Vitamins & Medications
During the Year and During Pesah
- I would like to know if vitamins that don’t have a Hekhsher are kosher?
- Also on one post you said “All forms of gelatin are mutar because it is a tasteless.” What if it does have a taste and is a chewable vitamin or something like that?
- It also says it contains traces of milk protein. Is this a problem?
- Also what would be the status of tasteless vitamins/herbals and the above vitamins (if allowed to begin with), for Pesah? Can we take them, just put them away for the time being, or not have them at all (especially the chewable vitamin)?
- The Tora forbids us to eat certain types of food in their normal state. This does not include ingesting substances from which we derive no pleasure whatever; this is not considered eating. Gelatin is a tasteless substance and is not considered a food. It is therefore mutar (permissible) – see Rambam’s MT Y’sodhe HaTora 5:11(5:8 in some editions). Therefore vitamins or medications that are tasteless, or have an unpleasant taste, are permissible even if they contain forbidden substances. An Hekhsher is unnecessary.
- Chewable vitamins or medications that contain forbidden substances and have a pleasant flavour are asur (forbidden). In certain exceptional circumstances which cannot be detailed here these too might be permitted on a case by case basis.
- Vitamins or medications that contain milk protein are mutar. Even according to the common practice of not eating milk products after meat products (a practice not mandated by the Talmud), vitamins or medications that contain milk protein or milk by-products may be ingested after eating meat products as long as they are tasteless or have an unpleasant taste.
- Vitamins or medications that are tasteless, or have an unpleasant taste, are permissible during Pesah even if they contain hamess – see Rambam’s MT Y’sodhe HaTora 5:11. Such vitamins or medications may remain in one’s possession during Pesah – see Rambam’s MT Hamess uMassa 4:8 and 4:12.
- Chewable vitamins or medications that contain hamess and have a pleasant flavour may not be used during Pesah – see Rambam’s MT Y’sodhe HaTora 5:11. Nor may they remain in one’s possession – see Rambam’s MT Hamess uMassa 4:8 and 4:12.
Rabbi David Bar-Hayim