Is Cosmetic Plastic Surgery allow By Halacha?

Cosmetic Surgery – Rabbi Chaim Jachter


Last week we introduced the question as to whether Halacha permits cosmetic surgery. We cited rulings by Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Yaakov Breisch who permitted a young woman who was experiencing difficulty finding an appropriate Shidduch to undergo cosmetic surgery to improve her appearance. This week we shall explore two other classic responsum (“shut”) authored by two major twentieth-century Poskim, Rav Eliezer Waldenburg and Rav Yitzchak Weisz (commonly referred to as Dayan Weisz). If you missed last week’s article it is available on our website,

The Procedures

Sometimes diet and exercise cannot remove excess fat and skin around the abdominal area. Other times, pregnancy leaves behind muscles that have permanently lost their form. Women whose abdominal muscles and skin have been stretched out from multiple pregnancies, as well as older women who have a loss of skin elasticity due to age or weight fluctuations, are ideal candidates.

Some parts of the body won’t budge no matter how many different types of exercises are employed. Thanks to genetics, both men and women tend to store stubborn fat in specific areas, including the hips and waist, resulting in saddlebags and love handles.

Liposuction has consistently been the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the world for the past several years. It is a safe and effective method to reduce the overall number of fat cells and produce a better contour.

Rav Eliezer Waldenberg

Rav Waldenberg (Teshuvot Tzitz Eliezer 11:41) presents a radically different approach from Rav Moshe and Rav Breisch (Rav Waldenburg lives in Jerusalem and many of his Teshuvot are devoted to issues in Medical Halacha; he played a major role at Jerusalem’s Sha’arei Zedek hospital and the State of Israel’s Supreme Rabbinic Court). He seems to categorically forbid all cosmetic surgeries. He forbids a doctor to perform and patients to undergo plastic surgery. He forcefully argues that the aforementioned Divine license to heal applies only to curing an illness and not to alter one’s appearance. Rav Waldenburg even states that cosmetic surgery constitutes an insult to our Creator because it implies that His work as inadequate. Rav Waldenburg cites the Gemara (Taanit 20b) that relates that Rabbi Elazar ben Shimon met an exceptionally homely individual. Rabi Elazar asked the man whether all the people in his town are as ugly as he. The man responded that Rabbi Elazar had insulted Hashem by implying, “What an ugly vessel You have made.” Rabi Elazar sought forgiveness and the man refused to extend it until the townspeople convinced him to relent. Tosafot cite Masechet Derech Eretz that states that the ugly person was none other than Eliyahu HaNavi in disguise. Rav Waldenburg adds that it is certainly forbidden to risk one’s life in order to undergo cosmetic surgery, even though the risk is not great. In another responsum (Teshuvot Tzitz Eliezer 12:43) Rav Waldenburg addresses the question of whether it is permissible to undergo elective surgery on a Thursday or a Friday (due to concern that it may potentially interfere with Shabbat observance). Rav Waldenburg simply responds that Halacha never condones elective surgery. If a surgery is not necessary one may never undergo such a surgery. Rav Waldenberg’s strict stance is difficult to abide by. In fact, my cousin Rhoda Brandriss (who has worked at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek hospital for many years) informs me that Shaarei Zedek hospital maintains a plastic surgery department. This is noteworthy because I have heard that Shaaarei Zedek strictly adheres to Halachic norms. The hospital seems to be following the approach of either Rav Moshe or Rav Breisch. Finally, regarding the ruling of Rav Waldenburg, see the observations of Rav Immanuel Jacobowitz, Noam 6:273 and Dr. Abraham S. Abraham, Nishmat Avraham 2:49.

