Answering Your Summer Shailos in the Mountains

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    d a

    Sunday July 4, 2010 8:12 AM

    At the end of June every year, as the school year ends, a mass exodus out of the city takes place. At precisely this time of the year, one feels that the grass is much greener somewhere else. In spite of the challenging economy, seemingly, almost everyone evacuates the city to their dream bungalows, villas, 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 lives of halachic exploration, questioning every aspect of our religious experience, accelerates unimpeded. So, if one is in the Catskills, or if his rabbi is there, where should the routine everyday and the very special sheilos (questions in Jewish Law) be directed?Summer Instructions for Torah Observant

    As a genuine annual service to the observant community, the Hisachdus Horabbonim, the Chassidishe rabbinic organization headquartered in Williamsburg, issued its list of contact information of qualified rabbis that stand ready to receive and respond to sheilos during the summer months. Literally, an army of Torah respondents has been redeployed and is at its summer battle stations ready to respond to halachic inquiries as well as to 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 and continually updated. 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 shkiah (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 to travel to camps, bungalow colonies, or hotels late on Friday afternoon. In addition to a long list of ongoing construction projects, highways and roadways are routinely congested at such times. When heavy traffic opens up and begins to move, one might be tempted to speed and drive dangerously to make up lost time, something that must be absolutely avoided at all times. If your drivers license is not in order, suspended, or revoked, your may very well spend Shabbos in jail. In addition, unavoidable delays may encroach on proper 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 Rebbeim in their summer retreats cannot rely on Divine assistance and must also take all precautions and make all necessary preparations.

    Kosher Eruvin

    Every camp, hotel, and bungalow colony must ensure that its eruv was properly designed and securely installed. An eminent rabbi renown for expertise in Eruvin 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 the eruv remains in full and exacting compliance with the instructions of the overseeing rav. The Hisachdus, without charge, will designate such rav upon request.

    Kashrus While on Vacation

    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 is not present. When open, an adult preferably with life-saving training should be present and in charge. 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 must have appropriate partitions.

    Life Insurance, Summer and All-Year Round

    The issue of life insurance for family breadwinners (usually husbands and family caretakers, usually wives) is non-negotiable and applies all year round. The advertisements and flyers seeking contributions to maintain families that have lost a parent sadly abound. One such tragedy is one too many. As our communities keep growing, Baruch Hashem, the actuarial percentages apply consistently. No one is immune. No one is exempt. The cost of term life insurance of $500,000 for a healthy man aged 30 is approximately $20.00 per month. The obligation and necessity for life insurance must be taught at chassan/ kallah classes. Insurance acquired at an earlier age is considerably cheaper; hence the younger one begins the better. This is not only mandatory for a yeshiva rebbi; it is an absolute necessity for every family breadwinner and caretaker, regardless of profession.

    Find A Mikveh

    In selecting a mikveh during your vacation, ascertain that a qualified rabbi has approved the mikveh. No one should ever 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 845-845-292-5122/3 and 845-292-8031; White Lake 845-583-9702; and Woodridge 845-436-4987 and 845-436-7960.

    Behavior at Public Picnic Areas

    When using public picnic areas, whether in a park or comfort station on a highway, one is required to always 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 arrange and organize Torah lectures,shiurim, and study sessions for men, women, and children. These shiurim should be arranged for Fridays, Shabbos, Sundays, and every weekday.

    Sheilos? Stumped? Call the Rabbi!

    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 to 10:15 a.m., 7:30 to 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 to 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 6:30 to 7: 45 p.m., and 9:30 to 11:15 p.m.

    Rabbi Nachman Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, Boro Park Skverer Dayan

    718-853-3744, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., and from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.

    Rabbi Sholom Noach Weiss

    718-236-2622, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.


    Rabbi Yitzchok Stein, Foltechaner Dayan

    845-626-3632, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., and 10:00 to 11:30 p.m.

    Kiamesha Lake:

    Rabbi Shraga Gedalye Kaufman, Kruleh Dayan

    845-794-5150 and cell # 347-538-2783


    Rabbi Zvi Ausch, Volkaner Rav

    817-237-2112, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., and 10:00 to 11:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Shneibalg, Williamsburg Belzer Rav

    845-295-3301, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., 5:30 to7:00 p.m., and 10:00 to 11:30 p.m.

    Loch Sheldrake:

    Rabbi Avrohom Meir Halberstam, 18th Avenue Satmar Dayan


    Rabbi Dovid Hirsch, Satmar Dayan


    Rabbi Ben Zion Laub, Satmar Dayan


    Rabbi Menachem Zev Stern, Satmar Dayan



    Rabbi Chanoch Henach Ashkenazi, Dayan Yetev Lev

    845-782-0751, 8:15 to 9:30 a.m., and 6:20 to 7:30 p.m., and at 845-782-0751, 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.

    Rabbi Elyakim Getzel Berkowitz, Senior Kiryas Yoel Dayan


    Rabbi Pisachye Fried, Rav of Chevra Bnei Israel

    845-782-8049, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shimon Zev Meisels, Rav Beis Medrash Yismach Moshe


    Rabbi Yoel Morgenstern, Sharmasher Rav

    845-781-4172, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.


    Rabbi Binyamin Gruber, Hisachdus Dayan


    845-371-8292, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shimon Katz, Dayan Khal Vayoel Moshe

    845-426-2348, 1:00 to 8:15 p.m. and 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.

