Sunday, 9 August 2015

Watermelon on Shabbos

Question: How should one remove the seeds from a watermelon on Shabbos?
Answer: The forbidden melacha of borer is sorting food and non-food. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 319:4) writes that even if it a lot of bother to remove the ochel, the food that one wants, from the pesoles, the waste, one cannot remove the pesoles on Shabbos.
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 319:16) is clear that the prohibition only applies to preparation of food. Eating itself, however, cannot ever be considered as a melacha.
If possible one should spit the seeds out of their mouth. If one would normally eat one’s watermelon this way during the week, one should certainly do so on Shabbos (See Az Nidberu 1:26).
If possible one should spit the seeds out of their mouth. If one would normally eat one’s watermelon this way during the week, one should certainly do so on Shabbos (See Az Nidberu 1:26).
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 4:74 Borer 7) writes that where that isn’t possible, such as when feeding one’s children, one should shake the melon before picking any remaining seeds out. One must do so by hand and only right before they eat it (See Chazon Ish OC – Moadim 54:4).
R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 3:16; n32) writes that while it is ideal to expel the seeds out from one’s mouth or at least shake them off, this isn’t always feasible. As there are poskim who justify the practice of those who remove fish bones there is justification for removing the seeds by hand when necessary (See Kaf Hachaim OC 319:47).

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