HALACHOS FOR THE SUMMER
The summer is a time that many gain from the vast opportunities that it provides. During this time we often able to utilize Halacha in ways that do not present themselves during the year. Following are some guidelines that may help:
· Contents: Tefilas Haderech
§ Birkas Hagomel
§ Kashrus in hotel
§ Tevilas Kailim
§ The Three Weeks
§ Tisha B’Av
§ Scooters on Shabbos
TEFILAS HADERECH and HAGOMEL
1. (Gm. Brachos 29B ) – Eliyahu Hanavi told Reb Yehudah:
כל היוצא לדרך צריך להתפלל תפלת הדרך. מאי תפלת הדרך? יהי רצון מלפניך ד’ אלקי שתוליכני לשלום ותצעידני לשלום ותצילני מכף כל אויב ואורב בדרך, ותשלח ברכה במעשי ידי, ותתנני לחן לחסד ולרחמים בעיניך ובעיני כל רואי, ברוך אתה ד שומע תפלה. אמר אביי: לעולם לישתף אינש נפשיה בהדי צבורא.
The Gemorah is telling us that we need HKBH protection always, it is more evident when we are traveling and warrants a special Teffilah.
Rashi and the Rashba (Brachos 29b) understand Reb Yaakov that it can only be said up to 1 Parsa (a bit under three miles) since we are asking permission to travel from one community to another. The Rosh (Brachos 4:18) , Behag and Mechaber ( O.C. 110:7) say that we start saying it only after a Parsa and up to one Parsa of ending the journey since one still needs HKBH extra protection. The trip has started 70 Amos (120) feet after the last house of the town.which is defined in Halacha as having “left town”. Mishna Berura (Orach Chaim 110:29) says that it should be said within 3 miles of “leaving town”.
2. We can say Teffilas Haderech according to the Taz at home as soon as we start on the trip. The MB (O.C. 110) says to follow the Mogen Avrohom to wait until we leave town. The Steipler would say it upon entering a highway.
3. Rivavos Ephraim (6:109) says that when traveling on a ship we say Teffilas Haderech as soon as it leaves the dock and on a plane as soon as it is moving. Rav Ruderman (Mipi Hashmuah) says to wait until the plane is on the runway and is taking off.
4. Reb Yaakov Kamenetski Paskens to say Teffilas Haderech whether we are nervous or not about the trip.
5. Yabia Omer: (1:13) any mode of travel of 72 minutes or more away from a town we say Teffilas Haderech.
6. Mishna Berura (O.C. 110:28) Lechatchila we make it a Bracha Ha’Smucha Lechaverta,even for Shabbos travel by first saying a Bracha on something else.
7. Gem Brachos (30a) – Rav Shaises – say it even while walking. Rav Chisda – only standing. In a plane or car a person should sit since it is too hard to concentrate standing.The Mishna Berura (110:22) says that one should say it in whatever position he will have greater Kavanah
8. Piskei Teshuvos (110:3) says that preferably each person says for themselves Teffilas Haderech but one can be Motzei others if needed.However a Koton cannot be Motzi a Gadol.
9. MB (110:26) – normally we say once a day which covers until we sleep in a bed. However, without Shainas Keva it covers the next day as well. i.e. Sleeping in a seat on a plane, car etc.
The Gemorah Berachos (54b) says that a person who travelled over an ocean, desert, released from jail or was healed from a serious illness upon conclusion says the Bracha
…..הגומל לחייבים טובות שגמלני כל טוב This Bracha is said as well flying over an ocean such as to Eretz Yisroel. It is said at the conclusion of the trip, not during a stopover. Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ((Halichos Shlomo Hilchos Teffilah 23:5) and Reb Moshe Feinstein (I.M. in O.C. 2:59) Pasken that a person should say Birkas Hagomel after any flight. The Tzitz Eliezer ((11:14) says that the Minhag is over when flying over an ocean to say the Bracha.
The Mishna Berura (219:6) says that we should say it in a Minyan with the one saying the Bracha counted in the 10.
Rivvivos Ephraim (1:156) says that we should be careful to say it standing, usuallyas the MB says ((219:2) f at Krias Hatorah.
