Shiur #27: Returning, Exchanging and Adding to a Hatmana

  • Harav Baruch Gigi
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

The Laws of Shabbat
Yeshivat Har Etzion


Shiur #27:

Returning, Exchanging and Adding to a Hatmana

 

By HaRav Baruch Gigi

Translated by David Silverberg

 

 

The Berayta in Masekhet Shabbat (51a) states:

 

 

Although they said, "One may not conceal [food to maintain its heat] after dark [on Shabbat eve] even with something that does not increase its heat," if one wishes to add [to the material with which he concealed the food before Shabbat], he may add [to the material].  How does he do this?  Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel says: He removes the sheets and places the blankets, or removes the blankets and places the covers.

 

Tosefot comment, "It appears to the Ri and to Rabbi Por"t that we should omit from the text, 'How does he does this,' because Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel disagrees with the Tanna Kama, who allows only adding, but [holds that] exchanging is forbidden."  Indeed, the version of the text of the corresponding passage in the Tosefta (chapter 4)[1] confirms Tosefot's emendation: "One may not initially conceal hot food on Shabbat, but one may add materials to them.  Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel says: One may remove the sheet and place the blanket, or remove the blanket and place the sheet."

 

            According to this view, the Tanna Kama allows adding to a hatmana but forbids exchanging one hatmana for another, whereas Rabban Shimon permits even exchanging a hatmana.  It remains unclear whether the Tanna Kama would allow removing and then replacing a hatmana in which a pot had been wrapped before Shabbat.

 

            Let us first address the underlying basis of the dispute between the Tanna Kama and Rabban Shimon.  The Tanna Kama allows only adding to a hatmana, because in his view one may not make a new hatmana on Shabbat.  When one exchanges a hatmana, there is a moment when the pot is exposed, and thus when he places the new covering he essentially makes a new hatmana.  Seemingly, then, the Tanna Kama would likewise forbid removing and returning the same hatmana.  Rabban Shimon, by contrast, who allows exchanging one hatmana for another, would certainly permit removing and replacing the same hatmana.

 

            We may, however, explain the Tanna Kama's view differently, and claim that even he would allow returning the same hatmana in which the pot had initially been concealed.  He perhaps forbids exchanging a hatmana because there is a moment when the pot is exposed, and the material in which one wishes to conceal it had never been over the pot, and thus constitutes a new hatmana.

 

            Tosefot write, "Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel permits even exchanging, not to mention removing and returning the same item, which is not so much an initial hatmana."  They appear to hold that only Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel allows removing and replacing the same hatmana on Shabbat.  This is also the implication of the Rosh, in siman 12, who then writes, "According to this interpretation, it would seem, at first glance, that Halakha follows the Tanna Kama."  It thus appears that the Rosh forbids removing and then returning a hatmana on Shabbat.

 

            The Mishna, however, states (51a), "If one did not cover it while still daytime [on Erev Shabbat], he may not cover it after dark; if he covered it and it became exposed, it is permissible to cover it."  Tosefot comment (s.v. kiseihu), "It appears to the Ri that it is likewise permissible to actively expose it and then cover it again, just as it is permissible to remove the pot [from the stove] and then return it."  These comments of Tosefot seem to indicate that they followed the view of Rabban Shimon Ben Gamilel[2].

 

            The Rosh, however, who accepts the Tanna Kama's position, explains the Mishna as follows:

 

We find it possible to explain the Mishna as referring specifically to when one covered it and it became exposed; after the fact, it is permissible to cover it.  Initially, however, it is forbidden to expose [the pot] and cover it – in this way the Mishna can follow the Tanna Kama.

