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Practical Halachah: Borer on Shabbat, Part 1

The Prohibition of ‘Selecting’ on Shabbat

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Practical Halachah: Borer on Shabbat, Part 1: The Prohibition of ‘Selecting’ on Shabbat

On Shabbat we abstain from 39 general categories of creative work. In this class we discuss the prohibition of ‘selecting’ on Shabbat. Learn what constitutes the biblical melachah of borer, the underlying principles, and their practical application in contemporary situations. For example what are the criteria for peeling fruit and making a fruit salad, and what’s the issue with eating nuts on Shabbat?
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Shabbat, Halacha, Borer

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7 Comments
Eliezer Zalmanov for Chabad.org November 2, 2015

Re: Nuts and Fruits with Inedible Peels The peels of fruits are edible for animals, even when they aren't edible for humans, and they are therefore not muktzeh. Nut shells, on the other hand, have absolutely no use--not even for animals. Reply

Anonymous November 1, 2015

Nuts and Fruits with Inedible Peels Why aren't nuts considered to be like fruits with inedible peels? The same thing is happening; the shell/peel is being taken away only to access the food - and for the fruit this is permitted when it is done for immediate use.
Alternatively, why is there no problem of muktzeh when peeling a fruit with an inedible peel? Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org August 27, 2015

Re: Seeds and lettuce The proper way to remove seeds would depend on what kind of melon it is. From a cantaloupe or honeydew, for example, where the seeds prevent one from eating the fruit, one may remove the seeds on their own prior to the fruit being eaten. From a watermelon, however, where the seeds are embedded into the fruit, it is best to eat the fruit and to spit out the seeds. If this is not possible (for example when preparing watermelon for a young child), the seeds should be shaken off, and whatever seeds remain may be removed. Reply

Shaul Wolf Chabad.org August 27, 2015

Re: Chicken skin Chicken skin may be removed immediately prior to the chicken being eaten. Removing it beforehand may be an issue of Borer. Reply

Norah Elkman Melbourne, Australia August 26, 2015

taking of seeds out of a melon Thank you very much for the shiur ... it's just what I needed to revise.
When taking out the seeds of a melon, can I just take out the seeds by themselves, or do I have to also take some of the flesh with is? I would be preparing it just before serving it. also if I'm rinsing lettuce leaves, how do I take away the excess water? Can I shake the leaves or just leave them for a bit for the water to drain out? Reply

DGF August 25, 2015

Question What about chicken skin? Reply

Mrs. S. August 24, 2015

Some Rabbanim, such as Rav Yehoshua Neubert and Chacham Ovadia Yosef, permit the use of peelers on fruit in which the fruit is attached to the peel, such as apples or cucumbers. Reply

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