Every Wednesday, Rav Yisroel Dov Webster, noted posek , dayan shaarei mishpat, and author of The Halachos of Pregnancy and Childbirth, gives a Hakhel Shiur to women in Boro Park attended by approximately 100-125 woman. During the winter of 2010-2011, he gave a series of Shiurim on Hilchos Bishul, and at the end of the series the women were given a bechina of 100 questions.
Hakhel provided Matzav.com with questions and answers below. If anyone has any further follow-up questions regarding the answers, he should contact his own Rav for there may be another opinion, or contact Rabbi Webster at 718-259-2063.
1. Is there a difference in the melacha of bishul between something that is food versus non-food?
The melacha of Bishul applies to all solid and liquid items whether the item is edible or not in its raw state, e.g., fruit/veg., water, metal, etc.
2. Is there a difference in food between a liquid and solid?
Yes, there is a difference relating to at which point the item is considered as cooked.
3. Is one permitted to put a cold liquid into boiling hot water?
No, not even for a moment.
4. Is one permitted to take cold water and put it on top of a hot urn in order to make a cup of coffee?
No, one is even not permitted to leave the water on top of the urn even for a few minutes if the water can be heated to yad soledes bo after some time.
5. For a solid food, at what temperature is food considered as cooked?
Min HaTorah a solid food is considered as cooked if the food reaches the level of Ben De’rosai –approximately 1/3 -1/2 cooked. However, MidRabanan one is not permitted to place an uncooked item even for a moment near a fire that is capable to cook the item to this level.
6. Is one permitted to place a solid that was not cooked near a flame?
7. At what degree is a liquid considered as cooked?
Min HaTorah a liquid item is considered as cooked if the liquid is heated to yad soledes bo. There is a dispute among the poskim as to this temperature. It ranges from 110°-125° Fahrenheit.
8. How does one know if a liquid is at this temperature (how can one test it)?
If one touches the item, and must withdraw one’s hand upon contact–then it is yad soledes bo.
9. Is one permitted to speed up the cooking process on Shabbos for something that was not cooked completely?
One is not permitted to accelerate the cooking process. Therefore, even if the item is cooked to the degree of Ben De’rosai, one is not permitted to accelerate the cooking in order to complete the cooking process.
This halacha applies in the following situations:
A) Moving a pot closer to the flame even on a blech.
B) Stirring a pot either on the blech or off the blech.
C) Covering a pot either on the blech or off the blech, as long as the item is yad soledes bo.
D) Removing food or liquid from the pot either on the blech or off the blech as long as the item is yad soledes bo.
E) Closing an oven door if there is food in the oven that is not completely cooked.
10. If one has a blech on the stove, can he move food around on the blech. What does it depend on?
See #9A if the food is not completely cooked.
11. If one has a pot of food that was not completely cooked, can one remove some food in order to feed a child?
12. If one has a cholent on a blech can one remove cholent from it?
See #9A if the food is not completely cooked. If the cholent is completely cooked, one may remove cholent by moving the pot off the area of the fire.
13. If one has to make a baby bottle with hot water right after she light candles, is she permitted to take the hot water from an electric urn?
See #9D, if the water is completely cooked than it is permitted.
14. If one smells that his vegetables are starting to burn on Friday night, is one permitted to stir them?
See #9B, if the vegetables are completely cooked than it is permitted. However, one cannot stir them while they are over the flame area.
15. My daughter uncovered the chicken pan on the blech on Friday night– Am I permitted to re-cover it?
See #9C, if the chicken is completely cooked than it is permitted. However, according to HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, one should move the pan off the fire area in order to re-cover it.
16. Before I went to sleep I took the cover off the cholent to check it. Am I permitted to re-cover it?
Only if it is completely cooked. Hagoan Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, held that one should not recover the pot while it is the area of the blech that is over the fire. Other poskim are of the opinion that it is permissible to recover the pot as long as the food is completely cooked.
17. Why with respect to a solid food do we say ayn bishul acher bishul, while regarding a liquid we say yesh bishul acher bishul?
Because in a solid, the food is changed from a raw state to a cooked state. However, in liquids, the purpose of the cooking process is not to change the quality of the food as with a solid, but simply to heat up the liquid–so one will be able to drink the liquid while it is hot. Therefore, when the liquid cools off, it is considered as if one is cooking it again for the first time.
18. If a liquid is cooked to yad soledes bo, is one allowed to put it into a place where it will become boiled?
There is a dispute among the Poskim, according to HaRav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, it is permissible, the Eglai Tal and others held that it is prohibited .
19. Since we are of the opinion that ayn bishul acher bishul in a solid, is one permitted to place it on the blech on Shabbos?
No, due to the prohibition of chazarah.
20. Is one permitted to take boiled chicken and reheat it on top of a cholent pot?
21. Is one permitted to take a piece of boiled chicken from a pot of soup that is on the blech and put it into a different pot without soup and put it on the blech?
Yes, unless by doing so the chicken will become roasted.
22. If one would like another bowl of soup is one permitted to add hot soup from a pot of soup that is on the blech?
If the soup in the bowl is warm, then one is permitted to add from the hot soup pot.
23. Is one permitted to take hot soup that one put into a soup tureen and put it back into the soup pot that is on the blech?
24. What is the difference between a first vessel, a second vessel, and a third vessel?
A Keli Rishon is the first vessel, i.e., the vessel in which the food or liquid was heated on the fire. Even if the pot has been removed from the fire, it still retains its status as a Keli Rishon as long as it is Yad Soledes Bo.
Irui Keli Rishon
Hot liquid poured from a Keli Rishon is called Irui Keli Rishon. Since the liquid is being poured from a Keli Rishon, it still has some cooking power.
A Keli Sheni is the second vessel. If hot water was poured from a kettle into a cup, the kettle is a Keli Rishon and the cup is a Keli Sheni. Although the water in the cup may still be very hot, the transfer of water from one vessel to another decreases its cooking power.
Irui Keli Sheni
Liquid poured from a Keli Sheni is called Irui Keli Sheni.
A Keli Shlishi is the third vessel. If water from a kettle is poured into a cup, and then the contents of that cup are poured into another cup, the second cup is called a Keli Shlishi.
For most practical applications, one can divide the above into three categories:
Keli Rishon and Irui Keli Rishon, which basically have the same halachic status;
Irui Keli Sheni and Keli Shlishi, which basically have the same halachic status.
Another concept that we must discuss is
Kalei Bishul – Easily Cooked Foods. Some foods require an intense degree of cooking. These foods are called KesheiBishul. Water is an example of Keshei Bishul. Most foods require a moderate amount of cooking. A few foods are considered Kalei Bishul, i.e., very easily cooked. Under this category are included eggs, salted herring, sardines and tea-leaves.
25. Is one permitted to take uncooked food and place it into an empty kli rishon–first vessel?
26. Is one permitted to put cold gravy into a hot pot of cholent that is taken off the blech in order to warm up the gravy?
No, however, one may reheat the gravy in a kli sheni.
27. Unexpected guests arrive at one’s home on Friday night. Is one permitted to add water to the soup in order to expand the soup?
Adding cold water to a kli rishon is prohibited. However, one may take cooked water that is at least yad soledes bo and add it to the hot soup that is preferably not on the fire. One is permitted to add cold water to a hot soup that is in a kli sheni.
28. Is one permitted to heat up a baby bottle in a first vessel that is off the fire?
One may not heat up a baby bottle in a pot of hot water-kli rishon that is yad soledes bo and has been removed from the blech because the milk will be cooked by the heat of the kli rishon. However, one is permitted to heat up the bottle in a kli sheni.
29. Is one permitted to take a cold piece of chicken taken from the fridge and put it into a first vessel that is on the blech?
No, because of the prohibition of chazarah.
30. In # 29 is there a difference if the pot is on the fire or off the flame?
Yes, one is permitted to put the cooked meat into a kli rishon that has been removed from the blech.
31. If one needs to wash a baby on Shabbos, what is the best way to make a warm bath?
One can fill the bassinet with cold water and than add hot water from a kli rishon to it.
32. Is one permitted to pour hot water into a wet cup to make a tea?
One should not pour hot water from a kli rishon into a wet cup due to the fact that there is some cold water that is in the cup that will become cooked upon contact with the hot water. According to HaGaon Rav Moshe Feinstein, Zt’l, if the cold water was previously cooked (e.g., a glass of tea and you want a refill) one is not obligated to dry the cup first. However, the Chazon Ish was of the opinion that one must dry the cup first. Preferably, one should dry the cup first.
33. Is one permitted to add spices to a second vessel?
Any spice that was cooked in the factory may be added to a kli sheni (e.g., salt, sugar). Any spice that was not cooked may not be added to a kli sheni if the liquid is yad soledes bo. If the liquid is not yad soledes bo, then even though the liquid is warm it is permitted. One is permitted to add the uncooked spice to a liquid that is in a kli shelishi. However, one should not add uncooked spices to a solid food as long as the solid food is yad soledes bo.
34. Is one permitted to pour cold water to a cup of coffee that is too hot in a second vessel?
See # 31
35. Is one permitted to add cold gravy to hot gravy that is in a second vessel?
36. Is one permitted to add milk to a coffee that is in a second vessel?
Liquids; e.g., water or pasteurized milk, may be added to a Keli Sheni. This is true even if only a small amount of liquid is added.
37. Is one permitted to add salt or sugar to a first vessel?
Salt or sugar may be added to a Keli Sheni. However one may not pour hot water from a Keli Rishon onto salt/sugar.
38. Is one permitted to warm up cold gravy in a third vessel?
Yes, completely cooked liquids may even be reheated in a Kli Sheni.
39. Is one permitted to eat coleslaw with a piece of meat that is yad soledes bo?
In order to answer this question, we need to explain some of the halachos of a Davar Gush–A Hot Solid:
A hot solid that has been removed from a Keli Rishon and placed into a Keli Sheni still remains very hot. This hot solid is called a Davar Gush. A question is raised in the Poskim as to the status of a Davar Gush: Since it retains its heat, is it to be considered as a Keli Rishon? There is a dispute among the Poskim regarding the status of a Davar Gush. Some Poskim treat a Davar Gush no differently from any other food, with all the relevant dinim of Keli Rishon, Sheni, Shlishi, etc., applying to a Davar Gush. Other Poskim are more stringent. They maintain that since the Davar Gush retains its heat, it must still be considered a Keli Rishon even after it has been transferred to a Keli Sheni. Practically, one may rely on the lenient opinion. The Mishnah Berurah however states that one should follow the stringent opinion; e.g., according to the strict opinion, mayonnaise may not be placed on a hot potato. According to some Poskim, pre-cooked liquid (even if totally cooled), e.g. ketchup, may be placed on a Davar Gush in a Keli Shlishi. For this reason, margarine may be smeared on a hot potato or corn in a Keli Shlishi. Others however are stringent in this matter. Pre-cooked salt may be placed on a Davar Gush in a Keli Sheni on the condition that the salt will not dissolve. Even according to the strict opinion, a Davar Gush has the status of a Keli Rishon only when it is standing independently on a plate. However if the Davar Gush is within a soup, it has the same status as the soup. A hot Davar Gush may not be removed from a Keli Rishon and placed inside a cool liquid–even if placed in a large quantity of liquid. For example, one may not place a hot potato in a bowl of cold water. For the same reason, it would be prohibited to cool a hot, hard-boiled egg in a pan of cold water. One may not place a hot Davar Gush on a cold, unboiled liquid; e.g., one may not place a hot potato on a plate on which there is a little oil.
