Nowadays when one is not feeling up to par he takes a few medications and with Hashem's help feels better within a couple of days and goes back to his regular routine. There are many halachic issues with regard to medications which need to be addressed. Is a beracha recited on pleasant tasting medication such as cough syrup? Does one have to recite a beracha on water when ingesting a pill? Can one walk into the bathroom with medicine? Can one take pills on Shabbos? Is it permitted to take a gel-cap? Can one take liquid medication which is full of flavors? What about vitamins? These issues will be dealt with at length in the upcoming issues.
- 1 Beracha on Medication
- 2 Medicine mixed with Sweeteners
- 3 No Beracha Required
- 4 How Much to Eat or Drink?
- 5 Which Beracha Rishona?
- 6 Beracha Achrona
- 7 Listerine Pocketpaks®
- 8 Pills which are swallowed
- 9 Chewable
- 10 Intravenous
- 11 Drinking before a Procedure
- 12 Drinking Water for Medical Purposes
- 13 Medicine mixed with a food or water
- 14 Medicine taken during a Meal
- 15 Medicine in Pocket While Sleeping
- 16 Storing food under a bed
- 17 Taking Medicine into the Bathroom
- 18 Reciting a Tefilla before taking Medication
- 19 Taking Medicine on Shabbos
- 20 Taking Pills on a Fast Day
- 21 Consuming Gelatin and Gel-caps
- 22 What is Gelatin?
- 23 How is it Manufactured?
- 24 Bones from non-Kosher animals
- 25 The Gelatin has changed
- 26 Dried out Stomach / Gelatin
- 27 Contemporary Opinions
- 28 Status of Kosher Gelatin
- 29 Gel Caps - Not in the Normal Manner
- 30 Children's Medication
- 31 Toothpaste
- 32 Credits
- 33 Sources
Beracha on Medication
- A beracha is not recited on food which is eaten to heal if one does not have enjoyment from the food. However, if one does have enjoyment from the food, a beracha rishona and achrona (see below) is recited. Even if one does not want the good tasting food and is only eating it because he is ill, since he has enjoyment from it a beracha is recited. Examples of medicines which require a beracha due to their pleasant taste are herbal teas and cough drops.
Medicine mixed with Sweeteners
- Some say even if the medicine itself does not have flavor, but is mixed with other ingredients (sweeteners) that have flavor, one still recites a beracha on the medicine. The reason for this opinion is because the mixture tastes pleasant and we do not look at the medicine before the taste was placed into it. This is the opinion of many poskim.
- Some say if one consumes a medicine which contains sweeteners (and if not for the need of the medicine one would not consume the sweeteners, then no beracha is required. Others say no beracha is recited because such sweetener is only a tafel to the
actual medication and if no beracha is recited on the ikur, then one does not recite a beracha on the tafel. Nonetheless, others disagree with this reasoning and maintain that a beracha should be recited even in this situation. Since there is a dispute in this regard, one should recite a beracha on a different shehakol food and have in mind to exempt the medicine.
- According to all opinions, medicine for children which is sweet like candy would require a beracha.
No Beracha Required
- One who is forced to eat or drink something does not recite a beracha even if it tastes pleasant since he was forced to do so.
- A bad tasting food does not require a beracha before eating it.
How Much to Eat or Drink?
- Some poskim are of the opinion that one does not recite a beracha on a pleasant tasting medicine unless one ate a kezayis or drank a reviis of it. The reason for this is that just as one who tastes food does not recite a beracha unless a kezayis or reviis is consumed; the same applies for medications, since one does not have intent for eating. Nonetheless, the poskim do not make this comparison and therefore, a beracha on pleasant tasting medicine would be required regardless of the amount being consumed since one's intent is to swallow the medicine as opposed to the "tasting" case where one does not intend to have enjoyment.
Which Beracha Rishona?
- The Rama says any food which a healthy person does not eat requires a shehakol if taken as medication, regardless of the food's real beracha. Others say one should recite the appropriate beracha. The Mishna Brurah maintains that one should avoid this situation when possible.
- One who recited a shehakol on a medication would be required to recite a beracha achrona if the proper shiur was consumed.
- For years people have been erroneously consuming Listerine Pocketpaks® without a hechsher, but obviously this product needs a hechsher, especially since it is digested in the stomach. Recently, this product became available with a hechsher. The question arises if this product requires a beracha prior to placing it in one's mouth. Many people do not recite a beracha. However, even though this product melts in the mouth, it is swallowed and therefore, according to some poskim a beracha of shehakol should be recited before placing it in the mouth. Others maintain that a beracha does not need to be recited.
- The company says that there is nothing unsafe with swallowing it since there is no alcohol in the product. If one uses a breath mist (with a hechsher) then one does not recite a beracha on it, instead one should make a shehakol on a different food.
Pills which are swallowed
- If there is no flavor on the coating on a pill, no beracha is recited because there is no enjoyment from the pill. In addition, swallowing medication without chewing it first is not the normal manner of consumption and is not viewed halachically as eating. Furthermore, it is possible that these pills are not fit to be eaten and therefore do not require a beracha. Some say this even applies to a pill which has a sweet coating; since one swallows it no beracha is recited.
- Some say if one is taking a pill in order for one to lose weight and by taking the pill it makes one feel full, then one should recite a beracha on the pill since it is instead of food. Nonetheless, the poskim suggest one makes a beracha on something else instead.
- A chewable pill which has a pleasant taste requires a beracha according to those who recite a beracha on pleasant tasting medications. One should recite a shehakol on a different food before consuming flavored Tums® that have a hechsher.
- One who receives food in a liquid form through intravenous does not recite a beracha on the food.
Drinking before a Procedure
Many times before a medical procedure is performed one is given something to drink. This drink does not necessarily taste good on its own, but sweeteners are added to it. The status of whether a beracha would be recited is dependent on the both opinions mentioned above. One who is given something to eat before a procedure would recite a beracha on the food.
Drinking Water for Medical Purposes
- When one is taking a pill that does not taste pleasant and wants to drink water to mask the bad taste, no beracha is recited on the water. The same is true if one is taking a pill and is not thirsty.
- Before a woman goes for an ultra sound/sonogram she is asked to drink water. No beracha is recited on the water. It would seem that a nursing woman, who needs to drink a lot of water, would not recite a beracha on the water if she is not thirsty. However, others maintain that she should take food whose beracha is shehakol and exempt the beracha on the water.
- Many times, after one brushes his teeth or rinses with mouthwash, he drinks water to rinse out his mouth, one does not recite a beracha on such water.
- If one has a sore throat and drinks water to clear his throat, it would seem that a beracha is not recited. (In all the above situations, if one is thirsty, a beracha is recited). One who drinks a tasty beverage to take his pill would recite a beracha on the beverage.
Medicine mixed with a food or water
- It is very common to take a powdered medicine and mix it with a food or water. Some may say that since the food which the medicine is mixed into is a tafel, no beracha is recited. Nonetheless, others say one should recite a beracha on the mixture. If the food (not medicine) is not a shehakol, the Rama holds the beracha is a shehakol regardless of the beracha of the food, while others argue with this ruling. The Mishna Brurah maintains that one should avoid this situation when possible.
Medicine taken during a Meal
- When one consumes a medicine during a meal a separate beracha is required since the medicine is not part of the meal.
Medicine in Pocket While Sleeping
- Food that was in one's pocket while he was sleeping may be eaten. The same halacha goes for medicine that was in one's pocket.
Storing food under a bed
- Since there is ruach ra'ah under a bed one should not store food under a bed. However, one is allowed to store medicine under a bed and there is no concern of ruach ra'ah.
Taking Medicine into the Bathroom
- It is permitted for one to walk into the bathroom with a pill etc. In addition it is permitted to keep medicines in a medicine cabinet that is in the bathroom, but one should not take his medicine with water in a bathroom.
Reciting a Tefilla before taking Medication
- Some have a custom before taking medication to recite a yehi ratzon that all should be well. This tefilla may be recited on Shabbos and is not a concern of asking for personal needs on Shabbos.
Taking Medicine on Shabbos
Taking Pills on a Fast Day
- On a fast day one that is not feeling well and wants to take a pill is permitted to do so. Some say one should wrap the pill in a tissue before swallowing it. Some poskim say that one may not use water to swallow a pill. (However, if one's doctor instructs him to take a pill on a fast day then even according to this opinion using a little water is permitted). Others say if one cannot take a pill without water then one may use a little water. One should avoid this if possible on Tisha BeAv, and on Yom Kippur since using water in order to swallow a pill is forbidden. One is permitted to take a medication before a fast if it will enable him to have an easier fast.
- There is a discussion in the poskim if one is allowed to use mouthwash on the morning of a fast day. Some poskim are stringent, while others say if one will have bad breath then it is permitted.
- Taking Listerine Pocketpaks® (that have a hechsher) is not permitted on a fast day since one swallows the liquid which melts in the mouth.
Consuming Gelatin and Gel-caps
- When one walks down the aisles in a pharmacy he may see many pills which contain a gelatin coating. This issue involves the discussion of gelatin. Below we will discuss what gelatin is and what its kosher status is, and how it applies to ingesting gel-caps.
What is Gelatin?
- Gelatin is a protein which is derived from a naturally occurring protein known as collagen. Collagen is the component of animal connective tissue, bones, sinews and skin. Gelatin does not have any taste to it. Gelatin is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat capsules as well as hold tablets together. In addition, gelatin is used in marshmallows, yogurt, ice cream, jello, to remove cloudiness or haze in apple juice, in gummy bears, throat lozenges, frostings, protein supplements, and sugar glazes.
How is it Manufactured?
- The source of gelatin is almost always the bones or hides of non-kosher animals. To improve the quality of the process, the raw material is pretreated by soaking the hard bones in a mixture of lime and water between 70-120 days. Soft bone and hides are treated with a five percent concentration of mineral acids for ten to thirty hours. Gelatin is then extracted from the pretreated material in a process which is like cooking. The bones are warmed in a series of runs at increasing temperatures. Eventually gelatin liquor is formed, which is then filtered and evaporated to remove the water and concentrate the liquor. The liquor is then cooled to form a gel. The gel is dried and cut into desired shapes.
- The poskim discuss many reasons why consuming gelatin may be permitted. Each one will be dealt with below.
Bones from non-Kosher animals
- The Toras Kohanim says the posuk "from non-pure animals one should not eat their flesh" excludes bones, sinews, and hooves. There is a discussion if there is no issur at all, or if there is an issur d'rabanan to consume the above items. The Rambam is of the opinion that "one who eats from a non-kosher animal, it's skin, bones, sinews, horns, hooves, or nails, even though they are forbidden, is excused from punishment." It seems from the opinion of the Rambam that bones are forbidden d'rabanan, while others maintain that he does not seem to imply even an issur d'rabanan. The opinion of Tosfas who talks about permitting bee legs implies that bones are indeed permitted.The opinion of some poskim is that the Rambam when implying that an issur d'rabbanan exists for bones was referring to soft bones which have some moisture to it, but hard and dry bones are permitted even according to the Rambam.
The Gelatin has changed
- The Mishna Brurah and others say regarding "musk," which is a byproduct of blood that is found in the neck of a deer, we can consider it "changed," since the blood is turned into a new entity. Many poskim follow this opinion. Using the same line of reasoning, some poskim permit the use of gelatin since it is totally changed from it original state. Others are not convinced that one can draw a parallel between musk and gelatin.
Dried out Stomach / Gelatin
- The Rama says an animal's stomach lining which was salted and dried out so that it becomes like a piece of wood may be filled with milk since it does not retain any taste of meat. The same would apply to gelatin which is completely dried out.
- A question which arises is, if a non-kosher food becomes like wood but is later edible does it change the status or does it retains its previous non-kosher status? Some say that once the product was dried it may not regain its non-kosher status. Others are stringent in this regard.
- The opinion of the Achiezer and others is to permit the consumption of gelatin. The opinion of Harav Henkin zt"l is that since this matter is not decided one should be stringent. This is the opinion of Harav Moshe Feinstein zt"l and others as well. The opinion of the Israeli Rabbinate is to permit the consumption of gelatin, while the Mehadrin kosher certification in Eretz Yisroel do not allow gelatin. The major kashrus organizations in the United States do not allow non-certified gelatin. (The above discussion does not apply to taking gel-caps, as this will be discussed below).
Status of Kosher Gelatin
- Gelatin made from a kosher source is considered pareve. Kosher gelatin is gelatin made from fish or glatt kosher beef hides.
Gel Caps - Not in the Normal Manner
- One who is sick is permitted to eat a non-kosher food (which is normally ossur b'achilah) in an unusual manner. Based on this, the opinion of some poskim is that swallowing a pill made from a gelatin coating is permitted, since it is for a sick person and it is not the usual manner of eating. However, there are poskim who maintain that swallowing a pill is the regular manner of consumption. Others are lenient and maintain that swallowing a pill is considered an unusual manner. In addition, even those who are stringent by gelatin, it would not apply to medicines. However, according to the stringent opinion above regarding gelatin, one who only has a headache or slight discomfort should take a pill which has no gelatin or wrap the gel-cap in a tissue (in the next issue we will iy"h continue our discussion on gel-caps).
- Children's medicine liquid medicine are generally sweet. If it contains glycerin and one doesn't have information that it is the kosher type of glycerin one shouldn't use the medicine until one first dilutes it 12 ml of another food to 1 ml of medicine. However, the Star-K has an updated list of kosher children's medicines which as of December 2018 includes Infant and Children's Advil and Tylenol. See here for more brands or medicines.
- There are ingredients in some toothpaste which are non-kosher animal products such as glycerin. Nonetheless, many poskim are lenient to allow a person to use such toothpastes since the non-kosher ingredients are inedible, mixed with kosher ingredients, and a person doesn't intend to eat the toothpaste but rather to brush with it, which is the halachic equivalent of tasting.
- Some say that one shouldn't use mouthwash with glycerin in it since one might swallow some and glycerin can be made from teref animals.
- Special thanks to Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits Rabbinical Administrator for KOF-K Kosher Supervision and author of Halachically Speaking for this article. To reach the author please email email@example.com.
- Mesechtas Berochos 38a, Tosfas Mesechtas Berochos 36a “k’von,” Meiri Mesechtas Berochos 35b, Tur 204, Shulchan Aruch 204:8, Shulchan Aruch Harav 204:14, Chesed L’alafim 204-205:5, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:82.
- Mishna Brurah 43.
- V’sein Beracha page 200. Refer to Ateres Shlomo 8:page 110. This is the opinion and custom of Harav Pinchus Bodner Shlita (Personal telephone conversation with Harav Bodner Shlita).
- Opinion of Harav Elyashiv Shlita as expressed in Vezos Ha’beracha page 113.
- Vezos Ha’beracha Birur Halacha page 310.
- Refer to Da’as Torah 204, Vezos Ha’beracha pages 310-311 in depth, opinion of Harav Ovadia Yosef Shlita quoted in Nishmas Avraham (English) page 89:footnote E.
- Opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l quoted in Vezos Ha’beracha pages 113-114, and in V’sein Beracha page 201:footnote 15.1. See explanation of this opinion in Vezos Ha’beracha page 312. Refer to Pnei Ha’shulchan page 151-152, Nishmas Avraham 1:204:page 91, Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 40:footnote 191, Nishmas Avraham 1:page 90 (English), Ateres Shlomo 8:page 111. In the Halichos Shlomo Yom Kippur 5:footnote 42 it states that Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l retracted his previous position with regard to not reciting a beracha on sweetened medication. Refer to Vezos Ha’beracha page 356:9 notes of Harav Forst Shlita on Vezos Ha’beracha. The opinion of Harav Pinchus Bonder Shlita is that no beracha is recited on pleasant tasting cough syrup based on the pesak he heard from Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l (Personal telephone conversation with Harav Bodner Shlita).
- Opinion of Harav Neuwirth Shlita quoted in Nishmas Shabbos 4:204, Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 40:footnote 191. Refer to Halacha U’refuah 3:pages 282-284 in depth. However, see Mishna Brurah 174:39 and 212:1 who says the halacha is that a beracha is recited on the tafel. See Pischei Halacha (Berochos) page 246 who disputes the claim that the reason why no beracha is recited here is because no beracha is recited on the tafel. Refer to Rivevos Ephraim 4:54:39.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, opinion of Harav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Vezos Ha’beracha page 114, and in V’sein Beracha page 200:footnote 15, opinion of Harav Ovadia Yosef quoted in Yalkut Yosef 204:10:footnote 10, opinion of Harav Feinhandler Shlita (Avnei Yushfei in a personal e-mail). Refer to Igros Moshe O.C. 1:82, Pischei Halacha (Berochos page 246). Others say that it could be that Harav Elyashiv Shlita held this only in regard to medicine that is thoroughly enjoyed (Refer to Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 53:page 77:footnote 43).
- Piskei Teshuvos 204:footnote 75.
- Pischei Halacha (Berochos) page 68:footnote 39 alef.