Rav Yitzchak Weisz

Dayan Weisz Zt”l (who I am personally visited him in Jerusalem for a medical question regards shaving in Yemei Bein Ha’meytzarim. He was Niftar in 1989) focuses on two issues, Chavalah and Sakanah (the prohibition to enter into a dangerous situation), regarding cosmetic surgery in a very brief responsum (Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 6:105:2). Dayan Weisz adopts the identical approach to Rav Moshe regarding the issue of Chavalah, namely, that it is not forbidden unless it is done in a belligerent or degrading manner. Thus the prohibition of Chavalah does not constitute an impediment to undergoing plastic surgery. However, Dayan Weisz believes that the danger (even though it is only a small risk) involved in any surgery is of major concern. Dayan Weisz refers to an earlier responsum (Teshuvot Minchat Yitzchak 1:28:2) where he forbids undergoing any surgery unless it is necessary to save the patient’s life. Accordingly, the rules that one may not undergo surgery to remedy a problem that is not life-threatening. In fact, Dayan Weisz (unlike his Mechutan, Rav Breisch) interprets the aforementioned Rama, who speaks of “cutting a limb,” to be referring only to a case of danger to life (this appears to be a difficult reading, as had the Rama intended this, it seems that he would have stated so explicitly). Accordingly, although Dayan Weisz acknowledges that in some cases the people who wish to undergo plastic surgery are defined as a Choleh (as Rav Breisch argues), nevertheless he hesitates to permit plastic surgery since they are not a Choleh Sheyeish Bo Sakanah (a sick individual whose life is endangered). Dayan Weiss concludes that he is unsure of this matter and remarks that with God’s help he might look into the matter further in the future. He does acknowledge, though, that Rav Breisch’s argument is a “Svara Gedolah” (a cogent argument), but he stops short of endorsing it. I find it illuminating, though, that Dayan Weisz does not raise any of the theological issues that Rav Waldenburg raises concerning plastic surgery. It seems that Dayan Weisz, as well as Rav Moshe and Rav Breisch, do not share Rav Waldenburg’s fundamental theological concerns about plastic surgery. One could argue that perhaps plastic surgery does not insult the work of the “Craftsman” because He also revealed to mankind the knowledge and ability to perform cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery might be viewed as part of our role as “junior partners” with Hashem in the ongoing creation of the world (see Shabbat 10a and Ramban to Bereshit 1:28).


The four classic Teshuvot that treat the topic of cosmetic surgery present significantly different approaches to this topic. Rav J. David Bleich (Judaism and Healing pp.126-128) concludes that it is permissible in case of great need. However, there appears to be no published ruling from a major Halachic authority that explicitly permits cosmetic surgery that is conducted purely for reasons of convenience. One who is contemplating cosmetic surgery should consult his Rav for a ruling on its permissibility. Next week, Bli Neder and with Hashem’s help, we shall discuss the issue of permanent and semi-permanent makeup.

Is Benadryl Kosher for Pessach?

If it is kosher for Pesach (Passover) – It is Kosher for year around, but never the opposite.


Allegra 12 Hr. & 24 Hr. tablets, Allegra Children’s Oral Suspension & tablets, Benadryl Children’s Allergy Chewables, Benadryl Allergy Ultratab tablets, Coricidin HBP – all types.

* May be use in Pesach if required

What could be wrong with Xanthan Gum?

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a white to the tan colored powder used in many food products.

How is Xanthan gum made?

Xanthan gum is made from the fermentation of carbohydrates (sugars). The bacteria strain Xanthomonas campestris is fed with carbohydrate and metabolizes the sugars into a liquid solution. The solution is mixed with alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) which causes the gum to separate from the water. The gum is then rinsed, dried and ground.

Is Xanthan gum kosher?

Every fermentation process causes kosher concerns due to the ingredients that are used to make the fermentation more effective.

The alcohol is also a kosher concern. Ethanol can be derived from grapes (nesech), lactose (dairy), wheat and barley (chometz).


Xanthan gum must have a reliable kosher certification.


What is Mashgiach?

A mashgiach (Hebrew: משגיח כשרות‬) is a Jew who supervises the kashrut status of a kosher establishment. A mashgiach may supervise any type of food service establishment, including slaughterhouses, food manufacturers, hotels, caterers, nursing homes, restaurants, butchers, groceries, or cooperatives. The mashgiach usually works as the on-site supervisor and inspector, representing a kosher certification agency or a local rabbi, who actually makes the policy decisions for what is or is not acceptably kosher.

The requirements for becoming a mashgiach are being Jewish, being Sabbath-observant (shomer Shabbat), being Torah-observant (shomer mitzvot), have Yirat Shamayim (fear of Heaven) and personally fulfilling the laws of kashrut (shomer kashrut).

A mashgiach takes on a great responsibility and the burden of a community. The mashgiach puts their good name and the name of the community on everything done on their watch.

Depending on the assignment, which usually divide into two tasks – Commercial and Restaurants; the mashgiach must be familiar with the halachos of slaughtering meat, cooking meat and fish, and separating meat and dairy. He must be knowledgeable about the way boilers and shipping vessels work, since high temperatures and long storage times can affect the status of kosher foods. It has been said that in addition to knowledge of Jewish law, a mashgiach must be familiar with “engineering, entomology, metallurgy, boiler treatment, food chemistry, and world market trends”.

