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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What Should One Skip to Get to Shemoneh Esrei on Time?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If I wake up not long before sof z’man tefilla (=szt – a third into the day), should I go straight into Shemoneh Esrei (=SE), or are there parts of tefilla that must come first? Answer: We accept the latter opinion among Tannaim (Berachot 26a, 27a) that the end time for Shacharit is “after four ...

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Monetary Responsibility of One Member of a Group

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Reuven and four friends rented a car with bangs and scratches from Shimon; Reuven gave a deposit check. When they returned the car, Shimon claimed they damaged it. Reuven is sure no damage occurred when he was in the car and assumes (but is unsure) the damage was there before. His friends deny they owe ...

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A Kohen Becoming Right-Handed

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a left-handed kohen. In anticipation of the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash, realizing that a left-handed kohen cannot do avoda (service), I want to train myself to be right-handed. Is there anything I need to know? Answer: Yours is a beautiful approach to our glorious national future and your kehuna, but I feel ...

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Getting a Sponge Wet on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I keep my sponge (the type one may not use on Shabbat) hanging from a hook near the sink; when the faucet is on, some water generally splashes onto the sponge. May I leave the sponge there for Shabbat? Answer: We will focus on halachic permissibility. (Some might convince you to find another place due ...

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A Mistake in the Beracha Acharona on Wine

by R. Daniel Mann Question: After Havdala, I recited quietly the beracha acharona on grape juice by heart, and finished it aloud for my family to answer Amen. I was caught off guard when my wife alerted me to the fact that I mistakenly finished off “… al ha’aretz v’al peiroteha” (instead of “al ha’aretz v’al pri gafnah”). I do ...

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When to Say Haneirot Halalu

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When do we say Haneirot Halalu … (=Hnhl), when one person lights and when several light?  Answer: The earliest source of the practice to recite Hnhl is Massechet Sofrim (20:4), an early, post-Talmudic work. While many early Rishonim (including the Rambam) do not mention the practice, the Maharam Meirutenburg and his students (see Rosh, Shabbat ...

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Unicycles on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permitted to use a unicycle on Shabbat? Answer: We have, in the past, discussed bicycles (forbidden) and tricycles (permitted), and the sources on the two can help us analyze the less common unicycle, which we have not found discussed by the poskim. We will refer to riding indoors or within an eiruv. Otherwise ...

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Forgetting R’tzei at Seuda Shlishit

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was not sure if during Birkat Hamazon (=BHMZ) after seuda shlishit, I said R’tzei V’hachalitzenu or not. Should I have repeated BHMZ? Answer: The rule is that one who forgets R’tzei in BHMZ on Shabbat must repeat BHMZ (Berachot 49b). Is that also true for one who is unsure (safek) if he recited it? ...

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Switching the Location of a Mezuza

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I noticed that a storage room jointly owned by several residents of our apartment building in Jerusalem does not have a mezuza. I bought a mezuza myself, and because it is nicer than some of those in my home, I thought of taking the new one for myself and moving one of my apartment’s mezuzot ...

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