The Gemarah in Yoma 75a explains that the manna imparted all flavors except five flavors. Based on this idea, can one have in mind the taste of pork while eating the manna, or do we say that anything that comes from shamayim cannot produce issur (Sanhedrin 59b)?

  • I would think that the manna began to fall before the laws of kosher animals were given to the people. So the question becomes: Would it not taste like pork even though at the time pork was not technically prohibited? And if it could, did it change once the laws were given?
    – jake
    Mar 19, 2013 at 0:58
  • The Gemara in Sanhedrin says anything that comes down from shamayim can't be issur, not can't become issur.
    – Double AA
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:06
  • @DoubleAA If the manna changes taste, it does so via heavenly intervention, so the taste is probably also considered from shamayaim. At any rate though, the gemara doesn't say explicitly that something from heaven can't taste asur.
    – Fred
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:15
  • @Fred If the taste is from Shamayim, then it exists latent in all the manna, even those that you don't implement it in.
    – Double AA
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:16

3 Answers 3


Pork is not kosher, the taste of pork is not non-kosher. Only the animal itself is.

The Midrash Tanchuma speaks of fish called the Shibuta which has the same taste as pork.

For each thing that was prohibited, the Lord permitted something else instead. Since He prohibited the flesh of the swine, which is considered so fine, a substitute for it was created: "I forbade you the flesh of the swine, but I permitted you the tongue of the fish known as shibuta, which is like pork" (Midrash Tanhuma, Shemini 12).

So there are no "non-kosher" tastes.

  • Any source? just because there is something kosher out there doesn't make the taste of non kosher fine.
    – sam
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:27
  • 2
    The source is listed in the answer. The kosher item has the same taste as the non-kosher item. A taste can not be kosher or non-kosher. Only an actual item can be kosher or non-kosher. So if you get pork taste from a pig, it's not kosher. If you get the identical pork taste from a shibuta it's kosher. If you get a pork taste from Manna, then it's kosher since the Manna is kosher.
    – Ariel
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:31
  • @Ariel If I boil shibuta in a pot just after boiling pig, is that min bemino?
    – Double AA
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:33
  • The difference is I am having in mind to have the taste of a pig not of the shibutah.
    – sam
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:34
  • @Sam: You are still not actually eating a pig. If science ever progresses to the point that we can directly stimulate the brain to taste something - are we allowed to taste pig? We didn't actually eat it after all.
    – Ariel
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:38

The Gemara says that the Jews complained about those five things because the manna could not taste like any of them. Since in Egypt, the people could eat pork, the implication is that they were not deprived of that taste. The Gemara in Sanhedrin does not contradict this, because the manna tasting like something assur is not actually something assur.

  • 1
    I don't understand how this answers the question,can you please explain?
    – sam
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:01
  • If the manna could not taste like pork, why didn't they complain about their deprivation of that taste--which they were not deprived of in Egypt. Does that help?
    – wfb
    Mar 19, 2013 at 1:07

The basic פשט (simple explanation) of the פסוק (verse) is the Manna was "like coriander seed, it was white and it tasted like a cake fried in honey".( שמות פרק טז פסוק לא).

From the verse itself it tasted like cake fried in honey.

The מדרש comments that you are quoting from Yoma may not have to be taken literally. Perhaps they suggest a deep idea and insight into the way they could relate to the Manna.

However, we are not bound to take this מדרש literally (See אברהם בן הרמבם on מדרש). So perhaps this may remove the question you are asking. (otherwise this is just a not so veiled attempt at distinguishing between מדרש and פשט)

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/4037
    – msh210
    Mar 19, 2013 at 4:15
  • @msh210 Thanks for the link, I was the one who asked the question over there.
    – RCW
    Mar 19, 2013 at 19:56
  • Oh, I hadn't noticed. I would have linked had I noticed, though, anyway, since the link is for future readers as much as for yourself.
    – msh210
    Mar 19, 2013 at 19:59
  • @msh210 Yep! It was good then and is fitting now. Thanks.
    – RCW
    Mar 19, 2013 at 21:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .