Volume 21 Number 65
                       Produced: Fri Oct 13  6:20:52 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Answering Machines and Yom Tov
         [Aryeh Blaut]
Answering Machines on Yom Tov
         [Jerrold Landau]
Food Preparation on Yom Tov
         [Janice Gelb]
Food Processor and Yom Tov (3)
         [Michael J Broyde, Zvi Weiss, <Keeves@...>]
Food Processor on Yom Tov
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Laws of Shabbas and Yom Tov
         [Rachel Rosencrantz]
Mixers and Food Processors on Yom Tov
         [Jerrold Landau]
Ochel Nefesh
         [Jan David Meisler]


From: <AryehBlaut@...> (Aryeh Blaut)
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 09:25:23 -0400
Subject: Answering Machines and Yom Tov

I remember in yeshiva the question came up and we were told that if Jews
(ie non observant family) would be calling, then one should not leave
the machine on at all.

If the majority of the callers are not Jewish, then there wasn't a
problem leaving the machine on.

Aryeh Blaut,


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 95 09:37:08 EDT
Subject: Answering Machines on Yom Tov

Two posts indicated that the reason that we cannot use answering
machines on Yom Tov is because the only melachot (work) pertaining to
'ochel nefesh' (preparation of food) is permitted.  However, even when
doing labour that is permitted in the preparation of food, one is not
allowed to create new flames or electrical circuits.  Thus, one can only
turn the knobs on the stove or oven if no new circuits will be created
in the process (details are complicated -- I won't go into them here).
The pressing of buttons on an answering machine would certainly create
new circuits, and would be forbidden on Yom Tov, without having to use
the reasoning of ochel nefesh.

Chag Sameach,  Jerrold Landau


From: <janiceg@...> (Janice Gelb)
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 10:51:39 -0700
Subject: Food Preparation on Yom Tov

 In Vol. 21 #61, Avi Feldblum writes:
> What is not at all clear to me is why it
> is not permitted to use my food processor (or mixer, etc) on Yom
> Tov. This is clearly Tzorech Ochel Nefesh (what is needed to prepare
> food for a person [I do not think I would translate nefesh as soul here,
> we are talking about physical food]). The exact nature of the Issur even
> without the issue of Ochel Nefesh is not all that clear. Yet there
> appears to be uniform agreement that I cannot prepare much of what I
> would like to make on Yom Tov if it involves electric appliances.

I think there's a difference between saying that you have permission for
work necessary to make food for a person and saying that food needs to
have fancy preparation only available through electric appliances.
Certainly opening food packages or the like is something that even basic
food preparation requires. However, I don't think the law is intended to
enable you to prepare any and all recipes you might like to eat if they
involve real violations, such as using electrical appliances.

I'd like to add for the record that even during regular weekdays I use
neither a food processor nor a mixer and manage to eat fairly well :->

Janice Gelb                  | The only connection Sun has with this      
<janiceg@...>   | message is the return address. 


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 10:31:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Food Processor and Yom Tov

Avi Feldblum, quoting Jan David Meisler writes:
> > The question was asked recently -- if cooking is permitted on Yom Tov,
> > then why not playing with answering machines. * * *
> That makes perfect sense to me. What is not at all clear to me is why it
> is not permitted to use my food processor (or mixer, etc) on Yom
> Tov. This is clearly Tzorech Ochel Nefesh (what is needed to prepare
> food for a person [I do not think I would translate nefesh as soul here,
> we are talking about physical food]). The exact nature of the Issur even
> without the issue of Ochel Nefesh is not all that clear.* * * 
> Why?

A little bit of background is needed to fully answer this question.  Yom
Tov permits three activities, that are prohibited on Shabbat: Carrying;
Cooking, as well as all of the melachot from kneeding on and transfering
fire and slaughtering (all for the sake of yom tov, only).  Only these
particular activites from the 39 avot melacha are permitted.  Others
remain prohibited.  Thus, a cooking activity that invovles a violation
of the prohibition to build would remain prohibited even though it
invovles ochel nefesh.  Thus, for example, if ripping aluminum foil is
prohibited because of setera (destroying) on shabbat, if is prohibited
on yom tov for the same reason.  The fact that you are using it for
ochel nefesh is completely irrelavent.
	The next question is why is electricty prohibited on shabbat,
and there are many different theories.  Most of them are equally
applicable on yom tov too (for a reveiw of these theories, see volume 21
of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society).  Thus poskim who
(in error, in my opinion) ruled that turning on lights is permitted on
yom tov, would also rule that turning on the food processor is
permitted.  Those who ruled turning on lights to be prohibited, would
prohibit the food processor.

ONE IMPORTANT CAVEAT: those halachic authorties who permitted turning on
electricty on yom tov, IMHO, misunderstood the nature of electricty, and
there is no tenable distinction between shabbat and yom tov for the
purposes of useing electricty (vehamevin yavin she ze gam shetat rav

Michael Broyde

From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@...>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 16:53:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Food Processor and Yom Tov

Re the quesiton of a Food processor.  The following appear to be issues:

As a preliminary note: NOT ALL ACTIVITIES are permitted under "Ochel 
Nefesh".  For example, I beleive that the example of Harvesting in order 
to produce flour to make bread is NOT permitted.  A similar problem is 
"Dash" -- "threshing" -- which is why there is a problem squeezing OJ on 
Yom Tov.

1. The operation of an Electric circuit in a FP gets involved in the 
Chumra of the Chazon Ish that this is considered "Boneh" or "Metaken C'li".

2. The cutting up of food finely appears to be a problem of "Tochen" 
"grinding" which is somewhat problematic on Yom Tov as well...


From: <Keeves@...>
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 23:26:01 -0400
Subject: Food Processor and Yom Tov

Several posters have asked why we cannot use electrical kitchen
appliances (mixers, etc.) on Yom Tov.

With a few limitations, cooking and most other food preparations are
allowed on Yom Tov. For example, if a fire is already burning, you can
take a piece of meat, put it by the fire, and cook it. Another thing
which is allowed is to use that fire to get another fire going, and cook
the meat on the second one, if the first fire does not meet your
requirements for some reason. But what you cannot do is to make a
brand-new fire to cook your food.

My understanding is that that's the main problem with electricity. Now,
I will be the first to admit that the status of electricity on Shabbos
and Yom Tov has been fiercely debated for the past century, and years
ago there were indeed some rabbis who allowed it on Yom Tov. But *if*
you accept the common practice *not* to use it, and you want to know
what the *reason* is, then I think it will boil down to one or both of
the following ideas:

1) The electrical current flowing through the device is considered to be
like a new fire, rather than a mere extension of the fire at the local
power company. This argument is particularly strong if the device
contains any lights which light up and/or heating elements which get

2) Even if the above does not apply, flicking many kinds of switches
causes a spark inside the switch, and that is also considered a new

As I said, the status of electricity is fiercely debated. My goal here
was only to offer some of the reasons against using appliances on Yom
Tov. Please do not post additional reasons, or rebuttals to what I have
written, unless the readership requests it.

Akiva Miller


From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 17:02:11 GMT
Subject: Food Processor on Yom Tov

Avi Feldblum wonders why one is not permitted to use a food processor on
Yom Tov. It would appear to me that while one is permitted to light a
fire on Yom Tov, that is only by transferring it from another fire, but
not, for example, by striking a match, which is the prohibition of
Nolad. I've often seen electric motors operate without their casing,
while working on trying to fix them (and in most cases failing!). It is
not uncommon for an electric motor which rotates to produce sparks,
especially when first turned on, and that would possibly be Nolad.

           Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem 97280, Israel
    Phone: 972-2-864712: Fax: 972-2-862041
   EMail address: <himelstein@...>


From: <rachelr@...> (Rachel Rosencrantz)
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 09:43:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Laws of Shabbas and Yom Tov

> From: Rena Freedenberg <mark@...>
>.....part of message deleted....
> are assur (forbidden).  This is a quick, simplified answer; for a more 
> complete discussion of things forbidden on Yom Tov (and Shabbos) there is 
> a very good English language source written by Rav Fuchs called "Halichos 
> Bas Yisroel", published by Targum Press.

