Halachah

Electronic Communication before Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permitted to email, WhatsApp, and use social media before davening? Answer: Emailing and other forms of electronic communication have two broad purposes – social interaction; technical/business-related. Each can be a problem before davening, but their parameters differ somewhat. We will deal with them separately before touching on “policy.” (We leave out the important issue of such activity ...

Read More »

Kri’at Shema in a Whisper

by R. Daniel Mann Question: As a speech therapist, I was wondering whether Kri’at Shema can be done in a whisper. In a whisper, the “z” sound is produced as an “s” and the “v” sound is produced as a “f” (and all voiced sounds become devoiced). Scientifically, this is because the vocal chords do not vibrate when whispering. Doesn’t ...

Read More »

Toveling which Utensil First

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I made a beracha before toveling several utensils, primarily glass, which I started with. Then I noticed that one of the utensils was metal. Since toveling metal is a Torah obligation and for glass it is Rabbinic, could the beracha on the glass utensil count for metal? Should I have made another beracha on the ...

Read More »

Early Shabbat Services: Plag or 7:00?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman During the summer, many wish to eat the Shabbat evening meal well before dark. To accommodate them, many shuls offer early Friday evening services. Some daven Mincha right before plag ha-mincha (1 ¼ halachic hours before sunset) and immediately thereafter recite Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv. Others begin Mincha at a set time all summer long – ...

Read More »