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.

The Unibrow in Jewish Law

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a young man with a unibrow, which I find very embarrassing. May I remove some hair with tweezers from that area? Also, may I remove some more hair to make my eyebrows less bushy? Answer: The gemara (Nazir 58b-59a) forbids a man to shave his pubic and underarm hair with a razor. There ...

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Tricking a Cheater

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If someone asks me for an answer during a test, can I tell him the wrong answer? (Response to follow-up question – I prefer not to refuse either to not suffer socially or so the cheater gets what he deserves.) Answer: Cheating on a test is an example of geneivat da’at (deception) (Igrot Moshe, Choshen ...

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The Late Ketuba

by R. Daniel Mann Question: A mistake was made in filling out my ketuba and the identical copy for the certifying beit din. We had a spare ketuba but not an additional one to use as a copy. Now, several days after my wedding, can I ask the witnesses to sign a copy with the same information, including the date ...

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Why Not Use an Eiruv?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Why would someone not trust an eiruv constructed under respectable rabbis’ supervision? Answer: The main reason that some people do not carry on Shabbat in an area with an eiruv is actually not a lack of trust in a given rabbi’s expertise, as it is more commonly on fundamental grounds. Rather, they (including some rabbis ...

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Partial Reneging on Hiring

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am self-employed in a service providing field. The Cohens hired me two months in advance for a block of time at high season. I told them I needed to know exactly when I was needed, and as a result I did not put out the word I was available for that time. Soon before ...

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Saying Shemoneh Esrei Audibly

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I daven with someone who davens Shemoneh Esrei loudly enough to disturb my davening significantly. Can/should I say anything? Answer: There are two matters to discuss: whether the davener may do what he is doing; what you should do about it. The former is straightforward; the latter is difficult. The gemara (Berachot 31a) learns from ...

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Delayed Chanukat Habayit

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We moved into a new house four months ago. Are we still obligated to make a chanukat habayit, or have we missed the opportunity? What does the obligation entail? Answer: Besides house-related mitzvot like mezuza and ma’akeh (fence for roof), there are two practices regarding a new house. The mishna (Berachot 54a) says that one ...

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Hatarat Nedarim by Skype

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Around the time of Rosh Hashana, I will not be in the proximity of people who can do Hatarat Nedarim for me. Can I do it via Skype? Answer: While a general Hatarat Nedarim (=HN) within days of Rosh Hashana is just a minhag (see Chayei Adam 138:8), it is good that you are looking ...

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Eating Questionably Reheated Kugel

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Before our shul Kiddush, gabbaim noticed the hot plate (for kugel) was unplugged, so they had a non-Jew connect it (I don’t know what they told him). I ate the kugel only after it cooled down. Was that necessary/allowed? Answer: When a non-Jew does melacha on behalf of Jews, even without prompting, they may not ...

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Lawyers and the Underworld

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a lawyer. A potential client asked me to help sue someone who is known to be part of the underworld. Should I agree based on the commandment of lo taguru (“Do not be afraid of a man” – Devarim 1:17), or is it okay for me to pass? Answer: The formal prohibition of ...

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