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 […]

12 02, 2021

Speaking Machine on Shabbat for Person Who Lost Ability to Speak

February 12th, 2021|Choleh, Orach Chayim, Technology|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

Someone with a serious illness in my shul recently lost the ability to speak. He now has a machine that he can type his words and it speaks it for him. May he use the machine on Shabbat? Without the machine he’d be unable to communicate.

ANSWER

Yes. It is clearly a case of mitztaer that would permit derabanans. I should note that some people might say, “If he can do that, then why can’t I…” (I think more than they would say this in a case of, say, an electric wheelchair). So you should just be aware of that, and […]

24 01, 2021

Wearing a Seiko Spring Drive Watch on Shabbat

January 24th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Technology|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Can a watch like this be worn on Shabbat. The battery is charged by the movement of the wearer. But, when Shabbat begins, the battery has enough charge to last 3 days. (And the mechanism is a merger of self winding spring mechanism and quartz powered regulator for accuracy).

https://youtu.be/BQ4yxc7EviQ

ANSWER

I can’t see how it can be a problem. It is totally mitaseik, or at most pesik reisha delo ikhpat lei. It’s probably even […]

27 12, 2020

Does a Water Urn Require Tevilah? May It Be Used on Shabbat?

December 27th, 2020|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Technology, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Canada

Newly purchased water urn – do you hold that it’s patur from tevilah because it’s mechubar lakarkah (and maybe will get ruined by tevilah? not sure the metziut) or that it requires tevilah as per Rav Moshe? See the picture for reference.

 

ANSWER

I think you don’t need to do tevilah based on the combination of the following 3 reasons (any 2 would really suffice):

  1. Mechubar […]
16 12, 2020

Using a Grinder Pump for a Toilet on Shabbat

December 16th, 2020|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Technology|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

A basement bathroom has a grinder pump that goes off every time the toilet is flushed. Can the toilet be used on Shabbat?

ANSWER

If it happens every time, then it is a pesik reisha denicha lei of a grama. The actually issur being performed is really only electricity. I can’t think how grinding waste fits into any category of a melakhah. So there are many reasons to be lenient:

  1. Me’ikar hadin, grama is mutar even with a […]
15 11, 2020

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

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

QUESTION

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?

ANSWER

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 […]

8 03, 2017

Divine Sparks: Shabbat, Electricity

March 8th, 2017|Shabbat, Technology|

This is a source sheet to accompany the panel that took place in Jerusalem on January 5, 2017 titled, “Divine Sparks: Shabbat, Electricity”

To listen to the audio from the panel, click on the following audio link:

Below is a summary of the main ways in which poskim have tried to put the use of electricity, when it does not involve any other melakha (e.g., the turning on of incandescent lights, which would be considered a fire since it burns a piece of metal generating heat and light). The seventh explanation concedes that it […]

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