THE LAWS OF
By Rav Yosef
Shiur #06: BORER
Is it permissible to use a faucet with an attached filter or a
water-purification system on Shabbat?
Is one allowed to use a tea strainer or a teabag? Is it permissible to separate
vegetables from soup by holding the spoon next to the side of the pot? Is one allowed to use a lettuce
Defining the Melakha of
As we have seen in previous shiurim, the
(sifting) is classically done with a sieve: while the fine flour falls
through the sieves holes, the bran remains in it.
Merakked is thus similar to
borer in the aim of removing
pesolet (refuse) from
okhel (food), but it is accomplished
with a keli, a utensil, vessel or
tool. The Gemara (138a) explains in
the name of Rabbi Zeira that one who strains liquids violates this
melakha. According to Rabbi Zeira, any
process which separates pesolet
from okhel so that the
pesolet remains in its place and the
okhel falls out (e.g.,
straining liquid) is forbidden because of the
However, although it is forbidden to filter liquid with a strainer on Shabbat,
there are other ways to bring about this result.
The mishna (139b) allows one to strain wine through a cloth: "Water may be
poured over lees [dregs of grapes] in order to dilute them, and wine may be
strained through cloths or an Egyptian basket."
A sudar is a cloth which is not designed for filtering but which
can be utilized for this purpose, and the same is true of an Egyptian basket,
made of palm twigs. The Amora
Ze'iri, in the Gemara (ibid.), even allows for the use of a strainer, which is
designed specially for filtering: "A person may put clear wine or water into a
strainer on Shabbat without concern, but not cloudy [liquids]." Under what conditions may one strain
wine with a strainer, and when is it
permissible to strain only with a cloth?
The Ran (57b, Rif) explains:
cloths and the Egyptian baskets...
and everything of this ilk is an alteration, since one is not straining with a
strainer. The cloudy wine discussed
here is still drinkable; if it were clear wine, even using a strainer would be
permissible, as is stated in the Gemara; and if it is cloudy wine which is
undrinkable, even [using] cloths or an Egyptian basket would be forbidden,
because it would be borer regardless.
this, clear water or wine may be filtered even with a strainer (as Ze'iri
states); somewhat cloudy water or wine (as long as it is still drinkable) may be
filtered only with a cloth and the like (as the mishna states); while extremely
cloudy water or wine (which is undrinkable) may not be filtered at all on
Shabbat. The Ran goes on to explain
that if a majority of people would drink the water or the wine as is, the
liquid is considered clear and it is permissible to filter it with a strainer,
even if there are some debris inside.
However, if a majority of people would not drink the water without
filtering, one may not use a utensil designed for straining; one may only use a
vessel or utensil which is not designed for filtering, such as a
according to the Ran, there are three levels.
The Rashba (ibid.) takes a similar approach to the Ran. On the other
hand, the Rambam (8:14) understands the Gemara differently:
filters wine or oil or water or other liquids with the appropriate strainer is
liable... but one may filter wine with no lees or clear water using cloths or an
Egyptian basket, so that [the wine or water] will become extremely clear.
him, one is allowed to filter only clear wine or water, and only with a cloth. One is forbidden to filter liquids
which are not clear, and there is no allowance in any case to filter to use a
If so, the
Rambam allows filtering clear liquids with a
cloth, while according to
the Rashba and the Ran one is allowed to filter clear liquids even with a
strainer, while with a cloth one is allowed to filter even somewhat cloudy
The Tur (Ch.
319) agrees with the Rashba when it comes to clear water, permitting even the
use of a strainer, but he agrees with the Rambam when it comes to
somewhat cloudy water, and he forbids using even a cloth.
Shulchan Arukh (319:10) cites both opinions regarding the filtering of clear
water (without addressing somewhat cloudy water):
or water may be filtered through a strainer...
And according to the Rambam, filtering with a strainer is forbidden
even for clear water or wine. Even
[using] cloths is permitted only with clear liquids, but not with cloudy ones.
If so, the
Shulchan Arukh starts by ruling according to the view of the Rashba
and the Ran that one is allowed to filter clear water even with a strainer without attribution, and after
that he notes that the Rambam forbids it.
From his language, it appears that he rules in accordance with the first
view. The Mishna Berura (41)
indeed writes that "the law is in accordance with the first view." (However, some Yemenites are
stringent, in accordance with the view of the Rambam.)
