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HALACHA-----summer halachos

MODERATOR Posted - 16 July 2008 13:45

1) Summer vacation presents a rare opportunity to learn Torah for those who are normally occupied with making a living or in school. Every man is obligated to set aside at least two times for learning each day - one during the day and one during the night. The halacha demands that any extra time we have be used for learning Torah.

2) Spending time reading useless novels is a violation of the halacha of "al tifnu el ha'elilim and moshav letzim." The same applies to engaging in any form of unproductive entertainment.

3) If you take a walk of more than 4 "Mil" (approx. 3 miles) away from your settlement, you must make tefilas haderech. According to some poskim, when traveling that distance by car, tefilas haderech should be said without a bracha, or within the bracha of shema koleinu during the last tefilah before your trip. According to them, to make tefilas haderech on a car trip, you must travel for a distance away from your town that normally takes at least 72 minutes.

4) If you are normally accustomed to davening maariv after tzais hakochavim and your colony davens before shekiyah, you may daven without a minyan during your usual late time. If they daven after shekiyah, the consensus of poskim hold that you should daven with them and make sure to repeat kerias shema after tzais hakochavim.

5) Ten people davening outdoors constitute a minyan if they can see each other, as long as there is no public road dividing the mispallelim. You should avoid davening in a completely open field (i.e. with no gate around it.) If there is no choice, you should try to daven among trees.

6) It is said in the name of the Chazon Ish ZT"L and Satmar Rav ZT"L that children, even below the age of chinuch, should not go mixed swimming, because they may remember the experience when they get older.

7) When a woman's husband is away in the city, she must be extra careful to avoid yichud, as the heter of baalah b'eir will not apply. Yichud applies in an unsupervised empty field, and in a car on infrequently traveled roads.

8) Men are halachicly obligated to avoid being in the vicinity of improperly dressed women wherever possible, even if they avert their eyes. Therefore, if there is no undue difficulty involved (consult with your Rav involving the details) you are obligated halachicly to go out of your way to avoid even temporarily being in an area with pritzus.

9) Klall Yisroel are noted for their respect for each other's privacy. Hence there is a halacha that you may not build a window with a direct view into your neighbor's window. In a bungalow colony extra care must be taken to maintain your neighbor's right to privacy.

10) Although nowadays bloodshot eggs may be eaten after throwing away the blood because our eggs are not fertilized, this does not always hold true with eggs purchased in the mountains. Before applying this leniency to eggs purchased upstate, you must determine if in fact the eggs in question could not have been fertilized. This determination should be done by or under the auspices of a Rav.

11) You should try to buy fish only from a reliable shomer Torah umitzvos. You may under no circumstances buy fish fillets from a non-Jew or non-religious Jew unless you saw the fish being fileted and recognized it as kosher. When the fish is brought home, it should be washed thoroughly in cold water in the bathroom sink before being used.

12) Cut melons bought from a non-Shomer Torah umitzvos should have a small layer of the cut surface shaved off and discarded before they are used.

13) The Chofetz Chaim wrote (Shem Olam 6) that for any effort a person takes on the weekdays to ensure he does not violate Shabbos later on, he gets a mitzvah of "Shomor es yom haShabbos." Included in this is making sure you leave for your Shabbos trip to the mountains early enough so that you will not be stuck for Shabbos. The time allotted for your trip should take into consideration that there is often heavy traffic on the way to the mountains on erev Shabbos.

14) If you are in a hotel for Shabbos, you should light Shabbos candles either in the room where you sleep or on the table where you eat. You are not yotzeh by lighting in a room designated specially for everyone to light Shabbos candles, unless you will eat something there later on (such as a hotel tea room.) In the name of R. Yaakov Kaminetsky ZT"L, a solution is to turn on an incandescent light in a bathroom adjacent to your bedroom, have in mind that this is being done for Shabbos candles, leave the door slightly open so that it shines into your bedroom, and then light later, with a bracha, in the hotel's designated room. If the hotel prohibits you to light candles in your room, you may not do so against their orders.

15) If you eat your Shabbos meal early Friday night, it is advisable to eat at least a kazayis (or a kebayah) of bread after tzais hakochavim.

16) If the gas goes out under your blech on Shabbos, your options are a subject of controversy in the poskim. Consult with your Rav before any such mishap occurs.

17) You may not drink water outdoors or wash mayim achronim over grass or flowers on Shabbos. Drinking juice or other non-water-based drinks is permitted in public and non-Jewish owned fields. Juice from concentrate is considered water-based and prohibited in any case.

18) You may not drag a bench or chair across the ground on Shabbos if it is so heavy that it will definitely make tracks in the ground. Rolling a carriage, however, is permitted even if it will definitely make tracks in the ground.

19) You may not break spider-webs on Shabbos.

20) You may not hang something on a tree on Shabbos, nor may you hang something on a nail which is embedded in a tree or on a string attached to tree. Similarly, you may not swing on a swing or lie in a hammock atttached to a tree or branch. Leaning on a tree is also prohibited if the tree moves even slightly.

21) You may not remove something hanging on a tree, even if the thing was hanging there before Shabbos.

22) However, if a the string is not attached to the tree itself, but to a nail embedded in the tree, it may be used on Shabbos, both hanging and removing.

23) Unscented insecticides (such as 6-12) may be used on Shabbos.

24) It is prohibited to feed animals on Shabbos unless you own them. An exception to this is a dog, which you may feed even if you don't own it.

25) You are allowed to trap bees, dining needles, and other harmful insects (e.g. under a cup) on Shabbos if you are afraid they will sting you.

27) It is prohibited to walk in a place where it is inevitable that you will trample on insects. Therefore, care should be taken in those places where you will know insects are prevalent not to trample them underfoot.

28) You may not ride a bicycle on Shabbos, even inside an Eruv (uvda d'chol / shema yesaken).

29) If the owner of a bungalow colony is not frum, care must be taken not to induce him to repair something on Shabbos. Even if he does a repair on his own on Shabbos, you may not derive benefit from his work on that Shabbos, and sometimes even after Shabbos. If the person making the repair for you is a non-Jew, you may not derive benefit from it on Shabbos, and for a certain amount of time after Shabbos (b'kdei sheyaseh).

30) However, if the Eruv is broken, and there is a reason to believe that Jews will violate Shabbos because of it, you may ask a non-Jew to repair the Eruv on Shabbos.

31) Bungalows need a mezuzah. Unless the bungalow is winterized, the mezuzah should be affixed without a bracha. Often, the bungalow colony entrance may need a mezuzah as well.

32) According to many poskim, a woman may not affix a mezuzah. If your husband is not available to affix a mezuzah, he should make a shliach to do so. If that is impossible, then the woman may do it herself rather than to live in a bungalow for 30 days without a mezuzah.

33) Porches often need mezuzos if they have a tzuras hapesach (2 doorposts and a crossbeam). If the doorposts are there only to support the roof of the porch, then a mezuzah is not required.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful summer.

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