Chapter: 12 – Food Preparation

01. Toĥen

Many items naturally exist as organic wholes, but people have learned to break them down and grind them in order to create new and wonderful things. By grinding wheat and other grains, we make flour, which in turn can be … Continue reading

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02. Chopping Vegetables and Mashing Bananas and Avocados

The Rishonim disagree whether the prohibition of Toĥen applies to chopping vegetables finely for salad. Some maintain that since cutting the vegetables into small pieces serves a purpose, the prohibition applies. However, according to the majority of Rishonim, this is … Continue reading

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03. Lash

The melakha of Lash refers to the act of kneading, forming dough out of flour and water. However, it also includes mixing any liquid with flour to form dough. Even if the liquid used is viscous, like honey or mayonnaise, … Continue reading

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04. Preparing a Loose Mixture with a Shinui

As we have seen, the Torah prohibition of Lash applies to forming a thick mixture. This means that many discrete particles become one solid mass that will not flow or spread out if left on a plate or bowl. In … Continue reading

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05. Preparing a Thick Mixture with a Shinui

The poskim disagree whether one may make a thick mixture on Shabbat using a shinui when the food is intended to be eaten on Shabbat. Some forbid this, arguing that the Sages permitted kneading with a shinui only in the … Continue reading

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06. Foods that Are Not Subject to Lash

There is no prohibition of Lash for food that has been mashed. Since it has already been mashed and softened, the act of kneading does not fundamentally change it. Therefore, one may mix a dish of meat, potatoes, and barley … Continue reading

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07. Assorted Laws

One may not make pudding if the mixture is thick enough that it cannot be poured. However, pudding that is loose and pourable may be made using a shinui. As we saw above in section 4, one should begin with … Continue reading

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08. Squeezing Fruits

Juicing – that is, squeezing fruits in order to release their juice – is a violation of the prohibition of Mefarek, a tolada of the melakha of Dash. While Dash involves separating wheat kernels from their husks, Mefarek involves separating … Continue reading

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09. Pickling and Salting Foods

The Sages forbade pickling cucumbers (or olives and the like) in brine or vinegar, because pickling is comparable to cooking. Similarly, the Sages forbade salting foods if doing so fundamentally changes them, as is the case with radishes, onions, garlic, … Continue reading

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10. Coloring Food

There is an accepted principle that the prohibition of dyeing does not pertain to food. Therefore, one may add turmeric to a dish, even though it will color the food yellow. Similarly, one may dip bread in wine even though … Continue reading

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11. Writing, Building, and Spreading

One may not write letters or draw pictures on a cake using candies or frosting. Though this is not prohibited by Torah law since the letters are not long lasting, it is rabbinically prohibited. If a cake has letters or … Continue reading

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12. Ice and Water

The Sages forbade crushing snow, hail, or ice in order to turn them into water, because this resembles a melakha (see the next paragraph). However, one may add ice cubes to water even though they will melt. Since he is … Continue reading

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