Is there any way one can read read a menu or list that helps organize yom tov meals on yom tov?
There are two potential reasons why a person should not read from a list of guest or menu on shabbos. The first reason is because he might see that he doesn’t have enough food and erase some of the guest, and the second reason is because it is similar to shtarei hedyotos- business documents, which may not be read on shabbos. There are however instances that it would be permitted to read from the list, such as if the person reading the list isn’t the host, and wouldn’t have permission to erase things from the list, (Magen Avrohom 306-16 bringing the Bach). This would include the hostess’s children or even her husband, since he isn’t actively involved in the preparation of the meal. Another option would be ifthe hostess will read the list together with someone else, (Rashba Shabbos 149a, Pri Megadim M”Z 306-10). The reason for this is that there is no fear that two people reading something together that one might erase something, because the second person will remind him. (As a side point, there are poskim that say that it is permitted for a woman to read from a menu list even without the conditions stated above if it needed for the shabbos or yom tov meal. The rationale is that nowadays the first reason that he might erase things from the list may not apply, because when we prepare food there usually is more than enough and there isn’t a fear that he will erase guest etc.)
Regarding the second reason, of shtarei hedyotos, since the shabbos meal is a seudas mitzvah, it isn’t considered shtarei hedyotos. This would surely apply if someone has guest that need a place to eat, or if the meal is a sheva brachos meal, then it surely would be considered a seudas mitzvah.
O:CH 306-12, M:B- 47, The Shabbos Home pg. 55, the Laws of Yom Tov pg. 163, Mikra Kodesh in the name of R’ Eliyashev zt”l, brought in Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso chap. 29 ftnt 133. Even though the halacha seems to have been said for a regular shabbos seuda, see Chidushe Basra on M:B 306-47, that we have to say that this halacha only applies to an instance that they already ate and the meal is for different reasons. Also see Tosefos Shabbos 307-34, Kaf Hachaim 306-89, Machtzis Hashekel 306-16, Livushi Serad on Magen Avrohom 306 -16. (Also see Mikrah Kodesh chap.5-2 biurim 2, that perhaps we can only consider the shabbos meal a seudas mitzvah for the foods that are necessary for the meal, but not for side items that are not needed for the meal and are merely extras.) Also see Shulchan Shlomo 306 ftnt 6.
What about a plain menu (that doesn’t list guests)?
I was referring to a plain menu of food that doesn’t have any guest.
Thank you for this post. I recently learnt siman 307 and was wondering about menus too.
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