- Shulchan Aruch Ibid, Kaf Ha’chaim 49, see Magen Avraham 20 Taz 12, Aruch Ha’shulchan 19. Refer to Mishna Brurah 204:44 who maintains if one is forced to eat bread and he is satisfied he should bentch since it is d’oraisa.
- Bais Yosef, Magen Avraham 19, Mishna Brurah 43, Kaf Ha’chaim 48.
- Refer to Shevet Ha’kehusi 3:84:3.
- Refer to Mikroei Kodesh Pesach 2:page 144, Halacha U’refuah page 278, Pischei Halacha (Berochos page 66:footnote 38), Chazzon Ovadia Berochos page 159:footnote 6.
- 204:11. Refer to Aruch Ha’shulchan 22.
- Aruch Ha’shulchan 22. Refer to Mishna Brurah 54. The Shar Ha’tzyion 45 says this applies to medicine which was made from the five grains as well. Refer to Halacha U’refuah 3:page 284.
- Magen Avraham 24, Mishna Brurah 55, Igros Moshe O.C. 1:82.
- Some say one should eat the other food before the medicine and then consume the medicine (Halacha U’refuah 3:page 284).
- Halacha U’refuah page 278.
- See www.koltorah.org quoting the opinion of Rabbi Chaim Jachter Shlita.
- Opinion of Harav Yisroel Belsky as expressed in OU document I-98:page 2.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, opinion of Harav Forscheimer Shlita (personal telephone conversation), and Harav Doniel Neustadt Shlita.
- Opinion of Harav Pinchus Bodner Shlita, Harav Ephraim Greenblatt Shlita (Personal telephone conversations). Harav Forst Shlita says if one is taking it for flavor then a beracha is recited, but if it is for fresh breath but not for the flavor in the mouth then no beracha is recited. The opinions of Rabbi Wikler Shlita, Harav Felder Shlita, Harav Fuerst Shlita (personal telephone conversations with the aforementioned rabbonim). This is the opinion of Harav Yisroel Reisman Shlita (as related by Rabbi Shimon Newmark).
- Based on a conversation with Lisa at the Johnson and Johnson Company.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.
- Refer to Mesechtas Avodah Zarah 67-68, Mesechtas Pesachim 21b and 45b. In addition see Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 103, and Y.D. 155:3.
- Shulchan Aruch 202:2, see Chazzon Ovadia Berochos page 158, Piskei Teshuvos 204:18:footnote 70.
- Vezos Ha’beracha page 311, Piskei Teshuvos 204:18, see Nishmas Avraham 4:204:footnote 1. In regard to vitamins, refer to Pischei Halacha (Berochos) page 68:footnote 39 alef, Beracha Achrona (Boreh Nefoshos) page 201. Refer to Nishmas Avraham (English) pages 89-90 quoting the opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l that a beracha is required. See Ateres Shlomo 8:page 111. The same applies to vitamins (Yalkut Yosef 3:page 436).
- Piskei Teshuvos 204:footnote 70.
- Piskei Teshuvos 204:18:footnote 74.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita. The Diamond – K hechsher on Tums may be relied upon (Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita). One may not use Tums on Pesach if they are not certified for Pesach (Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita).
- Tzitz Eliezer 13:35:3, Vezos Ha’beracha page 113 quoting the opinion of Harav Elyashiv Shlita.
- Refer to Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 53:page 74:footnote 36.
- Nishmas Avraham 4:204:pages 7-8 quoting the opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l.
- Aruch Ha’shulchan 204:18, Pnei Ha’shulchan page 146, Piskei Teshuvos 204:footnote 64, Binyan Sholom (old print) page 96, Ateres Shlomo 8:page 111. Refer to Sheilas Rav 2:18:5. If one places water in liquid medicine to make it taste better no beracha is recited on the water (Sharei Ha’beracha 18:footnote 76). If one needs to drink water for medical purposes and he is not thirsty he should recite a beracha on something else and have in mind to exempt the water from a beracha (Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Eishel Avraham Butchatch 204:7).
- Ben Ish Chai Mattos 1:12, Aruch Ha’shulchan 204:18, Miyum Ha’halacha 22, Rivevos Ephraim 6:76, Pischei Halacha Berochos 4:8, Oz Nedberu 10:22. Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l maintains one may drink more water than needed for a pill and a beracha would not be required on that water either (Ve’aleihu Lo Yeibol 1:pages 110-111).
