Junction Institute proposes to sell to Gentile tools to alleviate the need for their baptism • And also - is it possible to use alcohol on Shabbos? • The answers inside
Illustrative image (The photographers have no connection to the article) // Photo: Yossi Zeliger
The Corona crisis has long ago not only health and economic challenges, but also the halachic ones facing many rabbis and organizations that need to find creative solutions that meet the halakhic boundaries. An example of this can be seen in a new directive issued this morning (Thursday) by the Junction Institute, which eliminates the need for tool baptism.
The Institute, which specializes in providing solutions in the field of law and technology, noted that in light of the worsening crisis and also with the directives that almost completely prohibit leaving the house, Halacha can be waived for the baptism of new tools that were not manufactured in Israel.
According to the decision, like the procedure of selling chametz to a gentile customary before Passover, new tools can also be sold, thereby giving up the halakhic obligation to immerse them in the mikvah. "If the tool belongs to a gentile, I can use it without immersion," says the institute's head, Rabbi Menachem Perl, who adds, "We will allow people who are interested in it to appoint us as their envoy to the subject of sale and every few days we will sell all the tools we have registered."
Apart from the subject of baptism, and in light of the fact that the Ministry of Health guidelines do not allow extended families to gather together for the Seder, the intersection is also working on finding a technological solution that will allow every family to live live on the eve of the holiday. However, they say, this involves a string of rigorous tests and restrictions that have not yet been completed.
Another rabbi who needed a halachic issue that arose as a result of the worldwide outbreak of the Corona virus is Elon Moreh Yeshiva, Rabbi Elyakim Lebanon, who was recently asked on a yeshiva website about the use of alcohol on Saturday. In his response, he wrote that "if the liquid is poured when the tool is turned, or if placed on a sloping surface, it goes down, liquid, to the bottom of the surface, allowed to be applied to the hand or other body part on Shabbat." He also noted that if the preparation is not liquid, "it is allowed to be diluted by water, etc. on the Sabbath, to be liquid, and then allowed to be used."
Those who have also found different solutions to the new reality are the rabbis of the Tzahar organization. About a week ago, the chairman of the organization, Rabbi David Fall, sent a letter to "Here" requesting that they allocate a radio frequency that will operate in "quiet wave" format and, if necessary, update various updates from the Ministry of Health. The public broadcasting corporation responded to the request.