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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 - Starting a Cruise on Erev Shabbos
Submitted by Yisroel Phillips  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Enjoy your vacation.

Mishna Berura explains a number of reasons for not departing on a ship from Wednesday on. One reason is that it would be putting the person in a situation of having to be mechalel Shabbos during situations of sakana that are likely to arise, this presumably would not apply under your situation since ocean travel today is much safer and the non-Jewish crew can deal with any circumstances that arise without the assistance of the passengers. The issue of the non-Jewish crew being expected is also not an issue, since presumably the majority of the passengers are not Jewish and they crew is running the ship for them. One need not suspect that crew members are Jewish, since the vast majority of seamen are not. The final concern, and according to Shulchan Aruch the primary one, is that sea-sickness will ruin the passengers' oneg Shabbos. However, I presume that modern, luxury ocean liners do not cause significant sea sickness and would be similar to departing on a riverboat which is permitted.

posted:2008-10-23 12:33:27  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

There are some sefarim that bring a minhag not to say "Gut Shabbos" after Mincha Shabbos afternoon because that is the time when Yosef, Moshe Rabbeinu and Dovid HaMelech were niftar, and we behave then like mourners who do not greet people. Presumably this does not apply to one who davens Mincha very early, only close to sunset.

The Rema mentions different minhagim regarding drinking water between Mincha and Maariv after sunset Shabbos afternoon, based on a Medrash that one who drinks water then is stealing from the dead. The concept seems to be that the souls of sinners who passed away are released from the punishment of Gehinnom for the duration of Shabbos and drink towards the conclusion of Shabbos to refresh themselves before they return, and one who drinks then is stealing their water. While this is very difficult to understand, it is brought in Tosafos and many Rishonim in various forms. The conclusion of most Poskim is that this only applies to one drinking water directly from a river, other liquids or water in the house are permitted. The prayer Tzidkascha Tzedek was enacted in place of Tachanun for both of the above reasons, commemorating the passing of Yosef, Moshe Rabbeinu and Dovid HaMelech and also in preparation for the souls returning to Gehinnom.

posted:2008-10-22 20:06:45  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - coffee maker, windows
Submitted by Rabbi Avram Herzog  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

1) One may not set a Shabbos clock to turn on a coffee brewer on Shabbos, even though there may be no issue of bishul but it would certainly still be considered shehiya if not nesina l'chatchila out of fear that one would adjust the dial to raise the temperature on Shabbos- Chazon Ish O"C 38:4. Additionally Reb Moshe Feinstein zatzal writes in O"C 4:60 that a Shabbos clock may not be used to turn on an electric stove or oven because it leads to zilzul of Shabbos and would be similar to asking a non-Jew to turn on the device for you. Amira l'Akum is forbidden even if you tell him before Shabbos to do the melacha for you on Shabbos.

2) The Sefer Chassidim is siman 1146 and it is also written in the Tzavaa of R' Yehuda HaChasid in siman 20 or 23 depending on the edition. The Kaf HaChayim and Ben Ish Chai both bring this down as Halacha, as well as numerous less famous sefarim. The explanation given is that malachim or sheidim have set pathways that they travel on, and if someone were to completely close a window or door the ones who usually travel there would get nervous and annoyed and be likely to harm the one who closed their passage way or others in the house. The sefarim write that if one closes the window only temporarily it is not a problem, and if the window frame is left in place it is not considered permanent. Also, if even a very small hole is left behind there is no problem. While we do not understand these concepts, it seems the Poskim hold one should not take any risks with something R' Yehuda HaChasid considered dangerous.

posted:2008-10-06 11:19:32  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Shabbos- Hot plate
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

If the food is fully cooked before Shabbos and completely dry, like a challa, the only issue in Halacha is creating the appearance of cooking which is D'Rabbanan and not actually cooking which would be D'Oraisa. Therefore, some Poskim permit placing the cold challa directly on a hotplate, but not a blech, because a hotplate is only used for rewarming and not cooking and does not give the appearance of cooking. According to the more stringent opinion, which is the common practice, the food may either be placed on a preexisting full pot, such as the cholent. Or alternatively, an empty pan may be used provided it is turned upside down, and even a cookie sheet would be sufficient, as the entire purpose is to make a clear indication that raw food is not being cooked and no one would normally cook raw food on an inverted pan. If the food is a liquid or even contains a small amount of congealed gravy there are other issues that arise of cooking D'Oraisa, and a separate question must be asked.

posted:2008-10-05 13:17:45  (0) comments   email to a friend


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

1) The food should be double wrapped in aluminum foil for kashrus reasons. Because of Shabbos issues cold food should preferably not be placed directly on the hot plate but rather on an intervening container.

2) A key may only be worn if it serves a practical purpose as part or the garment. So if the key itself, not the attached pin, is holding together two part of the garment it is permitted, otherwise it is not.

