q&a page  3

101) Q: First of all thank you so much for the great mitzvah you have undertaken in Chinuch. I no longer can say I did not know …therefore I can do…. My question relates to the saying of the “after bracha”. After having made Havdala should I recite the Al HaGefen as I have drunk the cup of wine?
A: Yes, Al HaGefen must be recited after reciting Havdalah and drinking the cup of wine. Of course, if less than a revi’is was drunk, the Al HaGefen is not said. However, ideally a revi’is should be drunk, and thus Al HaGefen will be required.

102) Q:[You wrote:]“All the Halacfchos of Chazaras HaShatz apply as well to the Bracha M’Ein Sheva that is said by the Ba’al Tefilah on Friday nights after Maariv (Baruch Ata…Mogen Avos B’Devaro…Mekadesh HaShabbos”) (Kaf HaChaim Siman 124:16)” Does this apply as well that the SHATZ should keep both feet together?  Bow during ‘Boruch Ata’? as a regular Chazaras Hashatz?
A: This is a machlokes HaPoskim. The Mekor Chaim, Tzitz Eliezer and others hold that  he should bow. Other Poskim including Shaarei Zevulun, Yabia Omer, Shu”t Zeh HaShulchan hold that it is forbidden to bow then. The Shu”t B’Tzel HaChachma Vol. 4 Siman 111 says the Machlokes is  if we hold it is exactly like Chazaras HaShatz (and thus should bow) or it is not exactly like Chazaras HaShatz (and thus may not add extra bowings beyond  Shemona Esrei). I didn’t see anyone discuss what position the feet must be in, but that again would probably be dependant on the above Machlokes.

Therefore, according to the Kaf HaChaim that I mentioned in the Halachos, it would be required to  keep feet togetehr and bow at “Baruch Ata”. This seems to be how most contemporary Poskim say to do it. I saw in the Sefer “Tefilah K’Hilchaso” that he quotes Rav Elyashiv shlita that M’Ikar HaDin it shouldn’t be done, but since this is the Minhag of most of Klal Yisroel, it should not be stopped.

103)Q: First of all, thank you so much for the daily halachos.  I am learning so much and I appreciate all of your efforts; you are doing great things! My question is:  If you eat fruit/candy/ice cream/ etc. after a bread-meal, you make a separate bracha on the dessert.  But do you also make a new bracha on dessert after a non-bread meal???  What if the dessert was on the table at the time that you made the bracha on the meal-food?
A: If the “dessert” food ,or any other food or drink  throughout the meal, is of a variety whose Bracha you did not yet make, then surely you make a new Bracha.

If the new food is of a variety whose Bracha you did make, then it would depend on a few things to determine if you need a new Bracha or if the new food itemis exempt. The following is by no means an exhaustive synopsis of Hilchos Brachos, as that would be impossible  in this email. Rather they are a few general rules to help you determine the right   Halacha in your situation.
a) When making the original Bracha, you must have in mind that you want this Bracha to cover any other items that have the same Bracha that may be brought out  within this meal, even if they arent presently on the table.
b) The new food must be less “Choshuv- important”, otherwise a new Bracha is required. For example, if you make a bracha on an orange  and later on they bring out grapes or another of the “7 species” a new Bracha is required. Likewse a Mezonos  on  rice will not cover cake. (Unless you had specific intent  at the time of the Bracha to cover the more choshuv item as well. Also, if one likes the less Choshuv item more than he/she likes the more Choshuv item, then B’Dieved you do not make another Bracha on the item you like less, even if it is intrinsically more Chashuv.)
c) If when you made the Bracha you did not have any other food/drink in mind,  the things that were on the table at the time of the Bracha are exempt (besides the more Chashuv foods, which are not exempt even if they were on the table, without special intentto exempt them).  Whatever is brought in afterwards, if it is not the same type of food, needs a new Bracha. (There are certain exceptions to this rule as well, depending if any of the original food that you made a Bracha on is still on the table). If it is the same type of food (another orange) then according to some Rishonim no new Bracha is required. B’Dieved, we rule like this opinion.
d) If one usually eats a certain food/drink together with or immediately after a different food ( e.g. A glass of cola is alwas drunk with his/her fried chicken), then even without having any specific  intentions, we assume that he/she  did have that intention and no second Bracha is required when the second food/drink  is brought to the table.
e) Some Poskim (including Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita) rule that if you are sitting down to a “meal” even if no bread is being eaten, it is considered like a meal and one Bracha Rishona exempts everything of that variety of Bracha that comes afterwards, as that is a normal practice today to eliminate the bread form a “meal”. According to this opinion, it may indeed exempt “dessert” food that is of the same variety that you already made a Bracha on, even if it wasn’t on the table at the time.
Please keep in mind that these halachos are very complex, and a very small variation in practice or intent can totally change the halacha requirement.
For Halacha L’Maaseh in your specific situations, please consult your Rav.
 

104)Q: Do men have halachos of tznius?Is having sheva brachos with men and women who arent married at separate tables halachicaly wrong or is it just a sensitivity?
A: Of course men have Hilchos Tzniyus! It just manifests itself in different ways than women.  (Click Here for archives and see   Halachos for August 13 etc.). Tzniyus is an attitude. Tziyus is a way of life. Tzniyus is in how we act, how we talk, how we interact with one another, how we behave in public, how we behave in private, how we think, how we dream, who we are friends with, who our role models are, who we respect, who we look up to, how we raise our children, which music we listen to, which publications we bring into our home and read,  etc. etc.
Regarding the Sheva Brachos, men and women, should not sit at the same tables, and should preferably  have a Mechitza (or at least some visible separation such as a buffet table etc. dividing them). Though this isn’t necessarily strict Halacha, it can definitely lead to many Halachic problems if they arent separated properly. Also, even if it’s only a “sensitivity” issue, it should still be avoided for that reason. Tzniyus issues apply  to single people as well as to married people.
 

