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California Kosher Agency Approves, Then Rescinds Personal Lubricant Certification

Posted: 20 Jul 2013 10:25 PM PDT

Here’s something from the “You just can’t make this stuff up” category.

We’ve all heard of Kosher food products, but how about kosher personal lubricants?

Last Wednesday Trigg Labs, manufacturer of a line of the “Wet” brand of personal lubricants announced that 95% of their lubricants and intimate items are now certified kosher.

The following day, the Rabbinical Council of California, the certifying agency, decided to rescind its approval of the kosher status of the products.

The first Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) report prompted “punny” headlines in The Jerusalem Post (Kosher lube slides onto shelves ahead of Jewish Valentine’s Day) and Haaretz (A kosher climax: Wet personal lubricants get rabbinic certification).

The reference to Jewish Valentine’s Day is about Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the month of Av, which occurs tomorrow, July 22. It’s A very ancient holiday that went almost unnoticed in the Jewish calendar for many centuries. But in recent decades, especially in Israel, it has taken on the trappings of Valentine’s Day — a Hebrew-Jewish day of love and romance.

Originally a post-biblical day of joy, it served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in the second Temple period, before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E..

The products qualified as kosher following a 2-year long ordeal of rabbinic certification by the Rabbinical Council of California. As part of the process, every ingredient and piece of equipment at the 52,000 square-foot manufacturing facility was subject to “Kosherization” procedures and reviews.

The packaging for the sexual wellness products now has the letter ‘K’ on the back, certifying the items are kosher. The founder of ‘Wet’, Michael Trigg stated “With Kosher certification, in the coming months, we plan to introduce Wet® in Israel. The ‘K’ imprint on our packages says that we maintain the highest standards of purity and answer to a higher authority.”

After the lengthy and complicated process, Wet was set to become the only kosher certified personal lubricant in both Canada and the United States. Kosher Wet products were scheduled to appear on the market within the next three months.

As the first JTA article reported,

Menachem Lubinsky, president of Lubicom, the marketing company that hosts the annual Kosherfest trade show, said he wasn’t sure if certification was necessary from the standpoint of Jewish law.

“I usually deal with supply and demand,” he said. “I’m not aware of any large demand for this. I’m more aware of people looking for kosher-for-Passover dog food. Having said that, there’s been a trend in recent years to make more over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics with certification for people that don’t want to bring anything into the house that isn’t kosher certified.”

In the follow-up JTA article on Thursday titled “Kashrus Interruptus: Certifier Pulls Out”, JTA’s Ben Harris reported:

Sorry kosher sex fans, but the California rabbinical group that was set to certify personal lubricants as kosher has yanked its hechsher.

We know this is hard to swallow, especially for those who may have come to rely on Wet’s line of sexual wellness products.

Here’s the certification group’s deliciously worded statement:

As reported in the media, the Rabbinical Council of California’s Kashrut Division was in the final stages of certifying products produced by Trigg Laboratories. Certification of non-edible items is common in the kosher industry, but the intended uses of these items as now revealed, was misunderstood. The RCC has rescinded its certification with immediate effect, and deeply regrets the widespread consternation that this error caused.