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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.) 

Another reason (brought in Aruch Hashulchan Siman 489:4, where he writes that this is the primary reason) is based on the Zohar (Parashas Tetzaveh) that Sefiras Ha'Omer is so important, that it is likened to Shemona esrei, and thus must be done while standing.

#sefirashaomer  #sefirah

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

A: If one cut their nails on Erev Yom Tov, they may cut it again on Chol Hamoed if necessary. (See Mishna berura Siman 532 S"K 2)


If one did not cut Erev Yom Tov, it may not be cut on Chol Hamoed, according to the Mishna Berura and other Poskim.


Some Poskim are nore lenient, B'sa'as Hadchak, in extreme circumstances, if the reason they were not cut erev Yom Tov was due to being overly busy with Yom Tov preparations. (See Aruch Hashulchan end of Siman 532)


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 Eretz Yisrael for seminary was invited for a Pesach 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".  The 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 Ohr 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 counting, you may no longer recite a bracha on subsequent nights (Rather, have someone else exempt you with their bracha)


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 (enclosed yard), 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 Zatzal, 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.


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 recently saw something, and  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

Here is a loose translation of the Mishna Berura's words:

"One should not concentrate on the exalted name of Hashem and on kabalistic “Yichudim”, rather one should concentrate in a simple manner to understand what he is saying, and  to pray with heart. (Unless he is someone who is well versed in kabbalah and understands the exalted kavanos and can focus on them while still praying with  heart, otherwise it can ruin the Tefiloas.)

The  MaHarshal  testified about the Ra"sh, a Tzadik who was well versed in Kabalah yet davened like a young child, saying each word slowly, focusing on its simple meaning. Furthermore, the Pnei Yehoshua writes that these exalted kavanos are not meant to be studied or utilized during Tefilah; they are to be studied ( by those capable of doing so) before  davening only, as during davening only the Pirush HaMilos, the basic translation of the words should be thought.

826) Q:  Are there any Poskim who 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) and Mishna Berura (Siman 262 S"K 8) say 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; though I don't think it means to do this before Havdalah, so in essence it is the  same opinion as the  Poskim cited above to do it after Havdalah.)


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 elderly 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: 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.

Some opinions say it was written by an Amorah named "Aba Eliyahu"

#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 Bechaye 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.  

The seforim also state that lighting this candle can bring kaparah to the niftar. (See Sefer Orchos Chaim from Rabbeinu Aharon of Lunil, Hilchos Erev Yom Kippur Siman 11 and Kolbo Siman 68, in the name of the Rosh that the candle lit on Erev Yom Kippur for ones parents who passed away is an atonement for them. It is also cited in Mishna Berura Siman 610 S"K 12)

#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, via your hand movements. 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)

#shabbos #hilchosshabbos #watchonshabbos #selfwindingwatchonshabbos

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 real 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 or things ; we place our trust in Hashem only. Ain Od Milvado, there is nothing 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.


Also, Ain Segulah KaTorah, there is no more powerful "Segulah" than Torah study! Learning Torah and Tefilah, talking to Hashem, anywhere, any time, for any reason, in any language is the most powerful means of experiencing Bracha, hatzlacha, yeshuos etc.


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" and sometimes His answer may be different than what we anticipated.


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, as everything Hashem does is just and perfect.


Keil Emunah V'Ain Avel Tzadik V'Yashar Hu- Hashem is flawless.

#segulos #segulah #40daysofprayer #emunah

833) Q: Do you know when the nekudos (Hebrew vowel system) were given?  

A: There is a debate amongs the Rishonim as to the origin of the Nekudos and their importance. Some are of the opinion that they are an intrinsic part of the Torah and were given at Sinai (Halacha L'Moshe M'Sinai). (See Shu"t Radvaz Vol. 3 Siman 1068 (643) for a proof and explanation of this opinion, and for an explanation why they are not included in the Sefer Torah. This was also the opinion of the Chida and others.)


Others maintain that they are not an intrinsic part of the Torah and were only developed later as a system to enunciate the words properly, and the earlier generations managed to read properly without the aid of these nekudos. (This is the opinion of the Machzor Vitri, a Rishon, talmid of Rashi, as well as the opinion of Rav Yaakov Emden and others)


Thus, this remains a matter of unsettled halacha, which Eliyahu Hanavi will resolve for us, hopefully very soon, when He appears to herald the arrival of Mashiach!

#nekudos #halachalmoshemisinai #hebrewvowels

834) Q:  What is "Yom Hameyuchas" and what is its significance?

A: There are various explanations for this.


One of them is as follows: "Yom Hameyuchas" - "The distinct Day" traditionally refers to the 2nd day of the month of Sivan, the day before the start of Sheloshes Yemei Hagbalah.


On this date Moshe Rabbeinu delivered the message to Klal Yisroel, (that Hashem told him on the previous day) that they are to be a kingdom of Kohanim and a holy nation (Shemos 19:6. See Rashi) , to which Klal Yisroel proclaimed "Everything that Hashem commanded we will do!" (Shemos 19:8)


Thus, this exalted day will always be honored by the title of being a day of distinction.


It has also been suggested that this day reminds us that according to the Torah, it is not a person's lineage or pedigree that make hi special, rather it's a person's dedication to Hashem, the Torah and observance of the Mitzvos that earn one the title of " holy".


Thus we refer to this day as "Yom Hameyuchas" as a reminder than EVERY Jew who proclaims that he/she will abide by Hashem's commandments, and lives their life according to that proclamation, is a meyuchas, in their being a dedicated son/daughter of Hashem, regardless of their background or station in life.

#shavuos #yomhameyuchas #kabolashatorah #mamlecheskohanim #Holyyidden

835) Q: If one davens mincha on erev Shabbos, but then has an emergency to take care of and it is after tzeis, does the mispallel daven kabbalat Shabbos, or can he only go into Maariv at that point?

A: I am not aware of any halachic  issue  with saying  the Kabolas Shabbos Tehilim.Piyutim and the verbal acceptance of Shabbos after Tzeis Hakochavim. Even though it is Shabbos already, regardless of this being recited, still , there is a benefit of "welcoming" the Shabbos properly and respectfully as it begins.

#kabolasshabbos #lechadodi

836) Q: Can you review Torah in your head while getting a haircut?

A: According to the letter of the law it's OK, to think Torah thoughts with a bare head, if you are in a situation where you cannot cover your head, such as in your case. (This is not the case for reciting Brachos and Tefilos though, only for Torah)


(See Shu"t Yabia Omer Orach Chaim Vol. 6 Siman 15:7)

#yarmulka #kippah #torahwithoutaheadcovering

837) Q: Often I come across "posts" on various platforms that may have a good message to them, but the imagery in them contain immodestly dressed women or other questionable imagery. Sometimes it's a clip of a journalist reporting on a relevant story, who is dressed quite immodestly. Sometimes it's a message that contains foul language to bring out a point. Sometimes it's an advertisement for a product which contains immodestly dressed people in it, and the like.


Many of these are posted by good, observant Jews. Do the ends justify the means? Is it permitted to view these, share them, etc. according to Halacha.

A: Posting, sharing, commenting on or even liking content that is not 100% Tzniusdik, or otherwise violates the Torah's laws is prohibited and should not be done. No exceptions.


This content is prohibited to be viewed, due to the biblical prohibition of "Lo Sasuru Acharei Levavchem V'Acharei Eineichem" (Do not stray after your heart and your eyes) and possibly other prohibitions as well, and sharing it (Even indirectly, as it makes it show up in your feed, and thus causes others to view it) is also a prohibition of " Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol" and also will deem the one who shares it as a "Choti U'Machti", a sinner that causes others to sin as well, a serious Torah offense with frightening repercussions.


Just because any given content is "out there" and even if its underlying message is what you are trying to share (and not its imagery) , it is still prohibited and there is no room for leniency. Just because "everyone is sharing it" or it is, sadly, something that people have become desensitized to, does not make it right, and does not minimize the severity of doing it.


Imagery that is 99% kosher is 100% Treif! This is not a "frumkeit" or a " chumra" or a "fanatical way to live". This is what Hashem demands of us. Shmiras HaEinayim, watching what our eyes see, is just as important, if not more important, than watching what our mouth eats. You wouldn't eat something that is not 100% kosher; don't allow your eyes to see things that are not 100% kosher.


The Yetzer Hara is working overtime these days, as he knows his game is almost over, with the arrival of Mashiach, may it be really soon, so he wants to drag down as many good Yidden as he can before the end. Don't fall for his schemes. Stay strong, Stay focused on Hashem and His holy Torah. Stay focused on being a Ben Olam Haba!


And remember, the harder something is to overcome, the more S'char you will get for doing it. Lefum Tza'ara Agra! Also, the harder the Yetzer Hara works to make you stumble with something, is an indication just how important it is to Hashem that you fight the yetzer hara.


