Kiddush in the Middle of Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We are making a private bar mitzva minyan/seuda. Due to family dynamics, we want to have a milchig Kiddush with a long break before the Shabbat lunch. May we make the Kiddush before Kri’at Hatorah? Answer: The gemara (Berachot 28b) reports that Rav Huna forbade any amount of eating before Musaf, but it concludes that ...

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Hinting One Does Not Want an Aliya

by R. Daniel Mann Question: As a guest to a shul, I received an aliya on Shabbat morning, and at Mincha, a different gabbai came over to me between aliyot to ask me my name. I told him: “I got an aliya this morning.” He got the hint and gave it to someone else. Did I act properly, or was ...

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Cooking for Shabbat at the End of Yom Tov

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Are there any things to be careful about when cooking for Shabbat on Yom Tov that falls out on Friday, with the help of an eiruv tavshilin (=et)?  Answer: The laws of cooking on Yom Tov are the same when done for Shabbat (with an et) as when done for Yom Tov eating, concerning what ...

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Planting a Fruit Tree He may Uproot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We want to plant a fruit tree in our yard, but if we can work it out, we will expand our house and will need to uproot the tree. Is it alright to plant it in these circumstances? Answer: The Torah forbids cutting down fruit trees (Devarim 20:19). This is the strictest application of the ...

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Rearranging Aliyot to Enable a Levi’s Aliya

by R. Daniel Mann Question: This Shabbat (Vayakhel/Pekudei), the gabbai called up a levi for shvii, and as ba’al korei, I knew he was going to make a hosafa and give acharon/chazak to someone else. I quickly told him the levi cannot come up, but that they should switch the intended olim, having the levi wait for acharon. After laining, ...

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Removing Dirt from a Sefer Torah on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: During laining on Shabbat, I noticed dirt of some sort that distorted a letter of the sefer Torah. I pushed it with my tallit, and it readily came off. Did I violate Shabbat? Answer: The classic case of the melacha of mochek (erasing) is to erase letters or a form in order to afterward write ...

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Correcting a Ba’al Korei

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What are the rules about correcting a ba’al korei?  Answer: The Tur (Orach Chayim 142) seems to present a polar machloket on the matter. The Rambam (Tefilla 12:6) rules that if one made a mistake even on a single “dikduk” of a letter, we make him go back. Hamanhig (p. 160) prefers not correcting to ...

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Me’ein Sheva at a Rotating Venue

by R. Daniel Mann Question: The fledgling community of which I am rabbi does not have access for Kabbalat Shabbat to the place we daven on Shabbat morning, so we have a rotation of houses for it. Should we say Me’ein Sheva (the beracha with “Magen avot…” in its midst) at Maariv?  Answer: Me’ein Sheva (=MS) is like a shortened ...

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Mechirat Chametz and Tevillat Keilim

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I never do tevillat keilim after Pesach on keilim I sell. Can that be justified? Answer: Your excellent question has been bothering Acharonim for centuries. If one follows the apparent consequences of mechirat chametz, the relevant keilim should require tevilla because when a Jew sells a kli to a non-Jew and buys it back, it ...

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Melacha Done on Yom Tov Sheni in Chutz La’aretz

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We (Israelis) will be spending Pesach at my parents’ home in chutz la’aretz. They keep the basics of the chag, especially when we are there, but do not observe Yom Tov Sheini (=YTS). May we benefit from forbidden melacha (ed. note – e.g., turning on a flame or electricity for cooking; turning on lights) they ...

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