Ask The Rabbi-Archive of Q&A

Archive of Shaalos received and answered by Rabbi Goldstein from both his local and global audience

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Archive

Tuesday 10th Sivan

Question

I have a very sensitive question relating to abortion and while I know that I should really speak to a Rav in person about the situation I feel too uncomfortable, so I am sending you the question in writing. Basically, if a pregnancy takes place due to a forbidden relationship, may one abort the child. I know Judaism is very against abortion but are there any exceptions to this rule and may one entertain abortions in certain cases?

 

Answer:

First let me begin my saying that I sympathize with your predicament and understand the heavy weight placed on anyone needing to ponder such decisions. As you stated, Judaism views abortions very seriously, considering it tantamount to murder, and hence there is no way that I or any Rav can answer your question definitively without a detailed analysis of the case at hand, which would need to include: a) the number of weeks of gestation [pregnancy] and if 40 days have already passed; b) how the pregnancy took place [i.e. rape versus under consent]; c) The level of forbidden relations [incest, adultery, out of wedlock] d) the mental state of the mother to be and if there is any serious risk to her mental or physical state. e) If the mother to be is Jewish or gentile. The above factors would weigh into whether there is room for a Heter to abort the child r”l or if the general law which prohibits abortion would likewise apply in your specific case. My suggestion is to anonymously turn to a Rav who is expert in this field of Halacha with all the details of the case, and follow his Pesak. I can refer you to Rabbanim who deal with these matters if you need.

Question

During my heating up of food this past Yom Tov, I noticed that my salmon gravy spilled onto the Plata and reached my meat pot. At the time we had no one to ask so we just assumed it was ok, but I would really like to know if what I did was right, and my meat was Kosher.

 

Answer:

The ruling: The food and pot remain Kosher. Nevertheless, initially care must be taken that this does not occur.

The explanation: When gravy of one food hits another food, it is considered to become absorbed within that food, and hence when there is a Kashrus issue involved we must measure whether the food contains 60x versus the spillage of gravy that contacted the pot. Some say that regarding fish and meat we are even more stringent and that it is not even nullified in 60x, although practically we are lenient. Thus, if you can assume that the meat pot contained 60x more than the amount of gravy that contacted the pot, then it remains Kosher. Furthermore, in truth in this case it is permitted even without 60x being that the prohibition of meat and fish is only if actual Mamashus of fish enters the meat, such as gravy or flesh of fish, and the like. However, here being that the gravy touched from the outside and simply sent its taste, it therefore remains permitted.

Sources: See Michaber 92:5 regarding the status of food falling on the outside of a pot, that its taste becomes absorbed; Taz Y.D. 116:2 that taste of fish is not an issue; Pischeiy Teshuvah 116:3; Kaf Hachaim 116:12

Question

On Yom Tov, I was told that I could set up my dairy and meat foods on the Plata if the dairy was on top of tinfoil. The problem is that my dairy lasagna sauce overflowed and when I realized it was too late as it was already surrounding my meat pot. Is my meat pot Treif, and were we allowed to eat the food?

 

Answer:

The ruling: The pot is Treif and needs to be Koshered. The meat food is also Treif unless it contains 60x versus the gravy that touched it.

The explanation: When gravy of one food hits another pot even from the outside, it is considered to become absorbed within that food, and hence when there is a Kashrus issue involved we must measure whether the food contains 60x versus the spillage of gravy that contacted the pot.

Sources: Michaber 92:5; See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-92/ Halacha 5 [by footnote 261]

Monday 9th Sivan

Question

I have a Pareve oven next to my stove and I recently noticed that the steam from my pot of meat was hitting the side of my Pareve oven? Is my oven still Pareve?

 

Answer:

Steam of meat is considered Mamashus, like actual meat, and hence definitely causes meat to become absorbed within the walls of the oven that it hits. However, this does not necessary mean that the oven become meaty, as only the direct area of contact with the steam absorbs the meat taste, and hence since the food in the oven does not touch this area of the meat absorption therefore the food remains Pareve. Furthermore, even if one were to argue that the steam released by the food in the oven makes it considered as if the food is touching the meat area, most likely it would be nullified in 60x, and after 24 hours would certainly be permitted under the basis of Nat Bar Nat.

Nonetheless, the above is only Bedieved. Initially you should set up your Pareve oven in a way that it will not receive any steam from the meat foods, or at least place a piece of tinfoil over the wall that receives the steam.

Sources: See here for further details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-92/ in Halacha 5

Question

May one Daven Maariv early on the second night of Yom Tov? What about when Yom Tov goes into Shabbos?

 

Answer:

Ideally, one is not to do so. On the first day of Yom Tov, Maariv is not to be Davened early even if the next day is Yom Tov, just as we rule regarding not Davening Maariv early on Motzei Shabbos. However, when Yom Tov falls on Erev Shabbos, some Poskim rule that one may Daven Maariv early.

Sources: See M”B 527:3 and here for further details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/the-general-laws/

Thursday-Shabbos 5th-7th Sivan

Question

Must I do Eruv Tavshilin if I plan on catering all my meals?

 

Answer:

Yes, as one still needs to warm up the food, and light Shabbos candles which require Eruv Tavshilin.

Question

May I take a hot shower on Yom Tov for the sake of Shabbos?

 

Answer:

You may take a warm shower, assuming you do not have an automatic boiler [turns on gas or electricity as soon as hot tab is turned on].

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/taking-a-shower-on-yom-tov/

Tuesday 3rd Sivan

Question

I only own one Shabbos Plata and will be using it to heat up my Yom Tov foods. My question is regarding if there is any way that I can use it to heat up both my meat foods and my dairy foods [for the shavuos milchig meal]?

 

Answer:

This is feasible if you are careful to abide by the following: Before Yom Tov prepare a thick sheet of tinfoil, or a cut disposable baking pan, to use to cover the Plata. Use the Plata without any covering for your meat foods on the first night of Yom Tov and the next day when you desire to use it for dairy foods, clean the surface of the Plata from any meat residue [using a wet Shabbos permitted sponge-no issue of cooking] and then wait for it to dry. After the Plata dries, place the precut tinfoil on top of it, making sure it fully covers all parts of the Plata. You may then place your dairy foods onto it to heat up. Make sure to place it in a way that it will not spill onto the Plata and that its bottom is dry. After you finish the dairy meal, carefully remove the tinfoil from the Plata in a way that no spillage will occur [which can Treif up your Plata], and you can then use it for meat.

Monday 2nd Sivan

Question

From when is it our custom to begin listening to music before Shevuos? Is it from Sheloshes Yemei Hagbolo which starts Monday night? Or only from daytime Tuesday?

 

Answer:

Many are accustomed to abide by all the mourning periods customs brought in Shulchan Aruch Admur, which extends until Erev Shavuos, and thus they are stringent not to listen to music until Erev Shavuos, after daybreak. This is not an obligation, but is the widely practiced custom in Chabad. Those who begin listening to music during Sheloshes Yimei Hagbalah, while have upon whom to rely, are not following the custom brought above to follow mourning customs until all mourning periods have ended.

See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/date-of-the-period-of-mourning-when-are-the-mourning-customs-to-be-kept/

Question

Dear Rabbi Goldstein,

 

I ask if I am able to use a Havdalah candle for my existing flame for Shavuos and Shabbat as I will not able to buy a two day candle for this purpose in time for Yom Tov.

 

I thank you Rabbi for your kindness in answering my Shaala.

 

Answer:

Yes you may. A 24-day candle suffices. If you are referring to a Yizkor candle, it is not needed from the letter of the law, although you may leave your Havdalah candle lit in its place. This is all assuming that your Havdalah candle will last that long.

Sources: A Havdala candle is not Kedusha, and at best is Tashmishei Mitzvah, and may be used for mundane purposes. [Kaf Hachaim 674:17; Biur Halacha 154:14 “Shedolkin Limitzvasan”] It is permitted to leave a torch lit into Shabbos. See Shulchan Aruch chapters 263-264

Sunday 1st Sivan

Question

Can you please explain the reason that Chabad shuls do not read this megilla on Shavuos like other shuls do, especially when contrasted with the amount of times Megillas Esther is read, sometimes around the clock, in Chabad.  One might think that Megillas Rus is super important to be read in Chabad  since it deals with the ancestor of Moshiach. Thank you.

 

Answer:

The reading of Megilas Ruth on Shavuos is not a Talmudic institution, and is unlike the reading of the Megillah of Esther, which is an enactment of the prophets and Talmudic Sages and mentioned in the Mishneh. So we cannot compare the legal obligation of the two at all. With that said, its reading is recorded in Rishonim, although is a mere custom and not obligation, and as with many customs, may not have been adapted by all sects of Jewry. Furthermore, in truth the Chabad custom is to read Megillas Ruth during the Tikkun Leil Shavuos which is read on the night of Shavuos and not by day.

The source for Chabad not reading it specifically by day is: Piskeiy Hasiddur 166 based on omission of Admur in Siddur; Hamelech Bemesibo 1:171; Sichas Chag Hashavuos 1958:37; Hisvadyus 1988 3:419; See Shulchan Menachem 2:245; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 305-306; So is also the custom of Ger, to not read Megillas Rus during the day. [Nitei Gavriel 23:2]

 

 

Can you please review the halachos of nonmevushal wine that was, or may have been, touched by a mechallel Shabbos or a goy? Is there room for leniency if it is a mechalllel Shabbos, or if safek if he touched it, or if safek if mechallel Shabbos?