Nevertheless, the Mishna Berura adds (42) that one may be lenient when it
comes to filtering clear water with a strainer, but "not with cloudy [liquids]
that is, even a bit cloudy," explaining that "in this matter, it is appropriate
to be concerned about the words of the Rambam."
Sha'ar Ha-tziyun (34), he explains that in this case other halakhic
authorities (such as the Tur) agree with the Rambam, and therefore one
should be concerned about their view.
Permitting the Filtering of Clear Liquids
Why is one
allowed to filter clear liquids (in a strainer, according to the Rashba and the
Ran; in a cloth, according to the Rambam)?
explanation is that since the majority of people drink the water even without
the filtration, the filtering does not constitute a
tikkun (a significant repair or
improvement). Rashi indicates the
same. The Gemara below says that
fresh wine, which has just come out of the press, may be filtered even with a
strainer, and Rashi (s.v. Bein Ha-gittot) writes:
are cloudy, and they are drunk with the lees; therefore there is no
tikkun here, because it is drinkable
words, since people will drink the wine without filtering, the filtering is not
It should be
noted that this explanation is reasonable for those who maintain that the basis
of the prohibition of borer is
okhel, improving the food. As was explained in earlier
shiurim, others maintain that the prohibition of
borer stems from the fact that one
removes pesolet or separates
okhel, and if so, why is one
allowed to filter clear water? At
the end of the day, even in this water, some
pesolet is removed (otherwise, one
would not filter at all!)
that one could justify filtering clear liquids in another way: since most people
drink the water in this way, the water and the debris are considered to be
one type, and therefore there is no
bereira in this (as we have seen in earlier shiurim, there is no
prohibition in the bereira of one
Tehilla Le-David (319:15) questions this:
requires some explication. Apparently,
even if we say that [the debris] is not considered
pesolet because [the liquid] can be
drunk regardless, nevertheless, it should make no difference! Since one does not want to drink the
debris, it should be like two types of food: whatever one does not want to
consume now is called pesolet.
words, if we allow a mixture to be separated into its constituent elements
whenever the mixture is edible in its commingled state, why is there a
prohibition to separate two types of food?
Generally, the two types of food can be eaten when they are commingled;
nevertheless, we have determined that if, at the moment, one does not desire one
of the types, it is considered pesolet,
and there is no permission to separate it!
Why do we not say this concerning one who does not want debris in the
An answer to
this question can be found in the Shevitat Ha-Shabbat (Merakked, Be'er
Rechovot, 26), who indicates that this allowance is applicable also to two
types of food: "Straining the sauce from latkes or vegetables appears to
be permissible, since they are eaten like this."
According to him, it is permissible to separate vegetables from broth
even with a colander, since many people eat the broth and the vegetables
together; consequently, the mixture of vegetable soup is considered like clear
water, as it can be consumed without any filtering. According to this, just as it is
permissible to separate a mixture which is edible in its commingled state, one
is allowed to separate a mixture of two types of food!
S.Z. Auerbach (cited in Shemirat Shabbat
Ke-hilkhata, Ch. 3, n. 156) disputes this claim:
approach is only applicable to debris...
which has no significance on its own.
Therefore, since most people drink wine with the lees, they are
insignificant in relation to the wine and are considered of one type, so that it
is not considered borer... This is not the case with two
significant types, because neither nullifies the other; if, in such a case, one
wants to eat only one type, the mere fact that it is possible to eat them
together does not permit one to apply this principle. Therefore, one is liable for
borer of two types... and this resolves the question of
the Tehilla Le-David.
that the debris, because it is insignificant, is considered to be of the same
type as the water, so that borer
cannot apply when one removes the debris.
In, for example, vegetable soup, the broth and the vegetables are two
types, each of which is significant in its own right; although people
customarily eat them together, their separation is a violation of
conclusion, two types of food that are commingled (each type being significant
in its own right, e.g., vegetable soup) may not be separated with a strainer,
even if most people generally eat them together; but clear liquids, which most
people would drink without filtering, may be filtered even with strainer. Cloudy liquids which most people
would not drink (though they are potable) may not be filtered with a strainer;
it is preferable not to filter them at all, even though there are those who are
lenient and allow one to filter with a
keli not designed for this purpose.
on a Faucet
A sink with
a built-in filter on the faucet seems to bring us once again to the dispute
among the Rishonim, as generally we are dealing with potable tap water which is
being put through a filter: the Rambam would forbid it, while the Rashba and the
Ran (whom we follow) would permit it.
This is what the Chazon Ish (53, s.v. Ve-im) indicates:
If a filter
hangs from the faucet in order to remove the sand from the water, it is
permissible to use it if most people would not avoid drinking unfiltered
water... But if there is a great
amount of sand, so that the majority would not drink [the water] unfiltered, it
If so, a
filter on a faucet or a water-purification system would pose a problem on
Shabbat only if the local water is avoided by most people.
Minchat Yitzchak (Vol. VII,
23) writes that even in such a case, one may be lenient:
appears that in our case, because the filter is permanently attached to the
faucet, and there is no way for the water to come out of the faucet except via
the filter... We should say that
since all of the water passes this way even the water used for washing hands
and dishes comes through this filter and one is not doing any new act to
prepare the water for drinking, this should be no less than the law of
bereira by hand, which is allowed
when one takes okhel from
pesolet in order to eat
immediately... Know that if it were
not so, life would be impossible, because, even setting aside the filter on this
faucet, the municipal water goes through many filters before it enters the pipes
in one's house, and without that filtering it would not be possible to drink the
water. Consequently, even if one
would not put a filter on this faucet, it would be forbidden to take water from
any faucet on Shabbat. One is
compelled to explain as we have above!
is not clear that this reasoning would apply to a water-purification system,
especially one dedicated to drinking water.
Therefore, one should use such a system only when most people would drink
this water without purification (and on the condition that there is no
electrical circuit completed each time one uses it). If this water is not potable without
purification, one may not use such a system on Shabbat.
Bei'ur Halakha (319:10, s.v. Ho'il) writes:
If one is
fastidious and unable to drink [water] filled with debris and the like, even
though most people are not bothered by it, we do not disregard this person's
view, and for this person it is forbidden because it is
this, a fastidious person (one who normally insists on filtering water) may not
filter water on Shabbat, and this is the view of Rav Elyashiv (cited in
3, n. 37). However, Rav Karelitz
(cited ibid., n. 38) maintains that the Bei'ur Halakha's stringency
applies only to noticeable pesolet;
one may be lenient when it comes to our tap water, which does not contain
conclusion, one may use a filter attached to one's faucet. One may also use a
water-purification system (as long as there is no electrical circuit completed
in order to get the water out), on the condition that most people drink the
local water without filtering. If
this is not the case, one should filter the water before Shabbat. One who seeks to be lenient despite
this should first let some water go to waste or use it for washing, and only
subsequently fill the cup with drinking water.
teapots, there is a built-in strainer over the spout. This prevents the tea leaves, which
are on the bottom, from being poured off with the liquid when one pours out the
last drops. May one use such a
keli on Shabbat?
consider the ruling of the Shulchan Arukh (319:14) concerning a container
of wine with lees at the bottom:
One may pour
gently from one keli into another, as
long as, when the flow comes to an end and a few drops come out of the
pesolet [the lees], one does not remove
them [the lees]. If one does not do
so, these drops prove that it is borer.
Shulchan Arukh allows this because the wine on top is not commingled with
the lees, so that one does not violate
bereira simply by pouring off. Similarly, as long as there is a lot
of tea in the teapot, there is no problem presented by the strainer when pouring
from the teapot, since the tea on top is not mixed in with the leaves and does
not require filtering.
when there is only a bit of tea left, it would ostensibly be forbidden to pour
it out; as the Mechabber writes, once the flow comes to an end and only a bit of
wine is left commingled with the lees, one may not pour the last drops of wine
into another keli, since one is
selecting the wine from the lees.
Granted, the Mishna Berura there (55) writes that if one drinks the wine
immediately, it is permissible to pour out the last drops, but this applies only
if one is pouring from one utensil to another without a strainer, so that the
pesolet is by hand and for immediate
use; but when there is a strainer, this is
bereira with a
keli, which is forbidden even for
immediate use, as the Mishna Berura himself writes:
talking about one who wants to drink later, for if one wants to drink
immediately, have we not established that selecting
pesolet, when done without a
keli, is permissible, if one's
intention is to consume it immediately? Here,
even though one pours from one keli
to another, nevertheless, the essence of the
bereira is done by hand. If one puts wood chips in the spout
of the keli into which one is pouring
so that [the liquid] will be well-filtered, one must stop when the last drops
start coming out even if the intent is for immediate use because this is
borer by way of a
stand to reason that using a teapot with a strainer is equivalent to putting
wood chips in the spout of the vessel, and the matter is considered
bereira with a
keli and is forbidden (if there is
only a bit of tea remaining in the vessel).
