Halachic Hazards Encyclopedia Letter P

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Letter P

Palm reading:[1]

Although palm reading is a recognized wisdom in Torah sources[2], nonetheless, one is not to practice palm reading for decision making, as the verse states “Tamim Tihyeh Es Hashem Elokecha.”[3] This is in addition to the fact that today there is almost no one who is truly expert in palm reading.[4]

Palm tree: [Talmud/Achronim]

A. Defecating by a palm tree:[5]

One is not to defecate between a palm tree and a wall.

B. Defecating on a chopped down palm tree:[6]

It is a danger for one to defecate on a cut down palm tree.

C. Stepping on a chopped down palm tree:[7]

It is a danger for one to step on a cut down palm tree.

D. Laying ones head on a chopped down palm tree:[8]

It is a danger for one to lay his head on a cut down palm tree.

E. Walking or standing between two palm trees, or two people walking or standing with them in between:[9]

 [One may not pass or stand between two] date palms [who are parallel and within four Amos of each other]. [Likewise, two people who are parallel and within four Amos of each other should not walk or stand with a date palm in between them.[10]]



Which type of palm trees are included in the restriction?[11]

Only palm trees of the date species are problematic.[12]


What is one to do if there are two date palms, one on each side of the sidewalk?

The Talmud states that whenever there is a public path that separates between the two date palms the danger dissipates.[13] Accordingly, it seems that in this case it is not such an issue. Nonetheless, being that this is not recorded in the Poskim, it is proper to circumvent it or do the Tikkun below.

F. Sleeping under a palm tree:[14] [Talmud/Achronim]

One should not sleep alone under a palm tree.


The following matters can cause a person to lose his livelihood:[15] [Talmud]

  1. One who frees slaves.[16]
  2. One who observes his assets on Shabbos to think of how to better his business.[17]
  3. One who eats his Shabbos meal at the time that the rabbi is speaking in Shul.[18]
  4. One who keeps loan documents that were already paid.[19]
  5. One who lends money with interest.[20]
  6. One who receives money from a person who collects interest.[21]
  7. One who cheats in business.[22]
  8. One who is able to protest a sin and does not do so.[23]
  9. One who pledges to give money to charity and does not do so.[24]
  10. One who withholds or delays payment from his worker.[25]
  11. One who removes responsibility from himself and throws it onto his friend.[26]
  12. Arrogance.[27]
  13. Whoever [on a constant basis] makes jest [of serious matters of Judaism] causes his income to be lost.[28]
  14. One who creates a storage area for his grain within the earth can cause him loss.[29]
  15. A person who accepts bribery.[30]
  16. One who benefits from the money of a stingy man, can lose his livelihood and therefore one should be careful not to receive money from such a person.[31]
  17. One who receives money from a person who cuts the form of currency can lose his livelihood and therefore one should be careful not to receive money from such a person.[32]

Pandemic & Plague:

See “Epidemic”


A. Leaning:[33] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]

Upon leaning, one is not to lean on his back or front, as this is not considered a form of freedom.[34] Rather, one is to lean towards his left side.[35] One is not to lean towards his right side.[36] This applies even to one who is left handed, and is thus accustomed to eating with his left hand, nevertheless, he is to lean towards his left side [and eat with his right hand[37]], just like everyone else.[38]

B. Giving a piece of his Matzah to a gentile guest:[39] [Rishonim/Achronim]

One may not distribute from his Matzas Mitzvah, which is the three Matzas of his Seder plate, to a gentile. It is a danger for one to do so.[40] [Other Matzah, however, may be given to a gentile.]

C. Dipping the Maror into the Charoses:[41] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]

Prior to eating the Maror it [was accustomed in previous times for it] to be entirely immersed into the Charoses due to a dangerous worm that is found inside.[42] However, practically, the custom today is not to dip it entirely, but rather to only partially dip the Maror into the Charoses.[43]

D. Spilling the wine by the Makos:[44] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch/Shulchan Aruch Harav/Achronim]

*See our corresponding Sefer “The Pesach Seder” for the full details of this matter!

It is customary to spill some of the wine from the cup upon arriving to the words Dam, Esh, ViTimros Ashan. Likewise, the wine is spilled when one says each of the ten Makos, and likewise when one mentions the abbreviations of the Makos as Datzach, Adash, BeAchav.[45] Thus, the wine is spilled from the cup for a total 16 times. The wine is spilled for a total of 16 times as it corresponds to the sword of Hashem which is called Yo-hach and is the angel which is appointed over retribution [i.e. Nekama].[46] The wine is to be spilled into a broken vessel [such as a chipped plate or bowl], representing the Kelipos which is called cursed.[47] Upon spilling the wine, one is to intend that the cup represents Malchus, and that through the power of Binah he is spilling the wrath from the wine, into a broken vessel which is Kelipa and cursed.[48] [One is to thus intend that only the spilled wine is wine of wrath while the remaining wine that is in the cup, is wine of joy.[49] One is to also intend that G-d save him from these Makos.[50]] After all the above spills are performed, one is to refill the cup with wine. One is not to first discard the remaining wine in the cup, as on the contrary its remains are wine of joy, and hence should simply have more wine added to it.[51]  [The spilled wine is to be discarded in a way that no one can benefit from it, similar to water from the morning washing.[52]

Pillow stuffed with feathers:[53] [Achronim]

Some people are accustomed not to sleep with a pillow that contains feathers of any bird.


