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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Interesting Issurim for Shabbos

Halacha is like a Guitar.  I do not mean this as David Hamelech said (Tehillim 119:54) that זמירות היו לי חוקיך:  I mean it in this sense; Andres Segovia, although a virulent anti-semite, once said a clever thing: "The guitar is the easiest instrument to play, and the hardest to play well."  Halacha can be observed on many levels, from well-intentioned bare adequacy to high competence.

In the realm of Halacha, Hilchos Shabbos have a special place.  As the Mishna Berura says in his introduction to his volume three, if a person does not invest very serious effort into learning Hilchos Shabbos, transgressing issurim d'oraysa is inevitable.  For some of us, even those that think they are keeping hilchos Shabbos properly, it's news that you can't comb your hair on Shabbos, or stir a pot that's on the stove, or put deodorant or perfume on clothing.  But except for the highest tier of Talmidei Chachamim, there's always something new.  There are poskim that asser everything on the following list, and there are poskim that are mattir some or all of these, but every case highlights an issue that deserves some thought.  If you think the halacha is obvious, it is only because you don't know enough.  I have to admit, though, that some are really on the far edge of likelihood, and I am not noheg issur on many of them.

1.  Sunbathing for the purpose of getting a tan, because of צובע. See Minchas Yitzchak vol. 5 #32, 2 s.v. aval and Az Nidberu vol. 2 #30, and going outside in photogrey glasses, according to Rav Eliashiv, who is a da'as yachid on this topic.
2.  Catching and locking up an unruly child, because of צד.  See תשובות אבני נזר קפ'ט סעיף כ'ב.
3.  Wearing a hat with a straight brim larger than a tefach.  See Mishna Berura 301 SK 152.
4.  Putting up a mechitza so women can daven with a minyan.  See MB 315 SK 10.
5.  Opening the window shade when the light will fall on a houseplant, because of - זורע- it's not less זורע than זומר
6.  Punishing a child on Yomtov, because of the bittul of your asei that obligates you to make the members of your household joyous, and, obviously, because you're being mevatel the child's own mitzva of simcha on Yomtov and Oneg on Shabbos.
7.  Using Reddi-Whip whipped cream cans, because of either נולד or בונה
8.  Throwing crumbs or water into the wind, and similarly, using any aerosol spray.  See Magen Avraham 446:2.
9.  Separating freeze-pops, because of מחתך.  See Shevet Halevi 1:115.
10.  Cooking Cholent in a crock-pot, even if the top is not enclosed, because of הטמנה בדבר המוסיף הבל.  See Chazon Ish 37:19 and רש'ז אוערבאך במכתב הנדפס בספר אורחות שבת.
11.  While any newspaper that was printed on Shabbos might be muktza and assur to move, the New York Times is doubly muktza, and despite that, it would be muttar to move it anyway.  See Comments.

Feel free to suggest more.

Some people have told me that it would be best to not talk about unusual chumros, because it might discourage those who are considering shmiras Shabbos, and mutav she'yihyu shogegin and so forth.   I'm not too concerned about that.  That's not my demographic.


grunk said...

Using spray air fresheners and deodorants because of zoreh

grunk said...

Moving a newspaper that was printed on Shabbos [e.g., Friday after shkia] because of nolad, and in the case of the NYT, muktze machmas mi'us.

Chaim B. said...

The Times is a graf shel re'yi.

(See, this proves your point that Hil. Shabbos leaves lots of room for questions).

Something to add to your list: whether you can use a crock pot to make cholent for Shabbos afternoon. (Above and beyond whether you should remove/cover the knobs of the pot or stove).

grunk said...

re Times:
so you're saying that while other newspapers may be muktzah, the Times can be handled for the purpose of removing it from the presence of civilized people.

re crock pot:
you can always line the metal part with aluminum foil, which acts as a blech. it still works, but not as well, and that's the point of a blech. but of course, one can quibble over this also, which is the point of this blog.

One important point: try the chulent friday night instead of waiting for Shabbos afternoon. It's much better.