Thursday, January 23, 2014

Covering an urn for Shabbos


May I cover my urn on Shabbos, to keep the water inside warm?

The sages of the Talmud were concerned that one who would try to keep food hot on Shabbos might become disappointed in its heat, and turn up the flame without remembering that it is Shabbos. Therefore, they created two decrees:
  • One may not wrap a vessel containing food or water on Shabbos, if this would preserve or increase the current level of heat;
  • One may not wrap a vessel containing food or water before Shabbos, if this would increase the level of heat.
Therefore, one may not wrap an electric urn in entirety before or on Shabbos; the water's heat increases on Shabbos, via the cumulative effect of the urn and its wrapping. However, one may wrap the urn if he leaves part of the urn exposed to the air, and this includes draping a cover in a way that it will not be flush with the walls of the urn.

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 253:1, 257:8; Chayei Adam 2:2:5; Mishneh Berurah 253:49; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 257:2, 4, 10)

Have a great day,

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