Author Archives: Daniel Mann

This column is produced on behalf of Eretz Hemdah by Rabbi Daniel Mann. Rabbi Mann is a Dayan for Eretz Hemdah and a staff member of Yeshiva University's Gruss Kollel in Israel. He is a senior member of the Eretz Hemdah responder staff, editor of Hemdat Yamim and the author of Living the Halachic Process, volumes 1 and 2 and A Glimpse of Greatness.

Sefarim Under Seats

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In our shul, the seats have drawers underneath them to store chumashim, siddurim, etc. Thus, we sit over these books. Is that allowed? Answer: A few gemarot are relevant. One (Berachot 18a) forbids putting a sefer Torah under one’s saddle when riding an animal unless it is necessary to protect it. Another gemara (Menachot 32b) ...

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Donating a Sefer Torah to a Shul

by R. Daniel Mann Question: People who own sifrei Torah often lend them to a shul. Is there any reason they cannot donate them (which can get them a tax credit)? Answer: The 613th mitzva in the Torah is, “Write for you (plural) this song,” which refers to the Torah (see the Rambam’s formulation of Chazal’s derivation – Sefer Torah ...

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Reading Before Going to Sleep

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permissible to read a book after the bedtime Shema/Hamapil?  I like to read in bed before falling asleep, but I sometimes fall asleep and, if I have not said them beforehand, it is possible that I will sleep through the night without reciting them. Answer: Reciting the beracha of Hamapil is mandated by ...

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Short Mincha on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In my community (I am the rabbi), we daven Mincha during the week without a separate chazarat hashatz (=heiche Kedusha) because of people’s busy schedules. In the winter, we have the practice of davening Mincha of Shabbat after the shul Kiddush following Musaf. Some congregants have requested that we do short Mincha, as their wives ...

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Muktzeh during Bein Hashemashot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May one “violate” muktzeh during bein hashemashot (=bhs; the time between sunset and nightfall treated as a doubt of day or night) based on the rule of sefika d’rabbanan l’kula (we are lenient in cases of doubt of a Rabbinic prohibition) even without a mitzva need. If not, why? Answer: The gemara (Eiruvin 32b) cites ...

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Interruptions during Hallel

Question: Is it and/or under what conditions is it permitted to interrupt Hallel for matters of some importance? Answer: The mishna (Berachot 13a) cites two opinions about when it is permitted to greet people during Kri’at Shema and its berachot. The factors are: whether the speaking is in the midst of a beracha or section of Kri’at Shema or between ...

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Greeting before Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: The Mishna Berura rules that one may not go over to his friend’s place in shul before davening. As the shul’s rabbi, is there a heter for me to go over to a new congregant to make him feel welcome and comfortable with our tefilla? Answer: After discussing the halacha in general, we will examine ...

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Muktzeh during Bein Hashemashot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May one “violate” muktzeh during bein hashemashot (=bhs; the time between sunset and nightfall treated as a doubt of day or night) based on the rule of sefika d’rabbanan l’kula (we are lenient in cases of doubt of a Rabbinic prohibition) even without a mitzva need. If not, why? Answer: The gemara (Eiruvin 32b) cites ...

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