[Avodah] OU Mini Seedless Cucumbers

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Aug 25 15:17:33 PDT 2021

On Tue, Aug 24, 2021 at 10:48:55PM -0400, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> The basis is bitul. Look in just about any guide to kashrus on Pesach. They
> all say that if you can't get milk that has a hechsher for Pesach, then any
> store-bought milk is fine as long as it is purchased before Pesach begins.
> It seems to me that if that is the halacha for Pesach, it is certainly okay
> the rest of the year.

>From https://moderntoraleadership.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/products-that-are-kosher-only-without-a-heksher/
"Products that are kosher only without a heksher" by R Aryeh Klapper (2014).

It turns out the bitul only works if there is no hekhasher. The second the
milk has a hekhsher, you canot say the nakhri didn't have Jews in mind, so
it would be attempting bitul lekhat-chilah. So, it's only kosher without
a hekhsher.

I may have mentioned this oddity in previous iterations. This time RAK
helped me find his post. Here's the money quote (about 3/4 of the post):

   Many years ago Garelick Farms decided to market its milk all-natural,
   which meant that it needed a natural source of Vitamin D - and it
   chose shark oil. This had at least two consequences: Hood Dairy began
   running an ad with the tagline "There's something fishy about Garelick
   Farms milk", and the KVH (this was long before I became involved)
   pulled its hashgachah.

   Garelick Farms sued Hood, arguing that the fish was imperceptible,
   and won - the (non-Jewish) judge tasted the milk and agreed there
   was no fish taste. I therefore ruled that the milk was kosher because
   the KVH had pulled its hashgachah.

   The judge's taste test demonstrated that the shark oil was nullified
   (certainly the percentage was below 1/60 anyway), so the only remaining
   issue was deliberate nullification (bittul lekhatchilah), which makes
   a product prohibited to the person or person for whose benefit the
   nullification occurred.

   R. Akiva Eiger (YD 99:5) states that a nullification done with no
   specific end-user in mind, but rather for "whomever will wish to buy",
   is considered to be done for the benefit of all eventual purchasers.
   One understanding of this position is that anything consciously
   produced with observant Jews in mind has that issue, even if the
   observant Jews are a trivial percentage of the intended audience.
   However, by giving up its kosher certification, Garelick Farms
   demonstrated that it did not have any concern for observant Jews,
   and therefore the milk was kosher because it had lost its hekhsher.

   Paradoxically, had the KVH accepted this argument and sought to
   restore the hekhsher, the milk would have become treif. My contrarian
   ambition was to develop a list of products that were kosher only when
   unhekhshered, as many industrial koshering procedures ultimately
   depend on some form of nullification. (Note however that this
   broad interpretation of the prohibition is not obvious either in
   R. Akiva Eiger or in his cited source, Responsa Rivash 498, and is
   not followed consistently in practice today; see for example Igrot
   Moshe YD 1:62-63.)

   I thought this was a compelling but creative psak, and to make sure I
   really believed it, I went out and bought a quart of milk and drank a
   glass before paskening that anyone else could do so. But Dov Weinstein
   shows me that in the current issue of Tradition my teacher Rabbi J.
   David Bleich makes the same argument...

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 I long to accomplish a great and noble task,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   but it is my chief duty to accomplish small
Author: Widen Your Tent      tasks as if they were great and noble.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF                            - Helen Keller

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