Halachah

Getting a Kite Down from a Tree on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If one flies a kite on Shabbat and it gets stuck in a tree, may he extricate it from the tree? Answer: We wrote in the past about whether it is permitted to fly a kite on Shabbat. We concluded that there are not sufficient grounds to forbid it, despite the possibility a person could ...

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Dancing at a Wedding during your Sefira Period

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I was invited to a wedding, during my sefirat ha’omer observance period. May I go? If so, may I dance? Answer: As we have written (see Living the Halachic Process III, D-21), we believe in the legitimacy of the various minhagim for which days of sefira to observe and that one may choose different ones ...

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Birkat Kohanim for a Kohen who is in Shemoneh Esrei

by R. Daniel Mann Question: A kohen often comes to my minyan and even if he is early, he says Shemoneh Esrei together with the chazan and does not perform the mitzva of Birkat Kohanim (=BK). I understand that he is allowed to break his prayers to do BK and then to return to his place. He claims that what ...

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Receiving Video of Personal Event on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: At my son’s recent Shabbat bar mitzva, a non-Jew who is close to him came to shul. It turns out he videoed some of the proceedings on his phone (if I had noticed, I would have asked him not to) and offered to send it to me, which, of course, would be nice. May I ...

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Preferring the Fruits of Eretz Yisrael

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Do the fruit of Eretz Yisrael in our times have kedusha that would make it preferable to eat them over other foods? Answer: Usually discussion of kedusha of the Land’s produce relates to land-based mitzvot. Without going into detail, we posit that most land-based mitzvot apply on a Rabbinic level rather than a Torah-level after ...

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Alternative Afikoman

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In some years, my kids have been aggressive about hiding the afikoman. They have hid it in places where it broke into several pieces. When I have not found it, they have “negotiated” its return for more than I think is proper. In such a case, can I just use a different piece of matza? ...

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Keeping Foods Cooked in Chametzdik Pots

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Sometimes I have foods that I cooked in chametzdik pots without any chametz ingredients that I fail to finish before Pesach. May I keep them in the corner of the freezer and mark them as chametzdik? (I try to not sell chametz, especially if it was already cooked.) Answer: First we will deal with the ...

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Use of a Heter Iska when Lending Money to One’s Company

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a general partner (having special authority and responsibility) in an LLC (Limited Liability Company) with only Jewish partners. In order to facilitate a real estate purchase, some of us lent money to the company (we have the authority to do so at market rate interest or invest for equity) without a heter iska. ...

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When to Make Up P’sukei D’zimra

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Someone in shul did something I see as strange. He came late, skipped to Yishtabach when the tzibbur got up to it, but then was making up few p’sukim of P’sukei D’zimra at each of the pauses in Birchot Kri’at Shema and during chazarat hashatz (we barely had a minyan, and it was unclear to ...

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Receiving Credit Card Benefit on Purchase for Someone Else

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Reuven paid for Shimon’s plane ticket using his credit card and was to be reimbursed. Is it considered that Reuven lent money to Shimon, so that if Reuven receives more than he gave because of credit card points he earned, it is ribbit (forbidden usury)? Also, who deserves to get the points, i.e., should Reuven ...

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