Halachah

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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A Minor Doing the Concluding Barchu

by R. Daniel Mann Question: At Ma’ariv, a boy under bar mitzvah recited Kaddish Yatom. When he finished, people told him to say Barchu as well. Was that proper? If not, should I have answered?  Answer: A mishna (Megilla 24a) seems to address your question. Whereas a katan may get an aliya, he may not serve as chazan or be ...

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Mechayei Hameitim after Long Separation

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I will soon see my son-in-law after a more than two year Corona-forced separation. We have been in frequent contact and have seen each other often on Zoom. Should I say the beracha, “… mechayei hameitim” (Who brings the dead to life)? Answer: The gemara (Berachot 58b) says that upon seeing a friend after separation, after ...

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Mistakes in Kiddush of Yom Tov that Falls on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I sometimes get confused in the Kiddush of Yom Tov that falls on Shabbat. What does one do if he did not say all of the correct elements? Answer: There are too many permutations to touch all of them, but we will try to address the main ones, with a focus on likely mistakes. Most ...

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Folded Over Matza

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I have heard that it is a problem if part of a matza is folded over (matza kefula). How much of a problem is this, and what do I do about it? Answer: The gemara and early Rishonim do not speak explicitly about such a problem. However, the late Ashkenazi Rishon, the Terumat Hadeshen (I:127), ...

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Weak Prohibition Vs. Beracha L’vatala

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If someone makes a beracha on a milchig food and then realizes that he is fleishig, should he eat a little of it to avoid a beracha l’vatala? Answer: The dilemma of choosing the lesser of two evils arises in many cases.  The gemara (Shabbat 4a) rules that one who sticks dough to a hot ...

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