Parshios Netzavim & Elul / Rosh Hashanah
Eiruv Tavshilin: Why and How?
When Shabbos falls immediately after Yom Tov, or when the second day of Yom
Tov falls on Shabbos, a rabbinic ordinance prohibits cooking or baking on
Yom Tov for Shabbos unless an eiruv tavshilin was prepared on erev Yom Tov.
1 The Talmud offers two explanations for this ordinance:
1. To guard the honor of Shabbos. The rabbis feared that when Yom Tov falls
on Friday, one may become so preoccupied [on erev Yom Tov] with his Yom Tov
needs that he will neglect his Shabbos preparations. Thus they required that
a token Shabbos food be prepared before the onset of Yom Tov. 3
2. To guard the sanctity of Yom Tov. The rabbis feared that were it
permitted to cook on Yom Tov for Shabbos without making a manifest sign that
the cooking is being done for Shabbos, some people might assume that it is
permitted to cook on Yom Tov even for the weekday, which is strictly
forbidden. The purpose of the eiruv, then, is to serve as a reminder that on
Yom Tov it is permitted to cook only for Shabbos and not for weekday.
The basic requirement—l’chatchilah
• Two types of food, one cooked and one baked, 4 are set aside.
They are held in the right hand5 and, while standing,
6 the blessing—followed by the appropriate text—is recited
• Since the meaning of the text must be understood in order for the eiruv to
be valid, the text should be recited in a language that one understands.
• The eiruv should be held the entire time while one is reciting the
blessing and the text. 8
• The cooked food should be at least a k’zayis. The baked food should be at
least a k’beitzah.
• The cooked food should be the type of food which is served as a main dish,
e.g., meat, fish or eggs. Desserts may not be used. 9
• The cooked food should be refrigerated so that it does not spoil. If it
rots, then it is considered as if no eiruv was made. 10
• Traditionally, the eiruv is prepared and the blessing and text recited on
the day of erev Yom Tov. Some poskim permit the eiruv to be made on the
night before erev Yom Tov, 11 while others allow this only under
extenuating circumstances. 12
The basic requirement—b’diavad
• B’diavad if the eiruv is made using a cooked item only, or if only a
cooked food is available, the eiruv is valid—even for baking. 13
The reverse, however, does not hold true.
• If the proper blessing is omitted but the text is recited, the eiruv is
• If the proper text is omitted it is questionable whether the eiruv is
valid. If one remembered before Yom Tov that he omitted the proper text, he
should repeat the process, reciting the text without repeating the blessing.
15 If he remembered only after the onset of Yom Tov, he should
consult a rabbi.
There are several ways one can perform the mitzvah of eiruv tavshilin in a
more enhanced way. The following are considered hiddurim:
• The cooked food should be specifically cooked on erev Yom Tov for Shabbos
and for eiruv tavshilin. 16
• The cooked food should be a sizable portion. 17 Others suggest
that it should be a k’beitzah. 18
• The cooked food should be either meat or fish. 19
• The baked food should be whole, e.g., a whole challah or matzah.
• The challah or matzah should be used for lechem mishneh on Friday night
and Shabbos morning, and broken and eaten at seudah shelishis. 21
• The cooked food should be eaten at one of the Shabbos meals. 22
L’chatchilah, all the food that is prepared on Yom Tov for Shabbos should be
edible on Yom Tov. 23 This includes hot water which is boiled
for Shabbos. B’diavad, or under extenuating circumstances, it is permitted
to cook on Friday for Shabbos even if the food will not be edible by the
time Shabbos arrives. 24
When the first day of Yom Tov falls on Thursday, the cooking for Shabbos may
not take place on Thursday. 25 It may, however, begin on
Thursday night, which is already the second day of Yom Tov. 26
Only one eiruv tavshilin per household is required. It includes all of the
people who reside in the house, including married children and guests who
are spending the Yom Tov as part of that household. 27
Eiruv tavshilin is required not just for cooking and baking but also for any
food-related activities that are needed for Shabbos, e.g., grinding,
choosing, insulating, carrying, washing dishes and lighting candles. One who
failed to make an eiruv tavshilin cannot do any of these activities on Yom
Tov for Shabbos. A person [or a household] who is not planning to cook or
prepare anything on Yom Tov for Shabbos is not required to make an eiruv
If no eiruv was made
One who forgot to prepare an eiruv tavshilin on erev Yom Tov before sunset
may not cook on Friday for Shabbos. There are several strategies that can
rectify this oversight, but they are too complex to fully describe here and
should only be implemented with rabbinic guidance. Under certain
circumstances one may: 29
• Make an eiruv tavshilin after sunset during bein ha-shemashos.