Believe it or not, the Halachos Bas Yisroel is the short form of the laws
of Shabbas and Yom Tov.  (Although it is a very good book, and it goes
into much more than just what is permitted and permitted on Yom Tovim and
Shabbas.)  However, another very good book to check out is "Shemiras Shabbas".
It is available in English (as well as Hebrew).  And I use it regularly
in addition to using it for learning my 3 halachos about Shabbas on Shabbas.  

I'm not sure of the publisher, although KTAV comes to mind.  


(So uncooked beans are mukzah unless you set them aside before Shabbas
for children to play games with.... see page ...)
(And you can use ice on a wound that needs it but you can't make new ice.
see page....)

(These halachos and much more available)  


From: <landau@...> (Jerrold Landau)
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 95 09:52:16 EDT
Subject: Mixers and Food Processors on Yom Tov

Our moderator has asked about the use of food processors or mixers on
Yom Tov.  First of all, before any halachic considerations come to play,
the logistics would be very difficult.  It would certainly be forbidden
to turn them on or off (and probably it would be forbidden to turn them
up or down, although this would depend on the internal circuitry).  Thus
one would have to put them on a timer, and time exactly when one would
want to use them.  When one is finished mixing the food, if the timer is
still off, you would have to remove the bowl with the motor still
running, which would be impractical and probably dangerous (messy as
well, with a mixmaster).

In addition, the permission of doing work for 'ochel nefesh' (food
preparation) is not a carte blanche.  It is only permissible to do those
melachos which cannot be conveniently done before Yom Tov.  Thus,
cooking is permitted, as freshly cooked food is much better (and in
older days much safer) than day old cooked food.  However, the
harvesting and threshing of wheat would not be permitted, as these can
very well be done before Yom Tov.  Shechita (slaughtering) can be done
on Yom Tov, since in times before refrigeration, it would be impossible
to use meat that had been dead for a day or two.  Nowadays, I believe
(although there may be exceptions) it is not the custom to slaughter.
The laws of what one can do and what one cannot do in food preparation
are complex, and require extensive study.  But it is clear that there is
no carte blance to do everything.

Most foods prepared by a food processor or mixer (cakes, kugels, etc.)
in this day and age of modern refrigeration, can very well be done
before Yom Tov without undue hardship.  As well, the noise that these
appliances make would not be compatible with the Yom Tov spirit.  One
should even try to do as much of the permissible cooking as possible
before Yom Tov, so as not to detract from the spirit of the day.

Thus, it would seem that the use of these appliances on Yom Tov, would
be ill advised at best.  I don't know whether it would be outright
'assur' (forbidden), but it is evident that there would be major
problems in coming up with reasons to permit.

Chag Sameach,    Jerrold Landau


From: Jan David Meisler <jm8o+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Fri,  6 Oct 1995 13:15:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Ochel Nefesh

I just spoke to my chevrusa for a few minutes about the issue of Ochel
Nefesh on yuntif.  He pointed out to me that any melacha that is
permitted on yuntif for the purposes of Ochel Nefesh is also permitted
for other uses as well.  There would be some melacha involved with the
answering machine that does not have a source in ochel nefesh that would
still make it forbidden on yuntif.

This helps to answer Avi Feldblum's question too (sort of....a bit more
information is also required).  The Rabbis did not permit any melacha at
all on yuntif if it would be used for ochel nefesh.  They only permitted
those melachos whose main purpose was ochel nefesh.  Others were still
forbidden.  Just as there is some melachah involved in the answering
machine that makes it forbidden on yuntif, so too there is some melacha
involved in the food processor that makes it forbidden too.

We thought, although are not really sure, that if the food processor
could be turned on before yuntif and let run the whole yuntif without
turning it off that it might be permitted to put something in to be



End of Volume 21 Issue 65