Friday 28th Iyar

Question

Does Chabad allow or condone people using Iphones or other cellphones in shul (I’m not speaking about as a siddur)? There was a Chabad man in our shul today who was using his Iphone during davening, and when I told him it wasn’t appropriate he said that his Rabbis permit it. Is this true?

 

Answer:

There is no set Chabad approach to this matter, other than that of the Shulchan Aruch. I don’t know who his Rabbi is and what his credentials are.

Il mention however a few points:

  1. People should try not to bring their phones into Shul at all, and so is my custom, when possible.
  2. People may definitely not play with their phones during Davening, and should at the very least put it away on silent until after Davening.
  3. We must be careful not to make Machlokes with people who do bring their phones into shul, and weigh if and how anything should be mentioned. Often the person is answering to an urgent message, or is learning Torah on his phone while he waits for the Minyan.

Question

My husband needs to be away for shabbat. I can’t drink grape juice, even diluted, because of health reasons and I can’t have gluten so I can’t make Kiddush over lechem mishna. What can I make Kiddush on? Tea?

 

Answer:

Yes you can make kiddush over tea or coffee. It should not be too hot since you need to drink it within a short time [Lechatchila within a few seconds]. In such a case don’t forget to say Shehakol instead of Hagafen.

Sources: See Admur 272:11; 273:7-8; Orchos Rabbeinu 1:112 in name of Chazon Ish; Piskeiy Teshuvos 273:1 and 8

Question

 

Hello Rabbi Goldstein,

 

I read your halachos daily and enjoy them!

 

Is there an order that you are meant to follow when cutting toenails?

 

If someone goes to a professional place to do their nails do they need to tell the non-jew to do it in specific order either when doing their hands or feet?

 

Can you cut both on the same day? what about in a time of need?

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

Answer:

  1. Yes there absolutely is an order that we follow as explained in the link below.
  2. When having a non-jew do it, you should tell him the order by the hand nails.
  3. There is no need to be p articular by feet to follow a specific order.
  4. We don’t cut both on the same day unless it is a time of need.

See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/nails/

Question

This year that Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan falls on Shabbos, when is the prayer of the shelah hakadosh to be recited, on Shabbos or on Erev Shabbos?

 

Answer:

It may be said on Shabbos as it involves praying for spiritual matters of which its Segula falls on Shabbos. Nonetheless, if one feels that praying for it on Shabbos will cause much anguish and distress, then it should be preceded to Erev Shabbos or Thursday by Yom Kippur Katan. Some even initially say it on Thursday, as can be inferred from the Shelah [from the fact he says to fast on that day, and hence it should follow the same status as Yom Kippur Katan, which is pushed up to Thursday].

Sources: See Admur 288:8 and 9; Shelah Hakadosh Miseches Tamid 132; Beis Hillel 38 p. 109; Piskeiy Teshuvos 288:7

Thursday 27th Iyar

Question

A serious question: being that Covid has been shown to be transmitted on shoes, and given the heavy casualties amongst Chabad, will expectorating on the shul floor during Aleinu be circumscribed by Lubavitch dayanim in the future?

 

Answer:

I have no doubt that in COVID-19 era it is forbidden to spit on the floor by Aleinu and the Mara Diasra and Gabaiy of each Shul should inform the worshippers of this. However, there is no need to abolish the custom of spitting by Aleinu due to this, and one can simply lightly spit into a tissue and place it in his pocket.

See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/spitting-by-aleinu/

Question

We found a scary looking spider on Shabbos and my wife and kids were freaking out. May I kill it or trap to return the Shabbos calm to my family?

 

Answer:

The overwhelming majority of spiders, irrelevant of how scary they look, are not dangerous at all to humans, and hence it is ruled in Shulchan Aruch that one may not kill [or trap] spiders on Shabbos. Nonetheless, if one cannot calm his hysterical family in any other way, then one who is lenient to trap it has upon whom to rely.

Sources: 316:23; See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/killing-and-or-trapping-stinging-insects-such-as-mosquitoes-bees-wasps-hornets-and-the-like-on-shabbos/

 

Tuesday 25th Iyar

Question

I accidentally wore my Shel Yad of Rabbeinu Tam instead of Rashi and then noticed right away prior to putting on my Shel Rosh. What am I supposed to do? Should I take off the Shel Yad and wrap the Tefillin of Rashi with a blessing? Should I finish wrapping Rabbeinu Tam and then put on Rashi?

 

Answer:

In such a case that you have already fastened your Shel Yad onto your arm I would suggest that you remove your Shel Yad of Rabbeinu Tam and put on your Rashi Tefillin without a blessing, without making any interval in-between.

Sources: See Minchas Elazar 1:25 in his understanding of Divrei Chaim 2:82 based on Kabbalah of Chozeh Melublin; Chaim Sheol 1; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeira 24; Mikdash Me’at 34:7; Avnei Tzedek 1:2; Peri Hasadeh 4:53; Betzeil Hachachmah 4:81; Kinyan Torah 7:3; Mishnas Yosef 5:15; Tehsuvos Vehanhagos 3:10; Poskim in Miasef Lekol Hamachanos 34:5; The following Poskim rule that one is to always wear the Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam prior to Rashi: Levush 34:2; 1st approach in Ateres Zekeinim 34Har Tzevi 1:36; See here for  the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-4-tefillin-of-rabbeinu-tam/ by footnote 130

 

 

Question

In chutz la’aretz, where Shavuos will also be on Shabbos, does one say Pirkei Avos on Shabbos Shavuos?

 

Answer:

It is to be said in Eretz Yisrael, and is not to be said in the Diaspora. In such a case, residents of Eretz Yisrael will be one chapter ahead of the Diaspora until Rosh Hashanah. In the Diaspora, Pirkei Avos is not read that Shabbos as it is the 2nd day of Yom Tov.

See here for  the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/reciting-pirkei-avos/#_ftn12

 

Question

Does one say shechechiyanu on the second day of Shavuos?

 

Answer:

Yes. We always say Shehechiyanu on the second day of Yom Tov in the Diaspora, just as on the first day.

Sources: Admur 490:1; 600:5-6

Monday 24th Iyar

Question

I fell on the floor while wearing my Tefillin. Must I fast or redeem it with charity?

 

Answer:

No, so long as the Tefillin itself did not fall onto the floor in the process.

See here for further details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/tefillin-fell-on-floor-atonement-of-fasting-and-charity-if-ones-tefillin-fell-on-the-floor/

Question

If you are not sure aT what time is shabbos over. can you check outside and by seeing 3 or more stars in the sky. can u take it as is shabbos over?

 

Answer:

Yes. If you don’t have a watch or Luach you can simply look at the sky and if you see three small stars in a row then you can take leave of Shabbos. Large or medium stars do not suffice. See here for further details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/conclusion-of-shabbos/

 

Question

Until when can one say vaiten lecha? havdala is untill tuesday. vaiten also? if i did havdala motzei shabbos, can i say vaiten lecha after 12am?

 

Answer:

Vayiten Lecha is a prayer of blessings that technically may be said whenever one chooses, and hence certainly I see no issue of making it up after Motzei Shabbos. The Rebbe in fact sometimes said it after night, after Kos Shel Bracha. However, ideally it is meant to be said as soon as Shabbos concludes.

 

 

Question

“As a result of Coronavirus, I have lost my sense of smell. What is the proper conduct in regards to the blessing over spices on saturday night?”

 

Answer:

You cannot say the blessing of Besamim unless you have the physical ability of smell. However, as long as you can smell even a slight scent you may say the Bracha.

See here for further details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/besamim/

Sunday 23rd Iyar

Question

Rabbi, I have a street Minyan available near my home, although it is very difficult for me to Daven with Kavana out in the open. Am I still obligated to Daven with a Minyan or can I choose to Daven at home?

 

Answer:

This is a general question of Minyan versus Kavana and does not only pertain to street Minyanim, but also to Shul Minyanim. In general, we rule that for the sake of Kavanah, you may Daven at home and skip Minyan, but should try to hear Kaddish and Kedusha etc.

However, I must mention a further point that unfortunately, some street Minyanim are not Kosher Minyanim and therefore one should not participate in them unless he can influence that they take place in a Kosher manner. For example, a street Minyan which defies the protocols of the local Rabbanim and Medical community, is not a Kosher Minyan, and one may not participate in them. Likewise, if there aren’t ten people together with the Chazan on the same side of the street/sidewalk, it is not a Kosher Minyan. Unfortunately, I have witnessed both matters not being adhered to in street Minyanim [i.e. Chazan in building while Minyan across the street from building], and thus we can say that Hashem has been Machshil them with a non-Kosher Minyan due to their lack of care in following the Rabbinical directives of safety. They think they are Davening with a Minyan but are in truth saying Brachos Levatala, and a Kaddish Batala, etc as they don’t have ten people on the same side of the street.

This may be harsh, but Halacha is Halacha and there is no room to bend standards to have a make-believe Minyan and say blessings in vain, especially when they could so easily have a Kosher Minyan by following the safety guidelines and having the Chazan and Minyan be on the same side of the street.

