Halacha for Sunday 25 Shevat 5784 February 4 2024

Warming Up Bread on Shabbat

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of
All Our Dear Soldiers
May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy.
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Question: The bakery next to our house sells special bread for Shabbat (“Frena”) and we noticed that sometimes, there is an area in the middle of the bread that is not baked well. Is there any issue heating such bread up on Shabbat?

Answer: Firstly, it is correct that something baked before Shabbat may be warmed on an electric hotplate on Shabbat since “there is no baking after baking.” Since the bread is already fully baked, reheating it on Shabbat is fully permissible.

Ben Derosai
The Rishonim disagree regarding whether continuing to cook a food on Shabbat that was cooked to the level of “Ben Derosai,” i.e., only partially cooked, is a Torah prohibition or not. (Ben Derosai was an infamous bandit who would commonly cook his food only partially and eat it as such. See Rashi Shabbat 20a.)

Halachically speaking, Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 318, Section 4) rules that it is forbidden to cook or reheat a food on Shabbat that has only been partially cooked before Shabbat. The Mishnah Berura explains that as long as the food has not yet been fully cooked, it is forbidden to heat it up on Shabbat.

The Law Regarding Bread
There is no distinction between a cooked food and bread regarding this law, for even a baked good that has not been fully baked before Shabbat may not be reheated on Shabbat, for doing so continues the act of cooking/baking on Shabbat, which is certainly forbidden.

Thus, regarding the above question, if one purchases bread which has not been baked well, it is absolutely forbidden to reheat it on the electric hotplate on Shabbat.

Things Which Cause Difficulty in Torah Study
On a side note, the Gemara (Horayot 13b) states that one of the things which causes one not to succeed in one’s Torah study and not understand well what one is learning is eating bread which was not baked well. Thus, doing so is spiritually harmful as well.

Summary: Bread which was not baked well before Shabbat may not be reheated on Shabbat.

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