R Ari Enkin

Amputated Limbs

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, there is no true obligation to bury limbs that were removed from a living person, only those that were removed from a dead one. [1]Shevut Yakov 2:101; Imrei Yosher 3:125; Noda Biyhuda, YD 209; Gesher Hachaim 1:15:2:2. So too, an amputated limb is not considered to be as sacred as a dead ...

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Cutting Nails

by R. Ari Enkin One should trim one’s fingernails as part of one’s Shabbat preparations in order to ensure that one has a pleasant appearance in honor of Shabbat. [1]OC 260:1. One should not trim them in the order of one’s fingers, [2]Kaf Hachaim, OC 260:17. finger after finger, as it is taught that doing so can lead to forgetfulness ...

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Non-Jewish Religious Symbols

by R. Ari Enkin It is quite common to discover that items in one’s possession contain religious symbols. This is often the case with postage stamps, perfumes, and even some brand name clothing whose logos include a cross. One might also live in a country whose flag contains a cross, which appears on T-shirts, passports, knapsacks, and other items produced ...

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Wine: Exempting Other Drinks

by R. Ari Enkin Both bread and wine can exempt other foods from the need for a blessing before one eats them. In the case of bread, it is because bread is the basic staple of life and the primary food of almost any meal. In the case of wine, it is because it is the most prominent drink which ...

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Fish and Meat

by R. Ari Enkin It was once believed that eating fish and meat together was the cause of a terrible skin condition and was extremely dangerous to one’s health. [1]Pesachim 76b. See Pitchei Teushuva, YD 116:2. As such, the rabbis instituted a prohibition against eating fish and meat together. [2]YD 116:2. It is forbidden to eat fish and poultry together, ...

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by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, it is forbidden to eat foods that were cooked by a non-Jew, a concept known as bishul akum. Even if all the ingredients of a cooked food are otherwise kosher, the food may be prohibited to eat if it was cooked by a non-Jew. [1]There is a dispute whether a Jew must ...

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Torah Reading: Sitting or Standing

by R. Ari Enkin In some congregations, it is customary for everyone to stand when the Torah is read, while in other congregations everyone sits when the Torah is read. As we will see, both approaches are based on solid sources. Of course, the one reading the Torah, as well as the one receiving an Aliya, are required to stand. ...

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Exposing a Parent’s Dishonesty

by R. Ari Enkin Although one might think that it is forbidden to expose a parents’ dishonesty owing to the mitzva of kibbud av va’em, this actually may not be the case. In the event that one knows that a parent is lying, cheating, or otherwise engaging in illegal activities, one is often permitted, and sometime obligated, to report them. ...

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by R. Ari Enkin There are different customs as to when a tombstone should be erected over a grave, and by extension, when the unveiling ceremony should take place. Some authorities suggest that the tombstone be erected soon after the shiva period.  This is especially true according to kabbala which teaches that the soul has no “residence” in this world ...

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by R. Ari Enkin Erecting a tombstone or monument on top of a grave is an important Jewish custom. The practice most likely originated with Yaakov Avinu who erected a monument upon the grave of his wife, Rachel. [1]Bereishit 35:20; Shekalim 2:5. See also Sefer Chassidim 738. Some suggest that God Himself instructed Yaakov to erect a monument on Rachel’s ...

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