Which standard is considered more machmir: chalak (Beit Yosef) or glatt?

I have heard that when the Ashkenazim started emigrating in force to Israel, there was an issue of the Ashkenazim being meikel on the matter of beef. However, I have also heard that chumrat glatt originates in Hungary, so there is a possibility that chalak would be comparatively meikel.

  • 1
    חלק בית יוסף is more stringent. No source, no answer (hence the comment).
    – MTL
    Jul 29, 2014 at 2:50
  • Beis Yosef does not allow for ririn(adhesions which can be shooken off) if I remember correctly,def Beis Yosef is more machmir
    – sam
    Jul 29, 2014 at 10:29
  • However,it could be today the hechsherim don't allow for ririn and they would be the same maybe
    – sam
    Jul 29, 2014 at 10:39
  • Hello Noach. There are numerous stores in Brooklyn that sell Beit Yosef meats. Pomegranate is a well regarded kosher supermarket. I have always found the meat manager to be extremely friendly and helpful. May I suggest that you give him a call. I am sure he would be able to answer your question.
    – JJLL
    Jul 29, 2014 at 15:12
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt Can you clarify what exactly you mean by your question? It what sense do you mean more machmir? Is the question about using one if your minhag is the other, or just which person of two who follow each would be considered more machmir, or...? Jul 29, 2014 at 18:21

2 Answers 2


According to the Beit Yoseph, certain sirchos are kosher without any further bedika (examination). These are sircha c'sidran and sircha b'dophen tsar. An animal which has such sirchot is kosher Beit Yoseph, but is not chalak. If it has no sirchos at all, it is chalak. The Rama himself did not allow those sirchos which the Beit Yoseph allowed, in fact the Rama says that wherever a sircha is found, the animal should not be eaten. However he mentions a custom to rub the sircha between the fingers, and if it melts away, it is not considered a sircha at all. The rama does not allow it but says ein mochin b'yadam (meaning we don't stop them). The contemporary poskim all said that the only thing allowed was to rub the sircha between the fingers, but someone who peels off the sircha is feeding treiphos to the c'lal Yisroel. Later, the shochetim started to peel off the sirchos, and for whatever reason, the rabbis allowed it. This is discussed in the Aruch Hashulchan. He specifically says that this peeling off of sirchos that everyone does was formerly considered treiph.

Glatt literally translated means the same as chalak- no sirchos. In practice (it very much depends on the area, the weather, the humidity, the cattle feed, the conditios (free range, small pens, etc.), only about 10% of US beef is truly chalak. To increase the yield, someone decided that if the animal had up to three small sirchos (which they called ririn), it could still be called glatt.

With the demand by knowledgeable consumers for truly glatt (=chalak) meat, the marketers had to come up with a new name. They couldn't call the chalak meat "real glatt" because then they would have to admit that most of the so called glatt really is not. So they decided to call it Beis Yoseph.

So if the meat is called glatt, it most likely is not truly glatt. If it is called Beit Yoseph, it might be truly chalak. If it is called chalak Beit Yoseph, then it is really claiming to have no sirchos.

  • Nice answer, +1 .... I've also heard the same, but I'd like to know if you have more specific source than just "Rama" "Beit Yoseph" and "Aruch Hashulchan," so I could better research this myself. Thanks!
    – MTL
    Oct 31, 2014 at 13:12
  • Not 100%.... Glatt is a minhag, but the Beis Yosef and Sepharadim hold that chalaq is mandatory. One can be lenient in doubts about minhag, but not about doubts in baseline kosher. So even "real glatt" is more lenient than Bet Yosef. Jan 17, 2017 at 17:43
  • @emeslyaakov said "To increase the yield, someone decided that if the animal had up to three small sirchos (which they called ririn), it could still be called glatt." FYI this SOMEONE is no other than the Shelah Hakodosh!
    – Ash
    Dec 3, 2018 at 15:01
  • Also in practice there is levels of Chalak Beis Yosef from shaish (marble) which is absolutely smooth, to slightly lesser levels which are still marked chalak beis yosef. Bottom line, don't rely on the internet for answers. Ask your LOR as this is a very involved area with many variations. You could have chalak beis yosef shaish but the bodek pnim is not up to standard, etc..
    – Ash
    Dec 3, 2018 at 15:04
  • @MTL "Rama" = sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Yoreh_De'ah.39.13 , "Beit Yoseph" = sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Yoreh_De'ah.39.10 , "Aruch Hashulchan," sefaria.org/Arukh_HaShulchan%2C_Yoreh_De'ah.39.109 (but i do not see that he says it is traif
    – hazoriz
    May 7, 2021 at 12:25

Glatt and Chalak have different stringencies and leniencies relative to the other.

From kosherpoint.com:

Not all sirchot are equal. There are certain areas of the lung, where a sircha will not make the animal treif. However, there are differing opinions as to the extent of these areas. The Sephardi view (following the Beit Yosef) is more lenient – that is, according to them, there are more areas where a sircha can exist without affecting the kashrut. As a result, sirchot on certain areas of the lung can be ignored by the Sephardim, while those same sirchot will make the entire animal treif for Ashkenazim (following the Rama).

On the other hand, Ashkenazim are more lenient in handling those sirchot found on the critical areas of the lung (where they can make the animal treif). The Rama allows for these sirchot to be removed by gentle peeling or squeezing, and if the lungs are then checked and found to have no perforations, the meat is considered kosher. The Beit Yosef strongly disagrees with this procedure stating that it is not permissible to remove sirchot in any manner and thus they always render the animal treif.

Some Ashkenazim follow another leniency whereby certain small, thin sirchot which can be easily removed, are considered ‘ririn’ (mucous) and do not affect the standard of kashrut (Beit David), regardless of where it is located. Sephardim do not make this distinction.

Thus, an Ashkenzi cannot rely on the בית יוסף alone, and a ספרדי cannot rely on just Glatt Kosher, and neither is universally more machmir than the other.

  • This info is all straight out of the books. However i have heard from credible sources that the slaughter houses in America that go by Bet Yossef are no longer lenient on the sircha issue. I cannot confirm if that is actually true or not.
    – user6591
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:04
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    A side point to keep in mind that people don't seem to know is that when you see the words 'Bet Yosef' proudly displayed in a store window, its worth about as much as seeing the word 'kosher' in neon lights. It does not guaranty anything. What you want to see is the tiuda, the paper stating who the Rabbi, or Chacham is who actually ensures the halachic status of the food therein.
    – user6591
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:09
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    While this is true of R Yosef Karo and Moshe Isserlis, it doesn't really answer the question.
    – Double AA
    Jul 29, 2014 at 17:11
  • -1 what the Rama allowed is sold as regular "Kosher", not as "Glatt Kosher", Glatt kosher is more stringent (glatt means smooth)
    – hazoriz
    May 7, 2021 at 12:09

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