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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 Behar

What is the halacha with regards to squeezing the excess liquid from a pickle?

The reason for prohibiting squeezing a fruit for its juice is because one ascribes importance to the extracted juice and promotes it from being a food to a beverage.

Were one to squeeze out the juice for a different reason the ramifications would be different. Accordingly:

Pickles are often saturated with excess brine or vinegar and one’s sole purpose when squeezing the pickle is to rid it of the excess liquid. Since one is not squeezing it for the sake of its juice, it is permitted. [1] One may even squeeze it into a cup or plate; [2] it need not be squeezed into a tissue or napkin.

The Mishna Berura [3] says that the same halacha applies when squeezing lokshen from excess fat or lettuce after being soaked in water. The purpose for extracting the liquid is not to produce a beverage; rather it is to rid the food of excess liquid.

Does that mean that one may squeeze fruit to rid it of its excess liquid?

The Mishna Berura [4] writes that one may not squeeze olives and grapes in order to rid them of excess juice, because one might easily squeeze them for their juice. This implies that one may squeeze all other fruit to rid them of excess juice.

According to some opinions, [5] one should refrain from squeezing juice from oranges for the very same reason.

Is one permitted to crush ice in order to produce cold water?

The gemora in Shabbos 51b says that it is prohibited to break ice in order to produce water. We find various reasons in the Rishonim as to why Chazal instituted this halacha.

Rashi says that it prohibited because it is similar to performing a melacha, as one is ‘creating’ water.

The Sefer haT’ruma says that is prohibited on account of nolad – a new entity.

What is the halachik difference between the two reasons?

According to Rashi one would be permitted to place ice in an empty cup in the sun and benefit from the melted water. Since one is not crushing the ice one is not performing a melacha.

According to the Sefer haT’ruma it would be forbidden to do so because after all one is producing a new being. [6]

Another case would be the placing of meat with congealed gravy near a heat source. (Not hot enough to cause the gravy to reach 45 C but warm enough to melt the gravy). According to Rashi it is permitted because one is not crushing the gravy and according to the Sefer haT’ruma it is forbidden.

Since it is a machlokes (dispute) what is the halacha?

The Mechaber [7] (Shulchan Aruch) rules like Rashi [8] and permits placing ice in an empty cup in the sun and he also permits placing congealed gravy near a heat source.

The Rama [9] is stringent similar to the Sefer haT’ruma and prohibits these two cases. Therefore Sephardim who follow the Mechaber may place ice in an empty cup in order to drink the melted water and Ashkenazim who follow the Rama may not.

According to the Rama, if the gravy or ice melted must it be discarded or remain unconsumed?

The Rama only rules like the Sefer haT’ruma l’chatchila, [10] and therefore one must avoid doing it. If it was done (b’diavad) or when this gravy is necessary one may benefit from the dissolved gravy.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach [11] however says that l’chatchila, if one has other water to drink one should not drink the water that remains from dissolved ice because it is something so paltry it is not called b’diavad.

[1] Simon 320:7.

[2] Ibid.

[3] M”B simon 320:24-25.

[4] End of M”B 320:24.

[5] This is based on the Rashba who writes that grapes and olives are d’oraisso because most of the fruit is squeezed for its juice. Accordingly, since today most oranges are squeezed for their juice, squeezing oranges on Shabbos to produce a beverage involves a d’oraisso.

[6] There is a machlokes between the Rashba and the Rosh as to p’shat in the Sefer ha’Trumah. The Rashba learns that the issur is the end result and the Rosh learns that one is creating the new being. We discussed this in length in vol. IV shiur 15 of the Shabbos shiurim!

[7] Simon 320:8 and 318:16.

[8] Or the Rambam who holds that the reason is so one will not come to squeeze fruit.

[9] Simon 318:16 and M”B 320:35.

[10] Simon 318:16 and see M”B 318:107.

[11] SS”K 10:3.

Food For Thought

According to the Rama – Ashkenazim, may one place ice in water or cola, and if yes why?

May one crush the ice inside one’s drink or stir the drink to melt the ice?

Is one permitted to defrost frozen orange juice?

What if the top of the jug of water iced up and the way to the water is to break the ice on top of the jug, is it permitted?

Answers coming next week.

Vort On the Parsha

The Torah teaches (25:14) us not to cheat in business and not to raise prices above the average. Why though is this written after the laws of sh’mitah? Is there a connection?

Rav Sternbuch eloquently points out that during the sh’mitah year, one realizes that Hashem is the provider and even when one’s land lies fallow one is still provided and cared for. Subsequent to this practical lesson in Hashgacha one does not try to grab from another person what is not rightly his, because the Provider is Hashem.

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.