We explained that in Shabbat it is forbidden to cook food, however, if the food is already cooked we are allowed to warm it.
There are a few conditions to allow warming food on Shabbat.
1. The source of heat. 2. The type of food. (see previous HOTD).
Our Rabbis distinguished between solid food (rice, bread, chicken, etc.) and a liquid food (water, soup, milk). While solid foods get cooked only one time, 'cooked' liquids, once cold will 'boil' over and over again.
So, it is permitted to place a solid cooked food from the fridge on the Electric Shabbat Plate (or Plata) but not a liquid food.
There are foods which belong to an intermediate status, like a stew (choresh, choulent, ma'ude) typical for Shabbat. These foods are composed of solids (meat, potatoes, vegetables, etc.) and liquids (soup, sauce, etc.).
For Sephardic Jews, including our community members, if you assess that the majority of that food is solid, then you can reheat it.
When the food or most of it, is liquid, like a soup, then you can place that food on the Plata only if that food is still hot (a liquid is defined as hot if it cannot be drank at once, but sip by sip).
For Ashkenazi Jews, to be considered solid, a food needs to be completely solid.
Ashkenazi Jews, however, are more lenient in the issue of liquids food (Ram'a follows Maimonides) and allow to reheat previously cooked liquids, if they are still warm.
However, if the liquid food is completely cold, it is forbidden.
Candle Lighting in NY: 5:37
Shabbat ends in NY: 6:44
Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC 130 Steamboat Rd. Great Neck NY 11024