R Ari Enkin

Mourners: Attending a Wedding

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, a mourner is forbidden to attend any celebration, especially one that includes a festive meal. This is especially true for a wedding.1 However, attending a wedding is subject to a different set of regulations than those of other celebrations due to the sensitivity of one’s presence or absence at such an event. ...

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Misheberach on Shabbat

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, one is forbidden to make personal requests to God on Shabbat. This includes prayers for health and welfare. In fact, one who encounters a sick person on Shabbat is supposed to say “It is forbidden to cry out on Shabbat but may you have a speedy recovery.”1 As such, not all authorities ...

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Kiddushei Ketana

by R. Ari Enkin Although somewhat unknown, there is a concept in a halacha, known as “Keddushei Ketana,” which empowers a father to marry off his minor daughter, potentially against her will. Although the concept of marrying off a minor daughter is disturbing and socially unacceptable, it was commonly practiced in ancient times. In fact, the Torah instituted it for ...

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Birkat Kohanim: Singing

by R. Ari Enkin There is an ancient and widespread custom for the Kohanim to chant a tune between each of the three verses of Birkat Kohanim, something that may even pre-date the Talmudic era.1 It has even been suggested that the tunes used by the kohanim nowadays originated at Mount Sinai.2 The singing serves to separate each of the ...

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Remembering Amalek

by R. Ari Enkin The Torah commands us to remember (“zachor”) that the Amalekites attacked the Jewish people shortly after their departure from Egypt.1 This is a mitzva that must be done verbally2 and according to many authorities, it must be read from a text.3 There is also a view that a minyan must be in attendance when reading the ...

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Gloves

by R. Ari Enkin As part of every Jewish wedding ceremony, a groom betroths his bride with a ring which he places on her finger as he recites the familiar declaration of intent. A number of authorities rule that in order for the betrothal to be valid, the ring must be placed directly on the bride’s finger without any interposition ...

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L’chaim and Other Drinking Customs

by R. Ari Enkin There is a well-known custom of preceding the blessing on wine, especially on Shabbat, with the words savri maranan (“attention gentlemen”) or birshut maranan (“with your permission gentlemen”), depending on one’s custom.1  One of the explanations offered for this practice is that, throughout Scripture, wine is found to be both a positive and negative substance. It ...

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