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Q & A: Hachana (Part VI)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on Shabbat or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day (Motza’ei Shabbat or Motza’ei Hachag)?
Moishe Halberstam, Esq.
Brooklyn, NY


ANSWER: We began our discussion with the general premise that it is preferable not to pack on Shabbat or a holiday in preparation of a trip to be taken subsequently, on a weekday. Some halachic authorities prohibit doing so. This activity would be categorized as hachana or preparation on Shabbat or a holiday for a need after Shabbat or the holiday, which is prohibited. Items not intended for use on the same day of Shabbat or a holiday are considered muktzeh, a biblically based concept (Exodus 16:5; Beitza 2b), the Torah’s frame of reference being food preparation.

In order to be able to prepare food on one day of a holiday for the next day of that holiday or for a Shabbat that immediately follows it, an eruv tavshilin (two types of food set aside as preparation of a meal) is prepared, the reasoning being that food is prepared for that same
day and it is the leftovers that are used on the following day. With this reasoning, the prohibition of hachana is avoided in the preparation of food. Though the Torah refers to food only, other types of preparation are included as well.

We also focused on the issues of hachana as they relate to garments and beds. Garments may be folded after being worn if they will be worn again on Shabbat; if they are folded by just one person; are new and not laundered yet; are white; and if the person has no other garment to wear. Beds may be made up on Friday night for the Shabbat day, but not on Shabbat day in preparation for Saturday night. However, should the unmade bed cause embarrassment (i.e., it
is in a room where one will receive guests), the bed may be made, as this is now a need for Shabbat itself. A comment by the Mishna Berura (Orach Chayyim 302:3-18) indicates that not to fold at all (on Shabbat or a holiday) is a praiseworthy stringency.

We presented the views of R. Y. Neuwirth (Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah, Vol. I 28:70). He bases his rulings on the Mishna Berura (254:43), and concludes that on Shabbat and holidays one may perform an activity which would fulfill a need of a subsequent weekday if a monetary loss would occur without such intervention, but provided no extra effort is required to accomplish it, and the opportunity to do so will not present itself again later. An example offered was the soaking and salting (within three days) of meat that has been slaughtered. If Shabbat is the third day, and the koshering process has not been started yet, it may be started on Shabbat, preferably by rinsing one’s hands over a pot containing the meat. R. Neuwirth also described how one would put away a pile of clean, dry, laundry so as to avoid the
prohibition of choosing - the work of borer - on Shabbat or a holiday.

Last week we discussed the ruling that on Shabbat we are permitted to place used clothing into an unplugged washing machine that has no water in it, and also to replace food and drinks into the refrigerator on Shabbat, although both these actions seem to involve hachana. This is permitted because we wish to contain any odors that may emanate from the used clothing; these activities involve the normal routine of placing items in their normal places; and we are permitted to take action to prevent monetary loss, such as spoilage of food that needs to be refrigerated.

We continue this week with further examples of activities entailing hachana on Shabbat that are allowed.

* * *

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach states (Shulchan Shlomo I:290, Hilchot Shabbat): “One is permitted to leave his home on Shabbat, on a hot day, and take along a vest or a cardigan where there is an eruv - in order that he might wear it at night when he is on his way [assuming the weather will be chillier at night]. This is permitted in the event that he will have no other way of bringing this item on Motza’ei Shabbat, but he cannot openly state that he is preparing it for the weekday.”

R. Auerbach explains the reasoning for this ruling thus: “It is permitted for one to go where he chooses on Shabbat [within the techum, the border limit of 2000 cubits on Shabbat; and a city's limits are considered within the techum even if the distance is greater than 2000 cubits. In this case we are referring to a city where the eruv allows carrying within its limits.] But one must take heed not to catch a cold. Thus, when he leaves his house on Shabbat in the afternoon and takes with him this vest for wear in the evening, it is just to avoid catching a cold. He is not preparing a vest for the evening in order to avoid effort or a loss…”

R. Auerbach clearly differentiates this situation from those matters which we are specifically prohibited from doing, such as bringing wine for Havdalah (Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 667:5), the scroll of Megillat Esther before Purim, or cloth shoes for Tisha B’Av. Items brought solely for use on Motza’ei Shabbat are clearly prohibited to be brought on Shabbat. However, where the vest is involved, one brings it to keep oneself from catching cold; likewise, R. Auerbach is inclined to rule leniently about taking along some food or a little
water, even when he may experience the cold, hunger or thirst only at night. R. Auerbach does caution that the food he takes along is not to be specifically prepared on Shabbat; rather it should be taken from what was readily available (such as leftover food from the meal rather
than preparing a new dish of food).

