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To dedicate this lesson

When is it permissible to eat “Non-Kosher” foods?

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Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Elul 5 5782
Answer: Of course, it is allowed to eat or drink anything (on doctor’s orders) that will help to save your life, just as it is permissible to eat on Yom Kippur if fasting will endanger your life (or your baby’s). But there is another scenario: Our sedra bids us not to deviate from what rabbinic authorities tell us, either "to the right or the left." Thus, if there is a food which we are certain is treif, yet the posek rules that it may be eaten, then one is allowed (but not required) to eat that food. Indeed, the p’sak of a legitimate decisor actually "turns" that food into something kosher. This is reminiscent of the Gemara (RH 25) when Rav Yehoshua was certain that a specific day was Yom Kippur, even though Rav Gamliel (head of the Sanhedrin) had ruled that it was not YK. Rav Yehoshua was ordered to appear before the rabbis on the day he thought was YK carrying his staff & his wallet (a violation of YK) in order to publicly uphold the right of the rabbis to interpret the law for the community.
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