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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS SHABBOS; 39 MELACHOS; BORER

(PROHIBITION OF SORTING 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, DECEMBER 26 2010

We will now, B’Ezras Hashem, move on to another of the thirty nine Melachos of Shabbos, the Halachos of Borer, sorting.

 

These Halachos are extremely important as hardly a Shabbos goes by where the need to sort isn’t present, and many times unfortunately a simple lack of information causes people to sort in a prohibited way.

 

Once these Halachos are learned, however, it will be very simple to sort in a permissible way and thus avoid Chilul Shabbos Chas V’Shalom.

 

1) If one has a mixture of food and waste, the waste may never be removed from the food, as removing waste from food is the quintessential Melacha of Borer.

If, however,

 

 a) the food is removed from the waste it will be permissible if two other conditions are present:

 

b) It is removed with one’s bare hands without utilizing a utensil.

 

c) It is removed with the intent of eating the food immediately.

 

2) Only if all three of the above conditions are met is Borer permissible, as it then is considered “Derech Achilah, the normal way of eating” and not “Derech Borer, the way of sorting” (See Mishna Berura in his introduction to Siman 319)

 

The above is Hilchos Borer in a nutshell. Over the next few weeks we will, B’Ezras Hashem, delve into many more intricate aspects, exceptions, and examples etc. of the above.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 27 2010

1) As we learned yesterday, one of the conditions that need to be present in order for Borer of food to be allowed on Shabbos is if it is being done with intent to eat the food “immediately” (referred to in Halacha as “Ochlo L’Alter”).

 

The term “immediately” does not mean it must be eaten within a few seconds of being sorted; rather it means it must be done within the normal time frame before the meal that is considered normal preparation time for a meal. (See Mishna Berura Siman 321:45 where he writes that the women may not start preparing the Shabbos meal before the men leave Shul after davening)

 

2) However, even within the above permissible  time frame, one can only do it if he/she plans to eat right away after all the preparations for the meal are done, and not if one intends to do another significant chore after the meal preparations are done, before actually eating.

 

If at the time of preparation one planned to eat right afterwards and then only before the meal decided to take a walk or do another chore, it is permitted and it does not invalidate the preparations that were done permissibly. (ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Ayil Meshulash Perek 8 footnote 24)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28 2010

1) Two different foods that are mixed together may not be separated by removing the one that is not wanted from the one that is wanted (e.g. separating a mixture of raisins and nuts by removing the raisins which are not desired from the nuts which will be eaten), even though both are totally edible foods as the one that isn’t wanted is considered P’soLes, waste, for the purposes of Borer. (Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 319:3. See also Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil U’Meiniach Hasheini)

 

2)However, if both foods are wanted, albeit separately one after the other (e.g. separating a mixture of raisins and nuts, where the one pile will be eaten first and the other will be eaten immediately afterwards), they may be separated provided it is done by hand, as then all three conditions of permissible Borer will be present. (See Biur Halacha Siman 319:1 Dibur Hamaschil U’Borer Min)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29 2010

1) The prohibition of Borer applies to all items, not only to food. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:15)

 

Games that contain pieces and components of different shapes, sizes and colors, may not be sorted upon finishing playing in order to put them away neatly.

 

However, if at the onset of playing the game they are being sorted in order to be able to play with them right then, it is permissible.

 

2) A children’s playroom messily strewn with various toys on top of each other may not be sorted in order to put away each toy in its designated place.

 

However, if the toys are not mixed together and are just laying on the floor not in a mixture, each toy may be picked up and put away in its place, as a prerequisite for Borer to be prohibited is for the items to be B’Ta’aruvos, in a mixture.

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30 2010

1) Photographs may not be sorted on Shabbos in order to place them in order into a photo album or into designated piles.

 

A pile of papers that are out of order may not be sorted on Shabbos to make them in order of pages or in order of topics, unless it is being done to use them in their proper order immediately.

 

2)If one has a pile of two foods or objects in front of them (e.g. a pile of raisins and peanuts) and is only interested in one of them (the peanuts), but a friend there with him is interested in the other item (the raisins) it is permitted in this instance to remove the item that he is not interested in, as since his friend wants it, it is considered “Derech Achila, the normal way of eating”  as for the friend it is Ochel M’Toch P’soles, taking the  good from the bad, and not a prohibited act of Borer. (See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 3:7 and footnote 13 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

 

Of course, it must have the other two conditions for permissible borer: it be separated without utensils and the friend must also eat it [or use it] immediately.

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, DECEMBER 31 2010

(Double portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1)If one has two foods or objects in front of them (e.g. a bowl of chicken soup containing vegetables) and is currently interested in only one of them (the soup), but will be interested in the second item (the vegetables) as soon as the first item has been consumed, according to some Poskim it is still forbidden to remove the second item, rather the item that is currently desired must be taken. (Ruling of HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal quoted in Sefer Hilchos Shabbos of Rav Shimon Eider Zatzal, Hilchos Borer footnote148.)

 

2)Other Poskim, however, rule that in the above case, both items are considered being eaten immediately, and thus it would be permitted to remove the second item from the first. (Ruling of Maran HaRav Yosef shalom Elyashiv shlita quoted in Sefer Ayil Meshulash Perek 6:14. See also Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchasa Perek 3:65)

 

For Halacha L’ma’aseh, of course, each person must consult their own Rav.

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) As we learned, the prohibition of Borer applies only when the two (or more) items in question are in a mixture. We will now discuss what criteria are necessary to constitute a mixture.

A serving tray that has on it pieces of two different fish (or even the same species of fish, but some are  cooked and some are broiled, which for borer purposes is considered two different types) that are laying haphazardly in no organized fashion, is subject to the prohibition of Borer. This is considered a Ta’aruvos, a mixture, even though each variety is clearly discernible.

 

Thus, one may choose and remove only the fish that they want to eat, for immediate consumption. (See Rama Siman 319:3)

 

2) A plate that has on it a few different foods, each in its own spot on the plate in an organized fashion, according to many Poskim is not considered a Ta’aruvos, a mixture, even if they are touching one another, and thus would not be subject to the prohibitions of Borer.

For a final ruling, of course, a Rav must be consulted.


 

Halachos for Sunday, Januarry 2, 2011

 

1) After the Shabbos meal, when clearing off the table, it is permissible to remove all the glasses, then all the plates, then all the silverware etc. and doing it is such an order is not a problem of Borer as these utensils are not considered to be in a mixture.(Ruling of Rav Nisim Karelitz Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 132 footnote 10)

2) A plate that has on it leftover food as well as silverware touching the food is not considered a mixture as they are totally distinct objects, and the silverware may be removed even if they are not going to be used immediately.

The exception to the above is if the silverware is totally covered by the leftover food in which case it will indeed be considered a mixture and may not be removed unless it's for immediate use.(Ruling of Rav Nisim Karelitz Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 133 footnote 12)

If indeed this situation presents itself, it would be permitted to pick up the utensil and use it to move the leftover food into the garbage, even if the assistance of the utensil was neither necessary nor originally planned upon (ibid. footnote 13)

Likewise, a utensil that fell into the garbage, and is totally covered may not be removed unless it will immediately be and used. (ibid.)

 

Halachos for Monday, January 3, 2011

 

1) Various different sized and shaped pots, bottles and other food containers that are organized on a shelf in the refrigerator next to one another are not considered "in a mixture" and there is no prohibition to separate them.

If, however, the containers on the shelf are all of similar shape and size (e.g. a few 2 liter bottles of different flavored soft drinks) they may indeed be considered "in a mixture" and they shouldn't be sorted unless it is for immediate consumption.

The above is only if they are on the shelf, but if they are on the refrigerator door in a row, it is not considered "in a mixture" and may be separated. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Sefer Me'Or Hashabbos Vol. 1 letter 8)

2) If the items in the refrigerator on not organized and are all laying haphazardly on top of each other (e.g. different fruits in the refrigerator drawer or various different cheeses in the dairy drawer) they are indeed "in a mixture" and thus may only be removed in the permissible manner.

 

Halachos for Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1) It is very common for items in a freezer to be stored in a less organized fashion than in the refrigerator, and very often many foods are lying on top of each other haphazardly.

These foods are considered "in a mixture" and thus if something needs to be removed, it must be done in the acceptable manner (i.e. taking the item that is wanted, for immediate use without a utensil)

2) If the food that is removed from the freezer cannot be used immediately due its needing to defrost first, it is questionable if it may be removed.

Some Poskim maintain that since it cannot be used right away it may therefore not be removed from "within the mixture" in the freezer. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita and Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 148 footnote 54)

Other Poskim, however, maintain that if it is common to only remove this particular food from the freezer and allow it to defrost right before the meal, then it may be removed, and is considered using it immediately even though it will take a while to defrost. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach; ibid.)

However, if the food in question is commonly removed a few hours before the meal, all agree that it may not be removed from "within the mixture" in the freezer on Shabbos. (ibid.)

[Parenthetically, it is important to be careful with frozen foods as many of them are Muktzah (e.g. frozen raw fish, frozen raw French fries etc.) and moving them to get to the permissible items (e.g. a frozen Challah or ice cream) may pose a Halachic problem. We shall discuss this B'Ezras Hashem more at length when we learn Hilchos Muktzah]

 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1) Seforim or books that are neatly lined on a shelf,  in a way that each one  is easily recognizable, are not considered "in a mixture" and thus any one may be removed from the shelf even if there is no intent to use that Sefer immediately.

However, if the books are laying on the shelf in an unorganized fashion, and the titles are not easily discernable and they are otherwise not recognizable, they may  indeed be considered "a mixture" and be subject to the prohibition of Borer, and according to many Poskim may only be removed if all the criteria of permissible Borer are present. (See Orchos Shabbos page 134 footnote 17 )

2) If a pile of Seforim or books are lying on a pile on the table, it is considered "in a mixture" even if they are easily discernable (as this is inherently a mixture, unlike when they are on the shelf), and thus they should not be sorted into piles nor should a Sefer be pulled out of the pile unless it is being used immediately. (See Rama Siman 319:3)

If one must remove a Sefer from an unorganized bookshelf or from a pile on the table on Friday night for use on Shabbos day, the best thing to do is to learn something from it immediately for a moment and thus it will have been a Borer for immediate use which is permitted.

 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1) A solid that is large enough to be distinctly recognizable when submerged in a liquid, according to many Poskim, is not considered to be "in a mixture" and thus the unwanted liquid may be removed or poured off in order to get to the solid.

Some examples of this: a) A pot of hard boiled eggs in water, where the water may be spilled out in order to reach the eggs. b) A jar of pickles in brine, where the pickle juice may be spilled out in order to reach the pickles. c) A pitcher of water that contains slices of lemon may be poured even if the spout of the pitcher will prevent the lemons from leaving the pitcher. (Some Poskim are stringent even in the aforementioned cases and a Rav should be consulted for Halacha L'ma'aseh. See K'tzos HaShulchan 125:14 and Shu"t Az Nidberu Vol. 4 Siman 21)

2) A large quantity of olives (or similar small item) that are submerged in a pitcher of water is considered to be "in a mixture" and thus the water may not be poured off in order to get to the olives.

Likewise, a slotted spoon may not be used to retrieve the olives from within the water, and surely a sieve may not be used to do this.

A single olive, however, that is in a pitcher of liquid is not considered "in a mixture" and may be removed even with a utensil and even if not being eaten immediately.

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 7, 2011

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) It is very common when opening a can of vegetables, tuna fish or sardines, or similar items that come in a sealed can, to drain the liquid from the can before removing the food.

This is forbidden to do on Shabbos as removing the liquid (which is P'soles, the unwanted item) from the food (the Ochel, the desired item) is a classic example of prohibited Borer.

2) Very often when opening a cup of yogurt or leben, a small layer of water is present on the top and is intertwined into the yogurt/leben. This water is usually stirred into the yogurt/ leben or, alternatively, is spilled out.

If the water and the leben/yogurt are already joining with one another, it is considered "a mixture" and the water may not be spilled out on Shabbos, as doing so is a prohibited Borer. If the yogurt/leben is solid and the water on top is not seeping into the leben/yogurt, then it may be spilled out.

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) A fly, or another unwanted small item, that fell into a drink may not be removed by itself; rather it must be removed together with some of the liquid from the cup. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:61. We shall B'Ezras Hashem discuss this Halacha of taking some of the good with the bad in more detail in the days ahead)

2) A pot of soup that contains in it pieces of chicken, vegetables and other items is divided into two categories as follows:

a) The top layer of the pot which contains only liquid is not considered "in a mixture" and the liquid may be poured out or otherwise removed from there even if it is being removed in order to get to the other items in the pot.

b) The bottom half of the pot, where all the chicken, vegetables etc. is laying is considered "in a mixture" and  thus the soup and/or the other items may only be removed if all the criteria of permissible Borer are present (i.e. the good is taken from the bad, for immediate use and it is done without specialized utensils).

 

 

 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

 

1)In order for the prohibition of Borer to be in effect, the two items that are being sorted must be different, but if the two items are the same albeit in different sizes or shapes, there is no prohibition of Borer as it isn't considered "in a mixture". (Rama Siman 319:3)

Moreover, when the items being separated are deemed "one and the same" they may even be separated using a utensil and even if being sorted for use at a later time, as the prohibitions of Borer do not apply at all in such a case. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:58)

We will now discuss some common examples and determine whether they are considered "different items" from one another or if they are considered "one and the same".

2) A plate containing various parts of a chicken (e.g. thighs, wings, drumsticks etc.) according to some Poskim is not considered "in a mixture" as it is all considered one item, and thus may be sorted and separated as desired. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Ayil Meshulash Perek 3)

Other Poskim disagree and maintain that these different parts of a chicken are considered different items and thus all the Halachos of Borer apply to them. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Sefer Me'Or HaShabbos Vol. 3 letter 40:3)

All agree, however, that if some of the pieces of chicken are cooked and some are broiled, [or if they are otherwise different beyond them just being different parts of a chicken] that they are deemed "different" and considered "in a mixture" and may only be separated in the permissible manner. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:15)

 

 

Monday, January 10, 2011

 

1)The Poskim debate whether a mixture  of tart apples and sweet apples is considered "in a mixture" and thus subject to the criteria of Borer or if they are all considered one item and thus may be separated as desired. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:15)

The reason that these apples may differ  from a mixture of cooked and broiled chicken, which we learned are considered two different items, is because "cooked and broiled" are considered 2 different entities, whereas "tart and sweet" are just different tastes of the same entity. (Ruling of Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita, quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 139 footnote 31)

2)A box of Matzos that contains in it whole matzos as well as cracked ones and one is trying to choose from the box whole matzos for use as Lechem Mishna, according to some Poskim it is considered "in a mixture" and may only be separated as per the permissible criteria of Borer. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 140 footnote 32)

Other Poskim maintain that even though the whole Matzos are desired, it is still considered one item and no problems of Borer apply. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita; ibid footnote 33)

 

 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

 

1)Water which is palatable to most people without any additional filtering, may be filtered on Shabbos even if a pitcher or another specially designed utensil for this purpose is utilized.

Likewise, a faucet with a built in filter may be used on Shabbos, provided that the water is palatable to most people from the tap sans the filter. (Obviously, if the mechanism in question is electric it may not be used on Shabbos at all)

The reason this is permitted is because since most people would drink the water even without the filtering, we consider it as if there is nothing at all mixed into the water and thus it isn't subject to Borer.(See Rama Siman 319:10)

2)However, a person who is extremely sensitive and will neverdrink unfiltered tap water, for that person, according to many Poskim, it is indeed prohibited to filter the water on Shabbos.(Based on the Pri Megadim quoted in the Biur Halacha Siman 319:10 Dibur Hamaschil Hoi'yel U'reUyin. This is also how Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita and Rav Shmuel Wosner shlita rule.)

Other Poskim maintain that even such a person may filter the water on Shabbos as to determine if something is a mixture we look at how most people perceive it and not how any one individual perceives it. (Ruling of Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 141, footnote 38)

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

 

 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 

1) Fruits and vegetables which are eaten by most people with their peels on (e.g. pears, apples) may be peeled on Shabbos even if they will not be eaten immediately.

However, if a particular individual is sensitive and will never eat this fruit or vegetable with its peel, according to many Poskim he/she may not peel this fruit or vegetable unless it's for immediate consumption. (Similar to the ruling of those Poskim that prohibit filtering otherwise palatable water for an individual who never drinks it without filtering)

Fruits and vegetables which are usually peeled by most people before eating (e.g. carrots, garlic etc.) may only be peeled for immediate consumption. (See Mishna Berura Siman 321:84. See also Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Borer:8)

2) Regarding the use of specialized peeler on Shabbos, many Poskim, including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, allow it as they consider it as a regular knife, while other Poskim prohibit it as they consider it a specialized utensil, and only allow peeling with a regular knife.(See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 4:10 and footnote 27 where he quotes Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal as allowing it on Yom Tov but not on Shabbos. See also Sefer Shvisas HaShabbos; Borer: 24)

Each individual should consult their Rav for Halacha L'ma'aseh.

 

 

 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

 

1) A food item that is cooked or fried and has in it excess oil or another liquid, may be squeezed to remove that liquid, and it is not a prohibition of Borer, provided that there isn't so much oil in it that most people would not eat it in its current state. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 320:7)

However, for a sensitive person who absolutely will not eat this item unless it is squeezed out, even though most other people would eat it, it is indeed considered Borer and he/she may not squeeze it out on Shabbos.

2)A plate that has on it various different leftovers, some liquid and some solid, may be spilled into the sink, even though the liquid will go down the drain and the solids will be caught by the sink strainer, as since all the leftovers are waste it is all considered one item and not "in a mixture".

 Furthermore, the action of spilling all the waste into the sink is for disposal purposes and not for the purpose of separating one item from the other and thus is not an action of Borer. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 12 footnote 47 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal. See also Chazon Ish Siman 53 Dibur Hamaschil U'Linyan Barza)

 

 

Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 14, 2011

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) The prohibition of Borer only applies when there is a mixture and  an "item not wanted" is being removed from within the mixture.

However, if the item is not removed and is simply moved from one place in the mixture to another place in the mixture, but all the items remain "in the mixture", it is permitted. (See Sefer Shvisas HaShabbos; Borer S"K 34)

2) Thus, for example, if one has a ring of keys and is trying to locate a specific key on the ring, it would be permitted to move the other keys to the side until the key needed is located, provided they all remain on the ring throughout.

Of course, if the unwanted keys are removed from the ring in order to locate the desired key, it is prohibited.

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1)  The cards in an index card box or a Rolodex that contains in it many cards with information on each card may be moved out of the way in order to find a specific card that is needed, as since all the cards remain in the box it isn't considered "removed from the mixture"

Likewise, a single card that was out of the box may be replaced into its proper place even if this will require moving and shuffling the other cards to find the correct location for the card that is now being replaced.

2) If, however, a card is being removed from the card box, it may only be done for immediate use.

It is commonplace in Shuls to have index card boxes containing cards, in alphabetical order, for each member with their names and other pertinent information printed on the card.

A Gabbai in a Shul may remove the cards containing the names of the people to whom he would like to call to the Torah for an Aliyah, provided this is done immediately before the beginning of the Tefilah.

The cards may not be removed on Friday night in preparation for the Aliyos on Shabbos morning.

After Krias HaTorah, when the Gabbai has a pile of cards of all those that received Aliyos, he may not return each card to its proper place as the pile is now considered "a mixture"  and sorting them and replacing them would be considered Borer for use at a later time which is prohibited.

 

 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

 

1) A pile of silverware (forks, spoons and knives) that are all mixed together may not be sorted unless being done so close to the time of the meal where they will be used.

Likewise, eggs and vegetables may only be peeled very close to the meal.

2)When separating the silverware or peeling the eggs or vegetables, it isn't necessary to determine the exact amount that will be used at the meal and only sort or peel that amount; rather a generous amount may be prepared even if doing so will probably end up with some of them not being used at the meal.

However, this may not be done if one's distinct intention is to sort or peel enough to have for a subsequent meal as well as the current meal.

 

 

Monday, January 17, 2011

 

1) As we learned, one of the criteria for permissible Bore is if it is done very close to the beginning of the meal.

A situation that often is arises is when one is expecting guests for the meal, and being that one isn't sure when exactly the guests will arrive, it is difficult to determine when the meal will begin and thus when one would be allowed to start doing a permissible Borer.

The Poskim say that in such a case it is permissible to begin preparing close to the earliest possible time that the guests can arrive.

Thus, for example, if the guests can arrive anytime between 10:45 am and 12:00 pm, the preparations can begin a bit before 10:45 am, and this food is 100% permissible to eat even if they indeed arrive, and the meal only begins, at 12:00 pm. (Orchos Shabbos Hilchos Borer Perek 3:52)

2) If one has a pile of Seforim, it is permissible to remove all the Seforim that are needed for immediate use from within the pile.

The definition of "For immediate use" over here means that they will be used within the current learning session, even if the duration of the session will be for a long period of time.

Thus, when one arrives in Shul on Shabbos morning for davening, he may remove a Chumash from within a pile of Seforim, even though it won't be used until the time of Krias HaTorah, which can be almost two hours later, as the entire duration of davening is considered " a single session". (ibid.)

 

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

 

1) If one removes an item from a mixture for the purposes of giving it to someone else (e.g. removing an apple from a bowl of fruit for the purposes of giving to guest to take along with him after the meal [within an Eruv of course]), there is a debate amongst the Poskim if this is considered a permissible Borer.

2) According to some Poskim, being that this item is not going to be used immediately, it is prohibited. (See Ohr Sameach on Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 23:16. This is also the ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita, quoted in Sefer Orchos Shabbos page 148 footnote 52)

Other Poskim, however, rule that as far as the person removing it from the mixture, his need for this item is for the purpose of giving it to the other person and not for the purpose of using it, and thus it is considered for "immediate use" (i.e.to give to the other person immediately), and it's irrelevant when the other person actually uses it. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal, ibid. footnote 53)

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

 

1) One who did Borer with the intention of using the item immediately and after the item was removed from the mixture, he/she got busy with something else and didn't end up using it [or even deliberately decided after it was done that they would rather save this item for a later time], has not transgressed the Melacha of Borer, as the intention at the time of doing it was to use it immediately which is permissible.

However, according to some Poskim, it is praiseworthy to avoid this and indeed still try and use it immediately. (See Sha'ar HaTziyun Siman 319:5 quoting the Pri Megadim. Seemingly the Sha'ar HaTziyun does not concur with the Pri Megadim and seems to maintain that  there is no need to try and use it now, as once it was done permissibly, it is no longer subject to prohibition of Borer)

2) Conversely, if one transgressed the Melacha of Borer by removing an item from a mixture with intent to use it later on, if he/she ended up using it immediately it does not remedy the transgression, as at the time of the Borer it was in an prohibited manner. (Orchos Shabbos page 150 footnote 57)

 

 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

 

1) The prohibition of Borer only applies during the process of preparing the food for consumption, but does not apply to when the food is actually being consumed.

Thus, if one is eating or drinking and senses that within the mouthful of food/drink there is a foreign substance that must be removed (e.g. a hair, a pebble or an egg shell) it is permitted to remove this waste and it is not an issue of Borer. (See Chazon Ish Siman 54:1)

This is the best Halachic option for removing watermelon pits, fish bones and similar items which are difficult to remove in a halachically permissible manner before eating; once they are in the mouth they may be removed L'Chatchilah. (See Chazon Ish 54:4)

2)If one has a drink which contains in it unwanted particles (e.g. sediment in wine or pulp in orange juice, or even insects) it is permitted to put a piece of material over the cup and drink through the material and thus keep the particles away, and this is not an issue of Borer. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 319:16)

The above may only be done during the actual eating or drinking, and not while holding the food/drink in their hand and about to be consume it, as doing it then, even though one may say "I am already in middle of drinking", is a transgression of Borer.(Chazon Ish ibid. See Biur Halacha Siman 319:4 Dibur Hamaschil HaBorer P'Soles for a more detailed discussion about this)

 

 

Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 21, 2011

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) One who is holding a drink and floating in it is a foreign matter which he would like to remove [and the drink will then be consumed immediately], is a matter of discussion amongst the Poskim if by pouring out the foreign matter it is considered separating the bad from the good (P'soles M'Toch Ochel) which is prohibited, or is it considered separating the good from the bad (Ochel M'Toch P'soles) being that you are left holding the "good" in your hand, and thus permitted.

2)Most Poskim rule stringently and thus do not allow the foreign matter to be spilled out (unless some of the drink will be spilled out with it, a Halacha we will discuss more at length next week B'Ezras Hashem). (See Mogen Avraham Siman 319:15 and  Mishna Berura Siman 319:55. See also Sefer Shvisas HaShabbos, Maleches Borer S"K 36. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav in his Siddur rules leniently in this matter. Each individual, as always, must consult their own Rav for Halacha L'ma'aseh)

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) A utensil that has in it tea essence as well as tea leaves may pose a problem of Borer, depending on the makeup of the mixture, as follows:

If all the leaves are at the bottom of the utensil, it isn't considered "in a mixture" and it is permitted to pour out some of the tea essence even if it isn't being done for immediate consumption.

If, however, there is very little essence left and thus the liquid and the leaves are considered "in a mixture" (or even if the utensil is full, but the leaves are floating around throughout the utensil and are not sitting at the bottom) it would only be permitted to pour out  the essence if being done for immediate consumption.

2) If on top of the utensil with the tea essence there is a strainer or something else which prevents the leaves from leaving the utensil and only allows the liquid out, if what is in the utensil is deemed "in a mixture", according to some Poskim it would be prohibited to remove any of the essence as the strainer would be considered a specialized utensil in which case Borer is prohibited even when removing the good from the bad. (See Kaf HaChaim Siman 319:113)

Other Poskim, however, maintain that this strainer is not considered a specialized utensil, and allow the essence to be removed from the mixture for immediate use. (SeeChazon Ish Siman 53 Dibur Hamaschil Min Ha'Amur. Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita in the back of his Sefer Ta'ama D'Kra where he brings many Minhagim of the Chazon Ish that he heard/saw personally, in Os 41 writes that in the home of the Chazon Ish they indeed used such a strainer with the tea essence for immediate use even when the contents of the utensil were deemed "in a mixture")

Sunday, January 23, 2011

 

1) There is a debate amongst the Poskim if the prohibition of Borer exists only when removing P'soles, the unwanted item from within a mixture by itself or if the prohibition exists even when removing some of the Ochel, the desired item, along with the unwanted item.

The Mishna Berura (Siman 504:20 and in the Biur Halacha Siman 319:4 Dibur Hamaschil HaBorer) rules that anytime some of the Ochel, the desired item, is removed together with the P'soles, the unwanted item, the prohibition of Borer falls away. Most contemporary Poskim follow this ruling.

The Chazon Ish (Siman 53) maintains that even when a little bit of the Ochel is removed together with the P'soles it still is prohibited Borer.

