Thursday, January 24, 2013

Toveling dishes before you buy or gift them

Q: Is it permissible to tovel keilim before you pay for them? Does Toveling an intended gift absolve the receiver from having to tovel them as well?

A: Lechatchila, tevila should be done after paying for (acquiring) the keilim. Bediavad, tevila is repeated without a Bracha.

The Taz [1] notes that Tevila is required when utensils (requiring tevila) are "transferred" from the possession of a non jew to a jew. However, a retailer that purchased keilim from a non Jew with the intention to resell them, does not have an obligation to tovel them. Consequently, toveling does not change the status of the keilim until the "end user" purchases or "acquires" them[2]. It is only after this acquisition, that the obligation to tovel arises.

However, there is one caveat. Some authorities hold that once a potential buyer decides to purchase an item, and both parties agree on the sale, the buyer might be considered as having acquired the product. This would automatically trigger a requirement on his part to tovel the item, (since it is technically his already)  and if he were to do so even prior to actually "paying" for the item, it would be considered as if he toveled his "own" item.

The Minchas Shlomo applies this to a case where the item was intended as a gift. Since, the purchaser was not acquiring the item for himself (as his intent was to gift it), he was under no obligation to tovel the item[4], and as such the tevila should be repeated, without a Bracha[5].

Daily inspiration:

We enter the struggle between good and bad, pure and impure, holiness and vanity when we engage in its refinement, only once we have the awareness of the need for one and the riding of the other, does the challenge to make the correct distinctions come in to focus.    

[1] שו"ע סי' ק"כ סק"י ועי' דרכ"ת שם סקס"ז
[2] עי' ס' טבילת כלים ע' 164
[3] עי' שם פ"י:י"ב
[4] עי' שם ושו"ת מנחת שלמה ח"ב סי' ס"ו: כ
[5] עי' אלף למגן במטה אפרים סי' תרכה:לב

Friday, June 29, 2012

Question: May I allow myself to be hypnotized for medical and health reasons?

Answer: in previous Halacha we discussed the usage of modern technology and whether they violate the edict of תמים תהיה . With the advent of modern science new forms of treatment have been discovered. Such forms of treatments which have enough scientific proof as to their effectiveness would be Halachiclly permissible. However certain forms of treatments are not scientific and if for the question arises as to their halachic status?

The Torah warns us against the usage of practices of idolatrous[1] or superstitious[2] nature. The common denominator of the two is that they are unnatural and they both deny "faith" in Hashem. The question is whether such a prohibition is in effect when it comes to medical treatment?

The Gemara[3] tells us that when it comes to medical treatments they are permitted even if they have a superstitious element i.e. any treatment which has no scientific or logical basis would be permitted. And so is the Halacha[4]we are permitted to chant for medical purposes (which just happened to be a common practice in earlier times).

The Gemara[5] rules that one could cure himself with any form of treatment as long as it has no "idolatrous" source. The reason given is that the Torah commands us not to practice idolatry even if it means giving up one's life. Based on this, we would not be allowed to go to a physician or to accept treatments that may have idolatrous connotations[6].

Based on the above we conclude that any treatment which has an idolatrous connotation, would be forbidden even if it also had a scientific basis. Furthermore, the same holds true if the person performing the treatments has idolatrous intentions. However, all other forms of treatments are permitted even if they don't have scientific or logical backing!

Yet further analysis is necessary,  because one could argue that only treatments which have been proven to be effective is permitted and consequently does not violate the edict of "Darke Emori". However, any treatment which as of yet does not have sufficient proof to its effectiveness, would be prohibited based on "Darke Emori" for one seems to be relying purely on superstition[7]?

The Poskim held different views on this matter. There are those that hold[8] that any treatment which is not traced back to superstition (even if unproven) is permitted. Others maintain[9] that as long as you ensure the research could prove its effectiveness, (even though at the present time there isn't sufficient evidence) it would be permitted. However, all agree that any form of treatment which has been proven effective even if nonscientific, and could be understood logically, would be permissible[10].

Based on this, hypnosis in our time which is commonly practiced (especially for psychological purposes) and has been proven effective and having logical basis, should be permitted[11].
However, the question of"Tamim Tihiye"   still needs to be answered. The reason being that when a person is under hypnosis, they lose control of their conscious mind and are solely reliant on an "unseen treatment" which can be argued that he has faith in other things than Hashem?