Chazon Ish (53, s.v. Min Ha-amur) is inclined to permit using a
tea strainer, even if there is only a bit of tea left:
is possible that since there is no use of an actual sifter, even though there is
inside, by the spout of the keli, a
network which keeps the leaves out, one may say nevertheless that it is nothing
more than bereira by hand,
which is permissible when one takes okhel
from pesolet in order to consume
Why does the
Chazon Ish claim that using a strainer is considered
bereira by hand? We may explain this according to the
view cited in Shemirat Shabbat
Ke-hilkhatah, Ch. 3, n. 125, that a
keli designed for bereira for
immediate use is not included in the prohibition of selecting with a
I heard from
Rav S.Z. Auerbach... that it is possible that a
keli designed specifically to select
for immediate use is not included in the prohibition to select with a
keli... as it is permitted to select
by hand because of the reason that this is
derekh akhila; it is also
permitted for this reason to use a knife even to peel
okhel... It is the same in our case: we may
say that one is allowed to select with a
keli which is always employed for immediate use.
this view, one may say that since the teapot is always used for drinking right
away, using it is considered bereira
by hand, as opposed to a normal strainer or even a spoon, which is at times used
to select for later use, so that utilizing it is considered
bereira with a
there are Acharonim who are stringent in this matter, and they forbid using a
teapot with a built-in strainer when there is only a bit of tea left. This is what the Chayei Adam
(16:9) rules, as does the Kaf Ha-chayim (319:113):
to me that on Shabbat it is forbidden to pour the tea out through the
abovementioned perforated spout, because this is filtering the tea via the
abovementioned spout, and since the spout is made for this purpose, so that the
tea will be filtered, this is borer
by way of a keli, which is forbidden
even to drink it immediately...
Shevet Ha-levi (Vol. I, Ch. 84),the Berit Olam (Borer, 40-44) and others also rule
to this effect. The Az Nidberu
(Vol. I, Ch.
23) suggests that the Chazon Ish's intent is not actually to permit using
such a teapot but merely raises the possibility for consideration. However, the Orechot Rabbeinu
(Vol. I, p. 150) cites that both the Chazon Ish and the Kehillot
Ya'akov would use such a receptacle without checking how much tea was left.
Shevitat Ha-Shabbat (Borer, Be'er
Rechovot, Ch. 49) justifies the common custom to
use a teapot with a built-in strainer in another way: "because it is drunk in
this way [separating the leaves from the tea], even if the leaves are still
there, by filtering through one's teeth." According
to him, since one can drink the tea with the leaves in, filtering the tea
through one's teeth, the tea is considered a liquid which may be drunk without
being filtered first, so that it is like clear water and there is no prohibition
to filer it. The Ketzot
Ha-shulchan (Ch. 125, Baddei Ha-shulchan, 21) writes something
similar, and so does Rav Ovadya Yosef (Yechaveh Da'at, Vol. II, Ch. 51):
since most people will not be perturbed by some leaves landing in their teacup,
as they always have the option of filtering through their teeth, the liquid is
considered clear, and it is permissible to strain it even with a strainer.
conclusion, it is permissible to use a teapot with a built-in strainer; however,
one should be careful not to use it when there is a small quantity of tea left. Nevertheless, one who is lenient in
this has valid opinions on which to rely, and this seems to have been the
practice of the Chazon Ish and other halakhic luminaries.
most people use teabags. At first
glance, this should be forbidden, because there are grains in the bag, which
functions as a filter to keep the grains in while letting the liquid pass.
To understand the common custom to
permit teabags on Shabbat, we must consider another ruling of the Shulchan
Even if a
strainer has been hanging from Erev Shabbat, one may not put lees in it; but if
one put lees in it on Erev Shabbat, it is permissible to pour water on them so
that the clear [liquid] will flow again.
Shulchan Arukh allows pouring clear water over the lees in a strainer. The water will absorb a bit of the
wine which is absorbed in the lees, even through the water is commingled with
the lees, and after that it is filtered by the strainer. The Mishna Berura explains:
that there is no issue of borer with
pouring water is that the water is clear, and there is nothing in it which needs
to be selected.
words, the prohibition of borer
applies only to things which were originally commingled; if the water starts out
clear, becomes mixed with lees and then is filtered out through a strainer,
there is no issue of borer.
this, there is no problem using a teabag on Shabbat, since at the start, the
water is clear, and only afterward is it mixed with the grains of tea in the
bag, from which it emerges as filtered tea.
