shabbos candles

Weekly Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Yom Tov

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita



Questions for the Week of Parshas Lech Lecha

May one sprinkle icing sugar on doughnuts with a sieve on Shabbos? [1]

Local custom “dictates” the consummation of doughnuts (sufganiot) on Chanukah and the doughnuts are sprinkled with icing sugar, preferably through a sieve to spread it evenly. It would seem to be totally accepted to use a sieve in this instance because it is not used to separate between ‘bad’ and ‘good’, rather used to spread evenly.

So l’ma’ase, may one use it?

The Shulchan Aruch writes [2] that if one wishes to sift flour on Yom Tov for the second time (improves the bread) one may do so albeit with a shinui. The Mishna Berura [3] explains that without a shinui people might confuse this sifting with the first initial sifting, which may not be done on Yom Tov. We can infer that using a sifter for whatever reason is not permitted, because people might confuse a permitted use with a non-permitted one. It is therefore recommended that one ask a rav.

How is one to remove bones from fish on Yom Tov?

Borer or separating is complicated on Shabbos and on Yom Tov and a slight deviation from the rules involves a d’oraisso. For example, we know that on Shabbos one may remove ochel from p’soles, (good from bad) - for immediate consumption. The Mishna Berura writes [4] that if one removes p’soles from ochel one has violated a d’oraisso. [5]

Does this apply to Yom Tov as well?

Borer is permitted in many cases on Yom Tov on account of ochel nefesh [6] although in certain cases it is not permitted. One must know the halacha for each case before being lenient.

How is this done?

The rule is that one must separate a mixture in the easiest manner possible. One must therefore separate a piece of carp from the bones in the easiest manner. If easier to remove the bones from the fish, one must do so; if easier to remove the fish from the bones, one must do so.

What does “easier” have to do with anything?

As stated, on Yom Tov one may separate good from bad or bad from good, which ever is easier. The Shulchan Aruch HaRav explains that although borer is permitted, extra tircha (unnecessary labor) was never permitted. One may therefore separate on Yom Tov for a Yom Tov meal and must be done with the least tircha possible. [7]

  • More good than bad – remove the bad, e.g. remove bones from carp and watermelon seeds from watermelon.
  • More bad than good - remove the good from the bad.
  • The good is fine particles but less in quantity – in which case it is easier to remove bad from good even though there is more bad than good. One must remove the bad to minimize tircha.

What if I could have separated good from bad before Yom Tov?

In that case the Bi’ur Halacha writes [8] that it is correct to separate in the same manner one would on Shabbos. This is because even though borer is done for ochel nefesh, nevertheless the rule is that something that could have been done before Yom Tov requires a shinui when done on Yom Tov.

He writes that not all rule like this and therefore one who is not stringent has what to rely upon. [9]

So should I remove the carp from the bones even though it’s more tedious?

Carp bones cannot be separated before Yom Tov as one separates when eating it, consequently one should separate in the easiest manner possible.

May one peel potatoes with a peeler?

Many are accustomed to peel with a peeler on Shabbos, as it is viewed as a sophisticated knife and not an item specifically used for borer. [10] Even those who are stringent and do not peel with a peeler on Shabbos may do so on Yom Tov. [11]

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach explains that only a k’li used for preparation many days in advance may not be used on Yom Tov and a peeler does not fall into that category.

[1] Chanukah does not fall on Yom Tov so we’ll apply it to Shabbos.

[2] Simon 506:2.

[3] Simon 506:13.

[4] Simon 319.

[5] There are cases where one may remove p’soles, but we are not dealing with that at present.

[6] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 510:3.

[7] See simon 510:2 in M”B and SS”K 4:3.

[8] Simon 510:2 ã"ä àí.

[9] See SS”K 4:3.

[10] Rav Moshe Feinstein; and is the prevalent custom in the USA.

[11] SS”K 4:10.


Food for Thought

May one squeeze orange juice on Yom Tov?

What about squeezing lemons into tea?

May I carry a bunch of keys in a reshus harabim when I only need one key?

Answers coming BE"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The possuk says that Avraham was instructed to leave his country, land and family and go to a different land. Rashi explains the word lecha – for your benefit – and if so, where was the nisayon (trial)?

Rav Dovid Heksher ztz"l (dean in yeshivas Kol Torah) explained that Avraham was told to detach himself completely from his father's ways, which was a very difficult task.

We are told that Yishmael was born unto Avraham together with Yitzchak, as the by-product and impurity infused from Terach, his father.

Eisav was born together with Ya'akov, because Yitzchak still required refining. Ya'akov was pure and all his sons were tzadikim. We see that this separation was extremely difficult and required uprooting inner emotions in order to follow in the ways of Hashem.

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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.