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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

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Shabbos 145


QUESTION: According to the Mishnah, a food which is already fully cooked may be soaked in hot water on Shabbos. The Gemara wonders what sort of food is put into hot water after it is already fully cooked? The Gemara answers that the chicken of Rav Aba was treated in such a manner.

Why indeed was the chicken of Rav Aba soaked in hot water if it was already fully cooked?


(a) RASHI appears to explain that in Rav Aba's recipe, the chicken was cooked in this manner in order to give it prophylactic properties. The chicken is soaked in hot water not to cook it, but so that it would fully dissolve in the water, making a healthy, thick chicken soup.

(b) PISKEI RID explains that since Rav Aba's chicken was fed to sick people, it had to be made extremely soft. Therefore it was soaked in hot water even though it was fully cooked already.

(c) RABEINU CHANANEL explains that Rav Aba's cooked chicken was very salty. It was soaked in water in order to wash off some of the salt.

AGADAH: What is the significance of the "Kulyas ha'Ispenin" not returning to Eretz Yisrael?
(a) Ba'alei Musar explain that in Galus, a Jew must be stubborn in his commitment to Torah and Mitzvos in order to survive the scoffing of gentiles. One who is not able to "swim against the current" is apt to, Rachmona Leitzlan, get washed away from the destiny of his brethren.

(b) On a deeper level, the Aruch (noted in the margin of the Vilna Shas) explains the Kulyas ha'Ispenin is another name for the Shivuta fish. We are told (Chulin 109b) that the marrow of a fish called "Shivuta" tastes exactly like Chazir (pork). Shivuta, then, is an allegorical reference to Jews who, like the Chazir, "show off their split hooves" but are not committed to Torah deep inside. Their marrow (i.e., what is hidden deep inside of their hearts) is likened to a Chazir. (The name "Kulyas" may come from the word "Kulis" (with a 'Tav'), which means "a bone containing marrow.")

If a Jew in Galus is not committed to Torah in his heart, even though he practices the Mitzvos as he should, his family will not be able to resist the currents of the secular world that surrounds him. (M. Kornfeld)

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