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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - Kashrus
Submitted by Alan Weinberg  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh


There are a number of factors at play here.

If the glucosamine would be derived from hard sea shells, it would be equivalent to rocks which are not a Kosher concern. However, the crab, lobster and shrimp shell generally used are not nearly as rigid and do contain some flavor. Therefore, glucosamine produced from seafood would have to be considered a non-Kosher product.

However, since it is rendered into pills which are swallowed and not eaten in the manner of normal food, there would be some grounds for leniency. If one had debilitating arthritis, or a condition likely to lead to the same, pills that are proven to treat or prevent this condition could be taken under certain circumstances. Whether or not glucosamine qualifies as a "proven" remedy is questionable.

Regardless, one of the conditions is that there is no available Kosher alternative. Today, there are a number of brands of glucosamine derived from fermentation of wheat or corn, and some even have Kosher certification. Only these products should be consumed. A simple Google search for "glucosamine Kosher" will locate a number of Kosher certified brands available for purchase online. A careful check will reveal that some of them are the more beneficial glucosamine sulfate.

posted:2011-12-08 00:14:52  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - NY water
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: My understanding is that most Poskim hold there IS an obligation.
posted:2011-12-01 18:01:56  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - niddah
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

I'm afraid not. It is certainly forbidden miD'Rabannan and possibly Biblically.

However, it is certainly praiseworthy that you want to help. Giving a gift is permitted as are many other demonstrations of appreciation.

Also, if her depression is so severe, she may need professional counseling.

posted:2011-12-01 13:10:18  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Lechem-Shaleim
Submitted by DC  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: An excellent question. This issue has bothered me as well, and I have not found a single Sefer that address the question directly.

A little background. While it is always preferable to make a Beracha on a complete item, it is especially critical to the Mitzva of Lechem Mishan for Shabbos and Yom Tov to use a whole loaf of bread. Therefore, while during the week one should make an incision in the loaf before the Beracha to indicate the location he intends to slice, on Shabbos this should be minimized (whether this Halacha applies at all to our Challos today is a separate issue). Even on a weekday, the maximum permissible incision to preserve the "whole" status of the loaf requires one to be capable of lifting the entire bread when gripping the prospective piece.

The question is, is this a general rule that an object is incomplete if any section of it is incapable of supporting the weight of the entire item?

I would tend to be inclined that it is not. I suspect that this Halacha is specific to a situation where a break or separation has commenced, and it merely quantifies the maximum size considered attached. However, when the loaf is intact but merely weak, that infirmity does not deny it from wholeness.

posted:2011-11-28 22:14:39  (2) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - bracha on twix
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Mezonos. It contains a cookie inside, and Mezonos is generally assumed to be the Ikkar, primary, component of a complex food.
posted:2011-11-28 17:41:44  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - hot tray on shabbat
Submitted by Ruth  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Let's start with some background. There are a couple of potential issues when reheating food on Shabbos: Bishul which may be a Torah prohibition and leaving cooked food on the fire and the appearance of cooking which are Rabbinic in origin.

1) If the food was fully cooked and is currently dry without any significant quantity of gravy etc., there is no risk of Bishul on Shabbos. Therefore, meat without gravy, potato kugel and similar foods do not entail a Biblical prohibition if they were completely cooked before Shabbos. 2) However, there are two potential Rabbinic issues. Just as cholent and other foods may not be left on the stove from before Shabbos, so too items may not be placed on a fire on Shabbos. This is primarily due to a concern that one may stoke the fire or otherwise adjust the temperature to speed up the heating.

This problem is also easily solved. If the fire is covered and the temperature cannot easily be adjusted, the concern is alleviated. So, the blech we place the cholent pot on would be an acceptable location for the kugel, as both the fire and knobs are covered and we have a precaution against mistakes. The same would apply to an electric hotplate that does not have multiple temperature settings.

3) The second Rabbinic issue is the appearance of cooking. Since one could conceivably cook raw food on a blech, someone who sees you placing a pan on the blech might not realize it is cooked food and imagine that you are cooking raw food on Shabbos. This mistaken assumption could lead to tragic consequences, as the misguided observer may jump to the unsubstantiated conclusion that one is permitted to cook raw food on a blech on Shabbos, and do so in their own house.

