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 Vayigashsubscribe

Is it permitted to put a chalah, wrapped in foil, into the oven before Shabbos (and the oven is either on or off)?

The problem of totally wrapping a chalah is the issue of hatmana – meaning enwrapping. In simon 257:1 we find that it is permitted to do hatmana before Shabbos in towels etc. if there is no heat source present. Therefore, the answer to this common question must be divided as follows:

1. If the chalah is not entirely [1] enwrapped in the aluminum foil it is permitted even if the oven is turned on.

2. If the chalah is entirely enwrapped in foil, then it depends:

a. If one’s intention is to enhance the heat, it is forbidden even if the oven is turned off. [2]

b. If one’s intention is only to prevent the chalah from drying out, it might be permitted. However, the correct way is to leave the foil a little open and not enwrap the chalah entirely.

What is the halacha regarding switching on an electric Shabbos urn close to Shabbos?

One is forbidden to put a pot of raw food or uncooked water on an open flame close to Shabbos, unless there is a sizable piece of meat in the pot, which will not be ready for the night meal. Since an electric urn does not incorporate a blech it is considered an open flame. Therefore:

Sephardim must fully boil the water before Shabbos. [3]

There are, however, poskim [4] who hold that water hot to the degree of yad soledes bo is considered fully cooked, and when there is not enough time before Shabbos to bring it to a boil, it is sufficient.

Ashkenazim should also l’chatchila fully boil the water before Shabbos.

If boiling water was poured onto a tea bag, may one drink the tea?

The Mishna Berura [5] writes that pouring hot water from the urn onto tealeaves involves an issur Torah (a Torah prohibition), and therefore, the tea is ossur to drink.

How does one prepare tea essence before Shabbos?

The preferred method is to make tea essence before Shabbos by placing tealeaves/bags in a small kettle and cook them on the fire, or at least to pour boiling water onto the tealeaves/bags, stirring the leaves while pouring the water.

On Shabbos one pours hot water into a clean, dry cup and adds the tea essence to the water. [6]

If one forgets to prepare tea essence before shabbos, how is one supposed to drink tea on Shabbos?

1.       Borrow from a neighbor.

2.       According to the poskim who hold that ein bishul bik’li sh’lishi, [7] one may put the teabags into a k’li sh’lishi. I.e. Pour water from the urn into a cup, pour it into another cup and then put the teabag into the water.

3.       However, many poskim are of the opinion that items that cook easily may not be placed even into a k’li sh’lishi, or any other k’li that is yad soledes bo. Accordingly he will have to forgo a hot cup of tea that Shabbos.

Summary: 1&3 are preferred, 2 only if your Rav paskens so.


A Vort on the Parsha

Yosef calmed his brothers saying that they should not feel guilty about sending him to Egypt, because it was part of the Divine plan (45,8).

HaRav Sternbuch shlita points out that we see that it is not enough to just forgive a person who did you wrong, one must even give him a good feeling!


Food For Thought

Is it permitted to pour hot water into a thermos on Shabbos?

May I reheat food by placing it on the radiators spread around the house?

The fire under my blech went out, and I would like to enwrap my pots within my bed linen, may I?

Is it permitted to warm my baby’s bottle by placing it inside a pot of hot water?

Answers coming next week.


Iggeres HaGra - (part 3)

And of what benefit is gratification to man - whose end is dust, maggots and worms, as he is bound to die - when all his enjoyments turn to bitterness in the grave? And what is this world, whose days are full of anguish and pain which prevent one from sleeping? Neither is death a mikveh. Man will be judged for everything he says; even the slightest expression is not overlooked.  Therefore I exhort you to train yourself to sit as much as possible, because the sin of the tongue is the most severe, as our Sages said (Tosefta Pe'ah 1): "These are the things...and lashon hara is equivalent to them all."

[1] In issue 3 we mentioned that it must be noticeable that it is not entirely enwrapped.

[2] In M”B 257:43 we see that even when the oven is turned off, according to some opinions it is considered a heat source. The M”B concludes in such a case that one need not reprove the mekillim.

[3] Based on simon 253:1.

[4] Iggros Moshe Orach Chayim vol.4 74-1

[5] Simon 318:39

[6] In the Sha’ar Ha’tsiun he adds a chumra because of coloring, that it would be preferable to put the essence into a 3rd cup, and the hot water to pour from 2nd cup onto the essence. I heard however, from HaRav Ezriel Auerbach shlita, that it is unnecessary to keep that chumra.

[7] The third k’li cannot cook. See Iggros Moshe Orach Chayim 4, 74-15

For a printed version, click here.

In memory of Eliyahu Feivel a'h ben Yekusiel Moshe Tornopsky Sheyichya

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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.