How the Poskim Have Ruled

What follows is a list of the Poskim and Seforim of which I am aware that have permitted, or who were understood to have permitted, bovine-sourced gelatin. It may not even be a complete list. Some of them only discussed bovine gelatin while others also discussed porcine gelatin. I believe it is fair to assume that any authority who came to the conclusion that porcine gelatin is permitted would likewise rule bovine gelatin is permitted. Many of these authorities made the point explicitly that non-edible parts of neveilla, like bones or hides, are permitted, and that therefore the gelatin produced from them is also permitted. Some didn’t deal with the Halachic status of non-edibles because they based their permissive rulings on concepts that would permit even actual issur, like pigskins. It should also be mentioned that gelatin produced from non-shechted bovine bones was permitted and certified by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate for many decades based on the rulings of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzienski, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, and Rav Ovadya Yosef.

  1. Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman, Melamed L’Hoil, Y.D., #24 and #35 (By Inference: Rabbi Hoffman was dealing with gelatin produced from bones that still had meat mixed with them. He only allowed it for cholim. But in teshuva #24 he wrote that neveilla bones are “not assur” and in teshuva #35 he wrote that neveilla bones are “not food at all.” The implication is that if the gelatin was produced with no traces of meat or marrow he would have permitted it unreservedly).

  2. Rabbi Mordechai Leib Winkler, Levushay Mordechai, Yoreh Deah Tineyna, # 60

  3. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Tzierlson, Lev Yehuda #39 (see also Atzay HaLevanon, Yoreh Deah, #43- 45)

  4. Rabbi Ze’ev Bidnovitz, Divrei Ze’ev, vol. 18. #12

  5. Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, mentioned in HaPardes, August, 1942

  6. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart, mentioned in HaPardes, Aug. 1942, p. 19; (see also Chavalim Baneimim, vol. 4. #23)

  7. Rabbi Shmuel Pardes, Avnei Shmuel, Berurei Halacha, #19

  8. Rabbi Yosef Konvitz, Divrei Yosef, vol. 1, p. 172-174

  9. Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzienski, Achiezer, vol. 3, #33, sec. 5; see also Avnei Shmuel, p. 10-11

  10. Rabbi Simcha Zelig Reuger (Dayan of Brisk), printed in Kovetz Moriah, issue 400-402, p. 76- 77

  11. Rabbi Yitzchak Burstein, Mataamei Yitzchak, vol. 2, chap. 24-25

  12. Rabbi Shlomo Nosson Kotler, mentioned in HaPardes, August, 1942

  13. Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, HaPardes, July 1952; Edus L’Yisrael, p. 177

  14. Rabbi Yehuda Leib Seltzer, HaPardes, July 1952; Vezos L’Yehuda, O.C. #26

  15. Rabbi Simcha Elberg, HaPardes, July 1952; HaPardes, October 1952

  16. Rabbi Nissen Telushkin (prominent Posek of Chabad Chassidus), Taharas HaMayim, vol. 1, chap. 54

  17. Rabbi Nachum Weidenfeld, Chazon Nachum, #61

  18. Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem), Har Tzvi, Y.D., #83

  19. Rabbi Yechezkel Abramsky, int. to Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 4; Chazon Yechezkel, Zevachim, Sh“ut #6

  20. Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg, introduction to Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 4; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 20, #33

  21. Rabbi Moshe Nosson Nota Lemberger, Ateres Moshe, vol. 1, Y.D., # 42-43

  22. Rabbi Yitzchak Glickman, Kol Torah, Shana 13, Choveret 9; see also R’Sisay Torah, Siman 22

  23. Rabbi Dovid Telsner, unpublished teshuva permitting Jello

  24. Rabbi Yehuda Gershuni and...

  25. Rabbi Yechiel Meir Goldsmith in their joint pamphlet explaining their endorsement of gelatin.

  26. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Kovetz Teshuvos, #73, sec. 3 (Rav Elyashiv accepted the Halachic position of Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzienski and Rav Yechezkel Abramsky. He merely cautioned that one must be certain that if gelatin is made from “fresh meat” [a possible reference to pigskins?] that it has no flavor of Issur).

  27. Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, Yabia Omer, vol. 8, Y.D., #11

  28. Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Shema Shlomo, vol. 5, Y.D., #12

  29. Rabbi Yisroel Yaakov Fisher, Even Yisroel, vol. 8, #56

  30. Rabbi Yirmiyahu Menachem Kohen, V’Heirim HaKohen, vol. 2, Y.D., #31; vol. 4, Y.D., #40

  31. Rabbi Moshe Levi, Tefilla L’Moshe, Chelek 3 Y.D., #4

  32. Rabbi Almog Levi, Avnay Levi, Y.D., #1

  33. Rabbi Yitzchak Mekayis and...

  34. Rabbi Yaakov Mekayis, Ohr HaHalacha, Kuntres #3

  35. Rabbi Amit Chadad, Pri Eitz Chaim, p.529

  36. Rabbi Benayahu Dayan, Divrei Benayahu, Chelek 15, Siman 17

  37. Rabbi Yehuda Naki, Me’ayn Omer, Chelek 4, Siman 8

  38. Rabbi Barak Cohen, Divrei Barak, Yoreh Deah, Siman 1

  39. Rabbi Noam Becher, Shoel U’Meishiv (Kovetz), Chelek 8, Siman 10

  40. Rabbi Yitzchak Kaufman, Yevakesh Torah, Basar B’Chalav,Taaruvos, Hagalos Keilim, Siman 2

  41. Rabbi Yaakov Epstein, Emunas Itecha, vol. 54, Sivan-Tammuz, 5763

  42. Rabbi Mishael Asraf, Tiferes HaTorah, page 328

  43. Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, B’Ohela Shel Torah, vol. 5, p.76-77

  44. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, Peninei Halacha, Likutim #3, p.352-353

  45. Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi, on the website

  46. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, hamburger.html

  47. Rabbi Menachem Kasher. I am unaware if he wrote anything specifically about gelatin, but from his comments in Torah Sheleima, vol. 17 (Mishpatim Aleph) Miluim #17, especially in the concluding paragraph, it certainly seems he was among those who permitted it. The entire section is devoted to demonstrating that bones (and other non-edibles) of Issur are not part of the Issur at all. In the last paragraph he approvingly referenced HaPardes, July 1952, which was totally devoted to the issue of gelatin, and in which Rabbi Yehuda Leib Seltzer, Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu Henkin and Rabbi Simcha Elberg all wrote teshuvos confirming the kashrus of bovine-sourced gelatin.

  48. And, I must add my own grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Dan Sheinkopf, a Vice President of the Agudas HaRabbonim, who certified KoJel into the 1980’s.

  49. There are 3 additional authorities who were under the impression that industrial-level gelatin is produced with meat or marrow still attached to the bones or hides. It is only for this reason that they ruled strictly. These authorities are:

  50. Rabbi Koppel Kahana, Teshuva B’Inyan Gelatin, 1966

  51. Rabbi Ben Tzion Abba Shaul, Ohr L’Tzion, vol. 5, #32, sec. 6

  52. Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Emek HaTeshuva, vol. 3, #67

But the fact is that the companies that produce industrial-level gelatin go to great lengths to ensure there are no traces of meat or marrow that remain with the raw materials prior to production. (See “Treatment of Raw Materials.”) The finished product they desire can’t be produced when the collagen proteins from bones or hides are contaminated with foreign substances. If these Rabbis had been informed of the actual details of the manufacturing guidelines they would have reached a different conclusion.