RABBI CHAIM HILLEL RASKIN ROV – KFAR CHABAD BEIS
The Torah says that on yom tov one may do melacha relevant for ochel nefesh – food on yom tov. However, one may only cook on yom tov for the sake of yom tov itself.
Cooking food that cannot possibly be eaten on yom tov (i.e. it won’t be ready until yom tov is over) is prohibited min haTorah, and cooking food that one does not intend to eat on yom tov is prohibited midrabanan.
In halacha, the second day of yom tov is considered a doubtful requirement (sfeika d’yoma), and compared to the first day of yom tov, it is not yom tov at all. Cooking on the first day of yom tov for the second day is similar to cooking for a weekday.
Yet, in two situations Chazal permitted adding to a yom tov (even for sake of a weekday):
If adding more food enhances the entire dish. For example, one who wants to eat potatoes may bake it with chicken which he will eat the next day, since the chicken enhances the potatoes he wants to eat now.
If no additional melacha is performed. For example, one may fill up a pot with more than he needs before placing it on the fire. However, while it is on the fire, one may not add to it.
What if one doesn’t need the food on the first day and his intention is for the second day only?
Shulchan Aruch permits cooking the dish and eating just a kazayis (1 oz.) on the first day, provided that: (a) The rest of the dish is for the second day of yom tov, not for a weekday; (b) He doesn’t add to the pot once it’s on the fire (see heter #2 above); (c) It is cooked before the main daytime meal, so that he can potentially eat from it at the meal; (d) Each dish is cooked in one pot only, since if he’s only eating a bite, one pot is enough. 5 However, some poskim prohibit cooking when there isn’t a genuine need, and consider it a prohibited trick (ha’arama).
The Alter Rebbe rules that it is permissible, yet adds that a baal nefesh should not cook for the second day unless he genuinely would like to eat a kazayis amount on the first day.
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