Never stop fighting the Yetzer Hara. Even if you stumble, get right back up and keep fighting. Shlomo Hamelech teaches us (Mishlei 24:16) “Sheva Yipol Tzadik, V’kam, a righteous person falls seven times and gets up”


Rav Yitzchok Hutner Zatzal, the late venerable Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, explains the Posuk above to mean, not that a person can become a Tzadik despite having sinned, rather a person becomes a Tzadik because he has sinned and gotten up again and again and again, 7, 70, 700 or even 7,000 times.(Pachad Yitzchok, letters #128)


Hashem does not expect us to be angels; after all He has created us as humans. However, He does expect every single Jew, no matter how far he has strayed from the path of the Shulchan Aruch, to keep getting up and striving for a life lived in accordance with the dictates of the holy Torah, as that is our job, as humans and as Jews, to constantly grow and perfect ourselves in all areas of our service of Hashem.


The more a person trains himself to do things in accordance with Halacha, the easier it will become over time to overcome the Nisyonos. (See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 1:4)


It's always the right thing to do the right thing. Chazak V'Ematz

#shmirashaeinayim #tznius 

838) Q: Do you take challa on dough made with exactly 2.5lbs of flour? And if yes ,with/without a bracha?

A:  Challah is not taken on less than   2.6 lbs. of flour. So in your case, no Challah is required.


To recite a bracha, it is best to have at least  4.95 lbs. of flour (a tad less than a full 5 lb. bag) . Some already recite a bracha for 3.675 lbs. or more of flour (on average, 121/4 cups)


For Halacha L'ma'aseh each individual should consult their own Rav, or follow their accepted family minhag.

#challah #hafroshaschallah

839) Q: If a siddur falls during Shemona Esrei, may I bend down to pick it up or is that considered an interruption?


A: Halachicaly, anything that distracts a person in middle of shemona esrei, including  knowing that a siddur is on the floor and needing to bend down to pick it up ,  or forgetting a halacha  relevant to shemona esrei and needing  to walk to get a sefer to look it up, may be done  if he will be distracted or confused otherwise. Afterward, he resumess shemona esrei , in the  original place and position that it was started, from where he is holding. See Mishna Berura Siman 97 S"K 7

(For the Kabalistic approach to this, see Kav HaYashar Perek 8, quoting the Sefer Chasidim  Siman 18 and 777)

#kavana #semonaesrei #siddur

840) Q:  I saw something about that there is no such thing as gezel shaina, and that at most it would be called hezek shaina, what can you tell me about this?

A: Yes,  "Gezel Shaina", the term commonly used for  waking up someone who is sleeping, is not a term found in the Talmud or in the Rishonim or early Poskim.


In fact, the Talmud Berachos 13b refers to waking up someone who is sleeping as "causing him  Tza'ar, pain". not as stealing.


Although the term "stealing" is found in relation to things other than  unlawfully taking someone else's property, such as Geneivas Da'as, tricking someone (See Rashi to Bereishis 31:27, for an example), still the term "stealing" is not really found in relation to sleep. Furthermore, the Rishonim specifically refer to stealing one's sleep as "Hezek", damage, and not Gezel stealing.  (See Me'iri to  Bava Basra 20b. See also Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol.  7 Siman 224)


So, yes, it is prohibited to wake someone up for no good reason, and indeed it is important to be careful around sleeping people to not wake them, but if one in fact wakes someone up, he has  transgressed a violation of hurting or damaging someone, but not  an act of "stealing" per se.


See Shu"t Mishneh Halachos, Vol. 12 Siman 443 and 444 for more about this.


841) Q: Is leaving a negative google review on a Yid’s business permitted? What If it’s le'toeles?

A: Lashon Hara applies to a product/business of a Jew, just as it applies to the Jew himself, so as a general rule it would be prohibited to publicly leave a review that disparages the person, his business or his products.


 If a particular person is a known offender with malicious intent it may be different, as he may not be deemed a "fellow Jew" , but this determination must be made by a competent Rav who knows all the relevant facts. A Rav would have to be consulted in each case to determine the course of action sanctioned by the Torah. We can't arbitrarily decide to publicly post negative info about someone, or something that can cause damage to a person or their livelihood, reputation etc. 


The fact that what a person does online is wrong is not a blanket permit to publicly post  negative info about him. This is a very slippery slope


Even if all the criteria of "To'eles" are employed it can still be an issue, as here the comment remains in public and reaches many people for whom it may not be a To'eles, and also the person may do teshuva, and the comment will still be there, have been forwarded etc.


Bottom line: In most cases, leaving a negative review  (or sharing  a negative review that was already there,  with others) about a Jew or his business is 100% prohibited. Even in cases where it may be less than 100% prohibited, it is still not within the spirit of the Torah.


