Chof Tes Teves, 5777
Place: In the midbar,
on the way to Eretz Yisrael
One of the many miracles that occurred with the mon was that one was able to enjoy the taste of whatever food he desired. This leads us to an interesting question. What would happen if one desired to taste milk and meat together? Since this seemingly involves an issur, would a miracle occur in such a case or not?
The Gemara records a machlokes between Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi. According to one opinion, it was only the taste of others foods that was felt in the mon, not their substance. The other opinion holds that the substance of these foods was present in the mon as well (Yuma 75a).
Perhaps the answer to our question depends on which opinion we follow. If the substance of the desired foods would be found in the mon, one would not be able to taste meat and milk together, as that would involve an issur. But if it was only the taste of the foods that was felt, one would be able to taste milk and meat together. Since only the taste of these two foods was present and not their substance, no issur would be involved.
(There is a halachic rule known as ta'am ke'ikar, that the taste of a substance has the same status as the food itself. Accordingly, even if we say that only the taste of the food was felt, an issur may still be involved. However, this is only true if the rule of ta'am ke'ikar is mede'orayasa [see Encyclopedia Talmudis, Vol. 20, pp. 556-559]. If it is med'rabanan [see ibid.], it would not apply to the Jews in the desert, who lived before this ruling was enacted.)
However, even if we assume that the substance of the food was felt as well, it can still be argued that one was able to taste milk and meat together if he so desired.
The Gemara relates that every Erev Shabbos, Rav Chanina and Rav Oshiya would study Sefer Yetzirah and create calves, which they would then proceed to eat (Sanhedrin 65b). The Shaloh (Parshas Vayeishev, Derech Chaim Tochachas Mussar) uses this concept to explain the behavior of the Shevatim, whom Yosef suspected of eating flesh of a living creature without shechting it first. What actually happened was that they would create calves using Sefer Yetzirah, which was transmitted to them from Avraham Avinu, the sefer's author (via Yitzchak and Yaakov). Since these animals were not born from physical parents, they did not require shechitah.
Now, if the laws of shechitah do not apply to such calves, the prohibition of basar bechalav presumably does not apply either. (Indeed, some say the calves served by Avraham to the angels were created through Sefer Yetzirah, and that is why the angels were allowed to eat them with milk-see Malbim, Vayeira 18:7-8.) That being the case, even if the substance of milk and meat was felt the mon, it would not pose a problem, since they were heavenly in nature and did not originate from physical animals.
In fact, there would actually be less of an issue of basar bechalav with the mon than with a calf created through Sefer Yetzirah. In the latter case, one can still argue that it is forbidden to eat the calf with milk due to maris ayin, the concern that onlookers will mistake it for genuine meat. In the case of the mon, however, no one was able to see the food his friend had chosen to taste, and the concern of maris ayin would not apply.
As far as reaching a decisive answer to our question, we will have to ask the dor hamidbar themselves when they arise for techiyas hameisim!
Based on Luach Erez on Tana Devei Eliyahu, Ch. 12. Shu"t Lev Chanun, 1:36