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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 Vayikra

Removing ochel from p’soles is a precondition of Borer, how long before eating or using may it be done?

As mentioned in the earlier sheets there are three conditions that must be complied with in order to permit the separating of food and refuse, ochel and p’soles. Namely removing the ochel from the p’soles and not the p'soles from the ochel. Immediately prior to consumption and with one’s hand, not with a k’li.

The reason for the precondition “prior to consumption” is in order that the separation should be as a 'derech achila' – a manner of consumption and not as a 'derech b'reira'. [1]

The ideal 'borer' (separation) is to separate the ochel from the p’soles and store the ochel in a storeroom or warehouse for later use. In order to avoid that association one must separate as close as possible to use or consumption as possible.

The Bais Yosef even quotes Rishonim [2] who hold that one may only separate for immediate consumption and not for the entire meal.

The halacha, as written in the Mechaber [3] and the Rama is that one may separate by the way of removing the ochel from the p’soles immediately prior to one’s meal. The Rama adds that one may separate before the meal whatever one needs for the entire meal, even for the last course.

The Mishna Berura [4] comments that even if the meal is intended to take a long time one may separate before the meal, but if one separates more than is required for the meal with the intention of eating it later, even though one is merely adding items to the separating process one will liable to bring a korban chatas, i.e. one has committed an issur d’oraisso.

When many guests are attending the meal, may I separate for all of them?

The Rama [5] says that one person may separate for others even if that person is not eating at all. In other words, a cook or a server may separate for others. This does not alter the fact that the separation must be done immediately prior to consumption.

Accordingly one may calculate the time it will take to separate items according to the amount of people partaking of the meal and begin separating accordingly. The reason for this heter is the same as one separating for oneself – it is ??? ?????. [6]

Some opinions hold that even when preparing for many guests one may only begin doing borer not more than half an hour prior to the meal. [7]

If, for example, I need to prepare the meal and part of that preparation involves borer, must I postpone the separation to as close to the meal as possible or can I include it anywhere as part of the preparation?

The Mordechai, quoted by the Bais Yosef, says that one must commence and finish eating immediately after separation. HaRav Eliashiv shlita learns from this Mordechai that separation must be the last action performed prior to eating. In other words, separating may not be automatically included as part of the general preparations of a meal because the heter is ??? ????? and therefore it can only be done immediately prior to eating. HaRav Ezriel Auerbach shares the same view.

May the housewife set the table and then go to shul?

Ideally a person may only separate prior to eating. The poskim say that separating before a meal for the entire meal is also considered ??? ?????. However, anything done prior to that is a classical case of separation and forbidden.

Therefore the housewife may only separate directly prior to the meal and not plan anything between the separating and the meal.

She may not intentionally plan to daven at home or go to shul after peeling eggs, sorting cutlery, peeling onions, and any other separating. She may of course set the table and then go to shul if no separating is involved when setting the table.

Is one permitted to remove a chumash from within a jumble of seforim, when the chumash is only needed after shacharis?

The entire davening is compared to a meal, where the shachris is the first course, reading the Torah as the second and mussaf as the third. Therefore one may prepare for the reading of the Torah before davening and not have to go immediately before reading the Torah and find a chumash. (Seforim lined neatly on the shelf [8] are not considered in a mixture because each sefer is noticeable and discernable).

Can the mother prepare the children’s clothing before going to bed at night?

Here too separating may only be done prior to use and if the clothes are in a jumble or in a mixture she may not prepare the clothes before going to bed because it is separating not prior to use. [9]

[1] M”B simon 319:10.

[2] The Mordechai in the hagahos in the beginning of the 7th perek quotes the Ra’avan.

[3] Simon 319:1.

[4] Simon 319:4-5.

[5] Simon 319:1.

[6] M”B simon 319:6.

[7]  ??"? ?????? ??????? ?"? ??' ??? in the name of the Chazon Ish.

[8] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in the SS”K 3 footnote 197.

[9] SS”K 15:42.

Food For Thought

I want to peel the fish from its skin before the meal, how must it be done?

I am leaving the house at 12:00 and want to take a sweater from within a mixture, before I leave, for use at 16:00. May it be done?

One who is not sure how many eggs will be eaten, may he peel extra just in case he will need them?

A gabbai in shul wants to arrange the table for Kiddush after shul and the only time he has to do it is before mussaf. If borer is involved may he do it?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The possuk (2:13) tells us that we are to sprinkle salt on all of the korbanos. Rav Sternbuch shlita explains that the Torah is teaching us that just as salt’s nature is to draw and extract so too when one brings a korban one must ‘extract’ all impure thoughts and motivations from one’s mind. The time of bringing a korban is a time of intense spiritual purification. We can add that our davening in front of Hashem should be of the same nature.

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.