30 Once Ma’ariv was recited, however, an eiruv tavshilin cannot
• Make an eiruv tavshilin while in shul even though he does not have
immediate access to cooked food. 31
• Make an eiruv on the first day of Yom Tov [except Rosh Hashanah] which
falls on a Thursday. 32
• Rely on the rabbi’s eiruv which is intended to include all those who
inadvertently forgot or were unable at the last minute to make an eiruv.
33 This cannot be relied upon for one who did not make an eiruv
due to negligence. 34
• Cook extra food for Yom Tov so that he will have food left over for
• Give his raw ingredients to another person [who made an eiruv] to cook,
and that person will cook for him. The cooking may take place in the house
of the one who failed to make an eiruv. 36
1. Min ha-Torah there is no restriction on cooking on Yom Tov for Shabbos for either one of the following two reasons: 1) Shabbos and Yom Tov are considered as one day [as Yom Tov is also called Shabbos in the Torah]; just as it is permitted to cook for Yom Tov it is permitted to cook for Shabbos. 2) Even though one is really cooking for Shabbos, was unexpected company to show up, the food could be used for the guests. In essence, therefore, one is really cooking “for a Yom Tov need”; see Pesachim 46b for a thorough treatment of this complex issue.
2. Beitzah 16b. In practical halachah, however, the second reason is the dominant one; Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 527:67.
3. Our explanation follows the Meiri. See Rashi and Ran who give different explanations.
4. The cooked item is to permit cooking on Yom Tov and the baked item is to permit baking. One who is not planning to bake for Shabbos does not need to prepare a baked food for eiruv tavshilin (Mishnah Berurah 527:6). It is customary, however, to use a baked food for eiruv tavshilin regardless.
5. Mishnah Berurah 206:18.
6. Mishnah Berurah 8:2.
7. Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 527:55.
8. Based on Teshuvos Maharsham 2:36.
9. Based on Beiur Halachah 527:5.
10. Aruch ha-Shulchan 527:13. See note 108 for possible options.
11. Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (oral ruling, Koveitz Mevakshei Torah, Yom Tov, vol.1, pg. 216).
12. Rav S. Wosner (quoted in Eiruv Tavshilin ha-Aruch 2 16:3).
13. Mishnah Berurah 527:7.
14. Mishnah Berurah 527:64.
15. Mishnah Berurah 527:63.
16. Beiur Halachah 527:6 and 14 (s.v. l’chatchilah). The baked item, however, does not need to be especially baked for Shabbos.
17. Mishnah Berurah 527:8.
18. Eishel Avraham 527:7.
19. Rav S. Wosner (Koveitz mi-Beis Levi 1, pg. 52).
20. Rav S. Wosner (Koveitz mi-Beis Levi 1, pg. 52)
21. Mishnah Berurah 527:11; 527:48.
22. Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 2, note 37, and Shulchan Shelomo 527:13-3, note 15).
23. In order to satisfy the second reason quoted above in note 80.
24. Mishnah Berurah 527:3 and Beiur Halachah. Other poskim are more lenient and allow this even l’chatchilah; see Aruch ha-Shulchan 527:3.
25. O.C. 527:13.
26. Rav Y. Kamenetsky (oral ruling, quoted in Emes l’Yaakov, O.C. 527:13).
27. Eishel Avraham 527; Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (Koveitz Mevakshei Torah, Yom Tov, vol. 1, pg. 218). Two or more individual families, who are sharing one house and one kitchen, should make only one eiruv tavshilin.
28. See Kaf ha-Chayim 527:113; Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:20-26.
29. These options apply also to one who made an eiruv tavshilin, but it got lost, was eaten, or got spoiled before one started cooking for Shabbos.
30. O.C. 527:1. The blessing is recited.
31. Minchas Yitzchak 7:36 based on Tiferes Yisrael, Beitzah 2:1; Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Shulchan Shelomo 527:2); Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (Ashrei ha-Ish, vol. 3, pg. 41). Other poskim do not agree with this option.
32. O.C. 527:22. A special text is recited; the blessing is omitted.
33. O.C. 527:7. Some poskim hold that one may rely on the rabbi’s eiruv only one time (Mishnah Berurah 527:22), while others hold that it can be relied upon even more than once (Aruch ha-Shulchan 527:18).
34. Sha’ar ha-Tziyun 527:32.
35. O.C. 527:21. It is, therefore, permitted to cook many different foods, so long as one will partake of each of them on Yom Tov; Mishnah Berurah 71.
36. O.C. 527:20.
Weekly-Halacha, Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Torah.org.
Rabbi Neustadt is the Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Harabbonim of Detroit and the Av Beis Din of the Beis Din Tzedek of Detroit. He could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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