HALACHA AND PRODUCT SPECIFIC APPROVALS

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Behind every product we bring to market is a desire to assist the Torah observant community to meet the challenges of a modern world. And equally important, we feel we have a responsibility to educate people – especially newcomers – in areas of halacha (Jewish Law) that they might not be familiar with. We also want to make mitzvah observance more pleasurable wherever possible while maintaining the strictest standards of halacha and kavod haTorah.

In this way we hope that b’ezras HaShem, we will help bring people to a greater love of the Al-mighty and a greater love of observing His mitzvos.

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OUR APPROACH TO DEVELOPING PRODUCTS

Since we market our products worldwide and there are so many differences between Torah Observant communities, we try to develop products that satisfy the requirements of all the different approaches wherever possible.

Consult your L.O.R. (Local Orthodox Rav)
That being said we encourage every Jew to ask his or her local Rav for his opinion. It is important to be part of a Jewish community and abide by that standard. It is also important to have a Rav for asking questions in Halacha.

Even though a person must abide by their local Rav, a person still has an obligation to know the halachos themselves. Therefore we include on our website a discussion of the halachos related to each product for educational purposes.

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MARA D'ASRA

Kosher Innovations is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. When we are at the development stage of a product we first consult seforim and our own personal poskim here in Toronto to determine if it fits within normative halacha.

When we have developed a working prototype of the product, we then take the product for a psak halacha from the Mara D’asra (the posek of the city). In our case that is HaRav Shlomo Miller Shlita, Rosh Kollel, Kollel Avreichim of Toronto who is one of the leading and most respected poskim of our generation.

Before approaching poskim outside of one’s city, which we often do, we have an obligation to get a psak from our local community first. In fact when we asked a HaRav Neuwirth, the author of Shmirath Shabbath K’hilchatha, in Jerusalem for his opinion of our Shabbos Toothbrush he asked first, “what does the Mara D’asra say?

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PSAK - AL PI DIN and the SPIRIT OF THE TORAH

ShabbosWhen dealing with sensitive issues such as Shabbos, there are really two aspects to a Rav’s psak which could cause the psak to vary between individuals even in the same community! The first question that must be answered is, “is using the product muttar (permitted) or assur (forbidden) al pi din (according to the strict application of the law)? The second question to answer is, “even though the use of the product might be muttar, is it within the spirit of Torah to use it?”

For example, it is permitted to use a timer on Shabbat, but should one use it to turn on a television to watch a sporting event on Shabbos? Many people would react by saying, “It’s assur to have a TV in the first place!” Most people might think that the obvious answer would be that one should not use a timer to turn on a television because of zilzul Shabbos (denigrating the holiness of Shabbos), but what about a woman who has become Shomer Shabbos and has a husband who still wants to watch the football game on TV? I would suggest she ask her local Rav if it was permitted for her to use a timer to turn on the TV so that her husband could watch the game without having to turn the TV on or off on Shabbos.

This sensitivity will vary between communities and even Rabbanim within the same community. It will also vary between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. This is why it is so important for each person to ask their own Rav. Although we attempt to get multiple answers from a number of Rabbanim, ultimately the final answer is between you and your Rav.

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PRODUCTS


KosherLamp

Classic, Regency, MAX, Teddy Light

Turning "on" the KosherLamp

TWISTING THE SHADE

All authorities would permit twisting the shade on Shabbos. It is similar to opening or closing a closet door in which there is a light burning on Shabbos. This is even the case where the shade forms part of the lamp. R. Neuwirth writes explicitly in Shemiras Shabbos:

A shade which is made to direct the light or to cover it up altogether may be adjusted on Shabbath, even if it is made in such a way that it forms part of the lamp.

Shemirath Shabbath Kehilchathah 13:41b
Rabbi Yehoshua Y. Neuwirth

In the case of KosherLamp, the shade is NOT part of the lamp, it is a separate piece entirely.

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MOVING KOSHERLAMP™ ON SHABBOS
 

While twisting the upper shade to control the light is permitted by all authorities, many poskim hold that the lamp itself (outer shade and base) is considered muktza. In the same way that a candlestick would be considered muktzah. However a lit candle may not be moved at all while it is lit because this may cause the flame to burn brighter or go out. With the electric lamp there is no question about the bulb burning brighter or going out, so it may be moved, however this must be done with a shinui. Therefore if you need its place or need to move it to change the direction of the light, this must be done with a shinui (not the regular way) such as pushing it with one’s elbow. This is the strict opinion as expressed in Rav Miller's psak above. There are more lenient opinions. Please consult your local Orthodox rabbi for further direction.

The KosherLamp™ is made to accept only a compact flourescent bulb (CFL) with an electronic ballast. Since in most CFL's there is no glowing filament there is nothing that is burning. So some authorities do not consider it to be a lamp, but rather an electric appliance which may be moved as long as the plug is not inadvertantly removed from the wall socket. Beware that some CFL's use a "program start" and have a glowing filament, and therefore should be treated halachically as incandescent. In any event, consult your local Orthodox Rabbi for a ruling about moving the lamp on Shabbat.

