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Parshas Tzav: Rabbeinu Bachaye - Covering the Shame of Sinners

Parshas Pinchas: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Where did Zimri the Great Tzaddik go Wrong?

Showering the Night Before a Taanis

Ha Lachma Anya: Rav Eliyahu Dessler - Celebrating Freedom With Poor Bread

Rav Yaakov Edelstein - The Two Words He Wanted to Be Able to Speak
 
Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - "Rosh Ha Shanah"
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

1) Different months are the "first" for different things, just as the secular calendar begins from January but the school year starts in September and a corporation's fiscal year could begin in a different month.

2) The Ibn Ezra explains in a similar vein that Sukkos is the conclusion of the agricultural year, when last year's produce is gathered into the storehouse in advance of planting the next year's crop in Cheshvan.

3) First of all the Gemara refers to Vayikra 25:9 where the word "terua" is equated with sounding the shofar. Secondly, we commonly find the Torah Sh'Baal Peh elaborates on unclear parts of the Chumash. Other examples would be tefillin where the Torah Say to bind "them" on the hand and arm, but doesn't explain what "them" is. Also, the Torah says that one should slaughter an animal "as I commanded you" but we do not find in Chumash any details of how Hashem commanded us to slaughter.

4) There are three opinions if "terua" refers to what we call "terua" "shevarim" or "shevarim-terua", in any event all are very similar crying-like sounds. If anything, the fact that our safek is limited to such a minor detail itself proves that on the bigger issues where there is no disagreement the tradition is certainly intact.

5) The Ramban in Shmos 12:2 writes that the names of the Jewish months were borrowed from the names of Babylonian moths to remind us  each time we mention the name of a month that we were in exile in Bavel, and from there Hashem redeemed us and brought us up to our the land of Israel and ultimately Hashem will also redeem us from our current Galus with the coming of Moshiach.

6) The Gemara in Sanhedrin says that the current alphabet was the original one, just it initially was only used for sacred texts while kesav Ivri was used for the vernacular. After Ezra HaSofer returned from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel he instituted that Ashuris be used exclusively.

posted:2008-09-28 16:32:10  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Pilegesh
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: A pilegesh is not an option because the majority opinion of the Poskim is that it only applies to a king or to marriage without a kesuba, but not to an extra-marital relationship. While she may consider her "friend" a princely fellow, Halacha certainly does not accord him royal status.
posted:2008-09-23 10:34:14  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - HaMapil
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: The best solution would be to ask this question directly to your husband and have an open discussion about how he envisions your bedtime routine.
posted:2008-09-22 22:55:32  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - moving to another town
Submitted by avi danziger  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

I'm not sure I fully understand all the issues involved, but if you have managed to overcome the Halachic issues of the electronic lock and the automatic lights with minor inconvenience, there is no question that being part of a community is extremely important for maintaining your Yiddishkeit and sanity. However, if you are causing the lights to go on each time you step out the door of your house, then there is no benefit of being within walking distance of Shul if you can't leave your house to get there.

posted:2008-09-16 14:03:13  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Dogs in Judaism
Submitted by Rouven  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

First of all the Gemora already mentions the issue of fear of dogs by stating that one may not raise a vicious dog in the city as the fear of it may cause a pregnant woman to miscarry. However, I gather that your dog is not "vicious". Furthermore, a dog is a chaya temei'a and in Kabbala the dog often represents the forces of tuma. However, I think that the visceral reaction you experience is based on hundreds if not thousand of years of anti-Semitic Goyim using dogs to attack Jews. While you may feel that the reaction is irrational and excessive, understand that it is sincere and please make every reasonable effort to prevent your neighbors' distress.

I'm not familiar with any Halacha regarding petting unfamiliar dogs, but common sense dictates using caution around any stray animal.

posted:2008-09-14 05:12:47  (1) comment   email to a friend


Halacha - Haskomos
Submitted by Levi Bookin  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

There is no Halacha that requires a book to have a haskomo, however a book that deals with controversial issues and does not have one should be read with due skepticism.

