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Bal Tashchis questions

Question:

Is it assur to
1) Use a lemon as a skin treatment?
2) Allow children to make “dough” with baking ingredients (for the entertainment value) if it will not turn into something edilble?

Answer:

  1. We are allowed to use food for therapeutic uses, and it isn’t considered baal tashchis, because the food is not being wasted, rather used, (in this case on the outside of the body).
  2. If it is clear that no one will want to eat it (even the child) after the child has finished making his “recipe”, then it isn’t a correct thing to do, because it is just ruining the ingredients. However very often the child will be all excited to eat what was made, then it is permitted.

Sources:

M:B 171-4

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you!

    Regarding #1: What if the entire lemon will not be used for the purpose but I have no use for the remaining lemon?

    Another Question: Is there a problem allowing children to play with running water in the sink if there is no practical purpose? If so, how is this different from outdoor water activities?

    1. It is permitted because you don’t have any other option, therefore you didn’t waste it, you just don[‘t have a use for the other half.
      Regarding the water, my understanding is that there is no baal tashchis with water.

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