Nullification

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The Torah introduces a halachic mechanism in which the minority is nullified in the majority called Bitul. [1]

Bitul BeRov

  1. If non-Kosher solid food is mixed up in a simple majority (51%) of Kosher food, and the non-Kosher food is similar in taste to the non-Kosher piece, is unrecognizable in the mixture, and the mixture is not hot or cooked together, then mixture as a whole is permissible.[2] Nonetheless, one person may only eat the pieces one at a time.[3] Some say that one person shouldn’t eat all of them but rather two or more people should split it up.[4] A stringency would be to take one of the pieces and throw it out or throw it to the dogs.[5]
  2. If the pieces have different tastes[6] in order to have nullification there needs to be sixty times the amount of forbidden food added to the mixture.[7] This applies equally if it is rabbinic prohibition mixed into the mixture of different types.[8]
  3. If the dry mixture which had nullification was later cooked together it becomes forbidden.[9]
  4. When a mixture is permissible because of nullification one person may eat the entire mixture at different intervals and not all at once. It is preferable for one Jew not to eat the entire mixture but rather leave one piece and let another person eat it. It is even more meritorious to be strict to discard one piece or to give it to a non-Jew. [10]
  5. Certain prohibited foods require a higher ratio for nullification. For example, Trumah, Challah, and Bikkurim require a 1 (forbidden) to 100 (permitted) ratio and Orlah and Kelayim require a 1 to 200 ratio. [11]
  6. Some have the practice to boil 3 eggs at a time so that if one is found with a blood spot, it will be nullified and not make the pot non-kosher. Some note that this practice is not necessary nowadays when the eggs are not fertilized.[12]

    Bitul BeShishim

  7. If the mixture comprised of either 1)foods of dissimilar taste, 2)liquids, or 3)solids that were hot or cooked together, the nullification required is 1 to 60 called Bitul BeSheshim. [13]
  8. If solid foods which were cold and of similar taste are subsequently cooked together the nullification required is Bitul BeShishim. [14] According to Ashkenazim in cases of loss it’s permissible to use the nullification of Bitul BeRov if one knew at first that there was a mixture of non-Kosher and Kosher prior to the mixture being cooked. [15]

    Foods for which nullification doesn’t work

  9. If the prohibited food will be permitted after a certain time, nullification doesn’t work unless it is mixed with a different type of food (different in name) in which case Bitul BeShishim is effective.[16] Therefore, Chadash grain can not be nullified. [17]
  10. Tevel (produce of Israel wfrom which Trumot and Masserot have not been removed), wine poured to Avoda Zara, and produce of Isreal from the Shemitta (Sabbatical year) can’t be nullified unless it is mixed with a different type of food (different in name) in which case Bitul BeShishim is effective. [18]
  11. Chametz on Pesach and foods use to serve Avoda Zara can not be nullified in any amount. [19]
  12. A complete creature or limb, a piece of meat which is suitable to serve guests, items which are always sold by unit (eggs which are sold by the dozen), and a prominent item (that Chazal specified) can not be nullified. [20] According to Ashkenazim a piece of meat which would be suitable to serve guests after being cooked is not able to be nullified and according to Sephardim only a piece of meat which is suitable to serve guests as of now (meaning, that it is cooked) is not able to be nullified. [21]

    Intentional Bitul

  13. It's forbidden to intentionally mix forbidden food into permissible food so that it should become nullified. [22]
  14. If a forbidden ingredient falls into kosher food one may not increase the ratio of kosher food to non-kosher in order to nullify the non-kosher. [23]
  15. There is a prohibition of benefit to the one who intentionally causes a nullification unless there is an express permit (as certain cases do). Others however may benefit from the mixture if it wasn't done specifically for their sake. [24]

