'I'm a Rabbi in Texas Composing Kosher Certificates for Cannabis' 1

'I'm a Rabbi in Texas Composing Kosher Certificates for Cannabis' 2
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‘I’m a Rabbi in Texas Writing Kosher Certificates for Marijuana’

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I existed till I was almost 19, went to Cal State Northridge University, studied viewpoint, psychology. Then I chose to take a trip, to leave California and to find myself. I travelled all around Europe, and after that, of course, I wound up in Israel, in a rabbinical school, where I did undoubtedly discover myself. I stayed there for 19 years. I studied, ended up being a rabbi, got wed, started a family.And then we were recruited to go to Texas to do outreach work– not exactly missionary stuff, due to the fact that we weren’t trying to transform anybody to Judaism; but rather to enrich the lives and reinforce the connection with individuals who are already Jewish. I was already associated with kosher accreditation in the past, so when I got to San Antonio I ended up being head of the local kosher agency. I got most of my training and experience there, and when I left San Antonio for Houston, I began my own kosher agency.Which is also when my five-year-old kid was diagnosed with brain cancer. We went through all of the mainstream procedure, of surgical treatment, radiation and chemotherapy. For a while, he was on the heal. And after that, a year later on, he had a relapse. We went through the options – which all appeared to be about choosing between different sort of chemo. And my son didn’t do well with chemo, at all. Every single possible adverse effects occurred to him. Each and every single one. During that procedure we were essentially living in ER. It was horrifying.By the time he had the regression, we were currently researching into cannabis: we heard cannabis promotes appetite, and we were trying to get him to consume. We were trying to rehabilitate him after the brain surgery, since in the start, he couldn’t move, he couldn’t walk, he could not talk, they had to put a tube in his stomach for consuming. But he was gradually regaining his professors, and we heard marijuana might stimulate cravings, so we desired to consider that a go.

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=” 983 “> Rabbi Yaakov Cohen’s child Elisha, in Houston, Texas, 2013 Raquel Leyva/Courtesy We flew to California and talked to a medical professional, who gave us a prescription for raw cannabis flowers that we needed to juice. Since, according to the physician, if you juice the raw flower, it has all of the useful properties without the psychoactive impacts. Because of our lack of knowledge and lack of directions we have actually attempted other types of

marijuana before, and my child experienced some episodes with the psychoactive side of it– it was scary. We ended up on a marijuana farm, where these 2 women assisted us– G-d bless them.So we were juicing flower tops, getting him some CBD oils, and he was doing really fantastic. We couldn’t remain in California, however, and returned to Texas, and the individuals on the farm consented to send out the medicine to us. The very first package came through.The second one was found by the feds, who took it and shut down their farm.Elisha, our beloved son, wasn’t getting his medication anymore. He declined. We flew to Manhattan for a different type of speculative procedure, but before we might start he fell under a coma, for about 3 months– and then he passed away.But then people started coming to us, inquiring about cannabis treatments. Not simply cancer clients: marijuana is by no suggests a remedy, G-d forbids, however it’s great for reducing lots of sort of symptoms. For circumstances, I have one good friend who gets dreadful migraines. He gets one a minimum of once a month, and it utilized to knock him out for like a week. He couldn’t operate. No medicine would help him. It used to be the only thing that would assist this person’s migraines was to go get a tattoo. So, he has tattoos all over his body. I’m not joking– perhaps not literally all over his body, but it’s a great deal of tattoos. And today? When he gets a migraine he’ll take a puff from a vape pen and a gummy and after that he’ll go to sleep and after that awake next morning– feeling totally fine. I have a neighbour here in Texas who has lupus and it’s truly a lot of assistance for her, but she’s unable to simply fly to Florida, Colorado and whatever whenever she needs a prescription. I understand one man who has a really considerable business in CBD oils. But he likewise works a few days a night delivering cannabis items to individuals. And who do you believe calls him? It’s not teens partying. It’s old people, sick people, who bless him with tears in their eyes due to the fact that they need this medication, it alleviates their pain, it assists them sleep. So this is the type of individuals that I do this work for.It began with a person here and a person there, however it extremely rapidly ended up being evident there was a substantial need for it. I initially approached CannaKids in California: they make and distribute strong cannabis products for kids. The creator initially set out to produce cannabis treatment protocols for her own daughter, who likewise had a tumor. I went there, satisfied them, we gave them the certification, and after that it started to branch off. The CBD market of course began to offer that there ought to be CBD products that are Kosher. We went to an MJBiz Conference (MJBizCon) in Las Vegas and simply began to provide individuals Kosher cannabis. An instant later on we went on LinkedIn and it grew extremely quickly from there.Why drugs require to bekosher Individuals hear” kosher

