CORNER OCTOBER 2017
COR - KASHRUTH COUNCIL OF CANADA
THE TRUE COLOURS
of Canadian Whisky
BY: RABBI Y TEICHMAN & RABBI T HEBER
The Secret is out of the Barrel1 Months of extensive and exhaustive research into the kashrus of uncertified Canadian whisky has revealed its true colours. Red and white are not only the colours that we paint on the Canadian national flag, they are also the colours of wine; wine which has apparently long been a significant ingredient in the production of many popular brands of Canadian whisky. The whisky industry is, by definition, full of secrets; and Canadian whisky manufactures are no exception. It was, therefore, quite difficult for the rabbis at COR to wade through the rumors and theories regarding additives in order to obtain reliable and precise information. Notwithstanding the challenges, we were able to gather credible information through our relationships with local distilleries and by virtue of the respect that the COR has earned in the Canadian food and beverage industry over the decades. The purpose of this article is to present our findings along with an accompanying halachic discourse in order to determine the kashrus status of Canadian whisky. Non-Kosher Tax The issue that we set out to clarify was whether Canadian whisky is generally a pure grain alcohol or is it more likely to have a mixture of ingredients, including non-kosher wine that might affect its kashrus status. Canadian law is rather loose regarding the definition of Canadian
whisky.2 The code allows for added flavouring, which may include the introduction of wine. We discovered that many manufacturers indeed take advantage of this allowance for two reasons; firstly, to improve the taste of the whisky by smoothing out the naturally rough whisky flavour; and, secondly, for tax-saving purposes. A large percentage of Canadian whisky is exported to the United States in tankers and bottled there. Since the U.S. excise tax rate for wine alcohol is much lower than it is for spirit alcohol, companies can save money by adding wine into the mixture. Fascinatingly enough, tax law seems to be the underlying cause for a legitimate kashrus concern regarding Canadian whisky. Wine in Whisky: Six or Sixty? Before we expound upon the finer points of our research, it is pertinent to set out the basic halachic principles that govern the presence of non-kosher wine in whisky. While the nullification (bitul) of a prohibited substance (issur) that was inadvertently mixed into a permitted substance (heter) generally requires that the volume of heter is at least sixty times greater than the volume of issur (batul b’shishim), wine is an exception to this rule.3 Halacha stipulates that wine (issur) is batul in water (heter) when the dilution proportion is merely six times greater (batul b’shisha).4 Additionally, there is a well-known dispute amongst
problematic, in fact, this is not the case. The wine that is used in whisky is “fortified wine” which contains 21% alcohol. Fortified wine is a wine to which a distilled spirit is added. Since regular grape wine is never more than 14-15% ABV, fortified wine uses spirits to increase the ABV. As an example, in order to yield 10,000 litres of fortified wine containing 21% ABV, 9200 litres of 14.5% wine would be mixed together with 800 litres 96% spirits. The dilution effect in our the Poskim as to whether other kosher beverages, excludingexample kosher further More Detective Workour ability to determine the true proportion of wine complicates to wine whisky.AsAnother consideration that often and the wine used not even grape wine, have the same effect as water. Taz5 opines that non-kosher we grappled with theseiscalculations prodded ouriscontacts is batul b’shisha in other such beverages, such as whisky, so wine. as long further to help us determine whether Canadian whisky was indeed as its volume does not exceed 1/6th of the volume of the beverage. halachically problematic, we were able to uncover yet another inside Shach6 disagrees and maintains that only water effects wineMore at theDetective industryWork secret. When fortifying wine for the purpose of realizing As we grappled with these calculations and prodded our contacts further to help smaller proportion. Other kosher beverages, including whisky, require maximum tax benefit, companies try to use the least amount of wine us determine whether Canadian whisky was indeed halachically problematic, we the standard proportion of sixty times; bitul b’shishim. Rav Moshe possible to maximize savings by diluting the wine in water prior to were able to uncover yet another inside industry secret. When fortifying wine for Feinstein7 rules in accordance with the Taz and states that the winepurpose is adding it to whisky.maximum The new, diluted wine is companies more cost effective of realizing tax benefit, try to since use the least indeed batul b’shisha in whisky. Notwithstanding, Rav Moshe advises law possible allows thetodistillery to claim this portion of the whisky under amount ofthe wine maximize savings by diluting the wine in the water prior scrupulous individuals to be stringent on the matter and not toto rely on wine rate. InThe order to qualify as wine, mixture must only contain adding it to tax whisky. new, diluted wine the is more cost effective since the law allows the0.5% distillery toThe claim this portiontherefore, of the whisky under thefortified wine tax rate. this leniency. alcohol. manufacturers, add water to the as to whether other kosher beverages, excluding kosher wine, have the same In order to qualify as wine, the mixture must only contain 0.5% The wine, thereby, bringing down the alcohol content to 0.5%. Then alcohol. they that non-kosher wine is batul b’shisha in other such effect as water. Kashrus AuditTaz or5 opines Tax Audit? manufacturers, therefore, add water to the fortified wine, thereby, bringing th beverages, such as whisky, so as long as its volume does not exceed 1/6 of the We set out to determine the maximum volume of wine that might be add more spirits to restore the 21% alcohol content as can be seen in effectsthe alcohol content to 0.5%. Then they add more spirits to restore the 21% volume of the beverage. Shach6 disagrees and maintains that only water down the following example: wine atinto the Canadian smaller proportion. Other kosher beverages, the including whisky, added