17 Aug HALACHICALLY SPEAKING: SUMMER HALACHOS (PART 6)
Changing Location While Eating
In a bungalow colony or camp, people often eat in their room and then go outside on the porch or walk around outside.
The halachos of changing locations when eating are long and complex. Rather than attempt to cover the entire topic, we will discuss some important points that pertain to summer issues. It is always preferable to remain in the same place and avoid possible problems. Another point is that the concept of changing locations creates a hesech hada’as.
One who eats bread (more than a kezayis) need not be concerned about the halachos of changing locations, since he is supposed to return to his original location to bentch. Mezonos is considered like bread (since it is nourishing). If he knows in advance that he will leave, he should have in mind when making the brachah that he wants to bentch at the second location (he should eat a kezayis of food in the second location).
Fruits from the seven minim are excluded from the above, as well as other fruits, or Shehakol and Ha’adamah foods.
Regarding fruit and drinks and other food items, there is a problem with changing locations even if one can see part of the original location, unless he had in mind to move when making the brachah.
Having in mind to make a brachah at a second location does not help if one plans to move to a different building (except for bread and Mezonos).
There is a big discussion whether going to another room in the same house is considered the same place. The Biur Halachah maintains that one should not leave his room when eating, but the custom is to be lenient with this. This applies even if one cannot see the first room or did not have in mind when leaving. If one did leave, no brachah is required.
Some maintain that today it is common to leave the dining room while eating to get food from the kitchen, so even the stringent opinion would be lenient. The same is true for a woman of the house who routinely goes from room to room while eating to deal with house chores.
It is permitted to change locations within the same room, even if one cannot see his original location. This is true even if there are separations in the room. This is common in hotel ballrooms.
Going outside to a covered porch is not considered a change of place. Many consider it as part of the house even if there is no roof.
Many bungalow colonies and camps are surrounded by a fence, so the entire area is considered one location. Accordingly, if one would eat in one part of the bungalow colony and walk to a different part there is no new brachah required. However, others are not convinced.
It is important to know that even if one is required to recite a brachah, it is only a brachah rishonah. No brachah acharonah is required on foods he already ate, as they are covered by the brachah recited in the second place.
Kiddush in Place of Seudah – Changing Places
It is very common in the summer to have a kiddush on the grass and eat Mezonos at different tables.
Ideally, one should eat in the same place that he hears Kiddush. However, one can be lenient if he had in mind at the time of Kiddush to eat in a different corner of the same room, especially if he can see the place where Kiddush was made.
It is forbidden to make Kiddush in one house and eat in a different home unless he can see the first place. Moving from the house to a courtyard is considered from house to house.
One is permitted to make Kiddush in one corner of a room and eat in another corner. This is true even if the room is very large. This is very common in the bungalow colony, where Kiddush is made outside and the food is set up on tables across the grass. Being that it is one large area, it suffices.
If one had in mind to go to another room in the same house it is permitted to make Kiddush in one place and eat in a different place. This is common at a big seudah where men and women sit in different rooms.
If one sees the place of Kiddush, he may even go to another house. This is true even if he sees only a portion of the place where Kiddush was recited. It is better to be stringent in this regard.
Drinking from a Bottle
It is not derech eretz to drink straight from a bottle. However, there is no objection to drinking from a sports bottle, which is designed to be used in this fashion.
Hot-Air Balloon /
In the summer when people have time to go on trips, some find it fun and adventurous to go on a hot-air balloon or parachute from the heights. There is enough danger involved in these activities to recite birkas hagomel but without saying the names of Hashem (no Shem or Malchus).
Many camps take their campers on a trip to Niagara Falls. Is a brachah recited when seeing the falls?
A brachah of Osei Ma’asei Bereishis should be made on the Canadian side of the falls. There is a discussion in the poskim if a brachah should be made on the American falls. No brachah is made on the rainbow over the falls.
Birchas M’ein Sheva – Magen Avos
In the times of the Gemara, shuls were located in open fields, outside the city limits. Since it was dangerous to walk home alone in the dark after Ma’ariv, the chachamim instituted an extra tefillah to extend Ma’ariv, in case someone was slow in finishing Shemoneh Esrei. A person who is davening by himself does not say it, although he may say it without the brachah at the beginning or end. The custom is that all the congregants say it without the brachah at the beginning or end. One should say the tefillah while standing.
If there is a minyan in a shivah home the tefillah is omitted, since it is only said at a set minyan (see below). If they wish to say it we do not discourage them, but this is not the custom.
There is a discussion in the poskim regarding this brachah for people who are not in a shul setting.
The Taz mentions that this brachah is only said in a place that is set for davening. The Aruch Hashulchan and others mention that one can say it if a sefer Torah is present. However, the custom is not like this.
The shul of a bungalow colony is only active during the summer. Nevertheless, it is considered a set minyan, and M’ein Sheva is said. If the davening is held in a field or courtyard, then Magen Avos is omitted.
In the summer there are multiple minyanim for Minchah and Ma’ariv on Erev Shabbos. Magen Avos is said at each minyan.
If a group goes to a hotel for Shabbos (and it is not a Jewish one which has a set place for tefillah), Magen Avos is not recited. The same applies for a cruise.
If a group goes to the bungalow colony in the winter, they may say Magen Avos even if the shul is generally closed during the winter, since during the summer it is a functioning shul.
A set house minyan that always davens Ma’ariv on Friday night would recite Magen Avos.
Based on sources in Kabbalah, Magen Avos is said whether or not there is a set minyan. However, if one does not always follow the rulings of Kabbalah he should not follow it here either.
The custom in Yerushalayim is to say it in a place that has a set minyan even without a sefer Torah.
In a bungalow colony, it is common that there are not enough bechers for everyone to make Kiddush. It is best for one person to make Kiddush for all using a becher. If this is not feasible, can one use a disposable cup? There is a discussion in the poskim if one may use a plastic or paper cup to wash his hands. If no other cup is available, one may use them for Kiddush.
Reading with a Lamp / Blackout
We are all accustomed to lights on Shabbos. However, veteran bungalow residents will attest that blackouts do occur on Shabbos. Is it permitted to read by candlelight or emergency exit lights on Shabbos? How about using a dimmable electric lamp?
The Gemara forbids reading by the light of an oil lamp on Shabbos due to the concern that one might tilt the lamp to obtain a brighter flame, thus transgressing the melachah of me’aver (burning) on Shabbos. Some are lenient with wax candles, where there is no concern of tilting the candle. This is especially true with our candles, which have nice light. Others are stringent with wax.