Before Pesach, we suggested that people cast a questioning eye at all of the Pesach guide books. During Chol Hamoed, KASHRUS CONSCIENCE from the Kosher Information Bureau (California) came. We take issue with some of what we found there.

“While most (ie, certifying agencies) keep to a basic acceptable standard, some do not. We still see gelatin from non kosher animals being used (often listed as K Gelatin), corn syrup as an ingredient in Passover products…….. .” *************** Whoa, slow down there, rabbi! There is ample halachic basis for using all gelatin regardless of original source. We are not endorsing that position, but we at least admit that the halachic permission exists. As for corn syrup- well let’s just say that there is nothing wrong with corn syrup on Passover and the good rabbi certainly knows that. Yes, the prevalent custom (to quote the rabbis up in Detroit) is not to use it, but you can not imply that it is somehow wrong and not kosher for Passover. Corn syrup would be totally KP. The agencies all got together and decided that Mei Kitniyot (derivatives from kitniyot) which are totally acceptable on Passover would no longer be accepted by them. Small problem: Ain gozrin gezeira al gezeira. (You can’t issue a gezeira {a decree} on a gezeira.)

In reference to Kitniyot, the rabbi wrote, ” However, this restriction regarding peanuts, may not include peanut oil (according to the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein, ZTL).” ************ Oops! Not quite accurate. Rav Feinstein wrote on the permissibility of eating peanuts on Passover. Calling them “stashkes” he found them to be totally acceptable. And even were they not acceptable, the oil would be 100% KP. We have a letter from an OU field rep who admitted that mei kitniyot are totally acceptable for Passover. His claim was that the companies who made it no longer make it because the consumers did not know the law and didn’t buy it. Tis a poor workman who blames his tools…….

“The following are considered kitniyos (sic) according to many opinions.” *************** Did you notice the little disclaimer there? Look again at the words “according to many opinions.” Clearly that would mean that not every one agrees with the list that then follows. In addition, the list of kitniyot as first formulated by the rabbis was meant to be a closed list with no additions. You can bet a whole lot of money that today the list just continues to grow and grow. Oh, and by the way, should you bet that it grows, you would win!

The rabbi wrote, “… one should make certain that all food products that are bought for Pesach should have a certification by a reliable Kashrus (sic) organization or Orthodox rabbi.”************** We agree. Great sentiment. But what about those Orthodox rabbis who run agencies that are shoddy or not reliable?

More on gelatin: “Surprisingly, there is even one marshmallow product being sold which states Kosher Beef gelatin which is produced from dried beef bones from India which were not slaughtered Kosher.” ********* We are not going to make this one easy for you: go check and see what Rambam (Maimonides) had to say about gelatin from any kind of bones……. (Hint, he allowed it.)

There were other objectionable parts of what was otherwise a good guide written by a rabbi whom we respect. But this time, he gave up his independence and jumped on the national bandwagon as promoted by the national agencies.

We have said it before and we say it again: Yes, we want kashruth to be based on the Torah and the Shulchan Aruch.

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 12:05 am by Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport · Permalink
In: General Topics, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply