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

12 03, 2024

Having a Non-Jew Help Clean Up After a Communal Shabbat Meal

March 12th, 2024|Amirah LeGoy, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat|



Is it okay to have a non-Jew come at the end of a communal Shabbat meal to do any of the following?

  1. Unplug the hot plates
  2. Turn off the lights
  3. Take the trash out (in a yard that belongs to the whole building)

If the answer to any of the above is yes, which of the following is the best way to relay the message to the non-Jew?

a) Ask directly (though we don’t actually need to)

28 01, 2024

Conversion Candidate Using Public Transportation to Get to Preferred Shul

January 28th, 2024|Amirah LeGoy, Geirut and Geirim, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat, Shulchan Arukh, Synagogue, Tefillah|


Chicago, IL

A woman who converted to Judaism under Reform auspices and is married to a Jewish husband is interested in relocating to our neighborhood and will eventually undergo another giyur (conversion) under Orthodox auspices. She does not currently live in our neighborhood and knows that she will not be able to complete her conversion until she moves to the neighborhood. For various financial reasons, it could be as long as three years before she is able to relocate.

Until she relocates and converts,

30 04, 2023

Construction to Make a Shul ADA-Accessible through Non Jewish Workers on Shabbat

April 30th, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Disabilities, Orach Chayim, Shabbat|


Washington, DC.

We are engaged in what is proving to be an endless construction project at our shul. Part of it includes making the building ADA-accessible. The contractor has requested to be able to work on the interior of the building from 12-8 PM on Saturdays, at a time when no one is around. If we stipulate that they must remain inside the building and strictly adhere to the hours so as to avoid disruption to Shacharit and Mincha, would that

2 04, 2023

Bringing Babies to Shul: A Halakhic and Policy Consideration in City with No Eruv

April 2nd, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Orach Chayim, Shabbat, Synagogue|


Paris, France

Communal policy question: there is no eruv in Paris and in our community there’s tremendous chillul shabbat (desecration of shabbat) going on from several families who otherwise entirely keep Shabbat but bring their babies to shul because not doing so would mean never coming to the community together. We had reached out to you in private about the possibility of having a non-Jewish nanny bring our baby to shul. I must say having had post-partum depression being able to leave my

5 03, 2023

Pushing Someone in a Wheelchair to Shul on Shabbat without an Eruv

March 5th, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Disabilities, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat|


Jerusalem, IL

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igrot Moshe OH 4:90) writes that in a place where there is no eruv, a person can only propel themselves or be pushed in a wheelchair by a non-Jew. We are dealing with a case of someone about whom it is not clear if they can walk on their own. Is there room for a Jew to push this person to shul?


If you can do it with a shinuy, or have two people pushing, then it’s shevut d’shevut be’makom mitzvah (a Rabbinic prohibition coupled with another Rabbinic prohibition which is permissible for the sake of a

16 01, 2023

Non-Jew Warming Fully Cooked, Dry food in an Oven on Shabbat For Kiddush

January 16th, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Bishul, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat|



Shalom Rav Linzer – what are your thoughts on a gentile putting dry food to warm in an oven for kiddush? I know it’s not usually done but it seems like a d’rabbanan l’tzorech rabim (rabbinic prohibition done for the sake of the community)? The venue my shul meets at (a conservative synagogue) feels that hot plates are a liability.


This is exactly the case dealt with in SA OH 253:5

23 04, 2021

Taking an Ill Baby to the Doctor on Shabbat

April 23rd, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Choleh, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|


Chicago, IL

There is a 12 month old baby in our shul who has had a fever for several days. (He tested negative for COVID and his parents are both fully vaccinated.) His pediatrician asked his parents to bring the child in for an examination on Shabbat if his fever has not broken by then. They asked my guidance on how to bring their child to the doctor.

I assume that a child in a stable condition with a persistent fever is a חולה שאין בו סכנה and that derabanan violations can be undertaken for his medical care. In this case they

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|


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

6 03, 2021

Being Mesadeir Kiddushin for Saturday Night Wedding for a Non-Shomeir Shabbat Couple

March 6th, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|


Brooklyn, NY

I was asked to be Mesadeir Kiddushin on Saturday night for a non-Shomeir Shabbat couple, either at my shul building or at a hotel. The wedding would be 90 minutes (120 minutes?) after Shabbat, such that no hakhanah/melakhah is required to be done on Shabbat, but, that said, hakhanah/melakhah likely will be done by the couple. Do you think it is okay to be involved in/be Mesadeir for such a wedding? Would it be appropriate for such a wedding to be held at a shul?


I think if it is being done outside the shul, and you give them directions, which they will

15 11, 2020

Asking a Non-Jew to Turn Off a Propane Tank on Shabbat

November 15th, 2020|Amirah LeGoy, Choleh, Orach Chayim, Technology|


Chicago, IL

Can one ask a non-Jew to turn off a propane tank on Shabbat? Effectively turning off the fire. Are you really benefiting from it other than safety?


There are two issues with amirah legoy, one is directing a gentile to do a melakhah for you regardless of any benefit, since you are causing the melakhah to be done. The other is a problem of benefit, which is a problem even if he does it on his own, as long as he is doing it for you (Chazal forbade