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q&a page 15

696) Q: Is a secular newspaper muktzeh on shabbos?

A: Business newspapers or those that are all or mostly advertisements may not be read on Shabbos. Regular newspapers, according to some Poskim may be read while other Poskim prohibit it. All agree that even in papers that may be read, the advertisements may not be read on Shabbos. See Q&A #606 for more about this.

Newspapers that may be read on Shabbos are not Muktzeh, while those that may not be read are indeed Muktzeh.

A Newspaper that was delivered on Shabbos morning, and thus was printed on Friday night is Muktzeh due to being Nolad, an entity that wasn’t in existence at the onset of Shabbos, and may not be read or even moved.

697) Q: What is the halacha regarding using small hourglasses to time board games on shabbos? What about looking at a watch or clock to measure time?

A: Use of an hourglass or any timer is prohibited on Shabbos, besides for use for an ill person, even if its choleh sh’ain bo sakana. Being that it may not be used, it is also considered Muktzeh. (See Mishna Berura Siman 308:165 and Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 28:30)
There is no prohibition to simply  look at a watch or clock to time something.

698) Q: What is the Torah’s view about utilizing the services of a physician? My friend refuses to see a doctor as he says as a Jew he needs to trust in Hashem only. Is there basis to this?

A:This is a complex topic and one that has been debated for centuries. Here are just a few basic points:


The Ramban to Vayikra 26:11 states that ideally Klal Yisroel was not meant to need the services of doctors as they turned to Hashem and He healed those that needed healing. He further writes that in the times of the prophets many righteous people did not seek out doctors when they took ill rather they sought the advice of the prophets how to rid themselves of sin and thus rid themselves of their ills [which were brought upon them due to their sins].


Only in later years when people started turning to doctors instead of doing Teshuva did Hashem start allowing things to indeed be in the hands of doctors to the point that Hashem didn’t heal with Teshuva alone in most cases and also required intervention by doctors.


Ibn Ezra to Shmos 21:18 maintains that doctors may only heal external wounds while internal ones must be left to Hashem.


Rambam (who was himself a physician) and Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah Siman 336:1), however, rule that it is acceptable for Jews to visit doctors when they are ill and it is a Mitzvah for doctors to perform their services.


Many Gedolim throughout our history have utilized the services of doctors and medications, and nobody nowadays should refrain from doing what is naturally necessary to heal themselves.


Of course, even as one uses the services of a doctor he should continue praying for himself and continue believing that a doctor can only heal as a messenger from Hashem and not with his own healing powers.


Also, the Hishtadlus of a doctor is only allowed to the point that it is common in society. Doing hishtadlus beyond what is normal is a breach of Bitachon and should not be done. Thus, for example, while it's OK to seek out a doctor that B'derech Hateva seems like the right choice for whatever the ailment is, it is prohibited to believe that only using the top specialist can be the messenger to heal, and that anyone less than him , even if he is competent, will not do.


Lastly, even when utilizing the services of doctors, remember that they have been given permission to heal; they have not been given permission to declare a situation hopeless, or to make pronouncements about the outcome of any procedures which they ultimately have no knowledge about. That is always in the hands of Hashem.


As with everything, a Rav should be consulted for Halacha L'Ma'aseh in each specific situation.


699) Q: I heard that if one comes home late and the Shabbos candles are burning they can make a bracha on them on Shabbos. The reason is that the bracha is for benefiting from the light. Is this correct Lemassah? One thing that does not make sense to me is that the bracha is Lehadlick ner shel …. (To Light…) one did not light any candles at that time.

A: The Bracha can only be recited as long as it is permissible to light the candles (i.e. before shkiah, and in certain instances possibly even during bain hashmashos), but once night falls no longer may the Bracha be recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 263:21 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil K’sheyadlik Yevarech)

700) Q: Under what circumstances must a child to listen to their parents if they dissagree on a Shiduch [ a prospective marriage match]?

A: There is no halachic obligation for a child to marry a spouse  that the parents want, if he doesn't want to, and vice versa. (See Rama  Yoreh Deah Siman 240:25)
That being said, it is always best to try and  discuss it with them to come to a shared opinion

701) Q: When a parent dies is there a Halacha that you can’t wear the person's shoes?  Is this for anyone or only their children?  Also what about other clothing?

A: Halachically, all clothing of a deceased person may be worn. Only regarding shoes, if they were worn by the deceased while he was ill or at the time of death is there a custom to not wear them, based on kabalistic reasons. (See Gesher HaChaim Vol. 1 Perek 8:2)

702) Q: If I see that my menorah is running low on oil and will not last for the full 1/2 hour may I put in more oil?

A: No, once it is lit you may not add oil. If indeed it wasn’t enough oil to  last half an hour you were not Yotzei and  must then relight it, without a bracha this time, with enough oil to last at least half an hour.
See Shulchan Aruch Siman 675:2 and Mishna Berura S”K 8.


703) Q: Until what time can a person wash and say hamotzi for Seudah Shlishis on Shabbos, and after what time is it too late and shalosh seudos should not be eaten anymore?

A: Until half an hour before Tzeis Hakochavim, the emergence of three stars, one can still eat, but preferably best to start  before shkiah. If you wash,even a little bit after shkiah, then you may eat past the zman (and bentch with Retzei when done, even if it’s after Tzeis Hkochavim), whereas if you didn’t wash, best to stop eating when it is half hour before Tzeis Hakochavim. See Mishna Berura Siman 299:1


704) Q: In what type of cup must kiddush be made.  I have heard that there are issues with making kiddush from a plastic or paper or styrofoam cup because it is not bakovedik(respectable) for the kiddush.  However, someone claimed that it must only be made in a cup made from metal, specifically silver or silver plated.  Someone else argued that it could indeed be made from a crystal or glass cup.  Finally, what about gold or copper?
Also, would you have a makor so I could look into this further myself and/or show the people what it says ‘inside’?

