The definition of kneading

The definition of kneading-Placing liquid in a food or mixing it in?[1]

 First opinion[2]: One does not Biblically transgress kneading by placing water [See Q&A regarding other liquids] into flour alone, but rather one must knead them together as is done during the week.[3]

Second Opinion[4]:  [One Biblically transgresses kneading by even just placing water or another liquid or fruit juice into any material] even if one does not knead them at all, as the placing of the water is itself the kneading. However [this only applies to if the amount of liquid placed will make a thick batter of the material however] by a thin batter there is no Biblical Prohibition of kneading at all.

The Final Ruling:[5] One should be stringent like the second opinion, and so is the custom. [As well in cases that the second opinion is lenient, we are stringent like the first opinion.[6]]

 Placing sesame seeds into liquids on Shabbos: One who places flax or sesame seeds into water and the like is liable for kneading [according to all opinions[7]] being that they [the water and the seed] mix and stick to each other.[8] However one may place sesame and nuts into honey [See Q&A regarding mixing it], although he may not [gather them[9] and] separate them with his hands [as doing so is considered separating[10]].[11]



Any mixture which contains the kneading prohibition is forbidden to have the liquid simply placed inside the mixture, even if one does not plan to mix it.


General Questions on the definition of kneading

May one place kneadable food into liquid [as opposed to liquid into food] according to the second opinion?[12]

No, it makes no difference which ingredient one places first.


Does the kneading prohibition also apply when adding liquids other than water into a mixture?[13]

Yes. It applies by all liquidly substances such as oil, honey, soy sauce, cream cheese, butter, fruit juices.


May one knead food right before a meal, as is allowed with Borer and cutting food small?[14]

Doing so right before the meal does not make the laws any more lenient. This is unlike the laws of Borer and cutting food small which may be done right before a meal with certain conditions, as explained in their sections.


Does the kneading prohibition apply to foods which do not grow from the ground?[15]



May one mix a foods own liquids into that food?

  • Ground garlic:[16] For example ground garlic which has secreted liquids may one mix that liquid into the garlic on Shabbos?

    If the garlic was ground on Shabbos in a permitted way it is forbidden to mix in its extracted liquids on Shabbos.[17] If however one crushed the garlic before Shabbos, it is permitted to knead in the liquid on Shabbos using an irregularity, such as one’s finger or doing slowly with a spoon. [18]

  • Peanut oil:[19] It is permitted to slowly mix with a spoon[20] oil which floats on top of peanut butter into the peanut butter.[21]
  • Tuna oil: May one mix tuna with its oil? One may mix the oil into the tuna with an irregularity[22], doing so slowly even with a spoon.[23]


What mixtures are defined as kneading?[24]

The kneading prohibition only applies when the two substances are being mixed in a way that they join and stick to each other forming one entity, as is the case with dough which is a mixture of flour and water, or with cooked oatmeal. Thus whenever solids are large enough to prevent this form of unity in their mixture, and it is rather that the liquid cotes over the solids, or that the solids are submerged within the liquids, then it is allowed.


May one mix two liquids into each other?[25]

Yes, doing so does not resemble kneading at all.[26] Nevertheless it is forbidden to mix very quickly with a spoon, or other utensil, thick liquids into thin liquids[27], such as to mix an egg into wine.[28] It is however permitted to mix two thin liquids very quickly, such as lemon juice and water and cases of the like. Seemingly when mixing concentrated juice or oil into water one is to be stringent to do so slowly.[29]

Beating an egg: [30] It is forbidden to beat an egg[31] quickly on Shabbos being that this appears like one plans to cook it on Shabbos.[32] Rather one is to mix it slowly with a spoon.[33]

Mixing sugar and water quickly: [34] When mixing two items of which one is not recognizable within the other, such as mixing sugar into water, it is permitted to mix them together quickly with a spoon.

Mixing salad dressing: One may not mix salad dressing very quickly using a spoon if it contains a thick liquid, such as oil with lemon juice. He is rather to mix it slowly.


Does kneading a single food without any liquid contain a kneading prohibition?[35]

The kneading prohibition only applies when one kneads two substances into each other to join and they become one substance. It does not apply when kneading a single food into itself.[36] Nevertheless one must beware that he not transgresses a grinding prohibition in the process, as explained in “The laws of grinding”.


May one place sesame seeds/almonds and the like into honey on Shabbos?[37]

One may place whole almonds/sesame into honey, although one may not knead them into the honey. Ground sesame or almonds may not ever be placed into honey.


May one knead on Yom Tov?

It is permitted to knead on Yom Tov as one regularly does during the week.[38] However if it is a type of food which is better in quality when kneaded before Yom Tov one may only do so on Yom Tov using an irregularity.[39]


May one place moist sushi on sesame seeds?

If this will cause the sesame seeds to stick to each other, it is forbidden to do so due to kneading. If however it is a mere coating which is spread apart, or there is not enough liquid on the sushi to cause the sesame to stick, it is permitted.


[1] 321/16

[2] Rebbe Yossi Bar Rebbe Yehudah in Shabbos 18, and so rules Rambam; Michaber in Shulchan Aruch [321/14]

[3] However Rabbinically, writes the Iglei Tal, even according to this opinion it remains forbidden to even place water into a mixture.

[4] Rebbe Yehudah Hanassi and so rules Raavad/Tosefus

[5] 324/3

[6] See Next Halacha Q&A there! See below Q&A for an example of such a case where the second opinion would be lenient.

[7] Meaning even according to the first opinion mentioned above, as stated explicitly in Rambam that one is liable for kneading in such a case despite that he himself rules like the first opinion.

[8] 340/16

[9] Mishneh Berurah on 319/66

[10] Mishneh Berurah on 340/11, as well as doing so contains the kneading prohibition [Ketzos Hashulchan 130 footnote 18]

[11] 319/27

[12] Ketzos Hashulchan 130 footnote 2

[13] Ketzos Hashulchan 130/1 and SSH”K 8/1; Brought in the second opinion of Admur

[14] Ketzos Hashulchan 130 footnote 7, SSH”K 8/2, based on Magen Avraham 321/24

[15] Igros Moshe 4/74 Lash

[16] Ketzos Hashulchan 130/3 footnote 8 in name of Igleiy Tal

[17] This matter follows the same dispute as mentioned above.

According to the first opinion mentioned, doing so is considered kneading and is thus forbidden. The reason for this is because according to the first opinion the prohibition of kneading is simply to join two items into one, which is accomplished even when kneading food with its own liquid.

However according to the second opinion doing so is not considered kneading and would thus be permitted. The reason for this is because they hold that the main aspect of kneading is the adding of ingredients, and here no ingredients were added, as the food naturally came with it.

The final ruling: As was explained above we are stringent like both opinions, and thus this may not be done.

[18] M”B [62] in the name of the Magen Avraham [22] that when mixing in the original liquid that was placed before Shabbos a spoon may be used even according to the Rama.

[19] So rules SSH”K 8/7

[20] M”B [62] in the name of the Magen Avraham [22] that when mixing in the original liquid that was placed before Shabbos a spoon may be used even according to the Rama.

[21] This is allowed to be done being that the butter is considered to have been kneaded from before Shabbos with its oil of which some still remains within the mixture, of which the law is that one may add its liquid to it on Shabbos, as will be explained in Halacha 5. [SSH”K ibid]

Adding in other liquids: SSH”K ibid allows one to add other liquids as well to the peanut butter based on their understanding [in Biur Halacha 321 Yachol Learvo”] that adding liquid is allowed when one intends to make a food thinner as, kneading only applies when one desires to thicken the food. Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol from what will be explained in Practical Q&A, as well as in Halacha 5 Q&A, that the mixing of a foods own liquid before Shabbos does not consider it mixed, and thus there would remain no allowance to enter other liquids into the peanut butter. Furthermore the ruling there in Biur Halacha is referring to adding water to an already kneaded food as then one destroys the kneading that was already done, and does not apply when a food was never yet kneaded. This is in addition to that SSH”K contradict themselves later regarding Tehina, that one may not add liquids to it. See also Ketzos Hashulchan 130 footnote 19 which brings up such a logic that thinning a food is not considered kneading, although he concludes one may not rely on this as we see even by radishes the Taz was stringent to require a Shinui.