105) Q: The Olam on the bus [where we review your Halachos onthe way to work] wanted to know the mekor of the minhag is to take the 3 steps back before [beginning] Shemona Esrai and why we should begin those 3 steps with the right foot? Also the olam asked if a lefty actually has a weaker foot  as implied by the halacha that after the shemona Esrai lefty takes his first step backward with the right foot? Also if you are sitting in your seat for the shmona esrei due to the bus moving around, do you still move your feet back 3 steps and forward since you are not moving at all (this is obviously different than the case of the wheelchair that you brought down since in that case your body is moving backward and forward) Thank you as always, we have such a geshmak with these halachos. Someone actually told us this morning that he takes our bus just so that he can hear the divrei halacha!!

 

A:1) The Mishna Berura quotes the Elya Rabba that there is no need to take the 3 steps back before taking the three steps forward but he says thatthe The prevalent Minhag is indeed to take the 3 steps backwards  The Steipler's Minhag was  like the Elya Rabba not to take the three steps backward, and simply to move up three steps and begin Shemona Esrei (Orchos Rabeinu Vol. 1 Siman 193)

 

The Poskim say that it is correct to take these three steps  (both backwards and forwards) beginning with the right foot, unlike after finishing Shemona Esrei when the left foot goes first. See Mishna Berura Siman 123:13. The reason for the weak foot  first after Shemona Esrei, is so it shouldnt seem like we are eager to leave the presence of the Shechina. So when we are ready to start Shemona esrei and stand before the Shechina, we do indeed do this with our stronger  first first, which apparently gets there quicker ,thus the difference for righties and lefties whose feet are not of the same strength either halachically.

 

2) Regarding the three steps back on the bus, if it isnt possible to do this while standing, and isnt possible to somehow move your whole body backwards, then indeed you should move your feet backwards to sort of be yotzei the inyan of "3 steps". The Gemara Yoma 53b says that  one who doesnt take three steps back is better off not davening at all, so we try to do whatever is possible to at least mimick these three steps whenthey cant be done in a normal way.

 

 

106) Q: In a previous Q and A, you said that if you were not sure whether you had enough [to eat] for a Borei Nefashot, you can ask someone to Motzei you. I thought that this prayer was one that you could not include others on?

 

A: Why would this Bracha be one that someone else cannot be Motzei you??? Although not ideal, in certain situations it is acceptable, and in fact the best option.

Follow up Question from the same reader, on what I answered: Well, for instance Birchat Hamazon you can not say for others, correct? I thought the 3 faceted blessing was the only one you could say for another  with them in mind.

A: Why do you assume  by Birchas Hamazon  that one cannot be Motzei another?

 

I n fact, The  Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 213:2 and 3  and other Poskim say that for Birchas HaMazon L'Chatchilah one person can indeed be Motzei other people. In fact if you read the text inside, you will see that by Birchas HaMazon it  is more universally accepted to do this in the first place, whereas by Bracha Achrona it is only acceptable in special circumstances, as I will outline below:

 

Although it is best to make a Bracha on your own, if one isn't sure if he made a Bracha  Rishona he may  ask someone else to be Motzei him L'chatchilah. See Mishna Berura Siman 167:49. See Biur Halacha Siman 174  toward the end of Dibur HaMaschil Yayin Poter.

 

The same Halacha applies when one is unsure if he can make a Brocha Achrona  of Al haMichya or Borei Nefashos(or one who is  unable to say it, or doesnt know it by heart etc.) he/she  may ask someone else to be Motzei them. This is the opinion of the Rashba always, and we pasken this way in circumstances where one cannot make it him/herself. See Taz Siman 213:1. and Mishna Berura Siman 213:9.

 

A male over the age of 13 may be Motzei any one individual or an entire group. A female  over the age of 12  may be motzei any one individual or a group of women, but cannot be motzei a group of men (Psak of Rav Shlomo zalmen auerbach quoted in  Halachos of Brochos by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner)

 

 

a boy under 13 and a girl under 12 may be Motzei other Children, but not adults

 

 

107) Q: Does one have to stop davening completely when KADDISH is said?    Also  can one answer to KEDDUSHA,   BARACHU etc.  after Zman Tefilah?

A: 1) I am assuming you are asking if you are in the middle of Shemona Esrei. Yes, when Kaddish is being said it is best to stop and listen to the “Amen Yehei Shemei Rabbah” of Kaddish until after “Yisbarach” (according to the Mishna Berura 104:27) or until after “D’Amiran B’Alma V’Imru Amen” (according to the Machtzis HaShekel), without actually saying the words. The same applies to anytime during the rest of davening that you hear “Amen Yehei Shemie Rabbah”, though very often you  may even be permitted to answer, and not just listen, depending on which part of the rest of davening you are holding.
2)  B’Dieved, under certain circumstances (Oin’es etc.) one who davens after Zman tefilah, though he doesnt have Kiyum of Tefilah B’Zmanah can still daven until Chatzos, and if you hear kadish or Kedusha from such a minyan, you may indeed answer. However if one is davening after 1/2 hour after Chatzos he isn’t Yotzei and his Brachos are L’vatalah. (See  Biur Halacha Siman 89 Dibur Hamaschil V’Achar). Therefore, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita Paskens that it is forbidden to answer Amen to Kadish, Kedusha etc. of such a minyan. The Maharam Shik Siman 91, however seems to be matir to answer (his case discusses one davening Mincha after the zman) as does the Eishel Avraham (Butchatch) Siman 108.
 

