Halacha for Monday 3 Shevat 5777 January 30 2017

Pickling Vegetables on Shabbat

Question: Is it permissible to prepare “pickles” by placing cucumbers in salt-water or vinegar on Shabbat?

Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Chullin (97b) tells us: “A pickled item is considered cooked,” meaning that any item which has been steeped for a certain amount of time in salt-water or vinegar is considered to have been cooked. Thus, if something forbidden for consumption has been pickled with other foods which are permissible for consumption, the entire mixture is now forbidden for consumption as if they had been cooked together, for the pickling process transfers flavor from one food to the other and the entire mixture is now full of forbidden flavor.

It seems that the same should apply to Shabbat that just as it is forbidden to cook on Shabbat, it should likewise be forbidden to pickle on Shabbat as well.

“Pickling is like Cooking” Regarding Shabbat
Nevertheless, the Rambam (Chapter 22 of Hilchot Shabbat, Halacha 10) and other great Poskim agree that the idea that “pickling is like cooking” applies only to the laws of Kashrut, for instance, if cheese and meat were pickled together, they are both prohibited for consumption as if they were cooked together. However, regarding Shabbat, pickling is not like cooking, for the Torah only prohibits cooking with fire and the like, and pickling is not included one of these forbidden methods. (Maran zt”l deals with this issue at length in his Chazon Ovadia-Shabbat, Part 4, page 448.)

However, all opinions agree that one may not prepare pickles on Shabbat, for even according to the opinions that this does not constitute a Torah prohibition, there is nevertheless a rabbinic prohibition to do so, for just as we say “pickling is like cooking” regarding the laws of kosher, the same applies to Shabbat as well.

It is therefore completely forbidden to pickle cucumbers, eggplants, olives, green tomatoes, and the like on Shabbat, for “pickling is like cooking.”

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

If One Must Rise Before a Rabbi Every Time He Enters the Room

Question: The custom in our community is to rise every time the rabbi of the synagogue enters the sanctuary. Even if the rabbi enters the synagogue several times, we rise for him every time. Recently though, one of the members of the synagogue raised issue with this and said that the more observant ......

Read Halacha

Pausing Silently in the Middle of the Amida Prayer

The Amida prayer must be recited with continuity. One may not interrupt one’s Amida prayer for any reason. In the previous Halacha, we have written that if one begins reciting the Amida prayer and senses a foul odor emanating from a baby and the like, one must stop praying immediately, for......

Read Halacha

Question: What should one do if one senses a foul odor, such as from a baby and the like, while one is standing and reciting the Amida prayer?

Answer: The Torah states, “And your camp shall be holy.” We derive from this verse that one may not pray, recite a blessing, or any other words of holiness when there is something repulsive, such as excrement or a foul odor in the area. Thus, one may not pray when a child is running a......

Read Halacha

Cooking by Non-Jews in Restaurants or Hotels

Question: We have written in the past regarding a restaurant where a Jew ignites the flame in the morning that although a non-Jewish cook places the foods on the fire, it is nevertheless permissible to eat in such restaurants and this does not constitute a prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew. R......

Read Halacha


Prayer Texts

The various texts of the prayer found among the various communities of the Jewish nation all have strong and holy roots. Therefore, one should not deviate from the prayer text that one’s forefathers were accustomed to. Hence, a Sephardic individual should not adopt the prayer text of Ashkenazi......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Stand While Kaddish and Barechu are Recited

Question: When the Chazzan or an individual receiving an Aliya to the Torah recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation replies “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must the congregation rise completely or partially or is there n......

Read Halacha

Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have established that before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, Isra......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b)......

Read Halacha