Avoiding planting:[54] [Achronim]

Some families carry a family tradition to avoid planting things in the ground. [While such families who received such a tradition may and should honor it, it is not obligatory for others to follow.]

Pouring backwards: [Tradition-No source]

Many of the populace are accustomed to not pour backwards. There is no known source for this custom in any Jewish literature. This custom may have been adopted in order to avoid imitating actions that are done to a corpse due to a perceived Ayin Hara.

The Halachic debate: Some Poskim[55] would negate the above practice, claiming that doing so transgresses Darkei Emori being that it has no logical reason or source behind it, and therefore one is to avoid doing so. Likewise, it may transgress Lo Sinacheish. However, other Poskim[56] would rule that its practice does not involve Darkei Emori. Furthermore, some Poskim[57] rule that it is permitted and even praiseworthy for one to believe in superstitions that the general populace believes in even if it has no source in Sefarim and the words of our sages, as the prohibition of Lo Sinacheish only applies when one verbalizes the superstition. However, even according to this opinion, it is forbidden to verbalize the superstition.[58]

Practical ruling: One who does not have such a tradition should not adapt it due to the above Halachic issues surrounding it. Nonetheless, those who received such a tradition may continue doing so if they wish, although being careful to never verbalize the superstition.

Praying to G-d to judge and punish his friend:[59] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch/Achronim]

It is forbidden for one to pray to G-d to punish his friend for an evil that he did to him. If one does so, then he will be punished first. However, this only applies if one is able to take the claim to a Beis Din. [If, however, he is not able to bring his case to a Beis Din, then it is permitted for him to cry to G-d about his predicament.] However, some Poskim[60] rule that he must first inform the individual that he will pray to G-d about the situation prior to doing so. [If, however, he knows that the person will not listen to any Beis Din, then he may pray to Hashem to punish him.[61] This is all according to Halacha, however, the Sefer Chassidim[62] implies that one should never Daven to Hashem to punish his friend as this can backfire on him. In his words: “Do not punish any Jew, and do not curse him. Rather, one should pray that G-d should help the person repent. One should not hand over the judgment to G-d by saying that my Rock will take vengeance from me, from his hand, and will return evil to those who do evil, as whoever hands over judgment on his friend the attribute of judgment comes before G-d and complains “Master of the world. It is this man who is befitting of Judgment as he is deserving to be punished for such and such.” The general rule is, do not curse any person, as sometimes the curse will return and fall upon the person’s own head or descendants, as so we find regarding all the curses that David cursed Yoav, that they became fulfilled with his own descendants.” In addition, it is certainly not a Chassidic trait to Daven to Hashem to punish someone who hurt you as we pray to Hashem each night to forgive one who hurt us, and to not punish him, and hence how can one then Daven to Hashem to punish him.]


  1. Foods to avoid eating during pregnancy: [Achronim]
  1. Pregnant women are to especially avoid eating non-kosher foods.[63]
  2. Pregnant women are to especially avoid eating the hearts of animals.[64]
  3. Pregnant women are to especially avoid eating liver.[65]
  4. Pregnant women are to avoid eating Turmeric powder throughout the days of their pregnancy.[66]
  5. Pregnant women are to avoid eating radishes throughout the days of their pregnancy.[67]

A. Not to visit or look at areas of sin:[68] [Achronim]

Throughout the days of the pregnancy, a woman is to be very careful not to visit or look at areas of sin.

B. May one buy items for a child before he is born? [Sichas Nashim/Tradition of some-No source]

It is permitted to purchase items for the future child prior to birth.[69] Nevertheless, some have the custom to abstain from doing so due to Ayin Hara.[70] One who did not receive this tradition, is not required to follow this custom, and may choose to buy items and ignore the Ayin Hara.[71] However, those who received this tradition, are to try to abide by it.[72] Some are accustomed to have another person buy the item for them.[73] Others are accustomed to pick out the item, and only pay for it after the birth.

C. Doing ultrasounds/sonograms during pregnancy:[74] [Rebbe]

There is no Halachic impediment that exists against performing an ultrasound and having a sonogram taken. Nonetheless, doing so at times broaches the subject of Jewish ethics, as well as poses a possible health concern, due to exposure to the waves. Ultrasounds, or the resultant sonograms, are done during pregnancy for various reasons, including: 1) Routine checkup on the health of the child and to monitor the size and growth of the child; 2) To monitor the health of the birthing mother. 3) To determine the gender of the child; 4) To determine the due date.

The medical concerns involved in ultrasounds-Not to perform unnecessarily: An ultrasound transmits high-frequency sound waves through the uterus that bounce off the baby. While there is no current medical evidence which supports the idea that ultrasounds can have a negative effect on the health of the child, nonetheless, it is advised to avoid doing them unnecessarily. This was the Rebbe’s philosophy and the advice that he gave others.[75] This is likewise the advice given by the ACOG [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] “Currently, there is no reliable evidence that ultrasound is harmful to a developing fetus. No links have been found between ultrasound and birth defects, childhood cancer, or developmental problems later in life. However, it is possible that effects could be identified in the future. For this reason, it is recommended that ultrasound exams be performed only for medical reasons by qualified health care providers. Accordingly, women should avoid doing ultrasounds simply for the fun of it, to enjoy viewing the baby. An additional reason for avoiding ultrasounds is that at times the ultrasound produces sonograms which are falsely read by the Doctor or technician, and cause the parents unnecessary worry or fear of an impending medical issue, which is later proven to be non-existent.

