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Preparing Salads on Shabbos

Is it permissible to prepare, on Shabbos, tahini (a thick kind, similar to hummus, i.e. will not spill out when turned upside down)? What about eggplant dip (also thick but looser than the tahini, i.e. will spill out when turned upside down)?


Tehina (Tahini) is made from a paste, to which water and lemon juice etc. are added. At first glance, this does not involve any prohibition of lash (kneading), because the thick paste actually becomes thinner (see Biur Halachah 321:15). However, Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah (8:26) prohibits preparing tehina, because of an interim stage when the mixture becomes harder, which is considered kneading.

Yet, some rule leniently concerning preparing tehina, for a number of reasons:

1. We do not look at the interim stage, but only at the final product, whereby a thick mixture is made thinner.

2. According to some Rishonim (Rashba), the prohibition does not apply right before the meal.

3. According to some authorities, there is no prohibition of kneading after a dough has already been kneaded (Shulchan Aruch 321:15; see Chazon Ish).

Therefore, some permit preparing tehina on Shabbos, if a shinui is made in mixing it (for instance, mixing in criss-cross action rather than bringing the spoon round), and if it is prepared right before the meal.

Although one should prepare the tehina before Shabbos, there is therefore room to rely on the lenient opinion where there is a need.

See also Menuchas Ahava Vol. 2, 9:17.

Regarding eggplant, if it is already a paste before Shabbos, such as where the eggplant was already kneaded with its water, and one wishes to mix in mayonnaise on Shabbos (and make the paste thicker), this is permitted with a shinuy. Rather than mixing normally, one should mix in criss-cross fashion (see 321:15-16).

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