Volume 12 Number 11
                       Produced: Wed Mar  9 17:14:13 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Batel b'shishim
         [Arthur Roth]
Beer and Oil
         [Josh Klein]
Kashrut of tilapia
         [David Rubin]
Kosher Lists
         [Avi Kolan]
         [Joey Mosseri]
Olive oil for Pesach
         [Lorri Lewis]
Olive oil for Pesach and beer
         [Miriam Nadel]
Pesach Oils/Wine-sulfites
         [Justin M. Hornstein]
Pesach Recipes
         [Jessica Ross]
         [Joey Mosseri]


From: <rotha@...> (Arthur Roth)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 1994 13:24:53 -0600
Subject: Batel b'shishim

>From Stephen Phillips (MJ 12:8):
>I believe beer contains an ingredient called Isinglass (sp?) which is
>of animal origin, but the amount involved is so small as to be
>considered "Botul Beshishim" [nullified because the amount is less
>than one sixtieth]. 

I always thought that the principle of batel b'shishim applies only to 
accidental occurrences, i.e., that no amount of a non-kosher ingredient is
acceptable if it is used intentionally.  Can anyone clarify?

Arthur Roth


From: Josh Klein <VTFRST@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 08:47 N
Subject: Beer and Oil

Beer and oil don't mix, so I'll separate my two points:
1) Steven Philips comments that beer may contain "isinglass, which may be of
animal origin", but that it's botul b'shishim (less than 1/60 concentration,
thus not an impediment to kashrut). Isinglass (ice-glass, something clear) is
another name for mica, which is a mineral indubitably of non-animal origin.
Mica or diatomaceous earth (yes, sand with little dead microscopic beasties
(diatoms) in it, whose skeletons are mostly silica, another mineral) is used
to precipitate the protein in many wines and beers, otherwise the liquid would
be cloudy. THis is partly why wine bottles are laid down gently in the cool--
to allow the proteinaceous crud to settle (cold treatment can also be used to
settle proteins, ask your local biophysicist). Gelatin can also be used for the
protein precipitation step, and this may be why the question of kashrut of beer
comes up at all. On the other hand, the gelatin/mica/isinglass/earth is removed
from the product before selling it, or is certainly not part of the product
itself. In this way, it resembles the lard oil that is used to keep maple
syrup from boiling over in vats during the sugaring process; the lard is
skimmed off, and the product can get a hechsher (as was discussed on mj last
year), since the tref item is not considered part of the food itself (and is
also botul b'shishim, anyway).
Hechsherim for beer in Israel are more likely related to matters such as
whether the barley used to make the beer had truma and ma'aser taken; this is
not a consideration outside of Israel.
And no, beer and wine are poor protein sources, for those who thought to
supplement their vegetarian diets that way...
2) Kosher lePesach oil is a topic that comes up each year on mj. In Israel,
I've seen both walnut oil and olive oil touted as being the only oils
appropriate for Pesach. Both are lousy for cooking, as well as expensive,
as has been pointed out. Grapeseed oil from France, with all kinds of
hechserhim for Pesach, appeared in the supermarket briefly one year, and then
was sold with hechsherim blacked out on the label, after somebody apparently
thought that grapeseeds can be considered 'stam yayin' (wine of non-Jews).
Meanwhile, cottonseed oil is certainly of non-kitniyot origin, but is also
certainly the by-product of a crop that receives a large amount of chemical
sprays, and there are those who claim (with some justification) that seeds
concentrate materials that are applied to plants. Others point out (also with
some justification) that most oils are passed by Departments of Health, and
that these organizations check for pesticide residues in foods fairly
routinely. Still, one person's tolerable residue level may be another person's
In the US of 20-30 years ago, sunflower seed or peanut oil were the Pesach
oils of choice. In Israel, both such oils are labelled kosher for Pesach only
for those who eat 'kitniyot'. Are kitniyot 'metameh'-- that is, if a factory
makes soybean oil, and then presses some sunflower seeds on the same line,
does the latter become 'kitniyot' by contact? Lines are steam-cleaned or
washed with solvents between pressings, or else the oils would get mixed,
which is not desirable commercially or halachically. So what gives with the
shift in definition of kitniyot over the years?
Josh Klein VTYFRST@Volcani


From: <RUBIND.BSACD1@...> (David Rubin)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 04:09:55 -0500
Subject: Kashrut of tilapia

Several local super markets have been advertising a fish I've never heard 
of: farm-raised tilapia.  Does anyone know if tilapia is kosher?


From: <avi@...> (Avi Kolan)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 04:11:35 -0500
Subject: Kosher Lists

In response to Miriam Nadel's post to Mail-Jewish V12n3 regarding kosher
products lists, sorry, but I disagree. The purpose of this type of list is
to give the shopper a starting-off point as to what to look for on an already
crowded shelf in the store. It goes without saying that a quick look for that
familiar OU or some other recognized symbol is necessary before placing the
item in one's shopping cart. As to frequent updates etc, 1st there was the 
pencil & eraser, and then came the computer/word processor. There is constant
change in a lot of things, and we should be able to learn how to handle it.
Let's give a yasher koach to UTJ/Hagachelet's Kosher Nexus.
Chag kasher v'sameach.
                      Avi Kolan


From: <JMOSSERI@...> (Joey Mosseri)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 04:10:15 -0500
Subject: Oil

Why do 100% pure oils such as  extra virgin olive oil need special hasgaha
for Pesah? Also why do some people look for it all year long. These
companies pride themselves on the purity and quality of their oils why would
they add something to it?
Any ideas??????    Joey


From: <lorrin@...> (Lorri Lewis)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 11:46:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Olive oil for Pesach

In reply to Daniel Geretz question about oil that is kosher for Pesach: 
for the last many years I have learned from my rabbis that all Italian and
Greek olive oil is kosher for Pesach with out the need for a heckshir on
the bottle.  

