Yom Tov

1 06, 2021

Showering on Yom Tov

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



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?


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|


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.


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, Choshen Mishpat, Niddah, Yom Tov, Yoreh De'ah|


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!


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|


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?


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|


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?


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, […]

9 10, 2020

Rolling Sefer Torah on Shabbat in Preparation for Yom Tov

October 9th, 2020|Keriat HaTorah, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Sefer Torah, Yom Tov|


Baltimore, MD

Is there an issue with rolling sifrei Torah on Shabbat in preparation for Yom Tov? Would the tircha detzibura override any hachanah or quasi-hachanah concerns?


Well, someone could always get to shul early on Yom Tov morning, so not really tircha detzibura. But if you read (not keriah, just read like from a chumash) from the section you rolled it to, then you are using it on Shabbat. You can even point out to someone some interesting feature, like how the days are each a separate paragraph. […]

2 10, 2020

Preparing for Second Night Yom Tov Kiddush on the First Day

October 2nd, 2020|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Sukkot, Yom Tov|


New York, NY

Many who live in cities and only have access to communal sukkot, in order to avoid exposure, will say Kiddush and HaMotzi and then bentch in the shul’s communal sukkah, and then return home to continue their meal with meat, vegetables, etc. May someone bring bread and wine with them when they go to shul for Mincha on the afternoon of the first day of Sukkot in order to use it for Kiddush and HaMotzi that night in the shul‘s sukkah? Ordinarily this would be hachanah, but the Mishnah Berurah (667:5), […]

1 10, 2020

Simchat Torah Hakafot Before Tzeit HaKokhavim

October 1st, 2020|Orach Chayim, Simchat Torah, Yom Tov|


Baltimore, MD

We have been davening Shabbat afternoon with the Plag HaMinchah split (Mincha before Plag and Ma’ariv after Plag), as we are davening outside in an unlit backyard. Scheduling hakafot for that early feels wrong — when davening Ma’ariv for the next day (whether it’s Yom Tov or chol), everyone then walks home and continues to act like Shabbat until Tzeit HaKokhavim. But to dance hakafot and publicly celebrate the next day of Yom Tov while it is still Shabbat feels different. Am I right in thinking that there might be halakhic issues […]

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