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It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away then it's muter. The reason it's ossur if not eaten immediately because of the malacha of "borer". The Biur Halacha explains however that if peeling is a problem of borer then even to eat immediately should be ossur. He explains that since it's impossible to eat any other way that this because the "derech achilah" (way of eating) and is not considered to be like taking the "poseles m'toch ochel". See there for more.

My question is, what about if a person is peeling an onion by the night of Shabbos to use it in a dish that he will only eat Shabbos day. He wants the onions to be there together with the other food from now in order to absorb the taste more (for example he's mixing together herring with onions, oil, salt and perhaps some other ingredients.) Granted he's only eating it tomorrow but the eating will only start after the dish has been prepared properly. And not that he is "preparing" now in a way that it could be eaten right away, on the contrary he can't or doesn't want to eat it now but is only able to do the action of peeling now.

Is this muter to do and would be included in the definition of "derech achilah"?

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I don't believe you're actually allowed to make such a mixture on shabbos anyway (although I know it's just an example, not your real question). – Ariel Mar 15 '13 at 2:08
This seems to be exactly the example of peeling it for a later time. Why would this be included in the definition of derech achila? – Daniel May 17 '13 at 14:23
I know your question is about borer, but please note that peeled onions, eggs, and garlic all contract ruach hara if left overnight and become assur. – Tatpurusha Apr 13 '14 at 21:20
@Tatpurusha What is assur about ruach hara? – Double AA Oct 26 '14 at 21:30
@Tatpurusha and further - having a covered container would certainly mitigate the problem... – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 11:45

I had a similar question. My case was about doing borer to take out frozen challa from the freezer (in a case where that could be borer) long enough before the se'uda so that it could defrost. (This would seem to be even more meikel than your case, as it is ochel mi'psoless).

I heard from a local Rav that this is mutar. However, if it takes 4 hours to defrost, you couldn't remove it the night before out of convenience.

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I know my Rav contradicts the Rav quoted by user6591. I assume its a machlokes. – LN6595 Jan 20 at 17:34

I had a similar question, which I asked a well-known posek and mechaber sfarim after he gave a shiur on borer.

My case was about doing borer to take out frozen challa from the freezer long enough before the se'uda so that it could defrost. (This would seem to be even more meikel than your case, as it is ochel mi'psoless).

The rabbi said it is assur. I asked him why, and if it would ever be possible to defrost a challa to eat on shabbos. He said he didn't want to tell me at that time.

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How does this answer the question? – Danny Schoemann Jan 20 at 8:27
By saying it's assur. According to that rabbi. – user6591 Jan 20 at 8:29
If the individual providing this answer was actually asking a sha'alah, as it appears, it can be assumed that the Rav poskined for their individual case. You cannot conclude a general halacha from the Rav's answer. It cannot be determined what the specific details of the case were that determined his decision. The Rav not wanting to provide his reasoning is not relevant to the correctness or accuracy of his decision. – Yaacov Deane Jan 20 at 14:27
In most Responsa literature, the reasoning for how a decision is presented is contained within the response. The validity of using a particular 'teshuvah' as a basis for understanding the halacha and how it is applied is based upon the reasoning provided. In a p'sak where no reasoning is given, like in this example, there is no way to determine how and where it applies. It was an answer meant only for that individual alone. 'Ma'aseh Rav' applies to actual shimmush and is not applicable to this answer. – Yaacov Deane Jan 20 at 14:46
@user6591 That your case is the same is your assumption. But by your own statement, the Rav refused to give you his reasoning. You don't know what he based his decision upon. It might be similar. It might not. Without the details, you cannot draw a general conclusion. – Yaacov Deane Jan 20 at 15:05

In the Shulchan Aruch Harav (319:3) it says: ואינו קרוי לאלתר אלא סמוך לסעודה ממשיט אבל אם לא יאכל עד לאחר שעה אסור אך כל שהוא סמוך לסעודה מותר לברור לצורך כל אותה סעודה it seems from here that the main thing is not having it prepared a long time before the meal... but if the only way to have it prepared is by preparing it the night before, then you should be able to.

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How do you know your last sentence is true? "but if the only way to have it prepared is by preparing it the night before, then you should be able to" – Double AA Oct 26 '14 at 21:29
@Double AA since it says "אבל אם לא יאכל עד לאחר שעה אסור" you see the problem is with eating it a while after its ready! – EHS Oct 26 '14 at 22:06
No, I definitely don't see that. You see that. Until you show me someone who says it, it's just your assertion. – Double AA Oct 26 '14 at 22:55

In Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 8:14 he writes that if one selects food from waste for a later period of time in the same day - for example morning to afternoon - he is Chayov (In other words it is forbidden).

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Not sure if that's relevant here. If the food preparation requires it, it is probably still considered le'alter. – Michoel Mar 18 '13 at 4:16
@Michoel The OP also isn't sure; isn't that the whole question? I don't know why you say probably one way. It's certainly possible, but it is the less simple read and would require a source to back it up. – Double AA Apr 17 '13 at 4:57

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