For routine checkup: Medical practitioners offer routine ultrasound checkups to verify the general health and size of the child, as well as the condition of the mother for giving birth. This is usually done during the second trimester, between weeks 18-23.[76] In general, the Rebbe is quoted to have been against routine ultrasound checkups, even if it is done to negate any medical issues, so long as there is no reason to suspect that those issues exist.[77] According to Rabbi Groner, the Rebbe’s secretary, the Rebbe only agreed to the performance of an ultrasound if it was medically necessary and specific action can be taken as a result. Likewise, the Rebbe made the matter contingent on confirmation of a second medical opinion, that in truth the ultrasound is necessary. This is due to the possible medical consequences that the waves can have on the unborn child. In addition, ultrasounds at times produce sonograms which are falsely read by the Doctor or technician, as explained above. On the other hand, regarding the routine checkup which is customarily performed in the second trimester [between weeks 18-23] the Rebbe is quoted to have responded that if a woman desires it to be done, then she may do so.[78]

Due to actual medical concern: When an ultrasound is advised by a medical practitioner for the sake of checking the health of the mother or child due to an active medical issue, then the medical advice is to be followed. The Rebbe did not negate having in ultrasound performed under these circumstances, and on the contrary encouraged it.[79]

To verify irreversible defects for purposes of abortion:[80] It is common for medical practitioners to perform an ultrasound for the sake of discovering if there are any birth defects in the child which are irreversible, and thus advise the mother of the option to perform an abortion. According to most Poskim, abortions may only be performed if the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother’s life, and hence one is not to perform such checks without first discussing the matter with a Rav.

To verify the gender of the fetus: There is no Halachic issue involved with performing ultrasounds for the sake of discovering the gender of the child, although this certainly would fall under the unnecessary ultrasounds which are discouraged from a medical perspective. In addition, some[81] sources suggest that one is to leave the gender of the child unknown.

D. Doing Pesicha when one’s wife is pregnant:[82] [Achronim/Rebbe]

It is a Segula for easy birth for the husband to endeavor to perform Pesicha and remove the Sefer Torah when his wife enters her ninth[83] month of pregnancy [until she gives birth[84]].[85] [This Segula includes closing the doors of the Aron after the Sefer Torah is removed.[86] Some write that one is to also say a special prayer during Pesicha on behalf of his wife.[87] Practically, one is only to do the above Segula if it can be done without drawing too much attention to the fact that he is habitually performing Pesicha.[88] This Segula was advised by the Rebbe to certain individuals[89], although was omitted by the Rebbe from being published in a booklet of Minhagei Chabad relating to childbirth[90], hence implying that it is not meant to be a directive for all the public to follow.]

E. The Segula of reciting the Mizmor of “Lamnatzeiach Ya’ancha” during pregnancy prior to retiring to sleep:[91] [Achronim/Rebbe]

Throughout all the days of a woman’s pregnancy, the husband[92] is to say the Psalm of Lamnatzeiach Ya’ancha [Kapitel 20, printed between Ashrei and Uva Letziyon] prior to sleep.

Repeating the verse of Ya’ancha: At the conclusion of the paragraph, the verse of Ya’ancha is to be repeated a second time.

Where:[93] The Psalm is to be recited within the recital of the bedtime Shema, prior to the blessing of Hamapil.

Being discreet:[94] One is to be discreet about this custom.

The Kavanos:[95] When reciting the above paragraph, one should do so with intent that G-d accept his recital as if it was done with all the proper [Kabbalistic] intents.

Bli Neder:[96] The above is to be done without it taking the status of a vow, [and hence one should explicitly intend to do so Bli Neder when first beginning this custom].

F. Regretting a pregnancy:[97] [Rebbe]

Feelings of regret on a pregnancy while pregnant can lead to a miscarriage G-d forbid. This applies whether the father or mother regrets the pregnancy, and certainly if both regret it.

G. Leap year:[98] [Achronim]

A leap year is dangerous for pregnant woman for them to have miscarriages.[99]

H. Pregnant wife of Kohen and other pregnant women visiting cemeteries:[100] [Achronim/Sichas Nashim/Tradition of some-No source]

Not married to Kohen: From the letter of the law, it is permitted for a pregnant woman to enter a cemetery.[101] However, many women are accustomed not to visit a cemetery when they are pregnant.[102] Those who have received such a custom are to abide by it.[103] However, it is permitted for them to visit the grave of a Tzaddik, or the grave of a loved one, on the day of the Yahrzeit and the like.[104] Many women are lenient in all cases, as is the letter of the law.[105]

Wife of a Kohen: It is permitted for the pregnant wife of a Kohen to enter a cemetery.[106] Nonetheless, some Poskim[107] rule it is proper to be stringent not to do so [even on a Yahrzeit or by Kivrei Tzaddikim]. This especially applies if she knows that the gender of the child is male[108] or she is at the end of her term and is ready for birth.[109] Nevertheless, even in such a case, most Poskim rule it is allowed from the letter of the law.[110]

I. The danger of stepping on nails-What is one to do with the nails after they are cut?[111] [Talmud/Shulchan Aruch/Shulchan Aruch Harav]

*See “Nails” for the full details of this subject!