Another point to add even by a Kosher street Minyan is the seeing of women, and peritzus during Davening, and hence I would say that if one can Daven at home with greater Kavana, and/or is troubled by seeing women/Peritzus during his Davening, then it is better that he Daven alone Beyechidus, even if a Kosher Minyan is taking place.

Sources: See Admur 101:3 [may Daven at home for Kavana]; https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/corona-minyanim-the-laws-applicable-to-street-minyanim/

Question

I went to a store the other day and asked if I can pay by credit card as I usually do. The seller said that due to the hard-economic times they are charging 3% more for customers who pay by CC versus cash. Is this Ribis??

 

Answer:

No. This applies even if the seller is Jewish. While it is forbidden to charge more for delayed payment, a credit card is not a delayed payment and is rather simply a payment which they [the seller] pay a certain fee per transaction, and hence they have the right to ask that this fee be paid by the buyer and not the seller. [Something similar is applicable when using PayPal, that they charge up to 5% on the transaction, and hence one may choose to have the buyer cover that 5% and pay more if he chooses to pay using paypal versus cash.]

Sources: See Bris Pinchas 17/14; Bris Yehuda 9/9; Toras Ribis 19/22 footnote 44; Mishpitei Ribis p. 3423 in name of Rav SZ”A; Bris Pinchas p. 219-221; So rules regarding charging a consumer more money for a later payment that involves Tircha: Beis Efraim Y.D. 41; Mayim Rabim 38; Mishpat Ribis 20/8; Bris Yehuda 22 footnote 6

 

Question

This Shabbos we distributed Pareve ice cream Sundays to our kids after Shabbos lunch. Some of my kids started mixing the flavors together and I told them to stop as this may be a Lisha prohibition. Was I correct? Is it indeed forbidden to mix two flavors of ice cream together?

 

Answer:

There is a general debate amongst todays Poskim in this matter. The more implied approach is like the leaning approach that it does not contain the kneading prohibition. However, some are stringent. I would not require children below Bar/Bas Mitzvah to be stringent in this matter.

Sources: SSH”K 8:12 [stringent]; Lenient: Igros Moshe 4:74 Lash; Rav Avraham Elyashvili mentioned in Rav Gadasi’s Hilchos Shabbos; See here for further details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/article-categories/kneading/

Shabbos 22nd Iyar

Question

On Shabbos, my baby turned on my dryer to maximum time with dry rags inside. I am really worried that it can start a fire. May I turn it off? What should I do?

 

Answer:

You should have one of your children turn the knob until the point that it will turn off in a very short amount of time. If you do not have any children who can do this, then you may do so yourself in such a case, making sure not to completely turn it off.

Sources: See Admur 334:22 that one may do Gerama of Kibuiy in a case of loss; Piskeiy Teshuvos 334:7 that the same applies to a Shabbos clock, and changing the start time of turning on or off.

Question

It is very hot this Shabbos and I would like to add ice cubes to my wine when I make Kiddush. May I do so, or must the cup be completely filled with wine?

 

Answer:

So long as the cup will hold a Revius of actual wine, it is permitted to add ice cubes to the cup of wine, and with its help have the wine reach the very top of the cup. You may do so for whatever reason you see fit, either due to wanting the wine to be cold, or because you don’t have enough wine to fill up the cup. However, when using ice cubes make sure to make Kiddush right away so there is not too much of a ratio of water to wine.

Sources: See Admur 182:4 that there is no need for the cup to be filled 100% with actual wine and one may enter an item to take up volume for it to reach the top; Ketzos Hashulchan 46:5; M”B 182:19 and 32; Piskeiy Teshuvos 183:5

Wednesday 19th Iyar

Question

I am unsure if I recited Visein Bracha or Visein Tal Umatzar Livracha in Davening today. Am I required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei?

 

Answer:

No, as 30 days have already passed since the second day of Pesach. See here [towards end of article] for the full details of this matter:

https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/accidentally-said-morid-hageshem-or-visein-tal-umatar-livracha-after-the-first-day-of-pesach/

Question

I know one is not supposed to do work on Erev Shabbos after the time of Mincha. My question is if I can work on a book I am writing after this time, or is writing considered work?

 

Answer:

If the book is of words of Torah and one has finished all his Shabbos preparations, or has someone to do so for him, then one may write it even after Mincha Ketana on Erev Shabbos. If it does not involve Torah words, then one should only write it in ways permitted on Chol Hamoed, such as by typing on a computer [which is permitted on Chol Hamoed, as its not considered real writing], or writing on a piece of paper with a slant.

See here for the full details of this matter:

https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-2-learning-and-doing-other-activities-on-erev-shabbos/

Question

If you have a friend who is a goy they can’t join the day meal or night meal on Shabbos based on Orach Chaim 167:20?

 

Answer:

It is permitted to have a gentile guest for the Shabbos day or night meal, and this matter is only restricted on Yom Tov. Nonetheless, as you note from 167:20, one should not give him from the Challah of Lechem Mishneh and must make sure to have only Mevushal wine on the table.

Tuesday 18th Iyar

 

Question

May one say Shehechiyanu on Lag Boamer?

 

Answer:

Yes. See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/shehechiyanu-during-sefirah/

Question

If a hot piece of egg omelet with small amounts of cheese fell on an oven, but was not yad soledes bo, is that piece asur to eat if it is a safek whether meat fell on the oven?

 

Answer:

If both the omelet and oven were not Yad Soledes, then everything is Kosher. However, if the top of the oven where the omelet fell was visibly dirty with assumed meat, then you should not eat the omelet as its oily content causes residue to stick to it and is difficult to clean. If you are in doubt, then be stringent and throw it out. See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-8-taaruvos-of-basar-bechalav/

Monday 17th Iyar

Question

May I do acupuncture to my 70-year-old mother. She has different illnesses and pains which I believe this can help her in and she is begging for me to do it for her.

 

Answer:

The issue with acupuncture is that it sometimes causes bleeding. [One practitioner told me that there is generally no blood, but sometimes the person enters it in the wrong area and blood comes out. Another practitioner said that on the contrary, if there is no blood it is a sign that it does not work, and that there is always blood released when he removes the pins. Both practitioners are experienced with acupuncture for decades, and I can only assume that there exist different methods]

Accordingly, it is forbidden for a child to do acupuncture on his parent unless a) He is certain that no blood will be released as a result, or b) Blood will be released, but one is an Ashkenazi who follows the Rama, and there is no other practitioner available who can do a trusted job of the same quality.

Regarding having another person remove the pins and have the blood come out, seemingly, this is meaningless, as the main release of blood is caused by the person who enters the pin.

See: Michaber and Rama Y.D. 241:3; Minchas Yitzchak 1:27-2; Pisakim Uteshuvos 241:3-4

 

 

Question

“Shalom,

 

Is one required to stand up for a stepfather?

Is one allowed to call stepfather by name?

Is covering the opening part of a baby carriage with a towel considered an Ohel?

Shkoyach

 

 

Answer:

  • One must respect his mothers’ husband [i.e. stepfather]. However, practically, the custom today is for parents to be Mochel their kids from standing, and certainly this applies by a step-father. See Michaber Y.D. 240:21; Michaber 240:19; Kiddushin 32a; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:54
  • One should not do so, unless he is Mochel, as stated above.
  • It is considered Ohel and is forbidden, unless the hood was opened a Tefach before Shabbos.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/may-one-open-or-close-the-hood-of-a-baby-carriage-on-shabbos/

 

Question:

Hello Rabbi. I very much enjoy your clarity of halacha. I have a question for the Rabbi.

Do all of Chabad believe that even though the Rebbe ztl is niftar, he is going to come back to life and is the Moshiach, or is it only a small group from Chabad that never learned the halacha that Moshiach can not be a person that passed away, as that could easily run the risk of avodah zara chas vi shalom….

 

And if they think that the Rebbe ztl is Moshiach, then why not the Baal Shem Tov, Ha Ramchal, or even Moshe Rabeinu….

 

Unfortunately, this issue has caused other frum Yidden to think that Chabad Yidden are simply nuts and run the risk of being oved avodah zara chas vi shalom.

 

Looking forward to hearing back for the Rabbi on this.

 

Thank you,

 

Answer:

I almost never get involved in these questions as they usually lead to controversy and Machlokes, and is one of the many ways that the Satan and Yetzer Hara accomplishes sewing hate and discord amongst Frum Jews, under the cloak of religious zeal. This I say irrelevant of the questioners affiliation, whether he be a Misnagid, Litvish, or a Chabad Chassid, and irrelevant of what angle he asks from. It’s discussion is also a cause of much Bittul Torah and a distraction from us being proactive Yidden in doing the Avoda that we need to do in performing and spreading Torah and Mitzvos. I believe the mere discussion and involvement in these matters, irrelevant of whether one is for or against, is simply not the intent of Hashem or in accordance to the wishes of the Rebbe or Gedolei Yisrael. I know many people will disagree with me on this, as they enjoy spending time arguing on the virtues of their claims, or the invalidations of the others. Although, I am sure that a Jew who is a true Oveid Hashem, after making a true Cheshbon Nefesh will understand the points that I have made, and that more often than not the discussion of this issue is Atzas Hayetzer, coming from ego, Yeshus, tribalism, politics, and a desire to escape real and true Torah learning. I view spending time on this subject, irrelevant of the side of the argument, as pure Bittul Torah.

Nonetheless, being that some people will not suffice with a general negation of discussion on the subject I will document for you here a few points regarding your questions.

