The Legacy Of The Rosh HaYeshivah, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Walkin ztk”l

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Tapping Into The Yid Within Us

In parshat Ki Teitzei, the Torah discusses the ramifications of someone who goes out to war and finds a woman whom he would like to marry. The Torah tells us, she must shave her head and grow her nails. All of this is done so that he should become disgusted with her and not wed her. If he still wishes to marry her, he takes her in, and then she must cry for her father and mother for thirty days. This is the parshah of yefat toar (pretty complexion). 

Why does the Torah permit one to marry a captive who is a non-Jewish woman?

The Chachamim answer, if the Torah does not permit a person to take such a woman, the person will do it anyway. Therefore, the Torah permits it with rules and regulations. However, is this a reason to permit an aveirah? If so, we should permit every violation on the notion that people will do it anyway, so why here is it different?

For Every Violation, There Is A Lenience

There is a g’morah that says, Hashem gave us something that was permitted with each thing that was not permitted. For example, it is forbidden to eat pig, however, Hashem gave us other fatty meats which taste similar. In halachah, this is a well-discussed topic on whether you can make and eat foods that look and taste like foods that are forbidden. One such example would be kosher crab or kosher bacon, on this, some want to say it should be forbidden because of marit ayin (appearance of the eye), and others bring this g’morah saying, the Torah wanted to balance between what was permitted and was not and should therefore such a notion should be permitted.

This issue, of taking something which is not permitted and making it permissible, is a hashkafic topic that requires further thought. Rav Belsky would say it is permitted to make and eat imitation food, but one should not use the name of the non-permitted food on the package.