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Orthodox Jewish rabbi rules marijuana not kosher unless used as medicine

  1. Rob Cypher
    An Israeli orthodox Jewish rabbi has ruled that marijuana is not allowed to be consumed by kosher consumers unless of course it is for medical purposes, according to a statement released by the rabbi.

    Rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich, who is an Orthodox rabbi of the Israeli city of Mazkeret Batia, said last week that the distribution and smoking of marijuana is kosher, provided it is for medical purposes.

    Recreational use is another issue, according to Zalmanovich.

    "The use of the drug to escape this world is definitely forbidden," Zalmanovich said.

    The rabbi's comments are the first by a Jewish religious leader about the substance.

    The ruling of Zalmanovich closely follows a ruling by Rabbi Hagai Bar Giora, who is the head of kitchens, bakeries and factories catering events in the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Rabbi Hagai Bar Giora told Israel Cannabis Magazine in March: "If you smoke it for medical purposes, there is no problem at all."

    Although marijuana is currently illegal under Israeli law, the country's health ministry has issued medical marijuana permits for some patients. Officials said that the number of people who received permits for cannabis reached about 11,000 this year. Government officials said that they plan to tighten the application process. The pro-marijuana activists are pushing for greater acceptance of the drug.

    David Ross
    Your Jewish News
    June 2013



  1. seaturtle
    Since when can you declare a plant non-kosher, that's not how it works! Below are the basic Kosher laws from http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm

    1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
    2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
    3. All blood must be drained from meat and poultry or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
    4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
    5. Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for bugs (which cannot be eaten)
    6. Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
    7. Utensils (including pots and pans and other cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
    8. Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
    9. There are a few other rules that are not universal.
    Rule #5 (bolded) is the only one possibly pertaining to Marijuana... so as long as you make sure your weed doesn't get bug infested it's Kosher.

    From another source http://www.koshercertification.org.uk/whatdoe.html

    "All products that grow in the soil or on plants, bushes, or trees are kosher. However, all insects and animals that have many legs or very short legs are not kosher. Consequently, vegetables, fruits and other products infested with such insects must be checked and the insects removed."

    And for what it's worth I'm Jewish, which is why I feel compelled to set the record straight on this.
  2. Docta
    Counter Point:

    Rabbi Zalmanovich is an academic in the strictest terms of Torah Judaism so I'm not certain the context of the English translation is in relation to Kashrut Jewish Dietary Laws.

    *I'm of the impression that the context here is the Ancient Hebrew Kosher meaning to be proper or suitable for compliance to Halakha religious laws.

    **The Modern Hebrew use of the word Kosher generally refers to Kashrut so there can easily be confusion in translation of religious edicts done by gentiles.


    * A Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament ,..Palmer Theological Seminary

    ** Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws ,..Rich Tracy.
  3. headfull0fstars
    I'm of jewish heritage, but I'm not a very good jew. I made a total idiot of myself in a conversation about manna- which I knew only as the power supply for mages in world of warcraft. Then I got a lesson about manna sent from god to sustain my ancestors in the desert and a lecture about the importance of knowing the history of my people.

    So I'm not claiming to be an expert on the topic. I know non jewish made grape products aren't kosher, but there is kosher wine right? If alcohol is considered kosher then it seems a bit contradictory that the Rabbi said "The use of the drug to escape this world is definitely forbidden", since alcohol is definitely a drug used by many to escape the world.
  4. MikePatton
    Yeah... And it's completely Kosher to knock your head out with wine, it's even reccommended, that's some perfect logic right here. This jewboy says: I don't give a shit, leave my weed alone you pushers of religion.
  5. headfull0fstars
    If 'escaping this world' using alcohol is fine and all plants are fine, then it would follow that the poppy plant and the coca plant are kosher as well. Grapes must undergo a chemical progress to become wine, just as latex of the poppy or coca leaves must to become heroin and cocaine. So does that mean that heroin and cocaine are kosher as well? If not then certainly chewing coca leaves and eating raw poppy latex or brewing a tea from the pods must be since those things are plants that grew straight from nature.

    It's interesting to think about things like that.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
  6. Beenthere2Hippie
    That's a very interesting point, Stars. I truly wonder what a rabbinical student would say about it. Hmmm...I really do wonder!

    But my Yiddisha parents would have never allowed any of it in the house, no matter HOW Kosher dict it was!:D--medical reasons or not!

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