web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Fear Of Flying

If you took a bus to synagogue on a rainy Shabbat or Yom Tov day, with umbrella in hand, would that be OK? There is no melachah involved because you are not driving. There is no amira le’nochri (asking a non‑Jew to perform a melachah on your behalf) involved because you are not asking the non‑Jew to drive for you. He is driving of his own accord for other non‑Jews. There is no violation of techum Shabbat (the prohibition not to travel on Shabbat or Yom Tov more than 2,000 amot beyond one’s residence), because the bus travels only in the city.

It is also difficult to find anything wrong with the umbrella. Presumably there is an eruv enclosure so there is no carrying violation involved. And according to the many authorities, including Rashi, who are of the opinion that building a provisional tent is permitted on Shabbat or Yom Tov, there is no melachah involved in opening the umbrella. Similarly, if you walk to your office in the city on Shabbat to assist a client in connection with an important transaction, taking care not to write or touch anything muktzah yourself, what would be wrong with that? There is no melachah involved in buying or selling on Shabbat.

But merely abstaining from the 39 melochot is not what Shabbat and Yom Tov is all about. Abstaining from the 39 melachot turns the weekday off, but it does not turn the Shabbat on.

Asks the Ramban, “What would the Shabbat be like had the Torah merely prohibited the 39 melachot? He responds, “A person could spend the entire Shabbat in physical labor. He could measure his grain and weigh his fruit, carry heavy furniture or barrels of wine from place to place. In a city enclosed with a valid eruv, it would be possible for many to go about business as usual. Markets and stores would be open and people would go Shabbat shopping. Laborers would get up early and hire themselves out for work. And Yom Tov would vanish into a regular weekday. The Torah refers to Yom Tov and Shabbat as Shabbaton, which means a day of rest, not a day of exertion.”

The liturgist in the Shabbat song “Ma Yeddidut” describes how the soul, once liberated from its weekday shackles, can soar on the wings of Shabbat, if we just let it. “Your steps should be leisurely; God made Shabbat for your pleasure, sleep is praiseworthy, it restores the spirit to the soul; my soul yearns to bask in Your affection.” And the prophet instructs us in the art of flying on Shabbat as follows, “If you refrain from running errands and pursuing your ambitions on My Holy Day, and if you designate the Shabbat a day of pleasure dedicated to My honor, then you will rejoice with Me and you will soar on high.”

And so anything that compromises the spirit of Shabbat and drags it down to weekday reality is prohibited, even if it is technically not a melachah. Certain activities by their very nature spoil the atmosphere of Shabbat, such as walking to work even if you do not write. Such activities are known as uvda dechol (weekday activities). Other activities, such as keeping the television on, demonstrate a disrespect for Shabbat. Yet other activities, such as carrying an umbrella on Shabbat, broadcast a workday atmosphere. Other activities simply confuse the onlooker and make him question your motive when you step off the bus on Shabbat.

Even permitted activities, such as bringing gifts to friends, must be done in a way that does not take on a commercial air. Thus, for example, three or more people should not arrive on Shabbat or Yom Tov lugging groceries, because it looks as if they are returning from the market. Rather, care should be taken to carry such items in a way that is different – derech shinui – from the way they are carried on a weekday.

An illustrative example of what might and what might not constitute uvda dechol is given by the Chatam Sofer. “Why” he asks, “is one permitted to travel by ship on Shabbat (boarded before Shabbat) but not by train?” Both are ten cubits off the ground and therefore the prohibition of techum Shabbat does not apply. The Chatam Sofer answers that in a ship you can celebrate the Shabbat in the comfort you would at home. In a train, however, you are always aware that you are traveling. The countryside races past the windows and you are constantly shaken up and focused on reaching your weekday destination. That is uvda dechol.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fear Of Flying”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A scene from the opera "Death of Klinghoffer." Protests at Lincoln Center start Sept. 22, at 4:30.
Klinghoffer: Pretending Art Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

To properly fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the megillah, each word must be heard.

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

The kohen gadol may not enter the Temple unless his hair is cut every seven days.

A commonly employed and permissible device regarding the prohibition of wearing fresh clothes during the Nine Days is to don them for a moment or two before the Nine Days.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/fear-of-flying/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: