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Weekly Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Yom Tov

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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 Mikeitz

My gentile neighbor brought me apples he picked from his tree on Yom Tov, may I eat them?

A          Fruit picked on Yom Tov are muktze. Firstly, they were attached to the tree when Yom Tov commenced, making them muktze machmas issur on account of an issur, which in this case is the issur of picking. Secondly, a gzeira lest one might be tempted to pick fruit on Yom Tov (and Shabbos). The latter is ossur even for fruit that fell from a tree without human intervention. [1]

Consequently, gentiles fruit are muktze when attached to trees when Yom Tov commenced.

If I may not eat them, may I present them to someone else?

The fruit are totally muktze and may not be handled, let alone eaten by anyone else. Here the issur is not because the gentile performed a melacha on your behalf, it is ossur because the fruit were attached and hence muktze even if fell from the tree.

What if I am not sure whether he picked them before or during Yom Tov?

Safeik muchan ossur items must be positively prepared before Yom Tov to use on Yom Tov; when in doubt whether prepared before Yom Tov it is ossur. [2] If noticeable that they were picked before Yom Tov i.e. they are slightly withered, one may benefit from them on Yom Tov. [3]

What if he tells me they were picked before Yom Tov?

Generally he is not believed, because he wants to find favor in your eyes and when saying he picked them on Yom Tov he is promoting his product. If he tells you - in an innocent manner that they were picked before Yom Tov he is believed. [4] helps when the gentile does not know that Jews may not eat fruit picked during Yom Tov. The Achronim add that the gentile is believed because saying his fruit is a day or two old is detrimental to his cause. [5]

How soon after Yom Tov may one consume the fruit?

It depends on who they were picked for. If the gentile picked the fruit for himself it is only a matter of muktze and may be consumed immediately after Yom Tov (after 1st day Yom Tov, even in chutz laaretz, but not until after 2nd day Rosh Hashana). [6] If picked for the Jew, they may not be consumed until after Yom Tov plus the additional time of bichdei sheyaasu (the time it takes to go to the trees and pick the fruit and return). [7]

May I use a gift brought to me by a gentile from outside the perimeter?

One may not consume or use an item brought by a gentile from outside the perimeter. Carrying an item from outside the perimeter (tchum Shabbos) involves an issur drabanan and when brought for the Jew, he may not benefit from it. [8] However, it is not muktze because the item can be consumed and used by other people it was not intended for.

May household members consume or use the item?

The Shulchan Aruch writes [9] that household members may not consume or use this item and the explanation being [10] that the giver knows that the lord of the manor does not eat alone and he brings it for all household members.

The item may be handled by all because it may be consumed or used by people it was not intended for.

What if the item was carried through a reshus harabim?

One may carry on Yom Tov even without an eiruv and hence no melachos were violated. There is no reason to prevent its use.

May I read a newspaper delivered on Yom Tov?

The financial section should not be read on Shabbos or Yom Tov, regardless when it was delivered. Other sections may be read, according to certain poskim and prohibited according to others and therefore one should seek rabbinical guidance. The issue at hand deals with the fact that the newspaper was printed on Shabbos or Yom Tov and delivered. It can also happen that a newspaper that may be read according to all, such as the kodesh sections of certain Jewish newspapers, delivered on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

  • If the newspaper is carried through a reshus harabim, since one paid for it to be delivered daily it is a problem whether one may benefit from it and a rav must be consulted. [11]
According to the opinions who permit reading newspapers on Shabbos one may read a Jewish newspaper when delivered on Shabbos, [12] because you did not instruct the agent to deliver it on Shabbos. [13] One must not receive it directly from the gentile postman because one will do hanacha place it in a reshus hayachid. Rather the gentile should place it in ones postbox. If the postbox is not included in ones reshus, on Yom Tov the paper may be carried inside but on Shabbos it is ossur.

[1] MB simon 515:23.

[2] Simon 515:3 and MB 27.

[3] Mechaber ibid and MB 29.

[4] Rama simon 515:3.

[5] MB simon 515:31.

[6] MB simon 515:25.

[7] Simon 515:1. The Rama cites an opinion that one must wait until after Yom Tov sheini, see inside.

[8] Simon 515:5.

[9] Simon 515:5.

[10] MB simon 515:47.

[11] See SSK 31:24.

[12] The kodesh section may be read according to all.

[13] Based on SSK 31:23.


Food for Thought

How is the mitzvah of simcha celebrated on Yom Tov?

Do women and children celebrate simcha differently to men?

Answers coming BE"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

Heard from Rav Ezriel Tauber shlita: The Hellenistic ideology placed the person at the center of everything and wished to eradicate the Torah perspective where G-d is the center. Our daily routines are geared towards Hashem and we do everything lshem shomayim. Our very beings must reflect Hashem and Hashems light reflects ever the more we annul and minimize ourselves.

Harav Tauber related the following. Twenty five years ago he sent a girl from the USA to Neveh Yerushalyim, after she expressed her wish to become a baalas Tshuva. After a few months he received the following letter: In English, a person is related to as I, and not with a small i but with a large capital I and placed at the beginning of a sentence I went, I wanted, I fell. In Lashon Hakodesh, the I becomes a small yud and at the end of a word ahavti, halachti .


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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.