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Opening/Separating Food Items on Shabbat


Rabbi David Sperling

Shevat 20, 5775
Hi, Are the following considered creating a new kli/container on Shabbat? 1. Break apart yogurt/pudding containers that are connected to one another (i.e. in a group pack). 2. Open a bag or container such as a bag of potato chips, chocolate bar, etc. that I will not finish on Shabbat (assuming no writing is torn). Thank you.
Shalom, Thank you for your questions. In relation to separating the yogurt containers – there is an argument about this between Rav S.Z. Aurbach zt"l who permits it, and Rav Elyashiv zt"l who forbids it (see Orchot Shabbat 12,12). The issue centers around if the separating is considered as "machtek" and "pkeh bepatish" or not. In connection with opening the bag of chips or chocolate bar – the packaging is considered as only a wrapping, and not a container in these cases, and it is permitted. Although there are stricter opinions (especially about the bag of chips) when one intends to reuse the bag, there are major opinions on which to rely. Blessings.
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