shabbos candles

Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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 Vayera


Is one permitted to crush ice in order to produce cold water?

            The gemora in Shabbos 51b says that it is prohibited to break ice in order to produce water. We find various reasons in the Rishonim as to why Chazal instituted this halacha.

Rashi says that it is prohibited because it is similar to performing a melacha, as one is creating water.

The Sefer haTruma says that it is prohibited on account of nolad a new entity.

            What is the halachic difference between the two reasons?

            According to Rashi one is permitted to place ice in an empty cup in the sun and benefit from the melted water. Since one is not crushing the ice one is not performing a melacha.

According to the Sefer haTruma it would be forbidden to do so because after all one is producing a new being. [1]

Another case would be placing meat with congealed gravy near a heat source. (Not hot enough to cause the gravy to reach 45º C and be liable for Bishul but warm enough to melt the gravy). According to Rashi it is permitted because one is not crushing the gravy and according to the Sefer haTruma it is forbidden.

            Since it is a machlokes (dispute) what is the halacha?

            The Mechaber [2] (Shulchan Aruch) rules like Rashi [3] and permits placing ice in an empty cup in the sun and he also permits placing congealed gravy near a heat source.

The Rama [4] is stringent similar to the Sefer haTruma and prohibits these two cases. Therefore Sephardim who follow the Mechaber may place ice in empty cup in order to drink the melted water and Ashkenazim who follow the Rama may not.

            According to the Rama, if the gravy or ice melted must it be discarded or remain unconsumed?

            The Rama only rules like the Sefer haTruma lchatchila, [5] and therefore one must avoid doing it. If it was done (bdiavad) or when this gravy is necessary one may benefit from the dissolved gravy.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach [6] however says that lchatchila, if one has other water to drink one should not drink the water that remains from dissolved ice because it is something so paltry it is not called bdiavad.

            According to the Rama (Ashkenazim), may one place ice in water or cola, and if yes why?

            According to all halachic opinions one may put ice into a drink. The melted ice combines with the liquid, whether it is wine, water or coke and is not distinguishable. The prohibition of nolad only occurs when the new item stands alone. When it dissolves in a mixture where the majority is the beverage it is permitted. [7]

            May one crush the ice inside ones drink or stir the drink to melt the ice?

            It is prohibited to crush ice even according to the Mechaber. The question is whether this prohibition changes when crushing ice in a drink because the water hence formed is not distinguishable.

On the one hand we could say that since the water produced is not distinguishable it should be permitted, because the issue of nolad is waived in such circumstances, but on the other hand one is creating water by crushing ice. The Mishna Berura [8] says that lchatchila one should be stringent and not crush the ice in ones drink.

Stirring the ice gently in ones drink is another matter because one is not crushing and producing water, the water melts on its own accord. [9]

            Is one permitted to defrost frozen orange juice?

            During hot weather many are accustomed to placing orange juice, raspberry juice etc. into the freezer, which subsequently turns into a frozen drink. When required, it is removed from the freezer and after defrosting it is drunk. Would this be similar to melting ice, which lchatchila must not be done, or for some reason is it different?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztzl [10] says that it is permitted to defrost an item that has no use as a frozen solid, because even in its frozen state it is still called a liquid and hence it is not nolad. Accordingly he permits defrosting milk on Shabbos. He explains that ice serves a different function to water (and is indeed called another name) and hence its defrosting involves nolad, whereas frozen milk is still called milk and it does not serve a function in its frozen state.

We apply the same rule to defrosting many drinks that are merely frozen in order to cool them and consume when required. Therefore, when necessary one may freeze and defrost on Shabbos all drinks such as orange juice, apple juice etc.

            Is one permitted to freeze water to make ice on Shabbos?

            We find a machlokes as to whether making ice is called nolad being it a new entity, or it is permitted. The Rav of Tchebin, in his classical work the rules that it is nolad and forbidden. Others permit it. [11]

The halacha is that A) one should prepare sufficient ice cubes before Shabbos. B) When very necessary, such as when guests are arriving, one may rely on the lenient opinions and prepare ice for them.

[1] There is a machlokes between the Rashba and the Rosh as to pshat in the Sefer haTrumah. The Rashba learns that the issur is the end result and the Rosh learns that one is creating the new being. We discussed this in length in vol. IV shiur 15 of the Shabbos shiurim!

[2] Siman 320:8 and 318:16.

[3] Or the Rambam who holds that the reason is so one will not come to squeeze fruit.

[4] Siman 318:16 and MB 320:35.

[5] Siman 318:16 and see MB 318:107.

[6] SSK 10:3.

[7] Siman 320:9 and MB 35 and MB siman 318:103.

[8] The Shaar Hatsiun in siman 318:146. See the SSK 10:2 footnote 6.

[9] Kaf haChaim siman 320:60.

[10] SSK 10:5 and footnote 15.

[11] See the SSK 10:4 and footnote 14.


Orchos Chaim LaRosh

One should not sit with idle chatters nor in a shul of simple people.

Even if one were to sit there and not participate in the idle chatter or accept what is being said, one will be influenced by their words and surroundings. After a while, ones thoughts and actions are permeated with ideas and concepts foreign to ones original thinking and without realizing ones behavior is altered beyond recognition.

For a printed version, click here.



One may receive and distribute these weekly shiurim by calling or writing: Office 99 Rechov Bayit Vegan, Yerushalayim,
Phone Numbers:U.S. and Canada 732-370-3344 Israel 972-3-616-6340
 South Africa
078 1655 242 England 44-020-8731-6666 Australia 61-296835626 Switzerland 01141430288
e-mail:, or, weekly sponsorships are available as well. 

If you would like to send a question to Rav Ostroff, you can write to him at

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.