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DO NOT rely on them for Psak Halacha L’Maaseh. If you have questions or require further source information, please email the question at Ben@HalachaForToday.comand I will try to respond as soon as I can. For a Halacha L’Ma’aseh Psak, please contact your local Orthodox Rabbi.

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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS SHABBOS; 39 MELACHOS; BISHUL

(PROHIBITION OF COOKING/BAKING ON SHABBOS)

BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE  DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCT 3 2010

1)There are thirty nine  “Avos Melachos”, i.e. 39 main categories of “work”, that are prohibited on Shabbos.

The prohibited actions are not “work” in the sense that they are difficult or laborious in nature, rather they are “work” in the sense that they are “tasks” that were present in the construction of the Mishkan (tabernacle).

The prohibition of doing “work” on Shabbos is juxtaposed in the Torah with the Pesukim describing the construction of the Mishkan (Beginning of Parshas VaYakhel).

Furthermore, the word “Melacha” is present 39 times in the Torah and the commandment to not do work on Shabbos (in the Aseres HaDibros, Shmos 20:10) says “Lo Ta’aseh  KOL melacha, you shall not do any work”. The word “Kol” can also be understood as “don’t do “ALL” the work, thus teaching us that ALL “Melacha” that was present in the construction of the Mishkan is a “Melacha” that is prohibited on Shabbos. (See Talmud Shabbos 49b and Rashi there Dibur Hamaschil She’BaTorah. See also Tosfos Yom Tov to Maseches Shabbos Perek 7 Mishna 2 toward the end of Dibur haMascgil Avos melachos regarding which “melacha” words are counted and which aren’t in these 39)

Each of the 39 Av Melachos (literally translated as “father” tasks) are further broken down into subcategories and referred to in Halacha as “Toldos”, offspring of the main category.

2)Over the next few months, B’Ezras Hashem, we will be discussing in detail many of the 39 melachos, their Toldos and their various different practical applications to aide us in strengthening our Shabbos observance.

The 39 Avos melachos are:

  1. Zo’reah – Planting

  2. Choresh – Plowing

  3. Kotzer – Reaping

  4. M’Amer – Gathering

  5. Dash – Threshing

  6. Zoreh – Winnowing

  7. Borer – Sorting

  8. Tochen – Grinding

  9. Miraked – Sifting

  10. Lash – Kneading

  11. Ofeh / Bishul – Baking/Cooking

  12. Gozez – Shearing

  13. Melaben – Bleaching

  14. Menapetz – Combing tangled wool

  15. Tzo’veah – Dyeing

  16. Toveh – Spinning

  17. Mesach – Setting threads onto loom

  18. Oseh Beis Batai Nirin – Preparing to weave

  19. Oreg – Weaving

  20. Potzeiah – Taking apart threads.

  21. Kosher – Tying a knot

  22. Matir – Untying a knot

  23. Tofer – Sewing

  24. Ko’reah – Tearing

  25. Tzad – Trapping26.

  26. Shochet – Slaughtering

  27. Mafshit – Skinning

  28. M’abed – Tanning

  29. Mesarteit – Scratching out lines on parchment

  30. Memachek – Smoothing

  31. Mechatech – Cutting to exact shape

  32. Kosev – Writing

  33. Mochek – Erasing

  34. Boneh – Building

  35. Soser – Demolishing

  36. Mechabeh – Extinguishing

  37. Ma’avir – Kindling a fire.

  38. Makeh B’Patish – Completing an object

  39. Hotza’ah – Carrying between domains or in public domain

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCT 4 2010

As we begin our journey into the 39 Melachos of Shabbos, I want to give credit to the wonderful Sefer “Orchos Shabbos”, a three volume comprehensive work authored by Rabbis Shalom Yosef Gelber and  Yitzchok Mordechai Rubin from Yerushalayim Ihr HaKodesh. This Sefer is an invaluable resource and amongst the many Seforim that I am using, I am chiefly utilizing “Orchos Shabbos” as the base for my preparation in writing the halachos that will follow over the next few months. May Hashem give these two Talmidei chachamim and their families Arichas Yomim, Health and Kol Tuv.

1)The first melacha that we will discuss is the Melacha of Bishul, cooking or baking.

The most basic definition of Bishul is to change the makeup of an item utilizing heat.

It is biblically prohibited to cook or bake using fire or its byproducts. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 318:3)

There is no difference if the heat source is opened or concealed; the same prohibition applies.

2)Electrical heat sources, which mimic fire,   are biblically considered like fire and may not be used to cook nor bake on Shabbos. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 52. See also Magid Mishna Hilchos Shabbos Perek 12:1)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, OCT 5 2010

1)Water,or other liquid, which is heated to the point of being “Yad Soledes Bo” (i.e. So hot that the hand will recoil when touching it, more than 160 degrees Fahrenheit or even more than 110 degrees for certain leniencies; (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74 Inyanei Bishul Os 3) is considered “fire” as long as it is in the original utensil in which it was boiled (Kli Rishon), even if it is no longer on the actual fire.

According to many Rishonim, cooking something in this liquid is a biblical transgression of Bishul. (See Biur HaGra to Yoreh Deah Siman 105 Os 13)

2)A common application of this Halacha would be the prohibition to add bread, baked croutons, uncooked spices or other uncooked items directly into a pot of boiling soup even after it has been removed from the actual fire.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT 6 2010

1) It is permitted to heat up an item on Shabbos utilizing the direct heat of the sun. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 318:3. See Rashi to Shabbos 39a Dibur Hamaschil D’Shari where he explains that this is not the normal way of cooking and thus not included in the prohibition.)

2)However, it is prohibited to cook utilizing a heat source that was initially heated up via the sun’s heat. This is a rabbinic decree lest people get confused and come to cook utilizing “offspring” of actual fire based on the permissibility to use “offspring” of the sun. (ibid.)

A practical example of this would be the permissibility of placing a frozen or cold Challah, Kugel or other item on the window sill within the direct rays of the sun so that it get defrosted and/or even heated.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, OCT 7 2010

1)It is forbidden to cook on Shabbos even if the item being cooked can be eaten in its uncooked stage. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:14)

For example, one who cooks fruit on Shabbos has transgressed the prohibition of Bishul, as the cooking improves the fruit.

Likewise, one who heats cold water has transgressed the Melacha of Bishul. (See Sha’ar HaTziyun 318:114 and Mishna Berura Siman 293:100)

However, if one cooks a particular fruit that gets ruined or becomes less desirable after being cooked (and is thus Mekalkel) he is not punished, and according to some Poskim he hasn’t even transgressed any Melacha at all. (See Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 9:3. See also Sha’ar HaTziyun ibid.)

2)It is forbidden to cook in a microwave on Shabbos.

According to some Poskim, doing so is a biblical prohibition [even though no actual fire or "offspring" of fire is used in the cooking process], as this is a normal way of cooking. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 52. See also Shu”t Minchas Shlomo Siman 12 footnote 4)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, OCT 8 2010

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)It is forbidden to cook even a minuscule amount of food on Shabbos.

However, according to the Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos Perek 9:1) even though it is prohibited to cook any amount (as Chatzi ShiurAsur Min HaTorah, meaning that even when the Torah penalizes someone with a Korban or other punishment upon transgressing a certain amount of something prohibited, it is still prohibited  to sin with a lesser amount, albeit without the requirement of the Korban  or other earthly punishment)in order to be obligated to  bring a Korban Chatas ,a sin offering in the Bais HaMikdash) a minimum amount of a Grogeres, a measurement equal to the size of a dried fig,  needs to be cooked.

Some Poskim , however, maintain that the rule of Chatzi Shiur Asur Min HaTorah applies only to eating, but does not apply to other prohibitions, and thus they maintain that there is no prohibition at all to cook less than a Grogeres on Shabbos.(See Shu”t Chacham Tzvi Siman 86 Dibur Hamaschil V’Gam Ra’ayaso MiPerek Eilu Ovrim. See also Dagul M’Revava’s comment on the Mogen Avraham Siman 442:10)

The Mishna Berura (Siman 318:1) rules like the Rambam, and it is best to be stringent.

2) Practically, it is best to be careful  to the best of one’s ability before pouring hot soup into a bowl (Irui Kli Rishon)  or placing a steaming hot potato (or another Davar Gush, dense food) onto a plate that there be no crumbs or other non cooked items, or even droplets of cold water in the bowl or plate. (We shall discuss this more at length B’Ezras Hashem in the future)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1)Wet clothing may not be placed to dry near a fire or near or on another heat source if they are close enough to become hotter than Yad Soledes Bo (110 degrees Fahrenheit) as doing so will heat the water that has been absorbed into the clothes and thus be a violation of Bishul. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 301:46 based on the ruling the Mordechai in Maseches Shabbos Siman 434 and Rashi Shabbos 74b Dibur Hamaschil D’Marpi. See Shu”t Chasam Sofer Yoreh Deah Siman 92 where he disagrees with this ruling and maintains that where the water is going to waste there is no prohibition. However, the prevalent ruling amongst virtually all Poskim is as is written in the Shulchan Aruch quoted above.)

Likewise, one who is wearing wet clothing should be careful not to go to close to a heat source in a way that the water on his clothing can be heated to Yad Soledes Bo.

