Weekly Q&A about Jewish law
Answered by Rabbi Agisthein
Dosh / Threshing - Part 2 We spoke last week about the Melocho of Dosh / Threshing which means that one is prohibited on Shabbos from removing any earth-grown food from its natural shell or stalk. Included in this Prohibition is the act of Mefarek, squeezing fruits for their juice, or any solid to extract a liquid being stored inside it. Since one is viewing the liquid as a separate entity then the solid, extracting it from the solid is synonymous with extracting food from its shell. Biblically this applies only to squeezing grapes for their juice or olives for their oil because oil and wine are universally viewed as their own entity. On a Rabbinic level, any fruit that is commonly squeezed for its juice is included in this prohibition. Common scenarios: Squeezing lemon into a tea would be prohibited Rabbincally because of Mefarek. Simply putting a slice of lemon into a glass of tea and letting the juice seep out on its own (not by pressing against it with a spoon) would be permitted, provided the tea is in a Kli Shlishi. Squeezing a lemon onto a salad or piece of fish, however, is permitted. Since one is ultimately using the juice as a solid (i.e. as part of the salad) and not as a separate entity, squeezing the lemon is viewed as simply removing a piece of it and putting it in the salad, not the removal of one entity from inside the other. One cannot use a wet cloth to clean a surface on Shabbos because they will be squeezing water out of the cloth in the process. Similarly, when wiping up a spill with a dry cloth one is not allowed to squeeze out the water that was absorbed while wiping up the spill, instead, the cloth should be left to dry on its own. The permissibility of using baby wipes on Shabbos is a complex topic, please speak to your LOR for more details. Sponges that are soft and absorbent cannot be used on Shabbos to wash dishes. Scrubbers made from hard plastic bristles or netting that do not retain any water are permitted to be used on Shabbos.
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