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The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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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 Tetzaveh

When eating fish containing bones, am I permitted to remove the bones from the fish?

As mentioned in the previous shiurim, when separating items on Shabbos one must take care to remove the????  from the ????? and not the p’solet from the ochel, in addition to the other two conditions, namely with one’s hand and prior to use or eating.

The reason is that in this manner it is called Derech Achila  and not Derech B'reira.

It therefore follows that when eating fish with bones or chickens with bones one must remove the chicken and the fish from the bones and not the bones from the chicken and the fish.

Seems to be cut and dried, where is the problem?

Things are not so simple as we will see.

The Bi’ur Halacha [1] poses the following question: is one required to remove the meat from the bones even when eating or is it only required during the preparation stages?

The Bi’ur Halacha answers that the???? ????  [2] states that there is a machlokes between the poskim. He further adds to this saying that the Ramban and the Rosh also argue on this very point.
The ???? ????  concludes that from the fact that the poskim did not differentiate between holding food about to be eaten and preparing before the meal, one is always required to remove the meat from the bones and not the bones from the meat.

The Bi’ur Halacha [3] concludes that in the above scenario we may not be able to rebuke or prevent people from removing the bones during eating because they have on whom to rely. This clearly indicates that he holds that one must be stringent and remove the meat from the bones and not the bones from the meat.

The Chazon Ish [4] says that when grasping the meat in one hand and the bone in the other, one should move the hand holding the meat and thus remove the meat from the bone.

Is there a possibility to nevertheless remove the bones from the fish or chicken?

The Bi’ur Halacha [5] says that one may remove the bones and suck on them or remove the bones with some meat attached. Thus one is removing p’soles and ochel together and not separating the two. [6]

Does it make a difference whether the fish is intended for a child?

The P’ri Megadim [7] writes that when it is impossible to remove the ochel from the p’soles, removing the p’soles is also called ??? ?????. Rav Moshe Feinstein [8] writes that since a child cannot eat fish with small bones, based on this P’ri Megadim one may remove the bones immediately before eating the fish. [9]

Rav Moshe continues that since an adult is capable of removing the bones from one's mouth the bones may not be removed prior to eating. If however the bones are too small to detect during chewing, an adult may also remove the bones from the fish but only when the fish is ‘on the way to one's mouth’.

Are there any special halachos to be complied with when eating watermelon?

Rav Moshe says that watermelon is essentially the same as fish and chicken. Here too one must remove the seeds from his mouth and only when that cannot be done, one may then remove the seeds immediately prior to eating.

However Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says [10] that it is nearly impossible to remove the watermelon flesh from the seed and one is not expected to put a piece of watermelon in one’s mouth and remove the seeds because it is not a normal eating habit. Therefore one may remove the seeds immediately prior to eating. Fish bones are different because one is usually able to remove the fish from the bone and accordingly one may not remove the bone from the fish.

If I mistakenly separated food contrary to the halacha am I permitted to eat it?

The Bi’ur Halacha at the beginning of simon 319 brings a P’ri Megadim who compares Borer to all other melachos, namely that if one separated ?????  (unknowingly) against the halacha the food is ossur to eat until after Shabbos. The Bi’ur Halacha says that the Vilna Ga’on holds that when done ?????  one may eat it on Shabbos, and one may rely on that opinion.

[1] Simon 319:4 ?"? ????? ?????.

[2] The famous Chidah – R’ Chaim Yehudah Dovid Azulai.

[3] Simon 319:4 ?"? ???? ????.

[4] Simon 54 ?'-?'. Although in ?'-?' the Chazon Ish is at a quandary as to whether we say that one must remove the meat from the bone when holding both in one’ hands, or do we say that either method is ??? ?????. His conclusion in ?"? ?', as stated, is to remove the meat from the bone.

[5] End of ?"? ????.

[6] The Chazon Ish simon 54:3 disagrees with this heter saying that if your intention, when removing the bone with meat attached, is to remove the bone from the meat and not for the sake of eating the attached meat, it is also Borer.

[7] ?"? ???"? ??"?.

[8] ????? ??? ??"? ?' ??' ?"? ???? ??? ?'.

[9] The Bi’ur Halacha at the end of simon 321 ?"? ????? says the same as the PM”G.

[10] SS”K chapter 3 footnote 32.

Food For Thought

Is one permitted to peel eggs on Shabbos, after all it is removing the p’soles from the ochel?

Is one permitted to use a peeler for peeling fruit?

The sweater I need is in the middle of a pile of sweaters, am I permitted to remove the top ones in order to reach the sweater I need?

Is it permitted to place a strainer in the sink on Shabbos?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The induction of the Kohanim into the priestly service was accompanied with a series of animal sacrifices and various actions on behalf of the kohanim. Rabbiner Shamshon Refael Hirsch Ztz”l finds that all these proceedings are symbolic of one sacrificing one’s own personal interests for the sake of serving Hashem.

Hahsem says that He and a haughty person cannot dwell in the same abode. The more of me; the less of Hashem. This is true for all of us not only for the kohanim, and if we want to be true servants of Hashem it requires us to sacrifice the me within.

For a printed version, click here.


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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.