1 06, 2021

Putting Uncooked Food in a Crockpot Before Shabbat That Will Turn On Via a Timer on Shabbat

June 1st, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Is permissible to put uncooked food in a crockpot before Shabbat that will turn on via a timer on Shabbat itself? The Tzitz Eliezar (2:6), referring to an electric stove, is opposed to doing so. He is concerned that if one is allowed to so, then the one might err and put uncooked food on such a stove on Shabbat itself, which is grama and an issur derabanan. However, Rav Shlomo Zalman (Minchat Shlomo 2:34) says that there is no need to make such a gezeirah. What are the Rosh Yeshiva’s thoughts on the matter. Thank you.

ANSWER

Regarding putting raw […]

18 05, 2021

Sunscreen on Shabbat and Yom Tov

May 18th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Riverdale, NY

What are the Rosh Yeshiva’s parameters for applying sunscreen on Shabbat/Yom Tov (and do different types/ingredients matter)?

ANSWER

I don’t think it’s refuah, I think it’s preventative. Even if it were refuah, sunburn is definitely choleh kol haguf, so it is mutar. As to memarei’ach, my general rule is that if something is roughly the viscosity of oil then it is definitely mutar, since sikhah is only assur on Yom Kippur, so clearly it’s not memarei’ach. My experience is that sunscreen is not more viscous than that, so it would be mutar.


FOLLOW-UP QUESTION

Many sunscreens are more of a cream. They do not […]

23 04, 2021

Taking an Ill Baby to the Doctor on Shabbat

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

QUESTION

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 […]

7 04, 2021

Using Whitening Toothpaste on Shabbat

April 7th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Rav Linzer, What are your thoughts about using “whitening toothpaste”on Shabbat? If whitening toothpaste is permitted what about a whitening gel that is not toothpaste but is applied for a few minutes and then washed off as part of a daily ongoing treatment to whiten teeth? What about general care of teeth like flossing? I am not asking about brushing teeth on Shabbat because I assume you follow those who permit it, but if I am wrong please correct me. Thank you.

ANSWER

Let’s bracket my own position re toothpaste. For those who use it on Shabbat, I don’t see a […]

2 04, 2021

Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine on Shabbat

April 2nd, 2021|Choleh, Geirut and Geirim, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Northwest, USA

If Shabbat is the earliest an immunocompromised congregant can receive their first dose, should I encourage them to sign up, or keep looking for an appointment not on Shabbat? They don’t drive and can arrange transportation beforehand.

ANSWER

In the case of someone immunocompromised, and assuming that they don’t have to sign anything, they can arrange for it on Shabbat, provided that they make sure that there are no דאורייתא concerns. Specifically, the internal light of the cab has to be taken care of and payment needs to be arranged before hand. They also shouldn’t carry anything if possible. If they […]

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|

QUESTION

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?

ANSWER

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

25 02, 2021

COVID Vaccine on Shabbat

February 25th, 2021|Choleh, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Technology|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

What should the approach be for a vaccination appointment on Shabbat, assuming that is the only appointment available? I just saw someone on Facebook who was able to book one but saw it was on Shabbat and canceled it before any of us could tell her she should go! So upsetting. Is there any guidance being provided on this?

ANSWER

I’ve been struggling over this – how much is preventative medicine like a choleh with the same heteirim?  In this case, where the need is so great, I would say it can be categorized as such, but only after looking at options.  Will […]

7 02, 2021

Rolling Out a Megillah for Reading and Preparing on Shabbat for Megillah Reading

February 7th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Purim|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

Wondering if we can roll out the entire Megillah across two tables, instead of folding it igeret style. We have multiple readers for each of the readings, and this would minimize contact and allow us only to have one person at the table (as opposed to having others helping to hold the klaf – especially for the women’s reading). I am wondering if it is ok to have it pre-rolled out like this? Also, can we practice the Shabbat before (after davening) with an actual megillah? (Is there a muktzeh she’eilah?) Shabbat is really the only time […]

5 02, 2021

Sledding on Shabbat

February 5th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Rabbi Linzer, in your snow teshuva I don’t think you clarify if there is any problem with adults sledding on Shabbat. Can you clarify in which situations adults would be permitted to sled (with their children? on their own?). Also, is there any additional concern on a designated sledding hill, where the inevitable packing of the snow under the sled is actually a desired improvement as it makes the hill better for sledding?

ANSWER

I don’t see any difference between children and adults. The […]

25 01, 2021

Checking Email on Shabbat to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

January 25th, 2021|Choleh, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Shabbat and getting vaccine question:

A person who works in a healthcare setting and thus has high vaccine status and is at somewhat heightened risk themselves, will get an email at some point telling them that the vaccine is available and to sign up immediately, first come first serve, before it runs out. They have already missed one such opportunity because the last email happened to come on Shabbat.

  1. Can they check their phone on Shabbat, for such emails, which may or may not […]
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