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Bidding Information
Lot #    20153
Auction End Date    4/1/2008 10:10:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kashrut Certificate for Coca Cola
Title (Hebrew)    תעודת הכשר - קאקא קאלא
Author    [Ms.] R. Samuel Aaron Halevi Pardes
City    Chicago
Publication Date    1956
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1] p., 280:217 mm., light age staining, creased on folds, typewritten on stationary, signed in ink, stamped, and dated.
   One of the early approvals for the popular drink. In the early 1930's, Rabbi Tobias Geffen of Congregation Shearith Israel in Atlanta received inquiries from Orthodox rabbis across the nation about the kosher status of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. Was this internationally popular soft drink kosher for Passover? There was much at stake here for observant Southern Jews. They wanted to enjoy cold, refreshing drinks as much as any other Southerner. More important, to refuse to drink a Coke because it was not kosher shut Jews off from a Southern ritual as sacred as fried chicken and watermelon. Rabbi Geffen approached Harold Hirsh, an attorney for the Coca-Cola Corporation, and told him he had to know what ingredients were in the "secret recipe" to certify the drink's kosher status. Sworn to secrecy about the recipe, Geffen in 1935 published a teshuva, or Jewish legal response, affirming Coca-Cola's kosher certification for Passover. "With the help of G-d," wrote Geffen, "I have been able to uncover a pragmatic solution according to which there would be no question or any doubt concerning the ingredients of Coca-Cola."

In fact, the soft-drink company did tweak a couple of ingredients in order to make the soda kosher. That year the Atlanta bottling company produced a bottle cap that included the first-ever certification in Hebrew stating that Coca-Cola was kosher and including Rabbi Geffen's name and the date. An April 3, 1936, issue of the Southern Israelite, a regional Jewish newspaper, advertised, "Coca-Cola in bottles now kosher for Passover."

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica