Photo Credit: Ben Zion Levi via Wikimedia; Vaping360 via Flickr
Rabbi Sternbuch and an e-cigarette

Rabbi Moishe Sternbuch, leader and Vice-President of the Rabbinical Court of the Edah HaChareidis in Jerusalem, last week ruled that electronic cigarettes require kosher supervision, Ladaat reported.

In his ruling, Rabbi Sternbuch writes that the electronic cigarette must be under kashrut supervision because the evaporation fluid contains an ingredient that generates a good taste which affects the e-cigarette’s steam and its taste is felt by the pallet. According to Jewish law, the sweat of a substance is tantamount to the substance itself, it means that the vape smoker is actually tasting the substance of the liquid.

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Rabbi Sternbuch’s ruling has been reverberating around Orthodox communities in Israel and abroad, because it radically alters our approach to cigarettes. Regular cigarettes have traditionally been considered only a source of pleasure, and not a substance, and did not require a kashrut certification. The fact that the evaporation fluid contained in the electronic cigarette could pose problems in terms of kashrut, and inhaling the evaporation fluid is defined halachically as “eating” and not as “pleasure,” is sure to alter the lifestyle of many religious smokers.

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