New York Water II

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My source tells me that R. Hershel Schachter has reversed his opinion regarding water in New York. I have a copy of his in-house letter on the subject but have been instructed not to post it verbatim. What R. Schachter says is that if you can see a speck in water and the speck is moving (i.e. from that movement you can tell that it is a bug) then that is sufficient to render it visible to the eye as a bug. As proof, R. Schachter cites Rashi, Eruvin 28a sv. tzir’ah:

sheretz is from the language of shoretz (crawls) – something that moves on the ground but is not visible due to its small size, except through its crawling and stirring

This would effectively prohibit unfiltered water. My source tells me that R. Yisrael Belsky is still ruling leniently on the water issue. But make sure to ask your local rabbi.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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