An Insect in Wine on Shabbos

Q. A fly fell into my cup of wine. Can I take it out on Shabbos?

A. The Maharit Tzahalon (203) maintains that removing a fly from a liquid is not considered borer (separation) because the fly floats and is not mixed into the liquid. However, the Chofetz Chaim writes in the Mishnah Berurah (319:61) and the Biur Halacha (Ella) that while some poskim agreed with the Maharit Tzahalon, the majority of poskim ruled that removing a fly is prohibited. Nonetheless, it is possible to remove a fly on Shabbos by taking out a spoonful of liquid along with the fly. By doing so, the fly is not fully separated from the liquid, and the prohibition of borer is not violated.


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.