A: The material for a cup used for kiddush, or other Kos Shel Bracha, can be of any material, e.g. gold, silver, copper, glass etc. It is ideal to use a nice, respectable cup.
Regarding disposable cups, the Poskim debate if it considered a utensil and thus acceptable, or since it is meant to dispose of it isn’t acceptable.
HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Vol. 3 Siman 39 rules stringently, and does not allow it, unless in cases of great necessity where no other cup is available “perhaps” it’s ok to be lenient. This is also the ruling of Dayan Yitzchok Weiss Zatal in Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 10 Siman 23. He goes so far as to necessitate designating this disposable cup as the one you will always use in the future when no regular Kos is available.

Other Poskim, including the Tzitz Eliezer Vol.12 Siman 23 as well as HaRav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal (quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchaso Perek 47 footnote 51) are more lenient and consider a disposable cup an acceptable utensil.
In Shu”t Az Nidberu Vol.6 Siman 48 he rules that although it’s acceptable, it is lacking in “Hidur Mitzvah” to use such a cup. (See also addendum to that Siman on page 154 in the same volume)
If using the hard plastic cups available nowadays, which are much more durable than the regular disposable cups and indeed are used by many at respectable meals, many Poskim feel that these are indeed acceptable.
Some people, when using a disposable cup, put one cup into another one and make kiddush using this double cup. It isn’t clear exactly how or why this would solve the problem.

For Halacha L’Maaseh a Rav must be consulted.


705) Q: If I forgot to say “Retzei” in Birchas Hamazon on Shabbos, must I repeat the Birchas Hamazon?

A: If Retzei was forgotten (or even if you aren’t sure if it was recited), if you remember before finishing U’vnei Yerushalayim, you can say it there. If you already started the last words “Baruch Ata Hashem”. finish with the words ‘Lamdeini Chukecha’, and then say Retzei there and then continue as usual.


If you remember after finishing Bracha of U’Vnei Yerushalayim, but before starting the next Bracha, you can say the following special text “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam Shenasan Shabasos L’menucha L’amo Yisroel B’Ahava L’Os U’LeBris Baruch Ata Hashem Mekadesh HaShabbos”

If one does not rememeber the above text, he must start Birchas hamazon over again. (For the first two seudos of Shabbos, and in certain cases also for Seudah shlishis. See Mishna Berura Siman 188:31. See also Aruch HaShulchan Siman188:20 that although the Bais Yosef rules not to repeat by Seudah shlishis, if someone’s minhag is to always eat bread for Seudah Shlishis (and thus he accepted it upon himself as such), indeed he has to repeat the Retzei if forgotten.)


If you already started the Bracha of Hatov V’Hameitiv, you must repeat the entire birchas hamazon.

706) Q: What do the Australians do in regards to V’sen Tal Umatar? Do they say like the rest of the world or since there seasons are different they switch it around?

A: This is a big question, with no simple answer.
The prevalent ruling is for them to say V’Sein Tal U’matar during the days that it is winter in Eretz Yisroel, even if it’s summer for them and vice versa. However,when it is winter for them, they may add V’sein Tal U’Matar into the Bracha of Shomea Tefilah.
There is an opinion as well that they should say V’sein Bracha year round. Others say that is only the case if rain in the summer would be harmful for them.
Another opinion maintains that in their summer they should say “V’sein Tal U’Matar L’Vracha B’Artzeinu HaKedosha” making it a Tefilah on behalf of the Jews in Eretz Yisroel.
There are quite a few other opinions as well.
See Sefer Ishei Yisroel Perek 23:42 and the footnotes there for all the various opinions.

707) Q: Is a pair of old Tzitzis considered shaimos and has to be buried or am I allowed to throw it out?
A: Tzitzis are Tashmishei Mitzvah, not Tashmishei Kedusha, and as such. M’Ikar Hadin may be discarded. However, they should be wrapped in a bag first, so as not to be thrown out disrespectfully, as with other items used for a Mitzvah. Some are stringent to place them in Shaimos or use them for another Mitzvah purpose, but again, M’Ikar D’din they may be respectfully discarded. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 21:1. See also Sefer Ginzei HaKodesh 17:13 quoting HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal )

708) Q: I have always toiveled everything (besides plastic) that will be used for food. Recently I was told that pieces with a glaze on it  Ex. china , glazed ceramic.. don’t need to be toiveled. What is the halachah in regard to this? Also some people dip their pieces once and some people dip three times. which is the correct way?

A: Some Poskim rule that Glazed China and BoneWare  does not require Tevilah (See Emes L’Yaakov from HaRav Yaakov Kamenetzky Zatal Yoreh Deah Siman 120 footnote 52)

However, may contemporary Poskim rule that they indeed require Tevilah, albeit without a Bracha. This is the prevalent custom.
Halachically, only one full immersion is required.

709) Q: What are the various times during the day or night that are an Eis Ratzon for personal prayers?
A: There are many days throughout the year that are especially times of ratzon, such as Aseres Yemei Teshuva. However, Tefilas Mincha, each and every day of the year is an especially opportune time for our Tefilos to be answered. (See Shu”t HaRashba Vol. 5 Siman 1)

710) Q: Why can’t we say Kiddush Levana the first three days of the month?

A: Because the moon has to be visible enough to be able to derive benefit from its light, which it isn’t until three, or according to some, seven ,days after the Molad. (See Mishna Berura Siman 426:20)

711) Q: Is it permissible to reuse a stamp that arrives on a letter in the mail that  was not postmarked? Does this fall under the category of To'us Akum?
A: The stamp may not be reused. (See Shu”t Mishneh Halachos Vol. 6 Siman 288 for a  discussion as to why)

712) Q: Are women supposed to wash mayim achronim before saying birchas hamazon? And if not why are only men obligated?

A: The Shulchan Aruch Siman 181:1, does not differentiate between menand women, and indeed many Poskim, including Rav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg Zatzal, rule that women should do it.  HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal required the females in his family to wash Mayim Achronim.

Other Poskim are more lenient and rule that women need not do it, as the two reasons for mayim achronim (to cleanse the dangerous “melach sedomis” substance from the hands and to be holy like the Kohanim who could not do avodah with soiled hands) do not apply to them as nowadays, according to many Poskim, we dont worry about melach sedomis and women are not able to do avodah in the bais hamikdash, whereas men still have at least one of the reasons. (See Mishna Berura Siman 181:22)

Each woman should follow her family or community custom.

713) Q: What is the reason for not davening in ones bedroom?

A: There is no Halachic prohibition to daven in a bedroom, unless there are immodest or foul smelling items present in the room.

714) Q: Is person allowed to recite kaddish for his biological father who is a gentile? Is it true that Rav Ovadia Yoseph permits saying Kaddish for a gentile father.

A: Yes, there is nothing wrong with reciting Kaddish in memory of a non-Jew.  Chacham Rav Ovadiya Yosef Zatzal (in Shu”t Yechaveh Da’as Vol.6 Siman 60) rules that as long as the non-Jew one is saying Kaddish for was an upstanding, moral person, it is acceptable to say Kaddish for them.

715) Q: Is baking powder Kitniyos?

A:  Yes, baking powder requires a Kosher for Passover certification, as many of them contain corn starch or other Kitniyos ingredients.

716) Q:  Someone made a bris for his son today (Thursday) after it was delayed a few weeks due to illness. I recently received a halacha email that said that a bris which is not bizmano, on the 8th day,  may not be done on Thursday, Friday or Shabbos due to possible Shabbos issues. Is there a difference between ashkenazim or sefardim or is this untrue?

A:  See Taz Yoreh Deah Siman 262:3 quoting the Rashba about Thursday.


The Taz is a da’as yachid (minority opinion) regarding Friday.


Certain Chasidish Poskim go with this ruling for Thursday and sometimes even for Friday.


Most other Poskim do not worry about this, however, and make the bris ASAP even on Thursday or Friday.


Of course, a Milah Shelo Bizmanah is never done on Shabbos.


For Halacha L'Ma'aseh, each individual must consult their own Rav.

717) Q: Can my wife put pins into her Styrofoam shaitel head os Shabbos ? Does it make a difference if the shaitel is on the shaitel head or not?

A: Yes, a shaitel may be pinned to a styrofoam head on Shabbos, and the pins may be removed when the shaitel is
needed as well.

718)  Q: Is one allowed to buy and give a present during sefirah?

A: Yes. There is no prohibition to buy and/or give gifts during Sefirah.

719) Q: You mentioned in a recent email that a Chupah may not be inside of a Shul. Can you explain why this is the case, as I know of some people that do indeed make Chupahs in a Shul.

A: Many years ago, the minhag was to indeed have the chupah inside of a shul. (See Maharil Hilchos Nisuin, Rama Yoreh Deah Siman 391:3)


However, a few hundred years ago this minhag was abolished as the Christian custom was to have their wedding ceremonies inside their places of worship and the Rabanim wanted to differentiate between Jewish and non-Jewish weddings. (See Shu”t MaHaram Shik Siman 87)


Moreover, when the reform Jews began holding their Chupahs inside their temples, the rabanim strengthened the original abolishment and reiterated their position that our chuppah should not take place inside the shul.

There are other reasons cited in the Poskim as well to refrain from having a Chupah in the actual shul.


This “prohibition” was accepted by most congregations in Klal Yisroel.


See Shu” t Chasam Sofer Vol. 1 Siman 98,Chasan Sofer siman 85,Divrei Malkiel Vol. 5 Siman205, Ksav Sofer siman 47, Sdei Chemed; Choson V’Kallah 1,  just to name a few sources where this is discussed.


There are Poskim  ( including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Even HaEzer  Siman 93) that maintain that nowadays it  may once again be permitted, or at least the prohibition is not in force with the strength it was years ago when the non-Jews and  reform Jews made their weddings strictly in their temples.


In certain Sephardic congregations, however, the prohibition was never  accepted and they always continues  to have the Chupah in the actual Shul. (see Sdei Chemed ibid. , Shu”t Yabia Omer Vol. 3 Siman18)

There is a lot more to say on this topic, but this is not the place for a lengthier discourse.

Of course, for halacha L’ma’aseh every individual must seek guidance from a competent orthodox Rav.


720) Q: I have heard that the Chasam Sofer held that if one sleeps after eating fleishig, he does not need to wait 6 hous before eating milchig.  Do you know if this is correct, and, if so, where the source can be found?

A: There is such an opinion, and the Chasam Sofer is said to have agreed with it originally, but later reversed his opinion and ruled that a full six hours was required regardless of sleeping. See See  Shu"t Teshuvos V'Hanhagos  Vol. 1 Siman 431.

721) Q: What is the Halacha regarding wearing Tzitzis straight on the skin of the body and why you we wear it on top of a shirt and where can the Halacha be found ?

A: Some Poskim are lenient and others are stringent and consider it a disgrace. If being worn as an undershirt specifically to  protect from sweat, it is more problematic, as some Poskim say it then does not even require Tzitzis.


See Shu"t Rivevos Efraim Vol. 4 Siman15 and Shu"t Teshuvos V'hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 25 

722) Q: Someone mentioned to me today that there might be a halacha about not sleeping alone, either in a room or in an apartment, unless a light is turned on (as a last resort if you have no choice). Is there such a halach? If so what's the source? 

A: Yes, this is correct. If a light is on somewhere in the home, it's OK.

Based on the Talmud Shabbos 151b. See also Mogen Avraham Siman 239:7 and Mishna Berura Siman 239 S"K 9 and Eishel Avrohom (Butchatc) Siman 239.

723) Q: I believe that Birchas hamazon is d'oiraisa, if so do you have to eat a ka'bei'tzoh (egg) ? If so, how how big is a ka'bei'tzoh ?


A: Birchas Hamazon is indeed d'oraysa, and to be obligated  biblically one needs  to eat "Kdei Sevia",meaning he has to eat enough to be deemed "satisfied".  This may be dependent on each  individual, or perhaps an amount that satisfies an average  person, which is around 2-3 kbeitzim. See Mishnah Berurah Siman 184:22


However, M'drabanan, he is obligated on a Kzayis as well. (See Mishnah Berurah ibid and  Aruch Hashulchan Siman 184:9)


A Kbeitza is approximately 2 K'zeisim. 


724) Q: Have you seen the obligation to say/hear 4 kedushas and 10 kaddish  on a daily basis?


A: Yes. See Aruch Hashulchan Siman 55:4 quoting the Kadmomim that every  person should try to fulfill the word TZADIK every day. Tzadik=90 Amens. Daled= 4 Kedushos . Yud=10 Kadeishim. Kuf=100 brachos.



725) Q: I have always been told when putting on shoes to put on the right then left but tie the left then right.


Recently someone said that is only for men, but women are supposed to put on right tie right then put on left and tie left. What is the proper thing to do and is this halacha or minhag.

A:Indeed, many Poskim rule that women need not tie the left shoe first, and may put on the right shoe and tie it immediately. See Halichos Shlomo, Tefilah, Siman 2:20 


726)  Q: I noticed that there are various Nuschaos (texts) to the "Haneiros Halalu" song that is sang after lighting the Chanukah Menorah. What is the source for reciting this text?


A: The source for saying these words, which state the reason for the lighting of the Menorah as a praise to Hashem for miraculously saving us, is a teaching in Maseches Sofrim Perek 20:6, and brought in Shulchan Aruch Siman 676:4. Yes there are various versions of this, but all are basically expressing the same idea. The Likutei Mahrich, Inyanei Chanukah, discusses the various versions on a kabalistic level. See also Mishna Berura Siman 676 S"K 8.

#chanukah #alhanisim

727) Q:  I heard that when lighting the menorah on Friday afternoon, the song of "Ma'oz Tzur" is not recited. Is this true?

A: The prevalent custom is to recite Ma'oz Tzur after each lighting of the Menorah, including on Erev Shabbos. Some have the custom to sing it when coming home from Shul on Friday noght and some have the custom to sing it as part of the zemiros of the Shabbos seudah on Friday night, but I think that is in addition to saying it immediately after lighting the Menorah. (See Sefer Leket Yosher page 152 and Orchos Rabbeinu Vol. 3 Os 104)


728) Q: In some circles there is a minhag to give "Chanukah Gelt" only on the 5th day of Chanukah. What is the reason for this?

A: This was the minhag of the Steipler Zatzal, and his son, Harav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, explained that the 5th day of Chanukah is the only night that can never fall out on Shabbos. Incidentally, the Steipler only gave Chanukah Gelt to his single children and grandchildren and not to those that were already married.(See orchos Rabbeinu Vol. 3)

729) Q: What's the halach for a man who forgot to say yaaleh v'yavo in mincha?

A: He must repeat the Shemona Esrei. If it is already night, he must daven 2 Shemona Esreis at maariv. If at Maariv it is no longer Rosh Chodesh, he doesnt say ya'aleh V'Yavo in either of the 2, but he should stipulate that if he isn't obligated to repeat the second Shemona esrei inthis case (as is the hlacha according to some opinions, as he isn't making up the missed Ya'aleh V'Yavo) then the second davening should be a Tefilas Nedava, a voluntary Tefilah, and if he is obligated, then it should serve as the make up Tefilah that he wasn't Yotzi earlier at Mincha. (See Mishna Berura Siman 108:33)

730) Q: Why don't we make a bracha achrona after the first or second cups of wine on the Seder night? Especially why not after the first if we make a new bracha rishona on the second? 

A: We don't want it to seem disconnected from the Seudah, as we need Kidush B'Makom Seudah, thus we do not  "cut it off" via a bracha achrona. See Halichos Shlomo, Pesach, Perek 9:24 and footnote 49.

731) Q:  In our times, what problems, if any, are involved in a woman riding a horse?

A: There are Rabbanim who frown upon women riding on horses, due to modesty issues as well as issues of "Lo Tilbash", as riding a horse in certain manners may be halachically deemed as a man's activity. This is definitely the case if they are riding in the presence of men, and may be more lenient if no men are present.


See Talmud Pesachim 3a-b and Rashi 3a Dibur Hamaschil Ki Amar.


All would agree that if a woman is riding a horse, she must do so dressed in a way that her tznius will not be compromised whatsoever. See Rashi to Shmos 28:6 where he describes the Efod that the Kohen Gadol wore as being similar to  an apron or coat worn by women who rode horses to ensure that no parts of their body that are required to remain covered become exposed  due to them riding the horse.


The saddles that we have nowadays may also decrease the problem.


As with everything, a Rav should be consulted for Halacha L'Ma'aseh.

732) Q: Is there anything wrong with playing a game on an ipod which has a image of a women with her arms uncovered ?

A: One must  avoid looking at  any images that aren't modest,be they in a game, on TV or in movies or anywhere,  as this invariably leads to forbidden thoughts and a transgression of "V'lo Sasuru acharei Levavchem V'Acharei Eineichem" as well as other Issurim.

.This applies surely to men, but can be an issue for women as well. See Shu"t Yechaveh Da'as Vol. 4 Siman 7 and Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim Vol. 6 Siman 460 Anaf 8

For halacha L'Ma'seh it's best to consult with your Rav for proper guidance.

733) Q:  I just replaced my Retzuos on my Tefilin , may I wear them for the first time in the 9 days?

A: A reader had this question and received a ruling from Rav Zev Cohen Shlita, a Rav in Chicago, that it would be OK to wear them. Similarly, a boy may wear Tefilin for the first time in the 9 days.

