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

The Gemara praises a righteous woman named Kimchis because the "walls of her home never saw her hair". The Gemara ascribes to this merit that seven of her sons served as Kohein Gadol. Based on this, many Gedolim have advocated extra caution regarding uncovering ones hair, even in private, as a Segula for the children's success.

It is clear in the Gemara, and Reb Moshe also writes so in his Teshuvos, that this is merely a commendable Chumra and not a Halachic obligation. In this context, while it remains praiseworthy to cover her hair even in complete privacy, if it is uncomfortable to do so one is permitted to be lenient.

posted:2012-08-06 13:28:52  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Basar b'Chalav
Submitted by yehoshua  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Everything is permitted. First of all, it is likely there was 60x the spoon in the content of the pot. Even if there was not 60x the entire spoon, this spoon presumably became fleishig from a soup or cholent etc, where only a small percent of the mixture was actually meat. Therefore, if say 10% of the soup or cholent was meat and the total volume of the spoon is 20 ml, we only need 60x 10% of the 20ml to render it Batel.

Additionally, there are numerous Sefeikos. If the fleishig spoon was inserted into the Eino ben Yomo pot, certainly the spoon and contents remain Mutar. Even if it was placed in the Ben Yomo, the Mechaber 95:2 and 3 considers this a permissible Nat bar Nat. even the Rema who is Machmir merely cites the Minhag to do so and does not dismiss the Mechaber's position. Furthermore, even the Rishonim who are Machmir presumably only do so miD'Rabannan. Consequently, they doubt regarding which pot the spoon was inserted into is not worse than a Safek d'Rabannan, and we will not forbid the pots either.

posted:2012-08-02 09:05:23  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - machinery
Submitted by ori  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Hatzlacha on your new venture.

This is a fascinating and difficult question. On one hand, assuming there are metal pieces coming in direct contact with the food being prepared, there should be an obligation to toivel it miD'Oraisa. Furthermore, unlike kashering where the primary concern relates to the impact of the utensil on the food, which would not be an issue when it is anyways not being sold as Kosher, tevila is different. Since the primary obligation of tevila is incumbent upon the user prior to his usage of the object, it should be irrelevant who the customers are. In this case, since a Jew, you, are intending to utilize this equipment, it should require tevila.

However, the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 120:8 provides that only usage for preparing or serving food obligates tevila, but a knife designated for cutting paper is exempt. The main question would be if we can classify preparing food exclusively for non-Jews as an exempt usage. I had the opportunity to present this question to HaRav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg (HaRav Shlomo Zalamn Auerbach zatzal's son-in-law and the former Av Beis Din of the Rabbanut's Beis Din HaGadol) last week, and he found this logic a likely possibility. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in locating any source for such a distinction, and he was unwilling to commit to accepting the classification of solely gentile consumption as a non-food usage that would exempt it from tevila. He repeated a number of times "It sounds good, but..." Even when I pressed him to take into account the Poskim who consider an electrical appliance an exempt item due to its connection to the ground, he remained noncommittal.

In conclusion, it seems that you must toivel whatever parts of the machinery are obligated in tevila, but certainly without a bracha. Certainly, if you expect to occasionally eat the frozen yogurt yourself relying on your personal knowledge that it is truly Kosher, you are absolutely required to toivel it. If you wish to know which specific parts require tevila, you will have to send me a diagram or photo of the machine.

posted:2012-07-30 15:14:57  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - 9th of Av
Submitted by Yankel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: No. First of all, the Mishna Berura forbids smoking at all on any fast for the reason you mention. Even though the Minhag appears to be more lenient, on Tisha b'Av there is the additional issue that many Poskim forbid smelling besamim or any pleasant fragrances, and this would include smoking as well.
posted:2012-07-29 02:17:40  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - shabbos lip gloss on Yom kippu
Submitted by Rachel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

All cosmetics are forbidden, both on Tisha b'Av and on Yom Kippur.

posted:2012-07-28 21:54:11  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Ribis
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: A Heter Isska should be created, because technically your direct obligation is only to your father and not the bank. Consequently, you are effectively paying him Ribis, as the bank does not recognize you as a relevant party.
posted:2012-07-27 12:50:02  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - cutting nails
Submitted by forever 25  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Yes, there is no restriction on cutting nails during the 9 days.
posted:2012-07-27 12:19:18  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - vitamins
Submitted by shmuel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: To give a definite answer I would have to know exactly which vitamin is the issue to determine the potential Halachic issues involved. Generally speaking, vitamins are not edible and swallowing them is not the normal method of consumption. While I would not permit vitamins that are not Kosher unless they were treating a specific deficiency that rendered the patient a Choleh, if they have even a minimal certification there are grounds to be lenient.
posted:2012-07-23 06:14:25  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Cholov Yisroel
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: This is an article I once wrote on the subject: 

Min HaTorah only milk that comes from a Kosher animal is itself Kosher. Therefore the animal from which the milk is derived must be from a Kosher species such as a cow or goat, or even a deer etc. Additionally the animal must not be a traifa. Since this is impossible to determine while the animal is alive, we rely on the majority of animals which are assumed to be healthy. In recent years this premise has been challenged based on the percent of traifos discovered in older milk cows, but this is outside the scope of this article.

By the times of the Mishna, see Avoda Zara 35b, Chazal were concerned that non-Jews may adulterate milk they sell with milk from non-Kosher species of animals which would be forbidden miD'Oraisa, and they forbade consumption of dairy products that were milked by a non-Jew without Jewish supervision. This milk is termed Cholov Akum and is assur miD'Rabannan. If this milk comes in contact with utensils while hot it renders them forbidden, just like any other non-Kosher food.