Nails contain a certain impurity which can be lethal for the fetus of a pregnant woman, and cause a miscarriage heaven forfend, if she steps on it. For this reason, it is necessary to discard one’s nails properly to assure that a pregnant woman will not come to step on it.[112] [This applies towards nails of both males and females, and especially is relevant to the nails of a woman who is ritually impure.[113] Due to this reason pregnant women are to be aware not to walk in areas that contain nails.[114]]

J. Day 90 of pregnancy:[115] [Achronim]

It is forbidden to have intercourse on day 90 of pregnancy, due to danger to the fetus as it can cause miscarriage.[116] Nonetheless, in today’s times, one is not required to be stringent in this matter, and Shomer Pesaim Hashem.[117] [However, according to Kabbalah, this stringency applies even today.[118] Accordingly, some Poskim[119] conclude that it is proper to be stringent even today to avoid intercourse on the 90th day from her last Mikveh night, during pregnancy. However, there is no obligation to specifically calculate the 90th day and only if one happens to know it is it proper to abstain.]

K. Kvaterin:[120] [Achronim]

A pregnant woman should not be a Kvaterin. However, some Poskim[121] rule that this only applies if her pregnancy is recognizable.



 [1] See Igros Kodesh 12:284 and 15:66, printed in Shulchan Menachem 4:32; Ein Lamo Michshol 2 p. 263; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:454; 4:196; Even Pina 1:113

[2] See Ramban Darashta Vechakarta; Teshuvos Vehanhagos ibid; Igros Kodesh 15:64

[3] Michaber and Rama 179:1 regarding astrology and Goralos, and the same would apply here as well:; Chesed Lealafim 179:4

[4] Igros Kodesh 15:64

[5] Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 329; Kaf Hachaim 116:210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 120:1

[6] Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 251

[7] Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 251

[8] Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 251

[9] Admur Hilchos Shemiras Haguf Vinefesh 9; Pesachim 111a “Shelosha Ein Mimatzin Lo Mismatzin….Vehaisha”; Chochmas Adam Beis Yisrael p. 66; See Reish Lakish in Pesachim ibid who adds that one who walks between two date palms is liable for his life; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 111

Other opinions: The Tur and Michaber in his Shulchan Aruch, omit all the above Talmudic adherences, hence implying that they are no longer applicable today being that perhaps the evil spirit of this type has been nullified. Some indeed conclude that the custom today is not to be stringent in this, with exception to walk in between two women or men. [See Divrei Yatziv 31:15; Gam Ani Odecha p. 53]

[10] Shemiras Hanefesh ibid; By all these items the restriction is both against walking in between them as well as allowing them to be in between two people, as explicitly ruled in the Talmud ibid

[11] Admur ibid; Chochmas Adam ibid

[12] https:::en.wikipedia.org:wiki:Arecaceae see this link for the various species of palm trees that exists including the coconut palm

[13] Reish Lakish in Pesachim ibid

[14] Pesachim 111; Shemiras Hanefesh 329; Kaf Hachaim 116:210; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 120

[15] Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 259-260

[16] Gittin 38b

[17] Gittin 38b

[18] Gittin 38b

[19] Sukkah 29a

[20] Sukkah 29a; Bava Metzia 71a; Vayikra Raba 3; Sefer Chassidim 1075

[21] Sefer Chassidim 1075

[22] Sefer Chassidim 1076

[23] Sukkah 29a

[24] Sukkah 29a

[25] Sukkah 29a

[26] Sukkah 29a

[27] Sukkah 29a

[28] Avoda Zara 18b

[29] Tzavaas Rabbeinu Yehuda Hachassid 46; See Shivim Temarim ibid; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh 259 footnote 3[Lerner] 259

[30] Mechilta Mishpatim Parsha 20; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 260

[31] Sotah 38b; Kav Hayashar 26 in name of Zohar that whoever eats from his bread can die or fall sick

[32] See Sefer Chassidim 1073 and 1076; Maharam Merothenberg 246; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 260:2

[33] Admur 472:9; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 134

[34] Admur ibid; Michaber 472:3; Rambam Chametz Umatzah 7:8; Pesachim 108a “Perakdan”; Levush 472:3; Kaf Hachaim 472:17

Other reasons: Some write that one is to abstain from eating while lying on one’s front or back due to a choking hazard, as the food may enter the windpipe. [Rashi on Pesachim ibid] Although the other Mefarshim do not record this here, nonetheless, one is to be careful in this matter throughout the year, as danger is more severe than even a prohibition. [Kaf Hachaim 472:17]

[35] Admur ibid Michaber ibid; Rashi and Rashbam on Pesachim ibid

[36] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid; Pesachim ibid

The reason: As a) It is not considered the proper form of leaning, to lean on the right side, as one needs to eat with his right [hand]. [1st reason in Admur ibid; Rashbam ibid] and b) Furthermore, if one were to lean on his right side it could lead him into danger, as the esophagus [i.e. food pipe] is by the right while the trachea [i.e. windpipe] is by the left, and if he leans towards his right, the esophagus will be on bottom and the trachea on top. Now. This will consequently cause the epiglottis flap which covers the trachea [and protects it from swallowing foods while chewing] to slide open, and allow food to enter into the trachea, causing a potential danger of choking. [2nd reason in Admur ibid; Taz 472:2; M”A 472:4; Pesachim ibid as explains Rashbam; Beis Yosef 472; Bach 472; Kaf Hachaim 472:18]

[37] Rashbatz Yavin Shemua; M”B 472:11; Kaf Hachaim 472:20; See Chapter 4 Halacha 5 for a dispute regarding how a lefty should hold the Karpas, or any food when saying a blessing. Thus, the novelty here is that when one is required to lean, the lefty must hold it in his right hand according to all.

