Author Archives: Ari Enkin

Rabbi Ari N. Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He is the author of the “Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (8 volumes), Rabbinic Director of United with Israel and a RA"M at a number of yeshivot.

Mourners: Attending a Wedding

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, a mourner is forbidden to attend any celebration, especially one that includes a festive meal. This is especially true for a wedding. [1]YD 391:2. However, attending a wedding is subject to a different set of regulations than those of other celebrations due to the sensitivity of one’s presence or absence at such ...

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Birkat Kohanim: Dreams

by R. Ari Enkin It is customary to recite the Ribono Shel Olam prayer during Birkat Kohanim for any disturbing dreams that one might have recently had. It is customary to recite the Ribono Shel Olam prayer during Birkat Kohanim for any disturbing dreams that one might have recently had. This is said to be able to transform such dreams, ...

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Marriage: The Ring

by R. Ari Enkin According to halacha, a groom may betroth his bride with anything of value, whether it is money or any other type of gift. [1]Kiddushin 2a. Common custom, however, is to do so by means of a ring. [2]Rema, EH 27:1. A number of explanations have been offered for the now universal custom of using a ring ...

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Kiddushei Ketana

by R. Ari Enkin Although somewhat unknown, there is a concept in a halacha, known as “Keddushei Ketana,” which empowers a father to marry off his minor daughter, potentially against her will. Although the concept of marrying off a minor daughter is disturbing and socially unacceptable, it was commonly practiced in ancient times. In fact, the Torah instituted it for ...

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Birkat Kohanim: Singing

by R. Ari Enkin There is an ancient and widespread custom for the Kohanim to chant a tune between each of the three verses of Birkat Kohanim, something that may even pre-date the Talmudic era. [1]Kiddushin 71a. It has even been suggested that the tunes used by the kohanim nowadays originated at Mount Sinai. [2]Siach Yitzchak 73. The singing serves ...

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Remembering Amalek

by R. Ari Enkin The Torah commands us to remember (“zachor”) that the Amalekites attacked the Jewish people shortly after their departure from Egypt. [1]Devarim 25:17. This is a mitzva that must be done verbally [2]Megilla18a. and according to many authorities, it must be read from a text. [3]Megilla18a; Tosfot, Megilla 17b. There is also a view that a minyan ...

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L’chaim and Other Drinking Customs

by R. Ari Enkin There is a well-known custom of preceding the blessing on wine, especially on Shabbat, with the words savri maranan (“attention gentlemen”) or birshut maranan (“with your permission gentlemen”), depending on one’s custom. [1]Cited in the Derisha. See also Ta’amei Haminhagim 291–294, Kol Bo 25.  One of the explanations offered for this practice is that, throughout Scripture, ...

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Amputated Limbs

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, there is no true obligation to bury limbs that were removed from a living person, only those that were removed from a dead one. [1]Shevut Yakov 2:101; Imrei Yosher 3:125; Noda Biyhuda, YD 209; Gesher Hachaim 1:15:2:2. So too, an amputated limb is not considered to be as sacred as a dead ...

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Cutting Nails

by R. Ari Enkin One should trim one’s fingernails as part of one’s Shabbat preparations in order to ensure that one has a pleasant appearance in honor of Shabbat. [1]OC 260:1. One should not trim them in the order of one’s fingers, [2]Kaf Hachaim, OC 260:17. finger after finger, as it is taught that doing so can lead to forgetfulness ...

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Wine: Exempting Other Drinks

by R. Ari Enkin Both bread and wine can exempt other foods from the need for a blessing before one eats them. In the case of bread, it is because bread is the basic staple of life and the primary food of almost any meal. In the case of wine, it is because it is the most prominent drink which ...

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