[Avodah] Crazy Snakes and Dogs

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Jul 30 08:02:37 PDT 2020

We repeatedly discussed RYBS's statement that toothpaste is not ra'ui
la'akhilas kelev and therefore doesn't need a hekhsher to be KLP.

    Not where I intended to go, but I should note that we never
    discussed the actual core issue -- the limits of the principle of
    achshevei. Since toothpaste is flavored, one could argue it does
    apply. RMF (IG OC 2:92), ROY (YD 2:60), the Tzitz Eliezer (10:25),
    says it does not apply when the flavored item isn't being eaten for
    the sake of the flavor. Excluding medicine -- and the same argument
    applies to toothpaste. The CI (OC 116:8) limits achshevei to spoiled
    chameitz, and not to mixtures containing chameitz. The "only" machmir
    about applying achshevei to medicines that I know of is the She'agas
    Aryeh (75).

    Now, back to the topic I did intent to post about....

So, the story goes (version taken from R Chaim Jachter at
https://www.koltorah.org/halachah/cosmetics-and-toiletries-for-pesach-part-three-by-rabbi-chaim-jachter ):
   A charming anecdote that occurred in Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik's
   Shiur at Yeshiva University in the 1970's (reported by Rav Yosef
   Adler and many others) is often cited in support of the common
   practice to be lenient. The Rav stated in Shiur that toothpaste is
   not Ra'ui Liachilat Kelev (unfit for canine consumption) and thus
   one is permitted to consume it on Pesach even if it contains Chametz.
   The next day in Shiur a student raised his hand and explained that he
   conducted an "experiment" the night before. He related that he placed
   toothpaste in his dog's feeding bowl to see if his dog would eat it
   -- and indeed, the dog ate the toothpaste!! Rav Soloveitchik simply
   responded, "Your dog is crazy." This story illustrates the ruling
   that we cited last week from Rav Soloveitchik that the standards of
   edibility are not determined by aberrant behavior.

R Pesach Sommer recently found Tosefta Terumos 7:13, which is more famously
available on Chullin 49b. It /has/ to be what RYBS was thinking of. The
gemara says:
   Detanya: 5 [liquids] do not have [the prohibition] of gilui: brine,
   vinegar, oil, honey and fish gravy.
   Rabbi Shimon says: I saw a snake drink fish brine in Tzidon!
   They said to him: That [snake] was a shetaya, and one doesn't bring
   a proof from shotim.


Micha Berger                 Zion will be redeemed through justice,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   and her returnees, through righteousness.
Author: Widen Your Tent
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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