A Jewish holiday or
festival is a day or series of days observed
by Jews as a holy or secular commemoration
of an important event in Jewish history. In
Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals,
depending on their nature, may be called yom
tov ("good day") (Yiddish: yontif) or Ḥagh/Chag
("festival") or ta'anit ("fast").
A "Yom Tov" has similar obligations and
restrictions to Shabbat, with the exception
that you can cook, carry, and transfer fire
(from a pre-existing flame).
The origins of various Jewish holidays
generally can be found in Biblical mitzvot
A blech (from the German
by way of Yiddish word for tin or sheet
metal) is a metal sheet used by many
observant Jews to cover stovetop burners
(and for some, the cooker's knobs and dials)
on Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), as part of
the precautions taken to avoid violating the
halachic prohibition against cooking on the
Rabbi Fishel Jacobs's The Blech Book—The
Complete & Illustrated Guide To Shabbos
Hotplates gives the following guidelines:-
The food (including water) intended for
Shabbat use should be completely cooked.
The stove’s gas flames or
electric coils are turned on. The blech is
placed over these. Alternatively, the
Shabbat hot plate, which needs no blech
(when it is the type which has no knobs to
adjust the heat level,) is plugged in.
The pot is placed on the
blech. It is permissible to place another
pot on this one.
The pot on the blech, or
another pot which has been placed on it, may
be covered with a blanket, clothing, towel,
cloth, etc., to keep the heat from
dissipating. One side of the pot should be
left partially uncovered.
During Shabbos, the pots are removed
according to need. After removal, it is
permissible to return the pot onto the blech,
following these guidelines:
The pot should be removed from the blech
with the intention to replace it afterwards
and held at all times, not leaned onto any
surface. (A heavy or unwieldy pot may be
partially leaned on a surface, while being
held, if there is no alternative.)
The food must be in the same pot, completely
cooked, and has retained at least some of
its original heat.
The permissibility of blech (and unblech,
below) and the acceptable manner of their
use is questioned by several modern kashrut
organizations; however, the use of a blech
to reheat food on the Sabbath remains very
popular among observant Jews.
An unblech, or K'Deira Blech (lit. "pot
blech", commonly referred to as "water blech"),
is also used to heat up pre-cooked food on
the Sabbath, but utilizes different halakhic
mechanisms from a standard blech. An unblech
consists of a shallow metal pan filled with
hot water and covered by another metal pan,
and thus is akin to a pot of warm food for
halakhic purposes. As such, it may be more
flexible than a standard blech for halakhic
purposes. However, the temperature of an
unblech is limited by the boiling point of
water and is not as hot as a typical blech.