edibles “and get some really specific ideas. I do not authorize of recreational use, myself. However I also can’t limit my work strictly to classical medicinal marijuana and exclude edibles. Because many individuals, for whatever factor, might not be able to get medicinal cannabis where they live, or if they travel for circumstances, and still have some requirement for marijuana. And besides, different people soak up various chemicals differently. Some can take a tablet; others require oils or inhalations; others can just properly get the desired medicinal result through an edible.< source type ="image/webp"media= "( min-width: 768px)"srcset="https://d.newsweek.com/en/full/1739528/rabbicohen.webp?w=900&f=855bf2f59b11be7a0f22d9a5f80e8f1b 1x">
Rabbi Yaakov Cohen at work in Mexico, 2018 Courtesy And this is where kosher certification comes in. Due to the fact that for numerous Jewish individuals, the legality or illegality of cannabis is only half the problem. The other half is they can not know if what they are taking in is kosher or not– if its production abides by Jewish dietary laws.If you’re reading this, you may be thinking– huh. How can marijuana, or any plant, be kosher or non-kosher? Kosher is almost pork and seafood and not blending meat and dairy, right? Well, not precisely. Kosher laws specify what we can eat (cloven-hoofed animals, like cows; and sea creatures that have scales and fins, like fish), and excludes everything else. Bugs, for example, are out– simply like shrimps are. So, if you were chewing on raw cannabis leaves, and these leaves were plagued with bugs, and you mistakenly consumed those– that would be a transgression.Luckily, people don’t do

that– the closest they get is drying and smoking the flower tops which does not present a kosher issue. Any bugs caught up at the same time are incinerated, and anyway, you’re not swallowing them. So that’s not a problem. The issue starts with more processed kinds of cannabis. For instance, gummies and capsules: both are typically made with gelatin, which is essentially melted cow bones– or perhaps pig bones. Not appetizing to start with, however the concern for us is that even a cloven-hoofed animal is not kosher unless it’s been ritually butchered. So, if you’re consuming marijuana in gummy type, you have no chance of knowing that the gelatin is kosher. We are presently working with four processing plants that are converting to pectin– which is plant based, so it’s in the business’s own interest: no one in fact desires to be consuming melted bones, so pectin-based will appeal not simply to Jews, but likewise to vegetarians, vegans, Hindus– and, obviously, Muslims, who currently typically look for out kosher labels because if something is kosher, it’s also ensured to be halal. Oils, like vaping oils or CBD, are a different issue, because some oils are drawn out using ethanol, which comes from grapes– and there’s an entire set of kashrut laws that deals with grape-derived alcohol, because of how crucial wine is in Jewish routines, going all the way back to the Temple. A kashrut label likewise informs you that a different type of extraction has actually been used.An altering world It’s not that Judaism hasn’t engaged with marijuana beyond the kosher/not kosher question. There’s a debate about whether the weed is mentioned clearly in the Torah. For instance, one really important rabbi, Aryeh Kaplan, notes that amongst the spices they used for the oil with which they blessed the High Priest was “kanneh bossem”, aromatic reed, which rabbi Kaplan claims might be cannabis. Archeological digs in Israel that found domestic and local altars– bamahs– found traces of cannabis being burnt, probably as offering. To me, it goes deeper still. It’s widely known in Hebrew rabbinical ideas that all weeds and herbs have actually been distinctively blessed with the capability to heal. And there you have this weed with incredible advantageous powers that’s been overlooked for centuries and after that disparaged and maligned and cast aside. However as we gain from Psalms:

“The stone the builders rejected has become the foundation.”The world is altering– this rejected herb is ending up being the foundation of so much helpful treatment, helping a lot of people who are sick.So sure, you can say I’m on an objective. I wish to bring this medication offered to more people– definitely to people who would consider utilizing cannabis to alleviate their discomfort however are holding back due to the fact that of religious factors or stigma. But I also desire to assist break the barrier. I understand this couple in my neighborhood whose child was having seizures, like 300 seizures a day! We recommended they need to try Charlotte’s Web CBD. They said” No, it’s marijuana, we went to a Rabbi and he said no.”The seizures went on, the kid ended up with brain damage, the moms and dads got separated because the daddy could not handle it anymore, and this stigma, this bias, deeply damaged a child and broke up a family. It’s a terrible situation. There are many stories like this. My objective is to get rid of the preconception and make this medication more broadly available.As informed to Dimi Reider. Rabbi Yaakov Cohen runs the Entire Kosher Solutions accrediting agency.The views expressed in this post are the author’s own. Published at Sun, 21 Feb 2021 14:26:13 +0000

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