 

The Beit Yosef (siman 257) questions the Rosh's view, and understood that the Ri allows removing and returning a hatmana even according to the Tanna Kama, and that only exchanging a hatmana with a material that had not been there previously is forbidden.  He writes:

 

This is very difficult, for Tosefot wrote that the Ri explains Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel as arguing with the Tanna Kama, and they wrote that the Ri explains that it is permissible to actively expose it [the pot] and then cover it again.  And the Semag and Semak also wrote that Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel disagrees with the Tanna Kama, and the Halakha follows the Tanna Kama, and they wrote that it is permissible to actively expose it le-khatechila.  It therefore seems to me that according to the comments of Tosefot, the Tanna Kama allows only adding [to a hatmana], but not exchanging, because since he conceals the pot with garments that had not been [on the pot] while still daytime, and it [the pot] is now entirely exposed, it gives the appearance of an initial hatmana, and for this reason is forbidden.  But it is permissible le-khatechila to expose [the pot] and then cover it again with the same garments, because this does not give the appearance of an initial hatmana.  It never crossed the Ri's mind to forbid exposing it and then covering it again, for it was obvious to him that this is permissible, just as it is permissible to remove a pot [from the fire] and return it.

 

The Beit Yosef thus understood that even the Tanna Kama would permit removing and replacing the same hatmana.

 

            The Rosh, however, cites a different approach in the name of Rabbenu Yona:

 

Rabbi Yona z"l upholds the prevalent version of the text, that it all follows the view of the Tanna Kama, and he explains as follows: In what way does somebody who wishes to add [to a hatmana] add?  Did he [the Tanna Kama] say that we allow adding only if he initially covered with an item that maintains its heat very well, such as blankets and the like?  Or, perhaps even if one covered it with a light item, such as sheets, through which its heat is not very well maintained, since it is somewhat effective we consider it as having been covered while still daytime.  And Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel explains that from the fact that he [the Tanna Kama] stated, "He removes the sheets" we infer that we consider it covered while still daytime even [if the pot is covered with only] sheets.  And that which Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel concludes – "He removes the blankets…" – it means, "This, and not to mention this" [one may add onto a hatmana, and not to mention that one may exchange a hatmana].

 

According to Rabbenu Yona, there is no disagreement between the Tanna Kama and Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel, and Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel comes to explain the Tanna Kama's comments.  The Tanna Kama allows adding onto the hatmana, and even if the initial, lower level was a thin material, such as sheets, one may add a thicker layer.  Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel inferred this from the fact that covering with sheets also constitutes hatmana, and it thus follows that one may add onto them or exchange them with a different covering.  The Tanna Kama speaks of adding onto a hatmana, and all the more so, Rabban Shimon understood, would he allow exchanging a hatmana.  According to Rabbenu Yona, then, we are more likely to permit exchanging a hatmana than adding onto a hatmana – the precise opposite approach to that taken by Tosefot and the Rosh.

 

            This approach emerges as well from the comments of the Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 4:4):

 

Hot foods that were concealed from before Shabbat and were exposed on Shabbat – one may cover them, for he does not add [to the hatmana].  It is permissible to exchange the covering on Shabbat.  How?  One removes the garment and places the pigeon wings, or removes the pigeon wings and places the garment.

 

It appears that the Rambam held that exchanging a hatmana is permissible whereas adding onto a hatmana is forbidden, and that in his view, Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel comes to explain the Tanna Kama's comments to mean that one may add onto a hatmana only by exchanging a thin covering with a thicker one.  One may not, however, add any covering onto the existing covering.  This is indeed how the Maggid Mishneh understood the Rambam's comments.  The Kesef Mishneh, however, objected to the Maggid Mishneh's reading, and understood the Rambam in the precise opposite direction.  According to his understanding, the Rambam allows even exchanging the hatmana, even though it more closely resembles an initial hatmana, and he all the more so permits adding to a hatmana, which most certainly cannot be considered an initial hatmana.

