Must More Reputable Mean More Prohibitions?
My Grandmother Could also say "Prohibited"
A sage in Jerusalem approached Rabbi Yehudah Leib Fishman, the head of Mosad HaRav Kook, (he later became Rabbi Maimon, the first Minister of Religious Affairs) seeking endorsement for a manuscript he wished to publish. "I have written a 300 page book on ‘Numbing Livestock Before their Slaughter,' and I have left no source untouched."
"Very nice," Rabbi Maimon nodded, "And what is your conclusion?"
"After studying this topic thoroughly I have reached the conclusion that this is prohibited," answered the author.
"Prohibited, you say?" said Rabbi Maimon as he returned the manuscript to the excited author, "Everyone seems to be saying, ‘prohibited, prohibited.' My grandmother could also say ‘prohibited'. There is no need to publish 300 pages to say that, and I do not need another useless book cluttering my already overflowing library...."
Carmine/cochineal are [sic] not permitted in products certified by most responsible authorities. see article here This declaration makes it difficult to believe that some eminent Rabbis, whose expertise in Halachic matters is unchallenged, rule that carmine/cochineal is Kosher.
Let’s have a closer look at this last glib statement and try to unravel it.
Firstly; this statement concedes that there are some “responsible authorities” who permit What criteria determine if an authority is a “responsible authority”?
2 Who determines these criteria?
3 Are these criteria applied equally to all authorities?
4 How could it be that some “responsible authorities” authorise Carmine, whilst other “responsible authorities” will not?
5 Why does permitting Carmine make the authority irresponsible?
6 How do those authorities that prohibit the use of Carmine arrive at their conclusion?
7 Is this a Halachic determination or are other considerations at work?
8 What type of things do the “irresponsible authorities” permit?
9 Who made the count of “responsible authorities” that permit and prohibit, and which are in the majority?
10 Is there a list of “responsible authorities” and “irresponsible authorities”?
In view of this, consider the following:
If a food contains natural red or natural colour, the fruit must bear an acceptable kosher certification because carmine, a natural red colour could be used to colour the cherry. Carmine is a red colorant which is obtained from the dried bodies of the coccus cacti insect, a beetle. It gives off a brilliant red colour and is very colour stable.
and this Please note that canned cherries may contain carmine, an insect extract used for colouring. Do not buy canned cherries (these may also be found in fruit cocktail) without reliable supervision. In addition, canned plums may contain a colouring derived from grape skin.
and this Carmine, or carminic acid, is a natural organic dye made from the dried bodies of female insects called Coccus Cacti which live on cactus plants. It is one of the oldest known natural dyes. Most of the major kashrus agencies accept the psak halacha that carmine is not kosher.(Min”Yitzchok, 3, 96).
[This is very interesting because the response of the BeMarEh HaBazak also quoted the Minchas Yitzchok but to support the opposite view, that Carmine is Kosher.
Often, in the manufacturing process, raw materials are rendered inedible by acids for example. When these inedible substances are processed into foods, Halacha considers them a new product that is disconnected from its origins and is thus Kosher. There are two major considerations:
Some Components of Non-K Foods are Kosher
Firstly, some products emanating from a non-Kosher origin are Kosher. RaMBaM states (Hilchos MaAchalos Assuros 4:18), "One who eats skin, bones, sinews, horns, hooves or nails of a non-Kosher beast is not punished. These things are not fit for human consumption [and the Torah only prohibits eating non-Kosher foods]. However [the Rabbis] nevertheless forbade ingesting such items."
Bits of Bees in Honey
Unfiltered honey contains bits and pieces of bees. These bits and pieces are not prohibited by Torah Law because they are not food. They are only prohibited by Rabbinic legislation. In spite of this decree of the Sages, it was the norm to eat unfiltered honey. Tosafos (Avoda Zara 69a s.v. Hahu) discusses this and refers to bees’ legs in the honey. Rabbeinu Tam explains that since the bees' legs are "mere bones," they are permitted. Rosh (Avoda Zara 5:11) explains that the bee's legs are "mere dust". Thus, Tosafos and the Rosh consider that there is not even a Rabbinic prohibition against ingesting non foods derived from non-Kosher beasts, at least when they are a component within a food. Neither are they concerned about the ease with which honey might be warmed and filtered.
