Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Putting cold food on a hotplate on Shabbos

Daf Yomi just started פרק כירה which discusses these issues.

The first mishna there has a gezera that you are not allowed to put food even on a covered fire on shabbos (even where there is no problem of bishul). The Rishonim offer 2 reasons why:
1. שמא יחתה בגחלים - maybe you will stoke the coals
2. מחזי כמבשל - it looks like you are cooking

Based on this a number of poskim (R' Moshe, R' Eider, R' Willig) hold that the issur doesn't apply to a non-adjustable hotplate because there is no שמא יחתה בגחלים because you cannot change the temperature, and it is not מחזי כמבשל because no one cooks on such a hotplate. Therefore they hold that you can heat up solid cooked foods on shabbos on a hotplate. The Shmiras Shabbos disagrees. Note, it is not so simple to just be machmir, because you are taking away from your oneg shabbos, it is clearly more oneg shabbos to have hot food.

R' Moshe has another interesting chidush (not למעשה). He says that our stove tops should never need a blech. He explains that the whole reason for a blech is to prevent שמא יחתה בגחלים, with out stove tops that is impossible, there are no coals to stoke. What about turning up the gas? That is adding fuel which the gemara was never gozer on.

Interestingly enough, R' Aharon Kotler also dealt with this point albeit differently. He said that since today the worry is that a person will turn up the gas, the blech needs to cover the knobs (maybe it doesn't even need to cover the fire) so that the person will have a reminder not to turn up the gas.

Lastly, the Chazon Ish holds that the idea of grufa uktuma in the Mishna is that it lowered the heat significantly and therefore he holds that what we call a blech is no good as it doesn't lower the heat. According to him you need a blech like an upside down pot which does lower the heat.


Litvshe said...

Rav Ovadia also holds that the blech isn't Mechzi C'mvashel.
Though according to the Mechaber (and Rav Eliyahu) the problem is neither mechzi c'mvashel or sheme yachteh which are both gzaieros and there is certainly room to be maykel b'mkom oneg Shabbos which is doriasa (see the Rosh's ha'arah that B"H Am Yisrael are exceedingly makpid in oneg Shabbos). The problem is they hold hatmanah on one side, unlike the Rema and Ashkenzi poskim who hold it needs hatmana sh'mosif hevel m'shnei tzadim. So, according to Rav Eliyahu our platas and blechs are m'vashel min hatorah.
Which of course leads in to Rav Sholomo Zalman's shitah in crock pots, which he also holds are assur dioraisa from the standpoint of hatmana)

bluke said...

You made a few mistakes here:
1. Hatmana is only a gezera d'rabbanan shema yechate as well.
2.Whether or not the blech is considered hatmana has no effect on bishul. My post was talking about a solid food which is fully cooked and therefore ayn bishul achar bishul, there is no problem of a d'oraysa the only issue is the gezera d'rabbanan
3. If I take an uncooked food or liquid and put it on a blech or hotplate and it gets cooked (solid) or heated to Yad Soledes (liquid) I have violated nishul min hatorah and am chayav even if it is not considered hatmana.
4. the blech makes the fire the equivalent of grufa and ketuma, the Gemara still holds that there is a problem of shema yechate by chazara.

bluke said...

Some more points: the best of my recollection no one holds that a pot on a blech is called hatman mitzad echad. Hatmana mitzad echad is where the pot is actually covered on one side by a heat producing source. Merely being on top of the blech is not considered hatmana.

A crock pot is hatmana mitzad echad because the bowl goes inside.

2.I don't understand how you can say that there is room to be maykel by a blech, it is exactly the situation the mishna/gemara was talking about, namely a fire that has been covered. And yet, there still is a gezera of shiya and hachzara.