 

            The truth is, however, that the Rambam explicitly forbids adding onto hatmana – "for he does not add."[3]  I would explain that according to the Rambam, we are more likely to permit exchanging a hatmana because it does not amount to a new hatmana, and resembles somewhat the case of a hatmana that was removed which may be returned to its place.  Adding onto an existing hatmana, however, is forbidden, because doing so gives the appearance of performing hatmana on a covered pot, which would constitute a new, initial hatmana.  The pot with its previous hatmana layer may be perceived as a single unit, which one now wishes to cover by adding a second layer of hatmana.

 

            The Shulchan Arukh rules (257:4):

 

Likewise, if one wishes to add onto it on Shabbat, he may add; and this is true also if one wishes to remove it entirely and put another in its place, whether the first is hotter than the second or the second is hotter than the first.  Even if it had been covered with only a sheet, one may remove it to cover it [the pot] with blankets.  This is provided that the pot had been fully cooked, but if it had not been fully cooked, then even adding onto the covering is forbidden, for this addition causes it to be cooked.

 

The Shulchan Arukh thus permits both adding onto a hatmana and returning the same hatmana, which accommodates the view of Rabbenu Yona, who permits in practice both adding onto and exchanging a hatmana.

 

            It is worth noting the Shulchan Arukh's qualification that this halakha applies only if the food had been fully cooked, so that the additional hatmana or the new, thicker hatmana will not cause further cooking.  The Magen Avraham commented that this is true only when one covers the pot with cloths and the like as the pot sits over the stove, in which case the stove causes an increase in the pot's heat.  But if one merely adds a cloth to a pot, this is permissible even if the food in the pot had not been fully cooked, since no additional cooking will result.  The Bei'ur Halakha, however, disagrees:

 

The work Beit Meir disagrees with him and writes that the straightforward implication of the Tur and Shulchan Arukh is that this refers to all cases.  The work Nehar Shalom writes this, as well.  The work Beit Meir writes that the reason is because when one conceals a boiling [food] item, it remains boiling and cooks.  Even if one conceals it with something that does not increase its heat, and only sustains its heat and boil, every moment that the boil and cooking are prolonged the food cooks more, and thus by adding [to the hatmana] one causes cooking.

 

Cooking is a function of heat sustained over an extended period of time, and thus hatmana, which maintains the heat for a longer period of time, results in bishul.[4]

 

            Let us now return to the issue of exposing a pot on Shabbat and then returning its hatmana.  Earlier we encountered a debate as to whether one may actively remove the hatmana and then cover it again, or if one may return a hatmana only if the hatmana came off by itself.  The Rambam (Hilkhot Shabbat 4:4) cites the precise text of the Mishna – "Hot foods that were concealed from before Shabbat and were exposed on Shabbat – one may cover them."  It is unclear whether or not he allows one to le-khatechila expose the pot on Shabbat, though it stands to reason that if he permits exchanging a current hatmana with another, then he would certainly permit removing and replacing the same hatmana.  Indeed, the consensus among the Acharonim is that one may remove a hatmana on Shabbat and then return it.[5]

 

If One Removed a Hatmana Before Dark, May He Cover it After Dark?

 

            The Yerushalmi states (Shabbat, end of chapter 4):

 

If one removed it [a hatmana] while still daytime [on Erev Shabbat], he may return it while still daytime; if he removed it after dark, he may return it after dark; if he removed it while still daytime and Shabbat set in – Rabbi Abba says in the name of Rav Yehuda – if the indentation [caused by the pot in the material used for hatmana] has been ruined, it is forbidden.

 

Later, the Yerushalmi comments:

 

If it was exposed while still daytime, one may cover it while still daytime; if it was exposed after dark, one may cover it after dark; if it was exposed while still daytime and Shabbat set in – it is taught [in a Berayta]: One may not conceal hot foods after dark, but one may add to them garments or linens…

 

These two passages deal with two different situations: actively removing a hatmana, and a hatmana that became exposed on its own.  In both situations, one may return the hatmana before Shabbat – if he had removed it or it came off independently before Shabbat – and one may return it after dark – if one had removed it or it came off independently after dark.  The Yerushalmi raises the question of whether one may return a hatmana after Shabbat set in if he had removed it or if it came off before Shabbat.

