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|

QUESTION

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?

ANSWER

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|

QUESTION

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?

ANSWER

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|

QUESTION

Canada

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?

ANSWER

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|

QUESTION

Canada

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

ANSWER

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|

QUESTION

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.

ANSWER

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|

QUESTION

Westchester, NY

I’m curious about the Rosh HaYeshiva’s thoughts on two forms of non-burial:
Composting: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1008606
Capsula Mundi: https://www.capsulamundi.it/en/
B”H this is not lema’aseh for me.

ANSWER

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 […]

25 01, 2018

Saying Kaddish for a non-Jewish Parent

January 25th, 2018|Aveilut, Kaddish, Kibbud Av Ve'Eim, Lifecycles, Non-Jews and Other Religions, Tefillah, Yoreh De'ah|

May a Jew by choice sit shivah and say kaddish for their non-Jewish parent?

To answer this question we must address two issues: (1) What is halakhah’s view of the parent-child relationship in these cases? The gemara states, “A person who converts is like a newborn infant,” (Yevamot 22a). In other words, a convert is unrelated halakhically to his biological father and mother. Should we read this statement in absolute terms or is halakhah cognizant of the biological and emotional bonds between parent and child regardless of legal definitions? (2) Do our halakhic and religious obligations direct us to mourn the […]

26 07, 2016

Mikveh During Aveilut

July 26th, 2016|Aveilut, Niddah|

Question:

לגרסה העברית לחצו כאן /Read this teshuva in Hebrew

I am currently sitting shiva for my mother a”h. I am also currently in niddah and my mikveh night would be tomorrow night. I know that during shiva I’m not allowed to have sex with my husband but I wanted to know if I could go to the mikveh so that we can hug and touch, at least in a non-sexual way. I could really use a hug from my husband and his reassuring touch during this time. Would we also be allowed to sleep in […]

26 07, 2016

Harchakot During Aveilut

July 26th, 2016|Aveilut, Lifecycles, Niddah, Sex|

Question:

לגרסה העברית לחצו כאן /Read this teshuva in Hebrew

I am currently sitting shiva for my mother a”h. I am also currently in niddah and my mikveh night would be tomorrow night. I know that during shiva I’m not allowed to have sex with my husband but I wanted to know if I could go to the mikveh so that we can hug and touch, at least in a non-sexual way. I could really use a hug from my husband and his reassuring touch during this time. Would we also be allowed to sleep in the same bed?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear of […]

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