Shiur #16: Review and Supplementary Details

  • Harav Baruch Gigi
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

The Laws of Shabbat
Yeshivat Har Etzion

Shiur #16: Review and Supplementary Details


By HaRav Baruch Gigi


Translated by David Silverberg



            In this shiur we will complete several issues relevant to the topics discussed in earlier shiurim: 1) The status of a keli shelishi; 2) Pouring from a keli sheni; 3) Whether pipes carrying hot water are considered a keli rishon; 4) Warming food in an area where it can reach the point of yad soledet bo.


Keli Shelishi


            In our discussion regarding the status of a keli sheni, we mentioned a debate between the poskim as to whether bishul can occur when placing certain easily-cooked foods – called kalei ha-bishul ("easily cooked") – in a keli sheni.  In this shiur, we will examine the possibility of this concern arising even when dealing with a keli shelishi.


            The Yerei'im writes (274; p. 134a):


Bishul depends neither on a keli rishon nor on a keli sheni, but rather on the item being cooked.  Sometimes it is a soft item and cooks even in a keli sheni, and there can be a hard item that even in a keli rishon cannot be cooked… A person must therefore ensure not to place any item on Shabbat in a keli sheni and even into a keli shelishi at the point of yad soledet, for we are not proficient in soft and hard items, which cooks in a keli sheni and which does not cook.


However, from the comments of Tosefot (Shabbat 39a s.v. kol she-ba), it appears that one is allowed to cook in a keli shelishi.  They address the halakha in the Mishna permitting one to pour hot water onto food before Shabbat even according to the view that equates iruy (pouring) with a keli rishon.  Clearly, the Mishna allows pouring onto the food only from a keli sheni, thus proving the bishul does not occur in a keli sheni.  But Tosefot conclude that the primary intent of the Mishna is to instruct that iruy from a keli sheni is forbidden with easily-cooked foods such as kulias ha-ispenin (a type of salty fish).  They write, "It [the Mishna] speaks of 'rinsing' [pouring from a keli sheni] to instruct that even rinsing constitutes the final preparation of maliach ha-yashan and kulias ha-ispenin."


            At first glance, we would infer from Tosefot that specifically pouring from a keli sheni is forbidden when dealing with kalei ha-bishul, but not placing in a keli shelishi.  Alternatively, one might insist that Tosefot intend merely to establish the prohibition of pouring from a keli sheni, not necessarily to permit placing an easily-cooked food in a keli shelishi.  Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata (siman 1, note 148; notes in se'if 57) addresses this question and appears to conclude that one may not place a kulias ha-ispenin even in a keli shelishi.


            The Beit Yosef and Bach, in their respective discussions of the Tur's position, seem to disagree with regard to this issue.  The Tur (318) writes:


A basin with hot water for bathing, even if it is a keli sheni – it is forbidden to put cold water in it; for since it is meant for bathing, it is presumably very hot and the cold water mixed with it will be cooked.  But it is permissible to pour from it into cold water, because "the bottom triumphs" [the bottom liquid determines the nature of the process, and since the bottom liquid is cold, bishul does not occur].


The Beit Yosef and Bach note that the Tur's comment appears, at first glance, to contradict the straightforward reading of the Gemara (Shabbat 42a), which seems to permit cooking in a basin of hot water.[1]  The Beit Yosef, in one of his answers, writes, "Our rabbi [the Tur] held that since the tub mentioned in the Berayta is a keli sheni, the basin, which the Gemara allows, is a keli shelishi."[2]


            The Bach dismisses the Beit Yosef's explanation:


This is certainly incorrect, for if so, why does the Gemara ask, "But on Shabbat, there is no bathing in hot water!"  Why is this a question?  We can say that there is bathing in a keli revi'i.  Necessarily, then, there is no distinction between a keli sheni, keli shelishi or [keli] revi'i; they all have the status of a keli sheni.


Accordingly, the Peri Megadim (Eishel Avraham 318:35) writes that the issue of cooking in a keli shelishi hinges on the debate between the Beit Yosef and Bach.[3]  The Peri Megadim himself is inclined to rule leniently, as the Mishna Berura cites in his name (318:47).


