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Preparing an eiruv for melachos mid’rabonon

Eiruv tavshilin is designed to allow all melachos--mid’oraisa and mid’rabonon--for the sake of Shabbos preparations. Therefore, even if a person knows that he will only have to do melachos mid’rabonon to prepare for Shabbos (e.g. warming up previously cooked foods), he must still arrange an eiruv and a brochah should be recited.

The Rishonim disagree about whether an eiruv is necessary to light Shabbos candles. Therefore, if the only melacha that a person expects to do is lighting candles, he should arrange an eiruv without reciting a brochah.

[ביאורים ומוספים דרשו תקכז, 64]

Cooking when an eiruv was not arranged

A person who failed to arrange an eiruv (and who resides in a city where an eiruv was not arranged for the residents) may not cook for himself or for other people. This prohibition applies even if the cooking is being done in the home of someone who did make an eiruv, using that person’s ingredients. It is also forbidden for other people to cook for him with his ingredients. He may, however, gift his ingredients to someone who prepared an eiruv and have that person use the ingredients to cook on his behalf. The cooking may take place in his home. In a case where there is no one available to cook for him, he may cook and bake a minimal amount for Shabbos. The minimal amount consists of one loaf of bread, one pot of food, and one candle for lighting. Contemporary poskim qualify that the candle should only be lit if there is no electricity. 

[שו"ע תקכז, כ, משנ"ב נט ו־סב, ושעה"צ פח; וראה שם, פט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 69]

Eiruv tavshilin for guests

It is only necessary to arrange one eiruv per household. Therefore, the spouse and children of a householder who arranged an eiruv may rely upon that eiruv even if they do not have a share in it. Guests, however, must arrange their own eiruv if they wish to do melacha for Shabbos. Alternatively, they can acquire a share in their host’s eiruv. Visiting married children are considered guests with respect to this halacha. Jewish domestic workers should also arrange their own eiruv, unless they are fed by their employer.

[משנ"ב תקכז, נו, וביה"ל ד"ה מי; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 66 ,72 ו־77 ;וראה פסק"ת יז]
  • The finest way to arrange an eiruv tavshilin is by preparing foods exclusively for the eiruv on Erev Yom Tov. Nevertheless, previously prepared foods (or foods that were prepared for other reasons) may be used l’chatchilah, as long as the eiruv is arranged on Erev Yom Tov.

  • One opinion in the Gemara explains that the purpose of eiruv tavshilin is to serve as a reminder not to eat all of the prepared food on Yom Tov, but to leave a portion to eat on Shabbos.

  • The eiruv foods must remain intact until one has finished his Shabbos preparations. If the eiruv was lost or eaten, it remains valid as long as there is a remnant at least the size of a k’zayis.

  • Forgetting to recite the text

  • Cooking extra on Yom Tov for Shabbos

  • Preparing knaidlach on the seventh day of Pesach
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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