1) HALACHAH: "HADACHAH" AND "KINU'ACH"
OPINIONS: The Gemara concludes that according to both Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel in the Beraisa, one who wants to eat meat after cheese must do both Kinu'ach (clean out his mouth by eating a piece of bread or any other food that does not cling to the mouth) and Hadachah (rinse out his mouth with water or wine). What is the Halachah?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Mekane'ach) maintains that one must do both Kinu'ach and Hadachah. This is also the view of the ROSH (8:5) and the RIF.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 9:26) and the RASHBA maintain that it suffices to do either Kinu'ach or Hadachah.
The BI'UR HA'GRA (YD 89:9) cites support to this opinion from the words of the Gemara. In the Beraisa, Beis Shamai mentions only Kinu'ach, and Beis Hillel mentions only Hadachah. This implies that either one suffices, because if both were necessary, then Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel each would have mentioned both Kinu'ach and Hadachah. Similarly, Agra mentions only Kinu'ach and not Hadachah.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 89:2) rules that one must do both Kinu'ach and Hadachah when one wants to eat meat after cheese. However, one does not need to do Kinu'ach and Hadachah in order to eat fowl after cheese.
The PISCHEI TESHUVAH cites the PRI TO'AR who rules that when eating a piece of food in order to clean out the mouth, one must swallow the food, and it does not suffice to chew it and spit it out (aside from the problem of causing food to go to waste).
The SHACH (89:11 and 13) points out that the order of the Kinu'ach and Hadachah does not matter; one may do Kinu'ach first and then Hadachah, or do Hadachah first and then Kinu'ach. However, the LEVUSH and others (see DARCHEI TESHUVAH 89:28) maintain that Kinu'ach should be done before Hadachah so that the Hadachah will remove whatever particles might be left after the Kinu'ach. The KENESES HA'GEDOLAH (in Hagahos to Tur, #29) writes that although the Halachah is like the Shach that the order does not matter, it is proper to perform Kinu'ach before Hadachah.
2) HALACHAH: HOW LONG MUST ONE WAIT TO EAT DAIRY FOODS AFTER MEAT FOODS
OPINIONS: Mar Ukva said, "Compared to my father, I am like vinegar compared to wine. When my father would eat meat today at this time, he would not eat cheese until tomorrow at this time. I, though, wait only until the next meal."
This Gemara is the source for the practice not to eat dairy foods immediately after meat. However, the exact amount of time that one must wait is not specified. Mar Ukva says only that he waits from one meal to the next. There are a number of opinions for what is considered the exact amount of time that passes from one meal to the next. Different customs in different places have developed with regard to which opinion to follow.
(a) The ROSH (end of 8:5) and RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 9:28) explain that the amount of time between meals is defined as the time that passes between the regular morning meal and the regular evening meal that people ordinarily eat. This amount of time is six hours, as the HAGAHOS ASHIRI mentions. This is also the view of the RIF, RAN, RASHBA, and MORDECHAI (8:687) in the name of the RA'AVYAH.
The BI'UR HA'GRA (YD 89:2) and LECHEM MISHNEH (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 9:28) explain the basis for this number. The Gemara in Shabbos (11a) says that a Talmid Chacham should eat his morning meal at the sixth hour of the day. Since the evening meal is eaten at the end of the day (when the sun sets; see Berachos 2b), the time between the morning meal and evening meal is six hours.
There are two reasons given by the Rishonim for the necessity to wait between meat and milk. RASHI (DH Asur le'Echol Gevinah) explains that one must wait "because meat is fatty and its taste clings in the mouth and lingers."
The Rambam gives a different reason. He writes that one must wait "because of the meat that remains between the teeth, which is not removed through rinsing." According to the Rambam, only after six hours have passed is it possible to ensure that there is no meat left between the teeth. (The Rambam understands that when Rav Acha bar Yosef asks Rav Chisda, "What is the Halachah with meat between the teeth," he is asking what the Halachah is within six hours. Rav Chisda answers that such meat is still considered meat. Only after six hours is meat between the teeth considered to have been digested.
A practical difference between the reason of Rashi and the reason of the Rambam is one who chews food but does not swallow it. The TUR writes that according to Rashi, one who chews up meat to soften it for a baby may eat milk products afterwards without waiting, since the taste of meat remains in one's mouth only when he swallows it. In contrast, according to the Rambam, there is still a concern that there is meat between the teeth, since the person chewed it, and therefore he must wait six hours. (See Halachah below.)
