On shabbos, it is a biblical prohibition squeeze olives or grapes specifically for their juices, though one may squeeze them if the juices are used directly to enhance a solid food.

As an additional rabbinic safeguard, one may not benefit from olive/grape juice that ran from the fruits on shabbos. (SA OC 320:1,4)

Generally, fruits seep juices when they are cut. If one is planning to eat the grape/olive as food, is one allowed to cut the fruit if there is no other solid food on the plate? (If one is, is one allowed to use the juices that seeped out?)

Note: I am specifically asking according to the accepted halacha that squeezing olives/grapes onto food is permissible.

Traditional sources are preferred.

  • Why wouldn't the principle of miyad biyad apply here? For food that one is cutting or otherwise preparing with one's hand (and a hand-held implement) and intending to eat immediately, there is no problem with the juice run-off. Secondly, there is the principle that the juice is unwanted, so there's an element of p'seek reishei.
    – Shemmy
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 11:01
  • Isn't the assumption from the SA that one was doing something permissible with the olives/grapes (like cutting them), to cause the runoff?
    – Seth J
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 15:30
  • @Shemmy, that is an excellent question and hope that you will post it separately. However, we know that that format permitted by borer (purifying a mixture) does not [totally] apply to the melacha of dash/mefarek (extracting from its natural casing) or else it would be totally permissible to squeeze grapes for its juice using that format, which it's not.
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 15:59
  • @Shemmy, regarding your "psik reisha", I don't think that a pesik reisha d'lo ichpas lei would do the trick. (Actually, I think it's lo nicha lei because he would rather have the juice stay in the grape, but many hold this is still a derabanan.) To permit a melacha using external factors, you would need to downgrade the melacha to a derabanan and then have 2 other mitigating factors. I'm trying to see if there is an internal permit, like "the grape being cut for eating purposes is like squeezing onto food" (which I don't know to be true).
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 16:10
  • @SethJ, The SA is dealing with run-off that just happened, like the grapes/olives got crushed and they seeped on shabbos. Since most grapes and olives are used for their juices, the chachamimim forbade this run-off as a safeguard against further squeezing. But we see that squeezing on food is totally permitted, changing the nature of the "juice" into "food". I'm interested in knowing whether this applies when cutting the grapes/olives as food, with no other food on the plate.
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Per Rabbi Aaron Tendler as long as you have no intention of using any juice that may squeeze out in the process of cutting, it is allowed.

  • 1
    Thank you, Gershon. I have already submitted a follow-up to Rabbi Tendler asking for his reasoning, as well as a comment regarding a svara that I had (alluded to in the comments on the question). "They" say they respond to all questions. I will post the answer in this comment section when I receive it.
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 19:05
  • Haven't received a follow-up yet.
    – YDK
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 4:53
  • Rabbi Tendler said: Unless it is being cut over a Kli in which enough juice will accumulate that it can be used, it obviously considered L'Ibud and is Muttar. There is no intent nor ability to use the small residual amount of juice, and it will be washed down the sink.
    – YDK
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 4:03

I'm not 100% sure I understand the question but it would seem from Rabbi Ribiat (note on page 2) and others (see source 10 there) that this is not permitted.

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