Rosh Yeshiva Responds
Rabbi Linzer answers halakhic questions from rabbis and community members

28 01, 2024

Jewish Single Woman Considering Embryo Adoption: Halakhic Clarification on Child’s Jewish Status

January 28th, 2024|Birth, Even HaEzer, Family, Geirut and Geirim, Lifecycles, Non-Jews and Other Religions, Shulchan Arukh, Status, Women|

QUESTION


Washington, DC

A Jewish single woman considering embryo adoption wants to know if she needs to look for Jewish embryos, or if it will be sufficient for her to be the gestational mother to have the child be considered Jewish. My understanding is that there are differing opinions, and because so much is at stake I would like to be crystal clear on the halakha. Thank you so much.

ANSWER

This is such a major debate

5 11, 2023

Reciting Shehechiyanu on Joyous Occasions Not Mentioned in Shulchan Aruch

November 5th, 2023|Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Berakhot, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Lifecycles, Orach Chayim, Sheva Berachot|

QUESTION

Toronto, Canada

What are your thoughts about saying shehechiyanu for occasions not mentioned in Shulchan Aruch? For example, can it be recited by parents at shul for the 3rd birthday of a child whose wimpel will be used for gelilah. What about other lifecycle events such as benei mitzvah, or weddings?

There’s certainly simchat ha’lev, which SA OH 223:4 says is the underlying basis for making the berakhah, but on the other hand, are we makpidim (particular) not to extend the berakhah into other experiences?

ANSWER

The first big question here is weddings. Why is

3 11, 2023

Shaving for an Important Business Meeting Before the End of Sheloshim

November 3rd, 2023|Aveilut, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A man currently in aveilut (mourning) for his mother has a critical meeting with a potential buyer for his company. His meeting is set to take place six days prior to the end of sheloshim; however, Shavuot falls out before the meeting date.

According to Yoreh De’ah 399:4 – does Shavuot effectively end the sheloshim period, permitting shaving, or does it not suspend sheloshim, requiring him to refrain from shaving, until someone reprimands him for his unkempt appearance (עד שיגער בו חביריו)?

ANSWER

29 05, 2023

Guidance for Sleeping Arrangements for a Chuppat Niddah

May 29th, 2023|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family, Niddah, Yichud, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

What do you advise regarding reasonable sleeping arrangements in the case of chuppat niddah (where halakha requires that one observe the laws of yichud)? This will be relevant for our upcoming wedding.

ANSWER

Mazal Tov on the upcoming wedding. Regarding sleeping arrangements—I take the position that even if the two of you are sharing an apartment, it is not yichud if you are in separate rooms with a closed door between you (some require that the woman’s door be locked. I do not require this). (See Chazon Ish Even HaEzer 34:1)

Therefore, what I advise is that until bedtime, when both of

2 05, 2023

Missing Yud in Ketubah

May 2nd, 2023|Kiddushin and Ketubah, Lifecycles|

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/Ketubah_from_Greece.jpg

QUESTION

Illinois

Someone ordered a ketubah and it’s been printed but the wedding has not happened yet. They spelled the chatan’s mother’s name wrong (missing a yud in Shaindel). Is it necessary to change the ketubah?

ANSWER

It’s fine. Remember that a ketubah is, fundamentally, a civil contract (required by halakha)—when there are questions such as these they are assessed based on the rules of Choshen Mishpat contracts, not by some ritual considerations. Thus—the need for names is purely about accurate identification. In principle, it could say the “the chatan-SSN 123-45-6789 said to the

23 04, 2023

Aveil Serving as Shaliach Tzibur on Shabbat, Yom Tov or Yamim Noraim When No Other is As Qualified

April 23rd, 2023|Aveilut, Orach Chayim, Tefillah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Houston, TX

We have a small congregation and there are not a lot of congregants who can serve as shaliach tzibur on Shabbat. We want shlichei tzibur who can uplift the kehillah with singing and proper nusach. Under these circumstances, is it permissible for an aveil (mourning) to serve shaliach tzibur? This question is even more acute for the Yamim Noraim.

ANSWER

Yes, it is permitted.

Even the Rema (YD 376:4) who rules that an aveil should not be a shaliach tzibur on Shabbat and Yom

11 04, 2023

Naming a Child Who Did Not Have a Bris Ceremony

April 11th, 2023|Milah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

A couple, whose wedding I officiated at a number of years ago, had a son two years ago. He was circumcised by a mohel but at the pediatrician’s office as a procedure. No formal ceremony happened. Now the parents want to give their son a Hebrew name. While naming usually happens at the bris, is there any way to give this boy a name without another ceremony (hopefully not hatafat dam brit or anything similar)?. Is there anything to do b’di’eved? The parents very much

3 04, 2023

Reciting Sheva Brachot at a Meal More than a Week after the Wedding

April 3rd, 2023|Birkat HaMazon/Zimun, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Sheva Berachot|

QUESTION

Brooklyn NY

A beloved couple in my Shul is eloping and having a bare minimum halakhic wedding on a hill in Colorado. They’ll be returning to New York after a week but within thirty days of the wedding. They would very much like to do an official, sheva berakhot style meal with the community. This will effectively be their wedding celebration for most of their friends and even family. They know about the berakhot of sheva berakhot and actively want to do them. I know that saying “shehasimha bimono” (and

15 02, 2023

Chatan with Non-Jewish Father and Other Descriptors in the Ketubah

February 15th, 2023|Even HaEzer, Geirut and Geirim, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

QUESTION

New York

I have a few questions regarding how to fill in the ketubah in an unusual situation.

1. The couple in question is already married with children. The bride is converting, so her name will be written in the ketubah as “Hadassah (her chosen name) bat Avraham V’Sara“. The groom is the son of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man, in which case the RCA madrich