 

            It is unclear from these passages whether the Yerushalmi leaves the question unresolved, and Rabbi Abba's comment in the name of Rav Yehuda (or the Berayta cited in the second passage) stands separate and apart from the previous discussion[6], or if he expresses his ruling on the issue that had been raised.  According to the second possibility, Rabbi Abba establishes that if one removed the hatmana before Shabbat and then Shabbat began, he may return the hatmana if the indentation in which the pot had originally sat still exists.  Once the indentation has disappeared, one may not return the hatmana because it would then constitute making an initial hatmana.  If, however, the hatmana came off on its own, then, it would seem from the Yerushalmi, one may not return it to the pot because this would be deemed a new hatmana on Shabbat, which is forbidden.

 

            The Rishonim address this halakha, some of whom without making any direct reference to the Yerushalmi.  The Rambam (4:4) appears to forbid covering a pot after dark if the covering had fallen off before Shabbat.  The Sefer Ha-teruma (231) writes that this is forbidden because it gives the appearance of an initial hatmana: "But if it was exposed while still daytime, even by itself, it is forbidden to cover it after dark, for it resembles an initial hatmana."  He draws support to his view from the Yerushalmi[7], and he implies that Halakha deals more stringently with a case of one who actively removed a hatmana, and that doing so is forbidden.  From the Yerushalmi, however, it appears that to the contrary, we rule more stringently in the case of a hatmana that came off on its own, where returning the hatmana is forbidden, than in a case of the active removal of a hatmana, where the Yerushalmi allows returning it if the indentation is intact.  The Sefer Ha-teruma apparently understood the discussion concerning the indentation as a separate issue, and that the Yerushalmi drew no distinction between a hatmana that came off on its own and one that a person had actively removed.  To the contrary, he felt that we may be more lenient concerning a case of a hatmana that came off independently, and nevertheless the Yerushalmi forbade returning it; all the more so, then, would the Yerushalmi forbid actively removing the hatmana.

 

            Tosefot write (51a s.v. kiseihu):

 

It speaks of [a case where] one had covered it and then it became exposed because it refers to [a pot that] became exposed while still daytime…and it states that it is permissible to cover it after dark.  But if he actively exposed it while still daytime in order to cover it after dark, it is forbidden to cover it after dark, as it resembles an initial hatmana.

 

According to Tosefot, if the pot became exposed on its own before Shabbat, one may cover it after dark, but if the person himself uncovered it before Shabbat, he may not then cover it after the onset of Shabbat.  Tosefot do, however, imply that if one uncovered the pot before Shabbat with the intention of then covering it again before dark, but this was delayed until after dark, he may cover it even once Shabbat has begun.

 

            The Rosh comments (siman 10), "However, if he covered it while still daytime with the intention of not covering it after dark, it would seem that it is forbidden, as it resembles an initial hatmana."  This passage, as it appears in our texts, is unintelligible.  We should most likely emend the text to read, "But if he exposed it while still daytime with the intention not to cover it until dark…"  This is indeed the text that appears in the Tosefot Ha-Rosh, and the Rosh would thus follow the view of Tosefot.  The Bach (257) accepts this position of Tosefot, as we understood it.  According to the Beit Yosef, however, the Rosh meant that only if one removed the hatmana before Shabbat with the intention of not covering it again at all, even after dark, is it forbidden to return it.  If, however, he removed it initially with the intention of returning it after dark, he may do so.

