1. A lid is manufactured for hot cups with perforations which make it easy for you to lift a small portion of the lid and sip the hot tea or coffee, without spilling it on yourself, while keeping the drink hot. Based upon the Seform Orchos Shabbos, Shabbos K’Hilchasa and Minchas Ish, it would appear that HaRav Elyashiv, Shlita, rules that by opening the lid along the perforation, one is involved in the melachos of Mechatech and Korea as well as Makeh B’Patish. It is amazing how one small act could possibly result in three (3) melachos D’Oraisa! There are at least two vital lessons from this--how important even our slightest actions are--and how careful we have to be with our actions on Shabbos Kodesh!
2. During the week while making Hamotzi, we cut somewhat into the bread before making the Bracha, so that it is ready to be quickly eaten after making the Hamotzi. On Shabbos, we do not do this; because we want to be sure we are making Hamotzi on Lechem Mishna which is whole. However, we note that the Mishna Berura (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 274; Seif Koton 5) brings from the Magen Avraham that one should make a mark on the Challah with his knife on Shabbos, to demonstrate that you are readying it to be cut. Also see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 167, Mishna Berura Seif Koton 10 for further detail.
3. The following reprinted questions were asked of HaRav Yisroel Belsky, Shlita, and his handwritten Teshuvos follow:
QUESTION: On Shabbos is a person permitted to spray insect repellant on one’s hands?
ANSWER: Yes. There is no choleh, and the spray is not remedying an ailment.
QUESTION: Are you allowed to ask an Akum to turn on the air conditioner on Shabbos?
ANSWER: I remember when air conditioning was non-existent. However, today, it has become such a necessity. I imagine that if the situation was very uncomfortable, one could ask an Akum to turn on the air conditioner, especially as air conditioners work on electricity. Unlike creating heat, creating electricity that runs the air conditioner is not a Melacha D’Oraysa. It is probably even less problematic to ask an Akum to turn off the air conditioner if the room is too cold. Just as you can ask an Akum to put on the heat in winter in order to prevent people from becoming sick, you can similarly ask an Akum to turn off the air conditioner if you are trying to prevent people from getting sick from the extreme cold generated by the air conditioner.
QUESTION: If the circuit breaker went off on Shabbos, is one allowed to ask an Akum to restore it?
ANSWER: Simply put, there are times at night when if you don’t have electricity, it constitutes sakanos nefoshos. It is simply dangerous, especially if you have children who are going around at night without light. In such a dangerous situation, you can certainly ask an Akum to restore the electricity.
QUESTION: Are you allowed to ask an Akum to restore the electricity merely in order to save the food from spoiling?
ANSWER: The answer is yes. However, if the food is not endangered, but it is a question of just keeping the soda colder, you should not ask an Akum to fix the circuit breaker. If you had cholent in an electric crock pot when the circuit breaker went out, the cholent is still hot and the electricity, if restored, will stop other food from spoiling, as before, you may ask an Akum to restore the electricity.
QUESTION: I have small children who cannot stay up until the end of Shabbos. Do they have to make Havdalah on Sunday morning?
ANSWER: Rabbosai, you have to make Havdalah for little children. I’ll tell you a very interesting halachah. If a little child did not hear Havdalah, but the parent was yotzei Havdalah in shul, the father could make Havdalah with a brocha and be motzi the little child. I have always made an effort to have my children listen to Havdalah (on Motzoei Shabbos). And if that was not possible, I would have the child recite Havdalah from a siddur the next morning. If the child is too young to make Havdalah the next morning, then he is not considered to have reached the age of chinuch (education in mitzvos) for Havdalah and can do without hearing it.