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Cooking on Yom Tov for the Next Day (1) Marbeh Be-shiurim

Rav David Brofsky

the laws of THE FESTIVALS



by Rav David Brofsky




In loving memory of Channa Schreiber (Channa Rivka bat Yosef v' Yocheved) z"l,
with wishes for consolation and comfort to her dear children
Yossi and Mona, Yitzchak and Carmit, and their families,
along with all who mourn for Tzion and Yerushalayim.




Shiur #25: Cooking on Yom Tov for the Next Day (1)

Marbeh Be-Shiurim




Last week, we discussed a limitation upon expanding the heter okhel nefesh through the principle of mi-tokh. We noted that the gemara (Ketuvot 7a) teaches that one may only permit an okhel nefesh-related melakha for a purpose that is deemed shaveh le-khol nefesh – universally enjoyed. Therefore, the gemara states, one may not burn spices on Yom Tov, as not everyone enjoys the smell of spices.


            We studied two contemporary applications of this principle. First, according to some Rishonim, the mishna’s assertion (21b)  that one may not heat up water in order to wash one’s entire body on Yom Tov is based on the assumption that bathing in hot water is not shaveh le-khol nefesh. We questioned whether that assumption may be challenged nowadays, thereby permitting showering in hot water on Yom Tov. Second, we traced a debate spanning over four hundred years regarding the permissibility of smoking on Yom Tov, and whether smoking is considered to be shaveh le-khol nefesh. While emphasizing that according to current medical research, it is quite difficult to justify smoking at all, we suggested that it should certainly not be considered shaveh le-khol nefesh.


            This week, we will discuss whether and when one may cook on Yom Tov for an adjacent Shabbat.


Cooking on Yom Tov for a Weekday


As we discussed previously, the Torah permits cooking or performing other melakhot on Yom Tov for the sake of food preparation. The Talmud (Beitza 21a), however, does place certain limitations upon the allowance of okhel nefesh. For example, the gemara prohibits cooking for non-Jews or for animals on Yom Tov. In addition, the gemara discusses whether one may cook on Yom Tov for the following weekday.


First, the gemara (Pesachim 46b; see also Beitza 21a) cites a debate regarding whether one may cook, mi-de’oraita, on Yom Tov for the following day.


It was stated: [With regard to] one who bakes [food] on a Festival for [consumption on] a weekday, R. Chisda said: He received lashes; Rabba said: He does not receive lashes. R. Chisda said: He receives lashes, [because] we do not say that since (ho’il) if guests visited him, it would be fit for him [to eat on the Festival itself]. Rabba said: He does not receive lashes, [because] we say that since [if guests visited him, he could serve them this food].


Rabba maintains that we may view one who cooks on Yom Tov for a weekday as if he in some respect is cooking for Yom Tov itself, due to the principle of “ho’il” - “since (ho’il) if guests visited him, it would be fit for him.” In other words, since guests may visit this person after he has cooked on Yom Tov, and he would then serve the food that he originally cooked for the following day to these guests, we view one who cooks on Yom Tov for a weekday as one who cooks for Yom Tov itself. R. Chisda, however, rejects this principle, stating that cooking on Yom Tov for the next day is prohibited mi-de’oraita.


            The Rishonim debate whether the halakha is in accordance with Rabba (Rif, Pesachim 15a; Rambam, Hilkhot Yom Tov 1:15; Ramban, Milchamot Hashem, Pesachim 14b–15a; Rosh, Pesachim 3:6) or R. Chisda (Rabbeinu Efraim, cited by Ramban in Milchamot Hashem; Ba’al Ha-Ma’or, Pesachim 14b–15a). Practically, however, both opinions agree that one may not cook on Yom Tov for the next day; the question is whether the prohibition is mi-de’oraita (R. Chisda) or mi-derabbanan (Rabba). 


Cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat


            Although the Talmud clearly prohibits cooking on Yom Tov for the next day, the gemara permits, under certain circumstances, cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat. The mishna (Beitza 15b) describes how one who prepares an eiruv tavshilin before Yom Tov may cook on Yom Tov for Shabbat. Before we discuss the details of this halakhic mechanism, we must first examine the halakhic foundations for permitting cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat.


            The gemara cited above continues:


Said Rabba to R. Chisda: According to you, who maintain that we do not say “ho’il,” how may we bake on a Festival for the Sabbath? On account of eiruv tavshilin, [R. Chisda] answered him. [Rabba questioned:] And on account of an eiruv tavshilin we permit a Biblical prohibition?! [R. Chisda] responded: By biblical law, the Shabbat needs may be prepared on a Festival, and it was only the Rabbis who forbade it, lest it be said that you may bake on a Festival even for weekdays; but since the Rabbis necessitated an eiruv tavshilin for it, he has a distinguishing feature.


The gemara assumes that the permissibility of cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat is understandable according to Rabba, who maintains that mi-deoraita one may cook on Yom Tov for the next day. The gemara questions, however, how this would be permissible according to R. Chisda, who maintains that cooking on Yom Tov for the next day is biblically prohibited. How could the rabbinically instituted eruv tavshilin permit a biblically prohibited activity? The gemara explains that R. Chisda maintains that “tzorkhei Shabbat na’asin be-Yom Tov” – mi-de’oraita, Shabbat needs may be prepared on a Festival. Since it was the Rabbis who forbade this practice, they were able to permit it through the execution of an eruv tavshilin.   


            What is the basis for R. Chisda’s assertion that one may cook on Yom Tov for Shabbat? Rashi (s.v. mi-de’oraita) explains that an adjoining Yom Tov and Shabbat are considered to be “kedusha achat” – one long day. Therefore, he writes, just as one may cook for Yom Tov on Yom Tov, he may cook for Shabbat as well. The Ri, however, cited by Tosafot (47a, s.v. ve-i), offers a different approach. He explains that since one is commanded to prepare for Shabbat (see Kiddushin 41a; see also Ha-Amek She'eila 169), and this mitzva may only be fulfilled on Yom Tov in this situation, preparing for Shabbat is actually considered to be a Yom Tov need, and is therefore permitted on Yom Tov.


            Both Rabba and R. Chisda maintain that mi-de’oraita one may cook on Yom Tov for Shabbat, but the Rabbis prohibited preparing on Yom Tov for Shabbat. Since the need to prepare for Shabbat on Yom Tov is considered to be a she’at ha-dechak (extenuating circumstances), the Rabbis permitted preparing on Yom Tov for Shabbat when one first performs an eiruv tavshilin.


            The Rishonim raise a practical difference between the opinions of Rabba – who maintains that cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat is biblically permitted due to the principle of ho’il – and R. Chisda – who maintains that it is biblically permitted due to the principle of tzorkhei Shabbat na’asin be-Yom Tov. Tosafot  suggests (s.v. Rabba) that according to Rabba, if one prepares the food too late in the day for it to be eaten by guests, the reasoning of ho’il would not apply. Thus, such cooking would be prohibited even mi-de’oraita.


            If, like Rabba, we accept the reasoning of ho’il and reject that of tzarkhei Shabbat na’asin be-Yom Tov, it is prohibited to cook on late Friday afternoon of Yom Tov for Shabbat; this is how R. Avraham Gombiner (1633–1687) rules in his Magen Avraham (527). Furthermore, he explains that it is customary to begin Shabbat early when Yom Tov falls out on Friday, in order to ensure that people do not cook so close to dark. Although many Acharonim, including the Mishna Berura (527:3), cite this stringency, the Mishna Berura (see also Bi’ur Halakha 527) writes that in extenuating circumstances, one may rely upon those who rule in accordance with R. Chisda (see Rambam Hilkhot Yom Tov 6:1; see also 1:9 and 1:15) and prepare food for Shabbat even close to the evening. The Arukh Ha-Shulchan (527:3) reports that this is not the custom is not to be concerned with this stringency.


Permissible Methods of Cooking on Yom Tov for the Next Day - Marbeh Be-Shi’urim


            Although one may not cook on Yom Tov for another day, even for Shabbat, the gemara suggests two methods through which one may cook on Yom Tov for another day: Marbeh Be-Shi’urim and Eruv Tavshilin. The gemara teaches:


Our Rabbis taught: One may not bake on the first day of a Festival for the second. In truth they said: A woman may fill the whole pot with meat, although she only needs one portion and a baker may fill a barrel with water, although he only needs one handful, but as for baking he may bake only what he needs. R. Shimon ben Elazar says: A housewife may fill the entire oven with loaves, because bread is baked better in a full oven. Said Rabba: The halakha is as R. Shimon ben Elazar. (Beitza 17a)


R. Shimon ben Elazar permits one to cook larger quantities than one needs on Yom Tov in order to prepare for the following day. As long as one cooks or bakes a larger quantity in the same pot or oven, this is not considered to be cooking for the next day and is permitted.


            The Rishonim grapple with a number of fundamental and practical questions.