In the previous Halacha we explained that in cases of life-threatening illnesses the edict of  "Tamim Tihiye" is overlooked. Based on this, the question arises as to whether the aliment for which a person can cure himself through hypnosis, is considered "life-threatening"[12].

Another issue with hypnosis is being treated by a non-Jewish physician. The doctor might direct you to do things while under hypnosis which may not be Halachiclly permitted. The same is true when going to a non-frum physician.

A third issue is that relying on hypnosis might be compared to "defiling himself" which is forbidden[13]. Furthermore, the Rebbe writes[14]  "since while being under hypnosis one loses his self-control and is totally submissive to the practitioner, one should refrain from doing it".

L’halacha: Hypnosis should be permitted[15], however there is more than enough reasoning for being stringent. Using hypnosis to predict the future is strictly prohibited.[16].

 Daily inspiration:

In moments of great anguish our dreams become reality and reality becomes our dreams, because we feel like we live in a surreal world. This being our struggle between the subconscious reality and conscious one. We hold onto the past without appreciating the future. Only with faith, do we have the power to look forward to the future within our darkened present.

[1] גמ' פסחים כ"ה.
[2] שמות כ"ג:כ"ד, ויקרא י"ח:ג, וכמ"כ בש"ס עי' שבת ס"ז. וחולין מ"א: ועוד
[3] שבת ס"ז.
[4] שו"ע יו"ד סי' קנ"ה:א וקע"ט:ח
[5] פסחים שם ועי' תוס' שם ותוס' ע"ז כ"ז: ד"ה שאני מינות ושו"ע יו"ד סי' קנ"ה:ב
[6] עי' דרכ"ת סי' קנ"ה ס"ק י
[7] עי' דרכ"ת סי' קע"ט סק"ז
[8] שו"ת פני אהרן חיו"ד סי' ב
[9] שו"ת בנין ציון ח"א סי' ס"ז
[10] עי' דרכ"ת סי' קע"ט סק"ז ול'
[11] עי' שו"ת אגרות משה יו"ד ח"ג סי' מ"ד ושו"ת בנין ציון הנ"ל
[12] עי' שם
[13] עי' שו"ע חו"מ סי' ל"ד:י"ח
[14] לע"ע לא זכרתי המקור  משום תקפה עליו משנתו
[15] עי' שו"ת אגרות משה יו"ד ח"ב סי' כ"ט בסופו
[16] עי' שו"ת ים החכמה סי' י"ד הערה י"ח

Monday, June 25, 2012

Food Or Drink That One Touched Before Washing Negel Vasser In The Morning

Question: What is the din of food or drink that one touched before washing negel vasser in the morning?

L’halacha: If one touched food or drink prior to washing one's hands, the best thing is to wash the food (or container of drink) three times or remove an outer layer of the food.  If this cannot be done the food or drink is permitted.  If one has rinsed one's hands at least once then the food is permitted. 
It follows that one should refrain from buying food from a bakery or store where the Jewish workers do not wash their hands in the morning and do not use gloves. 

Discussion: The Gemara[1] explains that one should be careful not to touch his mouth, ears, or even a bottle of liquid, prior to washing negel vasser in the morning.  The reason being that there is a certain impurity that rests on the hands and can only be removed by pouring water on one’s hand three times.  

The zohar[2] further explains that because when one falls asleep the soul departs from the body, the body has a certain tinge of death.  As a result, there is a certain impurity on the body.  When the soul returns in the morning, most of the impurity is removed but it remains on one’s fingers and hands until after washing hands.  

Accordingly the halacha[3] states that one has to be extremely careful not to touch food or drink prior to washing one’s hands in the morning in order not to make them impure.  It’s further explained[4], that food which was touched by impure hands has a status of non-kosher food which causes a spiritual blockage (timtum) in one’s heart and brain and can lead one to sin.  

The gemara implies that in order to remove the impurity on one’s hands one has to wash three times and until that point there is a danger present from the impurity.  For this reason it is customary to wash our hands near our beds even before we get up and walk around[5].  

This concept needs further explanation.  Is the impurity removed only through pouring precisely three times, or is a single large pouring of water sufficient?  The simple p'shat of the gemara [6] is that only after the third time is the impurity removed from the hands.  However we find that the concept of washing one’s hands in the morning is to mimic the kohanim washing their hands in the Beis Hamikdash.  There, one pouring[7] was sufficient.  

