R Ari Enkin

Bishul Akum

by R. Ari Enkin One of the lesser-known kashrut requirements is that food must be cooked by a Jew or for a Jew to at least participate in the cooking in some way. [1]Mishna, Avoda Zara 2:6. See Tosfot there who notes that bishul akum is one of the oldest rabbinic enactments. YD 113:1-3,7. Food that was cooked by a ...

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Shavuot: Flowers and Greenery

by R. Ari Enkin There is a widespread [1]It is interesting to note that the custom of decorating with greenery is not mentioned by Rav Yosef Karo in his Shulchan Aruch, and as such, the practice is not as widespread in Sephardic communities. custom to decorate the home [2]See Leket Yosher, Vol. 1 p. 150. and synagogue with plants, flowers, ...

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Shabbat Afternoon

by R. Ari Enkin Three of our greatest leaders passed away on a Shabbat afternoon: David, Yosef, and according to most sources, Moshe Rabbeinu. [1]Zohar, Teruma; Menachot 30a; Elya Rabba 292:17. Other sources seem to indicate that Moshe Rabbeinu died on a Friday. [2]Tur, Bach, OC 292 A number of customs are observed on Shabbat afternoons to commemorate their passing, ...

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Gezel Sheina: Stealing Sleep

by R. Ari Enkin To disturb someone who is sleeping or to prevent someone from falling asleep is a violation of gezel sheina. [1]See Mishneh Halachot 12:443, 14:12. In fact, some sources maintain that stealing sleep is even worse than stealing possessions. [2]Sichot L’sefer Vayikra (Nebenzhal), p. 293. This is because one who steals another person’s possessions can usually make ...

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Kohanim: Air Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Dead bodies are routinely flown in the baggage compartments on passenger flights for burial in distant places. Since it is considered very worthwhile and meritorious to be buried in the Land of Israel, this is an especially frequent occurrence on El Al flights. Indeed, over 65 percent of all El Al flights have dead bodies on ...

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Airplane Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Although it is not widely known, there is a view among halachic authorities that Tefillat Haderech is not recited for airplane travel. [1]See Ahalech B’amitecha 9, n. 7; Sha’arei Halacha U’minhag 1:118; Piskei Teshuvot 110, n. 16. This is based on the Talmudic teaching that air travel is something associated exclusively with birds and not with ...

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Publicizing the Donors

by R. Ari Enkin Is it proper to publicize the names of donors? The practice of publicizing the names of those who make donations for charitable causes is quite ancient. The Talmud relates that it was publicized that Yosef Ben Yo’ezer made a generous donation to the Beit Hamikdash. [1]Bava Batra 133b. In fact, the famous “Nicanor Gate” of the ...

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Knock before Entering!

by R. Ari Enkin Our sages teach that one should not enter any home, even one’s own, without knocking first. As Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai teaches: “There are four things that God hates that I also don’t like…a person who enters his own home suddenly without knocking, and it goes without saying, one who enters his neighbor’s house without knocking.” ...

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Shehecheyanu on New Fruits

by R. Ari Enkin The Shulchan Aruch rules that one is to recite the shehecheyanu blessing when eating a fruit that is newly in season. [1]OC 225:3; Mishna Berura 225:11; Aruch Hashulchan, OC 225:1. This is because eating a fruit for the first time after a long interval is said to bring a person a certain level of joy. [2]Mishna ...

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The Rabbi’s Drasha

by R. Ari Enkin It is customary in synagogues worldwide for the rabbi or other designated individual to deliver a drasha – a sermon – every Shabbat morning. In most congregations the drasha is delivered immediately prior to the silent Mussaf amida, while in others it may be given before the Torah reading service. [1]Mateh Ephraim 602:42. In other congregations, ...

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