Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Getting Rid of What You Don't Want Without Desecrating the Holy Sabbath

Here's another halachic situation the appeals to the nine year old boy in me.  But first, the setup.  The issur of borer is  to separate p'soles from ochel -- the stuff I don't want from the stuff I do want.  There is no issur at all to separate ochel from ochel.  That is not quite as empty a statement as it may seem at first glance.  The malacha of borer can apply to many things besides food: silverware, coats, s'farim, toys, etc.  Obviously, therefore, what characteristic defines ochel vs p'soles will needs to change with the situation.  However, when it comes to food, the discrimination factor is taste.  Not color, not smell, not origin; taste.

That can either be l'chumra or l'kula.  It is l'chumra when it comes to, for example, chicken cutlets.  If some are really crispy and some are succulent and you really, really want the crispy ones, then the succulent ones are p'soles; even though they are all the same ingredients (protein covered in carbohydrates and fried in fat).  It can also be l'kula.  If you have regular jelly beans that all have the same sick/sweet taste regardless of color, and you really, really dislike the red ones, then you can even push them out of the way to get to the green ones.  You can even separate out red ones for those poor unfortunates whose taste buds are so ruined that they can stomach those things.  The only issur is to take p'soles from ochel, or ochel from p'soles for later, or with a specialized instrument.  Ochel from ochel -- knock yourself out, save it for later, and use fancy pliers.

Now... you've probably heard that if there is a fly in your soup (that's p'soles to everyone who is chayav in mitzvos) that you can remove it if you take a little soup with the fly.  (We're not to the nine year old boy halacha yet, but getting there.)  What allows you to do that?  According to the Chazon Ish, that fly is actually not mixed with all of your soup, there's just a little but of soup mixed with him.  Removing him with a little bit of soup removes the whole mixture, so there is no borer to talk about.  The Pri M'gadim says that borer is only when you remove p'soles alone or ochel alone, but if you remove a mixture of p'soles and ochel from a mixture of p'soles and ochel, then you haven't done anything wrong.  According to the Pri M'gadim, the fly is considered mixed with all the soup, so removing some of the soup with the fly is like removing a mixture from a mixture.  You end up with one side devoid of p'soles, but that's ok.

What practical difference does it make?  (Here it comes...) If you have soup that is thouroughly mixed with flies, then you can't consider each fly as being in his own little pod of soup; he's really mixed with all the soup.  According to the Chason Ish, you can't separate those flies from the soup till after Shabbos.  According to the Pri M'gadim, however, you can remove each one (or a bunch at once) as long as you take some soup with each batch.

Halacha is so YUMMY!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…