Semicha-Taaruvos-Chapter 100

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The law of a Berya


Whenever an Issur falls into Heter one needs to nullify its taste, and if its body cannot be removed then its body likewise must be nullified. The following laws will discuss in what conditions the body of an Issur becomes nullified. In certain cases the body of an Issur is never nullified and hence if one is unable to remove the body of the Issur from the mixture the food is completely forbidden. One such Issur that the body can never become nullified irrelevant of the ratio is a Berya.

1. The laws of a Berya- What is the law if a Berya became mixed with other foods?

A. The law of a Berya:[1]

The body of an Issur Berya [in contrast to its taste] is never nullified even in 1000x. However the taste of a Berya is nullified just like all other Issurim. Thus if an Issur Berya fell into a mixture and was removed the mixture is permitted if there is 60x.[2] If the Issur gives a blemished taste, such as an ant, then if the ant is removed the food is permitted even without 60x.[3] If one could not recognize the Berya and remove it, the food is forbidden irrelevant of the ratio. If the food contains gravy then even if one could not remove the Berya, he may strain the liquid from the solids and if there is 60x in the food [when required] the gravy remains Kosher.

The reason for why a Berya is never nullified:[4] An Issur Berya is considered a Davar Chashuv [an important item] and all Dvarim Chashuvim are Rabbinically never nullified. The reason a Berya is considered a Davar Chashuv is because Biblically one receives a penalty of lashes for eating an Issur Berya even if the size of the Berya is less than a Kezayis, which is the normal measurement for the penalty of lashes. Hence we see the significance of a Berya in the eyes of the Torah, and the Sages thus decreed for its level of nullification to be more severe than a regular Issur. However Biblically a Berya is nullified in majority just like all other Issurim which are in mixtures of Yaveish Beyaveish.


B. What is considered a Berya?[5]

Any Issur which fulfills all the following criteria is considered a Berya and receives the above mentioned law that it cannot be nullified:

  1. The item must be from the animal kingdom, meaning that it has life. This excludes an Issur wheat kernel [even if it was forbidden since its creation, such as a kernel of Kilayim.[6]]
  2. The item was forbidden from the beginning of its existence. This excludes a Kosher bird which has become a Neveila [or Treifa[7]] and excludes a Shur Haniskal.[8]
  3. The item is whole [meaning it is not lacking any part of it. Thus if the Berya fell apart or a limb was cut off from it then it is no longer a Berya but a regular Issur.[9]]
  4. The item must be an item that when cut up it loses its distinct name. This excludes the Cheilev of an animal which when cut up still retains the name Cheilev. Therefore even a whole Cheilev of an animal is not a Berya.[10]

C. Examples of a Berya:[11]

  • Ant
  • Bird of non-Kosher species [or fish of non-Kosher species[12]]
  • Gid Hanshe: The sciatic nerve.[13] The sciatic nerve is found in the thigh and is four finger worth [8 cm.] in width [for an ox, and two fingers in width for a small sheep[14]]. If the sciatic nerve is whole it is considered a Berya.[15]
  • Eiver Min Hachaiy: A limb of a live animal[16]
  • An egg which contains a chick:[17] The Michaber lists an egg that contains a chick as a Berya. The Shach[18] remarks that in his opinion an egg with a chick is not a Berya, being that it was originally permitted to be eaten prior to developing into a chick [and thus lacks condition 2]. Nevertheless the Shach concludes not to be lenient regarding this matter and it is thus to be considered a Berya.[19]
  • Is an egg with a blood spot considered a Berya?[20] An egg that contains a blood spot is not considered a Berya being that it does not have life [and thus lacks condition 1].


2. The law if a Berya lost its wholeness within the mixture:[21]

If a Berya lost its wholeness in the cooking, such as it disintegrated, then it is able to be nullified in 60x. Thus if a Berya fell into a mixture and one removed it, or disintegrated then if the food has 60x it is Kosher.


