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Borer - Removing Bad To Access Good

The Daily Halacha Moment - Removing Pesolet To Access Ochel 🍲

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one remove Pesolet to access Ochel on Shabbat?


Even though it is prohibited to move the pesolet (the bad) from a mixture in order to only have the ochel (food) remaining, it is permitted to move the pesolet if it is obstructing one’s path to the ochel. Even though this may seem as Borer, it is not considered the melachah of Borer, since one’s intention is not in order to improve the food or mixture but, rather, to gain access to the food.[1] There are several applications of this type of separating that are permitted:

a. One may remove fruit from the top of a bowl, in order to get to the fruits on the bottom.[2]

b. One may remove the clothing on the top of a basket of laundry in order to get to an item at the bottom of the basket.[3]

c. One may push aside clothing in a closet in order to see and get to the desired clothing.[4]

Excerpted from R' Yonatan Nacson’s ‘Laws of Shabbat’, vol. 1 p. 352


[1]. Mishnah Berurah 319:15; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 3:5.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 180.

[3]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 229.

[4]. See Mishnah Berurah 319:15; Biur Halachah, 319, “Le’echol”; Kaf HaChaim 319:25.

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