Considering Vayikra 11:33 - Should a [Restaurant] owner who sees their customer’s ceramic coffee cup ☕️ contains a dead fly, break the cup & dispose (or wash it for future customers)?

  • 1
    Ritual impurity and kashruth are two different matters. Jul 20, 2022 at 21:44
  • There is nothing to do with Cashrut. This is a sherets met who is av hatumea and is metame cli cheres mitocho, a unic kind of tumea without touching, moving or any other known kind of way to get tumea, existing in Clay pots only
    – kouty
    Jul 20, 2022 at 21:47
  • @kouty Is a fly a sheretz
    – Double AA
    Jul 20, 2022 at 22:21
  • @Deuteronomy | the matter is : Should owner Wash or Destroy the coffee cup contaminated by dead flies? Jul 20, 2022 at 22:30
  • @Hida that depends on the context, which you have not made clear. Jul 20, 2022 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


Emphatic NO. Clean the cup and move on.

That verse is talking about a dead small mammal or lizard falling into a raw (unglazed) clay pot; the clay pot is now ritually impure and can't be made ritually pure.

Guess what? Today we are all ritually impure! As we're not bringing sacrifices in the Temple, it pretty much doesn't matter.

Furthermore, that was talking about something the size of a mole or lizard, not a fly.

The separate question is whether the food is kosher. The good news here is that Shulchan Aruch rules that bugs are basically tasteless, so we don't worry about minute quantities of "bug juice" in our food. (The Talmud actually says if a fly lands in your soup, a normal person removes the fly and carries on.)

  • Doesn’t Gittin 90.b:17 associate negative behavior with eating accidental ‘fly-soup’? Jul 21, 2022 at 0:24
  • Yes -- that's saying don't try to do so (its example of the uncouth fellow). But the normal behavior -- "just pull the fly out of the soup" in fact implies that if a minute amount of bug juice winds up in your food, you ignore it and move on.
    – Shalom
    Jul 21, 2022 at 1:09
  • So based on Gittin If you replace the non-kosher fly (with 1 bacon bit) in soup, consuming the 1 minute amount of pork fat would be fine (as long as you pull bacon bit out of the soup)? Jul 21, 2022 at 1:16
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    NO NO NO!!!!!! The point is that BUGS ARE TASTELESS and therefore minute amounts (even more than 1:60) are not a problem. Pork fat imparts flavor, and therefore you need to "nullify" it 60x by volume ... and if it's fat why aren't you just cooling it to congeal it ... it becomes more complicated.
    – Shalom
    Jul 21, 2022 at 1:41
  • Bugs aren't tasteless, their taste is foul
    – robev
    Jul 21, 2022 at 5:58

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