Sunday, 31 March 2019

Disposing of the Challa

Question: What is the best thing to do with the challa that one separates? Should one wrap and dispose of it or burn it in the oven?
Answer: Rambam (Bikurim 5:13) writes that the challa which one is supposed to separate and give to the kohen is akin to teruma. Just as teruma which becomes tamei must not be eaten, so too challa nowadays may not be eaten as we are all presumed to be tamei. Likewise, any dough that came into contact with water or any of the other seven liquids would be tamei (See Mishna, Machshirin 6:4). According to Rambam (Yom Tov 3:8), there is a mitzva mideoraisa to burn this tamei challa (See Tosafos, Shabbos 24b). In chutz la’aretz where this mitzva is only miderabanan, the requirement to burn it would also be miderabanan.
Thus, the Rema (YD 332:5) writes that nowadays we burn this dough. As only kohanim may benefit from challa, it must not be baked together with other bread, though. While the Shach (YD 108:1 quoting from the Issur Veheter) writes that one may bake this challa in the oven together with one’s bread, the Aruch Hashulchan (YD 108:9) writes that one must wrap the challa first to ensure that no steam escapes.
Burning the challa, however, has its disadvantages. Especially as one is supposed to ensure that it doesn’t come into contact with other foods, it can take a while to properly burn through. R’ Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 4:13) adds that if one leaves the challa around until it is convenient to properly burn, it may get eaten or placed with food. In this case it would certainly be preferable to wrap it before placing it in the bin.
In conclusion, if it is easy for one to burn it properly away from their food one should do so. Otherwise, one should wrap it and place it in their bin.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Drinking at a Kiddush

Question: I know that if one has a drink after reciting kiddush, they don’t say another beracha. Does that also apply to one who hears kiddush from another?
Answer: The Gemara (Berachos 41b) teaches that wine exempts other drinks. Tosafos explains that as wine is such an important drink, any other drink is considered taful, insignificant in comparison. Thus, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 174:2) writes that saying the beracha hagefen on wine exempts one from saying a beracha on other drinks. The Mishna Berura (174:3) writes, however, that this only applies when the drinks are either on the table or one intends on having another drink at the time when one says hagefen.
If one heard kiddush from another but didn’t drink wine themselves, they should say shehakol before drinking another drink. There is a machlokes, however, as to whether one who hears kiddush from another and only sips a little, needs to say a beracha on other drinks. R’ Ovadia Yosef (Yechave Daas 5:20) writes that other drinks are covered even if one has just a sip of wine. The Mishna Berura (Biur Halacha 174:1), however, writes that as there are different opinions, one should drink at least melo lugmav, a cheekful (at least 1.6oz). If one drinks less, there is a safek, doubt, as to whether other drinks are covered or not (See Minchas Yitzchak 8:19). One who drinks so little should either say shehakol on some food before drinking or listen to another person say shehakol.
R’ Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:264; Moadim Uzemanim 3:243) quotes R’ Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik that one does not fulfil their obligation of daytime kiddush by listening to another recite it unless they drink some wine. R’ Ovadia Yosef, however writes that this is not necessary.
In conclusion, if one wants to have a drink at a kiddush then it is best if they don’t drink any wine first. Alternately, they should either ensure that they drink a melo lugmav, say shehakol on some food first, or listen to someone else say shehakol.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mishloach Manos by Parcel Service

