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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - hot tray on shabbat
Submitted by Ruth  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Let's start with some background. There are a couple of potential issues when reheating food on Shabbos: Bishul which may be a Torah prohibition and leaving cooked food on the fire and the appearance of cooking which are Rabbinic in origin.

1) If the food was fully cooked and is currently dry without any significant quantity of gravy etc., there is no risk of Bishul on Shabbos. Therefore, meat without gravy, potato kugel and similar foods do not entail a Biblical prohibition if they were completely cooked before Shabbos. 2) However, there are two potential Rabbinic issues. Just as cholent and other foods may not be left on the stove from before Shabbos, so too items may not be placed on a fire on Shabbos. This is primarily due to a concern that one may stoke the fire or otherwise adjust the temperature to speed up the heating.

This problem is also easily solved. If the fire is covered and the temperature cannot easily be adjusted, the concern is alleviated. So, the blech we place the cholent pot on would be an acceptable location for the kugel, as both the fire and knobs are covered and we have a precaution against mistakes. The same would apply to an electric hotplate that does not have multiple temperature settings.

3) The second Rabbinic issue is the appearance of cooking. Since one could conceivably cook raw food on a blech, someone who sees you placing a pan on the blech might not realize it is cooked food and imagine that you are cooking raw food on Shabbos. This mistaken assumption could lead to tragic consequences, as the misguided observer may jump to the unsubstantiated conclusion that one is permitted to cook raw food on a blech on Shabbos, and do so in their own house.

To prevent this problem and remove the Rabbinic injunction, the reheating must be done in a manner that does not resemble the cooking of raw food. The electric hotplate is a matter of dispute among the Poskim, as many of them reach a sufficient level of heat to theoretically cook raw food, but it is certainly not a common practice. Some consider this sufficiently "unusual" while others require a warmer that does not reach a temperature capable of cooking. In any event, for a blech this is not a solution.

A universally accepted solution for a blech or hotplate is to place the food to be warmed on a part of the blech that is not hot enough to cook. Alternatively, the food may be placed on top of a different pot filled with food. For example, the pan of kugel may be placed on top of the pot of cholent (suggestion, turn the lid upside down to prevent the kugel from sliding off). If this is impractical, an empty pan may be placed upside down upon the blech/hotplate, and the food to be reheated on top of this pan.

All these methods require more than the usual time span to warm the food, and it takes a little practice to determine how early Shabbos morning you need to put up the food.

posted:2011-11-20 06:22:24  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Late Kabbalas Shabbos
Submitted by Shmuel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: No. While some Shuls have the logical custom to recite it before nightfall to welcome the Shabbos prior to its arrival, there is no limitation or deadline in Halacha.
posted:2011-10-31 06:42:15  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Cutting Nails
Submitted by Jeff  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: While it is certainly preferable to cut the nails before Shabbos to enter Shabbos properly groomed, if one did not have time prior it is permitted to cut them afterwards.
posted:2011-10-22 21:19:47  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Studying
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Studying secular subjects should not be done on Shabbos or Yom Tov, especially as preparation for a test that will follow.
posted:2011-10-11 23:46:48  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Crushed Matza as Pas
Submitted by Adam  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:  

Technically, it should be adequate, as the entire purpose of the Eiruv is that all of the residents have a joint interest in one of the houses, and this should be accomplished by placing an item that they all own jointly in one of the residences.

However, it is not so simple. Since it used to be customary for each member of the Eiruv to contribute part of the required amount of bread needed, Chazal were concerned that it could lead to strife if an individual gave a mere piece of bread. Therefore, the Mishna in Eiruvin the bottom of 80b requires each family to contribute a complete loaf, and a large slice or chunk of bread is not acceptable. This Halacha is brought in Shulchan Aruch OC 366:6.

In the following Seif, the Shulchan Aruch qualifies this restriction that it only applies when the original formula of each individual contributing is being followed. In the more common practice today that one individual grants ownership to all the participants, the concern of strife is irrelevant and the Takana is not binding.

posted:2011-09-02 14:39:15  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - eruv matza
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:  

The Shulchan Aruch writes in OC 366:2 that the Eiruv must be placed in an area that is livable and not in a hut smaller that 4 amos by 4 amos, so your concern would appear to be justified.

However, the Biur Halacha there quotes the Tosfos Shabbos that a small room that opens into a larger room is acceptable, as we view the Eiruv as if it is located in the larger, livable location. This would include a closet, and it would seem to be, in fact, an acceptable option.

Nevertheless, the Biur Halacha concludes that he is not convinced by the logic of the Tosafos Shabbos, and he remains without a decisive conclusion. Certainly, it would be preferable to be Machmir.

posted:2011-08-31 16:27:11  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Kiddush Shabbos Day
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:  

This Halacha will depend on whether we are discussing the Friday night Kiddush or the one on Shabbos morning.

