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Does opening a new bottle create a new Keli, such that it would be prohibited on Shabbath?

(I personally don't think so for a few reasons. However, someone posted this question a little while ago and subsequently deleted it, and I think it was a worthy question, so I'm re-posting it. If the other gets undeleted, I hope the answers here can be migrated over to there.)

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I deleted it because of the reference to other questions changed my entire logic. Not that I don't believe that it is a good question. –  Hacham Gabriel Jan 22 '12 at 5:00
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/155/… –  HodofHod Jan 22 '12 at 5:06
    
@HachamGabriel I still think it's worthy of a stand-alone question. Let the issues come out in the answers. Why assume one angle in one answer on a different question fully answers this question? I don't really want anyone to to upvote this question; I hope others will vote to undelete yours and then I can delete mine. You should get the rep points because it was your question to begin with. –  Seth J Jan 22 '12 at 5:13
    
@SethJ it's okay, I am mevater. Rep points don't mean much, and for that statement you deserve an extra 1000! –  Hacham Gabriel Jan 22 '12 at 5:14
    
See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9341 –  msh210 Jan 22 '12 at 6:11
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2 Answers 2

HaRav Mutzafi (Question 91,196 on Doresh-Tzion.co.il) says

מעיקר ההלכה מותר לפתוח בקבוקי שתיה בשבת.‏

It is permissible (based on the essence of Halacha) to open bottles for drinking on Shabbat.

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The possible problem with opening bottles and cans is, by creating a new vessel (kli), one would be performing the melachos (creative actions) of boneh (building) and makeh b'patish (striking the final hammer blow / completing a creative act)

There is a difference between opening bottles and cans on shabbos.

A bottle is made as a complete vessel. The cap on both plastic and glass bottles is manufactured separately from the bottle itself, and then affixed to the top of the bottle after the bottle has been filled with liquid. Removing the cap from this kind of container is not making a new vessel, because the bottle itself was already fully made beforehand.

Contrast this with an aluminum soda can. Since the tab of the can is part of the top seal itself, the can has never been a functioning vessel (i.e. one that can be accessed to fill and empty).

By pressing in the tab of the aluminum soda can, one actually completes the "manufacture" of a new vessel. This is forbidden on shabbos for the reasons stated above.

Watch soda cans being made here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPFzr50TkP0

When it comes to other metal cans, such as canned tuna, beans, etc. a similar problem exists. The can itself is completely sealed, and opening it would create a new vessel.
If one would like to open up this kind of can on shabbos, one must "destroy" the vessel first. Simply take a sharp metal knife, and plunge it into the opposite side of the can. Now that the other side has a hole, it is not a vessel fit for long term use. Then, open the top with a can opener as usual, enjoy the food within, and dispose of the can.

(This is only permissible if one does not want to keep the can. If one has a desire to reuse the can, even with a hole, the problem of creating a usable vessel still applies).

It is unclear to me if this method would also remove the problem of opening a soda can on shabbos - because the pushing in of the tab is still a positive / creative act. I suppose one could access the soda by cutting off the back end of the can, but that would be very messy, especially when dealing with a carbonated beverage.

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The can was filled before the top was attached to the can. Doesn't that make it already a vessel? –  Menachem Jan 23 '12 at 14:31
    
@Menachem by sealing the top onto the can, it becomes a new entity - one that is designed to be "completed" by pushing down the tab (which, as it is produced, remains flush with the top, and therefore not yet a usable opening). –  user1095 Jan 23 '12 at 15:05
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Citing sources for your assertions would improve your answer. –  msh210 Jan 23 '12 at 15:45
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