2) Another common case to be careful with is to avoid placing a wet towel on top of a hot water urn, as doing so will most likely heat the water to a Yad Soledes Bo temperature.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCT 10 2010

1) A very common occurrence in Jewish homes across the globe is the desire to remove a frozen Challah, kugel or other dry cooked or baked item  from the freezer and defrost it for use at the Shabbos Seudah.

If there are any ice particles on the Challah or kugel it may not be placed near any heat source where it can become Yad Soledes Bo, as doing  so will cause the ice to melt and then be cooked on Shabbos. (Removing the ice particles from the item on Shabbos is not an option as it may be a problem of Borer)

2)If there are no ice particles on the item, it may be placed on top of a hot water urn to defrost or on top of a pot which is on the fire or on a pot or pan that is on  top of a hot plate, but not directly on a blech, hot plate or another heating element where it will reach Yad Soledes Bo, and surely not on an open fire. (Even though it is already baked there still remains a concern of initially placing something on or near a fire on Shabbos, a topic we shall B’Ezras Hashem discuss more at length in the future. See Mishna Berura Siman 253:15)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCT 11 2010

1)It is prohibited to do any action to a  food item that is not yet fully cooked and is cooking on a heat source and will be fully cooked in due time, whereby that action will in any way accelerate the cooking process and cause the item to be done quicker. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 254:4)

This includes pushing the pot closer to the heat source, placing it over a larger flame or a hotter part of the heat source, stirring the contents or covering an uncovered boiling pot, even if the cover was picked up momentarily to check if the food is ready, it may not be replaced on the pot so long as the food is not 100% cooked. (See Mishna Berura Siman 254:24 and Biur Halacha Siman 257:4 Dibur Hamaschil Gorem Lah L’Hisbashel)

Furthermore, even when the boiling pot with its not fully cooked contents is removed from the heat source, it is still prohibited to do any actions (as long as the food is Yad Soledes Bo) to speed up the cooking process. (ibid.)

2) If, however, the contents of the pot are already fully cooked it is permitted to do the aforementioned actions (with the possible exception of stirring the food, even though it’s fully cooked,  when it is still on the heat source, which may be prohibited as we shall discuss B’Ezras Hashem in the future) even if by doing them the temperature of the food will  increase.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, OCT 12 2010

1)The prohibition of Bishul, cooking, begins as soon as the item being cooked reaches a temperature of Yad Soledes Bo. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:6)

Though, of course, an uncooked food should not be placed on a heat source at all, even if one plans to remove it before it reaches Yad Soledes Bo. (See Chazon Ish Siman 50:9 and Rosh Yosef Shabbos 38b. Although this may not be the actual prohibition of Bishul per se, it is still prohibited to place an item in such a manner that had it been left there it would end up being cooked, as we shall discuss more at length in the near future B’Ezras Hashem)

However, in order to be Chayav, liable (required to bring a Korban Chatas) for Bishul on Shabbos, the item must be cooked to a minimum point referred to as “Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai, cooked enough that the gang of robbers led by the bandit Ben D’Rusai, who didn’t have time to wait for a thorough cooking would already eat it. (See Talmud Shabbos 20a, Menachos 57a)

2) According to some Rishonim, “Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai” is reached after being half cooked (Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 9:5), while other Rishonim (Rashi Shabbos 20a Dibur Hamaschil Ben) maintain that it is reached upon being a third cooked.

Thus, a food item that usually takes an hour to cook, is considered Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai twenty minutes (according to Rashi) or half an hour (according to the Rambam) after reaching Yad Soledes Bo. (This is the understanding of the Chazon Ish Siman 37:6)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT 13 2010

1)A food item that has already been cooked to the point of Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai is still subject to the prohibition of Bishul and any additional cooking of the item that gets it closer to its “fully cooked” stage is a transgression of Bishul. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:4)

However, once an item has been “fully cooked”  as long as it is still Yad Soledes Bo it is no longer subject to the prohibition of Bishul, even if any additional cooking will enhance the  food (Mitztamek V’yafeh Lo) (Rama Siman 318:4; Mishna Berura S” K 24)

2) Being that it isn’t always possible to tell if a food that is cooking is totally cooked or not (in which case any covering of uncovered pots, mixing of food in the pot or moving its location on the heat source may result in a transgression  it is best to make sure to be done with all the cooking before Shabbos arrives.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, OCT 14 2010

1)Food that has been totally cooked is no longer subject to the prohibition of cooking. This concept is referred to in Halacha with the terminology of “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul, a cooked item can no longer be cooked”.

However, with regard to this concept there is a differentiation between dry foods and liquid foods or foods that contain liquid.

A totally dry cooked item (such as potato Kugel or chicken cutlet) may be placed on top of an urn, crock pot or another non-direct heat source on Shabbos even if it will be heated above Yad Soledes Bo. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:4)

The reason for  this is that this second  heating does not cause any new chemical changes in the food as it was previously cooked (and even when it turned cold, it did not revert back to being an uncooked food, rather it was a cooked food that became cold) and this new heating action just makes the cooked food warm.

2)However, a food which loses its “cooked” status upon becoming cold (such as water, soup, gravy or any other liquid or liquid-containing food, in which case the liquid reverts back to being an uncooked liquid), according to many Rishonim is no longer considered a cooked food and thus isn’t covered by  “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul”, and it may not be re-cooked on Shabbos.

Some Rishonim maintain that even with regard to liquid foods we apply the concept of “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul”. (See Bais Yosef Siman 318)

Most Poskim, however, rule stringently and prohibit reheating any previously cooked liquid containing foods which have become cold. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:4. Tomorrow, B’Ezras Hashem, we shall discuss what temperature is considered “cold” in regard to this Halacha.)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, OCT 15 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

1)We learned yesterday that a food which loses its “cooked” status upon becoming cold ,according to many Rishonim is no longer considered a cooked food and thus isn’t covered by “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul”, and it may not be re-cooked on Shabbos.

What is considered “becoming cold”?

If it cooled off totally, of course it is once again considered uncooked and is subject to the prohibition of Bishul. (See Rama toward the end of Siman 318:15)

If, however, it has not totally cooled and is still warm, according to the Rama (ibid.) even if it has cooled to below Yad Soledes Bo it is still permissible to place it on a covered heat source as we say “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul”. Ashkenazim generally follow this ruling.

The exception to this rule, even according to the Rama,  is if the “cooled down” item in question is no longer considered warm by most people seeking to eat/drink it hot , such as a glass of tea that has significantly cooled to the point that one seeking a hot drink would pass on this particular one and consider it totally cold, then it is prohibited to reheat. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 318:9 and Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 37:13 Dibur Hamaschil V’Kasav HaRama. See also Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol.4 Siman 74:Bishul; 2)

2)According to the Shulchan Aruch (Siman 318:4), however, once it has cooled below Yad Soledes Bo it is no longer considered cooked and no longer covered by “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul” and may not be reheated to above Yad Soledes Bo lest the prohibition of Bishul be transgressed. Sephardim generally follow this ruling. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:24 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil Im Nitztanen)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) A food item that is mostly dry but contains within it some liquid is a subject of discussion amongst the Poskim whether we see it as a dry food and thus are allowed to warm it up on a permissible heat source on Shabbos or if we prohibit it due to the liquid portion of the food. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74: Bishul; 7)

The prevalent ruling regarding this is that if there is enough liquid in the pot/pan that stands alone and isn’t actually on the dry food, we treat it as a liquid and prohibit reheating it.

If, however, there is only a minimum amount of liquid which only covers the actual food, but no free standing liquid remains in the pot/pan besides that, we treat the entire thing as a dry item and it may be reheated on a permissible heat source on Shabbos.

2) Thus, a pan of chicken or meat soaking in gravy may not be reheated as is, unless the chicken or meat is transferred sans the gravy into a different dry pan. (Do not, however, remove the gravy from this original pan as doing so will be a problem of Borer)

Whereas a piece of potato Kugel which has a little bit oil on it is considered a dry food and may be reheated. (Psak of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Sefer Meor HaShabbos Vol. 1 letters 1 and 2. Rav Shmuel Wosner Shlita also rules this way)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCT 17 2010

1) A cold cooked food item, such as meat or chicken, which is sitting in a bed of gravy which has congealed due to being in the refrigerator, is a subject of debate amongst the Poskim if it may be reheated on Shabbos.

Although the gravy is not liquid at the onset of being reheated, it will indeed return to its liquid form as it gets heated and thus result in cold liquid being heated.

Some Poskim rule that since at the time it was placed on the heat source it was not a liquid, we apply “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul” and it is permitted. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 318: 40 and Mishna Berura Siman 318:100. However, it must be pointed out, that if there is a lot of gravy in the pot, it may possibly be prohibited even according to these Poskim due to the prohibition of  Molid, unless in cases of extreme necessity, where we can be lenient. See Mishna Berura 318:105-107)

Other Poskim maintain that it is prohibited as they rule that although  the gravy at the onset of the cooking was congealed, still as soon as it becomes liquefied it is once again considered a cold liquid and once again subject to the prohibition of Bishul similar to  any other cold liquid. (See Levush Siman 318:15 and Taz S”K 20)

2) Salt or sugar, which are cooked, should not be placed into pot of boiling liquid (Kli Rishon) nor should boiling liquid from a pot (Kli Rishon) be poured directly onto salt or sugar even if they were previously cooked.

