From the Rav’s Desk: Pounding a whole lemon to create more juice for squeezing into salad on Shabbos

  1. Question: [Thursday, 18th Shevat 5782]

Is it permitted for one to pound, punch, and roll a whole lemon for the sake of creating more juice for the sake of then squeezing/placing it into a salad?


It is permitted for you to do so, however, it is best to only cut the lemon open over the salad, having its pre-squeezed juice fall directly into the salad, and then squeeze the rest of it directly into the salad. The above squeezing of the whole lemon is only allowed to be done for the sake of seasoning the salad, and you may not do so for the sake of then drinking the lemon juice that pours out after you open it.

Explanation: It is forbidden for one to squeeze juice from commonly squeezed fruits or vegetables on Shabbos unless the juice will fall directly into a solid food and is being done for the sake of seasoning the food. Thus, it is completely permitted to squeeze a lemon into salad on Shabbos for the sake of seasoning the salad. However, this is only allowed if one squeezes the juice directly into the salad, however, to squeeze the juice into an empty bowl and then pour it into the salad is forbidden. Thus, the question is raised as to whether the squeezing and pounding of a whole fruit for the sake of then using its juice to season a salad is similar to first squeezing it into an empty bowl, which is forbidden to be done as stated above. Or, it is similar to squeezing it directly into the salad being that the juice never is seen to be directly squeezed out of the fruit, and simply drips out when it is cut. Practically, it is evident from the Poskim that this is permitted to be done being that the juice does not separate from the fruit until one cuts open the lemon, and so long as the juice is not separated from the fruit Mifareik has not been transgressed. So is also proven from the fact it is permitted to mash a whole fruit for the sake of both its fruit and juice coming out, even though one cause a squeezing of the juice in the process. Nonetheless, seemingly this is only allowed to be done if one in truth cuts the lemon open over the salad, in which case it is evident to all that the squeezing was done for the sake of the salad. If, however, one first cuts the lemon over a bowl and lets the juice fall into the bowl and then into the salad, then the initial squeezing of the whole lemon can be viewed to have been done for the sake of drinking, and therefore be under the restriction stated above which prohibits squeezing first into an empty bowl even if one plans to then put it into a solid food. However, there is room to argue that one may be lenient in this case to not require the cutting of the lemon to take place over the salad as aside for the fact that no one saw the action of squeezing out the juice taking place, in truth the squeezing of the juice of a lemon is under debate in the Poskim, with some ruling that it is always permitted being that it is not commonly drunk plain. Now, although we are stringent regarding this debate, perhaps one may be lenient regarding squeezing it into an empty bowl for the sake of seasoning [especially in the above case where the squeezing took place within the whole fruit], and so indeed rules Shabbos Kehalacha that lemons may be squeezed into an empty bowl for the sake of then  using for seasoning. Practically, to avoid all issue, we concluded above to simply cut the lemon over the salad and have the pre-squeezed juice fall directly into it. However, to pound the lemon for the sake of then cutting it open and drinking the juice that will come out, is forbidden [according to our final ruling regarding lemons] as it is clear to everyone that his original squeezing of the whole lemon was not for the sake of seasoning, and even when one squeezes for seasoning he may only squeeze the amount necessary for seasoning and may not squeeze more and then pour it out and drink it. This is not similar to the allowance of squeezing out all the insides of a cooked apple, as the reason that that is allowed is because one has no intent to squeeze the juice of the apple as writes Admur, hence implying that if indeed the intent is the juice, then it is forbidden even though it is squeezed out together with its fruit.

Sources: See regarding the prohibition of squeezing commonly squeezed fruits and vegetables on Shabbos: Admur 320:1; Michaber 320:1; Mishneh Shabbos 143b; See regarding the law of squeezing lemons and its debate: Lenient: Admur 320:10; Michaber 320:6; Teshuvas Rosh 22:2; Taz 320:5; See Yalkut Yosef 320:18; Shabbos Kehalacha 2 p. 405; Stringent: Yaavetz in Mor Uketzia 320; Tzemach Tzedek Shabbos 60 brings many arguments against this leniency of lemons, and thus side to forbid it; M”B 320:22 in name of Chayeh Adam; Kitzur SHU”A 80:12; Ketzos Hashulchan 126:11 footnote 25; Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 2 p. 404; See regarding the law of squeezing fruits into a salad for seasoning purposes: Admur 320:6-7; Michaber 320:4; Shmuel in Shabbos 144a; Shaar Hatziyon 320:23 in name of Peri Megadim; See regarding squeezing extra juice into the salad for the sake of then drinking it: Mamar Mordechai 505:2; Peri Megadim 505 M”Z 2 based on Taz 505:2; Tzemach Tzedek 25; Panim Meiros 1:85; M”B 505:5-6; Shaar Hatziyon 505:6; Kaf Hachaim 505:10; See Admur 505:2; Michaber 505:1; See regarding the law of squeezing lemons into an empty  bowl to then use the juice for seasoning purposes: Admur 320:10; Beis Yosef 320 in name of Shiveliy Haleket; Shabbos Kehalacha 15 footnote 22; [The above sources state that according to all opinions it is permitted to squeeze “lemons” into an empty bowl for the sake of seasoning foods. Nevertheless, seemingly this only applies according to those that hold that lemons are not considered a commonly squeezed fruit, however according to those that argue on Admur [and so we rule today] and consider it a commonly squeezed fruit, perhaps it would be forbidden to squeeze lemons into an empty vessel. Practically, in SSH”K 5:5 they rule it is forbidden to do so. However, Shabbos Kehalacha 2:404 footnote 22 rule it is permitted to so, and that this applies to lemons even today.]; See regarding squeezing out both the juice and fruit together: Admur 320:15; Taz 320:5

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