    Sources

  1. This principle is based on the pasuk "אחרי רבים להטת" (Shemot 23:2) meaning that one should follow the majority.
  2. The Gemara Chullin 98b assumes that it is possible to nullify a forbidden item in a mixture of permitted ones. Rashi s.v. de’mdeoritta explains that this is based on the pasuk Shemot 23:2 which says that we follow majority. ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. YD 109:6 agrees. See Gemara Chullin 11a which employs that pasuk for the rule of following majority for items that leave a mixture. See also the Shaarei Yosher 3:4 regarding the difference between these concepts. The concept of nullification with a majority is codified by the Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 109:1.
    • Rambam (Maachalot Asurot 15:4) and Raavad (cited by Ran Chullin 36a s.v. garsinan) hold that even for a dry mixture nullification doesn’t happen with a majority but rather only if there is sixty times the amount of the forbidden item is the mixture permitted. However, the Tosfot (Zevachim 72a), Sefer HaTrumah (Siman 50 s.v. hilkach), Smag (Lavin 140-1), and RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa. (Torat HaBayit 17a) hold that it is permitted even on a rabbinic level with a simple majority. This dispute is discussed in the Bet Yosef YD 109:1. Tur and Shulchan Aruch YD 109:1 hold like the Tosfot.
    • The Pitchei Yeshuva YD 109:1 cites a dispute between the Pri ChadashRabbi Chizkiya da Silva (1659-1698), born in Italy but lived much of his life in Israel. Author of Pri Chadash on SA. and Minchat Yakov whether one needs a simple majority of 51% or one needs a ratio of 1:2, or 66.7% of permitted food in the mixture in order to have nullification. He advises being stringent.
  3. The RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur. (Chullin 7:37) writes that bitul makes the asur item turn into heter and one person can eat all 3 pieces of the mixture at once. However, the RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa. in Torat HaBayit (BeDini HaTaarovot p. 17) argues that you can’t eat them at once. When you eat each piece there’s another logic to allow that piece since it could be that the forbidden item was left in the rest of the mixture. Even upon eating the last piece it could be argued that that piece is permitted and the forbidden piece was already eaten. Shulchan Aruch YD 109:1 agrees with the RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa.. The Pri MegadimRabbi Yosef Teomim (1727-1792), Galician Rabbi, Author of Pri Megadim: Mishbetzot Zahav on the Taz, Eshel Avraham on the Magen Avraham, and Siftei Daat on the Shach. Also author of Porat Yosef on yevamot and ketubot as well as ginat veradim on gemara. M”Z 109:1 writes that the RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa. agrees with the RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur. on a biblical level.
    • Interestingly, ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 109:7 adds that it is permitted to eat two pieces at once and then the last one or vice versa as long as one doesn't eat all three at once. Additionally, the ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 109:12 writes that it is equally permitted to cook them in two pots.
  4. Tosfot Rid (b”b 31b s.v. shtei) in fact says it can’t be eaten by one person and doing so would be biblically forbidden. Smag (lavin 141 s.v. shaninu) and Tosfot Chullin 100a s.v. biryah says that two people should eat it.
  5. Rashi Avoda Zara (74a s.v. tarti) holds that in order to allow the mixture one of the pieces needs to be thrown out or thrown to the dogs. However, the RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur. (Avoda Zara 5:30) argues that the only reason that the Mishna Orlah 2:1 one would remove the amount of trumah added to a mixture which nullified the trumah is in order not to steal from the kohanim. Hagahot Sharei Dura (39:6) agrees. The RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. YD 109:1 writes that there is a stringency to be concerned for Rashi and throw out one of the pieces.
  6. ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. YD 109:7 and Pri ChadashRabbi Chizkiya da Silva (1659-1698), born in Italy but lived much of his life in Israel. Author of Pri Chadash on SA. 98 s.v. veleinyan assume that differences in taste is critical to consider two foods to be two types unlike the BachRabbi Yoel Sirkes (1561-1640), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of the bach, the bayit chadash, a commentary on the Tur as well as the Haghot Habach on gemara. Father-in-law of the Taz. who considers foods to be different if they have a different identification or classification.
