Difference between revisions of "Tochen"

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==Related Pages==
==Related Pages==
# [[Medicine on Shabbat|Taking Medicine on Shabbat]] (which is a rabbinic decree because of grinding)
# [[Medicine on Shabbat|Taking Medicine on Shabbat]] (which is a rabbinic decree because of grinding)

Revision as of 01:54, 17 March 2013


  1. There is a biblical violation of grinding when grinding wheat, barley, spices, spices, and the like. Similarly, it’s biblically forbidden to saw wood for the sawdust. [1]
  2. The prohibition of Tochen (grinding) includes chopping, grating, crushing, mashing, shredding, or breaking something into small pieces. [2]
  3. Tochen also applies to non-foods for example it's forbidden to crush a clod of dirt, shave splinters off a piece of wood, sawing wood with intent for the dust. [3]

Utensils designed for grinding

  1. Any tool which is designated for crushing or the like such as a mortar or a knife used only for dicing may not be used in any manner even if it doesn't involve any prohibition of Tochen. [4]
  2. One should not use an onion slicer (a machine which is made of a set of knifes that surrounds the onion and dices it). [5]
  3. A vegetable chopper (with blades fitted with springs on an axis) is forbidden since it chops vegetables thinly. [6]
  4. An egg slicer (with equally spaced wires that slice the egg when pressed) is permitted. [7]
  5. A special cheese knife isn’t a utensil designated to be used for chopping finely. [8]
  6. One may cut bread in a machine (manual, non-electric) which cuts slices of bread. [9]
  7. It’s forbidden to grind coffee beans it a grinder meant for it. [10]
  8. It’s permissible to cut vegetables on a cutting board even if it makes line in the board. [11]
  9. It’s permissible to use a peeler to peel vegetables on Shabbat. [12]

For immediate consumption

  1. Since there are some who hold that it is permitted to cut up raw vegetables or fruit for "immediate" consumption, and there are others who forbid, many poskim write that one should only cut up the vegetables or fruit with a knife into somewhat large pieces for "immediate" consumption. [13]Sephardim hold that for immediate consumption it is permitted to cut up a vegetable even into small pieces. However, it is praiseworthy to be strict to only cut it into big pieces. [14]
  2. It is also considered "immediate" if one makes the salad right before beginning the meal in which it will be eaten. [15]
  3. The above leniency applies whether one is preparing for one's own immediate consumption or another person's immediate consumption.[16]
  4. If one made a salad for one meal and there was left over one is allowed to eat it in another meal. [17]
  5. For a child or someone who can't eat large pieces there is what to rely on to cut it up into small pieces as long as one does so right before the meal. [18]
  6. It's forbidden to crush a banana or avocado unless it's already so soft that when one pulls a part of the fruit, that part separates from the rest of the fruit. [19]
  7. One may not crush a banana or tomato even if afterwards it while remain a cohesive mush. For someone whom it is hard to eat such food it is permissible as one does a Shinui (change) by using a spoon or the back of the fork and not the prongs of the fork which are usually used during the week. [20]

Cooked fruit or vegetables

  1. Fruits or vegetables which were cooked to the point that it's easy to crush may be crushed on Shabbat. [21]
  2. Potatoes or vegetables which were cooked may not be put through a strainer in order to puree it (as the strainer is designated for that purpose) but one is permitted to crush it with a fork (even the prongs) as long as it was cooked to the point that it's easy to crush. [22]

Pre-crushed food

  1. Food which was made from crushed particles may be crushed on Shabbat (not using a utensil designated for crushed but rather a regular knife) if one is going to eat it on Shabbat. For example, one may crush matza, bread, crackers, chocolate, and sugar. [23]
  2. Salt granules which solidified because of a moisture may be crushed on Shabbat, however, one may not crush salt crystals (looking like blocks) or any other spice which has never yet been crushed unless one does two Shinui's (changes) by using the handle of the knife or fork on a plate or the table. [24]
  3. Food which was crushed very well before Shabbat or on Shabbat in a permissible may may be further cut on Shabbat even in the normal fashion. [25]
  4. One may pour hot water (even from a Kli Rishon) onto farina, rice porridge, or corn flour and mix it around even crushing the clump with a spoon. [26]

Cooked fruits and vegetables

  1. There’s no prohibition of grinding concerning fruit or vegetables cooked to the extent that it’s soft and easy to mash such as jam. [27]
  2. One shouldn’t use a fork to mash a cooked fruit or vegetable unless it was partly crushed out of shape before or during the cooking and is easily mashed. [28]
  3. One shouldn’t use a strainer to puree or cream a cooked fruit or vegetable since the strainer has a designated purpose of being used to mash. [29]

Foods which don't grow from the ground

  1. Foods which don't grow from the ground such as cooked eggs, meat, or fish may be crushed on Shabbat (not using a utensil designated for crushing) if one plans on eating it that Shabbat. [30]

Grinding for a small child

  1. One can be lenient to cut a food very small for a small child to eat so long as it’s immediately prior to the meal. [31]
  2. It’s forbidden to mash or squash a fruit or vegetable such as a banana or tomato. If one has to mash a banana for a small child one should do it with a variation such as using the handle of a fork or a spoon. [32]

Related Pages

  1. Taking Medicine on Shabbat (which is a rabbinic decree because of grinding)


  1. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 377)
  2. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:1
  3. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:1 in the note, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 377)
  4. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:2
  5. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:3 [I'm not entirely clear about what an onion slicer is.]
  6. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:3
  7. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:3
  8. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:11
  9. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:11 (note)
  10. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 377)
  11. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 389)
  12. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 391)
    • The Rashba (responsa 4:75) writes that it is permitted to do Tochen immediately before consumption just like it is permitted to do Borer immediately before consumption. The opinion of the Rashba is codified as halacha in the Rama 321:12. The Magen Avraham 321:15, however, quotes the Shiltei Giborim who questions this leniency. Similarly, the Chazon Ish OC 57 seems to prohibit chopping into small pieces even for immediate use in opposition to the Rashba.
    • In discussing the Rashba, the Beit Yosef 321 writes that in order to satisfy all opinions one should cut the item into somewhat big pieces and then eat it immediately. The Chaye Adam (Klal 17:2) rules that for immediate consumption one may cut vegetables into somewhat large pieces in accordance with the Beit Yosef. The Mishna Berura 321:45 first writes that since some Rishonim disagree with the Rashba one should follow the compromise of the Beit Yosef to cut it up into somewhat large pieces. Nonetheless, he concludes, that one who cuts it up into very small pieces for immediate consumption has what to rely on. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:6 agrees.
    • It is noteworthy that the Mishna Brurah 321:44 and Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:6 clarify that this is a case where is using a regular knife (and not a dicing utensil).
  13. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 382)
  14. Mishna Brurah 321:45, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:6, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 382)
  15. Bet Yosef 321 based on the Tosfot (Shabbat 74a s.v. Borer UMayni'ach) writes that it is permitted to do Tochen for another person's immediate consumption just like it is permitted to do Tochen for one's own immediate consumption. Mishna Brurah 321:43 agrees.
  16. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 389)
  17. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:6
  18. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:7
  19. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:8
  20. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:9
  21. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:10
  22. The Rama 321:12 rules that it is permitted to crush up bread because the flour was already ground up when it was made. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:11 extends this to breaking up matza, crackers, chocolate, and sugar.
  23. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:11
  24. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:12
  25. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:13
  26. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:9
  27. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:10. Orchot Shabbat 1:5:9
  28. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:10
  29. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:14, Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 3, pg 391)
  30. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:6, Iggeros Moshe OC 4:74, Tochen 2.
  31. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 6:8