It can be inferred from the Alter Rebbe[8] that three times is necessary to completely remove the impurity.  But if one was merely to pour once, it would suffice for davening and making the brocha of al netias yediem.  

Is the impurity of the hands and subsequent danger extant even today?

We find a debate amongst the earlier rishonim[9] whether impurities mentioned in the gemara exist in our time and place.  The halacha[10] seems to conclude according to the opinion that the impurities of the hands and its dangers are still prevalent.  

The question remains: what if one touched food or drink without washing their hands at all or if they merely washed their hands once?

The poskim[11] write that if one touched food or drink prior to washing their hands, the food does not become forbidden for one can rely on the opinion that there is no danger prevalent in our times.  However, the best option is to wash the food three times or remove its outer shell[12].

If one rinsed their hands once and then touched food there is enough basis to permit the food forthwith[13].

A consequence of this halacha is buying food from a catering store or bakery where one knows that the Jewish workers do not wash their hands in the morning[14].  The din is that the food is permitted yet one who is g-d fearing should be extra cautious.

Daily inspiration:

Impurity invades in a vacuum. When we have a positive focus and perception, there leaves no room for negativity, our conscious is clear. When we negate focus and action, there remains a hole, for unhealthy negativity. Impurity and negativity existence in the lake of purity and positivism.    


[1] שבת ק"ט. פרש"י ד"ה בת חורין
[2] וישב קפ"ד,ב
[3] שוע"ר מהדו"ב סי' ד:ב מהדו"ק סי' ד:ו ובסידור
[4] ע"פ של"ה עי' בדי השולחן סי' ב סק"ז
[5] שער"ת סי' א סק"ב
[6] שם
[7] סידור
[8] עי' קוצה"ש סי' ב בבדי השולחן סקי"א, עי' משנ"ב סי' ד סק"י (ונלע"ד דיש ב' סוגי רוח טומאה א' שמעבירין ע"י שפיכה אחת ויש ב' שצריך ג' פעמים, ונפק"מ בהנ"ל)
[9] ע"פ גמ' יומא ע"ז: פרש"י ותוס' שם ועי' בלחם משנה הל' שביתת עשר פ"ג ה"ב, ומרש"ל ביש"ש חולין פ"ח סי' ל"א
[10] כן נר' בפשטות משוע"ר סי' ד ובסידור, ולהעיר משוע"ר סי' תרי"ג:ב דיש לו' דאם אין שורה רוח רעה בזמה"ז למה מתירין ביו"כ ליטול ידיים מטעם זה עי' פר"ת בתוס' יומא שם, (וגם י"ל עפ"ז דדוקא צריך ג' פעמים עי' הערה 8
[11] משנ"ב סי' ד' סקי"ד קוצה"ש סי' ב בבדי השולחן סק"ז, שו"ת דברי יציב ח"א סי' א'
[12] קוצה"ש שם
[13] שם סקי"א
[14] עי' שו"ת קרן לדוד ח"א סי' א, ושו"ת יבי"א ח"ד סי' א', ושו"ת צי"א חי"ג סי' ב

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From when is the chiyuv of Kiddush Shabbos day

Question: When is the obligation to recite Kiddush Shabbos day?


  • The obligation for Kiddush by day starts from after Davening Shacharis, and one is allowed to have a coffee or tea beforehand.
  • One who did not make Kiddush Friday night, has the obligation for Kiddush whenever they have the chance, and are not allowed to even drink water, until they make their own Kiddush.
  • Eating cake Shabbos morning before Davening may require Kiddush beforehand.

Discussion: The Torah[1] says: “remember the day of Shabbos to sanctify it”. The Gemara [2]derives for here, the torah obligation of sanctify Shabbos by mentioning the holiness of the day[3]. The Chachamim instituted a blessing recited on wine, where the holiness of shabbos is mentioned[4].

This obligation is acknowledging the concept of Shabbos, which brings in Shabbos. As such the time for this obligation, is from the onset of Shabbos, and one is not allowed to eat or even drink water, before making Kiddush[5]. Both men and women are obligated[6]. (Based on this, after lighting candles a woman is not allowed to eat and even to drink is questionable[7]).