The reason for this is that as soon as the hot water makes contact with the salt or sugar it liquefies it, and thus it will be reheating a cold liquid and that is prohibited. In a Kli Sheni it is permitted. (Mishna Berura Siman 318:71 writes that it is best to be stringent with this. Even though with congealed gravy he rules leniently, he holds that sugar or salt  turns to liquid immediately upon making contact with the hot water and thus is considered a liquid while the gravy takes longer to liquefy and thus is less of a reason to consider it liquid)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCT 18 2010

1)When hot liquid, such as soup,  is removed from the pot (Kli Rishon) via a ladle and dished into a bowl, inevitably some liquid will remain on the ladle.

If enough time elapses, those droplets will cool off totally, in which case the ladle must be dried off before being reinserted into the pot lest the prohibition of Bishul be transgressed as the cold droplets become cooked once again.

The same applies to the pot cover containing droplets of liquid which fall back onto the pot when the cover is replaced.

Some Poskim rule that if the ladle or cover is shaken off very well to the point that very little liquid remains attached to it is considered dried off. (Psak of Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer  MeOr HaShabbos Vol. 1 Siman 4 footnote 29, and HaRav Shmuel Wosner Shlita in Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 7 Siman 42. Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal is said to have ruled this way as well, though in his own home he was stringent.)

Other Poskim are stringent and require the ladle or cover to be totally dried off with no wetness left on it at all before it may be put back into the hot soup. (The Chazon Ish was stringent with this. See Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 9 Siman 30 and 31.)

2) Even the Poskim that are lenient, are only lenient in the above case where the cold liquid in the ladle or cover was previously cooked, but in a case where the liquid was never cooked (such as pouring hot water from an urn into a glass that was just washed and has on it droplets of cold water) the droplets must be totally dried before the hot water can be added. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 end of Siman 93)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, OCT 19 2010

1)We discussed the concept of “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul, a cooked item cannot be re-cooked”.

Besides for Bishul, cooking [in liquid], there are other methods for uncooked foods to be prepared, namely baking and roasting (which heat the foods via heat alone without utilizing liquids).

There is a discussion amongst the Rishonim if the rule of “Ain Bishul Achar Bishul” applies to these methods as well.

In other words, would it be permitted to cook a roasted item or to roast a cooked item? Would it be permitted to cook a baked item or to bake a cooked item?

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim Siman 318:5) quotes both opinions

The Rama (ibid.) rules that it is best to be stringent and not place baked items into hot liquid that is beyond Yad Soledes Bo, even in a Kli Sheini. This is the prevalent ruling that is followed L’Chatchilah.

2) Thus, a piece of Challah or baked croutons should not be placed into a bowl of hot soup unless the soup is already in a Kli Shlishi (even though usually we say there is already no Bishul in a Kli Sheini, for certain items, such as bread, which are Kalei HaBishul we maintain that even in a Kli Sheini it will be Bishul. We shall discuss Kalei HaBishul more at length in the near future B’Ezras Hashem), and surely the soup should not be poured directly from a Kli Rishon (Irui Kli Rishon) onto the Challah or baked croutons. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:45)

We will discuss some more common, practical examples in the next few days B’Ezras Hashem.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT 20 2010

1)As we have been discussing placing baked croutons into hot soup, I have received numerous emails from readers asking about the status of the “yellow soup croutons” that we all love to add to our soup.

Most of the yellow soup croutons are deep fried and not baked (in fact according to the label they are made from wheat flour and oil and there is no coloring added to them; their dark yellow color is a result of deep frying!)

According to most Poskim, deep frying has the status of cooking as there is no difference if an item is cooked in water or oil, they are both liquids. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 183, quoting Psak of the Shulchan Aruch HaRav and Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

Thus, croutons that are deep fried can be treated as a cooked item and not a baked item and may be added to hot soup, even in a Kli Rishon

2) Although some Poskim are not sure if deep frying is considered cooking, the prevalent ruling amongst contemporary Poskim is indeed to treat it as cooking. (See Pri Megadim Siman; Mishbetzos Zahav 318:7)

If one is unsure if a particular crouton is baked or deep fried, it should be treated as a baked item until it can be verified otherwise.

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, OCT 21 2010

1)As we learned, even items that are already baked or roasted may still not be placed in a Kli Rishon (or even a Kli Sheini where the item in question is considered Kalei HaBishul) to be further cooked as the cooking process further enhances the item more so than the baking or roasting process.

A few more common examples of this include:

Artificial sweeteners (such as saccharine, NutraSweet, Splenda and the like both in tablet form and in powdered form) if they are uncooked [in liquid], even if they undergo processing involving heat,  may not be added to hot tea or other hot drinks unless the hot drink is already in a Kli Shlishi. (We will discuss Kli Shlishi more at length in the near future B’Ezras Hashem)

Likewise, other instant powders such as cocoa, soup mix etc. may not be added to hot water unless it’s already in a Kli Shlishi.

The exception to this rule is if every ingredient contained in the powder in question has already been through a “cooking” process, not just a baking or roasting process.

2) Just as we do not cook items that have only been baked or roasted, we also do not bake or roast items that have only been cooked.

Therefore, fully cooked items may not be placed directly on the fire or other heat source even if there is no liquid at all in the item, lest they get baked or roasted and thus be a transgression of Bishul. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:41)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, OCT 22 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)Although we learned that a cooked item may not be placed directly on a fire or another heat source due to “Yesh Tzli V’Afiya Achar Bishul, a cooked item can still become roasted or baked”, this holds true only when the proximity of the food to the heat source is close enough where it can actually get roasted.

2)However, if the cooked food is placed on top of a pot that is on the fire, on top of a hot water urn or on a blech not directly over the heat source, it is permitted. (See Biur Halacha Siman 318:15 where he asks on the Shulchan Aruch who, unlike the Rama, seemingly here allows the food to be placed directly by the fire after having prohibited this in 318:5. See Chazon Ish Siman 37:14 where he attempts to answer this contradiction. See also Kaf HaChaim 318:78

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1)A food item that was cooked, roasted and baked, according to some Poskim, since it has already been through every kind of heating process it no longer is subject to the prohibition of Bishul and may be heated up via all three methods. (Opinion of the Pri Megadim, quoted in Biur Halacha Siman 318:5 Dibur Hamaschil Yesh Mi SheOmer)

2) Some Poskim, however, maintain that the last process that the food underwent is what counts and thus if its final preparation was via baking, it is considered a baked item and is once again subject to the prohibition of cooking. (Biur Halacha ibid. seems to lean towards this Psak, and it is best to be stringent with this.)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCT 24 2010

1)We learned that after the onset of Shabbos, nothing may be done to  a food that is not totally cooked which will facilitate its cooking faster.

This includes even a food which is mostly cooked yet contains only one ingredient which is not fully cooked.

A common example of this is a Cholent or other food that contains within it chicken bones [or certain meat bones], which many people enjoy eating and/or sucking out the marrow.

Although the majority of the Cholent is already cooked, it takes a much longer time for the bones to become fully cooked to the point that they and/or their marrow are sufficiently soft for consumption.

According to some Poskim (including Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Shu”t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 1 Siman 6) as long as the bones are not fully cooked the entire Cholent is considered “not fully cooked” and it is subject to the prohibitions of Bishul.

This Psak is followed by people in Eretz Yisroel where it is considered more common to eat bones.

2)Other Poskim, however, are more lenient and don’t consider bones edible, even though there are people who eat them, and thus would consider the Cholent “fully cooked” as long as all the other ingredients are cooked, even though the bones are not yet sufficiently soft. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 76 and 77 where he is lenient for Americans but says that those in Eretz Yisroel or anywhere else where the majority of people  consider bones  a food need to be stringent and follow Rav Shlomo Zalmen’s Psak. Rav Nisim Karelitz Shlita also rules similarly, that for individuals that eat the bones it is considered a food and for individuals who don’t eat bones it is not considered a food; he doesn’t differentiate based on the majority in the country rather based on each individual.)

For Halacha L’ma’aseh, of course, each individual should follow  the Psak of their own Rav.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCT 25 2010

1)Before we continue, we will review and clarify a few things as I am receiving a lot of questions regarding the following definitions and their status:

Kli Rishon, the First utensil: This is the actual pot or pan in which the food was cooked. As long as the contents of a Kli Rishon are hotter than Yad Soledes Bo, even after it has been removed from the fire or other heat source it is able to cook other [uncooked] items and doing so is a biblical prohibition of Bishul.

Kli Sheini, the second utensil: This is the utensil into which the contents of a Kli Rishon have been transferred. Once the hot food is in a Kli Sheini, even though the food is still boiling hot beyond Yad Soledes Bo, it can no longer cook most other items.

2) Irui Kli Rishon, pouring from a Kli Rishon: If the item from the Kli Rishon which was just on the fire or other heat source  was poured directly into the kli Sheini, according to the Chazon Ish and other Poskim, it retains its status as a Kli Rishon even in the second utensil, as the stream of hot liquid from one utensil to the next is considered a “connection”. (See Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham Siman 318:33, Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 4 Siman 46 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 122. Many Poskim are stringent with this and thus for example when making a tea on Shabbos require the water that went from the urn into the first cup to be poured into a second cup as they consider the first cup a Kli Rishon.)

