Sunday, June 24, 2012

Smoothing food on Shabbat


May I smoothen the surface of a serving of food, i.e. chopped liver or tuna, on Shabbat?

One possible concern is the prohibited act of smoothing, but this only applies to food which is normally smoothed in order to beautify it. Another possible concern is construction, but that is relevant only when creating a particular structure or shape. A third concern is the prohibition against creating a pile of smaller items, but that is relevant only when causing the particles to adhere, and even less of a concern regarding entities which don't grow from the ground.

Therefore, it appears that one may smoothen the surface, so long as he does not aim to create a particular shape or primarily for the sake of beautification. A prohibited example would be a case of spreading icing.

(Rama Orach Chaim 321:19; Shulchan Aruch haRav 340:15; Biur Halachah 321 b'maachal; Mishneh Berurah 321:81-82; Minchat Shabbat 80:99; Badei haShulchan 146:12; Shemirat Shabbat k'Hilchatah 11:1, 11:11, 11:14; Mishneh Halachot 11:285)

Have a great day,

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