2) When a large quantity of the Ochel is removed along with the P'soles, even the Chazon Ish will agree that it is permitted, as in this case we don't see it as the P'soles being removed from the mixture; rather we see it as the mixture itself being divided in half.

Tomorrow, B'Ezras Hashem, we will examine some common examples of the aforementioned Halacha.

 

 

 

Monday, January 24, 2011

1) We learned yesterday that according to most Poskim including the Mishna Berura (Siman 504:20 and in the Biur Halacha Siman 319:4 Dibur Hamaschil HaBorer) , any time some of the Ochel, the desired item, is removed together with the P'soles, the unwanted item, the prohibition of Borer falls away.

Some Poskim follow the ruling of the Chazon Ish (Siman 53) and maintain that removing a little of the Ochel along with the P'soles does not help, and the prohibition of Borer remains.

We will now examine some common examples of this Halacha.

2) A lemon pit that fell into a salad may not be removed as doing so is removing the P'soles from the Ochel.

If it is removed together with a little bit of the salad, according to the Mishna Berura it is permissible and according to the Chazon Ish it is still prohibited.

A fly that fell into a beverage may be removed from the cup , according to the Mishna Berura,  if some of the beverage is removed along with it.

In the event that one pours the fly along with a large quantity of the beverage into a second cup, this would be permitted even according to the Chazon Ish as we don't look at this as removing the fly from the beverage, rather we see it as splitting the beverage into two halves, and thus not a matter of Borer.

We will discuss some more examples of this Halacha over the next few days, B'Ezras Hashem

 

 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1) One who is eating a piece of chicken or fish and chances upon a bone and wants to remove it, according to the Mishna Berura he can simply remove the bone along with a little bit of the chicken or fish, and thus avoid any Borer problems.

According to the Chazon Ish, removing the bone with a little bit of the chicken or fish will not help and it will still be a problem of Borer.

2) A permissible option, even according to the Chazon Ish, is to remove the bone and suck off some of the marrow or other liquid that is on it, and thus we will deem this action as a part of the eating process and not as a prohibited Borer. (This option is also found in the Biur Halacha Siman 319:4 end of Dibur Hamaschil M'Toch Ochel, in regard to bones that no longer have meat on them and one wants to remove them from his plate.)

 

 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1)It is very common, when purchasing Challos or rolls of cake from a bakery, that they come with a label stuck to them indicating a Hechsher, a variety, or other certification or  information about the item.

To remove this label, which is placed on the Challah or cake before being baked and is baked along with it, and is thus considered "in a mixture", is a prohibition of Borer.

If a piece of the Challah is removed along with the label it would be permitted.

In this case, even the Chazon Ish would agree that removing a piece of Challah along with the label is permitted, as the label is not "in a mixture" with the entire Challah, rather it is only mixed together with the immediate area of Challah that it rests upon, and being that the entire surface is removed, it is considered like the entire mixture was removed and that isn't Borer.

2) Wax paper which is commonly used under baked items to keep them from sticking to the pan, may be removed from under the baked items, as the baked items and the wax paper are distinctly separate items and nobody considers them "in a mixture".

However, in a situation where when removing the wax paper some of the paper gets stuck to the baked items (common when cookies or cake are over baked) indeed some Poskim consider it "in a mixture" and require removing some of the baked item along with the paper when removing it from the bottom of the baked item.

 

 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1) If one is eating a food and part of the food is ruined (e.g. an otherwise fresh apple that has a small area that is rotting, or a cookie where part of it was burnt)  to the point that it is inedible or only edible B'Sha'as Hadchak, in extreme circumstances, that area of the apple may not be cut off from the apple, as doing so would be removing P'Soles from Ochel and be a prohibited Borer.(See Mogen Avrohom Siman 319:5. If it is totally inedible it will be a biblical Borer, whereas if it's not totally inedible it will be a rabbinical Borer which is still prohibited, but wouldn't mandate a Korban Chatos if transgressed.)

If a good piece of the apple is removed along with the rotting part, according to the Mishna Berura it would be permitted, and according to the Chazon ish it would still be a problem of Borer(As we learned a few days ago)

An acceptable alternative, even according to the Chazon Ish, would be to cut the entire apple into slices and then not eat the slice containing the rotting part, as doing so is not considered separating, rather it's considered dividing the apple into pieces, which is permissible.

2) If the piece being removed is edible for most people and this particular individual wants to remove it because it's not as fresh looking as the rest of the apple, it is permitted to be removed as it isn't considered P'Soles. (Mogen Avrohom ibid.)

 

Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 28 , 2011

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) If one has a basket of apples that contains in it one apple that is rotten to the point that it isn't edible, or is only edible B'Sha'as Hadchak, in extreme circumstances, that apple is considered P'soles and may not be removed from the basket.

 

2) If the apple in question is half rotten and half edible, if the edible part will be eaten immediately it may be removed, even if the "real" purpose and intent of doing this is to have the rotten part removed from the mixture.

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) It is prohibited to separate moldy inedible lettuce leaves from fresh edible leaves.

If, however, it isn't moldy to the point of being inedible, rather some of the leaves are simply a little dried out, they may be removed.

2) It is permitted, right before the time of eating, to remove the  outer, inedible leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage in order to reach the inner edible leaves, as this outer layer is deemed like the peel of a fruit which may be peeled, as we will discuss B'Ezras Hashem in a few days. (See Biur Halacha Siman 319:1 Dibur Hamaschil Min Ha'Alin)

If, however, the inner leaves can easily be reached without removing the outer leaves, it is best to remove the inner leaves only.

 

 

 

Sunday, January  30, 2011

1) As we learned earlier, one of the necessary criteria in order to have a permissible Borer is for it not to be done with a Kli, a utensil.

Thus, if a utensil is used, even if it is done immediately before the meal and even if the good is separated from the bad, it is still prohibited. The reason for this is that when a utensil is used it is deemed Derech Borer, " the way of sorting"  rather than Derech Achila" the normal way of eating" (See Mishna Berura in his introduction to Siman 319)

2) There are three varieties of utensils:

a) A utensil which is designated for sorting; utilizing such a utensil is a biblical prohibition.

b) A utensil which isn't designated for sorting; utilizing such a utensil is a rabbinical prohibition.

c) A utensil which is used to aid with eating; utilizing such a utensil is not prohibited, as in regards to Hilchos Borer it is seen as an extension of one's hand for eating purposes and not seen as a utensil for sorting purposes.

Over the next few days we shall B'Ezras Hashem discuss various common utensils and situations and determine under which of the aforementioned categories each utensil is classified.

 

 

Monday, January 31, 2011

1) A strainer is a utensil whose express purpose is to separate unwanted items from wanted items in a mixture, and is thus biblically forbidden to use on Shabbos even if taking the good from the bad and even if being done immediately before the meal.

Thus, for example, orange juice that contains pulp may not be poured through a strainer in order to separate the pulp from the juice.

