shabbos candles

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 Tzav

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

The question related to the serving of pink salmon where the host wished to serve the salmon without its skin. In the previous sheet we learned that one may separate ochel from p’soles immediately before the meal and not only before one actually puts the separated ochel into one’s mouth.

The host is permitted to remove the fish from its skin (not the skin from the fish) and thus serve it at the table. [1] The mode d’employ would be to insert a knife or a fork in between the skin and the fish, and lift the fish from the skin.

I am leaving the house at 12:00 and before I leave I want to take a sweater from a pile of sweaters for use at 16:00. May I do this?

It is very difficult to find a way out of this predicament because after all, one is separating for later. The fact that one will not be in a position to get one’s sweater at 16:00 should not permit one to do ‘borer’ before the time.

To try and compare a ‘journey’ to a meal and say that the first leg of the journey is comparable to the first course and 16:00, when the sweater is required, is the second course, is a major chidush and therefore Rav Sternbuch shlita says that one must be stringent and not remove the sweater, seeing that it involves an issur d’oraisso - a biblical prohibition.

Either one should plan ahead and remove the sweater before Shabbos, or one can remove the sweater before leaving the house and wear it for a while, thus having immediate use of the sweater.

One is not sure how many eggs will be consumed at the meal; may additional eggs be peeled just in case they are needed?

Let us refine the question. Sometimes a person eats one egg and sometimes (health risks aside) two. May one peel two eggs before sitting down to eat or is it required to only peel according to an explicit need?

Rav Sternbuch says that since sometimes one eats two eggs it is also called a necessity and it is not necessary to use a measuring cup to measure the exact quantities before eating. One may prepare quantities of food on Shabbos in the same manner one would normally prepare, because the focus is on the present meal only.

Therefore one may peel, separate etc. everything that one would normally prepare (right) before a meal and does not have to be exact in measuring the quantities to be consumed. Needless to say that one may only have the forthcoming meal in mind and not prepare extra for afterwards.

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?

As often explained, convenience does not lead to any special leniencies with regards to borer, and therefore the gabbai may not prepare the Kiddush separating items prior to the Kiddush. His only reason to prepare before mussaf is in order to facilitate his own personal need to daven mussaf and not for the sake of the Kiddush.

The same would apply to (Jewish) waiters in a hotel where the regular routine is to set the tables for the morning meal after the Friday night meal. Since this preparation is not done for the necessity of the meal it is forbidden when borer is involved.

If however each item of silverware is kept separate, i.e. forks with forks and knives with knives then they may set the tables at night because in effect there is no borer being done.

[1] Removing the skin from the fish immediately prior to serving is the subject of the Bi’ur Halacha in simon 319:4 ‘???? ????’.

Food For Thought

I wish to refrigerate a tin of peaches 3-4 hours before the meal. The problem is that the tin is in a jumble together with other tins. May I remove that particular tin and refrigerate, when after all it is being removed 3-4 hours prior to consumption?

Am I permitted to sort the cutlery, i.e. knives with knives forks with forks when washing the dishes on Friday night?

Children playing board games on Shabbos: when are they permitted to sort the pieces, cards etc and when are they not permitted to do so?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Parshas Parah Adumah: Rashi says that the laws of Hashem are decrees (especially the Red Heifer) and one must not contemplate them.

The famed Ga’on and rav of Lodz, Rav Eliyahu Chaim Maizels, once approached a wealthy man for tz’dakah for a once wealthy person who had fallen on hard times. At first the wealthy person would not accede to the rav but eventually he gave in and gave the requested sum. A few days later Rav Eliyahu Chaim heard that the wealthy person was going around bragging about the great Mitzvah he had performed, which obviously was putting the receiver of the money to shame.

The rav called him in and confronted him saying that when one is accosted with a mitzvah it should be done as a decree without delay. After being done it should be forgotten about. You, he said to the wealthy person, do the opposite. At first you do not want to do it at all and afterwards you brag about it.

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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.