From the Rav’s Desk: 1) Haircut on Motzei Shabbos; 2) Covering chairs to protect from rain on Shabbos

  1. Question: [Motzei Shabbos, 6th Kisleiv, 5781]

May one get a haircut on Motzei Shabbos? My son is not home from yeshiva that often and because of the short Friday we have not had time to give him a haircut on Erev Shabbos. May I give him a haircut on Motzei Shabbos before he returns to yeshiva? He has very long hair already and I don’t know if we will have time to do so on Erev Shabbos as we would usually try to do.


Yes, you may give him a haircut on Motzei Shabbos.

Explanation: There is no unique issue with getting a haircut on Motzei Shabbos or at nighttime other than the fact that initially one is to schedule a haircut for Erev Shabbos, as so is the Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar. It is especially befitting not to initially schedule it for Motzei Shabbos, being that it shames the Shabbos showing in that one doesn’t care to look presentable for it. Nonetheless if one has a valid reason for cutting it prior to Erev Shabbos then he is not required to wait until Erev Shabbos, and may do so on Thursday, and if necessary may do so even earlier, including on Motzei Shabbos, if needed. Certainly, in your case it is a valid reason to cut it on Motzei Shabbos, in order so a) by the next Shabbos he will for certain have normal hair as well as so b) it is not a Chatzitza for his Tefillin and so they can better fit onto his head and c) so he can look presentable as a Yeshiva Bochur


Sources: See Admur 260:1 that it is a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar to cut the hair specifically on Erev Shabbos and not beforehand. Chochmas Shlomo 493 regarding Motzei Shabbos; However, if one has a valid reason for requiring a haircut during the week then he is not required to wait until Erev Shabbos. [Mahari Tzemach brought in Birkei Yosef 232:3; Kaf Hachaim 232:15] Regarding getting a haircut at night see: Pekudas Eliezer 493

  1. Question: [Motzei Shabbos, 6th Kisleiv, 5781]

Is it permitted to cover chairs that are outside with a plastic tablecloth to prevent them from getting wet in the rain? Basically, what happened was is that Friday night we noticed that it would be raining and all the chairs by our outside Minyan would get wet and may not be dry by the next morning for Shabbos Shacharis. So, what I wondered if I can do is to take disposable plastic tablecloth’s to use to cover each chair individually to prevent them from getting wet. By doing so I will be in essence creating a tent over the chairs. Is this permitted or not on Shabbos?



Yes, you may do so by covering each chair with an individual tablecloth even though it creates hovering over the chair. Nonetheless, some are stringent to do so with two people, having one first open the tablecloth and then place the chair under it. Practically, in my opinion there is no need to be stringent in this. In my opinion, however, you should not cover multiple chairs under the same tablecloth, although it is possible that this too is allowed, especially if done in the above way doing with two people as explained above.


The explanation: On Shabbos there is a prohibition of Ohel to create a hovering for the sake of protection, such as to protect from rain. However, this restriction is primarily against creating a protection for humans, and not for creating a protection items such as a chair. Nonetheless, even making a hovering over an item contains some restrictions, such as that if under the hovering there are two walls/Mechitzpn one must first put the hovering over the ground and then slide the walls under it. Even in the case that the walls were already established there before Shabbos, one may not place a hovering over an area that is larger than the size of a barrel, unless certain conditions are fulfilled. Thus, based on all this, it would seem that while there is no restriction against hovering individual tablecloths over each chair [as the chair is not the size of a barrel, and there is no protection of human taking place, and the chair was already opened before Shabbos, and in any event does not contain walls under it and rather simply stands on legs] nonetheless, one should not place the hovering over multiple chairs which would reach the size of a barrel. Vetzaruch Iyun, as perhaps this restriction only applies to a barrel and the like which contains surrounding walls. Nonetheless, all the above only applies according to the approach, which is the main approach in Halacha, that there is no prohibition to create a tented hovering for non-human protection purposes. However, there are opinions who rule that one may not create a roofing that has walls attached to it, such as a tent which has a top and its sides which serve as its walls, and according to this opinion then indeed would be problematic to cover chairs with a tablecloth to protect them from the rain. However, in my opinion according to the main approach this would be permitted, and hence we ruled above that it may be done.

Sources: See Michaber 315:13; Admur 315:1 and 9 and 11 and 15-19; P”M 315 A”A 8; Tehila Ledavid 315:10; Micnhas Shabbos 80:225; Ben Ish Chaiy Shemos 1:12; Kaf Hachaim 315:45; Chazon Ish 52:7; Maor Hashabbos 4 letter 10 of Rav Fisher; Piskeiy Teshuvos 315:15 and footnote 156

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