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

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