            The Peri Megadim there allows placing even tealeaves in a keli shelishi, but the Mishna Berura mentions his lenient position only with regard to cooking in water an item that had previously been baked.  The Yerei'im forbids this even in a keli sheni, and the Mishna Berura here rules that this is permissible in a keli shelishi, perhaps taking into account the Ravya's position that a baked item is not subject to bishul.  If so, then the Mishna Berura would not permit tealeaves, which have not undergone any process of cooking, even in a keli shelishi.  Rav Moshe Feinstein, by contrast, in Iggerot Moshe (O.C. 4:74:15), permits cooking in a keli shelishi altogether:


In my humble opinion, it does not seem correct at all to say that there are items which cook in a keli shelishi, for we find only that in a keli sheni there are foods that cook, and therefore since we do not know [which foods these are], we must forbid all items [in a keli sheni].  But in a keli shelishi we don't find [the possibility of bishul].


The Chazon Ish (Shabbat 52:19) writes the following regarding the status of a keli shelishi:


We find no basis for distinguishing between a [keli] sheni and [keli] shelishi, and if items can be cooked in a [keli] sheni, they can be cooked in a [keli] shelishi; this depends only on the heat of the water, that the water is [at the point of] yad soledet bo… However, since this is but a stringency [and not forbidden according to strict Halakha], that which people have a practice of doing – this is their practice, and a keli shelishi is generally not yad soledet bo, and for this reason people were lenient.


It appears from the Chazon Ish's comments that fundamentally, he maintains that no distinction exists between a keli sheni and keli shelishi, and we must therefore forbid both.  Nevertheless, he happens to hold that even the prohibition against cooking in a keli sheni constitutes only a chumra (a stringent measure) that is binding only by force of minhag (common practice), and therefore one need not be stringent regarding a keli shelishi once the custom has developed to be lenient.  It is unclear whether he permitted cooking in a keli shelishi even at the level of yad soledet.  Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l reportedly held that one should refrain from preparing tea even in a keli shelishi and subsequent utensils.


            Practically speaking, one who wishes to rely on the Peri Megadim and Mishna Berura's explicit ruling allowing heating other items in a keli shelishi may do so.  When it comes, however, to tealeaves, which the Mishna Berura did not explicitly allow in a keli shelishi, and to the contrary, makes no mention of it when presenting the various options for preparing tea on Shabbat (in se'if katan 39), one should preferably be stringent and prepare tea essence before Shabbat.[4]  If one forgot to prepare the essence, it would seem that he may rely on the Peri Megadim and Iggerot Moshe who explicitly permitted preparing tea from tealeaves, and in my opinion even the Chazon Ish forbade doing so only by force of minhag.  In any event, it is preferable to be stringent in this regard.


            We should add that some poskim maintain that regarding tealeaves we do not apply the principle of ein bishul achar bishul – that a food is not subject to cooking once it has already been cooked.  According to these authorities, tealeaves resemble the herbs used in dyes, which, as established in the Gemara (Shabbat 18b), remain subject to bishul regardless of the extent to which they have been cooked.  Therefore, as the Chatam Sofer writes (74) in the name of the Ginat Veradim, one should not pour hot water over tealeaves even if they had been cooked before Shabbat.  The Chatam Sofer disagrees with this ruling with respect to coffee, since coffee can be eaten roasted.  But when it comes to tealeaves, which are cooked only through the emission of their flavor into water, bishul would apply so long as they impart their flavor.[5]  This requires further analysis as far as the final halakha is concerned.


Pouring From a Keli Sheni


            The Peri Megadim brings the following ruling of the Magen Avraham (447:9): "It seems to me that if [the contents] of a keli sheni spilled onto cold food, one need not be stringent at all."  In other words, one may pour from a keli sheni onto cold food.  By contrast, it appears from Tosefot (Shabbat 39a) that pouring from a keli sheni is forbidden.  Furthermore, it would seem that once we've determined that pouring from a keli rishon is halakhically equivalent to cooking in a keli rishon, we should likewise equate pouring from a keli sheni with a keli sheni itself, and thus pouring from a keli sheni would be forbidden.  Alternatively, however, one might contend that we have more reason to rule leniently regarding pouring from a keli sheni because even pouring from a keli rishon is not identical to a keli rishon itself, in that pouring effectuates bishul only to the extent of kedei kelipa (a layer's worth).  This requires further analysis.


            The Mishna Berura (318:35) allowed pouring from a keli sheni onto a food that had not been cooked before Shabbat, and adds, "Similarly, it is permissible to pour from a keli sheni onto a cold, liquid food, as this is like mere rinsing."  This comment seems difficult to understand in light of the Mishna Berura's discussion later (318:39) concerning pouring from a keli sheni onto tealeaves, which he explicitly forbids:


…not to mention that according to what is explained in this paragraph, that there are some items that are easily cooked, that are cooked even through rinsing from a keli sheni, there might possibly be the concern of a Torah prohibition regarding the leaves, even in such a manner.


We might suggest two approaches to resolve these conflicting rulings:


  1. In the earlier passage he allowed only items that are not considered kalei ha-bishul, which may, strictly speaking, be cooked in a keli sheni.  He spoke only of pouring, rather than cooking in a keli sheni itself, perhaps out of concern for Tosefot's position forbidding cooking in a keli sheni on the grounds of mechazei ke-mevashel (it resembles cooking).
  2. He perhaps distinguishes between regular food items, which are subject to bishul only in a keli sheni, and not through pouring from a keli sheni, and tealeaves, which he likened to easily-cooked foods such as kulias ha-ispenin and thus forbade even pouring on them from a keli sheni.  This perhaps applies even with regard to a keli shelishi; see our discussion above.  See also Eishel Avraham 318:16.


Pipes Carrying Hot Water


            The Gemara (Shabbat 40b) states: "Rabbi Yitzchak Bar Avdimi said: I once followed Rebbi into the bathhouse and I offered to place a jug of oil for him in the bathub, and he said to me, 'Take [water] in a keli sheni and place [the jug in the water]."  Rashi (s.v. be-keli sheni) explains:


…for them to cool somewhat, because a keli sheni does not cook, and then place the jug into that keli sheni, for this bathtub into which the hot water passes from the fountain [the hot-springs of Tiberias] is considered like a keli rishon in which it had been boiled, for even though it has been removed from the fire, it can cook, as the Mishna states later (Shabbat 42a), "A kettle or pot that was removed [from the fire] as it was boiling – one may not add spices to it."


The Terumat Ha-deshen elaborated further and established that this applies even to water that had been heated by fire and flowed along the ground into a pool or bath; such water, too, has the status of hot water in a keli rishon.  He writes (in siman 181), "We thus see that even though he sought to explain it as referring to water heated by fire that had flowed along the ground, it is considered like boiling water in a keli rishon, from the fact that he [Rebbi] said, 'Take in a keli sheni,' as we explained."[6]


            The Peri Megadim (Eishel Avraham, 33) understood Rashi to mean that even if the flow of water was disrupted on its way from the heat source to the pipes, it nevertheless has the status of a keli rishon.  He writes:


An ambati is a crevice in the ground [into which water] is drawn from a fountain.  An ambati is a keli rishon even though it is then disrupted [along the way] from the fountain; since at the time of its drawing it came from the fountain, the ambati has the status of a keli rishon that was then removed from the fire.


Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata (1:41, and note 122) writes that the pipes that bring water do not have the status of a keli rishon after the fire is extinguished.  He apparently understood from Rashi that the pipes are considered a keli rishon only by virtue of their connection to the boiler, which is a keli rishon.  But once the pipe loses its connection to the fire, then although the boiler itself remains a keli rishon, the pipes attain the status of a keli sheni.


            We should emphasize that one must refrain from opening the hot water faucet on Shabbat even if the boiler is not connected to the electricity, because as soon as hot water leaves the boiler, cold water enters and becomes heated inside the boiler, a keli rishon.  On Shabbat morning, if one reckons that the boiler no longer contains hot water capable of heating the new cold water, he may open the hot water faucet.[7]


Warming Food in an Area Where it Can Reach Yad Soledet Bo


            The Berayta (Shabbat 40b) states, "One may bring a jug of water and place it opposite the fire, not so that it is heated, but for its cold to escape."  Rashi there explains that one may place the water near the fire even at a distance where it can reach the point of yad soledet bo, so long as he ensures to remove it before it cooks.  The Rashba, however, disagrees: "It is correct for us to say that they allowed warming only in an area that is not yad soledet bo; but in a place that is yad soledet bo, it is forbidden even to warm, as a safeguard lest one leave it there until it cooks."  Tosefot (48a) similarly hold that warming is not permitted in an area where the water can reach the point of bishul:


It seems to the Rashba[8] that when we allow placing a jug of water opposite a fire, this is only at a distance from the fire, such that it can never reach the point of bishul, but [placing it] close by is forbidden, even [if one places it only] to warm it [and not to cook it], lest he forget and come to leave it there until it cooks.


