Sunday, 25 July 2021

Everyone Say Tefillas Haderech

Question: When travelling with others, is it best for everyone to recite tefillas haderech, or can we listen to one person recite it and say amen?

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 124:1) writes that the chazan repeats the amida (chazaras hashatz) on behalf of those that do not know how to daven. However, the Mishna Berura (124:1) writes that this only applies to one who is not able to easily daven by themselves. One who is able to daven properly cannot fulfil their obligation simply by listening to the chazan’s repetition.

The Gemara (Berachos 29b) refers to tefillas haderech as a tefilla. Therefore, R’ Avraham Dovid Horowitz (Kinyan Torah 2:119:2) writes that one who is able to easily recite tefillas haderech should do so, rather than listen to another recite it on their behalf. However, he justifies why people are generally lax about this, differentiating between the amida that everyone is supposed to recite three times every day, and tefillas haderech that one only says when travelling.

Nonetheless, the Mishna Berura (29:15) writes that while this applies to the amida, it does not apply to most other berachos. The berachos before shema in shacharis and maariv are requests for mercy, and therefore they should also be recited by each individual. However, one may fulfil one’s obligation for other berachos by listening to others and saying amen. Thus, R’ Avraham Dovid Wahrman (Eshel Avraham 2:110:4) writes that one who is travelling can say tefillas haderech on behalf of others (See Piskei Teshuvos 110:3).

In conclusion, it is preferable for everybody to say tefillas haderech by themselves, rather than listen to another saying it.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Washing up on Tisha B’av

Question: Am I allowed to wash up the dirty dishes from Shabbos on Tisha B’av afternoon?

Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (OC 554:9) writes that if one’s hands are dirty on Tisha B’av, one may wash off the dirt. The Mishna Berura (554:19) explains that washing one’s hands in this manner cannot be considered to be pleasurable bathing. Therefore, he writes that one who is cooking would be allowed to rinse meat, even though inevitably their hands will get wet.

Nonetheless, R’ Pesach Eliyahu Falk (Machazeh Eliyahu 1:87) demonstrates that one must avoid getting one’s hands wet as much as possible. One cannot bathe their children unless it is absolutely necessary. This applies even though the restriction against bathing does not apply to children. He quotes the Beis Yosef (OC 616) who explains that unlike feeding one’s children when one does not benefit oneself, by bathing one’s children, one’s own hands get wet. Therefore, one must not wash any dishes that were used to feed one’s children on Tisha B’av. As it is normal to wait a few hours before washing dishes, one should wait till after the fast.

However, this does not apply to washing dishes that were used prior to Tisha B’av, when doing so is akin to cleaning dirt off one’s hand. The Piskei Teshuvos (554:21) writes that ideally one should wash up in cold, rather than warm water, but R’ Falk writes that this is not necessary. Rather, he suggests that one wear rubber gloves.

In conclusion, one may wash one’s dishes from Shabbos on Tisha B’av afternoon even if one’s hands will get wet. One should wait to wash other dishes that were used to prepare food on Tisha B’av, or wear rubber gloves to prevent one’s hands from getting wet.