  1. I don’t know your religious affiliation, but as a rule of thumb, I suggest that everyone focus on fixing the religious issues in their personal community and religious sect, rather than look for the issues of other sects. Once again, the Yetzer Hara loves it when people look for discord and reasons to invalidate others who belong to a different sect than you. Normally, the people in the sect that was attacked don’t really improve when they see other sects attacking them, and on the contrary, strengthen themselves even more in their ways. Taking a lesson from history, the opposition voiced against the Chassidim by the Misnagishe camp has in many ways only strengthened them and not weakened them. Better that they just ignore the issue, and let the Rabbanim of each group focus on fixing the issues of their group, rather than everyone focusing on fixing everyone else, while not leaving time or energy to fix their own home issues.
  2. All Jews are required to believe in Techias Hameisim. Thus, all Jews are required to believe that the Rebbe, together with all other Tzadikim, Viyisrael Kulam Tzadikim, will return in the time of the resurrection. Unfortunately, not all Frum Yidden are aware of this pinnacle matter of our faith, and the belief in Techias Hameisim must be spread and emphasized, as all the 13 attributes of faith. One who does not believe this is ruled to be a heretic r”l.
  3. Regarding the Rebbe being Moshiach, I have no idea what all Chabad Chassidim believe. Many however amongst Chabad do believe that he will be Moshiach, and I am sure that there are some who do not.
  4. There are sources, and interpretations in Torah which point at both Moshiach not being able to come from the dead, and sources which point that he may come from the dead. I see no issue with people believing in either side of the debate, which are both sources in Torah. I do see an issue with people performing intellectual and halachic dishonesty by ignoring the sources that are unlike his view, and invalidating anyone who sides differently than they. I see issue with people taking this valid Halachic debate and turning it to source for Machlokes and invalidation. This is clearly the work of the Satan garbing a cloak of piety.
  5. Whether or not one believes that it is Halachically correct to believe that the Rebbe can be Moshaich, I know of no reason or source in Halacha for stating that people who believe that the Rebbe will become Moshiach transgress Avoda Zara. As the Rambam writes, it is a grave sin to accuse people of Avoda Zara erroneously. Avoda Zara is not transgressed by believing in a false Messiah, but only if one worships a foreign deity. In the times of the Rambam, a certain Gadol Beyisrael falsely accused an entire group of Yemenite Jewry of idolatry due to a certain sin that he thought that they were doing and the Rambam vehemently fought against this individual writing furiously in the gravity of his sin for false accusations.
  6. I don’t see why a philosophical and Halachic belief that the Rebbe will be Moshiach is considered “nuts.” It is all too common for us to call derogatory names for anyone who takes a position different than we. People need to learn intellectual tolerance, and tolerance for people who follow a different view in halacha. At best, the matter is a Halachic error, but nothing to be called crazy about. [Perhaps you are confusing this matter with those who believe that the Rebbe is still alive. This indeed is a different subject, which I will now address:]
  7. Most people who proclaim that the Rebbe is alive are normal people, and not mentally imbalanced in any other area of life. At best, they are professing a crazy idea and believing in a farce legend, but nothing more. Once again, here too the frustration with their outrageous belief should not lead us to a false conclusion, and unintellectual invalidation that they themselves are crazy. There are many otherwise normal people in the world who believe in what we would call crazy ideas, but still remain within the realm of normalcy. We must separate crazy people from the crazy ideas of normal people. Furthermore, they base their idea on sources in Torah and beliefs in the words of Chazal and the Rebbe about the life after life that Tzadikim experience. While they may be choosing to understand these statements of Chazal in a different way than others, and are making much too much noise about their seemingly outrageous beliefs, I do not believe it reaches the bar of defining them as crazy, and focusing on their craziness is once again the petty works of the Satan of causing discord and tribalism. Furthermore, even from the perspective that they are voicing crazy ideas that have been taken out of context from Chazal, at best it is a minor Halachic mistake without much Halachic ramification or severity, as it does not transgress any fundaments of our belief, and does not cause them to transgress any Halacha in Shulchan Aruch, and is simply a crazy belief and nothing more. For example, Lehavdil, if somebody believed that JFK is still alive would he transgress a Halachic or Torah edict, and should he be defined based on that as a crazy person? All in all, while we may not concord at all with the crazy notion that they believe in, and may rightfully argue that they are making a fool of themselves in spreading such ideas, it should not be viewed as anything more than a wrong idea. They are still beautiful people who can contribute to society, and Torah and Mitzvos and the Frum world irrelevant of this belief.
  8. Regarding why not believe that the Baal Shem Tov or Ramchal be Moshiach. I would say that they are following the dictum of the Talmud Sanhedrin which states that people would believe that their own Rebbe is Moshiach, and hence that is why they choose to believe in their Rebbe. However, from a technical perspective, if we follow the approach in Halacha that Moshiach could be from the dead, then indeed it could be anyone.
  9. Regarding “causing other Frum Yidden to think that Chabad Yidden are simply nuts and run the risk of being oved avodah zara chas vi shalom.” While it is true that some Frum Yidden unfortunately view Chabad in this matter, I believe that they are also to blame for being too quick to invalidate, having too little tolerance, and not placing the matters that unite Frum Jewry on the forefront of their minds and rather focus on our points of disagreement. As I already said there is no intellectual basis to call someone nuts just because he may have the above erroneous beliefs, and there is certainly no justification in halacha, and on the contrary is a great sin, to accuse them erroneously of idolatry. Together with that I agree, that both sides of the camps, the instigators and invalidators are not doing Ratzon Hashem in their instigation and invalidation, and that is why that I have already stated, that in my view, the entire idea of spending time on this subject is nothing more than Bittul Torah and the works of the Satan.

Let us all, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, Chassidim, Misnagdim, Litvish, Chabad, respect and tolerate each other despite our disagreements and learn to focus on the so many matters of Torah Judaism that unites us. Not to look for ways to invalidate other groups, not to put down the Gedolim or Minhagim of others and spend time on invalidating their philosophies, even if we have real complaints. We should all focus on learning the Torah that unites us and spend time giving critique to ourselves and our own community that we can influence and not the community of others.

In my work as a Rav, I have the pleasure of trading Torah knowledge with people, scholars and Rabbis, of all communities, whether they are Chabad, Litvish, Sephardi, or Chassidish, or Datal, and from the aspect of Torah I honor and respect them all equally as each one is part of a vibrant and needed faction of Kelal Yisrael.  I am sure if we all added in tolerance, acceptance, and focus on that which unites, we would nullify the reason of the exile which is Sinas Chinam, and usher the ultimate and complete redemption.

P.S. In light of the above clarifications, I will not engage in any further discussion or backs and forth of proofs and sources on the merits or invalidations of the above statements, as I have already stated I believe the involvement in this subject does not come from the side of Kedusha, irrelevant of position that one is trying to proliferate or negate. I am well aware of the various books that authors have dedicated to the defense versus opposition of the above topic, and will not be further entertaining the merits of their words or arguments, not because I disagree with them necessarily but because I am too busy focusing on the subjects of Torah that I believe G-d desires us to be involved in.

 

Sunday 16th Iyar

Question

My very close friend just died a tragic death from a drug overdose, and I am one of the first people to have knowledge of it. [He is part of our frum community in xxxxxx and was missing for a number of hours and I called the local emergency number and was informed of his death] Who should I tell this information to? I really don’t want to be the bearer of bad news.

 

Answer

I am deeply sorry to hear of this tragic loss. You should obviously make sure that the close family is informed so they can arrange a Kosher funeral and burial, and mourn his passing, say Kaddish etc. Regarding others, in general, we rule that one should not be the bearer of bas news, as you wrote and avoid publicizing bad news. However, you may certainly speak to others about it for the following reasons: 1) To relieve your emotions 2) To have people come pay last respects for the deceased. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-2-time-of-death-the-state-of-goses-and-departure-of-the-soul/ footnote 195

Question

I noticed that there is space between the Batim of my Tefillin Shel Rosh [between the first and second Bayis of the Shel Rosh]. When I look in my mirror I see space/light in between these Batim. Are they Passul?

 

Answer:

Ideally, not only are they not Passul, but some are even meticulous to do so to make sure that there be an evident space between the compartments. According to all, the four compartments are to be visible to one looking at the Tefillin from the outside. However, all the above is on condition that the squareness of the Shel Rosh has not been altered due to the space between the Batim. If you think that it has lost its squareness then contact a Sofer for it to be checked out and repaired. See our newest Tefillin Sefer Chapter 9 Halacha 3 and 6 for the full details of this matter.

Question

I began baking my Challas and then suddenly remembered that I forgot to do Hafrashas Challah. What should I do?

 

Answer:

You should gather all the Challahs together in a basket, or wrap them all in a sheet or towel, and then separate Challah with a blessing from one of the Challah’s, whether it is still dough, or whether it was already baked. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/forgot-to-separate-challah/

 

Question

Do you know if a matzeva. Can be either horizontal or vertical, I seem to recall it should conform to others in the area?

 

Answer:

Indeed, the Matzeivas are to follow the same style as the cemetery of the interred, whether standing or lying. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-30-the-matzeiva/

Friday 14th Iyar

Question:

Rabbi, I accidentally ate a cheese sandwich in fleishig keilim, using a Fleishig knife and plate. Everything was cold. Is my plate and knife Treif? What do I do?

