Toppings on a Potato – on Shabbat

Recently at a person’s house, we were confronted with a fascinating halachic question as to whether one may put a topping such as ketchup onto a piece of hot meat or potato on Shabbat. This question is interesting because it highlights two fundamental laws that we...

Can I Reheat My Chicken Soup on Shabbat Morning

The Gemara declares emphatically that anything that was cooked on the eve of Shabbat can be re-cooked on Shabbat itself. There is tremendous discussion amongst the commentators as to whether this applies only to solids or as to whether the ruling also applies to...

Does one have to change one’s shoes for shabbos?

  The Gamara in Shabbat (113a), states that ones Shabbat clothing should be different from his weekday garments. In fact, the Yerushalmi states in the name of Rav Chanina, that one should have two separate garments; one for Shabbat and one for weekday. Do shoes...

“Piku´ach Nefesh” on Shabbat

The Gemara comments in Masechet Yoma that when a person´s life is in danger, Heaven forbid, Shabbat is to be violated in order to save him. The Gemara derives this halacha from the pasuk that states regarding the mitzvot, “va´chai bahem,” or “and one...

Can We Really Bless Our Children on Friday Nights?

What a beautiful custom it is when we return from Shul on Friday night and bless our children. Could there possibly be a halachic issue with it? The answer is yes……. The Gemara in Ketubot (24b) states that a “Yisrael” (i.e. non-Kohen) that blesses Birkat Kohanim...

An Eruv at a Hotel Owned By a Non-Jew – 5768

Rabbi Asher Sabag Former Shaliach in Chicago   The Mishnah (BT Eruvin 61b) states: “One who lives with an idolater in a chatzeir (loosely, courtyard) or with someone who does not accept the [laws of] eruv – that [idolater] restricts him [from carrying into the...

Feeding Animals on Shabbat – 5768

Rabbi Moshe Spetter Former Rosh Kollel in Washington (2000-2003)   In memory of my father and teacher Dov ben Moshe, hareini kaparat mishkavo How does Judaism address the issue of raising animals? Noach saved all the animals – both the tehorim (“pure” – i.e....

Using Electric Lights on Shabbat – 5767

Rabbi Yitzchak Neriya Former Rosh Kollel in Montreal   The Gemara (BT Shabbat 12b) prohibits reading and learning on Shabbat by candlelight, lest one “tilt” the lamp. This refers to the fact that in those days, people used oil lamps. Chazal were concerned that if...

“Early” Shabbat – 5767

During the summer months, Shabbat starts late, which can be difficult for families with younger children, who tend to either fall asleep before their father comes home from shul or be tired during the entire meal. Therefore, many people accept Shabbat early. Where...

The Mitzvah of Tosefet Shabbat – 5767

Rabbi Yehuda David Former Rosh Kollel in Dayton   Introduction – Day and Night in Judaism The Source of the Mitzvah of Tosefet Shabbat The Duration of the Mitzvah Practical Conclusions In this article we will explore, with God’s help, the source of the...