Friday night, the only acceptable alternative to wine or grape juice is to make Kiddush on the Challos themselves. Even this is only permitted according to the Rema if there is no wine available in the entire city, an unlikely prospect.

On Shabbos morning, it is better to use beer or whiskey than it is to use Challa; however, if neither those nor wine or grape juice are available, Kiddush may be recited on Challa. Soda and juice primarily from concentrate are not acceptable alternatives.

The implication of your question was that you are not referring to a family who has no alternative for Kiddush, rather the situation was a social Kiddush in Shul in the morning. Presuming there is no great need to make a Kiddush in Shul after Davening, if wine, grape juice or other similar liquids are unavailable, it would be better to forgo the Kiddush altogether than to rely on less than ideal arrangements.

posted:2011-08-31 10:30:21  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - eruv
Submitted by AA  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:  

You are 100% correct. The strings and the ownership are two independent issues, and one does not impact upon the second.

The strings allow the streets and other public areas in the city to be classified as a private domain as opposed to a public one; however, one may still not carry from one private domain to a second one on Shabbos. The way to resolve this issue is by placing food owned by all the residents of the Eiruv in a location inside the Eiruv, and by this means we can consider all the separate private domains to have a common interest. This common interest remains even if the string breaks.

posted:2011-08-17 16:10:54  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Kiddush Shabbos morning with no Chamar Medina
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:  

This Halacha will depend on whether we are discussing the Friday night Kiddush or the one on Shabbos morning.

Friday night, the only acceptable alternative to wine or grape juice is to make Kiddush on the Challos themselves. Even this is only permitted according to the Rema if there is no wine available in the entire city, an unlikely prospect.

On Shabbos morning, it is better to use beer or whiskey than it is to use Challa; however, if neither those nor wine or grape juice are available, Kiddush may be recited on Challa. Soda and juice primarily from concentrate are not acceptable alternatives.

The implication of your question was that you are not referring to a family who has no alternative for Kiddush, rather the situation was a social Kiddush in Shul in the morning. Presuming there is no great need to make a Kiddush in Shul after Davening, if wine, grape juice or other similar liquids are unavailable, it would be better to forgo the Kiddush altogether than to rely on less than ideal arrangements.

posted:2011-08-17 10:23:10  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Touching Packaged raw meat on Shabbos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

While ideally you should have put the chicken in the fridge before Shabbos, you were permitted to do what you did.

Generally it is true that inedible foods are muktza, and this should include raw meat. However, Shulchan Aruch rules that raw meat is not muktza, as some chew it raw. Mishna Berura discuses whether this only applies to soft poultry or even to red meat, but clearly accepts that fowl is not muktza. However, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal, quoted in Shmiras Shabbos k'Hilchaso, states that today no one eats any raw meat including poultry, and it is all muktza. Despite this, in a case where significant financial loss is at risk, even Rav Auerbach is lenient.

posted:2011-04-17 06:31:04  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - lifnei eever
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: There is no issue of lifnei iver since there are many Gedolei HaPoskim who permit it. There is never ma'aseh Shabbos on a safek, and a machlokes is a safek. However, when I learned in Philly, Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky shlita told bachurim that it is not appropriate and poor midos to use another bachur as your Shabbos Goy.
posted:2011-02-21 22:22:18  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - chamar medina
Submitted by AA  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

First of all, Chamar Medina is of questionable usage when wine is availible, which it nearly always is today.

Rav Moshe Feinstein zatzal defines Chamar Medina as a drink special enough that one would drink it even if not thirsty. Water cannot be Chamar Medina.

Therefore, brewed coffee would be CM but instant would likely be considered flavored water. Pure OJ is likely CM, but from concentrate is questionable. Soda is certainly not CM.

A drink that is not flavored water would certainly depend on the time and place, and the application of this Halacha could easily be different in EY and the USA.

posted:2011-02-20 18:36:43  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Shabbos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: No. Even though a dry food such as challah cannot be recooked, since an oven is the typical location to bake, it gives the appearance you are baking on Shabbos, which is assur miD'Rabannan.
posted:2011-01-13 12:40:54  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - solar watches on shabbos
Submitted by Daniel Samole  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: I'm not familiar with the various features of this watch, but a solar cell generates electricity completely passively and would not involve any melacha on Shabbos.
posted:2010-12-31 13:20:54  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - שבת
Submitted by Shmuli  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Yes, massage is permitted on Shabbos as long as it is not being done for therapeutic reasons.
posted:2010-12-14 12:33:48  (0) comments   email to a friend


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