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Archive for the ‘Halacha For the Layman’ Category

Ma’aseh Avos = Halacha L’Ma’aseh

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
October 22nd, 2010
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When it comes to the parshiyos of sefer Bereishis, many people (mistakenly) kick back, relax and go on “cruise control”.  Now is the time for stories, not actually actively learning any “real halacha” from the Chumash.

However, this is the wrong approach. There is a plethora of relevant information that we can and should learn (lishmor v’la’asos) from the Avos and Imahos. This does not only fall into the realm of hanhaga, midos tovos and ma’asim tovim, but even halacha l’ma’aseh.

One prime example can be seen in this week’s parsha. But first a little background. It is well known (Shulchan Aruch Y”D 88,2) that if two people are eating together at a table, one eating meat and the other dairy, that a hekker (or something used to show that there is something different here – i.e separate placemats, or putting something distinctive down) is required, to highlight the fact that one is eating meat and other dairy in order to serve as a constant reminder not to chas v’shalom eat from each other’s plates and be nichshal in the issur of bassar b’chalav.

There is a machlokes haposkim between Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Y”D 88,1) and the Pischei Teshuva (Y”D 88,1) (actually the issue is really a lot more complicated, but this is the basic machlokes) whether appointing someone to stand over the two people eating to make sure that  they don’t eat from each other’s plates, (a shomer) also works like a hekker or not. Meaning can one rely on someone standing there instead of a hekker to allow them to eat together. Different poskim through the ages  have paskened like both sides of this machlokes.

The Lev Aryeh (Chullin 104b sv u’vazeh) as well as the Meam Loez (Yalkut Meam Loez  Parshas Mishpatim pg. 892 – Hebrew) without quoting each other, bring a proof to this issue from this week’s parsha, Parshas Vayera (18,8). The passuk states that upon welcoming the three angels, Avraham Avinu serves them a meal fit for a king, made up of both meat and dairy ingredients (tongue, as well as butter or cream). Then the passuk continues “And he stood over over them, under the tree, and they ate.” Both the Lev Aryeh and the Meam Loez, as well as Rav Elyashiv Shlit”a (Kovetz Haaros shel HaGrish (pg 16 s.v v’af) all ask why does the Torah have to specifically state that Avraham Avinu “stood over them”.

They maintain that it must be that while some of the angels were eating milk, the others were eating meat, and Avraham Avinu was acting as their shomer to make sure that “na’er the twain shall meet”. And, they bring this as proof that a shomer definitely should work as a hekker between meat and milk. Rav Elyashiv shlit”a (Ha’aros B”meseches Chullin 104b sv. Gezara) actually paskens this way as well. [An important yedia for all those learning hichos basar b'chalav].

One more short thought on this very subject, the Talilei Oros quoting the Meilitz Yosher asks why the passuk has to emphasize that the angels ate; especially because Rashi (ibid.) quoting the Medrash maintains that angels can not actually eat, rather they maintained the appearance of eating. The only difficulty with this is we all know the famous Medrash that by the time of receiving the Torah, the angels did not want to release it to Moshe Rabbeinu, until he told them they were undeserving of it as they did not actually keep the Torah, for they ate bassar b’chalav at Avraham’s house! But, we see they did not actually eat! So why did they lose the zchus of keeping the Torah?

The Meilitz Yosher answer that we see from the pasuk that even though they did not actually eat, the Torah still calls their actions eating. We see from here the power of “Maris Ayin”. This a Rabbinical decree not to engage in certain permissible acts that may look like committing an Aveirah m’Deoraysah.

For even though they may not have actually partaken in eating the forbidden basar bchalav, since they gave the appearance of doing so, all the angels lost their zchus of being able to keep the Torah. The expression might be “looks can be deceiving”, but even so, one must make sure not to engage in questionable activities, and even questionable-looking ones.

From the above mentioned pasuk we see not to take the hanhagos of the Avos lightly, as even from just a small act on their part, they impart to us a treasure trove of  hanhaga, hashkafa, and even halacha.

Noahide Halacha 101 or Meet the Adams Family

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
October 8th, 2010
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by Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Today, I will be meeting someone who is extremely concerned and knowledgeable about halacha, yet doesn’t even keep a kosher home. Neither has he ever observed Shabbos. On the other hand, he is meticulous to observe every detail of Choshen Mishpat.

Who is this individual?

Allow me to introduce you to John Adams who is a practicing Noahide, or, as he prefers to call himself, an Adamite.

Adams asserts that he descends from the two famous presidents, a claim that I have never verified and have no reason to question. Raised in New England and a graduate of Harvard Law School, John rejected the tenets of the major Western religions but retained a very strong sense of G-d’s presence and the difference between right and wrong. Study and introspection led him to believe that G-d probably had detailed instructions for mankind, and sincere questioning led him to discover that of the Western religions, only Judaism does not claim a monopoly on heaven. A non-Jew who observes the Seven Laws taught to Noah and believes that G-d commanded them at Har Sinai has an excellent place reserved for him in olam haba.

John began the practice of these laws. John is quick to point out that, with only one exception, these laws were all commanded originally to Adam. Since John is proud of his family name and lineage, he likes calling himself an Adamite.

 What are the basics of Noahide practice?

We all know that a gentile is required to observe seven mitzvos, six of them prohibitions, to avoid: idolatry, incest, murder, blasphemy, theft, and eiver min hachai (which we will soon discuss), and the seventh, the mitzvah of having dinim, whose nature is controversial. The Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah #416) and others note that these seven mitzvos are actually categories, and a non-Jew is really required to observe several dozen mitzvos.

 Kosher, Noah style

I asked John if eating meat presents any religious problems for him.

“Well, you know that Noah was prohibited from eating meat or an organ that was severed before the animal died, a prohibition you call eiver min hachai,” said John, obviously proud that he could pronounce the expression correctly. “So sometimes I come across meat that I may not eat. The following question once came up: Moslem slaughter, called halal, involves killing the animal in a way that many of its internal organs are technically severed from the animal before it is dead. Because of this, we are very careful where we purchase our organ meats.”

 May a Noahide Eat Out?

“This problem went even further,” John continued. “Could we eat in a restaurant where forbidden meats may have contaminated their equipment?”

I admit that I had never thought of this question before. Must a gentile be concerned that a restaurant’s equipment absorbed eiver min hachai? Does a Noahide needs to “kasher” a treif restaurant before he can eat there? Oy, the difficulty of being a goy!

“How did you resolve this dilemma?” I timidly asked.

“Well, for a short time our family stopped eating out,” he replied. “You could say that we ate only treif at home. My wife found the situation intolerable – no MacDonald’s or Wendy’s? Although I know that observant Jews do not understand why this is such a serious predicament, but please bear in mind that we made a conscious decision not to become Jewish. One of our reasons was that we enjoy eating out wherever we can.

“So I decided to ask some rabbis I know, but even then the end of the road was not clearly in sight.”

“Why was that?”

“I had difficulty finding a rabbi who could answer the question. From what I understand, a rabbi’s ordination teaches him the basics necessary to answer questions that apply to kosher kitchens. But I don’t have a kosher house – we observe Adamite laws. As one rabbi told me, ‘I don’t know if Noahides need to be concerned about what was previously cooked in their pots.’”

“How did you resolve the predicament?”

 How treif is treif?

“Eventually, we found a rabbi who contended that we need not be concerned about how pots and grills were previously used. He explained that we could assume that they had not been used for eiver min hachai in the past 24 hours, which certainly sounds like a viable assumption, and that therefore using them would only involve the possibility of a rabbinic prohibition, and that we gentiles are not required to observe rabbinic restrictions. The last part makes a lot of sense, since there is nothing in the Seven Laws about listening to the rabbis, although I agree that they are smart and sincere people. [Note: I am not certain who it was that John asked. According to Shu”t Chasam Sofer, Yoreh Deah #19 (at end), there would be no heter to use pots that once absorbed eiver min hachai. There are poskim who disagree with Chasam Sofer (see Darchei Teshuvah 62:5), but many of these hold that there is no prohibition altogether with a gentile using pots absorbed with eiver min hachai.]

“The result is that we now go out to eat frequently, which makes my wife very happy. It was a good decision for our marital bliss, what you call shalom bayis. Although I understand that this is another idea we are not required to observe, it is good, common sense.”

 Milah in the Adams Family

When John’s son was born, he raised an interesting shaylah. To quote him: “Circumcision as a religious practice originates with G-d’s covenant with Abraham, the first Jew. But my covenant with G-d predates Abraham and does not include circumcision. However, even though there was no religious reason for my son to be circumcised, my wife and I thought it was a good idea for health reasons. On the other hand, I know that many authorities forbid a gentile, which I technically am, from observing any commandments that he is not specifically commanded (see Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 10:9).”

John is a very gregarious type, and loves to explain things fully. “We actually had two concerns about whether we could circ John Jr. The second one was that many authorities contend that the seventh mitzvah of instating ‘Laws,’ which you call ‘Dinim,’ includes a prohibition against injuring someone (Ramban, Genesis, oops, I mean Bereishis 34:13). According to this opinion, someone who hits someone during a street fight may lose his world to come for violating one of our seven tenets. I have come too far to risk losing my share in the world to come, so I try very hard not to violate any of the laws. I called some rabbis I know to ask whether there was any problem with circumcising my son for health reasons. The rabbi I asked felt that since we are doing this for medical reasons, it is similar to donating blood or undergoing surgery. The upshot was that we did what no self-respecting Jew should ever do: We had a pediatrician circumcise John Jr. on the third day after his birth, to emphasize that we were not performing any mitzvah.”

 No Bris

Proud to show off his Hebrew, John finished by saying: “So we had a milah, but no bris. We also decided to skip the bagels and lox. Instead, my wife and I decided it was more appropriate to celebrate with shrimp cocktails, even though primordial Adam didn’t eat shrimp. All types of meat were only permitted to Noah  after the Deluge, which you call the mabul. I believe that some authorities rule that Adam was permitted road kill and was only prohibited from slaughtering, while others understand he had to be strictly vegetarian. My wife and I discussed whether to go vegetarian to keep up the Adams tradition, but decided that if meat was ‘kosher’ enough for Noah, it is kosher enough for us. We decided we weren’t keeping any stringent practices even if they become stylish.”

 Earning a Living

“Have you experienced any other serious dilemmas due to your being an ‘Adamite?’”

“Oh, yes. I almost had to change my career.”

I found this very curious. As John Adams seemed like an honest individual, it seemed unlikely that he had made his living by stealing or any similar dishonest activity.

Non-Jews are forbidden to perform abortions, which might affect how a Noahide gynecologist earns a living, but John is a lawyer, not a doctor. Even if John used to worship idols or had the bad habit of blaspheming, how would that affect his career?

 May a Gentile Practice Law?

John’s research into Noahide law led him to the very interesting conclusion that his job as an assistant district attorney was halachically problematic. Here is what led him to this conclusion.

One of the mitzvos, or probably more accurately, categories of mitzvos, in which a Noahide is commanded in the mitzvah of dinim, literally, laws. The authorities dispute the exact definition and nature of this mitzvah. It definitely includes a requirement that gentile societies establish courts and prosecute those who violate the Noahide laws (Tosefta, Avodah Zarah 9:4; Rambam, Hilchos Melachim 9:14). Some authorities contend that the mitzvah of dinim prohibits injuring or abusing others or damaging their property (Ramban, Breishis 34:13).

However, this dispute leads to another issue that was more germane to John’s case. There is a major dispute among halachic authorities whether Noahides are governed by the Torah’s rules of property laws, which we refer to as Choshen Mishpat (Shu”t Rama #10), or whether the Torah left it to non-Jews to formulate their own property and other civil laws. If the former is true, a non-Jew may not sue in a civil court that uses any system of law other than the Torah. Instead, he must litigate in a beis din or in a court of non-Jewish judges who follow halachic guidelines. Following this approach, if a gentile accepts money based on civil litigation, he is considered as stealing, just as a Jew is. This approach is accepted by many early poskim (e.g., Tumim 110:3). Some authorities extend this mitzvah further, contending that the mitzvos governing proper functioning of courts and civil laws apply to Noahides (Minchas Chinuch #414; 415). Following this approach, enforcing a criminal code that does not follow the Torah rules violates the mitzvah of dinim.

As John discovered, some authorities extend this idea quite far. For example, one of the mitzvos of the Torah prohibits a beis din from convicting or punishing someone based on circumstantial evidence (Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvos, Lo Saaseh #290; Sefer HaChinuch #82). If the same applies to the laws of dinim, a gentile court has no right to use circumstantial evidence (Minchas Chinuch #82, #409). Thus, John was faced with an interesting predicament. According to these opinions, a gentile who prosecutes because of circumstantial evidence might violate the Seven Mitzvos of Noah even if the accused party appears to be guilty. It is understood that according to these opinions, one may not prosecute for the violation of a crime that the Torah does not consider to be criminal, or to sue for damages for a claim that has no halachic basis.

 Napoleonic Code and Halacha

On the other hand, other authorities contend that non-Jews are not obligated to observe the laws of Choshen Mishpat; but instead the Torah requires them to create their own legal rules and procedures (HaEmek Shaylah #2:3; Chazon Ish, Bava Kamma 10:1). These authorities rule that gentiles perform a mitzvah when creating a legal system for themselves such as the Napoleonic Code, English Common Law, or any other commercial code. Following this approach, a non-Jew may use secular courts to resolve his litigation and even fulfills a mitzvah by doing so. Thus, John could certainly continue his work as a D.A. and that it would be a mitzvah for him to do so.

It is interesting to note that following the stricter ruling in this case also creates a leniency. According to those who rule that a gentile is not required to observe the laws of Choshen Mishpat, a gentile may not study these laws, since the Torah prohibits a gentile from studying Torah (see Tosafos, Bava Kamma 38a s.v. karu; cf., however, that the Meiri, Sanhedrin 59a, rules that a gentile who decides to observe a certain mitzvah may study the laws of that mitzvah in order to fulfill it correctly.) However, according to those who contend that the mitzvos of dinim follow the laws of Choshen Mishpat, a gentile is required to study these laws in order to observe his mitzvos properly (Shu”t Rama #10)).

 John’s Dilemma

The rabbis with whom John consulted felt that a gentile could work as a district attorney. However, John had difficulty with this approach. He found it difficult to imagine that G-d would allow man to make such basic decisions and felt it more likely that mankind was expected to observe the Torah’s civil code. He therefore gravitated to the opinion of those who held that gentiles are required to observe the laws of Choshen Mishpat. As a result, he felt that he should no longer work in the D.A.’s office, since his job is to prosecute based on laws and a criminal justice system that the Torah does not accept.

“What did you do?”

“I decided to ‘switch sides’ and become a defense attorney, which has a practical advantage because I make a lot more money.”

“How do you handle a case where you know that your client is guilty?”

“Firstly, is he guilty according to halachah? Did he perform a crime? Is there halachically acceptable evidence? If there is no halachically acceptable evidence, he is not required to plead guilty. Furthermore, since none of my clients are Noahides or observant Jews, they can’t make it to heaven anyway, so let them enjoy themselves here. Even if my client is guilty, the punishment determined by the court is not halachically acceptable. It is very unclear whether jail terms are halachically acceptable punishment for gentiles. Philosophically, I was always opposed to jail time. I think that there are better ways to teach someone to right their ways than by incarceration, which is a big expense for society.”

 Interesting Noahide Laws

“Have you come across any other curious issues?”

“Here is a really unusual question I once raised,” John responded. “Am I permitted to vote in the elections for a local judge? According to some authorities, the Torah’s prohibition against appointing a judge who is halachically incompetent applies equally to gentiles (Minchas Chinuch #414). Thus, one may not appoint a judge to the bench who does not know the appropriate Torah laws, which precludes all the candidates. When I vote for one of those candidates, I am actively choosing a candidate who is halachically unqualified to judge. I therefore decided that although there are authorities who rule this is permitted, and that therefore it is permitted to vote, I wanted to be consistent in my position. As a result, I vote religiously, but not for judgeships.

