Torah Riddles Test #96

  1. Question: What does Rebbe Akiva Aiger hold is the difference between stoking the coals under a pot of meat stew that belongs to a non-Jew (during the week) and dragging a chair or light piece of furniture across a dirt yard on Shabbos in terms of psik reisha?


A. Psik reisha is when something is guaranteed to happen even if it is not your intention.

B. The Rema in Yoreh Deah 87:6 says one shouldn’t stoke coals under a fire cooking a non-Jews meat stew because maybe there is milk and meat mixed into the walls of the pot and inevitably you will be cooking meat and milk together even though you have no intention of cooking them together.

C. When one is dragging a light piece of furniture across the yard he certainly doesn’t intend to plow his dirt, there is that possibility but it won’t necessarily inevitably happen.

D. Why can’t you make the same argument that there is not necessarily any milk in the walls of the pot so you wouldn’t be cooking meat and milk together?

Answer: A doubt which is in the PRESENT like in the case of the dragging the chair is not considered inevitably going to happen but a doubt of what happened in the PAST is considered inevitable that you will transgress the sin even if it is not guaranteed that it is there therefore it is forbidden to take the risk. When there is a possible guarantee of a problem then you can’t take a chance but if there isn’t even a possible guarantee then you can take the chance even if something wrong might happen but since you have no intention of doing it, it is permissible.