1) HALACHAH: A MIXTURE OF "MIN B'MINO"
OPINIONS: The Gemara mentions the dispute between Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim about whether the forbidden food in a mixture of Min b'Mino is Batel. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that it is not Batel, and the Chachamim maintain that it is Batel.
Why is a mixture of Min b'Mino not Batel? Why do the normal rules of Bitul (Bitul b'Rov, or Bitul b'Shishim) not apply to a mixture of Min b'Mino, according to Rebbi Yehudah?
(a) The Ran in Nedarim (52a) writes that Bitul can occur only when there are two different, opposing objects confronting each other. Since the objects oppose and contrast each other, one can overpower the other. However, when the objects are similar to each other and do not contrast, one will not overpower the other. This is the reasoning of Rebbi Yehudah who rules that a mixture of Min b'Mino is not Batel.
The Chachamim argue with Rebbi Yehudah and maintain that even a mixture of Min b'Mino is considered to be a mixture of two opposing objects. Although they are the same type of food, one is Heter and one is Isur. That Halachic difference between the two foods is significant enough to cause them to oppose each other, and thus one can be Mevatel the other. (See also Insights to Beitzah 39:1, Nedarim 52:1, and Avodah Zarah 73:3.)
(b) TOSFOS (Yevamos 82a, DH Rebbi Yehudah) explains that Rebbi Yehudah maintains that Min b'Mino is not Batel only when the two foods in the mixture are liquids ("Lach b'Lach"). In a mixture of dry foods ("Yavash b'Yavash"), Rebbi Yehudah agrees that the prohibited food is Batel in a majority of permitted food. Rebbi Yehudah's logic is that in a liquid mixture, the prohibited taste spreads equally throughout the entire mixture. Since the two liquids are of the same type, the forbidden liquid's taste is annulled or covered up by the taste of the permitted liquid; the taste of the forbidden liquid is thus discernible in every part of the mixture. When the forbidden and permitted substances in the mixture are dry foods, the taste of the Isur is present only in the actual morsels of Isur; the taste of a solid, dry food does not spread like the taste of a liquid. When there is a majority of permitted food in the mixture, most mouthfuls that the person takes will not include the prohibited morsels, and thus the mixture is permitted even according to Rebbi Yehudah.
HALACHAH: The Rishonim disagree about whether the Halachah follows the view of Rebbi Yehudah or the view of the Chachamim.
(a) RASHI (DH v'Su Lo Midi) rules like Rebbi Yehudah that a mixture of Min b'Mino is not Batel, regardless of how little Isur is in the mixture.
(b) TOSFOS (97a, DH Amar) disagrees with Rashi and rules that Min b'Mino is Batel. Most of the other Rishonim agree with Tosfos. Indeed, Rashi himself in Avodah Zarah (66a, DH v'Chol) seems to agree that the Halachah follows the view of the Chachamim.
The SHULCHAN ARUCH (98:2) rules in accordance with the opinion of TOSFOS. (Z. Wainstein)
2) HALACHAH: EATING HEART
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that in order to permit an animal's udder to be eaten, one must tear it open and remove the milk. Nevertheless, if one cooks (and eats) the udder without tearing it open first, he does not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of cooking (and eating) meat with milk. Similarly, in order to permit an animal's heart to be eaten, one must tear it upon and remove its blood. If one cooks and eats the heart without tearing it open first, he does not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of eating blood.
Why does one not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of eating blood when he cooks and eats the heart without first tearing it open and removing its blood?
(a) RASHI (DH ha'Lev) explains that the flesh of the heart does not become prohibited when it is cooked with its own blood, because the flesh of the heart is smooth and impermeable and does not absorb blood through cooking.
The RASHBA (DH Leima) agrees with Rashi and explains that the law of the heart is taught in the same Mishnah as the law of the udder in order to show that they share the same Halachah. Neither one becomes prohibited if cooked before being torn open.
(b) TOSFOS (DH ha'Lev) quotes RABEINU TAM who disagrees. Rabeinu Tam permits eating a heart (that was not first torn open) only when it was roasted (over fire) with its blood inside. If the heart was cooked (in a pot of water), then it becomes prohibited because the cooking causes the flesh to absorb the forbidden blood.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 72:2) rules in accordance with the opinion of RABEINU TAM. The REMA mentions that there is a custom to cut off the "Orlas ha'Lev" (the tip of the heart) before eating the heart. The SHACH, quoting the RIKANTI, explains that this is done in order to remove the Kochos ha'Tum'ah, the powers of defilement, which reside in the heart. (Z. Wainstein)
3) EATING COOKED BLOOD
QUESTION: The Mishnah states that in order to permit an animal's heart to be eaten, one must tear it upon and remove its blood. Nevertheless, if one cooks and eats the heart without tearing it open first, he does not transgress the Isur d'Oraisa of eating blood. RASHI (DH ha'Lev) explains that this means that one is not punished with Kares for eating blood, because the Mishnah refers to the heart of a bird that does not contain a k'Zayis of blood, and one is not Chayav for eating less than a k'Zayis of blood. (It nevertheless is forbidden mid'Oraisa to eat any amount of blood, because the Halachah follows the opinion of Rebbi Yochanan in Yoma (73b) who says that a partial amount (Chatzi Shi'ur) of forbidden food is Asur mid'Oraisa.) If, however, one ate the heart of an animal without tearing it open first, then he is Chayav Kares because he ate a k'Zayis of blood.
