Chapter: 03 – The Principles of the Melakhot

01. Why Melakha Is Forbidden on Yom Tov

On the holy days of Shabbat and Yom Tov, one may not do melakha, for at these times we transcend the limitations of this world, with all its sinfulness and cursedness, in which man must work hard to sustain and … Continue reading

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02. Melakhot Permitted on Yom Tov

On Shabbat, one may not do any melakha, as the verse explicitly states: “But the seventh day is a Shabbat of the Lord your God; you shall not do any melakha” (Shemot 20:10). In contrast, on Yom Tov, one may … Continue reading

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03. The Principle of Mitokh

There is a basic principle that applies to all melakhot that are permitted for food preparation on Yom Tov: once (mitokh) they are permitted for purposes of food preparation (le-tzorekh okhel nefesh), they are permitted for other purposes as well. … Continue reading

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04. Melakhot Are Permitted Only for the Sake of Yom Tov

All of the melakhot that are permitted on Yom Tov are permitted only for the sake of Yom Tov; it is forbidden by Torah law to do melakha for weekday needs. Therefore, if one cooks toward the end of Yom … Continue reading

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05. For Non-Jews and for Animals

The melakhot permitted on Yom Tov are permitted for the sake of the mitzva of simḥa of Yom Tov. Therefore, one may cook for other Jews, since they too have a mitzva to rejoice on Yom Tov. However, it is … Continue reading

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06. Shaveh Le-khol Nefesh

When melakhot are permitted on Yom Tov for food preparation or other Yom Tov pleasures, they are permitted on condition that one performs them for the sake of something which is shaveh le-khol nefesh, which means that most people derive … Continue reading

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07. Cooking More Yom Tov Food than Needed

Even though a Yom Tov meal can be enjoyed with only one dish, one who wishes to enhance his simḥa of Yom Tov may cook many different dishes, as is standard when preparing the most sumptuous of meals. One who … Continue reading

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08. Food That Could Have Been Prepared Before Yom Tov

The basis for the permissibility of doing melakha on Yom Tov is to prepare and improve dishes and thereby enhance the simḥa of the festival. The taste of fresh bread from the oven cannot be compared to the taste of … Continue reading

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09. Items Necessary for Food Preparation

In principle, on Yom Tov one may repair makhshirei okhel nefesh, items that are necessary to prepare food on Yom Tov. However, for a variety of reasons, in practice we almost never permit repairing makhshirei okhel nefesh on Yom Tov. … Continue reading

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10. Koshering Utensils on Yom Tov

Dishes, crockery, or utensils that have become forbidden to use, whether on account of having absorbed the taste of meat and milk or on account of having absorbed the taste of non-kosher meat, may not be koshered on Yom Tov. … Continue reading

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