[38] Admur ibid; Rama 472:3; Tur 473; Terumas Hadeshen 136; Rosh Pesachim 10:20; Levush 472:3; Beis Yosef 472 in name of Ittur; Bach 472; Rashbatz Yavin Shemua; M”B 472:11; Kaf Hachaim 472:19-20

The reason: Being that one of the reasons behind leaning towards the left is to prevent a choking hazard, as explained above, therefore, even a lefty is to lean towards his left side, which is the left of the entire world. [Admur ibid] This overrides the first reason of “so one can eat with his natural eating hand” which for a lefty is his left hand, as danger is more severe than even a prohibition. [Terumas Hadeshen ibid; Kaf Hachaim 472:19]

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that a lefty is to lean towards his right side. [Siddur Yaavetz] However, even they agree that one who is ambidextrous, and uses both hands equally, is to lean on his left side, due to the danger. [Terumas Hadeshen ibid; Beis Yosef 472; Olas Shabbos 472:2; Kaf Hachaim 472:20]

[39] Taz 167:18; Rikanti in Taamei Hamitzvos; Shelah Miseches Pesachim Matzah Ashirah Derush 5; Besamim Rosh 169; Siddur Yaavetz; Kaf Hachaim 167:140; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 477:3

[40] Kaf Hachaim ibid in name of Ben Ish Chaiy that it is a danger to do so and one time an individual who gave Matzah to a gentile was told by the Ben Ish Chaiy that the gentile can cause him injury and indeed he was chased by that gentile with a sword later on that year

[41] Admur 475:11; Siddur Admur; Michaber 475:1; Rav Papa Pesachim 115b; See Kaf Hachaim 475:23-24

[42] The reason: The reason why [the entire Maror is to be dipped in the Charoses] is because there is a dangerous worm found in Maror called the Kafa which is killed by dipping it in the Charoses. We thus dip the Maror in the Charoses in order to prevent it from injuring anyone. [Admur ibid; Taz 475:4; Rashbam Pesachim ibid; Rabbeinu Chananel ibid; Rav Papa ibid] This worm is a type of worm that is Kosher, although cannot be eaten due to danger. [Mamar Mordechai 475:3; Kaf Hachaim 475:23] Alternatively, it is to dissipate a poisonous extract found in the Chazeres, and not to kill any worm. [Rashi ibid; Chok Yaakov 475:8; Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[43] Admur ibid; Siddur Admur; Peri Chadash 475:1; Kaf Hachaim 475:23

The reason: Some justify today’s custom of not dipping the entire Maror into the Charoses being that this worm is no longer commonly found amongst us. The reason for why even today some part of the Maror is nevertheless dipped into the Charoses, is because it is a Mitzvah to commemorate the clay used in Egypt during the slavery. [Admur ibid; Peri Chadash ibid; Rebbe Yochanon in Pesachim 116a]

The reason a blessing is not said over the Charoses: Although dipping the Maror into the Charoses is a Mitzvah as explained above, nevertheless, a blessing is not recited over it being that it is it is secondary to the Maror, and is exempt with the blessing of the Maror. [Admur ibid; Tur 475]

[44] Admur 473:50; Rama 473:7; Maharil Seder Haggadah p. 106 in name of Rokeiach; See Kaf Hachaim 473:163-168; Piskeiy Teshuvos 473:31; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 134:2-3

[45] Regarding the meaning these abbreviations: See Abudarham; Kaf Hachaim 473:166; The Yerushalmi states that these abbreviations were inscribed on the staff of Aaron.

[46] Admur ibid; M”A 473:29; Darkei Moshe 473:18; See Kaf Hachaim 473:167

[47] Siddur Admur; Mishnas Chassidim 11:2; Nehora Hashaleim; Kaf Hachaim 473:164

[48] Siddur Admur

[49] Haggadah of Rebbe

[50] Pesach Meubin 261; Kaf Hachaim 473:168

[51] Admur in Siddur; Chok Yaakov 473:37; Mishnas Chassidim 11:16

Other customs: Some are accustomed to discard the remainder of the wine and refill the cup anew. [Chok Yaakov ibid in name of Pesach Meubin 261; brought in Haggadah of Rebbe] Others are accustomed to use a different cup of wine for the sake of the pouring, as opposed to the second cup that was poured by Mah Nishtaneh. [Kaf Hachaim 473:165]

[52] Haggadah Chaim Lerosh; Piskeiy Teshuvos 473:31; So is the widespread custom

[53] P”M 498 A”A 24; Shemiras Hanefesh 334; Mishmeres Shalom Semachos Erech Mem 63; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 116; See Michaber Y.D. 339:1

