Author Archives: Daniel Mann

How to Tell When Your Tefillin Need Adjustment

by R. Daniel Mann [Periodically, we re-issue our discussion on the proper position of tefillin shel rosh. Many people motion to their friends to straighten their tefillin, which is rarely a problem, and do not realize that tefillin extending too far forward is a far more severe problem. In Living the Halachic Process, I:G-1, we develop the halacha that the ...

Read More »

Chazan Starting with Chazarat Hashatz

by R. Daniel Mann Question: As we were finishing up silent Shemoneh Esrei, an avel came in and wanted to take over as chazan before doing silent Shemoneh Esrei. He davened until Kedusha and planned to continue silently. People told him to continue chazarat hashatz out loud. Was it possible to do this? Answer: The idea of a chazan starting ...

Read More »

To What Does Havdala Relate?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: This is more of a philosophical than halachic question, but is Havdala a mitzva of Shabbat or a mitzva of chol (weekday)? Answer: The Rambam (Shabbat 29:1; Sefer Hamitzvot, Aseh 155) is clear on the matter, as he views Kiddush and Havdala as equivalent “bookends”: “It is a positive mitzva from the Torah to sanctify ...

Read More »

Reliability Regarding Kashrut

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Does “one witness is believed in matters of issurin (what is religiously forbidden/permitted, including, kashrut)” apply even if the witness has a personal interest, such as a store or restaurant? Does it apply to a woman? Must the person be a yareh shamayim? How is a mashgiach better than the owner if the business pays ...

Read More »

Unintentional and Innocuous Deceit

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I ordered something and had it delivered to my in-laws’ house. I forgot to mention it to them, so when it arrived, they assumed it was a gift for them and thanked me. Is it permissible to “play along” and pretend it was intended for them? Answer: One forbidden form of geneivat da’at (deceiving someone) ...

Read More »

Maintaining a Possibly Grafted Tree

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I bought property with a nectarine tree and do not know if it is grafted. What do I do with it? Answer: The main prohibition regarding tree grafting is the act of grafting – (inserting the branch (scion) of one tree into the wood (rootstock) of another tree). Actually, this prohibition is not explicit in ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »