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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - Shaving
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

There is a long standing disagrement between the Poskim regarding shaving with an electric shaver. It is generally accepted among the non-Chassishe Poskim in the US that, except for the lift-and-cut shavers, it is permitted. To the best of my knowledge there has not been any significant change over the past number of years. There are those who use a sulfer based powder to remove facial hair which is universally permitted, however it has a strong odor and can be painful.

Regarding your preference, this is an important issue that you should discuss openly with your husband as part of having good communication in your marrige. It is possible that he prefers to grow a beard for his own reasons and is using this as an opening, and he should also be open discussing his personal preferences and true motives.

posted:2008-07-01 15:09:03  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Washing Hands
Submitted by Norma Jacobs  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: We wash our hands after touching any footwear out of concern that dirt and refuse that may have become attached to the shoe will soil our hands. Therefore, the hands must be cleaned well, but it is not necessary to pour water 3 times on each hand.
posted:2008-07-01 04:11:27  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - saying cancer
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: I didn't  find anything in R' Moshe's writings on this subject, and in fact he uses the word cancer and "sartan" numerous times in Igros Moshe.
posted:2008-06-30 12:52:19  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Old Sifrei Torah
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

I looked around and didn't find much written on the subject, but this is what it seems to me based on what I did find. A fragment of a Sefer Torah should not be used as a decoration, it should be buried properly. If it is more than a certain size (85 letters) it must be buried in an earthenware container, otherwise it may be placed in geniza like a mezuza. Presumably, the majority of sofrim were shomrei Torah U'Mitzvos, and one can assume that this specific Sefer Torah comes from the majority. The mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah only applies to one that is kosher, therefore, if you would buy one that is not kosher and fix even one letter that would render the entire Sefer Torah kosher you would fulfill the mitzva when you make the correction. Regarding forming an organization, while it certainly would be a worthy cause, there is always the issue of priorities. We have so many important charities, such as our local schools, competing for a slice of the pie that the issue becomes is this cause important enough to take away resources from the existing institutions. I don't feel qualified to answer that question.

posted:2008-06-25 23:13:16  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - negiah in costume
Submitted by esa  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

First of all the Shulchan Aruch considers all touching , even non-affectionate, to be assur mi'Deoraisa and y'hareig v'lo yaavor. Even according to the Shach, only completely innocent contact such as a doctors examination is reduced to a d'Rabbanan, but any friendly and familiar contact would be an issur d'Oraisa. This would seem to include putting ones arm around someone, as R' Moshe forbids even a handshake. Also, we do not have to go to the extreme of worrying about the "future affects of breaking a taboo", which you rightly point out is a more minor concern. There is ground to be concerned that the costumed figure could say he is a man while her arm is around him.

posted:2008-06-23 16:00:11  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - shomer negeeyah
Submitted by srpgh  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Not necessarily. Only if they are of the opposite sex and you touch them.
posted:2008-06-18 17:57:01  (2) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Sakana
Submitted by Nachum  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Technically speaking anything that is commonly done and accepted as normal behavior is not forbidden. The Torah explains an employer's obligation to an employee as based on that the employee risks his life at his job such as one who climbs a tree to pick the fruit. However, you certainly should factor into your decision the increase in risk to your life and health against the benefit of saving on your gas bills. If you attach proper value to the importance of your own life, you may decide that is worth paying extra to protect.

posted:2008-06-18 13:47:14  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha
Submitted by suzie  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

First of all, how do you know that you aren't the tops? Nobody is perfect and each person is judged on his personal accomplishments against his individual challenges. The most important thing in life is to be constantly working on yourself and improving, and if you are asking important questions it shows you care enough to do what is right.

What you probably mean to say is that you don't consider yourself on the lofty level to be accepting the challenge of taking on difficult chumros. However, in this case we are not dealing with a chumra but with a serious issur d'oraisa. The pasuk says "lo sikravu l'galos erva" and this forbids any affectionate physical contact between members of the opposite sex. Even being alone in the same room together is an issur d'oraisa of yichud. R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal writes that even a friendly phone conversation between a boy and a girl can potentially involve issurim d'oraisa. The Gemorra relates the story of someone who the doctors determined would die if he did not merely talk to a woman who would stand on the opposite side of a fence, and Chazal said that he still may not speak to her even at risk of death.

So I wish you well in your quest to be "the best jew in the world", but understand that this is more serious than eating treif or lighting a fire on Shabbos which do not require one to give up his life.

posted:2008-06-17 19:45:37  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

If the person in the costume would be a boy you would be transgressing an issur d'oraisa, so if you are doubt it is at least a safek d'oraisa which is forbidden.

posted:2008-06-17 17:01:16  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

The Gemara lists certain general indications of which birds are kosher and which are not, however we do not rely on these indications and we only eat birds that we have an unbroken tradition to eat. To the best of my knowledge there is no tradition to eat the coot and it would be considered a non-kosher bird that may not be eaten. However, since this is only based on a lack of specific tradition but it is possible that according to the Torah the coot may be kosher, you could do shiluach haken on the safek as we anyways don't say a beracha on this mitzva.

posted:2008-06-17 10:44:28  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

The Shulchan Aruch in Even HaEzer 21:2 writes that even a single woman must cover her hair, and the majority of the Achronim explain that it refers to a woman who is currently single but was previously married. the Dagul Merevava brings the source for this halacha as being the Gemorra Yerushalmi in Kesubos.

I heard that R' Yitzcok Berkowitz shlita explained part of the logic behind this halacha as based on a woman's status in society. A woman who was once married, due to her life experiences, remains a mature woman and never returns to her origional status as a single girl while an older single is still a "girl" and not fully a woman.

posted:2008-06-15 22:19:52  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - WHAT MAKES A JEW A JEW.
Submitted by NAFTALI  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

If the baby is born to a gentile female he is not born as a Jew. In order to become a Jew the child must be converted by a reliable Beis Din (Jewish Court), which includes but is not limited to circumcision and immersion in a mikva. The Beis Din will also ascertain that the child will be raised as a religious Jew who will be taught to observe all the commandments and halachos. If the Jewish father is intermarried to the non-Jewish female, this is highly unlikely. The first step is to contact your local Orthodox Rabbi or Beis Din, because the proceedings are not valid without their supervision.

posted:2008-06-15 17:22:10  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

If you are trying to present yourself dishonestly as someone who has large sums of liquid assets to fraudulently receive a loan, this would be forbidden as geneivas daas. Even if you have the required income to make the monthly mortgage payments now and you feel the bank's demands to be unreasonable, the bank still has a legitimate demand to insure that you have assets from which you could continue making payments if you were to lose your job.

Even if somehow this action could be permitted according to the letter of halacha, but it is generally inappropriate to accustom oneself to behaving in a deceitful manner except under specific, extreme circumstances.

posted:2008-06-15 09:56:52  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Yichud
Submitted by Yosef  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

No, it's not a problem to be alone with even a half sister because Chazal understood that one is not attracted to his sister in the same way as other females. However, one may not live alone in the house with even a full sister for more than 30 days in a row.

posted:2008-06-12 16:49:57  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Cable usage
Submitted by chaim  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Unless the ISP provider specifies in the contract that the line is solely for use of a single individual it seems to me that wireless networks are so common that they have by default acquiesced to your ability to network. I'm not familiar with the intricacies between cable and DSL, but I can't imagine why there would be any difference.

posted:2008-06-11 15:05:04  (0) comments   email to a friend


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