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A Shady Action

Anything that one does on Shabbos to contribute to the growth of plants or trees on Shabbos is a transgression of the Av Melacha of Zorea - Planting. Thus, it is forbidden to water the plants, weed the field etc. etc.

How about this: It should also be forbidden to OPEN THE SHADES on Shabbos if the sun will shine on the plants. We all know that sunlight contributes to the growth of plants. So claimed Rav Yitzchak Meltzan who was a World Class Talmudic Scholar. The Ohr Samech Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk didn't accept this ruling. Why not? Makes sense to me. [Even if the person doesn't intend to promote the growth of the plants it will happen automatically rendering it a psik reisha.]

A shiur was recently posted in the Halacha section entitled בגדר מלאכת זורע which discusses this question and a great deal more. Check it out!

Can we say "sfek sfieka?"

You don't know if the sun is shining if they shade is closed and if it is you don't know if it's shining correctly into the window to hit the plant?

Maybe, but the Ohr Sameach [and halacha lmaaseh] hold that it is muttar even if you know the sun is shining brightly and will hit the plants.

Miss you.

Without having heard the shiur, and not being an expert on hilchot shabbat, I would suggest that this is like solar cooking which is not considered the melacha of bishul.

In both cases, the philosophical justification would presumably be (as heard from R' Yosef Tzvi Rimon IIRC) that the melacha is done directly by the sun and does not involve human creativity.

By the way, I was introduced to you a few nights ago (at the old city bagel shop)... I want to stay more or less anonymous online though.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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