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Oct. 22, 2014 - 28 Tishri 5775
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5394/1633  Rav Efraim Zalman Baal Tvuos Shor HaRishon

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Section: Shabbos   Category: Likras Shabbos
Chulent - Are You a True Jew?
The Baal HaMaor in Masectos Shabbos (Perek Kira) writes that if someone does not eat Chulent on Shabbos, you must investigate if he is an apikores. If he dies, he should be buried by goyim. Whoever makes chulent and eats it, he is a believer and will be zoche to the geula.

The minhag to eat hot food goes back to the days of the Mishna when the Tzedukim came into being.  While they were essentially heretics who denied Torah SheBa'al peh for the sake of destroying Yiddishkeit, they took on a few "Chumros" to show that they were idealistic and believable.  One of them was to take the pasuk of not having fire in your house at face value.  No fire for light, warmth, or cooking, was their strict rule. 

In order to flush out the Tzedukim, Chazal at the time were Misaken that each person should make hot food before Shabbos and keep it warm on the fire throughout the night until the daytime meal.  Anyone who did not was suspected to be a Tzeduki.  Chulent became one of the markers in the sand as the battle lines were drawn.  It became a symbol of true Torah judaism and Hashem's desire for his children to truly enjoy Shabbos.

The Rebbe of Muncacs said that chulent is a great segula to instill emuna into our hearts.  Since the the lack of chulent shows a lack of true faith, therefore the chulent must have the opposite effect, and in even greater measure.  The Satmar Rebbe Rav Yoel said that chulent is a valuable tool for instilling Emunas Chachomim in our children.  He was Makpid that everyone at least taste the chulent.  Even in frail health, he would instruct people to eat chulent, as he himself did.

The Sefer Matamin brings another reason for Chulent.  He says that just like the Mun that was left over from Friday was fresh and tasty even on Shabbos day, so too we leave chulent cooking over night and enjoy its tasty flavor on Shabbos.

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Visitor Comments: 4

ds, 2008-10-29 09:34:32
Does anyone know where is that baal hamaor exactly?
RE, 2008-10-29 12:21:32
16b (Dapei HaRif) last 2 lines on the bottom of the page in the Ba'al haMaor.

Revach Editor
JW, New York, 2008-10-29 13:44:41
Actually, that Baal HaMaor does not say chulent, but rather chamin, "hot food," which is in accordance with what you write in the next paragraphs. While chamin in Modern Hebrew has come to mean chulent, it is not *at all* evident that the Baal HaMaor meant a dish with potatoes beans, and meat.

This is important because of mistakes such as found if you search for
chamin hebrew chulent
in google and follow the first link, to wolfishmusings. (I would post a link but it does not let me.)

Kol Tuv,
RE, 2008-10-29 14:11:24
Yes we agree. We use the word chulent in its generic sense to mean what the Ba'al Hamaor calls Chamin. Chamin is actually the term used in Eretz Yisroel for Chulent. The ingredient list is not relevant, only the fact that it is a hot dish.

Revach Editor

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