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Eating Food with Words on Them On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Eating Food with Words on Them 🎂

״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 cut a cakes/cookies with words on them?


According to the Sephardic custom words that are made of icing on a cake may be cut or broken with a knife or with one’s hands, and it is not an issue of Mochek. However, it is preferable to break such writing only with one’s mouth. [1]

If the writing is baked as part of the food itself, such as writing on a cookie where the letters or designs are impressed or embossed into the dough before baking, it is permitted to break apart the cookie even with one’s hands, and one does not need to be stringent to use one’s mouth to break it. [2] However, the Ashkenazic custom is to refrain from doing so. Similarly, it is permitted to cut or break bread, biscuit or cake that is formed into a shape of a figure.


[1]. Even though the Rama 340:3 states that this is not permitted, the Shulchan Aruch omitted this halachah on purpose. See also at length on this subject in Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 206 who explains that this is permitted for several reasons:

1. Since it is a way of destroying.

2. By eating it, it is not the regular way of erasing.

3. One does not have intention or care that the words are erased. See also in Yabia Omer, 4:38, and vol. 8, 39:12; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 271; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 40:1.

[2]. Yabia Omer 4:38; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 206; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 40:1.

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