 

            The Shulchan Arukh (257:4) follows the view of the Rambam and Sefer Ha-teruma, that one may not return the hatmana after dark, regardless of whether or not he had intended to cover it again after dark, and regardless of whether he actively removed it or if it came off independently.  If the pot was exposed when Shabbat began, returning the hatmana after Shabbat resembles initiating a new hatmana on Shabbat, and is therefore forbidden.[8]

 

The Relationship Between Returning a Pot to the Fire, and Returning a Hatmana

 

            In our shiurim regarding the permissibility of hachazara, returning food to the stove, we saw that under certain conditions one may return food to the stove.  Some of these conditions have no relevance in the context of hatmana – such as the requirement that the stove be garuf ve-katum – while others may, indeed, be applied to hatmana – initial intention to return the pot, and that one does not place the pot on the ground in the interim.

 

            Earlier we cited Tosefot's comment (51a s.v. kiseihu) that one may le-khatechila remove and then return a hatmana, "just as it is permissible to remove the pot [from the stove] and then return it."  It appears that Tosefot seek to draw a parallel between the laws of hachazara and the permissibility of returning a hatmana.  If so, then we should seemingly permit returning a hatmana only if the individual initially intended to do so, and that he hadn't placed it on the ground in the interim.  This is indeed the view of the Eliya Rabba (259:9).  However, the silence of the Rishonim in our sugya strongly suggests that these conditions do not apply to returning a hatmana.  The Meiri in our sugya writes this explicitly:

 

It seems reasonable to say that even if one placed it on the ground [he may return it to its hatmana], and even though in chapter Kira they said [that one may return a pot to a stove] only if it was still in his hand, but if he had placed it on the ground, it is forbidden, this was said only with regard to returning [a pot] onto a stove.

 

The Meiri does not explain the rationale behind this distinction.  We might suggest that the prohibition against returning a pot to a stove stems from the concern of meichazi ke-mevashel – it gives the appearance of actual cooking – and therefore it is permitted only if one makes it evident that he merely returns the food, and that this is not its initial placement on the stove.  In the case of returning a hatmana, by contrast, there is no reason to demand that the individual hold the hatmana in his hand the entire time, because regarding hatmana the concern is that the pot may cool in the interim; holding the hatmana in one's hand will thus not affect the halakha in such a case.

 

            We do, however, find in the Rambam this concept of avoiding giving the appearance of an initial hatmana, in a slightly different context.  The Mishna states (49a): "Rabbi Eliezer Ben Azarya said: One turns the box on its side and takes [the pot from it], lest he take it and then be unable to return it.  The Chakhamim say: One may take it and return it."  The Gemara (50b) comments on this Mishna: "Rabbi Abba said in the name of Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi… Everyone agrees that if the indentation was ruined, it is forbidden to return it."  The Rishonim explain this halakha in terms of the laws of muktzeh: if one concealed a pot within material that is muktzeh, he may not return the pot if the indentation no longer exists, since he will have to move the muktzeh material when he conceals the pot within it.[9]  The Rambam, however, gives a different explanation in his commentary to this Mishna:

 

As an example it said that if one concealed a pot within straw, and when he removed the pot the place was destroyed and the straw became loose, it is forbidden to return the pot to that straw, because its place was lost and loosened, and the pot will have to make for itself a place in the straw when one returns it, and it will turn out similar to concealing on Shabbat.

 

According to the Rambam, once the indentation has been lost, returning the pot constitutes a new hatmana, and therefore one may return the pot to its hatmana only if its initial place is still intact.  It would thus appear that he, too, maintains that returning a hatmana is permitted only in such a fashion that clearly demonstrates that one performs an act of returning, rather than beginning a new process.  The Rambam here perhaps follows his own view that initial hatmana is forbidden on Shabbat due to the concern that one might cover the pot with embers containing kindled coals[10]; for this reason he requires a clear demonstration that one merely continues a previous hatmana, rather than creating a new one.

 

            The Vilna Gaon, in Bei'ur Ha-Gra (259:6), claims that the Rambam drew his ruling from the passage in the Yerushalmi cited in the previous section.  According to the Gaon, the Yerushalmi asked about the case of one who removed a hatmana before Shabbat and wishes to return it on Shabbat, and resolved this uncertainty from the requirement that the indentation remains intact, so that we do not consider the returning of the hatmana the beginning of a new process.  Similarly, one may not return the hatmana after Shabbat has begun, since this would constitute beginning a new hatmana, rather than restoring the previous hatmana.