Question: Can I send mishloach manos before Purim with a delivery service if it is guaranteed to arrive on Purim?
Answer: There are two main reasons given for the mitzva of mishloach manos. According to the Terumas Hadeshen (111) we do so in order to ensure that everyone has food for their seuda. The Chasam Sofer (OC 196) quotes R’ Shlomo Alkabetz (Manos Halevi 9) who writes that Haman described the Jewish people as a nation scattered and dispersed among the nations (Esther 3:8). By giving food gifts to others on Purim, we demonstrate our friendships.
Following this, there is a machlokes as to whether one can send mishloach manos before Purim to arrive on Purim. The Baer Heitev (695:7 quoting the Yad Aharon) writes that as they have received their food, one fulfils their obligation regardless when they sent it. The Aruch Hashulchan (OC 695:17), however, writes that as the primary reason is to increase happiness and friendship, one must give it on Purim, too.
The Ben Ish Chai (Torah Lishma 188) explains that this machlokes is dependent upon the machlokes as to why we give mishloach manos. The Rema (OC 695:4) writes that if one sent mishloach manos to another who refused to accept them, they have still fulfilled their mitzva. Clearly, the Rema follows the Manos Halevi that the main reason is to promote friendships. As one sending wouldn’t experience friendship on Purim by sending mishloach manos earlier, one shouldn’t do so (See Rivevos Ephraim 4:173:32).
Nonetheless, the Aruch Hashulchan (OC 695:16) writes that one can appoint a shaliach to deliver mishloach manos on Purim. Likewise, R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Halichos Shlomo, Purim 17:14) writes that one may pay a business to make up and deliver mishloach manos on Purim as they act as a shaliach.
In conclusion, while one may pay someone to deliver mishloach manos to another on Purim, one should not send a food parcel before Purim that will arrive on Purim.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Removing Tags from Clothing

Question: I forgot to remove the dry cleaning tags from my clothes before Shabbos. Was I allowed to remove them on Shabbos?
Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 317:3) writes that one mustn’t open a knot that ties new clothing together. The Rema brings an opinion that concurs with the Shulchan Aruch, writing that one mustn’t, therefore, open temporary stitching tying clothes together, etc. He then writes that there are those who allow opening temporary stitching providing one doesn’t do so in front of one ignorant of hilchos Shabbos (See Beis Yosef OC 317:8).
The Taz (317:7) defines a temporary stitch as one that was supposed to be undone within twenty four hours. The Levush (OC 317:3), however, writes that even if the cleaners tied it knowing that their customers wouldn’t open it for a while, that is still considered to be temporary.  
The Mishna Berura (317:21) writes that while the halacha follows the Levush, some follow the Taz. Nonetheless the Aruch Hashulchan (OC 317:22) and R’ Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 9:n55) maintain that we follow the Levush.
Following this, R’ Yehoshua Neuwirth (Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 15:63) writes that if one forgot to separate a new pair of socks or gloves, one may cut through the string that attaches them on Shabbos, providing that one destroys the string by doing so. R’ Ribiat (The 39 Melochos p828) adds that if necessary one may even use scissors to cut the tag.
In conclusion, if one forgot to cut one’s tags off before Shabbos, one may do so on Shabbos.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Placing Clothes in Washing Machine

Question: Can we place dirty clothes into the washing machine on Shabbos?
Answer: The Gemara (Shabbos 138a) teaches that there are certain acts that are prohibited miderabanan on Shabbos because they are uvdin dechol, mundane, weekday activities. Included in this would be a vigorous massage (Rashi, Shabbos 147a) or weightlifting (Rashi, Beitza 29b).
R’ Mordechai Yaakov Breisch (Chelkas Yaakov OC 107) writes that one mustn’t place dirty clothes in a washing machine on Shabbos as it is considered uvdin dechol. Additionally, as one would normally fill the wash after Shabbos, putting clothes in on Shabbos is considered hachana, preparing for after Shabbos. We are also concerned that the clothes will get wet in the machine, which will aid the cleaning.
R’ Yisroel Dovid Harfenes (Nishmas Shabbos 4:367), however, disagrees. While emptying a basket into the washing machine would be hachana, if one would put such clothes straight into the machine during the week even long before they put the wash on, then doing so now is not considered hachana. As washing machines are typically dry when open, we don’t need to be concerned that the clothes will become wet.
R’ Menashe Klein (Mishne Halachos 4:44) adds that providing that one would do so during the week, one doesn’t need to be concerned that others will suspect them of washing their clothes on Shabbos. Nor would the washing machine be muktze if one would normally put soiled laundry into the machine hours before washing them.
In conclusion, one may place dirty clothes straight into the washing machine on Shabbos if they would normally do so during the week even before putting the wash on. One may not, however, sort clothes or empty the washing basket into it.