The underlying premise to the above ruling is that our sages never enacted rules to restrict movements on Shabbat.

We noted earlier in our discussion the Noda BiYehuda’s views regarding a specific situation involving hachana (see Mishna Berura 321:21). As his views are relevant to our question, we will refer to that text (Responsa Noda BiYehuda by R. Yechezkel Landau, Vol. 2:27). The question to which R. Landau was responding was put to him by the rabbi of a community who had once been his student. That rabbi had ruled that a geshtupte genzel – a fattened goose that had remained more than three days after shechita without being ‘koshered’ (salted) may only be broiled. Now he was also asking R. Landau what he would rule in the event that the third day after the slaughtering was Shabbat. Would it be permissible to soak (and salt) on Shabbat, or would we leave the goose to be broiled the next day?

R. Landau responded that he agreed with his disciple’s ruling that the goose that was not soaked can only be broiled. In the situation where the third day after the slaughter of a stuffed goose is a Sabbath, if a gentile was available to begin the soaking, it would be definitely permitted, even according to the Magen Avraham (Orach Chayyim 321:7), who normally prohibits the soaking of meat on a Shabbat which is the third day after slaughter even by a gentile.

R. Landau notes that the Magen Avraham’s reasoning is that meat can be eaten when broiled, and thus there would be no monetary loss (even if a gentile is not allowed to do it). But the case of the stuffed goose is different, for the main delicacy of stuffed geese is their fat, which, if broiled, completely disintegrates. The loss of the fat of the goose is similar to the loss of [the whole cut of] regular meat, and in this case, it is a matter of simple fact that it is permitted for a gentile to do the soaking. R. Landau adds that “in a place where no gentile would be available, it is permitted to be done by a Jew.”

R. Landau notes the Gemara’s statement: (Shabbat 128a) the meat of geese is different; it is so soft that it can be eaten raw. Rashi s.v. “le’umtza’ explains that it would be permitted to be consumed raw even unsalted, but Rashi does not preclude the need to rinse it of any blood, as only the blood in the limbs (subsurface) is permitted (see Tosafot s.v. “dachazi le’umtza,” and Yoreh De’ah 67:1-2).

The Noda BiYehuda challenges the Magen Avraham, as most authorities do not differentiate between beef and the meat of geese. The Mechaber and the Rosh actually rule with the same leniency regarding beef which was soaked but not salted). He also notes the Magen Avraham’s statement (Orach Chayyim 311:7) that we do not handle such meat on Shabbat because it is muktzeh, which is the reason we may not pour water over it (for soaking). The Noda BiYehuda finds this quite at odds with R. Huna’s ruling – which is the accepted view in halacha ? that one may handle raw meat on Shabbat.

Further, even if the meat is not to be handled and considered muktzeh, we have a rule that an item which one may not handle may still be handled through that which may be handled (Keli nital letzorech davar she’eino nital), thus the water may be handled or poured for the need of the meat.

We must therefore explain the ruling of the Magen Avraham. He sees the problem as one of touching muktzeh, which must be the stream of water, as the Mechaber cautions (Orach Chayyim 310:6) that one may not touch the muktzeh item. We must assume that he considers the touching of the stream of water that flows on top of the meat as prohibited, as it is as if one is touching the meat itself.

R. Landau finds this quite difficult to correlate with his views. First, because this is only indirect touching. Second, this goes according to the Mechaber who rules similarly to the Terumat
HaDeshen and differentiates between where one touched an item for the need of a muktzeh item, which would be prohibited, and where one touched for the need of a permitted non-muktzeh item (for example, a bed or pillow where he might usually put money, but this time, from bein hashemashot (dusk) on Friday there was no money there, or there was no intention to put money there.) This would be permitted. However, R. Landau notes that the Rema (Orach Chayyim 513:1 as both the Magen Avraham and the Taz explain) rules only in the case of an item that can move or roll easily is it prohibited to touch, such as an egg or a candle. However, since so many authorities rule that raw meat is not muktzeh at all, we may permit touching it, as we do not look for extra stringencies.

Therefore, based on all of the above reasons, R. Landau concludes that even raw beef if it is not as good when broiled as when cooked, it would be permitted to pour water over it (on Shabbat, the third day after slaughter). However, if there is a gentile who can do it, preferably he should, but if not, even a Jew may pour the water. R. Landau adds, “If by the way, [the Jew] needs to rinse his hands, he may disguise the action by washing directly over the pot of meat.”

Thus, R. Landau shows us that we may soak the meat, if possible, indirectly, although there clearly are issues of hachana from Shabbat to weekdays involved.

(To be continued)

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


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