Halacha for Sunday 10 Kislev 5782 November 14 2021

Taking Out a Frozen Challah from the Freezer on Shabbat

Question: May one take out a frozen Challah from the freezer on Shabbat afternoon for it to be ready to eat for the Melaveh Malka meal after the conclusion of Shabbat?

Answer: The root of this question is based on the fact that it is forbidden to prepare for a weekday on Shabbat. For instance, it is forbidden to set the table on Shabbat for it to be ready for use on Motza’ei Shabbat. Similarly, one should not wash the soiled dishes from the Shabbat afternoon meal until after Shabbat. It seems, therefore, that it should be forbidden to take out a frozen Challah on Shabbat to thaw for Motza’ei Shabbat.

Indeed, Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l rules (in his Sefer Shulchan Shlomo, Chapter 290) that no action may be taken on Shabbat when it is meant to prepare something for Motza’ei Shabbat. Thus, it is forbidden to take a Challah out of the freezer to thaw when one’s intention is to eat it only once Shabbat has concluded.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes in his Sefer Chazon Ovadia (Shabbat, Volume 2, page 447) in the name of the Chayei Adam that as long as there is a Mitzvah involved, this does not constitute the prohibition of preparing on Shabbat for a weekday, unless this action is easily performed or readily available on Motza’ei Shabbat. However, if this thing cannot be prepared on Motza’ei Shabbat, this is not forbidden. Similarly, Hagaon Harav Shimon Greenfeld zt”l writes in his Responsa Maharshag that the only prohibition to prepare on Shabbat for a weekday is when this is being done to save one’s self time on Motza’ei Shabbat. However, if something cannot be done after Shabbat in any event, one may do so on Shabbat.

Based on the above opinion, Maran zt”l rules that it is permissible to take out a frozen Challah from the freezer on Shabbat to defrost for Motza’ei Shabbat since this is being done for the purpose of a Mitzvah, i.e. to be eaten during the Melaveh Malka meal, in addition to the fact that this action cannot be done on Motza’ei Shabbat (at which point the Challah will not defrost in time) which makes this a situation of a preparation made on Shabbat for Motza’ei Shabbat which is not forbidden.

Thus, halachically speaking, it is permissible to take a frozen Challah out of the freezer on Shabbat so that it will defrost and be ready for consumption on Motza’ei Shabbat.

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

Producing Sound and Whistling on Shabbat

The Gemara in Masechet Eruvin (104a) tells us that our Sages banned producing sound on Shabbat and Yom Tov, for instance, by playing a musical instrument, for they were concerned that while the tune is being played, the player will come to fix the instrument. This decree would certainly apply eve......

Read Halacha

Clapping and Drumming on a Table on Shabbat and Yom Tov

The Gemara in Masechet Beitzah (30a) states that one may not drum, clap, or dance on Shabbat lest one come to fix a musical instrument (ibid. 36b). This means that just as we have discussed in the previous Halachot that our Sages have decreed that one may not play musical instruments on Shabbat ......

Read Halacha

Toys Which Produce Sound and those Which Operate Using a Spring or Coil

Question: Is it permissible for one to allow one’s young children to play with toys which produce sound, such as a doll which makes noise when shaken, on Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed the prohibition of producing sound on Shabbat, such as by banging on a board, ......

Read Halacha


Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: Approximately one week ago, we have discussed 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, I......

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