Preparing on the 1st day of Yom Tov for 2nd day, such as removing food from freezer to defrost

Preparing on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day of Yom Tov – May one remove food from the freezer on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the second night meal?

The general law:[1]

It is forbidden to do anything on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the next day, including on behalf of the 2nd day in the Diaspora.[2] This applies even for the two days of Rosh Hashanah which is considered like one long day.[3] [This applies even in a year that Shabbos falls after Yom Tov and one performed Eruv Tavshilin before Yom Tov.[4]] This prohibition applies even against doing acts of preparation that do not contain any forbidden Melacha at all.[5] [Rather, all the preparations for the 2nd night are to be done after Tzeis Hakochavim/nightfall of the first day.[6] However, some Poskim[7] rule that in a time of need, such as to prevent loss, and for the sake of a Mitzvah, one may be lenient to prepare on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day, if one completes the preparation with much time left in the day[8], and the preparation does not involve any Melacha normally forbidden to be done on Yom Tov.[9]]

Examples: One must beware not to bring wine on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of Kiddush of the second night.[10] Likewise, one is not to search in a Sefer Torah on the first day of Yom Tov for the reading of the second day, or for Shabbos, even if one performed Eiruv Tavshilin.[11] Likewise, one may not wash dishes on the first day on behalf of the second day [until after Tzeis Hakochavim].[12] [Likewise, one may not make the beds [or tidy the home] on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the next day, unless it is also done for the sake of having a clean home on the first day of Yom Tov.[13] Likewise, one may not set the table or prepare the candles until after Tzeis Hakochavim.]

 

Summary:

It is forbidden to do anything on the 1st day of Yom Tov on behalf of the 2nd day, or on behalf of Shabbos, even if the action does not involve any forbidden Melacha, and even if one performed Eiruv Tavshilin. This applies until after Tzeis Hakochavim of the first day.

 

 

May one remove food from the freezer on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the second night meal?

Some Poskim[14] rule it is permitted to remove foods from the freezer on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the meal of the second night of Yom Tov.[15] Other Poskim[16], however, rule that it is forbidden to remove the food even in such a case.[17] [See footnote for opinion of Admur in this matter.[18] Practically, it is best to avoid removing the food from the freezer until after Tzeis Hakochavim. This especially applies in light of the fact that the food can be defrosted after nightfall on top of a source of heat, and be ready for the night meal. Nonetheless, if these options are not viable and delaying the removal until Tzeis Hakochavim will cause a real delay to the meal, then one may be lenient to remove the foods from the freezer with much time left in the day of Yom Tov, so it does not appear to others that it is being done for the night.[19]]  

 

May one place drinks in the fridge or freezer on the first day of Yom Tov on behalf of the second day?[20]

This follows the same dispute as above. Practically, it is best to avoid doing so unless one plans to taste the cold drinks while it is still the first day of Yom Tov, in which case it is permitted according to all.

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[1] Admur 503:1-3; Michaber 503:1 regarding Melacha; Rama 667:1 regarding Hachana

[2] Admur 503:1-2 regarding Melacha from Yom Tov to weekday or Shabbos, and 503:3 regarding Hachana from Yom Tov Rishon to Yom Tov Sheiyni Shel Galiyos; Michaber ibid regarding Melacha

Is the prohibition Biblical or Rabbinical? All the Melachos of Ochel Nefesh were only permitted to be performed on Yom Tov for the sake of benefiting from it on Yom Tov. It is however forbidden to bake, slaughter, and cook on Yom Tov for the sake of eating it after Yom Tov. One who does so, transgresses a Biblical prohibition and is liable for lashes. [Admur 495:2 “For the sake of eating on Yom Tov”; 503:1-2; 527:8; M”A 518:1 “One who cooks on Yom Tov for the weekday gets lashes”; M”B 527:3; Rambam Yom Tov 1:9; Beitza 17a; Pesachim 46b; See Aruch Hashulchan 527:3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 527:3 for other opinions in this matter] This however only applies if the Melacha was done on Yom Tov near evening in a way that one cannot benefit from it at all on Yom Tov itself [do to there not being enough time to receive the benefit]. If, however, it is possible for one to benefit from the food on Yom Tov itself, then he is exempt from a Biblical transgression even if he does not plan to benefit from it on Yom Tov and intended to do the Melacha for the sake of eating the food the next day. Nevertheless, the Sages prohibited this to be done, and one who does so is liable for Rabbinical lashes. Even if the Melacha is not needed at all for Yom Tov, being that one already ate all his meals in entirety, it is nevertheless only Rabbinically forbidden. [Admur 503:2; M”A 527:1; Razah Pesachim 14b; Ran ibid] The reason it is only Rabbinical, is because if he were to receive guests that did not yet eat that day, then this Melacha would be considered a need for the guests, and would have been permitted to be performed by him. Therefore, this Melacha is called Mileches Ochel Nefesh, and even though he does not have guests, its performance does not contain a Biblical prohibition. [Admur 503:2; M”A 527:1; Tosafus Pesachim ibid]

[3] Admur 503:3; Michaber 503:1; Drashos Maharil Hilchos Rosh Hashanah; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Semak

The reason: Although the two days of Rosh Hashanah is one holiness, and is considered long day, nevertheless, this only applies for purposes of stringency and not to leniency. The reason for this is because as we are expert in the date of the month, and we know that the first day is holy from a Biblical perspective, while the 2nd day is completely mundane according to the Biblical perspective, and it is thus found that one is preparing on Yom Tov for a weekday. [Admur ibid; M”A 503:1; Taz 503:1; Beis Yosef; Levush; Kneses Hagedola 503:1; Drashos Maharil Hilchos Rosh Hashanah; Hagahos Maimanis in name of Semak; Shulchan Gavoa 503:2; Kaf Hachaim 503:10]

[4] Pashut, as Eiruv Tavshilin only permits doing Melacha from Friday to Shabbos. [Admur 527:23]

[5] Admur 503:3; 254:10; 494:14; Rama 667:1; M”A 503:1 based on Michaber 416:2; Hagahos Maimanis; Maharil; M”B 503:1; 667:5

[6] P”M 503 M”Z 1; Kaf Hachaim 503:4

The reason: As we never allow one to initially be lenient by a Safek Derabanon. [P”M ibid]

[7] Chayeh Adam 153:6; M”B 667:5 regarding wine for the 2nd night of Yom Tov; Kaf Hachaim 503:2; Maharshag 1:61; Piskeiy Teshuvos 302:17; 503:1; Nitei Gavriel “Erev Pesach Shechal Beshabbos” in Teshuvah 4

The reason: As in a time of need the Sages did not make their decree. [See Chayeh Adam ibid] This especially applies for the sake of a Mitzvah. [M”B ibid] Alternatively, the entire prohibition of Hachanah is only when  the action is being done to save time, while if it is being done to save an item from a loss, Hachana is permitted. [Maharshag ibid]

Opinion of Admur: There exist many different rulings in Admur regarding if one may prepare for after Shabbos/Yom Tov for the sake of loss prevention. [See Admur 254:10 and M”A 254: 23 that it is forbidden to remove bread from the oven for the next day, and seemingly, this is despite the fact that it will cause a loss to the bread, as explains, and questions the Elya Raba 254:18; In 319:18 regarding saving a food from spoilage Admur only permits preparing to prevent through a gentile. In 321:6 regarding watering vegetables to prevent shriveling, Admur only permits doing so being that it is for the sake of preventing loss and is not noticeable to others that it is for the next day, such as that perhaps he will eat it that day, and he thus does not extend the allowance to soaking three-day meat. However, in 500:20 Admur permits soaking meat of three days in water to prevent its prohibition in cooking being that soaking is less of an effort than washing dishes. This seemingly contradicts the ruling of Admur in 321:6, brought earlier, however, in truth the difference is that in 321:6 it discusses Shabbos when the raw meat cannot be cooked and is hence not edible, while in 500:20 it is discussing Yom Tov, when the meat is edible and hence does not appear to others like a preparation.] The final summary of his opinion seems to be as follows: It is forbidden to prepare for after Shabbos/Yom Tov even in a time of need, to prevent loss to the item, unless the following conditions are met. 1) One does so through a gentile. Or 2) It does not involve much effort [i.e. soaking] and it is not apparent to others that it is being done for after Shabbos/Yom Tov. No mention is made in Admur regarding if a case that involves a Mitzvah should receive greater leniency than above. Now, although in 503:3 Admur prohibits bringing wine on the first day of Yom Tov for Kiddush of the second day, which implies that no extra leniency is given even for the sake of a Mitzvah, nevertheless, perhaps if its both for the sake of a Mitzvah and a time of need or loss prevention, Admur would be more lenient. Vetzaruch Iyun!

[8] See M”B ibid “With much time left in the day as then it is not apparent to others that it is being done for the sake of the next day”; See also Admur 321:7 “being that they are fit today to be eaten by any person and it is thus not at all evident that one is [doing an action that entails] effort on Shabbos for the [need of a] weekday being that he may eat these [vegetables] today.”

[9] As if it involves Melacha, it is forbidden not just due to Hachana or Tircha from one day to the next, but also in its own right, as the Torah only permitted Melacha to be done on Yom Tov for the sake of Yom Tov.

[10] Admur 503:3; M”A 667:3; Chayeh Adam 99:1; 153:6; M”B 667:5; Kaf Hachaim 503:2

[11] Admur 503:3; M”A 667:3; Maharial Hilchos Tefilas Yom Tov

[12] Admur 503:3; Elya Raba 503:1; Drashos Maharil Hilchos Yom Tov p. 180; Minhagei Maharash 394

[13] M”B 667:5; Admur 302:10 regarding Shabbos

[14] Shevet Hakehasi 1:158; Piskeiy Teshuvos 302:17 footnote 146; 503:1; Nitei Gavriel Yom Tov 26:9; and in “Erev Pesach Shechal Beshabbos” in Teshuvah 4 [Based on ruling of Chayeh Adam 153:6; M”B 667:5; Kaf Hachaim 503:2; Maharshag 1:61]

[15] The reason: As in a time of need, for the sake of a Mitzvah, one may prepare on the first day on behalf of the second day if the action does not involve a Melacha [Chayeh Adam 153:6; M”B 667:5-although stipulates to do with much time left in day; Kaf Hachaim 503:2] and this case is considered a time of need and prevention of loss, as if he would have to wait until Tzeis Hakochavim to defrost the food, he would begin the meal very late, and his kids may fall asleep, and Simchas Yom Tov will be nullified. [Nitei Gavriel ibid] Alternatively, the entire prohibition of Hachanah is only when  the action is being done to save time, while if it is being done to save an item from a loss, Hachana is permitted. [Maharshag ibid]

[16] SSH”K 10:10

[17] The reason: As it is forbidden to prepare for the next day of Yom Tov even if it will cause one to need to delay his meal later on.

[18] Opinion of Admur: There exist many different rulings in Admur regarding if one may prepare for after Shabbos/Yom Tov for the sake of loss prevention. [See Admur 254:10 and M”A 254: 23 that it is forbidden to remove bread from the oven for the next day, and seemingly, this is despite the fact that it will cause a loss to the bread, as explains, and questions the Elya Raba 254:18; In 319:18 regarding saving a food from spoilage Admur only permits preparing to prevent through a gentile. In 321:6 regarding watering vegetables to prevent shriveling, Admur only permits doing so being that it is for the sake of preventing loss and is not noticeable to others that it is for the next day, such as that perhaps he will eat it that day, and he thus does not extend the allowance to soaking three-day meat. However, in 500:20 Admur permits soaking meat of three days in water to prevent its prohibition in cooking being that soaking is less of an effort than washing dishes. This seemingly contradicts the ruling of Admur in 321:6, brought earlier, however, in truth the difference is that in 321:6 it discusses Shabbos when the raw meat cannot be cooked and is hence not edible, while in 500:20 it is discussing Yom Tov, when the meat is edible and hence does not appear to others like a preparation.] The final summary of his opinion seems to be as follows: It is forbidden to prepare for after Shabbos/Yom Tov even in a time of need, to prevent loss to the item, unless the following conditions are met. 1) One does so through a gentile. Or 2) It does not involve much effort [i.e. soaking] and it is not apparent to others that it is being done for after Shabbos/Yom Tov. No mention is made in Admur regarding if a case that involves a Mitzvah should receive greater leniency than above. Now, although in 503:3 Admur prohibits bringing wine on the first day of Yom Tov for Kiddush of the second day, which implies that no extra leniency is given even for the sake of a Mitzvah, nevertheless, perhaps if its both for the sake of a Mitzvah and a time of need or loss prevention, Admur would be more lenient. Vetzaruch Iyun! All in all, if we view the concept of delaying the meal for many hours in wait for the food to defrost as equivalent to a loss, then Admur would permit defrosting it on the first day of Yom Tov with much time left in the day on the basis that one is not really doing any action other than removing it from the freezer. It is hence similar to the law regarding three-day meat.

[19] Implication of Admur ibid, as explained in previous footnote! M”B ibid who qualifies his allowance to only if it is done with much time left in the day

[20] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 302 footnote 146 who permits doing so on the same basis as removing from the freezer.

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