Kosher LePesach Eggs

Some are concerned that the ink stamps, when boiled, will permeate the pot, and the allegedly chametz part of the ink will make the food Chametz.

Is this a scam?

The international beis din lohoroh notes:

The Shulchan Aruch (442:10) writes that there is no problem in using ink made from chametz, and the Mishnah Berurah (44) explains that the ink is inedible and that there is therefore no problem in using it.

The Mishnah Berurah writes that one must not intentionally eat the ink, but eggs that are stamped will not be considered “intentionally eating ink” even if they are cooked with the ink (see also Shulchan Aruch HaRav 442:34).

The London Beth Din notes:

The ink used to print on eggs is made from two components, a colouring agent and the solvent. The colouring agent is purely synthetic and does not present a problem for Passover.

The solvents most commonly employed are isopropanol, ethanol or a combination of both. The solvent is of such nature, that within a fraction of a second after applying the stamp, it completely evaporates. A moist stamp would lead to unwanted smudges.
It is therefore very safe to assume, that not a trace of solvent remains within a short time of application to the egg. To sum up:
It is not certain if ethanol is used in stamping eggs. Even if ethanol is used, it is not certain that it is wheat derived.
Even if wheat derived ethanol was used, none of it remains after the ink has dried and it no longer constitutes part of the ink.

The OU have paskened:

Q. Is there a problem to use eggs that have a stamp on them on Pesach?

A. One can use eggs with a stamp on them on Pesach without concern.

And yet, we hear about people looking for unstamped eggs, or in Israel, eggs made with KLP ink and a Mashgiach watching each stamp occur, thereby raising the price. Why? Is this an example of a Shtus Chumra?

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia although my views have naught​ to do with my employer. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

36 thoughts on “Kosher LePesach Eggs”

    1. Apart from the fact that it doesn’t surpass the North Korean leader, who is a lunatic without a Shulchan Aruch of any variety, the question is a serious one because I know many people seek these unstamped eggs, and within the domain of discourse, known as Halacha, it is valid to question whether it has any basis. There isn’t a need to discredit the halachic process, but there is a need to ask why it may appear to being abused.

      Like

  1. Ink free eggs are no shtus chumra. This is now mainstream, and one should ideally source ink free stamped beitzim. The biggest shtus chumra are kosher l’Pesach rubber bands that are available in parts of Boro Park & Williamsburg. Not to mention kosher l’Pesach vinyl & tile floor cleaner!!

    Like

  2. Keep in mind that if one boils beitzim the alcohol contained in the ink stamp will actually permeate the shell and enter the yolk thus rendering the Beitzah Chometz Gomur!

    Like

      1. Mark,

        Thanks for your comments, however, this is definitely a case of Efshar Livroorey. It’s not one of those issues where there might be a chashash that you can’t test and are therefore machmir because you can’t predict the metzius.

        Find an ink, with a strong wheat based alcohol component, boil an egg, and see if chemically there is any trace of alcohol in the soft boiled or hard boiled version. Do the same with an unstamped egg
        and compare.
        Quite apart from that, I’ve noted three halachic sources that disagree with this chumra lechatchila.
        I admit I haven’t seen any recent Tshuvos of those who assur (I assume they have looked at today’s inks). I would however be very interested to look into this if you know of any pointers. Thanks in advance.

        We need more than “Chodosh Assur Min HaTorah” to cause people to pay more for eggs on Pesach.

        Like

  3. This is not a “shtus chumrah”; there is a real cheshash, however tiny, so why would the AriZal’s directive that the more chumros the better not apply? You’ve cited three modern authorities who rule that one needn’t be machmir. That’s all very well, but it does not at all follow that one shouldn’t be machmir, let alone that there’s nothing to be machmir about.

    The self-named “nternational beis din lohoroh” says that “eggs that are stamped will not be considered “intentionally eating ink” even if they are cooked with the ink”. They don’t cite any source, it’s just a judgement they made, and others judgement may be different. Their citation to the SA Harav seems odd. There’s certainly a fundamental difference between writing with ink, without not worrying about the off chance that one will put the pen in ones mouth, and deliberately eating an egg that one knows to have been cooked with the ink.

    The LBD instead deals with the metzius. They say that there is no chametz left in the ink, so there’s nothing to be machmir about. That may be so, but maybe not. Perhaps there’s an ink with a chametz-based dye. If it’s legitimate to be machmir about sugar, based on old cheshashos, then it’s legitimate to be machmir about ink too.

    (BTW, sugar is something whose metzius and halacha have changed from extreme to extreme. Until the late 19th century it was justly treated as almost vadai chametz! The Maharil had sugar that he personally brought from Candia (now known as Crete), and he only allowed it on Acharon Shel Pesach. Any idea when he visited Candia, and why? Did he ever visit EY, and stop there on the way? Or does it mean that he had it sent to him?)

    Like

    1. We have a tradition to be Machmir on Pesach when there is a chashash. If you take that to the extreme then you have Minhag Chabad on Pesach, although they curiously use manufactured wine.

      Like

  4. Kosher L’Pesach Beitzim is a settled issue, It is a FACT that the ink stamps sprayed on the shells contain “alcohol” with wheat/oat based derivatives. Hence the presence of CHOMETZ! Putting Halacha aside just for a moment please note that any food technologist or food chemist even in a first year university science course will tell you that the ink/alcohol will permeate the shell and go straight into the yolk, C”V. There is a factory in Israel that manufactures kosher l”pesach ink that can be sprayed on eggs under the supervision of the Badatz Eida Chareidit, one who is medakdek would only consume pesachdike beitzim.

    Like

    1. Really … so it’s clear to you that there is clear alcohol that is being eaten by everyone who cooks eggs with a stamp!

      You must realise that’s dead wrong!

      Like

  5. The stamp impressed on beitzim contains a synthetic dye and an “alcoholic” additive to enhance the stamps fluidity and ease of application onto the shell. A Baal HaNefesh will avoid such beitzim which has chometz pasted right on the shell with a reasonable possibility and or likelihod that the chometz can enter the egg through tiny holes in the shell. Not only should one be meticulous in sourcing kosher l’pesach beitzim but the eggs need to be washed and scrubbed again at home to remove any accidental chometz still clinging to the shell. I’m sorry to hear you are under a misapprehension about kosher l’pesach beitzim. Please view Shulchan Aruch/MB Siman Chof Mem Bais Seif Yud. There is an old saying that one should not eat anything their grandparents would not have recognised back in the alteh heim. I can assure you that the holy community of Maków Mazowiecki would not have consumed dubious beitzim with alcoholic stamps! May the knowledge of these tainted alcoholic beitzim spread throughout klal yisroel and keep our Chag HaMatzos chometz free.

    Like

    1. There is a fundamental difference between something which you are Machmir on because it was a Minhag not to eat it. For example, brisker don’t have sugar because Reb Velvel once found a problem in a batch of sugar. Similarly, Chabad have such an instance and boil their sugar beforehand. Follow it on Pesach because on Pesach we are Machmir to follow Minhag Avoseynu. Ditto with carrots and Belzer (I think).

      This, however, is another category. Firstly our eggs come clean … at least the ones we buy here are very clean. Secondly you don’t actually have a clue about the ink that they use let alone have you convinced me or the 3 opinions I cited that it is a davar pashut that edible alcohol ends up inside a cooked egg. Unlike the previous examples, this category is open to empirical observation and analysis. Some are reluctant to undertake such analysis. They won’t eat smoked salmon either because it wasn’t eaten in Poland. Others will look at it Kmos Shehu. So, even the Star K for example which permits quinoa will only permit it if it is supervised. That way, they dismiss the argument that it might be processed near grain and grain tools. There was a similar hullabaloo about Mushrooms. The definition of a Baal Nefesh is not someone who fails to swim out to save a woman who appears to be in trouble in the water. That is the Chosid Shoteh. A Baal Nefesh can also be someone who eats something knowing full well there is no edible alcohol in a cooked egg. Using your logic, the only Baal Nefesh is the one who eats Matza out of a paper bag ala Chabad. But a Baal Nefesh is also someone who knows there is NO chimutz without this. You want to keep a Minhag fine but don’t pretend that its Chometz for the oilom.

      I don’t eat fresh garlic because that’s what my father’s mother did, but is never say that someone who buys supervised garlic powder or indeed makes their own garlic powder is not a Baal Nefesh.

