Kavush

Trumot (10:10) | Yisrael Bankier | 5 years ago

Much of the tenth perek of masechet Terumah deals with combinations of chulin and terumah. The Mishnayot assess whether there is a transfer of taste from the terumah ingredients to the chulin ones, which would thereby render the chulin ingredients forbidden for a non-Kohen to consume. The tenth Mishnah explains when dealing with vegetables that are pickled (kavush), the chulin ones remain permitted unless the terumah vegetables were chasit. Chasit refers to those sharp vegetables - onion, garlic and leek.

The Tosfot Yom Tov finds this Mishnah difficult. He cites several Mishnayot we have learnt that imply that kavush affects a transfer of taste. For example, we learnt (Sheviit 7:7) that if a rose from the shemittah year was soaked in oil produced from olives from the eighth year, then the oil is also affected by the laws of biur that apply to the rose.

He first cites the Rash who quotes R’ Yochanan in the Yerushalmi that argues kavush is considered cooking. Consequently, references in this perek to kavush must be instead understood to be referring to shaluk. The difficulty then is that we are forced to say that in this context, shaluk must refer to a very light form of cooking, even though shaluk generally means thoroughly cooked.

The Tosfot Yom Tov also finds it difficult that these Mishnayot do not appear in the Gemara (Chulin 97) as proof in the debate between Shmuel and R’ Yochanan whether kavush is equivalent to cooking. Finally, the Rambam cites the ruling found in our Mishnah unchanged while ruling the kavush is like cooking.

The Mishnah Rishona cites the Nodeh BeYehuda who explains that chazal understood that there are several things that are unaffected by kavush – with our Mishnah referring vegetables. Consequently, our Mishnah has no bearing on the debate in Chulin because the debate there was referring to that food stuff affected by kavush and the argument was focused on the extent of that effect. When codified in halacha however, since we no longer know what is and what is not impacted by kavush, the rule is simply that kavush is like cooking.

The Mishnah Rishona however finds this difficult since there are some principles that are clear from the Mishnayot that could have been codified. One example is our Mishnah where all vegetables (excluding chasit) are not affected. Furthermore, the Mishnah appears to suggest that that charif (sharp) ingredients are potent in imparting a flavour on the other items, but not drawing the flavour out from them. This however is the opposite of what we find cited in halacha where charif food have a greater capacity to draw out flavour but is no better in imparting flavour (the Mishnah Rishona cites numerous examples). The Mishnah Rishona therefore concludes that laws applying to terumah are different to those that apply to other issurim and are learnt mi’pi kabbalah.

The Tosfot Chadashim however suggests that in the Gemara when R’ Yochanan argues that kavush is not like cooking he is arguing that it is not equivalent to cooking. Nevertheless, it still effects a transfer in taste like roasting.1 Consequently there is no contradiction. In Sheviit when dealing with a biblical prohibition the Mishnah simply taught that it is prohibited, even though kavush is only like roasting. In our Mishnayot however we are dealing with vegetables that a terumah, which is rabbinic. Furthermore, according to this line of reasoning, since it is like roasting, the transfer of taste would be kdei klipah (a thin layer deep). Since it would be difficult to peel every leaf and we are considering a rabinnic prohibition, the klipah is considered annulled.


1 Consequently there is no contradiction between the Bavli and Yerushalmi since R’ Yochanan, as expressed in the Yerushalmi, maintains that kavush ke’roteach

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