Rabbi Yechezkel Abramsky (introduction to the fourth volume of Rabbi Eliezer Waldenburg's, Tzitz Eliezer) and Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski (Achiezer III:33:5) explain that this ruling is entirely compliant with the RaMBaM’s ruling that bones are Rabbinically prohibited. Soft bones were banned by the Sages but dried hard bones are "mere dust" and permitted even by the Sages.
However, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:27-end) and Rabbi Aharon Kotler (Mishnas Rabbi Aharon 1:16-17) argue that the Rambam's prohibition applies even to dried hard bones.
Non-K Foods Can be Rendered Kosher
Secondly, even proper foods can be rendered inedible and non foods. This is seen in the Poskim’s discussion regarding the Kashrus of musk. Musk is the substance produced by a gland of the male musk deer. The gland’s location, situated between its stomach and genitals determined its name which originates from Sanskrit muṣká meaning "testicle”. [It is one of the most expensive animal products in the world.] The "musk pod" which contains a reddish-brown paste, is removed and dried. A single dry grain of musk will distinctly scent millions of cubic feet of air without any appreciable loss of weight.
The Rosh (Berachot 6:38) writes, "Rabbi Zerachia Halevi (the BaAl HaMaOr) forbade eating musk since it seems to be derived from the blood of the deer. However, Rabbeinu Yonah explained that it should be permitted because even though it seems to be derived from blood, we need concern ourselves only with its present status." And this is the accepted position notwithstanding the Rosh expressing some reservations about R’ Yona’s approach. See Taz, O”Chaim 216:2; M”Avraham 216:3 and Ch”Sofer; Har Zvi, Y”D 102; and Mishkenos Yaakov, Y”D 34. Yechaveh Daat 2:62.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef adds this as an argument to permit for Passover use, citric acid derived from Chomets. However, he urges us to be strict since we tend to be exceptionally stringent in Passover laws (Chumrah D'Chomets).
Once Gone, Gone Forever
The Gemara [Pesachim 2la, and 45b, and Avoda Zara 67b-68a] rules that non-Kosher foods will lose their non-Kosher status if they become inedible. The Ritva (Avoda Zara 39a, s.v. Hosom) understands this to be true even if it is only temporarily inedible through desiccation and can easily be re-hydrated. Furthermore he understands this true even where it has actually been rehydrated.
Accordingly, the Rema (Yoreh Deah 87:10) rules that "the stomach [of a non-Kosher beast] that is salted and thoroughly dried may be filled with milk [to make Kosher cheese] since it has dried; it 'mere wood' and no longer meat." This is particularly interesting for many reasons: a) the flesh of the stomach is rehydrated; b) the stomach provides a critical ingredient c) which makes a profound impact upon the final product and d) it is deliberately added.
The Shach (Yoreh Deah 114:21) thus rules that saffron (Karkom) is Kosher despite the fact that non-Kosher dried-out meat is used to manufacture the product. Since "it is as dry as wood we need not be concerned, as the Rema explained in Yoreh Deah 87:10."
The Shach also indicates that in spite of its being re-hydrated, the food does not regain its non-Kosher status. The Noda BeYehuda, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau (Y”Deah 26) rules that a drink which is processed with Isinglass [the swim bladder – and this is still in use in today’s manufacturing processes] from non-Kosher fish is Kosher. Again, the non-Kosher product is added as a thoroughly dehydrated non-edible ingredient and is therefore Kosher even though it becomes re-hydrated. Pischey Teshuva (Yoreh Deah 87:20) also concurs as does the Aruch Hashulchan (87:43).
The AchiEzer, Reb Chaim Ozer Grodzenski, brings a very beautiful and elegant proof. The eggs laid by a chicken that is a Tereifa are also Tereifa. Nevertheless, if such an egg hatches and produces a live bird, it is Kosher. We must accept that a non Kosher entity can produce a Kosher new entity. It must be seen as a new thing which has no connection to its earlier existence.
On the other hand, many prominent authorities rule that "dry as wood" non-Kosher products that become re-hydrated regain their former non-kosher status. Pri Megadim (YD 87, 33, and 103) and Teshuvos Chasam Sofer (YD 81)