24 Dec Kasruth Questions of the Week With Rabbi Moshe Elefant
Why does Kashrus in America seem to be much easier than it is in Eretz Yisrael?
There are two answers: the first answer is that there are many halachos that apply in Eretz Yisroel that don’t apply in Chutz Le’Aretz. Trumos, Maisrous, Shmita, Chodosh and yashan, all with halachic issues, don’t apply to produce grown outside of Israel, with the exception of perhaps chodosh and yoshon. That’s the simple answer.
The second answer is that in Israel, Kashruth also identifies which group you belong to politically, and that’s the Kashruth you’ll use.
When you buy a product in the USA, the Hashgacha you rely on is the Hashgacha you feel comfortable with, not necessarily the one with which you have a political affiliation.
What bracha do you make on gluten free products?
Gluten free products, by definition, don’t have flour in them. Because they don’t have flour, they are not mezonos or hamotzi. So a gluten free cracker, which looks like a mezonos product, is actually not mezonos. We had this issue a couple of years ago where a company made gluten free crackers for Pesach that looked like matzos but weren’t matzos. If you want to fulfill the mitzva of eating matzos on Pesach you can’t use that because matza, by definition, is made by a grain. A gluten free product will typically not have grain because that’s where you’ll find the gluten- inside the flour. When you see a gluten free product, you’ll know it’s not hamotzi or mezonos. What it is depends on what was used to make the product; it could be ha’Adoma or she’Hakol.
If someone made tea or poured hot water on Shabbos and didn’t finish the cup and an hour later wants to add more tea/hot water to the cup, is that okay? They are making the cold water in the cup hot again.
It matters how they’re doing it. If they’re pouring it directly from the kettle or the percolator that the water was kept in, they should not do so. If they took the water from the kettle and poured it into a cup and then used the water from that cup, there’s room for leniency.