Answer:

Regarding the plate, all you have to do is rinse it off well, and it remains Kosher.

Regarding the knife, if it was used to cut hard cheese that was in the sandwich [such as yellow American cheese, as opposed to cream cheese and the like] stab it in the ground ten times. If it was used to cut a cream cheese sandwich, then once again simply wash it well and it suffices.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-8-taaruvos-of-basar-bechalav/ by footnote 490 and 556

Question:

When do we Lubavitchers eat matzah today.

Answer:

Our custom is to eat Matzah during the day meal of the 14th of Iyar. The Rebbe himself however ate the Matzah many years on the night of the 15th. This custom is also mentioned in talks of the Rebbe. The Rebbe states that those who are meticulous eat Matzah three times, once on the night of the 14th, once by the day of the 14th, and once on Motzei the 14th.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/matzah-on-pesach-sheiyni/

Question:

Hi! Can you please say where I could fine a source for reading Tehillim on Shabbos mevorchim for 24 hours?

Answer:

The following are the detailed timelines for saying Tehillim Shabbos Mevarchim. It may be said after Shacharis, after Mincha, and anytime throughout the day until night time. It is not to be recited on Motzei Shabbos until after midnight. If necessary, it may even be completed on Sunday, or even the next Shabbos. One may also begin saying it on Shabbos morning prior to the start of the Minyan. It is questionable whether it may be said on Friday night before midnight, and hence it is questionable whether a full 24 hour period exists.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/https-shulchanaruchharav-com-halacha-tehillim-shabbos-mevarchim/ footnote 26

Question:

Kavod harav,

 

Given that this year Pesach Sheini is erev Shabbos, what halachos does one need to be careful after when eating matzah erev Shabbos afternoon (as it says not to have a larger than usual meal erev Shabbos, and personally I almost never eat bread on Friday and certainly not in the afternoon)?

Answer:

It is permitted to wash on bread or Matzah on Erev Shabbos, even in the afternoon, so long as it is before the 10th hour of the day, which is calculated as three Zemaniyos hours before sunset.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/eating-on-erev-shabbos/

Question:

Rabbi Goldstein

 

 

I hope this finds you and your family healthy and well.

 

Someone set up a light system, which notifies them if the bathroom is occupied, kind of like an airplane. There is a small light that is plugged into a smart plug. The smart plug is connected to Alexa, and Alexa is connected to a contact sensor on the bathroom door. When the bathroom door is closed, it notifies Alexa, which notifies the smart plug to turn on, which turns on light. When the door is opened, same thing, other way around. Now for Shabbos, they could set it up that Alexa doesn’t turn on the plug with the light. But the sensor would technically still be sensoring when you open and close the door. There are no lights, but still sensoring internally.

 

Is that a problem?

 

Thank you very much

Answer:

This enters into the subject of a Rabbinical Melacha Shelo Nicha Lei, of which many Poskim are lenient, although some are stringent. I would thus say that one should initially unplug the sensor from before Shabbos, although if it was not unplugged one may be lenient to use the bathroom, assuming the light will not turn on as a result. This follows a similar ruling of Admur regarding applying the rules of Lo Nicha Lei to a cloth that is wrapped around the pipe of a barrel.

See here for details of this matter: Piskeiy Teshuvos 277:8; Lo Nicha Lei: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/squeezing-liquid-from-cloths/ Halacha 3C

Question:

I have a baby monitor which I usually take out before Shabbos, but this Shabbos totally forgot to remove. It works with a sensor that turns on the monitor in my office and shows sound and video of the upstairs whenever someone makes noise near it. What was I supposed to do? Not enter the room the whole Shabbos? Its in our dining room, and would make it virtually impossible to get food from the kitchen and would force us to eat elsewhere and be very quiet the whole Shabbos, as it is very sensitive to noise, as it should be.

Answer:

Assuming that the camera works with LED light [or any light that does not become hot, as exist by all cameras that I am aware of], then this enters into the subject of a Rabbinical Melacha Shelo Nicha Lei, of which some Poskim are lenient, although some are stringent. Thus, while initially one must unplug the sensor from before Shabbos, if it was accidentally not unplugged one may be lenient to pass by the area and live life as normal without needing to tippy toe down the house.

See here for details of this matter: Piskeiy Teshuvos 277:7-8; Lo Nicha Lei: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/squeezing-liquid-from-cloths/ Halacha 3C

Question:

“Hi,

 

There has been quite a shturm in England about certain foods and whether they require bishul yisroel.

 

Two foods that came up are chickpeas and corn.

 

In regards to chickpeas, one of the heads of the KLBD told me that based on speaking to people where chickpeas grow, they are edible raw.

 

My question is how do we define נאכל חי. From an academic perspective(not a psak) is the mere fact that something is edible raw sufficient to exempt it from Bishul yisroel?

 

Also, in regards to corn, a chassidish heksher leans towards that the are עולה. But “”baby corn”” is definitely edible raw, does that make it irrelevant if corn is עולה?

 

Thanks,

Shlomo “

Answer:

The rule is that the item has to be eaten raw on a regular basis for it to be free of any Bishul Akum concern. [This is a dispute in Poskim] Thus, it is clear that chickpeas contain a worry of Bishul Akum from that perspective, as they are certainly not eaten raw on a regular basis, and in fact most  people would never eat them raw, and it is thus similar to eggs which all agree has a Bishul Akum prohibition and so is followed by all the Hashgachas that I am aware of, and so rule all the Gedolei Haposkim, that the chickpeas must be cooked by a Jew. A separate issue is regarding Olah Al Shulchan Melachim.

Regarding baby corn, it seems that it can be eaten raw and therefore is free of the issue of Bishul Akum. It can only be Bishul Akum if both it is not eaten raw and is Olah Al Shulchan Melachim.

Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 113:1 and 12

Question [C.M. Sales]

Thank you. Please advise my father wants to sell car. His friend wants to buy but he lives neaby. And says i know you so please sell me cheaper. But i listed post for sale in internet and there are buyers from other cities but they want discounts as well. Question is is it better to sell to friend or people you dont know, even price same.

 

Answer

There is no Law of Baal Metezer applicable by moveable items such as a car. Thus, you may sell it to whomever you want for the best price.

Source: See Michaber C.M. 175:63

Thursday 13th Iyar 5780

 

Question:

Based on  https://shulchanaruchharav.com/castrating-an-animal-or-human/  is amira linachri for a gentile only for their sheva mitzvos or for all of our mitzvos?

Answer:

The prohibition of Amira Lenachri applies to all Mitzvos in the Torah. Thus, anything which is indisputably forbidden for one to do according to Halacha is likewise prohibited for one to ask a  gentile to do. It follows the same laws as Shabbos.

Sources: Beis Shmuel 5:16; Beir Hagoleh; Shach Y.D. 141:17 and 23; Admur 243:1; 343:5; 450:20; Ribis 72; Sheila Usechirus 29; Michaber C.M. 338:6 [regarding muzzling animal]; Question brought in Bava Metzia 90a and above Poskim rule stringently-see Biur Hagr”a 5:32] See here for the details Admur being stringent in Sfek Sfeika: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/gentile-castrating-animal/

Question:

In regards to your recent article about castration. I’ve heard that if you sell your animal to a gentle you can have your pets fixed. Is that not true?

Answer:

The Poskim rule that it is forbidden to have a gentile castrate one’s animal even if he sells the animal to the gentile. However, some Poskim are lenient if a) a real sale takes place and b) the gentile who buys it has another gentile do the castration, and not he himself and c) the gentile has the full legal right to keep the animal if he wishes and not sell it back. Practically, this opinion should not be followed unless there is a real necessity for having the animal fixed and only after advising with a Rav if he may rely on it in his case, and how the sale should be done.

Sources: Michaber and Rama E.H. 5:14; Beis Shmuel 5:14 in end; Shoel Umeishiv Telisah 1:229; Maharam Shick 1:11; Bein Yisrael Lenachri 6:13-14 and footnote 28

Question:

Regarding female castration.  Having their tubes tied? Or cut?

Answer:

The Poskim view tubal ligation [also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization] as Rabbinically forbidden Sirus.

Sources: See Igros Moshe E.H. 32; Shevet Halevi 3:164; Tzitz Eliezer 14:96; Minchas Yitzchak 3:26; 4:120

Question:

“We know that if we cut a lemon or Onion with a Meat or Milk knife, the lemon becomes fleishick or milkish. Once the lemon or onion that became fleishick or milkish was used a second time to cut with another knife does it has the power to extract that tast and make knife taref if it was the opposite taste or if it was parve make it fleishick or milkish? Any difference if instead of the second knife it would be a parve squeezer?”

Answer:

A typical plastic squeezer is not an issue as it is not sharp and hence is not judged as a blade or knife. Hence, if an onion cut with a dairy knife was used with a pareve squeezer, the squeezer remains pareve. However, if the onion was cut with a meaty knife, then at times the knife becomes Treif, and if the knife was pareve then it becomes dairy. However, regarding a lemon you can be lenient bedieved that the knife remains kosher.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/cut-same-onion-with-a-meat-and-dairy-knife/ and here regarding the status of lemons as Charif: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-5-the-status-of-pareve-charif-foods-cut-with-a-meat-dairy-knife/#_ftn151

Wednesday 12th Iyar

Question:

My young son constantly rips his Tzitzis strings. I would like to know if they become Pasul if a string has torn, or how many strings have to tear for them to become Pasul.

