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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - Early Shabbat
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

The potential issue would be that there is a machlokes Tannaim if the final time to daven Mincha is shkiyas hachama and the earliest time for Maariv is tzeis hakochavim or the latest time for Mincha is plag hamincha (1 and a quarter hours before shkiya) and the earliest time for Maariv is shkiya. It is an inherent contradiction to daven Mincha after plag and Maariv before tzeis on the same day. However, the Rema rules that one may change from day to day, and just because once in your life you davened Mincha after plag does not obligate you to always wait for tzeis to daven Maariv. Therefore, it is not necessary to always do the same thing, as we see the minhag for hundreds of years has been to make early Shabbos in the summer and not the winter.

posted:2008-07-02 05:42:23  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - shabbos
Submitted by yerachmiel poupko  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Yes. You are not doing any action and the infant is too young to be responsible and is doing it for his own enjoyment.
posted:2008-06-28 16:32:20  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - charging on Shabbos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: It is permitted even according to R' Moshe zatzal, since no action is taking place.
posted:2008-06-27 16:45:54  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Puttig the urn on a Shabbos clock
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

When the water cools off it becomes classified as a raw item that can be cooked, when the clock turns the urn back on it is cooking on Shabbos. However, since you have not done any action on Shabbos, it would seem to be no different than setting your lights on a Shabbos clock. While there are opinions that would permit this practice, such as R' Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zatzal, even according to the lenient opinions there are potential pitfalls. For example, while the water is reheating, if one would remove a cup of water from the urn the reduction of volume would cause the remaining water to boil faster and would be assur mi'Deoraisa because of hastening cooking. The Minchas Yitzchok, however, rejects the entire basis of the heter and forbids using a Shabbos clock to cook completely. Furthermore, R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal was opposed in general to the usage of Shabbos clocks, and certainly here where there is only a minor benefit it would be recommended not to rely on the lenient opinions.

posted:2008-06-22 01:57:30  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Hats on Shabbat
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Originally hats were worn as a sign of formality and Mishna Brurah brings in a number of places that one is obligated to wear a hat for davening and benching as one would when standing before a king. Also, Mishna Brurah writes that one should wear longer, and presumably more formal, clothing on Shabbos than is worn during the week. However this reason is not completely relevant today, as modern Western society does not view a hat as formal attire.

There is also an issue in Kabbala that would be more relevant to Chassidim.

Additionally, wearing a black hat over the years has become a form of a uniform identifying its wearer as part of the yeshiva community. When one walks down the street is a hat and jacket he proclaims himself different from the rest of Western society and a representative of a specific segment of the population, with all the responsibility that this involves and entails. Understandably, some people find this conflicts with their profession and occupation, and dress in a way that is less obtrusive at work. Alternatively, some may feel that their personal behavior does not meet up to the lofty standards that this manner of dress is intended to imply. However on Shabbos there is no conflict with one's livelihood and one is free of mundane concerns to focus on the spiritual, so people feel free to express how they would deep inside like to associate themselves.

So, today there may not be any halachic imperative to wear a hat, there are still many good reasons to do so. And in this perspective, I believe it is possible to understand why many people may choose to wear them only on Shabbos.

posted:2008-06-18 10:08:11  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - shabat
Submitted by amram  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

This was addressed in an earlier question where I wrote that one may not. However, if the actual processing of the purchase can be delayed until after Shabbos while taking the necessary information on Shabbos, it would be permitted.

posted:2008-06-17 11:56:02  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - sprinkler on Shabbos clock
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

There is no difference using a timer for a lawn sprinkler or a Shabbos clock for electrical appliances. According to the vast majority of Poskim there is no problem using either provided they were set before Shabbos, because you are not doing any action on Shabbos. However, R Moshe Feinstein zatzal held that setting a Shabbos clock before Shabbos would be similar to telling a goy before Shabbos to do a melacha for you on Shabbos, which is forbidden. So if your timer can be set to do different things on different days it would be preferable to set it not to turn on the water on Shabbos, however the accepted halacha is that it is permitted to use the timer even on Shabbos.

posted:2008-06-15 16:36:48  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - medicine on Shaboss
Submitted by Chaim H  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Yes, one may take antibiotics on Shabbos because discontinuing the medicine could potentially lead to a recurrence of drug-resistant strep which could even be a chole sh'yesh bo sakana. However, evena chole sh'ayn bo sakana may take antibiotics if he is weak or bedridden.
posted:2008-06-06 07:29:47  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Shabbos goy
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh


It's very understandable why you are confused; amira l'akum is one of the most difficult parts of Hilchos Shabbos.

