shabbos candles

The Shabbos 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 Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

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



Questions for the Week of Parshas Ki Savo

If the heat source on my stove is extinguished, for some reason, may I place the food on my neighbor’s blech or hotplate?

It is not uncommon for flames under the blech to blow out or for the hotplate to cease functioning. The only viable solution is to place the food on the blech or hotplate of a neighbor, provided of course that there is an eiruv.

Recalling the five conditions mentioned in previous shiurim, the first three are imperative, i.e. food fully cooked, hot (Sephardim) warm (Ashkenazim), using a blech or hotplate.

What about the other conditions?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that in moving food, both conditions are complied with. What can be better than continually being on a heat source! Food on a heart source is far better than holding it in the air and intending to return it, because it is on the heat source. When the fire is extinguished, for whatever reason, it is obvious that one intends that it continue to be on a heat source and consequently one may transfer the food to another blech or hotplate. [1] Rav Moshe Feinstein also permits this. [2]

If someone accidentally removed the wrong container from the hotplate, may it be returned?

It so happened that a guest tried to be helpful and removed a container of food from the blech without realizing that the cholent pot was removed - the next day’s food - instead of the soup. Is it permitted to return the cholent to the blech?

On the one hand the food was removed without the intention of returning it and on the other, the host intended on it being continuously on the fire, which is akin to ‘intending to return’. The identical mistake was liable to happen to the host if the wrong container of food was removed.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach writes that one may return the container of food to the blech or hotplate on condition that it is fully cooked and has not completely cooled down. [3]

How may I warm pieces of schnitzel on Shabbos?

There are two main methods. The first and universally accepted is by placing the pieces of schnitzel on top of a pot that is already on a heat source. [4] For this method the existing pot need not be on a blech or hotplate, because one is not placing the schnitzel directly onto the heat source.

One may also place the schnitzel on top of the electric urn. Care must be taken that the schnitzel does not touch the actual urn otherwise the water inside the urn becomes fleishig (meaty). One should precut two pieces of aluminum foil before Shabbos and place them on top of the urn (on Shabbos) and place the schnitzel on the foil.

What is the other method?

Place a plate or baking tin upside down on the existing blech or hotplate and place the pieces of schnitzel on it. [5] Several poskim hold that this is not the normal method used for warming or cooking and therefore it may be done. It is not equal to placing the container directly on the blech, which may not be done on Shabbos. Others argue saying that placing food on an empty baking tin or plate on a blech is similar to placing it directly on a blech. One must therefore ask one’s rav.

May one reheat a plate of soup in the same fashion?

Definitely not. The reason one may reheat schnitzel is because it is a dry cooked food. The halacha says that ein bishul achar bishul (there is no cooking after cooking), meaning that cold cooked food is no longer subject to the prohibition of bishul and it may be reheated. And yet it may not be placed directly on a heat source, as stated, because it would appear like cooking – mechzi kim’vashel. [6]

Cold liquids are subject to the issur of bishul (yesh bishul achar bishul) and therefore cold liquids may not be placed anywhere near a heat source if it is liable to reach the temperature of yad soledes bo. [7] Even if one intends on removing it before it reaches that temperature, it may not be placed on a heat source. [8]

What about reheating a piece of chicken with gravy?

Although the piece of chicken may be reheated as per the above methods, the gravy is subject to the issur of reheating. Although some poskim hold that if the majority is solid and the minority is liquid it may be reheated, the accepted custom is [9] that whenever liquid is present, even in a small quantity, the solid may not be reheated if the liquid could attain the temperature of yad soledes bo. [10] Moist solids are considered dry and may be reheated in the above manner.

[1] SS”K 1:23 footnote 69.

[2] Igross Moshe Orach Chaim vol. IV bishul – 38.

[3] See the tikumin umiluim 1:20. In such a case one may definitely rely on the Ran who holds that the last 2 conditions of chazora do not apply when removing food on Shabbos.

[4] Simon 253:5.

[5] See the SS”K 1:38 footnote 112 and the respective footnote in the tikunim umiluim.

[6] Simon 318:4,8.

[7] 40-45C or 104-113F.

[8] Simon 318:14 and M”B 90.

[9] See Igross Moshe Orach Chaim vol. IV bishul – 5.

[10] The Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 318:11 says “a dry cooked food that has no liquid whatsoever…”.


Food For Thought

May I wrap the challa on the urn with a towel?

Would it make a difference if I wrapped it before Shabbos?

May one fill a thermos bottle with water from the urn on Shabbos?

Are there problems reheating baby formula on Shabbos?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

We ask Hashem to look favorably from the Heavens and bless His holy people (26:15). The commentators query the uniqueness of bikurim, which grants us a special merit so that we may ask Hashem to bless us on account of it. We would normally not have the audacity to ask for favors from Hashem when we barely fulfill His basic wishes. Our mitzvos come short; our learning is insufficient etc. and yet after delivering bikurim we ask Hashem to look favorably on us.

Rav Sternbuch cites the Tchortkover Rebbe who says that the mitzvah of feeding and helping the poor differs from other mitzvos. A regular mitzvah is measured according to the involvement one invested in it, whether be it time, money, effort, excitement or kavanah (devotion, concentration). Benevolence and charity include an extra item – the benefit the beneficiary has from your goodwill, which is boundless. Even if you invested little kavanah and effort in the mitzvah, the beneficiary benefits regardless and in that sense the mitzvah is almost complete.

It is on this account that we gather the audacity to ask Hashem to look favorably upon us.


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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.