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.
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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?”
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…
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“What tzaddikim accomplish on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a simple Yid can accomplish on Zos Chanukah.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we say the Haggadah out loud, we add the vov of Hashem’s name to the matzah.
At the OK we take our responsibilities very seriously and as long as factories are producing products with the OK symbol on the label you can rest assured that our rabbis will be visiting and monitoring the productions.
Our Chachomim tell us that the Chanukah menorah is placed by the door or by the window in a way that it lights up the darkness outside. In the Bais Hamikdosh, the menorah gave light as well, and the light of the Bais Hamikdosh spread out to the world.
At the OK we do our introspection and review all of our checks and balances in the month of Elul. This time of year we reserve to look to the future, and as we enter the month of Kislev, we join together with OK rabbis from across the globe for our Annual Mashgiach Conference.
מחק ברחמיך הרבים שטרי חובותינו… On the Yomim Noraim we ask Hashem, in His mercy, to erase all of our spiritual debts. The Roshei Teivos of the tefillah spell out the word בשמחה , because it is only through joy that the decrees …
As I sit at my desk and reflect on the past year, I cannot help but
feel like it has gone by so quickly, while at the same time, it was one of
the slowest moving years of my life.
Within nature, there are positive potentials that can be used for holiness, and undesirable qualities which must be discarded. Differentiating between these two categories is not easy.
Even in the world of OK Kosher we are seeing things that did
not seem possible in the past.
To commemorate Chanukah our chachomim instituted the mitzvos of l’hodos u’l’hallel (to give thanks and praise to Hashem) and to commemorate Purim they instituted mitzvos to eat, drink and be merry. Why do we give thanks and praise on Chanukah, …
The word “Chanukah” comes from the same root as “chinuch”, meaning to teach, train and educate. There are many ways to teach and learn new skills, but the best tried and proven methods include hands on learning and leading by example.
When we ask Hashem to fulfill our requests, it is befitting to first do teshuvah. We see this in the words of the prayer “…Shome’a tefillah”.
Rosh Hashanah is a time for improvement and new beginnings.
It has been said that in order to move ahead we must know from where we come;
The Bread of Afflication The opening line of Maggid is “Hei lachma anya… (The Bread of Affliction eaten by our ancestors…)” The Aramaic phrase “di achalu avhasana” conventionally translated as “eaten by our ancestors” can also be interpreted as meaning, …
Dear Reader, Every year, around Pesach time, I wonder why almost all kosher consumers put in extra effort to ensure that the food they buy and consume has the most reliable kosher supervision. It’s a bit peculiar how, suddenly, most …
The topic of Chanukah does not have its own tractate in the Talmud, rather it is included in Maseches Shabbos. Why doesn’t Chanukah have its own complete tractate?
Dear Reader, Chanukah is all about the “kosher spirit” of Yiddishkeit. It is well known that the Greeks didn’t object to the Torah or the mitzvos per se; it was the “kosher spirit”, the G-dliness behind the Torah and mitzvos, …
The Gemara, in tractates Brochos and Eruvin, relates that Rabbi Yochonon says that it is better for a person to walk after (behind) a lion then after a woman… Reb Levik Schneerson, the father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, once gave …
Dear Reader, As Rosh Hashanah rapidly approaches and we start a new year, I struggle to keep track of all that has transpired in the past year. It was a year full of reevaluations, updates, and improvements to our workflow …
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. The prophet Yirmiyahu says, “Therefore, behold, days are coming, says the L-rd, when it …
In the Talmud (Shabbos 23:2), it is written: Omar Rav Huna H’rogil b’ner (he who is used to kindling candles …for Chanukah or Shabbos) …will have children that will be Torah Scholars. H’zohir (he who is carful) b’mezuzah …will have a …
Dear Reader, Today, kosher consumers are more vigilant and scrupulous than ever; they expect the highest standards and immediate answers to their questions. Gone are the days when the kosher consumer blindly relied on the certifying rabbi and organization without …
It’s interesting to note that on Hoshana Raba we change a word in the reading of the Torah portion of the day. On the other days of Sukkos we say “kamishpot” (as prescribed/like the decree) but on Hoshana Raba we …
Dear Reader, The days of Elul and the Aseres Yemei Teshuva are times designated to make a cheshbon hanefesh, a stock taking of our spiritual accomplishments and the areas which still need improvement. Some things are easy for us to …
By Rabbi Chaim Fogelman
There is a debate as to how one is to light the Chanukah menorah. Beis Shammai says every day one should light one less, beginning with 8 candles and working down to 1 candle. Beis Hillel says every day one should add one more candle, beginning with 1 and working up to 8.
A king sent his son far away to challenge and better himself. The trip was arduous and the challenges formidable. Sadly, the son forgot who he was and even where he came from; he no longer acted or looked like the king’s son.
“Absolute justice” is something that belongs only to Hashem, because only Hashem knows and appreciates one’s true intentions. When we look back at this passing year and see the gross abuse of power in the “name of justice”, one starts to appreciate emes – absolute justice.
Successful people know
that it’s all in the details.
Pesach is a time when we
all have different detailed minhagim
handed down from
generation to generation (depending
on where your family
originated and the leader of
your community); it seems that
we are all consumed with
seemingly small details, making
sure things are done just so.
As the month of Kislev is upon us, I can’t help but think about the horrific atrocities that took place in Mumbai and realize that a year has already passed. The kedoshim that were murdered in the Chabad House, solely because they were Jewish
The concept of kashrus is not just applicable to food. As a matter of fact, the only time the word kosher is mentioned in Tanach is in Megillas Esther when Esther speaks to Achashverosh and says, “V’kasher hadavor l’fnay hamelech.”
The Pesach Haggadah is perhaps the sefer with the most printed versions of the same text. Thousands of versions of the Haggadah, each featuring different commentaries, have been printed over the years, making Haggados a feature in the collections of many seforim enthusiasts.
My Blackberry is vibrating. I get out of bed to see what it is. It’s an e-mail from Rabbi Levy arriving in my inbox. No, it’s not a major kashrus emergency; it is a typical morning for Rabbi Levy – just checking his e-mail and forwarding relevant e-mails to me.
As we celebrate Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, the bright light of holiness illuminates our dark world. After Hashem created the Heavens and the Earth, the very first thing He said was, “Let there be light.” Hashem created light right away even though He did not place the sun in the sky until the fourth day.
There’s something special about a new year, a fresh start – like writing on the first page of a new notebook, or the first day of school, starting new and forgetting the old. This newness holds true to every New Year, but how much more so today.
In past generations, when a calamity struck the Jewish community, every effort would be made to bury the town’s shaimos in order to arouse Divine Mercy.
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.
We all know that the shortest way from point A to point B is a straight line. But, in the world of kosher transport there are many twists and turns along the way
Navigating the world of restaurant hechsherim is a tricky business, and it can be quite easy to veer off course and get misled by a hechsher that is a “household name.”
A rabbi was once asked a peculiar question: “Is it permitted for me to drink milk instead of wine for the Four Cups at the Pesach Seder?”
Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov was teaching his disciples when they were disturbed by a knock on the shutter.