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Which Melachoth are prohibited on Shabbath but are permissible to perform on Yom Tov because of the exception of Ochel Nefesh? Famously, cooking and carrying in the public domain are allowed, yet igniting a flame from scratch is not. Furthermore, some other actions that would seem to be Ochel Nefesh are also prohibited. What else is allowed? Are Sorting and Grinding on the list?

I am also fairly certain that there's a difference between Ashkenazi practice and Sepharadi practice in some instances. Please provide sources for each.

(Please don't list smoking as permitted as cooking but should be prohibited because of danger, or other such exceptions to the exceptions. I'm looking for general categories of Melachah, not unique subcategories or specific types of actions. If a category is permitted only under certain circumstances, such as squeezing a lemon on a solid but not into a liquid, which is permissible on Shabbath anyway, that should be noted.)

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    Igniting a new flame is permitted deorayta because of ochel nefesh. We just say it's a problem of Nolad.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:24
  • @DoubleAA So, if someone did, one could benefit BeDi'Avad from the action?
    – Seth J
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:31
  • 2
    It would be a rabbinic and not a biblical violation. Was it Meizid or Shogeg? See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/14770/759 The more interesting Nafka Minah IMO is that driving a car is only derabanan, which could be applicable in possible kavod habriyot or choleh she'ein bo sakana cases. Obviously CYLOR before doing that :)
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 19:34
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    @DoubleAA That. (Limmud.) Is. Awesome.
    – Seth J
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 20:41
  • @DoubleAA, It was also the first thing that popped into my head when you made your comment.
    – Seth J
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 20:41

1 Answer 1

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  1. Zoreah (Sowing) - forbidden
  2. Choresh (Plowing) - forbidden
  3. Kotzair (Reaping) - forbidden
  4. M'amair (Gathering) - forbidden
  5. Dush (Threshing) – forbidden
  6. Zoreh (Winnowing) - forbidden
  7. Borer (Sorting ) – [generally] permitted
  8. Tochain (Grinding) – forbidden
  9. Miraked (Sifting) - forbidden
  10. Lush (Kneading) - permitted
  11. Ofeh / Bishul (Baking/cooking) - permitted
  12. Gozez (Shearing) - forbidden
  13. Melabain (Whitening) - forbidden
  14. Menafetz (Disentangling, Combing) - forbidden
  15. Tzovayah (Dyeing) – forbidden
  16. Toveh (Spinning) - forbidden
  17. Maisach (Mounting the warp) - forbidden
  18. Oseh Beit Batai Neirin (Setting two heddles) - forbidden
  19. Oraig (Weaving) - forbidden
  20. Potzai'ah (Separating threads) - forbidden
  21. Koshair (Tying a knot) - forbidden
  22. Matir (Untying a knot) - forbidden
  23. Tofair (Sewing) – forbidden
  24. Ko'reah (Tearing) - forbidden
  25. Tzud (Trapping) - forbidden
  26. Shochet (Slaughtering) - permitted
  27. Mafshit (Skinning) - permitted
  28. M'abaid (Salting/tanning process) - permitted
  29. Mesharteit (Tracing lines) - forbidden
  30. Memacheik (Smoothing / scraping) - forbidden
  31. Mechateich (Cutting to shape) - forbidden
  32. Kotaiv (Writing two or more letters) - forbidden
  33. Mochaik (Erasing two or more letters) - forbidden
  34. Boneh (Building) - forbidden
  35. Soiser (Demolishing) - forbidden
  36. Mechabeh (Extinguishing) – only for actual “ochel nefesh”
  37. Ma'avir (Kindling) – permitted
  38. Makeh B'Patish (Striking the final blow) – forbidden
  39. Hotza'ah – (Transferring from domain to domain) - permitted

(Based on the first chapter of Nitey Gavriel Hilchos Yom Tov (Chelek Aleph). List of melachos from here).

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  • What sort of extinguishing is permitted? Ie., can you provide an example of "actual 'ochel nefesh'" to which this would apply?
    – Seth J
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 19:12
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    @SethJ Perhaps if your roast is on fire, you can put it out. Commented May 17, 2013 at 20:34
  • this is all derived in at the end of the first chapter of bietzah in the yerushalmi
    – user5092
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 21:29
  • I think you mean mav'ir.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 20:29

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