In addition, when a Jew reads a negative review about a fellow Jew or his business, he may not believe it or take it at face value. It is subject to all the halachos of Lashon Hara as they apply to hearing and accepting Lashon Hara.


May Hashem give us all the strength to  avoid all types of Lashon Hara at all costs!

#lashonhara #onlinereviewinhalacha

842) Q: I heard that items which will be only used for raw foods do not require tevila. Is this correct?

A:Utensils used only for raw foods, and never used for  prepared  food, such as a rolling pin which is only used for raw dough, an eggs separator used only to separate the yolk from the rest of the egg, or a chicken scissor only used for raw poultry and not for cutting cooked meat, and the like, does not require Tevilah. Many are stringent to tovel such utensils anyhow, but without a bracha. (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Dea Siman 120:5 and Taz S"K 7. See also Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 37:8)

#tevilaskeilim #tovelingutensils

843) Q: Can you please tell me the source for a woman to cover her hair and why lace top sheitels in Halacha are prohibited?

A: Married women, as well as divorced and widowed women, may not be seen publicly with their hair uncovered, as the hair of a woman that is [or was] married is considered Erva. (See Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer Siman 21:2 and Bais Shmuel Os 5. See also Rashi to Sanhedrin 58b Dibur Hamaschil MiShetifra. In certain cases, there may be leniencies for certain divorced women, and each  individual must seek the guidance of a Rav)


The hair of a married woman is  very attractive to men, and thus it is incumbent on a Jewish woman to not present herself publicly  in a manner that is deemed halachically overly attractive, and doing so is a grave sin. The Gedolei HaPoskim have deemed any type of covering that entirely defeats the purpose of covering the hair , by being made specifically  to look as if the hair is totally  uncovered, as  an inadequate covering. Thus, certain wigs that are manufactured to look like real hair, and can be mistaken as such by people, are asur.


Every individual  should consult their Rav and follow his ruling in this matter, and all matters of halacha.

#shaitels #lacetopshaitels #tznius

844) Q: I was wondering why the bracha of Sim Shalom ,a request, comes after Modim. It doesn’t follow the structure of praise, request, and thanking. What is the reason?

A: The Talmud (Megilah 18a) asks why Sim Shalom is placed here at the end, and answers that since we just said Bichas Kohanim, which ends with the word "Shalom" and the bracha of Hakadosh Baruch Hu rests only where there is peace, we thus insert there the bracha for peace.


Furthermore, this bracha, though phrased as a bakasha, is not like the rest of the bakashos in the middle part of Shemona Esrei, as this bracha is said in the form of a bakasha for the entire Klal Yisroel (Aleinu V'Al Kol Yisroel) as such this bracha (as well as Retzei) may be - and is - recited on Shabbos, as bakashos for the Tzibur are allowed on Shabbos. (See Tur Orach Chaim Siman 112, quoting the Behag and Rabbeinu Tam, and see Rashba to Berachos 34b)

#simshalom #shalom #shemonaesrei #bakashos

845) Q: Does mouthwash require a Hechsher?

A: According to the OK Kashrus organization, mouthwash does not need a hechsher (Listerine strips, do though)


846) Q: I have noticed that people unwind the straps of their Tefillin Shel Yad from around their fingers when they do Hagbah. What is the reason? Is it really necessary?

A: I am not aware of any halachic requirement to do this. Some people do have this minhag, but many, including many Talmidei Chachamim and Poskim, do not. It may just be a practical thing, to get a better grip on the Sefer Torah.


In Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 8   Siman 128, he references an essay that he wrote about this topic in a Torah journal called "Noam" vol. 10 page 207. Over there he does have a discussion about it, and  suggests many reasons why this may be a good idea to do, though he does not rule that it is halachically mandated.  Click here and here to see the 2 relevant pages of this article.

#hagba #tefillin

847) Q:  Is it muktze to open a drawer that has stuff that’s muktzeh? For example, a drawer that has forks and knives, but also also has a candle etc.

A: If the Muktzah items are less significant than the non-Muktzah item it is OK to open it. Otherwise, it's problematic.

848) Q:  Is planting a tree in Eretz Yisrael a mitzvah?

A: Many Poskim consider this a Mitzvah, or at least a supportive Mitzvah of settling the  holy land of Eretz Yisroel. The Chasam Sofer to Sukkah 36a, seems to say that this is a Mitzvah only when most of Klal Yisroel is living in Eretz Yisroel, which is not the case yet, but will hopefully be the case very soon with the arrival of Mashiach!

