Monday, November 27, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 31 - Tzibel mit Ayer (Eggs with Onions)

The Mishna rules that one is not permitted to chop wood on Yom Tov. The Ran states that this melocha would be regarded as grinding and one that chops wood on Yom Tov would be chayav sekilah. The Gemora makes a distinction between the wide edge of the ax blade that is prohibited and the narrow edge which is permitted. A craftsman does not generally use the narrow part and therefore it is permitted.

Tosfos rules that since we are not experts in the specifics of an ax, one is prohibited from using any part of the ax to chop wood and it should be done only by hand. Shulchan Aruch (501:11) rules that it is permitted to use a knife but not an ax.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is bothered as to why we are permitted to cut melons, apples and other fruits on Shabbos to many pieces. Chopping wood into pieces is regarded as tochen, grinding even though the pieces are large. It can be considered grinding even if the pieces are the size of a tefach.

How can we chop eggs and onions on Shabbos when the pieces are approximately a tenth of a tefach? One may answer that since it is common to chop them smaller, this will not be regarded as grinding.

Rav Shlomo Zalman answers that grinding is only if the chopping leads to the final intended result. Cutting a fruit into small pieces is not its final state since the teeth are still required to chop it further. It would appear that if one cuts fruits or vegetables so small that they can be swallowed as is, that would be prohibited and constitute grinding. One should be careful when cutting food for fish not to cut the pieces too small since fish do not have teeth and they swallow the food whole.

He concludes that creating a utensil through chopping is not regarded as grinding even though the utensil is the intended final product. This is because the melocha of grinding is only when the product is intended to be consumed and not if the intention is for the object to remain in that state.

2 comments:

Stan said...

therefore cutting onions up for eggs Or even the eggs, is ok. But my understanding is that you cannot use a "masher" specifically to cut the onions if the masher's sole purpose is to mash. One can use a fork. Is this correct? Also. must one cut up the eggs or onions etc just prior to use or could it be done early am to be used hours later?

Rabbi Neustadt said...

No mashing

If onions are diced then do so before meal