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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 - Honour your Mother & Father
Submitted by Nathan Starr  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

The obligation to honor ones parents is based on two separate concepts. There is the rational issue that one is obligated to express gratitude to anyone who performs a favor, and parents who raise a child are owed the ultimate debt of human gratitude. However, in this case the gratitude seems to be limited to having brought the child into this world but not actually raising him. Of course this in itself is no small matter, because if not for your father you would not exist today. Additionally, there is an obligation to honor ones parents because Hashem commanded us to, just like we must eat kosher etc. even if we don't understand the reasoning for the commandment. This would certainly be equally applicable in this unfortunate situation.

There is a discussion in the poskim if the obligation to honor one's parent applies to a Rasha, a parent who is wicked. Such a determination would of course require the evaluation of an objective person familiar with the details of the circumstances. In any event, the general consensus of the Poskim is that one must honor even a wicked parent, regarding this point moot.

posted:2008-06-06 10:09:46  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

Since Chazal enacted that the father acquires any object that his children find if it may be kept, the father is also obligated to facilitate the return of an object that needs to be returned. Even though the obligation is the father's, he may teach the child by allowing the child to take care of the arrangements for publicizing and returning the object, provided that the father supervise that the child does everything according to Halacha.

posted:2008-06-05 23:54:54  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

It would depend on the specific medical condition. If the woman has no use of her hands, she may even remove his shoe with her teeth. If the issue is that she cannot stand as required by Halacha, b'dieved they may sit or lean. However, if she is mute or deaf she may not perform chalitza at all. If he has no right foot or if it is deformed, chalitza may not be performed, and if he is blind it is kosher b'dieved. In circumstances where chalitza may not be performed the only solution would be to do yibum, but today we do not do yibum.

posted:2008-06-04 18:11:36  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Tzavas R' Yehuda HaChasid
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

The Igra D'Pirka explains based on Kabbala that when one departs on a journey the Shechina accompanies him. If he were to return home it would be presumptuous of him to expect the Shechina to wait for him and it may depart leaving him at danger. Based on this he proposes that it should only apply to one leaving his own house at the beginning of a trip, but not a hotel on the way. However, he concludes that there is no proof for this leniency and one should be machmir. The Shoel U'Meishiv brings a Gemorra Berachos 53B where an Amora returned to his hotel and was rewarded from Shamayim as proof that it only applies to ones home, But the Shmira M'alya counters that there he returned for the mitzva of reciting Birkas HaMazon in the place he ate his meal and does not prove one may return for non-Mitzva related needs. The Shivim T'marim brings from the Medrash Bereshis Rabba 77 How two Tanaim emulated Yaakov Avinu by returning to their hotel to search for forgotten merchandise and were commended for their behavior. The sefer Mili D'Chasidusa rules that one may be lenient when leaving a way stop based on the common minhag. He also adds that in general one may return even home to take leave of someone you forgot to say goodbye to. The Kaf HaChaim in YD 116:162 limits the issue to one who is departing on a long trip to a distant destination. The Shivim T'marim writes that this only applies if one forgot an item, but one may return home for any other reason. The Shmira M'alya, as mentioned previously, allows one to return for a dvar mitzva.

Generally, the Noda B'Yehuda tinyana EH 79 puts the entire Tzavah of R' Yehuda HaChasid in perspective that it only applies to his descendents. Based on all the above, it seems one may certainly be lenient.

posted:2008-06-03 00:19:27  (3) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Conversion
Submitted by Jose R Torres  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Judaism not only does not believe in proselytizing but active discourages people from converting. This is done primarily to insure the sincerity of the prospective convert and is based on the Gemara Yevamos 47 and Shulchan Aruch YD 268 which explain the procedure for accepting converts. It is of utmost importance that one is converting for the proper motives of honestly desiring closeness to Hashem and not for ulterior reasons such as to marry a Jewish spouse. A non-Jew can successfully fulfill his purpose in this world and achieve his portion in the world-to-come without converting, but if he becomes a Jew he will be held to much higher standards and will be punished for failing to live up to them. In this context, I think that it can be explained that the Rabbi is more cautious and skeptical than hostile. In effect his intentions are for the prospective convert's own good, that he should be fully aware of what he is getting himself into, because there is no leaving Judaism if it turns out to be too hard.

It is true that a gentile is told to violate the Shabbos even if he is in the process of preparing for conversion. The reason for this is that the Shabbos is a sacred covenant between Hashem and the Jewish People, and until one has formally joined the Jewish People he may not fully participate. The Rambam even writes that a non-Jew who keeps the Shabbos is liable the death penalty. So, while a prospective convert is taught and trained as to the proper way to keep the holy Shabbos once he is accepted as a convert, he is simultaneously told that he may not yet keep all of the Halachos.

posted:2008-05-30 15:23:21  (1) comment   email to a friend


Halacha - Teaching torah to a Goy
Submitted by Chaim  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: I don't see any problem. Your are not teaching her anything, just letting her know where she can find these verses in any Bible.
posted:2008-05-30 11:21:29  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal writes that a vasectomy renders a man a p'tzua daka and he could no longer get married nor have relations with his wife. However, a vasectomy can be surgically reversed, and if the procedure is successful he would no longer be a p'tzua daka.

Since this is a very serious and sensitive topic, one should consult personally with a qualified and experienced Rav before taking any actions in this issue.

posted:2008-05-28 19:49:28  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Removing White Hairs
Submitted by Dovid  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: No. Not only may a man not pluck his own white hairs, but no one else may remove them for him.
posted:2008-05-28 11:09:23  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - frustrated!
Submitted by Chaim Heinemann  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Why don't you give us a chance and see if you are satisfied with the results. Even if not, you have lost nothing and can always post your questions on one of the many other Torah websites.
posted:2008-05-26 16:58:45  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Pesachim 111a
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

 

The Gemorrah in Pesachim that you mention in the title says that a man may not walk between two women nor a woman between two men and to do so is dangerous. While the Gemorrah does not give a reason to avoid this practice, some Poskim derive from the context that it is related to witchcraft and sheidim which are not common today and explain why most people are not careful. However, many great Rabbonim were very careful of this Gemorrah and did not dismiss it. Furthermore, there is an additional Gemorrah that says that such practice could cause a person to forget his learning and lose him memory, and this may be caused by other factors that would still apply today.

Therefore, a woman should avoid walking between two men regardless of her Nidah status, whether they are standing or seated and even entering and exiting a synagogue. However, one should not be compulsive regarding avoiding these situations. Also, if two women are walking together they may walk between two men. Furthermore, if one holds an object at his side it is like a second person. This is one reason why many Gedolim always carry a cane or an umbrella.

posted:2008-05-21 18:26:11  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Bais Oilom on LAg BaOmer
Submitted by Sruli  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: Yes. Gesher HaChaim writes that the custom is to permit going to a cemetary even on Lag B'Omer and other days on which tachnun is not recited.
posted:2008-05-20 04:25:59  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

I have no way of judging if your father's behavior falls within the boundaries of parental discipline or verbal abuse, but even a child deserves to be treated with respect. Even if your father's behavior is totally unjustified, the Gemorrah relates the story of Dama ben Nesina whose mother (apparently deranged) would confront him even when he was seated with noblemen and tear his clothes and spit on him and he would not respond. The Rambam and Shulchan Aruch derive from this Gemorrah that Halacha obligates one to honor a parent even under extreme circumstances of abuse. However the Pele Yoetz observes that this can create an almost impossible, superhuman obligation on a child that he will inevitably transgress the prohibition of mistreating the abusive parent. Therefore, he recommends if the child is financially independent he should move away from home with the parent's permission.

Now I'm not going to recommend teenagers run away from home (and anyways he only allowed one to leave with the parents permission), but I think we can conclude that it is a good idea to limit interaction with an abusive parent as long as avoiding them will not itself cause more friction. Most importantly, you should daven to Hashem to help you overcome and grow from this very difficult situation, and you should ask a Rav who knows you and the situation personally for specific practical advice on how to deal with these challenges.

posted:2008-05-19 22:58:55  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

Regardless of the halachos of yichud this situation would be inappropriate and dangerous. R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal writes that even talking on the telephone can involve issurim d'oraisa.

Also, where are the parents???

posted:2008-05-14 21:16:42  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

There are many opinions on the matter. The lift action of the lift and cut shavers is certainly problematic according to most opinions including R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal. They should defintely be altered before using. Regarding non lift and cut models, there are poskim who prohibit them because of their sharpness and I have heard that there are facilities to alter them and render them less problematic, but I don't have any specific information about who or where. This is opinion especially common in Eretz Yisroel. In America I belive that the majority of non-Chasidishe poskim permit these shavers without any alterations. Also, the vibrating type such as made by Remington and Braun do not have sharp blades and are less problematic.

posted:2008-05-08 12:08:14  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - non edible bones of kodshim
Submitted by dovid weinbeger  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

The Gemorra Pesachim 83A says there is no issur and the bones may be thrown in the garbage.

But I was just wondering, is this halacha l'maaseh??? Hopefully, b'mehaira b'yameinu.

posted:2008-05-06 13:53:18  (0) comments   email to a friend


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