On the Button

From: Phil Dear Rabbi, If a button unexpectedly pops off a garment on Shabbat, is it permitted to pick it up in order to save it to sew it back on after Shabbat, or does it become “muktze” and thereby forbidden to handle on Shabbat? I don’t see why it would be forbidden, but a[…]

Shabbat Money

From: Tal Dear Rabbi, A friend told me that there is no blessing in money that is earned on Shabbat. I understand that according to the Torah certain acts are prohibited, but how does that affect the money that’s earned through doing the acts? And more, one sees that work brings income, so more work,[…]

Shabbat Lunch and Learn

From: Leonard Dear Rabbi, I know it is important to learn on Shabbat, and particularly with one’s children. But in my case, I am so tired from work by the time Shabbat comes around, that I find it very hard to learn with my children instead of relaxing or napping. Anyway, my kids aren’t thrilled[…]

Shabbat Symphony

From: Melissa Dear Rabbi, I keep Shabbat but I feel that the nitty-gritty halachot take away from the beauty of Shabbat in that they make people more worried about how to open a can on Shabbat then to actually truly observe it. I have seen people actually embarrass others by calling them out on little[…]

Saturday or Shabbat

From: Ken Dear Rabbi, My wife and I are both professionals, work all week indoors, and don’t get to see each other, or our children very much. We are very much challenged by the idea of observing Shabbat indoors, first in shul, then in the house. We need to get out with our kids, be[…]

Games on Shabbat

From: Bradley in Milton, MA Dear Rabbi, Can one play a game like Scrabble, Monopoly or Chess on Shabbat? Dear Bradley, Let’s start with Scrabble. Does the forming of a word by placing letters next to each other on a Scrabble-board transgress the prohibition against “writing” on Shabbat? In addition, since people keep score when[…]

Sabotaged Sabbath

From: Laura Dear Rabbi, How do we know that the Sabbath is in fact on Saturday and not on Sunday or Friday as observed by Christianity or Islam? Dear Laura, Interestingly, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 65b) raises your question. The distinguished military leader Turnus Rufus asked Rabbi Akiva what makes the Sabbath special. Rabbi Akiva replied,[…]

Thank G‑d It’s Shabbat

From: I. Licht in Miami Dear Rabbi, Why did G‑d rest on the seventh day? Was He tired??? Did He leave the world incomplete intending to return to it? How do we know the details of Creation? G‑d was presumably alone, yet the account is written in the third person. Is this one of the[…]

Instruments on Shabbat

From: Ken Cohen Dear Rabbi, Is playing live music, namely a guitar, allowed during services on Shabbat or holidays. If not, why? Thank You. Dear Ken, Musical instruments play a very important role in Torah. They were used by the prophets to put them in the correct frame of mind to receive prophecy, they are[…]