shabbos candles

Weekly Halachos Series on
Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Semicha Program

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Vayishlachsubscribe



Last week we learned that in order to do chazora 1 one has to comply with certain conditions. What if I did not comply with all of them, may I still do chazora?  

It depends which conditions were not adhered to.  

For example: I had in mind to return the food to the blech 2 but I placed the pot onto the counter.  

The Mishna B’rura 3 says that in your case when the food is needed one may return it (in compliance with the other conditions). Also if you are still holding it in your hands, even if you did not have in mind to return it to the fire, if the food is needed, it may be returned.  

What if I forgot to cover the flames with a blech?  

Then you cannot do chazora. One is only allowed to return food to a covered fire or to a Shabbos hot plate. However you can take the food to a neighbor’s blech or hot plate, after complying with all the other conditions.  


If the pot’s lid was removed, may I cover the pot?  

It depends; if the food is not yet fully cooked you may not cover the pot, as a closed pot cooks more rapidly than an uncovered pot, thereby being liable for the melacha of Bishul – cooking. If the food is fully cooked – some poskim hold that it is muter to cover the pot. Others hold that one must first remove the pot from the fire, cover it, and then return it to the fire. 4  

Which foods may one heat up on Shabbos itself, and how?  

Foods with no liquid or gravy, i.e. kugel, schnitzel, rice, and are fully cooked may be placed on top of a pot that is on the fire. 5  

What if gravy is also in the dish?

If the gravy is cold you are not allowed to heat it above the temperature of yad soledes bo, 6 which is (for hilchos Shabbos) approx. 40– 45C. If by placing the dish with gravy on the urn etc. it will not be able to reach yad soledes bo even if you leave it there for a long period of time, you may put it there. But if eventually it would reach yad soledes bo if left there long enough, you may not place it there even if you intend removing it before it reaches yad soledes bo.

A Word on the Parsha

When Ya’akov Avinu met his dear brother Eisav, he said to him “Im Lavan garti …”. Rashi says that since Garty is the numerical value of taryag = 613, he meant to relate to him that he had observed all 613 mitzvos. The question is that what interest does Eisav have whether Ya’akov observed them or not, Eisav certainly does not abide by them.

Harav Sternbuch shlita answers that, since in the blessings received by the brothers, it says that if Ya’akov would not adhere to the mitzvos, only then would Eisav (chas v’shalom) have any power over Ya’akov, Ya’akov forewarned Eisav saying that Eisav has no power over him whatsoever as he had adhered to all 613 mitzvos.

Food For Thought

Is is muter to move pots on the blech closer to the flames?

If after closing a pot and I realized that the food was not yet fully cooked, may the food be eaten?

By mistake I took the cholent pot off the blech thinking that it was the soup pot, may I put the cholent pot back?

Are there any halachos as to how one is allowed to wrap towels around pots on the blech?

Answers coming next week.

For Your Information

The following cities have Shabbos Shiurim:

Minneapolis - R' Moshe Tuvia Lieff
Johannesburg - R' Furman
Lakewood - R' Menchem Mendel Lerner
Leeds, England - R' Sedley
Miami, Fla - R' Dovid Botton
Boston - Rabbi Aaron Hamouie

Many woman have taken the initiative to start weekly classes to learnthe Halachos of Shabbos. There are many fine Seforim available and it is an area that most of us need to learn and review.

1 Returning food to the fire
2 A metal sheet placed over the flames.
3 Simon 253:56
4 T’shuvos V’Hanhagos (vol.1 207-3). Sh’miras Shabbos Kehilchasa (1-35). Iggros Moshe (Orach Chayim vol.4 74-10).
5 Simon 253 se’if 5
6 This is the degree Chazzal (our sages) say that foods and liquids cook.

For a printed version, click here.

In memory of Yehudah ben Hanania Benklifa, Dallas, Texas

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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.