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Eruv Tavshilin

Although it is permitted to cook on a Festival day (see Exodus l2:l6), this permission applies only to cooking food to be consumed on that day itself. (see Talmud Betzah l5b and l7a) If a Yom Tov falls on Thursday and Friday, or Friday and Saturday, the problem arises of how to prepare food for Shabbat which immediately follows. The solution to this problem is to be found in the enactment of eruv tavshilin (mixture of dishes). On the day before the Festival one sets aside some bread (in the case of Pesah, some matzah) and a cooked dish saying:

Barukh atta Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, vitzivanu al mitzvat eruv.

(Praised are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has made us holy with His commandments, and commanded us to make an eruv.)

and

By means of this eruv may we be permitted to bake, cook, keep dishes warm, kindle lights, and prepare, during the Festival, all our needs for the Sabbath.

The idea is that, having begun the preparations for the Festival and for Shabbat together, before the Festival begins, all our ensuing preparations may be considered also as one act. The eruv, or food set aside, is saved until Shabbat and eaten then.

Eruv tavshilin should be made before the first day of Pesah in 2009 and before the seventh day in 2012.

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