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A certain Kashrus authority supervises cheese which is both kosher for Pesach and uses “unsupervised milk” (cholov akum).

What level of supervision for cheese is needed to ensure it is kosher for Pesach and why is this not sufficient to render the milk cholov yisroel?

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    I don't understand how it can have a kfP certification. Chalav akum is treif. (Unless you're in America or some such country that Rav Moshe's heter applies to. In that case I think the question should specify that for clarity.) – msh210 May 14 '20 at 9:55
  • One can ask on many products which are considered and labeled kosher for pesach. Tea, sugar and coffee do they go to the plantations. Or fruit drinks made from concentrates. Most are exactly the same as normal with a label attached. – interested May 14 '20 at 13:05
  • @msh210 Rema YD 115 (2) allows cheese made from cholov akum bdieved! – Avrohom Yitzchok May 14 '20 at 15:42
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    @AvrohomYitzchok If your question is specifically according to the combination position of that Rama and R Moshe Feinstein about government supervised milk, you should edit to clarify. – Double AA May 14 '20 at 16:53
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In order to be kosher for Passover, a product must be prepared with ingredients that are kosher for Passover, on equipment that is kosher for Passover. A cheese that is kosher for Passover will have Kosher supervision during the process to ensure that all ingredients and equipment is Passover certified.

In order for milk to be Cholov Yisroel, a Jew must be present and supervising during the milking process. However, if one relies on Rav Moshe Feinstein that government regulation is sufficient to ensure the Kosher status of milk, then it is considered kosher, but not Cholov Yisroel, even with nobody watching the milking process.

Plain milk without vitamins or additives is Kosher for Passover, even without special Passover certification, so if a cheese is made from the milk, it can be Kosher for Passover even if it was only certified during cheese production and not during the milking process. In that case, the cheese would be Kosher for Passover, but not Cholov Yisroel.

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Certain industries have a strong chazakah that they only would put in certain ingredients. It would be harmful to their products tastes to use other ingredients or alternatively they have an industry tradition that limits potential ingredients that is well respected.

Examples:

  1. This is why traditional domestic (USA) unflavored beer was considered to not need a hechsher - there is a purity standard that limits the options of what they could put in (this likely changed with the creative trend with beers in the last decade or so).
  2. Salt and sugar don't need a hechsher bc the factories are known to be pure.
  3. Bakers who are strongly traditional are considered to be muchzak that their plain bread doesn't contain non-kosher ingredients (you would have to know that they don't also bake creative breads in their ovens).

I suppose the cheese maker is ensured to have a sterile facility and grains would never be allowed in the factory but they are unable to fully ensure that an alternate dairy source would never be introduced.

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  • Then look up strutto and kosher words in Google! ;-) – Kazi bácsi May 14 '20 at 9:54
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I think it's worth clarifying a misconception behind this question, which in turn will answer the question.

Kashrus of milk can be divided into 3 categories:

1) Chalav Akum- milk which has no supervision upon it. As expressed in Y.D. 115 Chazal forbade this milk due to concerns that non-kosher milk may be mixed in. No one permits this today.

2) Chalav Yisroel- milk which was supervised by Jews. This is what is Chazal required in order for milk to be kosher. See Y.D. 115 and the commentaries for details- does a Jew have to watch the whole thing, or only the beginning, or just be present (even if he can't actually watch the milk go into the containers etc.) While there are these different standards discussed by the poskim, everyone agrees that you need Jews to be involved. (there are certain lenient opinions which are discussed in the context, but the accepted halacha is as mentioned above.)

3) Chalav "Stam"- this is what is very common today. There's a major shailah whether we could rely on government supervision of milk to ensure that nothing was added. This is a middle ground case. On the one hand, Jews aren't supervising the milking so it's not exactly what Chazal required. On the other hand, by a government body taking responsibility for ensuring the purity of the milk, we can be sure that nothing was added. There's a halachic precedent that אנן סהדי, a widely know fact, can sometimes be the equivalent of actual testimony. Can we apply this to today's milk?

This is a controversial question with many authorities taking both sides. Most famous among the lenient poskim is Rav Moshe Feinstein who wrote numerous teshuvos defending the lenient approach. See Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:47-49 (see Y.D. 2:35 that "baalei nefesh" should be stringent) and Chazon Ish Y.D.41:4 who leans towards the lenient opinion. (I have heard from talmidim of both Rav Yisroel Gustman and Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg zatza"l that both rabbonim also agreed that in principle the strict halacha is to be lenient.)

According to these lenient opinions the milk is the equivalent of being cholov Yisroel; since otherwise it would be forbidden to be drunk.

However, there are many rabbonim who ruled that government supervision is not good enough to be considered cholov Yisroel; see Chelkas Yaakov Y.D. 34, Minchas Yitzchak 1:138, 2:21, 10:31:16 and Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 1:441.

So your question really boils down to the above dispute.

In order to be kosher for Passover, it is only necessary to be certain that there is nothing problematic about the food. Actual supervision is not required if it's possible to ascertain that fact through other proofs (checking out ingredients, government regulations etc.)

For milk this is the matter of dispute as mentioned above- is it enough to know that the milk has nothing non-kosher, or is there an actual requirement to supervise the milk?

Therefore even the lenient opinions (which have been widely adopted) only use the term "Chalav Yisroel" to refer to milk which has been actually supervised. Otherwise they would refer to it as "chalav stam"- not chalav akum which is prohibited, but not chalav Yisroel which has been supervised.

See here for more on this topic including additional sources.

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  • No, there is a difference in the case of cheese since Rema YD 115 (2) allows cheese made from cholov akum bdieved! – Avrohom Yitzchok May 14 '20 at 15:45
  • I think the yesod is still the same. For pesach everyone agrees that there's only a need for knowledge, whereas for chalav yisrael there's a need for involvement or at least active supervision. (I'll double check the rema again later, but i don't think it's relevant for a hechsher. No hechser will call something chalav yisroel just because bedieved it's mutar to eat. It doesn't make it chalav yisroel; it means that it's a form of chalav akum which isn't included in the gezeira.) So i think my answer still is valid. – Binyomin May 14 '20 at 17:25

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