QUESTION: What is the kashrus status of onions that were diced with
clean, fleishig knife?
DISCUSSION: The onions, to a certain degree, are considered as if
fleishig themselves, even if the knife was not in contact with meat within
the previous twenty-four hours. Consequently:
* The onions may not be eaten together with dairy foods.(1)
* The onions may not be cooked or baked together with parve foods in dairy
* After eating the onions, one does not become fleishig. There is no need,
therefore, to wait before eating dairy foods.(2) [Even if the knife used
to cut the onions was not completely free of meat or fat residue at the
time that the onions were diced, one need not wait between eating the
onions and eating dairy.(3)]
Note: Although one need not wait between eating "fleishig onions" and
eating dairy, according to some poskim, one does have to wait (six hours
(4)) between eating fleishig and eating dairy onions, i.e., onions that
were diced with a dairy knife.(5) Other poskim, however, disagree and hold
that one need not wait between eating fleishig and "dairy onions".(6)
QUESTION: If onions that were diced with a fleishig knife were
inadvertently cooked with dairy foods or utensils, must the food be thrown
DISCUSSION: Not necessarily. Some poskim maintain that if the knife
diced the onions was not used within the previous twenty-four hours with
hot meat, then b'diavad the mixture is permitted to be eaten.(7) Since not
all poskim agree with this leniency,(8) a rav must be consulted.
QUESTION: What is the kashrus status of a parve blender in which
that were diced with a clean, fleishig knife were blended - does the
blender become fleishig or does it remain parve?
DISCUSSION: The poskim are divided in their opinion. Some hold that
blender is considered fleishig, since the onions - which became fleishig
when they were diced - transfer the "meaty taste" which they absorbed,
into the blender.(9) Other poskim, however, disagree. Although they, too,
agree that the onions themselves are considered fleishig, they hold that
the onions are not able to transfer a "meaty taste" into the blender; the
blender, therefore, remains parve.(10)
In deference to the more stringent opinions, one should avoid
placing "meaty onions" in a parve blender. But the basic halachah follows
the more lenient opinion that the blender remains parve.(11)
QUESTION: If one finished eating, forgot to bentch, and left the
must he return to where he ate in order to recite birkas ha-mazon?
DISCUSSION: If, by the time he remembers to bentch, the food has
started to become digested, i.e., he no longer feels full,(12) then he can
no longer recite birkas ha-mazon.
But one who remembers to bentch before the food has begun to be
digested is obligated to bentch even though he is no longer at the
premises where he ate. The Rishonim, however, disagree on whether or not
the halachah requires him to return to where he ate in order to bentch, or
whether he may bentch at his present location. Whenever possible,
therefore, one should make every effort to quickly return to the place
where he ate and bentch [even if this will cause him to miss tefilah
b'tzibur(13)]. But under extenuating circumstances one may rely on the
lenient opinions and bentch wherever he finds himself at the time he
remembered to bentch.(14).
There are two exceptions to the above rule:
* If, by the time he will return to the place where he ate, more than 72
minutes will have passed from the time he finished eating, he should
bentch immediately and not go back.(15)
* If there is bread available at the place where he presently finds
himself, he need not return to the place where he ate originally. Instead,
he should wash his hands [without reciting al netilas yadayim(16)], recite
ha-motzi,(17) eat [at least] a small amount of bread18 and then recite
QUESTION: If one finished eating cake [or any other mezonos foods]
or fruits of shiva'as ha-minim, forgot to recite Al ha-Michyah, etc., and
left the premises, must he return to where he ate in order to recite Al ha-
DISCUSSION: If he can return to where he ate without undue delay,
should do so. Otherwise, he may be lenient and recite Al ha-Michyah in his
However, when one eats foods whose berachah acharonah is borei
nefashos, he need not return to where he ate if he left without reciting a
berachah acharonah;(20) he recites borei nefashos at his present location.
QUESTION: Is it permitted for a physician or a nurse to accept
remuneration for medical services rendered on Shabbos [or Yom Tov]?
