Unclear aveiros

Brace yourself reader because after reading this there’s a distinct possibility you will be going to hell after you realize how many sins you’ve committed.

The following is a list of aveiros which aren’t so clear to me along with my twisted ways of condoning my actions.1) Ripping on Shabbos: Some say you can’t rip words. Others say if you rip paper-towel to be sure to do it along the designated lines so that it’s not destroying. I heard once that you’re supposed to rip away from the lines because you’re not allowed to destroy something which was already created for that purpose of destruction. Regarding tearing toilet paper, however, I paskind that it was mutar for sanitation purposes due to the mitzvah of “v’nishmartem es nafshoseichem”.

2) Moving something muktzeh if you need the space: I was shocked when I saw a frum friend of mine move a laptop on shabbos because it was on the table. I felt like such a douche bag when I said condescendingly that it wasn’t allowed. She told me it was, in fact, allowed if you needed the room. Almost 2 decades of religious education and I never heard that before.That’s right, a chick out-halachad me. That’s my punishment for talking to girls. On shabbos. About halacha.

3) Writing one letter on shabbos: Maybe this is straight up kefira, but I remember learning somewhere that you are allowed to write one letter on shabbos. Isn’t the utensil assur to move on shabbos (unless you need the space)?I guess it was alright that time I finally figured out what number to get on my jersey and I wrote it down on shabbos so I wouldn’t forget it. I used a shinui of course just to cover all my bases and to go beyond the letter of the law, no pun intended. Are numbers alright instead of letters?

4) Showering in an apartment on shabbos: I heard this is allowed because the heating tank is on anyways. I asked some body this and he said you can do this only if the majority of the tenants are goyim because it’s as if the water is cooking just for them. This brings up the point of showering with cold water on shabbos – – – you just can’t use a towel afterward. I’m sure that’s a pretty sweet tradeoff for the ability to get clean after getting all sweaty Friday night. Not because of that you sicko, we’re trying to learn halacha here!

5) Kli sheni: WTF? I heard if you pump the water out of the kettle it’s like a kli sheni anyways.

6) Benching over a kos/ mayim achronim: Some say each is a halacha, others say minhag. Does anybody really know? In case Rav Elyashiv is reading this, I will request that he answer this one at the bottom because I’m tired of having to drink a wh0le freaking cup of grape juice when I’m full followed by an al hamichya specifically for grapes. It’s juice! A nefashos should suffice. Since when are grapes so holy?

7) Using liquid soap on shabbos: I saw some sefardi bathrooms which had liquid soap with little pieces inside of it. At first touch it’s weird, but then you gotta wash forever just to make sure all the little pieces come off your hand. If we can’t dry, how come we can dry our hands after washing?

8) Kiddush/Havdallah spilling: I never understood this one. Is it halacha? Isn’t it bal tashchis? If we took all the money wasted on spilled grape juice, there would probably be no tuition crisis and no shiddach crisis (the two are intertwined because we all know that the top learners are the ones who get all the babes).

9) Tefilin all day: If you’re reading this, the odds are you live off this koola. You can still get credit for tefilin even if you wake up late, and boy do the words “Kel RACHUM V’chanun” take on new meaning.


Posted on October 12, 2011, in Halacha and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Gedaliah Yitzchak Corbett


    I’ll answer your questions in brief on the way I hold, without quoting you sources, because it’s Erev Succos and unless you’re a Jewish Carpenter (Other than J.C. are there any?) you’re too busy putting up your Sukkah right now to go running to the Beis Medrash looking up all kind of sources:

    1. You’re right, you can’t rip words. If you are opening up a package of food and you *happen* to rip through words, okay, what can you do? But try not to. Regarding tearing along a perforation, don’t, because that was the melacha d’orysia in the Temple. If you have to tear, better to do between the lines. That also answers your toilet paper question. Try to have it prepared or Klenix available. If not, tear between the perforations.

    2. I love your comment – “That’s right, a chick out-halachad me. That’s my punishment for talking to girls. On shabbos. About halacha.”

    3. One letter I believe is d’rabbanam. I would have to look it up to be 100% sure, but I’m not going to.

    4. Could be. Never lived in an apartment. Could be a valid one. Would have to check more into that one. Or go ask the kids on Shallmar.

    5. What do you need a sheni for? Instant coffee is cooked, so it can go into a rishon, however your urn is at worst, irui kli rishon. If you are worried about tea bags, unless you hold of essence, you need a shishi. Please educate me on the need for a sheni. Unless of course you are looking for Shani, however as we previously learned in point number 2, regarding talking to girls…

    6. Mayim achronim – A respected rabbi in Toronto once told me, as I was becoming Frum, that wiping one’s hands on the pop bottle was good enough. Personally, I’m makpid to actually get up and walk over to the sink. None of this teensy, weensy, three drops on the fingertips stuff. BE A MAN! Use a “gezunta” amount of water! Regarding kos: you don’t have to, but there are those who say it’s better to bench on “something” and since the meal is done, they use a kos. Tell you what. I’m a helpful Kohain. Give me the kos and I’ll drink it.

    7. Some would want you to make “Shabbos soap” before Shabbos because they are worried about making bubbles on Shabbos or else their soap is so think, they often confuse it for their toothpaste (weekday toothpaste of course.) Never heard of the little pieces stuff, but if it’s Safardi, it must be Kabbalistic. Just use your dollar store liquid soap and be sameach! You are allowed to dry your hands. Go ahead and dry them on a towel (not your pants – don’t want to go loosing your learning or anything, now) and be sameach!

    8. I agree with you in this one. I always felt the same way. What Jewish mother doesn’t wince at perfectly good food and drink going to waste when there are starving children in Africa/China/Winnipeg? They say you are supposed to spill a bit at Havdallah to indicate blessings. Okay, if they insist. However, I never found a source for rubbing behind your ears or pockets with it. What, is the havdallah wine some kind of anti-persperant or are you trying to tell me that I should have showered Friday night – (see question 4.)

    9. Wouldn’t that be something? Only for school children who go to a school that is on top of the Arab Shuk in the Old City. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever been there.

    10. Here’s one more. What with the knocking on the table at “Shulchan Zeah” in Benching? Do you also “point” to the Baal HaBayis when you say “Baal HaBayis?” I didn’t find a source for knocking on the table and believe me, I looked for one!

    Thanks for the post, keep ’em coming!

    Have a Frelican (Not Franciscan) Succos!

    “Rebbe G” – Rabbi Gedaliah Yitzchak Corbett


  2. The problem with number 10 is that I stop at yechasreinu. That begs another question of course.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: