Weekly Halacha Sorting on Shabbos #7

Items of the same kind The Trumas HaDeshen [Siman 57] questions; whether pieces of the same kind constitute a mixture? For example, a platter of chicken legs and one wants to remove some chicken legs for the next meal. Is it permitted to do so based on the logic that items of the same kind are not considered a mixture, or is it forbidden, and one may only separate the pieces needed for the upcoming meal?
The Trumas HaDeshen concludes that to trigger the prohibition of Sorting the mixture must be composed of items of at least 2 different sorts. The Rama concurs and adds that items of the same food are not deemed a mixture even if their size differs significantly. The Mishna Brura [15] rules in accordance with the Trumas HaDeshen and the Rama.

Exceptions to the rule
The Magen Avraham [5] agrees with the Rama but set exceptions to the rule:
• If some pieces are clearly overcooked. Then, it would become a mixture that triggers the laws of sorting.
• If their taste is significantly different such as sweet pieces and sour pieces of chicken mixed.
• Cooked and roasted meat are also considered to be two different sorts

The complication of the laws of sorting is enhanced by the fact that two people on the same table may have different ruling based on their preferences. The prohibition of sorting is not triggered by the mixture per say, rather by one’s taste and likings. For some, chicken skin is a delicacy, hence they are permitted to remove it prior to consuming the flesh, while for those that dislike it, they are prohibited to do so and must separate the food from the refuse. If one is repulsed by the skin, his only resort is to remove the skin together with some chicken flesh prior to eating.

By Rabbi Fridmann * rabbifridmann@badatzmiami.com * 305.985.3461

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