Halacha for Sunday 24 Av 5779 August 25 2019

Warming Up a Congealed Food

Question: May one warm up a quiche, meat, or other such foods which contain sauce on an electric hotplate on Shabbat but when they are cold, the sauce is congealed?

Answer: We have explained that it is permissible to warm up a food on Shabbat if has already been cooked before Shabbat, for this does not pose a concern of cooking since “there is no cooking after cooking.” Nevertheless, this only applies to a dry food; however, it is forbidden to warm up a liquid food on Shabbat, such as soup or water, since “there is cooking after cooking with regards to liquid foods.” (There is a permissible way to warm even such foods up on Shabbat as we have discussed.)

The Opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch
Regarding congealed foods, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch writes (Chapter 318, Section 16): “One may place an Empanada (dough filled with meat and fat-based gravy) opposite the fire in a location where it can reach the temperature of ‘when one’s hand recoils’ although the fat congealed inside it will liquefy.”

This means that something that is congealed because it is cold is not considered a “liquid” with regards to the law of “cooking after cooking” since at the time it was placed next to the fire it was dry, not liquidy.

The Opposing Views and the Bottom-Line Halacha
Several Poskim, including the Levush, disagree with Maran on this law. However, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules (in his Chazon Ovadia-Shabbat, Volume 4, page 371) that the Halacha follows Maran and one may act leniently. He proceeds to provide reasons and sources to support his opinion and writes that many Rishonim rule likewise.

Summary: Something which is usually a liquid but is now congealed because it is cold, such as fat, sauce, and the like, may be placed on an electric hotplate on Shabbat in order to warm it up although the heat will cause the congealed item to liquefy.  

Based on the above, it will be permissible to heat a jelly donut (“Sufganiya”) on an electric hotplate on Shabbat since at the time the donut is placed on the hotplate, the jelly is congealed and not a liquid. Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and other Poskim rule likewise. (There are several other reasons for leniency regarding jellies and jams.)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

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

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha


Reciting the “Shehecheyanu” Blessing Upon Performing a Mitzvah for the First Time

Question: The custom in our community is that when a young woman reaches the age of Bat Mitzvah, she performs the Mitzvah of separating Challah for the first time and before doing so, she recites the blessing of “Shehecheyanu” as well upon performing this Mitzvah for the first time. Is t......

Read Halacha

Taking a Haircut of the Night of the 34th Day of the Omer This Year (5782)

Tomorrow night and Thursday will mark Lag Ba’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer) and Friday will be the 34th day of the Omer. Until When Are Haircuts Forbidden? We have already discussed that one may not take a haircut or shave during the period of the counting of the Omer in addition to sever......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the leader of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this ord......

Read Halacha

Using Holy Names

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 1, Mishnah 13) states: “He (Hillel) would say: Whoever does not add shall be gathered, whoever does not learn is worthy of death and whoever uses the crown shall pass.” Rabbeinu Ovadia of Bartenura explains the phrase “And whoever uses the cr......

Read Halacha