Product of Israel
Mishna in Tractate Bechorot states: "That
which comes from something which is
Tameh [non-Kosher] is Tameh, and that
which comes of that which is Tahor
[Kosher] is Tahor." The product of a
non-Kosher animal is not Kosher.
Rosh HaShanah Recipes
why is bee honey Kosher?
Talmud in the same Tractate quotes a
Beraita (a Halachic teaching from the
time of the Mishna) which says:
"Why did they say that
bee-honey is permitted? Because even
though they bring it into their bodies,
it is not a *product* of their bodies
[it is stored there but not produced
Sages of the Mishna agree with this
ruling. One of them, Rabbi Yaakov,
disagrees with the *reasoning*. He
claims that bee-honey is Kosher based on
his interpretation of Vayikra 11:21.
According to him, the verse prohibits
one to eat a flying insect, but *not*
that which is *excreted* from it.
Maimonides codifies bee-honey as
being Kosher, as does the Shulchan Aruch.
wonder: How could one even think that
bee-honey is not Kosher -- the Torah
refers to the Land of Israel as "a Land
flowing with milk and honey"! Certainly
the Torah would not choose a non-Kosher
product as a means for describing the
beauty of the Land of Israel! This may
come as a surprise, but the honey
mentioned in the verse about "milk and
honey" is not bee-honey -- rather it is
fig-honey. The Talmud in Tractate
Berachot tells us that another verse "It
is a Land of wheat, barley, grapes, figs
and pomegranates -- a Land of olives and
*honey*" -- is referring to date-honey.
Tractate Bechorot, pages 5b, 7b.
Codes of Maimonides, Laws of Forbidden
Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 81:8.
Tractate Megillah, page 6a, Rashi.
Chumash, Book of Devarim, 8:8.
Tractate Berachot, page 41b, Rashi.