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q&a page 19

916) Q:  My grandson, who lives in Eretz Yisroel for good, came here to America for the Yomim Tovim.  He observes only one day of Yom Tov, since he made aliya to Eretz Yisroel last year.  Is he permitted to eat here in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres? 

A: He should eat in the sukkah with you, in order to not disparage the Yom Tov, but he should say to himself (or if there are more than one in the group of Bnei Eretz Yisroel, they should quietly say to each other)  that he is not sitting there in order to do the mitzvah of sukkah. (See Sha'arei Teshuva Siman 668 Os 3, quoting the Chida in Birchei Yosef)

917) Q: Is it permitted for an adult to create art on Chol Hamoed?  May they participate in a paint night/class? Does it matter how talented one is? 

A: Generally, amateur art is permitted, while more professional art is prohibited.


There are those who are more stringent. See Shu"t Avnei Yashfei Orach Chaim Vol. 1  Siman 110:2

918) Q: If someone realized after baruch sheamar that elokai neshama was skipped -  after shemoneh esrai it's a safek or assur to say,correct? What about saying elokai neshama right after yishtabach?

A: The best course of action in this case, is to have in mind by Shemona Esrei in the bracha of mechayei Hameisim, that you do NOT want this to exempt the bracha of Elokai, Neshama, and  then after Shemona Esrei, say the bracha of Elokai, Neshama. See Mishna Berura Siman 52 S"K 9.


It should ideally not be said after Yishtabach, as being mafsik there is problematic.

919) Q: I understand that opening an umbrella on shabbos is not permitted. Being that it is temporary and not a permanent setup is this considered to be Boneh? 

A: Yes, there are various melachos that  can be transgressed when opening and using an umbrella on Shabbos, including Boneh and making an Ohel, and indeed it has been universally accepted by virtually all Poskim that an umbrellas may not be used  on Shabbos for any purpose, even if it was already open from before Shabbos, and even in an Eiruv. It is also Muktzeh. (See Shu"t Noda B'Yehuda, Mahadura Tinyana,  Orach Chaim Siman 30, Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 52, Biur Halacha Siman 315 Dibur Hamaschil Tefach and Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa perek 24:15. See also Shu”t Rivevos Ephraim  Vol. 7 Siman 105)

920)  Q:  Is it true that we are not supposed to put a purse on our eating tables? I remember hearing that because the table supposed to be like a mizbayach, you don’t put something so mundane as dealing with money on it or something like that.

A: The halacha that a person's table is likened to a Mizbai'ach (based on Talmud Brachos 55), mandates one to have salt on the table when eating (See Rama Siman 167:5) and also mandates the knife being removed or covered before Birchas Hamazon (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 180:5 and Mishna Berura there). I am not, however, aware of any halacha forbidding money to be on a table.


According to Kabalistic sources it is proper not to sit or stand on a table. (See also  Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 6 Siman 95 and Sefer Chasidim Siman 920)

921) Q: I read your Halachos of Muktzeh  that a cell phone can be moved out of the room letzorech mekomo. However, many smartphones would presumably be muktzeh machmat chesron kis. 


Do you think it makes sense to differentiate between a cheap flip phone, and a more expensive smartphone in ths Halacha?


A:Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal and other contemporary Poskim rule that a cell phone is Muktzeh as a Kli Shemelachto L'Isur, not as Machmas Chisaron Kis. 


He did not differentiate between cheap ones or expensive ones, though it is definitely possible that if one has a very expensive one and he is very careful with it and doesn't let his children touch it that it would be Machmas Chisaron Kis for him, but most phone today, even smart phones, are treated the same, and not "off limits" to kids etc., and thus would be Keilim Shemelachtam L'Isur, according to most Poskim


For Halacha L'Maaseh, of course, ask your Rav.

922) Q: During Shachris today, I needed to use the bathroom. I took off my tefillin right after tachnun without the intention to put them back on. After taking them off I realized that I was unsure if I had said  V'sein tal umatar, and thus had to repeat Shemona esrei. In such a case, do I need to put my tefillin back on to say shemoneh esrei again? If yes, do I need to say the bracha again on tefilin, as I had no intention to put them back on.

