Last Friday I explained that in Shabbat we are forbidden to cook food . However, if the food is already cooked we are allowed to warm that food. There are a few conditions to allow warming food.
1. The source of heat. It cannot be a 'live' fire.You could use an electric heat like a Shabbat plate, activated before Shabbat or on Shabbat by an automatic timer. (See the link for last week's HOTD).
Today I will explain a second element: the type of the food.
Our Rabbis distinguished between solid foods (rice, bread, chicken, etc. ) and liquid foods (water, soup, milk). They explain that since solid foods undergo the process of 'cooking' only one time , once a solid food is cooked, heat will not 'cook' it again, it will only warm it. (en bishul achar bishul beyabesh. Think about a hard-boiled egg...). 'Cooked/boiled' liquids, however, once cold, they will 'boil' once again in contact with heat: every time you reheat water, it boils again.
In principle then, if you have a bowl of rice in your refrigerator, cooked from before Shabbat, you are allowed to warm that rice in a Shabbat Plate, but you cannot take a soup, even though that soup was completely cooked before Shabbat, and place it on a Shabbat Plate, because it will 'boil' again.
Next week B'H I will clarify two points:
1. The status of 'stew', an intermediate category between solid and liquid and
2. What happens when the Shabbat Plate won't reach a temperature that will 'cook'
IN THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT I MUST ASK THE READER TO CONSIDER WHAT HE/SHE READS TODAY EXCLUSIVELY AS EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL, WHICH SHOULD NOT BE APPLIED UNTIL HE/SHE KNOWS ALL RELEVANT DETAILS, WHICH OBVIOUSLY CANNOT BE COVERED IN THESE FEW WORDS.
B'H I WILL EXPLAIN THE OTHER RULES OF 'COOKING VS. WARMING' IN THE COMING FRIDAYS.
Candle Lighting in New York: 5:47.
Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC 130 Steamboat Rd. Great Neck NY 11024