Thursday, March 11, 2010

PESACH, non edible Chametz Part 3

25th of Adar, 5770

We’ve explained that non edible Chametz could be used during Pesach. We’ve also explained that what usually defines a product as non edible is its bad flavor. Presence of a good flavor seems to be indicative then, of the edible nature of a product. Oral health and hygiene products belong to a controversial category. From one side, they are not considered “food”, or edible. From the other side, they are introduced in the mouth and have a good flavor...

Many Sephardic rabbis then would authorize any of these products (toothpaste, mouthwash) because they are considered non edible products. Ashkenazi Rabbis and some Sephardic rabbis, on the other hand, will require these products to be Chametz free since they have a distinctive good flavor and are introduced into the mouth.

The following products do not contain any Chametz ingredient.

MOUTHWASH: Scope; Crest whitening rinse; Plax advanced (all varieties); Flurocare Dual Rinse; Tom’s of Maine; Crest Whitening Rinse; Listerine (all flavors).

TOOTHPASTE: All Colgate; All Crest; All Tom’s of Maine; Aquafresh.

Chap stick: Any. Unflavored only. New tube.

Crest white strips do not contain any Chametz ingredient.

Fixodent does not have Chametz ingredient.

All dental floss are acceptable.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PESACH, Buying products before Pesach

24th of Adar, 5770

According to the Ashkenazi custom any food (we are talking today about industrial food products) to be consumed during Pesach has to be prepared or manufactured under special rabbinical supervision for Pesach.
The Sephardic tradition, however, holds that foods which do not contain any Chametz ingredient in their basic composition are permitted during Pesach, provided that they were bought before Pesach begins.
Regarding food additives, if the additive is present in the final product in a proportion smaller than 1.6% of the total product and that food was elaborated before Pesach, that food is permitted during Pesach even if eventually that additive would be considered Chametz (eno choze veneor)
Moreover, any food with no Chametz ingredient in its composition will be allowed, even if it could have been processed in machinery previously used for Chametz, and that eventual "cross contamination" (Noten Taam barNoten taam) with Chametz would not render a food as Chametz if that food was elaborated before Pesach.
That is why all the products that are allowed to use in Pesach without special Hashgacha must be purchased before Pesach.
Some examples: regular tea, pure sugar, regular salt, fresh fish, fresh meat and poultry, fresh milk, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables, 100% pure saffron and many other products, when we know for sure that no Chametz ingredients were used in them.
PS: B'H soon we will publish a list of other products which do not contain Chametz and therefore are permitted even without a special Pesach supervision.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

PESACH and dietary supplements

23rd of Adar, 5770

Dietary supplements include a whole range of products intended to provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids or amino acids, that are missing or are not consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet.

In regards to dietary supplements containing Chametz, they would fall under the category of food -and therefore be forbidden- if they are chewable or drinkable (see yesterday’s Halakha of the Day) and could be used only if they are specifically authorized for Pesach.

Dietary supplement which meant to provide supplement of fiber deserve special attention because they would probably contain chametz gamur, therefore, they cannot be consumed and or even remain in our possession during Pesach.

The following supplement do not contain chametz, and following the Sephardic custom they can be taken during Pesach. (This list is based on information obtained from OU publications, however, if you follow the Ashkenazi custom these products will be approved only for infants and adults who are ill).

The following products are authorized only when they bear the standard OU symbol and they must be purchased before Pesach. .

Ensure [not Ensure Fiber with FOS]
Ensure High Protein
Ensure Glucerna OS
Ensure High Calcium
Jevity [not Jevity 1.2 or Jevity 1.5, which contain oat fiber]
Osmolite (unflavored)
Osmolite HN (unflavored)
Oxepa Polycose
Promote [not Promote with Fiber, which contains oat fiber]
Suplena Two-Cal HN


Monday, March 8, 2010

PESACH, non edible Chaemtz, Part 2

22nd of Adar, 5770

As we've explained in our last Halakha we are allowed to use or keep during Pesach any product which is unfit for consumption – human or animal – even if it may contain Chametz ( I insist in “may” because in today’s industrial world -unlike corn starch or corn derivatives- the usage of wheat or barley derivatives is not very common in this type of products). We can use or keep at home any cosmetics or cleaning products etc. (See: last Halakha of the Day).

Medicinal pills fall under this category of non edible Chametz (nifsal meakhilat keleb) when they are meant to be taken “swallowing” them, instead of “chewing” them, which is the normal way of eating…
Therefore any non chewable pill (which is the same as saying: any pill without flavor) can be taken or kept during Pesach. (Some rabbis would take a stricter stand, even in non chewable pills, if they are taken as dietary supplements or vitamins).

There are some medicines however, which are borderline between edible and not edible: for example, medicinal products which contain flavor. These products are not meant as "food" but they are "consumed" as food (chewing /drinking). For these products, we take a stricter stand: therefore, any chewable or liquid medicine should be checked for Chametz before using it during Pesach. (B'H we will send a list of these products as an attachment later on this week).

Needless to say that in case of a serious medical condition any necessary medicine should be taken