Oktzim, Chapter Three, Mishnah Eleven



Honey is one of the seven liquids that causes food to become susceptible to impurity (see Makhshirin 6:4). Today’s mishnah discusses when honey from a honeycomb begins to count as honey.


Mishnah Eleven

1)      When do honeycombs become susceptible to uncleanness on account of their being regarded as liquids?

2)      Bet Shammai says: from the moment he begins to smoke the bees out.

3)      But Bet Hillel says: once he breaks up the honeycomb.



Section one: As long as the honey is still totally connected to the honeycombs it is still part of its source and liquids that are still part of their source do not cause susceptibility to impurity. Therefore the mishnah asks at what point the honey begins to be considered a “liquid” such that it would cause susceptibility.

Section two: Bet Shammai says that as soon as someone begins to smoke the bees out of the honeycomb, the honey counts as liquid. Once the bees are gone, the honey can be eaten.

Section three: Bet Hillel says he has to actually break up the honeycomb to get the honey out.