The Gemara[8] continues: this derivation is for Kiddush on the onset of Shabbos (i.e. by night); from where do we learn the obligation for Kiddush by day? The Posuk says: “remember the day of Shabbos”. 

The implication[9] from the Gemara is that Kiddush by day is of lesser status than that by night, and therefore the blessing for Kiddush by day is simply[10] בורא פרי הגפן. As such, the question is in which regard does Kiddush by day differ from Kiddush by night?

We mentioned earlier, that the obligation for Kiddush from the onset of Shabbos is to sanctify the day. Therefore it’s understood that once the Kiddush is recited by night then there is no more need to sanctify shabbos again. It follows that the Kiddush by day has some other purpose.

We could explain it in two ways, 1) the reciting of Kiddush by day creates a distinction between a Shabbos meal and a weekday meal[11]. 2) Since there is an obligation to eat 3 meals on Shabbos, the Kiddush comes as part of the meal[12]. 

The difference between the first and 2nd explanations is. 1) if there is an obligation to have Kiddush B’mokom Seudah. 2) Does Kiddush by day have the status of Brachos on a Mitzvah, and therefore someone is allowed to make Kiddush again, for someone who wasn’t Yotza. 3) Does Kiddush by day, like Kiddush by night, cause one to not be allowed to eat or drink before making/hearing Kiddush.

The Halacha[13] follows the 2nd shita, that Kiddush by day has similar status to Kiddush by night. Therefore one is not allowed to eat or drink before Kiddush by day, and there is an obligation of Kiddush B’mokom Seudah.

The question arises, when does the obligation to recite Kiddush by day start?

Here as well there is two shitos:
1) the obligation starts from the morning עלות השחר, just like Kiddush by night starts from [14]שקיעה.
2) The Kiddush by day is connected to the meal of the day; therefore there is no obligation to recite Kiddush until the time of one’s obligation to eat the meal, i.e. after Daveing[15].

The practical difference between the two shitos is if one is allowed to eat or drink before Davening, without reciting Kiddush first.

The Halacha[16] is like the 2nd shita i.e. Kiddush by day is connected to the meal, and one is allowed to at least drink before Davening without making Kiddush. (Halachicly one is not allowed to eat before Davening any day[17]). Accordingly, one is allowed to have coffee or tea before Davening on Shabbos, but only after saying Shma[18]. (There is a separate discussion on whether one is allowed to put milk and sugar in the coffee, as well as eating cake[19]).   

Some additional questions:
1) What’s the din if someone didn’t recite Kiddush the night before? 
2) If someone is eating enough cake to fill him up, does that constitute a meal which would obligate Kiddush to be said?

Someone who didn’t recite Kiddush the night before.

It was explained earlier that the obligation of Kiddush by day, is connected to the meal, however this is true only when one fulfilled his obligation of sanctifying the Shabbos through Kiddush by night. But if one didn’t make Kiddush by night, there still remains this obligation of sanctifying Shabbos, and therefore it would be forbidden to have a cup of coffee or tea, and cake, before making Kiddush[20].

Since this obligation would be Min H’torah if the person hadn't Davened Maariv (Shabbos is mentioned in Maariv), Kiddush should be made by the person themself, and not be Yotza through hearing from someone else[21].  

Eating a sizable piece of cake.

Since the obligation of Kiddush by day is in connection with the meal, one should be careful not to eat cake before Davening, since that would constitute a meal, and there would be the obligation of reciting Kiddush. Someone who is sick and needs to eat cake before Davening, should make Kiddush before eating[22].

However based on the HaYom Yom that it is better to eat in order to Daven than Daven in order to eat, one can argue that eating cake is a preparation for Davening, and does not constitute a meal, and therefore there is no need for Kiddush until after Davening.

Daily inspiration:
Man posses the power to make conscious the infinite energy of creation. By contemplating our finite existence, our limitations of time, we acknowledge the need of a creator, and as such infuse us with the source of creation. (When we make Kiddush we acknowledge Hashems creation of the world).     


