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 Bechukosai

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

In the previous sheet we saw that according to the Rama, (Ashkenazim), one may not place ice in an empty cup in order to drink the melted water. [1] The reason being that the newly melted water is called nolad – a new being. According to all halachick opinions though, one may put ice into a drink. The melted ice combines with the liquid, whether it is wine, water or coke and is not distinguishable. The prohibition of nolad only occurs when the new item stands alone. When it dissolves in a mixture where the majority is the beverage it is permitted. [2]

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

It is prohibited to crush ice even according to the Mechaber. The question is whether this prohibition changes when crushing ice in a drink because the water hence formed is not distinguishable.

On the one hand we could say that since the water produced is not distinguishable it should be permitted, because the issue of nolad is waived in such circumstances, but on the other hand one is ‘creating’ water by crushing ice. The Mishna Berura [3] says that l’chatchila one should be stringent and not crush the ice in one’s drink.

Stirring the ice gently in one’s drink is another matter because one is not crushing and producing water, the water melts on its own accord. [4]

Is one permitted to defrost frozen orange juice?

During hot weather many are accustomed to placing orange juice, raspberry juice etc into the freezer, which subsequently turns into a frozen drink. When required, it is removed from the freezer and after defrosting it is drunk. Would this be similar to melting ice, which l’chatchila must not be done, or for some reason is it different?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztz”l [5] says that it is permitted to defrost an item that has no use as a frozen solid, because even in its frozen state it is still called a liquid and hence it is not nolad. Accordingly he permits defrosting milk on Shabbos. He explains that ice serves a different function to water (and is indeed called another name) and hence its defrosting involves nolad, whereas frozen milk is still called milk and it does not serve a function in its frozen state.

We apply the same rule to the defrosting of many drinks that are merely frozen in order to cool them and consume when required. Therefore, when necessary one may freeze and defrost on Shabbos all drinks such as orange juice, apple juice etc.

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

In this case the ice is not broken in order to produce water and therefore it is permitted. [6]

Since crushing ice is forbidden, how is one supposed to walk on ice or snow on Shabbos when there is a possibility that one will crush the ice and produce water?

The Maharam of Rotenberg addressed this issue and permits it. [7] The Vilna Ga’on explains that it is permitted because one has no interest in the outcome. This is true even when trampling on the snow will definitely produce water. The Taz explains that it is permitted because Chazal did not issue a decree when it is impossible to adhere to it. Since many regions are iced or snowed over in the winter Chazal did not apply the issur of producing water in such circumstances. [8]

Is one permitted to freeze water to make ice on Shabbos?

Here too we find a machlokes as to whether making ice is called nolad being it a new entity, or it is permitted. The Rav of Tchebin, in his classical work the ???? ?????? rules that it is nolad and forbidden. Others permit it. [9]

The halacha is that A) one should prepare sufficient ice cubes before Shabbos. B) When very necessary, such as when guests are arriving, one may rely on the lenient opinions and prepare ice for them.

[1] When such water is necessary, either for an ill person or for some reason where regular water is inadequate, one may place ice into an empty cup. Simon 318:16 in the Rama and M”B 107.

[2] Simon 320:9 and M”B 35 and M”B simon 318:103.

[3] The Sha’ar Hatsiun in simon 318:146. See the SS”K 10:2 footnote 6.

[4] Kaf haChaim simon 320:60.

[5] SS”K 10:5 and footnote 15.

[6] Simon 320:10.

[7] Simon 320:13.

[8] According to the Vilna Ga’on it is permitted regardless, and even according to the Taz, since Chazal did not issue a decree against walking on snow or ice, one may do so even if it is possible to walk where there is no ice.

[9] See the SS”K 10:4 and footnote 14.

Food For Thought

May one use a sponge to wash dishes on Shabbos?

Does it make a difference whether the sponge sports a handle or not?

Is one permitted to add food coloring to food on Shabbos?

Is there an issue of Coloring when wiping stained hands on a napkin on Shabbos?

Answers coming next week.

Vort On the Parsha

This parsha commences with extraordinary bountiful blessings Am Yisroel will receive should they choose to learn Torah and keep its mitzvos. Does this not contradict the famous saying that “there is no reward for the mitzvos in this world”? One must ask the same question on the sh’ma, which says that one’s actions determine whether there will be rain and sustenance for oneself and one’s animals.

The Rambam (chapter 9 of hilchos T’shuvah) explains that since our ultimate objective is to serve Him through keeping the Torah, if one does so willingly Hashem will remove all obstacles that would prevent one from serving Him and bestow one with all the physical necessities enabling a person to reach that goal.

In other words, all the beautiful physical blessings in this parsha are means and not rewards.

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.