Is Gelatin Kosher?

Question:

I remember a tshuva by Rav Abadi saying that gelatin in all its forms is completely kosher and parve, and that this is true for all Jews, Ashkenazi, Sepharadi etc. What is the Machon Shilo view on this?


Answer:

1. I concur with HaRav Abadi regarding this matter (and many others). All forms of gelatin are muttar because it is a tasteless substance - see Rambam's MT Y'sodhe HaTora 5:11 (5:8 in some editions). What Rambam writes elsewhere – Ma’akhaloth Asuroth 4:22 (4:18 in some editions) – is not analogous. There the bones etc. are in their original form; here it is processed and refined to the point that it becomes an entirely different substance.)


2. This has nothing to do with whether one is Temani, S'pharadhi or Ashk'nazi. It is however true that many Ashk'nazi rabbis are unnecessarily (and some would say, obsessively) stringent.


3. Many great and well known Rabanim have declared that gelatin is kosher, including Rav Yoseph Eliyahu Henkin, Rav Hayim Ozer Grodzhinsky, Rav Tzvi Pesah Frank, et al. Their arguments are clear and incisive, whereas, in my view, the arguments of those who later disagreed are unconvincing, and they themselves were unsure about the matter.


Friday, 01 April 2011

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