[1] שמות כ,
[2] ברייתא פסחים ק"ו.
[3] שוע"ר סי' רע"א:א
[4] שם סעי' ב' (להעיר מדיון זה אי קידוש על היין היא מן התורה או מדרבנן)
[5] שם סעי' ט'
[6] שם:ה
[7] עי' שוע"ר סי' ט, וקצוה"ש סי' עד בבדה"ש ס"ק י"ז
[8] שם
[9] פרשב"ם שם ורא"ש
[10] בגמ' שם
[11] עי' ראב"ד הל' שבת פכ"ט ה"י
[12] רמב"ם שם ופי' הרא"ש
[13] שוע"ר סי' רפ"ט:ב
[14] שיטת הראבי"ה הובא בטור סי' פ"ט
[15] שיטת הרא"ש שם
[16] שוע"ר שם
[17] שוע"ר סי' פ"ט
[18] קוצה"ש סי' י"א סע' ב
[19] עי' משנ"ב סי' פ"ט:כ"ב ושו"ת יבי"א ח"ד סי' י"א
[20] שו"ת האלף לך שלמה או"ח סי' קכ"א, כף החיים סי' רפ"ט:י"ח ועי' שש"כ פנ"ב סע' י והערה לב
[21] כנ"ל דהוי גלגול דאורייתא משא"כ ביום הוי רק מדרבנן עי' שש"כ פנ"א סע' י"א-ט"ז ובהערות שם
[22] שו"ת אגרות משה או"ח ח"ב סוס"י כ"ו וכ"ח

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do toothpaste or mouthwash need a hechsher?

Question: Do toothpaste and mouthwash need a hechsher?

Discussion: The Torah[1] forbids us to eat any food that is not kosher such as meat from non-kosher animals etc.  The qualification for this prohibition is that by eating forbidden food one receives a certain enjoyment from the taste of the forbidden food[2].

Generally speaking, the torah prohibition of eating forbidden foods is through the normal manner of eating[3].  Therefore, one would only be violating the torah prohibition when they actually swallow the food.  Where as if one were to place the food in their mouth and spit it out, there would be no torah prohibition, despite having received some flavor of the food in their mouth[4].

Based on this, if one were to put in their mouth non-kosher meat and spit it out, even though their mouth has gotten some taste of the non-kosher, one would not have violated the prohibition from the Torah.

The halacha[5] states that any non-kosher food that one places in their mouth, even if they spit it out, is forbidden (at least) rabbanically.  

Another qualification of the manner of eating is that the food has to have a pleasant taste. If the food has already spoiled to the point that it is non-edible, there would be no prohibition from the Torah for eating this food[6].  However, there is a distinction between foods that are totally inedible and have lost their status as food and foods that in dire circumstances one would still eat it.  In the latter case for one to eat this food would still be a torah prohibition[7].

Based on the criteria of what is considered normal eating, if one would place in their mouth foods which are inedible completely and spit them out, there should be no prohibition at all[8]. 

The shulchan aruch[9] states that foods which are inedible nevertheless retain a rabbinic status of issur, and if one would merely eat the forbidden food itself, they would be violating a rabbinic prohibition.  However, if the food were to be mixed with a majority of other kosher ingredients, there would even be no rabbinic prohibition[10]. But if the non-kosher ingredient is one of the primary ingredients, then regardless how much kosher ingredients is mixed into it, it is still forbidden[11].

Most toothpaste and mouthwash contain ingredients of which the majority is made of kosher products and the non-kosher ingredients are considered inedible and are not of primary importance.  As such, since commonly one would spit out and not swallow the toothpaste or mouthwash, there should be no rabbinic prohibition[12].

Nowadays, most companies are producing mouthwash which contain glycerin, a sweetener and gives a pleasant taste to the mouthwash.  Likewise, children’s toothpaste and others contain glycerin.  Glycerin comes from animals that are non-kosher.

The halacha[13] is: any food that is put into a mixture to give it flavor or coloration is always considered of prime importance and can never be nullified even with being a sixtieth of the mixture.  This constitutes the toothpaste and mouthwash not kosher.

The question remains, is there any prohibition of just placing the toothpaste with glycerin in one’s mouth if eventually it will be spit out.  We’ve previously mentioned that there is a rabbinic prohibition of placing any non-kosher foods into someone’s mouth even if they will eventually spit it out.  In this case, because the glycerin gives a good taste to the mixture, the previously mentioned exemption of giving a bad flavor or making it inedible does not apply here[14].

L’halacha: Any non-flavored mouthwash and toothpaste is permissible for use.  However, ones that contain glycerin need a hechsher.  In general all flavored mouthwash and toothpaste should be checked out to make sure that the flavor is not from a non-kosher source.