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KOSHERLAMP AUDIO SHIUR
 

Laws of Muktza as related to electric lamps and KosherLamp in particular.

Download the Audio Class by Rabbi Reuven Spolter

(Right-click the above link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" to copy the file to your computer)

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KOSHERLAMP SOURCE SHEETS
 

Download the Source Sheets by Rabbi Reuven Spolter

(Right-click the above link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" to copy the file to your computer)

Rabbi Reuven Spolter of the Young Israel of Oak Park in Oak Park, Michigan gave the shiur concerning the Halachos of KosherLamp in response to congregants' questions. (They followed our advice and consulted their local orthodox rabbi!) In his lively shiur he goes through in detail the laws of muktza pertaining to KosherLamp and explains the lenient opinion which says you can even move the base of the KosherLamp on Shabbos.

Rabbi Spolter's full website can be found at www.spolter.net

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MOVING KOSHERLAMP™ ON YOM TOV
 

A portable electric lamp… may be moved on Yom Tov, even while it is on, either for the purpose of using it or because one needs the space which it occupies, provided one is careful not to disconnect it from the electricity supply.

(Shemirath Shabbath Kehilchathah 13:4)

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RABBINIC APPROVALS
 

KosherLamp Approval
Click to Enlarge Approval from
Rabbi Shlomo Eliyahu Miller,
Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto

Approval
Click to Enlarge Approval from
Rabbi Dovid Schochet
Congregation Lubavitch, Thornhill, Ontario

Approval
Click to Enlarge Approval from
Rabbi Yechezkel Roth,
Beth Din -Kollel Bais Talmud L'horuah,
Brooklyn, New York
Approval for KosherLamp
Click to Enlarge Approval from
Dayan Chanoch HaCohen Ehrentreu
Rosh Beit Din of London, England
Approval for KosherLamp
Click to Enlarge Approval from
Grand Rabbin Michel Gugenheim
de Paris, France

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KosherClock-The Shabbos Alarm Clock
 

The KosherClock has been approved by major Rabbis concerning its use on Shabbos when used in the following manner:

1. Battery installation, setting of time and alarm must be done prior to Shabbos.

2. Some poskim say that alarms set to go off during Shabbos must be set via the standard "beeping" noise and not the recorded alarm. Many poskim say that you may use the recorded alarm feature on Shabbos. Please ask your local Rabbi for his opinion.

3. Alarms that go off during Shabbos cannot be turned off manually by the user. The alarm will stop on its own after 1 minute.

4. No buttons should be pressed during Shabbos.

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KOSHERCLOCK AUDIO SHIUR
& SOURCE SHEETS

 

Laws of Making Noise on Shabbos, as related to KosherClocks in particular.

(Right-click the above link(s) and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" to copy the file to your computer)

Rabbi Reuven Spolter of the Young Israel of Oak Park in Oak Park, Michigan gave the shiur concerning the Halachos of KosherClock in response to congregants' questions. (They followed our advice and consulted their local orthodox rabbi!) In his lively shiur he goes through in detail the laws of making noise on Shabbos with electronic devices. Rabbi Spolter's full website can be found at www.spolter.net

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Bug Checker-Portable Light Board

RABBINIC APPROVALS
 

Approval of Bug Checker by Rav Belsky
Click to Enlarge Approval
and read Translation from
HaRav Yisroel Belsky Shli'tah

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Shabbos Toothbrush

Why a Special Toothbrush for Shabbos?
 

There are four main categories of prohibited melacha related to brushing teeth on Shabbos with a REGULAR toothbrush and REGULAR toothpaste. These issues vary for individual communities and contemporary poskim. Now, thanks to the new Kosher Innovations™ Shabbos Toothbrush™ and specially formulated Kosher Innovations™ Shabbos Toothwash™, these melachos are avoided, allowing you to brush your teeth on Shabbos according to all opinions. Sechitah. Squeezing liquid out of a solid in which it was absorbed is prohibited on Shabbos. When wet, densely packed nylon bristles of a regular toothbrush are pressed against the teeth, many poskim consider it is as if the water is squeezed out of the bristles and forbid using a wet toothbrush. The rubber bristles of the Shabbos Toothbrush™ are far enough apart that it is obvious that liquid does not get absorbed into the bristles and is not squeezed out


Shabbos Toothbrush's soft rubber "bristles"

Chavalah: Causing oneself to bleed on Shabbos is prohibited. Sharp nylon bristles of a regular toothbrush can cause gums to bleed. The soft rounded rubber bristles of the Shabbos Toothbrush™ do not cause bleeding. In the extremely rare case that very sensitive gums bleed even with the Shabbos Toothbrush™, consult your local Rabbi and see your dentist!

Memareach: Spreading a cream or ointment onto an object used as an applicator to the body is prohibited on Shabbos. Therefore, most poskim prohibit use of regular toothpaste or gel applied to any toothbrush. Kosher Innovations™  Shabbos Toothwash™ is a concentrated liquid and this prohibition does not apply. We do not recommend using the Shabbos Toothbrush™ with any product other than Kosher Innovations Shabbos Toothwash™ Also, the Shabbos Toothwash™ is certified kosher by the OU.