A mashgiach is required whenever meat or fish is prepared or cooked. They check fresh eggs for blood spots before they are used in cooking, and must inspect all vegetables for forbidden insects before use.

The mashgiach is responsible for performing the mitzvah of challah, the tithe of dough set aside for consumption by a kohen. (Some perform this in the diaspora, whereas in Israel it is always burnt.)

The mashgiach must also light pilot lights and turn on cooking and heating equipment to satisfy minimum requirements of bishul Yisroel (food cooked by a Jew) and pas Yisroel (bread baked by a Jew), in a way that a Jew must be involved in the cooking of any kosher food “fit for a king’s table.”[3] To satisfy requirements for Sephardic Jews, the mashgiah may be required to play an even more active role in the cooking process.

One of the most pressing and often difficult jobs of a mashgiach, however, is the checking in and verification of shipments. The mashgiach must ensure that every food product that arrives at the facility has a reliable hechsher (certification) before it is used.  In addition to checking hechsherim, the mashgiach must also check that all meat products that arrive are Glatt (literally “smooth” with no Kashrus Issues) and double sealed, usually by inner and outer plastic bags or an inner plastic bag and a sealed box, and that all wine is kosher wine.

“Kosher for Pessach / Passover”

It is x 10 times complicated to be Mashgiach during and before Pessach / Passover. Stay tune for more articles to be posted about Pessach >>.

Traibering Deveining (Nikkur)

The process of removing the nerve is called Deveining or Traibering from an Aramaic word meaning fat, or Nikkur, meaning to clean, in Hebrew. This process is complicated and post the 13th century was rarely done, as there was an abundance of other meat cuts available. Nowadays, mainly in Israel, it has come back into practice, mainly due to the fact that some of the choicer cuts of meat come from the hind-quarters*.

Glatt Kosher of Hindquarter Meat

Exclude Israel there’s no national kosher certification in the U.S. is willing to supervise the nikkur of the more commonly eaten domesticated meats such as beef and lamb.

I found this Beit Din of the Sepharadi communities of Queens, NY do Kashering and selling this premium pieces of meat.

The removal of the gid hanasheh (Hebrew: גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה‎) and chelev (forbidden fats) is called nikkur. Since it is labor intensive to remove all the forbidden parts of the hindquarters of an animal, the entire hindquarters are usually sold to the non-kosher market outside of Israel and a few other markets with sufficient Jewish populations to justify the expense.

* The typical hindquarter weighs around 175lbs hanging(Hanging weight is the un-cut un-boned weight).

Badatz Rubin Rechovot

Badatz Mehadrin – Rabbi Avraham Rubin
Home Badatz Mehadrin – Rabbi Avraham Rubin

Feel free to contact us 647-831-4916

Kashrus Administrator: Rabbi Yisrael Bernstein

10 Miriam Mizrachi St., 6th Floor, Room 18, Rechovot, 76106 Israel

(9728) 939-0816

(9728) 939-0818



KM kosher is reliable kosher. The logo is two circles: One with K and the other with M. Click here for more details >>


Kosher Miami, The Vaad HaKashrus of Miami-Dade, is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that was founded in 2002 to supervise and certify retail establishments and commercial companies that cater to the Kosher consumer in the local South Florida area, as well as anywhere in the United States.

Rabbi Mordechai Fried – Rabbinic Administrator

Rabbi Meir Shaffren- Rabbinic Coordinator

Rabbi Manish Spitz- Rabbinic Coordinator

Rabbi Ariel Zev Saunders – Rabbinic Coordinator

Rabbi Moshe Schreck – Rabbinic Coordinator

KF hexagonal (UK)

KF is reliable kosher along with other UK kashrus agencies:

Check anything kosher in UK England, click here >>

Federation of Synagogues Beth Din 
65 Watford Way, London NW4 3AQ.
Tel: (44) 020 8202-2263
Fax: (44) 020 8203-0610
Dayan M.D. Elzas, Director of Kashrus Dayan Y.Y. Lichtenstein, Rosh Beth Din Dayan B. Berkovits. 

Publication: Pesach in the Modern Home.
Updated: January 12, 2004
By: Simcha Hirsch, Administrator
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