3. What is the law if one is in doubt whether a certain item is a Berya:[22]

If one is in doubt regarding if a certain Issur fits the criteria of a Berya and it fell into his food then he may be lenient to permit the food with 60x, as the law that a Berya is never nullified is merely Rabbinical and in a case of doubt we are lenient by a Rabbinical ruling. If however one is certain that the item is a Berya but is in question in whether the food is forbidden or permitted then he must be stringent and the Berya is never nullified due to doubt.


4. What is the law if a sciatic nerve became cooked in ones food:

The definition of a whole nerve:[23] The sciatic nerve is only considered whole if it contains the entire nerve of the thigh area which is 8cm [4 fingers] wide by a cow [and 2 fingers, 4 cm wide by a sheep[24]]. As stated above the status of a Berya is only effective when the limb is whole.

If one recognizes the nerve: If a whole sciatic nerve fell into one’s food and one recognizes the nerve within the food then he is to remove it and the food remains Kosher if it has 60x versus any non-kosher fat which was attached to the nerve. However the nerve itself has no taste and thus does not need to be nullified.

If one does not recognize the nerve: If the sciatic nerve is whole but one does not recognize it from amongst the other foods in the mixture then all the solids in the mixture are forbidden, irrelevant of the ratio. The gravy however remains kosher if it contains 60x versus any non-Kosher fat that was attached to the nerve. If the nerve disintegrated within the mixture then if the mixture contains 60x versus the nerve and any non-Kosher fat attached to it, then everything remains permitted[25]. [If some of the pot spilled and one can no longer measure 60x versus the disintegrated nerve, then if one is certain that the mixture contains majority of Kosher, everything is permitted as since the nerve has no taste it Biblically only requires majority to be nullified.[26]]

If an entire thigh including the sciatic nerve was cooked with Heter:[27] According to the Rama and Ashkenazi Poskim which apply the rule of Chanan by other Issurim, in a case that one cooked the entire thigh together with other foods then the thigh itself requires 60x the forbidden fat that is attached to it. If it does not contain 60x it becomes Chanan and the remaining food in the pot now requires 60x versus the entire thigh.


5. A fly fell into a stew:[28]

If a whole fly fell into ones stew and cannot be removed due to it becoming lost within the mixture, then the entire stew is forbidden [if the liquid cannot be strained] irrelevant of ratio being that a fly is a Berya. [If the stew is able to be strained then the liquid remains permitted.[29]]

  • Regarding the law if the fly broke apart, or any case of Issur which fell into a liquid Heter [Yaveish Belach] refer to chapter 104 for a thorough discussion and list of opinions on this matter!


6. What is the law if one found many insects in his cooked food?[30]

If one found three insects within cooked vegetables, all the vegetables are forbidden[31] while the liquid may be filtered. Likewise any meat [or fruits[32]] that were in the stew may be washed and inspected for insects.

The law if one finds two insects:[33] The Bach rules that even after finding two insects within the vegetables one is to be stringent to assume that it contains more insects and hence one is to avoid eating it.[34] However the Taz himself concludes that less than three times is not considered a Chazaka.[35]


[1] 100/1-2

[2] Michaber 100/2

[3] Shach 100/7

[4] Taz 100/1

[5] 100/1

[6] Shach 100/3

[7] Shach 100/4

[8] An ox which has become Issur due to it having gourd and killed a person.

[9] Shach 100/6 in name of Rashba, Ramban, and Ran

[10] Even though Cheilev fulfills all the other conditions, [as it is forbidden from its very existence and it contains life] nevertheless since it does not lose its name upon being cut it is not considered a Berya. This is opposed to the sciatic nerve, and limb from an animal, which when cut loses their name and are thus considered a Berya. [Shach 100/5]

[11] 100/1

[12] Peri Megadim 100 S.D. 1 in name of Issur Viheter Klal 25

[13] Even though the sciatic nerve does not have life after it has been detached from the animal [and thus lacks the first condition mentioned above] nevertheless since it originally had life while it was part of the animal therefore it is still considered a Berya. [Shach 100/1 in name of Rashba and Ran; Issur Viheter Klal 25 brought in P”M 100 S.D. 1]

[14] Taz 100/3

[15] Rama 100/1

[16] Even though a limb of an animal does not have life after it has been detached from the animal [and thus lacks the first condition mentioned above] nevertheless since it originally had life while it was part of the animal therefore it is still considered a Berya. [Shach 100/1 in name of Rashba and Ran; Issur Viheter Klal 25 brought in P”M 100 S.D. 1]

[17] How is it possible to know if an egg contains a chick inside for this question to ever become possible?

