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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 Metzora

Is one permitted to squeeze fruit on Shabbos?

One of the melachos of Shabbos is Dash??, which is the separating of the wheat grain from its husk. A Toladah (a derivative, but also a melacha d’oraisso) of this melacha is Mefareik????. Quite a few prohibitions fall under this category, such as milking a cow (Rambam), drawing blood [1] and others.

The prohibition pertaining to us is the squeezing of fruit for its juices. Extracting the juice from a fruit is similar to the removing of a wheat grain from its encasing husk and hence it is a Toladah of ??.

Does the issur d’oraisso (a biblical prohibition) apply to all fruit?

The Shulchan Aruch in simon 320 categorizes all fruit into three categories, namely a biblical prohibition, a Rabbinical one and fruits that are permitted to be squeezed.

The gemora Shabbos 145a [2] says that one is only biblically prohibited to squeeze grapes for their wine and olives for their oil. Accordingly it would seem that all other fruits are not biblically prohibited.

What is the reason that the biblical prohibition only includes olives and grapes?

Rashi on the gemora says that it is unusual to squeeze other fruit and hence the squeezing of other fruit is not a melacha d’oraisso. The Chayei Adam [3] duly says that fruits that are regularly squeezed for their juice would also be subject to a biblical prohibition. We even find the Rashba [4] saying that olives and grapes are ossur mid’oraisso because the majority of olives and grapes are squeezed for their juice whereas with other fruit the majority is eaten.

According to this Rashba squeezing oranges to make orange juice is probably an issur d’oraisso.

On the other hand other poskim [5] say that it does not depend on general practice regularity and the issur d’oraisso only applies to olives and grapes.

If the liquid seeped out by itself am I permitted to drink it?

Let us say that one stored grapes in a cup and because they were fat and luscious some grape-juice seeped out of the grapes and accumulated at the bottom of the cup. Is one permitted to drink that grape juice?

Off hand we would say what could be wrong? However Chazal prohibited [6] the drinking of that juice as a g’zeira lest one squeezes the grapes to produce more grape-juice. This is true even if those particular grapes were intended for eating and not for squeezing. [7]

Which fruit fall into the second category?

The second category includes a very wide range and variety of fruit. The Shulchan Aruch says that pomegranates and berries may not be squeezed. Even though the majority of this fruit is eaten and not squeezed, nevertheless since some people do squeeze them, Chazal prohibit squeezing for their juice.[8]

The Mishna Berura [9] quotes the Magen Avraham saying that if we know that people somewhere in the world squeeze a certain fruit as a beverage, (probably because they have an abundance of that fruit) it is prohibited to squeeze that fruit for its juice anywhere. However, the M”A adds that this is only if other places would also squeeze that fruit for its juice had they also had it in abundance, but if not, we say that it is not called a fruit squeezed for its juice. [10]

Many fruits and vegetables fall into this category and squeezing or liquidizing or crushing is forbidden. For example: apples, oranges, carrots, tomatoes, plums, peaches, pears and almost all fruit of this nature.

Apparently watermelons are squeezed in Mexico as a beverage, but nevertheless according to the M”A it appears that watermelons are not categorized in this category because, for example, in Eretz Yisrael there is an abundance of watermelons B”H and nevertheless they are not squeezed here for juice. However, the Mishna Berura does not agree with the M”A and would prohibit squeezing watermelons because somewhere in the world they are squeezed as a beverage.

[1] According to the Rambam (7:8) but according to other Rishonim the issur of drawing blood is because of ????? ???? which is a derivative of slaughtering.

[2] 2 lines from the bottom of the page.

[3] In the Nishmas Adam ??? ?"? ??"?.

[4] Shabbos 145a at the end of ?"? ???????.

[5]??? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ?"? .

[6] Simon 320:1.

[7] Ibid and see M”B 4.

[8] Simon 320:1 and M”B 5.

[9] Simon 320:8.

[10] In the Bi’ur Halacha ‘?????? ????? he wishes to argue on this assertion saying that if somewhere in the world people squeeze a fruit for its juice and you wish to do the same, it is ossur for you to squeeze it.

Food For Thought

Which fruit or vegetables are categorized in the permitted category?

Is squeezing fruit for medicinal purposes permitted?

Is one permitted to suck grapes and discard the peels?

Am I permitted to eat a grapefruit with a spoon when I know that it will extract juice from the fruit?

Answers coming next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The first Rashi in the parsha quotes a Midrash which says that just as the human was created after the animals so too his laws (in parshas Tazriah) are written after the laws of the animals (in parshas Sh’mini).

The gemora in Sanhedrin 38a says that the human was created after the animals in order to quell any thoughts of haughtiness. That if a person expresses arrogance we will tell him “the mosquito was created before you”. Another reason is to ensure that one enters the Shabbos immediately without delay.

These explanations are diametrically opposites. According to the first explanation the human was created last, as a disadvantage, and according to the second the human is the crown of creation.

The truth is that both answers are necessary for one’s spiritual growth, similar to the carrot and the stick.

When a person begins to stray a little he must be told, “the mosquito…”, and in order to provide incentive he is reminded that he is the crown and must strive for perfection.

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.