108)Q: Does one have to make a brocha achronah  on a hot drink?  e.g. coffee ?
A: This is a huge Machlokes HaPoskim. The Chasam Sofer’s minhag was to recite  a Borei Nefashos after drinking a hot tea (Shu”t MaHaram Shick 85 and Siman 263.Incidentally, in Minhagei Chasam Sofer they write that he used to request his tea to be extra piping hot! Yet he still paskened like this. See also Sh”ut Maharam Shik Orach Chaim Siman 85).
The accepted Psak  however(as the Mishna Berura  beginning of Siman 210 writes) is as follows: Unless a revi’is is drunk at one time, in a short amount of time (which isnt usually possible with hot drinks) a Borei Nefashos isn’t made. The best thing to do is to drink the last revi’is  2-4 ounces after they have cooled, in one gulp thus you will need to make Borei Nefashos according to all opinions. see archives of Hilchos Brachos , Halachos for August 5 2009 for more sources about this.

109)Q: Can one use  moist  hand or face wipes  when one needs to clean his hands  in situations  when one is required to clean his hands   e.g.  before davening  mincha  or after one touched a [usually covered] part of his body?
A: Ideally one should wash his hands with water, as we discussed in the Halachos (CLICK HERE to see archives of Hilchos Tefilah and see Halachos for  October 12 ). If water isn’t available then  the hands can be cleaned with other items, presumably a moist wipe would be just as good as a different cloth, which is one of the accepted substitutes.

110)Q: [You wrote]: “The “Kedusha” consists of the phrases “Kadosh…”, “Baruch…” [and according to some opinions, also "Yimloch..."]. Any additional stanzas that are added on Shabbos and Yom Tov aren’t really part of the “Kedusha” Therefore, if one is middle of his/her own silent Shemona Esrei when the Chazzan reaches Kedusha. They need to stop and “listen” (or if in middle of Elokai Netzor, stop and recite) to only the above two [or three, according to the opinions that count "Yimloch"] sentences, and then can continue their silent Shemona Esrei.” Isn’t this considered a hefsek {Shomea K’oneh}of my tifilah that I am in the middle of?
A: That’s a very good question. It seems from the Poskim that “Shomea K’Oneh” would only be a Hefsek if you are stopping to listen to something that is a Chiyuv Gamur for you to say, thus by listening via “Shomea K’Oneh” it would be like you actually said it and be a Hefsek. For this reason, Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal paskens that you may not listen to Havdalah while in the middle of Shemona Esrei, whereas kaddish and Kedusha isn’t a Chiyuv gamur for you to say, so even though you are being Yotzei by listening, it isn’t as if you said it and thus isn’t a Hefsek. Regarding listening to Krias HaTorah while in middle of Shemona Esrei, Rav Shlomo Zalmen held it’s a hefsek. The Chazon ish held not to do it, but if done, you are Yotzei.

113)Q:Can a mourner for a parent (an Avel) , within the twelve months of mourning, lead Mincha on Erev Shabbos ? What are the sources for your decision ? In addition, does a mourner within the twelve months lead Mincha and/or Maariv on Chanukah ?

A:The Poskim discuss the times when an Avel should not daven, and I have not found anyone who says that Mincha on Erev Shabbos is one of those times(That doesnt mean that the opinion doesn’t exist, it just means I didn’t find it). In fact, in the Sefer Pnei Baruch (Siman 35) he quotes the father of the shl”a HaKadosh who says that on days when Tachnun is not recited (which would presumably be the reason for the minhag not to daven on Erev Shabbos at Mincha, if such a minhag even  exists) it is in fact a Mitzvah for an Aveil to daven for the Amud.   The Mishna Berura too (Siman 581:7) writes that one may daven on a day that Tachnun isn’t recited. In fact the Pnei Baruch also writes there that this that Aveilim do not daven on Shabbos is only a minhag, but there is no Issur! The time when the Aveilim do not daven is when ” LamnaTzeach …Yaancha Hashem B’Yom Tzara/Tziduk HaDin” is not recited. And even then it is a Machlokes HaPoskim as to which Tefilos are better for an aveil to not be the Shliach Tzibbur. On Rosh Chodesh some Poskim say that an Avel should not daven at all, while others maintain that only for Halel and Musaf he shouldn’t lead, butShachris,  Maariv and Mincha are OK. Others maintain that for Shachris too he shouldnt be the ba’al Tefilah. (See Mishna Berura ibid.) On Chanukah an Aveil may daven Mincha and Maariv, but not Shachris and Halel. (See Mishna Berura 683:1 and 671:44) There are Poskim who maintain that on Chanuka, even for Mincha and Maariv, an Aveil should not daven for the Amud (Shu”t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 1 Siman 443 says this was the opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal. See also Shu”t Divrei Moshe Siman 84) For a final ruling, a Rav should be consulted, of course or at least the Gabbai of the Shul who may know the “Minhag HaMakom”, which should be followed.

114)Q: [You wrote regarding one who hears kedusha while in the middle of the silent Shemona Esrei:] “(or if in middle of Elokai Netzor, stop and recite) to only the above two [or three, according to the opinions that count "Yimloch"] sentences, and then can continue their silent Shemona Esrei.”  I  think you should tell the audience that the Mishna Brura says this is only b’dieved, and le-chatchila one should end any tachanunim one is saying (including Elokai Netzor) and step back so that he can say the full Kedusha (or Kaddish).
A: The Shulchan Aruch  Siman 122 does say that you should shorten your Shemona Esrei (i.e. stop saying Elokai Netzor) and take three steps back so you can say Kedusha properly. However, the Mishna Berura says that  if you are doing this, you must first say “Yihyu L’Ratzon”  and not simply take three steps back in middle of Elokai Netzor. However, the Poskim do allow  a person to simply answer the 2 (or 3) verses in middle of Elokai Netzor and then continue where they stopped, especially if a person has certain Bakashos he really wants to daven for in Elokai Netzor.