#yishuveretzyisroel #plantatreeineretzyisroel

849)  Q: May one take a time-released caffeine and Advil capsule on Shabbos, Erev Tisha B'Av, to help him fast easier that night and the next day, or is it hachana (preparing on Shabbos for after Shabbos)?


A: It is allowed, just don't verbalize your intentions. This is true for any capsule which is permitted to be taken on Shabbos, and applies any Shabbos during the year, not just before a fast day, such as if one has a flight on Motzai Shabbos, and this capsule will be helpful to him having a calm flight and the like.

#tishabav #hachana

850) Q: At the end of the daily halacha that you send out, you end with the statement from Chazal ZYA, about Tanna Dvei Eliyahu, etc. Learning 2 halachos and a person has a share in Olam Haba, iyH. We also learn in Pirkei Avos, at the start of each chapter - that All Yisroel have a share in Olam Haba. Without quantifying it. Kol Yisroel Yesh Chelek L'oLam HaBa … without any attachments to it. A clear statement.


Elsewhere we learn, as in Parshas Balak, that Bilaam and three others do not have a share in Olam Haba. Yet Bilaam prayed that he should die the death of the righteous. Which we interpret that he prayed that he should die the death of the Jews. He realized the difference between passing away as a Aino Yehudi and Lhavdil a Yehudi - on his level, so to say. Yet his prayers were answered, but nevertheless, he does not receive Olam Haba. Are you familiar with this?


But we learn that 4 people do not receive Olam Haba - the other 3 being Yidden:


Doeg, Achitofel, and Geichazi. My question is: Who are these 3 other people and what did they do, or not do, that they do not have Olam Haba? When we learn in Pirkei Avos that ALL Yidden have a share in Olam Haba.


What is with these 3 people?

A: There is a difference between being a Ben Olam Haba and actually earning Olam Haba.


There is a difference between having a Chelek (portion) in Olam Haba and actually entering Olam Haba.


Let me explain (Based on the Nefesh Hachaim, Chofetz Chaim and other Seforim)


Every Yid is born with 2 portions, a portion in Olam Haba as well as a portion in gehinom. It is our job to earn the right portion and thus forfeit the wrong portion.


Once we forfeit one of the portions, that extra portion goes to someone else. Thus, the Gemara tells us (See Talmud Chagiga 15a) that a Tzadik earns his portion in Olam Haba as well as the portion of one who did not merit earning that portion. This is also a way to understand the statement by Chazal (final Mishna in Shas, Maseches Uktzin 3:12) that every Tzadik inherits 310 portions in Gan Eden..... meaning he gets his own portion, PLUS the portions of those who forfeited their portions.


Being a "Ben" Olam Haba means that we are ripe for doing what we need to do to earn that portion. It means we merit heavenly assistance to make the right choices in our life, but it is not a guarantee. we still need to make the right choices and do the right things. It is not a free pass, per se, into Olam Haba.


Similarly, Kol Yisroel Yesh Lahem Chelek L'Olam Haba means we start off ripe to earn our portion, and it's our job to not forfeit it. Indeed, Chazal at the end of Maseches Sanhedrin do quantify that statement, by saying " Chutz, except...." and lists a whole group of sinners who forfeit their portion in Olam Haba. The Rambam, Hilchos teshuva Perek 3, lists these as well.


The Seforim say it is akin to a field. If one does what he needs to with the field (plowing, planting, harvesting etc.) he gets the bounty of the field. But if he ignores the field and lets the weeds overtake it, and lazily ignores what he needs to do, he will be left with a barren field that produces nothing other than problems. So too, a "chelek" in Olam Haba is a field. What we do with it is up to us, and the bounty in the end, or lack thereof, is the consequence of our own choices.


Doeg, Achitofel, and Geichazi all did sins that are on the list of those who forfeit their portions in Gan Eden, and thus did not merit Olam Haba. (See Midrash Tanchuma, beginnng of Parashas Metzora)

#olamhaba #olamhaba #cheleklolamhaba

851) Q: Is it permissible to do Shiluach Haken on Shabbos?

A: No. The eggs/chicks are muktzeh, and even if you only send the mother bird away without touching her, and do not actually pick up the birds, it is not permissible to do this on Shabbos, and possibly even during the week it would be forbidden to shoo the mother bird away without  then taking the eggs/chicks. This is forbidden both halachically and also kabalistically.   See Shu"t Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim Siman 100 at length.

#shiluachhaken #hilchosshabbos #muktzeh

852) Q:  I heard that  people  don't drink  water after eating fish. Was wondering where this minhag came from.

A: Some people avoid drinking water after eating fish. 