ISSUR OF SAKANAH (DANGEROUS SITUATIONS) (
חמירה סכנת מאיסורה ( חולין ט) ושמרתם מאד לנפשתיכם (דברים ד)
גמגא שבת קצ”ב יבמות י”ב – אפילו דבר שיכול להיות סכנה אם זה מנהג העולם
“דשו בו רבים מותר שזה מגיע “) “לשומר פתאים ה תהלים, פרק קט”ז, פסוק ו)
The Gemorah and Poskim explain that we are stricter when it comes to possible danger than for most Issurim in the Torah. However, the Gemorah in Yevamos explains how we should evaluate what is dangerous and what is acceptable risk.
. איסור סכנה – וחיו בהם ולא שימות בהםOn the one hand we are instructed not to endanger ourselves on the other hand the Gemorah explains that if it is a common risk we enjoy extra protection from HKBH (
The following are some examples that Poskim often find Assur due to uncommon danger:
1. Bungee jumping
3. Smoking cigarettes
4. Smoking marijuana
5. Big game hunting
6. Base jumping
7. Car travel without a seat belt or in dangerous area.
8. Clearly anything that seems risky would be against common sense and Halacha
The following are usually not considered a Sakana:
1. Car travel (with seat belts) 1.
4. Swimming 4.
6. Eating and drinking most types of food
7. Donating blood
8. Playing sports 5.
9. Thrill rides in amusement park
10. River rafting
1. Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l didn’t wear a seatbelt when it was not mandatory since most people didn’t he considered it דשו בו רבים but he was careful to wear a seatbelt when it was the law after most people did start wearing seatbelts. He said this is why we can eat meat, sugar, coffee etc. in moderation and enjoy HKBH protection. However, he said that Parachuting for fun for instance would be Assur.
2. Rav Chaim Kanievski zt”l adds the Posuk in דברים ד – רק השמר לך as the Chiyuv to watch over one’s health.
3.ציץ אליעזר – normal everyday event i.e. freeway, rollercoaster etc. are שומר פתאים השם and allowed.
4 .Reb Chaim Ozer Grodzinski says that the Heter of שומר פתאים – risky behavior – is only when it is a distant and minor concern. Even when swimming one has to be sure it is safe.
KASHRUS IN A HOTEL OR RENTAL HOUSE
1. Metal, glass etc. utensils that require Tevila can be used without being Tovel if owned by a non-Jew. Typically glasses in hotels and rental houses can be used without Tevila unless the house is known to be owned by a Jew.
2. Cold non-kosher silverware can be used for cold food that is not sharp i.e. a cold non-kosher spoon for kosher cold cereal when plastic or kosher are not available.
3. For Shabbos we need to check if the property is enclosed in order to carry. In hotels this often is not the case. Inside the room and building one can carry.
4. Buying cut up fruit in a supermarket or airport is fine as long it does not contain anything that needs to be checked for insect infestation and is without added flavoring.
5. Unflavored tea or coffee are fine.
6. Closed containers such as salt and sugar are fine in a rental house if they allow but not open containers.
7. It is difficult to kasher a BBQ and better to use a disposable or portable one. If one does need to be kashered, it must be cleaned well with something like Easy Off, and turned on for an hour to high. The grates that we put the food on directly need further kashering by placing burning coals on them until they go out. Great care must be used not to cause a fire or bend the metal rack.
8. A self-clean oven can be turned on and used after the cycle ends. A non-self-clean oven should be inspected to make sure it is clean, turn on for an hour to high and use. The stove tops can be used by the following: if electric turn on till red (usually about 3 minutes) and it is kashered. Gas should be turned on for 15 minutes with metal over it to reflect the heat down. A disposable aluminum pot works well for this.
9. Countertops are fine to use but very hot pots should be put on a towel etc. and not directly on the countertop.
10. Cold cereal in a hotel continental breakfast often is kosher, but one needs to determine the brand being served. Often the hotel personnel are happy to bring out the boxes and show the Hechscher.
11. A waffle maker and other cooking utensils need to be considered non-kosher even if at the moment they are using kosher oil and other ingredients. In the past likely non-kosher was used.
12. Coffee or tea from Coffee Bean is ok if unflavored. Otherwise their products are likely to be not kosher. From Starbucks it is best from a drive thru or kiosk, but acceptable from the large stores if there is no good substitute. Starbucks flavors come from a bottle with clear indication of kashrus that one can verify on the spot.