734) Q: If one is not fasting on Tisha B'Av for acceptable health or medical reasons, do they need to recite havdalah this year, as the fast starts on Motzaei Shabbos, before they can eat?

A: Yes, indeed they would need to recite the havdalah before being able to eat. A reader informed  me that Rav Dovid Zucker Shlita, Rosh Kolel in Chicago and talmid of rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, ruled that this Havdalah may be recited over wine or grape juice, as with any Havdalah in the 9 days.


735) Q: I know that on Tisha B'Av we don't wash our hands past our knuckles. My question is, may we wash more than once after using the restroom, or is only one time permitted?

A: Halachically, according to most Poskim it is not necessary to wash more than once after using the restroom. (See Mishna Berura Siman 4 S"K 39)


However, if one has the custom to  be stringent and always wash 2 or 3 times after using the restroom, as some people do, he may do so on Tisha B'Av as well, as long as each of the 2 or 3 washings are only until the knuckles. (See Halichos Shlomo; Bein Hametzorim Perek 15:3)

736) Q: This year, when Motzaei Tisha B'Av is on Sunday night, and Havdalah will need to be recited, may we use wine or is it still considered the 9 days and it's better to not use wine?

A:  Many Poskim allow wine for Havdalah even during the 9 days, as we mentioned, but even those who use beer, coffee or other beverages for Havdalah  during the 9 days, may use wine for Havdalah on Sunday night, according to many Poskim, as Motzaei Tisha B'Av is more lenient than during the 9 days, and surely when Motzaei Tisha B'Av is already 11 Av, as it is this year. (See Mishna Berura Siman 558 S"K 2 and  Halichos Shlomo; Bein hametzorim Perek 15:27 and footnote 82)

737) Q: I was wondering, what is the source that one should treat their spouse as a Niddah (for the purposes of touching) on Tisha'a B'av? I have just never heard of this idea.


A: See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 124:12 and Mishna Berura  Siman 554 S"K 37. The Mishna Berura rules that there is room for leniency during the daytime. Some Poskim are lenient for passing objects to one another, while others are more stringent.

738)  Q: May one use wicks which are covered with a wax coating, for  the purpose of lighting the Chanukah Menorah?

A: Halachically they are permissible. Some people are careful to hold the candle on the wick while lighting, until the wax melts off and the actual wick is lit. ( See Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 8 Siman 157 and Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim Orach Chaim Vol. 6 Siman 371 for more about this.)

739)  Q: Which comes first on Motzaei shabbos of Chanukah, Havdalah or lighting the Menorah?

A: This question is the subject of great debate and there are a lot of Poskim on each side of this issue, and thus both opinions are halachically acceptable. indeed, the Mishna Berura siman 681 S"K 3  writes that each individual can choose which opinion to follow. Of course, if one has a family minhag or a kehila  minhag, they should stick to that.

740)  Q: Does one fulfill Mishloach Manos by sending food items that the recipient may not eat due to health reasons?


A: Yes, halachically he has fulfilled his obligation, even if the recipient doesn't or can't eat this specific item, as long as  for most people it's an acceptable item to eat.. (See Halichos Shlomo, Purim, 19:11.  Of course, it may be prudent to try and make sure that the food that is given is not of the variety that the recipient is allergic to, or otherwise must avoid due to health, and it is likely a a fulfillment of "V'Ahavta L're'acha Kamocha, and a true Chesed to do so, but as it pertains strictly to Hilchos Mishloach Mnaos, that is not necessary.)


741) Q: Is giving two distinct parts of a chicken ( e.g.  the "top" and the "bottom", considered 2 separate minim for Mishloach Manos?


A: Yes, according to Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal (halichos Shlomo, Purim, 19:12) and other Poskim. Incidentally, he writes there as well thatthis is the case in regard to Borer on Shabbos, that they are considered 2 distinct foods.


742) Q: What defines a "poor person" for purposes of Matanos L'Evyonim?


A: Anyone who cannot afford the  basic necessities needed to provide for his home and his family qualifies as a worthy recipient for matanos L'Evyonim, Even someone who received funds  already and is not missing anything for that day, is still a worthy recipient, so long as he is still lacking for basic necessities going forward. (See halicos Shlomo, Purim, 19:20 and Dvar Halacha 32)



 743) Q: If a poor person owes me money and I forgive the debt on Purim, have I satisfied my obligation of Matanos L'Evyonim via this debt cancellation?

A: No, that doesn't work for Matanos L'Evyonim, and you must actually give a poor person money on Purim to satisfy your obligation. (See Halichos Shlomo; Purim, 19:24 and Dvar halacha 37 for the reasoning)

(It is, however, a fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Tzedakah to do this, so even if it isn't Matanos L'Evyonim per se, it is still a great Mitzvah to forgive the debt of a poor person, on Purim or any day!)

744) Q: I was wondering what the Halacha is regarding cosmetics and Passover usage. Does one need to buy special kosher for Passover cosmetics? 


A: According to the letter of the law, once chometz is no longer edible even for dogs, it is no longer deemed chometz and thus cosmetics, even if they contain chometz ingredients, would be OK to use on Pesach.


That being said, many scrupulous people are careful to not use any items that contain chometz ingredients, especially if non-chometz alternatives are readily available.


Many lists are available nowadays with approved cosmetics which can easily guide you as to which of your products are OK to continue using.

745) Q:  You wrote, "The Shul lighting does not exempt the home lighting, as it was instituted as its own separate obligation, and the one who lit the Chanukah Menorah in Shul, subsequently lights a Menorah at home and repeats all the brachos. ( Rama ibid.)"


What about the shehechiyonu brocho on the first night for a single person who was honored with the lighting in shul?

