Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Preparing From One Day Of Yom Tov To Another

The Shulchan Aruch, O.Ch. תקג, rules that one is not permitted to prepare from one day of Yom Tov to the next day.  Not even if the next day is Shabbos, nor second day of Yom Tov (for us in the diaspora), nor even from one day for Rosh HaShana to the next.  That order is known as "לא זו אף זו"/not only this, but also this; that is, increasing order of surprise.

First, I am not allowed to prepare for Shabbos, even though I cannot do any preparations at all on Shabbos itself.  Why not?  It is a rule revealed explicitly in the Torah, aka גזירת הכתוב.  At this point, our question if of "why not?" is tantamount to asking "why are protons almost 2000 times heavier than electrons, but have exactly the same opposite charge?"  'Cause they do and 'cause you can't.

Even more surprising, I may not prepare for one day of Yom Tov to the next, even though the whole reason for the second day is because I might have been wrong about the first day.  (Yes, yes, I know... nowadays we are not really in doubt, but the halacha is determined as if it is.)  The Mishna Brura (ס'ק ג) explains that since the second day in the diaspora might be an ordinary day, by preparing on the first day for the second day you are risking preparing from Yom Tov to an ordinary day.  That risks transgressing a Torah prohibition (if you can't prepare for Shabbos, then a fortiori, you cannot prepare for an ordinary day), and the rule is always ספק דאורייתא לחומרא/in case of doubt concerning a Torah prohibition, the halacha is to be strict.

Yes more surprising, I am not even allowed to prepare from the first day of Rosh HaShana to the second day.  It is more surprising because Chazal say that the two days of Rosh HaShana are essentially one long day.  The Mishna Brura (ס'ק ד) explains, however, that we only say that as a stringency, but not when it would lead to a leniency.  (Man... those Chazal thought of all my excuses!)

Do you mind if we go back to that "not even from the first day Yom Tov to the next" for a moment?  The reason is because that day might by ordinary... but that means if the day for which you were preparing in the first day of Yom Tov had, in fact, the same קדושה/holiness as the Yom Tov itself, then there should be no problem, right?  But how could that happen?  Only one way: preparing on the first day of Pesach for the seventh day.  Think about it... that's the only example.  There is no other holiday that has two days of  דאורייתא Yom Tov.  (No, not Sukkos; the eighth day is a new festival, not a continuation of Sukkos.)  Seems like an extraordinarily clear inference from the halachah, doesn't it?

But you've never heard of this, so it must be wrong!  Ha!  That's what I thought, till I looked down at the bottom of the page, שער הציון, ס'ק ד, where he says, and I quote: לכאורה בודאי שרי!  The שער הציון concludes, however, that it really depends on a machlokes about cooking something on Yom Tov that you could have cooked before Yom Tov, and any way you can cook on chol ha'mo'ed; so don't try this.

Still getting a "לכאורה בודאי שרי" for a novel thought I had was quite the approbation from the saintly Chafeitz Chaim!


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…