(b) TOSFOS (DH li'Se'udasa) and RABEINU TAM (cited by Tosfos to 104b, DH Of) explain that when Mar Ukva said that he waited until another meal to eat cheese, he was not giving a specific amount of time, but rather he meant that he waited until he would start a new, separate meal, to eat cheese, even if the new meal began right away. As long as Kinu'ach and Hadachah are done, and Birkas ha'Mazon (or a Berachah Acharonah) is recited, one may eat dairy foods right away. Tosfos explains that when Rav Chisda says that it is forbidden to eat cheese after eating meat, he refers to one who does not do Kinu'ach and Hadachah.
(c) The REMA (YD 89:1) writes that "the widespread custom in these countries is to wait one hour after eating meat." According to this practice as well, one must recite Birkas ha'Mazon and do Kinu'ach and Hadachah before eating milk (TAZ #2).
The BI'UR HA'GRA (#6) writes that the source for this opinion is the Zohar (Parshas Mishpatim, page 125a), which discusses the severe punishment given to "any person who eats these foods (meat and milk) together, or in the same hour, or at the same meal." This implies that one is permitted to eat milk foods after one hour has passed after eating meat. However, some explain that the Zohar is referring to eating meat after milk when it implies that an hour's wait suffices. (According to this understanding of the Zohar, the PRI TO'AR, PRI CHADASH, and others rule that one must wait an hour after eating milk before eating meat, in contrast to the ruling of the SHULCHAN ARUCH YD 89:2; see following Insight.)
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 89:1) rules like those Rishonim who maintain that one must wait six hours between eating meat and milk. He follows, l'Chumra, both the reason of Rashi and the reason of the Rambam. Therefore, one who chews meat without swallowing it must also wait six hours (like the Rambam), while, on the other hand, one who ate meat but has no meat between his teeth also must wait six hours (like Rashi).
The REMA records the opinion of Tosfos and writes, "Some say that it is not necessary to wait six hours, but rather immediately, if he has removed [the food from the table] and recited Birkas ha'Mazon, he is permitted [to eat dairy foods] by doing Kinu'ach and Hadachah." As mentioned above, the Rema continues and writes that "the widespread custom in these countries is to wait one hour after eating meat." However, he concludes that "there are those who are careful to wait six hours after eating meat before eating cheese, and this is the proper way to act." The SHACH (89:8) cites the MAHARSHAL who also writes, "This is the proper way to act for anyone who has within him the spirit of Torah."
The PRI MEGADIM (Sifsei Da'as 89:8) and ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN (89:7) write that one who changes his custom to follow a more lenient custom is a "Poretz Geder" (Koheles 10:8). The CHOCHMAS ADAM (40:13) writes that such a person transgresses the dictum, "Al Titosh Toras Imecha" -- "Do not uproot the Torah of your mother" (as mentioned in Mishlei 1:8 and 6:20).
(The source for the custom of Jews of German descent to wait three hours between meat and milk is not clear, although various suggestions are offered to explain how it developed. (This custom is mentioned by the CHAYEI ADAM, who lived in Germany, in Hilchos Pesach (127:10), where he discusses the issue of changing one's practice of waiting six hours to a more lenient practice of waiting "a few hours" due to necessity of illness.))
There are a number of details discussed by the Poskim pertinent to the requirement to wait six hours between meat and milk.
1. The MAHARSHAL (in YAM SHEL SHLOMO to Chulin 8:9) cited by the TAZ (89:2) and SHACH (89:5) rules that not only must one wait six hours, but one must recite Birkas ha'Mazon (or, if one did not have bread at his meat meal, a Berachah Acharonah) after the meat meal. If one did not recite a Berachah Acharonah, then he may not eat milk foods even if the entire day passes. (On the following day, however, he may eat milk foods.) This is also the ruling of the PRI MEGADIM (Sifsei Da'as 89:5) and MAGEN AVRAHAM (end of OC 196:1).
2. The Poskim discuss whether the six hours that one must wait are counted from the end of the person's meat meal (even if he has not eaten meat during the meal for a long time) until the beginning of a person's milk meal, or from the time that he stops eating meat until the time that he begins to eat the milk product. The DAGUL MEREVAVAH proves that the six hours are counted from the time that one stops eating meat, even though the meal has not ended. The ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN (89:4), however, rules that the six hours must be counted from the moment that the meat meal ends (even if one has not eaten meat for a long time) until the moment that the milk meal begins (even if one will not eat the milk product until later on in the meal). In practice, some follow the view of the Dagul Merevavah, while others follow the more stringent view of the Aruch ha'Shulchan.