whisky without compromising aroma, taste content alcohol as can be seen in the following example: require the standard proportion of sixty times; bitul b’shishim. Rav Moshe and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky. Canadian Chart 2: Fortified Wine Breakdown 7 Chart 2: Fortified Wine Breakdown Feinstein rules in accordance with the Taz and states that wine is indeed batul whisky is soldNotwithstanding, to the U.S. canRav onlyMoshe be labelled Canadian whisky b’shisha that in whisky. advises as scrupulous individuals stringent on matterthan and not to rely1:11, on thiswine leniency. iftoitbecontains notthemore 9.09%, added to whisky for 8 flavour. Since there is a tax benefit, Canadian distillers tend to take full Kashrus Audit or Tax Audit? We set out toofdetermine the maximum volumethis of wine that might added into advantage the 9.09% limit. Although appears to fallbewell within Canadian whisky without compromising the aroma, taste and character the batul b’shisha it is actually notCanadian so simple. Thatthat is because generally attributed limit, to Canadian Whisky. whisky is sold to the the U.S. canwine only be labelled as Canadian if it contains notalcohol more than 9.09%, 9.09% limit is measured by whisky the volume of wine “Alcohol 1:11, wine added to whisky for flavour.8 Since there is a tax benefit, Canadian by Volume” (ABV) present in the mixture rather than by the volume of distillers tend to take full advantage of the 9.09% limit. Although this appears to wine present Since hasnot a so lower alcohol fall well within in thethe batulmixture. b’shisha limit, it iswine actually simple. That iscontent because the 9.09% wine limit is measured by the volume of wine alcohol “Alcohol by than whisky, it will take more wine than 9.09% to effect an ABV content Volume” (ABV) present in the mixture rather than by the volume of wine present of TheSince following this calculation: in 9.09%. the mixture. wine example has a lowerdescribes alcohol content than whisky, it will take more wine than 9.09% to effect an ABV content of 9.09%. The following example
Chart 1: Example of Canadian Whisky Recipe describes this calculation:
Chart 1: Example of Canadian Whiskey Recipe
In Chart 1, fortified wine wine component waswas 4,328 litres thetotal total 25,000 In the Chart 1, the fortified component 4,328 litresout out of of the litres. Chart 2 shows the actual breakdown of this fortified wine. 25,000 litres. Chart 2 shows the actual breakdown of this fortified wine. themethod above method of fortification, the actual content Using theUsing above of fortification, the actual winewine content of ofCanadian Whisky isCanadian below 1% andistherefore not therefore only is not it batul it is even batul whisky below 1% and only isb’shisha, it batul b’shisha, it is even batul b’shishim. Furthermore, there is absolutely no dispute to the fact that water affects the wine as long as its volume is six times greater. Non-kosher wine will therefore not have any detrimental effect on the kashrus of Canadian whisky.
In the example, the completed beverage actually contains 17% wine, but since the
In thehas example, thelow completed wine, wine a relatively percentagebeverage of alcohol actually (21%) it iscontains calculated17% as if it only comprises 9.09%. Thus, from the perspective of halacha, the beverage contains but since thethwine has a relatively low percentage of alcohol (21%) it more than 1/6 wine and the wine is not batel b’shisha. is calculated as if it only comprises 9.09%. Thus, from the perspective of halacha, the beverage contains more than 1/6th wine and the wine is not batul b’shisha. Kashrus Loophole Although the wine content allowed in Canadian whisky appears to be problematic, in fact, this is not the case. The wine that is used in whisky is “fortified wine” which contains 21% alcohol. Fortified wine is a wine to which a distilled spirit is added. Since regular grape wine is never more than 14-15% ABV, fortified wine uses spirits to increase the ABV. As an example, in order to yield 10,000 litres of fortified wine containing 21% ABV, 9200 litres of 14.5% wine would be mixed together with 800 litres of 96% spirits. The dilution effect in our example further complicates our ability to determine the true proportion of wine to whisky. Another consideration is that often the wine used is not even grape wine. COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
Forty Percent ABV Another relevant point to consider is that approximately 50% water is added to Canadian whisky after it is aged and prior to bottling in order to bring the ABV down to 40%, which is required by law. This means that irrespective of whether or not the wine was already batul in water during the fortification process, it will become batul b’shisha in water which is added to the whisky later on. Remember that there is no dispute as to whether wine in water is batul b’shisha. So, can we drink it? COR staff presented the above findings to its Poskim who paskened that COR may continue to allow uncertified Canadian whisky at catered events under its certification.9 Dissenting Opinion Not every kashrus organization continued to allow Canadian whisky subsequent to COR’s research into the matter. Others felt that they should not continue to recommend Canadian whisky unless it is known to be completely clear of non-kosher wine.10 This position is primarily justified due to the well-known position of the Rashba who holds that bitul, in general, can only govern mixtures in which the issur
had inadvertently became mixed into the heter. In cases, such as ours, where the issur is used deliberately as an ingredient in the mixture, it can never be batul at any proportion.11 Many Poskim rule in accordance with the Rashba’s opinion when it comes to non-kosher wine12, as well as to chometz on Pesach.13 Accordingly, there are grounds to consider the intentional mixing of wine as an ingredient in Canadian whisky, at any proportion, to be halachically problematic.
ingredient is assur b’hana’ah that does not allow it to become batul at any proportion, according to the Rashba. Accordingly, it can be argued that the Rashba’s chumra does not apply to contemporary non-kosher wine since, according to many Poskim, it is not assur b’hana’ah.16 As with all matters of halacha, one should consult with their Rav for a final psak.