 Becoming Jewish

“John, did you ever consider becoming Jewish?”

“First of all, I know that the rabbis will discourage me from becoming Jewish, particularly since I don’t really want to. I know exactly what I am required to keep and I keep that properly. I have no interest in being restricted where and what I eat, and I have no interest in observing Shabbos, which, at present, I may not observe anyway, and that is fine with me (Gemara Sanhedrin 58b). I am very willing to be a ‘Shabbos goy’— and I understand well what the Jews need — but it is rare that I find myself in this role. Remember, I do not live anywhere near a Jewish community.

Although I have never learned how to read Hebrew – why bother, I am not supposed to study Torah anyway – I ask enough questions from enough rabbis to find out all I need to know.

 In Conclusion

Although it seems strange for a non-Jew to ask a rav a shaylah, this should actually be commonplace. Indeed, many non-Jews are concerned about their future place in Olam Haba and, had the nations not been deceived by spurious religions, many thousands more would observe the mitzvos that they are commanded. When we meet sincere non-Jews, we should direct them correctly in their quest for truth. Gentiles who observe these mitzvos because Hashem commanded them through Moshe Rabbeinu are called “Chassidei Umos HaOlam” and merit a place in Olam Haba.


Copied with permission from RabbiKaganoff.com.

Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff, a prolific Halacha writer, and former Rav and Dayan in Buffalo and Baltimore, currently serves as a Morah Hora’ah in Neve Yaakov in Yerushalayim. Rabbi Kaganoff, a renowned posek who answers shaylos from around the world, is the author of seven books on Rabbinic scholarship, both in English and Hebrew. He and his Rebbitzin are extraordinarily dedicated to the Jewish people, and work tirelessly to assist, support and teach. They have touched countless lives and earned the respect of thousands. He can be reached at ymkaganoff@gmail.com.

Rabbi Kaganoff also runs a Tzedaka Organization – Nimla Tal. To learn more about it or to donate, please click here: http://rabbikaganoff.com/about-nimla-tal.

The Ins and Outs of Sukkah Observance Or Attending the Ailing and the Uncomfortable

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
September 20th, 2010
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By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Question #1: I am a medical resident who must be on hospital duty during Sukkos. May I eat full meals outside the sukkah, or must I restrict myself to eating snacks that do not require being in the sukkah? If I am able to eat in the sukkah while on duty, do I recite the bracha of leisheiv basukah?

Question #2: Our family has a rotation system so that someone is always with Bubbie. Should we have only female members with her during Sukkos so that the men can be in the sukkah?

Question #3: Zeidie is aging, and getting him to the sukkah is increasingly difficult. Is he required to eat his meals there on Sukkos? Assuming that he may eat indoors, must he eat in the sukkah on the first night of Yom Tov?


The proper observance of the mitzvah of sukkah is to treat the sukkah as one’s home for the entire seven days of Sukkos (Mishnah and Gemara Sukkah 28b). A person should not only eat all his meals in the sukkah, but he should sleep, relax, and entertain company in the sukkah (Sukkah 28b; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 639:1). (Although in many places in chutz la’aretz people are not accustomed to sleeping in the sukkah because of safety, weather or personal concerns [see Rama 639:2], one should still arrange that he spend most of the day in the sukkah.) On the other hand, the mitzvah of sukkah is more lenient than other mitzvos of the Torah. For example, a mitzta’er, someone for whom being in the sukkah causes discomfort, is exempt from being in the sukkah (Sukkah 26a), as is someone ill (choleh) and his attendants (Mishnah Sukkah 25a). Thus, an aging Zeidie is probably exempt from sukkah, the same as someone who is ill.


 In commanding us concerning the mitzvah of sukkah, the Torah instructs: “You shall dwell (teishvu) in the Sukkah for seven days.” The Torah could just as easily have instructed “You shall be (tihyu) in the sukkah for seven days.” Why did the Torah use the word teishvu, dwell, rather than the word tihyu, be? Either term teishvu (dwell) or tihyu (be) implies that a person should use his sukkah as his primary residence through the Yom Tov! This is because the word teishvu implies something that tihyu does not: Teishvu implies that one is not required to use the sukkah in circumstances that one would not use one’s house the rest of the year (Tosafos Yom Tov, Sukkah 2:4). For example, a person whose house is very chilly will relocate temporarily to a warmer dwelling; if bees infest someone’s house, he will find alternative accommodations; if the roof leaks, one will find a dry location until it is repaired. Just as one evacuates one’s house when uncomfortable, so one may relocate from one’s sukkah when uncomfortable.


According to most poskim, illness does not excuse someone from observing a mitzvah unless it is potentially life-threatening (see Shu”t Rashba #238 and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 472:10, based on Gemara Nedarim 49b.) Moderate illness only exempts one from fulfilling the mitzvah of sukkah. Why is someone ill exempt for observing the mitzvah of sukkah? The poskim suggest several reasons why an ill person is exempt from mitzvas sukkah. I will present three approaches, and later in the article, some halachic differences that result:

I. Oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah — Preoccupation with one mitzvah exempts performance of a different mitzvah. Some contend that since halacha requires an ill person to devote himself to getting well, observing mitzvas sukkah conflicts with his need to take care of his health (Besamim Rosh #94). Thus, the principle of oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, that someone busy fulfilling one mitzvah is absolved from observing a different mitzvah, exempts him from being in the sukkah. According to this reason, an ill person should be exempt from mitzvas sukkah only when it conflicts with his medical needs. On the other hand, this approach contends that an ill person is exempt from all positive mitzvos, such as eating matzoh or marror on Pesach, whenever fulfilling the mitzvah conflicts with his medical needs, even if they are certainly not life threatening (Binyan Shelomoh #47).

II. Mitzvos tzrichos kavanah – Observing mitzvos necessitates cognizance. Other authorities exempt an ill person from mitzvas sukkah for a different reason: One fulfills a mitzvah only when one focuses on performing the mitzvah. This concept is called mitzvos tzrichos kavanah, fulfilling a mitzvah requires cognizance that one is executing one’s obligation; without this awareness, one has not fulfilled his requirement to observe the mitzvah. Based on this background, the Taz (640:8) explains that since someone ill cannot focus on the fact that he is fulfilling mitzvas sukkah, it is impossible for him to observe the mitzvah. According to this approach, a sick person is exempt from sukkah even if his illness does not make it any harder to observe the mitzvah (Mikra’ei Kodesh 1:35).

III. Teishvu ke’ein taduru – You should dwell in the sukkah the same way one dwells at home. Many authorities contend that an ill person is exempt from mitzvas sukkah because of teishvu ke’ein taduru (Ritva, Sukkah 26a s.v. Pirtzah; Bartenura, Sukkah 2:4; Aruch Laneir, Sukkah 26a; Mishnah Berurah 640:6, quoting Rabbeinu Manoach). Since an ill person will relocate from his home to more appropriate accommodations, he may similarly abandon his sukkah for a more comfortable place (Mishnah Berurah 640:6).


 Thus far we have learned that two categories of people are exempt from sukkah (1) the ill and (2) someone suffering discomfort (mitzta’er). Although both these people are exempt from living in the sukkah, there is a major halachic distinction between them. The Mishnah (Sukkah 25a) teaches that not only is a sick person exempt from mitzvas sukkah, but even those taking care of him. However, someone assisting a person who is mitzta’er is required to fulfill the mitzvah. Thus, if a prominent person who always has people attending to him finds the sukkah too cold, he may complete his meal in the house, but those taking care of him must remain in the sukkah if they themselves are not suffering. Therefore, regarding the question asked above whether family members attending an elderly grandparent are excused from sukkah depends on whether the elderly person is considered ill, in which case the attendant is absolved from sukkah, or whether it is simply respectful that he or she not be left alone, in which case the male attendant must eat his meals in the sukkah.


The question is: If the Torah absolved both an ill person and a suffering person from mitzvas sukkah, why is one aiding the sufferer required to observe the mitzvah while one assisting the ill is exempt? (Aruch Laneir, Sukkah 26a). I have found two disputing approaches to explain this phenomenon, and their disagreement hinges on a question that we must first discuss: Why is someone taking care of the ill exempt from mitzvas sukkah? The authorities present two approaches to explain this phenomenon.

A. Teishvu ke’ein taduru – Dwell in the sukkah as you do in your home Some exempt the attendant from sukkah because of the law of teishvu ke’ein taduru — someone attending the ill does not pay attention to whether he remains in his own home or not. If he needs to attend to the ill, he leaves his house to attend to them. Therefore, since the Torah instructs us to treat the sukkah as we would our home and he leaves his home to attend the ill, he may leave his sukkah for the same purpose. However, someone attending to a suffering person does not change all his living arrangements to attend to the sufferer’s needs. Just as he limits how much time he spends away from his home to attend to the sufferer’s needs and then returns home, so he may not absolve himself from the mitzvah of sukkah (Aruch Laneir, Sukkah 26a).

B. Oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah – Preoccupation with one mitzvah preempts observing a different mitzvah. Other poskim exempt attendants to the ill from sukkah because of oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, someone busy fulfilling one mitzvah is absolved from a different mitzvah. According to this approach, since attending the ill fulfills the mitzvah of bikur cholim, caring for the needs of the ill, performing this mitzvah exempts him from sukkah. However, one is not required to attend to the needs of someone who is mitzta’er and therefore his attendant is obligated to remain in the sukkah (L’vush, Orach Chayim 640).

Does any halachic difference result from this dispute? Perhaps. The Shulchan Aruch (640:3) rules that an attendant is exempt from eating in the sukkah only when the ill person needs him, but must return to the sukkah when his services are unnecessary. According to the approach of oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah, this decision is highly comprehensible since one is no longer oseik bemitzvah when he stops performing the mitzvah. However, if the attendant is exempt because of teishvu ke’ein taduru, it is difficult to explain why an attendant who is temporarily not needed must immediately return to the sukkah. Someone who is sleeping or eating indoors to escape rain is not required to reenter the sukkah immediately when the rain stops but may finish his meal or night’s sleep indoors (Gemara Sukkah 29a; Shulchan Aruch 639:6, 7). This is because a person who leaves his house because its roof leaks does not return in mid-meal or in the middle of the night when the roof repair is complete; he waits to complete his the meal or until morning before returning home. Similarly, someone outside the sukkah because of inclement weather that terminated may complete the activity before returning to the sukkah. Thus, the exemption of teishvu ke’ein taduru allows one to complete the meal or night’s sleep outside the sukkah. By this logic, someone attending to the ill outside the sukkah should be absolved from the mitzvah of sukkah even when the ill person does not need him, until he completes what he is doing. The Shulchan Aruch’s ruling requiring him to return to the sukkah as soon as his service is unnecessary implies that an attendant’s exemption is because of oseik bemitzvah and not because of teishvu ke’ein taduru.

We can now answer the first question raised above: May a medical resident on hospital duty during Sukkos eat full meals outside the sukkah? The answer is that he may eat full meals outside the sukkah as long as his services are necessary. If his services are temporarily not necessary, then it depends on the above-quoted dispute, and, per the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch, he should restrict himself to eat snacks that do not require a sukkah.


Is a sufferer required to eat in the sukkah the first night of Sukkos? The Rama (640:4) concludes that although a mitzta’er is absolved from fulfilling mitzvas sukkah the rest of the week, he must nevertheless eat a kezayis of bread in the sukkah the first night of Sukkos (see also Meiri, Sukkah 26a; Rama 639:5). Why must he eat in the sukkah this night if a mitzta’er is absolved from fulfilling mitzvas sukkah?

The answer is that there are two aspects to the mitzvah of sukkah. (1) The mitzvah to dwell in a sukkah all of Sukkos. However, one can theoretically avoid eating in the sukkah if one never eats a meal the entire holiday but survives on snacks that are exempt from the sukkah (Mishnah Sukkah 27a). (2) The requirement to eat in a sukkah the first night of the Yom Tov. We derive this requirement hermeneutically from the mitzvah of eating matzoh the first night of Pesach (Gemara Sukkah 27a). This mitzvah is an obligation — even if one chooses to not eat a meal all of Sukkos, he is still required to eat a kezayis of bread in the sukkah the first night.

Many authorities contend that a halachic difference exists between these two mitzvos. Just as a mitzta’er is required to eat a kezayis of matzoh the first night of Pesach, so too a mitzta’er is required to eat a kezayis of bread in the sukkah on the first night of Sukkos (Tur Orach Chayim 639). According to his opinion, the law of teishvu ke’ein taduru does not exempt eating in the sukkah the first night of Sukkos. Other Rishonim disagree, contending that the rules of teishvu ke’ein taduru apply on the first night just as they apply the rest of the week (Shu”t Rashba, quoted by Beis Yosef). Ashkenazim consider this to be an unresolved halachic issue; therefore if it rains the first night we eat at least a kezayis of bread in the sukkah but do not recite a bracha leisheiv basukah (consensus of most Acharonim, see Mishnah Berurah 639:35). Sefardim should ask their rav what to do, since Sefardic poskim dispute whether they are obligated to eat in the sukkah the first night of Yom Tov under these circumstances.


 Is a sick person required to eat the first night in the sukkah? This should depend on the reasons mentioned earlier. If an ill person is exempt because he is considered oseik bemitzvah, then he is also exempt the first night. Similarly, if he is exempt because of mitzvos tzrichos kavanah — illness distracts his ability to focus and thereby fulfill the mitzvah — he is also exempt from the mitzvah. However, if his exemption is because of teishvu ke’ein taduru, Ashkenazic practice will obligate him to eat a kezayis in the sukkah, albeit without reciting a bracha. Thus, whether Zeidie of Question #3 above is required to eat in the sukkah on the first night of Yom Tov is dependent on this dispute. (See the Ben Ish Chai, Haazinu #12 who rules that he is obligated to eat in the sukkah.)


What about someone attending the ill? Is he required to eat in the sukkah the first night of Yom Tov? Again, let us examine why an attendant is exempt from the mitzvah. I cited above two approaches: (1) Teishvu ke’ein taduru. (2) Oseik bemitzvah patur min hamitzvah. If one assumes that the attendant is patur because of teishvu ke’ein taduru, and we rule that these exemptions do not apply on the first night of Sukkos, then the attendant is obligated to eat at least a kezayis of bread in the sukkah (Aruch Laneir, Sukkah 26a). However, if the attendant is exempt because he is oseik bemitzvah, he is not obligated (see Eliyah Rabbah 640:8).


According to those who exempt an attendant from Sukkah because of oseik bemitzvah, does he recite a bracha if he chooses to eat in the sukkah? This question will directly affect the medical resident who asked: “If I am able to eat in the sukkah while on duty, do I recite the bracha of leisheiv basukah when doing so?” The question is whether someone performing a mitzvah when absolved because of oseik bemitzvah fulfills the mitzvah. There is another case affected by this issue. If the resident eats in the sukkah while he is attending an ill person (and he is patur from the mitzvah), and later in the evening someone relieves him from duty – is he now required to eat a kezayis in the sukkah since at the time he fulfilled the mitzvah he was not obligated? Most poskim rule that someone who is oseik in a different mitzvah and observes the other mitzvah fulfilled his obligation; thus, he is not required to eat another kezayis in the sukkah later (Shu”t Rama MiFanu #102; Shaar HaTziyun 475:39; Oneg Yom Tov #41). However, Shu”t Ksav Sofer (Orach Chayim #99 s.v. vi’ayein) contends that he is not yotzei and must eat another kezayis. In all of the above cases, I advise a reader with the shaylah to ask his rav for a definitive ruling.

May we all celebrate the upcoming Yom Tov and Mitzvos in the best of health!


Copied with permission from RabbiKaganoff.com.

Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff, a prolific Halacha writer, and former Rav and Dayan in Buffalo and Baltimore, currently serves as a Morah Hora’ah in Neve Yaakov in Yerushalayim. Rabbi Kaganoff, a renowned posek who answers shaylos from around the world, is the author of seven books on Rabbinic scholarship, both in English and Hebrew. He and his Rebbitzin are extraordinarily dedicated to the Jewish people, and work tirelessly to assist, support and teach. They have touched countless lives and earned the respect of thousands. He can be reached at ymkaganoff@gmail.com.