Another common example is a pot of soup that contains vegetables, where one wants to separate the liquid from the vegetables; a strainer may not be utilized to do this.

2) A slotted spoon, which is designed to remove solid part of a food from a pot/bowl and have the majority of the liquid part fall back into the pot/bowl (e.g. removing noodles from soup, while the soup falls back into the pot, or removing Cole slaw from a bowl, where the liquid drips back into the bowl) may not be used on Shabbos, according to all Poskim, if being used for its intended purpose.

According to some Poskim, if the slotted spoon is being used as a convenience (i.e. no other spoon is available) just to remove food from a pot without the intention of having the liquid fall back into the pot and without stopping and holding the spoon in place over the pot so that the liquid can drip back into the pot, then it is not considered "Derech Borer, a manner of separating" and is permitted, even if some of the liquid happens to fall back into the pot. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3:54)

Other Poskim, however, maintain that  a slotted spoon may never be used on Shabbos with a mixture that contains in it liquid, even if there is no  intent to separate the liquid from the solid. (See Sefer Ayil Meshulash page 100)

For Halacha L'ma'aseh, as always,  each individual must consult their own Rav.

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1) A common method of removing some liquid (e.g. soup) from a pot without removing the solid items (e.g. the vegetables in the soup) is to place the cover of the pot almost totally on the pot and to tilt the pot and allow the liquid to escape via the small opening formed by the cover being a little bit off the pot.

Is doing this on Shabbos considered Borer with a utensil?

Some Poskim prohibit this method even if being done immediately before the meal as they rule that indeed it is Borer with a utensil. (Ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal and YBL"C Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Sefer Orchos Shabbos Perek 3 footnotes 82 and 83)

Other Poskim, however, allow this if being done immediately before the meal, as they don't consider this a utensil, rather they look at the cover as an extension of one's hand as the cover is only being utilized the protect the hands from the messy and/or hot liquid. (Ruling of Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita, ibid.)

2) The same reasoning would apply when using a ladle to remove solids from within a pot containing a mixture of solids and liquid where the ladle is tilted in such a way to only remove the solids while the liquid is left to flow back into the pot, where some Poskim would consider this Borer with a utensil and others would consider the ladle an extension of the hand.

For Halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, each individual must consult their own Rav.

 

 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1) Very often, salt in a salt shaker becomes clumpy due to the moisture present in the air and thus becomes hard to use as it doesn't flow out freely.

A common remedy for this is to place a few grains of raw rice in the salt shaker; the rice absorbs the moisture and thus allows the salt to remain dry and flow freely.

When using the aforementioned salt shaker, the cover with the small holes allows the salt to come out while not allowing the rice grains, which are larger, to come out.

The question is if this is a problem of Borer on Shabbos?

2) According to some Poskim this is considered Borer with a utensil and they thus prohibit using such a salt shaker on Shabbos. (Ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal and Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 162 footnote 95)

Other Poskim, however, permit its use, providing that it is being done immediately before eating the food. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita and others. See Orchos Shabbos ibid. footnote 94 for the reasoning behind this ruling)

For Halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, each individual must consult their own Rav.

 

 

 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1) It is permitted to use a fork or a spoon to remove the "wanted item" from the "unwanted item" from within a mixture, for immediate consumption.

The reason for this is that the fork or spoon is not deemed as a "utensil" being used to separate the two items, rather it is considered an "extension of one's hand" and is only being used to assist the hand with grasping the item or preventing the hand from getting wet or soiled. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319: 66. See also Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 124 that this holds true only if the reason  the fork or spoon is being used is to prevent soiling the hands or similar, but if indeed the fork, spoon or knife is being used to ease the separation of two items, it will indeed be prohibited. See Sefer Orchos Shabbos page 163 footnote 98 at length.)

2) It is permitted to use a nutcracker on Shabbos.

This holds true even according to those Poskim that prohibit the use of a vegetable peeler on Shabbos (as we discussed earlier in theHalachos for Wednesday January 12 2011) as the nutcracker doesn't separate the shell from the nut; rather it simply breaks the shell, and once the shell is broken it is now possible to remove the nut by hand from the mixture.

 

Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 4, 2011

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

1) In many Jewish households there is a custom on Shabbos morning to eat egg salad with onions, a dish referred to in Yiddish as "Eier Mit Tzvibel". (See Likutei MaHarich beginning of Seudas Shacharis D'Shabbos. See also Sefer Otzar HaShabbos page 181 for more about this minhag)

It is important when preparing this dish that no prohibitions of Borer are transgressed Chas V'Shalom.

Thus, the eggs as well as the onions may only be peeled immediately before the meal.

2) The skin of a cooked piece of chicken, according to some Poskim,  is considered as a separate part from the chicken itself and thus may only be removed immediately prior to eating it.

Other Poskim, however, rule that since the skin is edible and indeed many people eat it, it is considered one and the same as the chicken itself and thus may be removed even not immediately prior to eating it. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Borer: 8)

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

1) After peeling an orange, there is often a white covering left on top of the fruit (the name for this white stuff is pith, and it contains a lot of fiber and is healthy to eat).

May this pith be removed?

If the pith is totally covering the entire surface of the orange, then it is no different than the peel which prevents one from reaching the fruit, and thus may be removed.

If the pith is all but gone, and only a small amount remains which most people eat and  do not remove, it is deemed part of the fruit and not subject to Borer.

If a decent amount of the pith remains it is deemed like the seeds of the fruit which according to the Mishna Berura (Siman 321: 84) may be removed during the actual eating of the fruit.

According to the Chazon Ish (Orach Chaim Siman 54: 5), however, seeds, and thus this pith as well, are forbidden to be removed.

2) The same rules detailed above regarding the pith on an orange apply to the strings that remain on a banana after peeling it (These strings are called Phloem Bundles, and yes, they are also laden with nutrients and are healthy to eat).


(We shall B'Ezras Hashem discuss pits in fruit and the reasoning behind the above  Machlokes between the Chazon Ish and Mishna Berura, more in detail  next week)

 

1) A fruit, such as a peach, prune or apricot, that has in it a large pit is a subject of debate amongst the Poskim as to the permissibility of removing the pit.

 

The Mishna Berura (Siman 321 S”K 84) rules that while holding and eating the fruit, the pit may be removed, and possibly even for consumption during that meal it would even be permitted ,as removing this pit before consuming the fruit is the normal  "way of eating "and  thus not considered the  "way of separating".

 

The Chazon Ish (Siman 54:5), however, maintains that it is forbidden to remove this pit, as doing so is removing the "P'soles" from the "Ochel".

 

Rather, the fruit should be eaten, and when the pit is reached it should be grasped with a hand and then the fruit should be bitten and pulled away from the pit, and thus it will be that the "Ochel" is being removed from the "P'soles" which is permitted immediately prior to eating.