CORporate Policy It should be noted that COR certification policy does not allow for the certification of any product or beverage containing Concluding Argument even a minute amount of issur which Many disagree with the Rashba’s is batul. COR would, therefore, not chumra, in general.14 Ashkenazic consider placing its symbol on a product custom generally follows the position of which contains non-kosher wine or the Rama who specifically takes issue any other non-kosher ingredient at any with the Rashba’s opinion as it pertains proportion, although it is permitted to to non-kosher wine.15 Furthermore, consume the product. In the near future, some argue that it is inappropriate one of the major brands of Canadian to apply this chumra other than to a whisky will bear the COR label signifying product which contains non-kosher wine or any other non-kosher ingredient at prohibition that is both forbidden for that the particular brand contains either any proportion. In the nearasfuture, the major of or, Canadian whisky consumption (issur achila) as well forbiddenone from of deriving any nobrands added wine if wine is added, it is actually kosher certified wine. benefitbear (issur hana’ah). Logic dictates that it is the that fact that theparticular minor will the COR label signifying the brand contains either no
added wine or if wine is added, it is actually kosher certified wine.
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
The authors wish to thank Rabbi Sholom H. Adler shlit”a, Kashrus Administrator COR, for the role he played in leading the research and subsequent dissemination of this subject. Rabbi Adler is a leading expert in the field of the kashrus. Rabbi Adler’s expertise and connections in the industry has made the research of the kashrus of Canadian whisky along with this subsequent presentation possible. Section B.02.020 [S] of the Food and Drug Regulation states: Canadian whisky, Canadian Rye whisky or Rye whisky shall (a) be (i) a potable alcoholic distillate, or a mixture of potable alcoholic distillates, obtained from a mash of cereal grain or cereal grain products saccharified by diastase of malt or by other enzymes and fermented by the action of yeast or a mixture of yeast and other micro-organisms, (ii) be aged on a small wood for not less than three years, (iii) possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky, (iv) be manufactured in accordance with the requirements of the Excise Act and the regulations made thereunder, (v) be mashed, distilled and aged in Canada (vi) contain not less than 40 per cent alcohol by volume; and (b) may contain caramel and flavouring. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah (YD) [98:1] ibid. [134:5] ibid. [114:4] ibid. Haga’os Nekudas HaKesef Shu”t Igros Moshe YD [1:62-64] See, for example, http://www.lawgill.com/legal-and-practical-elements-of-the-9-09-canadian-whiskyblending-rule/ This follows the view HaRav Shlomo Miller shlit”a, Rosh Beis Din, Kollel Toronto See, for example, http://www.crcweb.org/LiquorList.pdf Bais Yosef YD [134:13] in the name of the Rashba Shulchan Aruch YD [134:13] Shulchan Aruch HaRav Orach Chaim (OC) [442:6] Pischei Teshuva YD [134:8] bringing the opinion of the Noda B’Yehuda in the name of many Rishonim ibid. [134:13] Rama cites his own comment in YD [114:4] which specifically states that non-kosher wine can be batul in other kosher beverages even if it placed there intentionally. See Rema YD [123:1]
COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
& COWS & COCONUTS WHAT COUNTS AS MARIS AYIN? BY RABBI YECHIEL TEICHMAN
The Rabbis teach us that not only must our behavior and actions be correct, but they should also appear correct. This concept is called maris ayin and covers all areas of life, where certain actions are forbidden solely because they raise suspicion that one has violated halacha. One example is basar b’chalav, forbidden mixtures of meat and milk. At COR we recently had an interesting application of this halacha. A kosher restaurant wanted to offer Indian style dishes. In Indian tradition, meat and chicken are cooked in milk. Since this would obviously not be an option for a kosher restaurant, they developed recipes using coconut milk as a substitute for cow’s milk. The question is, what must be done to remove the concern of maris ayin when cooking and serving these dishes? Does maris ayin apply to cooking chicken with almond milk? The Rema says that only when cooking meat with almond milk is there a concern, since it gives the appearance of transgressing a Torah law of cooking milk and meat. Cooking chicken with almond milk is of no concern because the issur of cooking chicken with milk is d’rabanan, and one does not need to avoid the appearance of transgressing a d’rabanan. Some say that this only applies where the act is done in private, but, in public, one would have to avoid the appearance of transgressing a d’rabanan as welli. How likely must the suspicion be for one to be responsible to avoid the act? Poskim discuss how likely it must be to the onlooker that a forbidden act is not being doneii. After all, it is impossible to totally avoid suspicion. Some say if it is just as likely that an issur is not being done, it is not considered maris ayin. In our case, cow’s milk is more common than coconut