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

The Proper Way to Immerse Vessels in a Mikveh

One must make certain that there is nothing separating between the vessel one is immersing and the waters of the Mikveh. Thus, when one is immersing a vessel, one must hold the vessel loosely, for if one holds it tight, one’s hand will be separating between the vessel and the waters of the Mik......

Read Halacha

Question: Is one obligated to wait six hours after eating meat foods before eating dairy foods?

Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Chullin (105a) states: “Mor Ukva said: When my father would eat meat, he would not eat cheese until the next day. Regarding myself, however, within the same meal I do not eat meat and then cheese, but I would eat cheese during the next meal.” The Rif writes......

Read Halacha

Reading Scripture at Night

Question: May one read chapters of Tanach or Tehillim at night or is this forbidden according to Kabbalah? Is there room for leniency when this reading is being done for the sake of an ill individual or a woman in labor? Answer: Maran Ha’Chida in his Responsa Yosef Ometz (Chapter 54) quotes......

Read Halacha

Spiritual Blockage of the Heart

Question: Must one be careful regarding the Kashrut standards of the foods one’s children eat as well? Answer: Regarding any food which is prohibited for consumption by the Torah, such as milk and meat or an impure animal’s milk, it is certainly forbidden to give such foods to childre......

Read Halacha


Drinking Beverages in a Café or in a Home Where the Vessels have not been Immersed in a Mikveh

Question: May one drink coffee in a friend’s home or in a Café (such as an espresso without milk served in Cafes) when they are not meticulous about immersing their vessels in a Mikveh? Answer: In the Halachot discussed before Tisha Be’av, we have explained that vessels produc......

Read Halacha

Question: Do disposable vessels and electric kettles require immersion in a Mikveh?

Answer: In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the general law that any new vessels purchased from a non-Jew must be immersed in a Mikveh before using them. We shall now discuss whether or not disposable vessels require immersion. We have already explained that according to Maran zt”l,......

Read Halacha

Eating Dairy Items after Eating Poultry

In the previous Halacha we have discussed in general the law that one must wait six hours after eating meat before eating dairy foods either because the nature of meat is to get stuck between one’s teeth or because meat gives off a taste in one’s mouth for a prolonged amount of time. ......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Fire on Yom Tov

In previous Halachot we have explained that Yom Tov and Shabbat are equal regarding all prohibitions besides for certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking, which are permitted on Yom Tov. Igniting a Flame One may not produce a new fire on Yom Tov, for instance by striking a......

Read Halacha