According to (חוות דעת (צ"ב כ׳, a דבר לח (liquid) is not a חיבור (connection), and, therefore, if there's spilled milk on the ground and a hot meat pot is placed on it, we don't need 60x the volume of the milk to permit the contents of the pot.

Now, שו״ע צ״ב ו׳ establishes pretty clearly that we generally need to be concerned about liquid spreading through the walls of a pot, and in ז׳ it's discussing emergent situations that require an exception. But רמ״א gives the exception based on the idea that whatever is on the bottom "wins" (the milk is cold, so the food in the pot is fine; had the milk been hot, there would still be concern of it spreading through the pot). So why does חוות דעת frame it this way? First of all, I thought a liquid was a connection. I guess not. What ramifications might there be in other areas if we held that it was? Now that it's not, what does this mean in other דינים? In short, my question is, למאי נפקא מינה שיטת חוות דעת דדבר לח לא מקרי חיבור?

  • I apologize for the jargon (I tried to limit it as much as possible in the English) and the excessive Hebrew. However, this is a rather sophisticated piece of Halachah, and, as such, it can probably really only be answered by someone who is unfazed by this. – Seth J Aug 21 '12 at 4:21
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    I'm not "Asuk BeInyan", but the question is not whether the spreads through the walls of the pot, but whether one need to take into account the milk that didn't directly touch the pot, [i.e. do we say that the liquid becomes one entity (Chibur), or do we say that you only have to measure the milk directly touching the pot]. To that, the Chavat Daat point to a previous statement he made in 91:6 (91:10 is a typo) - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9145&pgnum=628 - There he points to rule 103 of the 'פסקי מהרא"י' , which is ... – Menachem Aug 21 '12 at 7:12
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    ...volume 2 of the Trumat Hadeshen - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1835&pgnum=174 -- there he says that the idea that one part of the liquid being contaminated affects all the liquid that liquid is connected to only applies to Yayin Nesech. we do not say this by other liquids. -- Assuming I understood it right, that should be your answer. – Menachem Aug 21 '12 at 7:15
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    @Menachem, ah, that is huge! For some reason I did not catch that we are talking about the rest of the milk puddle that's not touching the pot. (After I posted this, I saw something about it that cleared that up for me; it was late last night, so I'd nearly forgotten it until I read your comments just now.) Care to make it the answer? – Seth J Aug 21 '12 at 14:26
  • @Menachem, still, there must be a נפקא מינה in other areas whether a puddle is one entity. Is this opinion universally accepted? Also, if it's so obvious to חוות דעת that this is so, why does he need to point it out here? What's the חידוש? – Seth J Aug 21 '12 at 14:37

For Reference: the Case being discussed (Remah to Shulchan Aruch 92:7) is what is the law if someone put a hot pot on top of spilled milk.

The Chavat Daat (92:20) is not discussing whether or not liquid spreads through the walls of the pot. He is discussing whether one need to take into account the milk that didn't directly touch the pot when calculating whether the liquid is "nullified by 60 times".

In other words, do we say that the liquid becomes one entity (Chibur), and therefore you need 60 times the amount of all the liquid that was spilled (even the milk that never touched the pot, but was touching the milk that was touching the pot). Or do we say that you only have to take into account the milk directly touching the pot.

In 92:20, the Chavat Daat is repeating a point he made earlier (91:6) (probably because the Taz on Chapter 92 (92:25) is where he learns it out from). The Taz quotes the Ri Mi-Pariz (brought in the Issur V'Heter) that one needs 60 times the amount of milk that was under the pot.

The Chavat Daat says that the language of the Ri Mi-Pariz proves that we don't say Chibur, since he only says that one must measure against the milk that was under the pot, not that was next to the pot (i.e. that the pot never touched).

In Chavat Daat 91:6, the Chavat Daat points to rule 103 of the 'פסקי מהרא"י' - volume 2 of the Trumat Hadeshen (see biographical info here) - There the Trumat HaDeshen says that the idea that all the liquid is considered like one entity (Chibur) and contaminating part of the liquid contaminates the whole body of liquid only applies to Yayin Nesech (see here for a discussion on this) and Impurity (where the issue is not the spreading of taste, but rather whether the item touch touched something forbidden).

To answer @SethJ's questions: I don't know if this opinion (that we don't say Chibbur when taste is involved) is universally accepted. According the the Trumat HaDeshen, it appears that there is a different opinion quoted in the name of the Mordechai, but that Mordechai does not appear in our texts. If so, it is not so simple that we don't say Chibur. So when the Chavat Daat found a proof that we don't say it, he brought it up.

Any comments and corrections would be greatly appreciated, since I'm not "Assuk B'Inyan" right now, and may have misinterpreted the texts.

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  • +1 for thoroughness. Any idea, though, how we measure the cutoff (which part of the puddle is touching the pot vs. which part of the puddle is touching part of the puddle that's touching the pot)? Do we take it to the molecular level? – Seth J Aug 22 '12 at 4:14
  • @SethJ: Maybe measure the surface area of the bottom of the pot. – Menachem Aug 22 '12 at 5:00

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