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Sifting as one of the 39 Melachot is defined as separating the unwanted portions from food by means of a sieve, and it includes both the sifting of flour and the straining of liquids.

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Most of this information is taken from the book "SABBATH Day of Eternity" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, published by NCSY. In the book itself, there are notes that refer the reader to detailed footnotes. I am lucky to have found such a clear, concise manual with these brief overviews of laws so vast and complex there are Rabbis that specialize in them.

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