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Worms in Fish

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
August 15th, 2010
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 By Rabbi Mordechai Kuber

 Introduction – Shulchan Aruch (YD 84:16) prohibits intestinal worms, because they might originate outside the fish, but permits flesh worms, because they form in the permitted fish flesh.  Scientific research has long discredited SG (spontaneous generation), thereby casting the permissibility of flesh worms in doubt.  Many Poskim resolve this conflict by saying that worms appear to originate in the flesh, but that they actually begin in microscopic size outside the fish, but develop to visible, halachically relevant form only within the flesh.  Other Poskim, mainly in Eretz Yisrael, are not at all perturbed by this scientific rejection of SG, preferring instead Chazal’s literal word.

 Those who reinterpret SG confront numerous difficulties, as the microscopic-to-visible theory must clear numerous scientific and halachic hurdles.  Those who accept SG do not face any of these difficulties, but they nevertheless cannot permit worms that have been demonstrated to arrive in the flesh not through SG, but through invasion.  There are those who claim that the ubiquitous anisakis is such a worm, and is therefore prohibited.

 In this article, we present and discuss the difficulties confronting those who both reject SG and permit anisakis, and discuss the evidence presented that anisakis is invasive.

 This author publicly acknowledges that he is not a Poseik for Klal Yisrael.  His intention is only to acquaint readers with the issues, and to foster mature discussion.  In the final analysis, we follow the rulings of our Gedolim and Poskim.

 Difficulties with Applying Microscopic-to-Visible Theory – Applied to fish worms, this theory adopts the scientifically documented life cycle of internal fish parasites: microscopic larvae are ingested by crustaceans, which are subsequently ingested by the host fish; the larvae then migrate from the stomach to the flesh, where they develop and appear to have spontaneously generated.

 We presume the details to be roughly similar for all flesh worms, and therefore we discuss only the one most thoroughly researched.  Anisakis, when it hatches on the ocean floor, is 14-20 microns wide.  Some claim that the nascent worm is indiscernible by the human eye because of its narrowness.  Others note that it is as wide as angora hair and retinal stitches, which are both visible.  If anisakis is visible at this stage, and such external worms are confirmed as the source of fish-flesh infestation, then flesh worms must be prohibited.  Some counter that we may disregard the borderline visibility of hatched anisakis, and all the other difficulties we are about to present, because all this occurs in submarine secrecy, out of range of our detection.  Since we first discover the worms only within the flesh, we may presume that they originated there, regardless of how they actually arrived.  This approach is flawed, as the Gemara states that intestinal worms are prohibited because they are really outside trans-nostril invaders.  Thus, we are concerned about worms’ origins, even if their development and travels are shielded from view.  Therefore, if anisakis are visually discernible from the time of their hatching, they are certainly prohibited.

 Even if hatched anisakis are invisible, this theory must address the growth of the larvae to visible stage within the prohibited crustacean.  There is no explicit ruling concerning this, and the law seems to be disputed.  In addition, we would need to say that the transfer of the larva from the crustacean to the host fish is not considered as if the worm left its growth environment, for then it would be prohibited, even if it were permitted up to that point.  We would need to distinguish between these worms and a worm that develops within post-harvest fruit and crawls out, directly into another picked fruit.  In the latter case, we rule stringently, even though the worm never was exposed to the outside.  In this case, we would have to say that the host fish is also considered a growing environment, for the larva continues to develop there.

 We have still not cleared all the hurdles, even if the larvae have survived the triple challenge of their initial visibility, their development within prohibited crustaceans, and their transfer out of their growth environment to the host fish.  We still need to allow for their migration from the intestines to the flesh, while simultaneously claiming that other, prohibited larvae that could reside in the stomach cannot likewise pierce the intestinal wall.  This is obviously an untenable argument.

 Finally, a Gadol Hador has reputedly absolutely rejected the microscopic-to-visible theory.  He rules that even if larva is microscopic at the time of migration or initial ingestion, its visible, grown form is prohibited, since it developed from a migratory source.

 In summary, proponents of outside origin of permissible fish-flesh worms face significant challenges to their theory.

 The Migratory Evidence – As we mentioned in the introduction, worms that originate outside the fish are prohibited, even if we have not rejected SG.  Some have presented four proofs that flesh anisakis are migratory, and do not originate in the flesh.  First, identical anisakis are found in proximate abundance in the fishes’ stomachs.  Second, tunnels connect the worm-sites to the stomachs.  Third, worms seem less predominant in farmed fish, suggesting that worm-infested ocean waters are the external cause of flesh infestation.  Fourth, and finally, worms are more prevalent in the belly flaps and abdominal walls of fish, suggesting that this disparity of distribution results from the proximate source of the intestinal worms.

 Before we discuss these proofs, we mention that the current round of questioning the halachic status of flesh-worms was sparked by noticing migration from the peritoneum (abdominal-wall membrane) to the flesh underneath.  This membrane adheres to the muscle, and is not attached to the digestive tract.  There is no physical reason to classify it as part of the intestines.  In addition, there is no precedent in Halachah to prohibit the worms in this membrane; the worms there should be as permitted as are those in the flesh.  Hence, the worms observed to migrate are permitted worms, and there was never any cause for alarm!

 We now refute all four proofs.  First, proximity of intestinal anisakis does not compromise the ability of flesh to develop anisakis on its own, and therefore does not at all imply that the flesh worms are invaders.  Intestinal worms also developed within a fish or crustacean, and moved to their new, visceral home after the demise or ingestion of their former host.  Thus, there is no reason for the presence of intestinal worms to cast aspersion on the internally developing nature of their flesh-resident neighbors.  As an analogy, consider a farmer who purchases a few bushels of wheat at a roadside stand, and then dumps them between the rows of his wheat field.  Would it make any sense to suggest that the dumped wheat has not grown in a field, and then to continue along this faulty line of reasoning and conclude that the waves of grain have been transplanted?  Certainly not!  Likewise, the presence of ingested intestinal anisakis should not generate any suspicion at all about the native origins of the identical flesh worms.

 In addition, Pri Chadash (84:45) prohibits fish-liver worms because they invade through the nostrils, but does not seem concerned that abutting, intestinal worms might have infected the liver.  It seems that Pri Chadash is convinced that intestinal worms pose no migratory threat.  We also note that Pri Megadim (Sif’sei Daas 84:43) and others comment that intestinal worms are not certainly prohibited, but only out of doubt that they might have arrived from the outside.  It is likewise possible that they developed internally, as is the case with flesh worms.  So why should we be concerned about the presence of stomach worms, which might well have developed internally and be permitted?  We cannot permit them, because we are not certain, but that doubt should not foster speculation about possible migration of these unverified invaders.

 Regarding the second proof, we question the authenticity of the study that discovered these connecting tunnels.  How many worms were identified, and how many of them had tunnels connecting their location to the stomachs?  Apparently, not all worms, and not all fish, had connecting tunnels.  This author has observed worms without connecting tunnels.  The study seems inconclusive.  But even presuming that its observations are sound, we question its directional conclusions.  How do we know that these tunnels are evidence of migration from the stomach to the flesh?  Perhaps they are evidence of the opposite – of worms migrating from the flesh to the stomach!  

 Rav Yisrael Isserlin (Hagahos Shaarei Dura §47) says exactly this.  He permits white shwibrin worms that we observe burrowing from the surface deep into the flesh of fish, for we are certain that they originate within the fish flesh.  Rav Isserlin understands that even when we witness penetration of these worms, we may presume that they were originally internal, since we often find them in the flesh, and are therefore aware that they develop within the flesh.  Rav Isserlin is not concerned that these burrowing worms are originally external, and hence prohibited.  We presume that flesh worms developed internally, even when the possibility of external penetration is present!

 The third proof of migration seems more credible, for what else could account for the noticeably lesser incidence of infestation in farmed fish than in wild fish?  We could propose, with some lack of conviction, that controlled farm conditions are less conducive to worm generation than are the wild, polluted waters of the oceans.  Instead, we note with greater conviction that this proof is predicated on inconclusive and paltry evidence.  There seems to be no more than one publicly available scientific study, from 1989, that makes the case for the lack of incidence of anisakis in farmed fish relative to the abundance of its incidence in wild fish.  It discusses only salmon, comparing the zero incidence of anisakis in penned salmon, which are harvested at the age of only a year, to the abundance of infection found in wild salmon, which are caught as they return to spawn.  Thus, the study compares young, pampered fish to fish that have traveled thousands of miles and are hours away from death.  There is no question that the flesh of the older, more weary fish is much more susceptible to decay and worm generation than is that of the sprightly juniors.

 Finally, the fourth proof is the easiest to brand as presumptuous, because it could well be that the belly flaps and abdominal walls are more accommodating to worm generation than are other locations.  In a vacuum, stomach proximity might cause us to postulate about migration, but it is far from compelling enough to begin to challenge the universality of the Shulchan Aruch’s ruling.

 Arguments For and Against Permitting Flesh Anisakis

 Shulchan Aruch does not confine his ruling to a specific type of worm.  Therefore, if the possibility exists that other worms, possessing migratory capabilities, are prohibited, his blanket permissive ruling is unconscionably and irresponsibly misleading.  Rather, his unqualified ruling proves that migration is impossible.  Nevertheless, some Poskim claim that Shulchan Aruch discusses only worms known to him, all of which were not migratory, and not contemporary anisakis, whose migratory nature has been verified to their satisfaction.

 Some argue that modern-day catching and delivery methods allow fish to remain ungutted for much longer than in centuries, or even in decades, gone by.  Therefore, although Shulchan Aruch rules that we may presume that freshly caught fish could not have migratory worms in its flesh, we cannot safely presume the same for fish caught days ago.  We note that in Talmudic days, fishermen brought their ungutted fish to the market, sometimes a day or two after the catch (see Beitzah 24b and Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 515).  So if Chazal were not concerned about post-catch migration even if fish were left unrefrigerated and ungutted two days after the catch, why should we be concerned about it nowadays if fish is left ungutted for a few hours, and refrigerated throughout?

 Some invoke the force of tradition: since the codifying of the Talmud, no one has discussed today’s state of infestation where both the stomach and flesh are infested.  They posit that it is unreasonable to presume that such tandem infestation was never reached throughout the millennia.  Rather, there were certainly many incidences of such infestation, yet none of our sages of years gone by felt that the presence of nearby stomach worms negatively affects the permissibility of the flesh worms.

Others suggest that we cannot escape the attestation of the scientists that anisakis originate outside the fish, and migrate to the flesh from the intestines after they are ingested.  We reject this view, as scientists cannot be the arbiters of post-Talmudic change.  They cannot be objective, since they do not believe that worms could form within fish flesh on their own.  Consequently, they believe that anisakis must migrate to the flesh from the stomach, and they will perforce misconstrue and ignore all contrary evidence, or rush to their preconceived migratory conclusions without convincing evidence of such.  Thus, the conclusions of the scientific papers presented should be judged as presumptuous at best, and fraudulent at worst.

We also note that even the scientists are quite unclear about the source of the flesh worms.  The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states unequivocally that intestinal worms migrate to the flesh only after the host fish dies.  They are not discussing migration after the catch, but migration when fish die in the open waters and wait a while before being ingested by larger fish.  Thus, the scientists admit that contemporary worms cannot pierce the abdominal wall during a fish’s lifetime.  Accordingly, they would be perplexed when asked to explain the presence of flesh worms that clearly did not migrate there in the short time between catch and gutting.  Thus, even scientific theory points away from migration!

We also note that if intestine-piercing migration does occur, we would expect to find intestinal ulcers, and we do not. 

 We conclude with one halachic argument.  Rav Yitzchak of Dura (Shaarei Dura §47 and §52) rules that we must prohibit all flesh worms, since trans-nostril invasion is possible.  Although they may well have internally generated, these natives would not be distinguishable from immigrants, and thus we must prohibit all worms.  Shulchan Aruch rejects Rav Dura’s minority ruling, but we remain with an important lesson.  If concern about the possibility of invasion trumps the universality of internal sourcing, then we must prohibit every flesh worm, without exception.  There is no acceptable middle ground.  Hence, claiming that we must be mindful of possible invasion is tantamount to completely rejecting Shulchan Aruch!

 May all our actions, including eating fish and pondering the halachic status of its worms, bring glory to the sacred name of HaShem.


Due to publication constraints, this is an abridged and modified version of the original article.  For the complete version, which includes a comprehensive analysis of the Gemara and relevant Rishonim, please contact the author at JerusalemKosher@gmail.com.


Rabbi Mordechai Kuber, Rav of Beis Medrash Nachlas Tzvi Ohel Avraham in Telzstone, Israel,  is a world renowned kashrus expert and educator. He can be reached at JerusalemKosher@gmail.com.

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The Crisis of the Unwashed Meat

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
August 3rd, 2010
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by Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Devorah calls me: “During our summer vacation, I entered a butcher shop that has reliable supervision and noticed a sign on the wall, ‘We sell washed and unwashed meat.’ This seemed very strange: Would anyone eat unwashed meat? Besides, isn’t all meat washed as part of the koshering process? What did the sign mean?”

Michael asked me: “Someone asked me if I have any problem with the kashrus of frozen meat. What can possibly be wrong with frozen meat?”

Answer:  Today it is certainly ideal to have a steady supply of kosher meat with all possible hiddurim. However, in some circumstances this is not always feasible. This is where “washed meat” and “frozen meat” may enter the picture; both terms referring to specific cases whose kashrus is subject to halachic dispute.

Knowing that Devorah enjoys stories, I told her an anecdote that illustrates what can happen when kosher choices are slim.

I was once Rabbi in a community that has memorable winters. Our city was often covered with snow around Rosh Hashanah and on occasion it was still snowing in May. On many occasions, we could not use the sukkah without clearing snow off the schach, something my Yerushalmi neighbors find hard to comprehend.

One short erev Shabbos the weather was unusually inclement, even for our region of the country; the major interstate highway and all secondary “state routes” were closed because of a blizzard. The locals call this weather “whiteout” — referring not to mistake correction fluid, but to the zero visibility created by wind and snow.

Fortunately, I lived around the corner from shul and was able to navigate my way back and forth by foot. Our house too was, baruch Hashem, sufficiently stocked to get through Shabbos.

About a half-hour before Shabbos, in the midst of our last minute preparations, the telephone rang:

“Is this Rabbi Kaganoff?” inquired an unfamiliar female voice. I responded affirmatively, even though somewhat apprehensive. People do not call with shaylos late Friday afternoon unless it is an emergency. What new crisis would this call introduce? Perhaps I was lucky and this was simply a damsel in distress inquiring about the kashrus of her cholent, or one who had just learned that her crock pot may fail to meet proper Shabbos standards. Hoping that the emergency was no more severe, I listened attentively.

“Rabbi Kaganoff, I was given your phone number in case of emergency.” I felt the first knots in my stomach. What emergency was this when I hoped to momentarily head out to greet the Shabbos queen? Was someone, G-d forbid, caught in the storm! I was certainly unprepared for the continuing conversation.

“I am a dispatcher for the All-American Transport Company,” she continued. “We have a load of kosher meat held up by the storm that needs to be washed by 11 p.m. Saturday.” My caller, located somewhere in the Nebraska Corn Belt, was clearly more familiar with halachos of kosher meat than she was with the ramifications of calling a frum household minutes before candle lighting. Although I was very curious how All-American had located me, a potential lone washer in the Wilderness, the hour of the week required expedition, not curiosity. Realizing that under stress, one’s tone of voice can create a kiddush Hashem or, G-d forbid, the opposite, I politely asked if she could call me back in about 25 hours which would still be several hours before the meat’s deadline. I guess that she assumed that it would take me that long to dig my car out.

Later, I determined the meat’s ultimate destination, a place we will call Faroutof Town, information that ultimately proved highly important.

