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Borer - Separating Broth From One's Soup On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Separating Broth From One's Soup On Shabbat 🍲

״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 separate broth from one's soup on Shabbat?


One who only wants the broth from soup, may even hold the vegetables down with a spoon or ladle in order to only get the broth, since the vegetables are clearly considered a separate entity and the large pieces are not considered to be mixed with the soup.[1] For this reason, one may also take out the vegetables by using a perforated utensil that sifts out the water from the vegetable.[2] However, smaller pieces of vegetables, that cannot be easily removed from the soup can be considered mixed with the soup and subject to Borer. [3] One can also take from the broth on the top of the soup if the vegetables have sunk to the bottom, even if the vegetables are very small.[4]

Excerpted from R’ Yonatan Nacson’s ‘Laws of Shabbat’, vol. 1 p. 360


[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 230.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 231. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 306 states that preferably, one should be stringent and not use a perforated utensil in order to get the vegetables. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 31:10 who explains that the general rule of Borer is that whatever is left in one’s hands is considered what one is separating, therefore, in this case, the vegetables that are left in the ladle is what was separated, and since in this case it is ochel, it is permitted for immediate use.

[3]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 305. Therefore, in this case, one may not use a perforated spoon in order to separate the broth from the vegetables if one only wants the broth; however, if one only wants the vegetables, then it is permitted to use such a spoon for immediate use, as explained in the previous footnote.

[4]. Kaf HaChaim 319:110

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