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1) How many timers do you have, 2) what are they for and 3) what issue

timers shabbat coffemaker convection oven hot plate blech bourekas trippers pins muktzeh

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#1 josephal

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:46 AM

Currently, we use 8 timers on Shabbat (the number changes depending on the season and our needs). Here’s what each one is for:
  • Living room lamps
  • A/C in living room
  • Dining room lamps
  • A/C in bedroom
  • Restroom lamp
  • Electric hot-plate
  • Coffeemaker (for breakfast and seudah shelishit)
  • Small convection oven (usually frozen burekas for seudah shelishit). Another benefit to using this oven is that the top surface gets hot enough that it can be used as a hot-plate to heat up chalah, hardboiled eggs, water, etc.

Issues experienced over the years:

- We have manual timers that invariably fail to turn on/off at the set times (some of them are off by 45 minutes). I gather this inaccuracy might be due to the rotational speed of the dial, which is either a little too fast or too slow. Years ago I figured out that when I plug in the timers, I have to set them either ahead or back some minutes (depending on the imprecision) from the actual time of the day. So, for example, if I wanted to plug in the timers at 5:30 PM, a timer that is behind by 45 minutes would have to be plugged in with the time arrow on the dial at 6:15 PM so that it turns on/off at the right times for the next 24 hours. Even then it’s off by a few minutes.

- Due to miscalculation on my part, the lights have occasionally turned off during a meal when guests are over. The same has happened Friday nights when I study the parashah.

- There have been a couple of times when I forgot to place the food on the hot-plate before the timer went on. No hot food those days, regrettably, as our rav does not allow placing even solids once the timer is on (unless the hot-plate is covered with a piece of sheet metal or with quite a few layers of aluminum foil).

- The same above scenario has happened with the convection oven, so, sadly, no burekas; but one can get away with eating cold food on seudah shelishit.

- Toddlers messing with the timer settings; this has happened with the timer connected to the A/C in the living room, which cools most of the house. In the summer this can be a problem. Luckily, our rav says the little trippers/pins are not muktzeh, so I can reset them on the dial.

This post makes me realize how spoiled we’ve become.

#2 happyduck1979

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:16 AM

We have 1 timer, and the hot plate is the only thing plugged into it. We leave on various lights which, yes I know, is a waste of money, but the truth is it is only 2 more lights than we leave on over night during the week. We always leave the hallway light on so my daughter can see her way to the washroom, and on shabbat we add our washroom light (the en suite) and the sdining room (which is enough to illuminate the living room and kitchen as well. We also leave on the a/c because our timers do not work, and a fan by the gerbil cage or they overheat.
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#3 josephal

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:03 AM

I just realized that I posted this in the wrong forum category.

#4 Silent J

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:17 PM

[moved to the technology forum]
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#5 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:52 PM

KR has no timers and never understood why some people are so timer crazed.

Lights are negligible energy and heat especially the new fluorescent bulbs so I never got the pressing need to turn them on and off unless someone needs to sleep in the room.

I might put an A/C on a timer if I had one, but most modern A/C's either have their own timers or energy saver mode so it's also lav davka pressing.

Hotplates, I would only use anyway if I had a cholent or stuff that needed to be heated overnight so again, not really an issue.
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#6 LoveToLaugh

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:30 PM

We have one timer that we use for the living room AC. I once put a brand new digital one for an AC in teh attic. I didnt know what I was doing and it went off at midnight and never went on again. so much for that.
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#7 adiel

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:47 PM

i have 'outdoor' timers on my bug zappers so that they only go on at night. Bug zappers don't attract insects anything during the day and pointless to leave on.
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#8 adiel

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

KR has no timers and never understood why some people are so timer crazed.


Even with energy saving bulbs and energy saving AC's etc, if you can skim $100 off of a $500/month electric bill buy using a timer to turn off lights in a room that no one is using during certain hours on shabbos - that's $1200/year that can go to something else.

when you come for shabbos, you can keep your bedroom light and AC on the whole shabbos with no timer. :)
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#9 josephal

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:56 PM

KR has no timers and never understood why some people are so timer crazed.

Lights are negligible energy and heat especially the new fluorescent bulbs so I never got the pressing need to turn them on and off unless someone needs to sleep in the room.

I might put an A/C on a timer if I had one, but most modern A/C's either have their own timers or energy saver mode so it's also lav davka pressing.

Hotplates, I would only use anyway if I had a cholent or stuff that needed to be heated overnight so again, not really an issue.


Don't you know? You won't be considered frum if you don't use timers! I suppose I'm spoiled. Shabbat afternoons would not be the same without hot burekas and coffee. If we had a dishwasher I would definitely put it on a timer as well.