Why was a Nebraska truck dispatcher calling to arrange the washing of kosher meat? Before returning to our meat precipitously stalled at the side of the highway, I need to provide some halachic background.


In several places, the Torah commands that we may not eat blood, but only meat. Of course, blood is the efficient transporter of nutrients to the muscles and permeates the animal’s flesh while it is still alive. If so, how do we extract the prohibited blood from the permitted meat?

Chazal gave us two methods of removing blood from meat. One is by soaking and salting the meat, and the other is by broiling it. In practical terms, the first approach, usually referred to simply as kashering meat, involves soaking the meat for thirty minutes, shaking off the water, salting the meat thoroughly on all sides, and then allowing the blood to drain freely for an hour. At the end of this process, we rinse the meat thoroughly in order to wash away all the blood and salt. Indeed Devorah is correct that the salting of all meat involves several washings. She was correct in assuming that the sign she saw in the butcher did not refer to these washings, but to a different washing that I will soon explain.


An alternative method of extracting blood from meat is by broiling it. This is the only halachically accepted method of removing blood from liver. In this approach, the liver is sliced or slit to allow its blood to run out, the surface blood is rinsed off and the liver is placed under or over a flame to broil. Accepted practice is that we sprinkle a small amount of salt on the liver immediately prior to broiling it (Rama, Yoreh Deah 73:5).

Halachically, it is perfectly acceptable to broil any meat rather than soak and salt it. However, on a commercial level, broiling is impractical and therefore the usual method used for kosher cuisine is soaking and salting. For most of mankind’s history, this was performed at home, but contemporarily the properly supervised butcher or other commercial facility almost universally performs it.

Although this explains why one must salt meat before serving it, we still do not know why Ms. Nebraska was so concerned that her meat be washed en route.


The Geonim enacted that meat must be salted within seventy-two hours of its shechitah. They felt that after three days, blood inside the meat hardens and is no longer extractable through soaking and salting. Should meat not be soaked and salted within 72 hours, they ruled that only broiling successfully removes the blood. Of course, if one does not want to eat broiled meat, this last suggestion will not satisfy one’s culinary tastes.

Is there any way to extend the 72 hours?

The authorities discuss this question extensively. Most contend that one may extend the time if the meat is soaked thoroughly for a while during the 72 hours (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 69:13, see Taz ad loc.), although some permitted this only under extenuating circumstances (Toras Chatos, quoted by Shach 69:53). On the other hand, some authorities ruled that a minor rinsing extends the 72 hours (Shu”t Masas Binyamin #108). It became standard to refer to meat that was washed to extend its time by the Yiddish expression, gegosena fleisch, hence the literal English translation, washed meat.

Also, bear in mind that this soaking only helps when the meat was soaked within 72 hours of its slaughter. Once 72 hours have passed without a proper soaking, only broiling will remove the blood.


At this point in my monologue, Devorah interrupted with a question:

“You mentioned soaking the meat and extending its time for three more days. But the sign called it ‘washed meat,’ not soaked meat. There is a big difference between washing something and soaking it.”

“Yes, you are raising a significant issue. Although most early authorities only mention ‘soaking’ meat, it became common practice to wash the meat instead, a practice that many authorities disputed (Pischei Teshuvah, Yoreh Deah 69:28; Darkei Teshuvah 69:231- 237). There are also many different standards of what is called ‘washing’ the meat. Some hechsherim permit meat that was not salted within seventy-two hours of its shechitah by having the meat hosed down before the seventy-two hours have elapsed, and consider this washing as a renewal of the seventy-two hours. Thus, this meat is only permitted if it was washed within seventy-two hours of its shechitah or previous washing. If the meat was washed thoroughly, it is now ‘good’ for another 72 hours. If one is unable to kasher it by then, one can rewash it again to further extend its 72 hours. However, most authorities require that the meat be thoroughly wetted with a high-power hose so that the meat becomes moist even inside. This is unlike cases I have seen where someone sprays a light mist over the meat and assumes that the meat is ‘washed,’ or often simply takes a wet rag and wipes down the outside of the meat.”

“Why would anyone do that?” inquired Devorah?

“In general, people like to save work and water, and soaking properly a whole side of beef is difficult and uses a lot of water. In addition, if one hoses meat while it is on a truck, the water may damage the wood of the truck, whereas it is even more work to remove the meat from the truck. But if one does not hose the meat properly, most authorities prohibit it.

At this point, we can understand why Ms. Nebraska was concerned about the washing of the meat. She knew that if the meat went 72 hours without being hosed, the rabbis would reject the delivery as non-kosher. During my brief conversation, I asked her if she knew the last time the meat was washed. “It was last washed 11 p.m. Wednesday and needs re-washing by 11 p.m. Saturday,” she dutifully notified me.

At this point, I noted to Devorah that we now had enough information to answer her question. “The sign in the butcher stating that they sell washed meat means that they sell meat that was not kashered until 72 hours after its slaughter, but was washed sometime before the 72 hours ran out. It does not tell us how they washed the meat, but it is safe to assume that they did not submerge it in water. If they were following a higher standard, they hosed the meat on all sides until it was soaking wet. If they followed a different standard, hopefully, they still did whatever their rav ruled. Since you told me that it was a reliable hechsher, presumably they hosed the meat thoroughly.”

I then asked Devorah if she wanted to hear the rest of the blizzard story. As I suspected, she did – and so I return to my anecdote.


By Motza’ei Shabbos the entire region was in the grips of a record-breaking blizzard. Walking the half block home from shul had been highly treacherous. There was no way in the world I was going anywhere that night, nor anyone else I could imagine.

At the very moment I had told the dispatcher I could be reached, the telephone rang. A different, unfamiliar voice identified itself as the driver of the stuck truck. His vehicle was exactly where it had been Friday afternoon, stranded not far from the main highway.

The driver told me the already-familiar story about his load of kosher meat, and his instructions to have the meat washed before 11 p.m. if his trip was delayed.

There was little I could do for either the driver or the meat, a fact I found frustrating. Out of desperation, I called my most trusted mashgiach, Yaakov, who lived a little closer to the scene of the non-action. Yaakov was an excellent employee, always eager to work whenever there was a job opportunity. I explained the situation to him.

“Rabbi,” responded Yaakov, “I was just out in this storm. Not this time. Sorry.”

I was disappointed. Not that I blamed Yaakov in the slightest. It was sheer insanity to go anywhere in this storm. In fact, I was a bit surprised at myself for taking the matter so seriously. After all, it was only a load of meat.

With no good news to tell the trucker, I was not exactly enthusiastic about calling him back. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings. So I procrastinated, rather than tell the trucker he should sit back and wait for his kosher meat to expire.

An hour later, the phone rang again with Mr. Trucker on the line. “Rabbi,” He told me, with obvious excitement in his voice, “I’ve solved the problem.” I was highly curious to find out where he located an Orthodox Jew in the middle of a blizzard in the middle of nowhere. For a fleeting moment I envisioned a frum Jew stranded nearby and shuddered at the type of Shabbos he must have had.

The trucker’s continuing conversation brings me back to the reality of the unwashed meat.

“Well, Rabbi,” he exclaimed with the exhilaration Columbus’ lookout must have felt upon spotting land, “I discovered that I was stranded a few thousand feet from a fire station. And now all the meat has been properly hosed. Listen to this letter.” The trucker proceeded to read me the documentation of his successful find:

“On Saturday evening, the 22nd of January, at exactly 9:25 pm, I personally oversaw the successful washing of kosher load of meat loaded on trailer 186CX and tractor 2008PR. To this declaration I do solemnly lend my signature and seal,

“James P. O’Donald, Fire Chief, Lincoln Fire Station #2.”

Probably noticing my momentary hesitation, the trucker continues, “Rabbi, do I need to have this letter notarized?”

“No, I am sure that won’t be necessary,” I replied. I was not about to tell the driver that halachah requires that a Torah observant Jew supervise the washing of the meat. On the contrary, I complimented him on his diligence and his tremendous sense of responsibility.

At this point, I had a bit of halachic responsibility on my hands. Since I knew the meat’s ultimate destination, I needed to inform the rav in Faroutof Town of the situation.

I was able to reach the Faroutofer Rav, Rabbi Oncelearned. “I just want to notify you that your city will shortly receive a load of meat that was washed under the supervision of the ‘Fire Station K.’” Rabbi Oncelearned had never heard of the “Fire Station K” supervision and asked if I was familiar with this hechsher. I told him the whole story and we had a good laugh. I felt good that I had supplied Rabbi Oncelearned with accurate information and prepared him for the meat’s arrival. After all, it would be his learned decision that would rule once the meat arrived in town.


Of course, Rabbi Oncelearned now had his own predicament: Would he have to reject the town’s entire order of kosher meat, incurring the wrath of hungry customers and undersupplied butchers? Or could he figure out a legitimate way to permit the meat.

There was indeed a halachic basis to permit the meat under the extenuating circumstances because of a different heter, but not because of the Lincoln fire station hose.


It is common that meat is slaughtered quite a distance from where it is consumed – such as slaughtering it in South America, and shipping it frozen to Israel. Today, all mehadrin supervisions arrange that meat shipped this way is kosher butchered (called trabering) and kashered before it is frozen and shipped. This is a tremendous boon to proper kashrus, but it is a relatively recent innovation. Initially, these meats were shipped frozen and, upon reaching their destination several weeks later, they were thawed, trabered and kashered. Thus, the question developed whether this meat was fit to eat since it arrived weeks after its slaughter.

In truth, earlier halachic authorities had already debated whether meat frozen for 72 hours can still be kashered by salting, some contending that this meat can only be broiled (Minchas Yaakov, Responsum #14 at end, quoted by Be’er Heiteiv 69:8; Pri Megadim, Sifsei Daas 69:60), whereas others ruled that deep freezing prevents the blood from hardening (Aruch HaShulchan, Yoreh Deah 69:79; Yad Yehudah 69:59; Shu”t Yabia Omer 2:YD:4 and Shu”t Yechaveh Daas 6:46). Some frowned on making such arrangements lechatchila, but ruled that kashering this meat (by salting) is acceptable under extenuating circumstances (Shu”t Igros Moshe, Yoreh Deah 1:27; 2:21).

Rabbi Oncelearned consulted with a posek who reasoned that since the truck had been stuck in a major blizzard, unquestionably the meat had been frozen solid and that they could rely on this to kasher the meat after it thawed out. Thus, the firemen’s hose was used for naught, but I never told them. Please help me keep it a secret.

Someone meticulous about kashrus plans trips in advance to know what hechsherim and kashrus situations he may encounter. If one’s plans go awry, he should be aware that in extenuating circumstances, a rav may permit products that he would never allow in a normal situation.


Editor’s note by R’ Y. Spitz -  I would like to add a few words about “basar kafoo” – meat frozen before salting.
The Minchas Yaakov (quoted) held of a “mamah nefshach” that either way it should still be forbidden – he was unsure of what freezing is halachically considered – if its considered water, then it would become kavush (pickeled), and assur after 24 hours (something completely immersed in liquid for 24 hours is considered as if it was cooked in it – here it would be as if cooked in blood and therefore forbidden). And if it’s not – then it should be considered meat sitting out for 3 days – and also assur – That’s why he only permitted it by roasting. The Chavas Daas (69 sk 5) as well as the Pri Megadim (SD 69, 53, sv yirah li) pasken this way. Many later poskim also pasken this way – that one should not rely on this at all:  Shu”t Tevuos Shemesh (see Pischei Teshuvah 69 sk 6) Shu”t Shevet Halevi, vol 2, 35; Shu”t Yaskil Avdi vol 1 Y”D 2; Shu”t Minchas Chein Y”D 2 – that kavush only applies by wet, but freezing is considered dry and therefore will dry up the blood.

The Yad Yehuda (68,29 – also in Darchei Teshuva 69, 50) and Aruch Hashulchan (69,79) were mechadesh that the Minchas Yaakov was only referring to regular frozen that is problematic, but if it becomes frozen enough “k’even” – hard as a rock - then there is a new metzius and it preserves it as good as new and therefore would be permissable.  However – the Pri Megadim’s words show that he does not hold of this differentiation at all.

There are a few contemporary poskim who use this logic to permit our deep freezing nowadays – R’ Ovadiah Yosef (quoted), as well as Shu”t Emek Halacha (26) and Shu”t Mishpatei Uziel Y”D 6, end par 1). But interestingly, or rather intriguingly, more than 40 years after his original teshuvos on topic, Rav Ovadiah in Shu”t Yabia Omer (vol 7, Y”D 4) revisits the matter and concludes like he originally wrote - Even while citing the opinions of  the Machmirim who only permitted by significant financial loss – as proof that its muttar – and even lchatchila!!

Most contemporary authorities, however, only permitted deep freezing by significant financial loss or bshas hadchak (both of which occured in the article) -including the Igros Moshe (quoted); Shu”t Seridei Aish vol 2 y”d 61, Achiezer vol 4,30;  Shu”t Teshuvos L’shoel (9); Tzafnas Paneach – letter to Kol Torah – brought in Yabia Omer vol 7, Y”D 4); Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos vol 4, 185 ; Maadanei Hashulchan – Pe’er Hashulchan 69, 683-685).  As with all halachic issues, a competent halachic authority should be consulted.


Copied with permission from RabbiKaganoff.com.

Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff, a prolific Halacha writer, and former Rav and Dayan in Buffalo and Baltimore, currently serves as a Morah Hora’ah in Neve Yaakov in Yerushalayim. Rabbi Kaganoff, a renowned posek who answers shaylos from around the world, is the author of seven books on Rabbinic scholarship, both in English and Hebrew. He and his Rebbitzin are extraordinarily dedicated to the Jewish people, and work tirelessly to assist, support and teach. They have touched countless lives and earned the respect of thousands. He can be reached at ymkaganoff@gmail.com.

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Problems in Paradise? – Living on Top of a Shul

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
July 5th, 2010
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A Halachic Analysis

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman

Some young American bachurim studying in the Brisker Yeshiva run by Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Solo­veitchik, shlita, in Yerusha­layim, have just raised an intriguing problem. A building across the street on Rechov Press, in the Geulah section of Yerushalayim, once belonged to the Ner Yaakov Yeshiva and Kollel. The building was recently sold and is now the “unofficial dormitory” of the Brisker Yeshiva. Some young men stay in rented apartments. Others, however, stay in this unofficial dormitory. The boys in the dorm must pay a monthly rent of $130. In addition, every two months, the costs of all the utilities are divided up and shared by all the dorm boys. The meals are provided just across the street. On the bottom floor is a beis midrash which is rented out to a yeshiva for Yerushalmis.

The low cost, the nearness of the yeshiva meals, the close proximity to the Brisk Yeshiva where they learn—this is utter paradise! What could possibly be the problem?

The problem is that the dormitory is on top of a beis midrash. The Shulchan Aruch O.C.  (151:12) writes as follows: One must be careful to avoid using an aliyah (an attic or second floor) that is above a beis haknesses [this also includes a beis hamidrash] regularly for a use which is “legnai”—indecorous or unseemly. The Shulchan Aruch cites sleeping or lying down as an example of an unseemly activity. He further writes in Part B of this halachah that there is a question as to whether other types of activities are permitted in such a location.

The Rema writes that this halachah only refers to a shul which was initially established as a shul. However, in a building that was originally built as a regular building and only afterward established as a shul, one may indeed lie down. The Rema’s leniency stems from a ruling of the Piskei Mahari. On this Rema, however, the Mishnah Berurah (OC 151:42), citing the Magein Avrohom who cites the Kneseth HaGedolah, remarks that, nonetheless, one who is concerned for his soul should distance himself from this—especially in the section above the heichal. And of late, this has become a widespread problem. With few exceptions, yeshiva after yeshiva has built a floor above the beis midrash that is used for dorm facilities. Even though the Rema permits it, the Mishnah Berurah tells us that we should distance ourselves from it.