      Do you think for one nanosecond that both Rav Belsky and Rav Schachter are not Baalei Nefesh!!! Hayitochen?

      The Eda does NOT define what a Baal Nefesh is.

      If you want to use eggs with special ink by all means, but I have brought support that this is entirely unnecessary.

      By the way, I’m also Machmir to only eat Machine Shmura … Kashrus concerns come first … not some argument as to whether a person has to sweat while baking as opposed to pushing a button and saying LeShem Matzos Mitzvah. Would you also say that the Prushim who insist on machine Shmura are ALSO not Baalei Nefesh.

      Like

  6. I’m not addressing shtus-minhagim, Belzers not eating a gezer on Pesach is an example of a shtus-minhag par excellence. There is a museg of minhag mevatel halocho but im not getting in to that now. It is clear to even a koton that alcoholic inked stamps on beitzim are chometz, this is not some quaint minhag based on some kanoim from New Square rather this is genuine mainstream halocho that applies to all Klal Yisroel. I am surprised that you do not recognise the importance of having kosher l’pesach beitzim, if you want to brecht a din and be uber meikl then gezunterheit but please do not attempt to convince us that regular commercial beitzim are suitable for the Gehoybenkeit of Zman Haroseinu.I urge you to speak to competent talmidei chochamim such as Rav M. Donnebaum who you mentioned recently in an earlier posting, he will be sure to clarify the issue for you. The Rav at Heichal HaTorah can also help provide you with the definition of what is an emmesdiker Baal HaNefesh as opposed to a chusdid shoiteh. And please don’t presume that our beitzim in Australia are “clean” have you recently visited an egg processing facility, I have, you may be shocked at what you will see, let alone the appalling conditions of poultry farms more commonly known as industrialized battery farms where the birds are exposed to artificial fluro light to trick them into producing excess beitzim, may we all be protected from this Almah D’Shikra speedily. I think its time for you to spend more time in Bnei Brak where you can acquire a better appreciation of Halocho. And which Prushim are you referring too, it certainly couldnt be to the faction associated with the Nutrei Karta? Also please provide documented evidence that Rav Belsky would eat a chometzdike beitza! C”V.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the advice regarding who I should see in respect of what the definition of a Baal Nefesh is. It isn’t just Rav Donenbaum!

      Furthermore I open egg cartons all the time. Are you from Melbourne? What’s your real name? Do you actually sell such eggs per chance?

      What do the fluoro lights have to do with anything.

      You probably aren’t aware that if Rav Belsky or Rav Schachter disagree on anything that the OU goes for the more stringent opinion. Did you know that?

      You very conveniently left Rav Schachter off as a Baal Nefesh. He has almost 4000 shiurim online and can eat the set of long beards on the Aguda podium for the Daf HaYomi Siyyum for breakfast when it comes to learning, but you seem to gloss over that

      Furthermore, and I repeat, there is NO edible alcohol inside an egg as a result of the stamping.

      And PS if you want to know who the Prushim were and are, they were in Yerusholayim and included the Gedolay Olom. Read up about it. Heaven forbid, but I’ve got to break the news to you that they preferred machines!

      Like

  7. There is an old saying that apples to you.

    When one does Bedikas Chometz and finds no broyt then he burns the plate. That’s what you are doing you are breaking plates instead of focusing on the Ikar of chometz. Instead of discrediting seemingly convoluted Halocho you should be extolling its practices, irrespective as to whether they conform to your Melbournized experience or not. And by the way having “4000” shiurim on line is no indication of someones knowledge of Halocho.

    And if the Prushim want to eat machine made matzahs then est gezunterhait, however the majority realise that hand baked matzahs are the only suitable style for the seder table, its like saying that machine made Tefillin Battim and Retzuos are kosher! C”V.

    Please consider spending some time in Beis Shemesh, you need to get that melbourness out of your system.

    Like

    1. Beit Shemesh … Oy Vey

      Go and listen to the 4000 shiurim then talk

      You don’t even KNOW who the Prushim I’m talking about are do you?

      You might even suffer a Bet Shemesh shock

      There is NOTHING convoluted by inedible questionable ink containing possible alcohol.

