Our Sages tell us that the goal of the Greeks on Chanukah was to kill the “spirit” of Torah and mitzvos. They didn’t mind if the Jewish people learned Torah – but it bothered them that the Jews were learning “G-d’s” Torah – as it says in Al HaNisim: L’hash’kicham Torasecha v’l’haviram m’chukei ritzonecha (forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will). The concept of the “spirit of the law” can be reflected in the victory as well. The Kohanim, halachically speaking, could have lit the menorah with impure oil, since there was no pure oil left, but despite the persecution at the hands of the Greeks, the Kohanim wanted to light the menorah with shemen zayis zach (pure oil), even though it was a hiddur (beyond the letter of the law). The Kohanim wanted pure oil because they wanted to go the extra mile, above the letter of the law, and do the mitzvah in the best possible way.

The takes care to emphasize the spirit of the law as well, going beyond direct kosher supervision and branching out into community education and personal connections. Read about the interactive kosher supermarket in the Jewish Children’s Museum, sponsored by the OK, where children of all ages can learn about kosher products through their own supermarket shopping experience. We are also introducing a new feature column, “Who’s Behind the,” where you will learn more about the knowledgeable and experienced staff of OK Kosher Certification. Our first article features the fascinating profile of OK Senior Rabbinic Coordinator, Rabbi Leizer Teitelbaum.

In Rabbi Levy’s article on Kosher Transport, you will see that, like the Maccabees, the goes the extra “mile” to go above the letter of the law with all of the intense paperwork that goes along with certifying bulk liquid shipments (ISO tanks). In addition, delve into Rabbi Haskel’s article on the’s stringent adherence to the laws of Shmitta in Eretz Yisroel. You will learn about all of the measures that the OK takes to ensure that the products we certify adhere to all of the halachos of Shmitta to the fullest extent, without employing various heterim (loopholes).

May the glowing lights of the Chanukah menorah bring warmth to our homes and to the world around us. Best wishes for a Freilichen Chanukah!