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

26 05, 2024

Warming Up Food on Yom Tov

May 26th, 2024|Bishul, Moadim, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Minneapolis, MN

K’vod HaRav, I’m hoping to host the second seder in shul. Our shul ovens turn off after 12 hours automatically and there is no override function. From a culinary standpoint, the best food-warming option would be to hire a non-Jewish person to (privately) turn on the ovens. Is that an acceptable approach?

The other option is for the shul to invest in some platas (hot plates) and timers, but I have found those to be very unpredictable and uneven as far as food warming goes and this seder is potentially feeding

5 04, 2023

Drinking Wine Brought by Car on Yom Tov

April 5th, 2023|Moadim, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

A family that has some Shomer Shabbat members and some who are not, have friends coming to their second Seder in Baltimore from New Jersey, presumably driving on Yom Tov. Those friends will be bringing wine with them. Can they drink that wine at the Seder? Is tehum a concern at all in this case?

ANSWER

 

22 02, 2023

Tevilat Keilim on Yom Tov for Use on Yom Tov

February 22nd, 2023|Tevilat Keilim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on toiveling keilim (immersing dishes) on Yom Tov?

ANSWER

Although I’m curious about the specific circumstances (e.g. where are you going to be tovel it? Why couldn’t you do it beforehand?), I think it is fine. See Shulchan Arukh OC 323:7 where the Shulchan Arukh rules that m’ikar ha’din (according to the basic halakha) it is permitted, and Rema implicitly agrees. While in Darkhei Moshe he rules that it is forbidden, and many Ashkenazi Achronim are strict

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

1 06, 2021

Showering on Yom Tov

June 1st, 2021|Orach Chayim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Canada

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on showering on Yom Tov and bathing children on Yom Tov, both in terms of שווה לכל נפש and modern water heaters?

ANSWER

I shower on Yom Tov, it is clearly שווה לכל נפש and I don’t think גזירת מרחצאות applies. See an extended discussion in Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah 14:7 footnote 21. I am not sure what your concern is regarding modern water heaters. Is it that it might be a grama for a new fire turning on? If that is the case, then as opposed to Shabbat, here it is only a derabanan of a

22 03, 2021

Employing a Jewish Babysitter on Yom Tov Who Lives Outside of Walking Distance

March 22nd, 2021|Orach Chayim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Is there any way that a Jewish woman can be hired to work as a babysitter on Yom Tov if she lives outside of walking distance? What if we are not certain that she is Jewish (in this case she has a Jewish-sounding name but the family that employs her has never asked her explicitly and maybe its just her father who is Jewish etc.)? The family doesn’t know for sure she lives beyond walking distance. But they think she uses transit of some kind when she comes to them.

ANSWER

Given that it is Yom Tov, driving is only a

22 03, 2021

Traveling to the Mikveh by Car on Yom Tov

March 22nd, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Fertility, Niddah, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Yom Tov, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Good evening! I was contacted by a woman who has to go to the mikveh this Motzei Shabbat, which is the first night of Pesach. She doesn’t live within walking distance of one, and is wondering if she can go on Friday, or if she has to wait until Monday night. She already practices 4+7 due to fertility purposes, so there isn’t any wiggle room there. Is there any way for her to go early? I assume not, but I wanted to check because of their ongoing fertility challenges. Thank you!

ANSWER

I would arrange before Shabbat to have a cab

14 03, 2021

Preparing for Yom Tov Sheini on Yom Tov Rishon

March 14th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Pesach, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

If one holds like the poskim that one can be mekabel Yom Tov Sheini early for needs of the family, etc., would it be okay to accept the second day of Pesach after doing Ma’ariv after Plag HaMinchah and then do the seder prep for the second seder, but wait to do Kiddush until nightfall to be mekayeim doing the mitzvot of the seder during nighttime?

ANSWER

There is definitely reason to say that one cannot. See Levush (OC 488:3) and Mishnah Berurah (299:40),

לבוש אורח חיים סימן תפח סע’ ג

ושוהין בין מנחה למעריב עד הלילה כדי שלא יעשו מלאכה

12 10, 2020

Backyard Campfire on Yom Tov

October 12th, 2020|Orach Chayim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

Backyard campfire on Yom Tov. If for the sake of warmth (and using pre-existing flame, etc.), this is fine, right?

Let’s say it’s not that cold out, but the fire is for ambiance/feels nice to be near the warmth. Still ok?

ANSWER

Yes. We have a very low threshold for what justification is necessary when it comes to making (i.e., transferring) a fire on Yom Tov. The Yerushalmi (Beitzah 5:2) speaks about a נר של אבטלה, and many people will light cigarettes,