Tuesday, December 29, 2009

But Is It Kosher?

Chabad say yes.

The rest say no.

What are we talking about?

Bénédictine, a liqueur that I spotted in the NYTimes:

Bénédictine, which celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2010, has done both: It has lived well, having evolved from a bitter medicine formulated by French monks into a fancy-schmantzy after-dinner liqueur, and crammed two or three lives into its half-millennium history...comes from a blend of 27 herbs and spices that a monk named Dom Bernardo Vincelli distilled in 1510 at a Bénédictine monastery in Fécamp, France, in Normandy. Dom Vincelli’s Elixir, as it was called then, was a hit until the French Revolution, when the monastery was destroyed. In a Dan Brown-worthy plot twist, the recipe was lost until an art collector and wine merchant named Alexander Le Grand discovered it within a trove of old books he bought in 1863. After toying with the recipe, Le Grand began selling the elixir as Bénédictine — for pleasure, this time, rather than for medicinal reasons.
Chabad says

1. you may purchase and enjoy even such drinks that are produced by monasteries. A monastery is not a church, it's a dormitory.

2. I am told that in the immediate post-World War II period, when numerous Habad Hasidim settled in France, two rabbanim did check the Benedictine factory, which no linger belongs to the Benedictine monks, and found that i contains no wine...Rebbi Schneersohn sent a shalah manoth package to the Rebbi of Amsinev, and there was a bottle of Benedictine in it.

3. See in the Hosafos to Hemshech 5666 (don't have it right here to note the page), a Reshima from the Frierdiker Rebbe, describing how the Rebbe Rashab celebrated something with him by saying L'chaim on some Benedictine.

4. The liqueur Benedictine has officially been recognized as kosher. Rabbi Moshe Dovid Gutnick recently announced that Benedictine is kosher after checking into its ingredients. The Rebbe used to drink Benedictine at farbrengens until a certain individual claimed that there was a halachic question regarding its kashrus.

Everyone else

Star K - Not recommended;
London Beth Din - Dom is kosher;
NSW (Sydney) -- Not acceptable;
MK (Montreal) - Not acceptable;
OU - Not recommended.
Chicago - Not Kosher
JSOR - nope
Seattle - not recommended
France - NK


And try these.

1 comment:

Insurance Telemarketing said...

I would love to get my hands on that first bottle.

Vintage. Beautiful.