DISCUSSION: Generally speaking, one is not allowed to receive
work performed specifically on Shabbos, even if no Shabbos Labors were
violated in the performance of the work. Thus it is forbidden to pay a
baby sitter or a waiter who is hired for Shabbos only, since they are
receiving remuneration for work performed on Shabbos. This prohibition,
known as sechar Shabbos, is part of the general rabbinic prohibition
against conducting business transactions on Shabbos.(21)
But many poskim maintain that a health-care provider is different
from a baby sitter or a waiter and is permitted to receive compensation
for medical services which he performed on Shabbos. Two basic reasons are
posited for this distinction:
* Some poskim hold that the prohibition of sechar Shabbos is lifted when a
mitzvah is performed. Since it is certainly a mitzvah to heal the sick,
the prohibition of sechar Shabbos does not apply.
* Some poskim suggest that the reason we permit Shabbos pay for a health-
care provider is so that he will not hesitate to see patients on future
Shabbosos and thereby possibly endanger their lives.(22)
While one may rely on this ruling, it is not accepted by all poskim.
(23) Moreover, the poskim agree that money earned from Shabbos services,
even when performed for the sake of a mitzvah, does not bring one a siman
berachah, a "sign of blessing."(24) Thus the recommended method [according
to all views] for a health-care provider to collect Shabbos pay is to
schedule a follow-up visit after Shabbos, and then bill the patient in one
lump sum. This is based on the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch(25) that it is
permitted to accept Shabbos payment when it is included [lit: swallowed up
with] in the payment for a service rendered on a weekday.
1 Y.D. 96:2.
2 Rama Y.D. 89:3, as explained by Rav Akiva Eiger.
3 Shach Y.D. 89:19, and quoted by Chochmas Adam 40:13; Aruch ha-Shulchan
89:13 and Darkei Teshuvah 89:42.
4 Or however many hours it is his custom to wait.
5 Peri Megadim O.C. 494:6, quoted in Badei ha-Shulchan 89:90.
6 See Darkei Teshuvah Y.D. 89:42, who quotes several poskim who are
lenient, particularly if the knife was not used for hot dairy within the
previous twenty-four hours. Harav Y.S. Elyashiv is quoted (ha-Kashrus 10,
note 320) as ruling leniently on this issue.
7 Beis Meir Y.D. 96:3. Often this leniency can be relied upon even if some
meat or fat residue remained on the knife, since in all probability it
will be bateil b'shishim.
8 Peri Megadim and Chochmas Adam, quoted in Badei ha-Shulchan 96:58.
9 Magen Avraham O.C. 451:31 and Peri Megadim, quoted by Mishnah Berurah
10 Even ha-Ozer, Chavas Da'as and Rav Akiva Eiger, quoted in Badei ha-
Shulchan 96:56 and in Piskei Teshuvos 451:41.
11 Sefer Davar Charif 4, note 3, quoting contemporary poskim.
12 Although many poskim mention 72 minutes as the time when digestion
begins, in reality, this time frame depends on each individual's digestive
system and on the amount of food that he ate. Thus a better method to
determine the onset of digestion is when one no longer feels full from the
previous meal and is ready to eat again.
13 Harav C. Kanievsky; She'alas Rav, pg. 276.
14 Mishnah Berurah 184:7.
15 Mishnah Berurah 184:3.
16 Beiur Halachah 178:2, s.v. tzarich.
17 Beiur Halachah 178:2. s.v. im heisiach.
18 Even if it is less than a k'zayis; Mishnah Berurah 184:9.
19 Based on Aruch ha-Shulchan 184:3.
20 But l'chatchilah he should not leave the location where he ate until
after reciting borei nefashos; Mishnah Berurah 178:36.
21 O.C. 306:4.
22 Minchas Shabbos 90:19.
23 See Aruch ha-Shulchan 306:11-12 who rejects the view that sechar
Shabbos is permitted for the sake of a mitzvah. See also Teshuvos Chasam
Sofer C.M. 194 who rules that money earned from healing a non-Jew on
Shabbos must be donated to charity. See also Sisri Umagini 15:2 who writes
that conscientious physicians will not refuse to see a patient whether or
not they receive payment.
24 O.C. 585:5; Mishnah Berurah 306:23. See Har Tzvi O.C. 204 who applies
this principle in regard to medical services as well.