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Avodah Zarah, 38
AVODAH ZARAH 38 (18 Nisan) - Dedicated by Kenny & Aliza Weinblatt in memory
of their grandfather, Sam (Shmuel Ben Baruch) Silverman Z"L, and in
gratitude to the Creator of all for the gift of their son Mordechai, may he
be blessed with long years filled with Torah and Avodas Hashem.
1) FOOD PARTIALLY COOKED BY A JEW AND PARTIALLY BY A NOCHRI
OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes Rebbi Asi who states in the name of Rebbi
Yochanan that the prohibition against eating food cooked by a Nochri does
not apply to food that was partially cooked first by a Jew to the degree of
"k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i." "Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i" refers to food that is a
third cooked (RASHI, Shabbos 20a, DH Ben) or half cooked (RAMBAM, Hilchos
Shabbos 9:5), which was the way the bandit named Ben Derusa'i, who was
always on the run, would eat his food, since he never had time to fully cook
Does this allowance to eat food cooked by a Nochri apply when the Nochri
cooked it first to the extend of "Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i," and then a Jew
completed the cooking, or is such food prohibited?
(a) The ROSH (2:32) quotes an opinion that says that such food is
prohibited, based on the following logic. The reason why it is permitted to
eat food that was cooked by a Jew "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i" and was then
cooked by a Nochri is because of the principle of "Ein Bishul Achar Bishul."
Once the Jew cooked it "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i," it is considered cooked
and it cannot be cooked again. This is why the further cooking of the Nochri
does not affect the food.
The opposite also applies. Once the food has been cooked by the Nochri to
the extent of "Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i," it can no longer be cooked again, and
it is considered to have been cooked solely by the Nochri and is therefore
prohibited because of "Bishul Akum." The RAN attributes this opinion to
RABEINU CHANANEL and sides with it.
(b) The Rosh disagrees with this opinion and rejects the logical proof. He
writes that our Gemara is teaching a leniency; the prohibition of "Bishul
Akum" does not apply when food was first cooked, to some degree, by a Jew.
The intention of the Gemara is not to teach a stringency and to say that
food cannot be considered cooked by a Jew after it was already cooked
"k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i" by a Nochri. This is apparent from the words of
the Gemara itself. The Gemara states that if a Nochri does something to
cause a food to cook faster ("Kerovei Bishula"), then even though the food
was not cooked "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i" when the Nochri sped up the cooking
process, there is no problem of "Bishul Akum" since the food would have
become cooked eventually even without the intervention of the Nochri. The
Gemara later (38b) discusses a case in which a Nochri placed the food on the
coals and the Jew stoked the fire, causing the food to cook faster. Rav
Nachman bar Yitzchak states that if we are lenient in the first case (when
the Nochri completed the cooking), then we certainly should be lenient in
this case, when the Jew completed the cooking. The Rosh points out that Rav
Nachman bar Yitzchak cannot be discussing a case in which the food had not
yet reached the state of "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i," because if it had, then
the food should be prohibited because it reached "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i"
because of the cooking of the Nochri!
The KEHILOS YAKOV answers the question of the Rosh on the view of Rabeinu
Chananel. Rabeinu Chananel understands that as long as there is only one
action of cooking, the Jew and the Nochri are considered partners in the
cooking. The Gemara is discussing cases in which the second party increases
the heat of the fire, causing the food to cook faster ("Kerovei Bishula").
As long as a Jew is involved in the cooking process in any manner, the food
is considered to have been cooked by a Jew. However, the case of "k'Ma'achal
Ben Derusa'i" refers to food that was cooked, removed from the fire, and
then cooked again further. That case involves two *separate actions* of
cooking which are not related to each other. Therefore, when a Nochri cooks
food until it is "k'Ma'achal Ben Derusa'i" and then removes it from the
fire, there is nothing that can be done by a Jew to make that food
permitted. (Y. Montrose)
2) FOODS SALTED BY A NOCHRI
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses whether fish that was salted by a Nochri is
forbidden because of "Bishul Akum." Chizkiyah maintains that it is not
forbidden, while Rebbi Yochanan argues that it is forbidden. Rebbi Yochanan
apparently maintains that salting the fish is considered like cooking the
fish (see Rashi, DH v'Rebbi Yochanan).
The MAGEN AVRAHAM (OC 527:3) comments that a food that was prepared for
eating by being salted cannot be used to make an Eruv Tavshilin (see
Background to Eruvin 80:6). Although a salted item is "k'Rose'ach"
(considered to be brought to boiling), that means only that it is considered
to absorb other foods into itself and to expel from itself into other foods,
as is the case with boiling items. However, it is not considered cooked, a
requirement of Eruv Tavshilin.
Does Rebbi Yochanan, who maintains that a fish salted by a Nochri is
considered as though it was cooked by a Nochri, argue and maintain that a
salted food item may be used for an Eruv Tavshilin?
(a) The SEDER YAKOV explains that Chizkiyah agrees with the logic of the
Magen Avraham that salting is not considered cooking. Rebbi Yochanan also
agrees that salting is not considered cooking with regard to using the food
for an Eruv Tavshilin. However, he prohibits food salted by a Nochri because
he understands the Isur of "Bishul Akum" differently. One reason for the
Isur is in order to prevent Jews from becoming too familiar and friendly
with Nochrim by eating their prepared food, which might then lead to
intermarriage (see Rashi to 38a, DH mid'Rabanan). The fact that the salted
fish was not technically cooked by the Nochri does not diminish the risk of
breeding familiarity. This is why Rebbi Yochanan does not permit eating a
salted fish of a Nochri, even though he does not consider salting to
actually be a form of cooking.
(b) The Seder Yakov gives another, similar answer based on the question of
the RAN (DH Garsinan). The Ran is unsure whether a heavy salting, such as
one does to food before taking it with him on a long journey, is considered
Bishul, cooking, with regard to the laws of Shabbos. Even though he is in
doubt whether heavy salting is considered Bishul with regard to cooking on
Shabbos, such a process which certainly can pose a problem of "Bishul Akum."
The Magen Avraham might be discussing only an ordinary salting process, and
not a heavy salting, and thus he might agree that food that was heavily
salted *may* be used for an Eruv Tavshilin.
(c) The Seder Yakov suggests a third answer. RASHI in Berachos (38b, DH
she'Achal Zayis) writes that we see that Rebbi Yochanan maintains that the
blessing recited for cooked fruit is "Borei Pri ha'Etz," as the Gemara there
relates that Rebbi Yochanan recited this Berachah on a salted olive, and
salting is considered like boiling.
The NODA B'YEHUDAH (Yoreh De'ah, Tinyana #43), using the logic of the Magen
Avraham as mentioned above, questions the words of Rashi. What does salting
have to do with cooking? How do we see from the fact that Rebbi Yochanan
recited "Borei Pri ha'Etz" on a salted olive that he would have recited the
same Berachah on a cooked olive? (See the answer of Noda b'Yehudah there.)
It must be that Rashi indeed understands Rebbi Yochanan to be saying that
salting is considered like cooking, and the argument between Chizkiyah and
Rebbi Yochanan involves the basic understanding of whether salting is like
cooking or not. Chizkiyah maintains that salting gives food a Halachic
status of being boiled, but not cooked, which explains why a salted food is
not prohibited because of "Bishul Akum." Rebbi Yochanan, on the other hand,
maintains that salting is considered cooking, and therefore a salted food is
prohibited because of "Bishul Akum." Accordingly, the Magen Avraham states
that a salted food cannot be used for an Eruv Tavshilin because we do not
rule in accordance with the view of Rebbi Yochanan. (Y. Montrose)