Tisha B’Av Pushed Off Until Sunday

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What is done differently this year, when Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat and is pushed off to Sunday? Answer: Seuda Shlishit: The baraita (cited in Ta’anit 29a) says that one may eat an extravagant meal on Shabbat even when Tisha B’Av falls on Motzaei Shabbat. The Tur (Orach Chayim 552) cites minhagim that one is ...

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Zimun for a Sephardi, an Ashkenazi, and a Katan

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am Ashkenazi. I was eating with a Sephardi and a katan (under bar mitzva). Were we supposed to do a zimun? Answer: We start with the only source I found on the topic, which provides practical (intuitively logical) guidance without explanation. Then we will provide the background and critique the ruling. V’zot Haberacha (p. ...

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Vigilante Neighbor

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Teenagers have been congregating in front of my apartment building, making noise, dropping cups and cigarette butts in our garden, etc. Many of them sit on the wall between our property and the sidewalk. One of my neighbors has begun to smear machine oil, to damage the clothes of the wall-sitters and thus discourage their ...

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Kabbalat Shabbat of Part of the Community

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My community has a small minyan for Kabbalat Shabbat that accepts Shabbat early, and no second minyan (there is a larger minyan for the rest of Shabbat). Must I accept Shabbat at the time the early minyan does, which is sometimes difficult for me? Answer: The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 263:12) rules, based on the ...

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Ushering in an Avel after Sunset of Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: You wrote in Bemareh Habazak (IX:94) that an avel may enter shul once sheki’a (sunset) has passed, even before the end of Kabbalat Shabbat. Should we say that, similarly after sheki’a, the shul should not “welcome” an avel by saying Hamakom yenachem …”? Answer: You may be assuming that one may not be menachem avel ...

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Leaving a Client with Half the Bill

by R. Daniel Mann Question: A real estate agent (=Shimon) tried to interest my friend (=Reuven) in a project and suggested that they meet over a meal to discuss it. After each ordered a meal and the discussion proceeded, Shimon realized the deal would not materialize. When the waiter brought the bill, Shimon paid only for his own meal. Reuven ...

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Do You Need A Rabbi For A Wedding?

I. What A Rabbi Does Most of us have been to enough Jewish weddings that we know how they work. We can easily officiate. Even without a big crowd, all a man has to do is give a woman a ring in front of two witnesses and say the “harei at” formula. Who needs a rabbi? If you really want ...

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Answering Amen to a Beracha You “Do Not Believe in”

Question: If someone from Israel (who does not recite “Baruch Hashem l’olam …” [=bHlo]) is abroad (where they do recite it), I understand that he does not recite it but does answer amen in deference to the tzibbur’s minhag. Considering that he views the beracha as not called for, isn’t it a hefsek between birchot Kri’at Shema and Shemoneh Esrei. ...

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Receiving Fish from Shabbat Fishing

by R. Daniel Mann Question: A Jewish friend sometimes fishes on Shabbat and brings me some of his (kosher) catch after Shabbat. Is it permitted for him to give me some and for me to accept them? Answer: There are three opinions among the Tannaim (see Ketubot 34a) about the extent of the prohibition of ma’aseh Shabbat (receiving the main ...

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Giving Teruma to a Kohen

Question: Would it be better, when I take off terumot and ma’asrot, to give the teruma to a kohen instead of wrapping and throwing it out? Answer: First, let us consider what a kohen could do with teruma he received. It is forbidden to eat teruma when either the eater (Rambam, Terumot 7:1) or the teruma (ibid. 2:14) is tameh. ...

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