If the above case is discussing whether one may cook a mixture of eggs that contains an egg with a chick, how would one know if the egg contains a chick. If the case is discussing after the mixture is already cooked and one found an egg with a chick, then one is to simply throw away the chick. So in what scenario would we need to even nullify an egg with a chick in 60x for us to be taught that it is a Berya and cannot be nullified in 60x?

The Peri Megadim [100 S.D. 2] addresses this question and refers the reader to Kreisi u’Pleisi. The Kresi Upleisi 100/3 upholds the above question and hence concludes that the only case it can apply in is in a case that one removed the chick from the egg and the egg then became mixed with other chicks, that we do not say the chick is nullified as it has a status of a Berya which is never nullified even in 60x.

For further discussion on this matter refer to Chovos Daas Biurim 98/3; and in length in Rav Poalim 2/9

[18] 100/2

[19] The Rashba [Perek Gid Hanashe 106a] writes in the name of the Rambam [Hilchos Machalos Assuros chapter 15] that an egg with a chick is considered a Berya. The Shach in 86/15 disproves this understanding in the Rambam although nevertheless concludes as above not to be lenient. [Shach 100/2]

[20] Shach 100/2

Other Opinions: The Beis Yosef [110] questions whether an egg with a blood spot is considered a Berya, with some Poskim concluding it is a Berya. In his Sefer Bedek Habayis he concludes that it is not a Berya. [Shach 100/2]

[21] Michaber 100/2

[22] Taz 100/1

[23] Rama 100/1

[24] Taz 100/3

[25] As once the nerve has disintegrated it loses its Chashivus [importance] and thus has its Berya status revoked. Nevertheless one still requires 60x versus the actual nerve, as although it does not give taste and is no longer a Berya nevertheless it itself is a Biblical Issur and requires nullification. [Taz 100/5; Shach 100/9]

[26] Taz 100/5


The Toras Habayis rules that the sciatic nerve is always nullified in majority even Rabbinically, even in a mixture of Eino Mino. The Taz concludes that one may be lenient like this opinion in a time of need such as a case of doubt when the pot spilled and cannot be measured.

[27] Shach 100/8; Taz 100/4


The Michaber rules that in such a case one only requires 60x the forbidden fats if he was able to remove the sciatic nerve from the mixture. The Rama does not comment on this ruling. The Shach [ibid] hence addresses the following issue.

According to the Rama and the Ashkenazi Poskim we apply the rule of Chanan by other Issurim, and apply it to Issur Davuk. This means that if an Issur was attached to a Heter and became cooked together with it inside a pot of Heter, then the Heter that is attached to Issur requires 60x the Issur that is attached to it. If it does not have 60x then the entire Heter piece becomes Chanan and the remaining Heter in the pot requires 60x versus the entire piece of Heter and Issur. The Shach hence questions why the Rama here does not argue on the Michaber’s ruling that one only requires 60x versus the forbidden fat and not also versus the entire piece of the thigh which was attached to it? The Shach concludes that the Rama relied that the reader would already be aware of his opinion in such a case and thus did not make mention of it. 

[28] Michaber 100/3

[29] Shach 100/10

[30] Michaber 100/4

[31] The reason for this is because once three insects have been found we assume that there are more insects in the vegetables which are undetectable. [Shach 100/11]

[32] P”M 100 S.D. 11

[33] Taz 100/6

[34] This follows the opinion of Rebbe which rules a Chazaka applies even after something occurs only twice.

[35] He writes that even Rebbe was only stringent by a case of Sakans Nefashos and not in other cases.

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