Rashi's words seem to contradict the Gemara in Menachos (21a), where Ze'iri states explicitly that one is not Chayav for eating blood that has been cooked. Rashi there (DH Dam) explains that the Torah gives a punishment only for eating the type of blood that can gain atonement for a person through being offered as a Korban. Cooked blood has undergone a fundamental change and no longer is considered blood that can gain atonement. Why, then, does Rashi here write that one is Chayav for eating the cooked blood of an animal's heart? (See CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN to 120a, DH Tenan.) (TOSFOS DH ha'Lev)
(a) The RITVA answers that it is possible that Rashi understands that the Gemara in Menachos refers only to the blood of Kodshim. Blood of non-sanctified animals, in contrast, remains forbidden to be eaten (and one is Chayav Kares for eating it) even when it is cooked.
The Ritva cites proof for this answer from the Gemara later (111a), in which Rav Dimi states that one may not roast liver above meat by placing both on an upright beam inside of an oven, because the blood of the liver drips down onto the meat. The Gemara clearly implies that the blood is forbidden, even though it has been cooked in an oven. (In contrast, Rav Dimi permits roasting an udder above meat, because the milk that drips from the udder is prohibited to be cooked with meat only mid'Rabanan.)
TOSFOS (DH ha'Lev), who maintains that one is not Chayav for eating blood of Chulin that has been cooked, understands the Gemara there differently. Tosfos there (111a, DH Dam) explains that the blood of the liver is prohibited only mid'Rabanan once it has been roasted. However, the intention of Rav Dimi there is that blood is forbidden mid'Oraisa before it is cooked, while milk of an udder is never forbidden mid'Oraisa. Since blood is a more severe Isur than the milk of the udder, the Rabanan are more stringent and forbid roasting it over meat.
(b) The NEKUDAS HA'KESEF (to SHACH YD 87:15) answers that in the conclusion of the Gemara in Menachos (21a), a distinction is made between a Korban Chatas Penimis (brought on the inner Mizbe'ach) and a Korban Chatas Chitzonis (brought on the outer Mizbe'ach). Rashi there (DH Kan) explains that one who ate the cooked blood of a Chatas Chitzonis is Chayav Kares, and certainly one who ate the cooked blood of Chulin is Chayav Kares. When Ze'iri there says that one is not Chayav for eating cooked blood, he is referring only to the blood of a Chatas Penimis. (See also RASHASH.) (D. BLOOM)
4) TEARING THE UDDER AFTER IT WAS COOKED
QUESTION: The Gemara records two versions of Rav's ruling in the case of an udder (Kechal) that was cooked before its milk was drained. According to the first version, Rav permits the cooked udder without tearing it. According to the second version, Rav prohibits the cooked udder even if one tears it and removes the milk.
The Gemara records a Beraisa that states that when a heart was cooked before its blood was drained, the blood may be drained after the cooking, and the heart is permitted to be eaten.
Why does the Halachah of the udder differ from the Halachah of the heart? Both the heart and udder must be torn, l'Chatchilah, before they are cooked. Why, then, is there a difference between them after they have been cooked?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Ha Kechal) explains that according to the Gemara's first version, Rav permits a cooked udder without tearing it because its milk is not the type of milk included in the Torah's prohibition against eating meat and milk together. The Rabanan required that it be torn before it is cooked because it contains such a large quantity of milk, and people will confuse it with normal milk. When the udder is cooked with its milk, the cooking extracts some of the milk, leaving only a small amount inside the udder. Since only a small amount of milk remains, the Rabanan did not require that it be drained.
(b) According to the Gemara's second version, Rav prohibits an udder once it was cooked, because Rav maintains that the Rabanan gave the milk of the udder the status of ordinary milk. When the milk is cooked or roasted together with the udder, the milk becomes absorbed in the flesh of the udder and the udder becomes prohibited (mid'Rabanan).
Although the blood of the heart is also prohibited, it does not become absorbed in the flesh of the heart, either because the flesh of the heart is extremely smooth and impermeable, or because the fire which causes the blood to become absorbed in the flesh of the heart causes that same flesh to expel the blood ("k'Vol'o Kach Polto"). Both of these reasons apply only to the heart and not to the udder, because the udder is not as smooth as the heart, and because the principle of "k'Vol'o Kach Polto" does not apply to fatty liquids such as milk, as Tosfos (DH Dilma) writes.