 

            The Shulchan Arukh (259:3) cites the majority view among the Rishonim, that we require that the indentation remain intact to avoid the prohibition of muktzeh, and then he proceeds to mention the Rambam's view:

 

One who conceals [a pot] in a box filled with fleece, which is forbidden to move [on Shabbat], and he takes out the pot, so long as the indentation has not been ruined he may return it, but once it is ruined, he may not return it.  One may even le-khatechila take out [the pot] with the intention of returning it if [the indentation] is not ruined, and we are not concerned that he might return it even though it was ruined.  And some say that even if one concealed [the pot] in something that is permissible to be moved, if the indentation is ruined one may not return it, because the pot will have to make a place for itself when he returns it, and it will turn out like concealing [the pot initially] on Shabbat.

 

The Bei'ur Halakha writes that most Acharonim dismissed the Rambam's position, though he takes note of the Vilna Gaon's comments cited above.

 

            We should note in the context of this discussion that the Yerushalmi raised the question of returning the pot on Shabbat after having removed it before Shabbat both with regard to hatmana and hachazara.  When it comes to hatmana, many poskim rule that one may not return the hatmana in this situation at all, because it resembles making an initial hatmana.  Accordingly, it would appear that the same ruling should apply to hachazara; this is indeed the view of Rabbenu Tam, in Sefer Ha-yashar, and of the Tosefot Rid.[11]  The Ran, however, explains that the Yerushalmi would allow returning the pot if it had not been placed on the ground, and thus, according to the Ran, the Yerushalmi establishes a special halakha regarding hachazara; see our shiur on the topic of hachazara.  As stated, based on the implied parallel we should forbid hachazara entirely.  The Ran perhaps held that hatmana and hachazara differ from one another based on the principle that we developed above in the context of the Meiri's comments.

 

            As for the final halakha, the Rama (siman 253) concludes that one who removed a pot from the fire before Shabbat and wishes to return it on Shabbat must abide by the conditions of hachazara, whereas regarding hatmana, this would be forbidden altogether.

 

Notes:

 

1.         In the Lieberman edition, chapter 3.

2.         This is on the assumption that Tosefot's comments to this Mishna correspond to their view later in the sugya, in explaining the debate between the Tanna Kama and Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel.  This is, indeed, a reasonable assumption, given that in both contexts Tosefot cite the position of the Ri.

3.         The Kesef Mishneh perhaps understood this to mean that one may return the hatmana to the pot because it "does not add" heat, meaning, this amounts to a davar she-eino mosif hevel; this would require further clarification.

4.         One could argue that since through hatmana one merely prevents the pot from cooling, rather than adding heat to the pot, this should not constitute actual bishul, but rather indirectly causing bishul.  There is room to discuss whether or not we should allow indirect bishul of this kind; see the discussion in Shulchan Arukh 334 regarding the indirect extinguishing of a flame.

5.         See Mishna Berura 257:25, and Shulchan Arukh Ha-Rav 257:8.

6.         One might suggest a distinction between the two passages, and claim that in the first passage, Rabbi Abba's statement stands independently, whereas in the second, the Berayta is cited as a resolution to the Yerushalmi's doubt.  See the comments of the Sefer Teruma cited below; this still requires further clarification.  For an additional interpretation of the Yerushalmi, see Bei'ur Ha-Gra, 259:6; we will mention his position later, towards the end of the shiur.

7.         See also Hagahot Maimoniyot, 6:2.

8.         See Magen Avraham, Mishna Berura and Shulchan Arukh Ha-Rav.

9.         See Rashi, Tosefot and other Rishonim.

10.       See our first shiur on the subject of hatmana.

11.       See our shiur on the topic of hachazara.