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

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/155/…
    – HodofHod
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 5:06
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9341
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 6:11
  • 1
    Your question would be much improved if you'd explain why you think it might be considered making a new bottle and what's wrong with making a keli.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 6:11
  • @msh210 It's hard to argue against myself, however, I suppose it could be argued that a sealed bottle is not a usable Keli until the cap is removed for the first time, after which it may be reused over and over again. Removing the cap would therefore be the final act of creating the new Keli, or Makeh BePatish.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 6:22
  • 1
    @SethJ A cap is not finished until the band is broken off of it. Don't forget it's a Kli too.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 3:35

2 Answers 2


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.

  • The can was filled before the top was attached to the can. Doesn't that make it already a vessel?
    – Menachem
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 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
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:05
  • 2
    Citing sources for your assertions would improve your answer.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 15:45

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.

  • 3
    What type of bottle??
    – andrewmh20
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 5:43

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