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New York - OU Posts Guidelines For Shabbat Hurricane

Published on: August 26, 2011 11:57 AM
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New York - The following Shabbat Protocols in Case of a Hurricane were originally produced by Rav Kenneth Brander when he served the Boca Raton Synagogue. Many thanks to Rav Hershel Schachter for his guidance. Please consult with your own congregational rabbi in specific instances where a hurricane is expected.

1. Minyan

If a hurricane is happening on Shabbat, stay home!
Try to prearrange with your rabbi to have the congregation lain two parshiyot on the next Shabbat.

2. Electricity

If there is no electricity on Shabbat and the storm is over AND if civil authorities declare the area safe…

Minyan should take place only during daylight hours.

If there is electricity, services are held as regularly scheduled.

3. Assume no Eruv

Carrying permitted for life/limb threatening situations.

Carrying permitted for individuals who need medical attention without which a person’s functionality is compromised, (even for a bed-ridden headache). In this case carrying should be done, only if possible, in an irregular fashion (i.e. carrying medicine in ones belt or shoe).

Carrying permitted to allow a baby, infirm seniors or a child traumatized by the event to function without compromise. In this case carrying should be done, if possible, in a irregular fashion (i.e. two people carrying or wheeling the stroller/person.)

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4. Use of Candles & Flashlights

Use yahrzeit or hurricane candles lit before Shabbat placed in designated locations.

Hang/place lit flashlights with fresh batteries in key locations before Shabbat.

If flash light/candle goes out:

When necessary (to take care of children, to eat etc..) and there is no other light a non-Jew can relight or change batteries

If not having the light may create a life threatening situation, you may do it yourself

Moving candles and flashlight is permitted in the following situations:

For any medical concerns no matter how slight

Carrying permitted for comfort and welfare of seniors and children under eight (or above eight years old when child is traumatized by the event)

When possible, moving a candle, should be done by two individuals

5. Television or Radio

TV or radio should be left on in a side room

Channel should not be changed

Volume on radio may be adjusted on Shabbat. Better to keep it on low for it preserves the battery and only raise it when necessary.


Please be advised that it is highly recommended to stock up on supplies prior to Shabbat as many items may no longer be available in stores on Motzei Shabbat. For further questions, please consult with your local rabbi.

The Shabbat Protocols in Case of a Hurricane were originally produced by in 2003 and updated in 2004.


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1

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:08 PM T Says:

Thank you so much VIN for posting these guidelines for all of us to use.

2

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:27 PM AshMan Says:

Based on Ike that hit Houston a couple years back, expectant mothers should call their hospitals and see if they should come early. Hospitals may be on lock-down for the 12+ hours of the hurricane, or it may be too difficult to get there during the storm.

3

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM Feivish Says:

If I don't have a TV, should I buy one before shabbos?

4

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM sabbes Says:

Reply to #3  
Feivish Says:

If I don't have a TV, should I buy one before shabbos?

yes

5

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM KVETCH Says:

is there TV gemach for this shabbos?

6

 Aug 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM R Says:

Reply to #3  
Feivish Says:

If I don't have a TV, should I buy one before shabbos?

Why do you need a TV? Just make sure you have a radio and keep it on throughout shabbos in a side room.

7

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:05 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #3  
Feivish Says:

If I don't have a TV, should I buy one before shabbos?

Why do you even ask such a question here?
if it is serious on our part, ask your rabbi for a psak
if it is joke, then perhaps you shouldnt make light of serious issues
hurricanes are potentially life threatening

8

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:11 PM springvalley Says:

"Volume on radio may be adjusted on Shabbat"
even if the volume is digitally controlled?

9

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:32 PM Feivish Says:

Reply to #5  
KVETCH Says:

is there TV gemach for this shabbos?

Yes there is, its called Walmart you can return within 30 days no questions asked, not sure if its kosher to do it, Nor is the TV kosher, we can use term "Ein Issur Chal Al Issur" ask your local Rabbi

10

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:33 PM thatslife Says:

Is it only me or does it seem like they are blowing this thing way out of proportion?! I mean this is not the first time their doing this a couple of years back they made us crazy and nothing ever happened!

11

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:35 PM Anonymous Says:

In a situation like this we listen to the advice of emergency services, not a Rav. We all need to be informed and updated, know of evacuation plans, and ensure that we don't put ourselves and others in danger because we fail to take the necessary precautions and act on the mos recent, relevant information in a fast changing situation.

12

 Aug 26, 2011 at 01:43 PM Anonymous Says:

The hurricane in the greater NY area is coming in on Motsei Shabbos. At least that's a harchavo.

13

 Aug 26, 2011 at 02:03 PM NoMan Says:

Reply to #8  
springvalley Says:

"Volume on radio may be adjusted on Shabbat"
even if the volume is digitally controlled?

Especially if the volume is digitally controlled! There is a less direct connection between the human action and the result than with an old-style knob which moves a contact on a rheostat.

14

 Aug 26, 2011 at 02:21 PM poodwahr Says:

I don't believe this advice is halachically accurate. Best to consult your local authority. OU -- better to report on kosher vs non-kosher, than to delve into areas you are not expert in.

15

 Aug 26, 2011 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
poodwahr Says:

I don't believe this advice is halachically accurate. Best to consult your local authority. OU -- better to report on kosher vs non-kosher, than to delve into areas you are not expert in.

ppdwahr: these protocols are based on halacha and practical experience.

I'm from the shul where these were drawn up.

We've had hurricanes on Yom Kippur and Sukkot.

Following these rules can lead to saving lives and respecting halacha.

Acting like a fool when many Rabbis consulted on these rules is only a reflection on you.

I pity your family.

16

 Aug 26, 2011 at 03:06 PM kollelfaker Says:

Reply to #14  
poodwahr Says:

I don't believe this advice is halachically accurate. Best to consult your local authority. OU -- better to report on kosher vs non-kosher, than to delve into areas you are not expert in.

actually it is the vaad of the five towns stated same earlier in the day but then you are the type that still sees nothing serious happening and as to the OU guess you forgot that their rav is also the rosh ha yeshiva of torah vodaath

17

 Aug 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM mewhoze Says:

please be very careful where you place candles. they should be far away from windows where wind may blow a curtain to the candle and cauase a fire, or the candle could tip over.
most important is safety....think before you put the candle down. personally i put them in a big tin so if they tip they land in the tin not on the furniture or counter. be careful!!!!!!!!!!!!

18

 Aug 26, 2011 at 03:55 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #13  
NoMan Says:

Especially if the volume is digitally controlled! There is a less direct connection between the human action and the result than with an old-style knob which moves a contact on a rheostat.

No man; You took the words right out of my keyboard. If I hadn't scrolled down, that is the exact answer I would offer. I will elaborate, though, what a "Rheostat" is. It is a "variable Resistor" that permits more, or less electric current to flow to the "RF" Amplifier, increasing or decreasing the volume in the speakers. In a way, then, it is like adjusting the flame in a gas range. But, according to some "Poskim" (who ruled on the the use of electricity on Shabbos.) electric current is not considered as equal to fire. Thus, it would be permissible to use on Shabbos. But, there is another issue with completing a circuit. "Boneh" (Building, or completing a project on Shabbos.) However, since the circuit was already completed before Shabbos, it would be permitted.

19

 Aug 26, 2011 at 05:24 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #14  
poodwahr Says:

I don't believe this advice is halachically accurate. Best to consult your local authority. OU -- better to report on kosher vs non-kosher, than to delve into areas you are not expert in.

As some other poster downstream stated. Your denigrating the Halachic competence of the OU only reflects negatively on you. According to your statements, you can't rely on the OU for Kashruth, either. There is an Halachic principle, elucidated in Talmud, that if someone declares on a portion of meat (Probably applies to other foodstuffs, too.) that it is not Kosher, even though in fact it is, he is not allowed to consume that portion, ever. שווי-ה אנפשי' כחתיכה דאיסורא. Accordingly. You can not consume any food that is with the Hashgacha of OU.

20

 Aug 26, 2011 at 05:30 PM harryw Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

In a situation like this we listen to the advice of emergency services, not a Rav. We all need to be informed and updated, know of evacuation plans, and ensure that we don't put ourselves and others in danger because we fail to take the necessary precautions and act on the mos recent, relevant information in a fast changing situation.

Your comment is so sily and even bias. Our rabbis guide us in accordance with halacha which mandates that pikuach nefesh is above everything and nothing stand in its way. So stop with the ridiculas comments and assertions. Our halacha keeps us very safe at all time.

Oh, and stop being a self hating jew.

21

 Aug 26, 2011 at 06:10 PM Feivish Chosid Says:

Reply to #3  
Feivish Says:

If I don't have a TV, should I buy one before shabbos?

If you ask ashaila... it's tariff. This just goes to show that one is m'choiv to have a TV. So in order to have more zchoosim, garner a mitzvah and quickly get yourself a TV. SHNEL !

22

 Aug 26, 2011 at 06:27 PM Navoch Says:

Reply to #20  
harryw Says:

Your comment is so sily and even bias. Our rabbis guide us in accordance with halacha which mandates that pikuach nefesh is above everything and nothing stand in its way. So stop with the ridiculas comments and assertions. Our halacha keeps us very safe at all time.

Oh, and stop being a self hating jew.

"Oh, and stop being a self hating jew."

The last resort of a person who has run out of valid debating points.

23

 Aug 26, 2011 at 06:48 PM Anonymous Says:

I think many of the Ravs would agree - if the storm occurs and you aren't sure what to do about a certain thing and there is no Rav available to consult - then USE YOUR HEAD. Using common sense should get you through the storm safely.

24

 Aug 27, 2011 at 08:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
harryw Says:

Your comment is so sily and even bias. Our rabbis guide us in accordance with halacha which mandates that pikuach nefesh is above everything and nothing stand in its way. So stop with the ridiculas comments and assertions. Our halacha keeps us very safe at all time.

Oh, and stop being a self hating jew.

why don't you learn to write English before you comment here and insult other people?

25

 Aug 27, 2011 at 09:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
harryw Says:

Your comment is so sily and even bias. Our rabbis guide us in accordance with halacha which mandates that pikuach nefesh is above everything and nothing stand in its way. So stop with the ridiculas comments and assertions. Our halacha keeps us very safe at all time.

Oh, and stop being a self hating jew.

Sorry Harry but #11 is right on the money with that comment. #22 is also correct. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the need to be safe and sound trump other rules. #11's point is also not to hinder or do harm to others by your inactions.

26

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