By Jules, Carol, Davey, Danny, Karli, Kayla, Reuben and Sarit Sherwinter.
3 Adar 5773 / February 13, 2013
MBY 500 Buying, giving gifts and measuring on Yom Tov (abridged)
This siman continues on the topic of preparing an animal for food, which we touched upon in our last lesson as much as we are able. It also mentions several halachos that could be relevant in our contemporary observance of Yom Tov. For these, we will quote Rav S. B. Cohen’s sefer, The Laws of Yom Tov, Chapter 21 (pp. 157-165), including, in some portions, his Summary of Laws at the chapter’s end.
Buying: It is forbidden to buy, sell, rent or lease anything on Yom Tov, as on Shabbos, even for the purpose of a mitzvah. One may obtain from a store an item that one needs on Yom Tov, provided that: a) one does not mention the value or weight of the item, and b) one makes no explicit mention of payment. To illustrate: A guest in a hotel may approach the hotel manager on Yom Tov and say, “Please give me a large bottle of soda today, and I will come to terms with you after Yom Tov.” However, he may not ask for a “liter” of soda or a “$1 bottle” (That’s because there’s no such thing anymore as a $1 bottle of anything! – Ed.), nor may he say, “I will pay you after Yom Tov.”
Giving gifts: One may give gifts on Yom Tov, provided that the gift is a usable product or something that can be made into a usable product on Yom Tov. For example: One may send a cut of raw meat as a gift, since the recipient is able to cook it on Yom Tov. This is permitted even if the sender knows that the receiver will not use the meat on Yom Tov! However, it is forbidden to give a child a toy that needs to be assembled (assuming the assembly would violate a melacha), since the toy cannot be made fit for use on Yom Tov.
Measuring and Weighing: It is forbidden to measure or weigh anything on Yom Tov; however, this is permitted for the purpose of a mitzvah. (This includes measuring for the benefit of an ill person or an infant.) It is permitted to measure seasoning on Yom Tov, provided that: a) the wrong amount of seasoning might ruin the food, and b) the seasoning is a type that is commonly measured on weekdays. One may use a measuring cup to pour approximate amounts of food (i.e. not for exact measurement-taking.)