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Weekly Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Yom Tov

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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 Rosh Hashana

Is it permitted to cook for the second days meals before the first days meals and taste the food?

In the previous shiur we learned that one is permitted to cook more than necessary for the first days meal. The heter is to add more food to the pot before placing it on the fire, or to add food to the pot after being placed on the fire, if the additional food improves the taste or quality of the food already in the pot.

But if one is only cooking for the second days meals?

This poses a serious problem because the heter above is based on ribui shiurim cooking more than necessary, it is not a heter to cook solely for the second day. As a result the idea of tasting was suggested. If one was to cook (on the first day) solely for the second day and taste the food after cooking, thereby deriving pleasure from the food on the first day, it would seem to permit its cooking. Again the problem is an apparent case of trickery, because one is cooking solely for the second day without deriving substantial benefit from that cooking.

So whats the halacha?

It is not so simple. Many poskim hold that it is and forbidden. [1] Many other poskim conclude that one may cook before the meal (on the first day) and eat a portion thereof.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav [2] and others say that the prevalent custom is to cook for the 2nd day but add certain stipulations, as follows.

  • Must not verbally say that one is cooking for the 2nd day.
  • Must not add to the pot once on the fire, because one intends eating a small amount and the additional amount is purely for the 2nd day.
  • Must cook before the 1st days meal, not after. The reason is because ideally one could eat the food today, on the first day, and cooking after the Yom Tov meal is clearly for the 2nd day a . If however one really wishes to eat a portion of food on the first day one may cook after the meal as well.

As for heating cooked food, see further.

What about preparing things for the second day without doing a melacha?

The Rama writes [3] that one may not bring tables from the sukkah into the house on the last day of Sukkos because one is preparing on the 1st day of Yom Tov for the 2nd day. The poskim explain that the Rama means that one may not place legs and boards to form the table, but to carry them from the sukkah to the house is not hachana (preparing). [4]

Likewise, the Magen Avraham writes one may not arrange candles for the night (2nd day Yom Tov) on account of hachana, even though this does not involve a melacha. [5]

May one remove frozen food from the freezer on the first day for the night meal?

It is not feasible to remove frozen food from the freezer at night because it will not be ready on time for the night meal.

Rav Ezriel Auerbach shlita rules that it may be taken from the freezer on the 1st day because such a small action is not called hachana.

But the halacha says that one may not bring wine on the 1st day for the 2nd?

True, the Magen Avraham [6] does say that and it is cited by the Mishna Berura [7] and other poskim, but it is possible they were referring to wine drawn from a barrel, which is a significant action, but bringing a wine bottle is permitted.

When may one heat the food for second day Yom Tov?

It is customary to only heat the food after nightfall because heating it during the day is clearly for nighttime. If one needs to feed children or the elderly that cannot wait for nighttime, it may be heated during the day.

What about laying the table for nighttime?

Even though a set or laid table looks beautiful and dignifies the Yom Tov, nevertheless it is obviously being done for nighttime and ossur. However, one may cover the table with a tablecloth because that is done for first day Yom Tov as well.

May one prepare on first day Rosh Hashana for the second?

The halacha considers the two days Rosh Hashana as a single holy day and as two individual days; both lchumra.

One may not prepare on the 1st day for the 2nd, because they are two separate days.

On the other hand, an egg laid by a hen on the first day of Yom Tov may be handled and eaten on the second day, because one of the days is intrinsically a weekday. But an egg laid on first day Rosh Hashana is ossur because the two days are one long holy day. [8]

[1] MB simon 503:7 and Shaar Hatsiun 14.

[2] Simon 503:7-10.

[3] Simon 667.

[4] From the MA it appears that the table and chairs are brought inside lichvod Yom Tov to tidy the house, but from MB 6 it appears that he learned that bringing them in is always muter; it is the setting up that is permitted lichvod Yom Tov, ".

[5] See the Shaarei Teshuva simon 667.

[6] Simon 667:3.

[7] Simon 667:5.

[8] Simon 513.


Food for Thought

May I grind pepper on Yom Tov?

What about grinding salt in a grinder?

May I measure and weigh food on Yom Tov?

Is it permitted to use a sifter on Yom Tov?

Answers coming BE"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The year that Rosh Hashana fell on Shabbos, R Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev turned towards Hashem and said, after all, it is ossur to write on Shabbos, and yet to inscribe your children in the Book of Life is permitted because it is pikuach nefesh. To write in the other book, he said, is not pikuach nefesh and therefore Am Yisrael may only be inscribed in the Book of Life.

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.