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.

Tipping in Halacha (And Bringing Gifts for One’s Host!)

by R. Ari Enkin The Talmud [1]Megilla 26a. tells us that the residents of Jerusalem were forbidden to charge the pilgrims who would ascend to Jerusalem for the holidays any rent or fees for their lodgings. They were required to extend such hospitality to the pilgrims free of charge. They weren’t even allowed to charge for beds, linens, or other ...

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Hachnassat Orchim

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin The mitzva of Hachnassat Orchim in its purest form consists of hosting and serving the needs of those who are destitute and have no place to eat or sleep. In the olden days, before the proliferation of inns or hotels, a Jew who had found himself stuck in an unfamiliar village would be at the mercy ...

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An Israeli in the Diaspora: How Many Days of Yom Tov?

by R. Ari Enkin I was excited to get my hands on R. Shlomo Brody’s new English halacha sefer, A Guide to the Complex – Contemporary Halachic Debates (Maggid), adapted largely from his regular Ask the Rabbi column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine. R. Brody treats us to well over 100 different exciting and practical issues of the day, providing readers with ...

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Yom Tov Candles: Women and Shehecheyanu

by R. Ari Enkin With the exception of the last day(s) of Pesach, the “shehecheyanu” blessing is recited as part of the Yom Tov candle lighting and the evening Kiddush. While most men generally fulfill their requirement to recite shehecheyanu by reciting it (or hearing it) as part of the Kiddush, most women recite it as part of the Yom ...

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Answer Your Emails! Return Your Phone Calls!

by Rabbi Ari Enkin It’s fair to say that most people, including this writer, are greatly disturbed by those who don’t respond to letters, emails, or return phone calls within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, in the event of a first time correspondence, the timeliness in which a person responds is actually the only gesture which offers a ...

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The Rabbi’s Drasha

by R. Ari Enkin It is customary in synagogues worldwide for the rabbi or other designated individual to deliver a drasha – a sermon – every Shabbat morning. In most congregations the drasha is delivered immediately prior to the silent Mussaf amida, while in others it may be given before the Torah reading service. [1]Mateh Ephraim 602:42. In other congregations, ...

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Parshat Parah

by Ari Enkin On the Shabbat following Purim we read “Parshat Para,” the portion which discusses the Para Aduma, the Red Heifer. [1]Bamidbar 19:1-22. The Para Aduma was a sacrificial cow whose ashes were used for ritual purification. One who became impure, such as by coming in contact with a corpse, was required to have himself sprinkled with the ashes ...

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The Most Prestigious Aliyah

It is commonly believed that certain Aliyot in the course of the Shabbat morning Torah reading are more prestigious than others.  As such, it is customary in many congregations to award these aliyot to the rabbi or to distinguished guests. The most prestigious Aliya that one can receive is the last Aliya of each of the five chumashim. Additionally, on ...

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Asara B’Tevet: When On A Friday

by Ari Enkin Asara B’tevet, the day that commemorates Nevuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem,[1. See Melachim II:25; Yirmiyahu 52:4; Yechezkel 24:1,2.] is the only fast that can occur on a Friday.[2. Abudraham, Ta’anit; Magen Avraham 550:4; Aruch Hashulchan, OC 550:2; Mishna Berura 550:10.] This is quite significant and demonstrates that although it is a “minor fast day” its status is distinct ...

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Fasting on One’s Wedding Day

There is an ancient custom for a bride and groom to fast on their wedding day.[1. Rema E.H. 61:1, Rema O.C. 573:1, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 146:1] There are many reasons cited for this custom, some practical, and others more spiritual in nature. For example, one of the explanations offered for the fast is to ensure that the groom does not ...

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