Hilchot Eruv Tavshilin

September 24, 2014

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Eruv Tavshilin. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Rama, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebeim. As individual circumstances are often important in determining the psak in specific cases, and as there may be different approaches to some of the issues, one should always check with one’s Rov first.

On Yom Tov one is only permitted to cook for that day of Yom-Tov alone. When Yom-Tov is on Erev Shabbos this presents an issue as it becomes difficult to properly prepare for Shabbos. In order to allow us to prepare (cook, light fires etc.) for Shabbos Chazal created an “Eruv”. This Eruv is referred to as “Eruv Tavshilin”. The following sheet will discuss the Halachos of who makes an Eruv Tavshilin, how it’s made, when it’s made, and what to do if it isn’t made.

  1. An Eruv Tavshilin must be made by every household in order to prepare for Shabbos when an Erev Shabbos is Yom-Tov.
    1. Even if one doesn’t intend to prepare food for Shabbos or even to light candles for Shabbos, an Eruv Tavshilin should still be made.
    2. Someone who is a guest in someone else’s house for the entire Yom-Tov does not need to make his own Eruv Tavshilin.
    3. Bachurim living in Diros in Israel, and likewise single girls living alone, are obligated to make an Eruv Tavshilin.

i.      Basically anyone who is obligated to light their own Shabbos candles must make their own Eruv Tavshilin (one can only light one candle if one didn’t make an Eruv Tavshilin).

    1. The Gadol Ha’ir (nowadays typically community Rabbonim) is Zoche for anyone who didn’t make their own Eruv Tavshilin.

i.      It seems that the Poskim were in favor of people making such an Eruv Tavshilin.

ii.      The Halachos of how to make such an Eruv Tavshilin are similar to those of Eruv Chatzeros and should only be done by someone who knows how to do so. If one feels he should be making such an Eruv but is unfamiliar with the Halachos that person should consult a competent Halachic authority.

iii.      One shouldn’t Lechatchila rely on the “Gadol Ha’ir’s” Eruv; before relying on it one should consult the Gadol Ha’ir.

  1. An Eruv Tavshilin is accomplished by taking 2 already prepared food items. One of these items should be a cooked food (traditionally boiled eggs, but it could be any other type of cooked food that would normally be consumed together with bread – fish meat beans etc.), and the other item should be a baked item (traditionally a roll or Matza, but it could consist of cake as well).
    1. There is a hidur to use complete items such as a whole Matza and a whole egg.

i.      Bedi-eved any cooked food could be used even if it was already somewhat disregarded (i.e. left overs stuck to the sides of the pot…) as long as there is a Kezayis/Kebeitza.

ii.      There is a minhag and inyan to use these items for Shalosh Seudas.

    1. Each item should be a Kebeitza (a halachic egg size measurement); bedi-eved if it is a Kezayis (halachic olive size measurement) it is still ok.
    2. If the cooked item of the Eruv was consumed before one started to prepare foods for Shabbos, one cannot then even start to prepare these foods. If it disappeared after one started to prepare, then whatever one started to prepare is permissible but whatever one didn’t yet prepare one cannot prepare.

i.      If one cooked item disappeared before Shabbos then one can only light one Shabbos candle, or alternatively share in someone else’s Shabbos candles.

ii.      If someone made an Eruv Tavshilin and it inadvertently disappeared before Shabbos then even if that person ends up using the “Gadol Ha’ir’s” Eruv Tavshilin, that person still can use his Eruv Tavshilin another time bedi-eved.

iii.      Lechatchila one also cannot consume the baked item before Shabbos.

    1. If one only used a tavshil (cooked food), the Eruv still works both for cooking and for baking.
    2. If one only used a baked item the Eruv doesn’t work even for baking alone.

i.      If one, however, did make such an Eruv and the Gadol Ha’ir let that person use his Eruv, the next time that person again forgets to make an appropriate Eruv he can still use the Gadol Ha’ir’s Eruv Bedi-eved.

  1. The Eruv Tavshilin should be made before candle lighting.
    1. Bedi-eved (and when there isn’t any other option) if it was not made one can still make it as long as it is before complete nightfall.

i.      In Israel one should not make an Eruv Tavshilin more than twelve minutes after sunset without asking a Rov. In America one should not make an Eruv Tavshilin more than 20 minutes after Shkia without asking a Rov first.

    1. If one didn’t light candles (as one can light candles on Yom-Tov anyway) and it is after Shkia, one can and should still bedi-eved make an Eruv Tavshilin.
    2. If someone’s wife lit candles but the husband didn’t yet accept Yom-Tov, then he can still make an Eruv Tavshilin. It is, however, better that his wife doesn’t do the preparations for Yom-Tov, but rather he or some other male members of the household should. This includes lighting Shabbos candles as well.

i.      If this is particularly difficult, bedi-eved the wife may do the cooking and light Shabbos candles. In such a case it may be wise to discuss with a Rov if the wife can or can’t prepare for Shabbos.

    1. If there isn’t any way for one to both daven Mincha and make an Eruv Tavshilin, one should then rather daven Mincha and not make the Eruv Tavshilin.

i.      If one can one should ask someone to make an Eruv Tavshilin for him.

  1. In order to do so, the one making the Eruv for another should do it with the intent that it be for the one(s) needing the food preparation. This can be accomplished by the person making the Eruv giving the other person the food he is using for an Eruv as a present.
  1. One may not cook on the first day of Yom-Tov (on a 2 day Chutz-LaAretz Yom-Tov) for Shabbos which comes out on the day after the first day of Yom-Tov
  2. When there is a two day Yom-Tov followed by Shabbos the Eruv Tavshilin should be made on before candle lighting of the first day.
    1. On all other Yomim Tovim other than Rosh Hashanah (i.e. all two day Chutz LaAretz Yomim-Tovim that are followed by Shabbos) Bedi-eved if one didn’t make an Eruv Tavshilin before the first day, one can do so before the second day in the following conditional manner: “If today (the first day) was Yom Tov than I can cook tomorrow for Shabbos anyway, but if tomorrow is Yom-Tov then I am making now my Eruv Tavshilin for Shabbos”.

If one did not make an Eruv Tavshilin and didn’t have the Gadol Ha’ir’s Eruv to use:

  • Someone else (who did make an Eruv) can still cook for him
  • This individual who did not make an Eruv cannot cook for anyone else for Shabbos even if the other person made an Eruv.
  • This individual can cook extra on Yom-Tov while he is cooking for Yom-Tov if it can theoretically be eaten on Yom-Tov.

One can only rely on the Gadol Ha’ir’s Eruv one time. The Gadol Hair’s Eruv cannot be relied upon regularly or even more than once unless otherwise stated or otherwise advised by a competent Halachic authority.