Volume 32 Number 30
                 Produced: Sun May 28 10:10:57 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Coca Cola for Passover (2)
         [Robert A. Book, Deborah Stepelman]
Correction Re: Cotton-Seed Oil
         [David Charlap]
Kniedlach (2)
         [Arthur Kurzweil, Reuben Rudman]
Kosher Gelatin (5)
         [Boruch Merzel, Weintraub, David, Z'ev Scherman, Rabbi Yisroel
Finman, Mark Steiner]
Kosher Vitamins
         [Yitz Weiss]


From: Robert A. Book <rbook@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 06:43:34 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Coca Cola for Passover

From: Carl M. Sherer <cmsherer@...>
> Interestingly, here in Eretz Yisrael, Rav Landau of Bnei Brak gives
> hashgacha to Coca Cola for Pesach. He does not give hashgacha to Diet
> Coke. The same also applies to Sprite and Diet Sprite.>>

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
> 	Not all that interesting; the same is done by the OU here and I
> am sure RL is relying on that hechsher to at least some extent.  My
> understanding is that the artificial sweetener is kitniyos and has no
> good nonkitniyos substitute.

For what it's worth, the Chicago Rabbinical Council certifies Diet
Coke for Pesach.  The bottles and cans are specially marked as such.

This year in Baltimore, stores were selling Diet Coke marked as OU-P.

--Robert Book    <rbook@...>
  University of Chicago

From: Deborah Stepelman <stepelma@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 00:23:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Coca Cola for Passover

	I just checked my soda shelf and I have 2 bottles of diet coke
with the yellow cap for passover upon which is written o-u p.  I also
have a 6-pack of similarly marked diet coke cans.  While diet coke in
the 2 liter bottle is readily availble with the pesach hashgacha, for
some reason it is difficult tofind in cans.


From: David Charlap <shamino@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 12:19:29 -0400
Subject: Correction Re: Cotton-Seed Oil

In digest 32.14, I wrote:
> As far as I can tell, the reason is political correctness.
> According to my rabbi, the actual text of the Ashkenazic ban on
> kitniyot applies only to the kitniyot themselves (and flours and
> baked goods made from same, of course), but not substances derived
> from kitniyot. Technically, there should be no problem with any kind
> of kitniyot-oil. (Yes, I'm ignoring the question of whether
> cotton-seed is kitniyot or not - I really don't know enough to have
> an opinion on that.)
> He would not go so far as to permit us to use products with kitniyot-
> based oils and syrups, however.  He said that the reason is that
> people are too emotionally tied to the way we observe Pesach today to
> ever accept such a "leniency".  (eg: "Drink ordinary Coca-Cola on
> Pesach?  Not in my house, you apikores!")

Since then, I received a message from another reader who told me I was
completely wrong here.

I decided to write back to my rabbi and ask for clarification.  As it
turns out, I was wrong, and misunderstood what he said.

In his message back to me, he said that among those who forbid the use
of kitniyot on Pesach, there is a machloket (disagreement) over whether
or not oils from kitniyot should also be forbidden.  Our custom today is
to follow the more stringent opinion and not permit their use.

-- David


From: Arthur Kurzweil <kurzweil@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 08:26:48 -0400
Subject: Kniedlach

There are a few brief but interesting references to "kneidel" in Eat and
Be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food (Aronson) by John Cooper.
He points out that in the Middle Ages dumplings were a popular German
food and that the German for dumpling, knodel, is "almost certainly" the
source of the Yiddish "kneidl."

Arthur Kurzweil

From: Reuben Rudman <rudman@...>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 10:28:20 -0400
Subject: Kniedlach

In MJ V32#25 there was a query about the origin of 'kniedlach.'

There is a Siman (chapter) in Shulchan Arukh Orech Chaim in which a
number of dough-based foods and their preparation are discussed.  In
Siman 168, s'if (paragraph) 13 in the R'ma we find mention, by name, of
lukshun and kreplach (which the Mishne B'rura, s"k 80, tells us is
filled with meat) and the Mishne B'rura in s"k 94 talks about kichlach.
There are a few other foods whose names are not commonly used today that
are also mentioned.  However, nothing is said about kneidlach.

On the other hand, in the world of chemistry, there is a relatively new
type of material which has been named SCK.  This stands for Shell
Cross-linked Knedels.  The explanation given in Chemical & Engineering
News of Feb. 8, 1999, page 38, is that these spherical particles feature
a "hydrophilic shell enclosing a hydrophobic core" and they reminded a
Polish colleague of Prof. K. Wooley ( Washington University, St. Louis,
MO, USA) of "Polish dumplings made of meat encased in dough."  Thus, it
would seem that the name kneidelach is based on a Polish word.  And,
based on the R'ma and the Mishne B'rura quoted above, kreplach and
kneidlach are very similar, with perhaps minor variations in shape and
texture of the dough.  In any case, you might find more information
about knedilach or knedels in a Polish dictionary and/or cookbook.