1. It is a Mitzvah learned from Bamidbar (31:23) and elaborated on in the Gemorah Avoda Zara (75b) that after Milchemes Midyan we have a Mitzva to be Tovel the Kailim that were made from gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead and all types of metal. Glass is in the same category as metal. Wood, Plastic, earthenware do not require Tevilah . China is only Toveled w/o Brocho as with Teflon coated pans.
2. Rashba (Yevamos 47b) compares it to Gairus, converting the Kailim from non-Jewish use to Jewish use. This is also found in the Yerushalmi (Avoda Zara 5:16)
3. Aruch HaShulchan (Y.D. 120:25) , Iggros Moshe (Y.D. 2:46), Yechaveh Daas: we consider it Mitzvah D”Oraisa for the owner to be Tovel Kailim. Eating on perhaps non Toveled Kailim is D”Rabbonon
4. Tevilas Kailim is only for “Klai Shulchan” used directly touching food: a Blech, Can opener, Coffee grinder, Corkscrew, Dish rack, Flour sifter, Hot plate, Immersion heater, Knife sharpener, Food thermometer, Oven rack, Plastic or wood, Rolling pin, Silicone bakeware, Sink rack, Trivet, Warming tray,. do not require Tevila.. (Rabbi Heineman)
5. if you borrow Kailim from a Goy no Tevillan needed S.A., Ramah – (Y.D. 120:16) e.g. vacation home glasses, hotels etc. In cases of great need,such as when a Mikvah is not available, Erev Shabbos, or the Kailim will be ruined by Tevila (Kurig machine etc.) , one can give/sell their utensils to a non-Jew and borrow it back indefinitely. The alternative would be to be Mafkir (ownerless) the utensil in front of 3 people.
6. Iggros Moshe etc: we only make a Brocho if we are sure it needs Tevilla, not on Sofek
7. The Kli needs to be Tovelled all at once, without rush and without stickers etc.
8. reused bottles and cans according to Iggros Moshe (Y”D 2:40)– do not require Tevillah unless they are made to be reusable. The same Heter pertains to drinking from a glass soda bottle the first time.
9. Iggros Moshe ( Y”D 3:23) says that disposable aluminum used only once or twice and thrown away does not require Tevillah. Long term use requires Tevilla without a Brocho. Reb Yaakov agrees. Reb Shlomo Zalman Aurbach says we should be Tovel disposables with a Brocho .
10. Chelkas Yaakov (Y.D. 41-43) – Electrical appliances are connected to the wall with a cord and do not need Tevilah as with an oven. Most Poskim disagree. Iggros Moshe says that one needs to be Tovel only the part that touches food.
11. Iggros Moshe: a toaster does not need Tevilah if it will become ruined by Tevilah (Y.D. 1:57) Shevet Halevy (Y.D. 2:57) as well as Rivevos Ephraim (2:172) say that toasters do need to be Toveled. In most cases one can be Tovel them and wait a couple of days until they dry out. This will not work usually for electronic appliances with a chip.
12. Ba’Er HeTev ( YD 120 a person can be Tovel something for the owner if they do not object, even without their knowledge. A brocho can be made if one can assume that the owner wants it to be Toveled.
13. In most cases one cannot eat or drink in Kailim owned by a Jew that were not Toveled. However it does not make the food non-kosher and can be transferred to a Toveled plate. if it was cooked in a non Toveled pan and served on Toveled dishes or on paper/plastic most Poskim allow it to be eaten – Romoh (YD 120) ,Iggros Moshe (YD 2:41). Reb Elyoshiv does not allow to eat on non Toveled dishes even B”Diavad. Reb Mosheallows if the food does not really need the utensil i.e. plate vs soup bowl. Reb Shlomo Zalman allowed for Kirruv b”diavad to eat and drink from a Jews non Tovelled Kailim.
14. The Posuk says that we need to use “Mai Niddah” water that is kosher for a Niddah Mikveh. Natural lakes, wells, ocean etc. are usually kosher.
