This week’s Torah portion discusses the mitzva not to cook meat and milk together. (Sh’mos 34,26) There is a mitzva not to cook meat and milk together, even if one does not eat it. There is also a mitzva not to eat meat that was cooked together with milk, as well as a mitzva not to benefit from a mixture of meat cooked with milk. (See here for a deeper discussion about the lessons behind this mitzva.)
How would you answer the following true story that relates to the mitzva of not cooking or eating meat and milk together?
Mordechai and Sara were planning to make a celebration in honor in honor of their friend’s Sheva Brachos (marriage celebration). They were hosting ninety guests and were planning on serving fried chicken cutlets, (schnitzels) as the main course. They didn’t have enough pans to fry ninety chicken cutlets, so Mordechai went to his neighbor, Chaim to ask asked if he could borrow a fleishig (meat) frying pan so that he can fry the chicken cutlets. Mordechai was careful to ask for a fleishig pan. The neighbor gladly handed over a frying pan. Mordechai used this pan to fry thirty, one third of the total, chicken cutlets.
The next day, when Mordechai returned the pan, Chaim, the owner of the pan realized that the pan was actually a diary pan that was just recently used to fry dairy French toast. It turns out therefore that thirty of the chicken cutlets, were now not kosher. However the thirty cutlets that were not kosher, were now mixed in with the group of ninety and a significant majority of the cutlets are perfectly kosher.
Mordechai wanted to know if he is allowed to serve any of the chicken cutlets, if just one third of them were treif (not kosher). If he could not serve any of the chicken, his next question was if his neighbor would have to pay for the financial loss of not being able to serve any of the chicken cutlets? Would he have to pay for the loss, because it was his mistake that caused the schnitzels to become treif?
How would you answer this question?
Rav Oshry answered them that they were allowed to take the wool. They were at war with the Germans. During such a time, if they were permitted to try to kill a Nazi, to stop the war effort it would certainly be permitted to steal from them. See Mimamakim Sefer 1, Siman 12