The Shulchan Aruch’s question in Part B about other types of activities is explained by the Mishnah Berurah as being based upon the following question: Do we compare a shul to the azarah in the Beis Hamikdash, in which case the upper sections do not retain a state of holiness? Or perhaps do we compare a shul or beis hamidrash to the heichal of the Beis Hamikdash itself, in which case the upper sections would retain a state of holiness?

It is also interesting to note that if the upper section was built at the same time as the shul or beis hamidrash then it is certainly permitted. This is the ruling of the Mishnah Berurah too. There is one caveat, though, and it is an important one.

The Mishnah Berurah states, (as does the TaZ) that a use which is extremely unseemly would also be forbidden even in circumstances where the upper building was built at the same time as the shul or beis midrash. Examples of extremely unseemly activities are ones that smell horrible and if a gentile is performing avodah zarah there. These things prevent the tefillah from travelling up to heavenly realms. The TaZ compares it to the halachos of amen found in Orech Chaim Chapter 55. He explains that “even though an iron wall will not prevent prayers from reaching our Father in Heaven, this stuff will.”

Would it be OK  if it is several floors above the beis hamidrash?  The Avnei Naizer in OC #32 says that it is not.

One might point out that surely this is not a new question. The building must have been used as a dormitory beforehand. Surely there is room for leniency then. What was the rationale of the previous tenants or owners?

There is one opinion that must certainly be central to any lenient position espoused. The Aruch Hashulchan writes that the issue is not a fully halachic issue, but rather a question as to whether one should make a commemoration of every mikdash me’at to compare it to the heichal. This position would indicate that there certainly is room to be lenient.

The TaZ, however, in Orech Chaim 151:4 writes that when he was younger he and his children lived in his beis midrash in the city of Cracow, above a shul. He writes that he was punished severely and lost his young son [apparently in a fire]. He placed the blame on the fact that he lived above a shul.

The TaZ’s very sad narrative seems to indicate that he is not in agreement with the position of the Aruch HaShulchan and that he holds that this law is not a mere commemoration, but actual binding law. The language of the Kneseth HaGedolah is also somewhat frightening. He writes, “Whoever I have seen who has made a beis hamidrash in his house and he uses the floor that is above this beis midrash did not succeed. Of them, some have lost their wealth, some have died, and some did not merit to be built.”

Is there no hope then for the young men on Press Street in Geulah?

The Steipler Gaon, zt’l, in Kreina D’Igrasa Vol. II #86 addresses the issue and writes that in our times in the big cities people are lenient and we may apply the expression, “The masses have already trampled here and Hashem watches fools…” Rav Ovadiah Yoseph, shlita, has a responsum (Yabia Omer OC VI #26) that one can be lenient on a third floor or above. The Sheivet HaLeivi has a similar leniency in his responsa Vol. I #27. Both opinions seem to accept the Aruch HaShulchan’s underlying rationale. Indeed, the Mishnah Berurah himself seems to reject part of the TaZ’s halachic structure in comparing this to the case of avodah zarah and activities that smell horrible.

Dayan Weiss, zt’l, in Minchas Yitzchok Vol. II #48 seems to be stringent, however.

An interesting story comes to us from one of our readers in Kiryat Sefer: “I moved into Kiryat Sefer the day it opened almost 17 years ago. For quite a few years all the shuls were in miklatim [bomb shelters] and there were some serious accidents, cholim, etc. We went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky [the son of the Steipler Rav mentioned earlier] and asked him what type of tikkun [rectification] we can do. He asked us where the shuls are. Telling him that most of the shuls were located in the miklatim under apartments, he mentioned that his father was very makpid on this. Together with the builders of Kiryat Sefer and the gabbaim, a date was set for all shuls to be moved into temporary caravans or permanent buildings.

“I cannot tell you exactly how long ago this was . . . at least 12 years ago. It gave us a push to get the shuls built. Also, until we did move out, Rav Chaim told us to cordon off the exact area where the bathroom was located on the floor directly above the shul and not to daven there. Rav Shteinman was also involved with this p’sak . . . I know that he was also pushing for us to move out of the miklatim.”

 The conclusions?  There is room to be lenient, especially on a third floor. However, one who wishes to be stringent, a blessing will certainly come upon him.


[Editors note: By R' Y. Spitz - I have found a few other leniencies for these bochurim: The Sheivet Halevi (vol 5, 18) differentiates between the two positions. He maintains that the reason the Taz wrote not to live on top of a shul was not for halachic reasons, ratherfor  Kabbalistic ones. Therefore, in Eretz Yisrael where living is a mitzva, certainly one would not have to worry about kabbalistic problems while performing the mitzva of yishuv Eretz Yisrael. The Avnei Yashpeh (vol 1, 24) has another take on the issue and concludes that if one is living on a high floor and he was there first, then even for shomer nafsho there would not be a requirement, even lchatchila, to leave. There are also those of the opinion that the problem only arises when one owns the property, but if only renting (like these bochurim), since it is only temporary, one need not worry.]


Copied with permission from www.5tjt.com.

The author can be reached at  Yairhoffman2@gmail.com

Rabbi Yair Hoffman, the the former morah d’asra of the Young Israel of Patchogue, has written many seforim on issues of halacha, including on the topics of mezuzah and lifnei iver. He currently serves as a  rebbe and mechanech in the Five Towns area. He is a frequent Halachic contributor for the Five Towns Jewish Times.  www.5tjt.com

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A Halachic Glance At Magic

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
June 28th, 2010
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A Halachic Glance at Magic

by Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer

Magic tricks and magic shows are a part of modern Western culture, and they have become a familiar part of most of our lives. We are used to over-the-counter magic tricks, to magicians at birthday parties, and to more sophisticated magic shows. But what does halachah say about this issue?

 The Torah writes that Balak sent envoys with “charms in their hands”

Are today’s “charms” permitted?   This article deals briefly with the issue of magic in the modern day.

For there is no divination in Yaakov and no sorcery in Israel…
(Bamidbar 23:23)

The “magic industry” of western society has filtered through to many areas of our lives. We are well-accustomed to small-scale magic shows for birthday parties, larger-scale shows for public entertainment, and over-the-counter magic tricks of varying levels and complexity, for the private home.

If our son or daughter would come home excitedly, rattling off a tale of how a friend had barely finished whispering ‘abracadabra’ before a ball simply vanished in front of his eyes, we would barely bat an eyelid. For many of us, magic tricks are part of the culture we live in.

But what is the Torah outlook on such matters? Does this involve an issue of geneivas daas, whereby our child has been tricked into believing that the magical abracadabra really did something? Furthermore, does it involve a witchcraft-related prohibition? Should we perhaps be batting an eyelid, or even more?

Geneivas Daas—Deception

We open with the question of geneivas daas, literally “theft of the heart,” or deception. What does this prohibition involve, and could it be pertinent to the issue of magic tricks?

After introducing the general prohibition of trickery and falsehood, and the obligation to keep our verbal expression in line with our inner thoughts, Rambam (De’os 2:6) adds the following:

“It is forbidden to steal the heart of creatures, even the heart of a non-Jew. How is this so? One may not sell non-kosher meat to a non-Jew, under the pretense that the meat is kosher … one may not plead insistently with one’s fellow that he should dine with him, in the knowledge that he will not do so … one may not open numerous barrels in someone’s presence, feigning that he is opening them in his honor, while in fact he must open them for trading purposes. This, and anything similar—even a single word of deception—is forbidden; rather, one’s tongue should be true, one’s spirit sincere, and one’s heart pure of all corruption and crookedness.”

According to certain authorities, the prohibition of deception is a Torah transgression, derived from the instruction not to steal, which includes all forms of theft (even “theft of the heart”). Thus Semag (Negative Commandment 155) and Shulchan Aruch Harav (Onaah 11) note that the prohibition is a Torah law, whereas Semak (262) and Bach (Choshen Mishpat 228) write that the prohibition is of rabbinic nature (Rambam makes no mention of the prohibition in his Sefer Ha-Mitzvos).

One way or another, Chazal note the special severity of geneivas daas. Tosefta (Bava Kama 7:3), as cited by Ritva and other rishonim, states that of several forms of theft, geneivas daas is the most severe. Ordinary theft relates to the most external part of man: his possessions; geneivas daas strikes at the innermost layer of the human heart.

Not Every False Impression is Deception

However, not every case of incorrect representation is considered deception. The Gemara (Eiruvin 100b) teaches that a man should appease his wife by telling her of his intention to buy her an exquisite garment, thereby expressing her stature as deserving of such grandeur. Ultimately, however, he reveals the truth: he lacks the means to purchase the gift. The original declaration is not considered deception because of the intention: not to deceive, but to flatter.

A similar application is found in one of the halachos referred to in the above citation from Rambam, which teaches that one may not repetitively invite another to one’s house in the full knowledge that he will not come. The essence of this prohibition is that the inviter gives a false impression of a burning desire to serve and wait upon the invitee. Through creating this impression, the inviter hopes to extract future favors from the other.

If, however, one invites another to be one’s guest, once again in the full knowledge that he won’t accept, but for the genuine purpose of honoring the invitee, no prohibition is transgressed. On the contrary, it is considered proper manners to offer a guest a cup of tea or a glass of water even when one is entirely sure that he will decline the offer. The prohibition of geneivas daas is a matter of deception; when the intent is purely positive, there is no prohibition.

As we will see later, this line of reasoning might to be of relevance to the halachic status of performing magic tricks.

Sorcery or Slightness of Hand

We now turn to the words of halachic authorities concerning magic. The magic tricks of today are not merely fads of Western culture—although their form and nature have evolved with society. Magic has been around for many a year, as we find in the following words of the Gemara: “Rav said to Rabbi Chiya: ‘I once saw an Ishmaelite who took out his sword and cut a camel into pieces. Then he rang a bell, and the camel stood on its feet!’ Rabbi Chiya responded, ‘Did you see the blood and excrement of the camel? Rather, it was [nothing but] deceit of the eyes’” (Sanhedrin 67b).

The Mishnah (Sanhedrin 7:11; 67a) states one who merely “deceives the eye” is exempt from punishment. According to Kessef Mishnah and Lechem Mishnah, this implies that there is no punishment at all for “deception of the eye”—not even the punishment of malkus (lashes) (Avodah Zarah 11:15). Others, however, point to Rambam’s commentary on the Mishnah as proof that the punishment of malkus does apply, for the prohibition is a Torah offence (see also Ramah, Sanhedrin 67b).

Indeed, Rambam himself seems to contradict himself on this issue. Whereas in one place he quotes the words of the Gemara exempting “deception of the eye” from punishment, elsewhere he writes as follows: “A me’onen (see Devarim 18:10) is someone who deceives the eye (achizas einayim), using trickery, such as sleight of  hand, to perform deeds that appear wondrous. Examples of this phenomena are, someone who takes a rope, places it under his garment, and extracts a snake, or someone who throws a ring into the air, only to find it in the mouth of a member of the audience. This is a form of sorcery, and one who practices it receives malkus, and transgresses the prohibition of deception” (Sefer Ha-Mitzvos, Negative Mitzvah 32).

Bach (Yoreh De’oh 179) resolves this contradiction, together with a seeming contradiction with an additional ruling of Rambam (Avodah Zarah 11:9, which states that deception of the eyes is penalized by malkus (lashes), by distinguishing between two forms of deception: one that uses sorcery to make it appear that he did something when in actuality he did nothing, and one that does not use witchcraft but actually does something with sleight of hand. In his opinion, deception which relies on mere sleight of hand but actually does something involves a full transgression of the prohibition of me’onen, and obligates those who practice it in a penalty of Torah malkus. An act of deception that manipulates true sorcery to make it appear that something has happened but actually nothing did, however, is exempt from malkus, because there is no actual “deed”.

Differing Views of Different Generations

According to Bach, deceptive magic tricks thus transgress a full Torah prohibition of me’onen, aside from the transgression of geneivas daas, deception, mentioned by Rambam. Shach (Yoreh De’oh 179:17) cites the ruling of Bach, and concurs, as does Chayei Adam (89:6) and Mishnas Chachamim (47; see also Pischei Teshuvah Yoreh De’oh 179:7 and Darkei Teshuvah 37).

Chayei Adam adds that one who orders and pays for such a magician would thus transgress the prohibition of placing a stumbling block in front of the blind. He further states that it is likewise prohibited to view a magic show in which such tricks are presented.

Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, however, finds this ruling most difficult to accept (Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’oh 4:13). It is implausible, he reasons, that mere sleight of hand should involve a Torah prohibition. Surely, he continues, we find that individuals gifted with wondrous powers are permitted to make use of them, even if others will inevitably think that supernatural forces are at work. Shimshon could therefore make use of his supernatural strength against the Philistines, and Naftali could run at incredible speed to fetch the document proving the sale of Me’aras Hamachpeilah to Yaakov from Egypt.

The same, states Harav Feinstein, is true of sleight of hand with regard to magic tricks. Furthermore, whereas Shach cites a ruling of Rema (responsa 67) to back the ruling of Bach, Iggros Moshe uses the same reponsa to refute Bach, demonstrating that there is no prohibition on deceiving the eyes through natural means alone. Harav Feinstein maintains this to be true even according to Rambam.

Being wary of disputing those who prohibit it, Iggros Moshe thus concludes that if he would be asked, he would attempt to shy away from answering the question; were he unsuccessful, he would permit the performance of “magic tricks,” provided the magician declares that his acts are perfectly natural, and involve no supernatural phenomena.

In a similar vein, Harav Betzalel Stern (Betzel Hachochmah 4:13) cites several Rishonim who imply that the prohibition of deception of the eye applies solely to the use of supernatural powers such as witchcraft. Based on a statement of Chinuch (mitzvah 250), the Kloisenberger Rebbe (Divrei Yatziv, Yoreh De’oh 57) also writes (in a speculative rather than Halachic manner) that one may be lenient concerning the matter, provided the magician makes it clear that no supernatural forces are involved.

Harav Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Ve’hanhagos 1:655) also mentions, in the name of the Chazon Ish, that no prohibition applies when the audience is aware that it is only a trick.

True Deception?

Based on the above introduction concerning the prohibition of geneivas daas, we might explain the different opinions based on changes in the general attitude of people towards magic tricks.

Whereas in medieval times supernatural forces were widely believed in, today (certainly in the Western world) they are largely dismissed. While in generations past the first impression of an audience would be to see a magic trick as a supernatural phenomenon, today’s audience will be largely unmoved, thinking more of how the trick was done than about supernatural powers.

This might explain why medieval authorities saw magic tricks as deception, and also ascribed them the prohibition of me’onen, whereas modern authorities treat them as a permitted form of entertainment. As Rambam and Chinuch (mitzvah 250, at greater length) explain, the evil of “deception of the eyes” is that people will come to believe the impossible to be possible, and even reach conclusions that contravene basic Jewish faith. For today’s audience such conclusions are unlikely to say the least. For audiences that are fully aware of the natural means of magic tricks, the argument for leniency becomes highly convincing.

Because nobody is being tricked into believing in supernatural forces, the issue of deception is not raised—the “deception” that takes place is done for the sake of entertainment, and not for the sake of true deception. As to the prohibition of sorcery, we might suggest that according to opinions that prohibit “deception of the eye” as a form of me’onen, the prohibition applies only to natural means that are made to resemble supernatural forces.

This is perhaps the rationale for Radvaz’s explanation of the Rambam. Radvaz himself (Metzudot David 61) maintains that the Torah only prohibits acts of true sorcery, and not deceptive acts that rely on natural phenomena. In a responsa (1695), Radvaz accordingly rules that other than deception, there is no prohibition on performing such magic tricks.

Radvaz does, however, concede that in the opinion of Rambam all magic is prohibited, yet attributes this stance to the general opinion of Rambam concerning witchcraft and supernatural forces, which Rambam maintained to be falsehoods that one should not reckon with (see Biur Hagra, Yoreh De’oh 179:13). Because Rambam maintains that supernatural forces do not exist, the prohibition must be understood as causing others to believe in non-existent supernatural powers. Under today’s circumstances, where there is little chance that audiences will be convinced to believe in the supernatural, there is, therefore, room for leniency (as ruled by the authorities above).

