Sunday, 28 December 2014
Saturday, 20 December 2014
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Saturday, 6 December 2014
Sunday, 30 November 2014
Answer: The Gemara (Berachos 9b) teaches that one should not interrupt between the beracha of geula, redemption, and the amida. This applies during shacharis and maariv.
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 236:2) writes that the chazan announces ‘rosh chodesh’ before shemoneh esrei to remind everyone to say yaaleh veyavo. As this is necessary for davening, it is not considered to be an unnecessary hefsek (See Shut Harashba 1:293). However, the Mishna Berura (Shaar Hatziyun 236:4) writes that this only applies during maariv. One may not announce this during shacharis, when there must not be the slightest interruption before the amida (See Taz OC 114:2).
The Kaf Hachaim (OC 236:16) writes that the chazan may announce the words ‘yaaleh veyavo’ loudly while saying his amida, even starting his amida early if necessary. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo, Rosh Chodesh 1:1) maintained that it is inappropriate for anyone other than the chazan or gabbai to do so then. One is allowed to hint to someone else to say yaaleh veyavo, however. Similarly, R' Moshe Stern (Baer Moshe 4:10) writes that while anyone may say the words ‘yaaleh veyavo’ loudly, no one else should do so afterwards.
The Kaf Hachaim (OC 236:17) notes that in Yerushalayim, the minhag is not to announce anything. Elsewhere one may announce ‘yaaleh veyavo’ during maariv, though not other announcements that are of lesser importance, such as al hanissim. Nonetheless, the Mishna Berura (236:7) allows all such announcements (See Magen Avraham 236:1).
In conclusion, the gabbai may bang on the table before the amida in shacharis¸ and may say the first couple of words of yaaleh veyavo out loud during his amida, though others should not do so. In many shuls the gabbai announces ‘yaaleh veyavo’ before the amida of (mincha and) maariv.
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Answer: The Gemara (Shabbos 36b) writes that to prevent one from accidentally lighting a fire on Shabbos (mavir) there is a restriction against leaving uncooked food cooking on Shabbos (shehiya). The Mishna (Shabbos 3:1) teaches that one may place a pot in an oven after one has removed the coals (garuf) or cover the coals with ashes (katum).
The Chazon Ish (OC 37:11) writes that placing a metal sheet, or blech, over one’s stove hardly affects the cooking and so doesn’t help on Shabbos. Nonetheless, the Kaf Hachaim (OC 253:11), R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 1:93), R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 7:15) and R’ Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Halevi 1:91) write that placing a metal sheet or blech over one’s stove would be considered garuf vekatum, allowing one to leave food on the flame even if it wasn’t yet fully cooked when Shabbos begins (See Biur Halacha 253:1).
A second issue with slow-cookers is hatmana, insulating. The poskim debate as to whether it is enough for just the lid to be uncovered, or if part of the sides need to be exposed to avoid hatmana. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shulchan Shlomo, Shabbos 257:13) maintains that in order to avoid the issue of hatmana, one must line the pot with foil which should stick out a little so that it is noticeable. R’ Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Halevi 9:52), however, writes that as the pot is not covered on top, there is no issue of hatmana (See Rema OC 253:1; Taz OC 258:1; Shulchan Aruch Harav, Kuntres Acharon 257:3(. R’ Dovid Ribiat (The 39 Melochos, p633) writes that this was also the view of R’ Moshe Feinstein (See Igros Moshe OC 4:74).
R' Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (quoted in Orchos Shabbos 2:n149) maintained that in order to avoid hatmana, one must raise the pot insert a little. Thus, some place some scrunched up foil underneath the pot, too.
In conclusion, one should ideally line their slow-cooker with a foil-blech, especially if one may want to return the pot to the flame.
Sunday, 9 November 2014
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Answer: The Rema (OC 98:1) writes that fathers should not kiss their children in shul, as shul is a place where one should demonstrate their love to Hashem (Sefer Chassidim 255). R’ Avraham Yitzchak Kook (Orach Mishpat OC 22) writes that this prohibition applies to kissing other family members and friends, too.
The Ben Ish Chai (Vayikra 1:11) writes that while one should not kiss one’s young children in shul, the sefardi minhag of kissing the hand of a talmid chacham is commendable because it is done out of respect rather than personal affection. Likewise, one may kiss one’s father or Rabbi after being called up for an aliya where that is the accepted practice (See Kaf Hachaim OC 151:6; Ohr Letzion 2:45:55). R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daas 4:12) explains that showing them kavod is a form of honouring Hashem, just as one must stand for them, even in shul. However, one should not kiss any other relatives who one is not obligated to honour.
The Piskei Teshuvos (98:7) suggests that as this halacha is written in hilchos tefilla as opposed to hilchos bais hakenesses, this prohibition may only apply during davening. He quotes R’ Yisrael Avraham Alter Landau (Beis Yisrael OC 1:9) who notes that the Torah tells us that Moshe kissed Aharon on Har Sinai. He could only do so because the shechina was not present then.
Nonetheless, R’ Ovadia Yosef writes (Yabia Omer EH 3:10) that when making a chuppa in a shul, one must be careful not to embrace one’s relatives as kissing is always forbidden in shuls (See Rivevos Ephraim 2:66).
The Piskei Teshuvos (98:n69) writes that one would be allowed to kiss one’s child if they are crying, however, as this serves to calm them, rather than show affection.
In conclusion, one should not kiss one’s children in shul even after davening. One may do so to stop them crying if necessary.
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Answer: There is a Torah prohibition to prostrate oneself on a stone floor (Vayikra 26:1). The Rishonim offer different reasons for this averah:
In conclusion, if the floor is wooden or carpeted, there is no need to place anything down. Only if the shul floor is stone should one place something between one's head and the floor.
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Sunday, 21 September 2014
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Sunday, 24 August 2014
Sunday, 17 August 2014
Question: Previously when I have flown, I have been invited to join a minyan on the plane, though have always been uncomfortable about doing so. I am about to fly again. What should I do if asked to join a minyan?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 95:1) writes that one must stand with their feet together when reciting the amida.
However, one who has to daven while riding a donkey, in a carriage or on a boat should do so while seated unless it is easy to stand (ibid. 94:4). The Mishna Berura (94:13) explains that it is easier to concentrate this way.
Thus, R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 4:20) writes that one can sit for the amida on an aeroplane, especially if one will be less distracted. R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo, Tefilla 8:4) adds that as davening with a minyan during a flight will bother other passengers, one should rather daven the amida while seated.
The Aruch Hashulchan (OC 94:18) writes that one davening while sitting should still (keep their feet together and) bow in the appropriate places, standing in their seat to do so if possible.
Certainly, it is best to avoid davening while travelling if possible. The Mishna Berura (89:39; 42) writes that it is better to either daven before travelling or delay davening until one arrives, even though one will not be davening at the ideal time, though one must ensure that they do not miss the latest time to recite the shema or the amida.
In conclusion, one who needs to daven while on a plane can stand in their seat if they are not disturbing anyone else. One may sit throughout, though should stand to bow at the appropriate places if easy to do so. One must not join a minyan if it will be in the way of others.
Sunday, 10 August 2014
Sunday, 3 August 2014
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Sunday, 13 July 2014
Sunday, 6 July 2014
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 271:14) writes that one fulfils their obligation of kiddush by listening to another person reciting it (and answering amen), though it is ideal for everyone to drink from the kiddush wine.
The Taz (OC 182:4; 190:1) writes that it is wrong to drink a little from the kiddush cup and then pour into other cups as the wine becomes pagum, unfit for kiddush after. Ideally, everyone should have wine poured out before kiddush. Thus, the Mishna Berura (Shaar Hatziyun 271:89) writes that one may recite kiddush, drink from their cup, and then pass it around to others. One should not pour out from it after drinking, however. If one did so, they could fix the pagum wine by pouring some fresh wine into the cups. One pouring out from their own cup must ensure that they are left with a revi’is in their cup (Mishna Berura 271:51).
The Shulchan Aruch Harav (OC 190:5) adds that one shouldn’t pour wine out into other cups after reciting kiddush before drinking oneself, as doing so would be considered a bizayon, disgrace, to the mitzva (See Mishna Berura 296:4). Nonetheless, he maintains (OC 271:20) that there is no hefsek to pour out from one’s kos before drinking after bentching.
While R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 48:11) writes that it is preferable for those listening to drink from the main kos, he writes (48:n69) that R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach disapproved, as the Shulchan Aruch (OC 170:16) writes that it is dangerous for two people to drink from the same cup. Nonetheless, many have the custom to pass around the kos to one’s family members.
Alternately, one can pour out wine into everyone’s cup before kiddush, though unless they have a revi’is, they must wait for the one reciting kiddush to begin drinking before they do (See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 48:n74).
In conclusion, one should either pour out wine for everybody before kiddush or pour out from their own cup into others before drinking, providing that they are left with a revi’is in their kos.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Sunday, 15 June 2014
Sunday, 8 June 2014
Sunday, 1 June 2014
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Friday, 23 May 2014
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Sunday, 11 May 2014
In conclusion, one must be careful not to store food under one's bed. If one inadvertently does so, one need not dispose of it.
Sunday, 4 May 2014