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 Vayeishev

May one make ice on Yom Tov?

First we must investigate whether one may make ice on Shabbos.

The Rama writes, [1] with regards to consuming fat that melted on Shabbos, there are those who are stringent and will not consume it, on account of nolad a new entity, which is a type of muktze.

What has this to do with making ice?

The Tchebiner Rav [2] learns that making ice is also nolad because the solid state is new compared to the liquid state. [3] Other poskim argue saying that ice is not a new form of water, nor is water a new form of ice. [4]

The Shmiras Shabbos rules that it is not correct to make ice on Shabbos but when very necessary, one may.

As we have learned, the rules of nolad and muktze are stricter on Yom Tov than on Shabbos and consequently the same rule applies.

What about making ice cream on Yom Tov?

One must beat eggs to make ice cream, which is very hard without a beater. If however the mixture is ready and all that is required is to place the liquid in the freezer, provided the ice cream is to be eaten that day, it is permitted. [5]

Why is it different then to making ice, which not everyone permits?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztzl explains [6] that ice cream can also be consumed in its melted state, just like water and hence the changeover from being frozen to being melted is inconsequential.

The Smak prohibits melting fat on Shabbos because it changes from a solid to a liquid and Rav Shlomo Zalman explains that fat is not eaten in its solid form but only as a liquid. An item that is consumed in any state, frozen or liquid, would not be nolad.

But melted ice is nolad, even though water and ice are consumed?

That is because ice and water serve different functions. One may freeze soup on Shabbos even though it changes from a liquid to a solid, because it is not used in its frozen state and its purpose is eventually to be defrosted. [7]

To summarize:

  • one may freeze ice cream on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
  • One may beat eggs on Yom Tov. [8]
  • One may mix eggs, sugar and all the other ingredients on Yom Tov to make ice cream.
  • It is a machlokes whether one may make ice on Yom Tov.

May one handle sukkah decorations on Yom Tov?

Sukkah decorations are set aside for the sukkah and are muktze on Shabbos and Yom Tov. This type of muktze is known as muktze machmas mitzvah muktze set aside for a mitzvah. The decorations are muktze because one may not have benefit from them. On chol hamoed one may move them but not use them. [9]

What if they fell from the sukkah, may one use or handle them?

Even if they fell from the sukkah on Yom Tov or chol hamoed one may not use or benefit from them. Consequently they remain muktze even after falling from the sukkah. [10] If the decorations fell onto the table and disturb ones meal they may be removed, in line with the rule that says that muktze may be moved for ochel nefesh, but the Pri Megadim says that if possible they should be moved kilachar yad in a backhanded manner. [11]

May I learn torah using the Chanukah lights?

One may not use Chanukah lights for personal use because we must show that they were lit specifically for the mitzvah, not for personal benefit. [12]

We are also familiar with the gemora that says that one may not count money by the Chanukah lights, because it degrades the mitzvah in ones eyes. [13]

Why must you introduce a new reason for counting money? Is the first reason not applicable?

It does not take that long to count money and is a tashmish aray temporary use. [14] Reading or eating is more lasting and hence more problematic. Nevertheless both are ossur, even counting money from afar, because one may not make any use of the lights.

This is true also for learning torah or eating a seudas mitzvah, as the lights are intended for their specific use. Others disagree and say one may learn with chanukah lights, see the Biur Halacha ad hoc.

May one walk past the candles and use the light to see where one is going?

That is not called using the lights, because one is not expected to close ones eyes. Besides, you are not really doing anything, you happen to benefit from the light. [15]

[1] Simon 318:16.

[2] " " ' .

[3] . (He learns that even the Ramban who argues on the Smak and permits consuming a melted solid, would agree that ice is ossur).

[4] Tsits Eliezer vol. VI simon 34, Shevet Halevy vol. I simon 119, SSK 10 footnote 14 Rav Shlomo Zalman.

[5] SSK 10:7.

[6][6] SSK 10 footnote 20.

[7] SSK 10:5 and footnote 15.

[8] SSK 11:31.

[9] Simon 638:2, SSK 22:29.

[10] Simon 638:2, the Rama.

[11] Biur Halacha ibid uvyot.

[12] Rashi, cited in MB 673:8.

[13] MB simon 673:11 citing the gemora.

[14] MB simon 638:10.

[15] Shaarei Tshuvah simon 673:3.


Food for Thought

Answers coming BE"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

"And the pit was empty, it had no water". Rashi explains that there was no water, but there were snakes and scorpions. The Vilna Ga'on says that the possuk is hinting to Torah. If a person is void of Torah, he can be filled with bad traits. It is through Torah that one can purify one's deepest inner self and be sure that one's actions are guided by the yetzer tov and not vice versa. (Ta'am Veda'as).


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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.