Irui Kli Sheini, pouring from a Kli Sheini: If the item from a Kli Sheini was poured into a Kli Shlishi, the prevalent ruling is to give it the status of Kli Shlishi. However, hot water above Yad Soledes Bo in  a Kli Sheini should not be poured directly over items that require hot water in order to be consumed, such as a raw egg and tea leaves. (See Mishna Berura siman 318:35 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1:57)

Tomorrow we shall B’Ezras Hashem define Kalei HaBishul and Davar Gush.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, OCT 26 2010

1)”Kalei HaBishul, things which are easily cooked” are different than other items in that they can be cooked even in a Kli Sheini as long as it is Yad Soledes Bo.

There is a lot of discussion amongst the Poskim as to which foods fall under this category.

The Mishna (Shabbos 145b) lists a few foods that fall under this category.

Some Poskim maintain that any food which aren’t specifically excluded in the Talmud from being Kalei HaBishul, can indeed be considered Kalei HaBishul (Opinion of the Mogen Avraham Siman 318:18 and Mishna Berura  Siman 318:42. See also Bais Yosef Siman 318 quoting the Sefer Yereim)

Other Poskim maintain that only foods which are obvious that they are easily cooked (such as in the case of putting bread into hot soup or eggs which are known to boil even in a Kli Sheini or pouring hot water on tea leaves),  are considered Kalei HaBishul but otherwise there is no need to treat any other foods as such. (Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52:19)

2) Some Poskim rule that Kalei HaBishul may be placed into a Kli Shlishi, as only up to Kli Sheini, as well as Irui from a Kli Sheini directly onto them will cook them.

However, many Poskim including the  Chazon Ish maintains that Kalei HaBishul will get cooked even in a kli Shlishi  and higher (i.e. Kli Revi’i, a fourth utensil , Kli Chamishi, fifth utensil etc. as long as the water is Yad Soledes Bo) and thus placing a food which is determined to be a Kalei HaBishul  into a Kli Shlishi is a prohibition of Bishul.

According to this, it would be prohibited to use tea bags on Shabbos even in a Kli Shlishi and higher. (This is indeed the Psak of the Mishna Berura Siman 318:39 where he sternly rebukes those who use tea bags, the Aruch HaShulchan Siman 318:28, the Chazon Ish ibid., and  many contemporary Poskim. Although Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4  Siman 74; Bishul 15 rules that tea bags in a Kli Shlishi are not a prohibition of Bishul, he writes that he himself is stringent. Also in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 85 he writes to avoid tea bags and make tea essence before Shabbos as per the ruling of the Mishna Berura. See also “The Shabbos Kitchen” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita page 33 where he rules stringently and prohibits  using tea bags altogether, even in a Kli Shlishi or higher.)

For Halacha L’ma’aseh, of course, each individual must follow the guidance of their Rav

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT 27 2010

1)It is permitted to add cold milk which has been pasteurized into a Kli Sheini containing hot liquid above Yad Soledes Bo as their pasteurization is considered cooking and thus they are like any other cooked liquid which may be added to a Kli Sheini containing hot liquid. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:31 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1:55 and footnote 157)

2) Freshly ground coffee beans which have not been processed at all may not be added to hot water on Shabbos, even in a Kli Shlishi or higher as long as the water is Yad Soledes Bo. (Chazon Ish Siman 52:19. See also Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1:57)

Instant coffee, however, (as well as instant tea and sugar) which has been cooked during its processing, may be added to hot water in a Kli Sheini, according to many Poskim. (Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal ruled this way as quoted in Sefer MeOr HaShabbos Vol. 3 42:2. Many other Poskim rule this way as well based on the  Mishna Berura Siman 318:71)

However, some Poskim require a Kli Shlishi for instant coffee, as although it is cooked, it undergoes an additional dry heat process which will give it a status of baked, and thus due to problems of Yesh Bishul Achar Afiyah, placing it in a Kli Sheini will be problematic. (Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita rules to be stringent with this if possible; ibid footnote 76. See also Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Bishul 15, Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 1 Siman 55 and Shu”t Be’er Moshe Vol. 2 Siman 21)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, OCT 28 2010

1)Although we learned that there is no biblical prohibition of Bishul in a Kli Sheini (besides for items that are Kalei HaBishul), still Chazal enacted a Gezeira  (edict) and prohibited placing most raw foods into a Kli Sheini which is Yad Soledes Bo, as it is “Mechzi K’Mevashel. Looks like cooking” (see Mishna Berura Siman 318:34)

The exception to this rule is spices, which may be added to a Kli Sheini, even if they have not been previously cooked, as their purpose is to enhance the flavor of the food in the Kli Sheini and not to cook the spices. (Mishna Berura ibid.)

Likewise, placing a raw lemon into a glass of hot tea, which is in a Kli Shlishi, is also permitted as it is evident that the purpose of the lemon is to enhance the flavor of the tea and not to become a “cooked lemon”. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim  Siman 52:19)

Another exception  is adding cold water to a Kli Sheini of hot liquid; here too Chazal did not consider it “Mechzi K’Mevashel”. (See Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, Siman 318:32)

2) This Gezeira of “Mechzi K’Mevashel” does not apply once the item is in a Kli Shlishi and thus any raw foods, with the possible exception of Kalei HaBishul, may be placed in a Kli Shlishi. (Although according to the Chazon Ish ibid. there is no difference between a Kli Sheini and Kli Shlishi which are Yad Soledes Bo regarding Kalei HaBishul, still the Poskim say that in regard to the Gezeira of Mechzi K’Mevashel, even the Chazon Ish would agree that the Gezeira was not intended for a Kli Shlishi)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, OCT 29 2010

(Double Portion l’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)A utensil that contains in it a raw food or drink may be placed into a Kli Sheini containing hot water (or other liquid) for the purpose of warming up the raw food or drink, as Chazal did not prohibit this in the Gezeira of “Mechzi K’Mevashel”.

Thus, for example, a baby’s bottle which contains cold water may be immersed in a bowl of hot water, as long as it’s a Kli Sheini and as long as part of the bottle is not under water (as then  we may have a problem of Hatmana, covering, a Melacha which we shall B’Ezras Hashem discuss in due time)

2)A liquid food which was cooked and then became totally cold again, may be placed in a Kli Sheini; here too it isn’t subject to the Gezeira of mechzi K’Mevashel. (Mishna Berura Siman 318:23. See also Shu” t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 2 Siman 33:22 for more discussion about this.)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1)It is worthwhile to know that there is an opinion of the Chayei Adam (quoted in the Mishna Berura Siman 318:48) that although there is no Bishul in a Kli Sheini that is Yad Soledes Bo (besides for Kalei HaBishul), if the contents of the Kli Sheini are so hot that they are considered “Hayad Nichvis Bo, the hand will be burned by even a slight touch” then it can cook even in a Kli Sheini.

This stringency is not mentioned in any of the Rishonim or Poskim before the Chayei Adam, and thus most Poskim including the Mishna Berura do not follow this stringency.

2)However, the Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim Siman 52:19) suggests being stringent with this and some scrupulous people are careful to avoid adding anything into a hot Kli Sheini as it is difficult to differentiate between the hotter temperature of “Yad Nichvis Bo” and the lower temperature of “Yad Soledes Bo”

This stringency does not apply to a Kli Shlishi, even according to the Chazon Ish. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCT 31 2010

1)The reason that food in a Kli Sheini does not cook is because the cold walls of the second utensil cools off the food and it is no longer getting hotter or retaining its heat enough to effectively cook something else.

Based on the above logic, some Poskim (including the Mogen Avraham) thus rule that a “Davar Gush, a solid food” such as a piece of meat or a potato that is transferred from a Kli Rishon to a Kli Sheini still retains its status in the new utensil as a food in a Kli Rishon so long as it is above Yad Soledes Bo. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:65)

The reasoning is that solid food doesn’t come in contact with the walls of the Kli Sheini for it to effectively begin cooling it and furthermore a solid food retains its heat for a much longer period of time than a liquefied food.

A Davar Gush is Mevashel, even in a Kli Shlishi and beyond, as long as it is Yad Soledes Bo. (See Mishna Berura Siman 447:24)

It is best to be stringent with this and avoid adding uncooked spices or butter onto a potato or placing Ketchup onto a hot piece of meat, even when it’s already in a Kli Sheini. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1:58. See footnote 173* regarding table salt)

2) Some Poskim go so far as to rule that one must be careful to avoid placing a Davar Gush (such as a piece of hot Kugel) and a non cooked juicy food (such as Cole slaw, pickles or similar salads or side dishes)in the same plate where the liquid will ultimately touch the hot Davar Gush and become cooked. (Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita, Rav Shmuel Wosner Shlita and YB”L Rav Yisroel Yaakov Fisher Zatzal rule this way as quoted in Sefer Me’Or HaShabbos Vol. 1 page 263)

Other Poskim (including Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal) are lenient with this. (See Me’Or HaShabbos ibid. for the reasoning behind this leniency)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1 2010

1)A very common practice in most Jewish homes on Friday nights is using a ladle to dish chicken soup into bowls.
The Pot in which the chicken soup was cooked is a Kli Rison.

The question is what status the ladle has?

Do we view the ladle as a Kli Sheini, and thus the bowl from which the soup is being eaten would be a Kli Shlishi.

Or do we say that since the ladle was submerged in the Kli Rishon it assumes the status of that Kli Rishon and thus the bowl from which the soup is being eaten would only be a Kli Sheini.

This makes a big difference, as Challah, baked croutons, raw spices and other non cooked items may not be added to a Kli Sheini.

