q&a page 17

814)  Q: May one make a shehecheyanu on dried fruit?


A: No, only on fresh fruit that is not readily available year-round do we recite Shehechiyanu, not on dried or frozen fruit.

#shehechiyanu #brachos

815) Q: Why are we supposed to stand for Sefiras HaOmer 

A: Indeed, the Shulchan Aruch (siman 489:1) rules that Sefirah should be counted while standing, and the Mishna Berura (Siman 489 S"K 6) rules that the bracha as well should be recited while standing.

The Rosh (End of Maseches Pesachim  (Perek 10:41) cites this halacha and quotes a drasha on the Posuk (Devarim 16:9)  on the words "Bikamah Tachel Lispor" that it should be read "BeKomah" which means, standing. This drasha is not  found in the Talmud, and according to some Poskim may only be an Asmachta used by later generations to support their view that this Mitzvah should be done while standing, due to its importance. (See Shu"t Minchas Elazar Vol. 1 Siman 48. See also Taz  Siman 489:2 and citation of the Be'er Hagoleh to the Shulchan Aruch ibid., where they cite this as a  Beraisa, though this is not found in our Talmud.) 


816) Q:  May one cut their nails on Chol Hamoed?

A: If one cut their nails on Erev Yom Tov, they may cut it again on Chol Hamoed again if necessary. if one did not cut Erev Yom Tov, it may not be cut Chol Hamoed.


817) Q: Is it allowed to wind a mechanical watch on Shabbos or yom tov and can one adjust the time on the watch?

A: Most poskim ( including the  Chayei Adam and Mishna Berura)  prohibit this due to tikkun maneh.  Some others, like the Chazon Ish, prohibit due to Boneh. But virtually all poskim prohibit.

#shabbos #hilchosshabbos

818) Q:  We are Ashkenazim. My daughter who is in Israel for seminary was invited for a pPesach meal to a teacher of hers who is sefardi. The teacher said they wouldn't have Kitniyos at the meal. Is that OK for her to eat there? Is there an issue with their keilim that have been used throughout Pesach for kitniyos? 

A: Many poskim will allow it (based on Mishna Berura Siman 453 S"K 8)

#pesach #kitniyos #sephardim #ashkenazim

819) Q: Why is the third meal that is eaten on Shabbos referred to as "Shalosh Seudos" and not by its proper term "Seudah Shlishis"?


A: Indeed,  the Shulchan Aruch titles the chapter regarding  the third meal (Siman 291)  as "Hilchos Shalosh Seudos".  Thee commentaries say that being that the other 2 meals are eaten when one is hungry, whereas the 3rd meal is often eaten while not so hungry (especially in the  winter months) thus, only by the third meal do we see that ALL three meals were eaten L'kavod Shabbos and not  just because we are hungry, hence "Shalosh Seudos" were for the sake of shabbos, only when one goes out of his way to eat the third meal even when not hungry.

#shaloshseudos #seudahshlishis #shabbosmeals #lkavodshabbos

820) Q: What is the source of the custom to have candle(s) burning during davening at  the Amud? 

A: Indeed, many shuls have candles by the Amud. Some have electric lights.


There are 2 reasons cited for this custom (besides for the practical aspect of it, that it illuminates the amud for the ba'al tefilah, so he can properly see the siddur)

 1) It is  an expression of honor to  Hashem to light candles before approaching Him, similar to how lights are kindled in honor of an esteemed person.  See Rashi  to Brachos 53a dibur hamaschil Or shel Bais Hakneses and Tosefos there dibur hamaschil Ha D'Ika  discussing the meaning of what the Talmud refers to as "Ohr Shel Bais Haknesses", which very likely is  referring to something similar to these candles at the amud, and not to the regular lights in the shul. Though lighting up the shul in general is also a Kavod to Hashem. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 151:9)

2) It is in commemoration of the Menorah that was kindled in the Bais Hamikdash, which is referred to  (in Yeshayahu 56:7) as "'Bais Tefilasi", the house of prayers, so too in our houses of prayer (shuls) we light special lights to honor Hashem. (See Mishna berura Siman 151 S"K 27)


See also the commentary of the Malbim to Yeshayahu 24:15 for  an explanation of the idea of using lights to express our yearning for the Geulah, which is appropriate for shuls as well. 

#shul #amud #shatz

821) Q:  A cup that has a crack at the bottom and liquid sometimes seeps out and sometimes not and even when it does it leaks very slowly.   Is it  valid  to use for Kiddush and Havdalah?

