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Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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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 Devarim


Deriving benefit from melachos performed on Shabbos

May one benefit from a melacha performed on Shabbos. For example, someone switched on a light in a room, may one read with that light. A sefer was carried through a carmelis or a reshus harabim, may one read that sefer on Shabbos?

To answer this question, we are required to familiarize ourselves with the sugya in the gemora.

There is a famous machlokes between R’ Me’ir, R’ Yehuda and R’ Yochanan Hasandlar regarding eating food that was cooked on Shabbos. The Bais Yosef, in the beginning of simon 318 mentions the places in Shas where one can find this machlokes.




For the cook

For others

For the cook

For others

R’ Me’ir

Muter on Shabbos

Muter  on Shabbos

Muter after Shabbos

Muter after Shabbos

R’ Yehuda

Muter after Shabbos

Muter after Shabbos

Ossur forever

Muter after Shabbos

R’ Yochanan Hasandlar

Ossur forever

Muter after Shabbos

Ossur forever

Ossur forever

Notice that where the former opinion leaves off, the next opinion begins! I.e. the maizid of R’ Me’ir is the shogaig of R’ Yehuda.

Is the prohibition of biblical nature or rabbinic?

It is rabbinic, i.e. it is ossur mid’oraisso to cook on Shabbos but deriving benefit is only an issur d’rabanan.

Can you provide examples based on the above machlokes?

Someone walked into a room on Friday night and absentmindedly switched on the light. His action is deemed a shogeig – unintentional, because he momentarily forgot that it was Shabbos.

According to R’ Me’ir one may benefit from this light on Shabbos, as Chazal did not impose a penalty when the action was b’shogeig. According to R’ Yehuda one may not benefit from this light on Shabbos.

Is the halacha in accordance with R’ Me’ir or R’ Yehuda?

This too is a machlokes. The Beis Yosef writes that the Rif, Rambam, Ba’al Halachos Gedolos, She’iltos, Ramban and Rosh ruled in accordance with R’ Yehuda. The Mechaber [1] only cites the opinion of R’ Yehuda.

On the other hand Tosefos and Sefer haT’ruma rule in accordance with R’ Me’ir. The Vilna Ga’on paskens according to Tosefos.

The Mishna Berura [2] concludes that the halacha is like R’ Yehuda but if necessary one may rely on R’ Me’ir, when done b’shogeig

Consequently, one may not benefit from the light on Shabbos, even though it was switched on unintentionally, because halacha is with R’ Yehuda. If necessary, there is room to rely on R’ Me’ir and benefit from the light, but a Rav must be asked as to the definition of “necessary”. Sephardim must be more stringent because the Mechaber does not present another opinion other than R’ Yehuda.

Can we make this l’ma’ase?

Several examples intended to heighten our awareness but not intended as a p’sak:

v     Betty peeled eggs two hours prior to the meal and went to shul. She violated a biblical issur of borer and according to halacha she and others may not consume the eggs that Shabbos. [3] We assume it is b’shogeig because she has no intention to want only violate the Shabbos, rather it is her ignorance that perpetuates this violation. A Rav should be asked.

v     Moish unknowingly carried tissues in his pocket home from shul in a place without an eiruv. Upon arriving home he realizes that he carried tissues in a prohibited manner and enquires as to the status of the tissues. Halacha is that he may not blow his nose with the tissues, because they were carried home through a Shabbos violation.

One might ask that the tissues are not modified as a consequence of the violation, unlike cooking where the item is modified, so perhaps one may use the tissues? The Chayei Adam [4] used this distinction to differentiate between melachos but concludes that one must be stringent with respect to an issur d’oraisso, which means that Moish may not blow his nose with those tissues. A Rav should be asked.

v     Yenta removed cold chicken with gravy and placed it directly onto a hotplate on Shabbos. Halacha is that the gravy may not be reheated on account of bishul [5] and if so done, may not be eaten. [6]

[1] Simon 318:1.

[2] Simon 318:7.

[3] First Bi'ur Halacha in simon 319.

[4] See Bi’ur Halacha simon 318:1 ă"ä ŕçú.

[5] It is possible that Sephardim may reheat the chicken because the gravy is in the minority, and as for placing it directly onto a hotplate, some poskim permit it. A competent rav must be asked.

[6] It is a machlokes haposkim whether reheating a cold liquid is an issur d’oraisso or d’rabanan. For the sake of the exercise we will assume it is d’oraisso.


Food For Thought

Do the same rules apply to violating an issur d’rabanan?

When a non-religious person performs a melacha for himself or for a religious person, is the melacha deemed meizid or shogeig?

Must one wait the time of bichdei she’ya’asu (the time it takes to perform the melacha) after Shabbos before benefiting from the melacha?

Vort on the Parsha

A predominant method of modern psychology is to listen to a patient and show him that you really care and share his burden. The founder of that “theory” is no other then Moshe Rabeinu.

Moshe Rabeinu told B’nei Yisrael that difficult subject matters should be brought before him and he will listen. He does not say that he will necessary resolve their problem, but he will listen to their problem. This is true of all people. We all need to feel that someone out there cares and is interested in hearing our problems, even though it is possible that nothing can be done to resolve them. This is a basic human need and during the “nine days” it is a small token of bein adam lechaveiro we should try to implement.


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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.