Lifecycles

3 01, 2021

Ketubah with Signatures in the Middle of a Line

January 3rd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

I am to be a mesader kiddushin and the wedding is very soon. The bride and groom intend to use a ketubah similar to the attached picture. Is it a problem that there is an inch or so gap between text and signature, or that the signature line doesn’t go across the entire line?  Or, that in first line and last line, a branch from the illustration interrupts between two words of the text?

I am OK having them sign the backup […]

25 12, 2020

When does a Kallah Say Harei Ani Mekabelet?

December 25th, 2020|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

At a chuppah in which, after the chatan says harei at, the kallah responds with harei ani mekabelet etc. when should the kallah say it? Before the ring is given? After he places ring on her finger?

ANSWER

I would have her say it before accepting the ring, as it communicates her da’at before undergoing the act. However, some have concerns around נתן הוא ואמרה היא when she says it before to frame the kiddushin (NB: this sugya in the Gemara (kiddushin 5b)and Rishonim is […]

20 12, 2020

Yerushah and Halakhic Wills

December 20th, 2020|Choshen Mishpat, Death and Dying|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

Does one have to be worried about halakhic rules of yerushah (boys over girls, פי שנים for the בכור, etc.)? and therefore put all their money in a trust to go into effect a minute before death except a small amount to fulfill halakhic yerushah. Or, can this totally be ignored and fill out your will to have equal parts go to daughters and sons, etc?

ANSWER

Yes, you do need to worry about it. The Rishonim are explicit that dina demalkhuta does not apply […]

5 12, 2020

Aveil Joining Zoom Birthday Party

December 5th, 2020|Death and Dying, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

Rabbi Linzer, what are your thoughts on an aveil joining a Zoom gathering to celebrate a birthday? Would there be a difference if the gathering were limited to family vs. open to a broader audience? What about if there is an “agenda” that includes playing games over the Zoom?

ANSWER

I can’t see the problem once the aveil is after shivah. If the event is in his home, there is no problem (except if it is truly joyous) – see Rema (Shulchan Arukh YD 391:2),

25 11, 2020

Weddings with No Minyan

November 25th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

What is your pesak on weddings during Corona that don’t have a minyan. Is it ok? If so, do we leave anything out like Sheva Berakhot?

ANSWER

Kiddushin doesn’t need a minyan, but there is a strong minhag to do it with one. In sha’at hadechak (e.g., jail) that can be forgone. For the nisuin, a minyan is required – not for the nisuin per se but for the Sheva Berakhot. If this is really not possible, then you need not postpone the wedding, and you should do Sheva Berakhot at the […]

25 11, 2020

Pidyon HaBen over Zoom

November 25th, 2020|Birth, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

It seems it should be totally mutar to do a Pidyon HaBen on Zoom because many Acharonim say that shelichut can work (Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon says as much). That said, I have a family that wants the kohen to be someone they know who lives in Israel (in some ways, taking advantage of the Zoom situation!). The kohen happens to currently be in America, but in a few days is going back to Israel. May they send him the coins (or something worth that amount) now while he is in America with […]

24 11, 2020

Planning for Going into Labor on Shabbat

November 24th, 2020|Birth, Choleh, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Curious about a woman who goes into labor on Shabbat. Clearly we allow her husband to drive to the hospital with her. Would we allow him to do this if he was driving separately? What about other support people who are part of her “birth plan” (like a mother or sister)? What about someone like a doula, who is not part of the medical team, but is a trained support person who the woman is expecting to be there? (Let’s assume everyone is Jewish.)

ANSWER

15 11, 2020

Hefseik in Sheva Berakhot

November 15th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

Should I be concerned for hefseik when doing Sheva Berakhot at a chuppah?

If so, is asking someone to offer a personal (not liturgical) blessing to the couple, between Sheva Berakhot, constitute a hefseik?

(I want to have seven women each speak personally, after each of seven men recite a berakhah.)

(I assume having seven women offer translation wouldn’t be a hefseik, but this is different/personal.)

ANSWER

I have done something like this before. We rule […]

29 10, 2020

Sheva Berakhot Over Zoom

October 29th, 2020|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Brooklyn, NY

Zoom questions: Counting in a minyan for Sheva Berakhot? Either way, leading a berakhah?

ANSWER

What a good question. I have dealt with it several times already. It depends on whether you think that the 10 of Sheva Berakhot has a din of a minyan, or of rabim. If the latter, I think Zoom could work. But if the latter, then women should definitely count, so I think you need to be consistent (you can decide which way).

As to leading a berakhah, let us assume you have […]

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