Kollel Korner of the Sephardic Community Kollel
Come learn with the Sephardic Community Kollel from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, Sunday through Thursday. Please contact the Kollel Coordinator, Rabbi Yosef Olstein to arrange a learning partner or to receive information about the Kollel and its programs. Rabbi Olstein can be reached at 773-338-8046 or by email at Sephardic Community Kollel
Donations to the Kollel
Donations can now be made to the Kollel via credit card. Please call the shul at 773-465-5274 or email the Kollel for details.
Halacha of the Week
Submitted by Rabbi Yaakov Azose
Toys which Produce Sound and those
which Operate Using a Spring or Coil
Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach adds that children may play with toy cars which operated using a spring or coil on Shabbat. Although there are those who rule stringently on this matter, Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a rules that halachically speaking, one may be lenient (as long as no sparks are produced as a result). Based on the aforementioned prohibition to produce sound on Shabbat, one may not produce sound on Shabbat using a toy called "Miriam's Drum" which produces a musical sound merely by shaking it even without actually banging on it. This is tantamount to any other musical instrument. Thus, it would seem that one may not hand this toy to his young children to play with on Shabbat; it will likewise be forbidden to hand a whistle to a young child to play with on Shabbat, since this action is forbidden on Shabbat and one must educate his children regarding Shabbat observance. (This is besides the fact that one may not permit his young child to perform a forbidden action on Shabbat, for we are commanded not to perform forbidden works on Shabbat even by use of our animals; certainly we may not do so through our children. This is stated explicitly in the Midrash. See Chazon Ovadia- Shabbat 3, page 101 and Shabbat 4, page 119.)
Nevertheless, several luminaries of the past generation, including Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (in his Minchat Shlomo, Part 1, Chapter 35) and Hagaon Harav Ben-Zion Abba Shaul (in his Or Le'Zion, Part 2, Chapter 26), have written that toys which do not produce actual musical tunes, such as a doll with a bell on it, a toy car which makes noise when it rides, or most other toys and games which do not produce a proper, pleasant musical tune and the intention of producing this sound is not to produce a tune, are not forbidden for use by our Sages. In any event, there is room for leniency here with regards to young children.
Question: Is it permissible for one to allow his young children to play with toys which produce sound, such as a doll which makes noise when shaken, on Shabbat?
Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed the prohibition of producing sound on Shabbat, such as by banging on a board, blowing a whistle, and the like. Only sound produced by one's mouth, i.e. singing, is permissible on Shabbat.
Clearly, anything which produces sound by means of electricity may not be used on Shabbat. Our discussion here involves objects which produce sound on their own, such as through a simple bell and the like, but not through electrical means.
Summary: One may not give his child a musical instrument to play with on Shabbat, such as a drum, whistle, and the like. However, toys which do not produce a pleasant musical tune and only produce noise, such as toy cars which produce noise when they ride and dolls with bells on them, may be given to young children to play with on Shabbat (until the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah). There is likewise no prohibition of Muktzeh transgressed by passing these toys to children.
Machshava (Thought) of the Week
By: Rabbi David Shamsi
Big Foot in Judaism
A young man once approached Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the last Hasidic Master of the Lubavitch Chasidic movement: "Everywhere I go, everyone is always stepping on my feet! What should I do?" Rabbi Schneerson responded to him: "Stop putting your feet everywhere!"
Usually when I smile at my baby she smiles back. But once, I smiled at her when she was upside down and her reaction was completely different. I realized that from her angle, it looked like I was frowning at her. If everyone seems to be giving us a hard time, maybe it is really us who need the adjustment and not everyone else. If everyone looks as scary and cruel as Big Foot to us, maybe it is really we who have the big feet. May we all merit to wear smaller shoe sizes.