[Avodah] bee honey and davar hamamid/non kosher enzymes logically coherent?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Mon Feb 18 07:33:46 PST 2013

On Fri, Feb 08, 2013 at 02:25:55PM -0500, Shaya Potter wrote:
: Is it possible to present a coherent logical system for why bee honey
: is kosher (per hazal) and there's a concept of davar hamamid when it
: comes to kashrut (which I have been told is more of a concept from the
: rishonim?) and in modern times (and even before re rennet and cheese)
: this is applied to enzymes which have a large role in industrial food
: production.

Industrial food poduction adds enzymes in be'ein amounts. Bees do not.
It's not "just" bitul.

This is my general approach in dealing with things Chazal say that
don't bear up to the microscope. The bereisa (quoted on Bekhoros 7b)
says that bees do not add to the nectar to turn it into honey. Therefore,
I would think that the key to an answer is seeing how what they do add
isn't relevant to a halachic discussion.

Besides, I'm not sure the permissability is an issue of "coherent logical
system" as much as an exception by gezeiras hakasuv. The gemara continues
with R' Yaaqov who cites "akh es zeh tokhlu mikol sheretz ha'of" (Vayiqra
11:21), and the gemara continues that devash devorim is unique among
honeys because it has no sheim levvai -- it alone is called "devash"
without an adjective.

The gemara starts by trying to put devash in the general pattern, but once
it prohibits hornet's honey, it appears to have given up on that attempt.

that this is specific to bee honey because it alone is called devash with
no adjectives. If it were about the logic, and not the positive use of
the word "devash" throughout Tanakh, wouldn't devash tzir'in also be

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             "Someday I will do it." - is self-deceptive. 
micha at aishdas.org        "I want to do it." - is weak. 
http://www.aishdas.org   "I am doing it." - that is the right way.
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