 

 

2) The above Halacha applies as well when one is cutting up an apple and wants to remove the seeds; according to the Mishna Berura it would be permissible if being done while holding and eating the fruit and according to the Chazon Ish one would have to eat around the seeds or spit them out after they entered the mouth.

 

 

3) When cutting open a cantaloupe, honey dew or similar melon, it is permitted to cut it in half, turn over each half of the melon and spill out the seeds and their liquid.

 

Furthermore, it is permitted to use a spoon to scrape out the remaining seeds and liquid that do not fall out on their own when being turned over, as these seeds are considered like the peel of a fruit which until removed prevent the fruit from being eaten. (See Orchos Shabbos page 170 footnote 115)

 

4) If the melon is then cut into quarters or eights, as is commonly done to serve as an appetizer at a meal, the outer peel can be separated from the fruit by holding onto the melon with one hand and cutting between the fruit and the outer peel with the other hand, and thus it will considered removing the Ochel from the P'soles.

 

Obviously, this is only permitted immediately before the meal, as otherwise even Ochel from P'soles is prohibited, as we learned.

 

5) Many fruits and vegetables (e.g. cherries, apples, tomatoes etc.) often have their stems attached to them when purchased, and are only removed by the consumer before being consumed.

 

The status of these stems in regards to Borer is similar to the pits, and would depend on the Machlokes between the Mishna Berura and the Chazon Ish which we described earlier.

 

Thus, according to the Mishna Berura the stems may be removed when the fruits are being held in the hand during the eating, and may even be permitted when not being held if being done immediately before eating. According to the Chazon Ish, however, it is prohibited to remove the stem, rather the stem should be held in one hand, and the fruit pulled away (or bit away) from the stem for consumption.

 

6) Individual grapes may only be removed from on the cluster immediately before eating them but may not be removed and prepared before that time.

 

If a cluster of grapes contains in it some grapes that are spoiled or less fresh than the rest, they may not be removed from the cluster. Only the good grapes may be removed for consumption, and even those, only immediately prior to eating.

 

 

 

1) When eating fish which contains bones, it is important to be careful how the bones are removed as not to do it in such a way that the prohibition of Borer will be transgressed.

 

The bones should not be removed from the fish as doing so is removing P'soles from Ochel .

 

Rather, one hand should be placed on the bone and with the other hand, or with a fork, the fish should be pulled away from the bone, thus removing the Ochel from the P'soles which, if done immediately prior to eating, is permitted.

 

There are those who are lenient and remove the bones from the fish immediately before the meal. Although L'Chatchilah this shouldn't be done, the Mishna Berura says not to protest against those who do it. (See Biur Halacha Siman 319: 4 Dibur Hamaschil M'Toch for a lengthy discussion about this. See also Kaf HaChaim Siman 319:44 quoting the Ben Ish Chai that removing the bones from fish is "Derech Achilah" and permitted.)

 

According to the Mishna Berura, another acceptable option would be to remove some of the fish along with the bone.

 

According to the Chazon Ish (Siman 54) it is 100% prohibited to remove the bones from the fish even B'dieved and taking some of the fish along with the bone is not either an option according to the Chazon Ish.

 

2) The Minhag, which many sectors in Klal Yisroel have, to eat Gefilte fish on Shabbos, and not regular fish with bones, developed in part due to the desire to avoid the Borer issues prevalent when eating fish which contains many small bones.

 

 

 

1) A wrapper that is on a candy may be removed, even if the candy will not be immediately consumed, as the wrapper is not considered like the peel of a fruit, rather it is deemed as an independent covering, similar to food in a container, and not "in a mixture" with the candy, thus there are no concerns of Borer.

 

Similarly, a wrapper of an ice cream or ices bar may be removed, even if not for immediate use, as they are deemed similar to a container which holds a food, and have no Borer concerns.

 

2) Very often, certain cheeses (e.g. Yellow "American Cheese") are sold with pieces of paper between each slice. According to some Poskim these papers may only be removed immediately prior to eating. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Borer:8)

 

Other Poskim are lenient and deem these pieces of paper like the aforementioned candy wrapper, and maintain that there are no Borer issues at all to contend with when removing them. (See Orchos Shabbos page 171 footnote 121)

 

The same Machlokes would apply to removing the plastic covering commonly found on salami or sausages.For Halacha L'ma'aseh each individual must consult their own Rav.

 

3) It is prohibited, on Shabbos, to soak a cluster of grapes in a bowl of water for the purpose of having any dirt or other foreign matter be separated from the grapes. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 319:8).This is even prohibited if done immediately before eating, as the P'soles is being removed from the Ochel which is prohibited even for immediate use.

 

4) According to some Poskim, it is even prohibited to hold the cluster of grapes and have a stream of water from the faucet run over it, as here too the P'soles is being washed away from the Ochel. According to these Poskim there is no permissible way to wash these on Shabbos; they should be rinsed before Shabbos. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3:21)

 

The above applies to all fruits and vegetables that have dirt or insects mixed into them; it is prohibited to soak them or, according to some Poskim, run water over them for the purpose of removing the unwanted dirt, insects or any foreign matter. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:29)

 

Other Poskim, however, maintain that only soaking them is Borer and prohibited, but holding them and rinsing them is not "Derech Borer, a manner of Borer" and is rather "Derech Rechitzah, a manner of washing them" and thus permitted, [especially if the fruit in question would be eaten by most people even if they couldn't be washed.] (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 125 and Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa ibid. and  footnote 48)

 

 

5) A fruit that does not have foreign matter "mixed into it", but rather only has some visible dirt on its surface or a fruit that fell to the ground and got a little dirty, according to many Poskim, may be rinsed off if done immediately prior to eating it. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa ibid. The Chazon Ish prohibits washing the fruit in such a case as well.)

 

The same applies to residue of the chemicals which nowadays are commonly sprayed on fruits; if it's visible it may be washed off immediately prior to eating.

 

6) A fruit that is not visibly dirty at all and most people would eat it as is, may be rinsed off even if it won't be eaten immediately, as since there is no visible P'soles, it isn't subject to the prohibition of Borer at all. (See Shu"t Be'er Moshe Vol. 1 Siman 38:3)

 

 

7) Although we learnt that washing dirt and other foreign matter off of fruits is subject to the prohibition of Borer and may only be done under certain conditions, this prohibition does not extend to soiled dishes. The rinsing and washing of dirty dishes is 100% permitted, as is the removal of a piece of lint or a small insect from one's clothing (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 316:9).

 

Likewise, there are no concerns of Borer when one is sweeping dirt off the floor.

