Thursday, July 27, 2006

tasting fleishig Shabbos food (before Shabbos) during the 9 days

Poskim write that one who has the minhag of tasting the food for Shabbos before Shabbos is permitted to do so even during the 9 days. Was wondering if this applies only on Friday afternoon, or even if one starts cooking for Shabbos on Thursday night?
When I mentioned this to my wife she thought this halacha was obvious because tasting is not defined as eating. Irrespective of whether that sevara is correct or not elsewhere, it seems to me that it is not the reasoning here. The prohibition of meat and wine does not apply to achilas mitzvah - one is permitted to eat meat/wine at a siyum and for kiddush and havdalah (m'ikar hadin). The tasting of Shabbos food is a bona fide minhag based on 'toame'ha chaim zachu', and hence should be defined as an achilas mitzvah. (Please correct me if you know otherwise.)

10 comments:

  1. I think the tasting not defined as eating is when you spit out the food and don't swallow it. No?

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  2. Tal Benschar4:36 PM

    I don't think the hetter is achilas mitzvah, but rather kavod Shabbos -- making sure that the dishes you will eat on Shabbos taste good. That, I think, is how the MB understands Toameiha Chaim Zachu.

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  3. Re: spitting it out, see the Rishonim on Brachos 14.

    Re: kavod shabbos - I do not understand what you mean. Why should kavod shabbos be an independent matir? According to many, kavod shabbos would not be matir your bathing or shaving, etc., so why should it be a matir to taste fleishig on Friday afternoon?

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  4. As I recall, tasting doesn't count as eating and so does not require a bracha rishona -- even if the food is swallowed. If you have in mind to eat as you taste, you can make a bracha. If the amount "tasted" amount to a shiur, that indicates that one actually is eating and would have to make a bracha.

    In reality, I almost never taste what I cook, though. So I certainly wouldn't seek to do so during the 9 days.

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  5. Like your wife, I rarely taste while I cook. So, this doesn't necessarily end up so practical for me.

    But, I believe that Rav Ovadia says that one who tastes something that is basari, can have milchig later. So, based on that, it wold follow that tasting is not eating. Of course, there must be a line where tasting becomes eating. I imagine a sip of soup to make sure the spices are OK doesn't qualify.

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  6. I did not think of that basar b'chalav application - good point.

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  7. anon12:43 PM

    Remember that with basar b'chalav it depends on the reason for waiting. The Rambam (on whom I would imagine R'Ovadia is basing his psak) holds that the waiting is based on food caught between the teeth. Other (ashkenazi) rishonim give other reasons. I don't necessarily see how these reasons would tie into the issur/minhag of not eating meat during the 9 days thought.

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