      PS I hope you don’t drink ‘after shave’ as well … not even the cheapest drunk would do that, maybe the dogs in Beit Shemesh do?

      Like

  8. Thanks, you may even have a future with stand up comedy, al kol ponim, please don’t give up your day job though. If you cant handle the frumkeit of Beis Shemesh, maybe you should just retire to San Francisco, the locale there may appeal to your overly liberalised temperament.

    I know all about the Prushim, just another group also pretending to be authentic Chassidim, who cares how long they have been in Ir Dovid for, they are Nutrei Karta, and we know your view of the NK or do we?

    Like

    1. Ha ha. You still don’t know. Look up the Deyos and see who these Prushim were

      By the way, if you are one of those who chas v’shalom condone the violent ones in Beit Shemesh, then we are done discussing.

      I know a specialist there, a female, whose car was smashed to Ribbons because she ‘dared’ have an Israeli Flag in her backseat. She stormed to the Rov who begged her to continue treating the sick. Parts of it are sick sick sick … another friend who is also a specialist had his daughter and her friend told to get off the streets because they were talking together.

      I hope you aren’t in these locales nor condone them

      Like

  9. What takes place in New Square is worse than Beis Shemesh. No rational person would ever condone the violence that takes place in the name of someones Rebbe.

    Do you mean the Prushim of the Edah, however if you know something else then I request that you do a posting on your blog to enlighten those amongst us who don’t know the story of the Prushim. I’m sure it would be an interesting read, remember to start from the very beginning.

    Like

  10. There’s an easy way to check the metzius of this. The eggs are dry, so the alcohol must have either evaporated or permeated the egg. If it has evaporated then there’s no problem. So has it permeated the egg? Well, there’s an easy way to tell: crack an egg and see if the ink has permeated the shell. You see, if the alcohol has soaked into the egg it would necessarily carry at least some of the ink with it. If the ink is only superficial then it demonstrates that the alcohol was also only superficial, and has all evaporated.

    This is. of course, assuming that the alcohol was chometz, that the ink was roi l’achilas kelev, and that this minute amount of ink wasn’t botul.

    Like

  11. Strewth!!! And I thought eggs were kitniyos ;^>

    Make sure to buy all your eggs prior to Pesach.

    BTW what do you suppose the hens were eating prior to laying these ‘troublesome’ objects of interest here?

    Are eggs still stamped? Surely they are sorted at source just after collection and don’t have to have additional sorting and classification.

    Like

      1. It’s a furphy, obviously. But you know what they say about ‘a little knowledge…’

        However, buying one’s fresh produce B4 Pesach is a definite work around and 2B recommended as one can rely, lechatchila, on bitul.

        Like

          1. I know some people only buy eggs before Pesach, and they wash them to remove any attached dirt (which seems much less common than it used to be). That seems reasonable to me: chometz in the dirt may be botul, but it doesn’t feel right to place it in Pesachdik keilim. I don’t know what they would do if they had to buy eggs on Pesach.

            Like

            1. If LBD say the ink’s not an issue, why were LBD approved eggs being sold in London before Pesach? (Heard from a Londoner)

              Like

  12. No airline would allow a passenger to sit wrapped up in an industrial sized plastic bag, this is against aviation safety guidelines for passengers because if the plane lost altitude or cabin pressure then someone “wrapped” in plastic would not be able to apply the oxygen mask. This photo is a FAKE!!!

    Like

    1. As I said, it is an ‘Eytze’ discussed as a solution …. On Pesach though you have to be careful that the bag hasn’t got any ink logo as you might ingest the ink particles

      Like

  13. know that we used to buy sugar with an ink stamp from the Beth Din which said it was kosher lepesach. Now we all knew that the Beth Din didn’t have anything to do with the sugar, that they lacked the time and resources to travel to Queensland and in any case what would they have done when they got there. But we bought it anyway and were reluctant to buy “regular” sugar made by the same manufacturer without the stamp. So note this: ink can actually make things *less* chometzdik!

    This is out of the area of my expertise, but perhaps the learned owner of this site would know, being a cohen: is ink like the ashes of the poroh adumoh, and it removes sfekos for things which have a sofek, but introduces them to things which are absolutely kosher?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s