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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Riddle Not for the Times

Here's a riddle I heard many many years ago:

How is it totally permissible to eat בשר בחלב בתשעה באב?

The normal way of reading the riddle is "How is it totally permissible to eat milk and meat together on Tish'a Be'av?"  However, the simple reading is what tricks you.

The answer is:

חלב is not milk, but rather Aleppo, Syria, and Tish'a Be'av is a Nidheh, so the person is eating meat in Aleppo on the ninth of Av which falls on Shabbat, which is totally permissible.

This year is one of those years that Tish'a Be'av falls on Shabbat. However, we're hearing news that the rebels are beginning to fight in Aleppo.  So, I'm not sure it would be permissible nowadays to be in Aleppo, let alone eat meat there, due to the prohibition of placing oneself in a place of danger.  (Not that it was much better there for a religious Jew 14 years ago - the last time Tish'a Be'av fell on Shabbat - but the danger is clear this year.)  So, barring unforseen circumstances, the riddle doesn't work this year.  Oh well.


At Mon Jul 23, 11:33:00 AM 2012, Blogger Yitz said...

eleven days after tisha bav is chuf av tuf shin ayin bais which can also be read "like a father in its time" Its also the Lubavitcher Rebbes MH"M shlitas fathers yahrtzeit. Seems like it would be a day connected to moshiach.

At Mon Jul 23, 04:30:00 PM 2012, Blogger joshwaxman said...

חלב is chelev, and refers to permitted chelev. and it is eaten this year, in accordance with Rav Kaduri that Moshiach will come during the month of Av!


At Mon Jul 23, 04:40:00 PM 2012, Blogger yaak said...

1) It's strange how everyone expects my posts to be related to Mashiah coming. Everyone's on shpilkes.

2) Josh, what type of Helev is mutar? If it were Mutar, it would be called Shuman.

3) You don't even need to get to Mashiah coming to eat on the ninth of Av (as I said in the post).

At Mon Jul 23, 05:57:00 PM 2012, Blogger joshwaxman said...


i actually prepared the answer beforehand figuring you would ask.

see here:



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