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Adar 5766 – Assorted Questions on Hilchos Shabbos

3 Adar 5766
Assorted Questions on Hilchos Shabbos


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Q. I have a shabbos coat with an extra button sewn on the inside of the coat. Is it assur to wear it on shabbos because of carrying?

A. Thank you for your question. In the opinion of Rav Moshe Fenstein Zatza”l (quoted in the Sefer Rivavos Ephraim Vol 4 Siman 87) and most Poskim, it is permitted to wear a garment on Shabbos that has an extra button sewn into it, even outside of an Eruv. Since typically this is how this kind of garment is made, we say that it is just part of the coat, and not something extra that you are carrying with it. There are Poskim who disagree, though, most notably the Debreciner Rav Zatza”l (Be’er Moshe Vol. 3 Siman 67). The accepted practice in most circles is to be lenient.

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Q. Is there a problem (in America) with mailing something on Friday because it may cause a Jew to do work on Shabbos?

A. Thank you for your question. Unless you know that your mail carrier is Jewish, this is not a problem, because we may assume that most people in the post office are not Jewish. However, there were many Gedolim who would not do so, anyway, because of the possibility of causing a fellow Jew to violate Shabbos. If you are looking for something to accept as a Chumra, I would think that this would be a viable candidate, as it demonstrates concern for our fellow Jews, and doesn’t cause anyone an inconvenience.

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Q. My mother lights candles for me on friday night, and we make early shabbos. Is it possible for me to not be yotzay with her at the time she lights, and accept shabbos at a later time even if i dont light myself?

A. Thank you for your question. I’m not sure what you mean by “lights candles for me”. Does this mean that you live at home and she lights for the entire household? If so, then you should accept Shabbos when she lights, unless it is under extremely urgen circumstances, in which case she herself could light candles and stipulate that she doesn’t acceppt Shabbos by doing so. However, if you don’t live at home, even though your mother may light an extra candle for you, as most women have a Minhag to light an extra candle for each child, this does not take care of your own obligation to light, and you yourself should do before you or your community accepts Shabbos. The fact that your mother lights a candle for you does not affect when you accept Shabbos, in this case.

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Q. What is the difference (halachically) between putting food on a blech versus on a platta on shabbos? (additionally, is there a difference whether it\’s liquid or not?)

A. Thank you for your question. There is actually no difference between a Blech and a Platta (I assume you mean an electric hot plate) on Shabbos. In both cases, something that is fully cooked and dry may be placed on top of a pot that is already on them on Shabbos, but may not be placed directly on the Blech or Platta. If it is a cold liquid that you wish to warm up, it may not be put even on top of another pot, if there is any possibility that it could get so hot that it would be Yad Soledes Bo.