17 OF TAMMUZ, THE THREE WEEKS, AND TISHA B’AV
The Three Weeks – Bain Hametzorim
1. Luchos broken, Korban Tomid stoppen in first B.M., Pirtzu Hachomos of Yerushalayim, Second B.M. time Apostomus Horasha burned Sefer Torah, Menashe put idol in בית המקדש
2. Gm. Yevomos 43, Ramban, Tur – during this time lower business dealings, building and landscaping of Simcha, weddings, Simchas Erusin
3. Romoh – no weddings entire time. Ben Ish Chai – even for Sepharadim. Yabia Omer – many are Matir.
4. Vort – Mogen Avrohom – yes without music but with meal until Rosh Chodesh
5. Dancing – Mogen Avrohom, Elyah Rabba, Mishna Brura – no. Some allow at Sheva Brachos
6. Haircuts, Shaving –not allowed during entire time. S”A , Reb Ovadia– until Shavua S’Chal Bo is allowed. Ben Ish Chai says some Minhagim stop at Rosh Chodesh. Askenazik custom is from ר”ח
7. Chasam Sofer allows shaving for a person who shaves daily. Preferably only for Shabbos and only until Shvuah Schal Bo. Reb Moshe allows daily shaving until Shvua S’Chal Bo if his Parnoshoh could be affected.
8. M”B from Chayei Odom – it is ok for children to get haircuts until Shavuah S’chal bo.
9. Mogen Avrohom allows cutting fingernails whole time. Taz and Elyah Rabba only until Shavuah S’Chal Bo
10. Music – Reb Moshe – all types Assur during entire 3 weeks. Pri Megodim allows for Parnosoh, music lessons etc. until Shavuah S’chal Bo.
11. Shecheyanu – Arizal says no during entire time. Sefer Chassidim , M’B, Mogen Avrohom,– yes but only on Shabbos. Taz, Gro – even on weekdays allowed.
12. Buying new car – Reb Moshe says for pleasure no but for work yes. Say Shehechiyanu after the 3 weeks. Piskei Teshuvos – if an appliance breaks we can replace it during 3 weeks.
Beginning with the 17th of Tammuz and for the entire 3 week period we do not make weddings, listen to music, dance, take haircuts/shave, wear new clothing or eat a new fruit which would require a Beracha of Shehechiyanu (except on Shabbos). Ibid
During the 3 weeks one should refrain from going to any dangerous places, (e.g. swimming in an ocean or river) and certainly one should be extra careful during the 9 days from Rosh Chodesh Av until after Tisha B’Av, (because one’s mazel is weak during this periodפסקי תשובות 551:1,46
. From the 17th of Tammuz until Rosh Chodesh Av one is permitted to swim (in a pool), even for one who has not gone swimming yet this Summer season. תשובות והנהגות 2:263פסקי תשובות 551:46
During the Nine days (beginning Rosh Chodesh Av) the custom is that one does not wear freshly laundered clothing. Therefore, one should wear all the clothing one will need during the Nine days for one hour, sometime before the start of the Nine days. One may wear multiple layers of clothing to accomplish this. Some poskim permit one to lay the clothing on the floor, which also removes its freshly laundered status and permits one to wear it during the Nine days.
משנה ברורה 551:3, פסקי תשובות 551:17
During the Nine days the custom is that one does not do any laundry, even via a non-jewish housekeeper. However, one may bring laundry to a non-Jewish cleaner before the Nine days even if one knows that that they will launder the clothing during the Nine days.משנה ברורה 551:3
One can buy shoes for 9 B’Av during the nine days. איגרות משה 3:80
Although we do not do laundry during the 9 days, we are allowed for young children or other situations that are unusual need. מגן אברהם 551
We are allowed to purchase from a “sale” since it is Davar Ha’Avud. Tisha B’Av. פסקי תשובות 551:27
We are allowed to buy normal clothing during the three weeks but not during the nine days unless we need them immediately. Clothing for camp should be bought before Rosh Chodesh משנה ברורה 551:7
Cutting nails during the 9 days is a Machlokes. All agree that it is allowed for Shabbos. משנה ברורה 551
One is permitted to shine their shoes L’Kovod Shabbos. Igros Moshe 3:80
The custom is that the restrictions of the Nine days (including bathing, cutting hair, doing laundry, listening to music, making a beracha of Shehechiyanu, eating meat, drinking wine) continue until Chatzos on the Tenth of Av .משנה ברורה 558:1
This year Tisha B’Av fall on Shabbos and is observed on Sunday the 10th of Av. Therefore, there are no restrictions from Sunday night other than drinking wine, which is only allowed for Havdalah until the next day. Music, Shaving, bathing etc. are fine right away.
