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

3 11, 2023

Shaving for an Important Business Meeting Before the End of Sheloshim

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


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)?


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|


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.


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

19 08, 2022

Aveil Serving as Shaliach Tzibur

August 19th, 2022|Aveilut, Shulchan Arukh, Tefillah, Yoreh De'ah|



There are not a lot of people in our community 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, it is permissible for an aveil to serve Shaliach Tzibur?


It is permitted. Even Rema (YD 376:4) who rules that an aveil not to be a shaliach tzibur on Shabbat and Yom Tov

אבל לא נהגו להתפלל בשבת ויום טוב, אף על פי שאין איסור בדבר

makes it clear that it is a minhag and not technically an issur. And poskim thus make exceptions when necessary.


13 06, 2021

May an Aveil Purchase a New Car? Can someone do so during the 3 weeks?

June 13th, 2021|Aveilut, Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Tisha B'Av - 3 Weeks, Yoreh De'ah|


Chicago, IL

A man in aveilut needs a new car. The old car the family has used is breaking down more and more frequently. Is this something that should wait another 10-12 months? What if his wife purchased the car and recites שהחינו? Would the halakha be the same during the 3 weeks?


The practice of not saying shehecheyanu is recorded in the case of the 3 weeks (Shulchan Arukh OC 551:17). Poskim explicitly state that this does not apply to a mourner. See Magen Avraham OC 551:42 and Mishnah Berurah 551:98. The reason is that the problem with shehecheyanu is not the simchah per se,

9 05, 2021

Ending Shivah on Shabbat Before Shacharit

May 9th, 2021|Aveilut, Yoreh De'ah|


Midwest, USA

When shivah ends on Shabbat, does it end when Shacharit ends on Shabbat or the time Shacharit would have ended if it were a weekday? Since we’re talking about a community in which people do not pay shivah calls on Shabbat, should we go by the time that services end on weekdays? If so, if we start start davening on Shabbat after we normally finish davening during the week, could someone whose last day of shivah was Shabbat receive an aliyah in shul?


As you note, Rema rules in Shulchan Arukh YD 395:1 that even if מנחמים don’t usually come on day 7 (which, as the poskim note,

2 05, 2021

Mourner’s Kaddish with a Minyan Created by Zoom

May 2nd, 2021|Aveilut, Kaddish, Orach Chayim|



Thank you for your answer regarding saying Mourner’s Kaddish when connecting to a minyan via Zoom. What would be the halakha if the minyan itself was created via Zoom? That is, if all 10 men are in different places, but they are Zooming into the same Zoom room. Will this work for saying normal Kaddish, Barekhu, repeating Shemoneh Esrei? Will it work for saying Kaddish?


As we discussed in that earlier teshuvah, to create a core minyan they all must be in the same geographic space. Thus, a minyan that is formed over Zoom would not be good

27 02, 2021

Mourner’s Kaddish Connecting to a Minyan over Zoom

February 27th, 2021|Aveilut, Kaddish, Orach Chayim|



What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on saying Kaddish Yatom over Zoom where there is a minyan on the other end?


The short answer is that it is fine if there are ten men gathered in one place. If there are ten men Zooming in from different places, it is more questionable, but there is a reasonable argument to say that this works as well. Let us consider the various issues:

  1. For a minyan, Gemara (Pesachim 85b) requires both a core ten, plus the shaliach tzibbur to be in the same physical room. This is ruled in Shulchan
7 02, 2021

Aninut and Aveilut for Delayed Funeral

February 7th, 2021|Aveilut, Death and Dying, Yoreh De'ah|


Washington, D.C.

Someone died today. Due to issues with the cemetery, they cannot bury her for two weeks. Is her daughter an אונן until then? Can she start shivah early? She does plan to drive to the funeral.


So this is an interesting middle state where there is no aninut, but also no aveilut. No aveilut because the body isn’t buried and they have not been נתייאש מלקוברו, but also no aninut, since it is totally out of their hands and they can’t do anything about the burial or

24 01, 2021

Biodegradable Burial Pods and Composting a Corpse

January 24th, 2021|Aveilut, Yoreh De'ah|


Westchester, NY

I’m curious about the Rosh HaYeshiva’s thoughts on two forms of non-burial:
Capsula Mundi:
B”H this is not lema’aseh for me.


From a technical halakhic perspective, the burial pods seem fine. It’s biodegradable. I don’t know why it should be anything but a weird looking coffin. As to the composting, how is this done exactly? What is done with the body and how is it processed to turn into this compost in just 2 weeks? Without knowing any more details, I

1 02, 2018

Honoring an Abusive Parent?

February 1st, 2018|Aveilut, Kibbud Av Ve'Eim, Yoreh De'ah|

Must a Person Honor and Mourn for an Abusive Parent?

The short answer is “no.”  One of the core principles in halakha when it comes to our obligation to others is hayekha kodmin, meaning our first ethical obligation is to ourselves.  One must prioritize her own physical, emotional and psychological health, even if this means that kibbud av v’em must be set aside.

Let’s explore this in more detail.

Honoring one’s parents is a mitzvah that can demand a great deal from us.  This is particularly true for the sandwich generation, adults who have responsibilities to their spouses and children, and yet who