milk, and therefore cooking with coconut milk would be a concern. How to remove the chashash: The Rema says that if one places almonds into or near the almond milk while cooking with meat, then it is permitted, since the onlooker will realize that the milk is not cow’s milk but rather almond milk. Poskim discuss whether a written sign is sufficient to remove a chashash maris ayin. COR staff was advised that, if possible, we should display a piece of coconut along with a sign that says “all milk used in this establishment is coconut milk”iii. Is the chashash maris ayin during cooking or while eating? What about deliveries and take out? The Shach maintains have to be concerned with maris ayin at thecontainer time of cooking. It would only be an issue if the If the dish that stillone hasdoes thenot appearance that it contains milk, the should havetherefore a food still sticker had the appearance of milk and meat at the time the dish was served. The Rema however is concerned with maris ayin at the time of stating “all milk used in this establishment is exclusively coconut milk”. cooking. In our case, it is easy to display the container of the coconut milk in the kitchen, at the time of cooking, to satisfy the Rema’s requirement. What about and take with out? the restaurant? We gave them the green light to use the coconut So, deliveries what happened If the dishmilk. still has the required appearanceathat it contains milk, container should a sticker stating “all milk used this establishment is exclusively We large sign to bethe displayed alonghave with a piece of coconut. Aincontainer coconut milk”. of coconut milk is on display in the kitchen and outgoing orders have a sticker on them to
customers that only coconut milk in to use. mashgiach also always on to be displayed along with So, whatreassure happened with the restaurant? We gave them the greenislight useThe the coconut milk. Weisrequired a large sign guard to ensure that the only milk being used in the establishment is coconut milk. a piece of coconut. A container of coconut milk is on display in the kitchen and outgoing orders have a sticker on them to reassure customers that only coconut milk is in use. The mashgiach is also always on guard to ensure that the only milk being used in the establishment is coconut milk. Rabbi Teichman isCoordinator a RabbinicatCoordinator Rabbi Teichman is a Rabbinic COR.
at the COR
נחלת צבי יו"ד ס' פ"ז1 2 'כרתי ופלתי יו"ד פ"ז ס"ק ח 3 הרב שלמה אליהו מילר שליט"א COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
Dessert Dilemma Are Ice Cream Cones & Fortune Cookies Subject to Pas Yisroel? BY RABBI YECHIEL TEICHMAN
What do ice cream cones and fortune cookies have in common? Besides both being popular dessert items and made mainly from flour and sugar, they actually share a halachic question—do we classify these foods as bread products or not? The gemara in Avodah Zarah i records two decrees that the Rabbis made with respect to non-Jewish cooking or baking, one regarding bread baked by a non-Jew and another on other food items that are cooked, fried, roasted or baked by a non-Jew. The rules differ depending on whether the foods are classified as bread or not. The Rema ii permits bread baked by a non-Jewish bakeriii. It is a chumra to strictly use pas Yisroel, a chumra that is maintained at COR certified events and in many COR certified restaurants. Cooked, fried, roasted or other food items baked by a nonJew are strictly forbidden. The gemara states two exceptions when foods are not subject to the prohibition of bishul akum: 1) food that is readily eaten in a raw state and 2) food that is not fit for a king’s table. Yet, with regards to bread products, the gemara does not mention the leniency of food not fit for a king’s table. It would seem that bread, even of poor quality, would be subject to pas Yisroel v.
with pas akum. The Shach comments that “only if it is from a thick dough and has the appearance of bread”vii could these pastries be classified as such. The Pri Chadashviii explains that any cake which would require a bracha of hamotzi if eaten in the quantity used at a meal is considered bread and has the leniency of pas palter. But, if it is a type of cake that even if eaten in a large quantity will retain the bracha of mezonos, it is not considered bread and would fall in the category of bishul akum. Ice cream cones and fortune cookies are not food fit for a king’s tableix. However, if they are classified as bread, this leniency may not apply. Therefore, they may be subject to the laws of pas. If someone chooses to be strict and eat only pas Yisroel, he would not be able to eat these products. The Mishna Berurax writes that a very loose batter that spreads very thin remains mezonos even when eaten as a kvias seudah. The Shaar HaTzionxi brings an example of a product made in waffle irons, which he does not classify as bread, since the batter is of very loose consistency and the finished product is very thin. This description parallels how fortune cookies and ice cream cones are made. It would seem that they are the type of mezonos that, even if eaten as a kvias seudah, would remain mezonos. The difference is that fortune cookies and ice cream cones are hardxii, as opposed to the soft waffles as discussed by the Mishna Berura.
