Ask the Rav: 1) Tefillin after haircut 2) Too many questions in class; 3) Hafrashas Challah if forgot and baked one batch

  1. Question: [Friday 19th Mar Cheshvan, 5781]

May one put on Tefillin after getting a haircut prior to washing his head or taking a shower?



No. Strands of cut hair can be considered an invalidating intervening substance, and is hence to be washed off the head and body prior to putting on the Tefillin. Accordingly, after a haircut one is to be especially careful to wash his head properly prior to putting on the Tefillin.

Sources: See Torah Leshma 12; Piskeiy Teshuvos 27:8

  1. Question: [Monday, 8th Mar Cheshvan, 5781]

I go to a public Shiur in which there is a specific participant who is obsessed with asking questions from the teacher. Sometimes they can ask up until 10 questions in one class. I feel this takes away from everyone else in the class I would like to know if it’s my right to ask the teacher to limit the amount of questions that he takes from the audience?



Indeed, the issue that you are bringing up is not something new to the modern generation but has been an issue relevant to all public lectures throughout history. For this reason, the Talmud, Rishonim, and Poskim, have all addressed this question and gave a limit to the amount of questions a student may ask per class. That limit is up to three questions. This means that a student should not ask more than three questions during the lecture. The reason recorded for this is so the rabbi giving the lecture does not get confused trying to answer all the questions. Certainly, however, another reason that can be proposed is so it does not take away from the rest of the class. [Now although in Pirkeiy Avos we say that one who is embarrassed does not learn and is therefore encouraged to ask questions, this can be limited to a specific time that is meant for question taking, or after the class, or to be limited to up to three questions during the actual class.] Accordingly, it can be argued that this maximum number of three questions applies to the entire group of participants and not to each individual. [Meaning that in total the listeners can ask three questions and not that each individual can ask three questions.] On the other hand, one can also argue that perhaps the three question limitation restarts by each subject. An arbitration on this matter is not clear from the Poskim, however from Sefer Chassidim it is implied that this limitation applies to the entire class and not just to each topic. To note, that interestingly the Alter Rebbe omitted this law from his Hilchos Talmud Torah. Whatever the case, it is obvious that the benefit of the public overrides that of the individual and therefore a teacher or lecturer cannot allow a single individual or group of individuals to sabotage the class [irrelevant of how innocent and sincere they are in their questions] and prevent from the remainder of the listeners from being able to continue to gain knowledge from their instructor, and therefore limiting the amount of questions one takes from the crowd during the actual lecture is certainly a blessed and necessary idea and follows the spirit of the above law. My teacher of blessed memory, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef z”l, would indeed implement this in his classes and mention to a student that he is gone beyond his three questions when applicable. A teacher or lecturer can make himself available after the class ends to take any additional questions that an individual may have.

Sources: Michaber Y.D. 246:13 and Rambam Talmud Torah 4:7 that one should not ask regarding a given topic more than three laws; Tosefta Sanhedrin 7:5; Sefer Chassidim 999 that in a public Beis Midrash by a public Shiur they would not allow for more than three questions to be asked

  1. Question: [Friday, 19th Mar Cheshvan, 5781]

I made my regular Challah recipe which has more than enough flour to separate Challah with a blessing and somehow I forgot to separate the Challah and only realized after I began baking the first batch. What do I do and how do I separate the Challah?



There is no need to worry. In such a case, you should simply wait until the Challah in the oven is ready to be removed and then prior to placing the new batch in the oven you should place all of the dough and baked Challah next each other and separate a piece from one of the doughs on behalf of all of the other doughs and baked bread. There is no need to wait until all the bread is baked to do this and there is likewise no need to separate a piece from each individual loaf. Nonetheless, it is best to initially place all of the dough and baked Challah in a single vessel and have them touch each other. [While technically you can wait for all the dough to be baked and only then separate in the above method, I would not suggest to do so as you may come to forget and therefore the earlier you do so the better.]


Sources: Regarding the order of hakafah when one forgot to separate prior to baking see our article:

Regarding that one can do Hakafah of dough and baked bread together if they each have Shiur Challah [or if they were all part of the same Shiur Challah] and thereby do not require Tziruf [as in our case] See: Admur 457:16; Shach in Nekudos Hakesef Y.D. 326 in great length and that he vehemently proves that the concept of Hakpadah by two species only applies to Tziruf and not to Hakafah.

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