| Halachah |

Yom Tov Seudah Prep

Chop, cook, wash, mix. Prepping for your Yom Tov seudah


Prepared for print by Faigy Peritzman

I’m always eager to get ready for the second night seudah before my husband comes home from Maariv. Is there anything I need to say to separate the two days before I start my preparations?

No. Hamavdil bein kodesh l’kodesh is only recited between a Shabbos and a Yom Tov, not between the two days of Yom Tov.

I generally cook the same menu for both days of Rosh Hashanah. If I’m cooking something on the first day, may I make double for the second day as well?

Many foods, such as fish, chicken and meat, taste better when cooked in a larger amount, as the fat and flavor of the pieces integrate with each other and provide more taste. Therefore, it’s permitted to cook more than you need for the first day, even if your intention is to make enough food for the second day, since the fuller the pot, the better the food tastes. While this is permitted, it’s advisable to do so without verbalizing your true intention.

When cooking on Yom Tov, may I lower the fire if my food is beginning to get scorched?

If it’s an electric stove, then lowering it is forbidden, even if it’s a model that has a Shabbos mode. If it’s a gas stove, it’s permissible to lower the fire if you’re doing so to protect your food, but not if you are doing so for other reasons.

We recently moved to a new city that does not have an eiruv, and our new succah will be in our backyard. What do we do about carrying things to the succah on Shabbos? 

Make a temporary eiruv around your backyard, which is a relatively simple thing to do since many backyards are already fenced in and can be made kosher with minor adjustments. Still an experienced eiruv professional should check it, since it’s easy to make mistakes when constructing an eiruv.

My friend told me she makes everything fresh on Yom Tov, including challah. I don’t know why, but this felt funny to me. Is this permitted?

As long as you are not using your electric bread mixer, but doing everything by hand, there’s no reason why this may not be done. While it’s forbidden to do hafrashas challah on Shabbos and Yom Tov, it is permissible to do so if the dough was freshly kneaded on Yom Tov.

After the day meal on the first day of Yom Tov, I always want to wash the dishes piled up in the sink, even though I clearly won’t need them until that night, the second night of Yom Tov. Is this permitted?

Preparing from one day Yom Tov to the next is forbidden mi’d’Rabbanan, so in most cases, it’s forbidden to wash dishes that won’t be needed on the same day. Sometimes, however, the dirty dishes can pile up to such a degree that the kitchen becomes a mess and it becomes a disturbance of Simchas Yom Tov. And under certain circumstances, leaving dirty dishes unwashed will result in bugs or other infestation. In those cases, it’s permissible to wash or rinse the dishes, but only the minimum that is required to alleviate those situations.

If I leave my slow cooker plugged in, may I put something in it on the first day of Yom Tov so it will be ready for that night?

As mentioned before, it is forbidden to cook on the first day specifically for the second day. Since the food that you’re throwing into the slow cooker will not be ready until the night, that’s considered as if you are cooking specifically for the second day.

Is it permissible to mix salads with mayonnaise on Yom Tov, like potato salad, if the food becomes solidified when mixing? 

Mixing mayonnaise with chopped up (diced) pieces of potatoes to make potato salad on Shabbos may possibly be a violation of lash (kneading), and should be avoided. On Yom Tov, however, kneading foods is permitted.

After cooking for an entire morning, I’m usually hot and uncomfortable. I know that taking a normal shower on Yom Tov is forbidden, but is there any way I can freshen up?

If you’re sweaty or dirty, it is permissible to take a full body cold shower, and, if necessary, it is permitted to use liquid soap as well. It is also permitted to use hot or lukewarm water to wash your face, hands, and feet, and any other specific limited area that became sweaty or dirty.


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 811)

Oops! We could not locate your form.