Halachah

Answering Amen to Hamakom Yenachem

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Should a mourner (or others present) answer Amen to the words of consolation, “Hamakom yenachem etchem b’toch she’ar aveili Tzion v’Yerushalayim”? Answer: The nature of amen changes with the context of the statement to which one is responding. Most classic berachot praise Hashem for providing one of many things for man (e.g., food, seeing something ...

Read More »

Secrecy in Beit Din

by R. Daniel Mann Question: [We received the following question from an official in Israel’s judicial system. Below is a free translation of our answer.] In Israeli government courts, records of the proceedings are open to the public, but the proceedings in arbitration courts (including batei din) are supposed to be private. Is there halachic basis for this distinction? Answer: ...

Read More »

Kri’at HaTorah at Mincha

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When it is not possible to get a minyan together for a weekday Shacharit, may we lain at Mincha? Answer: The matter hinges on whether the Rabbinic enactment of weekday kri’at haTorah was made specifically for Shacharit or that it is just the preferred time. The mishna (Megilla 21a) lists times for kri’at haTorah, starting ...

Read More »

Reheating Liquids on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Regarding the prohibition to reheat liquid foods on Shabbat (in cases where there is not a problem due to returning food to a heat source), what constitutes a liquid? Answer: It is noteworthy that your premise of a prohibition is not obvious. The mishna (Shabbat 145b) teaches us that ein bishul achar bishul (=ebab – ...

Read More »

Lying to Avoid Embarrassment

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If someone asks you a tactless, unnecessary question, the answer to which is embarrassing, and refusing to answer is like admitting the truth, is it permitted to lie? Answer: The broadest of the Torah prohibitions against lying (even without language of oaths) is “mid’var sheker tirchak” (distance yourself from a matter of falsehood) (Shemot 23:7). ...

Read More »