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.

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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Announcements before Shemoneh Esrei of Ma’ariv

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I thought that at Ma’ariv of Rosh Chodesh (or other times there is something new to say), the gabbai calls out “Ya’aleh V’Yavo” (=YVY) before Shemoneh Esrei. But in many shuls, someone just bangs. Which way is correct? Answer: While all agree that semichat geula l’tefilla (connecting the beracha of “Ga’al Yisrael” to Shemoneh Esrei) ...

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Bar Metzra

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I want to soon sell my semi-detached house, which, as is common, is officially owned by the Jewish Agency and rented by me.  Do the halachot of giving precedence to buy to adjacent property owners (bar metzra) apply in my case? If yes: does the owner of the other half of my building take precedence ...

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Continuing to Eat a Seuda Shlishit without Bread

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When my family has seuda shlishit before sheki’a (sunset), I join them. The amount I eat varies, but I do not like to have a full meal with bread. May I continue eating after sheki’a? Answer: The gemara (Pesachim 105a) says that one who is eating as Shabbat enters must interrupt his eating to recite ...

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Walking in Israel

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What are the parameters of the idea that every 4 amot one walks in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva? Is it only to new places? Does one have to walk on foot? Answer: We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we were not able to find any classical or semi-classical ...

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The Nature of the Fulfillment of the Mitzva of Mezuza

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I will be moving into a home that already has mezuzot. If I just leave them there, do I fulfill the mitzva of mezuza, or must I remove and/or replace them? In general, when/how does one fulfill the mitzva: by affixing them, by having them in the house, by kissing them, or by thinking about ...

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Tosefet Yom Kippur

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When and how should one accept Yom Kippur? Answer: We wrote (see Living the Halachic Process III, C-4) that there are two or three elements of tosefet Shabbat (adding on to Shabbat). 1) One should cease doing melacha before Shabbat begins; 2) If one accepts Shabbat earlier than required, (at least many elements of) Shabbat ...

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Men Going to the Mikveh before Rosh Hashana

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was not brought up going to the mikveh before Rosh Hashana (only before Yom Kippur). Should I start doing so? What are the reasons and rules for this tevilla? Answer: The Tur (Orach Chayim 606) cites the minhag to immerse before Yom Kippur, based on direct sources from the Geonim, and the Shulchan Aruch ...

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Paying for Unscheduled Entertainment

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I witnessed the following scenario years ago and have wondered about the halacha. During a wedding, a talented entertainer dressed in full costume with remote-controlled dancing puppets burst onto the dance floor.  He gave a performance, which the guests thoroughly enjoyed, for 10 minutes. Each set of parents assumed the other had arranged and paid ...

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