Re: Are humans kosher?

LAUER Gary (GLauer@shl.com)
Sat, 11 Jan 1997 23:50:00 -0500

In reply to:
>No, I'm not thinking in terms of orthodox cannibals. But...
>At Chanukah, my mother-in-law and aunt delight in telling everybody how,
>when they were younger, they ground potatoes for latkes with a grater,
>and never went through a batch without bleeding into the batter at least
>once.
>This is a very appealing thing to listen to before a meal, but the point
>is: Would this blood -- or even the possibility of human blood -- render
>the latkes non-kosher?

A very interesting question.
The Encyclopedia Talmudit (Encyclopedia of the Talmud) under its section
on Chalav (Milk) records the permissibility of a person drinking human
milk - you need to read the section in order to understand in what
manner this can and cannot be done. Anyhow, it is kosher. And Parev
(neither meaty nor milky).

Whether or not blood is kosher I would have thought that the latkes were
kosher because of the relevant law of batel be'shishim (neutralised as
less than a sixtieth). I quote from Yechiel Galas, "Insight into
Halachah", about the accidental adding of a treifa ingredient to kosher
food:

"a treifa (non-permissible) ingredient becomes neutralised by the bulk of
the mixture if the bulk is more than 60 times the quantity of the treifa
ingredient. This rule does not apply if the treifa ingredient was
neutralised deliberately. In particular, it does not apply if the
ingredient is a binding agent because it is then too important an item
to become ignored (davar hama'amid eino batel)."

I expect the blood was less than a 60th of the latka, was added
unintentionally, could not be detected in the latka. So I expect it
would be kasher.

Nevertheless, a rabbi should be consulted for a definitve decision.

Gary Lauer