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What if idolatrous items are mixed accidentally with permitted items?

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Divine Code for September 7, 2022

Today: Pages 164-166

From topic 7:12 -- 7:13

If forbidden forms, images, goblets, etc., were accidentally mixed with indistinguishable items that are permitted (so it is not known which of the items in the mixture were forbidden), and the permitted and forbidden items are present in the mixture in equal amounts, this mixture as a whole is forbidden, since there is no majority of permitted items to provide the nullification of the forbidden items. Nevertheless, it is allowed for one to destroy an amount of items from the mixture that is equal to the number of forbidden items that were originally there (one out of two, two out of four, etc.), and the remaining items will become permitted for benefit (because of the doubt).

It is unclear if one is allowed to make a mixture with an idolatrous item deliberately, since we find that a Jew cannot deliberately accomplish nullification of a prohibited thing in this way. Some Rabbinical authorities hold that this is a prohibition from the Torah, and not a Rabbinical decree as explained in Shulhan Aruh Yoreh De'ah ch. 99 and Shah there. According to this reasoning, one is at least permitted to benefit from a mixture with a minority of forbidden items after the fact, although it is forbidden to make this mixture.

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Yesterday: Topic 7:8- 7:11

Tomorrow: Topic 7:14 - 7:17

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Sarah Bakker is a blog writer and illustrator for the Noahide Academy. Raised with a traumatic childhood, she found the truth and has been a Noahide for many years. She uses her experience and the knowledge combined with her creative talents to teach others. Art, food, photography and music are some of her passions and likes to share it with the world.

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