3. Must one wait a full six hours, or does it suffice to wait five hours and a majority of the sixth hour? Some infer from the wording of the Rambam, who writes that one must wait "k'Shesh Sha'os" -- "like six hours" -- that it suffices to wait five hours and a majority of the sixth. However, the other Rishonim write that one must wait "Shesh Sha'os," which implies six full hours.
This is also the wording of the Rashba when he quotes the opinion of the Rambam.
RAV OVADYAH YOSEF shlit'a, in YABI'A OMER (YD 1:4), rules that one may rely on five hours and a majority when eating milk after fowl, but not after meat. Others relate in the name of RAV AHARON KOTLER zt'l that he allowed eating milk after five and a half hours, while others quote RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt'l who said that in extenuating circumstances one may eat milk foods after five and three-quarter hours. However, the accepted practice is to wait six full hours (see DARCHEI TESHUVAH 89:6).
4. The Poskim also discuss whether the six hours that one must wait are Halachic hours ("Sha'os Zemaniyos," or "variable hours," which are calculated by dividing the length of time from sunrise to sunset by twelve), or are ordinary hours (of sixty minutes). The PRI CHADASH (89:6) asserts that they are Halachic hours, as he proves from the wording of Mar Ukva who would wait "until the next meal" to eat cheese, which implies that in the winter he would wait a shorter period of time (since he ate the evening meal earlier), while in the summer he would wait a longer period of time (since he ate the evening meal later). Most Acharonim (cited by the PISCHEI TESHUVAH 89:2) reject the view of the Pri Chadash. The PRI MEGADIM (Mishbetzos Zahav 89:1) argues that it does not make sense that one must wait a shorter amount of time in the winter between meat and milk than one must wait in the summer. However, the YAD EFRAIM (89:1) concludes that in the case of a sick person who needs to eat milk foods (and perhaps also for a child when necessary), one may rely on the Pri Chadash and wait, in the winter, only six Halachic hours.
3) HALACHAH: HOW LONG MUST ONE WAIT TO EAT MEAT AFTER MILK
OPINIONS: Rav Chisda states that one who ate cheese is permitted to eat meat right away and he does not have to wait. What is the Halachah?
(a) The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 89:2) rules that one may eat meat immediately after eating cheese, as long as he ensures that there are no particles of cheese on his hands, as the Gemara earlier (104b) teaches. During the day, one may examine his hands, but at night, when it is dark, he must wash his hands before eating meat. In addition, one must do Kinu'ach and Hadachah before eating meat (see above, Insight #1).
The TUR (cited by the SHACH #9) writes that even during the day, one must wash his hands after eating a dairy food, because there might be some food left on his hands that he does not notice. This is the common practice today (LEVUSH).
The Shulchan Aruch adds that this applies only to eating meat (of an animal) after cheese. One who wants to eat fowl after cheese may do so without Kinu'ach and without washing his hands.
The RASHASH (Chulin 103a) writes that one who merely drinks a glass of milk does not need to do both Kinu'ach and Hadachah. It suffices to do merely Hadachah. This is also implied by the words of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 9:26), who writes that "one who ate cheese or milk" must wash his hands and wash out his mouth before eating meat. When the Rambam mentions "milk," he is referring to a dairy food item, and not to a drink of milk, because otherwise he would have discussed "one who ate cheese or drank milk." This implies that one who drinks milk does not need to wash out his mouth with Kinu'ach, and he does not have to wash his hands (if no milk spilled on them).
(b) The REMA writes that there are those who are stringent to wait six hours even after eating cheese before eating meat. This practice is based on the words of the MAHARAM MI'ROTENBURG, cited by the MORDECHAI (8:687) and HAGAHOS ASHIRI, who decreed upon himself not to eat meat after cheese until six hours have passed, due to an incident in which he found cheese between his teeth while eating a meat meal.
The Rema in DARCHEI MOSHE writes that this stringency applies only to "hard" cheese (see Shach #15, Taz #4), and this is the way he rules in the Shulchan Aruch. One who eats "soft" cheese and other dairy products may eat meat right away, as long as he fulfills the necessary conditions (washing his hands, Kinu'ach and Hadachah).
(c) As mentioned above (see previous Insight), some Poskim understand the Zohar (Parshas Mishpatim, page 125a, cited by the BI'UR HA'GRA #6) to be prohibiting eating meat immediately after cheese. The Zohar discusses the severe punishment given to "any person who eats these foods (meat and milk) together, or in the same hour, or at the same meal." The PRI TO'AR, PRI CHADASH, and others understand that the Zohar means that it is prohibited to eat meat within an hour of eating cheese.
