Peninei Halakha

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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 the dry ingredients and then add the wet ones, and one should mix with a shinui (Igrot Moshe, OĤ 4:74, Lash §7). Let us reiterate that this shinui may be stirring with a back-and-forth or perpendicular motion instead of the normal circular motion. If this is not recognizable as a shinui, the spoon should be removed from the mixture after completing each stirring motion.

One may not prepare a gelatin dessert by mixing powder and water together. Although the mixture starts out loose, ultimately it hardens. Thus one who mixes water with gelatin powder is transgressing the melakha of Lash (see n. 6 above).

One may not prepare instant mashed potatoes, since adding water to reconstitute the mashed potatoes forms a thick mixture. However, one may prepare instant couscous by pouring water onto it from a kli sheni and stirring it with a shinui.[11]

Everybody agrees that vegetables that are not cut finely may be mixed with oil or mayonnaise. Since the pieces are not tiny, they do not form a mixture. However, if the pieces are finely cut, the poskim disagree whether one may mix them with mayonnaise. Some maintain that one may do so as long as the vegetables do not form a solid mass (Maharshal). Others maintain that if they adhere to each other, even if they do not form a solid mass, it is prohibited (Taz). One who wishes may be lenient, but he should mix the vegetables with a shinui, and prepare the salad shortly before the meal (MB 321:68; see section 5, nn. 8-9).

Preparing egg salad is also subject to dispute. On the one hand, there are reasons to be lenient: All the ingredients (eggs, onion, and mayonnaise) are already edible, and it does not become a homogeneous mixture like dough. On the other hand, it does generally form a thick mixture. In practice, one may prepare egg salad. The eggs may be mashed with a fork, as long as the mixing is done with a shinui and the preparation is done for fairly immediate consumption.

The same procedure should be followed when making tuna salad with eggs and mayonnaise and when making chopped liver with eggs. Although the mixture they form is homogeneous, one may mix them with a shinui for fairly immediate consumption.[12]

[11]. The poskim disagree whether one may form a mixture using matza meal. Many prohibit doing so, maintaining that the matza meal has been processed to such an extent that its original pre-matza kneading is no longer relevant (Taz; MB 321:57). Others are inclined to be lenient (AHS ad loc. 20; Maharsham). Since the issue is in doubt, a shinui should be incorporated. Preparing couscous is less problematic, since one could argue that the individual grains do not really stick together; in any case, in order to avoid any doubt, a shinui should be incorporated when making this as well.[12]. SSK 8:28 permits making egg salad using a shinui even when it becomes a thick mixture (as it permits mashing eggs and cooked potatoes with a fork), and adds in n. 92 that this is the widespread custom. It suggests a number of reasons for this leniency. For starters, the egg is cooked and ready to eat, and the salad is not really one homogeneous mixture. Furthermore, if the egg salad is being prepared for a meal, only a small amount is being prepared, which counts as a shinui. We should add that as we saw above in n. 9, according to Rashba one may form a mixture when preparing the dish for immediate consumption. Further, some maintain that Lash applies only to foods that grow in the ground. On the other hand, some consider egg salad comparable to vegetables, and are stringent if they form a mixture (Hilkhot Shabbat Be-Shabbat 13:31). As we saw in section 5, when in doubt one may mix with a shinui. This has an additional advantage, as it is likely that if one mixes with a shinui, the mixture will not become integrated into a solid mass.

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