Yet, it should be noted that there are many types of magic shows and acts, the more sophisticated of which may well enter into areas within the halachic dispute. In particular, the bending of spoons and similar tricks are presented as manifesting some sort of supernatural power, and their permissibility is thus questionable. Before ordering the next magician—and surely before entering the profession—it might thus be wise to consult a halachic authority!


This article was copied with permission from www.en.din.org.il.

Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer is one of the Rabbanim who answers halachic questions for DIN – The International Beis Hora’ah. He can be reached at yehoshuapfeffer@gmail.com. You may send in your halachic questions and queries to  www.en.din.org.il.

The Basic Halachos of Shatnez

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
June 16th, 2010
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I would like to bring to the Close To Torah audience’s attention, a mitvah known as Shatnez - mixing wool and linen, that adherence to seems weak in certain areas, primarily due to the lack of freely available information. To that end, I am presenting an important article addressing these issues, written by my friend and associate, a renowned expert in this field, Rabbi Eliyahu Neiman.

The Basic Halachos of Shatnez

by Rabbi Eliyahu Neiman

The Basic Prohibition

Shatnez is a prohibition from the Torah. It is a Mitzvas Lo Saseh (negative commandment) meaning you fulfill this obligation by refraining from doing an action. (In this case it is refraining from wearing, or draping on oneself a garment or fabric containing a forbidden mixture of wool and linen).

There are two verses in the Torah that refer to shatnez. One in Vayikra 19:19, “Ubeged kilayim shatnez lo ya’aleh alecha.” A garment composed of a shatnez mixture should not cover you. And in Devarim 22:11 another expression of this same mitzvah, “Lo silbash shatnez tzemer uphishtim yachdav.” Do not wear shatnez, wool and linen together. The prohibition of shatnez is with wool and linen only. A garment made from any other combination of fibers is permitted to wear.

Shatnez is classified as a form of Kilayim (forbidden mixture of the Torah). There are 4 forms of Kilayim mentioned in the Torah Kilyam of animals, Kilyam of the vineyard, Kilyam of plants and Kilyam of clothes which is also called shatnez.
Our Sages teach us the word shatnez  (שעטנז) is actually an acronym of the words שוע טווי נוז to teach us that the combination is prohibited only if the wool and linen fibers have been combed, spun and woven or twined.

The wool referred to here is specifically wool, the hair, which comes from a sheep or lamb. Other forms of wool such as cashmere which comes from a goat may be combined with linen. Likewise the linen referred to in the Torah is specifically that which comes from the flax plant.  Cotton or ramie or any plant fiber that is similar to linen may be combined with wool. It is only when sheep’s wool is joined with linen is the resulting combination shatnez. This is implied by the word yachdav –together.

If even a single thread of linen and wool have been joined together, whether in a cloth or garment it is a forbidden shatnez combination.

Wool and linen are shatnez if they are attached together in any lasting manner not just through sewing but also by bonding, gluing or tying for example.

Wool and linen garments attached together via buttons, or Velcro are permitted even if left like that on a permanent basis.   This is not considered an attachment because the garments can be easily unfastened. It would therefore, be permitted to wear a raincoat containing linen, together with a buttoned in wool lining.

Regarding zippers, there is a difference of opinion.  Some authorities consider a zipper as a form of permanent attachment and would prohibit a zippered in lining. Others maintain that this too, is similar to buttons due to the ease of removal and is, therefore, permitted.

There is no minimum measurement of shatnez even the smallest thread of linen joined to a wool article or vise versa will make the entire garment shatnez.
Furthermore, the shatnez is not required to be an essential part of the garment. For example if a label in a wool suit or a hanger loop in a wool skirt was sewn in with a linen thread the entire garment is forbidden to wear.

That being said, it is possible to have shatnez nullified within the fibers of a thread containing other fiber(s) other then wool or linen. For example a thread containing a blend of cotton and linen; if the cotton is the majority it may be permitted to sew it together with wool. If the linen is 50% or more then it is forbidden as shatnez. Similarly  a thread spun of wool and cashmere; if the majority fiber is cashmere the thread would be permissible with linen. If 50% or more of the fiber in the thread is wool then it is forbidden with linen.
Wool and linen fiber can never be nullified one within the other.

Only a highly qualified shatnez tester is capable of determining the accurate percentages of textile fibers within a thread.

A shatnez garment is forbidden to wear even if the garment is not touching one’s body, even if separated by many layers of clothing.

A small area of shatnez forbids the entire garment. For example; a neutral material such as cotton or polyester will be entirely forbidden if a wool and linen combination are sewn on to even a small corner of the garment. Even if a person lets the part of the garment that contains the shatnez lie on the floor and only wraps himself in the neutral part this is also forbidden as shatnez.

A garment made from a neutral material has on one end sewn threads of wool and on the other far end threads of linen, even though the wool and linen are not touching one another according to the Rambam this is forbidden from the Torah as shatnez and according to the Rama’ it is permitted.

The prohibition of shatnez applies equally to men and woman. Shatnez is forbidden at all times.

The prohibition of shatnez applies irrespective of whether the garment is one’s own, borrowed or rented.

Shatnez is forbidden to be worn for even for a short time or on a temporary basis. Each moment a person is wearing shatnez he is transgressing the prohibition anew.

The prohibition of shatnez is a prohibition of wearing or covering oneself in a beneficial way similar to wearing. A tent or umbrella made from shatnez would be permitted to use even if you are being protected from the elements.
Just as it is forbidden to feed your child treif food to eat it is also forbidden to dress a child in shatnez. There is no distinction between your child and someone else’s child. Therefore children’s clothing which may contain shatnez must be tested.

The Torah’s prohibition of shatnez primarily refers to wearing of shatnez garments. Sitting, lying, or walking on shatnez would be permitted. There is, however, a Rabbinic decree prohibiting these activities due to the fact that the shatnez material may rise up and cover part of the body. Therefore carpets, rugs, mattresses, pillows, couches and chairs could possibly be a concern if they contain shatnez. Regarding mats of mattresses the Talmud says even if ten mattresses lay one on top of the other, and the bottom one is Shatnez, it is forbidden to sit on the top mattress.
This rabbinic prohibition largely depends on the softness of materials used in the construction of the article in question. Soft materials are forbidden and firm materials are permitted. Due to the complexity of these details, it is advisable to consult a Rabbinical authority or your local certified shatnez laboratory whenever a question arises regarding the possibility of shatnez in these items.

May one try on a shatnez garment for size?

When one goes to a clothing store to buy a new suit, pants or dress is it permitted to try it on before having the article tested for shatnez?

Usually when people shop for clothing the shatnez status of the garment purchased is unknown. In this case it is permitted to try on the clothing in the store or in the privacy of one’s home to see if it fits. Even if it is known that these garments sometimes contain shatnez, it is still permitted to try them on, unless one knows that the particular garment he is trying on is shatnez.

In the less common case when you know the garment you want to try on for size is shatnez the halachic opinions vary. If a garment is known to contain shatnez, it is prohibited for those who follow the opinion of the Beis Yosef,(such as many of those of Sephardic descent), to try on the garment in order to buy it. If, however, one wishes to model the garment for another person, some authorities would permit it. Some would even permit the buyer to try on a shatnez garment, provided that he will not buy the garment he is trying on. Rather, he should try on another garment that is identical in size and style to the one he will buy.

For those who follow the opinion of the Rama, it would be permitted to try on a shatnez garment in the dressing room of the store or in the privacy of one’s home. It would also be permitted to try on a jacket or a coat in the store itself, since he does not benefit from wearing such a garment in such circumstances. Trying on trousers, or any other garment one would be embarrassed to be seen without, would be prohibited in the store outside the privacy of the dressing room.

Some are of the opinion that even those of Ashkenazic descent should not try on a shatnez garment. It would then be permitted only in the manner described above according to the Beis Yosef. The custom, however, is to be lenient like the Rama.

When a tailor or a shatnez tester is working on a garment, it is common for them to drape the garment across their lap as they work. This is permitted, since there is no intent to benefit from the warmth of the garment.
This being said it is strictly forbidden to wear a garment that requires shatnez testing, even temporally without having it first tested by a certified shatnez laboratory.

Content labels:

Content Labels found in clothing are misleading for a number of reasons. The content label only lists the outer shell fabric of the garment. For example a jacket contains outer and internal linings, collar felt and collar stiffening, shoulder pads, reinforcement tapes etc. None of these as well as external patches, ornamentation and embroidery or sewing thread are listed on the label. That means many suits labeled 100% wool contain shatnez and you would never know it from the label. Suits labeled 100% polyester or cotton are also found sometimes to contain shatnez.

According to government law any fiber in the garment which makes up less than 5% of the garment is not required to be listed on the content label. As mentioned above even one small thread of wool in a linen garment, or one small thread of linen in a wool garment renders the entire garment shatnez.

The author has found many cases were the content label was partially or completely incorrect.

That being said, I still highly recommend that everyone should accustom themselves to reading content labels before buying clothing. Even though labels are not reliable you can still save yourself a lot of time and money. If you see it says wool and linen, mixed fibers or other fibers, do not take a chance. Put it back on the rack and keep looking!

Reprocessed Material is material made from a mixture of cloth remnants. Shoulder pads found in jackets and coats are often found to be made of reprocessed material. Because of the difficulty of accurately being able to examine reprocessed materials the opinions of the Poskim vary regarding the use of these garments which have already been purchased. However, most Rabbonim agree that it is preferable to avoid purchasing items containing reprocessed material in the first place. Testing of reprocessed material will occasionally reveal large quantities of wool and linen, which would make the garment unquestionably shatnez. The term “Other Fibers”, “Mixed Fibers”, O.F. or A.F. on a content label usually indicate the presence of reprocessed fibers.
Alterations and repairs done on a garment may also be a shatnez concern and one may need to have the repaired portion checked by a shatnez lab.

Sometimes it is important to know what a garment is made of even if there is no problem of shatnez in the garment itself.

The Rabbis forbade wearing two garments; one wool and one linen, one on top of the other in a manner were it is not possible to remove the bottom article without first removing the top garment.

For example; wearing wool sox’s with shoes stitched with linen thread. In such a case it is impossible to remove the sox without first removing the shoe. It appears as though they are bound together and forbidden as shatnez.

Were it is possible to remove the bottom garment without having to remove the top one even with some shifting around of the garments it is permitted. For example a tallis katon made of wool worn under a linen shirt; since it is possible to remove the tallis katon from under the shirt without removing the shirt, it is permitted. Likewise there is no problem of tucking a linen shirt into a pair of wool pants or skirt.

It is permitted to wear a wool garment on top of a linen one or vice versa if there is a third garment made of a neutral material separating them, even if it would not be possible to remove the bottom one without removing the top one.

Caveat Emptor:

Buyer Beware: Clothing and fabric storeowners are often unfamiliar with all of the components and fabrics incorporated in the garments they sell. Even the factories that manufacture clothing are often unaware of, and are not required to know, the content of internal reinforcements used in their products. Because of this lack of information, even a shomer shabbos retailer or manufacturer cannot be relied upon to claim that his merchandise is shatnez-free. This applies even though the clothing was manufactured especially for him, and even if he was present at the factory during production.

In addition, some storeowners are notorious for claiming that their garments are pre-tested or sample tested when in fact they are not. All garments pre-tested for stores by a certified shatnez laboratory will carry an official non-shatnez label in each item.

Unfortunately some stores in religious neighborhoods sew their own fake non-shatnez label on to suits and other garments.

Always look for a non-shatnez label which has the name of the certified shatnez laboratory on the label. If you do not see this you can assume that the garment has not been shatnez tested. If you wish to purchase the garment make sure to have it tested at a certified shatnez laboratory.

These are just a few of the halachos of a mitzvah medeoraysah that many people, sadly, are completly unaware of. For more information or if you have any questions regarding shatnez, feel free to contact the author, Rabbi Neiman, directly at   jerusalemshatneznews@live.com.


Rabbi Eliyahu Neiman is certified as an expert in the field of shatnez in testing and halacha from the “Vaad Mishmeres Habeged” of Bnei Brak and the “International Association of Professional Shatnez Testers and Laboratories” of  Lakewood, NJ. He founded, managed, and has been senior tester at various  Shatnez Laboratories throughout Israel for many years. He strives to bring shatnez awareness to the forefront of the public’s conscious.

This article was copied with permission from Jerusalem Kosher News at http://www.jerusalemkoshernews.com.

The Lox and Cream Cheese Dilemma

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
January 11th, 2010
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The next time you are at a bris, as you are about to smear a nice dollop of cream cheese on your bagel and add the lox (obviously not at the fleishig brissos that are ubiquitous here in Eretz Yisrael, and rightly so1), look around and see if others are doing the same. You might just find that certain people (probably Sefardic or Chassidish) will refrain from doing so. Aside from those who are allergic too or can’t stand fish (of which I am a charter member of the latter), there is a large portion of observant Jewry who will not eat a fish and milk combination.

“Hold your horses!” one might exclaim. “I’ve never seen any mention of this in my Chumash, or even Shulchan Aruch! Not only that, The Shulchan Aruch2 says that the exact converse is true – that one may cook together milk and fish, for there is no issur involved, even d’rabbanan! Is this a new chumra of the week? And how exactly am I expected to go to a bris and not have bagels with lox and cream cheese? It just wouldn’t seem Jewish!”

Actually, although this is not a new chumra, he would be correct as there is no mention of such a halacha in the Shulchan Aruch at all. But, to better understand where such a shita comes from, first one must understand the halachos of mixing fish and meat.

The Shulchan Aruch3 writes that one must be careful not to eat meat and fish together for this mixture may cause tzara’as4. Although there are poskim who hold that the teva (roughly translated as environmental conditions) has since changed and therefore one does not have worry about this5, most halachic authorities do not agree with this chiddush and maintain that the halacha follows the Shulchan Aruch and that this mixture remains forbidden6. However, many authorities do take the lenient opinion into consideration to allow for some leniency in certain questionable situations7.

“That’s all fine and dandy”, our exclaimer might exclaim, “but what does that have to do with mixing fish and milk?”

The answer to this lies in the Beis Yosef, The Shulchan Aruch’s commentary on the Tur. For in Yorah De’ah 87, 3 (s.v. dagim), the Beis Yosef writes that “one should not eat fish and milk together because of the danger involved, as it is explained in O.C. 173″. A number of poskim follow this ruling, and likewise maintain that one should not eat a combination of milk and fish8.

However, many authorities point out that the location the Beis Yosef referenced for his halachic decision to be machmir is referring to eating fish with meat, not milk. They therefore maintain that this issue is a case of mistaken identity and that eating fish with milk is 100% permissible9. Some add that if the Beis Yosef truly intended to rule stringently in this matter, he would not have only mentioned it in his commentary, but rather would have written it as official psak halacha in the Shulchan Aruch10.

On the other hand, many authorities hold that there still is a sakana involved in eating fish and milk, but it’s not a halachic issue, rather a medical one. They maintain that since both fish and milk serve to cool down the human body, when they are ingested together it can create bodily harm11. This, they hold, is the reason the Beis Yosef intended by saying not to eat them together, and not because of tzara’as.

While these poskim do cite this logic and say one should therefore refrain, many decisors, most notably the Chasam Sofer12, argue that this can not possibly be true, for we see many people eating them together and not becoming (noticeably) sick13. (Anchovies on pizza, anyone? Actually, the thought of that makes me sick.) Also, the greatest (and best known) Jewish doctor, the Rambam, makes absolutely no mention of this danger.

Still, others maintain that this depends on the time and place14. Just because someone won’t get sick from it in New York, there is no assurance that the same would be true in Kabul. (Although I am assuming that if one is in Kabul he has other sakanos to worry about…)

The bottom line is that different minhagim developed over time among different segments of Jewry. An oversimplified generalization is that Sefardim (since they follow the psakim of the Beis Yosef) should be machmir and Ashkenazim can be maykil15. But there are Sefardi poskim who rule that a Sefardi can be lenient (some hold only b’dieved 16and others hold even l’chatchila17), and there are Ashkenazi poskim who hold that even an Ashkenazi should be machmir18. An interesting side point is that most of the authorities who are machmir when it comes to mixing fish with milk and/or cheese are nevertheless lenient when it comes to mixing fish with butter19. Of course, there is also the majority opinion that the whole issue is a non-starter and there is no problem whatsoever, even with a tuna melt20.

So, back at that bris, even if you decide not to take a bite of your Bagels and Lox Deluxe, at least you now have some food for thought21.

1 Which is a topic for a discussion in its own right.

2 Y”D 87, 2.

3 Y”D 116, 2 based on Gemara Pesachim 76b.

4 Very loosely translated as leprosy. This prohibition also includes chicken:

שו”ת שבות יעקב (חלק ב’ ס’ ק”ד) פתחי תשובה (יו”ד ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ב’) חיד”א (שיורי ברכה יו”ד ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ח’) עצי העולה (דברים האסורים משום סכנה חקי חיים ס”ק ב’) בן איש חי (ש”ש פר’ פנחס ס”ק ח’) ערוך השלחן (שם ס”ק י’) כף החיים (או”ח ס’ קע”ג ס”ק ה’), ולא כדעת הבית יהודה (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ כ”ד) והעיקרי הד”ט (ס’ י”ד ס”ק ג’) שהעלו דאין למחות ביד המקילים וכבר נהגו העולם להקל בזה.

This is also the reason why in between a meat and fish course (for example on Shabbos, after the gefilte fish) we rinse our mouths (or drink a l’chaim) and eat something – kinuach v’hadacha. Sefardic custom is to also wash hands in between. See Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 173, 2) and Shulchan Aruch and Rema (Y”D 116, 3).

וע”ע בפרי תואר (ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ד’) ובשיורי ברכה (יו”ד ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ח’) ובבן איש חי (ש”ש פר’ פנחס ס”ק ח’) ובשו”ת שאילת שלום (תנינא ס’ קס”ה) ובדרכי תשובה (ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ל’ ול”ב) ובישועות חכמה (ס’ ל”ג סע’ ב’) ובבית לחם יהודה (ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ד’) ובשלחן חי (ס’ א’ סע’ ט”ו) ובחכמת אדם (כלל ס”ח ס”ק א’) ובלחם הפנים (ס’ קט”ז ס”ק ג’) ובשו”ת דבר שמואל (ס’ שס”ז) ובמשנה ברורה (ס’ קע”ג ס”ק ד’ ובשער הציון ס”ק ב’) ובדברי יואל (פר’ וישלח דף קע”ז ע”ב) בענין נטילה ביניהם.

5 מגן אברהם (או”ח ס’ קע”ג ס”ק א’) ב”ח (שם) מהרשד”ם (שו”ת חלק ד’ ס’ קכ”ד בשם הספר הקנה) ערוך השלחן (שם ס”ק י’) משנה ברורה (שם ס”ק ג’). וגם יש שסוברים דהסכנה אינו כולל כל דג, אלא שתלוי בסוג הדג – עיין בשו”ת באר שבע (ס’ ל”ה) ובשו”ת עזרת ישראל (ס’ פ”ה בהגה”ה) ובשו”ת חתם סופר (יו”ד ס’ ק”א, משכתב בשיטת הרמב”ם) ובשו”ת טוב טעם ודעת (מהדורא תליתאי חלק ב’ ס’ י’) ובשו”ת בית שמואל (ס’ קע”ג) והרש”ש (חולין דף צ”ז ע”א) ובשו”ת חלקת יעקב (חלק א’ ס’ ק”ט) ובספר אוצר יד החיים (ס”ק רי”ז) ובספר שמירת הגוף והנפש (פרק א’ הערה א’ וב’).

6 נוהג כצאן יוסף (דף כ”ח סע’ ד’) יפה לב (או”ח ס’ קע”ג ס”ק ב’) מלבושי יו”ט (ס’ נ”ד) שבות יעקב (חלק ג’ ס’ ע’) שדי חמד (כללים מערכת ט’ כלל ה’) מהר”ם שיק (יו”ד ס’ רמ”ד) חכמת אדם (כלל ס”ח ס”ק א’) שלחן ערוך הרב (שמירת גוף ונפש ס”ק ט’) יד אפרים (יו”ד קט”ז סע’ ג’) קיצור שלחן ערוך (ס’ ל”ג ס”ק א’) כף החיים (או”ח ס’ קע”ג ס”ק ט’).

7 שו”ת חתם סופר (הנ”ל) שו”ת דברי מלכיאל (חלק ב’ ס’ נ”ג) שו”ת תפארת צבי (ס’ צ”א) ושו”ת שבט הלוי (חלק ו’ ס’ קי”א), עיי”ש. לדוגמא, יש כמה פוסקים [כולל הפתחי תשובה (ס' קט"ז ס"ק ג') והחמודי דניאל (תערובות א' ס' ט"ז) ושו"ת אבני נזר (יו"ד ס' פ"ד ס"ק א') ושו"ת הרמ"ץ (יו"ד ס' כ"ב) ושו"ת ציון לנפש חיה (ס' ק"י) ושו"ת ארץ צבי (ס' ל"ג) ושו"ת עין יצחק (או"ח ס' כ"ד) ושו"ת מהר"ש ענגל (חלק א' ס' פ"ג) ושו"ת יד מאיר (ס' י"ט) ושו"ת דברי יעקב (ס' נ"ד) ושו"ת דברי שלום ואמת (או"ח ס' י"ג) ושו"ת דעת כהן (ס' נ"ה) ושו"ת יביע אומר (חלק א' יו"ד ס' ח') ושו"ת יעלת חן (יו"ד ס' ב' סוף ס"ק ו')] שסברו בענין זה דאם נתערב בשר עם דגים דיכול לבטל לכתחילה, אף שביטול לכתחילה אסור בשאר איסורים. וכן הוא משמעות הספר יהושע (שו”ת פסקים וכתבים ס’ קס”ז) וההר צבי (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ ע”ד) והתשובות והנהגות (שו”ת חלק ג’ ס’ רנ”ו). ואף שיש שמחמירים בדין זה, [כולל המקור מים חיים (ס' קט"ז סע' ב') ושו"ת שואל ומשיב (מהדורא רביעא חלק א' ס' כ"ח) ושו"ת טוב טעם ודעת (חלק ג' ס' י') ושו"ת אבני צדק (יו"ד ס' מ"ט) והמהרש"ם (מובא במשמרת שלום סוף ס' ק"ח קצת חידושי דינים ס"ק ד')], וגם יש שמסיקים בצ”ע להקל למעשה [שו"ת דובב מישרים (חלק ג' סוף ס' ל"ט ד"ה אולם) ושו"ת יד יוסף (יו"ד ס' נ"ח)], מ”מ ראינן שדעת כמה פוסקים בנ”ד הוא דיש מקום יותר להקל משאר איסורים. ועוד בענין הגדרת דיני תערובות דגים ובשר עיין בספר ילקוט יוסף (או”ה חלק ג’ ס’ פ”ז עמ’ ש”ח – שכ”ד) ובספר שמירת הגוף והנפש (ס’ א’) ובספר דיוני הלכה (חלק ד’ עמ’ קכ”ד – קכ”ט).

8 לבוש (עטרת זהב ס’ פ”ז) זבחי צדק (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק י”ח) שו”ת בית דוד (יו”ד ס’ ל”ג) פחד יצחק (מערכת ב’ דף ס”ט ע”ב ערך בשר דגים) עיקרי הדט (יוד סיד סק ה) שו”ת יחוה דעת (חלק ו’ ס’ מ”ח).

9 רמ”א (דרכי משה ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ד’) ש”ך (שם ס”ק ה’) ט”ז (ס”ק ג’) פר”ח (שם סוף ס”ק ו’) מגן אברהם (ריש ס’ קע”ג) חיד”א (מחזיק ברכה שם ס”ק ד’) פרישה (שם ס”ק ה’) חגורת שמואל (שם ס”ק ז’) אליה רבא (אוח סקעג סק ט) שלחן גבוה (שם ס”ק י”א) באר היטב (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ה’) שו”ת באר שבע (ס’ ל”ה ד”ה נשאלתי) שו”ת בארות המים (יו”ד ס’ א’) יעב”ץ (מור וקציעה ס’ קע”ג) אמרי בינה (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ו’) דרכי תשובה (ס’ קט”ז ס”ק י”ד) ערוך השלחן (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ט”ו).

10 ערוך השלחן (הנ”ל). אבל לכאורה לפי הכללי הוראה של הרה”ג עובדיה יוסף שליט”א (נדפס בשו”ת יחוה דעת חלק ו’ בדפוס הישן) זה אינו קשה כל כך לשיטתו. דשם כתב דאפ’ משכתב רק בבית יוסף, ואין אפ’ זכר של הדין בשו”ע, עדיין זה פסקו מוחלט. והעלה שרק לא אמרינן כן כשכתב להיפך בשו”ע ממשכתב בית יוסף. וכאן י”ל דכוונת הב”י הוא לומר דאף שמעיקר הדין מותר לאכול דגים בחלב, מ”מ עדיין צריך להיזהר מטעם החשש של צרעת, וק”ל.

11 רבינו בחיי (פרשת משפטים פרק כ”ג פסוק י”ט ד”ה לא תבשל – אבל כתב הסכנה הוא משני הטעמים. והערוך השלחן הנ”ל כתב דר’ בחיי רק מחמיר בתערובות דג עם גבינה, ולא בחלב, ודלא כהבין הפתחי תשובה בדעתו שכתב בס’ פ”ז ס”ק ט’ דלפי ר’ בחיי דהוא הדין דדג עם חלב אסורה) כנסת הגדולה (ס’ פ”ז הגה’ ב”י ס”ק י”ט בשם השארית יהודה) בית לחם יהודה (שם ס”ק ד’) גליון מהרש”א (ס’ קט”ז סע’ ב’, בשם המהר”ם מקראקא) שו”ת חינוך בית יהודה (ס’ ס”א, שהעלה דזה כוונה הלבוש שהחמיר) שו”ת אדני פז (ס’ מ”ב) פמ”ג (ס’ פ”ט מ”ז ס”ק ג’, דיש ליזהר) בן איש חי (ש”ש פר’ בהעלותך ס”ק ט”ו) שו”ת רב פעלים (חלק א’ יו”ד ס’ י’).

12 שו”ת יו”ד ס’ ק”א.

13 פתחי תשובה (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ט’) יד אפרים (שם) ערוך השלחן (הנ”ל) בדי השלחן (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק ל”ג).

14 יד יהודה (ס’ פ”ז פיה”ק ס”ק ו’) עצי העולה (דברים האסורים משום סכנה חקי חיים ס”ק ו’) כף החיים (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק כ”ד, או”ח ס’ קע”ג ס”ק ג’).

15 שו”ת יחוה דעת (חלק ו’ ס’ מ”ח, בסיכום).

16 שו”ת זבחי צדק (חלק ג’ ס’ קמ”ג) שו”ת יחוה דעת (חלק ו’ ס’ מ”ח, בהגה”ה) ילקוט יוסף (או”ה ג’ ס’ פ”ז סע’ פ”ג, ועמ’ שי”א ד”ה ולפע”ד).

17 פר”ח (ס’ פ”ז סוף ס”ק ו’) חיד”א (מחזיק ברכה ס”ק ד’) שלחן גבוה (שם ס”ק י”א) שו”ת שמש ומגן (חלק ד’ יו”ד ס’ י”ב) שו”ת ברכת יהודה (חלק ב’ יו”ד ס’ ה’) שו”ת יעלת חן (יו”ד ס’ ב’).

18 לבוש (עטרת זהב ס’ פ”ז) פמ”ג (ס’ פ”ט מ”ז ס”ק ג’) עצי העולה (יוד סקטז סק ח‘) שלחן הטהור (סקעג סעה). ועיין בספר הליכות שלמה (מועדים חלק ב’ פסח פרק י”ב הע’ מ”ח) שהגרש”ז אויערבך זצ”ל היה מחמיר על עצמו בהענין. וע”ע בספר הערות במסכת חולין (דף ק”ד ע”א ד”ה חוץ) שהגרי”ש אלישיב שליט”א החמיר שלא לבשל דגים וחלב ביחד אבל מיקל לגבי האכילה.

19 שו”ת חינוך בית יהודה (הנ”ל בשם מהר”ם מקראקא) בית לחם יהודה (הנ”ל) שו”ת אדני פז (הנ”ל) יד יהודה (הנ”ל) פמ”ג (הנ”ל) יד דוד (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק י”ד) זבחי צדק (ס’ פ”ז ס”ק י”ח) גליון מהרשא (סקטז סעב‘) עצי העולה (סקטז סק ח‘) שלחן הטהור (סקעג סעה) כף החיים (הנ”ל) שו”ת יחוה דעת (הנ”ל) ילקוט יוסף (הנ”ל), ולא כדעת הבן איש חי (הנ”ל) שמחמיר בזה גם בחמאה.

20 עיין לעיל ס”ק 9, 12, 13, 17.

21 This article was written לע”נour grandparents הרב יעקב אליעזר בן ר’ אברהם יצחק and.ר’ משה בן ר’ יעקב צבי .

Categories: Halacha For the Layman Tags:

Ins and Outs of Shnei Keilim

Posted by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
December 24th, 2009
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I hope everyone had a meaningful and enjoyable Chanukah. Here is an Halachic post dealing with the topic of “Shnei Keilim” – two pots that touched while cooking. As you may recall, I previously posted a mini-book I authored on the issue. This is a summary.

What exactly is “shnei keilim shenagu”? How does it affect my life? Does it affect my life? Isn’t shenagu a type of massage?

Upon receiving many inquiries as to the nature of this topic that I have spent much time and effort researching, and especially after the interest generated by the prize awarded by the Jerusalem Municipality for my booklet on this topic (Kuntress B’Inyan Shnei Keilim Shenagu Zeh B’Zeh V’Hagdrosav), I decided to address the issue and share my conclusions on it with the English-speaking public.

Theoretical Question: Rabbi, what should I do? I was cooking macaroni and cheese in one pot on the stove, while in another pot my cholent was simmering. I accidentally knocked one pot into the other, and they were touching for at least ten seconds before I realized and moved them apart. Did I just make my pots non-kosher? Can I still eat the food? Help!!

My wife actually asked a few of my children this above question. What did they think the Halacha was?

Child #1: They both become pareve. Child #2: They both got dead. Child #3: It depends on which pot was bigger. The bigger pot would change the kashrus status of the smaller pot to match it.

Although they all receive an A+ for effort (Give them credit, my budding talmidei chachamim are only 6, 4, and 6), unfortunately they are all mistaken as to the proper Halacha.

The Rema1 writes that the din of “shnei keilim shenagu”, or two pots of opposite types (meaning one dairy and one meat) that touch each other, even while both are boiling hot and on the fire, is that they are permitted b’dieved. In other words “no harm, no foul”. Therefore, in the above-mentioned case, everything is still kosher and all the food may be eaten (of course not together – that would be bassar b’chalav).

The only “issue” with this ruling of the Rema is that it’s a bit vague and does not address other factors in the equation, nor does it set parameters. For example, does this still apply if there is moisture in between the pots? What about with Chometz pots hitting Pesach pots, or non-kosher pots hitting kosher ones. Does this mean that the handle of a pot is considered a separate pot? What exactly are the boundaries of this Halacha?

That is the basis and backbone of the research that I’ve done, and I will share some of my conclusions and findings on this topic.