115)Q: I was wondering: if I am a lefty, should I be walking the three steps forward[when starting Shemona Esrei] with my left foot first and the three backwards [after Shemona Esrei] with my right foot?
A: Yes, you should take the three steps forward (approaching Hashem)  with your stronger foot, thus a lefty would do this with the left foot. When “taking leave of Hashem” after Shemona Esrei, start with your weaker foot, thus a lefty would start with the right foot.

116)Q: Should a wife light [the Chanuka menorah] before the husband comes home from work if [ by the time he comes home]it will be after the zman? and should the husband wait for the wife if she is not home at the zman?(and let her light on her own when she comes home).  Lastly what should one do if he is at a chanukah party and the zman hadlaka arrives. he will not be in his house until later. what should one do? not leave his own house until he lights?
A: The wife should wait for the husband and the husband should wait for the wife and light when both are present, as long as they will all get together before the time of “Tichle Regel min HaShuk- when people are no longer in the streets”.
If her husband is away and will not be back until very late that night after most people are already sleeping, the woman should light at the proper time.
The reason for this is because today that we light inside it is more important to light when everyone [in the family] is present and get the Pirsumei Nisa, rather than  light alone at the ideal time. (See Shulchan Aruch and Ram’a Siman 672:2. The Seforim also quote a Mekor Chaim  that says that it is best to wait until the entire family is present. The Nemukei Orach Chaim says that a lot of Chasidic Rebbes also light very late as they want all the Chasidim to be present and thus get more Pirsumei Nisa. See also Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 3 Siman 30:3 and Shu”t Shevet halevi Vol. 4 Siman 66 for  various variations in this Halacha as far as what time is considered ” Tichle Regel” in today’s days.)

119)Q: You mentioned (See Archives Hilchos Chanukah Here, halachos for  Dec. 19 2008 where we discussed the Issur of playing Kvitlach)  that “Kvitlach” is unfortunately prevalent in today’s times, and that it is a “minhag” that is improper and bottom line leads to a situation of moshav leitzim. First of all, is it really something that is common these days that the Biur Halacha and Aruch Hashulchan felt the need to mention its severity?! Besides, where would the heter even be found for such a “minhag” to allow it to take place to begin with (how did something like this start anyway)? Also, I learned somewhere (don’t remember where) that playing Dreidel (even with money) is a minhag that is acceptible and even advocated for? If that’s the case, can you please explain why one is allowed and the other isn’t? I take it the nafka mina would be the actual cards…
A: I am happy to hear that in your circles it isn’t a prevalent minhag!
But unfortunately in many circles (I will not identify any specific communities, neighborhoods or sects) it is quite common to have these “games”. I have witnessed these games and been invited to them on more than one occasion (though, after a while of turning down these “invitations” they stopped coming Baruch Hashem)
Dreidel, on the other hand is an acceptable game (And its origin has sources in Sefarim HaKedoshim as Minhag Yisroel. See Taamei HaMinhagim Os 859) as long as the “pot” of money is designated to belong to everyone, and thus it wouldn’t be gambling, and also no real money is at risk. The Chasam Sofer was known to play dreidel on Chanukah and it is the Minhag of various Chasidic Rebbes to do so as well. (See Piskei Teshuvos Siman 670:4 for more on this topic).

120) Q: Firstly, your site is absolutely wonderful and a very convenient way to learn a little Torah each day…
…I had an interesting question regarding snow and hilchos shabbas. What is the reason for snow being “muktzah”? (which I know is a very misunderstood category of hilchos shabbas to begin with) What melachos would be involved in playing with snow? Or sweeping it out of the way (not shoveling, but with one’s boot for example) to make a path easier to walk on? Just curious…because it snowed this passed Shabbas!
A: Snow which fell on Shabbos, according to many Poskim, is muktzah do to its being “Nolad”, something which came into existence on Shabbos, and thus couldnt have been set aside before Shabbos for any permitted use. Moreover, even snow that fell before Shabbos, according to these Poskim, is “Muktzah Machmas Gufo- intrinsically Muktzah” do to it not having any use as animal feed or any other use (similar to a rock or sand) (Opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal , quoted in Sefer Tiltulei Shabbos and others)
Some Poskim rule that snow( as long as it’s not too dirty to use] is not Muktzah, even if it fell on Shabbos (as the water which formed the snow was in existence before Shabbos, thus it isn’t Nolad). Even according to these Poskim, it is still prohibited to form “snowballs” or “snowmen” on Shabbos. (Opinion of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso and others)
According to Rav Shlomo Zalmen Zatazl it would be permitted to clear a path of snow on Shabbos regardless when it fell.  If by clearing the path it will prevent people from Chas V’Shalom slipping and getting injured, it would probably be permitted according to Rav Moshe Zatzal as well.
Follow Up Question from same reader: Just a follow up question to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s psak in the last part about clearing a path, would that make shoveling mutar? or melacha? does he mean clearing a path just with a boot or by means of walking on it? or is a “kli” for removing snow permitted?
 

