Jun 29, 2008
Interesting Psak from Rav Elyashiv: the Shabbes Plata
Plata. The plata is the electric hot plate. The plata is very popular in Israel for reheating food on Shabbos day, and for keeping food hot for Shabbos night, instead of leaving the oven on, or by leaving the gas on with a blech.
The classic way of relating to hot plates on Shabbos is to treat them as if halachically they do not cook food. There is generally no knob with settings on hot plates, and the standard use for them is to reheat food or to keep food warm, but not to cook food upon them.
Therefore the general practice is to allow the use of hot plates on Shabbos for heating up food.
Rav Elyashiv approached the subject in his shiur last week. He paskened that the electric hot plate is like an uncleaned or uncovered stove, upon which one is not allowed to re-place a pot of food upon it on Shabbos. The only way to re-place food upon it would be to add another layer on the hotplate, thus minimizing the heat level, and then upon that layer one could place the pot of food.
Rav Elyashiv added that he is aware that many poskim nowadays differ with this opinion and allow one to re-place a pot of food directly on the hot plate, but he himself holds there is no way to allow it.
He added further that he had thought he was alone in paskening this way, until he recently saw that the Chazon Ish had paskened like this as well, and he was excited to learn that he was in accordance with the opinion of the Chazon Ish.