From: Boruch Merzel <BoJoM@...>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 14:38:32 EDT
Subject: Kosher Gelatin

The recent discussion concerning the use of gelatin and Shmuel
Himelstein (Vol. 22 #32) reference to the famous T'shuva of R. Chaim
Ozer, ZT"L, permitting the use of ordinary gelatin, and mention of
Barton's Candy Co awakens my memories of the entire controversy as it
was played out in the early 1960's.

The best summary can be found in the sefer "Tifereth Tzvi" by Rabbi
Nochum Tzvi Kornmehl, who was Rav Hamachshir of Barton Candy Co, Rav in
Albany NY, Rav of Vaad Hakshruth of Rochester, NY and a highly respected
for his knowledge of the laws of Kashrus and expert in their
supervision.  Rav Kornmehl worked tirelessy to produce a kosher gelatin
from the skin of the heads of young calves, properly salughtered and
made kosher.

Rav Kornmehl sought approval for the use of this product from, among
others, R. Aharon Kotler, R. Moshe Feinstein and G'dolim in Israel.  In
his sefer Rav Kornmehl published a letter from the Vaad Harabonim of the
Agudas Yisrael in Jerusallem dated 22nd of Tamuz 5723.  A few brief
quotes from that letter should prove edifying to those interested in the
subject: (my translation)

"The purpose of his (Rav Kornmehl) writing to the Vaad Harabonim is to
improve the kashrus of gelatin, which until now, even gelatins bearing a
seal of Kashrus, has been produced from the bones of non-kosher animals
("t'mayos,n'vaylos u'trayfos").  The kashrus of such gelatin is based on
the fact the bones are cleaned and thoroughly dried,etc.  And though it
has been well publicized that the kashrus of such gelatin is based upon
a heter of the Gaon R. Chaim Ozer and other great rabbis, among them
R. Tzvi Pesach Frank ,..... still and all, objections to (the use) of
such gelatin have increased and many of the great decisors (of halacha)
tend to be machmir (to rule more stringently) for various reasons and
diverse arguments....Also the Gaon R. Aharon Kotler ...and the Gaon
R. Moshe Feinstein are also inclined to prohibit (the use of ordinary
gelatin).  In any case, those who are zealous in their observance of
Kashrus (m'hadrim b'kashrus) do not use products that contain such
gelatin ( produced from non-kosher animals)"

The rabbis continue: "Now that it is possible to produce gelatin from
the skins of Kosher animals only, made with meticulous care and concern
for kashrus, there can be no doubt that one should be satisfied
(histapek) with using only such gelatin, about whose use there can be no
safek (doubt).

The lengthy letter from the Vaad Haabonim of Agudas Yisrael concludes
with approbation of Rabbi Kornmehl's gelatin as follows: "...the gelatin
powder (manufactured from kosher skins) is not considered "basar" (
meat) and may be mixed with milk, even if there is less than 60 times
more milk than gelatin in which the gelatin can be nullified.  And
certainly it would be permissible to do so if there were 60 times more
milk than gelatin, with out concern of purposefully nullifying (m'vatel
issur l'chatchila).  And it would be permissible to list such gelatin as
Parve Kosher to be used mith meat or milk,"

To me, personally, of greatest interest is the fact that R. Chaim Ozer's
heter was never accepted, from the very beginning, by most observant

Boruch Merzel

From: Weintraub, David <Dave.Weintraub@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 12:05:12 -0400
Subject: RE: Kosher Gelatin

My understanding (confirmed just now by the Va'ad haKashrus of
Baltimore) is that Kolatin gelatin used, eg, in some marshmallows, is
made from the *hides* of animals, not from bones; it is considered


From: Z'ev Scherman <zscherman@...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 15:32:22 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kosher Gelatin

While it may be true that the majority of Poskim do not permit gelatin,
I have a copy of the HaPardes journal of about 1946, which carries a
posthumous Teshuva by Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, accepted as one of the
Gedolei Hador of the pre-war years. This Teshuva specifically permits
all gelatin, as the process the bones undergo makes the resulting
gelatin as an entirely different (and, by this logic - pareve) product.

