Sunday, 26 March 2017

Late Seuda Shelishis

Question: Our shul davens Mincha on Shabbos about an hour before Shabbos ends. By the time I get home, it is after shekia. Is that too late to start eating seuda shelishis?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 299:1) writes that one shouldn’t start eating when it gets dark on Shabbos afternoon until havdala.  If one had started eating a meal before this time, one can continue eating (See Aruch Hashulchan OC 299:3).
The Mishna Berura (299:1) writes that while it is preferable to eat before shekia, if one hasn’t yet eaten seuda shelishis, then one should eat up to half an hour before tzeis hakochavim. Among other reasons, he explains (Shaar Hatziyun 299:2) that we are not accustomed to be so strict about shekia, especially when there’s a mitzva to eat seuda shelishis.
R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:203) writes that while the Chazon Ish was particular not to eat after shekia, nonetheless, most poskim allow one to begin eating seuda shelishis a few minutes after shekia (See Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 56:4; Rivevos Ephraim 1:264).
In conclusion, it is preferable to begin eating seuda shelishis before shekia, though it is justifiable to begin a few minutes afterwards if necessary.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Using the Eruv for Someone Else

Question: My neighbour doesn’t use the eruv though sometimes asks me to carry things on his behalf. Is that allowed?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 263:17) writes that one who accepted Shabbos early may ask another who hasn’t yet accepted Shabbos to perform a melacha on their behalf (See Tosafos, Shabbos 151a).
Nonetheless, R’ Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 18:32:3) differentiates between this scenario and asking another to perform a melacha when it’s Shabbos for him, too. Thus, a sefardi who follows a stricter position mustn’t ask an ashkenazi who follows a more lenient position to perform a melacha on his behalf. 
The Gemara (Shabbos 150a; Bava Metzia 90a) teaches us that it is assur miderbanan to ask a non-Jewish person to do melacha for them on Shabbos. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 276:1) writes that if one mistakenly did so, they would be forbidden to benefit from that action on Shabbos.
Thus, R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 4:119:5) writes that one who doesn’t open cans on Shabbos mustn’t ask a non-Jewish person to open it for them. If a non-Jewish person opened it for them, they wouldn’t be allowed to eat that food on Shabbos. Nonetheless, if another Jew opened it for him as they follow poskim who allow doing so (See Minchas Shlomo 2:12, Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 9:n10; Yechave Daas 2:42), then they may eat from the can. Similarly, the Mishna Berura (318:2; 27) and R’ Waldenberg (ibid.) allows one to benefit from any such melacha performed.
Based on this, R’ Ribiat (The 39 Melochos, p93) writes that one who doesn’t open bottles or cans on Shabbos, should not ask those who do, to do so for them.
In conclusion, one who doesn’t use the eruv on Shabbos should not ask you to carry on their behalf. They may benefit from you doing so, however.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Hearing Zachor in a Sefardi Shul

Question: I daven nusach ashkenaz though occasionally daven in a sefardi shul on Shabbos morning. Is there any issue with me hearing parshas zachor there?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 684:7) writes that there is a mitzva deoraisa to listen to parshas zachor.
R’ Zvi Pesach Frank (Har Zvi OC:4), R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 3:9; 4:47:3) and R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:154) write that as there are advantages to the ashkenazi pronunciation, one who usually davens with an ashkenazi pronunciation mustn’t change to a sefardi one.
Similarly, R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yabia Omer 6:C:11) explains that as there advantages to the sefardi pronunciation, one who davens with an sefardi pronunciation mustn’t change to an ashkenazi one. He writes that he’d regularly tell sefardi bachurim studying in an ashkenazi yeshiva to go to a sefardi shul to hear parshas zachor.
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 3:5; 4:65) explains that during the time of the first beis hamikdash, everyone spoke with a similar pronunciation. It wasn’t until we were exiled, that slight changes crept in. While people shouldn’t change from one to the other, all pronunciations are equally valid.
R’ Zvi Pesach Frank (Mikraei Kodesh, Arba Parshiyos 7:n6) writes that one who usually davens with an ashkenazi pronunciation should be particular to listen to parshaz zachor read in as ashkenazi pronunciation (See Rivevos Ephraim 5:584:4; Piskei Teshuvos 685:10).
Nonetheless, R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yalkut Yosef 685:12) and R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo Purim 18:1) write that bedieved, one fulfils their obligation wherever they go.
In conclusion, one should make the effort to listen to parshas zachor in one’s own nusach. If faced with no choice, one fulfils their obligation whichever shul they attend.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Women Giving Mishloach Manos

Question: My husband usually gives mishloach manos and matanos laevyonim for our family. Is that okay, or do I need to give my own, too?
Answer: Rambam (Megilla 2:15) and the Shulchan Aruch (OC 695:4) write that everyone must give two food items to another for mishloach manos, and give charity to two poor people for matanos laevyonim (Rambam, ibid. 16;  Shulchan Aruch OC 694:1; Mishna Berura 694:1).
While the Rema (OC 695:4) writes that women have the same obligation in mishloach manos and matanos laevyonim as men, the Mishna Berura (695:25) and Aruch Hashulchan (OC 695:18) quote the Magen Avraham (OC 695:14) who writes that many married women are not particular to give their own mishloach manos and rely on their husband’s. He writes that ideally, married women should give their own mishloach manos to their friends.
The Aruch Hashulchan (OC 694:2) writes that a husband can give matanos laevyonim on behalf of himself and his wife. However, R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 4:173:58) quotes R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Fuchs (Halichos Bas Yisrael, p303) who writes that a husband giving on his wife’s behalf should ideally inform her that he is doing so.
In conclusion, a couple can give matanos laevyonim together, though they must be aware that the other has given on their behalf as they are both required to give. Ideally, married women should give their own mishloach manos and not rely on their husbands to give on their behalf.