[54] Darkei Teshuvah 179:23 in name of Shaar Shlomo 47

[55] See Rama Y.D. 177:1; Admur 301:33; Mishneh Shabbos 67a; See Rama Y.D. 178:1 “This is only forbidden if the clothing of the gentiles are worn by them for sake of frivolity [pritzus] or it is a gentile custom that has no logic behind it, as in such a case there is room to suspect that the custom derives from the Emorite customs, and that it derive from practices of idolatry passed down from their forefathers.”; Maharik 88; See Kapos Temarim Yuma 831 and Chavos Yair 234 that Darkei Emori applies towards practices that the gentiles developed as a result of idolatry, that they believed that these actions invoke their G-ds to give assistance. See also Ran on Shabbos 67a; See Admur 301:33 “Any medical treatment that works in accordance to Segulah [i.e. supernatural causes] rather than natural cause and effect [i.e. scientifically based] does not contain the prohibition of Darkei Emori so long as it is recognizable [to the onlookers] that it’s intent is for the sake of healing”; See Igros Moshe E.H. 2:13; Y.D. 4:11-4; O.C. 5:11-4; See Mishneh Halachos 12:137 “This is not a Jewish custom, and is certainly not a custom of meticulous Jews [i.e. Vasikin]…to recite ”Bless you” after a sneeze we have heard of, however what does this have to do with pulling at the ear, and one should not do so due to it being the ways of the gentiles”

[56] See Hagahos Maimanis Avoda Zara 11:1 in name of Yireim 313; Beis Yosef Y.D. 178; Sheiris Yaakov 12; Darkei Teshuvah Y.D. 179:30; Rashba 1:167; 825; 2:281; Halef Lecha Shlomo Y.D. 115; Talumos Leiv 3:57-3

[57] Shiltei Hagiborim Avoda Zara 9a, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 179:3; Possible understanding of Rama 179:3, as initially explained in Taz 179:2; See Yerushalmi Terumos 8:3 that one needs to suspect for that which people worry of danger; Sefer Chassidim 261 that there is danger involved in matters that people believe to be dangerous; Minchas Yitzchak 9:8


[59] Rama C.M. 422:1; Bava Kama 93a; Gittin 7a; Brachos 55a; Rosh Hashanah 16b; Tosafus Gittin 7a; Ritva Rosh Hashanah 16b; Sefer Chassidim 76; Aruch Hashulchan 422:3; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 29:14; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 231; Yalkut Yosef 280

[60] Opinion in Rama ibid; Ran on Rosh Hashanah ibid; Aruch Hashulchan ibid that no one argues on this

[61] Aruch Hashulchan 422:3

[62] Sefer Chassidim 76

[63] Darkei Moshe O.C. 617; Chagiga 9b regarding the mother of Acher; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 142:1

[64] Beis Lechem Yehuda 72:3; Kneses Hagedola; Mishmeres Shalom 72 S.D. 2; Ben Ish Chaiy Acharei 2:11

[65] Ben Ish Chaiy Acharei 2:11; Sefer Zechira Inyanei Netilas Yadayim

[66] Keser Torah Eitz Chaim 9:1; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 142:2

[67] Sefer Hamidos; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 142:3

[68] Maavor Yabok Mamar Sifsei Tzedek 5; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 142:4

[69] There is no source for prohibiting this, and it is not considered an all-encompassing practice of world Jewry that has the power of a set custom to obligate all Jewry to follow.

[70] Sheilas Rav 2:57 in reply of Rav Chaim Kanievsky

[71] Rav Eliyahu Landau wrote to me that that one may purchase without any worry, and that on this it states, “One who is not Makpid -Lo Kapdinan”, and that so is the custom that he witnessed.

[72] This follows the famous ruling of the Rashba [See Rashba 1:9; Heishiv Moshe 13; Aryeh Dbei Ilai Y.D. 19] that the Minhag of women is holy and is to be abided.  [Heard from Rav Leibel Groner who is of the opinion that one should guard this custom]

[73] Heard from Rav Leibel Groner

[74] See Nishmas Avraham p. 160

[75] Heard from Rabbi Leibel Groner, printed in “Healthy in Body Mind and Spirit” Vol. 2; Hiskashrus

[76] See Nishmas Avraham p. 160 that this is usually done in the first trimester and again in the third trimester.

[77] Heard from Rabbi Leibel Groner, printed in “Healthy in Body Mind and Spirit” Vol. 2; Hiskashrus

[78] Quoted in article of Rabbi Ginzburg in Hiskashrus

[79] Recorded in Hiskashrus, by Rav Ginzburg, based on information received from Rabbi Groner

[80] Nishmas Avraham ibid

[81] Midrash Bereishis Raba 65:12 and Yifei Toar there; Koheles Raba 11:5, unlike Pesachim 54b; Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 189:3; Torat Hayoledet 57:1 footnote 2

[82] Rafael Hamalach Mem; Chida in Ovodas Hakodesh 3:90 “It is the custom of the city, that one whose wife enters the 9th month of pregnancy, to perform Pesicha of the Heichal for that entire month. This is a good custom.”; Ledavid Emes 2:3 “It is the custom in some cities that when the wife enters the 9th month”; Yosef Ometz 57; Siddur Yaavetz 1:312; Sefer Hachaim [Falagi] 1:5; Ohel Yissachar 88:2; Keser Shem Tov [Gagin] 1:242 that so is custom of Eretz Yisrael; Igros Kodesh 5:327 [no mention is made of 9th month]; 6:27 [mentions 9th month]; 7:108 [no mention is made of 9th month]; Likkutei Sichos 17:470; See Chikrei Haminhagim 1:160-164

Other traditions: Birchas Efraim p. 35 writes a Mesorah in name of the Rashba to open the Aron for Anim Zemiros from when his wife enters the seventh month.