A: If one lit at home first and then lit in Bais Haknesses, he would repeat the Shehechiyanu, even if he is a single person,  but if he lit in Bais Hakneses first then at home, according to many Poskim the Shehechiyanu is not repeated unless he is exempting others, in which case he would indeed repeat the Shehechiyanu as well. (See Mishna Berura Siman 671 S"K 45 and Sha'arei Teshuva os 11.  Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal (Orach Chaim Vol. 1, Siman 190) rejects the Sha'arei Teshuva's psak and indeed rules that Shehechiyanu is repeated even by a single person who lit already in shul. he doesn't mention the Mishna Berura, as the Teshuva was written in 1926, presumably before Rav Moshe ever saw that volume of Mishna Berura)


746) Q:  You wrote that "soda, tea, coffee, beer, like water,  – should not be left overnight uncovered" Where is mekor for that? The liquids that are forbidden are only water, wine,milk, honey and several others mentioned in the Gemara. If you feel that that soda, tea etc. are all considered “water” albeit with some additives, I would like to ask the following: “Can soda tea coffee and beer be more stringent than  Yayin Mazug,  that a snake rejects because it’s not pure wine?  Even though each one – wine and water – separately are forbidden,  mix them together (before they became “galui”) and the entire mixture is no longer subject to the sakanah of galui! So how can soda tea et al be forbidden?   

A: 1) Firstly,  The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah Siman 116:1) says "mashkin" and this means general drinks, and not necessarily the 7 liquids that are considered mashkin in regard to Tumah. Furthermore, the Aruch Hashulchan (Yoreh Deah 116:2) says this applies to foods as well as drinks, which further demonstrates that this does not apply strictly to the "sheva mashkin".


Furthermore, being that Chamira sakanta M'isura, and the issue of Gilui is one of Sakana, we must be stringent and assume it refers to all mashkim, not just the 7.

2) Even though the Gemara Avoda zara 31b seems to say that there is no issue of Gilui by beer (See Rashi there Dibur hamaschil Anan Nami) , the Steipler Zatzal indeed applied this halacha to beer. (See Orchos Rabbeini Vol. 1: 206:1). Perhaps he held that beer nowadays is different than beer in the times of the Gemara, but he clearly didn't hold that a " non 7 mashkim" beverage is automatically excluded from this issue.


Regarding soda, I heard from a prominent Posek, quoting Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal, that it has a status as colored  water for all matters. Although I hear your Ha'arah about Mazug, it could be that Yayin mazug loses its status as yayin regarding this, whereas colored water is still water.  


Coffee and tea, especially when they are  made from instant and not full brewed, are L'chaorah merely colored water as well.


Rav Daniel Neustadt, in his sefer Diyunei Halacha; Daily halacha Discussion, brings the Steipler I quoted above and also  also quotes the Sefer Shmiras Nefesh 11:28 that the Chazon Ish applied it to soda, beer etc. 

I hope that answers your question. Of course, for halacha L'maaseh, as with everything, a Rav must be consulted.


747) Q: If a person often gets up in the middle of the night, recites birchos haTorah and learns for an hour or two, and then goes back to sleep until the morning, should he/she recite birchos haTorah again in the morning? 


A: If at the time you recite the Birchas hatorah during the night you knew you would be going back to sleep again, you can recite birchos Hatorah again in the morning.


If you were not planning to go back to bed, and fell asleep, you should not recite Birchos hatorah again in the morning, according to most Poskim. Some allow it to be repeated even then.


748) Q: My family minhag is to wait one hour between milk and meat. I have asked around and, to date, I have not found anyone else with a similar minhag (I have found people who wait half an hour). When I mentioned it to my cousin, he thought it might have come from the Taz's interpretation of a Zohar, but I don't remember the exact location of the mekoros he quoted. Do you know where the mekoros are / if there are any mekoros for this minhag?


A:The minhag to wait half an hour after dairy, before eating meat is based on the Zohar parshas Mishpatim (quoted in Yam Shel Shlomo Chulin 8:6 and in Biur HaGra to Yoreh deah Siman 89:1) which prohibits eating meat and dairy "within the same meal or within the same hour". The Poskim interpret "within the same hour"  as an approximate time and not a solid hour, thus after half an hour is enough. Some are stringent and insist the Zohar means an actual hour.


749) Q: Is there an inyan in telling people about “miracles “ /great things that happened to you , to publicize a neis?  If yes , why so ? 

A:Yes, indeed there is an inyan to spread the kindness of Hashem. In the times of the Bais Hamikdash when a person was thankful for a miracle he/she brought a Korban Todah. One of the requirements of a Korban Todah is the accompanying 40(!) Chalos.


One of the reasons given for the requirement of 40 chalos, which had to be finished in one day, was for the one saying thanks to have to invite many people to join them in order to be able to consume 40 chalos, and thus the  miracle will have been publicized!


We find the concept of Pirsumei Nisa - publicizing the miracle - by Chanukah and Purim, as well as by  the 4 cups of wine on Pesach (See Talmud Pesachim 112a) and it applies in all situations where the miracles of Hashem take place.

See also Tehilim 109:30," Odeh Hashem Me'od B'Fi, B'soch Rabim Ahalelenu - I will give great thanks unto Hashem with my mouth; I will praise Him among the multitudes".

The reason is to spread Hashem's greatness and glory in the world.

750) Q: If one made a bracha on one of the 4 cups and it spilled out before he drank it, must he make a new bracha when he pours in new wine? Please include the source where this answer can be found.


A: If there is even a droplet or two left in the cup, consume that.


If the bottle is on the table, and  you intend to consume mor of it during this meal, you take some more from the bottle as soon as possible and drink without a new bracha.


If there is no more in front of you, say Baruch Seim Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Va'ed and when you get more, you recite a new bracha on it.


See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 206:6 and Mishna Berura and Biur Halacha there at length for a larger discussion about this.


751) Q: Are women allowed to perform the aish of havdallah?  

A: This is a dispute among the Poskim.