Despite the above to enter the peanut oil into the butter would be allowed even in accordance to the ruling there as according to both opinions there once the oil has been mixed into it before Shabbos, entering back its own oil is not problematic-see there!

[22] As the oil was already placed within the tuna from before Shabbos, and tuna is not a kneadable material. [See Halacha 4 and Q&A there]

[23] M”B [62] in the name of the Magen Avraham [22] that when mixing in the original liquid that was placed before Shabbos  a spoon may be used even according to the Rama.

[24] Ketzos Hashulchan 130 footnote 8, SSH”K

[25] Based on Magen Avraham 321/24 as explained in Ketzos Hashulchan 130/7 footnote 20

[26] In Yoreh Deah 266/3 the Michaber rules that wine must be mixed with oil from before Shabbos, and so rules Admur in 331/1. The reason for it being forbidden is not because of a kneading prohibition but because doing so was considered a medicine, and it is forbidden to make a medicine on Shabbos. [So writes Admur there]

[27] So seems evident from all sources listed regarding this law that the prohibition is only applicable when mixing a thick liquid into thin. [See Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Chayeh Adam 20/21; Peri Megadim A”A 321/24 “As it appears like kneading when making thick”] However to mix two liquids into each other very quickly there is no restriction. This is also implied in the meaning of “Litrof” to beat rather than simply mix. Now, although the Magen Avraham 321/24 brings from the Hagahos Maimanis that one may not mix Zirga wine very quickly. It is unclear as what this wine consists of, and perhaps in truth it does consist of two items of which one is thick and the other thin. [See Beir Yaakov 321 which explains this to be the case]. Furthermore, although the M”A concludes “and so it seems from the Hagahos Maimanis that it is forbidden to beat all matters” perhaps this is only coming to include other thick liquids similar to eggs, and is not coming to include all liquids. [See Machatzis Hashekel that this is coming to exclude the opinion of Rashi which rules the prohibition against beating is only by eggs as it appears one is doing so for cooking purposes.]

As for the reason it is forbidden to beat two liquids very quickly perhaps this is because it is considered a troublesome act [as writes M”A 321/25 regarding making “Yaynomalin”]. Accordingly it would be permitted to mix two thin liquids, as doing so involves no trouble at all.

[28] Magen Avraham 321/24.

[29] As the definition of a thick liquid brought above is unclear. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[30] Magen Avraham  321/24

[31] Some Poskim rule it is permitted to beat a single egg and the prohibition only applies to more than one egg at a time. [Tiferes Yisrael Ofeh]

[32] Others write the reason is because doing so is considered kneading [Peri Megadim 321 A”A 24]

[33] So rules Ketzos Hashulchan ibid. However the M”B 121/68 plainly rules that one should not mix eggs in a bowl being that it appears like cooking.

[34] Ketzos Hashulchan ibid.

[35] SSH”K 8/3; See Chazon Ish 58/9

[36] However some opinions are stringent in this matter. [Bris Olam Lash]

[37] Ketzos Hashulchan 130/5 and footnote 17 and 18

[38] 495/5; SSH”K 8 in side note; Piskeiy Teshuvos 506/1

[39] Admur rules in 495/5 that all the Melachos which are not done for many days worth, like Kneading, may be done on Yom Tov. Nevertheless it may only be done with an irregularity, unless it was not done on Erev Yom Tov due to Onness, or due to it not being as fresh if it were to be done then, in which case it’s permitted to do regularly on Yom Tov. In general foods which are kneaded taste better when kneaded that day as opposed to the day before. Hence Admur rules there that kneading may always be done regularly on Yom Tov. So is also implied from chapter 473 Halacha 34 that Admur does not mention any regulations regarding kneading the charoses on Yom Tov that does not fall on Shabbos. Nevertheless in the event one is making a food that is better kneaded the day before, such as making homemade pasta, then the above ruling would apply that an irregularity is needed. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?