However, the BEIS YOSEF (OC 173) quotes the Zohar and says that some people are stringent not to eat meat after cheese at the same meal, but rather to end the dairy meal (with Birkas ha'Mazon or a Berachah Acharonah) and begin a new meal. The Beis Yosef understands that the Zohar is not teaching that one must wait an hour between cheese and meat, but rather only that cheese and meat may not be eaten at the same meal.
4) AGADAH: INSPECTING OUR REAL PROPERTY
QUESTION: Shmuel says, "Compared to my father, I am like vinegar compared to wine. My father would inspect his fields twice a day, while I inspect them only once." The Gemara says that Shmuel is following his own opinion that one who inspects his property every day will find an "Istira" (a silver coin). RASHI (DH Mishkach) explains that this means that inspecting one's property preserves its value as though one finds an Istira, since he finds what needs repair.
The Gemara relates that Abaye would inspect his property every day. One day he caught his tenant farmer carrying away a pile of wood, attempting to steal the wood from Abaye (Rashi). Abaye asked him where he was taking the wood, and the farmer replied that he was taking it to Abaye's home. Abaye said that the Rabanan already warned us about this when they taught that a person should inspect his property every day in order to see what needs to be done.
Why does the Gemara teach the importance of inspecting one's property? Is it merely giving basic advice for managing one's finances, or is it teaching a deeper lesson? Moreover, why did Shmuel find this a reason to say that he was like "vinegar compared to wine" when compared to his father?
ANSWER: The CHAFETZ CHAIM (in SEFER SHEM OLAM, Sha'ar Hachzakas ha'Torah, chapter 11, p. 45) explains that the Gemara is alluding to a person's spiritual possessions, his only real and everlasting property. A person must inspect those possessions daily. One who inspects his spiritual possessions will find that he is lacking in fear of Hash-m. One tends to be more worried about losing money than in not having the proper intention in prayer, or when uttering the Name of Hash-m. One will find that he does not utilize his spare time properly for studying Torah. Because of the way that the Yetzer ha'Ra confounds a person, he often forgets the true purpose for which he was created. (See also Insights to Berachos 14:1.)
The only way to overcome the tactics of the Yetzer ha'Ra is to set aside time each day, or at least each week, to sit alone in a room and set aside all of one's worldly concerns in order to inspect his soul and to think of ways in which he can improve himself. One must scrutinize his actions of every moment of his live. Even if he did something good, he must determine whether he did it for the sake of the honor of Hash-m, or merely to enhance his own prestige.
This is the meaning of Shmuel's statement that, compared to his father, he is like vinegar compared to wine. Shmuel's father was a great Tzadik who contemplated the state of his soul and his spiritual accomplishments every day. He inspected his soul once in the middle of the day to determine whether or not he had properly fulfilled his acceptance of the yoke of Mitzvos that he had accepted upon himself early in the morning, and he inspected his soul a second time at night, before retiring. His son, Shmuel, made such an inspection only once a day. When Shmuel said that one who surveys his property every day will find a silver coin, he meant that when one examines his deeds he will certainly find things that need improving and will do whatever it takes to make those improvements.
Abaye used to inspect his soul every day, but because he was a very holy Tzadik (so holy that he received a greeting from Shamayim every Erev Shabbos, as the Gemara in Ta'anis (21b) relates), he could not find anything that needed repair. When the Gemara says that he found his tenant farmer carrying away wood, this means that he found his Yetzer ha'Ra bringing the bundle to Abaye. Abaye understood that his Yetzer ha'Ra was planning a way to trap Abaye, so he asked the Yetzer ha'Ra why he wanted to do this. The Yetzer ha'Ra replied that he was doing it for Abaye's own benefit; that is, as the Yetzer ha'Ra often does, he tried to convince Abaye that Abaye would be doing a Mitzvah by listening to him. Abaye knew how to answer the Yetzer ha'Ra: "The Rabanan already taught us that we must work constantly on ways to defeat the Yetzer ha'Ra." By making his daily inspection of his soul, Abaye was able to understand how to defeat his Yetzer ha'Ra. (D. BLOOM)
5) "MAYIM RISHONIM" AND "MAYIM ACHARONIM"
QUESTION: Rav Idi bar Avin says in the name of Rav Yitzchak bar Ashyan that "Mayim Rishonim is a Mitzvah," while Mayim "Acharonim is a Chovah."
What is the difference between a "Mitzvah" and a "Chovah"?
(a) RASHI (DH Chovah) explains that a "Chovah" is a stronger form of obligation than a "Mitzvah." In what way is it a stronger obligation?
