Do the Chatan and Kalla Need to Eat at Sheva Berachot?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Must the chatan and kalla eat (bread) at Sheva Berachot (upper case for the week and the meal; lower case for the berachot recited) in order to recite the berachot? (Sometimes one does not feel well and eats little or nothing.) Answer: There are several issues, which we will only be able to touch upon, ...

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Greeting before Davening

by R. Daniel Mann Question: The Mishna Berura rules that one may not go over to his friend’s place in shul before davening. As the shul’s rabbi, is there a heter for me to go over to a new congregant to make him feel welcome and comfortable with our tefilla? Answer: After discussing the halacha in general, we will examine ...

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Wine: Exempting Other Drinks

by R. Ari Enkin Both bread and wine can exempt other foods from the need for a blessing before one eats them. In the case of bread, it is because bread is the basic staple of life and the primary food of almost any meal. In the case of wine, it is because it is the most prominent drink which ...

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Muktzeh during Bein Hashemashot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: May one “violate” muktzeh during bein hashemashot (=bhs; the time between sunset and nightfall treated as a doubt of day or night) based on the rule of sefika d’rabbanan l’kula (we are lenient in cases of doubt of a Rabbinic prohibition) even without a mitzva need. If not, why? Answer: The gemara (Eiruvin 32b) cites ...

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Announcements before Shemoneh Esrei of Ma’ariv

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I thought that at Ma’ariv of Rosh Chodesh (or other times there is something new to say), the gabbai calls out “Ya’aleh V’Yavo” (=YVY) before Shemoneh Esrei. But in many shuls, someone just bangs. Which way is correct? Answer: While all agree that semichat geula l’tefilla (connecting the beracha of “Ga’al Yisrael” to Shemoneh Esrei) ...

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Bar Metzra

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I want to soon sell my semi-detached house, which, as is common, is officially owned by the Jewish Agency and rented by me.  Do the halachot of giving precedence to buy to adjacent property owners (bar metzra) apply in my case? If yes: does the owner of the other half of my building take precedence ...

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Continuing to Eat a Seuda Shlishit without Bread

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When my family has seuda shlishit before sheki’a (sunset), I join them. The amount I eat varies, but I do not like to have a full meal with bread. May I continue eating after sheki’a? Answer: The gemara (Pesachim 105a) says that one who is eating as Shabbat enters must interrupt his eating to recite ...

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by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, it is forbidden to eat foods that were cooked by a non-Jew, a concept known as bishul akum. Even if all the ingredients of a cooked food are otherwise kosher, the food may be prohibited to eat if it was cooked by a non-Jew. [1]There is a dispute whether a Jew must ...

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Walking in Israel

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What are the parameters of the idea that every 4 amot one walks in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva? Is it only to new places? Does one have to walk on foot? Answer: We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we were not able to find any classical or semi-classical ...

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Stretching Halakhah For An Agunah

by R. Gil Student Extreme cases demand special treatment. The Sages of the Talmud recognized this and allowed otherwise invalid witnesses to testify on behalf of a classical agunah, a woman whose husband has disappeared (as opposed to today’s colloquial reference to a recalcitrant spouse). Defining the husband as deceased allows the agunah to remarry, freeing her from permanent captivity ...

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