Is there a problem according to any opinions of using creams and the like because of their treif animal content in the Glycerin of Sicha Kshtiyah:"anointing is like drinking"?

1 Answer 1


I heard a shiur by the OU's Rabbi Genack on this.

A custom arose among some Ashkenazic Jews not to apply anything specifically pig-derived on their skin, but otherwise, you can apply non-kosher items to your skin. Other than Yom Kippur, the rule of "anointing is like drinking" has nothing to do with kashrut today. It simply means that a Cohen who is given tithed olive oil (shemen terumah) for his consumption may also apply it to his skin.

One caveat: there is a category of prohibited items that is prohibited from all "tangible benefit" (issurei hana'ah), which would include smearing it on your skin. This category includes an item that was used in a pagan ritual, as well as meat that was cooked directly with milk. (This would only apply if the meat came from a ruminant.) I don't see any of this posing an issue with something like glycerin or most creams.

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    Anything non-kosher, other than swine-derived, can be applied to the skin? Isn't there a prohibition of deriving benefit from any basar b'chalav that's forbidden mid'oraysa? (Anyway, CYLOR.)
    – msh210
    Jan 25, 2011 at 22:54
  • @msh- someone who used to work in cosmetics once asked me about that since many products including shampoos use both fat and milk derivatives. I assume in that case the fats are not fit for eating prior to being processed together with the milk.
    – YDK
    Jan 26, 2011 at 0:59
  • @R'YDK, I was not commenting on R'Shalom's answer as it applies to cosmetics specifically but rather on the general statement "otherwise, you can apply non-kosher items to your skin".
    – msh210
    Jan 26, 2011 at 17:25
  • Washing is more than the usual case of "tangible benefit" (hana'ah) because sichah, rubbing on one's body, is often considered a type of "drinking". Dec 4, 2013 at 15:49
  • @MichaBerger precisely my point. "Sicha ki-sh'siya" is a Talmudic principle limited to Yom Kippur and Terumah; Rabbi Genack and others have said it was a misunderstanding applying it to kashrus. (Just as R' Chaim observed that "Panim chadashos ba'u lechan" as the Gemara uses it about burning sacrificial meat doesn't mean burned meat is "panim chadashos" vis-a-vis sheva brachos!)
    – Shalom
    Dec 4, 2013 at 16:04

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