Answer:

This matter is complex and depends on how many strings have torn and/or the area of the tear.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/strings-that-tore/ and https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/a-single-string-tore-is-my-tzitzis-still-kosher/

Question:

Can you say Tehillim by the Ohel after nightfall?

Answer:

This should follow the same general restriction against saying Tehillim at night.

Question:

My child knocked down my Tefillin bag. Do I have to fast or give charity

Answer:

There is no need to fast or give charity as a) The Tefillin was in its bag and b) you did not knock it down.. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/tefillin-fell-on-floor-atonement-of-fasting-and-charity-if-ones-tefillin-fell-on-the-floor/

Question:

Why is Pesach Sheiyni on the 14th and not the 15th like the original Pesach?

Answer:

As it commemorates the slaughter of the Pesach lamb which took place on the 14th of Nissan and Iyar and not the 15th.  See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/background-of-pesach-sheiyni/

Question:

Can I exercise (running etc.) before davening shachris?

Answer:

Ideally, due to the prohibition against doing Melacha before Shacharis, one is not to schedule his exercise for the morning prior to Davening. However, if this is the only timespan available within one’s day, or it helps one be alert and awake for Davening, then one may do so, after reciting Birchas Hashachar.

Sources: See Michaber 89:3; Admur 89:4; Rivivos Efraim 5:39; Tefila Kehalacha 6:23; Asei lecha Rav 4:26; Piskeiy Teshuvos 89:15; Divrei Chachamim 1:2 in name of Rav Elyashiv; Hatefila Vehilchoseha p. 42

Question:

you write to take down the picture if it is in front of you. Maybe worth noting the applicable halachos that come into play if it’s shabbos or Yom tov”

Answer:

See here: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/moving-hanging-and-removing-wall-pictures-on-shabbos/

Question:

You mention here that the last time to count with a brocha is alos, and that one should be stringent to follow the opinion that alos is 120min before netz etc. in this regard.

While I agree that regarding doing the sefirah one should definitely make sure to do it before then – regarding counting with a brocha, however, wouldn’t it make sense to say that since there is an opinion that a brocha is made even by day (Admur end of 489:3), so it would be a sfeik sfeika during the time between 120min and 72min (safek if it’s day, and even if it is – safek if we can say a brocha), and therefore one could still count with a brocha?

Answer:

  1. Admur in the Siddur prohibits saying a blessing even in a case of Sfek Sfeika and you cant compare the Safek of whether each day is a separate Mitzvah, or of Bein Hashmashos, to the safek of Alos Hashachar. See here for the details Admur being stringent in Sfek Sfeika: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/continuing-to-count-with-a-blessing-if-counted-during-day/
  2. Some Rabbanim hold that 120 minutes is Admur’s opinion even Lekula.

Question:

What is the law of a man that is surgically altered to look like a woman including being castrated? I know of such a person who plops himself down in the veiber shul & expects everybody to accept him as a woman when in fact he is a mutilated man? How should a shul deal with such a person?

Answer:

Indeed, this is a very sad situation and the individual needs lots of Rachmanus! It is an illness, and people should view them accordingly, with hope and compassion for them. With that said, one cannot allow them to enter the men’s shul if they appear like a woman, and indeed some Rabbanim direct that they should Daven in the woman’s section. However, this applies only in specific circumstances as in general it is completely improper to allow such a person to Daven in the woman’s section as it can lead to promiscuity r”l. Practically, the Rav of every shul should give direction as to what to do in such a situation, and whether they should request from the person not to enter the shul at all.

Sources: See Sefer Dor Tahapuchos of Rav Idan Bar Efraim

Question:

I am living now separate from my parents due to corona concerns. My parents bring me food for me to eat. Is it permitted for me to invite bachurim to my dira and share the food with them? My parents would not approve (they are not frum), but perhaps we can say that once the food was given to me (as a matana), it belongs to me and I can do whatever I want. Or do we say that there is an implied tnai that only I can eat it?”

Answer:

Once a food [or charity] has been given to an individual he can do with it as he sees fit unless the giver explicitly stated that he is giving it to him on condition that no one else partake in it. Nonetheless, we do estimate the intent of an individual, and thus I would say that since the obvious intent of the parent is for the child to eat it, therefore, you should not give it call out to friends. However, to share some of it with friends is normal and accepted behavior.

Sources: Rama O.C. 694:2; Bava Metzia 78b; Rashba 2:315; Beis Yosef C.M. 253; Shvus Yaakov 1:77; Chavos Yair 232; Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:152; Chasam Sofer E.H. 1:132; Tzedaka Umishpat [Bloy] 9:10 footnote 34

Tuesday 11th Iyar

Question:

Shalom. Im the Shavuos book, it is written on page 32 that the Rav will publicize the Maamar “Bechodesh Hashlishi”. Did He? Where Can I find it?

Thanks

Answer:

https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/parshas-yisro-torah-or-the-purpose-of-matan-torah-dveikus/

 

Question:

I know that whenever one has a whole loaf or roll of bread one should say Hamotzi over a Shaleim and not over a slice. My question is does the same apply to crackers, for example if I have a broken cracker and a whole cracker should I say Mezonos on a whole cracker.

Answer:

Yes, the same law applies to Mezonos just as to Hamotzoi, and hence due to a Mitzvah Min Hamuvchar, you should always precede the Shaleim, whole cracker, to the cracked cracker and say the blessing of Mezonos on the whole cracker. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this Halacha and simply take a broken cracker from the batch when they could have easily chosen a whole one.

Sources: Seder Birchas Hanehnin 10:1 and Admur 168:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 168:1 that the same applies to Mezonos

Question:

Hi Rabbi Goldstein. Things were so hectic before pesach I didn’t get around to cutting my hair. It’s very itchy and hot under my tichel and keeps sticking out. Am I permitted to cut it or must I wait till Shavuot?

Answer:

You may cut for reasons of Tzenius. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/haircuts-during-sefirah/ by footnote 54

Question:

bee keepers advised to plant two seeds in the land togeher Echium vulgare L and  Melilotus to mix them together and plant for better production , and better grow.. but what Halacha says ? is there prohibition or no? please advise me in general where to read more basics how to grow plants or apples and pick up apples

Answer:

In general, in Israel there is a prohibition of Kilayim to plant two different seeds together. In the Diaspora there is no prohibition. Thus if you live in the Diaspora, there is no issue at all with planting these two seeds together. Furthermore, even in Israel the prohibition only applies if the seeds grow edible produce for humans or animals, as opposed to mere flowers or weeds, which seems to be the case here.

Sources: Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 296:2 and 3

Question:

Can you answer amen to a mynian in the zoom App? The mynian has 10 mens in the same place

You fullfil kiriat hatora doing this?”

Answer:

No. You cannot answer Amen through zoom as there are often delays between the actual live feed and your Amen which makes it an Amen Yesoma.

Likewise, you cannot fulfill Kerias Hatorah through zoom as it is not the real voice of the Baal Korei.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/answering-amen-through-a-telephone-radio-live-hookup/

Question:

“Shslom Rabbi Goldstein HOW can a baby girl be named ( my cousins BH BH just had a new baby in usa 🤗

Answer:

The main legal effect of a name is in place after its been used for 30 days. If a Minyan is not available, any individual can read a Mi Shebeirach and recite the name. It does not need to have a Minyan or be by Kerias Hatorah for it to count. Nevertheless, I would suggest you call an individual who is part of a porch Minyan and tell him to do the Mi Shebeirach with the name by the next Kerias Htaorah [Thursday].

Question:

Is mozzarella cheese a six hour cheese?

Answer:

No. The normal production of mozzarella cheese is 30 days and is hence not a 6 hour cheese.

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/for-what-cheeses-must-one-wait-six-hours-before-eating-meat/

Monday 10th Iyar 5780

Question:

“regarding how to calculate SHLOSHIM FROM BURIAL OR FROM PASSING

IN YOUR ARTICLE IT QUOTES REBB’S IGROS VOL 6 page 104

there it is speaking about when to start shiva at shmua rechoka , if needet to wait until burial (and has a din of onen for longer time ).

Does this also apply to when hearing about passing later , when to count shkloshim- if one heard about it 30 days after passing , but within 30 days from burial , to sit shiva or not ?”

Answer:

As I explained in the article, a Shemua Rechoka is counted from the day of death and not the day of burial, and I cited the above letter as one of the sources for this ruling.. This would impact that if the relative heard of the death after 30 days from the day of death then he would not keep Shiva or Shloshim and would rather simply keep a one hour minimized mourning period. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-13-how-to-calculate-the-days-of-shiva-the-start-and-end-of-shiva/#_ftnref106 in Halacha 8B-C

Sunday 9th Iyar 5780

Question:

Dear Rabbi Goldstein:

I am currently davening from my window with a minyon that is just beyond a small parking lot with no street or sidewalk intervening.  However, they daven nusach Ashkenaz and don’t say the yud gimmel middos during tachanun.  Being that I am participating in the minyon can I say the yud gimmel middos even if they don’t?  Also, they daven looking straight ahead from the plaza just outside their shul, which is probably because that’s the direction of their Aron Kodesh inside the shul.  However, Yerushaliyim is a bit diagonal and not straight ahead.  How should I face both when davening with them and also when not davening with them, as they are not there for Mincha or Maariv?

kol tuv,

Answer:

1) The Yud Gimel Midos cannot be recited unless a Minyan of ten people are reciting it together. Thus, unfortunately, you cannot say it even though you may be part of the Minyan. See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/reciting-the-13-attributes-of-mercy-without-a-minyan-in-the-torah-reading-tune/

2) You should always face towards Jerusalem, whatever direction that is from your current position. However, there is no need to face Jerusalem form a position that will disturb your concentration, and in such a case you may certainly turn slightly to your left or right, and if necessary, even Daven not facing Jerusalem all-together.