3) The vaad that builds the eiruv also takes care of making eruv chatzeiros for the whole neighborhood.

posted:2008-09-10 13:16:05  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - milk bag
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: The best solution is to hold the bag over an empty pitcher with one hand while slitting the length of the bag with a sharp knife. This way one does not create a usable container on Shabbos. You should try to be careful not to cut any letters in the process. If this is not feasible, R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal permitted snipping off the corner of the bag in the usual manner since the bag will be disposed when empty, and one may rely on his opinion.
posted:2008-08-24 16:28:07  (1) comment   email to a friend


Halacha - chumrahs
Submitted by Scott  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

It is impossible to make generalizations regarding chumros and kulos, each sugya and situation needs to be evaluated by a Rav.

Regarding Kiddush without bread, it is a very small minority opinion that says you would not be yotzei on mezonos. However, if you want to be stringent for that opinion, you should not eat at the shul Kiddush at all, as since you would be eating before fulfilling the obligation of Kiddush, it would be like eating without Kiddush. In any event, you would say Kiddush again at home of other members of your family had not yet heard Kiddush.

posted:2008-08-22 16:23:05  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Candle lighting
Submitted by Paul Meistrich  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Actually one may light candles any time from Plag HaMincha, one and a quarter halachic hours before sunset, until sunset. However the custom in most of the world is to light at least 18 minutes before sunset to avoid any risk of desecrating the Shabbos. The Gemora says that there is a period of time that is questionable whether it is technically day or night, and during this time period one must be strict both ways. While most opinions hold that this time period begins after sunset, there is a minority opinion that it is the 18 minutes concluding at sundown. While the Halacha does not follow this opinion, due to the severity of the prohibition of transgressing the Shabbos and the ease with which one could potentially run late, the custom has become for women to try to follow this stringent position. However, certainly if one was unable to light before 18 minutes she should follow the accepted Halacha and light the Shabbos candles up until the actual time of sunset. Since clocks are not necessarily accurate, however, one should be very careful to light at least a couple of minutes before the published time of sunset.

posted:2008-08-06 11:57:00  (2) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Shabbos
Submitted by Tzvi  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

It would be permitted because the A/C turning off is an indirect delayed reaction to the person's action and would be considered grama. Furthermore, the person has no intention of turning off the A/C, only preventing it from blowing directly on him.

posted:2008-07-29 13:17:51  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Eruv
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer: The way an eiruv works is made up of two steps. First the poles and strings make the streets of entire neighborhood like a single walled enclosure. Secondly, a quantity of food is designated as belonging to all the residents in partnership allowing one to carry from one house to the next. When performing the second step, the person making the eiruv must say that the partnership includes all the people who will visit the city over the duration of the validity of the eiruv.
posted:2008-07-24 18:42:23  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Shabbos
Submitted by Eliezer  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal is quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchaso as saying that they do not need to be removed as they are considered an integral part of the shirt.

posted:2008-07-23 18:10:52  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Walking with a Cane on Shabbos
Submitted by Israel Seldowitz  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

The only heter to use a cane in a place without an eiruv is because it is considered an extension of the body, like an extra limb. A cane does not achieve that status for someone who can walk inside without it.

posted:2008-07-20 22:25:03  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - melacha of kotzair
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

Removing a plant from the place where it is intentionally being grown and which is a common place to grow this type of plant (such as bean sprouts from their container) is assur mi'Deoraisa because of uprooting an item from its growing place which is included in Kotzer. However, a plant that has unintentionally sprouted, such as onions and potatoes in a cellar, is not a problem even l'chatchila.

posted:2008-07-20 20:05:49  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - shabbas goy
Submitted by isadore a. suchman  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

The Ramban there in Shmos 12:16 asks a similar question to yours. He asks: if "acheirim" in Rashi refers to Jews, they are anyways forbidden to do melacha. If it refers to non-Jews, the Gemorra in numerous places in Shabbos is explicit that there is no issur d'oraisa. He concludes that the derasha Rashi is quoting from the Mechilta must be an asmachta.

The halachos of a Shabbos goy are very complicated, but suffice it to say that while there is no issur d'oraisa, many people frequently transgress the issur d'rabannan.

posted:2008-07-13 11:22:17  (0) comments   email to a friend


Halacha - Using tampons on Shabbos
Submitted by Raquel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question:
Answer:

It is permitted. There is no problem of sechita because it is not intentional and there is no use for any blood that would be inadvertently be squeezed out. Also, it is not melaben because the tampon is being disposed and one has no benefit from the accidental wringing out.

Wearing the tampon is also not a problem of carrying even when there is no eiruv because the purpose of the tampon is not just to prevent the clothing from becoming soiled but also to protect the body from being uncomfortably dirty.

posted:2008-07-03 10:16:48  (0) comments   email to a friend


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