Summertime Fun, Summertime Sheilos


summerAt precisely this time of year one feels that the grass is much greener on the other side. In spite of the dramatic increase in the price of gas, it seems that almost everyone evacuates the city to their bungalows and summer homes in the Catskills. Though we all assume a somewhat more relaxed lifestyle during the summer months we do not really change. Our unique Jewish attribute of living Halachic-based lives, questioning every aspect of our religious existence, accelerates unimpeded. So, if one is in the Catskills or his rabbi is there where should the routine everyday and the very special sheilos (questions in Jewish Law) be directed?

 Summertime Diversions, Summertime Directives 

The Hisachdus Horabbonim, the Chassidishe Rabbinic organization headquartered in Williamsburg, issued their list of qualified rabbis that stand ready to receive and respond to sheilos during the summer months. Literally an army of Torah respondents has been deployed and its members are at their summer stations ready to respond to halachic inquiries as well as explain the meaning of a critical word on your Daf Yomi.

 This is in conjunction with a number of general guidelines that have been issued by the Hisachdus relating to the proper conduct and religious observances incumbent upon all of us during the entire year, including the summer months. The Hisachdus issues their list of updated directives every year. The list has been developed through long years of hard experience. Amongst the items are the following:  

 A Summer Erev Shabbos 

 Many camps, bungalow colonies, and hotels begin Shabbos earlier than the standard 18 minutes before sunset. In scheduling Friday departure times to the Catskills, or to anywhere else, know when Shabbos begins at your destination. Under no circumstances should anyone begin travel to camps, bungalow colonies, or hotels late on Friday afternoon. In addition to a long list of construction projects, highways and roadways are routinely congested at such times.

 When traffic begins to move one might be tempted to speed and drive dangerously, something that must be absolutely avoided at all times. If your driver’s license is not in order, suspended, or revoked, your may very well spend Shabbos in jail. In addition, unavoidable delays may encroach on Shabbos times and create great difficulty in proper Shabbos observance. Many rabbis recommend that Friday travelers must take with them candles, challos, and a bottle of wine or grape juice. Those traveling to be with chassidishe rebbes must also take all precautions and make all necessary preparations.  

 Kosher Eruvim 

 Every camp, hotel, and bungalow colony must ensure that its eruv was properly designed and securely installed. An eminent rabbi renown for expertise in eruvim should be consulted to guarantee that the eruv meets all Halachic criteria. A reliable learned individual should be appointed to assume the responsibility of checking the eruv every Friday to ensure that it is up, in exacting compliance with the instructions of the overseeing Rav. The Hisachdus, without charge, will designate such Rav upon request.

Kashrus Away from Home 

 While on vacation, one must maintain the kashrus standards of all year. When shopping while traveling or while on vacation, every food item purchased must be checked for a familiar kashrus certification. If unsure, use your cellular phone to call your rabbi, or any rabbi listed here, or a rabbi known to you to be reliable. Kashrus Magazine’s summer issue is a great source of information.  

 Lakes and Swimming Pools – Strict Guidelines

 Swimming pools must be secured to prevent toddlers and young children unauthorized entry. The gate must be safely locked and inaccessible at all times that a supervising responsible adult, preferably with life saving training, is not present. Every camp or bungalow colony must have one individual designated as responsible to oversee all pool matters. Those swimming in lakes must be accompanied by at least one other person. Swimming pools used by women must have appropriate partitions.  


 When selecting a mikveh, ascertain that a qualified rabbi has approved the mikveh. No one should use a mikveh without another person present. A lake or a swimming pool does not constitute a kosher mikveh. In the Catskills and summer resorts, the following mikvaos are functioning and are under rabbinical supervision: Bethlehem, New Hampshire 603-869-3336; Ellenville 845-647-4472 and 845-647-6846; Fleischmans 845-254-6349; Liberty 845-292-6677; Monsey 845-371-0211; Monticello 845-794-6757 and 845-794-8470; South Fallsburg 845-436-3333; Swan Lake 845-292-5122/3 and 845-292-8031; White Lake 845-583-9702; and Woodridge 845-436-4987 and 845-436-7960.

