What is the halacha with regards to
pop-up soda cans?
Shabbos 146a teaches us that one is permitted to break open a barrel on Shabbos to
retrieve its contents provided that he does not create a nice opening. The Ran
explains that making a nice opening converts the barrel into a kli. In other
words, it is not the physical nicety, which is forbidden rather it is the objective
achieved by creating a nice opening.
would be permitted to fashion a nice opening if the vessel would not be deemed
We brought opinions
in the previous sheet who learn that one may open packets, tin cans etc and it is not
called fashioning a kli because the container is discarded upon
depletion. Even though the opening of a tin can is a nice opening,
nevertheless since the can is not reused, it is not called a kli and may be
opened regularly (according to the lenient opinion).
We can apply the
same logic to a pop-up soda can. Even though the opening fashioned when pulling the tab is
a nice one, since the can is not reused upon depletion, it is not called
making a kli and may be opened normally on Shabbos.
Others may disagree
and say that, after all, one is fashioning a nice opening and one may not open it in the
normal manner on Shabbos.
According to the
stringent opinion who prohibits opening such a can on Shabbos, a solution would be to pry
open the tab just enough to allow the insertion of a straw but not enough to enable
practical use of the can.
Whats with the boxes of fresh juice that
have a small hole covered with aluminum foil?
says that a sealed opening above the dregs is not a proper seal and may be reopened on
agrees that the foil or paper may be pierced on Shabbos because the opening is already
there and one is merely removing its covering.
Is one permitted to remove the paper or
aluminum foil covering off a coffee jar?
The Bais Yosef
quotes a Tosefta that says the following:
One may slash the
leather covering the mouth of a barrel providing he does not intend to form a spout.
A coffee jar is
sealed with a piece of paper or aluminum foil, which is torn off before the initial use.
The Tosefta seems to be referring to a case very similar to ours and one is
therefore permitted to tear off the paper sealing the jar.
stipulates that one not form a spout with the leather atop the barrel. This means
that one may rip the leather haphazardly taking care not to form a spout with the torn
pieces. When entirely removing the piece of paper stuck to the coffee jar or when removing
the aluminum foil one is not forming a spout, rather one is merely exposing the opening of
the jar. Rav Sternbuch shlita points out that tearing the paper in a way that it can still
be used is forbidden.
What can you tell me
about opening soda bottles or grape juice bottles?
The problem with opening soda bottles or grape
juice bottles is the removal of the ring attached to the top thereby creating a kli
the top. We must differentiate between the metal caps and the plastic ones because
they are manufactured differently and hence carry different halachik ramifications. Here
too the poskim disagree as to whether it is permitted or not.
we are referring to the metal caps sealing a grape juice or wine bottle, where the
attached ring is also metal. Here there is almost a consensus
to prohibit the opening. The cap as it is on the bottle cannot be used to close other
bottles (if hypothetically you would remove the cap without detaching the ring) and only
upon detaching or widening the ring can it be used. By detaching it you are making it into
The solution would
be to puncture the cap with a knife etc and then open it thereby revoking its use as a kli,
being that such a cap is not used for other bottles and is discarded.
Plastic caps or
rings Many authorities attribute the same features with these caps as with the
metal ones and forbid opening them on Shabbos. Others distinguish between the two. The
lenient opinion holds that since the plastic cap is screwed on in the factory with the
ring attached, unlike the metal one which is shaped on the bottle and cannot be screwed on
with the ring attached, in effect it is already a kli before the ring is
detached and detaching the ring does not create a kli. Accordingly one is
permitted to open such a cap in the regular manner.