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16
votes
3answers
777 views

What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane?

What Bracha should you say on a hurricane? Oseh Ma'aseh Vereishis? You say Birchas Gomel if you travel over the sea; do you also say it if the sea travels over you?
14
votes
1answer
777 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
13
votes
1answer
477 views

Mandatory evacuation on Shabbat: what can and can't you do?

A major storm hit New England starting this past Friday. While people knew this was coming and precautions were already in place, apparently (according to a news article I read tonight) some areas ...
11
votes
3answers
537 views

If it rains on my sukkah and I put up a tarp, should I stay in the sukkah?

If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)
11
votes
3answers
308 views

Dew distinct from water among the shiva mashkim

The seven mashkim are blood, water, milk, honey, wine, oil, and dew. What is the difference between water and dew? Isn't dew a type of water?
11
votes
2answers
799 views

Shoveling snow on Shabbos

Regardless of snows muktza status on shabbos, is there an issue in shoveling snow from a paved walk? At worst: If snow is muktza, you are doing tiltul min hatzad letzurach davr mutar since you need ...
10
votes
1answer
277 views

Opening an umbrella indoors

Is there anything wrong with opening up an umbrella indoors according to Jewish tradition? I have met many people who view it as bad luck or possibly rude. On the other hand we are commanded not to ...
10
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a malach taking care of rain or not?

The Gemara in Taanis 2a mentions rain as one of the items that Hashem never gives the key of which over to a messenger. אמר ר' יוחנן ג' מפתחות בידו של הקב''ה שלא נמסרו ביד שליח ואלו הן מפתח של ...
9
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there an exhaustive list of astronomical/environmental events for which there are blessings?

Inspired by: What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane? What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? Bracha for the transit of Venus? What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if ...
9
votes
2answers
299 views

Why don't we follow the Shulchan Aruch's nusach of the blessing on a rainbow?

Background: The Talmud (Berachot 59A) and the Rambam (Berachot 10:17), and Tur 229 tell us the blessing of the Rainbow is as follows: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר ...
9
votes
2answers
105 views

Why specify the wind as the force for Hashem's miracles?

There seems to be a consistent phenomenon where the Torah relays a miracle or sign of Hashem, but only when He carries the act out through wind is the process specified. Why is this? See parshas Bo ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Rainbow as a bad omen

There is a popular idea that seeing a rainbow is a bad sign, as if the world is deserving of a deluge (c"v) and the only reason Hashem does not do so is because of His promise. Is there any source for ...
7
votes
4answers
130 views

Why strong wind when splitting the sea?

The verses describing the splitting of the Yam Suf (Reed Sea) say a strong wind blew overnight before the sea split. To me, this implies a gradual process of moving a great deal of water. On the ...
7
votes
2answers
574 views

Bracha on thunder and lightning - how often?

If you are in a rainstorm with thunder and lightning - you make the Brachos for them. What happens if the storm ends and then a few hours later (same day) it is raining again. Do you make another ...
6
votes
4answers
592 views

Plans for building a sukkah shlock

A sukkah roof has to be open to the sky, and made of loose, plant-based material. Practically speaking, this means that everything inside gets wet when it rains.....unless your sukkah has a "shlock," ...
6
votes
2answers
312 views

Is cold weather bad for tefillin?

The winter season is around the corner and I am wondering if it's damaging to leave tefillin out in the cold (I usually leave mine in a room with no heat). Would this ruin the tefillin because of ...
6
votes
1answer
566 views

Why does Lubavitch eat in the Sukkah when it rains?

I have always heard that while we do not eat in the Sukkah while it rains, those of Chabad do. Why is this so? Found it on wikipedia too: Though the halakha doesn't obligate one to eat or sleep ...
5
votes
3answers
587 views

Rainbow, telling a friend

We know The rainbow is a bad Omen. Is one allowed to tell a friend when he sees one, in order to allow him to make a Bracha or should he hold back as it is a bad sign?
5
votes
3answers
303 views

Morid HaGeshem or Morid HaGoshem

What is the correct pronunciation HaGeshem or HaGoshem?
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do we sit in the sukkah in the autumn?

I remember hearing at some point that there's a disagreement between the Ashkenazi and Sefardi rishonim regarding why we sit in the sukkah in the autumn: Ashkenaz - Because we love God, so we go out ...
5
votes
2answers
72 views

Was the fire within each hailstone or within the hailstorm?

Vaera 9:23–24: וַיֵּט משֶׁה אֶת מַטֵּהוּ עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם וַה׳ נָתַן קֹלֹת וּבָרָד וַתִּהֲלַךְ אֵשׁ אָרְצָה וַיַּמְטֵר ה׳ בָּרָד עַל אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם׃ וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

Is Snow Muktza?

Does anyone know good sources that talk about this issue? Perhaps we can divide this into 3 categories: Is snow generally muktza since it has no practical use (as opposed to rainwater which has ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

Bracha on an indirect view of lightning

The general practice is to make a bracha on the sky illuminating from lightning without actually seeing the bolt. Does anyone know a source for this? Is this the most appropriate practice? Also, ...
5
votes
2answers
228 views

How to determine what a “normal wind” would do to a sukka

What a "normal wind" ("ruach metzuya") would do affects various laws of sukka construction. For example, in this guide from the Star-K to using sechach mats, they require that sechach-eligible ...
5
votes
3answers
239 views

Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere (Brazil, Australia, South Africa, etc.) in October they are heading into the summer. Do they say Mashiv HaRuach at this time of the year or do they say it from Pesach to ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Why do they replace one טל for another in shmoneh esre in Israel?