#10 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:16 AM

Even with energy saving bulbs and energy saving AC's etc, if you can skim $100 off of a $500/month electric bill buy using a timer to turn off lights in a room that no one is using during certain hours on shabbos - that's $1200/year that can go to something else.

I don't think it would be ANYWHERE near that, unless you have a LOT of high wattage lights...
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#11 josephal

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:24 PM

I don't think it would be ANYWHERE near that, unless you have a LOT of high wattage lights...


What about three-day "yontifs?"

You might be right; maybe leaving a light or two on for 25 hours once a week doesn't waste too much electricity. In our house, we use around 5 lights, not including other appliances.

I'm not an electrician, but we can summon the ghost of Rabbi Schneerson and ask him.

#12 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:01 PM

I'm not an electrician, but we can summon the ghost of Rabbi Schneerson and ask him.


Not a difficult calculation, figure wattage and time and cost per KWH of electricity, no need to distrub the Rebbe Shlita Zatzal...

Besides that's what the Igros are for....
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#13 Pinchas

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:33 AM

  • Small convection oven (usually frozen burekas for seudah shelishit). Another benefit to using this oven is that the top surface gets hot enough that it can be used as a hot-plate to heat up chalah, hardboiled eggs, water, etc.


How exactly are you allowed to use this on Shabbos? Even with a timer it would still be bishul. Also how are you allowed to heat water on Shabbos... are you tamani?

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#14 josephal

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:44 AM

How exactly are you allowed to use this on Shabbos? Even with a timer it would still be bishul. Also how are you allowed to heat water on Shabbos... are you tamani?


I’m not Teimani.

It’s not bishul in either case (yes, I’m aware of dissenting opinions like Rav Feinstein, for example) because the oven or hot-plate is off and cold when you place the frozen burekas or water *before* the timer turns on. This is called gerama. When the timer turns on, the food/water just happens to be there and it heats up. You can even put completely raw food so it cooks before the timer turns on. It might sound surprising, but it’s nothing new and it’s in halachic literature.

Suffice it to say that our family rav says you can do this on Shabbat. In case one thinks this is an aberrant pesak by a lone rabbi, rabbis of no lesser status than Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, for example, rule leniently on the issue. One can most definitely be mekil on this matter, and I would further add that since it’s mutar lechatchilah and it enhances oneg Shabbat, as it says in masechta kidushin, כח דהיתירא עדיף (the power of leniency is preferable).

#15 Pinchas

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 12:54 PM

To put cooked solid food directly on a hot plate (not a blech but a hot plate) is fully permitted according to some poskim. This is because we hold "ain bishul achar bishul" with solid foods and these poskim hold a hot plate (unlike a blech) is not k'derech cooking (sort of like kadara al gabai kadara). My question is regards to the hot water... generally we don't relay on grama lichadchila when there are alternatives available... most people use hot water heaters "kumkum" which have a shabbos mode to keep the water hot all shabbos others who use a blech usually keep a hot water pot on it. This will even increase oneg more as the hot water is always available.

Another question... you actually put the food inside the oven?

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#16 josephal

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:32 PM

To put cooked solid food directly on a hot plate (not a blech but a hot plate) is fully permitted according to some poskim. This is because we hold "ain bishul achar bishul" with solid foods and these poskim hold a hot plate (unlike a blech) is not k'derech cooking (sort of like kadara al gabai kadara). My question is regards to the hot water... generally we don't relay on grama lichadchila when there are alternatives available... most people use hot water heaters "kumkum" which have a shabbos mode to keep the water hot all shabbos others who use a blech usually keep a hot water pot on it. This will even increase oneg more as the hot water is always available.

Another question... you actually put the food inside the oven?


The basic halachah is that if it’s for a tzorech Shabbat, gerama is mutar lechatchilah, whether or not there are other alternatives. There’s no difference between heating solids and liquids, as long as the action is indirect/delayed (i.e., before the timer turns on).

Yes, I actually put the food inside the oven.

#17 Pinchas

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:30 AM

I have not been able to locate a source that Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach are lenient on this issue. Can you please cite a source?

Furthermore, for the sake of other readers seeing this thread I want to point out that while I agree there is a minority opinion that hold grama litzorach gufo is permitted the vast majority of poskim hold it is completely assur.

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#18 josephal

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:13 PM

I have not been able to locate a source that Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach are lenient on this issue. Can you please cite a source?

Furthermore, for the sake of other readers seeing this thread I want to point out that while I agree there is a minority opinion that hold grama litzorach gufo is permitted the vast majority of poskim hold it is completely assur.



Sources:

הרב עובדיה יוסף שו"ת יביע אומר חלק י-
Rav Yosef’s teshuvot are a great reference to peruse as he cites just about every possible source.