A: You don't have to put them on, but if you do, since you intended to not put them back on, a new bracha will be required. (See Mishna Berura Siman 25 S"K 47 regarding in general, when a new bracha is required after using the restroom and when not.)

923)  Q: Sometimes after being washed the ends of the tzitzis fray. Is there an issue of cutting off the frayed tips (the bottom inch or so), as long as a tefach remains? What should be done with the parts cut off? I was told they do not need to be put in shaimos, is it sufficient to put them in an envelope, and the envelope in regular garbage?

A: They may be cut. 


According to kabalah, it is best  not to cut Tzitzis with a metal blade.(See Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 11:24 and Mishna Berura Siman 11 S"K 61)  Best to use a plastic, ceramic  or  other non-metal blade to cut them, or do it with the teeth. Some people use a small flame.


Once cut, according to the letter of the lawthey may be respectfully discarded.  Some people do put it in Shaimos, and some  have a minhag to put these strings inside a sefer, so not to throw it out, but Halachically they have no Kedusha and are only Tashmishei Mitzvah, so they may be discarded respectfully. (See Rama Siman 21:1 and Mishna Berura S" K 6-8 for more details about this. See also Aruch Hashulchan Siman 21:4)

924) Q: We know that someone who lost a parent, lo aleinu,is only permitted to have a haircut after 30 days, if someone told him that he looked unkempt. After that first haircut, are there any restrictions? Does he have to wait again until someone tells him he looks unkempt?

A: During the first 3 months, it would require  someone to tell him  for each haircut. 


Once 3 months have passed, many Poskim say the restriction of haircuts is no longer in effect, while others say  that once someone tells him, he can then take a haircut anytime in the next 3 months, and then once again needs someone to tell him, for another 3 month reprieve. It is proper to be stringent unless due to great necessity. (See  Rama and Rav Akiva Eiger  Yoreh Deah Siman 390:4. See also Shu"y Chasam Sofer Yoreh deah Siman 247 and Shu"t Igros Moshe Yoreh deah  Vol. 3 Siman 156)


For Halacha L'ma'aseh, each individual should consult their own Rav.


925) Q:  I daven in a minyan that in mid-summer will get to Barchu before plag haminchah on Erev Shabbos. If it is difficult to get to a minyan that davens later, would it be better to daven Kabollos Shabbos and Maariv b’yechidos after plag, or daven with the minyan?

A: One may not accept Shabbos before plag.  (See Mishna Berura Siman 261 S"K 25 that if one did accept Shabbos earlier it is null and void. There is an opinion among the Poskim that gives validity to his mistaken acceptance of Shabbos even before plag, and thus  he possibly should act as if it is already Shabbos, even though L'Chatchila this should not be done, in deference to this opinion. See Aruch HaShulchan Siman Siman 263:19)


You may not daven maariv before plag. (See Mishna Berua Siman 267:4 that if you did, you have to daven over. Some Poskim say B'dieved you do not need to re-daven. See Aruch Hashulchan ibid.)


You may not light shabbos candles before plag and if they were lit it's a bracha L'vatalah and they must be extinguished and re-lit. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 263:4. Some Poskim give some leeway to light before plag and recite the bracha after plag. See Mogen Avaraham Siman 263:11. Many Poskim, including Rav Akiva Eiger, reject this opinion. All agree that this would only work B'dieved, and all agree that the bracha certainly cannot be recited before Plag, even if relying on this opinion)


For Halacha L'ma'aseh each individual should consult their Rav.

926) Q: I am a woman. When skipping from Krias Shema right to  to shemoneh esrei (as women are not obligated in Birchos krias shema) should I say Tehilos... Tzur yisroel or just start from Hashem sfasai tiftach? 

A:  In order to say  the ending of the bracha Ga'al Yisroel (and connect Geuah to Tefila) you must say  everything from Emes V'Yatziv until  Shemona esrei.  If you can't do that, start shemona esrei immediately after  saying Shema, as not saying the entire text and only ending off with a few words and saying "Baruch Ata Hashem Go'al Yisroel" would be a bracha L'vatalah.

927) Q: Is it halacha to keep Yoshon or just something that some people are machmir about?

A: In Eretz Yisroel it is a requirement. In Chutz L'Aretz, the Shulchan Aruch rules it is a requirement too, while Bach and Mogen Avraham maintain that it does not apply to Chutz l'Aretz.


