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Food preparation on Shabbos vs. on Yom Tov (part 2)
MBY 510:1-11 Food preparation on Shabbos vs. on Yom Tov (part 2)

3) Making cheese: In a different world, people used to make their own cheese. Believe it or not, making cheese is forbidden on Shabbos based upon the melacha of ‘boneh’/building! (Ed: To quote a footnote in the Artscroll Schottenstein Gemara to Shabbos 95a #10: “Because he presses the curds into a block. Any combining of individual pieces into one large mass is considered ‘building’” – according to the Rambam. Other Rishonim consider this to be a Rabbinic extension of the melacha of building.) What about on Yom Tov? You may recall from our very first lesson in Hilchos Yom Tov that the Mechaber and the Rama disagree about whether food-related melacha (actual ‘ochel nefesh’) is permitted on Yom Tov ONLY if it could not have been done before Yom Tov. The Rama rules stringently and, according to his ruling, there would be no permit to make cheese (in most cases) on Yom Tov, because it “coulda/shoulda” been made in advance (especially since cheese needs time to sit and cure awhile anyway.) According to the Mechaber, who rules leniently, making cheese on Yom Tov would be permissible ‘mid’oraisa’ (per Torah law); however, the Rabbis did not approve of cheese-making, because it is done in too much of a weekday-like manner (Heb. ‘uvdin d’chol’). The Mishnah Berura concludes that in cases of great need, one is permitted to make cheese - for the sake of the mitzvah of Simchas Yom Tov - provided that he did so with a ‘shinui’ (deviation from the norm). (Ed. How do you do a ‘shinui’, you ask? I’ll tell you what: You tell me what the normal way is to make cheese and I’ll tell you how to do it with a ‘shunui’… Deal?)

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