40. What is the ruling regarding a ladle? Is it considered as a first vessel or a second one?
The Poskim write that it makes a difference how much time the ladle is inside the Keli Rishon. If the ladle was inside the Keli Rishon long enough for the contents of the ladle to be as hot as the contents of the Keli Rishon, then the ladle is to be considered a Keli Rishon, and the liquid poured from the ladle an Irui Keli Rishon. However if the ladle was quickly inserted into the Keli Rishon and removed immediately, then it has the status of a Keli Sheni and the contents poured from the ladle are considered an Irui Keli Sheni. Practically speaking, unless the ladle was removed immediately from the Keli Rishon, we should always consider the ladle a Keli Rishon and pouring from a ladle an Irui Keli Rishon. Regarding the bowl into which the contents of the ladle are poured: Some Poskim are of the opinion that although the ladle is given the status of a Keli Rishon, the bowl may be regarded as a Keli Shlishi. Therefore, if soup was ladled out of a Keli Rishon and poured into a bowl, it would be permitted to add salt to the soup. One would also be permitted to add matzah, etc., to the soup as it is considered a Keli Shlishi. However, other Poskim are of the opinion that the bowl is a Keli Sheni, and for salt, challah, croutons or matzah, etc. to be added to the soup, it must first be transferred to a Keli Sheni, e.g., a soup tureen, and then to the bowl, making the bowl a definite Keli Shlishi. Common practice is for soup to be placed in a Keli Shlishi or to insure that the bowl is a Kli Shlishi to avoid all such problems of Bishul. Those who do not use a tureen and would like to add salt to the soup, backed goods into the bowl should be careful to remove the ladle immediately from the Keli Rishon so that it has the status of a Keli Sheni, thereby making the soup bowl a Keli Shlishi.
Another problem that arises when using a ladle is that if after removing the ladle from the Keli Rishon, the soup that remains on the ladle gets cold, then it would be prohibited to reinsert the ladle into the Keli Rishon unless the ladle was first wiped dry. To avoid this problem some people are careful to leave the ladle on top of the pot or prepare all the bowls of soup that are needed at one time. The same is true of the pot cover, when the cover is removed the liquid inside the cover has cooled. In such a case, the cover must be wiped dry before it is replaced on a hot pot.
41. Is one permitted to use sea salt on hot solid food? Due to the fact that sea salt is not cooked , one should not add it to hot solid food.
42. If one took off a soup lid from a pot that was on the blech and put it on the counter can one re-cover the hot soup with this pot cover? An uncovered pot of partially cooked food may not be covered with a pot lid as this would speed up the cooking process. The lid holds in the heat and allows the food to cook faster, which is an act of Bishul. Therefore great care must be taken not to lift the lid off such a pot, as it would be prohibited to return the lid. However, one may cover a pot of fully cooked food, even if by covering it one increases the bubbling. If one wishes to check the cholent on Friday night, one must make sure that it is fully cooked before the lid is removed.
Due to the condensation that is collected in the lid, one should dry off the lid before re-covering the pot. However, if the liquid in the lid is still warm than one does not need to dry it first.
43. How should one make coffee on Shabbos?
A cup of coffee should be made on Shabbos in the following way:
1) Take a dry cup. If the cup was rinsed first, it should be dried.
2) Fill the dry cup with hot water from the kettle or urn.
The hot water should then be poured into a second cup (a Keli Shlishi) in which one then puts the coffee granules. There are opinions that allow instant coffee, milk and sugar to be added to a Keli Sheni, however it is always preferable to use a Keli Shlishi.
44. If one forgot to make tea essence before Shabbos how can one make it on Shabbos?
One should not immerse a tea bag or tea leaves into hot water that is Yad Soledes Bo even in a Keli Shlishi. However, one is permitted to immerse the tea bag into a cup of water that is not Yad Soledes Bo and than add it to a cup of water that is a Keli Shlishi.
Hagoan Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, was of the opinion that one may make tea on Shabbos using a tea bag inside a Keli Shlishi. (However, as stated above this is not the consensus of the Poskim.) As regards removing the tea bag, one should not remove it with one’s fingers but with a spoon. Furthermore, one should not squeeze the bag upon removal from the cup
45. If one wants to reheat a solid piece of meat on Shabbos morning how can it be done?
The following foods may be placed on the top of a Keli Rishon even though it is standing on the fire:
Any fully cooked dry solid, either hot or cold; e.g., cold meat, potatoes, Kugel, or Challos may be placed on top of a pot. If meat is being placed on a Pareve kettle, care should be taken to put the meat on a plate so that there is no contact with the kettle.
A liquid that has been fully cooked and that has cooled but still remains warm/hot (although not Yad Soledes Bo) may be placed on top of the pot.
46. If on Friday night I move the cholent from Area A (area over flame) on the blech to Area C (area not yad soledes bo) can I move it back to Area A on Shabbos morning?
Hagoan Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, was of the opinion that one may not return a pot that was left in Area C back to Area A if the food became cold. However, if the food is still warm than it may be returned to Area A.
47. If I moved a cholent off the fire on the blech, is one permitted to stir it?
Stirring (Maygis) a partially cooked food causes the food to be cooked more quickly. One therefore may not stir a pot of partially cooked food whether it is on or off the flame. However, if the cholent is fully cooked, it may be stirred off the flame. But it is always prohibited to stir any food–including a fully cooked food–when it is over the flame (Area A). If one needs to stir the fully cooked cholent (e.g. afraid it is drying out( one should either move the pot to Area B (not over the flame, but yad soledes bo) or Area C or lift the pot off the flame (all the rules with regard to chazarah must be fulfilled), stir the pot and than one may replace it to Area A.