  1. Two dry, hot pots that touch each other, whether one is dairy and one meat2, or whether one is kosher and one non-kosher3, or whether one was chometz and one kosher for Pesach4, and even while steaming upward5, the Halacha is that no harm was done and the food and the pots were unaffected and the kosher ones remain kosher. This applies even if the pots are ceramic6 and even if the pots contain greasy absorbed taste7. However, it is commendable to refrain whenever possible, not to cook these kinds of pots together on a stove, to avoid any kashrus concerns8.
  1. Help! My pot runneth over! Does that change the status? If there is moisture between the hot pots touching, many authorities contend that the liquid will allow transfer between the pots and will render the pots and the food non-kosher9. Other authorities maintain that if there is only a minute amount of liquid (with the pots being 60 times its amount), then it can still be considered dry and everything will still be kosher10. Others maintain that in the above-mentioned case, only the food remains kosher, but the pots will need to be kashered11. Ask your LOR for guidance.
  1. A cheesey hetter: By cheese everyone agrees12! If there was hot cheese between the pots at the point of contact, and there is 60 times its amount in the pots, then the food remains kosher, but the pots need kashering.
  1. For all intents and purpose clothes would have the same Halacha applicable to them as pots do13. Therefore, if hot coffee spills and gets absorbed into a shirt and then touches a hot meat pot, everything is still fine. (Except that now you need to clean your shirt. Oh well, at least coffee stains come out in the wash.)
  1. Get a handle on it: If non-kosher hot liquid falls on the handle of a pot, some authorities maintain that the food in the pot is unaffected, for the handle (since it’s only attached by screws) would be considered a different vessel14. Others maintain that practically it is all considered one vessel, and it therefore will affect the food15. However, if the handle was welded on, then it would be considered one vessel and will affect the kashrus status of the food16. Contact your LOR for guidance.
  1. If one of the pots is pareve and the other is either dairy or meat, it’s permissible for them to come into contact with each other, even l’chatchila17 (as long as they are clean at the point of contact).
  1. Counter Attack!: If someone is cooking in a dairy pot, and wishes to take it off the fire, and there is nowhere to place it except on the counter that is usually reserved for meat items, one may place it there18. Nevertheless, since the issue is not as clear cut as it’s being presented, it is preferable not to do so19, but rather one should place another layer of separation down first20 (for example, a board, towel or aluminum foil) in order to satisfy all opinions.

These are just a few basic guidelines and overview of the Halacha of “shnei kelim shenagu”. This is by no means a complete comprehensive authoritative guide, but rather a brief summary to raise awareness of the issue, and of kashrus in general. One should not compare similar cases in order to pasken one’s own sheilos, but should refer his questions to a competent Halachic authority.

1 Shulchan Aruch, Yorah De’ah Ch. 92, end of 8; and end of Ch. 93.

2 המרדכי (חולין דף ז’ בדפיו ס’ תר”צ) בשם הספר התרומה והמהר”ם שמדייק מלשון של תוס’ בחולין (פרק כל הבשר דף ק”ח ע”א ד”ה טיפת חלב), וכן בהגהות אשיר”י (על הרא”ש שם ס’ כ”ב) וכן כתב בהגהות מיימוניות (הלכות מאכלות מאכלות אסורות פרק ט’ ס”ק ג’) בשם רבינו שמשון (הר”ש משאנץ, מובא בתורת החטאת כלל נ”ה סע’ ה’).

3 האיסור והיתר (כלל ל”ח דין ט”ז) הכנסת הגדולה (ס’ צ”ב הגהות על בית יוסף ס”ק ע”א) הרש”ל (ים של שלמה חולין פרק כל הבשר ס’ מ”ה) הש”ך (ס’ ק”ה ס”ק כ”ב).

4 המהר”ם מלובלין (שו”ת ס’ ק”ו) המגן אברהם (ס’ תנ”א ס”ק מ”ד) הט”ז (שם ס”ק כ”ח) הגר”א (ביאור הגר”א שם סע’ כ”ב ד”ה ואסור) החק יעקב (שם ס”ק ס”ג) הפרי חדש (שם ד”ה ומ”ש אסור) האליה רבא (שם ס”ק מ”ה) הבאר היטב (שם ס”ק מ”ט) החק יוסף (שם ס”ק נ”ד) הפמ”ג (שם מ”ז ס”ק כ”ח) המחצית השקל (שם ס”ק מ”ד ד”ה מדופן) העטרת זקנים (שם על סע’ כ”ב) המאמר מרדכי (ס’ תמ”ז סע’ י’ ס”ק כ”ב ד”ה אמנם) החיי אדם (כלל קכ”ה ס”ק ב’) השו”ע הרב (שם סע’ מ”א וסע’ ס”ז) הערוך השלחן (שם ס”ק מ”ד) המשנה ברורה (שם ס”ק קל”ו) והכף החיים (שם ס”ק רס”ז ורב”ע) – דעתם להקל דיש את אותו דין שלגבי דיני איסור והיתר. ולא כמשמעות היד שאול (ס’ צ”ב, וכן מרמז בשו”ת שואל ומשיב מהדורא תליתאה חלק א’ ס’ קע”ד) שמשמע כדעת הב”ח (או”ח ס’ תמ”ז בשם מה”ר הירש שור), וכן העתק בשיורי כנסת הגדולה (או”ח ס’ תמ”ז הג”ה על הב”י ס”ק כ”ג) שמחמירים לגבי פסח.

5 הפמ”ג (ס’ צ”ב מ”ז ס”ק כ”ט), שמדייק כך מדברי התורת החטאת (כלל נ”ו סוף דין ח’) הזכרון אברהם (סוף ס’ צ”ב) המהרש”ם (שו”ת חלק ג’ ס’ רל”ו) הזבחי צדק (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק ע”ח) הכף החיים (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק ק”ב).

6 וכמו משכתב הבית יוסף (ס’ קכ”ב סוף סע’ ח’ ד”ה כתב) להדיא דסתם קדירות הם של חרס, ובפרט שהט”ז (יו”ד ס’ צ”ז ס”ק ג’ ובאו”ח ס’ תנ”א ס”ק כ”ח) והמגן אברהם (ס’ תנ”א ס”ק מ”ד) והיד אפרים (ריש ס’ צ”ז בשם היעב”ץ – שו”ת שאילת יעב”ץ חלק א’ ס’ ק”ג [צ"ג]) מבואר להדיא דדין זה מיירי בכלי חרס; שו”ת ברכות משה (ס’ ח’ וס’ ט’) חידושי הגר”ד שפרבר (סוף ס’ צ”ב) השדי חמד (חלק ו’, מערכת בשר בחלב ס’ ט”ז) הפרי השדה (שו”ת חלק ב’ ס’ ק’) הנטע שורק (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ ל”ה [א'] ד”ה אבקש) הדרכי תשובה (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק ק”פ וקפ”א) שהסכימו לדברי הברכות משה דודאי אין לחלק בין כלי מתכת לחרס, ואע”ג דמדייתו, אינו מגוף התבשיל או המאכל ולא הוי אפ’ כזיעת המאכל. ולא כדעת המהרש”ם (שו”ת חלק ג’ ס’ רל”ו, דעת תורה סוף ס’ צ”ב, תכלת מרדכי חלק ב’ פרשת החודש) שמחלק בין כלי חרס ישן לחדש, ורק מיקל בכלי חרס ישנים דאם בישלו בכלי חרס חדשים, שוב גם ב’ קדרות הנוגעות זו בזו אסורים זו את זו.

7 הפרי חדש (ס’ ק”ה ס”ק כ”ח) הפמ”ג (ס’ ק”ה ש”ד ס”ק כ”ב) החוות דעת (ס’ ק”ה ביאורים ס”ק ט”ו) האמרי ברוך (ס’ צ”ב) הכתב סופר (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ נ”ד) הברכות משה (שו”ת ס’ ט’ בשם האב”ד של פיעטריקוב) היד יהודה (ס’ צ”ב פיה”א ס”ק נ”ו) התהילה לדוד (ס’ ל’) המשמרת שלום (ס’ צ”ד מ”ז ס”ק ז’ אות ג’) הערוך השלחן (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק נ”ד) והכף החיים (ס’ ק”ה ס”ק פ”ב), וכן מוכרח מדברי האור שמח (הלכות מאכלות אסורות פרק ט’ הלכה י”ט ד”ה הנה) ולא כדעת התורת יקותיאל (ס’ ק”ה ס”ק ח’) והדברי יוסף (ס’ תרכ”א ס”ק ד’ ד”ה ונ”ל, מובא בדרכי תשובה ס’ צ”ב ס”ק ק”פ) ומשמעות הכנפי יונה (ס’ צ”ב, מובא בהגהות יד שאול בס’ צ”ב). והדרכי תשובה עצמו סיים לדינא דאפ’ אם הקדירה בלועה משומן אין להחמיר וחלילה לנו לחדש פסק המוחלט מרבינו הרמ”א, ואחריו כל האבות ההוראה הט”ז והש”ך וכל הגאונים בעלי ההוראה.

8 היד יהודה (ס’ צ”ב פיה”ק ס”ק ע”ג) והכתב סופר (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ נ”ד).

9 הט”ז (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק כ”ט לפי כמה פוסקים) היד יהודה (ס’ צ”ב פיה”א ס”ק נ”ו) הדברי יוסף (ס’ תרכ”א ס”ק ו’) והזכרון אברהם (סוף ס’ צ”ב ד”ה ומ”ש בשני) משמעות רעק”א (ס’ צ”ג ס”ק ב’) החכמת אדם (כלל מ”ו ס”ק ה’) החמד משה (או”ח ס’ תנ”א ס”ק ח’).

10 החוות דעת (ס’ צ”ב ביאורים ס”ק כ’) וכן מוכח בדברי היד אפרים (ס’ ע”ו סוף סעיף א’) הבית יצחק (חלק שני עקרת הבית הל’ בב”ח ס’ צ”ב חלק ד’ סע’ ח’ עמודי זהב ס”ק ל”ט ומ’) העצי העולה (בב”ח כלל ה’ סע’ כ”ה) השו”ת יד יוסף (יו”ד ס’ מ”ז) בספר חוקתי תשמרו (ס’ י”ז סע’ י”ג ס”ק י”ח, שמביא ראיות לזה מדברי הראשונים) ובספר זר השלחן (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק ק”י, דאין בלוע יוצא מכלי לכלי בלא רוטב ממש). וכן העלה בספר נכח השלחן (ס’ צ”ב ציונים ס”ק קפ”א) ובשו”ת יבקש תורה (חלק ג’ ס’ י”א ענף א’), אבל מטעמים שינויים.

11 המהרש”ם (שו”ת חלק א’ ס’ רט”ז וחלק ג’ ס’ רל”ו) והמעדני השלחן (מטעמי השלחן ס’ צ”ב ס”ק נ”ג).

12 שו”ת מעדני מלכים (ס’ ק”ח וס’ ק”ט) ובספר הליכות שלמה (חלק ג’ מועדים ב’ פרק י”ב סע’ י”א הערה י”ג), נבע מדברי השו”ע ס’ צ”ד סע’ ח’, ובש”ך שם (ס”ק ל”ד), ופמ”ג שם (מ”ז ס”ק ט”ז), ובערוך השלחן שם (ס”ק ל”ג) שהגבינה כחוש בטבעה ובעצם נוטה ליבשות וקשיות ולא נכנסת הרבה ורק יכול לאסור כדי קליפה.

13 שו”ת אלף לך שלמה (יו”ד ס’ ק”נ, ובהגהות חכמת שלמה) שו”ת פתחא זוטא (יו”ד ס’ כ”ז) והמהרש”ם (שו”ת חלק ג’ ס’ ר”ה), אבל המהרש”ם גם מצריך ששים נגד הבעין בתוך הנקבים של הבגד.

14 רעק”א (או”ח ס’ תנ”א סעיף י”ב ס”ק י’) האמרי ברוך (הגהות הגר”ב פרענקיל על המג”א או”ח ס’ תנ”א ס”ק כ”ה) הזר זהב (על האו”ה כלל ל”ט דין ח’ ס”ק ג’) העצי העולה (הלכות בב”ח כלל ז’ ס”ק ו’, ובחקי חיים שם ס”ק ז’) היעב”ץ (מור וקציעה או”ח סוף סימן תנ”א) המהר”ש ענג”ל (שו”ת חלק ז’ ס’ ב’) היד יהודה (ס’ צ”ב פיה”א ס”ק ל”ו) והערוך השלחן (ס’ צ”ב סוף ס”ק נ”ב) דכה”ג כשני כלים דמי ולא בלעו מהדדי. וכן פסק וע”ע בשו”ת מעשה חושב (חלק ז’ ס’ ח’ ס”ק י”א) שמביא שיטה זו לסניף להקל.

15 הרדב”ז (שו”ת חלק ו’ ס”ב אלפים ש”ח) החתם סופר (שו”ת או”ח ס’ ק”ל, דרק אמרינן ההיתר של שני כלים כשיש אויר בין הכלים) החוות דעת (ס’ צ”ב חידושים ס”ק י”ז) הערוגות הבושם (שו”ת או”ח ס’ צ”ח) המהרש”ם (שו”ת ח”ג ס’ קי”ב) המהרש”ק (שו”ת טוב טעם ודעת תליתאי ס’ רמ”ז) והדרכי תשובה (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק קכ”ב). וע”ע בשו”ת מנחת יצחק (חלק ה’ ס’ פ”א ס”ק י”א, וחלק ז’ סוף ס’ נ”ו ד”ה וכל) משכתב בהענין בדברי המהר”ש.

16 הזר זהב (הנ”ל) העצי העולה (הנ”ל) החק יעקב (או”ח ס’ תנ”א ס”ק מ”א) וכן הוא משמעות הט”ז (שם ס”ק י”ח) המשנה ברורה (שם ס”ק ע”ו לגבי הגעלת כלים לפסח) והבדי השלחן (ס’ צ”ב ביאורים עמ’ קע”ח).

17 בספר חוקתי תשמרו (ס’ י”ז סע’ י”ח ס”ק כ”ד) ובספר דרכי הלכה (על כשרות הבית פרק כ’ בתשובה), ופשוט.

18 הכתב סופר (שו”ת יו”ד ס’ נ”ד, בסברתו אבל לא למעשה) היעב”ץ (שו”ת שאילת יעב”ץ חלק א’ ס’ ק”ג [צ''ג]) היד אברהם (ריש סימן פ”ח) העצי העולה (בב”ח כלל א’ חקי חיים ס”ק מ”ו) הדברי יוסף (ס’ תרכ”א ס”ק ג’ ד”ה אמנם) האגרות משה (שו”ת יו”ד ח”ג ס’ י’) והשאלי ציון (שו”ת על שבת עירוב ופסח ס’ כ’ סוף ס”ק ג’). וכן הוא משמעות הרדב”ז (שו”ת חלק ב’ ס’ תשכ”א) הצמח צדק (שו”ת או”ח ס’ מ”ג) והסולת למנחה (כלל ע”ו דין ז’ ס”ק י”ז). וזה גם משמעות כמה פוסקים (כולל המהר”ם מלובלין, המגן אברהם, הפמ”ג, היד יהודה, והזבחי צדק) שסברו דרק אמרינן להחמיר לכתחילה כשיש חשש בעין בין הכלים.

19 הט”ז (ס’ צ”ב ס”ק כ”ט, ובס’ צ”ז ס”ק ג’) הכתב סופר (הנ”ל במסקנתו) הערוך השלחן (ס’ פ”ח ס”ק י’) הילקוט מעם לועז (שמות חלק ב’ פר’ משפטים עמ’ תת”צ ד”ה והדבר הראשון) התורת יקותיאל (ס’ ק”ה ס”ק ח’) והדרכי תשובה (ס’ צ”ה ס”ק צ”א בשם המהרש”ל) וכן הוא דעת הגרי”ש אלישיב שליט”א (מובא בקונטרסי ענף י”ב ד”ה הראיתי) דכיון דכל הדין הוי מותר מכל מקום ורק חולקים על הלכתחילה, טוב יותר לא להשים.

20 ספר נועם הלכה (פסקי הלכות בב”ח ס’ י”ז סע’ כ”א), ופשוט.

Have a great Shabbos!

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