Searching to Avoid

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January 30 2006
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The Talmud relates the view of the sages, who allow searching for chametz after the time it becomes prohibited, and are not worried that encouraging the finding of chametz will lead to its consumption. Their logic is driven by the fact that the whole point of searching for the chametz is to destroy it; hence, it is unlikely that one would choose to benefit from that which they are trying to get rid of.

R. Dov Beirish Weidenfeld, the Tschebiner Rav (Resp. Dovev Meisharim, I, 30) utilizes this logic in considering the question of a laboratory that tests food items to see if they contain mixtures of meat and milk. The test itself involves a flame, and is thus an act of cooking, and should be forbidden, as an act of “bishul basar b’chalav”. However, the Tschebiner Rav permits this, working off the assumption that “bishul basar b’chalav” is actually a “biblical safeguard” to prevent one from the main prohibition of eating meat and milk (the opinion of Kesef Mishneh, Hil. Tumat Met 1:2). This understanding makes “bishul basar b’chalav” comparable to the prohibition of “bal yematze” as understood by the Ran, a biblical safeguard against eating chametz. Here, too, the likelihood of eating the product is negated, as the whole point of the test is to discover the combination of meat and milk so to avoid it. A similar ruling was made in a comparable case by R. Moshe Soloveitchik (as cited by R. Herschel Schachter, in Beit Yitzchak, 5755, p. 12). [It should be noted that the Tschebiner Rav’s brother, R. Nachum Weidenfeld, express a different attitude toward biblical safeguards, one that would disagree with the above conclusion (Resp. Chazon Nachum, 92).

Gemara:

Collections: Rabbi Feldman Mini Shiur (Daf)

References: Pesachim: 11a  

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