[83] So write Rafael Hamalach, Chida ibid in all his Sefarim, and all the other Sefarim ibid; However in Igros Kodesh ibid, two of the above three letters make no mention of the ninth month while one does. However, perhaps the questioner himself already mentioned in his letter that his wife was in her 9th month and to this came the reply. Rav Gavriel Tzinner relates in the name of Rav Groner that the Rebbe’s directives were specifically during the 9th month. [See Hearos Ubiurim 879; 636-639]

[84] Igros Kodesh ibid

[85] The reason: The opening of the Aron and removal of the Sefer Torah is a Segulah for Hashem to reciprocate and open his wife’s womb easily and without pain. [Rafael Hamalach ibid; Sefer Hachaim ibid]

[86] Sefer Hachaim ibid

The reason: The closing of the Aron is a Segulah for Hashem to reciprocate and close his wife’s womb easily after the birth. [Sefer Hachaim ibid]

[87] Rafael Hamalach ibid writes to add a prayer for one’s wife during the prayer of Berich Shmei, asking Hashem to open her womb without difficulty, just like he opened the Aron, and to merit him with a healthy child.

[88] Rebbe in Igros Kodesh 5:327 “Its proper to do so if doing so will not draw attention”; 6:27 “Without Belitos”

[89] Igros Kodesh ibid; Rabbi Groner relates that the Rebbe instructed many times for this custom to be followed during the 9th month. [Related by Rav Gavriel Tzinner in Hearos Ubiurim 879]

[90] The Rebbe instructed for the above directive of Segula to be omitted from the Sefer “Minhagei Chabad Beinyan Hirayon, Leida” of Rav Avraham Holtzberg, and indeed no mention of it is made there. [See Hearos Ubiurim 878; Kovetz Chasuna p. 32]

[91] Instruction of Rebbe recorded in letters: Igros Kodesh Vol. 4:454; 492; 5:105; 220; Heichal Menachem 3:190; Minhag Chabad recorded in: Koveitz Minhagei Chabad Inyanei Hirayon p. 13; See Chosen Yeshuos 1:90 footnote 4; Shevach Habris 23

Source of custom: While I have yet to find this custom recorded in reference to pregnancy, it is widely recorded in reference to birth. See Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Kerias Sefer Torah 4 and Sefer Toldos Yaakov of Maharam Gabbai and Siddur Arizal and Avodas Hakodesh of Chida “This Mizmor is good for arousing mercy on behalf of the woman giving birth as it has nine verses corresponding to the nine months of pregnancy, and contains seventy words corresponding to the seventy contractions of a woman giving birth”; See Yesod Veshoresh Havoda Shaar Hachamishi, Shaar Hakarban in name of Abudarham that “This Psalm is a Segula to be said during a difficult birth, as this Psalm contains 9 verses corresponding to the nine months of pregnancy.”; Likkutei Maharich 3 in name of Midrash Talpiyos Erech Leida

[92] In all the letters of the Rebbe, the Segula is written in reference to the husband. Possibly however, this does not come to exclude the wife, and hence she is to also say it. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[93] Igros Kodesh ibid

[94] Igros Kodesh 5:105 [Vetzaruch Iyun as to the reason and meaning behind this.]

[95] Igros Kodesh ibid

[96] Igros Kodesh 5:105

[97] Igros Kodesh 29 p. 30

[98] Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 268:4

[99] Levush O.C. 685; Bideiy Moshe on Midrash Raba Lech Lecha 47

[100] Minchas Yitzchak 10:42; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2:84-4

[101] Pashut as there is no source for forbidding it, and so is proved from the fact the Poskim [below] bring that even the wife of a Kohen that is pregnant may enter a cemetery, and as writes the Kneses Hagedola [brought in Birkeiy Yosef 343:4] that even by the pregnant wife of a Kohen those who are stringent are doing Minhag Borus [custom of ignorance], hence certainly the wife of a Yisrael is allowed.

[102] This custom has no known source. A number of possible reasons are suggested: 1) Perhaps this is due to the fact that it is proper for the pregnant wife of a Kohen to avoid a cemetery, and hence we see that the fetus can receive impurity. Now since we await the rebuilding of the Temple every day the women avoid going to a cemetery, as if the Temple is rebuilt while they are still pregnant, they will be able to give over their pure sons to perform the necessary actions required for the Para Aduma. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid; See Parah Mishneh 3:2] 2) Alternatively, it is because they desire to avoid any impurity during the pregnancy. [Nitei Gavriel ibid; See Sheivet Hamussar 24]

[103] Poskim ibid based on Rashba that we do not differ a tradition received from righteous women even if we have 600,000 proofs against it. [brought in Heishiv Moshe 13]

[104] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[105] Heard from Rav Asher Lemel Hakohen

[106] Shach Y.D. 371:1; Rokeiach 366; M”A 343:2; Radbaz 200; Kneses Hagedola [brought in Birkeiy Yosef 343:4-there he writes it’s a Minhag Borus to be stringent] Derech Hachaim; Chochmas Adam 160:1; Kitzur SHU”A 202:15; M”B 343:3; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 371:1; Gilyon Maharsha 371; Darkei Chesed p. 208