To prevent this problem and remove the Rabbinic injunction, the reheating must be done in a manner that does not resemble the cooking of raw food. The electric hotplate is a matter of dispute among the Poskim, as many of them reach a sufficient level of heat to theoretically cook raw food, but it is certainly not a common practice. Some consider this sufficiently "unusual" while others require a warmer that does not reach a temperature capable of cooking. In any event, for a blech this is not a solution.

A universally accepted solution for a blech or hotplate is to place the food to be warmed on a part of the blech that is not hot enough to cook. Alternatively, the food may be placed on top of a different pot filled with food. For example, the pan of kugel may be placed on top of the pot of cholent (suggestion, turn the lid upside down to prevent the kugel from sliding off). If this is impractical, an empty pan may be placed upside down upon the blech/hotplate, and the food to be reheated on top of this pan.

All these methods require more than the usual time span to warm the food, and it takes a little practice to determine how early Shabbos morning you need to put up the food.

posted:2011-11-20 06:22:24  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Newspaper/Magazine Lashon Hara
Submitted by DC  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

You are correct that profuse praise is usually an issue of avak lashon hara. The reason is that it is likely to provoke someone hears it to counter the excessive effusiveness by putting down the subject. Since it leads others to commit the aveira of lashon hara, it is forbidden.

Regarding a newspaper there may be extenuating circumstances. Firstly, the definition of "excessive" praise would be relative to the subject. If written about a Gadol, one could say much more before running into problems. Secondly, unlike a verbal conversation where there are inevitably others participating who could respond derisively, a printed story could be read in private leaving no one to express one's negative reaction to. Since no lashon hara was provoked, no avak was committed.

In conclusion, it is certainly an issue to be taken into consideration, but it is difficult to make any blanket pronouncement on the subject.

posted:2011-11-17 19:19:56  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - witness
Submitted by yona  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: Derived from Vayikra 5:1. Sanhedrin 37b, end of Mishna, see Rashi
posted:2011-11-13 17:44:13  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Late Kabbalas Shabbos
Submitted by Shmuel  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: No. While some Shuls have the logical custom to recite it before nightfall to welcome the Shabbos prior to its arrival, there is no limitation or deadline in Halacha.
posted:2011-10-31 06:42:15  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Teffilin
Submitted by Ezra  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer:  Generally speaking, Tefillin that are known to be Kosher are presumed to remain so until known otherwise, this is called a Chazaka. However, if there are significant grounds to suspect that the original situation has changed, we can no longer rely on the Chazaka. Excessive heat is certainly a known cause of Tefillin becoming invalid, and depending on the degree and duration your Tefillin were subjected to, they may not continue to be presumed Kosher.

It is difficult to generalize and I cannot tell you precise temperatures and times. Certainly you should have your Tefillin checked ASAP, and preferably you should use other ones until then. They may not be Kosher now, I do not know for sure.

posted:2011-10-31 02:37:00  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Posul Sefer Torah on Simchat Torah
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

It is appropriate to dance even with an invalid Sefer Torah. We are expressing our joy over the content of the Torah, which is unchanged. It is not essential that it be valid to read from.

posted:2011-10-25 14:31:36  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Cutting Nails
Submitted by Jeff  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: While it is certainly preferable to cut the nails before Shabbos to enter Shabbos properly groomed, if one did not have time prior it is permitted to cut them afterwards.
posted:2011-10-22 21:19:47  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Garbage Removal before Yom tov
Submitted by Chaim Zvi Ehrenreich  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

Putting the garbage out Erev Yom Tov is not a problem. You do not need to concern yourself with the possibility that that the non-Jewish sanitation workers will choose to ship the refuse outside of the techum to avoid having an abundance of garbage at hand.

However, the garbage cans are a basis for a Muktza Machmas Gufo during Bein HaShemashos and remain muktza the second day as well. A Muktza Machmas Gufo may not be moved to prevent its getting damaged.

posted:2011-10-19 04:31:37  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Wine and Meat on Chol HaMoed
Submitted by Adam  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: A Revi'is of wine and k'zayis of meat. Grape juice is not sufficient, since it is not alcoholic it does not generate Simcha. Night is fine, although some authorities question if there is an obligation the first night.
posted:2011-10-16 12:03:50  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - netting under schach
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: There are different opinions on whether and how this may be done. I do not recommend it.
posted:2011-10-15 23:29:59  (0) comments   email to a friend

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