4 Sivan 5764
By Rabbi Dovid Heber
Food Preparation: Yom Tov vs. Shabbos
It is well known that on Yom Tov one is allowed to cook and bake for that day of Yom Tov only. There are additional actions that are forbidden on Shabbos, yet permissible on Yom Tov (for that day of Yom Tov only). The following are three examples:
Kneading/Lush: On Yom Tov, all kneading is permissible, unlike Shabbos. On Shabbos, one may not knead dough. Even when preparing baby cereal (which is considered a blila raka–a thinner mixture), one must combine water and powder in the opposite order than he does normally (e.g. if one normally adds water to powder, on Shabbos one must add powder to water). On Shabbos, one must also mix the cereal in a non-typical way–with the handle of the spoon or by moving the spoon in criss-cross fashion across the bowl. On Yom Tov, one may mix baby cereal in the regular way.
Separation/Borer: On Yom Tov, borer is generally permissible. One may use a strainer, slotted spoon, and peeler. On Shabbos, one may only separate mixed items if three (3) conditions are met: Wanted items are taken from unwanted, items are taken for immediate use, items are taken with a hand or an extension of one’s hand, rather than a special utensil.
Dicing and finely chopping: On Yom Tov one may dice and finely chop food that will not stay fresh if cut on Erev Yom Tov. For example, one may finely dice vegetables (that won’t stay fresh for very long after being chopped) for a salad on Yom Tov. One may also mash a potato or banana. On Shabbos, one may not finely chop vegetables and one may only mash a potato immediately prior to the meal with a shinuy–a non-typical way (e.g. using the handle of the fork).
Edited by Laya Dewick