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KASHRUS MAGAZINE
November 2023
"OU" and Aleph Institute Help U.S. Navy Make Kosher Available
November 2023
Plus: Harav Aaron Schechter, zt"l, Kosher Lab Meat, Kosherization Done Safely, How To Honor Parents, The Quote of the Year

Kosher-certified Edible Printers Are Here -

Enter the new age of kosher-certified edible printers. Yes, it’s real. There is now a kosher-certified edible printer. Eddie,® The Edible Ink Printer is now kosher-certified (pareve) by Kosher Supervisors of Wisconsin. It is produced by Primera Technology, Inc., a leading manufacturer of specialty printers. Primera distinguishes itself by supplying not only kosher inks but also ensuring that its entire product and production process meets the strict standards set forth by a kashrus organization. Eddie® is the world’s first-and-only GMP and NSF-certified edible ink printer that prints directly onto cookies, candy, donuts, marshmallows, macaroons, white chocolate toppers and more. It requires no hand piping, frosting sheets or drying time. If you are using Eddie or know of another kosher-certified competitor, please contact KASHRUS (and don’t forget to send samples of your products).

The Pie Eating Contest by Anschel Strauss -

The festivities of Independence Day often include an American tradition known as the pie-eating contest. I saw one of these competitions in which six teenagers competed to see who could consume the most pie within a given time span. The only rule was that no hands could be used. The hands of the participants were held behind their backs. Each child dove into the pie face first and began to gobble up the sticky blueberry filling and crust. I said to myself, “no bracha?” The whistle blew and the contest was over. The judges examined the pies and the children's faces to determine who was the winner. Clearly, one teenager stood above the rest. His face was completely purple with berry juice and only his eyes shown through the gooey mess. The judge declared him the obvious winner, but remarked jokingly, “We decided you aren't human; you are an animal.” With that, he gave the winner his prize. This event made me think about what really constitutes the difference between a human and an animal. Rabbi, Dr. Abraham Twerski, z”l states that there is more to making a human unique from animals than his intellect. He noted that there are certain qualities which only a human can have and these cannot be held by an animal. These traits are (1) the ability to learn from past generations, (2) the ability to contemplate our purpose in the world, (3) the ability to ponder what we can do to be better people, (4) the ability to think about the consequences of our behavior, (5) the ability to postpone gratification, and (6) the ability to be free and not be ruled by our bodies. Says Rabbi Twerski, these six traits are unique to the “human spirit.” If a person uses these abilities then he is spiritual and spirituality is a striving to be the best human being you can be. If a person is unhappy, it is likely because he is lacking something in the spiritual realm. A human being needs to have spiritual growth in order to be fulfilled. As Jews, the Torah provides us with the means for finding that spiritual growth through learning and mitzvos. The mere act of making a bracha before eating, transforms a purely animal act into a human action. If we dive into our plates and consume food only to satisfy our hunger, then we are indeed animals. If however, we thank Hashem before and after eating, and we recognize from where all of our food comes, then we indeed are human beings. Perhaps that is what the judge of the contest meant. That child indeed did show his animal side; he ate, and ate, and ate, merely to win a contest. My grandmother often said to me when she saw me eating, “Slow down; no one will take your food away.” Words to live by. Let us all try to remember the pie-eating contest the next time we have a snack or sit down to a meal. May our brachos before and after we eat help to make us be the best human beings that we can be and thereby glorify the Almighty, Creator of all animals and humans.

Harav Aharon Schechter, zt”l, 'For the Love of a Talmid' By Rabbi Yosef Wikler -

Harav Aharon Schechter, zt”l For the Love of a Talmid By Rabbi Yosef Wikler Harav Aharon Schechter, zt”l recently passed away. As with all things which have taken place several decades in the past, the memory gets somewhat clouded. I have tried as best as possible to recall the exact wording of this conversation, but I cannot vouch for total success. The impression, however, remains the same. Growing up in the world of Mirrer Yeshiva, I had not known Harav Aharon Schechter, zt”l, the Rosh Hayeshiva and guiding light of Chaim Berlin for so many years. True, I once had been designated to give the Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l a ride home, but, except for the few occasional “Gut Shabbos” blessings which I had received whenever I davened in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, our paths did not meet. That is why I was so shocked one day to receive this call, the start of which quite startled me. “Is this Rabbi Yosef Wikler?” “Yes” “This is Aharon Schechter.” “Oh, Rabbi Schachter.” “Not Schachter, Schechter!” While I realized who was on the phone, in those years I was very close to Harav Melech Schachter, zt”l who taught Hilchos Gittin in our yeshiva (Yeshiva Birkas Reuven), hence the inadvertant slip of an “e” for an “a.” The Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l had quickly demonstrated his humility (by leaving off his rabbinic title), and yet he had firmly shown, from the start, his command of the situation. The Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l went on to explain the reason for his call. He had a talmid, someone who had learned for a number of years in Yeshiva Chaim Berlin, a man whom I knew, but who was not yet on the level of learning where he warranted receiving semicha. The young man had married and was now at a point where he needed to earn his livelihood. His chosen field was kashrus. Harav Schechter, zt”l thought that, in order to make it in the world of kashrus, he would need to have semicha, yet he felt that the young man lacked both the halachic background and the kashrus experience to succeed. Still, he liked and respected this talmid and wanted to help him in any way that he could. Then the Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l lowered the boom. “I am prepared to give him semicha, which he very much needs, but, on one condition — that you accept to lead him in all areas of kashrus. He will consult with you before making any move. He will clarify with you the halacha and the proper procedures which he needs to follow, and only then will he act. You do not need to watch over him; he will seek you out. But, if you are not prepared to take this on, then I will not be able to give him semicha.” And that is how the Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l and I became lifelong partners in this shared mitzvah. By the way, the young man went on to become a very well-known figure in the world of kashrus. There was one more call the Rosh Hayeshiva, zt”l made to me, and it was of a different nature entirely. It was even more kashrus-related, but it’s very nature makes it is impossible to discuss in writing. Harav Aharon Shechter, zt”l was designated as the Rav to call me over a serious but sensitive kashrus matter in which I was involved. I mention this only to point out how this Rosh Hayeshiva, whose day revolved around his Torah learning and that of his talmidim, found the time to help each talmid with his personal needs and to involve himself in many other community areas even including kashrus. Yehi zichro baruch - may his memory be for a blessing.

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