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Opening juice on Shabat

Rabbi David SperlingTevet 26, 5773
361
Question
May one open large carton juice (i.e. prigat/spring) or milk containers on Shabbat when it involves puncturing a hole in order to open it?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your interesting question. As I am sure you are aware, the issue at hand is whether by opening the container one is creating a new vessel on Shabbat. This issue has been widely debated by the modern day poskim, and there are many opinions. There is an additional problem with some of the newer type of twist caps on some juice boxes, which puncture the cardboard box at the same time as the cap is twisted off. This could also be a problem of creating a fine opening. In this forum I am unable to give this subject its full treatment (I recently saw a very large book devoted solely to this topic!). I believe that those who are lenient and open such cartons (even with these twist caps) have opinions to rely upon, whilst those who are strict are also justified. The strict opinion would say that if you did not manage to open the carton before Shabbat, you should puncture the bottom of the carton, then make a puncture in the top and pour the juice into a jug. Blessings
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