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The Power Of Imagination

The holy books say that a Jew should "live with the parsha". This week I have been really into the mon that we read about in Beshalach. We know that the mon tasted like whatever food the person desired. He wanted pizza - pizza it was. Steak and potatoes - ummmmmmm. Parmajwili ala runi [a favorite French dish of mine that I just conceived of] - so it was.

Let us say the person thought to himself - I want this to taste like a Big Whopper from Burger King - with fries. Would that have been permitted? How about shrimp [which in my opinion resembles a large cockroach - and is only slightly less appetizing]? Or any unkosher food for that matter [why is spell check telling me that I misspelled unkosher. Let me try this one. Treif. Yeah, they got me on that one too. Well, how would you spell treif?]

The Rogochover Gaon was asked this question and he brought a proof from the gemara in Sanhedrin 59b that it is absolutely ---------.

I will keep the suspense going until next time. Of course you can look it up and figure it out for yourself.....

wasn't there a gemara that lists kosher foods that taste like treif foods? those are permissible. like those "bacon bits" for your salad. or mock crab sushi (i despise fish so i never tried it, but people say it's good). clearly the taste of non-kosher food is allowed, so long as the food is actually kosher. but what about meat and milk? we worry that were, say, mac and cheese cooked in a fleishig pot, the food and the pot would "absorb" the taste of the forbidden combination. so maybe the taste of meat and milk is not allowed. but then again, you can have a veggie burger with cheese or beef burger with tofu cheese. i would venture to guess (and this is really nothing more than a guess) that since mann is kosher, you could wish it to taste like something treif. probably not advisable to do though. after all, hkbh was kind enough to give us this really amazing, versatile food, it would seem rather odd to take advantage of this kindness by using it as a loophole to enjoy the flavor of very things that hkbh forbade us from eating.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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