שו"ת מנחת שלמה also see, הרב שלמה זלמן אוירבך מאורי אש-
(I don’t recall the exact chalakim at the moment for this reference).

I would caution against making statements like your last sentence, which could easily be misconstrued and possibly mislead individuals. Even if a majority of posekim hold that gerama is asur, those ignorant of how Jewish law actually works might conclude from your statement that they can take a poll and make a decision based on majority opinion. Ideally, one should ask one’s posek, as this is what is required. Less ideally, one can have authorities on whom to rely (including authorities who might rule leniently on a given issue). I would caution readers not to rely on information from the Internet as a basis for halachah le’ma’ase (especially forums).

Your argument has gone from whether something constitutes bishul to how posekim hold on gerama. To that end, in addition to the aforementioned renowned posekim who rule leniently on this issue, there are numerous sources that acknowledge that the accepted opinion is that gerama is mutar in all categories of forbidden work (I would be quite happy to cite them for you). One notable source, Rav Avraham Y. Karelitz, observes (in Chazon Ish) that our exact above scenario entails a gerama, hence there is no Torah violation.

Shabbat would be impossible without gerama. I imagine most people use a refrigerator or an air conditioner (among the many other appliances that work on gerama). When the door of either appliance is opened, higher-temperature air flows in causing the compressor to turn on to produce the cold air needed to maintain the cooler preset temperature. This scenario is no different, but it’s mutar because opening the door (which lets the air in) is an indirect action (gerama). This issue could be argued to death, but it does not change the facts.

In masechta chagigah two talmidim relate the teaching of R. Elazar ben Azaryah to R. Yehoshua that one should make one’s ears like a funnel to absorb all the conflicting opinions and teachings of Chazal because they are ultimately given by God; hence, all viewpoints must be considered in order to come to a conclusion. In the spirit of this masechta, one who chooses to be stringent in this regard should do so for himself and not others (המחמיר יחמיר לעצמו ולא לאתרים); conversely, one who wishes to be lenient most certainly has authorities on whom to rely. As it says in masechta eruvin אלו ואלו דברי אלוהים חיים(These and those are the words of the Living God). To present a position as legitimate while diminishing or invalidating another goes against our tradition.

#19 Pinchas

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:37 AM

The reason you can't find that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is lenient is because he is in fact not. I take issue with this false claim of yours.

Please see Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchata (2nd ed., 1,26) where we find that R'SZA follows the ruling of the Har Tzvi that this is forbidden. More on this here: http://www.zomet.org...8&ArticleID=407

Also note there is a difference between an intentional grama (i.e. putting the water on the cold hot plate with the desire for the hot plate to go on and cook it) and an unintentional one (i.e. opening the refrigerator door.)

Do you hold like Rav Yosef on all matters? Or like the Chazon Ish on all matters? Halacha frowns on picking and choosing psakim to find the most lenient ones.

Furthermore I take issue with the claim that following the lenient opinions in this case "enhances oneg Shabbat." Even without a timer just about everything you eat could be heated up on Shabbat or in the case of water kept hot.

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#20 josephal

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:31 AM

The reason you can't find that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is lenient is because he is in fact not. I take issue with this false claim of yours.

Please see Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchata (2nd ed., 1,26) where we find that R'SZA follows the ruling of the Har Tzvi that this is forbidden. More on this here: http://www.zomet.org...8&ArticleID=407

Also note there is a difference between an intentional grama (i.e. putting the water on the cold hot plate with the desire for the hot plate to go on and cook it) and an unintentional one (i.e. opening the refrigerator door.)

Do you hold like Rav Yosef on all matters? Or like the Chazon Ish on all matters? Halacha frowns on picking and choosing psakim to find the most lenient ones.

Furthermore I take issue with the claim that following the lenient opinions in this case "enhances oneg Shabbat." Even without a timer just about everything you eat could be heated up on Shabbat or in the case of water kept hot.


Pinchas,

I assure that the Auerbach reference exists. It is shameless to accuse someone of false claims. I already gave you specific references; I have no need to make one up to make my case. Having said that, it's clear that you are not well-read in halachic literature. Please don't post links. Quote actual sources. Or do you quote the sources listed on the link? I can look it up for you, but I wonder what your response will be then.

There is no difference with intentional or unintentional gerama. That others disagree does not change the facts that this opinion is well-founded.

I do not in fact pick and choose pesakim; someone who does this is a rasha, as the Gemara attests. I have repeatedly said that one should ask one's posek. If you've read anything I've written before you would know that I have a posek whom I follow le'heter & le'isur.

Again, that you "take issue" with a well-founded opinion does not change the facts.





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