Daily inspiration:
Food effects on three levels, physical, psychological, and spiritual, changing our pro-action and reaction potential. The difference being in awareness. An impaired mental state corrupts our ability of clear judgment. A weak body hampers the control of the soul.   


[1] ויקרא כ, כ"ה. י"א,ט"ז
[2] עי' ב"י יו"ד סי' צ"ח
[3] עי' חולין קג: מ"מ פ"ח מאכ"א הט"ז
[4] זה סוגיא ארוכה, עי' שו"ת הריב"ש סי' רפ"ח, שו"ת צ"צ (הראשון) סי' מ"ז, פרמ"ג סי' צ"ה משב"ז ס"ק ט"ו וסי' צ"ח סק"א, שו"ת נוב"י מהדו"ת יו"ד סי' נ"ג, שד"ח כללים מערכת ט כלל ו, שו"ת הר צבי יו"ד סי' צ"ה.
[5] רמ"א סי' ק"ח:ה ש"ך שם סקכ"ד שפ"ד שם
[6] ע"ז ס"ה. וס"ח: שו"ע יו"ד סי' ק"ג:א, פס"ד צ"צ סי' ק"ג:א
[7] עי' פרמ"ג סי' ק"ג משב"ז סק"א, עי' שו"ת נודב"י יו"ד מהדו"ק סי' כ"ו, פס"ד שם
[8] שו"ת הר צבי הנ"ל, ועי' שו"ת מהרש"ג ח"א או"ח סי' כ, וס' אפרקסתא דעניא חלק ב סי' קל"ז
[9] שו"ע שם פס"ד שם
[10] שם ושם
[11] שוע"ר סי' תמ"ב:ו ועי' שו"ת צ"צ יו"ד סי' ס"ז
[12] הר צבי שם
[13] רמ"א סי' צ"ח:ח עי' ש"ך סקכ"ח, פרמ"ג סי' ק משב"ז סק"א,דרכ"ת סי' צ"ח ס"ק ק"ד ק"ה
[14] הכרעת רוב פסקים עי' פרמ"ג סי' צ"ה הנ"ל, שו"ת נודב"י יו"ד מהד"ת שם, שד"ח שם, ועוד, ועי' שוע"ר סי' תקט"ו:א,

Friday, June 15, 2012

Question: If I ate meat, and within the 6 hour waiting period, I recited a bracha on a dairy food (forgetting I was Fleishig) and just as I was about to put the food in my mouth, I remembered that I was fleishig. What do I do?

Discussion: The Shulchan Aruch[1], paskens that if someone ate meat, he has to wait 6 hours before eating dairy. The Rama holds that one just needs to bentch, rinse his mouth, and wash his hands in order to eat dairy. This depends on the person’s place of upbringing, varying the waiting time as between 1 and 6 hours. However, the Minhag[2] has been established that all people wait 6 hours between meat and dairy.

In my question above, where I already recited a bracha, what does the Halacha dictate? Would not waiting the 6 hours be considered, an issur m’drabanan, even though, if I waited, I would have recited a bracha l’vatala? Is not waiting the 6 hours an extra chumra that would be overridden by the issur of making a bracha l’vatala[3]?

Some poskim[4] hold that if at least an hour has elapsed since bentching after a meat meal, and there aren't any meat pieces lodged in between the teeth, the proper thing to do, is eat a bit of the dairy food (in order not to recite a bracha l’vatala). However, if the person has not yet bentched, or there are pieces stuck in between his teeth, he may not eat the dairy and should say Baruch Sheim… in order to avoid the bracha l’vatala[5]. Most poskim[6] hold that in all cases one should not eat any of the dairy and just say boruch sheim in order to avoid the bracha l’vatala.

(A similar question arises when one makes a bracha on food and discovers (prior to eating it) that there are kashrus issues with that particular food[7].)

Daily Inspiration:

Sometimes, we may experience a collision of two positive energies. Although each have their merits, when they come together they often collide and cause a negative outcome. We find the same within our own selves: There are many positive qualities contained within each being, yet when they are active all at the same time, they can produce a negative effect. One must strive to utilize each individual energy to its full potential by channeling it in the most appropriate time and in the most effective way.

