Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
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.
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According to the Sefer Yetzirah, each month is associated with a letter of the aleph-beis. Teves was formed by means of the letter ayin, which has a numerical value of seventy – a number that figures prominently in Judaism.
Having come to the conclusion that nobody was more qualified than Yosef to lead Egypt in anticipation of and during the approaching famine, Pharaoh appointed him prime minister. This appointment made Yosef the second most powerful man in Egypt.
One of the ancillary axioms of cornflake fights is that they can never be contained between just two warring parties.
When your parents come to visit, do you rush to the door and welcome them with a loving heart?
Joseph may have known ancient Egyptian traditions about seven-year famines.
Mr. Weiner walked over to the garbage can and pulled it out from under the board. The board fell to the ground with a thud and split.
“Serves him right!” said Mr. Weiner. “I’ve warned him a hundred times not to take my things without permission!”
Question: I am contemplating traveling to Israel. My flight will take place during Chanukah, which means that I may miss one night’s candle lighting. What are my options?
Of Kings And Scholars
‘He Forgave The Honor Due Him’
The Bach, commenting on Tur Shulchan Aruch, explains that the decrees of the Yivanim against the Jewish people occurred because the Jewish people became “lax in their service.”
In this week’s parshah, Yosef is the ruler of Mitzrayim and his brothers come to purchase food from him, not realizing with whom they were dealing.
Patience seems to be in such short supply these days, yet it can make a world of difference. This is particularly so in certain kinds of stressful situations whereby we think we only have time to act in a knee-jerk way instead of acting thoughtfully.
If your home fits the chaotic description but you’d love to change it to the calm one maybe you should think about joining the ever growing Chatzos Movement – a group of ladies whose goal is to have all the main preparations for Shabbos over by chatzos, the middle of the day on Friday.
Of all the “what were they thinking” stories we have in Tanach, the story of Yosef definitely takes the cake. He knows his brothers hate him and should not be messed with. And yet he begs, “Please hear my dreams, in which you all bow down to me.”
Even Moshe Rabbeinu, who spoke with God one on One, was not allowed to see Him during his lifetime. “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.” Ultimately, we shall all see God one on One and face not just Him but also ourselves and the lives we led.
Continuing with our examination of Pesachim as per the Daf Yomi cycle, the Seder commences with Kiddush recited over the first cup of wine. Whereas Kiddush may be recited before nightfall on Shabbat, it must be recited after nightfall on Seder night. Unlike Shabbat and Yom Tov, on Seder night there is a requirement that each participant drink from his own cup.
There are lots of back seat drivers at the Seder. Your kezayit (portion) of matzah is not big enough, they chide. Red wine only; shmurah matzot or nothing; don’t start the Seder before nightfall; must finish the meal before midnight; don’t drink wine between the four cups; the Seder plate set in the wrong order. This article is intended as a defensible guide for the brave volunteer who leads the Seder (the ba’al haseder).
It’s 12:30 on a Yom Tov, Monday morning. You are about to leave the synagogue for the third day in a row. As you look around, you notice, even as you try to ignore it, a certain wilting of the spirit. A belabored pace. How good you felt on Friday night, with the onset of Shabbat. An effortless serenity set in then.
Prayer is always an avenue to God. But in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, and during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, God lends a particularly sympathetic ear.
Taste is everything. If the taste of chametz has been absorbed into a cooking vessel, such a vessel may not be used on Pesach unless it undergoes koshering, the halachically prescribed way of expelling the flavor of forbidden food such as non-kosher foods, meat and milk mixtures or chametz on Pesach from utensils and restoring them for use.
We popularly refer to the eight-day period, from the fifteenth through the twenty second of Nissan, as the festival of Pesach. The Torah, however, calls this period Chag HaMatzot, during which time we eat matzot and abstain from eating chametz.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/fear-of-flying/2013/02/28/
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