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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Cooking on Yom Tov
Submitted by Ronald  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Our family faces a problem in celebrating the Yamim Tovim ion relation to cooking. Since cooking is permitted on Yom Tov one is inclined to think that it is better to cook some meal on that day, since if one doesn't cook at all it would seem that the melachah prohibition of Yom Tov is on the same level as Shabbat. Yet we experience that it is almost impossible to cook a meal on Yom Tov, because of the prohibtion to extinguish or lower the fire after completing the cooking. We are always uneasy if we know that there is still a fire burning on the furnace in the kitchen, especially when leaving the house. It is dangerous because one never knows what can happen. The fire may go out and the kitchen will be filled with gas. For that reason we now completely abstain from cooking on Yom Tov and do everything just as on Shabbat. And yet this doesn't seem to be halachically correct, since the distinction between Shabbat and Yom Tov is exactly in the permission to cook on Yom Tov. It seems, however, as if this permission is made practically null and void because of the requirement to leave the flame burning. We simply feel that we cannot take the risk.

Your conscientiousness is praiseworthy. However, despite your sensitivity, there are no grounds in Halacha to insist on differentiating between Shabbos and Yom Tov. If for practical reasons you choose not to cook on Yom Tov, this is perfectly acceptable. In fact, while prior to the days of refrigeration the only way to have fresh food on the second day of Yom Tov was to cook on the Chag, today many families find it adds to the Simchas Yom Tov of the wife to not have to spend hours of her Yom Tov slaving in a hot kitchen.

If, nevertheless, you wish to find a way of distinguishing between Shabbos and Yom Tov, a solution can be found with an electric hot plate. On Yom Tov you can place food directly from the fridge on this warmer, while on Shabbos it would not be done.

posted:2012-10-03 12:11:38

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