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The foods that can be used for eiruv tavshilin

Strictly speaking, it is acceptable to prepare just a cooked food for eiruv tavshilin. The proper method, though, is to also prepare a baked item. If only a baked item was prepared, the eiruv is invalid. The cooked food is designed to allow cooking for Shabbos, while the baked food permits baking for Shabbos. The cooked food must be a food that is eaten with bread, as opposed to a food that is eaten independently. Examples include fish, meat and eggs. The baked food may be either bread, matzah or cake.

[שו"ע תקכז, ב ו־ד, ומשנ"ב ו, ז, יא ו־יב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 15

Using frozen food for the eiruv

Both the cooked and baked foods must be at least the size of a k’zayis. Rema rules that it is proper for the baked item to be the size of a k’beitzah. In order to beautify the mitzvah, it is appropriate to use a whole bread and not a broken piece. The cooked food should also be a respectable portion. Most opinions agree that frozen food is acceptable for the eiruv, although some say that it is proper to defrost the food before it is arranged for the eiruv.
[שו"ע תקכז, ג, ומשנ"ב ח-י; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 16-15]

The proper time to eat the eiruv bread

The Gemara states that the eiruv bread should be used for lechem mishneh on Shabbos. This is because it is proper to use a food that was used for a mitzvah for another mitzvah. The poskim say that to maximize this idea, the bread should be used for lechem mishneh at the night and the day meals and then eaten at seudah shlishis. Other applications of this concept include: 1) using aravos or hoshanos to fuel a matzah oven or a fire that burns the chometz and 2) using a ripped tzizis string as a bookmark in a sefer.

[משנ"ב תקכז, יא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 19-18]
  • Melachos which are permitted on Yom Tov are only permitted to be done for benefit on that day, not in preparation 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Partially cooked food for the eiruv

  • Which foods are subject to bishul akum?

  • Using a soaked food for the eiruv tavshilin
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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