This explanation appears in the Minchat Yitzchak (Vol. IV, 99:2).
the Teabag from the Cup
in using a teabag is that when one removes the teabag from the cup, some drops
fall from the bag into the cup.
This is a problem of borer (the
bereira of the drops via the bag,
which is considered a strainer). In
Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhatah (Ch. 3,
n. 171), Rav Neuwirth cites Rav S.Z. Auerbach's view:
appropriate to be stringent not to remove the teabag and hold it in one's hand
so that the water will flow out, for even though the water was originally
clear... holding the bag so that
the water will flow out of it is more serious, since the water and the leaves
are already commingled. Removing
the bag and holding it in one's hand is like filtering cloudy water, not clear
water... However, if one only
removes the bag from the water and has no interest in the liquid coming out, it
may be that even if it is inevitable that some drops will drip from the bag,
nevertheless, since they come out easily even if one only lifts and holds it,
the filtering is effected on its own it may be that it is not considered
him, one should be stringent and not leave the bag above the cup so that the tea
will drip in. In this case, we do
not say that the water starts out and ends up clear because the removal of the
bag from the water is considered a new act.
Therefore we ignore the original state of the water in the bag and focus
on its current state commingled with the tea grains in the bag so that it is
considered like cloudy water which is being filtered by the teabag as it drips
into the cup. The Minchat
Yitzchak rules similarly (ibid).
Auerbach adds that if the person does not intend to select, but the drops come
out on their own while the teabag is being removed, there is no prohibition of
borer in this. Therefore, one must not hold the
teabag above the cup so that it will drip into the cup; rather one must transfer
the teabag elsewhere immediately. It is
preferable to remove the teabag with a spoon, so that one can avoid the
prohibition of borer altogether (Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata 3:58).
conclusion, it is permitted to use a
teabag on Shabbat. It is
permissible to remove the teabag from the cup as well, but one should transfer
it quickly away from the cup and not allow it to drip back into the cup.
glance, one should forbid the use of a slotted spoon on Shabbat, because this is
filtering by way of a keli.
Should we compare this keli
to a sieve and a sifter, which are forbidden by Torah law, or to a reed-basket
and a tray, which are banned rabbinically?
On the one
hand, this is a keli designed for
straining, and if so, it should be no better than a sieve. On the other hand, it is used for
taking okhel out, and it may be that
the straining is merely a convenient side-effect. In other words, this
keli is used for straining as well,
but it may be that it has more significant purposes. The Or Le-Tziyon (Vol. II,
31:10) writes that this keli has the
status of a reed-basket, and its use is prohibited only on the rabbinic level.
This view is compelling, especially in
light of the fact that it may be that such a spoon is like a "long hand", since
it is used to present food, and if so it is not like bereira with a
keli at all.
said, it is still forbidden to use a slotted spoon, at least rabbinically. However, the Or Le-Tziyon
(ibid.) writes that there is room for leniency in this matter:
Question: Is it
permissible to take out okhel from
the soup pot with a ladle which has holes in it by which the liquid is filtered
out, or is there a prohibition of borer?
Answer: One should
allow removing okhel with this ladle
even though the soup is filtered out by way of the holes, if one's intent is to
eat it immediately. In any case,
one who is stringent in this matter is praiseworthy.
In a note
there, he explains:
apparently, on a rabbinic level, there is reason to forbid it when one does so
with a keli, because it is like a
reed-basket or a tray... nevertheless, one may enlist the view of those who rule
that bereira is inapplicable to
liquids. Even according to those
who believe that bereira is
applicable to liquids, there is no Torah prohibition, because it is like a
reed-basked and a tray, which are rabbinically banned, since they are not
utensils designed for bereira, and
the same applies to a ladle, which is not specifically designed for
bereira. Therefore one may permit this.
him, one may use a slotted spoon in order to remove a solid from a liquid, since
one may enlist the view of those who hold that
bereira is inapplicable to liquids,
so that the solid inside a liquid is not considered to be commingled with it (Ba'er
Heitev 319:2, in the name of the Maharitatz).
