Frequently Asked Questions...and some answers!

Q: What is this?
This is the FAQ for the Jewish Food Mailing list. The letters stand for "Frequently Asked Questions." It really should be "Frequently Answered Questions" because the format of a FAQ is usually Q&A. There are a lot more than Four Questions here! This is a work-in-progress. Check back on occasion to see any updates or just take a refresher course.

Q: What is "Jewish" food?
Our definition is that Jewish food is any food that is able to be prepared according to kashruth.

Q: What is "kashruth?"
Kashruth is the set of laws guiding food and meal preparation. For a simple overview, try the OU Kashrut Primer.)

Q: Yes, but what is this?
This is the Jewish Food Mailing List. When you subscribe, you will be receiving emails from all the other members every day.  You send your message to a central address, and your message is copied and sent to all the other members of the list.

Q: What if I don't want all those emails?
Instead of individual messages, you have the option to modify your Membership Profile at YahooGroups. You can choose either to receive the digest (one long message every day with all the days' messages in it) or you can read the digest on the Web.

For those who don't want to manuever through Yahoogroups, we've set up a Subscription Management (click here) page on this site, where you can issue the appropriate commands through email.  Please note, that in order to accomplish what you wish you must use the email address that you're subscribed from.

Q: How do I send messages to other members?
You send messages by email. As we said above, you send your message to (or just hit your "Reply" key) and send. If your mail reader has the capability, you may want put the address in your Address Book to "match" the address as you type. When you send an message to the list address the software takes your message and "explodes" it into a copy for every member.

Q: That's for a new message. How do I reply to a message I receive?
The software is set to Reply To: the list automatically.  Please be careful when making a reply--sometimes your message is not of general interest and should be sent to the poster. If you want the message to go to the sender, you must manually change the address.

Q: Do I have a limit on how many messages I can send?
Well, in one way, no. You can have as many messages for commentary and discussion as you like. We do ask you to use common sense, though.  Not everybody may be interested in everything you have to say :-).  We do have a limit on recipes.  Because there are so many members on the list, we ask that you restrict yourself to three (3) recipes within a 24-hour period.  If there's a lot you have to share, just send the three, and the next day send the rest. This also gives the archivists a break.

Please Note: While we enjoy a certain amount of "thread drift" this mailing list is focused on Jewish/kosher cooking and is neither a general Judaica list nor for personal one-to-one chat. If someone feels led to post "OT" (off-topic), the message belongs somewhere else. If you have any question as to whether or not a message is appropriate, please ask us to vet/screen it for you--the door is always open at "List Central."

Q: What about my incoming messages?  Can I get a virus?
The software is set to Reply To: the list. The software is set to strip off any attachments that are sent to the list; be assured catching a computer virus by being a member of the list is not possible at this time.

Q: I'm getting spam. Did you give/sell/rent my address?
NO!!  Never.  We value a member's privacy and security and would never (ever) do that.  If we find another member is collecting addresses for spamming purposes, that person will be removed and banned for life.

Q: Is that all?
Basically, yes. There are a few things you need to be careful of when sending a message. When you Reply To: a message, you need to be mindful that not all our members are fortunate to live in a flat-rate country; they pay by the time they spend online and sometimes by the amount of data.

1. We need to be careful that the message isn't meant as a private response; Jewish-Food is not a general "chat" list. There is a companion list at YahooGroups called "Kehillat" ( for discussing community issues. If we think a message had been intended to be sent privately, we will return it to the sender.

2. Be careful when replying that you only quote the relevant part of the message you're replying to. Even for people on a flat rate, it's pretty annoying to scroll all the way through a lengthy message only to find a one- or two-line reply.

3. A subset of that is being sure to delete the footers (see below). Scrolling down through all that extra garbage can be rather frustrating also. If we don't have the time (remember, all people involved with the list are volunteers!) to edit a message, we will send it to back to the sender to revise and resubmit.

4. Please set your software to use ASCII (aka "plain text") when composing a new message or replying to one. When you send a message in HTML (web language), non-HTML-equipped mailreaders will not see the message properly and will translate the codes to plain text. This will make the message unreadable. Not good.

5. Also, if your software creates fraction symbols--some people can't see them properly. Use the numbers for the fractions: 1/4, 1/2, 2/3, etc.

6. For recipes, see the Recipe Formatting Guide and be sure to put REC:<recipe name> in the subject header so the archivists can spot your message as a recipe.

Q: That seems like a lot of stuff! I suppose I'll get used to it after a while. Now, what's this about footers?
A "footer" is text appended to the bottom of each message. It comes from typesetting, where there is the same text printed on each page (such as title of book, or chapter). YahooGroups is free of actual charges, but they append an advertising footer to each message. In addition, we feel it to be appropriate to attach a footer with unsubscribe directions, a reminder to put REC:, and a pointer to this archive.

Q: What about these fraction symbols?
Microsoft Outlook is the main culprit for this (as well as posting in HTML). Here's a solution we found that works:

Q: What if I forget to trim, delete, or post in plain text?
The moderation team reserves the right to edit your message when it is found. If we don't have the time to do so, we will send it back to the sender for revision and resubmission. We will also reserve the right to edit for content on *very* rare occasions. You will almost always receive notice when someone on the moderation team has edited your message.

We will also, on occasion, edit a message to include a "moderator's comment."  This comment will *always* be delimited so no one will be confused or think they are your words. That "moditorial" will be for general information for the list's use and not intended to shame or embarrass the member submitting the message.

Q: OK, on another subject. What if I go on vacation and I don't want to come home to find a bazillion messages?
Many people do one of three things. They either switch to the digest (using the "My Profile" page at or unsubscribe and then resubscribe when they come back.  Another option is to set your Membership Profile to "NoMail." You can use the Subscription Management page on this web site to accomplish these things.

Q: How do I unsubscribe?
You can click here to unsubscribe. You will receive a confirmation email. (You can also unsubscribe via the Member Profile page at YahooGroups or use the Subscription Management page on this site.

Q: What if I have more questions?
Feel free to contact the owner of the list.

Q: What if I have comments about this site?
Email the webmaster.


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This FAQ last updated:07/12/12