shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Bamidbar

May one invite a gentile on Shabbos to partake of the Shabbos meal?

It is muter to invite a gentile to partake of the Shabbos meal, [1] unlike Yom Tov, as we will see.

May one invite a gentile on Yom Tov to eat at the Yom Tov table?

There definitely is a serious problem in inviting a gentile, on Yom Tov, to partake of your Yom Tov meal, for the following reasons:

The possuk in (Shmos 12:17) states 'ach asher yochal l'chol nefesh hu levado ya'aseh lachem', which teaches us that one may cook on Yom Tov for the sake of Yom Tov. However, at the end of the possuk the word for you, the gemora explains, means that one may not cook or do any melacha for a gentile. This means that one may cook and roast chicken for a Jew on Yom Tov, but not for a gentile.

What could be wrong, if for example the food is prepared in a single pot?

Chazal prohibited preparing food for a gentile on Yom Tov even though one is cooking it in the same pot without any extra effort. The question becomes more difficult when the Shulchan Aruch HaRav [2] points out that the halacha states that one may fill a pot of water and boil it even though one only needs the amount of one cup and the remainder will be used after Yom Tov. [3] (One may not say that the excess is for after Yom Tov and it may only be filled in one occurrence). If so, why is it ossur to cook extra for a gentile even though there is no extra effort invested?

The answer is that when one invites a guest over to eat, one makes sure that there is ample food for ones household and for the newly arrived guest. Chazal were afraid that one would cook extra food for the guest in a separate cooking pot and thus violate the issur of cooking for a gentile. Therefore, even though one does not intend to cook in a separate pot for the gentile, there is reason for concern that it might lead thereto. [4] 

Does that mean that I may not give my Yom Tov food to my gentile maid?

No, it is not the same. The reason for the distinction is because ones maid is not a guest and is not treated with the same honor. One would not cook extra food in a separate pot for the maid and therefore there is no room for concern. However, one may only add extra to the pot in the first place before the initial cooking but not add to the pot after it is already on the stove even for ones maid.

There are exceptions to the rule, for example, certain dishes have a better taste when there is more food in the pot, which would permit adding food to the pot even after it is on the stove, but a rav would need to be consulted because this does not always apply. As mentioned, the optimal is to add as much as necessary to the pot before cooking.

May I invite the guest on Yom Tov after the food is prepared? It seems that then there is no room to be concerned that I will cook more food.

Even in this case it is forbidden to invite a gentile. [5]

What if the gentile arrives uninvited?

If the guest arrives after your meal is already prepared the person may partake of the meal. If however the person is a VIP, there are those who prohibit this unless you explicitly say to the guest that he may share whatever you have prepared. Even if the person arrives of his own accord, you may not coax and invite the guest, because that is similar to an invitation. [6]

How does the halacha regard someone who publicly and knowingly violates the shabbos with regards to this halacha?

The poskim [7] rule that such a person shares the same status as a gentile in many respects and in this case as well. Since this question is very pertinent to many people all over the world, a rav must be consulted as how to deal with such a situation.

What is the correct conduct with regards to eating cheesecakes and other milchigs at the Yom Tov fleishig meal?

Many have the custom to begin the Yom Tov meal with milchigs and then continue with the fleishig meal. The Mishna Berura [8] says the following:

  • One may not use the same challah for milk and meat.
  • Separate tablecloths must be spread for milk and meat.
  • One should not eat hard yellow cheese because (in certain cases) one will have to bentsch before the meat meal and wait 6 hours.
  • One need not bentsch or wait between the milk and the meat, it is sufficient to wash ones mouth and eat something to clean the mouth between the milk and the meat.
  • [Other sources, not the MB] - Some have a custom to wait half an hour between milky and meaty and also many have the custom to bentsch between the two.]

[1] Simon 325:1.

[2] Simon 512:3.

[3] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 503:4, Mechaber 503:2 and MB 14-15.

[4] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 512:3.

[5] MB simon 512:3. See the Shaar Hatsiun 3 who argues with the MA who permits this, because from the Rambam one sees that even this is ossur.

[6] MB simon 512:10.

[7] See MB 512:2.

[8] Simon 494:14-16.

Food For Thought

Vort for the Yom Tov

Moreinu HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztzl asks that Shavuos was the time we received the holy of holiest the Torah, and yet we do not find the Torah telling us to rejoice on that day as it does on Pesach and Sukkos, nor did the Torah explicitly reveal that the Torah was given on that day.

He answers that Pesach and Sukkos are one-time occasions and are commemorated during that specific time, therefore one must rejoice on Pesach and Sukkos. Acceptance of the Torah is a daily ritual and an integral part of learning Torah is the Simcha that accompanies it. It would be wrong to say that we must rejoice once a year because it is an ongoing rejoicing every day when we learn the Torah.

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.