Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cooking from Yom Tov to Shabbos and the definition of ofeh

Based on his chiddush that the chiyuv of ofeh is not when the dough is placed in the oven but only after it bakes, the Afikei Yam raises an interesting idea to resolve a question of the Magen Avraham. The gemara in Pesachim (46b) quotes a machlokes Rabbah and Rav Chisda whether one is chayav malkos for cooking on a Yom Tov for a weekday. Everyone must agree that it is permissible m’doraysa to cook from a Yom Tov to Shabbos because otherwise our eiruv tavshilin would never work – an eiruv would have no power to suspend an issur d’oraysa of cooking. The question is what that heter is based on. Rav Chisda’s approach is that “tzorchei shabbos na’asin b’yom tov” – there is no issur of cooking for Shabbos on Yom Tov, which some rishonim explain to mean the 2 days are “kedusha achas”, they share the same kedushas hayom and are like one unit. Rabbah, on the other hand, argues that there is never an issur to cook for the next day, be it Shabbos or chol, because “ho’il v’ey miklaey lei orchim”, since guests may arrive who need that as a meal, the cooking is not defined as done for tomorrow’s needs, but for the needs of the Yom Tov day itself. The Magen Avraham very practically writes that therefore if one wishes to cook on Yom Tov for Shabbos, one should do so early in the day when there is a potential for that food to be needed for and used by guests. He is surprised that the practice does not appear to conform to his conclusion – people do cook late in the day! Of course, there is always Rav Chisda’s opinion to rely on, but why get involved in an unresolved machlokes? The Afikei Yam offers a novel suggestion. If one assumes that the chiyuv for baking (and cooking follows suit) follows the completion of the act rather than its start, then food placed in the oven late in the day has an advanatage. One can never be chayav for melacha on Yom Tov, because the cooking did not finish on that day. At the same time, one is not chayav on Shabbos, because the act merely completed on Shabbos and one is never chayav for an act’s completion without it having been started also on Shabbos. I’m not sure practically whether all cooking late in the day conforms to the Afikei Yam’s idea, but it is a creative lomdus!


  1. L'maisa are we machmir like the Magen Avraham? I'm the anonymous guy from the last post.

  2. I always thgought we were. I could be mis remembering (is that a word) but I think I heard Rabbi Willig make this point many years ago when I learned Beitzah in his shiur.
    This past Pesach I mentioned to my wife that we should make the chulent early in the day so it would be ready before the day was over. Her response was "Okay start peeling the potatoes" :-)

  3. The non-answer is it depends on who the "we" is in your question : )
    If I remember correctly, the Mishne Berura quotes this MG"A. I guess for some that settles it. On the other hand, the MG"A himself writes that the minhag ha'am was not in accordance with his approach. Is this a Haym Soloveitchik example of mimeticism vs. text? Don't know. Now that you raise the issue, I am curious to see the Aruch haShulchan, who often defends minhag ha'am, but I don't have the sefer with me.
    Anyway, I'm just here to ask questions and cite an interesting mar'eh makom or two to think about - what you want to do l'ma'aseh I leave for you and/or your Rav to figure out. Have a Good Shabbos!