Halachah

“G” Dash “D”?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Some people write Hashem’s Name in English as “G-d.” Is that necessary, or are the halachot of Hashem’s Name only in Hebrew? If a Name can be in any language, then isn’t “G-d” another recognized form to write Hashem’s Name and have the same problem? Answer: What to consider a Name of Hashem is significant ...

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Drinking during Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I showed my surprise to a serious young man who was drinking coffee during Shacharit. He said it helps him daven and is permitted. Can that be correct? Answer: We are not discussing one with special physical/medical needs. It is forbidden to eat before davening Shacharit (Berachot 10b), as derived (although it is probably Rabbinic) ...

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Speaking to The Deceased

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is there a proof from the gemara in Berachot 18b-19a that when people speak to the deceased in the cemetery, he hears and understands? Answer: We will peruse some sources in Chazal and later authorities and try to arrive at a balanced approach. It is a basic Jewish belief (see Rambam’s principles of faith) that ...

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Frozen Challa for Lechem Mishneh

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May we use a frozen challa for lechem mishneh on Shabbat? Answer: We will start by removing the main suspense: the one-word answer is clearly, “Yes.” After seeing why, we will see why some prefer avoiding the situation and weigh certain factors and distinctions. The gemara (Berachot 39b) says that on Shabbat, one needs to ...

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Definition of Davar Gush

by R. Daniel Mann Question: l have learned that a hot solid piece of food, such as a chunk of meat or a potato, has special halachot because it holds in the heat. How do we consider something like vegetable soup, which has both significant broth and solid pieces of vegetables? Answer: The concept that you to refer, known as ...

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Using Tzedaka Funds for Grandchildren’s Education

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Can one use ma’aser money to pay for their grandchildren’s education? Is there a distinction between grandsons and granddaughters or Judaic studies and general studies? If it is permitted, may I putting money in a 529 fund (which earmarks savings for education, primarily post-secondary in return for tax breaks for the donor in the US)? ...

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