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

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

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

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

18 06, 2021

Birkat Eirusin When the Bride or Groom Cannot Drink Wine

June 18th, 2021|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

South Central, USA

I’m officiating at a wedding, and the kallah said she can’t drink wine or grape juice. The only liquids she can drink are water or tea. What would you recommend they say the berakhot over at the wedding? Thank you.

ANSWER

A couple of possibilities:

1. The chatan can drink without the kallah doing so.

2. You don’t need wine really – Shulchan Arukh EH 62:1 ואם אין יין מצוי מברך על השכר.

3. Bedieved you don’t need a kos at all. See Beit Shmuel there who writes ואם אין שכר מצוי יברך בלא כוס.

I think if you don’t want to do #1, she should do tea, which

2 05, 2021

A Non-Literal Translation on the Ketubah

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

QUESTION

New York, NY

What does the Rosh Yeshiva think about having a non literal translation, or something similar to a Brit Ahuvim, on a traditional Aramaic ketubah. Meaning that the artwork would have the regular ketubah and an English translation on the same document.

ANWER

If it is on the bottom after חתימת העדים or on the side, such that you can cut it off and the ketubah remains whole, then it is fine. It is another document written on the same piece of paper. Just don’t say that it is a translation of the ketubah, and don’t have it say anything that

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

6 03, 2021

Ketubah in Hebrew

March 6th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Rabbi, a close friend is getting married soon and is interested in using a ketubah with modern Hebrew text (apparently this is starting to catch on in Israel). Is this permissible, and is there a Hebrew version out there you have seen that you feel is the most “authentic” or recommended? Thanks so much.

ANSWER

It is totally permissible. At the end of the day, this is a legal document, so any language, certainly Hebrew, is fine. It was originally in Aramaic because that was the vernacular.  As to a good text to use, I found two good examples

10 01, 2021

Ketubah for Wedding in Rural Area

January 10th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Oakland, CA

I’m performing a wedding in a rural area. The mailing address and Google Maps lists the nearest city in the address, but it is outside the city limits in an unincorporated part of the county. What should be written on the ketubah?

ANSWER

In such a case, the practice is to write סמוך לעיר פלונית, so here- fill in פלונית with the city name in Google. This would be true even if it were under the jurisdiction of one city, but closer to another one,