Chullin 110b: Liver Under Hot Water

Chullin 110b. Abaye said to Rav Safra, “When you go up to Eretz Yisroel, ask them about liver.” He went up and asked Rabbi Zerika, who replied, “I cooked it for Rabbi Ami and he ate it.” He reported back to Abaye, but Abaye said, “I already knew that liver cooked alone is permitted. What I meant to ask was if it is permitted to cook liver with other meat.”

Tosafos quoting Rabbeinu Tam: This Gemara is talking about unsalted liver, but salted liver is like any other meat that was kashered through salting, and one may cook it with other meat.

חולין קי ע”ב: אמר ליה אביי לרב ספרא: כי סלקת להתם בעי מינייהו, כבדא מה אתון ביה? כי סליק, אשכחיה לרב זריקא, אמר ליה: אנא שלקי ליה לרבי אמי ואכלֹ. כי אתא לגביה, אמר ליה: למיסר נפשה לא קא מיבעיא לי, כי קמבעיא לי ־ למיסר חבירתה.

אומר ר״ת דכולה הך שמעתא איירי בכבד שלא נמלח דאי בתר מליחה ושהייה במלח פשיטא דשרי לבשלה בהדי בשר שעל ידי מליחה יצא כל הדם.

שו”ע יו”ד ע”ג ס”א: הכבד יש בו ריבוי דם לפיכך לכתחלה אין לו תקנה לבשלו ע״י מליחה אלא קורעו שתי וערב ומניח חיתוכו למטה וצולהו (שיהא ראוי לאכילה) (או״ה נתיב ט״ו) ואחר כך יכול לבשלו… ובדיעבד מותר אם נתתבשל לבדו בקדירה (בלא צלייה) אבל הקדירה אסורה שפולטת ואינה בולעת ויש מי שאוסר. רמ”א: וכן נוהגין לאסור הכל.

Rabbi Avrohom Pam and his rebbetzin spent a week in Toronto. When they returned, Rabbi Yisroel Reisman came over to visit, and Rav Pam recounted the halachic questions that had been presented to him over the week.

“A lady bought a whole chicken, with the not-yet-kashered liver in a plastic bag inside the cavity of the chicken. She knew she needed to roast the liver, but since it was frozen, she decided to thaw it out by running hot water on it in the kitchen sink, while still in the plastic bag. Then she realized this might be considered cooking…”

“In whose house did this shailah happen?” the Rebbetzin broke in.

“In the house where we were staying,” said Rav Pam.

“So why didn’t they ask me?!” joked the Rebbetzin.

Rav Pam continued, “I was matir it for a combination of two reasons. First of all, pouring (עירוי) only cooks the outermost layer of an item, and here the outermost layer was the plastic bag, so the liver did not get cooked. This reason alone was not sufficient to permit it, because they ran it under the sink for a long time, and some say that with many pourings, the cooking goes deeper than a layer. The second reason is the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam, brought by the Mechaber in 73:1. The Mechaber that although lechatchilah we follow the opinion of the Rambam and Rif that one must roast the liver, if one followed Rabbeinu Tam and cooked it, even without salting, it is kosher. The Rema says that we are strict even after the fact. But in this case, where we have the first reason too, I was matir it.” 

“If they had asked me, I would have said that too!” exclaimed the Rebbetzin.

Source: Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, tape on YD 73:3-6.

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