Kosher Dog Food

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
Interesting question from a new client with his puppy…
‘What rules apply to dog food in a strictly kosher home?’
I have always been of the opinion that as it’s the dog that’s eating the food there shouldn’t be an issue, but I think the client has a point about wet, canned food and the storage of it in a fridge – I said I would ask you!
I have 3 Rabbis that bring their dogs to me, but I’ve never discussed it with them.
During Pesach, I advise my clients to move to a home cooked diet for the duration of Pesach that uses only approved ingredients, although over the years a few companies have started to offer dry foods that have a kosher for Passover hechsher.
Justine

Hi Justine,
Unless special circumstances obtain, in general, one need not be concerned that non-kosher pet food will enter the kosher “food chain” within one’s kitchen.  Of course sensible precautions should be taken in the case of pet food kept in the refigerator, for example, ie, keep it covered.
Your advice re Pesach is prudent.  Much commercially available pet food involves chametz issues.  An important area of concern, however, relates to pet food which includes both meat and milk.  In addition to the prohibition of eating meat and milk together, the Torah also forbids deriving benefit from such a mixture (specifically where they have been cooked together).  Of course, keeping your pet healthy and happy is certainly a benefit.  Note that casein and whey, milk derivatives, are both in the dairy category.  Your Jewish clients should read the ingredient panel closely and avoid beef, sheep or goat meat with milk.  Chicken, pork or horsemeat with milk is OK (for the pet, not the owner!).
Here is an article which offers an excellent treatment of our subject:  http://www.star-k.org/articles/articles/seasonal/375/feeding-your-pet-barking-up-the-right-tree/#fA.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
***
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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