Since the logic behind the gezaira was based solely out of concern for possibility of consuming non-Kosher milk and not out of concern for assimilation and intermarriage, as we find with bishul and pas, there is a dispute among the early Achronim whether the issur applies in a location where no non-Kosher animals are found, or any other situation where no risk of contamination is present. The Pri Chadash and Radvaz rule that since there is no need to be concerned about dilution of the milk, direct Jewish supervision is unnecessary. However the Chochmas Adam and Chasam Sofer sharply disagree and rule that since Chazal created a gezaira to forbid Cholov Akum unless it was directly supervised by a Jew, it is a blanket prohibition applying even when the logic behind the takana may not be relevant. They rule that even under these circumstances the milking must have constant Jewish oversight.

There are different minhagim regarding butter made from Cholov Akum, which cannot be churned when containing milk from a non-Kosher species and is analogous to a situation where the concern that sparked the original gezaira does not apply. Those who are lenient consider it less problematic than the previous issue, because it is questionable if butter was ever included in the original enactment against milk and milk products since it is not mentioned in the Gemarra. Some Poskim also consider milk powder to be in the same category as butter, since it too cannot be made from non-Kosher milk. Shulchan Aruch YD 115:3 rules that one may follow a minhag to permit butter, but without a specific minhag to be lenient it should not be used without supervision. However, it is questionable if is these lenient opinions are relevant today, when modern advances in food science have enabled manufacturers to develop new methods and enzymes that could allow butter and powdered milk to be made from sources that were previously impossible. Also, many varieties of butter have liquid milk added to them after the churning stage to give them a richer, milky flavor. There is no assurance that this milk could not come from some different species of animal. Additionally the exemption for butter only applies if the milk was intended from the start to be used only for butter and the issur of Cholov Akum was never relevant to this milk. However, if the cow was milked for drinking or unspecified purposes, that milk is immediately forbidden and does not lose its Cholov Akum status to become Kosher when it is churned into butter.

Based on the concept of the Pri Chadash, mentioned above, HaRav Moshe Feinstein zatzal famously ruled in a number of teshuvos that any milk produced in a country that has laws forbidding adulteration of milk and has a framework for supervision of farms with significant consequences for those who violate the law, is considered to be permitted as if it were supervised by a Jew. Since the entire purpose of Jewish supervision is to insure that the milk contains nothing but milk from a Kosher animal, the government's supervisors can serve the same purpose. According to this opinion, even the Poskim who did not accept the logic of the Pri Chadash to preclude supervision would accept this virtual supervision to replace direct Jewish observation. However many Poskim disagree with Reb Moshe because they question whether the halacha is in accordance with the Pri Chadash, and they require direct Jewish supervision even when no significant risk is present. Additionally, some Poskim question whether the government supervision is rigorous enough to truly insure the purity and Kashrus of the milk. Reb Moshe himself writes in a number of places that a "ba'al nefesh" should be machmir and that he himself is careful only to drink true Cholov Yisroel. However the implication of his written words and the oral testimony of his family members is that he considered it a worthy chumra and not a halachic obligation. Each person should consult his personal Rav regarding how to conduct one's self.

Cheese is significantly more problematic than milk, because for the manufacture of cheese all Poskim agree that Chazal enacted a strict, absolute requirement for direct Jewish supervision since rennet from the stomach of a nevaila, an animal that was not slaughtered according to halacha, was typically used to congeal the milk into its solid state of cheese. Even when it is known with certainty that no problematic ingredients are present, it is universally accepted that a Jew must be present. In addition to watching the process, the Shach and other Achronim require a Jew to actively and physically participate in adding the enzymes to the milk. Most mehadrin hechsherim follow this opinion. This stringency only applies regarding the actual processing of the cheese, the halacha for the milk base is identical for cheese as it is for liquid milk, and one who relies on Reb Moshe's heter for Cholov Stam may use cheese derived from Cholov Stam, provided the cheese-making process was directly under Jewish inspection.

posted:2012-07-22 19:22:37  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Payos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

It depends what you mean by "having payos". It is forbidden mi'Doraisa to completely remove the hair in the area of the payos, whether with a razor or a scissors. A minimum of 5-6 mm must be left. The idea of leaving very long payos is based on Minhag and Kabbala, and is not even d'Rabannan. 

posted:2012-07-20 19:09:56  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Deodorant on Tisha B'Av
Submitted by dw  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Yes you may and it makes no difference which type. The Biur Halacha 554:15 concludes that anointing for sanitary purposes and not enjoyment is permitted on Tisha b'Av.

posted:2012-07-12 04:39:13  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Kasher to Parve
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

It depends what the lid is made of and how it is shaped. Assuming it is unpainted metal, is must be cleaned very well and immersed in boiling water, at least 24 hours after touching the fleishig pot. Depending upon its construction, it may need the handle removed. It is best if you can show it to someone knowledgeable before.

posted:2012-07-11 21:14:33  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Negel Vasser
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh


The Mishna Berura states that Halacha permits it, but one should be very careful to avoid this situation. Other Seforim suggest the food should be discarded, primarily for reasons based upon Kabbalah.

posted:2012-07-05 12:23:23  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Mayim Achronim set
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: No. Only items utilized for preparing or serving and eating food require Tevila.
posted:2012-07-01 18:49:05  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Niddah
Submitted by Chana  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: No. While ideally you should make 2 bedikos each and every day of the 7 neki'im, if you missed a single time you do not need to start over.
posted:2012-06-27 09:59:18  (0) comments   email to a friend

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