Halachah

Leather Arch Supports on Tisha B’av

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May I wear leather arch supports in my non-leather shoes on Tisha B’av?  Answer: Most of the sources on the prohibition of wearing shoes relate to Yom Kippur, but the halachot are mainly the same for Tisha B’av (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 550:16). The simple answer to your question is that arch supports are ...

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Family Name as Alternative for a Ketuba Witness

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Must witnesses on a ketuba sign with their father’s name (Ploni ben Ploni)? Can one instead use his first and last name? This could be valuable for a convert or someone whose father is someone else than what people think and is embarrassed about the truth. Answer: The discussion about how a witness is to ...

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Reconciling Conflicting Kaddish Considerations

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Every year, I am the one who says Kaddish for my mother-in-law (=mil) on her yahrtzeit. This year it falls out during the twelfth month of aveilut for my father, when one should not say Kaddish. How should I reconcile the conflict?  Answer: Before suggesting solutions, let us discuss the value of saying Kaddish on ...

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Visiting Egypt

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am considering sightseeing in Egypt. Need I be concerned with the Torah’s prohibition of returning to Egypt? Answer: We will not address the safety and national considerations of such a trip. We discussed when it is proper to leave Eretz Yisrael for any destination in Living the Halachic Process VI, G-2. (Not every place ...

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How Much of a Tzedaka Preference to Relatives?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I learned that one should prioritize giving tzedaka to relatives over others. I give a nice amount of tzedaka, almost exclusively out of the family (which also has a few poor people), which I feel is more altruistic. Can you explain this halacha and give some halachic guidelines? Answer: The Sifrei (R’ei 116) derives from ...

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An Agent Showing a House on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Asked by an American rabbi: A congregant of mine is trying to sell his house. His non-Jewish real estate agent suggested doing an open house on Shabbat, a good time for many buyers. If the owner goes away for Shabbat, may he do that? Answer: I leave to you to deal with communal implications of ...

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Mistake in Beracha on Delayed Laying of Tefillin – part II

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was at home with a weak stomach and decided it would be halachically prudent to put on my tefillin for a shortened period (from after Yishtabach through Shemoneh Esrei). After I fastened the tefillin shel yad, I realized that the beracha I had recited was not the one for tefillin but that I had ...

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Mistake in Beracha on Delayed Laying of Tefillin – part I

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was at home with a weak stomach and decided it would be halachically prudent to put on my tefillin for a shortened period (from after Yishtabach through Shemoneh Esrei). After I fastened the tefillin shel yad, I realized that the beracha I had recited was not the one for tefillin but that I had ...

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Interrupting Shabbat Meal for Shema/Sefira

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When we make early Shabbat, is it better, when nighttime falls, to recite Kri’at Shema and sefirat ha’omer during the meal or to wait until after the meal? Answer: We will be assuming you were correct in starting the meal. To make that clear cut, you should have started the meal at least a half-hour ...

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Disposing of Tea Light Leftovers

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I read that one should not throw directly into the garbage mitzva-related objects. Should I wrap in plastic the leftover shell and wax residue from “tea light” Shabbat candles?  Answer: [We have discussed questions about respect for objects involved in mitzvot (tzitzit, netilat yadayim cups, a “yad”), and so relying on electronic access, we will ...

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