# One who is sick is permitted to eat a non-kosher food (which is normally ossur b'achilah) in an unusual manner.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 155:3, Shach 14, Mishnah Berurah O.C. 466:1. An example of this is giving someone non-kosher food through intravenous. </ref> Based on this, the opinion of some poskim is that swallowing a pill made from a gelatin coating is permitted, since it is for a <u>sick person</u> and it is not the usual manner of eating.<ref>Opinion of Harav Henkin zt”l quoted in Edos L’Yisroel page 132, opinion of Harav Shachter Shlita as expressed in OU document I-97. He adds that the gel-caps have no taste to them and are nifsal from feeding to a dog. </ref> However, there are poskim who maintain that swallowing a pill is the regular manner of consumption.<ref>Refer to Nodeh B’Yehdua Y.D. 35, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 155:6, Har Tzvi Y.D. 97, opinions of Harav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l and Harav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Medicines and Kashrus page 57:footnote 17, Yeishiv Moshe page 165, Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchoso 40:footnote 169, Halichos Shlomo Moadim (Pesach) 1:page 69. This is the opinion of Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita quoting the opinion of Harav Henkin zt”l, see www.koltorah.org. </ref> Others are lenient and maintain that swallowing a pill is considered an unusual manner.<ref>Halichos Shlomo 1:17:1 (although he is quoted in the footnote above as saying otherwise), see Toras Chaim (Chullin 120) who is lenient</ref> In addition, even those who are stringent by gelatin, it would not apply to medicines. However, according to the stringent opinion above regarding gelatin, one who only has a headache<ref>Refer to Halichos Shlomo Moadim (Pesach) pages 71-72 who is unsure if this should be permitted with a slight pain. See Minchas Shlomo 1:17:3. </ref> or slight discomfort<ref>This does not apply to one who is bedridden (Halichos Shlomo Moadim Pesach) pages 71-72:8. The Shach 13 says this heter of the Rama is even for a healthy person. See Mishnah L’melech Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 5:8 in depth, Zera Emes 2:48. Refer to Pri Megadim M.Z. O.C. 328:11, Shagas Aryeh 74, Binas Adom 52:page 86, Shevet Ha’Levi 7:135 who argue. Harav Yisroel Belsky Shlita maintains if one has a headache he should not swallow gel-caps without wrapping it in a tissue. </ref> should take a pill which has no gelatin or wrap the gel-cap in a tissue (in the next issue we will iy"h continue our discussion on gel-caps).<ref>Refer to Mesora 14:page 92. Others say the custom is to be lenient with one who has even a headache (Chai Ha’Levi 3:111:2). </ref>
# Special thanks to Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits
Kashrus Supervision director of Kof-K and author of Halachically Speaking for this article.