- Refer to Yufei Leleiv 204:10, Sdei Chemed Berochos 33:page 260, Me’am Loez Yisro 247:page 580, Pnei Ha’shulchan page 146, Sharei Ha’beracha 18:footnote 76.
- Refer to Toras Hayoledes 62:3, Beracha Achrona page 196:5.
- Toras Hayoledes Ibid.
- Sharei Ha’beracha 18:footnote 76.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.
- Chesed L’alafim 204-205:4, Mishna Brurah 204:42, Ateres Shlomo 8:page 111, Yalkut Yosef 204:page 436.
- Refer to Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 53:pages 78-79.
- For example chunky applesauce.
- Refer to Magen Avraham 4, Gr’a, Mishna Brurah 4-5, 10, see Taz 7. Refer to Halacha U’refuah 3:page 284.
- Some say one should eat the other food before the medicine and then consume the medicine (Halacha U’refuah 3:page 284).
- Shevet Ha’kehusi 3:78.
- Salmas Chaim 2:7, Rivevos Ephraim 4:7, Shevet Ha’kehusi 2:242, see Yufei Leleiv Y.D. 3:116:6, Yabia Omer Y.D. 1:9:23.
- Tzitz Eliezer 17:35, Rivevos Ephraim 6:4, Shevet Ha’kehusi 2:245, Tosfas Orah page 421:3, see Nezer Ha’chaim page 217:165, Doleh U’mashka page 367.
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 116:5.
- Tzitz Eliezer 17:32. Some say if it is a medication which one recites a beracha on because of its pleasant taste then it should not be placed under a bed (Shevet Ha’kehusi 2:245, see 3:229:2).
- Be’er Moshe 8:41.
- Rivevos Ephraim 1:8:2, 2:6, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 1:11, Be’er Moshe 8:41.
- Refer to Shulchan Aruch 230:4, Magen Avraham 6, Mishna Brurah 6. Some say saying the yihiy ratzon exempts one from the beracha that one would recite on a sweet medication (Refer to Ateres Shlomo 8:page 111, Nishmas Avraham 204:page 91).
- Refer to Shar Ha’tzyion 230:8, Bakashas B’Shabbos page 27:footnote 15. See Betzel Hachuchma 5:41.
- Halichos Shlomo Moadim 2:13:footnote 8.
- Nishmas Avraham 550:4.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, Halichos Shlomo Moadim (Pesach etc) 16:3, Nishmas Avraham 5:page 46.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Teshuvos V’hanhugos 3:156.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Teshuvos V’hanhugos 3:156.
- Nechamas Yisroel 27:22.
- Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Kinyan Torah 2:49:2, Modanei Yeshurin page 108, Chai Ha’Levi 5:48, Divrei Chachumim page 166:471 quoting the opinion of Harav Sheinberg Shlita. Some say if there is a need, brushing ones teeth is permitted (Divrei Chachumim Ibid).
- Be’er Moshe 8:94. Refer to Minchas Yitzchok 4:109.
- Gelatin comes from the Latin word “gelatus” which means stiff or frozen.
- Refer to Gelatin in Jewish Law pages 10-14.
- Star-K in Kashrus Kurrents in an article by Rabbi Mushell. This article can be seen at http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-palate-gelatin.htm.
- Refer to Medicines and Kashrus page 16, Gelatin in Jewish Law pages 15-22 in great depth, Yabia Omer Y.D. 8:11. See Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 30:page 67:footnote 2 who maintains that most gelatin today is from pig skins.
- Parshas Sheminei 2:4.
- Vayikra 11:8.
- Hilchos Machalas Asuros 4:18. Refer to Rashi Vayikra 11:8 “mivsaram.” See Kashrus pages 245-249.
- Refer to Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:27 (end) page 44 who says gelatin is a sofuk issur.
- Mesechtas Avodah Zarah 69a “ha’hu.” Refer to Rosh Avodah Zarah 5:11.
- Refer to Achiezer 3:33:5, Introduction of the Tzitz Eliezer volume 4 where he brings the opinion of Harav Yecheskel Abramsky zt”l. Some say there are no commercially made gelatin that come from hard bones today (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 30:page 69).
- O.C. 216:7, see Magen Avraham 3. See OU document P-86 who says that fermentations are not considered kitniyos sh’nishtana.
- Shiurei Knesses Hagedolah 216:7, Rosh (Teshuvos) klal 24:6, Buei Chai Y.D. 103.
