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Tzove'ah in Foods

The Daily Halacha Moment - Tzove'ah in Foods🍲

״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 the melachah of Tzove'ah apply to foods?


In general, foods are not subject to the melachah of Tzove’ah. Therefore, one may add an ingredient to a food or drink to change or enhance its flavor, even if the color of the food changes as well. [1]

It is permitted to mix red wine with the white wine even though one’s intention is to make the white wine have a red tinge to it. [2]

One may place the coffee, tea, tea essence or other powdered drinks, in water, even though the water will become colored as a result of the tea (its good to note that when making hot tea on Shabbat it needs to be done in a keli shelishi). [3]

Even though foods are generally exempt from the prohibition of Tzove’ah, if the food substance is being dyed or painted with something that is non-edible, then it is prohibited to dye it on Shabbat even though the item being dyed happens to be edible. [4]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 320:19-20; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 32; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 280.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 84; ibid., vol. 5, pp. 36 & 40.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 320:56; Shaar HaTziyun 318:64-65; Yabia Omer, 2:20; ibid. vol. 6, 48:14, vol. 8, 39:2; vol. 10, siman 55, 3:10, vol. 11, 31:3; Yechaveh Daat 6:23; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 280; Levyat Chen §46. Unlike the Ben Ish Chai, Pekudei, 2:3 and Rav Pe’alim 3:11. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 373 states that one who is stringent to first put in the powder (provided there is no issue of Bishul) and then put in the water is praiseworthy, since even according to the stringent opinions, it is permitted to do so in this manner.

[4]. See Yabia Omer, vol. 2, 20:3; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 375.

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