Why, in Israel, do they get rid of ותן טל ומתר in barech aleinu but then add מוריד הטל in ata gibor? If it's the end of the season for טל (which, maybe i'm wrong, but I don't think there an end to ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

May one disassemble as Sukkah during Chol Hamoed?

I know from 134:11 in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that one may assemble a Sukkah during Chol Hamoed. May one disassemble a Sukkah during Chol Hamoed in order to prevent the Sukkah from being damaged by, ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Eating indoors when it's raining on Sukkos

If it is raining enough to make eating in the Sukkah unpleasant (enough to ruin the soup or so), then one is exempt from eating in the Sukkah. Let's say that someone was on their way out to the ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

Can one use potential wind power to transport on Shabbos?

Would it be permitted to set a cart with a sail in a reshus hayachid with the intent that if the wind picks up, it will carry the contents 1) into a reshus harabbim, or 2) through a reshus harabbim ...
5
votes
0answers
103 views

How does deep snow affect carrying on Shabbos?

Thinking about the snow in Boston and the discussion at Shabbos 5a, if there was more than 10 tefakim (handbredths) of snow on the ground, would a reshus hayachad (private domain) extend from the soil ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

Tal UMatar - for whom?

According to the build-up in this question the point of Tal UMatar is to pray for good rains in one's local area. The same seems to be assumed in other questions and especially a couple of different ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

"Oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh?

Someone made the brocho of “oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh? What sources deal with this issue please? (I have posed the shaaloh to my Rav.)
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, first....
4
votes
1answer
747 views

Mashiv HaRuach - V'Sain (veten) Tal Umatar

Why do we start saying Mashiv HaRuach on Shemini Atzeres yet we do not say V'Sain Tal Umatar until Dec 4 / Dec 5 (In Chutz L'Aretz)? Why should they not be on the same day when they are similar ...
4
votes
1answer
674 views

Bracha on Lightning without Thunder

Does anyone have a modern day psak on lightning without thunder colloquially known as "heat lightning"? The Chaye Adam says it's caused by heat and he suggests that maybe is not what the gemara was ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

A tree which falls and damages

If one has a tree in their property/yard, (or similarly a tree within a jointly owned courtyard) and it falls into a public area [due to heavy winds] and damages... Is the owner of the tree liable in ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Can one wear Yaktrax on Shabbat?

Yaktrax is an ice traction "device" that you slip onto the bottom of your shoe. Can one wear this on Shabbat? Possible concerns: boneh - "building". Wearing the device involves stretching a band ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Glass boxes and Hadlaka Oseh Mitzvah [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Fish Tank Menorahs I think this is a familiar question, but since I don't have an answer, I'll ask it here. Since the halacha is that Hadlaka Oseh Mitzva (the conditions at ...
3
votes
10answers
263 views

Snow in Halacha

Name the many references in different contexts in Halacha to snow?
3
votes
1answer
96 views

If there is incliment weather on Yom Kippor may one wear leather shoes to the synogogue?

In the event of inclement weather on Yom Kippur, may one wear leather shoes (which are the only inclement-weather-proof shoes available) to synagogue? I am asking about walking there in the morning, ...
3
votes
2answers
591 views

Is there a bracha for hail, for snow?

Is there a bracha for hail, for snow? Is the blessing for hail the same as the one for thunder? As the one for lightning? If I understand correctly, oseh maaseh beresheet is for lighting, hurricane, ...
3
votes
1answer
291 views

Rainbow: Making a Bracha on a bad Omen

As discussed in some earlier questions Rainbows are a bad Omen yet we are Halachicly commanded to make a Bracha on it. The Gemara in Chagigah (16A) says you may not gaze at one so how do you make the ...
3
votes
1answer
957 views

What to do if Shabbat candles go out

What should a lady do if, after kindling the candles, a gust of wind blows them out, or they tip over and are extinguished?
3
votes
1answer
695 views

Meaning of a Double Rainbow

After my mum died and while we were planning for her funeral, during one dramatic day after we had left the funeral home, my dad and I saw a giant double rainbow in the sky. I understand that single ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Should you say mashiv haruach if it's raining?

If it is currently raining in your location and it is not the proper time to say mashiv haruach, should you say it anyways? Mashiv haruach, unlike v'ten tal umatar, is a recognition of God's power to ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

What's the bracha for a circumzenithal arc?

Upon seeing a rainbow, we say, זוכר הברית, ונאמן בבריתו, וקים במאמרו ...who remembers the covenant, is faithful in his covenant, and fulfills his word. I recently witnessed a natural event ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Why does Rashi claim “מלקוש” is locust terminology like “לקש” if “לקש” isn't “locusts”? (תענית ו ע״א)

Someone in my synagogue posed the following question to me; stumped, I pose it to you: The Bavli, Taanis 6 amud 1, notes that מלקוש is good rain. It then proposes that, perhaps, that's mistaken; ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

Can a magician cast a spell in water?

The power of magicians and magic, the Talmud speaks plenty about. One such example is that of Ze'iri and the donkey, in Sanhedrin 67: זעירי איקלע לאלכסנדריא של מצרים זבן חמרא כי מטא לאשקוייה מיא ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

Bracha on seeing indirect light from lightning?

As this question mentions, one should say the bracha if the sky lights up, even if one does not see the bolt. What if one is facing away from the window when lightning strikes and the light fills the ...