Halacha for Thursday 16 Adar 5782 February 17 2022

Important Details Regarding Warming Up Foods on Shabbat

In the past, we have explained the rules regarding heating up foods on Shabbat. Let us now review these laws in a general manner.

Heating up food on Shabbat depends on two factors: Firstly, the food must be fully cooked before Shabbat, for if not, it is clearly forbidden to warm it up on an electric hotplate on Shabbat since doing so would continue its cooking process and this constitutes a Torah prohibition.

Secondly, we are only referring to warming a food up on an electric hotplate and not on an open flame, for doing so is forbidden on Shabbat, as we have discussed in the past.

There are some other laws related to warming up food on Shabbat, for instance, that it is only permissible to reheat dry foods on Shabbat, such as rice and potatoes. However, it is forbidden to reheat liquid foods, such as soup and the like. There are several differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews regarding these laws, but we cannot delve into all of them at this point.

Bread Which Was Not Fully Baked
Based on the above, if one baked Challah and notices that they are not fully baked, usually indicated by a very doughy texture in the middle of the loaf, it is a Torah prohibition to warm these Challot on the hotplate, for by doing so, they will continue to bake.

A Food Which Is Edible As Is But Was Not Cooked
Similarly, a food which can be eaten as is, such as a tomato, and was not cooked before Shabbat may not be heated on an electric hotplate on Shabbat, for this food was never cooked and as a result of being placed on the hotplate, it will now get cooked. Thus, this constitutes a Torah prohibition, even though the tomato is perfectly edible raw.

Those who prepare store-bought couscous by pouring boiling water from a Keli Rishon (and sometimes even from a Keli Sheni) directly onto the couscous pellets may not warm up the couscous on the hotplate on Shabbat, for it is not considered cooked since it was never cooked directly on the fire. The fact that boiling water was poured over it does not make it considered fully cooked according to Halacha. Even though the couscous looks the same when placed on the hotplate to warm up and there is no apparent change in its appearance or texture, this nevertheless constitutes the prohibition of cooking on Shabbat.

Mashed Potatoes
If one makes mashed potatoes before Shabbat and after mashing them adds various kinds of spices, one may not warm up this dish on the hotplate since these spices were never cooked in the first place and this will constitute an actual prohibition.

Ask the Rabbi

8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating Meat Following Rosh Chodesh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies......

Read Halacha

Laws Pertaining to Tisha Be’av

There are five categories of abstinence which must be observed on Tisha Be’av: Eating and drinking, washing one’s self, rubbing one’s body with oils or lotions, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Our Sages also prohibited learning Torah on Tisha Be’av, for the word......

Read Halacha

Havdala on Motza’ei Shabbat Which Coincides with Tisha Be’av and the Laws of an Ill Individual Who Must Eat on Tisha Be’av

On years during which Tisha Be’av falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat, such as this year, 5782, there are three opinions among the Rishonim regarding how Havdala should be recited on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Shabbat. The first opinion is that of the Geonim who write that one should r......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Taking Haircuts During the “Three Weeks"- The Year 5782

The Customary Prohibition of Haircuts As a result of the mourning observed during the “Three Weeks,” the Ashkenazi custom is to abstain from shaving and taking haircuts beginning from the Seventeenth of Tammuz until the Tenth of Av. Nevertheless, the Sephardic custom is not as string......

Read Halacha

Those Who are Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’av and their Status When Tisha Be’av Falls Out on Motza’ei Shabbat

Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness, An Elderly Person, and a Woman who has Recently Given Birth One who is ill (meaning when one is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s......

Read Halacha

Frying Fish in a Meat Pot, Baking Fish and Meat in the Same Oven, and Maran zt”l’s Custom

There is a well-known prohibition of eating fish and meat together, as discussed by the Gemara and Poskim. Cooking Fish in a Meat Pot Although it is prohibited to cook a dairy dish in a meat pot as we have discussed in a previous Halacha, nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writ......

Read Halacha

When Av Begins, We Diminish Our Joy

This coming Friday will mark Rosh Chodesh Av. Next Shabbat will mark Tisha Be’av, however, since fast days are prohibited on Shabbat (besides for Yom Kippur), Tisha Be’av will be observed next Motza’ei Shabbat and Sunday. May Hashem soon switch this month to one of joy and celebrat......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Last Meal Before the Fast of Tisha Be’av on Shabbat

On Erev Tisha Be’av, our Sages prohibited eating meat and drinking wine during the last meal before the onset of the fast of Tisha Be’av held after halachic midday. They likewise forbade eating two cooked foods during this meal.  Nevertheless, this year, 5782, since the fast of T......

Read Halacha