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Tea Bags & Borer

The Daily Halacha Moment - Tea Bags And Borer ☕

״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)


Does using a tea bag constitute the melachah of borer?


It is permitted to place a tea bag in a cup of water (of a kli shelishi) on Shabbat, and it is not considered Borer, even though the bag separates between the water and the tea leaves.[1] It is permitted to pick up a tea bag from a cup of tea, even though picking up the tea bag causes tea to be separated from the leaves inside the bag,[2] although, one should preferably take the tea bag out with a spoon.[3] Even according to the lenient opinions, it would not be permitted to squeeze the bag or hang it over the cup in order that the remaining flavor from the tea bag should drip into the cup. Rather, one should remove it immediately.[4]

Excerpted from R’ Yonatan Nacson’s ‘Laws of Shabbat’, vol. 1 p. 381


[1]. Minchat Yitzchak, vol. 4, 99:2; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 3:64. See also Orchot Shabbat 3:81.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 382; See also Yabia Omer, vol. 4, 34:24; Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 2, 7:44.

[3]. Minchat Yitzchak 7:23; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 3:64; Shevet HaLevi 8:58. However, Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 287 states that this is not necessary.

[4]. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah 3:64; Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 2, 7:44; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 2, 25:41; Orchot Shabbat 3:79; Halichot Shabbat, Malka, vol. 1, p. 284.

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