Adjusting an Electronic Keypad Oven or Stove on Yom Tov
Rabbi Linzer, can one raise the heat on an electronic pad-entry oven or stove on Yom Tov? I will be leaving the burner on, but just want to know if I can then raise or lower the heat.
I have addressed adjusting the heat on an electric stove top, which is very similar to this question.
There are two issues here – making and extinguishing a fire and using electronics. As to the former – since, as you told me, you will be keeping the fire on and just raising and lowering the heat, there is no problem from this perspective. You should be sure that the element remains red the whole time, since going to black from red could be considered making a new fire, and going from red to black could be considered extinguishing a fire.
As to the electronic keypad – it is first important to appreciate how bizarre it is that we do not use electricity for the sake of cooking on Yom Tov. I can knead dough, grind pepper, make a fire, cook, bake, etc. – all melachot d’oraita (biblically forbidden), because it is for the sake of eating, but I can’t use my food processor?! I can make a fire to heat up the food, but can’t use a microwave to do so?!
I have not found anyone who has been able to give a good halakhic explanation for this, and the reason is because there isn’t. The problem here is on the experiential level – it is uvda di’chol – using electronics pulls out more into the world of technology, business, busyness, etc., than cooking and making a fire do. Given that that is the reason, we can work on addressing it.
What is primarily the uvda di’chol here is the digital readout. If you cover the digital readout so you can’t see anything, then that would suffice to address the uvda di’chol. As to the typing on the keyboard itself and the sound made when “bake” is pushed – once the readout is covered, this is only very slightly uvda d’chol, if it all. I would advise using your knuckle so there is a degree of shinuy and you’ll be fine.