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Borer during a meal


Hi. We have a very specific, subtle question about borer during the meal (not about preparing for the meal). If one is already eating at the Shabbos table, and one decides to do an act of separating on his plate (derech achila)- for instance, he has a mixture of cholent on his plate and he wants to separate out the meat from the mixture so he can eat it first, but then he plans to do something unrelated to the meal such as play with his children and only then sit back down to actually eat the meat, does this constitute immediate use or not and therefore is this forbidden borer? Please could you include in your answer clarification of whether this halachic treatment of this act is different from the permitted preparation time before and during a meal? Thank you very much.




Your question is based on what the poskim say regarding selecting good from bad on Shabbos, that it is permitted when it is for now. The poskim say that for now includes not only the actual meal, but even the preparation time before the meal. The reason being is that it is considered one block of time, with one process, preparing the meal and then eating it. The poskim however say, that we can consider the preparation time to be part of the time of the meal, only when the person is preparing the meal and then eating right away, but not if the person will involve himself with other things in between. For example, a woman preparing the Shabbos day meal, and peeling vegetables and eggs, then going to shul, and then eating the meal.

This applies in regard to considering the preparation of the meal to be part of the meal, however during the meal itself, even if meal takes a long time, it is all considered part of one activity. Therefore, even if you are playing a game with your kids in middle of the meal, since it is still one meal, it is still considered one block of time.

Best wishes


משנת יוסף ח”ט סי’ ק”ז “אם הסעודות שחילק נחשבות לאחת. מצד הסברא י”ל דאה”נ שנחשבות לאחת, ואין ברהמ”ז שבאמצע מחלקן לענין ברירה. שהרי הטעם שלפני הסעודה מותר לברור, אפילו אוכלו אחר כמה שעות, מפני שזו דרך אכילה ולא דרך ברירה, כשמכין לעצמו מה שרוצה לאכול בסעודה זו )עי’ במשנ”ב בהקדמתו לסי’ שיט, בסופה(, והיינו מה שרוצה לאכול “באכילה זו”, ואם חילק האכילה הזו לשתים מטעמי הלכה שרוצה לקיים ג’ סעודות, אין זה מבטלו מלהיות ‘אכילה’ אחת, הגם שע”י ברהמ”ז נחשב לו כשתי ‘סעודות’, דבבורר העיקר הוא שיהא דרך אוכל וזה ישנו גם אם מחלקו לשנים ע”י ברהמ”ז והפסק, כיון שהמאכלים הם כסדר אכילה אחת, דו”ק והבן”.


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