Halachah

Women Passing through an Outdoor Minyan

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We have an outdoor “Corona minyan” outside the entrance of my building. Some men stand in locations that make it impossible to enter or exit the building without entering someone’s four amot. I (a woman) avoid passing by during davening, but to take my son to his school van, I go before Shemoneh Esrei. Last ...

Read More »

How Does the Chazan Act During Modim D’Rabbanan?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I have seen some chazanim wait, during their Modim, at “l’olam va’ed” for the tzibbur to finish Modim D’Rabanan. That seems to make the most sense, so everyone can hear all of Modim. Should everyone be doing that?    Answer: The gemara (Sota 40a) lists various recitations of praise to Hashem, proposed by different Amoraim, ...

Read More »

Is Raw Spaghetti Muktzeh?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: An open package of spaghetti fell out of the closet, with its contents spilling on the counter and floor. I swept up what was on the floor but left the spaghetti on the counter, as I was unsure if it was muktzeh. One of my boys noshed on some of it. Was he allowed to ...

Read More »

Touching Torah Scrolls

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I know that people are careful not to touch the parchment of a sefer Torah. Does this apply to other scrolls, like haftara scrolls and Megillat Esther? Answer: The gemara cites R. Parnach’s statement in two places: “Whoever holds a sefer Torah naked (i.e., with an uncovered hand (according to almost all)) will be buried ...

Read More »

Moving into a Home during the Nine Days

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We sold our home and have been renting because construction on our new apartment is not complete. Now, it is basically ready, but lacks a Tofes 4 (municipal permission to inhabit). If we get the Tofes 4 during the Nine Days, is it permitted to move in then?   Answer: Classical sources do not discuss entering ...

Read More »

Geniza for Parts of a Pasuk

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I received a bar mitzva invitation containing the words “Vayehi David maskil” (in Hebrew). Since this is part of a pasuk, does the invitation require geniza? (This phenomenon exists in various contexts, so please broaden the picture.)    Answer: A crucial source regarding respect for p’sukim excerpts is found in the context of sirtut (etching lines ...

Read More »

Pressure to Include Second Storage Room

by R. Daniel Mann Question: (Summary after back and forth): I bought an apartment from Shimon. We came to a basic agreement on terms in early October. It was important to Shimon to finish by month’s end; our lawyers were working on loose ends throughout Oct. I was interested in Shimon throwing in his spare storage room in the building, ...

Read More »

Salad at Meat and Milk Meals

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Sometimes I serve the same salad at a fleishig meal and again at a milchig meal. My daughter told me that her friend’s family does not do that. Is it okay? Answer: The main source on such issues involves bread. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 89:4) rules (based on a Yerushalmi in Pesachim, cited by ...

Read More »

Removing Hair from a Necklace

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permitted to remove loose hair on Shabbat, which usually includes ripping it, that has gotten stuck in a necklace?    Answer: There are three potential Shabbat prohibitions that need to be addressed: borer (selecting), muktzeh, and koreiah (ripping). We have discussed in the past (see Living the Halachic Process, vol. IV, C-5) a similar ...

Read More »

Do All Tzitzit Knots Need to be Double?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: When I tied a pair of tzitzit, I tied a double knot to the garment and for the final knot, but for the three knots in between the chulyot (subsections of string wrappings), I tied single knots. Is that sufficient?   Answer: The gemara (Menachot 39a) posits that the “upper knot” of tzitzit is a Torah-level ...

Read More »