Avodah Mailing List

Volume 38: Number 24

Tue, 31 Mar 2020

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Message: 1
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:33:50 -0400
[Avodah] Modern Shabbos Urns

When I was younger, the electric urns that we used for hot water on Shabbos
were very simple: fill it, plug it in, and there was a valve for taking
the water when you needed it. But many of the newer ones have various
settings. Mine (
for example, has three settings, called Regular, Shabbat, and Yom Tov.

The manual gives the following explanation of the three settings:

> Regular Mode: Keeps the water hot based on the water temperature
> Shabbat Mode: Keeps the water hot based on a timer
> Yom Tov Mode: Keeps the water hot based on a timer and is Halachically
permissible to add cold water on Yom Tov

Based on that explanation, this is my understanding: In Regular Mode, the
thermostat is in full control; when the water gets too cool the heater will
turn on until the correct temperature is reached, and then the heater turns
off. In Shabbat and Yom Tov modes, the thermostat never responds to the
water being too cool. Rather, every so often the timer will turn the heater
on, and the thermostat will turn the heater off when the water is hot

So what's the difference between Shabbat Mode and Yom Tov mode?
If I would use the Shabbat Mode on Yov Tov, is it assur to add water?
If I would use the Yom Tov Mode on Shabbat, is there a problem?

These are not theoretical questions. If we are still in Chutz Laaretz for
this coming Pesach, we'll have a "three day yom tov", and I don't know
which setting is preferable. Does anyone else know?

Thank you!
Akiva Miller
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Message: 2
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:15:09 +0000
[Avodah] Tefillah When Davening Alone

Click here to download "Tefillah When Davening Alone"

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Message: 3
From: Prof. L. Levine
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2020 15:17:44 +0000
[Avodah] The Halachic Adventures of the Potato

Please see https://ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/5184

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Message: 4
From: Akiva Miller
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2020 20:54:04 -0400
Re: [Avodah] Announcing Geshem

In Dec 2011, in the thread "Announcing Tal Umatar", I asked why halacha
demands such critical announcements for starting and stopping the prayer
for Geshem, yet no formal announcements at all for starting and stopping
Tal Umatar. I got no response at all.

I asked the same question again in Oct 2015, in the thread "Announcing
Geshem". This time I did get one response, from R' Micha Berger, who wrote:

> Well, it does make sense to me that baqashos have a level of
> personalization that we do not find in shevach. I can insert
> whatever baqashos I want to add for birkhas hashanim, so things
> are more fluid there.
> My question is more your first one -- why must shevach be communal?
> Not making up your own adjectives for G-d, I understand; but even
> if I were to switch without everyone in the qehillah doing so yet
> (because of the lack of announcement), I wouldn't be doing that...

His answer seems very similar to what I found in a teshuva from Rav Hershel
released just yesterday, on how we should handle the switchover this coming
Pesach, when most of us will have no effective tzibur for the announcement.

The brackets are mine, parentheses are Rav Schachter's.

> There is a big difference between She'eila (V'sen Tal Umatar
> Livracha) and Hazkara (Mashiv Haruach). See what I wrote in
> the name of our Rav [Soloveitchik] in MiPeninei HaRav (section
> Tefila, number 5), that changing the descriptions of Hashem
> (from Mashiv Haruach to Morid Hatal) requires Reshus Hatzibur,
> and an individual is not allowed to make changes on his own.

So to answer *my* question, Tefilas Geshem and Tefilas Tal are not
informational. They don't simply inform us about the change, they
*authorize* the change. And that authorization is not needed in Barech

And to answer RMB's question, I'd suggest learning that section of
MiPeninei HaRav.

(Rav Schachter did give his views there about what we should do in our
private Musafs this coming yom tov, but I need to learn it a few more
times, and understand it better, before I comment on it.)

Akiva Miller
Stay Home - Save Lives

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