48. In # 47 if the pot was moved to Area B can I stir it?
Yes, as long as the pot was completely cooked.
49. Why do we need a blech for Shabbos?
One is not permitted to leave a pot of food that is not cooked on an open flame from before Shabbos so that the food shall continue to cook on Shabbos. The reason for this was that Chazal were afraid that if they were to permit one to leave uncooked food on the flame before Shabbos one might forget it is Shabbos and one would come to adjust the flame in order for the food to become fully cooked sooner, whereupon one would transgress the prohibition of Bishul on Shabbos. However, there are some cases where it would be permitted.
50. Does a hotplate need a blech?
Hagoan Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, was of the opinion that all electrical appliances that operate on a single temperature and cannot be adjusted do not require any form of a blech. However, if the temperature can be adjusted, than the appliance requires a covering. A heavy duty aluminum foil may be used. Hagoan Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Z’tl, held that if one has only regular foil one should double it.
51. What are the five conditions to permit returning food to a blech- Chazarah?
We have explained above, that a fully cooked solid is not subject to the laws of Bishul, because Ein Bishul Achar Bishul. Therefore, one would think that it should be permissible to replace a fully cooked pot of food onto the stove after it has been removed. However, Chazal teach that if a person is seen to be placing a pot on the stove, it would give the appearance that one is cooking on Shabbos–Mechzei Kimivashel. Chazal therefore made a rule that a pot may not be returned to the stove unless it is clear that this is not a new act of cooking but rather only a continuation of the previous act of cooking.
Due to the above reasoning, Chazal prohibited the pot to be returned to the stove unless five conditions are fulfilled. Only when all the conditions are present may the pot be returned to the stove.
These are five conditions:
1. The flame onto which the pot is returned is covered (blech).
2. The food must be fully cooked.
3. The food must still warm (even if not yad soledes bo, as long as it is still warm).
4. The pot is removed with the intention of returning it.
5. The pot is continuously held by the person while it is off the stove.
Let us explain some of the conditions:
1. The Flame Is Covered
To place a pot on a covered flame does not look like a typical act of cooking.
NOTE: The pot does not necessarily have to be returned to the same flame upon which it was originally placed. As long as it is placed on a flame that is covered, it is permitted. A pot may therefore be transferred from one blech to another, or even from an open flame onto another flame covered with a blech.
If the stove top was not covered by a blech on Erev Shabbos, it is permissible to cover the flame with a blech on Shabbos. Once the flame has been covered, the pot may be placed on the blech as long as all the other conditions have been fulfilled.
4. The pot is removed with the intention of returning it
If a pot is removed from the stove with the intention to return it, this intention indicates that the returning of the pot to the stove is merely a continuation of the previous act and is not a new act of cooking.
However, if by mistake a pot was removed from the stove without the intention to return it, e.g., on Friday night the cholent (for use on Shabbos day) was removed by mistake from the stove with no intention to return it, and when the pot was opened it was seen to be the cholent, then it is permissible to return the pot to the stove even if the pot has already been placed on a table. If a pot slips off the blech it may be replaced. The same would apply if the pot was removed with the intention to return it and it accidentally slipped out of one’s hands.
5. The Pot Is Still in the Hand
Holding the pot indicates that the removal of the pot is only temporary and when the pot is returned it is one continuous act of cooking. There is a dispute among the Poskim as to the extent to which one must hold the pot. Some Poskim are of the opinion that the pot must literally be held in the air, or rested on the edge of a surface in such a manner that if the person holding the pot would let go, the pot would fall. Other Poskim are of the opinion that even if the pot is placed on a surface, as long as the pot is still held in the hand, it may be returned. In the case of a very large pot that could not be held in the air, one may rest the pot on the surface. If the pot was removed from the stove and was placed on the ground it may not be returned to the stove, however, if it was on a countertop or table then it may be returned.
52. Is one permitted to put uncooked food on a blech before Shabbos?
One should make sure that all food that is put on the blech should be completely cooked before Shabbos. However, as long as the food is half cooked (in great need at least one-third cooked) it may be placed onto the blech before Shabbos and continue to cook on Shabbos. With regards to a liquid, the liquid must be cooked at least to 160F before Shabbos (preferably one should bring all liquids to a boil before Shabbos).
53. If one removed a pot from a blech and did not put it down can one return it back onto the blech?
The answer was given in # 51 last week–do you remember it?
54. Can one put back onto the blech a pot that was removed by mistake and was put on the counter?
The answer was given in # 51 last week–do you remember it?
55. One was organizing the blech on Erev Shabbos and one removed a completely cold pot from the blech but forgot to put it back on the blech. Is one permitted to put it on the blech on Shabbos?
No, but if one removed (and placed down on the counter) before Shabbos a warm pot of food that was completely cooked with the intention to put it back onto the blech before Shabbos but forgot one is permitted in case of great necessity to place the pot back onto the blech on Shabbos as long as the food is still warm.
56. If the fire under the blech went out on Shabbos, can one move the pot to another stove?
If one of the flames under a pot went out, it is permitted to transfer the pot to another flame as long as the food is still hot, fully cooked, and the second flame is covered. However if the food in the pot has cooled, it may not be transferred. It should also be noted that if the gas flame blew out, one is permitted to turn off the gas, but one should use a shinui to turn the control knobs for they are muktzeh.
57. In # 56 does it matter if the fire went out before Shabbos or on Shabbos?
58. If my cholent is drying out how can I add water to it?
One must move the pot from Area A (over the fire, on the blech) to areas on the blech not on the fire–Area B or Area C, and then pour hot water from a kettle that is on the blech. One may also transfer hot water from an urn to a cholent by use of a ladle. The ladle should be inserted into the hot water and held there for a few seconds before the water is ladled into the cholent. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach, Zt’l, held that one may take water from an urn by the use of a cup and then pour the hot water into the cholent. After one adds water to the cholent then the pot may be re-covered and then put back onto Area A.
