Halachah

Purim on Motzaei Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What should we know about the transition from Shabbat to Purim this year (outside Yerushalayim)? Answer: There are no major issues, but there are a few that are worthwhile to raise. Normally, it is forbidden to eat a half hour before the time for Megilla reading (Mishna Berura 692:15; see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 235:2), ...

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Baruch Shem… at the Wrong Time

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Putting on tefillin, I (an Ashkenazi), after reciting “… l’haniach tefillin” and fastening the shel yad, recited “Baruch shem k’vod malchuto l’olam va’ed” (=bskmlv) instead of after putting on the shel rosh. What should I have done at that point? Answer: The gemara (Menachot 36a) states that one makes one beracha on tefillin but makes ...

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Reattaching Ripped Tzitzit

by R. Daniel Mann Question: One of my tzitzit strings ripped so that it was very short. May I tie the ripped part to the stub to restore it to legal length? Answer: According to your description, the tzitzit are kosher without reattachment, as we will explain. If the other tzitzit are of kosher length (details are not our focus) ...

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Ribbit on More that is Worth the Same

by R. Daniel Mann Question: During my learning, the following question came up. May I borrow a bag of potato chips in Manhattan, where it sells for $1, to pay back two bags of potato chips in Lakewood, where they sell for 50 cents each? Is this Biblically prohibited, Rabbinically prohibited, or permitted? Answer: We will use your assumption that ...

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Peeling an Egg with Writing on it on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permissible for one to peel a hard-boiled egg on Shabbat if the shell has letters and/or numbers stamped on the side of the shell? Answer: Before seeing what the poskim have to say, let us analyze the involved issues. The potential melacha involved is mochek (erasing) of the letters/numbers. In all standard cases, ...

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Are Newly Ripe Avocados Muktzeh?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Today, Friday, our avocados are not quite ready to eat. If they become ripe enough on Shabbat, may we eat them then? Answer: Fruit that are so unripe that they are inedible are muktzeh (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 308:31). When Shabbat begins, during bein hashemashot (twilight), several matters of halachic status are set for ...

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Reading Advertisements on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May one read advertisements on Shabbat? If not, is it permitted to read divrei Torah on the same page as an ad? Answer: One may not read shitrei hedyotot on Shabbat (Shabbat 116b). Another gemara may extend this prohibition. The mishna (Shabbat 148b) forbids reading a guest list on Shabbat. The gemara (ibid. 149a) cites ...

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Reciting Holy Things Near Garbage Containers

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I recite Birchot Hashachar on the way to shul, and recently Tehillim as I walk the streets. May I continue doing so while passing trash cans or dumpsters? Answer: The Torah (Devarim 23:13-15) commands soldiers to keep their encampment holy by covering excrement (tzo’a). Uttering holy matters (of all sorts – Rambam, Kriat Shema 3:4) ...

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Trying on a Beged without Tzitzit

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I saw someone shopping for a tzitzit beged without tzitzit (so he could attach them), and he tried it on for size. I thought it was forbidden to wear a beged requiring tzitzit without them. Was he right to do so? Answer: We will explore three possible reasons to permit this, proceeding from the possible ...

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Eiruv Chatzeirot at a Hospital

by R. Daniel Mann Question: At a hospital, is it necessary to have an eiruv chatzeirot to carry inside the building? Answer: That is an excellent question, as many people think an eiruv is only the tzurot hapesach (posts and connecting cord) that complete an area’s halachic walls. The physical walls do create a reshut hayachid (private domain, where it ...

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