Shiur #07: Cooking an Item that Had Been Baked or Roasted

  • Harav Baruch Gigi
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

The Laws of Shabbat
Yeshivat Har Etzion

Shiur #07: Cooking an Item that Had Been Baked or Roasted


By HaRav Baruch Gigi

Translated by David Silverberg



            After having elaborated on the issue of cooking an item that had already been cooked, let us now turn our attention to the question of cooking an item that had been baked or roasted, and, conversely, baking or roasting an item that had been cooked.  The Gemara makes no explicit reference to these cases, nor is it mentioned by most of the Rishonim.  Our discussion will focus on comments made by two Rishonim – the Yerei'im and the Ravya – who dealt with this issue and arrived at opposite conclusions.  In addressing this topic, we will assess the various proofs brought for each side, and then deal with what we feel to be the more fundamental question – the connection between the sugyot cited by these Rishonim and the unique case of bishul achar afiya (cooking an item that had previously been baked) on Shabbat.


Bishul Achar Afiya with Respect to Matza; Bishul Achar Tzeliya with Respect to Korban Pesach


            The Gemara in Masekhet Pesachim (41a) discusses the prohibition against eating the meat of the korban pesach boiled, instead of roasted.  In this context the Gemara cites a Berayta establishing that this prohibition applies even to roasted meat that one then boiled, and boiled meat that one then roasted.  The Gemara then comments on this Berayta:


We can understand that [for meat that] one cooked and then roasted one is liable, because it was cooked; but if he roasted it and then cooked – it is roasted, so why [is one liable]?  Rav Kahana said: Whose view is this?  Rabbi Yossi's, as is stated in a Berayta: One fulfills his obligation [of matza] with a soaked piece, and with a cooked piece that had not dissolved – this is the view of Rabbi Meir.  Rabbi Yossi says: One fulfills his obligation with a soaked piece, but not with a cooked piece, even if it had not dissolved.  Ula said: It can even follow Rabbi Meir's view; this is different, because the verse states, "u-vashel mevushal" – in any event.


            In order to explain the second halakha in the Berayta, that one violates this prohibition by eating meat that was roasted and then cooked, Rav Kahana felt compelled to associate the Berayta with Rabbi Yossi's position, that cooking baked matza is indeed formally considered "cooking" and disqualifies the matza for the mitzva.  Rav Kahana argued that the same principle would apply to korban pesach meat that one roasted and then cooked: Halakha considers the meat mevushal (cooked), and one who partakes of it violates the prohibition against eating boiled korban pesach meat. 


            The Yerei'im understood this to be the sugya's conclusion:


But there is [halakhically defined] bishul after roasting, and there is [halakhically defined] tzeliya [roasting] after cooking, as it says in the Berayta in Pesachim… And when one cooks it after it is baked, it is considered mevushal, for there is [halakhically defined] bishul after baking.  The same applies to roasting and then cooking – there is [halakhically defined] bishul after roasting.  And we say in Eruvin that [when there is a dispute between] Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yossi, Halakha follows Rabbi Yossi… And just as there is bishul after roasting and baking, so is there tzeliya after cooking, for it is the same principle.


            One problem, however, arises from the Gemara's discussion.  Once we ascribe to the Berayta the position of Rabbi Yossi, that cooking a roasted item constitutes bishul, and, according to the Yerei'im, this also means that roasting a cooked item constitutes tzeliya, the Berayta's first clause becomes difficult to understand.  The first clause establishes that one violates the prohibition with cooked meat that one then roasted.  But if roasting after cooking constitutes tzeliya, the meat should be considered roasted, and not cooked.  Why, then, does the Berayta apply to this case the prohibition against eating the korban Pesach meat cooked?  Indeed, were it not for the Yerei'im's comments, we would have deduced from the sugya that cooking after roasting constitutes bishul, and that roasting after cooking does not constitute tzeliya.[1]


            To resolve this difficulty against the Yerei'im's position, we might explain that although roasting a cooked item constitutes tzeliya; The initial cooking is not erased as a result of the roasting, and therefore the prohibition still applies.  This meat is considered both roasted and cooked, and thus one who partakes of it has eaten cooked meat, in violation of the prohibition.  However, this view would concede that cooking after roasting or baking erases the initial roasting or baking, for Rabbi Yossi holds that cooking matza that had been baked erases its status as "bread" – which is defined by baking – and thus disqualifies it for the mitzva of matza.  Necessarily, then, even though roasting or baking a cooked item does not erase the prior cooking, cooking a baked or roasted item indeed erases the initial baking or roasting.[2]


            The Ravya (197) dismisses the Yerei'im position, on the basis of a sugya in Masekhet Berakhot (38b) which discusses Rabbi Yossi's position and comments, as cited by the Ravya, "Rabbi Yossi said this only with regard to matza, because we require the taste of matza in one's mouth, which is absent [in such a case]."


            The Gemara there discusses the issue of which berakha one recites over shelakot – cooked vegetables, whether one recites the standard berakha for the given vegetable, or she-hakol, since its status changes as a result of the cooking process.  We cite here the Gemara's discussion:


Rav Nachman taught in the name of our rabbi – that is, Shemuel: Shelakot – one recites over them the berakha of borei peri ha-adama.  But our colleagues who come from the Land of Israel – that is, Ula – say in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: Shelakot – one recites over them the berakha of she-hakol nihya bi-dvaro.  And I [Rav Nachman] say: This is subject to a debate [among the Tanna'im], as the Berayta states: "One fulfills his obligation [of matza] with a soaked piece, and with a cooked piece that had not dissolved – this is the view of Rabbi Meir.  Rabbi Yossi says: One fulfills his obligation with a soaked piece, but not with a cooked piece, even if it had not dissolved."  But this is incorrect.  All views agree that over shelakot one recites the berakha of borei peri ha-adama, and Rabbi Yossi said this there only because we require the taste of matza, which is missing.  But here – even Rabbi Yossi would agree.


Rav Nachman hinges the question of which berakha one recites over shelakot on the debate between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yossi regarding matza that one cooked after it was baked.  According to Rabbi Meir, the cooking has no effect on the matza's status, and it remains matza.  Therefore, the status of vegetables, too, remains unchanged as a result of the cooking process, and the appropriate berakha is thus borei peri ha-adama.  According to Rabbi Yossi's view, by contrast, that cooking matza changes it status such that it can no longer be considered "bread," which means a baked food item, cooking vegetables likewise changes their status with respect to berakhot, and they now warrant the berakha of she-hakol.  But the Gemara rejects this extension of that debate to the issue of shelakot, claiming that Rabbi Yossi disqualifies cooked matza not because cooking eliminates its status as "bread," but rather because it does not have the flavor of matza required for the fulfillment of the mitzva.


            The Ravya thus argues that in light of this sugya's conclusion, even Rabbi Yossi agrees that cooking after baking does not constitute halakhic bishul.  In the Ravya's view, we must understand the Gemara's discussion in Pesachim in light of Ula's comment cited in that sugya, that roasted meat that was then cooked is forbidden even though the cooking does not constitute a halakhic bishul, because of the Torah's formulation, "u-vashel mevushal," which forbids korban pesach meat cooked in any manner.


            To explain the Yerei'im's view, we might suggest that he afforded primacy to the sugya in Pesachim, due to the principle of sugya bi-mekoma adifa – meaning, when the Gemara addresses a topic in its primary context, its conclusions are more authoritative than those reached as part of a tangential analysis in a different context.  The Gemara in Pesachim addresses the topic of bishul achar tzeliya frontally, whereas in Berakhot it comes upon this issue tangentially, and thus we should perhaps accept the implications of the sugya in Pesachim as more authoritative.[3]


            The Beit Yosef (O.C. 318) records the positions of both the Yerei'im and the Ravya and notes that the challenge raised by the Ravya against the Yerei'm's view is indeed compelling.


            Until now, we have discussed these issues as they pertain to the laws of matza and korban pesach.  Both the Yerei'im and the Ravya – each in his own direction – work on the assumption that we may reach conclusions with regard to the laws of Shabbat on the basis of these halakhot concerning matza and korban pesach.  One might, however, question the validity of this comparison.  If we define the melakha of bishul as preparing a food item for consumption, we should presumably conclude that cooking after baking would not violate the bishul prohibition, since the item was already edible.  By contrast, if we define bishul as the process of transforming and enhancing a food's flavor, then we would, indeed, consider it bishul when one cooks a baked item.  Seemingly, we could reach these conclusions irrespective of the sugyot addressed by the Yerei'im and Ravya, because these conclusions evolve strictly from the principles relevant to hilkhot Shabbat.  The silence of the other Rishonim on this issue may very likely relate to these points that we just raised.


            The Yerei'im and Ravya may have held that even if we define bishul as preparing an item for consumption, it might still forbid cooking a food that had been baked.  If Halakha generally considers cooking a baked item bishul, then the final cooking likely erases the initial baking, effectively negating the initial preparation of the food for consumption.  At this point, then, the item is prepared for consumption through cooking, in violation of bishul.  We might suggest another explanation in light of a concept developed in an earlier shiur, that cooking a food that is edible raw should perhaps be seen as preparing the food for an entirely different type of consumption, and would thus constitute bishul.  Here, too, even though the food has already been made edible through roasting, cooking it prepares it anew for a different type of consumption.


            Conversely, even if we define bishul as transforming taste, we might still apply the broader question of whether cooking after baking constitutes bishul, and claim that the transformation of taste is significant enough to violate bishul only if the food attains a new status as a result of the cooking.


            In summary, one might argue for dissociating the issue of cooking after baking – and the reverse – on Shabbat from the corresponding issue in other areas of Halakha.  According to the Yerei'im and Ravya, however, the status of these cases regarding Shabbat indeed hinges on the corresponding halakhot in other areas.


The Rulings of the Shulchan Arukh and the Rama


            The Shulchan Arukh (O.C. 318:5) writes:


There is a view that if an item had been baked or roasted, if one then cooks it in a liquid, it constitutes bishul, and one may not put bread even in a keli sheni [the utensil into which liquid had been poured from the pot] at the point of yad soledet bo; others permit this. 


The Rama adds, "[others permit this] in a keli sheni; and some are lenient even in a keli rishon.  The practice is to preferably ensure not to place bread even in a keli sheni, so long as it is at the level of yad soledet bo."


            The Shulchan Arukh initially cites the Yerei'im's position, that cooking a baked item indeed constitutes bishul, and adds that bread might be classified as kalei ha-bishul – an easily cooked food – in which case it may not be placed even in a keli sheni at the temperature of yad soledet bo.  He then cites a second position – "others permit this" – without clarifying to which halakha this refers.  It may very well refer to the stringency forbidding placing bread in a keli sheni, in which case the Shulchan Arukh here records the view of the Tur, who argued with the Yerei'im only on this particular issue.  If so, then the Shulchan Arukh does not record the Ravya's position at all; this is how several Acharonim, including the Magen Avraham (318:19), understand the Shulchan Arukh's ruling.


            Others, however, understood that the Shulchan Arukh permitted cooking baked foods altogether, in accordance with the Ravya's position that cooking a baked food does not constitute bishul.  The Be'er Ha-gola and most Sephardic authorities follow this reading.  In general, when the Shulchan Arukh cites two anonymous views the second is considered the more authoritative position.  We should also note that in this instance, he cites the first view in the singular form – "Yeish mi she-omer" – whereas he speaks of the second position in the plural – "ve-yeish matirin," suggesting that he viewed the second view as more mainstream.  Additionally, as mentioned earlier, in the Beit Yosef the Mechaber indicates his preference for the Ravya's position.


            The Rama records all positions and recommends following both stringencies associated with the Yerei'im's view, namely, that cooking a baked item constitutes bishul, and bread should not be placed even in a keli sheni.  Even so, the Mishna Berura (318:46) rules that be-di'avad, if one did place bread in hot liquid, he may eat the bread, even if it were placed in a keli rishon, as in such a case we may rely on the Ravya's position.


            The Mishna Berura (318:47), citing the Peri Megadim, rules that one may place bread in a keli shelishi (the utensil into which the liquid was poured from a keli sheni) even le-khatechila (optimally).  On the basis of this ruling the practice has become to allow putting bread or croutons and the like in one's bowl of soup.  The soup is removed from the pot – the keli rishon – in the ladle – which becomes the keli sheni – and then poured into the bowl, which is thus the keli shelishi.  And although some opinions consider the ladle a keli rishon, with regard to this issue we may factor in as well the position allowing cooking a baked item in a keli rishon, and thus permit adding bread or croutons to one's bowl of soup.


Baking or Roasting a Cooked Item


            As recorded earlier, the Yerei'im maintains that just as cooking a baked item constitutes bishul, so does baking a cooked item violate the prohibition.  The Shulchan Arukh (318:15), however, writes, "An item that was fully cooked and is dry, containing no liquid soup, may be placed near the flame, even in a place at the point of yad soledet bo."  The Bei'ur Halakha asks, "Earlier, in se'if 5, he brings the view of the Re'em [the Yerei'm']… according to whom there is likewise [halakhically defined] roasting after cooking.  How, then, does he plainly allow here [roasting after cooking]?"  Since we deal here with a dry, cooked item which one places near a flame, this is a case of tzeliya, which the Yerei'im forbids despite the item's having been previously cooked.  And the Rama, who earlier requires following the Yerei'im's view, does not dispute the Shulchan Arukh's lenient ruling.


            Due to the Bei'ur Halakha's question, some people refrain from warming cooked meat on Shabbat, and eat only cold meat.  The Acharonim offered several approaches to resolve this difficulty; we briefly cite here three solutions proposed:


  1. The Minchat Kohen (Mishmeret Ha-Shabbat section, 2:4) writes that although cooking after roasting constitutes bishul, roasting after cooking does not.  The Shiltei Ha-giborim (Shabbat 61a in the Rif, #3) writes this, as well, in explaining the Tur's position.  To explain the distinction, we might suggest that cooking occurs through active heating (with water), whereas roasting occurs through neutral heating (without water).  Therefore, cooking after roasting would violate bishul, whereas roasting after cooking would not.  In any event, it would be difficult to ascribe this position to the Shulchan Arukh and Rama, given that the Mechaber makes no mention of such a distinction in the Beit Yosef, and he cites the Yerei'im's view in full, including both components.
  2. The Chazon Ish (Shabbat 37:14) and Arukh Ha-shulchan (318:57) wrote that cooking food in a pot without any liquid might have the status of bishul, rather than tzeliya, and therefore reheating a cooked food in this fashion would be permitted, and would not constitute "roasting after cooking."  We might draw support for this approach from the sugya in Pesachim (41a), which cites the view of Rebbi forbidding korban pesach meat roasted in this fashion (called tzeli keidar), as it is considered mevushal.[4]  And even the majority position, which allows partaking of this meat, does so because the Torah forbade only korban pesach meat prepared with water or other liquids, and therefore even though tzeli keidar formally constitutes bishul, it is not included under the prohibition regarding the korban pesach.
  3. The Chazon Ish further writes that in the case discussed in the Shulchan Arukh, the person reheating the food has no intention to produce the taste of roasted meat, and wants to heat it in its present taste.  Therefore, we do not consider this a case of "roasting after cooking," and it is permissible.


The widespread practice is to be lenient in this regard.  One must ensure, however, not to leave the food on the fire long enough to reach the point where we would consider it "roasted."


Cooking an Item that Had Been Previously Cooked and Then Roasted (Bishul Achar Tzeliya Achar Bishul)


The Peri Megadim (Eishel Avraham, 318:17) permitted cooking or roasting on Shabbat food that had been cooked and then roasted before Shabbat.  He arrives at this ruling from the aforementioned sugya in Pesachim (41a), which indicates that although roasting after cooking constitutes tzeliya, the roasting does not erase the initial cooking.  In our case, then, of a food that had been cooked and then roasted, one may cook it again on Shabbat because ein bishul achar bishul – one may cook previously cooked food – and ein tzeliya achar tzeliya – one may roast previously roasted food.  The Bei'ur Halakha (318 s.v. yeish mi) writes that according to the Peri Megadim, the converse would also be true: food that had been roasted and then cooked before Shabbat may be cooked or placed in an oven without liquid (which is akin to roasting) on Shabbat.  Just as in the Peri Megadim's case the initial cooking remains, and one may therefore cook the food again on Shabbat, so does the initial roasting remain in our case, thus allowing one to roast the food again on Shabbat.  In my opinion, however, as we discussed earlier, it emerges from that sugya that although the initial cooking is not erased through roasting, in the reverse case, cooking does, in fact, erase a previous roasting.  Therefore, the Peri Megadim would not extend his ruling to allow roasting an item that had been previously roasted and then cooked.  In such a case, the initial roasting is erased as a result of the cooking, and therefore we must consider the food cooked, but not roasted.  Any subsequent roasting would thus be forbidden.


The Bei'ur Halakha proceeds to dispute the Peri Megadim's ruling entirely.  According to the Bei'ur Halakha, the last action performed on the food establishes its status, as it infuses the food with its dominant flavor, and therefore only that final action – cooking or roasting – may be repeated on Shabbat.


            In light of this discussion, we might arrive at yet another method of allowing reheating food in a pot without liquid on Shabbat, without resorting to the three approaches mentioned in the previous section.  If one takes a food that had been cooked in water and places it for several minutes before Shabbat in a pot without any liquid (which, according to the stringent position, constitutes tzeliya), he will then be allowed to repeat this action on Shabbat to warm up the food.


Frying After Cooking or Roasting


            The question arises as to whether we should classify frying as a separate category of food preparation, or assign it the same status as cooking or roasting.  Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata hinges this question on a halakha mentioned by the Mishna Berura (451:63-65) regarding the kashering of utensils.  The Mishna Berura writes that a utensil used for frying with just a small amount of oil is considered to have been used for roasting, and thus requires libun (direct exposure to fire), whereas if the pan is used with large quantities of oil, we consider it a cooking utensil, for which hag'ala (immersion in hot water) suffices.  On this basis, Shemirat Shabbat Ke-hilkhata hinges the status of frying with respect to bishul on the amount of oil used.  But this approach is difficult to accept.  How can one bring proof from the laws of kashering to the laws of bishul?  In the context of kashering, we deal with the question of whether the utensil absorbs taste directly, without any liquid medium, or through the medium of a liquid; this very point underlies the distinction between libun and hag'ala.[5]  Regarding bishul on Shabbat, however, the fundamental issue is the food's taste, and since fried food certainly tastes differently than cooked and roasted food, we should seemingly assign frying a separate category.  In terms of the essential definition of the action, too, frying differs from cooking, as Rashi explicitly states in Sanhedrin (4b) with regard to the prohibition of cooking meat with milk – the Torah forbade only cooking, and not frying[6].  And the same can be said of roasting, as well.


            It would seem, therefore, that those who follow the Yerei'im's position, that one violates bishul by cooking a baked item or baking a cooked item, should likewise refrain from cooking or roasting a fried food and from frying a cooked or roasted food.




[1] Later we will be"H discuss the reason for distinguishing between cooking a roasted item and roasting a cooked item.


[2] We can prove this analysis from the proof brought by the Yerei'im towards the end of this passage, from the sugya in Yevamot 40a: "Even though he cooked it, since he then baked it in an oven, it is considered 'bread'."  We have already shown that baking does not erase the prior cooking, and bread that was cooked and then baked is nevertheless deemed "bread."  Necessarily, then, when Rabbi Yossi disqualifies matza that one baked and then cooked, he does so because the cooking erases the previous baking.  It thus emerges that he distinguishes between cooking, which erases prior roasting, and roasting, which does not erase prior cooking.  As noted in the previous note, later we will explain the rational basis for such a distinction.

[3] We might point to yet another reason why the Yerei'im preferred the conclusions in Pesachim over the sugya in Berakhot.  The Gemara in Berakhot records two parallel discussions concerning the issue of the berakha recited over shelakot, and in the first discussion it draws no connection at all between this question and the status of cooking after baking with regard to matza.  The Yerei'im perhaps felt that this first discussion is more straightforward and intuitive; this suggestion, however, is speculative.  We might also suggest that the Yerei'im did not intend to dismiss the sugya in Berakhot at all, but rather held that given the severity of the Shabbat prohibitions, we should perhaps follow the stringent conclusions of the other sugyot with regard to the laws of Shabbat.


[4] One might refute this proof by arguing that Rebbi considers this meat mevushal only because of the Torah's expression, "u-vashel mevushal," as discussed earlier, and in essence this kind of cooking constitutes tzeliya and not bishul.


[5] With respect to hag'ala, too, some authorities argue with the Mishna Berura and maintain that oil differs from water, and a frying pan thus requires libun.


[6] We should emphasize that Chazal forbade cooking meat and milk together in any form, including frying.