The seventh day of the week and a day of rest. Also use this tag for questions that apply equally to Yom Tov and Shabbat.

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12
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2answers
291 views

If you realize you're carrying on Shabbat, what's the best thing to do?

I've heard that you should put it down on a makom patur while still walking. However, a true makom patur is tall and skinny, like a post, and therefore possibly difficult to find. I've also heard ...
11
votes
2answers
188 views

Why omit “Av harachamim” for the four parashiyos?

"Av harachamim" is a prayer asking God to recall those who died al kidush hashem. It was written in response to the First Crusade (and is thus said only in the Ashk'nazi rite). Because of its somber ...
11
votes
3answers
236 views

Who distributed the zemiros across the three meals?

Any book of zemiros whether it's a siddur, birchon, or what have you divides the zemiros between the three meals. Sometimes the rationale is obvious as with the tikkunim which are written for each ...
11
votes
3answers
257 views

Are souls in Gehinom (purgatory) spared from suffering on Yom Tov?

The Zohar (quoted here), says that the souls that are undergoing the painful cleansing process of Gehenom (purgatory, hell, see here), are given respite during the 24 hours of Shabbat. This idea is ...
11
votes
1answer
423 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
11
votes
4answers
456 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
10
votes
1answer
120 views

Can I choose not to violate Shabbos for “pikuach nefesh”?

According to the Gemara (Yoma 85a-b) and Poskim (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 [English Rambam]), one is allowed to violate Shabbos in order to preserve his life. This is ...
10
votes
2answers
214 views

Which types of light bulbs are 'only' an issur d'rabbanan to activate on Shabbat

I'd be very interested to know if anyone has definitive advice on which types of light bulbs are considered an issur d'rabbanan (Rabbinic prohibition) vs an issur d'oraita (Torah prohibition) to turn ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!

I am preparing for my first trip to a synagogue after the High Holy Days. My first visit will be to a Modern Orthodox Synagogue. I have interacted with the Rabbi by email and we will be meeting ...
10
votes
3answers
347 views

Tzur MiShelo - Should you sing it before Bentching?

The song "Tzur MiShelo", generally printed in Bentchers, Siddurim, Zimronim, etc., as a Friday night song, follows the pattern of Bentching (grace after meals), praising G-d and praying for ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Using a plata on Shabbat

I have a plata--an electric warming tray that does not have knobs or adjustments. I can leave it plugged in throughout Shabbat. I want to use it correctly when I have guests and to up my observance. ...
10
votes
3answers
226 views

Flexibility in choice of verses for morning Kiddush

The morning Kiddush on Shabbat and holidays consists of one or more Torah verses followed by the blessing on the wine (or perhaps other beverage). I have seen in print and in practice various ...
10
votes
2answers
359 views

Are disposable cups allowed for Kiddush or Havdalah?

If one doesn't have a non-disposable cup or becher available, can s/he use a disposable cup? Are there any specific types (plastic, styrofoam, paper...) of disposable cups allowed, or is any cup okay ...
9
votes
2answers
440 views

Gentile living with a Jewish flatmate

I've been talking with someone about possibly moving in to a room in her house later in the year. Her kitchen is kosher and her house is shomer Shabbos, but since I'm used to spending Shabbos in ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Puzzles on Shabbat

Is it permitted to put together puzzles on Shabbat with children? Does it matter what kind of puzzle it is (jigsaw vs. fit the piece in the wooden hole)? Does it matter if there are words on the ...
8
votes
1answer
134 views

Hotels, electronic keys, and shabbat

Is it permissible to ask a non-Jewish hotel employee to let you into your hotel room on shabbat if the only way to unlock the hotel room is through the use of an electronic key? It seems like many ...
8
votes
3answers
672 views

If my home is on fire on Shabbos or Yom Tov, what can I do?

G-d forbid, but let's say that my house catches fire either on Shabbos or a Yom Tov. Can I call 911 or must I find a non-Jewish neighbor to call? We have an eruv. Can I take my car keys, cell phone ...
8
votes
2answers
162 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel shabbos to save a fetus?

Is it muttar to set aside the rules of shabbos to save a fetus? If so, how is it possible to reconcile that with the permissibility of killing a fetus (abortion)?
8
votes
5answers
565 views

Can you fold a tallis on Shabbos?

What melachah is transgressed by folding a tallis? Is there some way to fold it which is permitted?
8
votes
2answers
392 views

Tefillin On Shabbos

Why do we not put on Tefillin on Shabbos? Why is one not allowed to put on Tefillin on Shabbos? And similarly, why is Tefillin Muktzah?
8
votes
3answers
921 views

Cooking Cholent Right before Shabbos

Is there anything wrong with putting up a cholent to cook right before Shabbos?
8
votes
4answers
717 views

Lecha Dodi (לכה דודי) - Last Stanza

At Boi Veshalom (in Lecha Dodi), we turn around to greet the Shabbos queen. Firstly, to which direction are we supposed to turn? Is it towards the door of the synagogue, always to the rear of the ...
8
votes
2answers
224 views

Should one drink from the leader's cup after kiddush?

Inspired by the upcoming holiday of Pesach, where many minhagim seem to have each person drink from his own cup, I was wondering about the custom of drinking wine from the cup upon which kiddush is ...
7
votes
2answers
102 views

Sliding tzitzis knot on Shabbos

Many times, for those who have two double knots with eight strings in each knot (i.e. not following the opinion of the Rambam), the knot starts to come loose often, sometimes even several times a day. ...
7
votes
3answers
241 views

Difference between Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, & Melacha She'en Sarich LeGufa

What is the practical difference between actions considered Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, and Melecha She'en Sarich Legufa? What is an example that can demonstrate the ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Why celebrate Lag Ba'Omer on the 33rd according to the MaHaRIL?

There are several different opinions about when the students of Rabbi Akiva died, and which days we mourn for them. Sefer HaToda'ah quotes the Maharil, who says that the students of Rabbi Akiva died ...
7
votes
2answers
288 views

Using a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos

I seem to recall learning that it is permissible to use a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos as long as the time is always displayed on the front and no buttons would need to be pressed in order to ...
7
votes
2answers
301 views

Solar Powered Wrist-Watch on Shabbos

Is one allowed to go out with a solar powered watch on Shabbos (where they know the watch is in a situation where they will surely benefit from the power produced through the sun?) What could be the ...
7
votes
3answers
87 views

Melachah on Shabbath - after Shabbath

If Melachah was done on Shabbath, can the product of that Melachah be enjoyed after Shabbath, and if so, under what criteria (does it depend on how long after Shabbath, or on the need, or something ...
7
votes
1answer
115 views

Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?

Most Pesach sedarim feature the afikoman hide-and-seek game; either the children steal it and ransom it back or the parents hide it and (in my experience) pay a prize to the child who finds it. At ...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

What are the issues with wearing gloves on Shabbos?

I know that there are differing opinions on wearing gloves outside on Shabbos, and whether that constitutes carrying, or may lead to carrying. So, what are the halachic problems/concerns with wearing ...
7
votes
3answers
300 views

Why don't we say Tachanun at Mincha on Erev Shabbat or Erev Yom Tov?

It says in the Rambam that there is a custom not to say Tachanun at Mincha on Erev Shabbos and Yom Tov. What is the reason for this custom?
7
votes
4answers
344 views

How does salt “add heat” (mishna in Shabbos 4(1))

The mishna in Shabbos 4(1) tells us which materials may not be used to insulate foods for Shabbos because they "add heat". One of these materials is salt. Can anyone explain how salt can add heat ...
7
votes
2answers
126 views

Keychain with muktzeh items (e.g. usb)

This has been asked in the past with regard to a muktzeh key, and i was uncertain if it would be the same with something like a usb. If i have a keychain with a usb on it that i wear week round, come ...
7
votes
2answers
417 views

Is it actually forbidden to push a wheelchair outside of an eruv on Shabbat?

I have heard opinions varying wildly on the subject and am trying to make sense of them halachically. Is it illegal on Shabbat to push someone in a wheelchair, let's say, from their home to synagogue ...
7
votes
2answers
286 views

Drinking Water During “Shalosh Seudos”

Someone told me that one is not allowed to drink plain water during the third meal of Shabbos (Seudah Shelishit). (or at least that there is a minhag not to). Is this true? And if so, what is the ...
7
votes
5answers
404 views

Will rabbis allow brainy Shabbat driving?

Saw this news story a few days ago about a car being driven with just thought, using a special cap with sensors. http://www.jpost.com/Sci-Tech/Article.aspx?id=215704 To me this still seems entirely ...
7
votes
1answer
309 views

If no one else was available, could a mohel ride a bicycle on shabbos to perform a circumcision?

If a healthy baby boy's eighth day of life is on a Saturday, that's the day his bris milah / circumcision should be performed if at all possible. While elective surgeries are prohibited on Shabbos, ...
7
votes
5answers
544 views

malacha from child

is one allowed to ask a child to do a malacha of shabbos? does your answer also apply to a non-Jew?
6
votes
1answer
62 views

Mentioning our sins on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh

During every Shemoneh Esrei of mussaf, we pray that the Beis Hamikdash be rebuilt. However, only on Yom Tov do we mention that it was destroyed due to our sins - ומפני חטאינו. On Shabbos, and on Rosh ...
6
votes
3answers
130 views

Shabbos activities for kids

We have three children aged 11 (boy), 4 (girl) 2 (boy). We started keeping Shabbos a while ago and we realise that it gets hard for the kids at some point. I was wondering if you could suggest ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

Any Halachic Problems with App Publishing?

I'm currently in the process of developing a mobile app, that, be'h will have various Israel related feeds. I was wondering if there could be any Halachic issues with respect to including news feeds ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

Playing with a pet on Shabbos

Is there any opinion that holds one may play or touch a pet on Shabbos (even though animals are normally muktzeh on Shabbos.) Specifically one that is meant for this purpose (to play with.) I heard ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone of suffering?

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone (a human or an animal) of suffering? I am talking about excruciating suffering, not merely discomfort, and I am not talking about ...
6
votes
0answers
95 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

Presents on shabbas

Can one give a present on shabbas? If the answer is no, then how does it work when one eats by someones house the food one gets is a present (it is changing reshus). Sources please.
6
votes
1answer
301 views

Shema in Musaf Kedushah - Source and reason

I grew up on the Birnbaum siddur, I admit it. I read the little explanations at the bottom of the page over and over. Later, I bought a set of Artscroll machzorim and used those on Rosh Hashana and ...
6
votes
2answers
96 views

Kiddush BeRov 'Am

Does BeRov 'Am Hadrath Melech (the King's glory is in the multitudes, ie., the more people praise HaShem together, the more glorious it is for Him) apply to making Kiddush? I've heard it said so ...
6
votes
2answers
347 views

Is repeating the chorus in Lecha Dodi problematic?

Some tunes for Lecha Dodi are conducive to repeating the chorus ("Lecha dodi ...") twice each time. I've noticed that some people, when using one of these tunes, repeat, while others avoid repeating ...
6
votes
2answers
184 views

Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos

Why do we not say Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos and why is the Teffilah of Neilah the exception to this very rule?