The rule you mentioned, not to ask a goy to do anything you may not do yourself is true. However, it is a general rule and has numerous exceptions. First of all hinting in the method you mentioned is permitted because you are not asking the goy to do anything. However, if you would phrase the hint in a way that is more direct such as "if you turn down the flame it would help me", it would be forbidden.

Additionally there is an issue deriving direct benefit from any melacha that was done for you on Shabbos even if done in a permitted fashion. So if you told your neighbor that the room is too dark to read in that would be a permitted hint, but when they turn on the light you would not be allowed to use it and may even have to leave the room. However, in the specific case you mentioned where you want the goy to prevent potential damage rather than create a benefit there is no problem.

I don't see any problem with saying thank you, and of course it's always important to maintain good, polite relations with all neighbors.

posted:2008-05-28 11:32:31  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - hearing aid and loop system
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

It's generally accepted that while a microphone may not be used on Shabbos, a hearing aid is permitted. I had never heard of a loop system before you asked about it, but based on the information I discovered on the internet it would seem to be more similar in Halacha to a hearing aid because it is subtle and one does not speak directly into it. One potential issue would be if there would be reason to be concerned that the hearing aid wearer would forget and switch from "T" mode back to the regular setting on Shabbos.

So, while it seems to me that it should be allowed, I'm not confident enough in my understanding of the technical issue involved to give a definite approval.

posted:2008-05-25 07:47:21  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Shabbat and Puzzles.
Submitted by Linda Haniford  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

First of all, congratulations on giving up TV. It must have taken a lot of self control both by the children and the parents.

The issue regarding puzzles is that many Poskim consider snapping together pieces of a picture to be equivalent to drawing them and assembling a puzzle to be similar to writing. The arguments are too complex for this venue, but there are a significant minority of Poskim who allow assembling a puzzle that is meant to be taken apart at its conclusion and not framed etc. So, while it is certainly preferable for adults to refrain from assembling puzzles on Shabbos, one should not prevent children from playing with puzzles. Under circumstances such as yours, there may even be grounds to allow adults to participate.

I don't see any problem with the game "Don't break the Ice", but maybe we are thinking of different games. The Hasbro game where you tap out squares of plastic that fit tightly together is completely permitted on Shabbos.

All this only applies to Ashkenazim, however for Sefardim the whole issue of games on Shabbos is much stricter.

posted:2008-05-23 10:10:22  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Kneading on Shabbos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

First of all, mashing an avocado on Shabbos according to the Chazon Ish is forbidden because of tochen, grinding, but R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal permits it because the fruit does not break apart into separate pieces.

Secondly, even of the avocado was crushed before Shabbos there is the issue you mentioned of lash with kneading in the mayo. Some Poskim only permit this when one both changed the order of the ingredients from the standard method and also mixes them in an unusual fashion, and even then some only allow baby food when the child has nothing else to eat. However, other Poskim permit this completely because lash is defined as binding pieces together with a medium, and mashed avocado is already a sticky mass that the mayonnaise only adds flavor and if anything thins out the mixture.

Therefore, while there are grounds to be lenient under extenuating circumstances, it is certainly advisable to make the avocado salad before Shabbos.

posted:2008-05-14 15:35:44  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - water cooler
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: I'm not familiar specifically with the Poland Spring cooler, but I will explain the general issues with water coolers. Most water coolers have a holding tank that maintains a specific quantity of cold water for instant use. When you fill your cup with cold water, new room temperture water enters the unit to take the place of the cold water you removed. When the temperature of the water in the holding tank rises above a designated degree the compressor comes on to cool the water to the desired coldness. Since this is only an indirect and delayed consequence of the action of filling your cup it is generally accepted as being permitted. If practical, it is ideal to open the tap in an unusual manner such as with your elbow.
posted:2008-05-04 19:07:28  (2) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Cockroach on Shabbos
Submitted by TH  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

A cockaroach is muktza machmas gufo like most animals and may not be moved on Shabbos. It is not considered a graf shel raye because it is not suficiently disgusting and does not bite.

However, like all other muktza items it may be moved using a part of the body other than ones hand, but kicking the roach could kill it which would be a different problem. The better alternative would be what you mentioned, to sweep it away. This is tiltul min hatzad and is permitted.

posted:2008-05-03 16:15:03  (1) comment   email to a friend

Halacha - shabbos belt
Submitted by Dovid B.  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchaso writes that if a key tie clip is made from gold or silver he should not reproach the person wearing it because it can be considered like jewlery that may be worn on Shabbos. However, the implication is that even gold and silver is not appropriate to wear, and if made from other materials it would be necessary to protest.

However, reproach is a very delicate art and must be practiced with great care and discretion. On the other hand, when done correctly it is a mitzva d'oraisa and one should not look for excuses to avoid influencing others.

Good luck!

posted:2008-05-02 10:39:08  (0) comments   email to a friend

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