Taking Home Leftovers on Shabbat


I always thought you cannot do things to prepare for after Shabbat. And you cannot carry anything within an eruv that you plan to use solely after Shabbat. But I’ve faced a common scenario where I go over someone’s house for a Shabbat meal and they offer me leftovers and other food to take home that realistically there is zero chance I will eat during Shabbat. They get offended if I say no. When I explain the laws of the eruv, which are printed explicitly in the eruv guidebook everyone has, they act like it doesn’t apply in this situation. Many people get upset that I act like a know-it-all when all I am trying to do is follow Jewish law. Even some rabbis I go over sometimes offer me food to take home. This appears to be widespread practice in our community as many view the eruv as a free-for-all. What should I do about this?



  1. You are one hundred percent correct. There is no leniency to carry home food on Shabbos within the Eruv if there is no chance that you will not eat some of it on Shabbos. If there is even a small chance that you will eat something then it is permissible to take more than you need.

    Personally, I would suggest that you thank your hosts profusely and tell them that you will come back on Motzei Shabbos to pick it up. I think that you could also let them know that everything was delicious and you are really looking forward to being able to eat it during the week. Hopefully, that way they won’t judge you for following the Halacha.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team