[1] שו"ע יו"ד סי' פ"ט:א
[2] ט"ז סק"ב שפ"ד סק"ח ועי' דרכי תשובה שם סק"כ
[3] לכאו' זה נר' סברת המחלוקת בין המחבר ורמ"א דאי הוי שש שעות דינא או רק חומרא ועי' בב"י או"ח סי' קע"ג
[4] שו"ת גנזי יוסף סי' צ' שו"ת באר משה ח"ד סי' כ"ד (ולהעיר משוע"ר סיק רצ"ט:ב דשם משמע דבמקום חומרא של איסור אכילה קודם הבדלה נדחה מפני איסור ברכה לבטלה)
[5] שם
[6] עי' שו"ת לבושי מרדכי מהדו"ת יו"ד סי' קס"ז ושד"ח הובא בדרכי תשובה סי' פ"ט סקכ"ג
 (ולהעיר משוע"ר סי' רטו דהזכרת השם בברכה אפילו בברכה לבטלה הוי רק מדרבנן וממילא כגון דא אם לא בירך על הבשר הוי האיסור מדרבנן של בב"ח חמורא מאיסור ברכה לבטלה)
[7] עי' שו"ת שבט הלוי ח"א סי' ר"ה הערות על שו"ע

Removing garbage from the shabbos table

Question: After the Shabbos meal is one allowed to bring the garbage bin to the table to clean the table? What is the din with of the garbage bag afterwards?

L’halacha: an empty garbage bin on Shabbos, may be moved for cleaning purposes, and is allowed to be put back in place. If the garbage had only muktza items in it on the unset of Shabbos, the bin should be kick with ones foot. A smelly garbage bag may be moved out of one’s house, as long as there is an Earuv. It’s best to peel fruits, remove pits or shells which are inedible directly into the garbage bin, and not on the table.

Discussion: The Shulchan Aruch[1] states peels, shells, bones which are neither human nor animal foods, are muktza. Therefore, items such as egg shells[2], nut shells, and the like are muktza. Similarly, fruit pits which are inedible are muktza. Therefore items such as peach, avocado, olive, cherry pits and the like are muktza.

Foods which are not edible for humans however are edible to animals (e.g. cats, dogs, chickens), are not muktza[3].  This applies to any peel, shell, bones and the like that humans wouldn’t eat ever. However foods which are unfit for human consumption only on Shabbos e.g. a raw, expensive steak, which the owner would not give such food to his animal, is muktza[4].

This applies only to food edible for animals that are commonly found in the city or town, are not muktza[5], Even if the person does not own such an animal. However pets in one’s possession, whether commonly found or not, are not muktza[6].

This type of Muktza, is called Muktza Machmas Gufo (inherently Muktza). This is one the more severe types of Muktza, in that generally it can’t be moved at all[7]. However there is an exception to this role, based on the concept called גרף של רעי[8].

The Chachmim permitted the movement of Muktza in cases involving כבוד הבריות human dignity. One is thus permitted to move repulsive or foul smelling Muktza, from ones house.

This exemption is only in already existing situation. One may not however create or originate an exempting situation in order to later move the Muktza[9]. Therefore when eating foods containing pits, or when peeling eggs, it is preferable to expel the pits, remove the shells, into the garbage, rather than into one’s hand[10].

Yet this needs further analysis, for once the pits, shells etc, are placed in the garbage, the garbage itself becomes muktza.

The halacha is the muktza placed on a base, e.g. table, box, dish etc, the base becomes muktza as well, this is called a Bosis l’davr Issur[11]. Therefore a garbage bin that contains inedible items is muktza.

There is a difference when the inedible items were placed, in to the garbage. The Halacha is, a base becomes a Bosis, when the muktza was placed there, before the unset of Shabbos and was not removed during the entire time period called בין השמשות ,in which case even after the muktza item is removed the base remains muktza[12]. If however the items were only placed there after בין השמשות, the base is not muktza[13]. (However according to some is it muktza, but as soon as the muktza is removed the base is permitted to be moved[14]).

Furthermore any base which also contains edible food or non-muktza items on it is permitted to be moved. This is called bosis l’daver Issur V’hetr[15].

Therefore a garbage bin, which has only non- moveable muktza on the unset of Shabbos would be muktza the entire Shabbos. And one is not allowed to move it at all, even after the garbage bag was removed (by mistake, see later).