Public Picnic Areas

 When using public picnic areas one is required to act properly, maintain cleanliness, and not use any public grill. Foods purchased at picnic concessions must also have an acceptable kashrus certification.  

 Torah Lectures And Shiurim 

 In order to continually refresh the soul as well as the body, every bungalow colony and hotel must endeavor to organize Torah lectures andshiurim for men, women, and children. These shiurim should be arranged for Fridays, Shabbos, Sundays, and every weekday. There should be separate seating for men and women.

 Call The Rabbi

 As many questions arise during the summer months when one is away from home or one’s congregational rabbi may be serving elsewhere in a summer capacity, qualified rabbis are standing by at the ready to welcome and respond to your inquiries. Do not hesitate to call. The following is the updated list of rabbis, by location on call, in alphabetical order:  

 Boro Park: Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Bick, Mezebusher Rav, 718-854-2617, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Rabbi Yechiel Yaakov Miller, Eizenstadter Rav, 718-438-7526 and 718-438-6218, 9:00-10:15 a.m., 7:30- 9:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. and on; Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Spitzer, Rav of Beis Medrash Ohr Chaim, 718-633-7420, 8:00-9:00 am, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 6:30-7: 45 p.m., and 9:30-11:15 p.m.; Rabbi Nachman Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, Boro Park Skverer Dayan, 718-853-3744, 9:00- 10:30 a.m., 6:00 -7:30 p.m., and from 10:30-11:30 pm; and Rabbi Sholom Noach Weiss, Orsheva Dayan, 718-236-2622, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Kerhonkson: Rabbi Yitzchok Stein, Foltechaner Dayan, 845-626-3632, 2:00-3:00 p.m., 7:00- 8:30 p.m., and 10:00-11:30 p.m.

 Liberty: Rabbi Zvi Ausch, Volkaner Rav, 845-292-5463, 10:00-11:00 a.m., and 10:00-11:00 p.m.; and Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Shneibalg, Williamsburg Belzer Rav, 845-295-3301, 10:00-11:00 a.m., 5:30-7:00 p.m., and 10:00-11:30 a.m.

 Monroe: Rabbi Chanoch Henach Ashkenazi, Dayan Yetev Lev, 845-782-0751, 8:15-9:30 a.m., 6:20-7:30 p.m., and at 845-782-0751, 10:30-11:30 p.m.; Rabbi Elyakim Getzel Berkowitz, Senior Kiryas Yoel Dayan, 845-783-8715; Rabbi Psachya Fried, Rav of Chevra Bnei Israel, 845-782-8049, 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and Rabbi Yoel Morgenstern, Sharmasher Rav, 845-781-4172, 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 3:00-6:00 p.m.

Monsey: Rabbi Binyamin Gruber, Hisachdus Dayan, 845-425-7516; Rabbi Avrohom Katz, Rav Khal Mishkanos L’avir Yaakov, 845-371-8292, 6:30-8:00 p.m.; Rabbi Shimon Katz, Dayan Khal Vayoel Moshe, 845-426-2348, 1:00 to 8:15 p.m., and 10:30-11:30 p.m.; Rabbi Yitzchok Avrohom Jungreis, Monsey Tosher Dayan, 845-356-5141 Rabbi Shraga Feivel Shneibalg, Rav Khal Avreichim, 845-425-8977, 2:00- 7:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.; and Rabbi Menachem Mayer Weissmandl, Rav Khal Toras Chemed, 845-352-1807, 845-425-1364, 4:30-6:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

 Monticello: Rabbi Yeshaye Gedalye Kaufman, Hisachdus Dayan, 845-794-5150; Rabbi Yeshaye Labin, Zidichover Dayan, 845-794-1069; Rabbi Yeshaye Lieberman, Dushinsky Rosh Kollel, 845-796-1069; and Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Saks, Dayan Khal Beis Moshe Aaron, 845-794-3337.