I have heard that some claim that even if the gelatin made of the bones
of non-kosher animals might be permissible, that would not apply if
there was any meat clinging to the bones - and the gelatin made today
uses bones which have not been stripped of all their meat.

The reason for the creation of the O.K. Laboratories was the opposition
to the use of this gelatin.  The Teshuva received by the Orthodox Union
allowing gelatin as "kosher" was requested because of this controversy.
The chemist checked out the company/ies making the gelatin relied upon
by the U.O., and found that the bones were not dried and bereft of meat,
as reported.

From: Rabbi Yisroel Finman <NISHMAT@...>
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 01:24:26 EDT
Subject: Kosher Gelatin

Commercial gelatin is has traditionally been produced from beef bones and 
hides and from pork bellies, with pork bellies being the predominate source 
of commercial gelatin. A vegeatable altenative produced from agar seaweed 
does not have the gelling abilities that animal based products have. Recent 
technological advances have produced a high quality gelatin from fish bones, 
but due to its' high cost it is not widely utilized in the food industry. 
In order to exrtract the gelatin, the raw animal substance is soaked in acids 
to chemically break down the proteins.This process renders the original 
material inedible for consumption by a dog, which removes it form having a 
food status. The subsequent extract is not halachically considered food, 
hence its' parve status.

Reb Moshe permits this process base dupon Rav Grodzinski's teshuva but
Rav Eliezer Silver lobbied heavily in the fifties to ban its' use.  Reb
Aharon Kotler paskened that the raw material must be from kosher species
and kosher slaughterd animals. I do not understand his requirements,
since the process and the end product are the same.  The problem with
pork bellies is that present day technology reverts the bellies to an
edible state after the acid soak and prior to the gelatin
extraction. This renders the product trayfe because it is roye
le'achilas kelev.  Rabbi David Sheinkopf wrote a fairly comprehensive
booklet on the subject about twenty years ago entitled Gelatin in Jewish

Rabbi Yisroel Finman

From: Mark Steiner <marksa@...>
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 16:09:19 +0300
Subject: Re: Kosher Gelatin

A note on gelatine, concerning David's question (I don't have the
sources handy so I'll have to cite from memory, and a little vaguely):

The major position allowing gelatine is that of R. Haym Ozer Grodzensky
z"l, who argued that the process of making gelatine turns both bones and
marrow into "dust", and in a very short responsum in his "Achiezer" he
permits the use of gelatine without restriction.  This is why the
Rabbinate in Israel (both national and local) do not prohibit the use of
gelatine in kosher products.  (I have been told that R. Zvi Pesach
Frank, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, agreed with R. Haym Ozer.)

The major opponent of this view in the "Lithuanian" world was R. Aharon
Kotler z"l, who occasionally wrote responsa on matters of principle.
These responsa have been published in *Mishnat R. Aharon*.  R. Aharon
argued that

1.  R. Haym Ozer's opinion could be criticized since although gelatine
was once "dust" it has now become an edible substance which issues from
something forbidden (I'm speaking here of the marrow of the bones or any
meat attached).

2.  Bones with no meat or marrow attached are not considered "meat" and
so anything made from them is pareve.

3.  Bones of a nonkosher animal with no meat or marrow attached.  Eating
them, according to a Mishnah in Hullin, is not a punishable offense.
Here we must ask whether the reason is (a) because they are inedible,
and so, as above, if they become edible, they are forbidden (even though
they are not "meat", they are still part of the nonkosher animal); or
(b) because bones, whether edible or not, are simply not a forbidden
substance.  Furthermore, the Mishnah implies that in any case bones are
rabbinically forbidden, so that if the bones should become edible, as in
gelatin desserts, the dessert would be at least forbidden rabbinically.

R. Aharon's responsum, a very long piece well worth learning for its own
sake (even his responsa are written like a shiur of a rosh yeshiva), was
the main reason, I think, why "Lithuanian rabbis" in the U. S. did not
allow gelatine by 1955 or so.  The Hungarian rabbis followed the Hatam
Sofer who had already forbidden the use of dried calves' stomachs in
kosher cheese production on the same principle, that anything which
reverts back to being edible reverts back to its halakhic status.

Mark Steiner


From: Yitz Weiss <YitzW@...>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 09:48:29 EDT
Subject: Kosher Vitamins

Someone, sometime ago had inquired about vitamins available with kosher
certification. One of the Nutrilite brand daily vitamins was recently
certified by the Star-K (Nutirite is the largest manufacturer of branded
vitamins worldwide - and IMHO, the best!).  If anyone was interested in
more info please feel free to email me at <YitzW@...>

Yitz Weiss


End of Volume 32 Issue 30