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Coke With Lemon

If one is staying in a non-kosher hotel and is served a soft drink like coke with a slice of lemon in the drink, can one drink the drink and eat the lemon, or do we assume the knife is not kosher? Even if the knife is not kosher, would the drink still be kosher?


A lemon is possible considered a davar charif, and therefore one may not eat a lemon sliced in a non-kosher establshment, even if the knife is clean, because one can assume that the knife is not kosher.

However, if the drink is served by a separate bar, one may assume that the knives used by the bar are not used for non-kosher foods, and there would therefore not be a problem.

Additionally, although one should not eat the lemon itself, or squeeze the lemon into the drink, the actual placement of the lemon in the drink would not cause the coke to be not kosher. This is true even if we assume the lemon to be a davar charif.

Therefore, if the coke is served with the lemon, the lemon should be taken out, and the coke can be drunk.

Sources: Concerning lemon juice, see Shach, Yoreh De’ah 96:20. In our case, however, there are several additional reasons for leniency. See also, and in particular the final comment.

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  1. lkavod harav, the web URL in the comments section is asking me for a password. Is there anyway to see the final comment some other way?

    1. I have tried to take care of the matter. It should be OK now.

  2. to the rabbi – i am trying to click on the sources link but it goes to a password page. can you help?

    1. I have tried to correct the problem. I think it should be OK now.

  3. Lkavod Harav, I see this lemon case different than the case of the milky knife and meaty onions as the rav quoted above. That case is dealing with nat bar not of heter and this case is dealing with nat bar not of issur. If one could sense the taste of lemon in the drink would that be a problem because of chanan on the lemon from treif knife? I seem to remember it’s not a problem but forgot why.

    1. The point is well made. The question is whether Chochmas Adam means to say that the beliah has the actual din of nat-bar-nat, so that we will say that it is forbidden concerning issur, or whether he is only making a comparison (he calls is taam kalush), and it would be permitted even for issur. In the case of the cola, however, the coke is cold, and there is no duchka between the drink and the lemon, so that the coke should remain muttar after the lemon is taken out.

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