May one at alphabet soup on Shabbat / Yom Tov?


  • Alphabet noodles possibly forming words - writing?
  • Eating letters - erasing? By comparison, I understand that if a cake has letters on it, one cannot cut the cake between the letters as that is considered erasing. (One may eat the cake, otherwise. The problem is specifically cutting the cake that way.) Would alphabet soup have different halacha, and if so, why?
  • Sorting - possibly because you or a child, more likely, might manually pick out letters from the soup to play with them, or s/he may decide to eat specific letters or put them on the spoon.
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    For borer and kesiva, are you asking "is it prohibited to do the above", or "can you eat alphabet soup on Shabbos if these things might happen on their own"? Also, I don't understand the logic for erasing - does any Posek prohibit eating the cake, or only cutting words? – רבות מחשבות Jan 14 '18 at 2:03
  • @רבותמחשבות Good Q's. I edited. – DanF Jan 14 '18 at 2:13
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    I fail to see how you addressed them. If there is no problem eating the letters of a cake, how does that support the notion that eating letters in a soup would be prohibited due to erasing? And I am still not clear on whether you are asking if it is prohibited to take specific alphabet noodles out of soup, or are you wondering if there is an existing Gezeirah not to eat soup because a child might take out letters? And how would these letters form words? Floating next to each other? I'm still really unclear on all of this... – רבות מחשבות Jan 14 '18 at 2:34
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    The Taz (340:2) would seem to permit this because the letters are being broken/erased with the purpose of eating, based on the fact we find leniences on food in cases with borer and tochen. The case is similar to breaking/erasing letters on a cake. – ezra Jan 14 '18 at 6:53
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    If I'm right, you may pick certain letters that you want to eat, but you may not sort out those that you won't eat. I suppose the key issue is with erasing, and there's a machloket between Mechaber and Rema on OC 340:3. See cited site at this answer: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/87285/… – Kazi bácsi Jan 14 '18 at 7:53

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