Halachah

The Time and Place for Netilat Lulav

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it better to do netilat lulav (=nl) in the sukka before one goes to shul or during tefilla (before Hallel)?  Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 644:1) describes nl as being done before Hallel. One could have claimed that this is due to time concerns. Although b’di’eved one can fulfill nl from alot hashachar, ...

Read More »

Finding a Discarded Aron Kodesh

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I found a discarded wooden box, which someone who sold their apartment left outside a storage room. The neighbors want to throw it out. After opening it, I could tell it was used to store a small sefer Torah. What should to do with it? Answer: The gemara (Megilla 26b) says that a tashmish kedusha ...

Read More »

Jewelry on Shabbat: Pretty or Prohibited?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Many women would be aghast at the idea of omitting jewelry from their Shabbat wardrobe. It may thus come as a surprise that the Talmud unequivocally forbids women from wearing jewelry on Shabbat.1 Even pious women, however, seem to ignore this prohibition—a fact with which poskim have grappled since the earliest post-Talmudic times. Wearing adornments (tachshitim) ...

Read More »

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 »