If it isn’t easily moved with your foot, a shovel can be used, especially if being done to prevent injury R”L. Though it is best to use it with a Shinui (in a different manner than it is used during the week) if possible. It is also best to designate the shovel before Shabbos for such a use, to satisfy all opinions. (based on Psak of Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso)
 

121)Q: I just read your answer about the eggs/onions/etc. Wow! I never knew that – so does that mean the same thing if it was left overnight INSIDE the refrigerator? If I have a salad or tuna fish with scallions/onions in it and it’s a lot so I want to refrigerate it, I can’t? Also, on the topic of onions, I once heard that there’s something special about them (and I heard there are a few other foods that I do not know about) in reference to kosher – like milk and meat – something to do with it being “spicy….”?

A:Being in the refrigerator doesnt help. However as it said in the answer:  “if the onion was prepared and mixed with other foods ( salt, oil, mayonaisse, etc.) there is no problem and it may be prepared and left overnight and eaten the next day.”
Therefore your onions which were part of a salad or tuna, are OK.
Regarding your second question: Yes, Onions and a few other “sharp” foods are considered “Davar Charif- sharp item” and therefore have special Halachos when it comes to Kashrus. For example, an onion that was cut in half with a Fleishig knife becomes Fleishig. Onions that were fried in a milchig frying pan, become milchig etc.

Follow Up Question from same reader regarding my response: With regard to the “davar charif” laws – does that mean if I cut an onion with a meat knife and then mix it in with a salad (neither meat nor dairy) I should not use a dairy utensil? And does that make me actually “meat” – like would I wait for 6 hours before dairy?
A:Yes, the salad that contains onions cut with a Fleishig knife, should preferably not be eaten with a Milchig utensil, as it very possibly has rendered the entire salad Fleishig. (There are too many variables to this which may change the Halacha, but its  too lengthy  a discussion for this email)
If the knife in question was clean when the onion was cut, then there is no need to wait six hours after eating the salad before eating milchig again. (Chidushei Rav Akiva Eiger to Yoreh Deah Siman 89. This is also the ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, as heard from Rav Yisroel Reisman Shlita, as in this case the “Fleishig” is not Moshech Ta’am.). However, if you are Fleishig, you  need to wait 6 hours before eating a Davar Chariif that was cut with a milchig knife, according to many Poskim.

122)Q: 1) [You wrote regarding sucking a candy before davenig]” The “eating” that is prohibited before davening is only a “Kzayis” or more, according to the Poskim. I imagine your sucking candy is smaller than a Kzayis, and thus would be OK, especially if it is being eaten to help you learn.” My understanding is that that if one waits a kdei achilas pras (I would think le-chumra 9 minutes) one can eat another one without problems.  2) Concerning Channuka lights, can one wait until after the brochos to light the candle that he holds in his hand to light all the others or is that a hefsek between the brochos and the lighting?
A: 1)True, after 9 minutes another one can bem surely be eaten without a problem[ and it won't be Mitztaref to the first one for the shiur].
2)It is probably better to have the candle you are using to light with, lit before you start the Brachos. Though, if it’s not I doubt it is a real Hefsek as it is being done for the sake of the Chanukah lights.

123)Q: I want to  know if its against the halacha to copy music from other people. Some people claim its not, since you’re not actually stealing something.
A: Firstly, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal and other Poskim (including Rav Shmuel Wosner Shlita, Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg Shlita and Rav Yisroel Belsky Shlita) , you are prohibited from copying any item that has been created by someone else, if that person is selling it. This would apply to jewelry, art, Sefarim…and copying Torah or music tapes as well. The reason is that doing so will cause the creator of the item to lose sales, and thus lose money due to your action and is Gezeilah (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 40:19)
Therefore, many of today’s Poskim pasken that if you bought the tape, CD or music download and you want to make an additional copy for yourself (let’s say to keep one at home and one in the car) it would be permitted, as most people don’t, and wouldn’t, buy two copies, and making the second copy for yourself is not causing the creator to lose a sale. But to copy someone else’s CD for your own use is prohibited.
The fact that a song is an “intellectual creation” makes no difference, and one who steals it is guilty of the sin of stealing.  This is especially true if the music CD in question is specifically sold on this condition (as most are today) which in most cases can withhold certain “rights” from the buyer, thus one cannot claim that “I bought it, and it is now mine to with as I please, including copying etc.)
Furthermore when there are copyright laws in effect which prohibit the copying of the music, it would also be prohibited Halachically based on the concept of “Dina D’Malchusa Dina- that a Jew must obey the civil laws of the host country he/she resides in” (See Shach Yoreh Deah 165:8)
Although certain Rabbanim have ruled that even for personal use (as a second copy) is prohibited, one may rely on the above Poskim and indeed make a copy for personal use. However, one who relies on “Heterim” to initially copy a music CD or download is probably transgressing a “D’Oraisa” of Geneiva. (Is it really worth becoming a thief to save $14.99?)
 

124)Q: You mentioned that Al Hanisim is to be recited in the Birchas Hamazon[ on Chanukah], why not in the Al HaMichya {Mein Shalosh} that is recited after cake, wine and such?  We insert for all other special days Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, Yom Tov, but not Chanukah or Purim { Al Hanisim }.  Why?

A: Because we don’t mention Hod’aah at all  in Al HaMichya, thus there is no place for us to insert Al Hanisim, which is an addendum of Hoda’ah and not simply a Hazkarah of the Yom.(See  Shu”t MaHaram  Siman 30. His words are quoted in Hagahas Maimoni Hilchos Brachos Perek 3 Os 30. See also Bais Yosef Siman 208 Dibur Hamaschil “V’Tzarich L’Hazkir”)


 

125)Q: firstly, regarding "Al Hanissim" in middle of birkas hamozan- whats that small tefillah that one puts in in case he forgets to say it and reminds himself before "hurachamon"?