Shevitat Ha-Shabbat (Merakked, Be'er Rechovot, 26) allows using a
slotted spoon in order to separate vegetables from soup and the like, in light
of the view we mentioned above, that since many people eat the broth and the
vegetables together, the mixture is considered to be a clear liquid, which may
have seen that Rav Auerbach disputes this view of the Shevitat Ha-Shabbat. Moreover, it is difficult to rely
solely on the view that bereira is
inapplicable to liquids; therefore it is appropriate to be stringent and to
refrain from using a slotted spoon on Shabbat.
using a slotted spoon also raises another problem: even if we say that the spoon
is not defined as a keli, or in any
case it is not a keli which is
forbidden by the Torah, one must wonder whether removing with it vegetables from
soup and the like is considered to be selecting
pesolet. On the one hand, if one is
interested in vegetables, at the time one puts the spoon into the soup and then
raises it, one is removing okhel from
pesolet. On the other hand, if one waits for
the soup to drip through the holes in the spoon, this means that right now one
is separating pesolet from
Spoon against the Wall of the Pot
problem may arise when one puts a regular spoon next to the side of the bowl or
the pot, e.g., to remove vegetables or noodles without broth. In
Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhatah (Ch. 3,
n. 159, according to Tikkunim U-milllu'im
ibid.), Rav Neuwirth writes:
I heard from
Rav S.Z. Auerbach... that he had a
question: perhaps one should be careful and not put the noodles in the spoon
next to the walls of the bowl in order to let the broth in the spoon flow out,
since the spoon together with the bowl is considered a
One should not do this even if one's intent is to eat both of them.
Even if we
do not say that this is considered
bereira with a keli, one may
still forbid it because it is bereira
of pesolet from
okhel. However, if in the top part of the
spoon there is clear liquid, one may pour it into the pot, since this broth is
not commingled with the vegetables or with the noodles.
one who wants to remove certain vegetables from the soup, particularly
when one wants to remove them without liquid, should use a regular spoon or a
fork; furthermore, one should take first the
okhel from the
pesolet. Similarly, one may put a regular
spoon or ladle into the top part of the liquid and remove the broth alone
(because this is selecting okhel from
pesolet, and here one is not using
the wall of the keli).
conclusion, it is preferable not to use a slotted spoon, because this may
involve a prohibition of borer (even
though one who uses it has support; in any case, one should not suspend it over
the pot so that it will drip).
Similarly, it is appropriate not to place the ladle (even if it has no
perforations) against the walls of the pot in order to remove the liquids, since
this is removing pesolet from
okhel (and perhaps even
bereira with a
keli). Sometimes, it is convenient to
remove vegetable specifically with a regular spoon or fork, because in this way
one is able to remove particular vegetables without liquid. Similarly, one may put a ladle into
the top part of the liquid so that only broth will enter.
Saltshaker with Rice
put grains of rice into the saltshaker in order to absorb the moisture in the
salt. Is it permissible to use such
a saltshaker on Shabbat?
In this case
it would seem that there should be a prohibition of
borer, as the shaker is like a
strainer, since the salt comes out and the rice stays in which is
berera by way of a
While the main objective of the saltshaker is to sprinkle the salt rather
than filter it; nevertheless, we have already seen that there is a rabbinic ban
on using a keli which assists in
bereira, even if it is not designed
for bereira. Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted (in
Rav Shimon Eider's Halachos of Shabbos,
Merakked, n. 103) as saying that one
should not use such a saltshaker on Shabbat, and this is cited in
Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata in the
name of Rav S.Z. Auerbach:
One may put
grains of rice (before Shabbat, to avoid a prohibition of muktze) in an
open saltshaker in order to absorb the moisture in the salt; in a
well-covered saltshaker, one should not take salt out through its cover,
even if there is a lot of salt left mixed in with the rice.
there are many reasons to be lenient and allow one to use such a saltshaker:
saltshaker contains a lot of salt and a tiny bit of rice, and one does not need
the perforations in the cover to take out only salt, so that the
keli is not assisting in
bereira. Even when there is just a bit of
salt in the saltshaker, one may be lenient and say that since one could readily
open the saltshaker and remove just the salt, the
keli does not assist in
bereira in a significant way.
One may rely
on the view of Rav Auerbach that a keli
which is always used for bereira for
immediate consumption is not considered a
Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata (Ch. 3,
n. 125; Tikkunim U-milllu'im, ibid.),
Rav Neuwirth writes contradicting what we noted above
I heard in
the name of Rav S.Z. Auerbach that it is possible that a
keli which is designed for selection
for immediate use is not included in the prohibition to select with a
keli... According to this, one should permit
[using] a saltshaker with rice.
has no intent of bereira. Even though the separation is an
inevitable result, there are those who are lenient when it comes to an
inevitable, unintentional result (pesik reisha). Even those who are generally
stringent may concede here, as there are other reasons to be lenient.
derekh akhila (the way of
eating) and not derekh
bereira (the way of selection). (See
Tefilla Le-Moshe, Ch. 38.)
Nidberu (Vol. IV, Ch. 23) raises many of these points:
my view is to allow [the use of] a saltshaker.
It is not like a reed-basket, which is rabbinically banned, because one's
aim [with a reed-basket] is to perform
bereira; but when one has no such intent, and it is not an act of
bereira, we have not found that the
Rabbis should forbid this... One
may add that since this is customarily done during the actual time of akhila,
and this is its derekh akhila,
it is as if it is impossible to do otherwise...
It appears that there is another reason that
borer is not applicable here: this is
not classified as a mixture, since the rice mixed in is there in order to
maintain the salt; therefore, it is not called
borer of one type from another type
or okhel from
halakhic authorities agree as well (Rav Elyashiv and Rav Karelitz,
as cited by the Ayil Meshullash, Ch. 7, n. 110; Tefilla Le-Moshe,
Ch. 38; et al.) that one is allowed to use a saltshaker with rice on Shabbat,
and this is the practical halakha.
May one use
a device that uses centrifugal force to dehydrate lettuce (in which one turns a
crank, spinning the lettuce leaves so that the water flies off them)? Apparently, such a device should not
be allowed on Shabbat, because it seems akin to a strainer; beyond this, there
is bereira of
okhel (casting the undesired water
droplets off of the lettuce leaves).
practically, there is reason to allow this.
As we have seen, one may even use a strainer to filter clear liquids. The reason is that most people drink
the water without filtering, and thus the filtering is not a true
tikkun of the water; alternatively,
the water and debris are considered to be of the same type. Similarly, there is no problem to
eat the lettuce when it is wet.
People dehydrate the lettuce in order to allow it to last a long time without
becoming moldy, or they find the lettuce tastier in this way; nevertheless, most
people would be willing to eat the lettuce without dehydrating it. Therefore, drying lettuce is not a
significant tikkun. Moreover, the water is insignificant
in relation to the lettuce, so that they are considered to be of the same type;
therefore, drying the lettuce does not constitute a violation of
borer. The Mishna Berura (320:24)
rules similarly in a comparable case, talking about someone who wants to squeeze
cooked or pickled vegetables in order to eat them without liquid:
squeeze out the liquid which floats on top of them or is absorbed in them in
order to prepare them to be eaten alone, as one does not need their liquid,
just as it is customary to squeeze lettuce after it has been soaked in water. One is not in violation of
mefarek [a subcategory of threshing], even if one squeezes the liquid into a
bowl and does not let it immediately go to waste; in any case, since one is not
interested in the liquid, it is not included in the
Mishna Berura writes that one may squeeze the water out of the lettuce
without violating mefarek, since one does not want the water. However, why is there no prohibition
of borer? One is taking out
okhel! It appears that because the water
does not bother one who wants to eat the lettuce, even if it is wet, there is no
problem of borer. According to this, one may permit
dehydrating the lettuce even with a device designed for this purpose, just as it
is permissible to strain clear liquids with the use of a
mishmeret. Thus straining of this type is
permitted, a ruling which has been confirmed by Rav Asher Weiss.
Although Rabba (ibid.) argues with Rabbi Zeira and says that one who strains
liquids is in violation of borer,
Rashi (s.v. De-notel) explains that Rabba's intent is to say that one
violates borer as well: one
who strains or filters liquids would be liable on two counts according to Rabba,
borer and merakked.
Tosafot, on the other hand (73b, s.v. Mishum) indicate that according to
Rabba one violates borer only, not
merakked, and this is cited by the
Bei'ur Halakha (319:9, s.v.
Meshammeret) as the view of the Rambam (8:11). The Bei'ur Halakha explains
that, according to them, the melakha
of merakked is applicable only to
one who performs an action on okhel
and pesolet in order to separate
them, just as one shakes the sieve filled with
pesolet in order to separate them. In filtering liquids, the separation
is done on its own (by gravity alone), and therefore one does not
violates merakked but rather
borer (because it is a general
melakha which applies to any
separation between okhel and