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Could Israeli alovera and green tea body lotion pose a shemitah issue?

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I live in the United States. I bought an Israeli brand body lotion Nakeh7. I noticed that some of the ingredients are herbs: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract. Could any of these ingredients pose a halachic problem in terms of shemitah laws or other land-dependent mitzvot? Note that there is a kashrut symbol on the product, but I'm not familiar with its rulings regarding shemitah and land-related mitzvot for soap production.


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Short: There are no halachic problems with using Nakeh7 body lotions with herbal infusions.

Expanded answer:

There are kashrut agencies that are lenient and hold that creams, lotions, and similar toiletry products do not require kashrut certifications (excluding Pesach). Thus their kashrut certificate on the product does not necessarily mean that all of the ingredients were carefully checked for issues pertaining to land-dependent mitzvot or non-kosher ingredients.

The Rishonim and Acharonim were divided on the issue of whether applying lotion to skin is akin to drinking, and must be kosher just like drinks must be.

The Mishnah Berurah (Bi'ur Halachah 326:10) writes that most are lenient and use non-kosher soap: "It is the accepted custom to rinse in our soaps made of tallow, and only certain stringent one are careful with this. If non-tallow soap is easily available, of course it is proper to consider the opinions of those stringent in this regard."

The Nakeh7 factory was formerly in Yerucham. The rabbi of Yerucham, Rabbi Yitzchak Shalev, told me that he would inspect each of the ingredients to ensure that there were no problems related to terumot and ma'aserot and orlah, and ensure they were kosher for Pesach.

Today Badatz Machzikei Hadat (Belz) certifies that plant, now in Kiryat Shemona. In response to a query, Rabbi Pinchas Padwa (in charge of raw materials in the Badatz of Machzikei Hadat - Belz) wrote that all herbal infusions in their products are imported from outside of Israel, so the laws of shemitah and other land-related laws do not apply.

Furthermore, note that the amount of natural extracts in the body lotion are miniscule, less than 0.1%!