2nd of all, just last night, after candle lighting, i decided that instead of just wasting my time by the candles with shmoozing, i will use my precious time to say "Perek Shira" As i was in middle of saying it, some of my family members claimed that one is not permitted to say it at night, since it entails lots of pesukim from Tehillim. I always knew that perek shira one can say any hour of the day/ night. is that not correct?

Also, if you can provide any insight as to why one cannot say Tehillim at night i would greatly appreciate it.



A: 1) The accepted Nusach to say is "HaRachaman Hu Yaaseh Lanu nisim V'Niflaos k'mo SheAsisa L'Avoseinu Bayamin Hahem BaZman HaZeh. BiMei MaTisyahu...." (seeBais Yosef Siman 187 and Siman 682. See also Ram'a Siman 187:4 for a slightly different Nusach)

2) I commend you for spending the time after Hadlokas neiros doing something meaningful. The subject of saying Tehilim/ pesukim at night is a fascinatiing one, and there are many different opinions about this. If Tehilim is prohibited at night, it would only because of its status as "Torah Sh'Biksav", and not intrinsically because it is Tehilim.

 I will list a few of the many Mekoros for this:

*The Be'er Heitev on Orach Chaim Siman 238 quotes the Arizal who says that one shouldn't study "Mikrah- Torah sheBiksav" by night.  The Seforim say that the aforementioned Arizal does not apply to Thursday Night/Friday mornings.

* The reason for this is obviously Kabalistic (See the Artzos HaChaim (Malbim) Siman 1:36. See also Yesod V'Shoresh H'Avodah Sha'ar 6;HaNitzutz Perek 2 ) . In Shu"t Cham Sha'al Vol. 2 Siman 25 he quotes the great Mekubal Rav Shalom Sharabi (Rashash) who maintained that Tehilim was excluded from the above prohibition, and may be said at night. In fact, he says that Dovid Hamelech composed and wrote the Tehilim at night! (Another reason is because Hashem gave Tehilim a status  like "NeGaim and AHalos", which basically  gives it a status of "Torah Sh'Ba'al Peh", which is permitted anytime.

* If the Tehilim is being said for the Refuah Shelaima of a Choleh it can surely be said at night. (Psak of Debreciner Rav in Be'er Moshe Vol. 4 Siman 22, Eishel Avraham (Butchatch) Orach Chaim Siman 306, and other Poskim)

* If the Pesukim are learned with a Pirush (commentary such as Rashi) then it is not a problem at all and has a status like oral Torah, which of course can be learned at night. (Shu't Levushei Mordechai Siman 186 and others)


Perek Shirah would be OK to say at night  for two reasons: 1) Most of the Pesukim are indeed from Tehillim, which we learned is permitted. 2) The Perek Shirah in its entirety is a "Beraisa" which teacheds us which Pesukim each part of creation recites in praise to Hashem, so in essence it probably has a status of "Torah Sh'Ba'al Peh", no different than learning a Gemara that quotes Pesukim in it.
 

 

 

 

126)Q: For how long does one have to sleep in order to be obligated to recite birchas Hatorah? If one takes an afternoon nap is one required to recite birchas Hatorah when he wakes up? 

A:  I am assuming your first question is referring to an amount one slept during the night in order to require him to recite Birchos HaTorah upon waking in the morning. In that case, the amount of sleep is a "Shinas Keva" which is approximately half an hour. According to some opinions, even if someone did not sleep at all during the night he would be obligated in Birchos haTorah in the morning. The best thing to do is to hear rtghe Brachos from someone else and answer Amen and be Yotzei that way. If however if one slept during the day on the previous day,  but was up all night ,then he makes Birchos HaTorah himself the next morning based on yesterday's nap.

If one naps during the day he does not need to recite Birchos HaTorah again upon waking from his nap.

Follow Up Question from the same reader: I have one more question, if one goes to sleep at night and wakes up an hour later, says birchas hatorah and learns. Then one falls back asleep for "30 min" or more does one need to recite birchas hatorah again upon awakening or is it like an "afternoon nap"? How about if one refalls asleep until the next morning?

A: If one wakes before Alos HaShachar  and makes Birchos HaTorah, he does not repeat the Brachos in the morning, even if he goes back to sleep, according to most Poskim. If one did repeat Birchos HaTorah in the morning, he has upon who to rely, but better not to initially do this. (See Mishna Berura Siman 47:29. Also see Biur Halacha ibid.  Dibur HaMaschil Hamashkim)

 

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127) Q: Should a Shliach Tzibur make a bracha on shul Talis before davening Mincha? 

A: The Mishna Berura (Siman 14:11) Paskens that when a Shatz puts on a Shul Tallis to daven for the Amud he makes a Beracha. The reasoning is that the Shul tallis belongs to everyone, and thus it is "your" Tallis and requires a Bracha.

 However, the Biur Halacha (Dibur HaMaschil "Sh'Alah" )brings a few opinios that perhaps one does not make a Beracha on a Shul Tallis, especially if he isn't wrapping himself in it/putting it over his head, as then it is only being done for kavod Hatzibbur and not for Mitzvah of Tzitzis, as well as some other reasons.

 Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal (Halichos Shlomo Vol. 2 Perk 1 Ha'arah 2) says that the minhag is not to make a bracha on a shul Tallis. He says that even those that are machmir by Shachris and Mincha, still do not make a Bracha by Maariv.

Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal says that it is best to have in mind when donning the Shul Tallis that you don't want to be "Zoche" in the Tallis, and then it won't be yours, and no Bracha is necessary.



