Orach Chayim

11 06, 2021

Mechitzah on the Bimah

June 11th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Kevod HaRav,  we are building a new bimah/platform and we would like to be able to divide it in half so that there is the possibility of having space for men and women during davening. Would a clear glass divider suffice for this or must the glass be opaque? It would only be used during keriyat HaTorah when a woman would ascend the bimah to read a MiShebeirakh.

ANSWER

A clear divider should be fine if the basic purpose is, as Rav Moshe would have it, to have single sex spaces and is not about הרהורים (Iggrot Moshe OC 1: 39). Rav […]

1 06, 2021

COVID Vaccine for a Child on Shabbat

June 1st, 2021|Choleh, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

May we get a child vaccinated for  COVID on Shabbat? We would not have to drive, only walk up to the vaccination site and answer questions. Drawing blood is a concern, as is uvda dechol. It also may be possible, although less convenient, to get the vaccine within a few days at a different site

ANSWER

I see no problem with it. Refuah is permissible in cases of choleh kol haguf. If one considers that a person who needs preventative medicine is not a choleh, then this also isn’t refuah (see Mishnah Berurah 328:130 who cites a machloket haposkim whether something done for health when the […]

1 06, 2021

Is There a Time Limit to Say Birkat HaGomeil?

June 1st, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Regarding Birkat HaGomeil, the Shulchan Arukh (OC 219:6) suggests you can still say the berakhah after three days have passed. Arukh HaShulchan seems to suggest that someone can say the berakhah after three days as long as they haven’t forgotten the incident. A congregant heard me give over this halakha and asked if he could make the berakhah 50 years later! He still remembers the event clearly as it was very traumatic. Is this an appropriate interpretation of the Shulchan Aruch and Arukh HaShulchan or is it taking things too far? Thank you.

ANSWER

The simple language of the Shulchan Arukh is indeed that there is no time limit. Arukh HaShulchan’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

9 05, 2021

Continuing to Listen to a Shiur While Entering the Bathroom

May 9th, 2021|Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

This is a halakhic, but I will admit, also midat chasidut question. I understand the Rosh Yeshiva has often pointed out leniencies about the halakhic status about today’s bathrooms. I listen to shiurim on headphone around my home. If I’m walking into a clean bathroom for a moment, must I pause the shiur? Would it actually be wrong to specifically pause a shiur in that moment? Same for walking in for a few minutes, say to find something in a cabinet or to quickly tidy the space.

ANSWER

You are correct that today’s bathrooms do not have a status of a […]

8 05, 2021

Ordering Fresh Food On Shabbat for Someone with an Eating Disorder

May 8th, 2021|Choleh, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Someone in our community is engaged in a long-term treatment program for eating disorders. She lives with a group of other women who are patients at the hospital in an apartment down the street from the center where she will spend most of her days. She will be discharged back to her own apartment on Shabbat afternoon, but with no capacity to prepare food. She could eat sandwiches etc., but she raised the possibility of ordering something hot and fresh on GrubHub or a similar app.

I’m thinking that within the parameters of the general pesak that is given for […]

7 05, 2021

Tefilah and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

May 7th, 2021|Berakhot, Disabilities, Orach Chayim, Shema and Shemoneh Esrei|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

The following is a personal and complicated question, and I totally understand if you don’t have time to answer it, but I thought I’d give it a shot:

I have been diagnosed with OCD for a few years, and one of the ways that manifests itself for me is that, on a daily basis, I doubt whether I have said parts of davening correctly (especially Shema where wrong pronunciation prevents fulfilment of the mitzvah, as far as I know), and repeat myself several times, or at least have a really strong urge to repeat myself.

I’m wondering if you think that […]

2 05, 2021

Mourner’s Kaddish with a Minyan Created by Zoom

May 2nd, 2021|Aveilut, Kaddish, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Canada

Thank you for your answer regarding saying Mourner’s Kaddish when connecting to a minyan via Zoom. What would be the halakha if the minyan itself was created via Zoom? That is, if all 10 men are in different places, but they are Zooming into the same Zoom room. Will this work for saying normal Kaddish, Barekhu, repeating Shemoneh Esrei? Will it work for saying Kaddish?

ANSWER

As we discussed in that earlier teshuvah, to create a core minyan they all must be in the same geographic space. Thus, a minyan that is formed over Zoom would not be good […]

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