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Friday
Jun212019

May I serve a scoop of ice cream over hot cake on Shabbos?

A collection of frequently asked halachic questions regarding food preperation on Shabbos (excluding cooking), from AskTheRav.com & Halacha2Go.com – Part 1

By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, Mara D’asra and member of the Crown Heights Beis Din

 

May I serve a scoop of ice cream over hot cake on Shabbos?

Serving ice cream over hot cake poses a problem on Shabbos. If the cake is so hot that yad soledes bo (a hand recoils from the heat) — according to many opinions approximately 45C or 113F — it would be considered cooking the ice cream, which is in violation of the melachah of bishul (cooking).

Even if the cake is somewhat cooler, the fact that it could cause the ice cream to melt may be an issue of molid (creating a new entity on Shabbos). Although there might be room for leniency regarding molid, it’s best to serve the ice cream next to the cake; then if the ice cream melts it’s no longer a halachic concern. #556*

Can I Open Cans on Shabbos

Opening a can on Shabbos involves a host of halachic issues, some of which are subject to serious debate amongst contemporary poskim. The issues include the risk of transgressing Shabbos isurim, prohibitions, in any one of the following ways:

Fashioning or building a new vessel

Demolishing an existing vessel

the possibility of mechatech, cutting to size, if opening a can on the perforations,  and

making a pesach yafe, a nice [useful] opening, which is a derivative of makeh b’patish, completing the final stage of a vessel.

For all these reasons and others, it is a good idea to open cans before Shabbos. In the event that there is a great need to open one on Shabbos, there are those poskim who allow it, although some poskim maintain that it is always forbidden, even under extenuating circumstances.

One creative approach—though not that easy—to satisfy most of the concerns if one absolutely must open a can on Shabbos, is to open it from both the top and the bottom simultaneously with two can openers, and to remove the entire top and bottom, but not to open the can on the perforations. #191

Can I Dry Lettuce in a Salad Spinner on Shabbos?

Question:  P’soles (waste or unwanted food) may not be separated from ochel (desirable food) on Shabbos due to the prohibition of borer (selecting). When using a keli (utensil designed for separating), ochel may not be separated from p’soles either. That being the case, may a non-electrical salad spinner be used to dry lettuce on Shabbos, since it separates the lettuce, ochel, and the water, p’soles?

Answer:  One of the key principles in Shulchan Aruch for determining what constitutes the act of borer which is forbidden on Shabbos, is that borer is as follows: It applies only when separating two distinct items that are mixed together, such as nuts and raisins, whereas removing an element within a particular item of food or drink that is generally considered indistinguishable, like sediment in wine or pulp in orange juice—although technically separable—is permissible.

Therefore, if there is a small amount of water left on lettuce, it’s permissible to use a salad spinner on Shabbos to get rid of the water. This is because lettuce is perfectly edible if it’s slightly wet, and most people wouldn’t mind. Drying lettuce with a salad spinner would only be considered borer to an istenis, a person who is very particular, and who absolutely couldn’t eat lettuce if it was slightly wet.

Another reason why drying lettuce is permitted is that removing moisture from lettuce is comparable to rinsing fruits and vegetables, which isn’t considered borer (for various reasons), and is permissible on Shabbos.

Although there are some contemporary authorities who are more stringent and rule against doing this, the accepted halacha is that using a salad spinner to remove moisture from lettuce on Shabbos is permissible. #441*

May two Containers of Leben be Separated on Shabbos?

Separating two leben containers which were connected since production is forbidden on Shabbos for two reasons: the melachah of mechatech (cutting to a desired size), and primarily the issur of tikkun mana (the prohibition of fixing a vessel), a derivative of makeh bpatish. This occurs at separation, since the connected items were not considered a user-friendly “vessel” until they were separated

Similarly, separating two ice pops on Shabbos that were attached since production (as opposed to having been separated previously and later reattached) poses the same two problems described above: cutting the ices to the desired size, and fashioning a useable bag of ices

Some poskim offer various justifications to explain why the above prohibitions dont apply in these cases, and permit separating them on Shabbos. However, one should avoid these issues and make sure to separate them before Shabbos. #445*

Can I squeeze Oil out of a Dougnut on shabbos?

On Shabbos, one may squeeze out the excess oil from fried doughnuts prior to eating themif the intent is simply to eliminate the excess oil, and they are not squeezing the doughnuts for the oil. #472

 

* References and marei mekomos are available for this Halacha on the websites: www.Halacha2Go.com and www.AskTheRav.com

Please note that these halachos apply in general situations. In unique circumstances, a different halacha may apply. If you are unsure whether the halacha applies to your particular situation, please consult a Rov.

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