Weekly Halacha By Rabbi Shimon Fridmann 5/20/20 Sorting/Borer on Shabbos #4

According to our previous Shiurim, additional cases arise:

• Items that are served cold [such as drinks] may be sorted (according to the conditions mention in Shiur 2) and refrigerated for the upcoming meal even hours before the meal. It is included in the time it takes to ‘prepare’ them for the meal. Soda bottles are considered mixed when on a shelve, and one is required to move bottles to reach the desired one. However, when placed on the floor, they are not considered a mixture as they are easily discernable, and one may pick the desired one.
• Preparing a chumash on Shabbos evening for the next day can also be prohibited. For example, taking it out of pile of mixed books [where they are not easily discernable] would be forbidden, even in the event it could not be done before shul in the morning. This is because it is not done prior to the use.
• Similarly, putting back books on the shelves in their correct location could involve the prohibition of sorting. For example, if the books are not in order and it requires to move some books to place that book back, it would be considered sorting according to many opinions. Since Borer is a Torah prohibition, one must always rule stringently.
• Taking a pair of socks on Shabbos from a drawer could also be problematic. Indeed, when many pairs of different colors and/or design are mixed, and one wants a specific color or design [i.e. to match his suit]. If that desired pair of socks is not located on the top of the pile, one is then confronted to the prohibition of sorting.
• Thus, in the winter when people pile up their coats in Shul, one may look for his coat and remove it from the pile, despite the fact it also requires sorting. The reason it is treated differently than socks, is because the other coats belong to other people and they cannot be viewed as “refuse”, since anyway the person has no alternative but to take only his coat.

By Rabbi Fridmann * rabbifridmann@badatzmiami.com * 305.985.3461

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