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The Talmud says that for every thing God has forbidden, He has created an equivalent that is permitted. [Chullin 109b] It then gives a short list of such equivalents, such as marrying your neighbor's wife if she gets a divorce first; or eating the brain of a shibuta fish, which tastes like pork. We can think of many more, such as other kosher foods that taste like unkosher ones (e.g., cheeseburgers with fake meat or fake cheese, "bacon" bits, etc.); "murderer" sublimated into surgeon, butcher, or soldier in wartime; etc.

Is this accepted mainline teaching? If so, did any commentators compile lists of the permitted equivalent of all God has prohibited in the Torah?

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  • Are you looking for a list of equivelants for all 365 negative mitzvot? – Josh K Feb 7 at 7:37
  • Someone once suggested (tongue-in-cheek): אסר לן ביקורת המקרא ושרא לן ביקורת המשנה – Joel K Feb 7 at 8:44
  • @JoelK Reported here (one place, at least) – b a Feb 7 at 10:08
  • @ba Thanks. Couldn’t remember in whose name I’d heard the quip. והדברים ראויים למי שאמרם – Joel K Feb 7 at 11:05
  • @JoshK -- yes I am. – Maurice Mizrahi Feb 7 at 13:08
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The siluq for parashat parah contains the following lines:

מַתִּיר מֵאֲסוּרוֹת מֻתָּרוֹת. נוֹתֵן מִטְּמֵאוֹת טְהוֹרוֹת: מִן הַחֵלֶב. שֹׁמֶן הַלֵּב. וּמִן הַדָּם טְחוֹל הַדָּם. וּמִבָּשָׂר בֶּחָלָב. כְּחַל הֶחָלָב. מִכִּלְאֵי בְגָדִים. תְּכֵלֶת בַּסָּדִין. מֵאֵשֶׁת אָח. יִבּוּם הֶאָח. מֵאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ. יְפַת תּוֹאַר לְאִישׁ. מִטֻּמְאַת נִדַּת אִשָׁה. טָהֳרַת בְּתוּלֵי אִשָּׁה:‏

He permits from that which is forbidden. He makes that which is impure pure. From helev, the fat of the heart. From blood, the spleen. From milk and meat, the udder with its milk. From kilayim of clothing, a [linen] sheet with [tzitzit] of tekhelet. From one’s brother’s wife, yibbum. From married women, yefat toar. From the impurity of niddah, the purity of hymenal bleeding.

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