Apple and Honey DishThe Mishna in Tractate
That which comes
from something which is Tameh [non-Kosher] is Tameh,
and that which comes of that which is Tahor [Kosher]
is Tahor." The product of a non-Kosher animal is not
So why is bee
The Talmud in the
same Tractate quotes a Beraita (a Halachic teaching
from the time of the Mishna) which says:
they say that bee-honey is permitted? Because even
though they bring it into their bodies, it is not a
*product* of their bodies [it is stored there but not
All the Sages of the
Mishna agree with this ruling. One of them, Rabbi
Yaakov, disagrees with the *reasoning*. He claims that
bee-honey is Kosher based on his interpretation of
Vayikra 11:21. According to him, the verse prohibits
one to eat a flying insect, but *not* that which is
*excreted* from it.
bee-honey as being Kosher, as does the Shulchan Aruch.
You may wonder: How
could one even think that bee-honey is not Kosher --
the Torah refers to the Land of Israel as "a Land
flowing with milk and honey"! Certainly the Torah
would not choose a non-Kosher product as a means for
describing the beauty of the Land of Israel! This may
come as a surprise, but the honey mentioned in the
verse about "milk and honey" is not bee-honey --
rather it is fig-honey. The Talmud in Tractate
Berachot tells us that another verse "It is a Land of
wheat, barley, grapes, figs and pomegranates -- a Land
of olives and *honey*" -- is referring to date-honey.
- Tractate Bechorot,
pages 5b, 7b.
- The Codes of
Maimonides, Laws of Forbidden Foods 3:3.
- Shulchan Aruch,
Yoreh Deah, 81:8.
- Tractate Megillah,
page 6a, Rashi.
- Chumash, Book of
- Tractate Berachot,
page 41b, Rashi.