That's where the minhag comes from that  many people   drink  a little whiskey or scotch or wine after eating fish before continuing the meal and eating meat. (See  Sefer She'arim Metzuyanim B'Halacha on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 33 footnote  2. See Q&A #997 here for more details)


Tosefos to Moed Katan 11a is the source for this, saying it may be dangerous.  Piskei Tosfos Siman 37 says that water after fish is harmful to the heart yet  it heals the body. (Rav Akiva Eiger Yoreh Deah Siman 116 and the Kaf Hachaim Siman 170:79 quote this Tosfos)


Those who follow this custom should also avoid soda after fish, as soda for all practical halachic purposes is  considered like colored water in most cases.

#minhag #waterafterfish #sakana

853) Q:  Please tell us what chazal say about current events, chevlei Mashiach, and what we can do to bring Mashiach.  

A:  Although I focus on Halacha, I do try and chime in, when I feel it's appropriate, and provide the Torah perspective on current events. (See here for things I have posted during Corona: )


Regarding your specific questions, Chazal teach us that everything that happens in the world happens for the benefit of Klal Yisroel.


Every tragedy is for each of us to do introspection and become closer to Hashem. Every individual knows what area they need to improve. Hashem sends us messages, and we must listen to them! 


Regarding Chevlei Mashiach, Chazal are quite clear that what we must do to protect ourselves from those pangs, is Torah and Gemilus Chasadim. The more we focus on those areas, the better off we will all be. 


Also, the Chofetz Chaim used to always say that the only way to undo the churban is to reverse the reason it happened in the first place, namely, Sinas Chinam, Lashon Hara, judging each other harshly etc.


 The way we will bring Mashiach is by treating one another better.  We see many tragedies in recent days, all having to do with structures collapsing. Perhaps, perhaps, it's a message from Hashem that we must stop putting people down, and start building one another up.


Elevate ourselves, and elevate those around us, and in that zechus, the Bais Hamikdash Hashlishi will be un-destroyed.

#mashiach #chevleimashiach #geulah #galus

854) Q: May I make oatmeal on shabbos for a baby?

A: There are 2 issues with making oatmeal (from raw oats) on Shabbos.


1) Bishul, as the oats are raw and may not be cooked on shabbos.

2) Lisha, as the oats will be made into a thick substance.


Lisha, we have a way around if done in a very loose/runny mixture, and mixing it with a shinui or putting in the ingredients in reverse order than usual


Bishul, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 74:15) if done in a kli shlishi it can be OK, especially if the water is not piping hot, but only warm. Rav Moshe maintains that we don't deem anything Kalei Habishul, unless it is on the list that the Talmud gives for these items.


Other Poskim are more stringent and don't allow bishul in a kli shlishi either, especially if it is deemed kalei Habishul (items that are easily cooked), which oatmeal very likely is, according to these Poskim. The Mishna Berura ( Siman 318 S"K 39), unlike Rav Moshe Zatzal, rules stringently regarding Kalei Habishul, and deems anything that cooks easily as Kalei habishul)


Thus, you have a few options:


Make it with cold water, and keep it loose. That is allowed according to all Poskim.


Make it before shabbos, and then just add a little water, if necessary, on shabbos, and mix with a shinui. This too is allowed according to everyone


If your Rav follows Rav Moshe's psak, you can use hot water in a Kli shlishi, and make it with a shinui.


 If it is the same result to use warm water (less than Yad Soledes bo) that would be best, and also be OK according to all Poskim, when done with a shinui


If the oatmeal in question is already cooked from before shabbos (as some baby cereals are, and some quick oats may be) then it can be made in a kli sheini, with a shinui. Some suggest a kli shlishi is better here.


For halacha L'ma'aseh, as always, consult your Rav.

#bishul #lisha #hilchosshabbos #oatmealonshabbos

855) Q:  Who drinks the wine  at a bris on Yom Kippur? 

A: Shulchan Aruch Siman 622:3 rules not to use or make the bracha on a cup of wine in this case. Rama  says to use a cup and give to the baby to drink a little and this is the prevalent minhag amongst Ashkenazim.


Mishna Berura  S"K 12 says if the mother of the baby is there, and permissibly not fasting, she should drink. However, this is not a prevalent custom. (See Kaf Hachaim Siman 621 Os17. See also Halichos Shlomo;Yom Hakipurim Perek 6:8 and Dvar Halacha 15 and  Orchos Halacha 39  for a discussion about the permissibility of the mother drinking it.)