A: A cracked cup should not be used for Kiddush, or any other time a Kos Shel bracha is required. See Mishna Berura Siman 183 S"K 11

#kiddush #havdalah #becher #kosshelbracha

822) Q:  I recited the bracha on Sefirah and then counted the wrong day, by mistake. What should I do?

A: Of course, you need to re-count and say the proper day.


If you realized your mistake immediately (Toch Kedei Dibur) you can say the proper day without a new bracha. If you only realized afterward, you will be required to recite a new bracha and then say the proper day.

Of course, once an entire day passed and it's already the next night before you realize your mistake, and thus you skipped one full day of conting, you may no longer recite a bracha on subsequent nights.


823) Q: There seems to be a machlokes regarding the mitzvah of Shiluach Haken, if the bird's nest is on my property.  Some say that one cannot fulfill the mitzvah.  Others say that you can make the nest hefker in order to perform the mitzvah.  


What are the sources for both schools of thought?

A: According to many Poskim,  shiluach Haken can be done on nests even if they are in one's property, so long as they are not in a chatzer hamishtameres, as we say that a person does not want to be koneh any nests in his chatzer, as doing so would prevent him from doing the mitzvah.  


Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, and other Poskim, advise  that each person should verbalize that he never wants his property to be koneh any nests on it, so that he may be able to perform the mitzvah when it arises. Even though many poskim maintain that it is OK even without this verbalization, it is surely  OK once this is verbalized.


There is an excellent sefer that discusses this, with sources etc.  here is the link to the sefer:  https://www.amazon.com/Shiluach-Hakan-Practical-Naftali-Weinberger/dp/1583302999


824) Q: My son-in-law has a few Daughters and  only one son. They say that the girls make a mezumin and the 2 men (him and his son) answer too. Is that proper halacha?


A: No, that is not proper.


Although women may make a zimun on their own, if they want, when there are no men there, they cannot initiate a zimun and have the men there be a part of it and answer to their zimun.


If 3 men make a zimun, the women present are obligated to participate in the  zimun of the men. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 199:7. Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal even ruled that if a woman stepped away from the table, there is an obligation to call her back so she hear the zimun. Some Poskim understand the Biur Halacha there to mean that they must listen and be exempted by the zimun of the men, but not actually respond to the zimun. Most poskim, however, say they should/must indeed respond too, and that is the prevalent custom.)


Some Poskim will allow the women, if they want, to go to a separate room and make their own zimun, without men as part of it.


But, they may not be a part of a zimun, when there are only 2 men participating, and they may not be the ones initiating the zimun if any men are participating.


Also, even if 10 or more women do zimun together, they do not do so using the name of Hashem as is done with 10 men.


See Shulchan Aruch Siman 199 and Mishna Berura there for more details. see also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 199.

#zimun #birchashamazon #womenandzimun

825) Q: I saw over Shabbos and now cannot find it. In the Mishna Berura it tells us not to have deep thoughts when davening, rather to  just know the meaning of the words. It mentioned about a Gadol that when he davened he would think like a day old baby during davening. Can you help?

A: See Mishna Berura Siman 98 S"K 1

826) Q:  Are there any Poskim that bring down that one should keep on their Shabbos attire through Motzai Shabbos - I have heard that there is a Chayai Adam which goes so far as to say that one should even keep on his tie on Motzai Shabbos. Can you elaborate.

A: The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Siman 262:3) says to keep them on until after Havdala.


The Kaf Hachaim Siman  262:28 says to leave the shabbos clothing on until after Melave Malka is eaten, as the Neshama Yeseira is still present (at least on some level) until then.  


The Terumas Hadeshen is quoted as maintaining that the shabbos clothing should stay on until you go to sleep.


Some had the minhag to remove them immediately after shabbos, as not to wear shabbos clothing once it is weekday. (I believe this was the minhag of the Chasam Sofer)


Every community should follow its own custom regarding this.

#motzaeishabbos #havdalah #shabbosclothng #kavodshabbos

827) Q:  Does The halacha of standing up for elderly people (Mipnei Seiva Takum)  apply to men standing up for elderly women too? 

A: This is not a simple question, and is also divided into 3 types of women. a) an old woman b) a scholarly woman c) the wife of a Talmid Chacham.


To get you started, here are some sources to review:


See sefer chasidim Siman 578 and the commentaries there.


See Ben  Ish Chai, year 2, Ki Seitzei 16 and Minchas Chinuch Mitzvah257:3


See also Shu"t Yechaveh Da'as Vol. 3 siman 72

#standingforelderlywomen #kavod

828) Q:  What is the source for (some people's minhag) to say the pesukim of 'Tehilas Hashem' after saying shir hamaalos before benching?

