Rabbi Mordechai Rackover

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iTunes and the Kosher Belly


A friend sent along a post from Gizmodo. In the post, I read about two new offerings in the Itunes App Store. For the uninitiated or the stranded on desert islands: the Itunes App Store is a place where you can buy software for your IPhone or Ipod Touch. There are awesome offerings and some really impressive ones in the realms of world religions. I have a Quran, Bible, Catholic Calendar, and other religiously oriented pieces. All the programs I have mentioned are free.
Enter “IBlessing” and “ParveOMeter” Each program is cute enough and functions without glitches.

IBlessing gives you guidance in reciting the blessing over food products as well as Shema Yisrael, Modeh Ani, hand washing and a shortened version of Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals). The tool is useful for those who are new to the
experiences of regular blessings recitation or for encouraging children, students or really anyone who wants to learn.

Kosher Butchers in Long Island Ask: What Is Kosher?


The JTA reported yesterday about a pair of kosher butcher brothers in Long Island who are causing a peculiar controversy: by petitioning the state of New York to stop enforcing its kosher laws.

The brothers’ shop, Commack Deli and Market, adheres to a Conservative definition of kashrut, which holds that some foods (like frozen vegetables) are inherently kosher, and therefore do not need kosher certification. But according to the JTA: “Under New York law, only products labeled as kosher can be sold as kosher. The store’s kosher supervisor – a Conservative Rabbi named William Berman – submitted an affidavit with a different point of view: “the state is infringing upon the religious freedom of the non-Orthodox denomination/sects of Judaism by compelling [them] to adhere to the law requiring labels on all kosher food products.”

On the one hand, I sympathize with the Yarmeisch brothers. I consider myself Orthodox, and I do purchase some foods without heksherim, beer, certain rice products (rice wine, vinegar in some cases), and frozen veggies. But I feel a bit like a hidden Jew – “If anyone finds out!”

The Kosher Slurpee List

slurpee.jpgI remember it like yesterday – Charlie exclaimed, “You’ve never had a SLURPEE?! Dude?!”

It’s true. Until the ripe age of 32, I had never had a Slurpee. When you grow up in Quebec with their peculiar arcane language laws, there are a lot of corporations that don’t want to take the jump and work out all the French and English stuff. I always assumed that that was why there were no 7/11s in Quebec. The first time I even saw one I was 16 and visiting London, Ontario.

When I moved to the DC area I finally gave it a shot. Simply put they’re good. No doubt. I love Coca Cola in general and this became a whole new mode of ingestion. (Added to Coke Brisket. Coke short ribs. Rum and Coke. Ice Cream Coke Floats. Warm Coke. Cold Coke. Coke with ice cubes. Coke with crushed ice… I think that’s it Forrest.)

And today in my email inbox next to 30 emails about Rubashkins was the “Kosher Slurpee List.” It comes out every year just before the summer. It is available online or in a convenient printable format that I suppose you can put in your car or wallet or can be folded into your portable siddur.

It is a document that should give us all pause.