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I know there's a concept of en m'vat'lin isur l'chat'chila: one may not deliberately mix forbidden stuff with permitted stuff (or milk with meat, or meat with milk) in such small quantities that the mixture will be permitted. In fact, if one does so, from what I understand, the mixture is forbidden. (As always, consult your rabbi for a practical ruling rather than relying on what you read on this site.)

My question is whether this applies only to forbidden mixtures or even to permitted ones. Can one deliberately mix permitted things together in order to create a mixture that has a certain property, and does it work?

Here are some examples; indeed, an answer that addresses these would be most welcome:

  1. Suppose one has a set of identical forks, all pareve, and accidentally used one of them with warm meat, causing it to have meat taste absorbed in it. Can he toss the fork back in the drawer?
  2. Can one mix a small amount of chametz into food before Pesach (when it's permitted) and have the mixture remain kosher for Passover?
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  • I seem to remember one of the Nosei Keilim on the Yorah Deah quoting a Maharam MiLublin that said that you can't be mevatel heter. I can't find it now, and its been many years, so I may not be remembering correctly. It had to do with adding water to milk so that there was 60 times more water than milk, and then eating the water with meat. – Menachem Aug 30 '15 at 8:09
  • The last case is different from the other two as the first two have a definite isur involved so you cannot mix them in at first. Once they are mixed, you cannot use all of them. because that would mean you are definitely using something asur. – sabbahillel Aug 30 '15 at 11:29
  • Also note that each item of the first two is individual so it is not a mixture. That is not the same as the last question so they would have different answers. You shoud ask them seperately. Also note that making a spoon fleishig is different from the chametz before Pesach question as the status is changed in the spoon case. – sabbahillel Aug 30 '15 at 13:22
  • @sabbahillel If there's a difference between parish and other forms of bitul in this regard, I think an answer can address that. – msh210 Aug 30 '15 at 14:06
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This is discussed by the poskim to Shulchan Aruch YD 99:6. The Ram'a there rules that if some milk got mixed with more than 60 times as much water, and then this water/milk mixture later was mixed with meat, the final mixture would be permitted although there is not 60 times as much meat as milk. This is because the milk already became nullified in the water.

The Shach there (:22) adds that one would even be permitted to deliberately mix the water/milk mixture into the meat. Pri Megadim clarifies that this is only if the milk and water had already been mixed, but one may not mix water and milk with the intention of later putting it into meat.

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