Ask the Rabbi

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Using a Hotplate (Platta)

Hot plate and Shabbat timer


Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein

11 Elul 5767
Dear Rabbis, May one place dry food on a Shabbat hot plate activated by timer. The hot plate (israeli made Shabbat model) is turned on prior to Shabbat and is turned off via timer on the power outlet at 11 PM on Friday night. It is then turned on automatically on Shabbat morning and dry totally cooked food would be placed on it directly from the refrigerator in order to reheat. I am Sephardi from Morocco and was told that food once cooked cannot be considered as being cooked again. Answers have varied tremendously depending on the sources consulted (therefore please indicate sources in your answer). It seems a waste to leave a hot plate on all of Shabbat when I only need it for about two hours around noon on Saturday for reheating purposes. Thank you
According to Rav Ovadya Yosef it is permissible to place dry, cooked or baked food directly on the Shabbat hot plate on Shbbbat. (Yechave Daat, vol II, 45) He does not mention a timer. There should be no reason why a timer should be forbidden. It makes it better. For it is even permissible for a non Jew to place liquid food on the hotplate that is operated by a timer. So I think that I should start putting the hot plate on a timer at my house and save some electricity. Yasher Koach!
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