Many allow it (including Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Shu"t Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat Vl. 2 Siman 47:2, Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer Vol.14 Siman 43, Shu"t Yechave Daas Vol. 4 Siiman 27. Rav Chaim Kanievsky Zatzal also rules this way )


Others prohibit it. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 58:16 based on Biur halach siman 296:8 Dibur hamaschil Lo Yavdilu and Siman 298:5 dibur hamaschil Ain, quoting Rav Akiva Eiger Zatzal. See also Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchas Perek 61:24 where he rules that though they may not say it during Havdalah, as it's a hefsek for them, they may recite it after Havdalah if they want.)


Every women should follow her family or community minhag. If not sure what that is, a Rav should be consulted for a Psak Halacha.


752) Q: During the week, I see that many men tend to daven in the women’s section (obviously, when no women are present).  I was in a shul recently and there were exactly 10 men, counting the one guy who was in the women’s section.There was a debate whether or not he had to come into the men’s section or he could stay in the women’s section. What is the Halacha?


A:He had to come in. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 55 at length and specifically Mishna Berura S"K 52. Presumably if he's in a kosher  Ezras Nashim, they cannot see him, and to be counted as part of the minyan  they all have to be able to see each other. This is also clearly the ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Halichos Shlomo, Tefilah, Perek 5:12. See  there in Dvar halacha Os 18 that even if they do see him, it still isn't ideal to count it as a  real minyan.


753)  Q: If a family makes an early Shabbos, the husband then goes to shul. When is the latest time that the wife has to light Shabbos candles?

A:  According to the Pri Megadim (Siman 263:1 in Mishbetzos Zahav; quoted in Ketzos Hashulchan Siman 76 footnote 5) and other Poskim (including Rav Shmuel Wosner Zatzal in Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 7 Siman 35), a woman whose husband made “early Shabbos” may not do any Melacha after the time that her husband was Mekabel Shabbos.


Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 38 disagrees, and permits a woman to do melacha, and light candles later than her husband was Mekabel Shabbos. See also Shu"t Minchas Yitzchok Vol. 1 Siman 24


Please consult your Rav for Halacha L’Maaseh on this issue, as with all issues

754) Q: What is the din about saying  Tachanun after shkiya? 

A: It is generally not said. Some allow if it's only a few minutes after. See Mishna Berura Siman 131 S"K 17 


See also Sefer  B'Yitzchak Yikareh on the above Mishna Berura, where he quotes Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach  as ruling not to say it even a little after shkiah.

755)  Q: I understand that  for Chodesh Tishrei we do not have birchas hachodesh. Why is that?

A: See Mishna Berura Siman 417 S"K 1 and Sha'ar Hatziyun footnote 2, that since everyone knows when Rosh Hashana is there is no need to publicize its date via a Birchas Hachodesh.

756) Q: By Pesicha, when the Chazan says the Posuk of Shma Yisroel , is he supposed to face the congregants or not? And where is the source?

A: Yes, when saying the first 2 verses of Shma and Echad he is supposed to face the congregation. When he says the third  verse of Gadlu, he turns back toward the Aron Kodesh. See Aruch Hashulchan Siman 282:1. A reason I once heard for this is that in the verse of Gadlu Lashem Iti, the word "Iti" means "with me", so the Shatz turns the same way as the Tzibur to show they are all "with him". Also, as each of these verses is recited, the Sefer Torah should be lifted upward a little. (See Mishnah Berura Siman 134 S"K 13)

757) Q:  If possible, should one stand while saying Tefilas HaDerech?  Also, at what point, while flying, should one say the Tefilas HaDerech? 


A: Some Poskim say yes, though the prevalent custom is to say it while sitting.


Many say it while driving, but this is not proper, and it is  best to  stop driving while saying it, as you can't properly concentrate on a bracha when operating a vehicle. (See Mishna berura Siman 191 S"K 5). Alternatively, a passenger in the car should say it, and be Motzi everyone else, including the driver.


While the plane is taxiing on the runway fast, right before takeoff is the ideal time to say it, according to Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal (as heard from a Talmid of his). Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach zatzal ruled to say it as soon as the plane reaces an altitude where if it fell it would be in real danger. See Halichos Shlomo , Tefilah Perek 21:4


758) Q: Must one recite Birchas Hagomel after flying in an airplane?


A: One who flew on an airplane and landed safely must recite Birchas HaGomel, and according to many Poskim this applies to all flights regardless if they were domestic or overseas and regardless of the amount of time spent in the air. (See Shu”t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 59 where Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal writes very strongly: “I heard that some Poskim rule that only for flights over water is the Gomel required, and there is no basis for this ruling, and of course the Bracha needs to be recited for all flights”. See also Halichos Shlomo Perek 23:5.)


Some Poskim differentiate between flying between countries (where the Bracha needs to be recited even if not flying over water) and between two cities in one country (where no Bracha is recited). (See Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 11 Siman 14)


Some Poskim including Chacham Rav Ovadia Yosef Zatzal (in Shu”t Yechaveh Da’as Vol. 2 Siman 26) rule that only flights whose duration is more than 72 minutes require Birchas HaGomel.Many Poskim, however,  have a hard time understanding this difference between short flights and long flights, as any amount of time spent in a speeding airplane hundreds of feet above the ground is a situation of extreme danger, as many plane crashes have happened almost  immediately upon takeoff.(See Shu”t L’Horos Nosson Vol. 11 Siman 14. See also Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos Vol. 1 Siman 193, Vol. 2 Siman 148 and Vol. 3 Siman 81 where he discusses  various different customs regarding this.)


Some Poskim say that nowadays when air travel is much safer than it used to be, no Gomel is recited, or at minimum it is recited without Shem U’Malchus. (See Shu”t Chelkas Yaakov Siman 55, Shu”t Kinyan Torah Vol. 1 Siman 16 quoting the Brisker Rav Zatzal and Shu”t B’Tzel HaChachma Vol. 1 Siman 20)


For Halacha L’ma’aseh, as always, a Rav must be consulted to determine if and when to recite the Bracha of Gomel after flying.


