by Beverly Geller, AJL Newsletter
In his new book, Shabbat: The Right Way, Rabbi Cohen, a congregational rabbi who has authored six previous works on halacha and the “Halachic Questions” column for The Jewish Press, analyzes Jewish practice on the Sabbath. In Part I he discusses such details as whether or not a guest may make Kiddush, in which hand a left-handed person holds the Kiddush cup, and whether grape juice is permissible for Kiddush. Rabbi Cohen quotes from many sources to explain how his conclusions are reached. In Part II, his attention is turned to Leil Shabbat (Friday evening). Part III addresses contemporary social halachic issues: using the services of a gentile on Shabbat, playing ball on Shabbat and on Yom Tov, using a dishwasher with a timer on Shabbat, etc. Part IV, “General Shabbat Concerns,” deals with topics such as taking pills on Shabbat, wearing a wristwatch on Shabbat, riding a tricycle on Shabbat, and issues related to making Havdalah. The final section is a lengthy discussion on the seemingly radical halachic innovation of a “Shabbat bus.” Rabbi Cohen seems (with certain limitations) to allow for its use, however he mentions the serious concerns of other halachic authorities. This book belongs in high school and synagogue libraries’ halacha collections.