Share Your Spirit – Chanukah 5776

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Dear Kosher Spirit,
I just read the Q&A article on “Does beer require a hechsher?” Why is domestic light beer different?

—Seymour W.

Kosher Spirit responds:

Domestic light beers are produced through the use of enzymes. Theoretically if a beer does not have a certification there is a possibility that non-kosher enzymes could have been used to produce the light beer. 

—Ed

Dear Kosher Spirit,
I was reading the article in Kosher Spirit which talks about gelatin. It says that gelatin from a cow is pareve due to the process, so I was wondering why the gelatin of fish should not be eaten with meat, assuming its process is the same as from a cow 

— Yosef J.

Kosher Spirit responds:

Meat and dairy can’t be eaten together for kashrus reasons and therefore if meat is rendered halachically “non-meat” then it can be eaten with dairy, as is the case by rennet. However Shulchan Oruch states that we shouldn’t eat fish and meat together because of health reasons; therefore, even if halachically it could be rendered “non-fish” it is practically still fish and therefore poses a health issue when eaten with meat.

The rule is Chamira Sakanta M’isurra, that we are stricter with hazardous foods than with forbidden foods. If a drop of poison falls into a food mixture we won’t eat it even if the poison is less than a sixtieth of the mixture. Similarly if fish gets mixed with meat, irrespective of the amount of fish that went in the mixture, it can’t be eaten because eating it would pose a health risk.

However the health risk of eating fish and meat together is debated amongst poskim, and although we generally still don’t eat meat and fish together there are poskim that say that we can be lenient with fish gelatin and meat, as you brought up in your question. Since it is a debated topic, I only wrote that one should be aware that marshmallows have fish gelatin, since the topic is an article in itself. I would therefore suggest that one speaks to their personal Rov regarding eating fish gelatin with meat.

—Rabbi Rappaport