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Eiruv Tavshilin

Melachos which are permitted on Yom Tov are only allowed to be done for benefit on that day, not to prepare for another day. When Shabbos follows Yom Tov, adherence to this halacha would negate the ability to cook for Shabbos. Chazal therefore instituted the idea of an eiruv tavshilin on Erev Yom Tov, which allows cooking to be done on Yom Tov for Shabbos. There are two views in the Gemara about the way an eiruv tavshilin works. According to one opinion, cooking on Yom Tov for another day is only forbidden mid’rabonon if there is enough time before the end of Yom Tov to serve the food to a guest who would suddenly drop by for a meal. Given this, Chazal waived their prohibition and allowed cooking for Shabbos (as long as time is left for the food to be ready on Friday/Yom Tov) when an eiruv is in place. According to the other opinion, although cooking on Yom Tov for a weekday is forbidden min haTorah, cooking for Shabbos is not. Chazal decreed that an eiruv must be made, though, to serve as a reminder not to cook on Yom Tov for a weekday. According to this opinion, cooking may be done on Friday--even close to sunset, and even if the food will not be edible on Yom Tov. Mishnah Berurah rules that one should be stringent and make sure that any food which was cooked for Shabbos is edible on Yom Tov. Under pressing circumstances, even if the food will not be ready on Yom Tov, one may be lenient and cook.

[שו"ע תקכז, א, משנ"ב א ו־ג, וביה"ל ד"ה ועל]

The purpose of an eiruv tavshilin

Preparing an eiruv tavshilin on Erev Yom Tov symbolizes that Shabbos preparations have already begun before Yom Tov. Any additional cooking done on Friday (Yom Tov) is only the completion of what was already started before Yom Tov. This concept is alluded to in the name eiruv tavshilin—i.e. combining the cooking from Erev Yom Tov with the cooking on Erev Shabbos. Another explanation of the term eiruv is that it’s a borrowed term from eiruv chatzeiros. Just as the eiruv chatzeiros is designed as a reminder not to carry into a reshus harabim, the eiruv tavshilin serves as a reminder not to cook on Yom Tov for a weekday.

[שו"ע תקכז, א; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 4]

Which Shabbos preparations does an eiruv tavshilin allow for?

An eiruv tavshilin allows for the performance of all melachos that are necessary for meal preparation. There is disagreement about whether it allows for indirect food preparation, such as washing dishes. Some opinions are lenient, while others say that such preparation should only be done under pressing circumstances. Preparations that are unrelated to meals but don’t require direct acts of melacha (e.g. folding clothing, making beds or rolling a Sefer Torah for the Shabbos reading) are also subject to a disagreement. Some opinions allow these preparations to be done with an eiruv. Others say that they are permitted even without an eiruv. A third opinion holds that they are forbidden, even with an eiruv.

[ביאורים ומוספים דרשו תקכז, 3 ו־63]
  • It has become accepted practice to bury a nefel (a stillborn child). Shulchon Aruch rules that this practice is only a custom, and as such, it may not be done on Yom Tov Sheini. Other Achronim disagree and maintain that it is a mitzvah to bury a nefel just as it is to bury a person who lived an entire life. This opinion allows a non-Jew to perform the burial on Yom Tov Sheini.

  • There is an accepted custom to perform a bris milah on a nefel prior to its burial.

  • Chazal extrapolate from the pasuk stating lo sochlu al hadam (“you may not eat upon the blood”) that one should not eat a meal before seeing to the completion of a burial. Under pressing circumstances, one may eat a meal once the body is brought to the cemetery, even if it hasn’t been buried yet.

  • The foods that can be used for eiruv tavshilin

  • Using frozen food for the eiruv

  • The proper time to eat the eiruv bread
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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