Freundlich

Letter from the Editor

As the president of OK Kosher, Rabbi Levy set policies, empowered the staff, and personally approved every initial report and setup, yet he never micromanaged. He led by example, never cutting corners, giving it all he had, and being as transparent as possible. He encouraged and expected the same from all the rabbis and staff he hired.
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Rabbi Chaim Fogelman

Letter from Rav Usher Anshel Eckstein שליט”א – Vaad HaKashrus of Belz

When thinking about the life and achievements of Rabbi Levy, the stronghold and Kashrus empire that thrived under his constant guidance, it is difficult to fathom who will replace the captain of this great liner.
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Rav Usher A. Eckstein

The Lion of the Pack

In the kashrus world, the Ari Shebichabura, the lion of the pack, was Rav Don Yoel Levy. He followed in his father’s footsteps guided by his mission statement, “Kosher without compromise”.
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Rabbi Ari Senter

A Hands On Approach to Kashrus

He always had one thing in mind: the overall betterment of kashrus; not just his own agency, but for the standards of the entire world. In light of the fact that he truly viewed his whole life as a shlichus in spreading Torah values, this is really no surprise.
5 min read. Read More

Rabbi Eli Lando

Letter from Rabbi Saul Emanuel

Under Reb Don Yoel’s leadership, and with a sterling reputation, the OK grew to become one of the world’s most formidable Kashrus organizations. The OK was not about signing up one more company—but rather about signing up one more company, that upheld the highest standards of kashrus. As a matter of principle, if a company was not able to comply with the OK standards, they would not receive the OK Kosher certification.
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Rabbi Saul Emanuel