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ARCHIVES: HILCHOS SHABBOS; 39 MELACHOS; TIKUN OCHLIN

(HALACHOS PERTAINING TO FOOD PREPARATION)

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

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 2011

1) In preparation of food and drink, often certain precautions need to be taken to ensure that no Shabbos prohibitions are transgressed. We will now examine a few common food preparation activities.

 

Although, coloring and painting items is a prohibition on Shabbos, according to many Rishonim there is absolutely no such prohibition when it comes to food items.(This is halachically referred to as “Ain Tzviah B’Ochlin”. see Bais Yosef Siman 320 quoting the Shibolei Haleket and Sefer Yereim)

 

The reason for this not being prohibited, according to these Rishonim, is that food items are not regularly colored and thus even when they happen to become colored they are not subject to the prohibition.

 

2) Thus, according to these Rishonim there is never a problem when adding a Turmeric or other colorful spice or dye to a food item (providing that there is no issue of Bishul, cooking) that will then assume the color of the spice.

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 24 2011

1) When it comes to coloring food there is a difference if the purpose of adding the ingredients is for it to result in a colored food or not.

 

When adding tea essence or instant coffee to hot water, even though the water will become colored, it is permitted as the main purpose of adding the tea or coffee is for taste and not to color the water. (See Mishna Berura Siman 320:56)

 

2) However, if one wants to add red wine into a glass of white wine for the express purpose of turning the wine red, according to some Poskim this would be prohibited.(See Mishna Berura ibid. and Halichos Shlomo; Pesach; Perek 9:5 and footnote Dvar Halacha 11)

 

The better option when doing this is to pour in the red wine first and then add the white wine to the red. (See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 318:65 where he writes that when done this way, according to all opinions, it isn’t considered coloring.)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 2011

1) A skilled worker or a retailer that colors a food in order to make it look more appealing to buyers is always prohibited from doing so on Shabbos.

 

Thus a wine seller may never add red wine to white wine as this is being done specifically for the purpose of coloring. (See Pri Megadim; Eishel Avraham Siman 320:25)

 

2) According to some Poskim, food coloring may never be added to a food on Shabbos, even by an ordinary person in their own home, as usually food coloring is used by skilled workers and manufacturers in the production of food for the express purpose of coloring the food and thus it is considered a “food coloring agent” even if not being used for that express purpose. (See Nishmas Adam Klal 24:3)

HALACHOS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26 2011

1) Often when eating certain foods the lips assume the color of the food.

 

This is common when eating a red or blue or other dark colored ice pop or foods containing beets or similar ingredients.

 

There is no prohibition of “coloring” the lips if this occurs as the lips turning colors is not the intended purpose of eating the food.

 

2) However, if a woman eats such a food with specific intent that her lips become colored it would indeed be prohibited. (Ruling of Maran HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita in Sefer Ashrei HaIsh; Shabbos, page 340)

HALACHOS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 2011

1) It is common to add powders or concentrates to water to produce a flavored drink(e.g. punch, often referred to in Eretz Yisroel as ‘Petel’)

 

There exists a variety of colors and flavors of these concentrates, and making them a certain color often aides in identifying the flavor of the drink (e.g. red is cherry, green is sour apple etc.)

It is permitted to add these concentrates to water on Shabbos even though the color is desired to identify the flavor, as the main purpose of the drink is for its flavor and not for its color.

 

2) However, if a child specifically requests a certain color punch, it is best to be stringent and not mix it for the child on Shabbos, as he is more interested in the color than the flavor. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Shulchan Shlomo; Shabbos Vol. 2: Siman 320:20 and footnote 31)

HALACHOS FOR EREV SHABBOS KODESH, OCTOBER 28 2011

(Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh)

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh

 

1) Another area of food preparation is the presentation and serving of salads and dips such as Chumus, Babaganush, tuna salad, or similar items.

 

It is common to spoon these items on a plate or in a bowl and then smooth out the top to make it flat, as doing so makes it more appetizing.

 

The question is if doing this on Shabbos is a prohibition of the Melacha of Memachek, smoothing, which is prohibited on Shabbos.