    Rabbi Yitzchok Avrohom Jungreis, Monsey Tosher Dayan


    Rabbi Shraga Feivel Shneibalg, Rav Khal Avreichim

    845-425-8977, 2:00 to 7:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

    Rabbi Menachem Mayer Weissmandl, Rav Khal Toras Chemed

    845-352-1807, 845-425-1364, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.


    Rabbi Yeshaye Gedalye Kaufman, Hisachdus Dayan


    Rabbi Yeshaye Labin, Zidichover Rebbe


    Rabbi Yeshaye Lieberman, Dushinsky Rosh Kollel, 845-796-1069

    Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Saks, Dayan Khal Beis Moshe Aaron


    Mount Kisco:

    Rabbi Hillel Weinberger, Nitra Dayan

    914-244-1425, after 1:00 p.m.


    Rabbi Aaron Yeshaye Rosner, Sombotheily Dayan

    845-292-6406 and 718-594-5806


    Rabbi Pinchas Mordechai Meisels, Seagate Dayan


    Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Meisels, Rav Khal Yereim


    South Fallsburg:

    Rabbi Boruch Avrohom Friedman, Satmar Dayan


    Rabbi Yirmiyah Friedman, Hisachdus Dayan, Shoproner Camp

    845-434-1136, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shlomo Kohn, Ada Rav, Shoproner Camp

    Bungalow North 12

    Rabbi Yitzchok Halberstam, Tartakover Dayan


    Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Lieberman, Hisachdus Dayan

    845-434-4548, after 7:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Simcha Aaron Stroli, Viener Dayan

    845-434-5705, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Nirbator Rav


    Swan Lake:

    Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Abraham, Hisachdus Dayan

    845-292-9719, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

    Rabbi Yitzchok Aaron Goldberger, Pupa Rosh Yeshiva

    845-292-9733, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Aaron Greenwald, Pupa Dayan

    845-292-9878, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., and 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Asher Mann, Hisachdus Dayan


    Rabbi Asher Gedalye Pollack, Brashover Rav


    Rabbi Moshe Menachem Weiss, Boro Park Pupa Dayan, 845-889-4662, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.


    Rabbi Avrohom Halberstam, Tartakover Rosh Kollel


    White Lake:

    Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Harfenes, Rav Beis Medrash Yisroel Vehazemanim


    Rabbi Akiva Ludmir, Pressburger Rav



    Rabbi Moshe Meir Brief, Ibramer Rav

    718-388-3951, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Alter Krausz

    718-963-0833, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Ezriel Meir Chaim Kohn, Sengeorge Rav

    718-963-2614, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shmuel Shmelka Friedman, Hisachdus Dayan

    718-963-3568, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shlomo Leib Weinberger, Satmar Dayan

    718-387-6698, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    Rabbi Shlomo Wieder, Hisachdus Dayan

    718-388-4639, 10:30 to 11:30 and 9:15 to 10:15 p.m.

    Rabbi Klonimus Zev Gross, Weitzener Rav


    Rabbi Menachem Gross, Kaliver Rav


    Rabbi Leibish Friedman, Satmar Dayan, in the Rodney Street Beis Medrash

    718-486-3570 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.; at 718-388-5703 from 6:00 to 9:15 pm; and at the beis medrash from 9:15 to 10:15 p.m.

    Rabbi Yehuda Meshulem Dov Polatchek, Hisachdus Dayan


    Rabbi Yosef Polatchek, Rav Khal Shem MiShimon


    Rabbi Moshe Rosenfeld, Hisachdus Dayan


    Rabbi Yechezkel Teitelbaum, Clymer Street Satmar Rav

    7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. in shul, and at 718-963-1564



    Rabbi Yosef Chaim Moskowitz, Shotzer Rav


    Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Shneibalg, Chernowitzer Rav


    Rabbi Yosef Dovid Shneibalg, Chernowitzer Dayan



    Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Krausz, Udvarer Dayan

    Gitty Gardens, Glenwild Road, Bungalow 5/6, 7:00 to 10:30 p.m.

    845-434-5212 and 917-318-8991

    {Rabbi G. Tannenbaum-Machberes}

    Max Well

    Yasher Koach!


    Thank you for the info!

    Max Well


    Max Well

    Can this be made sticky for the duration of the summer?


    How late is it still reasonable to call Rov with a shaila?


    It may be a bit early to bump this thread but many of these numbers are relevant all year round so I will bump the thread for whomever needs to call a Rav and doesn’t have 50 Ravs to call 🙂


    Im going to bump this again. Maybe the mods should sticky it for now?


    This is really useful information that we should not forget.

    Minor point: A lake MIGHT be a kosher mikveh, but it would take special expertise in both halachah and in geology/hydrology to determine if it is, and that status can change during the season. The post’s advice not to ever assume that a lake is a kosher mikveh is well taken unless you can find a rabbi who is an expert in both who has checked out the particular lake for the time you are intending to use it, or a rabbi who has a hydrologist on call who can check out the lake alongside the rabbi. (I’m actually unaware of any rabbi who fits such a description; does anyone know of any?)


    Another bump


    Is there such a thread with more numbers for the city during the year?


    I think this is a great thread, with lots of Rabbonim for emergency and vacation shailos.

    That being said, it’s important to have a rav who knows you and your particular circumstances to answer your halacha needs. There will be some shailos based on your minhagim, and some based on your particular circumstances (yes, there are kulos that rabbonim will use only in time of urgency).

    My rav has at times called me back to clarify the situation.


    Summer Bump™

    If anyone knows of reliable updates, please post.


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