The prevelant Minhag is indeed not to make a Bracha on a Shul Tallis, unless one is explicitly using it for the Mitzvah of tzitzis (such as one who forgot his tallis at home and is "borrowing" the Shuls Tallis)
 

128)Q: Why is it that rosh Chodesh we only say ½ Hallel? Any marie mekomes(Sources)? I know it’s a minhag etc. but Rosh Chodesh is  M’doiraysa(Biblical) , chanuka isn’t…?

 



A: The Gemara (Arachin 10 a-b) says that only days that are called "Moed" and also "Mekudash" with "Isur Asiyas Melacha- days on which we  are prohibited to do Melacha" require the recitation of Halel. The Gemara learns this from a Pasuk.

Therefore Rosh Chodesh which isn't Mekidash B'Asiyas Melacha doesnt require Halel. The Gemara goes on to say tha taccording to this logic, Chanukah should also not require Halel. The Gemara answers that since a Nes happened, we still say Halel.


Many years later, the Chachamim decided to say Halel on Rosh Chodesh  as well as on the last days of Pesach (which were initially exempt) as well. In order to differentiate between the 18 days on which we are required to say the Halel and the days when it is only a Minhag they instituted the recital  of "half" Halel. (See also Mishna Berura Siman 422:12)

 

129) Q: 1.  I'm a little confused about the halachos of folding clothes on Shabbos.  Are you allowed to fold clothing on Shabbos?  Can you fold clothes on the creases? 

2. Can a girl (over bas mitzvah age) touch a boy younger than 11, in a non-chibah manner (i.e.- helping a child button his coat, herding students along in a line for recess, etc.)? 

 

A:The general rule is that you may not fold clothing, Talleisim or tablecloths on their original  folds (creases) on Shabbos.(There are certain conditions under which it would be permitted, but they are too lengthy to elaborate on here).

According to Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Shlita, a female over Bas Mitzvah should not have any physical contact with any boy above the age of 9 (Halichos Bas Yisroel)


130)Q: If I put money in a pushka that I keep at home, and then submit it to the tzedaka organization a few months later when it’s full, have I fulfilled the mitzvah of giving tzedaka each day, or only when I give the money to the organization?
A: Your question is a difficult one, and one that the Poskim deal with. The question is if by placing it in the Pushka it is merely considered that you said “Harei Zu L’Tzedakah” which  is basically a Neder to give tzedaka, but not an actual giving of the Tzedakah,  or is it already as if it is  “in the hands of the Gabbai Tzedaka” and thus you were Mekayem your Mitzvah. ( This would have reverse ramifications as well, if  for example one wanted to “borrow” some money from the Pushka. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 259:1)
The best thing to do is to make a “Tnai” (stipulation) saying that you want your Pushka to be Koneh the money for the organization, and thus it would be a Kiyum of Tzedakah according to all opinions.(This stipulation would work in the reverse as well, if you dont want it to be Koneh until you transfer the funds to the organization. See Derech Emunah from Rav Chaim kanievsky Shlita, Hilchos Matnas Aniyim Perek 8 Ha’arah 121)
 

131)Q: Is one required to give ma’aser from money that was received as a present?
A: Yes, Maaser should be given from money received as a gift. ( Rabbeinu Yonah  in Sefer HaYirah. See also Sefer Peleh Yoetz in “Maaser” chapter)
When one gives maaser his/her money becomes blessed and will increase as it says  in the Torah “Aser T’Aser” and Chazal learn that one who gives maaser properly  will become wealthy. Thus, when you give maaser from your gift, you arent diminishing your gained money,rather increasing the gift’s value.
 

132)Q: Is Hamapil dependent on the night time? For example one who stays up learning Shavuos at night, when he gets home does he need to say Kriyas shema al hamita and/or hamapil. My question is basically for anyone that stays up all night. and if yes at what time is the cutoff?

A: HaMapil is only said if one goes to sleep at night, anytime before Alos HaShachar. One who goes to sleep by day does not say HaMapil. The reason is that once you cannot say the Bracha of Hashkiveinu (which is only said  at the normal time of sleeping, which is at night) you can’t say the Bracha on sleep anymore. (See Biur Halacha  239:1 Dibur HaMaschil Samuch).
 

133)Q: As you are currently on the topic of Hamapil and krias shema al hamita, there is something that always bothered me. I once learned that if a person has trouble sleeping, reciting the first parasha krias shema repeatedly is a remedy for this problem.  Is this a minhag or a halacha?  I have many sleepless nights.  How many dozens of times should I be reciting the first parsha of krias shema?
 

A: True, the Rama (Siman 239) does say that one who has a hard time falling asleep should repeat the first Parsha of Shema ,”V’Ahavta Es…” over and over  until he/she falls asleep. (Without the first Posuk of Shma ,which should never  be repeated over and over. See Mishna Berura on the above Rama).  The Rama doesnt say how many times to do this, he just says “many times”. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch says to do this until you fall asleep (Siman 71:4).  Other things the Poskim say to do for insomnia is say various other Pesukim or think about a Torah topic.
 

134)Q: Im a single girl living in my parents home and Im paying for my college tuition- If I give maaser money I will be very stressed out because I will have exactly enough or even a little less money to pay for college and other living expenses-do I have to give maaser?

A: From your question, it doesnt seem that you lack food or shelter or any other of life’s basic necessities (Baruch Hashem). Therefore, it would still be best if you gave Ma’aser from any money that you earn, even if doing so would make you strain a little harder to afford your tuition (which can’t be deemed a necessity).  That being said, Chazal tell us that one who is scrupulous to give Ma’aser will merit becoming wealthy, so in essence giving Ma’aser will in the long run help you afford tuition (and many other things) as well as in general bring blessing into your life. So, although if you ask a Rav, some may indeed say that you arent required to do so, I would still encourage you to try and give Ma’aser.