 

8) One reason for this is that any item that is regularly soiled and often cleaned is not subject to the prohibition of Borer as when it is cleaned it is not deemed "Derech Borer, the manner of separating" rather it is deemed "Derech Nikui, the manner of cleaning". (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3 footnote 7 for a lengthy discussion about this based on the rulings of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

 

Another reason given for the differentiation between fruits and dishes is that a soiled fruit is deemed a flawed fruit and the removal of the dirt via washing rectifies it, thus the removal of the dirt is an action that is considered Borer. Dishes, on the other hand, even when they are soiled are not considered flawed dishes. (Reasoning of Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita, quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 176 footnote 132)

 

Yet another reason cited by the Poskim is that the dish, due to its distinct and hard surface, can never be considered "in a mixture" with the dirt and thus not subject to the prohibitions of Borer. (Sevara of Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlita, ibid.)

 

 

 

1) If one has a mixture of different items and wants to sort them, according to some Poskim the entire mixture can be strewn onto the floor or the table to cause all the parts of the mixture to separate from each other, and then after they are all no longer "in a mixture" the ones that are wanted may be picked up and sorted, as there is no prohibition against sorting individual items. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74; Borer: 11 where Rav Moshe Zatzal writes that this is a good idea to do. See also Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3 footnote 6 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal ruling this way)

 

Other Poskim prohibit doing this, and maintain that the scattering of the pile to cause it to no longer be "in a mixture" is in itself an act of Borer. (See Sefer Ayil Meshulash Perek 9 footnote 82 quoting Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita)

 

2) Thus, for example, if after finishing a Shabbos meal one has a pile of freshly washed forks, spoons and knives in a mixture and wants to now put them away in their proper places in the cutlery drawer, or wants to set the table for the next Shabbos meal, this pile may not be sorted as it isn't for immediate use.

 

If, however, the entire pile is scattered on the table and is no longer in a mixture, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zichronam L'Vracha, each individual piece of cutlery can be picked up and placed in its proper place in the drawer or next to the table setting.

 

According to Maran Rav Elyashiv Shlita, this cannot be done; only immediately before the meal is going to be eaten may the desired cutlery be picked up and the table set.

 

For Halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, each individual should consult their Rav.

 

 

1) It is prohibited to remove items from within a mixture for the purpose of sorting them, even if they are removed randomly with no preference for what item may come out first, as being that the entire purpose and intent of their removal is to then place each item in its designated place we deem the entire process as a prohibited Borer.

 

Thus, for example, one who wants to put away silverware that is in a mixture, may not randomly pull out a knife and put it away, pull out a spoon and put it away and so on and so forth until they all end up sorted and away in their designated places.

 

Likewise, if setting the table for a subsequent Shabbos meal, individual Silverware may not be randomly removed from within the mixture and placed in their correct place in the place setting. This may only be done if being done for the meal currently being eaten. (Unless they are first scattered as we learned yesterday)

 

2) However, if when each item is randomly removed from within the mixture, it is being done for a purpose other than sorting, it may then be placed in its correct place.

 

For example, if a pile of silverware has just been washed, and one piece is randomly picked in order to be dried, being that the drying is an end onto itself, it may subsequently be placed in its designated place. The same can be done for the next randomly chosen piece of silverware and so on and so forth until they are all dried, and put away. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3:78 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal. See also Ayil Meshulash Perek 11:5 quoting Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita who also rules this way. However, he also quotes Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita who does not agree with this leniency.)

 

 

 

1) One who has a pile of freshly laundered clothing that is "in a mixture" in a laundry basket or otherwise in an unsorted pile, and wants to put each article of clothing away in its designated place, according to some Poskim a random article of clothing may be taken out of the pile and folded (provided it is folded in a permissible way, a Halacha we shall B'Ezras Hashem discuss in the future) and put away in its place followed by the next randomly chosen piece, until all the clothes are folded and put away. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 3:82. The reasoning is the same as with drying silverware, as each piece of clothing is being picked up to be folded, a means in itself, and not to be sorted.)

 

2) Other Poskim, however, maintain that even if done in the aforementioned manner it is still considered Borer and is prohibited. (Ruling of Rav Nissim Karelitz Shlita quoted in Orchos Shabbos page 179 footnote 140. See the footnote at length for the reasoning behind this and why this differs from picking up a piece of silverware to dry.)

 

All agree that it is prohibited to sort the clothing into piles and only then begin folding them and putting them away.

 

1) One who is eating fruit and picks up a fruit with the intent to eat it and after picking it up notices that it is moldy or otherwise not fit for consumption, may put the fruit down anywhere and it isn't considered having separated the P'soles from the Ochel.

 

The reason for this is since he thought  that all the fruit in front of him was edible and he picked up this fruit to eat and not to separate it, picking up this particular fruit is a "Derech Achilah, a normal manner of eating" and not an act of Borer.

 

 

 

2) If one has a dish that contains in it apples and oranges, arranged in a distinct way where the oranges are on bottom and the apples are on top (i.e. not mixed together), the apples may be removed in order to reach the oranges on the bottom. (See Mishna Berura Siman 319:15 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil L'echol Miyad)

 

Similarly, if a bunch of coats are hanging on the wall one on top of the other and one is looking to find their coat, it is permissible to remove the outer coats in order to find and retrieve their coat. (ibid.)

 

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) Just as with the Melacha of Bishul, if transgressed it is forbidden to eat the cooked food until after Shabbos, so too with the Melacha of Borer.

 

If the Melacha of Borer was transgresses B'Shogeg, accidentally, the food should not be eaten by anyone for the duration of that Shabbos. (See Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, beginning of Siman 319)

 

In cases of great necessity, there is room for leniency to allow the food to be used. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:7 and Biur Halacha beginning of Siman 319 where they allow for the leniency based on the ruling of the Gaon of Vilna)

 

2) If one transgressed the Melacha of Borer B'meizid, intentionally, the food may not be eaten by anyone for the duration of Shabbos, and for the person who did the separating, possibly forever. (See Pri Megadim ibid.)

 

 

 

Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) One who transgresses the Melacha of Borer, and thus causes the food to become prohibited for this Shabbos, cannot rectify their actions by placing the separated item back into the mixture, as once it was separated the item remains forbidden for the duration of Shabbos, or perhaps forever if done intentionally. (Pri Megadim ibid.)

 

There is no difference in the aforementioned Halacha between Shogeg and Meizid. (See Chazon Ish Siman 37:27 Dibur Hamaschil Haya. See also Shu"t Minchas Shlomo Siman 5:3)

 

2)If the item that was separated is something that is only prohibited as a Chumra, a stringency, but isn't prohibited M'Ikar Hadin (such as mixtures whose components are distinctly noticeable, or fruit that was peeled not immediately before the meal, and other such cases where some Poskim are lenient and  others  are stringent, many of which we have discussed in the past few weeks) there is further room for leniency in allowing the items to be used B'dieved, in cases of necessity. (See Pri Megadim, Mishbetzos Zahav, Siman 319:2 towards the end and Biur Halacha end of Siman 321 Dibur Hamaschil Liklof where he quotes the opinion of the Rambam that peeling fruits is allowed even not immediately before eating)

 

 

With endless thanks and praise to Hashem, this brings us to the end of our journey into the fascinating Halachos of Borer.