Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chassidic Blogging on Chol HaMoed

blogging device
sukkah blogging location

Last night I was at a Bat Mitzvah and I was suddenly struck by yet another profound halakhik idea: are you allowed to blog on Chol HaMoed? In general, you are not allowed to write on Chol HaMoed unless you will suffer some kind of significant loss (דבר האיבוד), so it is assur to write in a journal or a diary on Chol HaMoed. (NOTE - I am not a posek and I am not giving psak halakhah. There are many different הלכה למעשה היתרים involving doing melachah on Chol HaMoed. Please check with your Local Chassidic Rebbe for specific details.)

In my humble opinion there is are good reasons both to allow and to forbid blogging on Chol HaMoed. On the one hand, most blogs will lose readers if they do not regularly add new posts to their blogs. Blogging on Chol HaMoed would then be permitted because losing readers would constitute a significant loss. On the other hand, my blog is a Torah blog and I would think that most of my readers would assume that I might take a blogging break during Chol HaMoed and would then check back after Sukkot is over. According to this reason I would not be allowed to blog on Chol HaMoed. The brutal truth is that I have great respect for my loyal readers who are accustomed to waiting over a week to read my wonderful words of Torah - and ultimately according to the second reason, I should not be allowed to blog during Chol HaMoed. However, it would be a good question if it is permissible for a Torah blogger who consistently adds posts every day, like Hirhurim or Dixie Yid, to blog on Chol HaMoed. (In fact Hirhurim did address the issue of blogging on Chol HaMoed, but not from a blogging perspective.)

Back to the Bat Mitzvah - I mentioned this halakhik idea to my friend David Eisen who showed great initiative and emailed the question to a Posek. The Posek responded that it is permitted to blog during Chol HaMoed because typing on a computer is not equivalent to the melachah of writing. Thus it would certainly be permissible to blog דברי תורה during Chol HaMoed.

Nevertheless, I do not wish to offend anyone out there in the blogosphere who is machmir and does not blog during Chol HaMoed. Therefore I am blogging about blogging on Chol HaMoed, before Chol HaMoed.

ps - Literally not 5 minutes after I finished this post I saw it mentioned in two other places: Life in Israel and Hirhurim.

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