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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 Nitzovim/Vayeilech


Hilchos Sechita cont.

If fruit juice seeped out by itself am I permitted to drink it?

Let us say that one stored grapes in a cup and because they were fat and luscious some grape-juice seeped out of the grapes and accumulated at the bottom of the cup. Is one permitted to drink that grape juice?

Offhand we would say, what could be wrong? However Chazal prohibited [1] drinking that juice as a gzeira lest one squeeze the grapes to produce more grape-juice. This is true even if those particular grapes were intended for eating and not for squeezing. [2]

In the previous shiur we mentioned that grapes and olives are in the first category (out of three). Which fruit fall into the second category?

The second category includes a very wide range and variety of fruit. The Shulchan Aruch says that pomegranates and berries may not be squeezed. Even though the majority of this fruit is eaten and not squeezed, nevertheless since some people do squeeze them, Chazal prohibit squeezing for their juice.[3]

The Mishna Berura [4] quotes the Magen Avraham saying that if we know that people somewhere in the world squeeze certain fruit as a beverage, (probably because they have an abundance of that fruit) it is prohibited to squeeze that fruit for its juice anywhere. However, the MA adds that this is only if other places would also squeeze that fruit for its juice had they also had it in abundance, but if not, we say that it is not called a fruit squeezed for juice. [5]

Many fruits and vegetables fall into this category and squeezing or liquidizing or crushing is forbidden. For example: apples, oranges, carrots, tomatoes, plums, peaches, pears and almost all fruit of this nature.

Apparently watermelons are squeezed in Mexico as a beverage, but nevertheless according to the MA it appears that watermelons are not in this category because, for example, in Eretz Yisrael there is an abundance of watermelons BH and nevertheless they are not squeezed here for juice. However, the Mishna Berura does not agree with the MA  and would prohibit squeezing watermelons, because somewhere in the world they are squeezed as a beverage.

Which fruit or vegetables are categorized in the permitted category?

Certain fruits may be squeezed, because people hardly ever squeeze them for their juice, mainly because the juice is not tasty. Halacha is that fruit not normally squeezed for its juice anywhere in the world may be squeezed on Shabbos.

As stated this rule hardly applies and if one has doubts as to whether a certain fruit is squeezed for its juice, if it is not sour you can be sure that somewhere in the world it is squeezed for a beverage.

Why is it permitted when after all I am producing a beverage?

The reason is that Chazal compare fruit usually squeezed for its juice to grapes and olives. The liquid from fruit that is not normally squeezed for its juice is not a beverage and therefore not comparable to grapes and olives.

Is squeezing fruit for medicinal purposes permitted?

The Bais Yosef [6] says that if certain fruit is only squeezed for medicinal purposes, its juice is not considered a beverage and one would be permitted to squeeze that fruit on Shabbos. Only when the juice is used to quench thirst or for pleasure is the produced beverage similar to grapes and olives. This Bais Yosef is quoted by the Rama. [7] A regular fruit may not be squeezed for medicinal purposes because it is also squeezed for juice.

Is one permitted to suck grapes and discard the peels?

The Rama [8] quotes a machlokes (dispute) in this matter. One opinion [9] holds that sucking fruit is not the regular way to produce the beverage and therefore one may suck grapes, bread saturated with gravy, orange juice from an orange etc.

The other opinion [10] holds that even though it is not the normal manner, nevertheless we find that one is rabinically forbidden to suck milk directly from a cow even though it is not normally milked in that fashion. So too one is forbidden to suck grapes or bread saturated with gravy.

The first opinion says that even though a human does not suck milk from a cow but a calf does, and therefore it is not enough of a change or modification from the norm. Sucking grapes is a greater change and permitted.

The Mishna Berura [11] concludes with the Elya Raba who rules that one may suck bread saturated with gravy or any other food item except grapes and olives where one should be stringent and avoid sucking.

The Mishna Berura adds that this chumra (stringency) only applies when the grape is held between ones fingers and sucked on but everyone agrees that one may suck on the grape that is in ones mouth and discard the peels, as that is  -  a manner of eating.

[1] Siman 320:1.

[2] Ibid and see MB 4.

[3] Siman 320:1 and MB 5.

[4] Siman 320:8.

[5] In the Biur Halacha he wishes to argue on this assertion saying that if somewhere in the world people squeeze a fruit for its juice and you wish to do the same, it is ossur for you to squeeze it.

[6] Siman 320:1.

[7] Rama in siman 320:1.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Bais Yosef in the name of the .

[10] Bais Yosef in the name of the " '.

[11] MB siman 320:12.


Orchos Chaim LaRosh

, . .

One must be careful of oaths (making in general and not keeping), causing distress to others through words and with money, and from being jealous and hating others.

With words we can bring tremendous feelings of happiness to others and we are able to cause unfathomable distress and pain. To spite others and to put them in place often involves many issurim and we should use our power of speech to uplift people and show them that are appreciated.

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.