Question:

Hello,

 I get a lot of chizuk from your hartzbatzus Torah may Hashem bentch you to continue until Mashiach! Now I have a questions.

If beating on a table to make sounds is asur on Shabbos, what is the source?

Is dabbing a product called aquafor  on a baby on Shabbos is asur what is source

If recited berachao hagefen on wine for havdala and then started Melava Malka. is it too late to say mein shalosh on hagefen of Havdala?

Is leaving table of a bread meal asur even though no beracha is made. Are you allowed to go to another room?

Thank you

Answer:

1) Beating on a table: Is forbidden to be done in the form of a rhythm as explained Shulchan Aruch chapter 339. One may bang on the table to get ones attention. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/clapping-dancing-and-snapping/

2) Dabbing Aquaphor: Is permitted on a baby if it is dabbed and not smeared. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/smearing-on-skin/

3) Al Hagafen for Havdallah: Al Hagafen must be said so long as you remember before Birchas Hamazon and within Shiur Ikkul [not too much time has passed]. See Admur 174:6; Seder 4:11; Ketzos Hashulchan 31:1. However, if you planned on washing for bread right after Havdallah and planned to also drink wine during the meal, then it is not said at all, even before washing. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/one-who-is-washing-on-bread-directly-after/

4) The question is not understood. Please clarify

Friday 7th Iyar

Question:

I have heard it mentioned that upon returning to Shul BShTuM post Covid-19 that it will be necessary to make up and lein all the Parshiyos that were missed. Is this the Halocho/Minhag and what is it’s source?

Answer:

This is not accurate. While we require one to make up the previous weeks Parsha if it was missed by the congregation [with exception to some Parshiyos as explain in article], and it is read in addition to the current weeks Parsha, nevertheless one never makes up more than the previous weeks Parsha. So when the Minyanim open up once again, the Minyan will read that weeks Parsah, and also the previous weeks Parsha [if it does not fall under the exception list] and nothing more.

Sources: Maharam Mintz 85; Ateres Zekeinim 135; P”M 135 A”A 4; See M”A 135:4; M”B 135:6 that so is implied from Gr”a See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/chapter-2-the-torah-portion-that-is-to-be-read-the-law-if-it-was-not-read/

6th Iyar 5780

Question:

I forgot to check my beans for bugs and already cooked them. Are they Kosher?

Answer:

Yes they remain Kosher. The obligation to check beans for insects is an initial obligation due to Miut Hamatzui [minority of cases] in which insects are found. However, Bedieved, so long as the beans were not known to be infested, they are Kosher if they were not checked.

See here for a related article on the subject regarding checking flour for insects: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/flour-checking-for-insects/

Question:

What Brochoh does one make on Weetabix? My Magid Shiur suggested that one makes Shehakol on it based on a Gumoroh in Brochos (35a). I would like to know the Halochoh for both having it plain and having it with hot water/milk?

thank you.

Answer:

I am unfamiliar with this cereal. Please provide me the details of how it is made.

Ideally, so long as it contains cooked or baked dough [wheat flour and water mixture] it is Mezonos.

Explain why there is reason to believe that it should be Shehakol

Question:

I made two batches of dough using different flours, one was wheat flour and the second was spelt, and each was less than 1000 grams. I am always careful to keep them separate and on different counters, so they don’t join for Shiur Challah. Now, my son went ahead and took the spelt dough and placed it on the counter with the wheat dough and I want to know if I have to now take off Challah.

Answer:

No, you do not need to separate Challah. The flours and doughs of two different species of flour cannot join for Shiur Challah unless one is not particular against having them mix. Thus, so long as you desire to have breads made of different species of flour the doughs do not join even if you intentionally place them in the same vessel in order to be able to do Hafrashas Challah. Even in such a case you remain exempt from Hafrashas Challah so long as there is not Shiur Challah in any individual dough.

Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 326:1; Chalas Lechem 5:14; Hilchos Hafrashas Challah [Bruyer] p. 77-78

Question:

Dear Rabbi Goldstein

 

I ask if I am permitted to play an instrument like a recorder, piano, etc. in my apartment or anywhere else if men could possibly hear my playing? There is the possibility that neighbors might hear me. Also, if there are men in the same domain, building, house or apartment and the like, am I permitted to play if they cannot see me and I am playing my instrument in another room?

 

Answer:

The Poskim write that the Issur of Kol Isha does not apply to a woman playing musical instruments. Thus, you may continue to play musical instruments in your home and you don’t have to worry about men hearing you. [This assumes that one complies with the Sefirah restrictions, and does not play the instruments at times that bothers the neighbors and is accepted for it to be quiet.]

Sources: See Aruch Hashulchan 75:8; Mishneh Halachos 6:25; Minchas Yitzchak 7:70; Avnei Yashpei 2:62; Halichos Bas Yisrael p. 97; Mayan Omer 12:52; Many Sefarim cited in Gan Naul 9:12; See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/men-hearing-women-playing-musical-instruments/

Question:

My daughters Chasan broke off the engagement a few days before the wedding. This has caused me and my family immense shame and monetary damage. May I sue him and his family for what they have done?

Answer:

I am sorry to hear about your predicament, and indeed the other side must own up to the fact that they may be liable for monetary compensation, irrelevant of how necessary or justified they feel their decision was. Indeed, from a Halachic and legal perspective, it is certainly possible to sue for damages when someone breaks off an engagement and causes monetary loss and shame to the other side and many Batei Dinim have settled such claims between the broken sides of an engagement, usually coming to some sort of monetary compromise [pesharah]. In fact, in the Shtar Tanaim typically a hefty Knas/fine would be written for anyone who backs off from the engagement in compensation for the emotional and monetary damage that their decision has caused. However, the address for bringing such a claim is only in front of a Beis Din, and not G-d forbid a secular court. I would suggest that you send your claims to the other side and ask them if they are willing to settle with you on their own for an agreeable sum. If this effort does not bear fruit, then ask them to jointly go with you to a Beis Din of their choosing. The Beis Din will decide the amounts of moneys that you should be compensated, based on a) the reason or cause for breaking off the engagement, b) the amount of money that you already spent, and c) the shame caused to the family. If they ignore your efforts, then make a claim against them in your local Beis Din and they will direct you in the procedures to follow. If the defendants refuse to come to Beis Din, the Beis Din will give you a Heter to take them to a secular court. These cases are usually settled in a small claims court, although I would suggest you hire a lawyer for proper direction, if it comes to that. To note, while you certainly may legally be correct in your claim for compensation it is not always the advised approach, and usually brings along added stress and animosity and prevents you and your family from moving on. Thus, if the other side refuses to cooperate to go to a joint Beis Din, I would recommend you strongly consider whether the efforts of litigation are worth the outcome, or whether you should count your losses and move on. May Hashem bless you and your family with only good news from here on, and may Hashem replenish your monetary loss with double and triple fold, and bring your son to the Chuppah very soon.

Sources: See Michaber and Rama E.H. 50:3; Smeh C.M. 185:24; Radbaz 1:329; 4:234; Tashbeitz 2:166; Maharit 262; Shulchan Haeizer 2:11 in detail; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 41:10

5th Iyar

Question:

My live-in maid who is a gentile has her own room in my house. Do I need to put a Mezuzah up by her door?

 

Answer:

Yes. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/gentile-roommates/

Question:

I have a door which takes up all the space of the front doorway/doorpost and there is no place for me to put the Mezuzah by the doorpost which is in front of the door. Should I place the Mezuzah by the doorpost behind the door, or should I place it on the side of the front doorpost?

 

Answer:

While both options are not ideal, as there are Poskim who invalidate both placing a Mezuzah behind the door, as well as placing the Mezuzah in front of the door, but not within the doorpost but rather on top of it, or next to it, in such a case, it is better to place the Mezuzah behind the door within the doorpost, then in front of the door, but on top of the doorpost, or to its side. In the event that you already placed the Mezuzah in front of the doorpost, on top of it, then you should move it without a blessing to the doorpost that is behind the door.

Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 289:2 for requirement to place within vacuum of doorpost, and ruling of Rama ibid that if one swerved from this it is not invalid so long as it was placed by the doorpost; Shach Y.D. 289:3 for dispute regarding placing behind door; Yad Haketana Mezuzah 3:11 and his Biur of Minchas Ani 19 that placing on top of the doorpost frame not within the doorpost is invalid according to all; Mikdash Me’at 289:9; Sheilas David Y.D. 9 that this matter is noty properly explained in Shulchan Aruch; Chovas Hadar 9 footnote 22; Pischeiy Shearim 289:30; Kevius Mezuzah Kehilchasa 11:2 and footnotes there that in a case of need one may place it on the side of the doorpost within one Tefach of it; Pischai Mezuzah [Chazan] 289:13 and in Biurim there on pp. 112-116, and in Beis Mezuzah 125:5-9 that it is invalid according to most Poskim to place on top of doorpost, and thus in above case place behind door; Mezuzah [Bressman] p. 207; Mishnas Kohen p. 15

See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/what-is-one-to-do-if-the-doorpost-is-only-as-wide-as-the-door-and-there-is-thus-no-room-to-place-it-by-the-doorpost/

 

Question:

Does a 100% pure amino acid shake require a Hashgacha, such as this product https://www.myprotein.co.il/sports-nutrition/100-nac-powder/10530371.html that I would like to buy.

 

Answer:

Amino acids are derived from proteins which are in turn can be derived from meat products, which of course has the worry of being not Kosher, and thus would most definitely need a Hashgacha. I would suggest to send questions such as these to the OU or Ok Hashgacha companies and see their response. https://oukosher.org/ask-kosher-question/ See here for a list of Kosher NAC products: https://www.koshervitamins.com/Supplements-Kosher-N-Acetyl-Cysteine-NAC

 

Question:

When skipping ויעבור because there is no מנין should one also skip the words ושם נאמר?  interestingly, (in most) of the Askenaz sidduring has ושם נאמר as part to skip when no minyan (unlike נוסח אריזל)

 

Answer:

I do not have any definitive information on this question. However, from a brief overview of about ten different Siddurim, most placed the omission after Vesham Nemar. According to Sevara, there is reason to say that it should be omitted, as you are not actually saying the Pasuk. However, perhaps we desire to nevertheless hint to the Pasuk, and have it count at least in this hinted method. See Admur 591:5; 488:8 for a similar ruling regarding Karbanos of Musaf.

Question:

It states in the Gutnick Chumash that Ramban brings out that the blood of cattle is not obligated to be covered since it, in most cases, becomes a sacrifice on the Altar in Temple times (p.750).

What about now? When there are no sacrifices, (may the Temple be rebuilt speedily in our day), does the blood of cattle need to be covered? Does the Rambam make mention in his Code of Jewish law pertaining to this?

 

Answer:

Indeed, it is an unequivocal ruling in all Rishonim and Poskim that the blood of a domestic animals do not need to be covered both during exile and Temple times, and this is the practice until this very day in Shechita. The Ramban simply suggests one of the rationales behind this ruling. Even according to the Ramban’s reasoning, one can suggest that the mere fact that the blood of domestic animals is brought to the altar exempts it from ever needing covering even during exile. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/notes-on-yoreh-deah-chapter-28-the-laws-of-covering-the-blood-of-the-slaughtered-animal/

Question:

What are the Halachot and Minhagim for Yom HaAtzmaut?

 

Answer:

The widely accepted practice amongst Chareidi Jewry is to thank Hashem for the great miracles and wonders that he has done for us in protecting us during war and battle, and giving us a safe place for refuge. However, we do not treat it as a Holiday and thus we do not say Hallel on this day, even without a blessing. We likewise recite Tachanun as usual, and do not recite Shir Hamaalos by Birchas Hamazon. The view of Religious Zionists sharply contrasts to this approach, as they treat it as a Yom Tov, and say Hallel, some even with a blessing, and read from the Torah, permit hair cuts. Accordingly, for Chareidi Jewry, there are no Halachas and Minhagim for Yom Hatzmaut, other than personally thanking Hashem for the miracle and wonders.

 

4th Iyar 5780

Question

Rav, from which Posuk in the Torah do the Poskim derive that it is forbidden to a hear a woman or women singing? Thank you?

Answer

It is derived from the verse in this week’s Parsha Acharei Mos 15:6  which states that one may not come close to an Erva, which means that one may not do things that entice the Yetzer Hara towards desiring the woman. According to many Poskim, benefiting from her singing voice is included in this prohibition. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/men-listening-to-women-sing/

3rd Iyar 5780

Question

Unfortunately, my Shidduch was broken off during the engagement period. My question is regarding the Shadchanus gelt, we [my ex-Kallah] and I already paid the Shadchan a nice sum of money, as was his fee. Can I/we ask for a refund?

Answer

This matter is complex and is thus to be discussed with a Dayan/Beis Din who will arbitrate if the money indeed still belongs to the Shadchan, and if yes, then regarding if the side who broke the engagement must reimburse the other side for the money he paid the shadchan. Asin all cases of a broken engagement, a Rav is to be contacted by both sides to finish off the monetary, and other excess issues, in a peaceful and Torah manner, which abides by Halacha and the monetary laws of damage.

The matter is dependent on the cause or reason for breaking off the Shidduch and if the Shidduch was a Mekach Taus.

See Rama C.M. 185:10; Smeh 185:25; Taz 185:10; Halichos Yisrael [Grossman] 10; Nitei Gavriel Shidduchin 41:10; Birur Halacha C.M. 339

See here for full arftcile and Marei Mekomos: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/shadchan-gelt-what-happens-if-the-engagement-was-broken-off/

2nd Iyar 5780

Question

Hi Rabbi,

The community in xxxxxxx, due to this virus cant travel to the secluded beach they normally go to do tevilah which is 2 hr away on a bus. There is a closer beach but is not private, is it kosher for them to wear loose clothes to go in the water for tevilah? Thanks

Answer

The women may immerse while wearing a loosely fit robe/nightgown, without any underclothing. See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/women-immersing-with-clothing-in-a-mikveh-pool-sea-ocean/ 

Question

Someone forgot before Pesach to sell any of his chometz to the Rov before Pesach, nor did he say the bitul chometz – kol chamiro – right after checking his apartment on Erev Pesach at night for chometz, nor did he say the bitul chometz on Erev Pesach ( the kol chamiro ). Is there anything he can do now to rectify what happened

Answer

Practically, in such a case he must now get rid of any Chametz he left at home, as it is forbidden to be eaten or benefited from. See here for the full details of this subject: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/eating-and-benefiting-from-chametz-after-pesach/
Regarding his conscious, he can be told that many Rabbanim, including the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, sell the Chametz on behalf of those people who forgot to do the sale, and hence while we do not rely on this Lechatchila, it is an insurance policy to fall back on in cases of Bedieved to consider it that he did not transgress owning Chametz over Pesach. Again, practically, he must get rid of his Chametz that was owned during that time being that we are stringent, although from here onwards he should serve Hashem Besimcha, and work on nullifying the spiritual Chametz, which is the ego and anger, in exchange.

1st Iyar 5780

Question

According to minhag Chabad, one does not take haircuts until erev Shavuous. May one be lenient this year as it was hard to get a haircut erev Pesach, and thus perhaps one can get a haircut erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh as the Mishna Berura says or Lag Ba’omer?

Answer

In my opinion, those who could not get a haircut Erev Pesach this year due to quarantine, may certainly do so on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Iyar, and may likewise be lenient to do so on Lag Baomer, if their hair is very long. Sephardim, however, are to wait until the 34th day of Omer. See here for further details on this subject https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/haircuts-during-sefirah/ 

Question

I forgot to say Yaaleh Veyavo by Maariv and remembered right after concluding “Hamachazir Shechinaso Letziyon” prior to saying Modim. May/should I say Yaleh Veyavo then prior to Modim.

Answer

No. In such a case you are to continue Shemoneh Esrei without saying Yaleh Veyavo. See here for the full details of this matter. https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/yaleh-veyavo-in-shemoneh-esrei-on-rosh-chodesh/ 

Question

I thought that I counted the wrong day of Sefira yesterday and quickly corrected myself with what I know know was the wrong date. Was I Yotzei? May I continue to count with a blessing?

Answer

Yes. You were Yotzei and may continue to count with a blessing, as in the end of the day you counted the correct date. The fact that you counted another date afterwards does not take away from that. See here for the full details of this matter: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/said-the-wrong-date-while-counting-sefira/

30th Nissan 5780

Question

Hi, We bought a whole frozen chicken that is missing a leg. Is it kosher? It is dangerous health wise?

Answer

You have nothing to worry about as it was evidently removed in the processing due to one reason or another. The Shochtim would not slaughter a chicken that has a missing leg, and it would also not hang on the line used in slaughterhouses, and hence the chance that this occurred prior to slaughter is close to none.

Question

Are we supposed to eat fatty meat for lunch today given it’s Erev Shabbes Rosh Chodesh?

Answer

There is no obligation to eat meat on Rosh Chodesh. You can eat other delicacies of your choice. See Here https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/festive-meal-on-rosh-chodesh/  

Question

Shalom Rabbi,

We have a couple of cats, which of course are muktzah. My 11 year-old daughter asked the following question:  seeing as you can prepare a total muktzah item for Shabbos use by making a modification in it (a rock to be used as a doorstop is the classic example), can you prepare a cat by cutting off some fur or perhaps (if a more permanent modification is necessary) trimming one of its claws? She’d love to be able to pick up her cats on Shabbos.

Answer

I am sorry but while some Poskim discuss undoing the status of Muktzah from an animal by having it designated as a pet, practically, the main ruling follows that animals are always Mukztah and there is no modification that can be done to “unmuktzah” it. See here for the full details of Mukztah by pets: https://shulchanaruchharav.com/halacha/are-pets-dogs-cats-birds-fish-muktzah-on-shabbos/

Good Shabbos

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