759) Q: Is working allowed on Purim?


A: Nowadays the accepted minhag is to not do any work on Purim day. One who does will not see any blessing from that work. ( See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 696:1)


On Purim eve there is no accepted custom to prohibit work, though some are stringent and avoid any non-Purim related work. (see Biur Halacha  ibid. and Shu"t Chasam Sofer Orach Chaim Siman 195)


 760) Q: Should one wear Shabbos/Yom Tov clothing on Purim?


A: Yes, it is a proper custom to wear  Yom Tov clothing on Chag hapurim. (Rama Siman 695:2)


(If one will be dressing up in a costume on Purim he should do so after davening and hearing the Megilah, but during davening and Megilah should be wearing respectable clothing for davening, and those should be his Yom Tov clothing)


For Halacha L'ma'aseh, each person should follow the guidance of their Rav.


761) Q: When is the proper time to eat the Purim Seudah?


A" On Purim day, it is proper that at least the majority of the Seudah be eaten while it is still before sunset. If the Seudah continues past nightfall, Al Hanisim is still recited  in Birchas Hamazon. If one forgot Al Hanisim in this Birchas Hamazon that was recited after nightfall, it is not repeated. (See Rama and Mishna berura Siman 695:3


762) Q: After the shlishi's aliyah on a Monday/Thursday, is one supposed to cover the Sefer only after the bracha of Asher Nasan Lanu or before he makes the bracha? 

A: See Shulchan Aruch Siman 139:4 and Mishna Berura S"K 17 that the Sefer Torah should be closed  when reciting the bracha after the reading, but it does not say to cover it, and indeed the minhag is not to cover it until after the Bracha.


The Minhag in many Shuls  is to indeed cover it between Aliyos after the bracha was recited, and surely while Kaddish is being recited or other Mi shebeirachs etc.  See Shulchan Aruch Siman 139:5 and Mishna Berura S"K 21

763)  Q:  Now that we are not davening with a regular minyan [due to Corona] and davening b’yechidus, we cannot eat until we have completed the tefilla of mincha.
What time is the earliest time to daven mincha? Or rather, how much time after Chatzos is the zman to daven mincha?



A: Indeed, if one doesn't have a designated time to daven Mincha he may not eat  once  Chatzos arrives. Chatzos is approximately half an hour before the earliest time to daven Mincha (Mincha Gedola)


If one appoints a shomer to remind him to daven after he eats, (or if one sets an alarm as a reminder, according to Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach zatzal and other Poskim), it will then be OK to eat then.


See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 232 and  Mishna Berurura S"K 7

764) Q: My granddaughter sent me this question. Please help me answer her. 

Hi Zaidy,


With all the craziness happening these days it got me thinking. In school my mefurshim teacher told us in passing, that when Mashiach comes, There will be no more births. We mentioned this to a different teacher, who never heard of that. If when Mashiach comes, no one will be born, then if Mashiach comes now (which IyH he will) does that mean I'll never have kids? Also if we aren't then will people still get married? Since the reason we do, is to have kids and fulfill 'peru urvu'? I know no one really knows whats gonna happen when Mashiach come, but I figured you probably know more than me.

A: The Talmud  (Nidah 13b)  teaches us: Ain Ben Dovid Ba Ad Sheyichlu Kol Neshamos Shebaguf, understood by many that after all the Neshamos are "used up" so to speak, then Mashiach will arrive. This is likely what her teacher meant.


But, once Mashiach comes the world will continue as usual, as the Talmud (Shabbos 63a, and codified in Rambam Hilchos Melachim Perek 12:2)  tells us Ain Bain Olam Hazeh Leyemos Hamashiach Elah Shibud Goliyos/Shibud malchiyos Bilevad.


You will iy"H dance at her wedding, and be sandek at her child's bris, but very possibly in the courtyard of the Bais Hamikdash instead of in the USA!


765) Q: If I take off my tefillin to go to the bathroom, do I have to say a bracha when I put them back on? Does it matter if it's long or short? Does it matter when in the davening I put them back on?

A: See Mishna Berura Siman 25 S"K 47 and Biur Halacha dibur Hamaschil V'yesh where he rules that a new bracha is required.  The Poskim say that this is referring to gedolim only, and not to ketanim, where technically you can do it with tefillin on.  See also Aruch Hashulchan 25:23. The prevelant custom, indeed, is not to require a new bracha after Ketanim.

766)  Q: I know Tefila B'Tzibur is very important, so if I know I won't be able to finish Birchos Krias Shema in time to daven with the Tzibur should I skip some stuff? Like in Shacharis should I skip Veyatziv through Mi Chomocha and just say Gaal Yisrael. By Maariv should I skip Baruch Hashem? Or do I say everything, and start Shemonah Esrai a little later?

A:In shacharis do not skip anything from Birchos Krias shema.


In maariv, skip Baruch Hashem L'Olam, if by doing so you will be able to start Shemona esrei with the Tzibur.


In general, if you find yourself not being able to finish in time, it is best to start your davening earlier than the Tzibbur so that you have extra time to finish it all, in time to have Tefilah B'Tzibur. 


It is not a good thing to habitually skip parts of Pesukei D'Zimrah in order to have Tefilah B'Tzibur. (See Mishna Berura Siman 52 S"K 1, in the name of the Magid (Heavenly angel) who used to teach Torah to the Bais Yosef, that skipping in  Pesukei D'zimra or saying things out of order is Mehapech HaTtzinoros, disturbs the heavenly flow of Shefa, and is very detrimental)

767) Q: If I am davening for a critically ill person, and do not know his/her status, can I continue davening for them even if  there is a chance that they may have passed away? Or am I obligated to ascertain their status before continuing to daven for them?


A: You can continue to daven for them, and assume that they are still alive and in need of Tefilos, unless you hear otherwise. See Aruch Hashulchan Yoreh Deah Siman 335:12


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