The Shmooze

Photos Show NYC Tap Water Isn't Kosher

By Maia Efrem

The poor Hasidim just can’t catch a break. Now even their water is not kosher.

Yesterday, a blogger on the social news website Reddit uploaded photos of crustaceans found after an examination some New York City tap water under a microscope. The tiny creatures, called copepods, became apparent after an H&E stain was added to the water.

According to the post, the un-kosher critters are added to water reservoirs to “attack, kill, and eat the younger first and second instar larvae of the mosquitoes,” making it safe to drink.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Water and Wastes Digest, Water, Tap Water, Reddit, Satmar, Rabbi Abraham Zimmerman, Orthodox Jewish, Kosher, Copepods

A New Passover Tradition: Desalinated Water

By Nathan Jeffay

His status in haredi circles is legendary, and for years his kashrut seal has appeared on every kind grocery item. Now, you can get tap water with the seal of Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, the chief rabbi of Bnei Brak.

Though during the year a tiny amount of something non-kosher doesn’t render otherwise kosher food off-limits, on Passover, a principle of assur b’mashehu applies. This means that, strictly speaking, even a small spec of bread renders a huge pot of Passover food hametz.

The question that has bothered some Israeli Orthodox rabbis for years is: Given that much of Israel’s water supply comes from the Sea of Galilee, if a picnicker dropped a sandwich in the lake, wouldn’t that make all of Israel’s drinking water hametz?

To be on the safe side, some Orthodox families fill up huge tanks with water before Passover (the strict rules don’t apply to water that you owned before the festival). This year, the Bnei Brak municipality arranged with Mekorot, the company that pipes Israel’s water, to only receive desalinated sea-water.

And just to make sure that the desalination operation is hametz-free, Landau went to visit ahead of the festival. His aides said they were impressed that the water is pumped from the depths of the Mediterranean — presumably thought to be a hametz-free area. If anyone is reading this from a cruise ship on the Med and recalls dropping a sandwich overboard, please wait until after Passover to post a comment.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Passover, bnei brak, desalinated, moshe yehuda leib landau, rabbi, water




Find us on Facebook!
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.