For donations Click Here

Fly in Soup and Later Divided

If I had let’s say a soup that fell into it a fly. The entire soup seemingly becomes ossur if I can’t find the fly since it’s a “beriah” and not battel even with shishim. If I then (by mistake) pour the soup out into 3 bowels, could we then say that the issur is battel b’rov? (obviously not to do this lichatchila, the questions is b’dieved.)


For the purpose of simchas Yom Tov or for the Shabbos meal (where the meal will be spoiled), there would appear to be room for leniency (one person cannot eat all the bowls of soup). Otherwise, it is better to be stringent.


This is a somewhat complex question.

The basic angles involved are that on the one hand, a bug is a beirah and therefore is not battel: it does not become “null” by a large volume.

On the other hand, after the soup has been poured into the bowls, we can perhaps see each one as a separate entity, so that the bowl in which the bug fell is batel between the other bowls, and that therefore the classic laws of bittul will apply. In this case, The halachah is that “min be-mino” is “batel be-rov” — according to the Rema one person should not eat all the bowls of soup. Beyond this limitation, the soup is permitted.

However, the Mishnah Berurah (447:93) discusses a similar question of a small amount of chametz that fell into a matzah, where the chametz is battel. This is not sufficient for chametz on Pesach , which is prohibited even with a “mashehu.” Then, the matzah became mixed up with other matzos. What is the halachah?

The Mishnah Berurah writes that acharonim dispute the solution. According to the Levush and the Eliyah Rabbah one can be lenient, whereas the Taz (Yoreh De’ah 92) writes that one must be stringent, and the Shaar Ha-Tzion derives a stringent ruling from the Magen Avraham, too. The Chazon Ish (Yoreh De’ah 34:4) writes that the acharonim “have already decided the case stringently.”

It appears, therefore, that even in our case, of a fly that fell into one of the bowls, one must be stringent.

However, there is also room to argue that the soup should be permitted on grounds of “safek sefeika.” This is because we have two sefeikos: In every spoon of soup one eats, there is a safek concerning whether the fly is inside, and besides this, there is a safek concerning which bowl it is in. This type of “safek sefeika” is brought up by the Rashba (Toras Ha-Bayis) and is called one safek in the guf and another in the taaroves.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (110:9) is stringent on this point, a number of poskim write that we can be lenient in similar circumstances — see Masas Binyanim 37 — and this leniency is used by the Minchas Yitzchak for the sake of the joy of Yom Tov.

In addition, in our case the prohibition is only rabbinic, because a beriah is only a rabbinic prohibition, so that there is greater room for leniency, as the Rema writes (66:4), and see Shach (110:27 and 110:62, and in Kuntress Safek Sfeika 17, and Nekudas Ha-Kessef on Taz 14).

It is clear, however, from the Mishnah Berurah mentioned above, that he did not use this rationale concerning the chametz issue — this despite the fact that he used the concept of safek sefeika for chametz in other circumstances (see Shaar Ha-Tzion 467:19).

It is possible, however, that the stringency in bittul is limited to the special case of chametz, which depends on the special stringency of the prohibition, and will not apply to the case of a beriah, where the lack of bittul is not due to special stringecy, but to the particular laws of bittul.

In view of all of the above, there would seem to be room for leniency, in particular for the sake of simchas Yom Tov or for Shabbos.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *