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I bought a box of Matzah this year, and noticed, on the top, the declaration:

"BOX SHOULD BE OPENED BEFORE SHABBOS AND YOM TOV"

Why? The box does have perforations, but could probably be opened without using them; I assume there's an inner plastic liner because the crumbs which I can hear inside aren't sifting over my kitchen, but I'm not opening the box right now to verify.

I do not recall ever seeing this warning before, on any brand of Matzah.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Goljerp and thanks for this first question. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. Hope to see you around! – mbloch Mar 28 '18 at 13:10
  • Only some opinions are worried about this. ask your Rabbi for a ruling. – David Kenner Mar 28 '18 at 14:39
  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Are you the same as this other Goljerp? If so, if you log in as that user you'll be able to keep all your questions together. – Monica Cellio Mar 28 '18 at 17:53
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    Congrats on becoming a hot network question! – רבות מחשבות Mar 29 '18 at 0:43
  • Hi @MonicaCellio, yes, that's me, but I've forgotten my login info from then. – Goljerp Mar 29 '18 at 1:14
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There is a concern that by opening the box, a usable vessel has been completed, which can be a violation of the prohibition of makeh b'patish, one of the 39 forbidden categories of "work" on Shabbath and Yom Tov.

From Halachipedia (based on Shemirath Shabbath KeHilchatha 9:10-1):

Cardboard boxes closed with gummed paper or tape, papers stuck together, or a paper wrapper may be (ripped) opened on Shabbat only if one ruins the box in a way that it’s unusable as a container afterwards (nor is any part of it useful which is violated if one tears along the edge of prize tokens printed on the wrapper).

  • Why is this different than opening a soda bottle, which, while many indeed hold is forbidden, many hold is permitted. – DonielF Mar 28 '18 at 14:16
  • @DonielF just to clarify your question: I think everyone agrees that there's no problem with the soda bottle itself, since it's unchanged when you open it. The question comes from the cap, which is potentially being created as a new utensil (since when it's attached to the ring thing it's harder to take on and off). Correct me if I'm wrong. – Heshy Mar 28 '18 at 14:32
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    So could one "break down" the box - in other words, rip it open where it's glued shut, so that it's now simply a flat piece of cardboard? – Matt Gutting Mar 28 '18 at 15:27
  • @Heshy The cap doesn't become a new utensil. It becomes a finished utensil. It's exactly מכה בפטיש. Pulling off the ring is how you complete the final product. – Double AA Mar 28 '18 at 16:36
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In addition to the above, from here:

One must be careful not to tear letters on the packaging.

Tearing the lettering would be considered mocheik - erasing.

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