- Refer to Rosh Mesechtas Berochos 6:38, Mishna Brurah Ibid. Refer to Magen Avraham O.C. 216:3, Taz 2.
- Refer to Yabia Omer Y.D. 8:11:15, Tzitz Eliezer’s opinion expressed in the introduction to volume 4, see Melamed L’hoyel 2:35.
- Refer to Achi Ezer 3:33:5, Tzitz Eliezer Ibid quoting the opinion of Harav Yecheskel Abramsky zt”l, opinion of Harav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Yeishiv Moshe page 165.
- Y.D. 87:10, see Shach 114:21. Refer to Pischei Teshuva 87:19, 21.
- Refer to Shach 33 who says this applies to other organs as well, but initially this should not be done (Be’er Heitiv 27, see Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 33). Refer to Achi Ezer 3:33:5 who says the Shach does not apply to hard bones. Some say this does not apply when a product is dried in a modern facility (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 30:page 72:footnote 14).
- Opinion of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l quoted in Kashrus and Medicines page 53:footnote 20, see Yabia Omer Y.D. 8:11 in depth.
- Refer o Shach Y.D. 114:21, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 87:20, Nodeh B’Yehuda Y.D. 26, Aruch Ha’shulchan Y.D. 87:43, Achiezer 2:11, 3:33:5, Har Tzvi Y.D. 83, opinion of Harav Henkin zt”l (Edos L’Yisroel page 132), Orchos Habayis page 29.
- Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham Y.D. 87:33, Chasam Sofer Y.D. 81, see Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:37, 2:27, Kovetz Teshuvos 1:73:page 107. See Mishnas Rav Aron 1:17:2.
- 2:11, 3:33:5.
- Refer to Gelatin in Jewish Law pages 95-119 in depth, Tzitz Eliezer introduction to volume 4 quoting the opinion of Harav Yecheskel Abramsky zt”l, Yabia Omer Y.D. 8:11 in depth, Harav Yecheskel Abramsky zt”l adds until now (1951) it has been accepted that gelatin is not permitted. Therefore he is concerned about permitting it.
- Edos L’Yisroel page 177.
- Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:27 (end).
- Mishnas Rav Aron 17, Kovetz Teshuvos 1:73:page 107, Medicines and Kashrus pages 16-17 quoting other poskim.
- Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 30:page 66:footnote 1. One who moves to Eretz Yisroel should ask if he can follow their opinion.
- Kashrus page 349.
- The Laws of Pesach: A Digest 2006 page 602.
- Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:37, 2:27, Mishnas Rav Aron 1:16.
- One may eat this together with meat as well and we are not concerned about the halacha of refraining from eating fish and meat together (Mesechtas Pesachim 76b, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 116:2). In addition it is botel b’shishim. Some say maybe the whole concern was flesh of the fish with meat not the skins or bones. Additionally, the gelatin made from fish (and other sources) does not have a flavor (Star–K Kashrus Kurrents in an article by Rabbi Mushell).
- Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 155:3, Shach 14, Mishna Brurah O.C. 466:1. An example of this is giving someone non-kosher food through intravenous.
- Opinion of Harav Henkin zt”l quoted in Edos L’Yisroel page 132, opinion of Harav Shachter Shlita as expressed in OU document I-97. He adds that the gel-caps have no taste to them and are nifsal from feeding to a dog. Rav Schachter (Brachot Shiur 73 min 18-30) ruled that strictly speaking it is permitted to take non-kosher pills. If kosher ones are available he should get those to avoid the spiritual determinants of non-kosher like Rama about sucking non-kosher milk. He explained that certainly if a person is a choleh shein bo sakana it is permitted since it is shelo kderech achilato. But furthermore, the gelatin pills are permitted since it is nifsal machila and even if it is reconstituted it isn’t considered non-kosher (Chavot Daat YD 103). There's no achshevei since it is eaten in a reconstituted form and not when it is mixed with other ingredients (Rav Chaim Ozer 3:31). That's in Rav Schachter's opinion why Rav Soloveitchik was lenient to take non-kosher pills. Also, Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi in Or Yitzchak 1:24 permits all medicines that are bitter or don't have a taste since they aren't food. He says that even though it is shelo kderech achila there's no isur derabbanan of achsheveh since it is for medicine.
- See Yachava Daat 2:60 who assumes it is shelo kderech achilato if it doesn't taste good.