2)The prevalent Psak is as follows:

If the ladle was sitting in the pot for a long time, or if it was submerged in succession a lot of times, all Poskim rule that it assumes the status of the Kli Rishon and all the Halachos of a Kli Rishon apply to it, and the soup that was transferred via this ladle to a bowl is only a Kli Sheini. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:87)

If, however, the ladle was not sitting in the pot at all and was simply used to dish out the soup and then removed from the pot, regarding bread and baked croutons, we are lenient and give it the status of a Kli Sheini, and thus the bowl from which the soup is being eaten would be a Kli Shlishi and they can be added. (Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 5 Siman 127:3 quoted in “The Shabbos Kitchen” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita page 36 footnote 38)

However, regarding raw spices we are stringent and give it the status of a Kli Rishon, and thus the bowl is only a Kli Sheini and no raw spices may be added until the soup is further transferred into another bowl, a Kli Shlishi. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 2010

1)A pot which contains in it food that is not yet totally cooked may not be mixed with a spoon or another utensil, as doing so causes the food to cook quicker; this is a biblical prohibition. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:18 and Mishna Berura S”K 114)

Even if the pot is no longer on the fire or other heat source, so long as the contents are Yad Soledes Bo, the biblical prohibition of mixing is in place. (See Bais Yosef end of Siman 318 Dibur Hamaschil Kasav HaRan)

2)Furthermore, not only may the aforementioned food not be mixed [for the purpose of mixing], it is similarly forbidden to remove any of the food from the pot as by inserting a spoon or ladle into the pot to remove some food it will inevitably be mixed; this additional prohibition is rabbinical in nature. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:117)

This too applies so long as the contents of the pot are Yad Soledes Bo, even if the pot has been removed from the fire or heat source. (Shulchan Aruch ibid.)

Tomorrow we shall B’Ezras Hashem discuss the Halacha of mixing in regard to food which is already fully cooked.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 2010

1) A pot which contains in it food that is totally cooked, according to some Rishonim may still not be mixed with a spoon or another utensil, as long as it is still on the fire or another heat source. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:113 quoting the Elya Raba and the Sha’ar HaTziyun Os 136 where he quotes the Mogen Avraham that this is the opinion of the Kol Bo who rules that doing so is a biblical prohibition)

Most contemporary Poskim are stringent with this and indeed prohibit mixing any food even if it is fully cooked, while it is still on the fire.

Likewise, fully cooked food should not be removed from the pot while the pot is still on the fire or other heat source.
Once the pot with the fully cooked food  has been removed from the fire or other heat source there is no prohibition of removing its contents, according to all Poskim ( See Mishna Berura Siman 318:117. Regarding actual mixing of this fully cooked food, the Mishna Berura writes that if one wants to be stringent he may be, but regarding removing food from such a pot there is no room at all for being stringent.)

Some Poskim rule that if the pot was on a blech and it was removed from right above the fire to a different place on the blech (even to a place where it can reach Yad Soledes Bo), as long as it is fully cooked  some food may be removed with a spoon.(See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74:Bishul;13. This leniency does not apply to a hot plate, which is considered a heat source.)

2)The prohibition of removing food while it is still on the fire applies only to liquid foods that can be mixed and not to dry foods.

Thus it is permitted to cut a piece of Kugel or similar food from a pan that is on the fire or other heat source, as doing so will not affect the rest of the food in the pan in any way. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YBL”T Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv shlita, quoted in Me’Or HaShabbos Vol. 2 Letter 19:2)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4 2010

1) The exception to the rule of removing food from a pot while it is still on the fire is water, as water doesn’t improve or boil better or faster due to mixing and thus may be removed with a ladle or a cup even while still on the fire.

Some Poskim (including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74:Bishul;14) are lenient as well with a pot of clear soup (which does not include any solids such as meat, vegetables or the like)

However, other Poskim are stringent even with soup and do not exclude any foods, besides plain water, from the prohibition of mixing. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Me’Or HaShabbos Vol. 2 letter 32:1)

2) If one needs to add [cooked] water to a pot of food that is cooking (e.g. a Cholent that is drying out and unless [hot] water [from the urn] is added it will become totally burnt) the water should be poured into the pot slowly and calmly, as if it is done fast and with a gush it will ultimately cause the food in the pot to become mixed via the stream of new water. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 42 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal. Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita maintains that the best way to add this water is to remove the pot from the fire and add  water  from a utensil that has been filled with hot water from the urn and then to return the pot to the fire. (See Orchos Shabbos Perek 1 footnote 196)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 5 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) Many people – especially children and people with allergies or colds-  use hot water  vaporizers or steam vaporizers which create moisture in the air by heating the water that is placed in it into a hot mist.

It is forbidden to add water- hot or cold- into the bin of vaporizer on Shabbos due to concerns of Bishul.

If it is necessary for young children or other ailing people who can be classified as Cholim She’ein Bo Sakana (a topic on its own which we shall iy”H address in the future)a non Jew may be asked to add the water to the vaporizer.

If lacking the vaporizer is simply uncomfortable, but does not reach the level of Choleh She’ein Bo Sakana, a non Jew may not add cold water, and perhaps not even cooked water. A Rav must be consulted for Halacha L’ma’aseh.

2) Cool mist humidifiers do not have any Bishul concerns, and thus if necessary water may be added on Shabbos. . (See Biur Halacha end of Siman 319 quoting Rav Akiva Eiger)

Of course, they may not be plugged in or unplugged on Shabbos.

HALACHOS OF SHEHIYA

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) Besides the prohibition of actually cooking on Shabbos, there are a few other rabbinical edicts that were enacted due to the concern that they may lead to Chilul Shabbos Chas V’Shalom.

Namely, they are the Gezeiros of  She’hiya, Leaving uncooked food on a fire,  Chazara, Returning a pot to a heat source and Hatmana, insulating food.

We shall begin with the prohibition of She’hiya.

2) One who leaves a pot with uncooked food on the flame from Erev Shabbos and it continues to cook on Shabbos has technically not transgressed any Melacha as even though the item is cooking on Shabbos, nothing was actually done on Shabbos itself.

However, Chazal were afraid that one would tend to this uncooked food via turning over the coals (i.e. higher the flame to make it cook faster) and thus indeed transgress a biblical Melacha of Mav’ir, kindling a flame on Shabbos.

Chazal therefore prohibited uncooked food from being maintained on a flame on Shabbos.

On Sunday, B’Ezras Hashem, we shall discuss some exceptions to this Gezeira and some more details of it.

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7 2010

1) It is prohibited to leave a cooking pot on the fire or other heat source on Erev Shabbos if it will continue cooking on Shabbos, so long as the food has not yet reached the stage of being considered a “Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai (which means, as we explained in the Halachos of  October 12 2010: Cooked enough that the gang of robbers led by the bandit Ben D’Rusai, who didn’t have time to wait for a thorough cooking would already eat it. (See Talmud Shabbos 20a and Menachos 57a). According to some Rishonim, “Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai” is reached after being half cooked (Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 9:5), while other Rishonim (Rashi Shabbos 20a Dibur Hamaschil Ben) maintain that it is reached upon being a third cooked. Thus, a food item that usually takes an hour to cook, is considered Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai twenty minutes, according to Rashi, or half an hour, according to the Rambam, after reaching Yad Soledes Bo. This is the understanding of the Chazon Ish Siman 37:6)

The reason for this, as we explained in the previous email, is that Chazal were afraid that one would tend to this uncooked food via turning over the coals (referred to in Halacha as “Shema Yechateh B’Gechalim”) and thus indeed transgress a biblical Melacha of Mav’ir, kindling a flame on Shabbos. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:1)

Even though today’s ovens and stovetops do not utilize coals, this Gezeira is still in effect.

2) If the pot reached Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai before Shkiah, sunset, it is acceptable to leave it on the heat source even in instances where the people in the home accepted Shabbos early (as is common in many Jewish homes during the summer months) (See Shu”t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 2 Siman 34)

According to the Chazon Ish (Siman 37:27), if one inadvertently left a pot on the fire which didn’t reach Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai before sunset, as long as it reached this stage before Tzeis HaKochavim, the emergence of three medium stars, the food may be eaten B’dieved.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8 2010

1)A dry food that was already cooked before Shabbos to a minimum stage of Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai may be maintained on a fire or other heat source at the onset of Shabbos even if it is totally cold, as in the case of a cooked item Chazal did not worry about the possibility of the coals being touched or the heat otherwise being raised.

(See Mishna Berura Siman end of Siman 259 in his summary to the Halachos of Bishul. See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 253:7 and Chazon Ish Siman 37:3)

2) Regarding leaving water or a cold food containing liquid that has previously been cooked on a heat source at the onset of Shabbos, some Poskim prohibit it similar to Bishul where the liquid that became cold is not considered cooked anymore while others allow it to be left on the heat source before Shabbos. (See Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, Siman 253:41 and Chazon Ish Siman 37:27)

Furthermore, some Poskim differentiate between water (which they prohibit because once it is cold it loses any semblance of its past cooking) and other foods that contain liquid (which they allow due to it still retaining its status as cooked even though it is cold).

Though the prevalent custom is to be stringent, A Rav must be consulted for Halacha L’ma’aseh.

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 2010

1) Since the Gezeira of SheHiya, maintaining a food on the  fire, was enacted due to Chazal being afraid that one would stoke the coals on Shabbos, Chazal included an allowance for instances where this would surely not be a problem.