If however the garbage was empty when Shabbos came in or it contained both moveable and non-moveable muktza items, the garbage could be moved. The same applies to the garbage bag as well.

There is however exceptions, one is allowed to kick with their foot, the garbage bin. This is called טלטול [16]בגופו. Also in a case that the garbage is foul smelling or otherwise repulsive, (especially when there are guessed), it may be removed under the exemption of [17]גרף של רעי.

The question arises, is it permitted to intentionally place inedible items, in a garbage bin on Shabbos[18]?

The Halacha states, one is not permitted to place a bucket under a water leak, if the water is unusable. The reason is, four it’s like breaking the bucket[19]. This is called מבטל כלי מהיכנו. The concept is one is not allowed to takes a usable item, and place it in place or situation that would make it unusable for the rest of Shabbos[20].

Based on this, by placing inedible items in a garbage bin, it makes the bin unusable for anything else. This is the case even when one intends to remove the garbage afterwards[21]. If so, it should be forbidden to put these items in an empty garbage bin.

The poskim[22] explain that מבטל כלי מהיכנו, is only when the keli is not meant for that limited purpose, however since the entire purpose of a garbage bin, is to put these items in them, this does not constitute מבטל כלי מהיכנו.

L’halacha: an empty garbage bin on Shabbos, may be moved for cleaning purposes, and is allowed to be put back in place. If the garbage had only muktza items in it on the unset of Shabbos, the bin should be kick with ones foot. A smelly garbage bag may be moved out of one’s house, as long as there is an Earuv. It’s best to peel fruits, remove pits or shells which are inedible directly into the garbage bin, and not on the table.

Daily inspiration: 

Shabbos means rest. Rest is a relative term, in our physical existence; rest takes on a very physical meaning, appreciating more of our finite existence. In our spiritual essence, rest is obtaining closeness to infinity, by removing all the physical distractions.   


[1] שוע"ר סי' ש"ח סעי' ס-ס"א
[2]  משנ"ב סי' ש"ח סקי"ג ולהעיר משוע"ר סי' ש"ט:י
[3] שוע"ר שם סעי' ט
[4] שם ופרמ"ג סי' ש"ח במ"ז סקכ"ה
[5] שוע"ר שם סעי' ס"ה
[6] שם
[7] שוע"ר שם סעי' ח
[8] שם סעי' ע"ב משנ"ב ס"ק קל"א
[9] שם סעי' ע"ה
[10] קוצה"ש סי' קי"א ס"ק י"ח עי' שוע"ר סעי' ס"ז והגהות חת"ס סי' ש"ח במג"א ס"ק נ"א, ועי' ס' טלטולי שבת. ושו"ת אז נדברו ח"ט סי' ל"ג ושו"ת מנח"י ח"ה סי' קכ"ה.
[11] שוע"ר סי' ש"ט:ד
[12] שם וסעי' ח וסי' ש"י:ד
[13] כנ"ל שיטת רבינו בסי' רע"ז ס"ו וכן מפורש בסי' ש"ח:ס, ועי' מג"א סי' ש"ח סק"נ
[14] ט"ז סי' ש"י סק"ח פרמ"ג א"א סו"ס רע"ט משנ"ב סי' ש"י ס"ק ל"ז ועי' תהלה לדוד סי' ש"ח סקל"ג
[15] שוע"ר סי' ש"ט:ד וש"י:ט"ז
[16] שוע"ר סי' שי"א:מ"ו וסי' ש"ח: ט"ו ורע"ו:י
[17] שוע"ר סי' ש"ח:ע"ב ושש"כ פכ"ב סעי' מ"ד
[18]לכאו' אין כאן שאלה מצד אין עושין גרף של רעי לכתחילה, כיון יש לומר שאין כוונתו לפנות הפח בשבת עי' שוע"ר סי' ש"ח:ע"ה ותהלה לדוד שם סק"מ, ועוד שכבר נעשה על השולחן.
[19]שוע"ר סי' של"ח:ט
[20] עי' ביצה לו, ור"ן שם
[21] כן נר' שיטת רבינו בסי' רס"ו קו"א י"א (אמנם עי' סי' רס"ה:ה ומשנ"ב שם)
[22] כן כתב במשנ"ב סי' ש"ה סק ס"ט ובשש"כ שם בהע' קט"ו (וי"ל אי זה שיטת רבינו)