#bris #yomkippur #brisonyomkippur

856) Q:  When Tisha B'Av falls out on Motzi Shabbos/Sunday (as it does this year, 5781), and Havdalah is be recited until Sunday night, is it prohibited to eat when the fast is over on Sunday night before hearing Havdalah?

A: Indeed, Havdalah must first be recited on Motzaei Tisha B'Av this year, 5781, before being allowed to eat.


However, it is permitted to drink water before hearing Havdalah, thus if anyone cannot make or hear Havdalah right away after the fast, they may drink water right away after the fast, even before Havdalah. (This applies every Motzaei Shabbos as well; water is always permitted before Havdalah, unlike before Kidush where nothing may be consumed, including water, before hearing Kiddush. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 299:1)

#tishabav #hvdalah #eatingbeforehavdalah

857) Q: If one talks negatively about another Jew, and only does so to one's wife, is this still considered to be Lashon Hora?

A: The prohibition to relate Lashon Hara is in full effect even if the one it is being related to is a very close relative, including one’s spouse.


Many people mistakenly believe that it is OK to share negative details about what transpired in Shul, at work or other things that happened to them during the day, with their spouse.


Nothing can be further from the truth. Not only is this 100% Lashon Hara and forbidden, it is also unwise as sharing such negative details with a spouse often leads to machlokes, the spouse harboring feelings of animosity toward them, and other sins. (Of course, there are certain exceptions to this rule, where relating something to a spouse can be deemed L’Toeles, for a permitted and necessary purpose. But the criteria for To'eles has many conditions and cannot be flippantly used without meeting ALL of the criteria)


The aforementioned Halachos also apply to business partners; there is no blanket allowance for them to share negative information with one another, unless deemed necessary according to Halacha.

See archives of Hilchos Lashon Hara here for more details of To'eles etc.


858) Q: What about a deceased Jew, who was acknowledged to be a dishonest, and immoral person, are discussing these traits, after he has passed on, still considered Lashon Hara?

A: It is prohibited to denigrate and talk disparagingly about a person even after he/she passes away.


There is a “Cherem Kadmonin” , an ancient rabbinic condemnation leveled against one who speaks negatively about the deceased, and it is recommended to be careful with this at all costs. (See commentary of the Mordechai beginning of 8th Perek of Bava Kama. See also Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 606:3)


This applies regarding any deceased people, even if they were not Torah scholars, and all the more so about a Torah scholar. Furthermore, it also applies to disparaging the Divrei Torah of a Talmid Chacham who has passed from this world.

#LashonHara #cherem

859) Q: Is there a source for not having sour foods on Rosh Hashana and in Aseres Yemei Teshuva?

A: See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 129:9.  This is a symbolic thing, to start the year with sweet symbols/foods and not with sour  or bitter ones.

#RoshHashana #SourFoods #AseresYemeiteshuva

860) Q: From what age are girls required to have their feet below/above knees covered ?

A: There is quite a range of ages, depending which Poskim you ask, anywhere from 3 to 11.  The Mishna Berura was very machmir at age 3 already.  See  Biur Halacha Siman 75 dibur hamaschil efach. The Chazon ish (Orach Chaim  Siman 16:8 )  held it was older, depending on the girl's maturity, around 6 or 7.    


See also  Shu”t Igros Moshe Even Ha'ezer Vol. 2 Siman  100:6 and Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol. 14:49, footnote dibur hamaschil U'keais, where he explains Rav Moshe's shita)


Also see Halichos Shlomo;Tefillah Perek 20:9 where he writes strongly that the Mishna Berura's shita need not be followed here.


There is a lot to write about this topic, but the aforementioned mareh Mekoms should get you started for now. Of course, for halacha L'ma'seh, consult your Rav.


861) Q: When is the most ideal time to cut nails? I heard that one should wait until Friday, is that true? Also, can one cut both their toenails and fingernails in one day?

A: It is a Mitzvah to cut your nails in honor of Shabbos. The following are some Halachos pertaining to cutting nails:


a) One should not cut the nails of his hands on the same day as cutting the nails of the toes.


b) Nails should ideally not be cut, nor should hair be cut on Rosh Chodesh. When Rosh Chodesh falls on Erev Shabbos some Poskim allow the nails to be cut in honor of Shabbos.


c) It is best not to cut nails in order, as doing so can present a danger and cause one to forget their Torah learning.


Start with the left hand as follows: ring finger, pointer, pinky, middle finger then the thumb.

Then move on to the right hand and cut the nail of pointer, ring finger, thumb ,middle finger and then the pinky. (See Rama Siman 261:1 and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman ibid. Some Poskim, including the Aruch HaShulchan, rule to start with the right hand but the prevalent Minhag is to begin with the left.)