A: This Pasuk (as well as some other Pesukim) have their source in Kabalistic writings, as a preparation for reciting Birchas Hamazon. See Kaf Hachaim  Siman 157:22.

#birkashamazon #tehilashashem #pesukim

829) Q:  You often quote "Tanna Dvei Eliyahu … "   we are speaking of Eliyahu HaNavi z'L,  correct?

A: Yes, Tana D'Bei Eliyahu, is the Torah taught by Eliyahu Hanavi to the Amorah Rav Anan, who recorded it in 2 parts, Eliyahu Rabbah and Eliyahu Zuta.   See Talmud Kesubos 106a for more details.

#eliyahuhanavi #tanadebeieliyahu

830) Q: What is the purpose of lighting a Yortzheit candle?  Is it a mitzvah? Or just symbolic?

A: This custom goes back at least to the times of the Mishna, and probably earlier. Kabalisticlay, a flame is akin to the neshama, as it states Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam, the soul of a person is the flame of Hashem (Mishlei 20)


Rabbeinu Bachya to Shemos 25:31 writes that it gives spiritual enjoyment to the Neshama  when a candle is lit in its honor.


Here is the exact text:


וידוע כי הנשמה נהנית בהדלקת הנרות והיא מתהלכת בעדוני ההוד והשמחה, ומתפשטת ומתרחבת מתוך הנאת האורה מפני שהיא חתיכת אור חצובה באור השכל, ומן הטעם הזה נמשכת אחר האור שהוא מינה אע"פ שהוא אור גופני והנשמה אור רוחני זך ופשוט, ועל כן המשילה שלמה ע"ה לנר הוא שאמר (משלי כ) נר ה' נשמת אדם.  


In Orchos Chaim from the Rosh, Erev Yom Kippur , it also states that lighting this candle can bring kaparah to the niftar.

#yahrtzei #yahrtzeitcandle #neshama


831) Q: May one wear a self winding watch on Shabbos?


A: Many Poskim allow it, while others are stringent and only allow it if it is fully wound and would be operational for the entire shabbos even if it would not have been wound automatically. This would also be an issue when it's a 2 or 3 day yom tov, where it may be a bigger issue than a regular shabbos. (See Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchaso Perek 28:28. See  also Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 3 Siman 97)

832) Q: There seems to be a minhag that if one says the perek 119 in tehillim spelling the persons name for 40 days straight it’s a zechus that bakoshos will be answered l’tovah. Question: why 40 days and what if after saying it many times over the requests haven’t come to fruition

and on a different topic
if one goes to a mekubal to ask for someone else to have refuos how does that work should one be placing trust in an individual instead of HaShem?

A: Firstly,  Hashem is in charge of the world. It is to Him and to Him only that we pray. Never do we pray TO a Tzadik or anyone else. We sometimes pray "in the merit" of a Tzadik, or sometimes we ask a Tzadik to pray FOR us, but ultimately when  anyone prays, only to Hashem may prayers be directed. When a Tzadik or a mekubal (who must be a recognized, authentic  Tzadik and Talmid Chacham  too, and not just someone who dresses up and plays the part and preys on vulnerable people for money) gives a blessing, it is just a blessing, and it has no intrinsic power unless Hashem wills it to. We don't place our trust in Tzadikim, Mekubalim or any humans; we place our trust in Hashem only. Ain Od Milvado, there is nobody but Him.


Segulos are things that are auspicious and give our prayers support, but they are not in themselves powerful or able to magically work. Only Hashem answers prayers. there are no exceptions to this rule, as we clearly state in the Ani Maamins, "Only to Him may we pray and not to anyone or anything else". Also, while there are many accepted segulos out there, not everything that is labeled " segulah" is indeed something that should be followed, and not every "segulah" is something people should waste their money on. In every case, a rav should be consulted to determine if and how the segulah is OK.


Regarding the "40 days",  Moshe Rabeinu prayed for the Jews after the sin of the golden calf for 40 days, so some suggest that a 40 day period of prayer  gives the prayers  a boost. Again, while segulos may be OK to do, it is not OK to put your faith in them and  there is no guarantee that any segulah will or won't work. Hashem hears ALL prayers and Hashem answers ALL prayers; sometimes His answer may be "No".  We may continue to pray, and we may change the tone of our prayers, we may try  praying for others who need the same thing etc., but ultimately we accept whatever He does as the right thing for us,a s everything Hashem does is just and perfect.