 

2) M’Ikar Hadin it is permissible to smooth out food items on Shabbos, as the Melacha of Memachek does not apply to food as it is able to be eaten without being smoothed out. (Rama Siman 321:19)

 

However, it is indeed praiseworthy to be stringent and refrain from smoothing out foods on Shabbos. (ibid. See also Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 80:25 where he rules that when preparing eggs and onions on Shabbos it should not be smoothed out. It isn’t clear if he ruled this way as well for egg salad that was made from before Shabbos and is simply being transferred to a plate on Shabbos or specifically for egg salad initially being prepared on Shabbos. For Halacha L’Ma’aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted.)

HALACHOS FOR SHABBOS KODESH

1) Smearing butter, mayonnaise, jam, or any other salad or spread on a piece of Challah is permitted on Shabbos, even if done with a utensil and with the intention that the food is well spread over every piece of the Challah. (See Mishna Berura Siman 321:82)

 

The reason this is permitted is because the food is being spread in order to cover the bread and enjoy every piece of the bread with the spread, and not being done for the purposes of smoothing out the spread.

 

2) Thus, if indeed the reason it is being so well spread over the bread is to smooth out the spread (e.g. a fruit jam that has pieces chunky of fruit in it, and it is being thinly spread specifically in order to smooth out those pieces) it is indeed praiseworthy to refrain from doing it. (See Biur Halacha Siman 321 Dibur Hamaschil Tavo Alav Bracha)

HALACHOS FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30,  2011

1) It is prohibited to add salt on Shabbos to [a quantity of] vegetables which are commonly pickled or to any vegetables where salt would further process and enhance them. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 321:3)

 

Thus, it is prohibited to salt [a quantity of] radishes, onions, garlic, cucumbers and similar vegetables. (See Mishna Berura Siman 321:13)

 

This prohibition is in place even if the vegetables will be eaten immediately, before the salt is able to start working to process them, as even though they aren’t actually being pickled, it still looks like they are. (Mishna Berura Siman 321:14)

 

If oil or vinegar has been added to the vegetables it is then permitted to add salt, as once the oil or vinegar is added it minimizes the effect of the salt and is not likened to pickling. (Mishna Berura ibid.)

 

2) It is permitted to add salt to one piece of any of the aforementioned vegetables if the intention is to eat this piece right away, as salting one piece and eating it right away does not resemble pickling. (Mishna Berura ibid.)

However, if it will not be eaten right away, even one piece of the vegetable may not be salted. (ibid.)

HALACHOS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011

1) It is permitted to add salt to vegetables which are not commonly pickled and vegetables where salt does not further process them; rather it simply enhances their taste.

 

Thus it is permitted to add salt to slices of tomatoes, peppers and similar vegetables.(See Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 11 footnote 6 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal that although tomatoes are indeed pickled, they are only pickled whole and not in slices and thus adding salt to slices does not look like pickling. Furthermore, tomatoes that are pickled are usually pickled in vinegar and not in salt and thus when adding salt to them we are not concerned that it will look like pickling.)

 

2) A salad that contains a medley of vegetables may be salted as long as the majority of vegetables in the mixture are the varieties that aren’t commonly pickled. (See Orchos Shabbos Vol. 1 page 261 footnote 20)

Moreover, if the salad contains oil, vinegar or salad dressing it is surely permissible to add salt [here, even if a majority of the vegetables are of the variety that are commonly pickled] as once the dressing has been added it weakens the salt’s ability to further pickle any of the vegetables, as we discussed yesterday. (Mishna Berura Siman 321:14)

HALACHOS FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011

1) It is permitted to add salt to eggs, meat and other foods on Shabbos for use at the meal now being eaten.

 

It is best not to add salt to foods in preparation for a meal that will not be eaten until later on that Shabbos, and surely not for foods that will not be eaten until after Shabbos. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 321:3 and Mishna Berura S”K 21)

 

2) Large quantities of salt water should not be prepared on Shabbos as doing so looks like they will be used for pickling. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 321:2)

 

However, it is permitted to prepare small quantities of salt water which will be used during the meal now being eaten. (ibid.)

 

If the mixture will consist of two thirds salt to one third water, even small quantities may not be prepared on Shabbos. (ibid. See also Mishna Berura S”K 12)

 

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