So, how does one classify a food as bread? The So, what is the final status of these tasty desserts? Rav Shlomo Miller vi various Rav shlit’a,Shlomo Rosh BeisMiller Din of Kollel Toronto, states that while there is a noted So, what is the final status ofRema thesediscusses tasty desserts? shlit’a, Rosh Beis types of cake and kichel difference between our treats and the one mentioned in the Mishna Din of Kollel Toronto, states that it is still very possible that our fortune cookies and ice that are considered Berura, that difference is not compelling enough to require that we deem cream cones are not pas and we therefore have what to rely on when serving them at and are13therefore them to be pas. Therefore COR certified functions and restaurants, which . Bon Appetite! COR certified functions and bread restaurants permitted in a place where require pas Yisroel, can serve them. Bon Appetite! the custom is to be lenient Rabbi Teichman is a Rabbinic Coordinator at COR
Rabbi Teichman is a Rabbinic Coordinator at COR
ע"ז דף ל"ה ע"ב1 ' יו"ד סי' קי"ב סעי' ב2 וגם בפלטר התירו משום חיי נפש, שלא פשטה הגזירה בכל המקומות3 וכתב הש"ך מיהו נראה דיש ליזהר אף כל ימות, ש"ך ס"ק ט' הביא בשם ת"ח דבעשרת ימי תשובה יש ליזהר מלאכול פת פלטר4 . אם לא שהפת עכו"ם יפה יותר דאז שרי, היכא דיש פלטר ישראל...השנה פרמ"ג ס' קי"ב ס"ק ג' משבצות זהב5 רמ"א ס' קי"ב סע' ו6 7 ש"ך סימן קי"ב ס"ק י"ח ' פר"ח בגליון שו"ע על רמ"א סימן קי"ב סעיף ו8 שאינם מאכלים חשובים9 משנה ברורה קס"ח ס"ק ל"ח10 וז"ל וכתבו הפוסקים דאותן שקורין בפראג וואלאפלאטקע"ס שנעשיו ג"כ בלילתן רכה אך מפני שמתפשטין באפייתן נעשים דקין וקלושים הרבה יותר מאותן נאלסילקע"ס שנזכר לעיל אין לברך עליהם המוציא אפילו בדקבע דאין ע"ז תורת לחם כלל .ודומה לטריתא בסט"ו שער הציון ס"ק ל"ו11 It seems that due to their high sugar content, they harden upon cooling. 12 היתרit has the פת, that even if it is considered סניףas a ' אבני נזר יו"ד ח"א סימן צ"ב אות זWe can also use the 13 . שאין עולה על שלחן מלכים COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
TO SEPARATE OR NOT TO SEPARATE - T BY RABBI YECHIEL TEICHMAN
Everyone knows that challah is a staple at every Shabbos and Yom Tov table, but not everyone knows all of the intricacies of the halachos that go into getting the challah from the dough to your table. Hafrashas challah is often an important required step in this process. The Torah obligation to separate challah is mentioned in Parshas Sh’lachi, although, today, the obligation to separate challah in Eretz Yisraelii and Chutz La’aretz is mid’rabanan. The gemara in Shabbos states that fulfilling the mitzvah of challah brings blessings to the homeiii. The opinions regarding the minimum amount of flour needed for a challah obligation range between 8 to 16 cups. Therefore, if one uses between 8 and 16 cups of flour, challah is taken without a bracha. Once 16 cups of flour are used, one would separate challah with a bracha. What if one makes dough with 16 cups of flour but then divides the dough? For example: 1. A teacher is making challah with her class. She divides the dough giving each student a portion to form and place in a pan to take home and bake. Would the teacher be required to separate challah? 2. A woman wants to separate challah with a bracha. She would like to freeze part of the dough and bake at a later date. Is this proper? 3. A Jewish owned commercial bakery produces frozen dough products. Although the dough mix is a large quantity, the individual packs of frozen dough are smaller than a shiur challah. Is there an obligation to separate challah? The halachaiv states that one who makes dough to divide into smaller portions, before baking, is patur from challah. There are several interpretations of when to apply this principle. One opinion states that it has to be divided among other people, but, if one divides it for his own use, then he is obligated in challahv. Another opinion holds that if divided for one person’s use it is patur unless the individual breads have tziruf salvi to reunite for a shiur challahvii. A third opinion holds that regardless if one divides for himself or for others, if a shiur challah is baked at one time, it is obligated in challahviii. If there is a delay, such as from the morning to the afternoon, then the doughs would not combine for a shiur challah. A fourth opinion holds that it is only considered l’chaleik (produced COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
E - THE LAWS OF HAFRASHAS CHALLAH
Rav Shlomo Miller shlit’a, Rosh Beis Din of Kollel Toronto, holds that the main opinion is that dividing dough for oneself is not considered l’chaleik and is therefore chayeiv b’challah. Furthermore, even when dividing to distribute to others, it is reasonable that if the owner can change his mind at his discretion, then it should be chayeiv b’challah. If he obligated to divide with others, be patur. for distribution) if one is himself makpid that the pieces should not then touchit will without a bracha because she could always change her mind
or mix with one another. However, if one is baking small breads, and not distribute the dough in which case separation would be Now people, we have thehebackground to on answer our examples from In make example 1, thebecause her intention even for different and is not makpid the breads required; she above. would not a bracha teacher should separate challah without a bracha because she could always change her touching, there will be a chiyuv challahix. is to separate the dough and distribute it to different individuals. mind and not distribute the dough in which caseThe separation would be required; She would woman in example 2 would separate challah with a bracha, Rav Shlomonot Miller shlit’a, Rosh because Beis Dinher of intention Kollel Toronto, make a bracha is to separate the dough and distribute it to since she is retaining the dough for her own use. Finally, the holds that the main opinion is that dividing doughinfor oneself 2 would different individuals. The woman example separate challah with a bracha, bakery would have an obligation to separate challah with a is not considered and is therefore chayeiv b’challah. since l’chaleik she is retaining the dough for her own use. Finally, the bakery would have an bracha because the owner has the option to retain the dough Furthermore,obligation even when dividing challah to distribute others,because to separate with atobracha the owner has the option to retain for his usex and a customer may purchase sufficient quantity 10 it is reasonable that if the change his mindmay at his the dough forowner his usecan and a customer purchase sufficient quantity for chiyuv discretion, then it should be chayeiv b’challah. If he obligated for chiyuv challah.
himself to divide with others, then it will be patur.