posted:2008-09-10 04:44:21  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Am I supposed to pay?
Submitted by Mrs C Greenberg  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: It is my understanding that the law in Israel does not obligate you to pay for these things until the item has left the store, and in most monetary issues the Halacha recognizes the law as the prevalent minhag.
posted:2008-09-10 02:58:32  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - apostasy
Submitted by Lionel Broder  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Actually, it originally said in Shulchan Aruch that one may not claim to be a "non-Jew" and due to pressure from the censor they were forced to change it to the less controversial "Akum". Therefore, it is not permitted to deny being Jewish at all. However, one may answer in a vague and deceptive manner to trick the person into thinking ho is not Jewish, as long as he does not say so explicitly..
posted:2008-09-01 12:01:39  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - duchening
Submitted by Ahron HaKohen  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch 128:35 writes that a Kohen who killed, even by mistake, may not duchen; and even if he did teshuva. The Rema, however, writes that some say if he did teshuva he may duchen, and this is our minhag. The Mishna Berura explains the reason for the disqualification is because "ain kateigor na'aseh saneigor", it would be inappropriate for the hands that have taken a life to give a beracha. This explains why according to the Mechaber we are so strict, because this is not a punishment but a loss of the sanctity of the Cohen's hands.

However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. The Shulchan Aruch himself in 128:36 writes that a mohel who accidentally causes the death of the child may still say Birkas Kohanim, as may someone who is rumored to have killed but without solid evidence. The Mishna Berura explains the first exception is based on a number of considerations: the mohel intended to perform a mitzvah, the child may have been premature and it was not the mohel who caused his death, and also the child may have died from an infection and not as a direct result of the mohel's actions. Furthermore, the Mishna Berura brings two additional circumstances where the Kohen is not disqualified, first if he was forced into the murder even though he should have given up his life rather than kill. Second, if someone struck a pregnant woman and accidentally caused her to miscarry, since it is not a capital offence. However, a doctor who intentionally performs an abortion certainly is disqualified.

Based on these sources, Yalkut Yosef writes that if a Kohen caused a fatal car accident due to reckless driving he may not duchen, but if he was driving carefully and he did teshuva even a Sefaradi may duchen. Poskim say that the same would apply to a doctor who caused a Jewish patients death by mistake, that teshuva helps even according to the Mechaber.

If a Kohen murdered a goy there is a machlokes, and most Poskim hold he may recite Birkas Kohanim, and if he killed in battle everyone agrees he is not disqualified, as we find the Chashmonaim even did the Avodah in the Beis HaMikdash after defeating the Greeks. Most Poskim permit even if one killed a Jew in battle, because it is considered an ones, beyond ones control. This applies whether  the victim was a soldier on the opposing side and even if he was a comrade-in-arms killed by friendly fire.

posted:2008-08-21 09:00:06  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha
Submitted by david  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Yes, there is no problem in Halacha. However, some are careful based on Kabbala not to look at non-Kosher animals.
posted:2008-08-18 15:48:14  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - women performing
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Yes, according to the letter of the law. The prohibition against hearing women sing is specific to hearing the voice and not other music a woman may produce. However, it is not necessarily appropriate for a woman to be the focus of a man's attention, as she would be when performing a piano concert. Therefore, while it is not forbidden, I wouldn't recommend it if the woman will be sitting on a stage where everyone is staring at her for the duration of the recital.
posted:2008-08-17 00:52:54  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Question?
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

I would assume it is, because the smorgasbord is presumably prepared to insure that people will arrive on time for the chuppa and participate. If someone eats the food but leaves before the chuppa he may even be creating a shaila in Choshen Mishpat if he must repay the value of the food.

posted:2008-08-12 14:52:44  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Androginos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome could certainly produce a person who would have the din of an androginus, though it is not the exclusive cause of the rare condition where a person has both male and female genitals. Even in AIS, only a certain type of partial insensitivity, called Reifenstein syndrome, would be the androginus of the Gemorra. Such a person would have the chumros of both a man and a woman, being obligated in even time related mitzvos but not counting towards a minyan, for example. Also, such a person could not marry a man or a woman.

Also fascinating is that complete AIS would cause a person to completely appear to be female but be missing a uterus, which may be the condition called eilonis in the Gemorra. If so, it would illustrate that having XY chromosomes, which in science define a person as a male, is not the exclusive factor in halacha, as halacha considers an eilonis to be a sterile female and says that Sorah Imeinu was originally an eilonis.

posted:2008-08-12 12:08:32  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Mikva/Shower for Men?
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: He is considered a ba'l keri, but there is no obligation according to most opinions to go tho the mikva. However, many consider it praiseworthy. He should clean himself well and wash his hands three times each similar to nagel vaser before saying a beracha or davening.
posted:2008-08-09 22:53:13  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - sanhedrin
Submitted by shlomo-zalman  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Without the institution of proper semicha the Sanhedrin would have no power to determine rulings that would be binding on other communities in contradiction of their minhag.
posted:2008-08-08 00:55:42  (0) comments   email to a friend


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