The Rama maintains that in Chutz L'Aretz it is acceptable to be lenient, though it does apply as well according to the letter of the law.


Though many people in Chutz L'Aretz are lenient, and they have on whom to rely, it is definitely  praiseworthy to be stringent if one is able to, and definitely  those who are stringent should not be ridiculed.


See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 489:10  ( and Mishna Berura there S"K  45 at length) and Shulchan Aruch and  Rama and Bach   Yoreh Deah Siman 293:2  and MOgen Avrohom Orach Chaim Siman 489:17

928) Q: .Is one permitted to walk in front of someone davening shmoneh esrai if there is a table separating them?


A: If the table is not 10 Tefachim high, no.


If it is 10 tefachim high some (including the Aruch Hashulchan Siman 102:!3)  are lenient, though the Mishna Berura Siman 102 S"K 2 is machmir. In case of great necessity, there is room for leniency.


A shtender that is taller than 10 tefachim and wider than 4 tefachim, according to some Poskim  (including Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Halichos Shlomo Perek 8:33) is better than a table, as it is more of a separation.

929) Q: Someone told me that when you daven for a refuah shalayma for a baby, you should say Tinok ben name of mother, then name of mother bas her mother (grandmother of tinok). Is this true?

A: You are most likely referring to a baby that does not yet have a name

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal used to tell people that when davening for a child without a name, you say:

"Tinok (or Tinokes) that was born to [mother] bas [her father]"

(Quoted in Sefer Sheimos B'Aretz, Rav Chaim's sefer about names.)


If the baby has a name, you daven for them the way you daven for anyoneelse, their name ben/bas their mother's name.

930)  Q: Recently I was at a melava malka.  I washed for bread and after I said hamotzi, the person next to me said hamotzi and I answered amen before even putting my bread in my mouth.  


Did I need a new bracha hamotzi?  Did I need to wash again?


(At that melava malka I waited till another person said hamotzi to be motzi me, and then I ate my bread.)

A: Yes, that Amen was not suppised to be answered. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 167:6)


After the fact, some poskim require a new bracha in this case.Others do not.

(See Biur Halacha Siman 25:9 Dibur hamaschil v'im and Sha'ar Hatziyun Siman 215 Os 2)


Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach ruled that if the Amen was on a same/similar bracha, we don't repeat, as bdieved we don't deem it a hefsek.

Had the Amen been on a totally different bracha, it would Indeed require a new Hamotzi.

(See Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek48:7 footnotes 38 and 39)


No new washing is needed.  You should not have waitied to hear the bracha from someone else; you should have eaten as soona s possible after your bracha.

931) Q: When I was a child growing up in Hungary, I was told that walking in socks was prohibited, unless one was sitting shiva. Is this true or a myth?

A: There is no halachic issue to walk while just wearing socks only (except possibly during davening)


However, Al pi kabalah, it is said that since the sin of the serpent in Gan Eden there's a Ruach Ra on the ground and thus needs a separation when walking. However,  it's not clear if this issue is only when totally barefoot, or if also an issue with socks on, and no shoes.


Also, the Seforim say it's a sign of mourning to walk around with just socks and no shoes. 


In any case, if your family/community is makpid on this it's a good idea to stick to it.

932) Q: May I feed my fish over Pesach food that may contain Chometz in it?

A: One may not feed his/her fish, dog, or any other pet any food that is, or contains in it, chometz, for the duration of Pesach. Chometz pet food must be discarded or destroyed, or sold to a Aino yehudi before Pesach, just like any other Chometz meant for human consumption.

933) Q: Is one allowed to go to a cemetery on Friday after chatzos? 

A: Allowed, yes.  Is it recommended? No, as the Kabalists say that at times when we don't say Tachanun, the souls are not there, as they descend heavenward.

934) Q: Is there a reason to be more stringent with eating only pas yisroel on shabbos, even if one is not stringent with this at other times? 

A: Yes, the Mishna Berura (Siman 242 S"K 6) says that even those who normally are not stringent to only eat Pas Yisroel, should try and be stringent on Shabbos and Yom Tov, as this is proper Kavod Shabbos.