So,the to background separate or to notanswer to separate? It depends. Now we have our examples from
above. In example 1, the teacher should separate challah
So, to separate or not to separate? It depends.
Rabbi Teichman is a Rabbinic Coordinator at COR.
Rabbi Teichman is a Rabbinic Coordinator at COR. י"ז: פרשת שלח ט"ו1 The differences between challah today in Eretz Yisrael and chutz la’aretz, are beyond the scope of this 2 article. 3 [:שבת ]ל"ב " יו"ד סי' שכ"ו סעיף ב' "העושה עיסה לחלקה בבצק פטורה4 ... פתחי תשובה ס"ק ב' בשם לבוש ודרישה5 Tziruf sal occurs when individual breads which are less than a shiur challah are placed together in a 6 basket after baking, which combine them, to have, a shiur challah. שו"ת בית אפרים הובא בפ"ת שם7 מעדני מלך הובא שם בפ"ת8 חזון איש9 ' וכן הוא מפורש בשו"ע יו"ד שכ"ו סעי' ב10 COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
Can Dairy Naan Bread be Kosher Certified? BY: RABBI TSVI HEBER
Indian Jews Ate Naan!? Recently, one of our COR certified companies requested approval for their naan bread. Along with the pareve variety, the company requested that we kosher certify their dairy variety. After all, every single one of the ingredients, including the dairy components, was reliably kosher. What should be the problem then? Rabbi Sholom H. Adler, our Kashrus Administrator, explained that, with some noted exceptions, halacha does not permit either the production or the consumption of dairy bread, and as a result, the naan in question could not be kosher certified. Remarkably, the owners of the company, themselves natives of India, claimed that they recalled their Jewish friends and acquaintances back home eating dairy naan. After all, Indian naan is renowned for its unique taste that is largely due to the inclusion of dairy ingredients. This comment took Rabbi Adler by surprise and he set out to determine whether the claim was accurate. Rabbi Adler made contact with a rabbi who grew up in India who related that this was actually not the case and that, in fact, people who were strict about keeping kosher were very conscious not to eat naan because it is dairy! Just to be sure, Rabbi Adler checked with a second rabbi from India who concurred.
it with dairy.3 This prohibition includes both the production of and consumption of dairy and meat bread.4 There is an interesting debate as to whether it further extends beyond bread to other food products or even to kaylim which are commonly used to prepare pareve food for both meat and dairy meals. For example, according to the strict opinion, a pareve spice grinder that is used to grind spices for use in both dairy and meat dishes, and which inadvertently became fleishig, is deemed non-kosher and must be kashered prior to further use. There is no option to simply designate the grinder for future fleishig use, since it is quite possible that the user will forget and accidentally use the fleishig spices for dairy.5 Others disagree entirely and limit the scope of this prohibition to bread alone since bread is the staple of every meal -- dairy and meat -- and the most likely food to be confused.6 Even according to this opinion, it is quite clear that matza, mezonos rolls and most crackers are to be included in the prohibition since they are normally consumed with both dairy and meat.7 Normative halacha and common custom follow the latter lenient opinion.8 Dairy naan would certainly be included in this prohibition because naan is bread and it is normally consumed with meat. A hechsher, therefore, seems to be out of the question. Right?
Pita or Laffa? Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread predominately found in South Asian cuisines. In Iran, from which the word seems to have ultimately originated, the word “nan” does not carry any special significance, as it is merely the generic word used to refer to any kind of bread. Naan, as we know it today, originated in Central and South India with influence from the Middle East.1 The best way to describe it is a crossbreed between a laffa and a pita. Like pita bread, naan is usually leavened with yeast or with a bread starter; but unlike pita, traditional naan uses milk or yogurt which is added to impart distinct tastes as well as to produce a smooth, elastic dough. Ultimately, like laffa, it is baked in a tandoor oven.2
Small Portions There are a couple of notable exceptions to this prohibition; such as dairy bread which is produced and consumed in small portions. The rationale is that if all of the bread is consumed at one time, in the appropriate dairy meal, there is no longer a fear of accidentally using it for the meat meal.9 It is important to note that this exception can apply even if producing dairy bread for an entire family, or for a large simcha,10 since the intention is that it should be consumed at one meal;11 or even through the course of three Shabbos meals or a single day of Yom Tov.12 Accordingly, it is possible to bake dairy naan in honour of the Yom Tov of Shavuos, for example, as long as only a small amount is made and it is specifically intended for the meals of the first day of Yom Tov.13
Naan is Bread! Chaza”l forbade kneading dough with milk lest we accidentally forget about the dairy component and eat it with meat. Similarly, we are not allowed to bake bread in a tandoor which is smeared with meat fat lest we accidentally forget about the meat and eat
Individually Packaged In an industrial setting, naan is mass produced for the purpose of selling to the public. Halacha does not provide an allowance to mass produce dairy bread even if the finished product is COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
individually packaged so that each purchaser buys only enough to consume on a single day.14 Furthermore, most retail naan is sold in packages of four or more and can be used over the course of the same number of meals. On the other hand, there are different opinions as to whether a manufacturer can mass produce dairy dough without baking it and split it into single portion pieces so that the consumer retains the ability to bake them for one day at a time.15 If one is willing to rely on the lenient opinion, perhaps it would be possible to consider certifying precut pieces of naan dough which can be packaged in a canister for sale. Such certification should only be condoned if the halachic restrictions were well known to the kosher consumer or could somehow be clearly communicated.
Size, Shape and Form Another notable exception to the rule is if the bread is visibly different from the standard pareve bread so that it is clear to all that it is not pareve. 16 This is the case if the bread is shaped differently, if it contains a specific siman such as cheese sprinkled on top,17 or if the dairy component is clearly visible on or from within the bread.18 This exception was, in fact, the reason that the original St. Thomas dairy English muffins received kosher certification. English muffins were distinguishable in their form and shape and it was possible to distinguish them as dairy by virtue of their appearance.19 Today, there are many types of English muffins on the market, many of which are pareve. As a result, the shape of the English muffin is no longer sufficient grounds to allow their kosher certification. This exception is also not sufficient grounds to distinguish naan as dairy since the same kinds of naan are available in both dairy and pareve. Non-Jewish Manufacturer Perhaps we can use some creativity with yet another suggestion. Some would suggest that if a manufacturer is not Jewish then no prohibition applies at the manufacturing level. It is only when the Jew purchases the product that the prohibition should be COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
weighed. If a Jew purchases dairy naan in bulk without intending to consume it at one time, then it would become prohibited. But, if a Jew specifically purchases naan for a single meal or for a single day then his naan is permitted!20 This opportunity, while creative, seems somewhat elusive. From a halachic perspective, it is far from clear that dairy bread is not already deemed not-kosher prior to purchase by a Jew.21 But even if we were to validate the lenient perspective, kashrus certification would be nearly impossible since a hechsher indicates that the product is kosher without any conditions. To limit its scope to those who will purchase the naan for a single day is difficult to imagine. There is an interesting dispute as to whether the prohibition applies even where the dairy falls into the dough by accident.22 Normative halacha does not seem to embrace the lenient opinion.23 But even if we were to accept that opinion, it would be for the reason that Chaza”l did not concern themselves with a situation that happens by accident because of its rarity. But could that logic be used to justify placing a kosher symbol on dairy naan which is systematically baked for the kosher community? Such logic is far from sound. Minute Amounts What if dairy was added to bread in minute amounts such that its taste was not discernable or if it was less the 1/60th of the entire dough? Many Poskim are prepared to consider such bread kosher.24 Some would even allow minute amounts of dairy to be placed into the bread intentionally. Accordingly, there would be an argument to allow the certification of “dairy” bread if the dairy component is nullified in the bread.25 This however does not apply to dairy naan which contains a substantial amount of dairy which is certainly not nullified in the dough. Warning: Dairy Naan is Not-Kosher In conclusion, there does not appear to be any solid ground on which to permit the kosher certification of dairy naan bread. Chaza”l understood that dairy bread is something which is likely to be used together with meat and therefore went to the extent of calling it non-kosher. Naan, which is commonly used for meat, is no different. This is why COR’s Poskim along with many of the other major kosher certifiers that we conferred with including the OU and the Star-K, would not certify dairy naan as kosher. Kashrus organizations carry the responsibility of ensuring an abundance of properly certified kosher food on the market for the entire world’s Jewish population. Nevertheless, it is this same responsibility that behooves us to guard our tradition with the utmost care so that no michshol should occur. It is quite clear that Chaza”l would not have authorized the kosher certification of traditional dairy naan and neither should we.26 Rabbi Heber is COR’s Director of Community Kosher