I suggest asking this of your favorite Orthodox rabbi.  I have found that
frequently the most strict Kashrut authorities are more lenient in their
rulings because they are in fact authorities/experts in the subject and
answer from real knowledge rather than giving a "safe" answer that is based
on general rather than specific knowledge.

A few years ago I received guides for Pesach kashrut from a Conservative
rabbi and from a Ner Israel rabbi.  The list of products that did not need
a special Pesach heckshir was dramatically longer from the Ner Israel
source and made for a less expensive Pesach.

Lorri Lewis
Palo Alto, California


From: Miriam Nadel <nadel@...>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 94 07:57:33 PST
Subject: Olive oil for Pesach and beer

I'm lumping two responses together because I think they touch on the same
issue of when a hechsher is required.  The short answer is that there are
cases where food purity laws of certain countries are considered adequate
to ensure kashrut of those products.

All of the shuls here are having their annual talk on kashrut and I once
again went to hear Rabbi Eidlitz.  He stated that olive oil from Italy
or Greece does not require a hechsher, even for Pesach.  Other olive oil
does.  The reason is that Italy and Greece have strictly enforced purity 
laws for olive oil that prevent other ingredients from being mixed in with
it.  While Spain, for example, has sometimes been accused of permitting oil
with only a small amount of olive oil in it to be sold as olive oil.  
Incidentally, I know that the Italian laws on olive oil came about because
of American companies bringing cottonseed oil to Italy, doctoring the 
flavor, and obtaining export stamps that let them sell the oil back in the
U.S. as olive oil.  This lasted only a few years (the early 1880's) until
the Italian government cracked down.  

Now, you might not want to use olive oil for all of your cooking anyway as 
the good kind has a distinctive flavor (and traditionally it should only
be used in dishes that are to be served cold).  On the other hand, olive oil
is monounsaturated and currently believed to be healthier than most oils.
Bertolli light has a mild enough flavor to be used for general cooking and 
I believe it does have an OU-P (even though, as an Italian olive oil, it 
doesn't really need it.)

As for beer, some beer producing countries have historically had very strict
purity laws that one could use to rely on kashrut.  German law, for example,
permitted only wheat, barley, hops and water and no other ingredients.  I
suspect that there may be reasons to be concerned about beers from some
countries, particularly because of the increased use of clarifying agents in
some types of beer.  The use of isinglass, for example, would be problemmatic.
Homebrew may be the best route :-).

Miriam Nadel


From: Justin M. Hornstein <jmh@...>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 1994 13:09:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Pesach Oils/Wine-sulfites

One of the more popular oils to surface ;-) in recent years has been
Grapeseed Oil. It is extremely light and has a very mild flavor. I
believe that the common brand is from France, O-U, called Vineyard, and
is imported via some arm of Kedem. R. Blumencrantz mentions it in his
list of Pesach items, albeit without any ringing endorsement. It is
available in and around NY/NJ. Using olive oil for savory foods and
grapeseed oil for lighter foods seems to fit the Pesach oil need very

I seem to recall a few opinions that cottonseeds may have some kitniyot
aspect to them, and that there are authorities that disparage the use of
cottonseed oil. Certainly grapeseeds come from a common food product and
would seem preferable from a dietary standpoint (I have heard that
cottonseed oil cannot really be digested).

Nut oils are another avenue; I think that I have seen Itzkowitz walnut
oil certified for Pesach. There may be a brand of Safflower Oil; I'm not
sure how that fits into the Kitniyot issue.

Do folks use Peanut Oil? A popular brand may have a valid hashgacha, and
I believe that (diasporic) Ashkenazic minhag allows even mei safeq
kitniyot (exudings/pressings of legumes/seeds not originally known as
kitniyot) but people seem to eschew its use. Peanut oil also imparts a
definate flavor to food; that may be a reason as well.

Wine/arba kosot (four cups)/sulfites:

My wife is sensitive to sulfites. We bought a cheap juicer and make
grape juice for her arba kosot. You can use any grapes and in fact the
juice is much more substantial than the bottled stuff. A few pounds of
grapes will produce 1-2 liters of juice. There are recipes for easy
raisin wine that fulfills the requirement (R. Blumencrantz provides some
in his book).

There apparently are no Kosher wines without sulfites presently. For the
future, making wine seems not to be too difficult and may be an option.
There is a brand of grape juice (with Star-K hashgacha) from South
Africa called Grapemist. It has no sulfites/preservatives and the bottle
has an expiration date. It may be available from a local Kosher
supermarket. If you contact the Star-K, they may be able to direct you
to a distributor.

These different options may require some effort, but should be doable.
The mitzva of arba kosot is so important that the Shulchan Aruch
mentions selling one's clothing in order to obtain wine. Please G-d
noone should have to do that.
					Justin M. Hornstein


From: Jessica Ross <JECROSS@...>
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 94 13:53:56 EST
Subject: Pesach Recipes

i cook for the chabad at school and i just found out that they hold 
gebrocts (sp?) and as a result i'm very nervous what to do about pesach?
i have many good recipes but they all have gebrocts.  does anyone know
of any recipes that i can use, preferably for shabbas, that is allowable?
the cookbooks that i have don't have anything.  or will i just not be able
to eat?
jessica ross


From: <JMOSSERI@...> (Joey Mosseri)
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 94 04:09:59 -0500
Subject: Salt

I have asked this question of many people in the past but have yet to
receive a satisfactory response.
Why when looking for salt for Pesah  all the Kashruth lists and booklets
make it very clear that it should be  NOT IODIZED .
Why is that ? Does it have to do with how they add iodine to the salt?



End of Volume 12 Issue 11