Sunday, 29 January 2017

Children Waiting after Meat

Question: At what age should children begin waiting between meat and milk?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 343:1) writes that parents mustn’t feed their children non-kosher food. Thus, one can’t even feed a baby meat and milk together. How long children need to wait after eating meat before eating milky foods depends primarily on their age.
The Rema (OC 328:17) writes that very young children have a similar halachic status as a choleh shein bo sakanah (a bedridden patient), who doesn’t need to wait long between eating one meal and the next. Thus, R’ Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Halevi 4:84) and R’ Moshe Stern (Be’er Moshe 8:36:4) write that one can feed babies milk just after they’ve eaten meat, though the baby’s mouth should be cleaned first (See Chochmas Adam 40:13).
R’ Mordechai Yaakov Breish (Chelkas Yaakov YD:16; 17) writes that children only need to wait an hour until they’re nine. R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer 1:YD:4; 3:YD:3) writes that if older children want to have a milky meal, they only need to wait an hour. He writes that one shouldn’t, however, utilise this leniency to give them chocolate treats, etc.
Other poskim disagree, however, writing that parents are obligated to begin educating children as soon as they are old enough to understand the concept of milky and meaty foods. R’ Moshe Stern writes that children should begin waiting an hour after eating meaty foods when they are 3 years old.
R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:435) writes that children should begin waiting three hours when they are about five or six and wait (about) six hours when they reach nine or ten.
The Aruch Hashulchan (YD 89:7) writes that older children should wait longer than an hour unless they are weak.
In conclusion, babies can be fed milk after meat providing their mouths are clean. As children mature, they should be trained to wait longer. Certainly, children who are weaker or have health issues shouldn’t be encouraged to wait too long.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Responding to Another Minyan

Question: Occasionally, I daven in a shul that has multiple minyanim going on at the same time and I can hear another minyan clearly while I’m davening. Is it correct to respond to their kaddish and kedusha, etc?
Answer: R’ Chaim Kanievsky (quoted in Ishei Yisrael 24:n62) holds that one who is davening and hears kedusha from another minyan needs to respond (See Mishna Berura 124:3). R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 3:11:4) writes that according to one opinion, even the chazzan would have to respond to the other minyan.
Nonetheless, R’ Waldenberg writes that when part of one minyan, one wouldn’t need to respond to any other. One should try one’s utmost to daven in a minyan where one can’t hear other minyanim simultaneously.
R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 1:89:2) writes that according to R’ Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and others, one would only respond to keduasha in one’s own minyan, especially if doing so would disrupt one’s concentration. This would even apply to one saying pesukei dezimra (See Shearim Metzuyanim Behalacha 20:1).
In conclusion, R’ Avraham Yeshaya Pfoifer (Ishei Yisrael 24:28) writes that while one davening doesn’t need to respond to kedusha and barechu, etc. that they heard in a different minyan, they may do so if they want to. One should avoid this situation where possible by davening in a place where they’re less likely to be disturbed from outside.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Guests and Shabbos Candles

Question: We’ve been invited by some friends to Friday night dinner. Where should we light our Shabbos candles?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 263:9) writes that one who lights their candles inside their house but eats in the courtyard needs to ensure that their candles burn longer so that they can see them when they come back inside. Failure to do so will result in the beracha being a beracha levatala. The Mishna Berura (263:40) writes that while it is ideal for the candles to burn into the night, it is sufficient even if they burn during his meal when one eats before nacht (See Baer Heitev 263:14).
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 263:6) writes that students who learn away from home should ideally light their Shabbos candles in their bedrooms. Thus, the Mishna Berura (263:46) writes that while the hosts should light on the Shabbos table, guests should ideally light in their own room even if they aren’t eating there at all.
Following this, R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 1:183) writes that one eating out though sleeping at home should ideally light at their own house. It is ideal if they can leave the candles burning until they come home, though if necessary they can stay with them for a few minutes before they go out (See Minchas Yitzchak 10:20).
Likewise, R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 45:8) writes that while children who visit their parents for Friday night dinner often light together with their parents, they should ideally light in their own houses.
If lighting at one’s house isn’t an option, then one can light in their host’s house. Even though their host has lit candles one can still light with a beracha as they are adding to the light (Mishna Berura 263:35).
In conclusion, it is preferable to light where one sleeps on Friday night, rather than where one eats.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Travelling on a Taanis

Question: I am travelling to Israel on asara b’teves. Can I end my fast when it ends in Israel or do I need to wait until the fast ends in England?
Answer: R’ Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Halevi 7:76; 8:261:2) writes that as there are some poskim (Tosafos, Avoda Zara 34a; Vilna Gaon OC 562:1; Aruch Hashulchan OC 562:9) who hold that the minor fasts (asara b’teves, shiva asar b’tammuz and taanis Esther) end at shekia, one who started their fast earlier due to travel may rely on these opinions and end their fast at shekia. One travelling from Israel to America, for example, who found their taanis significantly lengthened, would be able to end their fast early if necessary, based on the timing of their departure city. One doing so must only eat what’s necessary, and not eat a proper meal until the fast is over in their arrival city. R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 8:176) writes that one doing so should only eat in a quiet area and not in public where they’ll be seen by others. R’ Wosner doesn’t, however, address the scenario of one travelling eastwards who has their taanis shortened.
R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 4:122) writes that we are always lenient for these three minor fasts. Thus, whether one was travelling from Israel to England or England to Israel, they would end their fast at the earlier Israeli time. He quotes R’ Dovid Menachem Munish Babad (Chavatzeles Hasharon 1:YD:47) who writes that just as a boy turns bar mitzva when he turns 13 and we don’t need to calculate that it has been 13 complete years based on the location where he was born, so too, we don’t need to ascertain when a person travelling began performing other mitzvos.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 3:96), however, writes that one fasts according to where they’re located. Thus, one travelling on a taanis will end their fast when it is nacht in their arrival city, regardless of whether that lengthens or shortens their fast. This would even apply to one travelling on tisha b’av as there is no requirement to specifically fast for twenty four hours.
In conclusion, while there is debate regarding one travelling westwards, one travelling from England to Israel on asara b’teves may end their taanis when it is nacht in Israel even though they have shortened their fast by travelling.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Staying with the Menora

Question: I am eating out on Friday night and won’t be back until very late and I don’t want to leave my menora burning all that time. Does it matter if I won’t be there for half an hour with the lights?
Answer: As we light the candles earlier than usual on Friday, we must ensure that there is enough oil or candles to burn for at least half an hour after tzeis hakochavim. The Chaye Adam (154:18) writes that if there isn’t enough to last this long, then one hasn’t fulfilled the mitzva.
The Mekor Chaim (672) writes that remaining with the menora for half an hour is an integral part of the mitzva of lighting the menora.
Likewise, the Aruch Hashulchan (OC 673:3) writes that one can’t light one’s menora with fuel that gives off an odour as it will cause people to leave the room. R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 8:266:4) writes that based on this, we see that it is important for people to try and stay in the room with the menora for half an hour while the menora is alight (See Yalkut Yosef 677:2).
Nonetheless, R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:394) writes that this is a nice minhag and not part of the mitzva itself. Nor is this aspect of the halacha mentioned by most of the poskim.
In conclusion, providing that one ensured that the lights could stay alight for half an hour after tzeis, one doesn’t need to stay with the lights.