59. In # 58 can one take water from an urn and then pour it into a cholent pot?
60. What is Hatmana?
Hatmana is the wrapping of food in order to store or contain heat. There are two types of Hatmana. Hatmana that adds heat – Mosif Hevel, and Hatmana that retains the heat –Aino Mosif Hevel Ela Ma’amid Hevel. Enveloping a food item with towels, sheets or cloth near or on a heat source is Hatmana that adds heat. Although the wrappings do not add heat, the entire arrangement does, as we view the wrappings together with the heat source as a method that adds heat.
61. Is one permitted to wrap a piece of kugel and put it into a cholent pot?
One is permitted to wrap a kugel in order for it not to fall apart and put it in the cholent before Shabbos.
62. Is one permitted to insulate a pot that became unwrapped– in a heat-retaining material on Shabbos?
Yes, as long as the food is completely cooked and wrapped in the heat retaining material before Shabbos.
63. A pot that was wrapped in a heat-retaining material (such as a towel) before Shabbos and became unwrapped on Shabbos by itself–may one re-wrap it on Shabbos?
Yes, as long as the food is completely cooked and wrapped in the heat retaining material before Shabbos.
64. A pot that was wrapped with a towel before Shabbos and was intentionally unwrapped to take food out of the pot can one re-wrap it on Shabbos?
Yes, as long as the food is completely cooked and wrapped in the heat retaining material before Shabbos.
65. Is one permitted to add a layer of towels to a pot that was already wrapped in towels before Shabbos?
One is permitted to add a heat retaining layer e.g. towel to a pot that was already insulated before Shabbos.
66. Does the prohibition of Hatmana apply to a kli sheini, a second vessel?
The prohibition of Hatmana only applies to a kli rishon-the original pot that the food was heated on the flame. If one transferred food from the kli rishon to a kli sheini– a second pot there is no problem to insulate it with a heat retaining material e.g. towel.
67. Is one permitted to wrap a baby bottle in towels?
See # 66. If warm milk is placed into a baby bottle where upon the baby bottle becomes a kli sheini, than it is permissible to wrap a towel around it in order to keep it warm.
68. Is one permitted to wrap a pot and leave it on the blech or hotplate on Friday before Shabbos?
No, due to the fact that there is a independent heat source under the pot.
69. Is one permitted to insulate an electric water urn on Friday before Shabbos?
One is not permitted to fully wrap an urn on Erev Shabbos even without a heat-retaining item.
70. Is one permitted to wrap kishke in aluminum foil and submerge it in a cholent pot?
One is not permitted to completely submerge a container with food into the cholent on Shabbos because it is considered as insulating the food (container) in a material that adds heat– Mosif Hevel, due to the fact that other hot food will help raise the temperature in the container. There is a dispute among the poskim whether wrapping food in aluminum foil is permitted Erev Shabbos. According to Hagoan Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, one is not permitted to wrap food completely in aluminum foil for it is considered as an item that adds heat–Mosif Hevel. However, the Debreciner Rav, Z’tl, disagreed and held that if your intention for wrapping the food in aluminum foil was in order that the food should not fall apart or dry out, then it is permissible.
71. In # 70 what would be if my intentions is that a kishke should absorb the flavor of the cholent?
It is a Machlokes HaPoskim. HaRav Moshe, Z’tl, would not permit it.
72. Is there a difference if a pot is completely wrapped on all sides or partially wrapped?
The prohibition of Hatmana is when a pot is completely wrapped on all sides. If some part of the pot is left exposed–one full side then it is not considered as being insulated.
73. Does the prohibition of Hatmana apply if the wrapping does not touch the pot?
As we explained in # 72 in order for there to be a prohibition of Hatmana the pot must be completely insulated on all sides with the insulated item. If the wrapping does not touch the pot on all sides it is not considered as being totally insulated. Therefore, if one wraps a pot loosely with a towel even though the pot is covered with the towel it would be permitted for this is not considered as Hatmana.
74. How can one warm up a baby bottle in water so that there is no prohibition of Hatmana?
When warming up a baby bottle one is not permitted to submerge the whole bottle in hot water one must leave the nipple exposed.
75. According to some Poskim, what is the problem of hatmana with regard to a crock pot?
A crock pot consists of a pot that is placed in a metal encasing which contains a heating element and cooks the food inside the interior pot. People commonly place food in the crock pot on Friday and leave it on, so that the food cooks through the night and is ready for consumption on Shabbos morning.
At first glance, although the use of the crock pot has become widespread, it appears to transgress the prohibition of “Hatmana.” After all, here, too, one encloses a pot of food in order to preserve its heat – the precise definition of “Hatmana.”
A number of Poskim are of the opinion that one may in fact use a crock pot for Shabbos in the manner described above, based on the combination of a number of factors. Firstly, two Rishonim, Rabbi Yeshaya Ha’rishon and Rabbeinu Simcha Gaon held that the prohibition of Hatmana applies only to food that one intends to eat on Friday night. Since a person has his mind on this food from the time Shabbos begins, Chazal were concerned that one may stir the coals in an effort to maintain that the food be hot. However, a person does not give too much thought to the food intended for Shabbos day. Since there is plenty of time for the food to become warm, it is unlikely that one will stir the coals to keep the food hot. Therefore they held that the “Hatmana” prohibition does not apply to the food intended for Shabbos day. Secondly, the Rama’s opinion is that Hatmana means complete enclosing of the pot. According to the Rama, one may enclose a pot to retain its heat if he leaves the top of the pot exposed. This ruling would allow the use of a crock pot, since the heating element covers only the bottom and the sides of the inner pot, and not the top. (The pot cover is considered part of the pot itself, and not part of the encasing.) There is some space between the heating element and the pot containing the food, and the Ramban and the Ritva held that “Hatmana” requires direct contact between the pot and the encasing. (This was the psak of my Rebbi, Hagoan Harav Tuvia Goldstein ZT”L and YBL”T Hagoan Harav Scheinberg (Otzaros HaShabbos pg. 519).) I heard that Chacham Ovadia Yosef Shlita also paskened also that it is permitted as stated above, and added that one may also apply the principle of “Sefek Sefeka,” or “double doubt” to crock pots. Since we have several factors that according to some authorities render this situation permissible, we may combine these factors to allow the use of a crock pot on Shabbos.
