What is Sabbath?
Shabbat, Shabbos, or the Sabbath is a day of religious abstinence from a number of activities recognised by Jewish law. It begins before sunset on Friday afternoon and ends at nightfall on Saturday evening each week. During this time, Jewish families immerse themselves in enjoying simple pastimes, good food and good company without the daily distractions of technology and chores. By escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, they can be fully present and appreciate some much-needed downtime. Sounds appealing right?!
Why has Smeg developed a Sabbath function?
We want our products to be as inclusive as possible and by diligently creating a dedicated Sabbath function on our ovens, we have been able to fully comply with the Jewish requirements for Shabbat. This means that Smeg warming drawers, which are certified ‘Super Kosher’, can be a confident option for the Jewish community, who unfortunately have limited choices at present.
To help with any questions you might have, we’ve listed the most frequently asked questions below:
Q: Can I insert food into the device on Shabbos?
A: Our Beis Din have not taken a formal position with regards the practical application of the halochos of Shehiya and Chazora and how these affect usage of these devices on Shabbos. In general terms, we can confirm that the heat of the device will generally not rise above 45C when in operating in Sabbath mode. Likewise, it is worth noting that the device’s heating elements will not glow when operating in this setting. These points should be taken as guidance when discussing with your family’s Rov the permission to insert food to the device on Shabbos or return food to the device on Shabbos. In all cases, users should be careful not to open or tamper with the drawers in any way if the food in the drawer is not fully cooked. This is because closing the drawer will speed up the cooking time of uncooked foods and this is forbidden on all accounts. We therefore recommend that all food is fully cooked before the onset of Shabbos.
Q: Does food need to be fully cooked before Shabbos?
A: See above.
Q: Are there any instructions for removing food from the warming drawer on Shabbos?
A: The warming drawers covered by this hechsher do not carry the shailas which are associated with thermostatic control used in many devices. These devices have been programmed using a simmerstat or duty cycle control. Therefore, the food in the warming drawer may be accessed freely during the course of Shabbos and Yom Tov whilst the Sabbath mode is in operation.
Q: When the food has been taken out of the warming drawer on Shabbos or Yom Tov, may it be returned to the drawer if the drawer is in Sabbath mode?
A: Our position is that food may not be returned to the warming drawer on Shabbos.
Q: May the controls be changed on Shabbos or Yom Tov?
A: It remains forbidden to make any changes to the device’s settings when making use of the warming drawer on Shabbos or Yom Tov. The device must have been set before Shabbos or Yom Tov and no changes may be made until after Shabbos or Yom Tov.
Q: I have read elsewhere that a Shabbos mode oven or warming drawer may only be opened once over the course of Shabbos or that one should wait for the indicator light to show. Is this necessary when using these devices?
A: Your question may be based on other articles published on the Fedtech website – for example here. The concerns addressed in these articles are relevant for devices which are controlled by a thermostat. The devices covered by this hechsher are not controlled by a thermostat when operating in Sabbath mode. It is therefore not necessary to limit the number of door openings or to wait for the indicator light. It is for this reason that the Federation Beis Din have awarded these warming drawers with a Mehadrin “Kehillas” hechsher.
Q: Which models are certified?
A: CPRT615NR, CPRT115G