Our Gemara on this Daf discusses the halachos of a דבר שיש לו מתירין an item that will eventually become permitted. When such material becomes diluted in a large mixture, many opinions hold that it cannot be nullified. There are different explanations for why this is so, but the simplest being that why rely on a leniency of nullification when anyways it will be permitted?

There is a Midrashic tradition that in the Messianic future, pig will be permitted to eat (see Ritva Kiddushin 49b, Midrash Tehilim 146, Ohr HaChayyim Vayikra 11:7, seemingly based on Koheles Rabbah 1:9 and Vayikra Rabbah 1:3). 

The Chasam Sofer (Parashas Re’eh) raises an interesting question regarding this principle. If we say that pig will be permitted one day, why do we say a pig can be nullified in a mixture of 1/60? (This is only according to those who do not factor excessive time and/or expense into the equation and still consider something which can be permitted after a long time or great effort to be a דבר שיש לו מתירין ואפילו באלף לא בטל.) 

He first says that in truth, the Midrash is really an allegory, hinting that in the future, all nations will return to God, as Esau is compared to a swine. Also similar to the messianic verses in Yeshaiyahu chapter 11, describing the lion who will lie with the lamb, as was inscribed with great hope (and irony?) on the United Nations building. However, Chasam Sofer is not satisfied with that answer as he declares אין מדרש יוצא מידי פשוטו - no Midrash is taken out of its simple meaning. 

(This is difficult to understand, as true Chazal specifically say אין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו the verse does not get taken out of its simple meaning. But Midrashim, by definition are discussions meant specifically to go beyond the basic meaning. Many great authorities hold that Midrashim do not have to be taken literally, see introductions in printed edition of Ein Yaakov. However, I believe the Chasam Sofer is driving at the following idea. Even if the rabbis were using allegory, the literal words would not go against halakha, and still could be mined for wisdom of halakhic significance. After all, even the idle words of the sages can be studied as Torah (Avodah Zara 19b). Regardless, the Chasam Sofer felt compelled to answer this question in a different way.)

He quotes Toldos Yitschok who explains that the reason certain beasts are not kosher is because of their predatory and cruel quality, which is manifest by claws (instead of hoofs) and chewing its cud, which indicates a more delicate digestive system, i.e. a herbivore instead of a carnivore. Thus, the signs of non-kosher are not merely signs, but manifestations of a spiritually toxic nature. In the future, the animals will cease being predators (as we saw earlier from Yeshaiyahu 11, and thus the very nature of the animal will change and it will be kosher. Therefore, pig is not a דבר שיש לו מתירין as any left over pig meat in the messianic era would be still unkosher. Only newly born pigs, with a different temperament and physiology, will be kosher.

One last thought. Is the new vat-grown meat (that Israeli’s are pioneers in) a harbinger of Mesianic times, much as the State of Israel can be seen as a Messianic harbinger? Or is it just one more misleading, almost-but-not-there manifestation of the sitera achera?


Translations Courtesy of Sefaria, except when, sometimes, I disagree with the translation cool

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