The reason: As there is a Safek Sfeika; perhaps the fetus is a female and perhaps it will be a stillborn. [Shach ibid; Rokeiach ibid] Alternatively a fetus cannot receive impurity as it is considered within a Beis Hablia. [M”A ibid; Radbaz 200, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 371:1; See there that even the Rokeiach agrees to this.] Others however argue that a fetus is considered part of the mother [Yerech Imo] and hence can contract impurity even during pregnancy. [Birkeiy Yosef 343:1]

[107] Birkeiy Yosef 343:4; Kaf Hachaim 343:4; Minchas Yitzchak 1042

The reason: As if in truth the child is a boy, he contracts impurity. [This is proven from fact the Rokeiach only allows it due to Safek Sfeika. See previous footnote for the dispute regarding Beis Hablia] Hence, it is proper to initially avoid doing so. [ibid]

[108] As then there is no longer a Safek Sfeika according to the Rokeiach [as learns Birkeiy Yosef ibid], although according to many Poskim this would still remain permitted being that the fetus is considered within a Beis Hablia, as brought from M”A ibid and Radbaz ibid and so is evident from other Poskim mentioned in next footnote] See Even Yisrael 8:77 that deals with this question in regards to giving birth in a hospital that is not careful about Tumas Meis. He concludes there that ultrasounds are not 100% accurate, and that it is for the needs of a Yoledes who is in Sakana and hence she may choose to go to whatever hospital she wishes. Nevertheless, she is not initially to take an ultrasound and hence remove the Safek Sfeika. This is all with regards to which hospital to give birth and does not relate to a pregnant woman entering a Beis Hakevaros if she knows the child is male. It is understood that in such a case there are more Poskim who rule stringently.

[109] Sheilas Yaavetz 2:174 forbids in such a case [as the child may be born]; opinion in Darkei Chesed p. 208; Most Poskim however permit even in such a case, as the Safek Sfeika still remains. [M”B 343:3; Radbaz ibid brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid, that this was the original case of allowance written by the Rokeiach; Betzeil Hachochmah 3:105]

[110] See previous footnotes; and so ruled to me Harav Asher Lemel Cohen that practically it is not accustomed to being stringent.

[111] Admur 260:4; M”A 260 Hakdama; Kneses Hagedola 241; Ateres Zikeinim 241; M”B 260:6; Nida 17a; Moed Katan 18a; Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116:92; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 68:14 footnote 15 in length

[112] Based on Kabala the nails contain danger towards all people, and are not just limited to pregnant women. [Likkutei Maharich based on Zohar Acharei 39; See also Poskim in next footnote regarding a woman who is ritually impure] It is clear however from Admur and the Poskim/Talmud [which allow discarding it in a Beis Midrash that it is only a danger for pregnant women.

Liability for one who caused a woman to miscarry due to throwing his nails in a walking area: It requires further analysis as to the level of liability one carries if he caused a woman to miscarry due to him not being careful to put his nails away properly. [See Mishneh Halachos 5:265; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 68:19 footnote 21]

[113] This refers to any woman who is a Nida, until she purifies herself in a Mikveh. [Bach and Beis Yosef Y.D. 198 in name of Rokeiach; Yesod Veshoresh Havoda Shaar Hakolel 6 based on Zohar Pinchas 248; Kitzur SHU”A 161:8 “If her husband or other person steps on it is dangerous for them”; See Betzeil Hachochmah 2:35; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 68:20] The nails of a Niddah are even more severe than the nails of a regular person, as the danger of stepping on the nails of a Niddah is for all people and not just for a pregnant woman. Likewise, by the nails of a Niddah it does not help to sweep the nails to a different area to cease the danger. [Betzeil Hachochmah 2:35]

[114] For the need of a mitzvah: Vetzaruch Iyun if doing so is necessary for the need of a Mitzvah. [Toras Hayoledes 60 footnote 9; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 68:18]

[115] M”A 240:5; See Nitei Gavriel 103:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:8; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 13:5; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 127:8

[116] M”A 240:5; Niddah 31a; Menoras Hama’or Ner Gimel Klal Vav 5:1; Zohar Shemos 3; Peri Eitz Chaim 16:11; Oar Tzadikim 27:1; Kaf Hachaim 240:22

The reason: One who has relations on this night is considered a murderer, as doing so can kill the child. [M”A ibid in name of Zohar ibid]

[117] M”A 240:5; Abayey in Niddah ibid

The reason: As it is not possible to know definitively which day is the 90th day of pregnancy. [Niddah ibid] As not always does she become pregnant right after Mikveh. [Aruch Laneir Niddah ibid; Noda Beyehuda; Mishneh Halachos 11:193]

[118] Peri Eitz Chaim ibid, brought in M”A ibid; Kaf Hachaim 240:22

[119] Shevet Halevi 3:113; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:8; Nitei Gavriel Niddah 2:103 footnote 3; Sheyikadesh Atzmo ibid

[120] Bris Avos 5:26; Likkutei Sichos 22:56-58; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 152:1; See Shevach Habris 1:17 and footnote 29

[121] Minchas Elazar on Sefer Zocher Habris; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 152:2

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