From the Desk - Snowballs on Shabbat?
Shalom Friends! What a wonderful Kehillah Shabbat we enjoyed last week! It was wonderful to see so many people in synagogue including an increasing number of returnee snowbirds! Rebbetzin Carly gave a beautiful talk before Rabbi Heshy and I, joined by some brave impromptu choristers, sung 'Eshet Chayil'. This is a song from the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs which extolls the virtues of the Jewish woman. It is traditioinally sung on Friday night. You can learn more about this song here and you can listen to a wonderful English translation here. After our rendition, we danced around the sanctuary while singing Adon Olam before going to the banquet hall where the ladies were served their Kiddush refreshments. It was a special Shabbat. Please watch this space for details of our future Kehillah Shabbats. After Shabbat, we enjoyed a wonderful Purim evening. The kids (and some adults) dressed up in marvelous costumes and there was one person who even dressed up as Rabbi Knopf and conducted the evening's proceedings! Rabbi Heshy did an incredible job of reading the megillah before the huge number of kids in attendance made their way downstairs to the carnival which was superbly organized by Howie Brown. You can see photos of this wonderful Purim event here. Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold will be coming to speak on Bringing the Haggadah to Life on March 27th at 7pm. Please call the office to register. We look forward to many more great times together as a community. In the meantime, we wish you a warm Shabbat in this volatile city which seems to have returned to a full-blown winter! Please enjoy the season appropriate 'What's the Deal With' section, below. Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf
What's the Deal With... Making Snowballs on Shabbat? This question was asked by Liana Brown. Although this might seem to be a modern question, we know that it was already asked and discussed as far back as the 1690s! What would the issues be? There is a rule that you are not allowed to move something that came into existence on Shabbat (this is one of the ways in which something can become what is known as 'Muktzeh'). Although there is a view that we can't move snow for this reason, the general view is that you can move snow on Shabbat because it existed beforehand (even if only as moisture), albeit in the clouds. Nevertheless, with regard to actually making snowballs, the agreement of the halakhic authorities is that this cannot be done on Shabbat. This is because one is giving form to something that was previously not extant which is akin to the halakhic definition of building. Other authorities are concerned about the inevitable crushing of the ice and causing it to melt. Nevertheless, some are lenient to allow children under the age of Bar and Bat Mitzvah to make snowballs, one can rely on that opinion.