This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
- Some Sephardic poskim hold that there's what to rely on to eat any type of gelatin since in the processing of gelatin, the bones of non-kosher animals are degraded into non-edible substances which are then regenerated with chemicals.
- Regarding gelatin in medications, see the Medications page.
- HalachaYomit.co.il. See further at Rabbi Jachter's article in Kol Torah
- Rambam Maachalot Asurot 4:18 says that it is prohibited to eat bones from non-kosher animals. Rav Chaim Ozer (Achiezer 3:33:5 and 4:31) writes that dry bones ground up into gelatin should be muter. He explains that the Rambam was talking about moist bones, however, dry bones are completely permitted. Also, the bone is crushed and eaten up by acid so we shouldn’t have to worry about noten taam ligam of tastes in the bones from the meat after 24 hours. Rav Aharon Kotler (Mishnat Rav Aharon v. 1, 16-17) is strict. Tzitz Eliezer 4 introduction is lenient. Har Tzvi YD 83 and Igrot Moshe YD 2:27 are strict.
- Factor for Leniency #1: Made Not Reuy Lachila: The Rama YD 87:10 quotes the Shibolei Haleket who holds that the stomach of an animal isn't considered meat for purposes of using it to curdle milk if it is totally dry like wood. Why is it permitted? (A) The Pri Chadash 103:2 explains that the reason it is permitted is because once the stomach is totally dry it is inedible for human consumption. Badei Hashulchan 87:134 also cites the Nodeh Beyehuda 26, Shvut Yakov 2:70, and Pitchei Teshuva 155:6 agree with the Pri Chadash. (B) However, the Pri Megadim S"D 103:2 writes that the reason is because the stomach that is dry like wood doesn't give off a good taste of meat Badei Hashulchan adds that the Levush agrees.
- (1) One practical difference is whether the stomach is permitted with milk after it is cooked and softened again. Assuming like the Pri Chadash, it is permitted since it was turned into something that was inedible (based on the concept of the Chavot Daat 103:1). That is the opinion of the Nodeh Beyehuda 26, Tiferet Tzvi 73, Aruch Hashulchan, Yad Yehuda (Badei Hashulchan 87:139). However, if the Pri Megadim is right once the stomach is softened it should be forbidden. That is the opinion of the Pri Megadim, Knesset Hagedola, and Chatom Sofer 81 (Badei Hashulchan).
- (2) Another question to consider is whether this leniency applies to all forbidden foods or only meat and milk. Har Tzvi YD 83 writes that there's a major dispute between the Shach YD 114:21 who holds that any forbidden food which became inedible is permitted just like the dried stomach (Rama above). However, the Nodeh Beyehuda disagrees that it only applies to a kosher stomach that was dried before it was mixed with milk, but something forbidden to begin with is forbidden even if it becomes inedible. This dispute in fact is really dependent on whether we hold like Rabbi Shimon or Rabbi Meir about Nevelah Sheino Reuy Lger (Avoda Zara 68a, Bechorot 23b). Although the Rashba (Torat Habayit 4:1) and Rosh (Avoda Zara 2:34) hold like Rabbi Meir, the Nodeh Beyehuda 26 is concerned for the Rambam Maachalot Asurot 14:10 who in his opinion holds like Rabbi Meir. Har Tzvi concludes that if the gelatin powder is inedible even for dogs then even the Nodeh Beyehuda would be lenient, but if it is just inedible to humans it isn't clear that it is permitted. Yabia Omer 8:11 quotes many who hold like Rabbi Shimon even in explaining the Rambam (Maggid Mishna Machalot Asurot 2:21, Chavot Daat 103:1). Chatom Sofer YD 98 agrees with Nodeh Beyehuda's explanation of Rambam. Also, Yabia Omer writes that the full text of the Shibolei Haleket 2:34 reveals that he actually permitted all forbidden foods if they're dry like wood like the Shach.
- Factor for Leniency #2: Changed Foods: Rabbenu Yonah (cited by Rosh Brachot 6:35) held that a forbidden food that changed into something else is permitted. Even though the Rosh questions the Rabbenu Yonah, his opinion is accepted by many poskim including the Kesef Mishna Kli Mikdash 1:3, Radvaz 3:471, Taz 467:6, Chok Yakov 467, Pri Chadash in Mayim Chayim 10, and Achiezer 3:33:5. Or Letzion 1:34 raises an issue that one can't use the leniency of changed foods if it was initially planned and chemically altered. His proof is from 34a. Rav Ovadia disproves it from the Chatom Sofer YD 117, Even Yekara 140, Imrei Yosher 2:140 and others who don't make this distinction.
- Are bones forbidden to begin with? Rambam (Machalot Asurot 4:18) writes that eating bones are rabbinically forbidden. Rashba in Mishmeret Habayit 6b writes that the bones are permitted and don't have any moist taste that is forbidden. It seems that he disagrees with the Rambam (Machalot Asurot 4:18). (Taz 99:1 and Chavot Daat 99:2 imply this as well. But see Mishnat Rebbe Aharon) Also, potentially, Tosfot Avoda Zara 69a s.v. hahu who permit the bee legs might also disagree with the Rambam. See Achiezer and Rav Yechezkel Abramsky (introduction to Tzitz Eliezer 4) who distinguish between soft and hard bones.
- Factor for Stringency: Achsheveh: Rav Aharon Kotler (Mishnat Rav Aharon v. 1, 17:17) writes that it is achshaveh to use gelatin from non-kosher animals and would be forbidden once it is reconstituted into something edible. Achiezer 3:33:5 writes that there's no issue of achsheveh since one isn't eating it on its own. Yabia Omer agrees.