Thus, in instances where the coals were removed (referred to in Halacha as Gerufah) or covered (Ketumah) Chazal made an exclusion to the Gezeira of SheHiya, and allowed the food to be maintained on the fire even if it has not yet reached the stage of Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 13 and 14)

2) Today’s days when most people cook on stovetops, the accepted equivalent of covering the coals is to place a sheet  of metal, commonly referred to as a blech,  over the flames, and then food may be placed on this blech before the onset of Shabbos, even if it has not yet reached Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai. (See Chayei Adam Klal 20:12, Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 93 and Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 7 Siman 15. Although most Poskim accept a blech as adequate covering, the Chazon Ish Siman 37:9 and 11 (and also quoted in Igros Moshe ibid.) did not consider it sufficient as he maintained that the blech does not diminish the heat enough and it is still normal to cook in this manner.

Additionally, according to some Poskim it is proper to also cover or remove the temperature control knobs on the stove to further ensure that the flame is not adjusted in any way. (See Igros Moshe ibid.)

Other Poskim rule that this is not necessary (See Sefer Me’Or HaShabbos Vol. 2 letter 32:13 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YBL”T Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita.)

All agree that covering the knobs alone without placing a blech on the fire is not sufficient.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 2010

1) As we learned yesterday, the blech serves as a “covering of the ashes” and thus there is no need to worry that the fire will be touched or adjusted any more.

Based on this logic, some Poskim maintain that if one did in fact turn the temperature knob and lower or higher the flame after the blech was placed over fire, it may invalidate this blech from being a sufficient covering.

Thus, it is indeed best to try and not touch the knob or otherwise adjust the flame after the blech was placed on the fire. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnotes 54 and 185)

2) If a blech was not placed over the fire before Shabbos, it should not be placed on the fire on Shabbos as doing so will  cause the metal right above the fire to heat up to the point of getting red which is in it of itself a transgression of the Melacha of Mav’ir. (See Magid Mishna Hilchos Shabbos Perek 12:1.)

If one knows for a fact that this reddening will not happen, many Poskim are then lenient and allow the blech to be placed on Shabbos. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 93 and Vol. 4 Siman 74; Bishul:29 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 60 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal.The Chazon Ish Siman 37:11 and Siman 50:9, however, prohibits this in all cases.)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 2010

1) Hotplates or other warming elements which work at a single temperature setting and do not have any knobs or other methods of raising or lowering its temperature (and thus are not considered a normal method of cooking), according to most Poskim are considered like a blech (i.e. and no additional blech is required) and uncooked food may be maintained on them from before Shabbos. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Bishul:35, Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 71 and Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 5 Siman 30. If any such non adjustable hotplate is indeed used regularly for cooking, a Rav must be consulted before using on Shabbos.)

Some Poskim require placing an additional blech (i.e. a few pieces of aluminum foil) on top of the aforementioned hotplate before being allowed to leave food on it. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 66 footnote 20)

2) An adjustable hotplate which can be raised or lowered is considered like a fire (as it is normal to cook on these appliances) and thus requires a blech, according to all Poskim, in order to leave food that is uncooked on it at the onset of Shabbos.

It is also praiseworthy to cover the temperature control knob on the hotplate.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 12 2010

(Double Portion l’Kavod shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)Food that has not reached the stage of Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai may not be maintained inside an oven [that is on], unless a special metal insert (which will serve as a blech) is inserted first and the food placed in that.

Even when using this metal insert, it is proper to also cover the temperature knobs of the oven. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Bishul:27. See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 3 Siman 48 and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak Vol. 3 Siman 28)

2)It is permitted to leave uncooked food from before Shabbos on Heating elements that are intended for purposes other than cooking (such as heaters and radiators whose purpose is to warm the home) as the Gezeira of SheHiya was not extended to such heating sources. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Bishul:34.)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) As we learned, the reason that Chazal enacted the Gezeira of SheHiya, maintain an uncooked item on a fire, was due to the fear that one may fiddle with the coals on Shabbos.

Thus, another situation that would be exempt from this Gezeira is referred to in Halacha as “Kedeira Chaysa, a totally raw food”.

This means that a food that has not even begun to cook at the onset of Shabbos, and this particular food has no chance of becoming ready to eat, even with a raised fire, in time for the Friday night meal, may be placed on the fire immediately before Shabbos and maintained on the fire, as we assume that nobody will even bother to try and fiddle with the fire. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:1. See Mishna Berura S”K 9 that this only applies to a raw piece of meat as it takes a long time to cook. See also Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 36:3 where he says it can apply to other items as well)

If, however, the food has begun to cook even for a few minutes  before the onset of Shabbos, and will not reach Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai by the time Shabbos arrives, it may not be maintained on a fire without a blech, even if this particular food will not be ready in time for the Friday night meal. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 253:2)

2) Practically speaking, there are very few foods that would fall under this category, as most foods if placed on a high flame before sunset will reach Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai at some point during the Friday night meal.

When using a Crockpot though, which cooks very slowly, it is indeed common for  a piece of raw meat to not be ready at all in time for the evening meal.

Thus, for example if one put up a Cholent in a crock pot late Friday afternoon, and it won’t reach Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai at the onset of Shabbos (and thus be a problem to maintain that Cholent in the Crockpot on Shabbos), a piece of raw meat should be added to the Cholent immediately before Shabbos and thus the entire pot will now assume a status of “Kedeira Chaysa” and  be allowed to continue cooking and enjoyed on Shabbos day. (Kisvei Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin Zatzal Vol. 2 Siman 19 quoted in “The Shabbos Kitchen” by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita page 56)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 2010

1) If one inadvertently transgressed the Gezeira of SheHiya, and left an uncooked item on an uncovered flame before the onset of Shabbos and it did not yet reach Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai by the time Shabbos arrived, the item must be removed from the fire immediately, as every additional moment that the pot sits there and cooks is a continuous transgression of SheHiya, as every moment there exists a chance that he may adjust the flame.

Even though removing this pot with uncooked food on Shabbos will result in a transgression of Muktzah (as this food is not edible and thus may not be moved usually), it is better to transgress Muktzah one time than to continuously transgress SheHiya. (Ruling of the Chazon Ish Siman 37:27 Dibur Hamaschil Dinim; he writes there that although this is not written in the Poskim it is logical to rule this way.)

2) If the pot was not removed from the fire and the food became cooked on Shabbos it is prohibited to eat this food until after Shabbos. (The Chazon Ish ibid. is lenient B’dieved in cases where it reached Ma’achal Ben D’Rusai before Tzeis HaKochavim, the emergence of 3 medium stars)

If, however, the item in the pot was slated to be eaten Shabbos day and was never intended for the Friday night meal, B’dieved according to some Poskim it may be eaten at the Shabbos day meal. (See Biur Halacha Siman 253:1 Dibur Hamaschil L’Hash’hoso that if it was intended for the day meal it may be considered like a “Kedeira Chaysa”. However, he writes that L’ma’aseh this should only be relied upon in extremely necessary circumstances and not regularly, as in reality unlike by Kedeira Chaysa, this is possible to eat now already and thus the Gezeira of Shema Yechateh B’Gechalim is in full force.)

 

 

 

HALACHOS OF CHAZARA

Halachos for Monday, November 14 2010

1) We will now discuss the prohibition of “Chazara, returning something to the heat source”.

A pot containing food that was removed from the fire or heat source  on Shabbos may not be returned to the same [or another] heat source even if the food was fully cooked (unless certain conditions are met, which we will discuss tomorrow B’Ezras Hashem). (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 253:2)

2) If the prohibition of Chazara was transgressed and a pot that was removed was returned to the heat source, it must be removed again immediately. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:26)

If Chazara was transgressed, even inadvertently, and the food became better cooked because of this, or if the food was cold when it was returned to the heat source and is now hot, the food is prohibited to eat for the duration of that Shabbos. (See Rama Siman 253:1 and Mishna Berura S”K 35. See also Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:1 and Chazon Ish Siman 37:27)

If, however, the food  was not enhanced or additionally heated by being returned to the heat source, it is permitted to eat the food, even if it was returned purposely. (Shulchan Aruch and Chazon Ish ibid.)

In cases where the food was cold and returning it to the heat source only heated it up but did not otherwise enhance the food, some Poskim suggest that once the food became cold again (i.e. returned to the state to which it was before returning to the heat source) it is once again permitted to eat. (Pri Megadim quoted in Biur Halacha Siman 253:5 Dibur Hamaschil L’Hachem)

Other Poskim, however, do not concur with this leniency. For Halacha L’Ma’aseh, of course, a Rav must be consulted. (Chazon Ish ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16 2010

1)If one removed food from the fire or heat source on Shabbos and wants to return it to the heat source, there are five primary conditions that need to be present in order to make this permissible, as follows (Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:2):

A)  The food that is being returned to the heat source is already fully cooked. If it is not, there is no acceptable method to return it to the heat source on Shabbos.

B)  The food that is being returned to the heat source must still be warm from the original cooking; if it has cooled totally it may not be returned to a heat source.

C) The heat source to which the pot is being returned is covered with a blech (or another similar acceptable method where it isn’t considered being returned to the actual heat source)

D)  When the pot was removed from the heat source, it was intended to be returned; if it was removed with the intention of not returning it to the heat source it may not be returned.

