We have previously noted in the Mishna (Yoma 8:1) that one who eats the equivalent of a כותבת הגסה (a large date) on Yom Kippur is liable. Additionally, the Mishna also states that ‘all foods combine for the volume equivalent of a large date’ – meaning that if someone ate two or more pieces of food which – only when combined together – were the size of a large date, they are still liable.
In light of this rule of ‘all foods combine’, today’s daf (Yoma 80b) records a fascinating question raised by Rav Pappa about whether a piece of meat which is just less than the size of a large date combines with the salt – which is not considered to be a ‘food’ – on the surface of the meat?
On the one hand, should the salt be considered as ‘food’ since meat is often sprinkled or seasoned with salt? According to this logic, one would be liable for eating this combination of meat and salt. Or might it be argued that since salt is not eaten alone, it does not fall into the category of ‘food’ and thus one would not be liable for eating this combination of meat and salt?
Rav Pappa concludes that the salt does combine with the meat, and this is the halacha as codified by the Rambam (Shevitat Assor 2:7) and the Shulchan Aruch (OC 612:2).
And from here we learn that even the small things which we may consider inconsequential on their own, are consequential when combined with other things – which ultimately means that nothing is ever truly inconsequential.