Share Your Spirit – Chanukah 5771

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Dear Kosher Spirit,
I read Rabbi Levy’s article in the Tishrei issue and I can only praise it, especially the way you addressed the cocoa issue with pride, and a fair and strong attitude.

I also read the interview with Rabbi Lasker and I must add a few words to the article. I was with Rabbi Lasker in Italy last year and saw his dedicated work, skills and the professional manner in which he gets things done. Companies look up to him for guidance and direction, the system of kashering the OK has in place is great and meets the highest standards that many hechsherim will not or cannot do, the supervision and great detail accountability, the knowledge of the mashgichim, and all about the supervision is perfect. It was a great experience for me to see it first hand and get to know Rabbi Lasker in person.

May Hashem give Rabbi Lasker and the OK leadership many years of avodas hakodesh in providing Klal Yisroel with kosher food.

May we all be zoche to a git yur and a shnas geulah.

Rabbi Benyumin Arye Glick
Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, Kashrus Division
Central Rabbinical Congress of USA & Canada

Dear Kosher Spirit,
Thank you for the amazing Tishrei issue of Kosher Spirit. I am a volunteer at a prison through Aleph Institute and I brought a few copies of the magazine for the Jewish inmates there. The magazine is so well-rounded and insightful and the inmates really enjoyed reading it between the tefillos.

Kind Regards,

Dear Kosher Spirit,
I received the beautiful Kosher Spirit in my copy of The Jewish Press. I especially liked Chanie Brod’s article, “Keeping Kosher in the U.S. Army.” I am a chaplain for Jewish veterans and also work with Jewish soldiers. I would love to distribute copies of this article and reprint it in a few army publications.

Kind Regards,
Michoel, Arlington, VA

Dear Kosher Spirit,
I had an amazing experience recently involving the OK magazine Kosher Spirit, which I thought you would appreciate.

One late Thursday afternoon towards the end of the school year, one of the students in Machon Chana approached me. She was going to visit friends who are shluchim and had bought a Shabbos treat for the kids: a bag of organic lollipops with a certain hashgocha. She was very excited that they were organic and had the USDA Organic symbol on the package. She wanted to know if I thought it was a good treat. I told her that it looked like a very healthy and nice treat, but that not everybody uses that hashgocha. Maybe she could find an equivalent with a better hashgocha? “But,” she said, “They’re ORGANIC! LOOK! The ingredients are all ‘natural’ and ‘kosher’! And it has the USDA Organic symbol!”

I explained to her that there is a food coloring which is also ‘natural’ but is not kosher because it comes from an insect, and that the USDA Organic symbol means nothing with respect to the kashrus of the product. The kosher symbol and all that it stands for is what we rely on for the kashrus of a product. She still didn’t get it. So I suggested she just make a phone call to the shluchim, tell them she found a terrific Shabbos treat for the kids, it has a certain hashgocha, and is that good for them. We left it at that, and I didn’t see her again until after Shabbos. I didn’t ask or say anything to her, but it was really weighing on me. She’s a very bright girl who has a great passion for learning and a dedication to growing in her Yiddishkeit.

By hashgochah protis, I had been reading a number of back issues of Kosher Spirit at the time. Kosher Spirit is packed full of information that really gives the reader an appreciation of just some of the complexities that go into making every and any kind of product kosher, and for the fact that not all hachgochas are equal and hold to the same high standards. So I made a visit to the OK. The receptionist very graciously let me take back-issues of Kosher Spirit to my heart’s desire. I put together a package for my friend of about 8 or 9 issues, and gave them to her with an encouraging, “I came across these and thought it would be something you’d really appreciate.” Then I went out of town for three and a half weeks.

Within the first few days of my return, I bumped into her by hashgocha protis. It happened to be my birthday, so I sat down with her to give her a brocha. Before I could even broach the topic, she said to me, “You know, I really have to thank you so much for the kosher magazines you gave me. I’ve started to read them, and you know, I feel like the whole World of Kosher is opening up to me. Now I understand what you were talking about!”

We spoke about a variety of kosher topics, and in the end I gave her a brocha, but I think the real blessing she received was found in the Kosher Spirit.

Keep up the good work, with regards,