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.

Tzedaka: Those Who Refuse to Work

by R. Ari Enkin It is clear that one should only give tzedaka to those who are genuinely in need. A person who is known to have the necessary funds for his basic needs but nevertheless seeks money from others rather than use his own funds, should be turned away. [1]Ketubot 67b; Rambam, Hilchot Matnat Aniyim 7:9; YD 253:10. However, ...

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by R. Ari Enkin As part of every Jewish wedding ceremony, a groom betroths his bride with a ring which he places on her finger as he recites the familiar declaration of intent. A number of authorities rule that in order for the betrothal to be valid, the ring must be placed directly on the bride’s finger without any interposition ...

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Non-Jewish Religious Symbols

by R. Ari Enkin It is quite common to discover that items in one’s possession contain religious symbols. This is often the case with postage stamps, perfumes, and even some brand name clothing whose logos include a cross. One might also live in a country whose flag contains a cross, which appears on T-shirts, passports, knapsacks, and other items produced ...

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Gezel Sheina: Stealing Sleep

by R. Ari Enkin To disturb someone who is sleeping or to prevent someone from falling asleep is a violation of gezel sheina. [1]See Mishneh Halachot 12:443, 14:12. In fact, some sources maintain that stealing sleep is even worse than stealing possessions. [2]Sichot L’sefer Vayikra (Nebenzhal), p. 293. This is because one who steals another person’s possessions can usually make ...

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Staying Awake All Night on Shavuot: Reexamining the Custom

by R. Ari Enkin There is a widespread custom to remain awake all night on Shavuot immersed in Torah study. [1]Zohar, Emor; Magen Avraham 494. The Arizal teaches that those who do so will live out all their allotted years and be saved from every trouble and woe. [2]Sha’ar Hakavanot, Chag Hashavuot; Mishna Berura 494:1; Be’er Heitev, OC 494:7; Kaf ...

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Shehecheyanu on New Fruits

by R. Ari Enkin The Shulchan Aruch rules that one is to recite the shehecheyanu blessing when eating a fruit that is newly in season. [1]OC 225:3; Mishna Berura 225:11; Aruch Hashulchan, OC 225:1. This is because eating a fruit for the first time after a long interval is said to bring a person a certain level of joy. [2]Mishna ...

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Hats & Jackets

by R. Ari Enkin Is one required to wear a hat and jacket when praying, as is common in many orthodox circles? The answer is no. However, one is required to dress in an appropriate and respectful manner that is consistent with the social norms of where one lives. [1]Shabbat 10a; Amos 4:12. In previous generations, a hat and jacket ...

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Leaving A Sefer Open

by R. Ari Enkin There is a lesser-known halacha that one is not permitted to leave a sefer open when one is not using it. The source for this is based on a ruling in the Shulchan Aruch. [1]YD 277:1. See also Shabbat 5b with Ran; Eruvin 98a. The Shulchan Aruch writes that after a sofer writes a column of ...

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Chol Hamo’ed: Meat, Wine, and Clothing

by R. Ari Enkin The Torah [1]Devarim 16:14. requires one to be “b’simcha,” to be happy, on Yom Tov. One must also ensure that the members of one’s household are in a joyous mood, as well. [2]OC 529:2. This mitzva is known as “simchat yom tov.” Although many don’t realize it, the requirement of “simchat yom tov” includes Chol Hamo’ed ...

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Shaking Hands

It was a wonderful surprise to find a review copy of Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits’ latest installment: Halachically Speaking 3. As with the previous volumes, Halachically Speaking thoroughly tackles about twenty five different halachic topics providing readers with lesser-known information and sources on each one. Many of the newer and more novel rulings in the sefer are the opinions of ...

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