It should be noted, however, that if one uses a crock pot that has a dial to adjust the heat level, one must either remove or cover the dial before Shabbos, or turn the pot away from the person, so that he will not mistakenly adjust the dial on Shabbos
In order to understand the opposing opinion, I must explain the concept of Hatmana in a little more detail.
How much of the pot may be covered according to the Rama’s ruling without violating the laws of Hatmanah? The Pri Megadim (259:3 in Mishbetzos Zahav) discusses whether it is sufficient that the top of the pot be exposed, or whether it must be exposed to a greater extent. He demonstrates from a ruling of the Taz (258; however, cf. Taz 253:14) that one must leave most of the pot exposed to avoid violating Hatmanah.
The Taz (258:1) rules that it is only permitted (i.e., it is not Hatmana) if part of the sides is uncovered so that most of the pot is still left exposed. If most of the pot is covered, he contends that this is prohibited, and the food that was in that pot cannot be eaten on Shabbos. For this reason, the Taz prohibits immersing a cup of cold water on Shabbos in a pot of hot water even just to remove its chill, unless the cup is partly above the water level of the pot.
The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Kuntrus Acharon 257:3) disputes the Taz’s ruling, contending that as long as the pot lid remains uncovered one may cover the sides of the pot. He permits placing a basin into a pot of hot water before Shabbos provided that the lid of the pot is above the water level. He would similarly permit wrapping a cholent pot on Shabbos with towels, provided the pot lid is not covered.
These Poskim would similarly dispute to what extent one may drape towels over an urn either before or on Shabbos. According to the Taz, one may do this only if the sides of the urn are predominantly exposed. According to the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, it is sufficient if the sides are partially exposed.
Hagoan HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, ZT”L, and YBL”T Hagoan Harav Elyashiv, Shlita, are of the opinion that even the Shulchan Aruch HaRav prohibits using this crock pot since is a regular method of cooking (Orchos Shabbos pg. 542; (Otzaros HaShabbos pg. 517). In their opinion, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav permits partial Hatmanah only when one does not usually cook this way, such as by draping towels over an urn or submerging a pot of cold water in hot water. However, Chazal did not permit allowing food to cook on Shabbos by resting on a heat source.
Hagoan Harav Shmuel Vozner, Shlita, rules that according to the Rama and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav one may use the controversial crock pot. He maintains that the halacha is like the Rav Shulchan Aruch that Hatmanah is prohibited only if the entire pot, including the lid, is covered. However, if the warming substance covers the sides of the pot, but not its cover, then there is no prohibition in keeping the food heated this way on Shabbos. As a result, although he agrees that there are poskim who prohibit this use of a crock pot since it covers most of the pot, the accepted halacha is to permit it (Orchos Shabbos pg. 543).
Hagoan Harav Chayim Pinchas Scheinberg, Shlita, permitted the use of the crock pot as stated above. He is also not concerned that we should prohibit its use since it is a regular form of cooking. Rav Scheinberg reasons that although indeed this may be true, we see no evidence of Chazal prohibiting this on Shabbos and we do not create our own prohibitions today (Otzaros HaShabbos pg. 519).
Some suggest that according to Rav Shlomo Zalman one may line the area between the crock pot and the pot with some aluminum foil to permit this. This is an error. Although the aluminum foil might remind someone not to adjust the flame, there is no evidence that a reminder permits an activity that is otherwise prohibited because of Hatmanah (Orchos Shabbos pg. 113). There is a method that permits use of the crock pot according to all poskim–by placing a piece of metal or stone inside the apparatus that thereby elevates the pot so that it no longer touches the sides of the heating part. In the models I have seen, placing a stone or metal inside the heater raises the pot part so that it does not touch the sides anymore (Orchos Shabbos pg. 113). This approach should permit use of the crock pot even according to the Shulchan Aruch that slight Hatmanah is prohibited and even according to Rav Shlomo Zalman’s approach that normal use of a crock pot is Hatmanah and prohibited as a regular method of cooking. In our instance, the propping up of the pot avoids both problems since this is no longer the typical use of the crock pot and the apparatus no longer insulates the pot.
76. Is one permitted to put a pot of uncooked food on a stove if one would like to eat it Friday night and one is making early Shabbos?
No. Since a person has his mind on this food from the time Shabbos begins, Chazal were concerned that one may stir the coals [adjust the fire] in an effort to maintain that the food should be hot.
77. Is it permitted to put a towel over a pot that is sitting on a hotplate before Shabbos?
If one just drapes a towel over the pot than it is permitted for it is not Hatmana. Otherwise, it is prohibited.
78. Is one permitted to use a thermos on Shabbos?
Yes, as it is not considered Hatmana.
