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Filtering Liquids On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Filtering Liquids 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)


Question:

May one filter liquids on Shabbat?


Answer:

There are several levels of mixtures in regard to this melachah, when separating with a liquid. [1]


a. Filtering or straining something that is not potable, such as muddy water that most people cannot bring themselves to drink to make it potable constitutes a biblical prohibition of Meraked. In such a case, the only way to filter this type of liquid is to place a cloth on the cup and drink from the cup through the cloth.[2]

b. Something that is slightly tainted (i.e., the impurities are noticeable, and most people would not drink such a liquid), would only be prohibited to filter by rabbinical prohibition. Even though it is not permitted to filter this type of liquid with a proper filter that is made for this purpose, it is permitted to use a cloth.[3]

c. Something that is basically clear, and most people would drink may be filtered.[4]


Tomorrow we will be discussing using a water filter on Shabbat.


Excerpted from R’ Yonatan Nacson’s ‘Laws of Shabbat’, vol. 1 p. 379


Sources:

[1]. See Shulchan Aruch 319:10; Pri Megadim, M.Z. 319:6.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 319:16.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch 319:10; Igrot Moshe, O.C. 4:74, Borer §3; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 222, p. 227. One may not use a cloth to filter water, since it is considered washing the cloth, unless the cloth is usually used for this purpose.

[4]. See Bet Yosef 319:10; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 319:14; Chayeh Adam 16:7; Mishnah Berurah 319:34-35. Igrot Moshe, O.C. 1:125 explains that “most people” means that only people who are particularly finicky will not drink it. See also Minchat Yitzchak 7:23; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 3:53; Orchot Shabbat 3:38.


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