Shaking Out a Tablecloth Outdoors On Shabbos


tableclothIn the early days of farming a mixed collection of grain kernels, chaff and stem debris, would remain on the threshing grounds after the threshing process. It was essential to somehow remove the useful kernels from the waste matter. By scooping up shovels of the kernels mixed with the chaff and throwing them against the wind, the lighter chaff would be blown away by the wind, leaving the heavier kernels to drop to the ground. This process known as winnowing is the Melocho of Zoreh. It follows that any manner of separating or removing undesirable matter from a food or other article by wind, whether natural or artificial is also considered Zoreh, and is prohibited even when one is indiscriminately scattering a substance or liquid – even when nothing is being selectively separated. Common examples are: One may not blow at a mixture of peanuts and their thin coverings to disperse the thin shells from the peanuts. One may not shake a tablecloth against the wind, thereby causing the crumbs to become dispersed by the force of the wind. One may not blow excess confectioners sugar from a cookie or pastry.

Shulchan Aruch 446 see Magen Avraham, SA 319:17, Mes. Shabbos 73b, 74a see Rabbeinu Chananel, see Yerushalmi p. Klal Gadol, Eglei Tal Zoreh:4, Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos Mel:Zoreh, Pnei Shabbos citing the Maharsham Drashos L’Shabbos Hagadol 76, Shvisas Hashabbos Zoreh:8, Sefer 39 Melochos{ Newscenter}

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