TOSFOS (DH Mayim) explains that Jewish soldiers fighting in a Milchemes Reshus, a discretionary war, are not obligated to wash their hands with Mayim Rishonim, but they are obligated to wash with Mayim Acharonim, as the Mishnah in Eruvin (17a) teaches.
(b) Tosfos quotes the BEHAG who writes that a "Chovah" is a lesser form of obligation that a "Mitzvah." One is required to wash with Mayim Acharonim only in order to prevent harm from Sedomis-salt. For that reason, no blessing is recited upon washing with Mayim Acharonim. In contrast, Mayim Rishonim was instituted because of the requirement to be Tahor when eating Terumah, and therefore a blessing is recited upon washing with Mayim Rishonim. (Z. Wainstein)
6) WASHING BETWEEN DISHES DURING A MEAL
QUESTION: Rav Nachman states that when the Beraisa says that washing with Mayim Emtza'im is optional, it means that it is optional only between one cooked dish of meat (Tavshil) and another, but it is obligatory to wash between a cooked dish of meat and a dish of cheese.
Why does it suffice to wash one's hands after eating a dish of meat before eating a dish of cheese? The Gemara earlier (105a) teaches that one is forbidden to eat cheese immediately after eating meat!
(a) TOSFOS (DH Lo Shanu) quotes RABEINU SHMUEL who explains that between two meat dishes, or between two milk dishes, washing one's hands is optional. The obligation to wash Mayim Emtza'im applies when one wants to eat a meat dish after a milk dish. When one wants to eat a milk dish after a meat dish, however, it does not suffice to wash one's hands, but rather one must wait until the next meal, as the Gemara (105a) says.
(b) RABEINU TAM explains that when Rav Nachman mentions a "Tavshil," he refers to a cooked dish mixed with meat, or with milk, such that the meat or milk in the dish is not recognizable. Between eating a dish cooked with milk (in which the milk is not recognizable) and a dish cooked with meat, washing the hands is optional. If, however, the dairy dish is made entirely of milk products such that the milk is recognizable, then one must wash after eating the meat dish before eating the milk dish. (Rabeinu Tam is consistent with his own opinion (see above, Insights #2:b) that one is not required to wait any amount of time between meat and milk.)
7) USING THE HOLY NAME
OPINIONS: Rav Chisda and Rabah bar Rav Huna said "something" in order to undo the witchcraft of the woman who cast a spell on their ship. What was it that they said?
RASHI (DH Amrei) offers two explanations: they either countered her spell by using their knowledge of witchcraft, or they uttered the Holy Name of Hash-m.
With regard to the second possibility, Rashi comments, "it cannot be proven" ("v'Lo Muchecha Milsa"; see ROSH YOSEF). It seems from Rashi as though the second suggestion is unlikely and needs support. Why is that?
(a) The Tana in AVOS D'REBBI NASAN (12:13) teaches that the expression "d'Ishtamesh b'Taga Chalaf" (Avos 1:13) means that one who uses the Holy Name will have no share in the World to Come. This interpretation is quoted by the REMA in the Shulchan Aruch (YD 246:21). Accordingly, it is very unlikely that the Amora'im would have used the Holy Name. (When the Gemara in Sanhedrin (67b) relates that Rebbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish learned the Sefer Yetzirah and a calf was created, RASHI explains that the calf came about by itself and was not created intentionally through the use of the Holy Name.)
(b) In Shabbos (81b), Rashi explains that the Amora'im used a "Shem Taharah" (a Name of Purity) to move the boat. This is consistent with the opinion of the REMA (YD 179:15) who permits the use of the Holy Name to perform miracles. In fact, "one who performs miracles with Hash-m's Holy Name demonstrates the greatness and mightiness of the Creator" (LEVUSH, ibid.). According to the Rema, the statement of Avos d'Rebbi Nasan apparently applies only to those who are not on the appropriate level of holiness when they use the Holy Name.
(It is possible that when Rashi in Shabbos uses the words "Shem Taharah" instead of the more common term, "Shem Kodesh," to refer to the Holy Name, he is not referring to the Holy Name, but rather he is expressing a euphemism for "Shem Tum'ah," a name of impurity used to perform sorcery. Accordingly, Rashi's explanation in Shabbos is consistent with what he writes in Chulin.)
HALACHAH: The SHACH (YD 179:18), quoting the LEVUSH, states that since it is almost impossible to be on the proper level of Kedushah and Taharah that is necessary in order to use the Holy Name, one should refrain from using it except under dire circumstances.