From the virtual desk of the OU Vebbe Rebbe
The Ask the Rabbi project is a joint venture of the OU, Yerushalayim Network, Eretz Hemdah... and the Israel Center. The following is a Q&A from Eretz Hemdah...
Question: Why are we prohibited from eating fish and meat together if fish is pareve?
Answer: The prohibition of eating fish and meat together is based on a fear of danger (not forbidden foods) and is governed by the rule “Chameira sakanta” (danger is more harsh than prohibitions, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 173:2). The gemara (Pesachim 76b) writes that fish which is roasted with meat is forbidden to eat because it is bad for tzara’at (roughly, leprosy). The consensus of poskim is that it applies to fowl, in addition to meat (Pitchei Tshuva, Yoreh Deah 116:2).
This statement in the above gemara assumes there is a halachically significant transfer of matter from one food to another when roasted together (see Rashi ad loc). Since we don’t normally subscribe to that assumption, some authorities say that the problem exists only when the meat and fish are cooked together, not when roasted (Taz, Yoreh Deah 116:2). There is also a question if gravy of one fell into the pot of the other and there is less than 1/60 of one of them, whether one can employ the halachic rule of bitul b’shishim (nullification of the minority substance). The gemara (Chulin 111b) seems to imply that fish may be cooked in a fleishig pot, while some argue (see Taz, Yoreh Deah 95:3). It would seem that one can be lenient in these and other related questions. This is because several major poskim point out that the danger Chazal referred to is no longer prevalent (see Magen Avraham, Orach Chayim 173:1; Pitchei Tshuva, Yoreh Deah 116:3, in the name of Chatam Sofer; Aruch Hashulchan, Yoreh Deah 116:10). It is perhaps for that reason that the Rambam doesn’t mention the prohibition of mixing fish and meat. While we will not permit that which was forbidden, this can explain our tendency toward leniency (see Chatam Sofer, ibid.)
The prohibition applies, of course, not only to cooking, but also to eating fish and meat together (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 116:2). According to the Shulchan Aruch, we are required to wash our hands and mouth (ibid. 3). However, the Rama (ad loc) rules that it is sufficient to eat and drink something between the fish and meat and we need not wash the hands or mouth. We also change or clean cutlery and plates in between, although one could argue whether the letter of the law requires this.
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A Not to shame transgressors who may wish to confess their sins during prayer (Sota 32b).
RITE and REASON is available at local sfarim stores, both in the original Hebrew (Otzar Taamei Haminhagim) as well as the English translation. It makes a great gift even for yourself!
If pride were not mentioned in the Torah, I would not believe that you could find such a trait among human beings. Constructed entirely from clay, I cannot imagine how they can boast so. And they — their whole lives a passing shadow-like potsherd that shatters one day alive, the next dead.
Loving the people of Israel is the equivalent of loving G-d. When you love the parents, you also love their children.
The Land of Israel is the same as the Divine Presence Itself.
While being enormously impressed by the oceans power, the sea reminds us of Hashem’s rulership in that we see the boundary He set at the shore. The heavens reminds us of Hashem’s mastery over the heavenly bodies and the seemingly non-existing heavenly boundary (HaEin Sof) Thus we are reminded of Hashem’s encompassing and Omniscience over the entire universe.
The many different wonders that have been described in the mitzva of tzitzit are endless. Each individual can see a new lesson. Recently, I read a viewpoint that sees the spiral winding of the fringes as reminiscent of the double-Helix DNA. I personally think often of the white strings as human seed and the Techelet as the soul.
The word Tzitzit comes from the meaning – to sprout, to grow. This is one of the messages one must remember – through the performance of the mitzva of Tzitzit, one is sure to constantly shoot forth to higher and higher levels and closeness to Hashem.
The word Tzitzit also means “looking”, not only at the fringes but also introspectively at ourselves. In the Commentaries. The white strings have been connected to the concept of “whitening” (cleansing) our transgressions, reminding us of the importance of (tshuva) repentance and correction.
In every generation there is a “tikun”, a major spiritual challenge which is emphasized more and which is essential for materializing the potential of that period. Our generation specifically is challenged by “not going after your eyes” as we learned last week. Our generation has experienced technological advances and wealth as never before. The temptations of the modern age are beyond anything our ancestors knew.
On the other hand, if we really “open our eyes”, we’ll see and understand the historical impact of these days – the ushering in of the final redemption of Klal Yisrael.
In this sense, the mitzva of Tziztit is truly a “tikun” for this generation. May Hashem have it so that all Jewish males merit the wonder of Tzitzit and merit to witness the prophecy of Zacharia 8, that the people of the nations will grab the garment corner of the Jew pleading to go with him saying “because we heard that Hashem is with you”.