Others are also careful not to cut nails on Thursday, as the re-growth of the nail begins on the third day after being cut, thus it will start to grow on Shabbos. (The Magen Avraham says to cut the toe nails on Thursday and the hand nails on Friday)


d) After nails are cut they should be burned. Flushing them down the toilet is sufficient for them to be considered burnt. The main thing to be careful about is that they not be strewn about the floor, as it can lead to a pregnant woman stepping on them, and may cause her to miscarry her baby. It can also cause danger to other people who may step on them as well.


(Most of the aforementioned Halachos are based on the Talmud Niddah 17a as well as having a basis in kabala sources)


862) Q: Is it permitted to eat in a Shul? 

A: Generally it's  asur, as it isn't proper respect for such a holy place.


For Talmidei Chachamim who learn there a large part of the day, it's more lenient, as for them it's their home. Also, if one needs a drink to help him learn better, there's room for leniency too. 


Also, in Chutz L'Aretz it's a little more lenient than in Eretz Yisroel.


See Shulchan Aruch Siman 151:1 and Mishna Berura there for more details.

#Shul #EatingInShul #KedushasBaisHaknesses

863) Q: Can you please explain the concept of saying mezonot on one slice of pizza, but hamotzi on multiple slices? Does this concept of changing the bracha based on quantity apply to other foods?

A: Any time you eat a meal (i.e. the quantity that can be deemed a meal. i.e. the volume of 4 eggs) of bread-like items made of the 5 grains (Pas HaBa B'Kisnin), even if it is something that is usually mezons, it will require washing and hamotzi.

Hence, when eating 2 slices of pizza, virtually all will agree that it is a meal and requires washing and hamotzi and birchas hamazon. (Surely, if eating 2 slices and a side dish like a knish or French fries along with it, then all poskim will deem this a meal and not a snack)


When eating only 1 slice (which is smaller than the volume of 4 eggs) , it will be mezonos and al hamichya, as this is not usually enough to be deemed kevias seudah. If 1 slice is eaten as a meal, and fills a person up, he should consult a Rav as to its proper bracha and bracha achrona.

The same applies for so-called "mezonos rolls". If eating a roll (that is the volume of 4 eggs) as a meal, it will require washing/hamotzi/birchas hamazon.

Thus, if one goes to a wedding, for example, and wants to avoid washing/bentching, so instead fills himself up on "Mezonos" rolls, crackers, flat breads, bread sticks and other bread-like items on the table, which he eats as part of his meal, he is not correct in what he is doing, as L'halacha he would have to wash, recite Hamotzi and recite Birchas Hamazon on this "meal" despite the fact that he didn't eat any actual bread.

For Halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, every individual must consult their Rav. (See Sefer V'zos Habracha Perek 4 and Halachos of Kzayis by Rav Yisroel Bodner page 124 for more details of these halachos)

#Mezonos #MezonosRoll

864) Q: B'ezras Hashem my son is having his chasuna next week. The Rav has said for parents to carry candles. I was wondering what the background of this is. I am from Litvish descent and so is the family he is marrying into. But I have only seen candles at Chabad weddings. Is it something that was done in "de heim" in Lithuania? What also is the reason?

A: It is a nearly universal minhag (surely in the  Litvish/Yeshiva communities, as far as I know) for the choson and the Kallah to be escorts down the aisle to the Chuppah by  their parents (or two other people, if there are no parents) at either side of them. These two people traditionally hold candles as they walk down the aisle. ( The German custom is not to hold candles, but candles are lit on the table during the chuppa cermoby)


There are many reasons given for this custom, based on Kabalah and other reasons, such as the fact that candles signify increased  joy and thus we want the new couple to have a life filled with joy. Another reason cited is that the wedding union  of a man  and a woman is akin to the "wedding" between Hashem and Klal Yisroel at Har Sinai, and at the giving of the Torah there was fire and torches (See Shemos 20:15). Additionally, the Gematria (numerical value) of Ner (candle) is 250, so when you have 2 candles (250 X2) you get 500, which equals the numerical value of the Hebrew words " Peru U'Revu", signifying our blessing to the new couple that they be fruitful and multiply and be a part of the  eternal chain of Am Yisroel.


(See Shu"t Maharam Mintz Siman 109. See also Sefer Mat’amim, Choson V’Kallah  # 89 and #100 and #101. See also Chidushei HaRan to Sanhedrin 32b for another reason.)

#chasunah #chuppah #jewishwedding #candlesatchuppah #choson #kallah

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