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.

Kri’at HaTorah in the Shadow of Corona

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When minyanim are taking place with the permission of health authorities under social distancing rules, what should be done to separate “functionaries”? Answer: [This is being written as small outdoor minyanim just became re-permitted in Israel, and little has been written on the topic. Health rules may change by the time the column is read, ...

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Consequence of Removal of Sleeve from under Tefillin

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When after fastening the tefillin shel yad, I find part of my sleeve under the tefillin and pull it away, must I refasten the tefillin due to the rule of ta’aseh v’lo min ha’asuy (=tvlmh – mitzva-related actions must be performed directly)? In this case, the placement of the tefillin becomes proper not by fastening ...

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Key Accessibility for Non-Jew Who Buys Chametz

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Mechirat chametz forms ask me to identify someone with access to our key to the chametz’s location if we are away. Is this necessary considering the non-Jew never comes to get the chametz? Answer: Mechirat chametz has developed over the centuries. In the time of the Rishonim, it started to be used as an arguably ...

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Participation in a Siyum by Skype

by R. Daniel Mann Question: On Erev Pesach, I will be in a small Jewish community that will not have a siyum. Is it permitted for me – a bechor[1]Firstborn. – to break the ta’anit bechorot[2]The fast of the firstborn. based on a siyum[3]The completion of a significant section of Torah. in which I “participate” via Skype?  Answer: In the ...

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“G” Dash “D”?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Some people write Hashem’s Name in English as “G-d.” Is that necessary, or are the halachot of Hashem’s Name only in Hebrew? If a Name can be in any language, then isn’t “G-d” another recognized form to write Hashem’s Name and have the same problem? Answer: What to consider a Name of Hashem is significant ...

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Drinking during Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I showed my surprise to a serious young man who was drinking coffee during Shacharit. He said it helps him daven and is permitted. Can that be correct? Answer: We are not discussing one with special physical/medical needs. It is forbidden to eat before davening Shacharit (Berachot 10b), as derived (although it is probably Rabbinic) ...

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Parashat Zachor with Different Pronunciations

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My shul has always read Parashat Zachor once, with our regular havara (pronunciation). Some people now complain that we do not follow other shuls and read multiple times with different havarot to fulfill the mitzva according to more opinions and to do the mitzva properly for Sephardim. Should we change our minhag? Answer: Let us ...

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Kaddish after An’im Zemirot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In my shul, at the end of An’im Zemirot, the chazan (child) does not say “Lecha Hashem hagedula …” I understand that it is not permitted to say Kaddish after a shir (song of praise) without p’sukim. Can you provide me with sources to prove this?   Answer: To start with, we at Eretz Hemdah ...

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Speaking to The Deceased

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is there a proof from the gemara in Berachot 18b-19a that when people speak to the deceased in the cemetery, he hears and understands? Answer: We will peruse some sources in Chazal and later authorities and try to arrive at a balanced approach. It is a basic Jewish belief (see Rambam’s principles of faith) that ...

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Frozen Challa for Lechem Mishneh

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May we use a frozen challa for lechem mishneh on Shabbat? Answer: We will start by removing the main suspense: the one-word answer is clearly, “Yes.” After seeing why, we will see why some prefer avoiding the situation and weigh certain factors and distinctions. The gemara (Berachot 39b) says that on Shabbat, one needs to ...

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