Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Food Under the Bed and Sundry

Someone asked Rav Moshe Sternbuch, Shlita, “If some food was left under a plane seat while a person slept in it, does the food have the same problem as food that was left under a bed?”
Rav Sternbuch replied, “The Nachalas Avos cites the opinion of his father’s uncle, the Vilna Gaon, zt”l: ‘Even food left beneath a sofa or a box that was later slept upon should not be eaten since we are more stringent with things that are dangerous than halachic prohibitions. Even though we see that one who eats this doesn’t seem to be damaged in any way, Chazal were not necessarily discussing danger to the body only, but predominately that which could impact the nefesh. For this reason, everyone should be exceedingly careful to wash mayim achronim even though we don’t find in today’s day and age the ‘salt of Sodom’ that can cause physical blindness.’
Rav Sternbuch continued, “I therefore rule that food left under an airplane seat which was then slept on is permitted. It is even possible that the Gaon would permit this, since he only prohibited food left beneath an object on which one sleeps in the usual fashion and not on a chair where one cannot really stretch out.”

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