135)Q: Thank you for your very informative e-mails.  A questions I have is: I know that one should do negel vaaser in the morning before doing anything else, but what if one has to use the restroom? He is not allowed to say a bracha while having the urge to go to the bathroom but he also can not go to the bathroom without washing his hands first.  What should he do?

A: I am not sure which specific Bracha  you are referring to.   Modeh Ani may be said before washing Negel Vasser. One should wash Negel Vasser and then use the restroom, and only after washing the hands (again)  after using the restroom may the Bracha of Al Netilas Yadayim, Asher Yatzar and the rest of  Birchas HaShachar be said.
 

136)It will be greatly appreciated, if you can explain me the difference between ma’aser and tzedaka. I separate 10% of my income (after tax) and give it to yeshivas, to funds for needy, etc. What is it – ma’aser or tzedaka?
 

A: Tzedaka is charity that every Jew is commanded to give. there is no set amount to give, rather one should give what he/she can whenever the need arrises to help another Jew. Tzedakah can also be done by other means than money. giving a poor person  a bite to eat is Tzedakah. giving an unemployed person a job is Tzedakah. teaching someone a trade is Tzedakah and so on. Ma’aser is specifically giving a set amount of ones income (or grain, or animals) to specific people. certain maaser was given to the Kohen while others were given to the Levites. Maaser Kesafim is given to poor people or worthy institutions etc.  when giving Maaser one can also satisfy the obligation of Tzedakah, but it is its own obligation as well.
 

137)Q: Do woman also have to sleep on the left and wake up on the right in the morning like men?And it says that when taking of your clothes we should take of 1 at a time or we will forget [our learning] do women have to be careful in those areas? and with the shoes?

A: Women should also try and sleep on their left side. Though, the halachic stringency is more important for men, there are Kabbalistic as well as health reasons for this that apply to women as well.
The Poskim debate whether women need to be careful with all the things that “cause forgetfullness”. Most contemporary Poskim say that they should indeed try to be careful for them, especially if the woman is pregnant.
 

138)Q: I was just wondering (because this has been coming up so much) – in reference to havdala:  I learned that women shouldn’t be drinking the wine from havdala for various reasons… however, I also believe that I learned that the man/father has to drink enough wine/juice to make a bracha achrona – if every week my father only takes literally a sip, and when I mentioned that it might be better to drink more he asked if I can find out if I can drink it instead (but I remembered the whole idea that women shouldnt drink the wine of havdala) SO: is it better for him to drink just a sip and not make the bracha achrona or better that I drink it and make the bracha achrona?

A:I did some research into this, and it seems that though the prevelant Minhag is for women not to drink the wine of Havdalah, there were indeed many Gedolim and Poskim in years gone by that did indeed give their wives and daughters to drink from Havdalah.
 

The best thing would be for him to drink a Revi’is of the wine thus he would have to make a “Al HaGefen” and thus you would not have to drink from it and risk the many kabalistic reasons prescribed for women not drinking.

If that is impossible, it is better to have a boy drink the wine. (See Q&A #398 here for more about children drinking from Havdala)

If that too is not an option, I would consult a Rav for final ruling. This is not a Halachic question, rather more a kabalistic/feelings type of thing, and I cannot  advise you L’maaseh.
By the way, if you are ever in a situation where you have noone to make Havdalah for you, you may make it yourself and then indeed drink the wine. (See Mishna Berura Siman 296:35)
 

139)Q:  I was just wondering……since one is unable to talk after HaMapil can the person still text message? I know it may sound silly but I get so curious when I get a text after I say HaMapil even though I know its probably not the best to do?
A:You are the second person to ask me this today! It is best not to text after HaMapil as it is a Hefsek. The best idea to not let curiousity get in the way is to shut the phone when you go to bed! Not only will your phone recharge, you too will recharge and take a break from the 24/7 technology we sufffer from today!

140)Q:  I am working but do not have a family to support yet. Iy”H i hope to b’karov. I would like to give as much tzeakah as possible but also save up for the future. how do I go about this?
A: The more Tzedaka/Maaser you give, the more Hashem will bless you with, so by giving Tzedakah now you will benefit your soon to be family iy”H.

141)Q:  A certain question came up about two weeks ago concerning peeled eggs, onions and such. I have a product in my fridge called “All Whites” 100% liquid egg whites certified by the O.U. By the nutrition facts the ingredients read: 100% liquid egg whites. It appears that nothing has been added, just the yolk has been taken away. Would this be considered as leaving eggs with out the peel overnight? I haven’t used it yet but some people in my family did, if its a problem what should they do?
A: According to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, there is no problem at all with eggs that were manufactured specifically to be used  for extended periods of time (such as for commercial use or in your case a container of eggs meant to be stored and used for more than one use) and you may safely eat them and not worry about any danger.Only if you crack or peel an individual egg and leave it overnight is there a reason for concern. (Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 3 Siman 20)

142)Q: Why must one be silent after reciting  HaMapil? It has something to do with the minute amount of death we experience while asleep, right?  
A: No, it has nothing to do with death! It has to do with the fact that haMapil is a bracha on [going to] sleep and as such must be followed by [going to]sleep and no interruptions. (much as you must take a bite out of an apple after saying “HaEitz” lest it be a Hefsek and thus a Bracha in vain)

143)Q: What should one do if he separates maaser right away and puts the rest of his money in a bank account but the account gives him a percentage does he need to give more money now, what if he doesnt know the exact amount?

A: The money that he earns as dividends or interest is not subject to ma’aser until  you withdraw the dividends or interest at which time you will indeed need to separate ma’aser from any dividends earned.

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