shabbos candles

Weekly Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Yom Tov

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


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



Questions for the Week of Parshas Mattos/Mass'ei

Must one try and cook all food before Yom Tov?

We learned in the previous shiur that midoraisso on account of one is permitted to prepare food for Yom Tov.

Chazal however divided melachos utilized for preparing food into two categories, those that can be performed before Yom Tov and melachos that one does not want to perform prior to Yom Tov.

Melachos that can be completed before Yom Tov, with the food being unaffected in any way, must be prepared prior to Yom Tov. For example, salt can be ground before Yom Tov without losing flavor.  [1] Consequently, if one forgot to grind salt before Yom Tov one may grind on Yom Tov but a shinui (a deviation from the norm) must be implemented, [2] such as grinding in a plate as opposed to a pestle.

Spices such as pepper and mustard seeds may be ground on Yom Tov lchatchila because these spices lose their flavor when ground. Other opinions are stringent and require a shinui when grinding certain spices on Yom Tov and we will deal with this specifically later.

But what about cooking and baking?

One may cook and bake lchatchila on Yom Tov and need not try and bake or cook prior to Yom Tov, because freshly cooked and baked food is tastier. [3] Freshly baked challa is much tastier, just as grilled meat is juicier when grilled prior to eating. No shinui is required with cooking and baking.

However, certain items such as compote cooked fruit is just as tasty a day or two old (or even tastier) and should be cooked before Yom Tov.

May one knead dough on Yom Tov?

Kneading is a melacha that may be performed on Yom Tov, as in most cases fresh dough is tastier. However, the poskim write that lokshen is tastier when kneaded a day or two prior to eating. [4]

Why did Chazal make this distinction?

If one was permitted to do everything for on Yom Tov, the entire Yom Tov would be spent preparing food and meals. We are commanded to enjoy Yom Tov. [5] Chazal therefore curbed our authorization to prepare food on Yom Tov and limited this to certain melachos.

Which specific melachos may not be performed on Yom Tov?

The Shulchan Aruch [6] and Mishna Berura specify reaping; separating (as Dash); grinding; squeezing fruit and capturing animals.

Is it for the same reason as above?

The Mishna Berura [7] cites two opinions. The first is because these actions are all time consuming because one usually reaps and grinds large quantities at once. Becoming involved with these melachos would prevent simchas Yom Tov. The other reason is that many Rishonim hold that the Torah only permitted melachos from kneading going forward, which is usually performed for same day consumption. Prior Melachos such as reaping are usually done many days in advance of kneading. This opinion holds that these melachos are ossur midoraisso.

Based on the above one should not be permitted to pick fruit on Yom Tov?

We now understand why picking fruit, although an action done for , is ossur on account of the reasons above. The second opinion holds that it is ossur midoraisso.

But a freshly picked orange is tastier when picked prior to eating so why is it ossur?

Because one usually picks a large quantity at once and the above reason is relevant. Although a private individual, with a few orange trees in his backyard, does not necessarily pick a large quantity at once, oranges picked for marketing and selling are picked in large quantities and the above reason of simchas Yom Tov is relevant.

One usually carries a tallis to shul on Yom Tov, whats the heter?

According to the above one should be required to place ones tallis in shul before Yom Tov and avoid carrying it through a reshus harabim on Yom Tov. However, Chazal did not veto carrying in order not to inhibit simchas Yom Tov. If one was required to preplan carrying everything needed on Yom Tov from one house to another one would naturally miss something, which would disturb simchas Yom Tov. [8]

However, not all carrying is permitted, for example, certain keys may not be carried in a reshus harabim, and we will be"H discuss this in the future.

Do the halachos of instructing gentiles apply?

Yes, in this respect Yom Tov is on par with Shabbos. [9]

[1] Simon 504:1 and MB 5.

[2] Ibid, and Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 495:5.

[3] Shulchan Aruch HaRav ibid.

[4] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 495:6, MB 495:8.

[5] This means that it is only an issur drabanan. See the Shaar Hatsiun simon 495:5.

[6] Simon 495:2, MB 495:11.

[7] Simon 495:13.

[8] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 495:8.

[9] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 495:10.


Food for Thought

Why is it forbidden to light a fire on Yom Tov?

May one light a match from a candle to light another candle?

Why is it ossur to turn on a light on Yom Tov?

May one start a fire with a magnifying glass?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Moshe Rabeinu instructed B'nei Yisrael to pick soldiers worthy of fighting Midyan. Rashi explains that they must be tzadikim. But to what purpose?

The K'sav Sofer explains that Hashem was concerned with B'nei Yisrael's dignity and rationalized the revenge on their behalf. Moshe Rabeinu was concerned with Hashem's dignity and rationalized the war on His behalf. Moshe therefore summoned tzadikim who would fight the war on Hashem's behalf and not to take revenge on behalf of B'nei Yisrael.

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.