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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Food & Kashrut

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Mesechet Menachot: The Taxonomy of the Gemara’s Grains

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on May 20, 2011

The Mishna of Menachot 70a lists the five species of grain.  These species are of central importance in many halakhot.  Only bread made from these species of grains is considered bread, and gets the brakha of hamotzi.  Only matzah made from these grains is considered matzah, and can be used on the seder night.  …

Hilkhot Kashrut: Even Separated Foods Can be Treif

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 25, 2011

Previously we saw that when a meat and milk are cooked together, they may remain forbidden even after they are separated.  This depends on whether we understand the prohibition of meat and milk to be based on the fact that they were cooked together, which does not change even after they are separated, or based on the fact that there is a mixture of tastes, which would be negated once they are separated.   Now, these above reasons are relevant to basar bi’chalav, and this is the only application of this concept in the Gemara. …

Hilchot Kashrut: When Does a Mixture Become Treif?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on March 11, 2011

The Mishna (Hullin 108) states that if a drop of milk falls on a piece of meat in a stew, and there is enough milk that it can be tasted in the meat, then the meat becomes basar bi’chalav (hereafter, bbh), milk and meat cooked together, and is forbidden. …

Hilkhot Kashrut: Taste Transfer and Pickling

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on February 11, 2011

The Gemara recognizes a number of ways in which taste can transfer from one food to another without the presence of heat.   First, there can be surface transfer when one or both of the foods are moist, such as when cheese touches a piece of meat. …

Exploring the Prohibition of Meat and Milk Part 2

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 28, 2011

Previously we explored the parameters of the Biblical prohibition of meat and milk, and how Chazal had extended the prohibition from mammals (the females of which produce milk) to include also birds, and in the process extended the prohibition conceptually from “kid goat in its mother’s milk” to “meat and milk.” …

Exploring The Prohibition of Milk and Meat Part 1

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on January 21, 2011

The Torah’s prohibition to cook a kid goat in its mother’s milk is understood by Chazal to prohibit the cooking of meat from cows, sheep, and goats, together with milk, even if it is not from the animal’s mother. Why is there such a gap between the literal and halakhic meaning of the verse, and in what way is the halakha of meat and milk shaped by the simple sense of the verse?   The first question, the reason for the gap between the literal and halakhic meaning of the verse, is not unique to this mitzvah. …

Roasted in Non-Kosher Wine?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 30, 2010

Recently someone came over to me and asked me the following question –  he had marinated a 4 pound roast in wine, roasted it, and then discovered that the wine was not kosher.   This was to be his Shabbat meal.  What was the status of the roast?   To answer this we first estimate the proportion of wine to roast – was it more or less than 1:60? …

Hilkhot Kashrut: How Does Taste Transfer?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 17, 2010

Taste transfers in complex ways according to halakha.  When a forbidden food gets mixed up directly with a permissible one – they are blended together, or cooked together so they all become one mass, there is no question that the forbidden food is present, and that the mixture will be forbidden unless the forbidden food is less than 1/60th of the whole. …

Why Can My Pot Be Treif?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 10, 2010

Previously we discussed the principle of ta’am lifgam – when the addition of a forbidden food to a mixture makes the mixture taste worse.  In such a case, the mixture may be eaten, because while the forbidden food itself, even if it has an off-taste, is forbidden, when we are only dealing with the taste of such food, and not the food itself, this bad taste is not forbidden.   …

Is a Bad Tasting Food Mixture Treif?

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on December 3, 2010

In Yoreh Deah we learn about ta’am ki’ikar, the prohibition to eat a mixture of food that has in it the taste of a forbidden food, as we addressed the major exception to this principle: ta’am lifgam, when the forbidden food imparts a bad taste to the mixture. …

Hilkhot Kashrut: Forbidden Today, Permitted Tomorrow

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 18, 2010

The Gemara rules that a davar she’yesh lo matirin, something that is forbidden now but will be permissible later – like an egg that was born on Yom Tov, and is nolad (a type of muktzah) and cannot be eaten on Yom Tov, but can be eaten the following day, is not batel.…

Bugs in the Broccoli: The Concept of Biryah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer
Posted on November 12, 2010

Among the things that cannot be nullified when they exist in a mixture are things that are considered a biryah, or “whole entities”.  The Gemara in Hullin (99b) states this in reference to the gid hanashe, the forbidden sinew, in just two words – biryah shani – an entity is different (and not batel, nullified). …