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.

Diapers With Disappearing Ink

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permitted to use on Shabbat a diaper with forms on the outside that disintegrate when the diaper is soaked, alerting parents to change the diaper?   Answer: There is a Torah-level violation to erase (mochek)writing or, according to many, a picture or figure (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 340:3; Beur Halacha to 340:4). ...

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Where There Is No Beit Din

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a lawyer in a country with a small Jewish population, in which when we need a din Torah, we fly someone in from another country. A Jew who is suing another Jew asked me to represent him, and the dispute is on a modest amount of money, which is less than the cost ...

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Eating Contests

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Please state your opinion on whether eating contests violate any prohibitions such as bal tashchit? (I am a reporter writing an article.) Is there a difference between contests of volume (e.g., tens of hot dogs in ten minutes) and of speed (e.g., eating three hot dogs fastest)?   Answer: Presumably, one with a Torah-based mindset ...

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A Personal Bracha

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am often overjoyed that Hashem granted me the zechut to live in Israel for many years, causing me to make a “spontaneous” beracha. A friend told me it is forbidden to compose my own berachot, as one can only use those Chazal composed.Is Judaism not all about thanking Hashem for all the wonders of ...

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Doing Work After/During Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My friend called me on Friday and asked me to do an internet check-in for him on my Motzaei Shabbat in Israel (his Shabbat afternoon) for him before his Saturday night flight in the US. Is it permitted for me to do so?   Answer: We have permitted Israelis to make a stock order to ...

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Coin Collection on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question:Is it permitted to handle my modest home-based coin collection on Shabbat? Answer: This question reminds us of a similar one we answered years ago – whether a rock collection is muktzeh (see Living the Halachic Process, vol. I, C-15). We will summarize our discussion there and then see how a coin collection compares. Rocks are ...

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Waking Up on a Plane to Daven

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I will be on a trans-Atlantic overnight flight travelling east, so that during the time people normally sleep, the time for Shacharit will pass quickly. Is it necessary to get up, or do we say that one who is sleeping is exempt from mitzvot? Answer: You raise a fascinating question: do obligations in mitzvot apply ...

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Losing Tinok Shenishba Status

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was raised a secular Jew. One branch of my family is Charedi, and I enjoy spending time and learning with them. I do my best to observe mitzvoth when I am with them, but at home I act the way my family does. One of my cousins voiced a concern that if I continue ...

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An Oven With Shabbat Mode

Question: My electric stove has a Shabbat mode, which enables us to cancel the automatic shut off (needed for 2 days of Yom Tov) and keeps the exact heat you set without fluctuation when the door is opened. On Shabbat, can fully cooked dry food be placed in the oven to be warmed up?  Answer: We will try to make a little ...

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When Therapy Conflicts With Parental Respect

The following question was posed to us: Psychologists sometimes believe that a patient’s symptoms – depression, anger, poor functioning etc. – are a result of his parent’s destructive behavior toward him. Can we encourage a patient to express his resentment to the offending parent in a controlled, appropriate manner? The goals of these interventions are to help the patient reduce ...

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