79. In # 78–what about a hot water bottle?
A hot water bottle is used either to warm one’s bed in the winter or is placed on the abdomen to ease stomach pain. There does not seem to be any Halachic reason as to why one would not be able to use it to warm one’s bed. However, if we transport ourselves to a time when there were no pre-manufactured hot-water bottles and people would use an open vessel and place it on their stomach, we will understand what the following ruling in Shulchan Aruch is referring to: The Mechaber (326:6) states that it is forbidden to place a vessel with hot water on one’s stomach even during the week. The reason is because the water might be boiling hot and endanger the person. Rashi (See Mishna Berurah 326:19) adds that on Shabbos it is doubly forbidden because the water might spill on one’s body resulting in a person bathing on Shabbos in hot water. We are referring to water heated on Shabbos and therefore one may not wash even a small portion of one’s body with this water. If the vessel is closed, like contemporary hot water bottles, there is no problem. However, according to Tosefos, one may not place a vessel with hot water on one’s abdomen because it is considered using medication, and even a closed hot water bottle is prohibited. Accordingly, when one’s intention is merely to warm one’s bed, one may use a closed water bottle.
What if the person has a stomach ache? If a person is classified as ill, which means that he is either bedridden, or his entire body aches, he may use a hot water bottle. If one is not classified as ill, one may not use any medication, and since placing a HWB on one’s stomach is a type of medication one may not use it. However, in the winter months, where it is common that one places a HWB in one’s bed for warmth, one may do the same when one has a stomach ache. This is based on a rule, which says that one may administer medication when it is something that healthy people do as well. For example, healthy people drink brandy, therefore one who has a sore throat or a toothache may drink brandy in the normal manner, even though one’s intention is to ease the sore throat. One may not gargle with the brandy because then it becomes noticeable that one’s intention is for medicinal purposes. Hence, in the winter months one may place a HWB in one’s bed even when one’s intention is medicinal because healthy people do so as well. One may nevertheless heat a towel and place it on one’s stomach, as that is not something associated with medicine.
80. Is one permitted to hang a wet raincoat near a hot radiator with the intent of drying it??
No, one may not lay his wet clothing over a hot radiator to dry, as one would be transgressing the issur of melabain (laundering) and bishul (cooking). However, one may lay dry clothing over the radiator to warm them up. Is there an issue with hanging up wet raincoats/suits/socks etc. that recently became soaked from the rain? Chazal enacted a restriction due to “ma’aris aiyin”; therefore, one is not allowed to hang up wet clothing to dry them on Shabbos. This prohibition is based on the concept that a passerby might come to think that it is permitted to launder clothing, not realizing that laundering on Shabbos is a Torah prohibition. This particular case of ma’aris aiyin is even applicable to hanging up clothing in one’s private room (i.e. bathroom, shower pole etc.) which will not be seen by anybody else. If so, what can be done with one’s wet clothing on Shabbos? The issur is only applicable when one hung them up in an area where laundry is commonly hung to dry such as a clothesline or laundry room. Hanging wet clothing on the back of a chair or even in a closet is permitted, and is not considered as falling within ma’aris aiyin. There are some Poskim who permit one to hang up clothing that are usually dry-cleaned (i.e. suit, woman’s clothing, raincoat etc.), as everyone knows that these types of clothing are not being washed by machine, and there will accordingly be no misconception. It should be stated as well that this issur is only hanging clothing up on–and not before–Shabbos.
81. If one has wet gloves how can one dry them on Shabbos?
See # 80
82. Is one permitted to take hard ice cream from the freezer and put it in a plate that is not yad soledes bo in order for it to defrost?
Yes because the plate is not Yad Soledes Bo there is no problem of cooking the liquid. However, some Poskim prohibited this for one is causing the creation of a new entity –Nolad. But everyone is in agreement that one is permitted to let the item or any other frozen item to defrost in room temperature. Other Poskim disagree and are not concerned with the prohibition of Nolad in this case.
83. If one has a leftover piece of roast with a little bit of gravy (congealed fat stuck to it) can one re-warm the meat on top of a pot on Shabbos morning?
The rule of Ein Bishul Achar Bishul BeDavar Yavesh only applies to a dry solid that remains a solid. However if upon heating, the dry solid turns into a liquid, then it has the status of a liquid and is subject to Bishul due to the rule of Yesh Bishul Achar Bishul BeDavar Lach.
84. Is one permitted to re-warm a piece of kugel that has oil in it?
Certain foods contain fat that gels when the food cools. When such foods are reheated, the gel dissolves and melts. In addition to the problem of Bishul, there is also in this case the question of Nolad. . The question of Nolad exists even if the food is reheated less than Yad Soledes Bo. The rule of Nolad is as follows: A fatty food which when heated releases a substantial amount of liquid fat which can be seen, may not be heated on Shabbos. If however the fat is absorbed within the food (e.g., in the case of a kugel where the oil is absorbed within the kugel) or even if the food does emit a small amount of oil, it is permitted to be heated. Therefore practically speaking: If one has a piece of cold cooked chicken or meat around which has gelled some of its liquid, then it may not be reheated on Shabbos. A dry kugel that may emit a small amount of oil may be reheated. One may not add fat to a soup, even if it is a Keli Shlishi and even if it is not Yad Soledes since the melted fat will be noticeable in the soup. One may place shmaltz on rice that is not Yad Soledes Bosince the food absorbs the fat, there is no problem of Nolad. However this would not be allowed on a more solid food like a piece of roast meat upon which the melted fat is clearly visible. There are those who are stringent and do not place a cold piece of chicken (which has gelled some of its liquid) on the same plate as hot, thick cholent, as this may pose a question of Yesh Bishul Achar Bishul.
85. Is one permitted to put sugar into a second vessel and then pour boiling hot water into the cup?
We have stated before that all foods that dissolve in a liquid (e.g. coffee) should not be dissolved in a Kli Rishon that is Yad Soledes Bo even if the coffee was cooked before. However, one is permitted to dissolve it in a Kli Sheni. Therefore, one is permitted to dissolve the sugar in a hot Kli Sheni. One is permitted to put sugar on hot solid foods.
86. Is one permitted to put challah into hot soup if the soup bowl is a second vessel?
Many are stringent and permit it only in a Kli Shlishi.