HALACHOS OF 9 B’AV
- One may not wear shoes or sneakers made (even) partially of leather.
- One may not eat from Sunset on Monday afternoon until Nightfall Tuesday night. (With regard to the elderly, sick, pregnant or nursing women, generally we follow the stricter guidelines applicable to the Yom Kippur fast. One must discuss this with a Rov)
- One may not wash or bathe. (For Netilas Yadayim in the morning or after using the bathroom one should wash only until the knuckles).
- One should sit on the floor or on a very low seat (like an Avel c’v) until Chatzos on Tisha B’Av day. (Elderly people, pregnant women, and women who recently gave birth are not required to sit on the floor).
- The Peroches should be removed from the Aron Kodesh.
- Many have the custom not to do any work or business until Chatzos on Tisha B’Av day.
- Generally, one may not learn Torah on Tisha B’Av. One may study Megilas Eicha, Iyov, Churban Beis Hamikdash, and Hilchos Tisha B’Av.
- One should not greet another person on Tisha B’Av all day. If one unknowingly greets you, answer curtly but courteously.
- The custom is to not wear Tallis and Tefillin at Shachris, only at Mincha.
- The custom is that one should not kiss his tzitzis at Shachris.
- One should not smoke on Tisha B’Av. If one is unable to refrain he should wait until after Chatzos and not smoke in public.
- Some have the minhag to sleep in an uncomfortable manner. (e.g. on the floor, or without a pillow, or with 1 pillow instead of 2).
- Restriction of 9 days (bathing, cutting hair, laundry, music, eating meat, etc. continue until Chatzos on Wednesday, 10th of Av. (Chatzos Jerusalem 12:45pm, NYC 1:02pm)
SCOOTERS/BIKES ON SHABBOS
1. ואת שבתתי תשמרו ומקדשי תקרו –( ויקרא כ”ו) the אבן עזרע says that Shabbos Kodesh is the time for us to strengthen being closer to הקב”ה
2. The Kaf Hachaim (403:8) raises a concern that bikes/scooters may have an issue of carrying since it cannot stand without our keeping it going and a person may go a distance without realizing and go out of the Techum. In addition if it breaks e.g. the chain falls off, he might fix it, the same concern we have with musical instruments.
3. The Shulchan Aruch in ( א”ח שכ”ג) says that this type of thing is עובדין דחול
4. Reb Moshe Stern says that there is a difference between הגיע לחנוך או לא and should not be used once a child recognizes that it is Shabbos.
5. Reb Ovadia Yosef says that some quote the Ben Ish Chai as allowing in some circumstances bike riding but most אחרונים do not allow. (Chazon Ovadya, Shabbos Vol. 4, p. 40)
6. Reb Yaakov Kamenetski (OC 302:339) , Reb Moshe (ספר טלטולי שבת), Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa (16:18)Reb Ovadia Yosef (Chazon Ovadia vol. 4 page 40) and Tzitz Eliezer ((7:30) allowed tricycles for children below the age of חינוך since it is not a method of transportation and therefore not עובדין דחול but did not allow any type that can be used for transportation or older children.
7. לפיכך אסור לאדם להלך בחפציו בשבת ואפילו לדבר בהן . ומפני מה נאסרו שנאמר (ישעיה נח) “אם תשיב משבת רגלך עשות חפציך ביום קדשי ונאמר וכבדתו מעשות דרכיך.. We learn from this Pasuk in Yeshayhu that all of our actions on Shabbos, even walking, talking, eating, the clothing we wear etc. need to reflect the Kedushah of Shabbos Kodesh.
It is important to bear in mind that all Poskim agree that the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah is every day, including vacation days. All Poskim agree that the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah is each day and is the source of our greatest protection. As Chazal say( “רושלמי ברכות יד וכן רש”י דברים יא יג: אם יום תעזבני יומים אעזבך On the other hand, the first Mishna in פאה tells us: “תלמוד תורה כנגד כלם“. Of all the unique Mitzvos that we can perform during the summer, learning daily is a special opportunity to perfect.
Halachos of eating on a ship, kosher symbols, travel to Eretz Yisroel, Recommended West coast restaurants and markets, Slurpie list, Icee list, non dairy Oreo list can be found at www.kosherquest.org or on the app. Rabbi Eidlitz can be reached at 818 262-5351 by phone or text, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org