Uvdin D'Chol: If a regular activity involves something that one may not do on Shabbos, that activity will be classified as a “weekday activity”. For some poskim who permit the use of a regular toothbrush without toothpaste this prohibition would apply to using one's weekday toothbrush and they require a separate and even distinctive toothbrush for Shabbos.  The Kosher Innovations Shabbos Toothbrush™ was designed specifically for Shabbos and not for weekday use, eliminating the issue of Uvdin D'Chol according to all poskim.

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RABBINIC APPROVALS
 

haskama for Shabbos Toothbrush
Click to Enlarge Approval
and read Translation from
HaRav Yisroel Belsky Shli'tah

Haskama2
Click to Enlarge Approval
and read Translation from
HaRav Yehoshua Neurwirth
Author of Shmiros Shabbos K'Hilchoso


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VIDEO ABOUT BRUSHING YOUR TEETH ON SHABBOS
 

Watch the informative video about the laws of Brushing your teeth on Shabbos by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Watch this excellent and informative video by Rabbi Shraga Simmons here

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Shabbos Toothwash

How is the Toothwash special for Shabbos?
 

This product is specially formulated to be used only with the Kosher Innovations Shabbos Toothbrush™ to ensure compliance with Shabbos laws according to all opinions. We do not recommend its use with a regular nylon toothbrush. Please see your local Rabbi for a final psak for you.

We have produced this highly concentrated liquid as a replacement for regular toothpaste or gel on Shabbos to avoid the prohibition of Memareach. Spreading a cream or ointment onto an object used as an applicator to the body is prohibited on Shabbos. Therefore, most poskim prohibit use of regular toothpaste or gel applied to any toothbrush. Kosher Innovations Shabbos Toothwash is a concentrated liquid and this prohibition does not apply. We do not recommend or approve the use of the Shabbos Toothwash™ with any product other than Kosher Innovations™ Shabbos Toothbrush™. According to many poskim, there are problems related to sechitah – squeezing liquid – with a regular toothbrush.

Prohibition of Memareach on Shabbos: Spreading a cream or ointment onto an object used as an applicator to the body is prohibited on Shabbos. Therefore, most poskim prohibit use of regular toothpaste or gel applied to any toothbrush. Kosher Innovations  Shabbos Toothwash™ is a concentrated liquid and this prohibition does not apply. Thus, we do not recommend using the Shabbos Toothbrush™ with any product other than Kosher Innovations Shabbos Toothwash™ Also, the Shabbos Toothwash™ is certified kosher by the OU.

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Magnetic Shabbos Message Board
 

As with all other Kosher Innovations products, we have shown the Magnetic Shabbos Message Board to Rabbis who specialize in halachas related to the product and its use. We have shown the Magnetic Shabbos Message Board to Rav Shlomo Miller, Rosh Kollel Avreichim of Toronto and he has given his approval for its use on Shabbos.

We have also shown the Magnetic Shabbos Message Board to Rav Yehoshua Neurwirth of Yerushalayim, author of Shmiros Shabbos K'Hilchoso, and he has given his approval for its use on Shabbos.

Consult your local Rav if you have any questions on the Magnetic Shabbos Message Board's use on Shabbos.

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Shabbos Bathroom Tissue
 

Things that are attached -- through glue, sewing, or even perforation -- cannot be unattached for a purpose on Shabbos. This would involve taking something in one form and carefully dividing it up into another for some use, thus creating something anew. Tearing toilet paper on the perforation, which creates a measured piece of paper, violates the Torah prohibition of mechatech. If one rips off a piece in an unmeasured manner (not on the perforation), it may be a violation of the Torah prohibition of korei’ah (ripping for a constructive purpose).

The Shabbos Bathroom Tissue is pre-cut and each sheet is folded together so they can be pulled one at a time. There is no tearing involved when pulling the tissues out of the box.

One thing to remember to do before Shabbos is to remove the perforated oval covering on the box. We have printed our mascot Kalman KosherLamp with a reminder to do this so you will not forget.

An additional Mitzvah:
The additional benefit to hanging the Shabbos Bathroom Tissue on the toilet roll holder and removing the regular toilet paper roll is that this action prevents others, such as guests who might not be aware of halachas, from accidentally tearing on Shabbos.

A Note of Caution:
Please be aware that some brands of facial tissue are connected with very small perforations. Pulling these tissues results in tearing, which as mentioned above, is a prohibition on Shabbos. Also, some brands of facial tissue that may be pre-cut one time may not be pre-cut another time. This inconsistency may be due to the product being manufactured in different factories using different equipment. It is advisable to check for perforations before Shabbos or for peace of mind and certainty, use the Shabbos Bathroom Tissue.

 

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Related Links:

 


Unique products for Shabbos

KosherLamp MAX Regency Kosher Clock Shabbos Bathroom Tissue Bug Checker Portable Light Board