10 05, 2021

Does a Dammed River Have the Status of a Mikveh?

May 10th, 2021|Niddah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Philadelphia, PA

Can a lake that was created by damming up a river be used as a keilim mikveh? The dam is that straight line at the bottom of the lake. The lake in question is called “Henion Pond.” You can see the two rivers/streams that lead into it.

 

ANSWER

First, there is no difference between the requirements for a keilim mikveh and one for a niddah, other than a keilim mikveh does not need 40 se’ah if we are dealing with מעיין (not rain water). In such a case, a keilim mikveh needs just enough to fully cover the keli. […]

2 05, 2021

Bedikah For a Women With a Longer Than Average Period

May 2nd, 2021|Niddah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Is there a process the Rosh yeshiva recommends for women who regularly take until day 7/8/9 to get a clean hefseik? I’m not talking about women who didn’t understand leniencies around brown and now that we look at their bedikot we can tell them otherwise. I mean women who are regularly seeing red on bedikot until those days. Would you recommend doing everything they can to get a clean hefseik (cleaning, etc.) and if they can get it, then skipping the bedikot during the first several days of 7 nekiyim (and colored underwear of course), or is this not an option? […]

2 05, 2021

Does a Chuppah Needs Poles?

May 2nd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Can a chuppah hang from the ceiling? Is it sufficient for it to be a canopy over the couple or must it have poles to create four invisible walls through Tzurot HaPetach or some such mechanism?

ANSWER

Sephardim do not use poles, and just hold a tallit over the chatan and kallah. Ashkenazim do have poles. This seems to be rooted in the debate whether a chuppah is a פריסת סעיף על הכלה or if it is a בית חתן. Even though בית will be satisfied later by the yichud room, there is a need to do the chuppah/nisuin now to make the Sheva Berakhot. Some argue that even […]

22 03, 2021

Traveling to the Mikveh by Car on Yom Tov

March 22nd, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Choshen Mishpat, Niddah, Yom Tov, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Good evening! I was contacted by a woman who has to go to the mikveh this Motzei Shabbat, which is the first night of Pesach. She doesn’t live within walking distance of one, and is wondering if she can go on Friday, or if she has to wait until Monday night. She already practices 4+7 due to fertility purposes, so there isn’t any wiggle room there. Is there any way for her to go early? I assume not, but I wanted to check because of their ongoing fertility challenges. Thank you!

ANSWER

I would arrange before Shabbat to have a cab […]

6 03, 2021

Being Mesadeir Kiddushin for Saturday Night Wedding for a Non-Shomeir Shabbat Couple

March 6th, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

I was asked to be Mesadeir Kiddushin on Saturday night for a non-Shomeir Shabbat couple, either at my shul building or at a hotel. The wedding would be 90 minutes (120 minutes?) after Shabbat, such that no hakhanah/melakhah is required to be done on Shabbat, but, that said, hakhanah/melakhah likely will be done by the couple. Do you think it is okay to be involved in/be Mesadeir for such a wedding? Would it be appropriate for such a wedding to be held at a shul?

ANSWER

I think if it is being done outside the shul, and you give them directions, which they will […]

6 03, 2021

Havdalah for Kids Before Tzeit

March 6th, 2021|Family, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

New England, USA

For many of my families, day light savings time means that Havdalah will be later than their kids bed time. On one hand doing it Sunday morning seems halakhically fine but experientially strange. Could one do Havdalah without a candle and without Sheim HaShem before bed time so kids feel like Shabbat is ending?

ANSWER

Yes. See Shulchan Arukh OC 293:3. One can make Havdalah (without candle) from Plag on, when necessary. You won’t be saying the borei meorei ha’eish brakhah, obviously, and all other berakhot will be said normally. I do this regularly, since I wait 72 minutes for Shabbat to be […]

25 02, 2021

Megillah Reading between Shekiah and Tzeit HaKokhavim

February 25th, 2021|Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

If we take our baby to an early reading that’s between Shekiah and Tzeit, do my husband and I have to also take turns going to readings that are actually at night while the baby sleeps?

ANSWER

The first question is whether someone is yotzei during Bein HaShemashot. See Shulchan Arukh OC 692:4 where for a case of serious ones or illness, we allow one to read even from Plag! But see Mishnah Berurah and Biur Halakha, where the Achronim are pretty machmir in a normal case, even regarding Bein HaShemashot. That being said, I think that if it started 14 minutes after Shekiah, […]

10 01, 2021

Does Zoom Solve Yichud Problems?

January 10th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Sex|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Does the Rosh HaYeshivah hold that a person occasionally glancing at an unmarried couple through a zoom video call could be considered a shomer/et for purposes of yichud? If so, does internet quality matter?

ANSWER

Assuming that the couple is in view, definitely. See Iggrot Moshe EH 4:65.2 – who speaks about being aware that something is going on, even if not directly seeing,

בחלון הפתוח לרה”ר או לחצר שנמצאים שם הרבה אינשי, אם הוא למעלה ממקום שיכולין לאינשי שמחוץ […]

1 01, 2021

Supportive Touch During Niddah in Case of Psychological Distress

January 1st, 2021|Niddah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

My wife is intensely emotional and can have difficulty regulating her feelings. The easiest way to bring her back to a more calm state is with an embrace. We have maintained no touching during niddah despite the obvious challenges associated with it.

The pandemic has been difficult for our family and we have managed, but with very high stress levels. Recently, we have become financially responsible for a grandparent, which is will be a long-term challenge. I’m wondering how I can best help to keep my wife grounded in the practical considerations and decisions we have to make when […]

27 12, 2020

Hefseik Taharah Before HaNeitz HaChamah

December 27th, 2020|Niddah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Riverdale, NY

A woman did a hefseik taharah before הנץ החמה is it good?

ANSWER

Yes. It is fine.

1. Assuming it’s considered night, it’s still day 4. A hefseik taharah works on day 4, and then you can just start counting the shivah nekiyyim on day 6, as normal. Even if there is peleitat shikhvat zera on day 5, it doesn’t impact the hefseik taharah – doesn’t lead to starting over again. Actually, there is a reason […]
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