- Rav Belsky held that hard capsules can be eaten by a choleh and the soft capsules can be eaten in a tissue paper. This is only when there are no alternatives.
- Refer to Nodeh B’Yehuda Y.D. 35, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 155:6, Har Tzvi Y.D. 97, opinions of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l and Harav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Medicines and Kashrus page 57:footnote 17, Yeishiv Moshe page 165, Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 40:footnote 169, Halichos Shlomo Moadim (Pesach) 1:page 69. This is the opinion of Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita quoting the opinion of Harav Henkin zt”l, see www.koltorah.org.
- Halichos Shlomo 1:17:1 (although he is quoted in the footnote above as saying otherwise), see Toras Chaim (Chullin 120) who is lenient
- Refer to Halichos Shlomo Moadim (Pesach) pages 71-72 who is unsure if this should be permitted with a slight pain. See Minchas Shlomo 1:17:3.
- This does not apply to one who is bedridden (Halichos Shlomo Moadim Pesach) pages 71-72:8. The Shach 13 says this heter of the Rama is even for a healthy person. See Mishnah L’melech Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 5:8 in depth, Zera Emes 2:48. Refer to Pri Megadim M.Z. O.C. 328:11, Shagas Aryeh 74, Binas Adom 52:page 86, Shevet Ha’Levi 7:135 who argue. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita maintains if one has a headache he should not swallow gel-caps without wrapping it in a tissue.
- Refer to Mesora 14:page 92. Others say the custom is to be lenient with one who has even a headache (Chai Ha’Levi 3:111:2).
- Rabbi Dovid Heber in Kosher Kurrents 2005 wrote that glycerin in medicines is a safek deoritta since much of it is made from animals even though some of it is made from plants. However, since it is only a safek it is permitted to mevatel it. One can do so if one dilutes the medicine 1 to 12 of another food without lossing the potency of the medicine. See Mesorah Journal v. 7 pp. 91-97 by Rabbi Dovid Heber for a potential justification of giving medicines to children even if there are non-kosher ingredients. His argument is as follows: Feeding an isur derabbanan to a child is a machloket rashba and rambam (Bet Yosef OC 343). It might only be an isur derabbanan if it is a chatzi shiur in a tarovet. Also the isur is only a safek isur. Therefore, possibly there's a safek safeka, safek if it is a muter glycerin and if it is asur perhaps it is derabbanan (chatzi shiur btarovet). On the rabbinic level it is muter since it is a safek derabbanan. Additionally, a child is a choleh for whom some allow feeding a derabbanan isur. Either way it is a leniency based on complex factors.
- Rabbi Daniel Stein in an article permits children medicines with glycerins for a number of reasons: 1) If the taste is bad even though there's other flavors added and it leaves a bad aftertaste perhaps that's considered nifsal machila. It seems difficult because donkey urine isn't considered nifsal machila (RSZA 1:17). 2) Though it might be shelo kderech achila since it isn't taste good. Then for a sick person it is muter. 3) They're safek made from plants. 4) Isur Shenishtana since it changed from the taste and look from animal fat. 5) Maybe made inedible in the processing. 6) If its taste is masked by the other flavors you only need bitul brov since it doesn't have any taam and we can use kefilah. 7) It is only chatzi shiur of isur in a taarovet and for a sick person perhaps it is muter. He quotes Rav Schachter and Rav Willig as agreeing with him.
- Har Tzvi 95 was lenient with non-kosher toothpastes because the ingredients were processed so that they were inedible, they were mixed with kosher ingredients, and also a person is justing tasting the toothpaste and spitting it out. tzohar.org quotes Ama Dvar p. 155 quoting Rav Mordechai Eliyahu who agreed. They also quote Mishneh Halachot 9:153 who disagreed. OU wrote that some rabbis don't feel one can rely on the Har Tzvi today since the toothpastes have a good taste. But others still rely on the Har Tzvi. They cited Rav Henkin responsa 75 who mostly agreed with the Har Tzvi but wouldn't be lenient with toothpastes with glycerin.
- Rav Belsky (cited in article "Kashrut Rulings From Rabbi Belsky ZT"L" p. 37) held that since sometimes a person swallows some mouthwash it is forbidden to use it if there's an ingredient in it that isn't kosher such as glycerin (similar to Taz 98:2). He didn't consider mouthwash to be considered inedible.