The Rosh, however, writes (3:10):


This is what is said in the Yerushalmi: "It is permissible to warm [water] in an area where the hand retains control [meaning, will not be scalded], but it is forbidden to warm [water] in an area where the hand does not retain control.  To what extent?  Rabbi Shimon Ben Pazi said in the name of Rabbi Yossi Bar Chanina: to the point where one's hand would be scalded if he placed it inside it."  And that which is said in our Gemara, "Not that it is heated" – if we seek to have [it] correspond to the Gemara of Israel [the Yerushalmi], we can explain "not that it is heated" to mean in a place suitable for it to be heated, and "but for its cold to escape" [to mean] only in a place suitable for its cold to escape, but not to cook, even if remains there all day.  And that which Rabbi Yehuda said in the name of Shemuel, "[At the point of] yad soledet bo is forbidden; not [at the point of] yad soledet bo is permissible – this is what he means: [heating to the point of] yad soledet bo constitutes bishul, and therefore it is forbidden to place it in a place where it could possibly be heated to the point of yad soledet bo, [whereas] it is permissible to place it in a place where it will be warmed but not [to the point of] yad soledet bo.


Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, O.C. 1:93) explains the Rosh as referring not to merely a concern lest the individual forget to remove it, as Tosefot understood, but rather to a more fundamental issue:


They forbade where it would be cooked if it would remain there all day, even if she intends to remove it beforehand, because the act itself is an act of bishul, since this is what people do when they wish to cook.  Therefore, at this point the significance of the activity is not undermined by her actions due to her intention; [it is undermined] only after she actually removes [the pot].  It is therefore forbidden from the outset to do this on the basis of her intention.


In his view, the intention to remove the pot before the food cooks does not suffice to permit placing it there to begin with, because this is precisely how one cooks: he places a pot in a location where the food can cook.  And even though no Torah prohibition is violated in such a case, where the individual removed the pot before the food cooked, because in the end bishul did not occur, nevertheless, the act that he performed constitutes an act of bishul, only without meeting the condition of the end result.  Chazal therefore forbade this due to the act of bishul that one performs, and not merely as a safeguard.


            The Sefer Ha-teruma (231) distinguishes between one who places the liquid near the fire for it to warm, which is forbidden if it can reach the point of bishul at that location, and one who places it only for its cold to escape.  In this latter case, it is far less likely that one would leave the liquid there until it cooks, and Chazal therefore allowed placing it even in a location where it could be fully cooked.  Of course, this distinction accommodates only the explanation of Tosefot, and not Rav Feinstein's understanding of the Rosh.


            The Shulchan Arukh follows the stringent position:


It is permissible to place a jug of water or other liquids opposite the fire for their cold to escape, provided that he places them far from the fire such that it cannot be heated at that location to the point of yad soledet bo.  But it is forbidden to bring it near the fire to a place where it can be heated to the point of yad soledet bo; it is forbidden even to place it for a brief moment for its cold to escape, since it can be cooked there.


The Shulchan Arukh's formulation resembles the Rosh's comments, but the Mishna Berura explained this halakha as following the view of Tosefot and the Rashba, approaching this prohibition as a safeguard against the possibility that one will forget to remove the liquid before it cooks.  Likewise, these Rishonim did not draw the distinction raised by the Sefer Ha-teruma, and forbade placing the liquid near the fire even for the purpose of merely allowing its cold to escape.


            The Chayei Adam (20:13) allowed, in situations when the need arises, warming cold liquid in a place where it could reach the point of yad soledet bo if it had been previously cooked.  In such a case, we may take into account the view that even liquids are no longer subject to bishul once they have been cooked.  The Chayei Adam adds that the Rashba, who forbids warming liquids in a location where they may reach the point of yad soledet, maintains that cooked liquids are not subject to bishul even after they cool.  And Rashi, who forbids reheating previously-cooked liquids, allows warming liquids even in a location where they could reach yad soledet.  It should be noted, however, that the Rosh and Tur apply bishul to previously-cooked liquids and yet forbid warming liquids in a location where they could reach yad soledet.  Nevertheless, it appears that in situations where a need arises, such as in treating ill patients and the like, one may rely on this ruling of the Chayei Adam.


            In my opinion, one may warm a bottle or food intended for an infant even at a spot where it could reach yad soledet, because the needs of small children are treated in Halakha as the needs of an ill patient, for whom we may suspend rabbinic prohibitions.[9]  Furthermore, it seems that in such a case we have no concern that one will forget to remove the bottle or food, given that he specifically does not want it to reach the point of yad soledet, because it would then be unsuitable for the infant.  This case would thus resemble the ruling of the Magen Avraham and Mishna Berura in siman 91:


In any event, it is permissible to place a cloth or lead utensil near the fire to warm it [meaning, the utensil contains food that has not cooled, and the individual would like to heat it] even close enough that the utensil could melt or the cloth could burn, because since he has no interest in this, it constitutes a davar she-eino mitkavein [result that the person had not intended], and also, he presumably will not forget, and will be very careful to take it from there before it melts or is burned.


From here we may deduce a similar conclusion regarding our situation, that there is no concern that one will forget the bottle near the fire.


            This lenient ruling is more clear-cut in a case of liquids that have been cooked and then cooled, in light of the comments of the Chayei Adam.  Nevertheless, I believe that one may be lenient even if the liquid has never been cooked due to the reasons discussed above.  This would require further analysis before reaching practical conclusions, and where it is possible one should certainly warm the bottle in a location where it would be allowed according to all views.




  1. We dealt with this sugya in our shiur on the topic of mixing water with other water (#11).
  2. The Beit Yosef continues:


Rav Yosef initially thought to issue a ban on [cooking in] a keli shelishi as a safeguard against [cooking in] a keli sheni, and Abayei changed his mind on the basis of that which Rabbi Chiya taught.  And once our rabbi specified and wrote "even if it is a keli sheni," there is no longer any possibility of misunderstanding his use of the term "basin," because he obviously forbids only in a keli sheni, and not in a [keli] shelishi.  He therefore was not precise [in his terminology] and mentioned "basin" instead of "tub."


  1. One might, at first glance, suggest that the Beit Yosef permits a keli shelishi only in the case of a basin intended for bathing, since there is no reason to forbid it as a safeguard against the possibility of cooking in a keli rishon.  We would thus have no proof that the Beit Yosef forbids cooking in a keli shelishi generally.  In truth, however, since the Beit Yosef here seeks to explain the position of the Tur, and the Tur understands the prohibition against cooking in a tub as strict halakha, rather than an additional stringency, we may, indeed, prove from the fact that he permits cooking in a basin that bishul does not occur in any keli shelishi.
  2. Recall that we mentioned this in shiur 11, in our discussion of the various options for the preparation of tea on Shabbat.
  3. This is indeed the ruling of the Maharam Shick, in his responsa (O.C. 132).
  4. The Terumat Ha-deshen discusses there the situation where a bowl of milk over the fire overflowed and some milk flowed to a piece of meat nearby, and he addresses the question of whether the contact is considered to have occurred in a keli rishon.  He concludes, "Nevertheless, I am inclined to say in such a case that if it seems to us that the milk was yad soledet at the point where it touched the meat, since the stream flowed continuously from the boiling bowl near the fire, each and every final drop does not leave the one before it such that it could cool."
  5. See also our discussion concerning using a solar-heated boiler on Shabbat (shiur 13).
  6. The "Rashba" cited in Tosefot is the Tosafist Rabbenu Shimshon Ben Avraham, whereas the more familiar "Rashba" is Rabbenu Shlomo Ben Aderet, one of the leading rabbis in late 13th-century Spain.
  7. See the Shulchan Arukh's rulings concerning a choleh she-ein bo sakana (patient suffering from an illness that poses no risk to life), and Halakha equates the needs of young children with those of a choleh she-ein bo sakana.  True, not all opinions allow a Jew to violate rabbinic prohibitions for the purpose of an ill patient, and on the level of le-khatechila one should certainly avoid doing so.  But in our case, regarding which Rashi permits violating rabbinic prohibitions altogether (as is the straightforward implication of the Rambam, Hilkhot Shabbat 22:4), there is greater room for leniency.  This is especially true in light of the additional consideration that we have no concern that one will leave the bottle there until it becomes hot, or at least the concern in our case is significantly lower than in standard cases.