 Mount Kisco: Rabbi Hillel Weinberger, Nitra Dayan, 914-244-1425, after 1:00 p.m.

 Parksville: Rabbi Aaron Yeshaye Rosner, Sombotheily Dayan, 845-292-6406 and 718-594-5806.

 Seagate: Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Meisels, Seagate Dayan, 718-372-0831; and Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Meisels, Rav Khal Yereim, 718-373-1444.

 South Fallsburg: Rabbi Boruch Avrohom Friedman, Satmar Dayan, 845-436-0263; Rabbi Yermiah Friedman, Hisachdus Dayan, Shoproner Camp, 845-434-1136, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Rabbi Shlomo Kohn, Ada Rav, Shoproner Camp, North 12; Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Lieberman, Hisachdus Dayan, 845-434-0183, after 7:00 p.m.; Rabbi Simcha Aaron Stroli, Viener Dayan, 845-434-5705, 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 7:00-11:00 p.m.; and Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Nirbator Rav, 845-434-9272.

Swan Lake: Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Abraham, Hisachdus Dayan, 845-292-9719, 7:00-9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.-1:00 am; Rabbi Yitzchok Aaron Goldberger, Pupa Rosh Yeshiva, 845-292-9733, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00-6:00 p.m.; Rabbi Aaron Greenwald, Pupa Dayan, 845-292-9878, 10:00-11:00 a.m., and 8:00-9:00 p.m.; Rabbi Asher Mann, Hisachdus Dayan, 845-292-2664; Rabbi Asher Gedalye Pollack, Brashover Rav, 845-292-2204; and Rabbi Moshe Menachem Weiss, Boro Park Pupa Dayan, 845-889-4662, 10:00-11:00 am and 7:00-11:00 p.m.

 Thompsonville: Rabbi Avrohom Halberstam, Tartakover Rosh Kollel, 845-434-7950.

 Williamsburg: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Rabbi Moshe Meir Brief, Ibramer Rav, 718-388-3951; 1:00-2:00 p.m.: and Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Alter Krausz, 718-963-0833; 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Rabbi Ezriel Meir Chaim Kohn, Sengeorge Rav, 718-963-2614; 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Rabbi Shmuel Smelka Friedman, Hisachdus Dayan, 718-963-3568; 6:00 -7:00 p.m.: Rabbi Shlomo Leib Weinberger, Satmar Dayan, 718-387-6698; 7:00-9:00 p.m.: Rabbi Shlomo Wieder, Hisachdus Dayan, 718-388-4639; and 9:00-10:00 pm: Rabbi Kalonymus Zev Gross, Weitzener Rav, 718-384-6344. In addition: Rabbi Menachem Gross, Kaliver Rav, 718-388-6873; Rabbi Leibish Friedman, Satmar Dayan, in the beis medrash (718-486-3570) on Rodney Street from 8:00-9:30 am; at 718-388-5703 from 6:00-9:15 pm; and at the beis medrash from 9:15- 10:15 p.m.; Rabbi Yehuda Meshulem Dov Polatchek, Hisachdus Dayan, 718-387-1678; Rabbi Yosef Polatchek, Rav Khal Shem MiShimon, 718-624-6718; Rabbi Moshe Rosenfeld, Hisachdus Dayan, 718-237-2835; Rabbi Yechezkel Teitelbaum, Clymer Street Satmar Rav, 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m. in shul, and at 718-963-1564.

 White Lake: Rabbi Akiva Ludmir, Pressburger Rav, 845-583-8360.

 Woodridge: Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Krausz, Udvarer Dayan, 845-434-0972, 7:00-10:30 p.m.

 {Machberes-Rabbi G. Tannenbaum/ Newscenter}