935) Q: How much can a matzoh be chipped or cracked and still be considered whole for Lechem Mishna purposes?


A: Ideally, nothing should be missing. In situations where you don't have a complete Challah or Matzah, it is still deemed a "Shalem"  B'dieved, so long as 1/48 (approximately 2%) or less of the bread is missing.

(See  Shu"t Chacham Tzvi Siman 62 and Machtzis Hashekel  Siman 274:1)

936) Q: What is the source that it is muter to kasher kaylim with steam? Can I also kasher my pot lids with steam?

A: Allowing Kashering with  steam is far from simple, and even if it is mutar in certain situations (which is very questionable if the Torah allowed this method) , it is certainly not  acceptable for Pesach Koshering.


See Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah Vol. 1 Siman 60 and Yoreh Deah Vol. 3 Siman 30

937) Q: Is there a source for not putting other  seforim on top of a Chumash?

A: Yes. See Rama Yoreh Deah  Siman 282:19. See also Bais Lechem Yehuda  Yoreh Deah Siman 283:1 quoting the Sefer Chasidim, not to put any seforim on top of Sifrei Nach

938) Q: Maybe you can address the question of what to do when you’re somewhere in middle of Kiddush Levanah, and someone says “Shalom Aleichem” to you. Where are you allowed to be mafsik and return the “Aleichem Shalom”, and where not ? I find myself not quite sure what to do .


A: Only during the first bracha can you not be mafsik. Once you finish that bracha and are just saying additional Pesukim and Tefilos etc. you can be Mafsik to answer " Aleichem Shalom"

939) Q: I see many people saying the bracha of asher yatzar while drying their hands and walking. Is that in accordance with halacha?

A: Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld Zatzal (See Shu"t Shalmas Chaim Siman 14, 15 and 157) allows reciting the bracha of Asher Yatzar while drying the hands.


The Chazon Ish and the Steipler Zichronam L'vracha used to do this as well, as they held it's part of the mitzvah, to have clean, dry hands. See Orchos Rabbeinu Vol. 3 page187. Also due to kavod habriyos.


Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal, on the other hand was makpid to recite the bracha only after his hands were totally dry. See Halichos Shlomo;Tefilah perek 22;Orchos Halacha 20. The Ben Ish Chai (Year 1 Parashas Shemini Os 7) also unequivocally prohibits this.


Bottom line: Both ways have valid support in Halacha and definitely "Ain Limchos" to anyone who does dry while reciting the bracha.


Regarding walking, Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal (Halichos Shlomo;Tefilah Perek 22: 5) says that while there's no isur, L'chatchila it's  best to be standing in one place while reciting brachos, as there is more yishuv hadaas when standing still.

940) Q: What Bracha does one say on chocolate covered raisins? chocolate covered peanuts?

A: There are various different Halachic opinions regarding this.

The Be’er Heittev (Siman 204 Os 19) rules that the bracha is recited on what is inside, and not on the covering, thus a chocolate covered peanut would be Ho’adama and a chocolate covered raisin would be Ha’eitz. This is also how the Mishna Berura rules. (Siman 204 S”K 51)


Other Poskim rule that the chocolate is always the Ikar and only a Shehakol would be recited. (See Ben ish Chai parashas Pichas Siman 15, See also Shu”t Be’er Moshe Vol. 1 Siman 7)


Other Poskim maintain that the bracha would be recited on the item which is desired more, thus if you enjoy the chocolate more than the peanut, you would recite a Shehakol on it. (Psak of Chacham Ovadia Yoseph Zatzal and other Poskim)


Other Poskim say it goes after which of the two ingredients is the majority, thus a large peanut covered by a thin layer of chocolate would be Ho’adama.


Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 31) maintained that it requires 2 brachos, a Ho’adama on the peanut and a SheHakol on the chocolate, as both items are equally important.See also ben Ish Chai ibid. quoting his father’s minhag)


The most ideal thing to do is to recite the 2 brachos on 2 other items and thus exempt the chocolate covered item, according to all opinions.  (e.g. Recite a Ho’adama on a piece of watermelon and a Shehakol on a piece of candy, and thus the chocolate covered peanut will be exempt by those two brachos)


See also Shu”t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 7 Siman 27:5


For Halacha L’ma’aseh each individual should consult their own Rav.


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