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Jul 24, 2011

Interesting Psak: No Generator, No Aliyah

Shabbos Generators

The generator has become popular in haredi neighborhoods and cities as an alternative to the electric company as a source for electricity on Shabbos. Some people are against using electricity supplied by the electric company because of chillul shabbos involved in the supply chain (repairs, etc.). Some people treat the need for a generator as a hiddur for Shabbos, others treat it as a chumra, and others treat is a basic necessity required by halacha.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky is known to be a very strong supporter of the requirement to use only electricity supplied by a generator on Shabbos. It has been suggested previously that he says so specifically in Bnei Braq, where the hanhaga based on the Chazon Ish has been accepted. While he  is also in favor of generators elsewhere, it has been suggested that it is not at the same level of a requirement outside of Bnei Braq. I think the following incident indicates otherwise.

An askan in the city of Elad went to discuss his attempts to install a generator in the city with Rav Chaim Kanievsky. During the halachic discussion, the askan, a fellow by the name of Rav Binyomin Adler, mentioned the halacha brought in Shulchan Aruch that says that one should not call up for the aliya in which the Ten Commandments are read anybody who transgresses any one of the Ten Commandments, even if he transgresses it only b'shogeg, accidentally.

R' Adler asked, based on that halacha, if someone does not use the generator alternative for Shabbos, but uses regular electricity, if he could get this aliya or is he considered a mechalel shabbos to the point that he could not even get this aliya?

Interesting Psak

Rav Chaim Kanievsky responded that of course he could not be called up for this aliya. Someone who is called up for the aliya on shabbos, you must be certain in advance that he only uses the generator for Shabbos. (source: Bechadrei)

12 comments:

  1. In that case you can't really call anyone to the 10 Dibrot "ki ain tzadik ba-aretz asher yaaseh tov ve-lo yeheta".

    Another excuse for askanim to enforce their agendas on the harried haredi public.

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  2. Is there anyone who is perfect? Let's say someone uses the generator. Can he honestly say that he has been honoring his parents perfectly and has never transgressed even b'shogeg?
    Also, is the generator/electricity the only way one can transgress shabbos - if he has transgressed borer inadvertently, or used the wrong kind of diapers or mistakenly put moist food with liquid on the blech... there are a million ways one could mistakenly transgress shabbos or any of th e10 commandments.
    So, before you give anyone an aliya, you will have to have a 5 hour long interview with a therapist and go back deep in the recesses of the mind to search for possible transgressions.

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  3. This would not be a problem for me. I would never daven in a shul that would have the audacity/chutzpah to ask this (or make aliyah decisions based on this.)

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  4. Why are you comparing not using the generator on Shabbos to shogeg? RCK would hold its meizid, as you are on purpose using electricity on shabbos.

    No one is asking to interview anyone. But if you know someone who is mechalel shabbos week in and week out, b'meizid, is he allowed to get an aliyah? Thats the question. What does the halacha say?

    The next question is whether or not someone who doesnt use the generator is called chillul shabbos. RCK holds he is.

    For chutznikim in particular, this comes as a big chiddush, but in reality, its pashut, and the chiddush is which the poskim try to weave around it with big chidushim. Rafi G, I think a full post with proper halchic discussion is called for, and then open the forum for a proper educated dicussion.

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  5. the halacha being quoted in the discussion says that even b'shogeg is a problem. not using a generator is not likely to be a b'shogeg, but they seem to have the same status.

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  6. Does this mean that other parts of the Torah are LESS important???

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  7. while I dont think it says so in Shulchan Aruch, maybe it is inappropriate for someone who eats treif to get the aliya where it talks about kosher animals, someone who ignores hashavas aveida shouldnt get that aliya, etc.

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  8. They just need a few people to say "I wouldn't want an aliya in your shul anyway". However in these insular communities this isn't going to happen.

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  9. There are halakhot about who can't get an aliya. Rav Spektor lists them in his book a halakhot for gabaim. I can't remember exactly what he wrote but I think the line is drawn at out-marriage, hillul shabbat be-farhesia and the like.

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  10. So according to Rav Spektor, if someone is mechalel shabos on purpose, he can not get an aliyah?

    And according to RCK if someone uses regular chashmal on shabos he is "oiver" on getting hanaah from maaseh shabbos.

    Seemingly Rav Specktor would agree to the psak, "leshitaso" that its a chiyuv gamur.

    Whats the chidush here?

    What are people so worked up about?

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  11. Does it mean that people are never allowed to go visit someone in a different town (without a generator) for shabbat?

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  12. Strange.

    Even in places where generator usage is common (Kiryat Sefer, for instance), that's just for lights.

    Air conditioners are almost always run off of the regular grid, far as I know. (An exception is certain shuls.)

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