Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Mishna rules that one is not permitted to heat tiles on Yom Tov for the purpose of roasting food on them. Rabbah explains this ruling to be referring to new tiles, where there is a concern that the tiles might break and there is a necessity to test them.

Rashi explains that if the tiles would crack, it would come out that the tiles were heated for no purpose and therefore it is prohibited to do on Yom Tov.

One can ask on the reason for this prohibition, that while it’s true that if it breaks, retroactively the heating of the tiles was for no purpose but at the time of the heating, it was being done for the preparation of food which is permitted on Yom Tov? If someone would cook on Yom Tov and not eat the food, will it be regarded as he retroactively cooked on Yom Tov for no purpose?

Rav Elchonon Wasserman asks a similar question on the Gemora on daf 11. Beis Shamai rules that one is not allowed to take the knife to the animal on Yom Tov with the intention of slaughtering it. Beis Hillel disagrees and allows it to be done. Rashi explains that the knife and the animal are far apart from each other. Beis Shamai maintains that since there is a possibility that the slaughterer might change his mind and not slaughter the animal, it would be regarded as an unnecessary exertion on Yom Tov.

Rav Elchonon does not understand what Beis Shamai is concerned about. He asks that even if the fellow will decide not to slaughter the animal, nonetheless at the time that he took out the knife, his intent was to perform a shechita and at that time it was necessary?

Rav Menachem Kohn Zt”l in his sefer Ateres Avi answers that there can be a distinction between preparing the actual food and the preliminary stages. Heating up the tiles to be used for roasting is considered the preliminary stages of preparing the food and this will only be permitted if ultimately the tiles will be used. If the tiles end up cracking and they cannot be used for the roasting, it cannot be regarded as preparing the food and it will be considered as if he violated the Yom Tov. This is in contrast to cooking food, where he is involved in the actual preparing of the food and even if he does not eat the cooked food, it does not negate the fact that the cooking prepared the food.