web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Pesach Medication And Alcohol

Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

What is chametz? What are the various categories of chametz? Does the prohibition of chametz on Pesach apply also to non‑food products? Can medication containing chametz be taken on Pesach? Can vitamins produced with no Pesach supervision be used? What about liquid medicine such as cough mixture? Can non- supervised body soap or liquid detergent be used? What about toothpaste? May one use rubbing alcohol? May one eat egg matzah?

There are five types of grain that can become chametz – wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye. They are prohibited on Pesach if they come into contact with water for a prescribed period of time after they have been cut off from the ground. Matzah is made of flour and water mixed together for a period of time not long enough to permit the fermentation process to begin. There are three opinions as to how long it takes for such fermentation to begin. According to the Shulchan Aruch, fermentation sets in after eighteen minutes; according to Rashi, after twenty-two and a half minutes; and according to the Rambam, after twenty-four minutes. All agree however, that if the mixture of flour and water become heated, fermentation may occur sooner, even immediately. Accordingly, in order to avoid fermentation, the matzah-baking process must be rapid.

The prohibition of chametz on Pesach means that chametz may not be eaten or enjoyed, may not be owned or possessed, and must be removed from one’s premises. The biblical prohibition applies to pure chametz, chametz be’ayin, as well as to mixtures that contain pure chametz.

Another type of chametz the rabbis forbid one to eat or possess on Pesach is called chametz nuksheh. Chametz nuksheh includes spoiled or decomposed chametz that can only be eaten with difficulty and is normally not eaten at all. An example would be bookbinder’s paste made of flour and water. Chametz nuksheh also includes mixtures of five grains and moisture where the fermentation process began but was not completed. An example of this type of chametz nuksheh is flour mixed with fruit juice and water, because it will never completely ferment. Included also in the category of chametz nuksheh is egg matzah. That is why the Rema prohibits, except in extenuating circumstances such as sickness or old age, the consumption of egg matzah on Pesach because it is baked from dough made from flour, fruit juice and water.

There is yet another type of chametz to which the chametz prohibition does not apply – namely, chametz that was unsuitable for human consumption before Pesach. Examples would include chametz that was so burned or became so moldy before Pesach that even a dog would not eat it, nifsal me’achilat kelev.

May a person who wants to eat chametz that everybody else finds inedible do so? According to the Rosh he may not, because by eating it he demonstrates “achshevei” – that it is indeed edible and therefore it is prohibited chametz.

According to many poskim, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one may take medicine on Pesach to alleviate pain suffered by the whole body even if it contains chametz because it is nifsal me’achilat kelev. The principle of acheshevei does not apply here because a person takes medicine not for food but for relief. Coated tablets need to be analyzed before they can be taken. If the coating is made of legumes, kitnyot, as is often the case with dextrose and certain types of starch, they may be used.

Many poskim permit the sick to take medication in gelatin capsules. For the same reason, unsweetened vitamin tablets can be eaten without having been supervised for Pesach. Liquid medicine, such as cough medicine, is more problematic because many contain grain alcohol that is pure chametz. Isopropyl alcohol, such as rubbing alcohol, may be used on Pesach because it is derived from petroleum rather than grain. Ethyl alcohol is more problematic because it is derived from the fermentation of starch and carbohydrates and may be made from the five grains.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Pesach Medication And Alcohol”

  1. Jean Perles says:

    JUDEE,SAMARIA,
    PART INDIVISIBLE OF ISRAEL
    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PALESTINIAN PEOPLE! THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS TO THE HOMELAND OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE »
    JERUSALEM, CAPITAL INDIVISIBLE DE L’ETAT JUIF

  2. Jean Perles says:

    JUDEE,SAMARIA,
    PART INDIVISIBLE OF ISRAEL
    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PALESTINIAN PEOPLE! THEY HAVE NO RIGHTS TO THE HOMELAND OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE »
    JERUSALEM, CAPITAL INDIVISIBLE DE L’ETAT JUIF

  3. Dan Silagi says:

    It's truly a miracle that these rabbis have nothing else to do but invent silly prohibitions.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
J Street U's Facebook post after an Arab terrorist murdered a Jewish American infant and injured several others, seemed to blame the Jews.
J Street U Blames Jews for Terrorist’s Murderous Rampage
Latest Judaism Stories
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

Shem realized that he owed his existence to his father who brought him into the world.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Law-Abiding Citizen
‘That Which Is Crooked Cannot Be Made Straight…’
(Yevamos 22a-b)

Weck-110411-Noah

The flood was not sent to destroy, but to restore the positive potential of the world.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Why is there is no mention of dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals, in the Torah?

Strict din demands perfection. There is no room for shortcomings and no place for excuses; you are responsible.

Surprisingly, my husband and one son arrived home over half-an-hour earlier than usual. I excitedly shared my perfect-timing story, but my better half one upped me easily.

Noach felt a tug, and then heard a rip. His jacket had been caught on the nail, and the beautiful suit had a tear.

Boundaries must be set in every home. Parents and children are not pals. They are not equals.

Noah and his wife could not fathom living together as husband and wife and continuing the human race

The Babel story is the 2nd in a 4-act drama that’s unmistakably a connecting thread of Bereishit

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

A humble person who achieves a position of prominence will utilize the standing to benefit others.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The creation of the world is described twice. Each description serves a unique purpose.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

We are told that after returning home from Ne’ilah and breaking our fast, the first activity we should engage in is building a sukkah.

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/pesach-medication-and-alcohol-2/2014/04/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: