Ilene is almost upon us and we have spone with many poskim and rabbonom to ensure that the future of klal yisrael is safe and we are out of harms way, naturally, most of us cannot make shabbos plans in enough time to leave before the Ruach Hashem bears down upon our ir hakodesh and so we have decided to compile a list of heterim for those in immediate danger. Rabbi Forchheimer has assured us that leaving one’s radio tuned to fm-107.9 is muttar because it will only broadcast warnings for greater Lakewood and be silent the rest of the time.
Hashem Yisbarach is the only one who knows why these terrible things keep happening to the frum community, it’s as if Rabbono Shel Olam keeps giving us clues and we keep failing, first toevah marriage, then Leiby Kletzky, the terrible earthquake and now this storm – it’s as if Hashem wants to destroy the world of frume yidden and we can only daven and learn with fervor with hopes that this is merely the prelude to the geulah and times of moshiach. Trying to lay blame is very complex, many local rabbonom have explained distaste at the terrible lack of tznius in today’s generation, the long sheitles, bright colors and college educations have led to a general disdain for the alter heim and the ways of our previous generations. As we move father and farther away from sinai we have weakened our resolve and we are afraid that this is just the beginning. In these times of distress it is pertinent that we follow the guidance of the Rabbis and without further ado I present the Lakewood residents guide to Hurricane Irene.
This is under the assumption that the hurricane may come on shabbos c”v:
It is permitted for one to daven yechidus if the wind is strong enough to warp your hat.
Women who normally leave the home should refrain because the wind may whip their skirts up and blow their sheitlach or snoods off, we cannot risk the exposure of ervah to the public.
In an extreme emergency (flooding or destruction of homes) girls under the age of 7 may wear loose fitting pants under their skirts
Girls under the age of bas mitzvah may get a heter to wear loose fitting pants under their skirts if they need to enter a boat to escape – other wise it is inadvisable for pants to be worn, for tznius may be the cause of Hashem’s fury.
Drinking unfiltered water is not-recommended and Hurricanes actually validate the Rabbis guess that unfiltered water is unhealthy for you and contains bugs.
Orange safety vests may be worn by men and young girls, they bring too much attention to ladies.
If a mandatory evacuation is ordered on shabbos and you can remain within the eruv, it is recommended that you take wine for kiddush, lechem mishna and a sefer, ladies should take a tehillim and one bedikah cloth.
Tefillin may be carried on shabbos to higher ground in order to save them, just don’t put them on.
There is a machlokes as to whether toilet paper is necessity or luxury, since it’s not in our mesorah to use toilet paper, it is not a sakannah to refrain from using it should you not have pre-torn paper readily available.
One may switch from the community minhag of ending shabbos in order to give one more time to prepare.
Of one has a TV hidden in their closet, they may remove it and keep it tuned to emergency stations (we recommend you keeping it hidden, lest your children be thrown out of yeshiva after the storm)
The internet is still assur. Radios have been ruled sufficient.
If women need to leave the kitchen they should ask their Rav before they do so.
It is muttar to attend a shul that is not up our standards, as long as there is a mechitza (only for laining on shabbos – if that’s where you can get)
One may not go to a Hurricane shelter run by people who worship idols, this means that Salvation Army and The Red Cross are assur.
One should take special care at Hurricane shelters with regards to tznius.
If one sees a person of the opposite sex in trouble, he may talk to her and if she is dying, he may touch her even though this may be marris ayin.
One may remove one’s double head covering if it’s faster to run to safety.
One may interrupt his seder if the beis medrish begins to flood deeper than a level of 3 inches, otherwise you may be bittul torah.
These guidelines are based on the lofty madreigos of Lakewood Ir Hakodesh, due to the lack of p’nimus and ruchnyus in other cities they may have different guidelines. To search for more hurricane heterim go to 4torah.com