Motivated by the illness of the OU’s Senior Posek Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, Shlita, and with the approval and encouragement of Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher, and its COO Rabbi Moshe Elefant, OU Kosher will be launching its Halacha Yomis program in the near future. In this new initiative, a Kashrus Halacha will be emailed to subscribers each work day.
This effort is being organized by Senior OU Kosher Rabbis Yaakov Luban, Yosef Grossman and Moshe Zywica as azechus (merit) for the Refuah Shlaimah, full recovery, of Rav Belsky Shlita— Harav Chaim Yisroel ben Chana Tzirel. “It is our hope,” the OU rabbis declared, “that by uniting and connecting through learning a halacha a day, Rav Belsky Shlita will merit a full recovery. Many of these questions were answered by Rav Belsky himself.”
Rabbi Genack encouraged OU Kosher rabbinical staff to submit Q & A’s in their area of expertise. What follows are two samples. The first one is from Rabbi Eli Gersten, Recorder OU Halacha Policy, answering a question on eggs; the second one, on dairy, is from Rabbinic Coordinator Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, head of the OU Kosher Dairy Team.
Q: Are eggs subject to the prohibition of bishul akum?
A: “Yes. The Gemara (A.Z. 38b) says that an egg that was roasted by a non-Jew is forbidden. This halacha is brought in Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 113:14) as well: “Although a raw egg can be swallowed raw, nevertheless if it is cooked by a non-Jew it is forbidden”. Although generally, foods that are nechal chai (eaten raw) are not subject to the prohibition of bishul akum, in this case they are forbidden, since eating raw eggs is considered an abnormal manner of eating.
Q: Does video supervision of milk qualify it as cholov Yisroel?
A: This is a machlokes among contemporary poskim. Those who allow it maintain that since halacha merely requires a Yisroel to be able to view the milking (Gem. Avodah Zarah 39 A, Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 115:1) but does not require him to physically view it (in the case that he is stationed during the milking outside the gate of the milking barn and has verified the absence of any non-kosher animals), video supervision should likewise be acceptable, and even better, as even though a Yisroel is not physically on-site, he can view everything via video. Other poskim do not allow video supervision, as they maintain that a Yisroel must be physically present in order to comply with the gezeirah of Chazal. (Please see Mesorah Journal vol. 27, p. 99.) OU products that are labeled ascholov Yisroel do not rely on video supervision.