87. On Shabbos morning, is one permitted to warm a frozen Challah on top of a pot of cooked boiled chicken?
One should first leave out the Challah in room temperature for around fifteen minutes and then one is permitted to do so. One must realize that many times the challah absorbs a meat flavor from the pot of meat. Therefore, one should then not eat any of the leftover challah with dairy.
88. If I have dried out cholent, why when I add hot water to the pot it is not considered as cooking after roasting–Yeish Bishul Achar Tzli?
Hagoan Harav Sholmo Zalman Auerbach, Z’tl, explains that all I am doing is just putting the cholent back into its original state and I am not enhancing the food.
89. Is one permitted to add a lemon to a glass of tea in a second vessel?
There is a dispute among the Poskim. There are those who are stringent and only allow the lemon to be placed in a Keli Shlishi; however there are lenient opinions who classify the lemon as Tavlin-(spices) and allow the slice of lemon to be placed in a Keli Sheni. One should follow the first view. One is not permitted to squeeze lemon directly into the tea. However, one may cut a slice of lemon and place it in the cup of tea. But one must be careful not to press the lemon against the side of the cup even if the lemon is fully in the liquid. In the alternative, one may squeeze the lemon onto a spoonful of sugar–making sure that all the juice is absorbed into the sugar, and then one may place the sugar in the tea and stir it.
90. Can one add honey to a second vessel?
If the tea to which the [raw] honey is being added is hot (beyond Yad Soledes Bo) it is best that the tea be in a Kli Shlishi, for in a Kli Sheni, according to many Poskim, it is still prohibited due to the Gezeira of “Mechzi K’Mevashel”. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:34 and Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52:19) One who wants to add honey to a glass of tea or other liquid in a Kli Shlishi may do so–as even though it will mix with the liquid and become liquefied, it is happening by itself and not being done with your hands. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318:118) However, the honey should not be stirred into the drink with a spoon, as doing so is similar to crushing ice with your hands. (See Sha’ar HaTziyun Siman 318:146 that even though it is being done in the liquid, it is best to be stringent.) Once the honey has totally liquefied of its own accord, the drink may then be stirred.
91. Can one add hot water from a second vessel into cold gravy?
92. Is one permitted to put ice cream on top of a piece of hot cake, which is not Yad Soledes Bo?
93. If one cooked on Shabbos by accident is the food permitted?
If one transgressed the prohibition of cooking on Shabbos either intentionally or unintentionally in many cases the food is prohibited and one may not derive any benefit from the food. In some cases the food is only forbidden to some of the people and in other cases the food is forbidden to all. One must contact a Rav.
94. Is one permitted to put ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise onto a piece of hot cooked meat that is transferred to a Kli Sheni?
Hagaon Harav Moshe Feinstein, Z’tl, permitted this because these items were cooked during their processing.
95. What is the definition Irui M’Kli Sheini ?
Pouring from a Kli Sheni does not have the same guidelines as a Kli Sheni but falls under the guidelines of a Kli Shelishi.
96. Is one permitted to put noodles [including Kosher LePesach noodles!] into a bowl and than pour from the soup onto the noodles?
Dry cooked noodles may be put into a Keli Rishon that has been removed from the fire. (Of course it may be placed in a Keli Sheni or placed in a bowl, with soup then added with a ladle.) If the noodles are wet to the touch, it may not be placed in a Keli Rishon. However, it may be placed in a Keli Sheni or placed in a bowl, with soup then added with a ladle.
97. Is one permitted to put challah/matzah, or baked croutons into a Keli Sheini ?
See #82–that it is permitted in a Kli Shelishi
98. Is one permitted to put seasoning onto a hot piece of meat ?
Precooked seasoning (e.g. salt, sugar) is permitted to be put onto dry meat even in a kli rishon. However, uncooked seasoning may never be used on solid food as long as the food is hot to a degree of Yad Soledes Bo.
99. If one has no metal belch what can one use, and how?
Hagoan Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Z’tl, permitted one to you use a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil.
100. Is one permitted to place food into a warming drawer on Shabbos?
There is a dispute among the poskim as to the din of a warming drawer–i.e., whether it is like an oven or not.
Besides the prohibition against cooking on Shabbos there is a prohibition against initiating a fire or causing increased burning. In the case of thermostatically controlled ovens and warming drawers, opening the oven or warming drawer will cause the mechanism to call for increased burning to make up for the heat lost by opening the door or drawer. The resulting effect is a grama of havarah, which is not permissible on Shabbos. However, where one does not want or intend for an action to take place, and has no need for its result, the initial action is prohibited only by Rabbinic law. When coupled with the fact that the ensuing melacha is a reaction that was brought about indirectly, but was initiated through a grama, there is room for leniency and the initial action is permitted. Therefore food left in the oven or warming drawer from before Shabbos may be removed on Shabbos (all the food should be taken out at one time) despite the fact that this will eventually cause the oven to burn. This is because with the removal of the food the resulting additional burning is not wanted or intended. However this can be said only where all of the food is removed at one time. If some food remains in the oven to be heated, then the additional burning caused by the door opening is viewed as intentional and therefore prohibited. Most warming drawers and ovens are thermostatically controlled and would fall into the above category.
If a warming drawer is not controlled by a thermostat one must check with the manufacturer to be sure that by opening the drawer he is not turning off the heating element. If there are multiple temperature settings, these controls must be covered. Even where the warming drawer is not controlled by a thermostat and the opening of the drawer will not affect the flow of power to the heating element, one cannot place food into the warming drawer on Shabbos if its operating temperature is higher than yad soledes, 120 degrees, as this is prohibited under the laws of chazarah.
Some warming drawers have a delayed start timer feature. If one has such a drawer one may not set it to go on Shabbosmorning and place the food to be heated there on Shabbos before the pre-determined time.