Rabbi Braun: Halachic Questions That Shluchim Ask…



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    Rabbi Braun: Halachic Questions That Shluchim Ask…

    In honor of the Kinus HaShluchim, we present halachic Q&As that are unique to shluchim who dedicate their life to bring the Rebbe’s message of Geula to Yidden all around the world from Halacha2Go.com by HaRav Yosef Yeshaya Braun shlita, Mara D’Asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights • Full Article

    Should one set up advanced security measures in their Chabad House?

    Q. Should one set up advanced security measures (guards, weapons, training, etc.) in their shul/Chabad House? Included in this question: there is already a mezuza. Why doesn’t that offer enough protection? And if it does, why would one need to take such measures?

    A. The Torah instructs us to protect our lives in every way possible, spiritual and physical. Obviously, in the event of physical danger r”l, in addition to applying spiritual protection, we must do all we can to protect ourselves in a physical way, following standard security procedures. (This should be discussed with the local security agencies, police department, etc., in conjunction with the local Rav/Shliach).

    One can ask the same question regarding Hashem’s protection in general: we are promised that “the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps”. Does that mean that we shouldn’t apply physical protection as well? Should a Jewish soldier not wear a helmet? Obviously not.

    So too in regards to mezuza: we are taught that the mitzva of mezuza brings longevity to those who keep it, and even more – it provides protection to the house and its residents (even when they are outside of the house), and to all Yidden throughout the world. However, in the event of physical danger r”l, we must apply physical protection in addition to making sure we have kosher mezuzas affixed to our doorposts. This does not in any way imply that the mezuza is an insufficient measure of protection, rather, that Hashem will help our standard security procedures in the merit of the mezuza.

    We find a similar idea regarding parnassa: while the Torah teaches us that it is Hashem’s blessing which gives a person parnassa, everyone understands that this blessing needs a “vessel” in which to rest. For someone to say that he won’t work because he is relying on Hashem’s bracha is foolish and wrong. So too we must take natural measures in security issues, and one who refrains from doing this is held responsible.

    A story to illustrate: there was a Chassid who experienced a break-in to his vehicle and asked the Rebbe (amongst other things) if he should check his mezuzas. The Rebbe answered that he should make sure the vehicle is locked at night… #6730*

    Q. Students at college are having difficulty lighting the Menorah in their dormitories due to fire regulations. May they light in the Chabad House with a bracha?

    A. One person may light in the Chabad House with a bracha as pirsumei nisa, but this does not release him from his personal obligation to light the Menorah at home/dormitory. The remainder of people may not light there with a bracha, as according to many Poskim one is not yotzei if they light out of their home even if they are eating there, if they are just eating there temporarily.

    If they are sleeping there for the night, they may light there with a bracha.

    If they cannot find a way around the fire regulations at the dorm, they might be able to have one lobby or dining room where they can receive permission for one person to light on everyone’s behalf. If even this is impossible, they should light electric lights without a bracha. #2009*

    Beis Moshiach

    Q. Is it permissible to make a Chabad House (or any other Jewish) event in a hall that is run by the town called “De La Salle Chapel?” It seems that in the early 1900’s it was owned by a Catholic school, but no one really connects it to that.

    A. The word “chapel” by definition is a place of Christian worship, albeit sometimes in a more private setting that belongs to a parish in a town. Occasionally, it may refer to a non-denominational place of worship, but this meaning is not common here in the USA.

    Therefore, if this is indeed the case, one may not use such a place for davening or to host any other religious events, even if there are currently no religious/idolatrous symbols or pictures on the premises. The place may be used for other non-religious events.

    If there were never any religious symbols at the location, one may use the place even for davening or other mitzva matters, but only on a temporary basis. #2820

    Q. We have a Jewish (not yet Shomer Shabbos) caterer that works from our Chabad House kitchen. Do we need a Mashgiach present when cooking milk, fish or meat?

    A. You must pass by often. You can leave him alone for a short while but he can’t know exactly for how long it will be, and it can’t be for long. The door should never be locked. A Shomer Shabbos should ignite all the fires. #6087*

    A Movable Wall On Shabbos

    Q. In our Chabad House, we had a movable wall made consisting of 10 parts. The 10 small “walls” move on a track in the ceiling. It is entirely mechanical. In order to move the wall to put it away, there is a special tool to unlock the first section of the wall. Can the tool be used on Shabbos? At times we move the wall frequently, at other times it may remain in position for extended periods of time.

    A. Generally, if it isn’t usual for the wall to be opened and closed on a constant basis, as in every day like doors and windows – it wouldn’t be permitted to open it altogether on Shabbos.

    However, since this movable wall stays on its track the whole time – there is room to be lenient to open and close it in a place of need. However, it shouldn’t be locked into place on Shabbos. There is room to be lenient with this as well when using a non-Jew. (If possible, even opening or closing it without locking it into place should be done by a non-Jew). #16907* 

    *

    The magazine can be obtained in stores around Crown Heights. To purchase a subscription, please go to: bmoshiach.org

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