E)   The pot that was removed and intended to be returned to the heat source was not put down [totally] upon being removed; rather it was held [i.e. one's hand was gripping the pot which is half leaning on the countertop in a way that if the hand was removed it would fall] throughout the entire time that some food was removed from it and then immediately returned.

2)The first three conditions (fully cooked, still warm and blech) are required even B’dieved, and if they aren’t present food may not be returned to the heat source under any circumstance.

If, however, the last two of the five conditions (intent to return and holding the pot) are not met, under certain circumstances it may be acceptable B’dieved. We shall discuss these cases more at length over the next few days B’Ezras Hashem.

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 2010

1) If a food [which is fully cooked] was placed on a blech from before Shabbos and the flame or other heat source was inadvertently turned off or if it became extinguished on its own, as long as it is still warm it may be transferred to another blech.

The aforementioned applies even if the flame went out before Shabbos and wasn’t noticed until on Shabbos. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Bishul:38 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek1 footnote 69. See also Shu”t B’Tzel HaChachma Vol. 4 Siman 137 where he rules stringently with this)

2) If the wrong pot was removed from the blech (e.g. on Friday night one removes the Cholent instead of the chicken soup) and placed down with intent not to return it, upon discovery of the mistake, according to many Poskim it may be returned to the blech so long as it is fully cooked and still warm. (See Shu”t Shevet HaKehasi Vol. 3 Siman102)

Other Poskim,however, are stringent with this and prohibit returning the pot to the blech. For Halacha L’ma’aseh a Rav must be consulted. (See Shu”t B’Tzel HaChachma ibid. and Shu” t Be’er Moshe Vol. 6 Siman 113)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18 2010

1)A food, even if it is a fully cooked dry food, that was not on the fire or heat source from before Shabbos , may not be placed directly on the fire or heat source on Shabbos, even if there is a blech. (As if this may not be returned to the fire, it surely cannot be placed there initially. See Mishna Berura Siman 253:87. This is referred to in Halacha as “Nesina L’Chatchilah, initially placing on a heat source”)

Thus, for example, a cold Kugel may not be taken out of the refrigerator on Shabbos morning and placed directly on [a prohibited part of] the blech or directly on an [adjustable] hotplate to warm up. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Bishul:35 where he allows placing it on non adjustable hotplates that are not usual to cook on. See also Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 71)

2) Regarding the blech, the Poskim divide it into two parts.

a)The parts of the blech that are close enough to the fire that a food placed there will be heated to beyond Yad Soledes Bo. Food may not be placed on that part on Shabbos according to all opinions.

b)The parts of the blech that are far enough from the flame and foods placed there will only become warm but remain below Yad Soledes Bo. Some Poskim (including Mishna Berura Siman 253:67 and Chazon Ish Siman 37:8) allow placing food on that part of the blech on Shabbos to warm, and don’t deem it “on the fire”.

Other Poskim prohibit placing food even on the cooler part of the blech, as it “looks like cooking”. (See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 253:14 and in Kuntres Achron Siman 253)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, NOVEMBER 19 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1)A fully cooked dry food which is cold, such as a Kugel taken out of the refrigerator on Shabbos morning, may be placed on top of a pot of food that is on the fire or another heat source, even if the heat source on which the pot is resting does not have a blech. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:5)

Likewise, it may be placed on top of an electronic water urn. (Though, when placing fleishig food on top of a Parve hot water urn it is best to place a piece of aluminum foil between the food and the urn to avoid the possibility of making the urn Fleishig via the steam)

2) However, if the food contains liquid, it may not be warmed up on top of a pot or urn if it is possible for the liquid to be warmed to above Yad Soledes Bo.

The above method only applies to food placed on top of a pot of food, but does not apply to placing cold food into the pot even if it won’t mix with the contents of the pot.

Thus, for example, a piece of cold Kugel may not be placed inside a pot of Cholent, even if a piece of aluminum foil separates the Kugel from the Cholent, as anything that is placed inside a pot that is on the fire is considered as if it was placed on the fire itself.

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1)The aforementioned permissible method of warming a food on top of a pot applies only to a pot that contains within it food.

However, if the pot on the fire is empty, it is prohibited to warm up food on top of it. (See Biur Halacha Siman 253:3 Dibur Hamaschil V’Yizaher that an empty pot is nothing more than a blech on which a food may not initially be placed on Shabbos, as in the permissible method it’s the food in the pot that separates the fire from the food on top of the pot.)

2) If, however, the empty pot is not directly on the fire and has a blech under it, according to some Poskim it is then permissible to place  cold food on top of the pot. Based on this ruling, many people take an aluminum pan and place it upside down on top of a hotplate which is covered with aluminum foil and then warm up cold dry food on Shabbos morning. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 100 footnote 113)

Other Poskim disagree and prohibit placing cold food on top of an empty pot even if there is a blech under the pot, as they consider the empty pot an extension of the blech and not a pot that’s on top of a blech. According to this ruling, the upside down aluminum pan on the hot plate would not be acceptable. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:9)

For Halacha L’ma’aseh, of course, a Rav must be consulted.

HALACHOS OF HATMANA

Halachos for Sunday, December 12 2010

1) Hatmana, insulating a pot containing food (e.g. wrapping it in a towel) in a non permissible way, is another rabbinical Gezeira that was enacted to prevent the transgression  of Bishul, cooking and Hav’arah, kindling a flame. (See Talmud Shabbos 34a)

Hatmana in a non permissible way can sometimes be prohibited even if done on Erev Shabbos, as we shall discuss in the next few days.

There are two kinds of insulation which we will be discussing:

a)   Hatmana B’Davar Hamosif Hevel, insulating with materials that will increase the heat of the food in the pot.

b)   Hatmana B’Davar She’Aino Mosif Hevel, insulating with materials that only maintain the heat of the food but do not increase the heat.

2) Hatmana only applies to the extra covering that one may place around a pot but doesn’t apply to any initial covering that is directly covering the food (i.e. the pot, or a piece of aluminum foil that the food is placed in) (See “The Shabbos Kitchen’ by Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita page 70 footnote 2 for a lengthy discourse behind this ruling)

Hatmana in a non permissible way applies equally to partially and fully cooked foods. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:7)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 13 2010

1) Hatmana B’Davar Hamosif Hevel, insulating with materials that will increase the heat of the food in the pot is prohibited even if it is done from before Shabbos.

Thus, a pot that is on a heat source, even if it’s on a blech or a hot plate, may not be [totally] wrapped with an article of clothing a blanket or a towel, as the heat combined with the wrapped material will increase the heat. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:8)

A common example of this would be a hot water urn where a specially designed cover or a regular towel is placed over the entire device to keep the water hotter than it would otherwise be while just in the uncovered urn. This is prohibited to do even on Erev Shabbos if it covers the entire urn, as it increases the heat of the water.

2) Likewise, a pot that is not directly on the heat source, but is on top of another pot that is on the heat source, may still not be insulated [totally] (Pri Megadim, Eishel Avrohom, Siman 298:1)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14 2010

1) Placing the cover of a pot onto the pot is not considered Hatmana, and is permissible, even though by doing so it covers the food completely, as the main purpose of the cover is to ensure that the food does not get ruined (i.e. than no foreign objects should fall into the pot) (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:2)

This holds true even if the cover actually touches the food in the pot.

2) If one places a food item on top of a hot water urn to warm, either on a plate or on its own, and covers the item [totally] with a piece of aluminum foil, it isn’t considered Hatmana, and it is permissible.

Here too, the reason is because we look at the foil as protecting the food from getting ruined from airborne particles or dust, and not as adding heat to the food.

However, an additional layer of aluminum foil should indeed not be placed over this food, as the extra layer will indeed be considered Hatmana. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Hatmana:3)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15 2010

1) There is a debate amongst the Rishonim if the prohibition of Hatmana is only when the food is totally insulated, or if it applies as well to “Hatmana B’Miktzas, when just a portion of the food is insulated”.

The Bais Yosef rules stringently in this matter and thus Sephardic jews generally adopt the stringent view and prohibit Hatmana even if only a portion of the food is insulated. (See Bais Yosef on the Tur Siman 253 and Shulchan Aruch Siman 253:1. See also Shu”t Ohr L’Tzion Vol. 2 Perek 17:10 for a more lenient option, even for Sephardim)

The Rama (Siman 253:1), however, rules leniently as does the Mishna Berura (Siman 253:47) and this is the prevalent custom of Ashkenazic Jews. (The Chazon Ish, however, in Orach Chaim Siman 37:19 rules stringently in most cases)

2) What exactly constitutes “Hatmana B’Miktzas”?

According to all Poskim, a substantial portion must be uncovered for it to not be considered Hatmana, but simply having a little bit uncovered is not sufficient to allow Hatmana.

Some Poskim say that it has to be to the point that the portion that is uncovered is causing the food to not retain its heat. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 1 footnote 195 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal.

Other Poskim say that it if the majority of the pot is covered, it is considered Hatmana.(See Mishna Berura Siman 257:43 quoting the Chayei Adam. (See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 253:14)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16 2010

1) As we learned yesterday, Hatmana B’Miktzas, where a significant portion of the food is not insulated, is permitted [for Ashkenazim].

There is no difference what part of the pot remains un-insulated as long as there is a part of the pot lacking insulation.

Thus, if the top of the pot is wrapped and a portion of the pot on bottom is left unwrapped it’s just as acceptable as where the bottom of the pot is wrapped and a portion on top of the pot is left un-insulated.

2) According to Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal (quoted in Sefer Sh’vus Yitzchak Perek 20), even if the insulation is covering the entire area of the pot where the food is contained and the un-insulated part is only where there is no food; it is still considered Hatmana B’Miktzas and permitted [for Ashkenazim].

According to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, however, in the aforementioned case he seemingly rules stringently. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74;Hatmana:4)

For Halacha L’ma’aseh a Rav should be consulted.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, DECEMBER 17 2010

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) If the item being used to insulate the pot does not actually touch the pot, it is not a problem of Hatmana and is permitted even according to the Poskim who prohibit Hatmana B’Miktzas.

Thus, if one has a pot containing food that they want to insulate, a larger pot may be placed upside down over the pot with the food in a manner that the larger pot does not touch the walls of the smaller pot at all. It is then permissible to take towels or other items and totally cover the larger pot from all sides. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:8)

This may be done even when the smaller pot is actually on the fire or heat source. (ibid.)

2) Likewise, one may place a wide tray or plate over the pot which will protrude out beyond the sides of the pot, and hang a towel over the tray which will drape over all the sides and cover the entire pot, as there is a separation between the towel and the pot. (Mishna Berura Siman 257:42)

The tray must, however, be wide enough to protrude out enough that there is an easily noticeable separation between the towel and the pot. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YblC”T Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Orchos Shabbos page 111 footnote 143. Some Poskim, however, do allow a loose hanging towel to be draped over the pot, even if it isn’t easily noticeable that there is some air between the towel and the pot. For Halacha L’ma’aseh a Rav should be consulted. )

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) If a bunch of pots are on the stove together it is best to not drape a towel or other insulating item over all of them as one, even though every individual pot is only being partially covered, as in this case we deem them all as one big pot  being totally covered. (Ruling of HaRav Nisim Karelitz Shlita, quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 111 footnote144)

2) A pot may be placed into an oven from before Shabbos and we don’t consider it Hatmana, as even though the pot is totally enclosed in the oven, its walls are not actually touching all the walls of the oven. (See Biur Halacha Siman 257:8 Dibur Hamaschil Shari L’Kulei Alma)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 2010

1) According to some Poskim (including HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal and YBLC”T Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita) using a Crockpot on Shabbos [without modifications] presents a problem of Hatmana.

Even though the pot with the food is only insulated from below and from the sides, yet is totally open from on top, these Poskim maintain, that since this is the normal way to cook with this appliance, and it is also Mosif Hevel, increasing the heat, it will not be subject to the leniency of “Hatmana B’Miktzas, and will still be prohibited.

Other Poskim (including Rav Shmuel Wosner Shlita) maintain that although there is room for stringency, it cannot be prohibited as the opening on top deems it Hatmana B’Miktzas which is permitted.

2) There are various ways around this problem, including placing some stones or other items between the base of the Crockpot and the pot containing the food, which will lessen the insulation.

Also, on the type of Crockpots where the heating element is only on the bottom and not throughout the walls of the base, even Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal was lenient.

The various other details of this Halacha are complex and not easily detailed in this forum. It would be best for each individual to show their specific Crockpot to their Rav for a Psak regarding Hatmana (as well as SheHiya and Chazara which can also be problematic sometimes in certain Crockpots)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 20 2010

1) It is permissible to submerge a pot containing food or a baby bottle containing milk or another liquid into another utensil filled with hot water which has been removed from the flame or other heat source, on Erev Shabbos [and leave it there into Shabbos], as since the utensil with the water has been removed from the flame it is not considered Hatmana B’Davar Hamosif Hevel. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 258:1)

However, on Shabbos itself it is prohibited to do this, even if the water is in already in a Kli Sheini and thus not a problem of Bishul, as doing so will be considered Hatmana. (See Mishna Berura Siman 258:2)

If, however, the pot or the bottle is not totally submerged and a significant part remains uncovered by the water, it is permitted even on Shabbos itself as it is Hatmana B’Miktzas which is permitted [for Ashkenazim] (as long as it is in a Kli Sheini[for liquid foods] and no other Bishul prohibitions exist)

2) If the food is being submerged for the purposes of having the submerged food absorb the flavor of the food in the pot, e.g. A piece of Kugel or kishke wrapped in aluminum foil being submerged in a pot of Cholent, it is permitted on Erev Shabbos according to many Poskim, as this isn’t being done for the purposes of Hatmana and thus isn’t subject to the prohibition of Hatmana. (See Shu”t L’Horos Nosson Vol. 7 Siman 12 and Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 6 Siman 78.)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21 2010

1) On Shabbos itself it is prohibited to insulate a hot food item with towels, blankets or other items, even if said items are not Mosif Hevel, do not increase the heat of the food. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:1)

However, on Erev Shabbos, it is permissible to insulate food with any items that are not Mosif Hevel. (ibid.)

Thus, as is common  in Jewish households across the world, a pot of steaming hot chicken soup may be wrapped in towels right before the onset of Shabbos in order to keep it piping hot for the Friday night meal that will be eaten later on.

2) Of course, this insulated pot of food may not be maintained on the flame or other heat source (e.g. hot plate, urn etc.) as doing so will be considered Hatmana B’Davar Hamosif Hevel, insulating with an item that increases the heat, and thus prohibited. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:8)

 

 

 

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22 2010

1)”Bein Hashmashos” is a time period between sunset and night.

No human can discern the exact “blink of an eye” moment when the day leaves and the night begins.

Thus, for many Halachos, the entire time of Bein Hashmashos is treated as night. For example, Shabbos is observed from sunset on Friday afternoon until the emergence of three stars on Shabbos night.

There is a debate amongst the Poskim when exactly Bein Hashmashos ends, and thus various customs are observed by various communities around the world ranging from 13 minutes after sunset until 72 or even 90 minutes after sunset. (A full discussion of this topic is too lengthy for this forum at this time)

2) During the time of Bein Hashmashos it is permitted to do Hatmana B’Davar Sh’eino Mosif Hevel, insulating with a material that does not increase the heat of the pot, as for the purposes of Hatmana we still consider it Erev Shabbos.

However, if one distinctly accepted Shabbos upon him/herself (i.e. for a man, he already said “Mizmor Shir L’Yom Hashabbos” or for a woman, she already lit the Shabbos candles) it is already Shabbos, and thus Hatmana would already be forbidden. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 261:4, Mishna Berura S”K 31 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil Ain M’Arvin)

This applies even before sunset, if one [or one's community] accepted Shabbos early.(ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23 2010

1)If one insulated a pot from before Shabbos with materials that are not Mosif Hevel, they don’t increase the heat, it is permissible to add some more towels or other items to further insulate the pot [as long as the food in the pot is fully cooked]. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:4)

As well, it is permissible on Shabbos to remove the towels that are insulating the pot and replace them with different towels or other items, even if the new items are thicker and will maintain the heat better than the ones that were removed. (ibid.)

If the items insulating the pot fall off on their own on Shabbos, they may be replaced.

2) A cold food item may be wrapped on Shabbos in an item that is not Mosif Hevel.  This is true regardless if it is being done to thaw the item or just to help it maintain its current temperature. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 257:6)

However, a cold item may not be insulated in a material that is Mosif Hevel, even if done from Erev Shabbos. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, DECEMBER 24 2010

(Double Portion l’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) It is permitted to pour boiling hot water into a thermos on Shabbos, even if the intention is to keep the water hot, and there is no problem of Hatmana. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:32 for the two reasons for this being permitted. See also Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman95 and Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 1 Siman 48 and 49)

2)Likewise, it is permitted to fill a rubber pillow or flask [used as a heating pad for an aching body], with boiling hot water on Shabbos, and this too is not an issue of Hatmana. (See Mishna Berura Siman 257:29 and Chazon Ish ibid.)

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) If one inadvertently insulated a pot from before Shabbos with materials that are Mosif Hevel, if the food was totally cooked before the onset of Shabbos it may be eaten on Shabbos. (Rama Siman 257:1)

In cases of great necessity, we can be more lenient and allow the aforementioned food to be eaten even it wasn’t totally cooked,  as long as it was cooked to the point of “Ma’achal Ben Drusai” (See Biur Halacha Siman257:1 Dibur Hamaschil V’Yesh Omrim. See also Chazon Ish Siman 37:25)

2) If one placed a cold food onto a pot or urn on Shabbos and insulated it with a material that is Mosif Hevel and it got heated, it is prohibited to eat that food for the entire Shabbos. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:27 Dibur Hamaschil U’Mevuar)

According to some Poskim, once the food gets cold again, to the point that it is just as it was before the forbidden Hatmana was done, it is once again permitted to be eaten. (See Biur Halacha Siman 253:5 Dibur Hamaschil L’Hachem)

If one did Hatmana on Shabbos with a material that is not Mosif Hevel (e.g. a pot of soup was removed from the fire on Shabbos and totally wrapped in a towel) the food may be eaten B’dieved. (See Mishna Berura Siman 257:8. See also Chazon Ish Siman 37:28 for some caveats with this leniency)

Tam V’Nishlam Hilchos Bishul B’Rov Shevach L’Keil Elyon. This brings us to the end of our study of the Melacha of Bishul. May it be the will of Hashem that  we all merit to use our newfound knowledge to  keep these halachos properly and speed up the coming of Mashiach.

Next week B’Ezras Hashem we shall begin another of the thirty nine Melachos of Shabbos.