Sep 21, 2008

Holy Moses, Batman! Shabbos Toothbrushes!

Okay, I'm addicted. Thanks to Frumhouse, I happened to end up over on the Kosher Innovations website (you'll recall I wrote about them and their fun innovations several weeks ago), but that also led me to reading about the Shabbos Toothbrush, which led me to clicking on the site link, which led me to finding videos on all sorts of things. I particularly enjoyed the Shabbos Toothbrush talk about how it happens to work out to be halachikly sound for Shabbos (you know, Shabbos is meant to be different from every other day of the week, so a special toothbrush makes it different, WAHOO!). Oh, and the toothpaste? It has the OU seal of approval! Now if they'd just come up with some way that showering could be done differently, I'd be so set.

But seriously, I want to purchase everything on the Kosher Innovations website. Starting with the toothbrush. Then there's the Kosher Lamp, which would prevent me from (dangerously) throwing a towel or something over my lamp, which I usually will leave on all night, so that I can get a bit of darkness and shut-eye. Now, this next thing isn't for me (since, you know, I don't do tefillin), but it would definitely be useful for many of the men I know. Yes, it's the Tefillin Sweater. Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? And speaking of that, well, you remember the Shabbos Bathroom Tissue, yes? But because the site has limited items and I'm just as curious as the day is long, I'm signing up for updates on new products because -- seriously? -- I really want to see what's coming next. I'm crossing my mogen Davids (I heard someone say this and now I can't stop saying it) in hopes that there is some kind of crazy Shabbos Shower innovation.

Oh, and as for the JewishPathways site, if you want to sign up for the Daily Living online "classes," it's fee-free right now. It's 43 parts and has all sorts of fun multi-media goodies to fill you in on just about everything you could possibly need to know about living Jewishly (from, be noted, an Orthodox standpoint). Now, I must mention that this is an Aish-sponsored site, and we all know how I feel about Aish since the whole birthright and "this trip is only for Jewish women" fiasco. But seriously, if it's educational, it's educational. And chances are I'm going to sign up for it, as well since we all know I'm here, there and everywhere as I expand my Underconstructionist leanings. Just make sure you check everything with your rabbi and cross-reference across the web.


Daniel Saunders said...

Just to let you know, not all Orthodox authorities say you need a Shabbat toothbrush. There is a wide spread of views from those who say you can use your ordinary toothbrush to those who say you can't brush your teeth at all.

There were an interesting couple of posts on this topic on the Hirhurim blog a few months ago. They can be found here and here.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I was going to ask what could be prohibited in brushing your teeth, but I see that Kosher Innovations seem to have all the answers! I'm not quite sure what to say, to be honest! The cvynic in me thinks I see dollar signs floating across the ether - but it is a business, not a charity! What will be your first purchase?


chaviva said...

@Daniel Wow. That "Bottom Line" comprehensive list is mind-numbing. So it depends on who I agree with? I don't even know half these rabbis! What would you say?

@Rachel Heh, it seems so completely out there, doesn't it? I think I might pick up the lamp -- in a dorm room, it's practical. I'm chatting with the company owner actually via email right now. I'm in awe of what they're doing, so we'll see what I end up with :)

Anonymous said...

It greatly depends on which "stream" you swim. Meaning? I follow conservative standards, well I do my best, because even conservative standards are quite strict. What people do versus the written law is different.

As far as Shabbat toothbrushes, my understanding is that the "need" for these is because you are not supposed to squeeze on Shabbat. No squeazing a sponge (hence Shabbat scrubbers), no soaking up spills, no risk of squeezing when your toothbrush has rubber bristles.

Some of the Shabbat Orthodox rules I personally think are over done. I'm talking about those things which have been interpreted by men, even great men, but interpretations nevertheless.

One example, and then I'll stop so this isn't too long. If you follow orthodoxy (and I don't mean modern, I mean haredi, chassidic, etc.), then you wouldn't ride a bike on Shabbat. But a bike is not electric, it has no fire, it's not even work because it's fun. Why then not to ride? According to a couple of Chabad rabbis who I happen to be friends with, the reason is that when you ride through a puddle or stop fast, you can leave marks on the sidewalk and we are not supposed to make "change" or "write" on Shabbat, therefore no bikes. many rules that are overdone in my opinion. I'll stick with my toothbrush as I'm with one for Shabbat is a HUGE money maker. That toilet paper is kleenex with holes to put it on the roll! Clever? Yes. Needed? No, if you don't tear on Shabbat, just put kleenex on the back of the toilet like most families.

Daniel Saunders said...

Daniel Wow. That "Bottom Line" comprehensive list is mind-numbing. So it depends on who I agree with? I don't even know half these rabbis! What would you say?

(Sorry about taking a while to respond to your comment.)

Personally, I brush my teeth with an ordinary toothbrush on Shabbat, but I'm fortunate enough to have a rabbi who I can ask these kinds of questions.

I think you probably need to decide where you fit in to the Jewish community before you can begin to answer these questions. Once you have decided where exactly you fit in on the Orthodox/Conservative spectrum, you will begin to learn which authorities you follow.

chaviva said...

Tamara: Thanks for writing. There's a great video explaining the halakah behind everything on the Kosher Innovations site, actually, that details the squeezing and other limitations by the rabbis. But I understand the idea of maybe not riding on Shabbat from a point of view rather that it's something you do all week, so you have to set aside that and walk, since most people don't walk throughout the week (unless you live in Chicago or NYC, lol). But the splashing? Oy.

Daniel: I agree. Life would be a lot easier if I were situated into a certain movement and could find a rav to answer my queries, but, well, I don't see myself comfortably fitting into that role anytime soon. If anything, the Conservadox view, or Modern Orthodox view, is where I see myself, but since I am not practicing what I preach at this point (I know, I know, where there is a will there is a way and I said that myself), it's difficult. But your take/links have been incredibly useful. You're a rockstar :)

Daniel Saunders said...

You're a rockstar :)

No one's ever called me that before!

frumhouse said...

chaviva - I also love looking at all the Kosher Innovations products. I have the Kosher Lamp, and I love it! It's neat to see what new things they come up with -and sometimes it's humorous too!

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