Meir says that this verse teaches that if the animal was never fit for consumption then it is not forbidden to eat it. By extension, it would not be prohibited to eat a food that was never something people would want to eat. But if a food is edible (and prohibited) and then becomes inedible (receives a bad flavor) it remains prohibited.
Shimon would respond that the Torah does not need to permit an animal that never was fit for consumption. That is like telling people they can eat dirt. What the Torah does not need to teach is that if the animal was fit for consumption and then becomes prohibited it is only prohibited to the Jew as long as it is fit for consumption. If a substance imparts a bad taste to it, it becomes permitted.
This week’s daf continues to discuss the issue of “imparting a detrimental taste.” Last week we learned that R. Meir says that even if the prohibited substance imparts a bad taste, the mixture is prohibited. R. Shimon says it is permitted.
Meir prohibits the mixture only if the taste is at first improved and then deteriorates. But if from the outset it gives a dish a bad taste, then the dish is permitted. Here he agrees with R. Shimon.
Haga cites a baraita which seems to say explicitly that even though the wine or vinegar impairs the taste of the dish from the outset, R. Meir (the anonymous first opinion) still prohibits.
Ulla vituperatively responds to Haga. The baraita refers to a case where the vinegar first fell into cold beans. This would improve the taste. But when he heats the dish up, the taste becomes worse and thus R. Meir prohibits. R. Shimon permits it in any case.
Yohanan says that tannaim argue if the mixture is worsened from the outset—R. Meir prohibits and R. Shimon permits. However, it is not clear what this implies for a case where the mixture first improves and then worsens. It could be that R. Shimon would agree with R. Meir that it is prohibited. Or it could be that he is lenient here as well. In this case they would argue about both cases.
In yesterday’s section R. Yohanan claimed that R. Meir and R. Shimon argue over a case where the prohibited substance imparts a bad flavor from the outset. In other words, even though the mixture was made to taste worse immediately, R. Meir still prohibits. Today’s section explores a potential tannaitic source for this statement.
When the second leavening falls into the dough it makes the dough worse because the dough has already been leavened. Therefore, this second leavening, which comes from a prohibited substance, is considered as “imparting a worsening flavor.” The fact that R. Meir still prohibits the mixture proves that he rules stringently in all cases.
Zerasays that the case of this dough is not the normal case of imparting a bad flavor because this overly leavened dough is now capable of leavening a lot of other pieces of dough. It is not ruined or even worsened.
I should note that the “simple” meaning of this baraita probably has nothing to do with the issue of “imparting a bad flavor.” The original dispute is clearly over whether the forbidden leaven causes a prohibition despite the fact that it was not necessary to leaven the dough. The issue is not “bad flavor” but rather “useless leavening agent.” Still the Talmud seems to think that these two issues are connected and therefore uses the baraita as a source for R. Yohanan.
Today’s section continues to discuss a potential tannaitic source for R. Yohanan’s claim that R. Meir prohibits the mixture even though the prohibited substance imparts a bad flavor from the outset.
In the first case, both the permitted and the prohibited yeast fall in at the same time. Again, the first opinion (assumed to be R. Meir) prohibits and R. Shimon permits.
If the terumah yeast falls in first, R. Shimon agrees that it is prohibited because this is not a case where the forbidden yeast worsens the mixture.
But if the ordinary yeast falls in first, they disagree.
Again, in this last case the second yeast only worsens the dough and yet R. Meir prohibits.
You might argue that the case of the dough it still not conclusive. We can still argue as does R. Zera that overly leavened dough is not worsened. The problem is that this same baraita continues with a case of vinegar falling into split beans. This seems to be a case where the taste is worsened from the outset and yet R. Meir prohibits.