Erub Tabshilin is a procedure which enables us to cook and prepare food from Yom Tob to Shabbat.
We do Erub Tabshilin every time Yom Tob is followed by Shabbat. This year, Sukkot falls on Thursday (Wednesday night) and Friday. If you want to cook on Friday for Shabbat, you need to prepare the Erub.
What is the Erub?
Erub (or Eiruv, in Ashkenazi pronunciation) basically means an "extension." There are many types of Erubim. One example: There is an Erub all around Great Neck that 'extends' all our properties, transforming Great Neck into one big property or 'community' where we are allowed to carry on Shabbat as we carry in our own homes.
The Erub we are referring to here is known as Erub Tabshilin, whereby by preparing a meal prior to the Holiday we are allowed to cook for Shabbat. Why? Because on Yom Tob, the food we cook will be an extension/addition of the food we already prepared for Shabbat.
Cooking is allowed on Jewish holidays (Yom Tob), but we can only cook what we will use and eat during that same day, not for the next day. We are not allowed to leave all the cooking for Shabbat to be done on Yom Tob! However, when a holiday occurs on Friday, it is allowed to cook on Yom Tob for Shabbat, provided we have prepared some part of the food for Shabbat prior to that Holiday.
So we prepare and put aside an egg (or something cooked) and a small loaf of bread (or something baked) and today, Wednesday , before the Holiday begins we recite the following berakha while holding the plate (Erub) in our hands:
"Baruch Ata A-donay E-lohenu Melech ha'Olam Asher Kiddeshanu beMitzvotav
veTsivanu al Mitzvat Erub".
Then, we keep the plate in the refrigerator to be eaten at some point during Shabbat.
For the purpose of the Erub, we are considered all as one extended family/community, so if someone forgets to prepare his or her own Erub, they can still cook from Yom Tob to Shabbat relying on the Erub that the rabbi of the community prepares for all community members.
NOTE: Please remember that cooking on Yom Tob is permitted but we have to have a previously lit flame, or an oven that is already turned on or activated by a timer, etc.
Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024