Can I learn Torah on Christmas day or Nittel Nacht?

Is it better to learn, or not learn Torah (playing chess) on XMS and Nittel Nacht (Yiddish: ניטל נאַכט‎)?

There are two opinions (שיטות): It is a mitzvah or it is forbidden.

It is a Mitzvah De’oraita

It is a mitzvah de’oraita of learning Torah every day and night. After all, what’s more important — a mitzvah de’oraita, or an Minhag Goyim? Obviously, the latter.

Continue reading “Can I learn Torah on Christmas day or Nittel Nacht?”

Can I Operate Motorized Shades on Shabbat?

Window Blinds New York – Allow perfect flow of light through your windows, but not invading eyes. As for privacy, Judaism certainly values windows covering to prevent unwanted eyes watching the family and women. For the Jewish woman, modesty is a gift and a validation of her own ability to assess what she wants to share about herself – and when. Roman Shades New York – Roman shades can be made from many different materials, including wood or fabric. Even within the many choices there are more choices as the type of wood is varied as well. Common options include Pirouette and Provenance woven wood, but in reality anything goes. Wood is a very popular material because they create a natural look as well as providing a touch of genuine warmth.

Don’t forget that motorized Shades cannot be used on Shabbat!

The remote is “muktze“.

I’m observing Halal, can I eat Kosher or do I become Haram?

Short answer: Yes,  Muslim’s cat eat kosher in peace. Just make sure there is no alcohol in any of the ingredients.  You’re not doing anything wrong, so you will not become Haram.

Let’s understand “Halal” and “Haram”

What is “halal,” and what is the term “haram,” the opposite term, and why could Muslims “make do” with Jewish kashrut—and less—nowadays?

The halal rules are mainly related to meat, but not only. Halal related to all aspects of life and is not necessarily limited to things that concern food. With religion, as soon as something concerns food, things get the narrowest meaning and immediately points to meat.

We all know that Muslims, like Jews, must not eat pork in any form. The source of this is found in the verse (marked 173) in Sura—which is known as “al-bakhra,” or “surah al-cow”. It is clearly defined that pork should not be eaten. At the same time, the Kuran forbids eating meat from the dead or consuming blood, comparing pork to food.

Contrary to what many of us believe, the rules of halal—all that is permitted—compared to haram, all that is not permitted—do not relate only to meat matters. The definitions also relate to other things, although the background to most things is really meat. These are the rules and prohibitions:

Eating pork and its products

Eating carcasses: the reference here are to animals that were not properly slaughtered or already dead. The slaughter is performed with a knife. If the animal was killed in Mecca or utilizing any other method, the slaughter is no longer kosher.

Eating animals that were not slaughtered in the name of Allah

This is an interesting passage since it does not require that the slaughterer be a Muslim, but rather that he should believe in one God and call his name during the slaughter. Therefore, one of the interpretations of this section permits eating meat from kosher slaughter (which is also technically similar to Muslim slaughter), as opposed to eating meat that was slaughtered by a Christian who believes in the Trinity. Reading and believing in the name of an entity other than one God is the issue here.

Carnivorous animals

Eating carnivorous animals that feed on the dead, for example, predatory birds and land animals without external ears (ie, snakes, lizards, chickpeas, etc.).

Blood consumption and blood products

It is very likely that you will not see blood sausage in Saudi Arabia, but there is no obligation to extract the blood from the meat before eating. The whole Kosher matter of salting and washing, and the famous Jewish custom of burning liver does not exist in Islam, which allows them to eat their meat in good condition.

Eating other things, like seafood

Eating foods that contain all of the above-mentioned ingredients, animal gelatin, enzymes, etc. are unclear foods because of their origin. Quite similar to the Jewish rules, in the end.
In contrast to Jewish dietary laws, Muslims are permitted to consume fish and seafood of any kind, even if they die when they are removed from the water.

Where is Haram (Arabic: حَرَام‎ ) here?

Contrary to the supposition that eating “haram” is a death sentence in any case, the Kuran does allow the consumption of prohibited products if it is a real danger to life. The argument is simple and logical: if the only thing that might keep you alive is pig and you will not eat it, then you are committing suicide. Suicide is a sin that Dinu burned with hellfire. The amount you are allowed to eat is what will keep you alive—no more. Considering that a full Muslim meal is one-third of the stomach’s capacity for food and drink, and in such a situation it is forbidden to eat a full meal, it is certainly something that is supposed to keep you alive and nothing more. It is forbidden to suspend this permission under certain conditions, and in any case, it is necessary to eat with great sadness and lack of desire.

Read more

IFANCA, one of the world’s leading resources for halal information:

IFANCA: Halal Food Certification

What is Batel B’Shishim (nullified in 60)?

A mix of two kosher ingredients that can make it kosher or not-kosher depends on if it is “Batel B’Shishim” or nullified in 60 (Hebrew: בטל בשישים), and can apply to:

  • Milk and meat
  • Fish and meat
  • Kosher for Pesach and Chametz (hint: the nullified in 60 is never applied for Passover!)

How is it calculated? 1/60th of the total volume of the food.

I can’t write better than Rabbi Dovid Heber from Star-K kosher:

Chart and many scenarios can be found here

Can I Trust a Pure Hindu Vegetarian Meal to be Kosher?

