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Why is it forbidden to turn on the hot water faucet on Shabbat?

Why is it forbidden to turn on the hot water faucet on Shabbat?

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When turning on the hot water you are automatically letting new water flow into the water boiler, where they are cooked. Cooking is one of the thirty-nine creative acts that are forbidden on Shabbat.

You could use the water from a percolator that was on since before Shabbat, or a samovar that's on the fire since Friday, to rinse hands or dishes.

Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Chaya Mushka, and their three children.
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Anonymous March 21, 2014

what about cold water? Reply

Meira Shana San Diego CA February 17, 2013

Heating up water - Boiler I can understand that if water is heated by a heater, there is a combustion that happens with a fire to make the water hot to a certain degree of safety.

However, there are also many of the 613 Commandments which are no longer valid today. So why have them? Reply

Anonymous Guatemala City, Guatemala August 8, 2009

According to the torah, i suppose, cooking doesn't have the same definition. Reply

Anonymous Jerusalem, Israel June 19, 2009

However, most people in Israel need to turn the water boiler on in order to heat the water up, and then turn it off when they are done...it says electricity. In the summer, I never need to turn the boiler on because the sun heats up the water.......am I right to assume that it is OK to use the hot water faucet in this case? After all, I had nothing to do with making it hot. A related question, can you freeze something on Shabbat? Reply

Naftali Silberberg (Author) July 24, 2007

Response to Anonymous from Chesterfield With regards to the laws of Shabbat, what is relevant is the Hebrew definition of the word, and more importantly, since the 39 creative activities are derived from these very tasks which were performed in the course of the construction of the Tabernacle, we must see how "cooking" was part of the aforementioned construction effort.

Water was heated in order to extract dyes from various plants and roots. Thus heating water is the essence of the prohibition. [These dyes were then used for the different curtains and tapestries which were part of the Tabernacle structure.]

Our Sages have determined that it is forbidden to heat water to the extent that the hand naturally draws back when coming in contact with them. Reply

Anyomous Chesterfield, MO July 19, 2007

Disagree At our synogogue, we will turn on the hot water on Shabbat. I believe that it is impossible to cook water. Cooking means chemically changing it. The water heater only heats it up, not to a point of changing its state. Even when it boils, it is only changing physically, not chemically, and I do not consider that cooking. Reply

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