Ethics

For the week ending 10 February 2007 / 22 Shevat 5767

What Blessing Do I Make?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: As a strict observer of kashrut I always look for the rabbinical organization seal of approval on any product I purchase. I sometimes, however, find myself in a dilemma when I read the ingredients and realize that I am not clear as to which blessing I should make. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: It is a fact that with very few exceptions products certified as kosher have no indication on their labeling as to which blessing is to be made upon consuming them. A chassidic leader in Israel conducted a campaign some years ago to compel local companies to include this information on their packaging but did not succeed. There are almost certainly reasons for this, so it will probably be an exercise in futility to pursue the course of customer pressure.

What may be advisable is to contact the heads of the certifying organizations and ask them to provide you with a list of the products under their supervision and the blessing that must be made. If this fails to produce results, you can always consult your local Orthodox rabbi or one of the many books and pamphlets that list a wide variety of foods and the blessings to be made upon them.

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