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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 Sisa

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

For argument’s sake we could ask where does it say one may peel fruit etc on Shabbos?’ The answer is that the Rama [1] says that it is prohibited to peel garlic and onions for future consumption but permitted when peeling for eating momentarily.

We see that peeling is permitted; now we have to understand the mechanics. We have learned that whenever items are in a mixture one must remove the ochel from the p’soles because in this fashion it is Derech Achila. Peeling fruit, vegetables or eggs in order to consume momentarily is also called Derech Achila.

When do you decide that peeling is Derech Achila  and other removals of p’soles from ochel are Derech B'reira?

The Bi’ur Halacha [2] quotes the???? ?????  saying that since one is eating in the normal fashion and peeling is the only practical way to gain access to the food, and one’s intention is merely to eat that which is within the peel, it is permitted.

Peeling a banana prior to eating is not seen as ‘separating ochel from p’soles’ rather it is seen as a manner of eating. Even though technically, Rav Shlomo Zalman points out, one can remove the food by cutting the fruit in half and scraping out the fruit from within the peel thereby removing the ochel from the p’soles, nevertheless peeling the banana peel or the orange peel is Derech Achila  and permitted.

What difference does it make whether done prior to eating or for the future?

Prior to consumption is called Derech Achila  but when not prior to eating one is improving and enhancing the food, the classical Borer, and is forbidden.

Why is one permitted to use a knife for peeling?

The basis for this question is the fact that even when removing ochel from p’soles one must use one’s hand and not a special k’li. Therefore it is imperative for us to know whether a knife is a k’li or an extension of one’s hand.

Rav Moshe Feinstein Ztz”l in the Igross Moshe [3] says that a knife is not a k’li for Borer. Even though one is able to remove a peel with a knife far better than with one’s hands or fingers, Rav Moshe says it does not separate better than one’s hands, one is using a knife because it can cut better - not because it is a better separator. A sieve is a separator a knife is not.

Does it make a difference whether the peel is edible or not?

The Magen Avraham [4] says that apples have the same rule as onions and garlic, and one may only peel apples prior to consumption. The P’ri Megadim [5] asks on the M”A that apple peels are edible and one should be permitted to peel even for future consumption , because it is like cutting two parts of an apple in half. [6] The Mishna Berura [7] quotes the M”A as the main halacha notwithstanding that he quoted the P’ri Megadim in the Sha’ar Ha’tsiun as a kushya. This means that even apples, as all fruit with edible peels, may only be peeled prior to eating.

Is one permitted to use a peeler for peeling fruit?

We must determine whether a peeler is a sophisticated knife or a separator.

If we accept that a peeler is a separator, i.e. it is a unique k’li for separating, then it is forbidden to use it even prior to eating. Some poskim view a peeler in such a light. [8] I have recently heard that Rav Moshe Feinstein viewed a peeler as nothing more than a sophisticated knife, similar to his explanation above, and permitted using a peeler on Shabbos prior to consumption.

One must ask one’s rav as to the correct conduct on Shabbos.

According to the P’ri Megadim above (edible peels) using a peeler is not an issue, because removing edible peels is not Borer at all, but as mentioned we rule like the M”A.

Am I permitted to cut off a bad area of an apple?

The bad area is considered p’soles and may not be removed on its own. The way to do it is to remove it together with some of the apple, thus removing p’soles together with ochel. It makes sense that if most of the apple is bad; one is permitted to remove the bad area on its own (prior to eating) because it is equal to a peel, which may be removed prior to consumption, even though it is inedible.

[1] Simon 321:19

[2] End of simon 321 ?"? ?????.

[3] ??"? ?"? ??' ???.

[4] Magen Avraham simon 321:30.

[5] ??? ????? ?'.

[6] We could say that they are not arguing and are referring to different apples, but that is a ????.

[7] M”B simon 321:84.

[8] See the SS”K 3 footnote 79 in the name of the ???? ??.

Food For Thought

Is one permitted to wash fruit on Shabbos, after all one it is removing dirt etc from the fruit?

The oil in a can of tuna fish sits atop the tuna, am I permitted to pour it out or must I remove the tuna together with the oil?

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

Moshe Rabeinu says to Hashem: If now I have found favor in your eyes, Hashem, go among us for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin…

This seems a contradiction, how can he ask Hashem to walk among the people of Israel when and because they are stiff necked?

R’ Yitschok Eliyahu Landa, the Maggid of Vilna presented the following parable. A certain craftsman was incapable of producing high quality products and was having a hard time selling them. His friend advised that he go to the big city where he will find many people eager to buy his wares. The craftsman did as advised but returned to his friend after a few days without having sold a single item. His friend asked him where did he position himself, and he proudly replied ‘in the affluent section of the city’. His friend retorted, ‘the affluent have no need for your wares, go to the simple section of the city where your wares will appeal more to the people’.

After Hashem revealed the beautiful Attributes of Mercy, Moshe Rabeinu says to Hashem that in the Heavens there is no need for such Middos, it is here, among us blood and flesh that they are needed.

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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.