Heat Precautions for Shabbos

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rabbi-dovid-heberThe following is part of an email sent out by Rabbi Dovid Heber to his kehillah, Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach Tzedek in Baltimore. It is has been edited to make it more general and not specific to his congregation:

As most of you are aware, this weekend is predicted to be another “scorcher” with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Please be aware of the following:

1) If you do not have power, please contact your Rav or Shul Chesed Committee member to help you find a place for Shabbos. It is not kavod Shabbos or healthy to remain home in a dark sweltering house with no electricity.

2) After reciting Birchas Hashachar at home, drink lots of water or other fluids (non-hagafen and non-alcoholic) before coming to shul on Shabbos morning. Drink lots of water during the day as well.

3) If you feel the walk is too difficult, consider davening at a shul closer to home. If you have any health issues which may be aggravated by being outside in the heat for any length of time, please contact your doctor to determine if it may be better to stay at home and not walk to shul. If it is too difficult to leave your home and walk in the oppressive heat, stay home and daven ideally “bshaa she’hatzibur mispallelin” (at the times local shuls daven). This means you should estimate the time your shul reaches Shemona Esrai and try start Shemona Esrai at that time. For example, if your shul starts Mincha on Shabbos at 6:00 pm, start Shemona Esrai at 6:10 pm – the same time as your shul.

4) On Motzai Shabbos drink a lot in preparation for the taanis. Consider setting your alarm to get up and drink before the fast begins. On Motzai Shabbos state that you are not mekabel (accepting) the fast by going to sleep, but rather want to start the fast at dawn.

5) On Sunday, stay inside as much as possible. Try to minimize going outside. Running around even in an air-conditioned car is difficult. If you do not feel well, call your Rav. If you feel dehydrated, ill or dizzy and are not sure whether to break your fast and can not get an answer to your shaala, eat or drink immediately as needed.

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  1. Ushmartem me’od lenafshoseichem.

    May Klal Yisroel have an easy and healthy ta’anis, and may this be the last Shiv’a Asar B’Tammuz in which we have to fast.

  2. #2 Im not sure its nogaya any more but for future reference you can drink up to the second the fast begins. There is no reason to begin fasting before the fast begins (which is alos or shkiya on tisha bav), there is no such thing as “tosefes fast” (Except for yom kippur)


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