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Partially cooked food for the eiruv

The cooked food used for an eiruv tavshilin does not necessarily need to be cooked. Smoked, roasted or pickled food is also acceptable. The food should be completely cooked; if it is only partially cooked and edible only under pressing circumstances, some poskim hold that it is unacceptable. Some foods are prepared when hot water is poured onto them. These foods may be used for the eiruv when prepared in that fashion. Some poskim consider a pasteurized food to be cooked for this halacha. According to this opinion, commercial cheeses may be used for the eiruv tavshilin.

[שו"ע תקכז, ה, ומשנ"ב יג ו־יז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 21 ,23 ו־24]

Which foods are subject to bishul akum?

Foods that can be eaten raw or cooked may be used for the eiruv tavshilin when they are cooked. This is in contrast to the halachos of bishul akum­­­ (the prohibition of eating foods cooked by a non-Jew). Foods that can be eaten raw are not subject to the rules of bishul akum when they are cooked. This is because the rules of bishul akum were designed to prevent a closeness that might occur as a result of eating specially cooked foods, a closeness which could lead to intermarriage. Eating cooked foods that can also be eaten raw would not engender the same degree of closeness. Foods that are supposed to be eaten raw (i.e. their quality is diminished by cooking) should not be used for the eiruv tavshilin.

[שו"ע תקכז, ה, ומשנ"ב יח-יט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 25-24

Using a soaked food for the eiruv tavshilin

For the most part, flavors can only be imparted from one food to another through the medium of heat. An exception to this rule occurs when foods are soaked in a liquid for twenty-four hours. Although the liquid is cold, if a food soaks in it for that amount of time, it will absorb flavor. This rule is known as kavush k’mevushual--soaking is akin to cooking. This rule has ramifications for eiruv tavshilin; a food which is soaked may be used as the cooked food for the eiruv. A food which is soaked in a sharp liquid, such as the brine that comes from a piece of meat as it is being salted, absorbs flavor and is considered cooked much more quickly than the typical twenty-four hours. Some poskim hold that a food cured in such a liquid may be considered prepared in as little as eighteen minutes.

[משנ"ב תקכז, טו; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 22]
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Arranging an eiruv tavshilin for other people

  • Arranging an eiruv for all the residents of a city

  • A third-party acquisition
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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