Rosh Yeshiva Responds
Rabbi Linzer answers halakhic questions from rabbis and community members

1 05, 2023

Visiting a Hospital on Shabbat

May 1st, 2023|Choleh, Electricity, Prohibitions, Shabbat|

https://pixabay.com/photos/hospital-bed-doctor-surgery-1802679/

QUESTION
Maryland

I work at a nursing home. Like many institutions, during covid we checked temps and asked visitors (and staff) to use an iPad to answer symptom checks as they come in, even on Shabbat. When I come on Shabbat, I have been allowing staff to check my temp with an electronic thermometer and a non-Jewish receptionist ask me the iPad question while s/he enters them in for me. I am trying to make an official policy. Considering the ongoing pikuach nefesh, it would seem unnecessary to require a non-Jew to use

9 02, 2023

Adjusting the Temperature on an Electric Countertop Burner on Yom Tov

February 9th, 2023|Electricity, Orach Chayim, Technology, Uvda D'Chol, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

If I have an electric countertop burner that I put on a timer for yom tov, can I adjust the heat setting while the burner is on? Does it matter if I’m turning the heat up when the burner is already on or down when it’s already off (there’s a light that says if it’s currently heating or not)?

Do you have general guidelines on interacting with electronic devices on Shabbat/Yom Tov?

ANSWER

There are two issues here—havarah/mekhabeh (igniting/extinguishing), and use of electronics.

1. Regarding havarah/mekhabeh (igniting/extinguishing)
One