Short answer – No. Kosher food does not end with meat and fish. It is much more complicated. Insects, preparation and sub-ingredients, to name a few crucial aspects of kashrus. The famous Kosher Rule of thumb:

If it is 99% kosher – It is 100% not kosher!

Stuck in Airport Without Kosher Food?

Follow these steps:

  1. Ask information about grocery stores in any of the airport terminals (there are probably a few terminals) and look for packaged items with any of these kosher symbols. I can guarantee that you will find some kosher items. Yeah, this is not really “food”. If you need real food and are not short on time – go to the next point
  2. Buy fruits, vegetables and other items that do not need a Kosher symbol for. For example, soft cheeses (read more about it here). We will try to post about this topic later.
  3. Ask Siri or google, “kosher near me”. You will be surprised! A year ago, I was stuck in a long, unplanned connection at Schiphol, Netherlands with no kosher food at all – nada. The steps in this blog were all tried, tested, and succeeded!
  4. Can I buy plain bread (or bun) in a non-kosher store? Short answer – no, you can’t, not in a place you have no access to the baker. We will try to post about this topic later.
  5. There is no kosher food on board, can I eat a pure vegetarian Hindu meal instead? No, you can’t trust it to be kosher. Read why here.

Test case:  Finding kosher food in Schiphol, Netherlands

I asked Google Assistant “kosher near me”, and got these results. Most of the kosher restaurants will be glad to deliver hot meal for you and your mates, usually within 30 to 40 minutes. Note: Sometimes Google can suggest kosher places that are not kosher at all. Don’t trust Google for your Olam-Ha’ba.  You must check with the restaurant if they have a valid kosher certificate or check with the local rabbinical authority. We will make your life easier – Search & Find Badatz Amserdam phone number here.

This is what you would find using eKollel Search

Can I get Kosher food in Banff/Jasper National Park?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: You have to know how to do it and plan ahead.

Food you can find in any Grocery Store

You can find many types of kosher food in any grocery store in Canada. You have to learn the Kashrut Signs (here), but COR and OU dominate the kosher certifications field. If you’re a little patient, besides ice cream and cookies (most of them are kosher), you can even find kosher bread. FYI, many dairy products are kosher too. Learn more here, and here. You can also buy fish if you know the law of fish kashrus. You will not find meat products anywhere around.

Cooked food, meat and “real food”

You can find in Edmonton, AB. List is here.

The Fairmont Hotels

I was able to celebrate a few Shabbatot in two of these Fairmont hotels enjoying Gourmet Glatt Kosher food. Contact me to learn how.

Is there a Chabad house near Banff/Jasper National Park?


If you like What We Do - Say thank you

Related Posts

 Where can I get Kosher Food in Edmonton, Alberta (AB Canada)?

Where can I get Kosher Food in Edmonton, Alberta (AB Canada)?

Your Local Contact

Edmonton Kollel. Contact names, maps and detail can be found here. Scroll down to “what is eKollel?”. Basically there are two Kosher Certifications in AB (click on the symbol for more details):


Edmonton Kollel


Calgary Kosher

New Kosher Store in Edmonton

The “Kosher Food Connection” located in the heart of the Jewish community in Edmonton. The address is: 6805 170 St NW Edmonton, AB T5T 4W4
Phone number: (780) 489-6350
Languages Spoken: English and Hebrew

Where to Eat

Planet Pareve

Planet Pareve is a Specialty Food Shop located in the Edmonton Jewish Community Centre. Our motto is “Fresh made, every day!” Join us for morning coffee, fresh baked goods or a light lunch. Drop by and pick up a couple of entrees for a stress free dinner. Bring home desserts from our varied selection. You are invited to peruse our menu and services. Visit Planet Pareve at the Edmonton JCC Jewish Community Centre.

Phone: Contact Us
Address: 7200 156 Street (at the JCC)

Where to Buy


Wide selection of Kosher Products Available daily. Frozen Glatt meat, Frozen kosher burito, Pizza and many frozen kosher items. Also you can find products from Israel as Osem, Elite and more.

Address: 9106 – 142 Street
Phone: (780) 483-1525 or 483-1507
Map: Click here for a map >>


Sobeys has your largest selection of kosher foods in Alberta. A must stop before your trip to the Rockies. With a masgiach on site for fresh cut deli and cheeses, Sobeys can also do cheese trays, deli trays, fruit trays, vegetable trays and sandwich trays. We have Israeli cheeses, and a large selection of cholov yisroel dairy and ice cream. We have a huge selection of beef, veal, lamb, chicken, turkey and duck. We have bread from a local bakery and from Montreal. We have frozen take out foods, and vegetarian foods. Sobeys also carries pizzas, bourekas, gefilte fish, cookies, crackers, and so much more. Call Gary or email us at We are open 7 days a week from 8:00 – 11:00.

Address: 1030 Webber Greens Dr.
Phone: (780) 489-7762
Map: Click here for a map >>

Kosher Bread, Chalah and Cakes

Bliss Baked Good and Ben-M bakery. Quality Breads – Quality Deserts. Wide selection of Kosher dough products Available daily.

Address: 10710 142 St.
Phone: (780) 453-0101
Map: Click here for a map >>

If you like What We Do - Say thank you

Related Posts

 Can I get Kosher food in Banff/Jasper National Park?