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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Games and Athletics

Bubbles on Shabbat

Rabbi David SperlingTevet 28, 5781
Hello, I saw your answer regarding bubbles on Shabbat, but I have follow-up questions. 1) How exactly is this nolad? One, the bubble is still a liquid as all it does is trap the blown air within. Second, it is written in Yalkut Yosef Shabbat volume 3 page 408 that there is no issur of making ice or ice cream on Shabbat as there is no nolad present. All the more so should be the case with bubbles. 2) How is blowing bubbles under the melacha of Zoreh (winnowing)? There is no separation of items (except the liquid from the stick, but it isnt bad from good or good from bad). In fact, its a combination of liquid and air. Although it does separate from the stick by air, its similar to breathing or spitting on Shabbat, which is allowed in a private domain or eiruv. If one can spray aerosol on Shabbat in the air, shouldnt one be allowed to blow bubbles? Thank you for your time.
Shalom, Thank you for your question. You make good points on both the issues you raise – and as you can see in my original response there is certainly room to be lenient. However, let me explain why the first answer I wrote was worded as it was. In relation to the issue of making soap bubbles on Shabbat, that there may be a problem of Nolad – that is the opinion of the work Shmirat Shabbat KeHilchatoh (16,30). He rules leniently for children as we wrote. The reason that nolad might apply is that there are Rabbinic views that hold that changing the form of solids to liquids, or visa versa, is a problem of nolad. Here, when the soap is added to the water and stirred the water “changes” into bubbles. [It is not the blowing of the bubbles that is a problem, but the making of the frothy mixture to start with – when you shake up the soapy water]. You are correct in quoting the Yalkut Yosef as lenient – the Shulchan Aruch does not hold that this changing of forms is problematic. Only the Ashkanazi Rema is strict (see Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim 318, 16). So, according to this understanding the Rema would in fact forbid making ice-cream on Shabbat (as rule most Ashkanazi Rabbis today). In the question of zoreh – again, your logic is good. However, the Rema forbids spitting into the wind on Shabbat, as the spittle is spread out by the wind (see ibid 319,17). Your logic, that there is no separation between “good” and “bad” is the reason so many reject the Rema’s view. And that is what I wrote. However, the original questioner had good grounds for worrying about “zoreh” as there are great Rabbis who rule like the Rema in this issue (the Magen Avraham and others). In my response I ruled leniently about zoreh – in line with your logic. May you be blessed to continue to strive in Torah – please continue to learn our answers and add your learned words as you see fit. It’s a pleasure to correspond in the learning of halacha. Blessings.
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