First, why is it permitted to cook additional food on Yom Tov for the next day, while regarding Shabbat, the gemara seems to prohibit cutting a stem with more figs than one needs to aid a sick person (Menachot 64a)? In both cases, one is performing a permissible act (cooking on Yom Tov or performing a melakha for a sick person), but doing more than necessary. The Rashba (Beitza 17a, s.v. memaleh) explains that mi-de’oraita, marbeh be-shiurim is permitted both on Shabbat and on Yom Tov. The Rabbis, however, prohibited marbeh be-shiurim on Shabbat, when the prohibition of melakha is more severe, and did not prohibit marbeh be-shiurim on Yom Tov.


The Ran (Rif 9b, s.v. u-miha), however, distinguishes between cooking on Yom Tov and performing a melakha for a sick person on Shabbat. He explains that there is an essential difference between the nature of pikuach nefesh, the permission to violate a prohibition in order to save a life, and the permission to cook on Yom Tov. He offers two explanations.


In his first answer, he explains that on Shabbat, the prohibition of melakha is “dechuya” – suspended or set aside – in order to save a life. Therefore, one may only do that which is absolutely necessary in order to save the life. On Yom Tov, however, certain melakhot which pertain to okhel nefesh are “hutra” – completely permitted – and therefore it is even permissible to add on to the melakha. In his second answer, the Ran explains that since the Torah permitted certain actions for the sake of okhel nefesh, one is not required to “weigh and measure in order that one does not cook more than one needs.”   


            There may be a practical difference between these two reasons. The Acharonim discuss the following question: If one carries an item on Yom Tov for a permissible reason, may he carry other items that are not needed as well? For example, may one carry a key chain on Yom Tov that contains keys needed on Yom Tov along with others that are not? Seemingly, according to the first reason, which maintains that melekhet okhel nefesh are “hutra” – i.e. as long as one carries for the sake of okhel nefesh, the action is completely permitted, and it should not matter what or how much one carries. According to the second reason, however, the halakha of marbeh be-shiurim does not indicate that certain melakhot are absolutely permitted on Yom Tov, but rather that one need not account for every quantity that one carries for Yom Tov, and therefore although one may add carry more food than necessary, one may not carry items which have no use on Yom Tov.


            R. Moshe Feinstein writes that one may carry a full pack of cigarettes on Yom Tov, even though one may not intend to smoke all of them (Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim 2:103). Based on this responsum, the Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilkhata (19:6, n.14) assumes that R. Feinstein would permit carrying keys that are not needed on Yom Tov as well. In a later responsum, however, R. Feinstein rules that one may not carry a key chain with extra keys (Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim 5:35). Others (see Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 1:348, for example) permit one to carry a key chain with “additional” keys on Yom Tov.  


            The Acharonim also disagree as to when the gemara’s case of adding more food to a pot is permitted. The Tur (503) cites a debate regarding whether one may add additional food even if one explicitly states that his intention is to cook for the next day. The Beit Yosef explains that Rashi (s.v. memale) holds that one may add extra food because the action is performed in one effort (ke-chad tircha sagi). Others, such as the Maggid Mishna (Hilkhot Yom Tov 1:10), rule that one may be marbeh be-shiurim, adding more meat even after the food has been placed on the fire, because the additional food enhances the taste of the entire dish. The Beit Yosef notes that the Tur concludes in accordance with the latter explanation (and against the opinion of the Rokeach, 298). Thus, one may add food even after explicitly stating his intention to prepare food for the next day, since the extra food enhances the entire dish regardless of his intention. Rashi, however, who explains that marbeh be-shiurim is permitted because it is performed in one “exertion,” might maintain that if one explicitly declares his intentions, even though it is performed in one action, it would still be prohibited.


            The Tur concludes by citing the Ittur, who prohibits increasing the quantity of food after one has already eaten, as that certainly constitutes an act of cooking for the next day.


            The Shulchan Arukh (603:1) rules that one should only add food before the morning meal. After the meal, the food is clearly added for the next day, and to add more food is thus strictly forbidden. After the fact (be-diavad), however, the food would still be permitted. The Mishna Berura (5) rules that the food must also be cooked at one time and not added later. Furthermore, he adds (12) that one should not increase his efforts in order to prepare for the next day. Therefore, for example, one should not prepare and fry extra chicken cutlets, as this requires extra effort, and they are cooked separately.


            Finally, the Acahronim question whether the entire scenario described by the gemara refers to one who intends to eat some of the food on Yom Tov or to merely taste the food in order to be able to add additional food to be eaten the next day (see Magen Avraham 2 and Mishna Berura 7). The Mishna Berura records that it is it customary to be lenient, although one who is strict regarding this matter “should be blessed.”


            Next week, we will discuss another, broader means of permitting cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbat – Eruv Tavshilin.

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