  7. The Tur YD 109:1 postulates that there’s no difference whether the pieces in the mixture are of the same types of different types. However, he also cites the Sefer HaTrumah who says that if there’s different types there is a need of sixty times the forbidden amount in order to have nullification. The Bet Yosef YD 109:1 cites the Ran (Chullin 36b, end of Perek Gid HaNasheh) who says that it is forbidden unless there is sixty times the amount of forbidden food in the mixture. His reasoning is that since if the mixture were to be cooked together the need for having sixty for nullification would be biblical, there is a rabbinic need for sixty for nullification even though it is a dry mixture. The Hagahot Shaarei Dura 39 holds that this is biblically forbidden, while the Iser Veheter 26:11 holds it is only rabbinically forbidden. The ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 109:10 cites the Maharshal, Torat Chatat 39:4, Ran (Chullin 36b), and RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa. (Chullin 97b s.v. ubekedeirah) who side with the Iser Veheter. Shulchan Aruch YD 109:1 (according to the ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 109:2) and RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. ad loc. hold like the Sefer HaTrumah and require sixty for nullification of a dry mixture when there’s two different types in the mixture.
  8. The ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 109:9 concludes based on the Ran that if there’s a dry mixture of different types with only a rabbinic prohibition mixed in it is nullified with a majority. The RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 109:1 seems to equate the cases whether it was a rabbinically prohibited or biblically prohibited item that it should require sixty times for nullification of different types. The Gra 109:8 agrees.
  9. The RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa. (Torat HaBayit 17a, responsa 1:272) holds that once the mixture is cooked together it is forbidden even though it is a mixture of one type since once it is cooked together the entire mixture shares the taste of the forbidden food. This is also the opinion of the Ran (Chullin 36a s.v. garsinan). The RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur. (Chullin 7:37) and Smak (Siman 214) argue that it is permitted even if it was cooked together. Shulchan Aruch YD 109:2 rules like the RashbaRabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235-1310), one of the foremost Sephardic Rishonim in Spain, known as the Rashba, the acronym of his name, author of commentary on the Gemara Chiddushei Harashba, Torat Habayit on laws of [[kashrut]], and of a set of Responsa., while the RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. adds that in a case of a major loss one may rely on the RoshRabbi Asher ben Yechiel (1250-1327), often referred to by the acronym of his name, Rosh, one of the more prominent Ashkenazic Rishonim, born in Germany, died in Spain, author of commentary published in the back of the gemaras, father of the Tur..
  10. S”A YD 109:1, The Laws of Kashrus (Rabbi Binyamin Forst; pg 54-6)
  11. Rambam Machalot Assurot 15:13-4
  12. Halachically Speaking vol 4 issue 18
  13. S”A and RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 109:1-2, The Laws of Kashrus (Rabbi Binyamin Forst; pg 58-61)
  14. S”A 109:2
  15. RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 109:2, however, Kaf HaChaim 109:40 writes that Sephardim don’t hold of this leniency.
  16. Gemara Beitzah 3b, Rambam (Hilchot Maachalot Asurot 15:10), S”A YD 102:1
  17. The Laws of Kashrus (Rabbi Binaymin Forst; pg 62)
  18. Rambam Machalot Assurot 15:6, 8
  19. S”A OC 447, S”A YD 140
  20. S”A YD 100, 101, S’A and RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 110:1
  21. S”A and RamaRabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), Rabbi in Cracow, Poland, major ashkenazic halachic authority. Author of Darkei Moshe on the Tur, Sh"t Harama a set of responsa, and most famously the haghot on the SA. 101:3, TazRabbi David Halevi (1586-1667), Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Poland, author of Taz, the Turei Zahav, on SA, son-in-law of the Bach. 101:5
  22. Gemara Beitzah 4a. Some rishonim consider this prohibition Deoritta while others Derabbanan, see Bet Yosef Y"D 99, ShachRabbi Shabbtai Hacohen (1621-1663), author of the Shach, the Siftei Kohen, on SA YD and CM. Was forced to leave Vilna due to persecution and. 99:7, and Chachmat Adam 52:6
  23. Shulchan Aruch Y"D 99:5
  24. Shulchan Aruch Y"D 99:5