population. Nevertheless, it is this same responsibility that behooves us to guard our tradition with the utmost care so that no michshol should occur. It is quite clear that Chaza”l would not have authorized the kosher certification of traditional dairy naan and neither should we.26 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naan 1 2עי' משניות כלים פרק ה משנה א וברע"ב ]שם[ 3גמרא פסחים ]ל[. 4שו"ע יו"ד ]סימן צ"ז סעיף א[ 5ט"ז ]שם ס"ק א[ .ועי' במחצית השקל שדוחה את טענת הפר"ח ופוסק כהט"ז. 6פר"ח ]שם[ ,ועי' במנחת יעקב ]כלל ס ס"ק ג[ דכ' דדוקא פת ועיסה מצינו חומרא זו בש"ס דעבדינן הרחקה טפי משום דעל הלחם לבדו יחיה האדם ע"ש. 7מהא דאיתא בחכ"א ]כלל נ סעיף ג[ ז"ל ודוקא פת שעומד לאכול עם בשר ועם חלב אבל מה שאין דרך לאכלו רק לקינוח או עם משקה מותר ולא חיישינן שיאכלנו אחר שאכל בשר או גבינה דכולי האי לא חיישינן עכ"ל .ועי' בבדי השולחן בביאורים ]תחילת סימן צ"ז[ שהקשה דתיפוק ליה דרק פת גזרו ולא בשאר דבר וי"ל דנ"מ לענין פת הבאה בכיסנין דאף דברכתו בורא מיני מזונות ולא המוציא לחם מן הארץ הא באמת שם לחם עלייהו רק משום דאין דרך לקבוע סעודה עליו לא מברכינן המוציא .תדע דהא אם קבע סעודה עליו מברך המוציא ומוכח דשם לחם עלייהו ולכן אי לאו דאין דרך לאכלו אלא בקינוח סעודה היה שפיר נכלל וכו ע"ש .והדברים ברורים. 8חוו"ד ]ס"ק א[ ,חכ"א ]כלל נ סעיף ג[ ,ערוה"ש יו"ד ]סימן צ"ז סעיף ב[ 9שו"ע ]שם[ 10ערוה"ש ]שם סעיף ד[ 11כן נראה משי' המחבר ]שם[ 12כן נראה משי' הרמ"א ]שם[ .ולענין אם מותר לאפות פת חולבת או בשרית לב' ימים של יו"ט עי' פמ"ג שפ"ד ]שם ס"ק א[ ובדרכי תשובה ]ס"ק ל"ג[. 13המנהג לאכול לחם חלבי ביום ראשון של חג השבועות מובא ברמ"א או"ח ]סימן תצ"ד סעיף ג[ ע"ש. 14דרכי תשובה ]שם ס"ק ט"ו[ בשם חמודי דניאל הלכות בב"ח ]אות י"ב[ וכ' שם דהוא כנגד דברי הכו"פ. ובאמת יעי' בפליתי ]שם ס"ק א[ שמשמע שלא התיר אלא במעשה שאירע שנתערב ממילא ועי' באמרי בינה ]סימן י"ג[ דמדבריו משמע שלמד כן בדעת הפליתי .והכי איתא להדיא בערוה"ש ]שם סעיף ט[. 15דרכי תשובה ]שם ס"ק ט"ז[ בשם מגדים חדשים 16שו"ע יו"ד ]שם[ 17בדי השולחן ]שם ס"ק י"ז[ בשם בינת אדם. 18ערוה"ש ]שם סעיף ג[. https://oukosher.org/faqs/what-is-the-ous-opinion-on-dairy-breads-and-english-muffins 19 20שו"ת שלחן הלוי ]חלק א דף ר"ו[ בשם יש שאמרו. 21עי' יד יהודה פיה"א ]שם ס"ק ז[ שכ' ב' צדדים ולא סמך על זה למעשה כי בנדון שלו בין כך היה אסור משום חלב עכו"ם .ועי' בדרכי תשובה ]שם ס"ק ד[ ז"ל ואולי י"ל כיון שכל פת פלטר שם בעיירות הללו נעשה באופן זה ופת פלטר ניכר לכל לא שייך לגזור כיון דניכר לכל רואה ולא אתי למיכל שום פת פלטר עם בשר בעיירות הללו וצ"ע .אמנם כל זה הוא לענין 4בדיעבד או בגווני שכ' שכל פת פלטר נעשה באופן זה וא"א להשיג פת אחר אז מותר אבל לכתחילה כשאפשר להשתמט מלעשות פת כזה בודאי פשוט הוא דאסור עכ"ל .ומדבריו משמע שמיד שנאפה ברשות עכו"ם כבר נאסר הפת אא"כ יש צד שניכר לכל וכו'. 22עי' באמרי בינה ]סוף סימן י"ג[ ז"ל אבל אם על צד המקרה והזדמנות נפל חלב על הפת י"ל דאין לאסור לכתחילה עכ"ל. 23יעי' בפתחי תשובה ]ס"ק ב[ בשם הפמ"ג לאסור .ועי' בהגהות זר זהב על האו"ה ]סימן ד ס"ק ד[ .ובבדי השולחן ]שם ס"ק ז[ פסק לאסור. 24עי' בדי השולחן ]שם ס"ק ו[ שמביא כל הדעות בזה ואין עלי להאריך מכיון שכבר מונח שם בקופסא. 25עי במכתב של ה OUהנ"ל 26וכן הסכים מו"ר הגרש"מ שליט"א
COR 2017 / 5778 HALACHIC CORNER
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Did You Know That...
…COR offers a free home kashering service, and this past year alone we helped 40 families make their kitchens kosher
…COR works with smaller communities in Canada and hosted Pre Pesach community lectures & training in Edmonton and Ottawa
…COR’s first Rabbinic Chairman was Rabbi Gedaliah Felder ZT”L and today that role is filled by his son Rabbi Yacov Felder, shlit’a
…COR works closely with the other major hashgachas and is an Executive member of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) that develops common minimum standards for the kosher industry …COR is a not for profit registered charity with a board of lay professionals from the community who provide oversite and guidance
…COR offers a free community kashering prior to Pesach, and last year we helped 75 families with their Pesach preparations
…COR supervises food at event venues such as the Rogers Centre (Olde Spadina), the Air Canada Centre (Baldwin Street Kosher), and the Toronto Zoo (Zoolicious by Howie T’s)
…COR certifies 53 local restaurants including 26 dairy restaurants, 16 meat, 3 sushi and 8 bakeries
…COR supervises 4 summer camps and erects and maintains the eruv at one of them
…COR’s very own Catriel Blum was voted Mashgiach of the Year by Kashrus Magazine
…COR is 65 years old, founded in 1952
…COR answers questions via phone, email, text and social media and last year, in the month prior to Pesach, we collectively answered over 10,000 questions
Published on Oct 11, 2017
What is the kosher status of Canadian Whisky? Can Dairy Naan be Kosher Certified? The answers, and more in COR's Halachic CORner