Passover is coming up soon! That means, for many of you, preparing your digestive system for a long eight days of constipation discomfort. It also means purging your diet and house of chametz. What is chametz? In the torah, it seems to be unleavened bread. However, Rabbis and tradition have led to a rather large list of assur goodies. For example, Ashkenazic jews forbid rice, beans, peas and the entire family of legumes (kitnios). More suprisingly, Sildenafil citrate turns out to fall in the category. The coating of the pills was ruled to be chametz by Rabbi Menahem Rosenberg, the rabbi of Clalit Health Services.

For those of you who don’t know, Sildenafil citrate is the drug known as Viagra. Since its coating was ruled to be chametz, Viagra has been assur for several years. This, of course, is bad news for CK, Shtremiel and, what the hell, probably Mobius many impotent, kosher, horny men (and their partners!) How many? In Israel, a three-pill prescription for Viagra is issued every minute on average. While necessary drugs may be take during passover no matter what their chametz content, erectile dysfunction turns out (contrary to some) not to be life threatening and thus does not fall under the relevant exception clause, for those that would need to take such pills to gain an erection, maybe look at this male extra review.

There is good news, however. With typical rabbinical ingenuity, and displaying an impressive knowledge of pharmacology and biology, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu has found a way to keep drug companies and Viagra users happy. While the coating of viagra is chametz, one may put the capsule in something else that is not chametz. One may buy kosher gelatin caps, put the pill inside and swallow the resulting pill in a pill lining. This keeps the offending chametz from actually ever coming in contact with the swallower’s body, but allows the wonder drug to permeate through. No word on whether competitors Cialis and Levitra are either chametz or permitted inside kosher gelatin caps.

Thanks to Jpost for the facts.

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  • Seriously, this is the brilliance of Judaism.

    Now if he would just find a solution for agunot and 35 year old shomrot negiyah, all will be well in the world. Good story, thanks.

  • if putting the pill in a capsule solves the problem, then I think the solution to how to be shomer negiyah and still screw around is pretty obvious.

  • trying again…

    The “facts” confuse me a bit. Maybe someone can explain. First, any gel capsule will, as designed, dissolve in the body. Capsules are not used as a membrane to allow drugs to diffuse into the body. They serve to keep the drug intact until into the digestive tract. Hence, whatever chametz exists in the pill will be dissolved in the body. It seems to me, then, that one is still “benefitting” from the hametz pill.

    Pesach has weird kashrut rules. We are forbidden not just to eat hametz, but to own it and benefit from it. Hence, feeding your pets food with wheat products in it is not allowed, as you (meaning “your household” is benefitting from hametz that you own). Oddly, the pet food would be fine if its ingredients were, say, 49% pork, 49% shirmp, and 2% rice. While they sell kosher l’pesach pet foods, they are really unnecessary. Many Science Diet foods have no hametz. (Keep in mind that rice is not hametz, in the strict sense of the word…its just forbidden for issues of confusion.) But, I digress. The point is, benefitting from hametz is the issue, not eating it or tasting it. That’s why it matters what Spot, Fluffy, Bessie, and Mr. Ed are eating, too. I don’t see how the Viagra ruling, um… straightens this problem out rises above this problem gets around this issue.

  • sorry about that Fineline. Muffti hopes that they were all roughly similar (they all looked the same) coz he erased what looked like duplicates.

  • Lynn’s my new hero. I think I may have to shove a bagel inside a gelatin cap around Day 4 of Pesach.

    But seriously, it’s stories like this one that can make Jews look completely mental. But since I’m one of the aforementioned mental Jews, how does the kosher gelatin cap prevent violation of the prohibition about owning or deriving benefit from such an obviously chametzdik product?

    Plus, HOW has no one mentioned this holiday’s prohibition against, um, “rising agents”??

  • Hey Esther, I got a joke into my comment. It just didn’t get a rise out of you, apparently.

    Oh dear. Perhaps we should nip this comment string in the bud right now.

  • Makes the Jews look mental? Muffti thought that this story makes the Jews look clever. Muffti isn’t sure what the scope of the inquiry into the kosherness of taking Viagra was but he knows it was done by some of those rabbis you guys are always speaking so highly of…

  • I got it. My query was specific to the issue of rising agents and how they make a thing chametz. But I’m with you on not extending this line of joking any further.

  • Are we talking about kosher gelatin capsules? And if so, are they kosher l’Pesach? And what about (Deleted obvious comment about rising agents- thanks, Esther…)? Maybe I could coat my dog in gelatin- might solve the shedding problem, plus I wouldn’t have to worry about her Alpo, especially if I feed it to her in gel capsules. Are we crazy, or what?

  • Can any of the jewlicious crew answer us?

    I thought it was just me, but what happened to fineline happens to me with long posts, only fairly infrequently. or maybe I just don’t notice when I’ve written a 1000 word essay?

  • It just means that one of the words you used is in our filter so your post goes automatically into the moderation queue until we get to it and release it.

  • The title of this post is a tad misleading. I know from personal experience that the last thing ck needs is one of those little blue pills. One particular passover stands out, and is forever seared into my brain. I love that you have no idea who this is David. Happy pesach, love u forever.

  • Uh what are you suggesting TM? I just spoke to the folks on the homestead, everything is cool. totan is decidedly not Brakha …

  • I was just throwing a guess out there. By the way, since Pesach is here, you may wish to provide a Brakha recipe soon.

  • I ain’t gonna prepare my digestive system for anything new but yeah!! still it is a good news for me.