shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Nitzavim/Vayelechsubscribe


If a doll’s leg came out is it permitted to reinsert?

Based on what we have learned in the previous sheets, namely that when parts are easily attached and there is no reason to fear that one will invest extra efforts to glue or screw the parts together, it is permitted to attach the parts to each other.

Accordingly it is permitted to attach a doll’s leg that detached from the doll, because it slips in rather easily and there is no reason, or real possibility, to fasten the detached limb in place. 1

However, this applies to reattaching a detached limb, but attaching a limb for the first time is forbidden even if the limb slips in with ease. This is learned from the Shulchan Aruch in simon 317 that permits the reinserting of shoelaces but not the inserting for the first time, as that is considered Tikun Manna – making a k’li,2 even though the shoelace threads easily into the shoe. The same applies to a doll (or any toy that requires assembly for the first time before playing with), and is therefore forbidden to assemble for the first time on Shabbos. 3

Are children, or anyone for that matter, permitted to build Lego on Shabbos?

Building Lego is broadly discussed by today’s poskim, but we will currently present one line of thought.

Lego blocks are not similar to building blocks in the sense that they are not intended to fuse together, nor are they intended to remain attached to each other. The idea behind Lego is that the blocks can be assembled and dismantled at whim, even though not always with ease. One also does not want the Lego blocks to adhere to each other, because that will forfeit the whole idea behind them.

Accordingly it is permitted to build Lego on Shabbos, even if one does not have in mind to dismantle the Lego on Shabbos, because it is not deemed as Building even for a short while.

Therefore children need not be barred from playing Lego on Shabbos. As for adults, it is more a matter of priorities and realizing the importance and meaning of Shabbos. Shabbos is a time for spiritual perfection and coming closer to Hashem, and playing with Lego etc can hardly be called doing that.

As mentioned, the Poskim debate building Lego extensively and one should consult his rav as to whether one is permitted to play with Lego on Shabbos.

If my backyard was flooded with rain, am I permitted to place boards to flatten the surface?

This issue involves the problem of adding substance to a ground or building, which entails the melacha of Boneh. In this case one obviously does not intend for the boards to remain there and they are only a means to enable one to traverse his backyard without getting wet. Therefore there is no problem placing boards (that are not muktze4) over puddles etc in the street, backyard or lawn. 5

What may be done on Shabbos with regards to icy sidewalks? May salt or sand be spread over the ice?

This is more complicated than the previous question, because the ice and sand are not removed subsequent to the ice’s melting. As far as pouring salt on ice is concerned we can safely say that since the salt melts and does not remain on the sidewalk or in the yard it is not called Boneh. However spreading sand on an icy sidewalk might involve the issur of Boneh; The Sh’miras Shabbos Kehilchasa 6says that one is permitted to pour sand on an icy sidewalk and Rav Eliyahu Falk7 says that it is forbidden because the sand remains in place and is a problem of Boneh.8 Accordingly a halachik authority must be consulted.

[1] Binyan Shabbos page 63.
[2] M”B 317:16.
[3] Binyan Shabbos Page 63.>
[4] If, for example, they were set aside for that use.
[5] Based on simon 314:10. SS”K 23:17.
[6] SS”K 25:9.
[7] Sefer Machze Eliyahu 67:4.
[8] The source for this issur can be found in Maseches Eiruvin 104a where the kohanim would sprinkle salt to improve the traction on the ramp leading up to the mizbeach after it rained, and the gemora says that it involves an issur of Boneh.

Food For Thought

If one forgets Ya’aleh V’yavo in the bentching (birkas hamazon) on the night or day of Rosh HaShana, is he required to bentch again?

Is one permitted to take food out of the refrigerator/freezer on Shabbos day (this year Rosh HaShana) in order for it to defrost for the second night of Rosh HaShana?

If a doctor or medic was called out of shul on the second day of Rosh HaShana between the first set of t’kios (shofar blowing) and the second set, must he make a b’rocho on the second set?

May one pop an Acamol, Aspirin or Tylenol due to a headache on either day of Rosh HaShana?

Answers coming next week.

Vort for the Chag

A pupil was walking with his Rosh Yeshiva on the way to the first Ma’ariv of Rash HaShana and the pupil commented that the Time of Judgment is approaching. The Rosh Yeshiva burst out crying “Elul, Elul”. The pupil thought that the Rosh Yeshiva’s old age must have been affecting him, because he was referring to the imminent Yom HaDin and the Rosh Yeshiva starts crying about Elul.

He did not have to wonder long because the Rosh Yeshiva cried, “in a few hours the beautiful month of Elul will be over, the month where Hashem comes closer to us and awaits our repentance”!

We have to chap arayn – grasp at this fantastic opportunity and draw closer to our Father in heaven, who so awaits our return.

For a printed version, click here.

Dedicated in memory of R' Yisroel Meir HaCohen, The Chofetz Chaim, 24th of Elul.

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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.