shabbos candles

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 Semicha Program

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


Questions for the Week of Parshas Vayechisubscribe


Is it permitted to pour hot water into a thermos on Shabbos?

The issue involved is hatmana – storing food in wrappers to maintain its heat. As we have previously learned, it is forbidden to totally enwrap a hot food on Shabbos with intention to maintain its heat. However, there are two reasons why it is permitted to pour water into a thermos: 1) hatmana is forbidden only when applied to the original pot, but if the water has been transferred to a second pot, it is permitted. [1] 2) Hatmana must be done to a pot, the pot itself is not hatmana, and since the thermos is considered as one pot with a few linings it is not hatmana. [2]

The fire under my blech went out, and I would like to enwrap my pots within my bed linen, may I?

No you may not because hatmana – enwrapping, when done on Shabbos, is forbidden even when there is no heat source present. You may however, partially enwrap the pots. [3]

Is it permitted to warm my baby’s bottle by placing it inside a pot of hot water?

Most poskim agree that it is not permitted to immerse the entire bottle into hot water in order to warm the bottle for the same reason as in the previous answer. You may however, insert the bottle leaving the top uncovered. [4]

May I reheat food by placing it on the radiators spread around the house?

Yes you may because it is not the normal cooking method. [5] It is comparable to placing cold food on top of a pot that is already on the fire. [6] However, only dry, cooked food may be reheated; a liquid, or a solid with gravy is forbidden to reheat.

Is it permitted to steep cold, cooked chicken inside cholent which is on my plate?

As far as cooking goes, even if the chicken would reach the heat of yad soledes bo [7] it is not a problem for a few reasons, but even as far as hatmana goes, there is no issur when enwrapping a food within a food. [8] As far as fully immersing a cooked egg within hot water a shaila should be asked.

What is the halacha with regards to immersing the kishke inside the cholent?

We find a few opinions in the poskim regarding this matter. See the footnote. [9] HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach Ztz”l held that it is permitted since hatmana is usually done for the sake of storing heat, and without enwrapping the food from the outside the heat would be lost. Here the kishke is not enwrapped in the cholent for the sake of storing heat, rather it is there to get heated by the flame beneath the pot just as the cholent is heated by the flames. [10]

Food For Thought

Is one permitted to put chalah or matza into a bowl of soup?

 Is one permitted to make Nescafe in a k’li shaini? What about ground coffee?

 I like putting soup nuts (soup almonds) in my soup, is there anything I must be aware of?

Can I spread mayonnaise or butter inside a boiling hot potato?

Vort On The Parsha

We know of the famous blessings Ya’akov Avinu blessed Ephraim and Menashe by crossing his hands and placing his right hand on Ephraim and his left hand on Menashe. He explained to Yosef that Ephraim will be greater than Menashe and therefore he merits his right hand.

The question is then why did he not tell Ephraim to stand on his right side, thereby avoiding the need to cross his hands?

HaGaon HaRav Chayim of Volozhin explained that a person tends to magnify another person’s faults and shortcomings, and minimizes his strength and good points. That is symbolized by my right opposite your left – I notice your shortcomings, and my left opposite your right – only my weak and unimportant side recognizes your strong side.

Ya’akov Avinu taught us that we should emphasize another person’s strong points and good character by placing my right side opposite his right, and play down his weaknesses by placing my left opposite his left.

[1] Siman 257:5, and M”B 29.

[2] Chazon Ish Siman 37-32.

[3] Siman 257:1

[4] M”B 258:2

[5] Iggros Moshe Orach Chayim Vol. 4, pg. 139-34

[6] Siman 253:5

[7] See sheet #2.

[8] Sh’miras Shabbos Kehilchasa 1-72 and in the footnote.

[9] Shevet HaLevi vol. 3 siman 47. Minchas Yitschak vol. 8 siman 17. Sh’vus Yitschak pg 251.

[10] Sh’miras Shabbos Kehilchasa 3rd vol. 42-242.

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In memory of HaRav Elazar Menachem Mann Shach ZT"L

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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.