Halacha for Monday 5 Shevat 5781 January 18 2021

Making Toast on a Hotplate on Shabbat

Question: May one place a pita or a slice of bread on a hotplate on Shabbat in order to turn it into hard and crunchy toast?

Answer: There are two prohibitions we must discuss with regards to our question of making toast on Shabbat out of bread that was already baked before Shabbat.

The first is regarding the prohibition of baking on Shabbat, for if one cooks a food or bakes bread on Shabbat, one has desecrated the Shabbat, as one of the works forbidden by the Torah on Shabbat is baking. In our case, the pita is becoming more and more baked on the hotplate and we must determine whether or not this is prohibited.

The second prohibition we must discuss is the forbidden work of “the hammer’s final blow” on Shabbat, meaning finishing off a work on Shabbat. For instance, if one solidifies wax or tar that was liquid on Shabbat, one has desecrated the Shabbat. The same would seemingly apply to making toast on Shabbat, for the bread was soft before and now, as a result of the heat, it becomes hard.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l deals with this matter at length in several places. Regarding the prohibition of baking on Shabbat, he writes that since we have a fundamental rule that “there is no cooking after cooking on Shabbat,” meaning that if something was fully-cooked before the onset of Shabbat, the prohibition of cooking no longer applies to it on Shabbat, similarly, “there is no baking after baking on Shabbat.” Therefore, if one places a pita that was well-baked before Shabbat on a hotplate, it cannot be considered that one is baking this bread once again. Thus, we cannot prohibit this on the basis of the prohibition of baking on Shabbat, although it becomes more and more baked until it turns into toast.

Regarding the issue we have discussed that the formerly soft pita is now being hardened, Maran zt”l writes that in his opinion, this prohibition does not apply to food items at all; he proceeds to bring several proofs to this idea. Based on this, he writes that it is also permissible to put croutons into soup on Shabbat, for although the croutons are now becoming soft, nevertheless, this is not considered to be a transgression of the prohibition of “the hammer’s final blow,” for this does not apply to food items. Maran zt”l writes that halachically speaking, many of the generation’s leading Poskim, including Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l and others, agree that one may put bread onto a hotplate on Shabbat in order to turn it into toast

Summary: One may place fully-baked bread on a hotplate on Shabbat in order to make toast out of it.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” ref......

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

Chol Ha’Mo’ed

The days between the first and seventh days (outside of Israel between the second and eighth days) of the Pesach holiday and the days between the first day of Sukkot and the holiday of Shemini Atzeret (outside of Israel between the second day of Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret) are called “Chol Ha&......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

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 cus......

Read Halacha


Everything is Foreseen and Permission is Granted

Israeli Independence Day is celebrated today. Since we have discussed this topic several times in the past, we will not delve into this matter lengthily at this point. Let us just note that according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, although one must show thanks to Hashem for removing the ......

Read Halacha

Megillah Reading- Coronavirus

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

One Who is Unsure Whether or Not One Has Counted the Omer

We have already explained that one who has forgotten to count the Omer one day during the counting period may no longer count with a blessing on the subsequent days. The reason for this is because the Rishonim disagree as to whether the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is one long Mitzvah that span......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor- Coronavirus

“Remember What Amalek Has Done to You” On the Shabbat preceding Purim, which is this coming Shabbat, after the opening of the Ark immediately following Shacharit prayers, two Sifrei Torah are removed; in the first one, we read the weekly Parasha (which is Parashat Vayikra this year, 577......

Read Halacha