Geese were extremely popular among European Jews for various reasons, and their liver was particularly appreciated. However, there is a debate, whether force feeding may render the animals non-kosher, since the inserted metal tube can hurt the animal's throat. This Wikipedia article claims that the Chatam Sofer was not against this practice, and recently a factory producing fattened geese products was inaugurated in the presence of Rav Lau. Does anyone know this particular decision of the Chatam Sofer? Do you know any recent decisions about force feeding of animals from relevant authorities?

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/84451/15256 May 24, 2018 at 15:18
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    If you are interested in these issues, I would recommend this episode of the Headlines podcast which discusses Kashrus and Animal Cruelty — Kashrus of Foie Gras and Veal and includes interviews with R Moshe Elefant (Chief Rabbinic Coordinator and COO, OU Kosher) as well as producers of kosher ethical food.
    – mbloch
    May 25, 2018 at 15:02
  • @mbloch And it contains a priceless source sheet as well! May 28, 2018 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


The particular opinion of Chasam Sofer to permit the consumption of force-fed goose liver (foie gras) can be found in his novellae on Chullin (43b, s.v. ולענין). After discussing certain checking methods (בדיקה) in assessing the bird's status, the material statement is:

ואחרי כל החומרות יאכלו ענוים וישבעו והמחמיר אינו אלא מן המתמיהין לפע"ד

R. Menchaem Zev Schick (dayan of Tokay, Hungary) is reported saying (Tiferet Banim, Jerusalem 1989, p. 361*):

[I] asked the Da'at Sofer about it [the Chasam Sofer's ruling on force-fed geese] and he replied that the Shevet Sofer, the Ksav Sofer and the Chasam Sofer ate stuffed geese (force-fed).

Regarding recent, or contemporary decisions as per the above, goose liver has been on the kosher market in Paris and Strasbourg for a number of years with various hashgachot (the Bet Din of Paris, to name one). In the US, specifically New York, duck is commonly substituted (perhpas exclusively - I'm not sure) to produce foie gras for the kosher market.

*See also Tzitz Eliezer vol. 11 §39

  • Do they explain why tzaar baalei chayim is not a problem
    – bondonk
    Aug 26, 2018 at 19:15

See שבט הלוי חלק ט' סי' קנ"ג who summarizes three opinions including the Chasam Sofer's you requested.

Rav Wosner deals with which layer of the veshet needs to be checked, and what flaws they can have

  • Not more than the inner layer with a partial wound (Chasam Sofer)
  • The inner layer totally punctured but no marks on the inside of the outer layer
  • Or even if there is a puncture through the inner layer, but not totally through the outer layer.

The question is whether this method is like a thorn, like a safek thorn, and if we suspect that the wound was bigger and healed (see also Yoreh Deah 33:9). He quotes the Chazon Ish who says that in Eretz Yisoel it would be proper not to use this method at all. Similarly, Benei Yissachar and most Chasidim from Eastern Europe were against this practice.

Note that R Wosner reference to the Chatam Sofer is off by one. The proper reference would be שערי צדק (מהרב מנחם מענדל פאנט) יו"ד סי' מ"ה ד"ה ועתה.

  • @user17260 I'm not an expert on this issue. CS is the most stringent, and accepts only a partial wound on the inner layer, but nothing more? May 26, 2018 at 21:28
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    @Kazibácsi If I can interrupt here - the BY's last pronouncement against the consumption of fg is in the declarations, Azharot (no. 3).
    – Oliver
    May 28, 2018 at 13:27
  • @Kazibácsi - The only teshuva of the Chasam Sofer that I know of that mentions אוזות פטומות, is in יו"ד סי' קכ"ב. The question in that tesuva is about injections that were given to the geese under the wing near the lungs, not about their actual kasrus because of "stuffing" them. May 28, 2018 at 20:05

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