Halachah

Shehecheyanu on Shofar on Second Day

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Why is it that at Kiddush on the second night of Rosh Hashana we require a new fruit in order to make Shehecheyanu but say Shehecheyanu before shofar-blowing of the second day without “help”? Answer: Usually on the second day of Yom Tov (i.e., in chutz la’aretz), Shehecheyanu is recited at Kiddush even though it ...

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When to Cut the Challah?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Does one fulfill lechem mishneh if the bread is cut, or the matza is broken, prior to the completion of the beracha? Answer: The basic question you ask is the subject of a machloket in the gemara (Berachot 39a) in regard to the preference of making a beracha on a full loaf of bread throughout ...

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Improper Table Manners?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was at the home of very fine friends, who have a few-weeks-old baby. Soon before the meal, they put a changing pad down on the dining room table and changed the baby. I didn’t say anything, but I (like most would) found it distasteful. Is it also halachically forbidden, and should I say something? ...

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Calling a Kohen Who is a Child

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We sometimes have only one adult kohen and his son, who is under bar mitzva, doing Birkat Kohanim. In that case, should we call out “Kohanim”? Answer: The halacha that you are assuming, that someone calls “Kohanim” before Birkat Kohanim only when there are at least two kohanim, is derived by the gemara (Sota 38a) ...

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Animal Experimentation

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am working for a medical researcher, and a lot of it includes experimentation on rodents. Let’s just say that these animals’ lives are not always pleasant. Is this permitted, or is it tza’ar baalei chayim (causing pain to animals)? How should I feel about my involvement? Answer: There is a machloket in the gemara ...

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