18 07, 2021

Havdalah on Tisha b’Av By Someone Not Fasting

July 18th, 2021|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Tisha B'Av - 3 Weeks|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

If someone is not fasting for Tisha b’Av, should they make full Havdalah after Shabbat?

ANSWER

If a person is going to eat on Tisha b’Av because they are sick, they should make Havdalah before they eat, whether that be at night or the next day. It is a full Havdalah, except we don’t do besamim and we don’t say the pesukim before. So it is only the cup, borei me’orei (if making Havdalah Saturday night), and HaMavdil.

שערי תשובה סימן תקנו

עבה”ט וכ’ בר”י בשם תשו’ כנה”ג ח”ב חולה שאוכל בט”ב יבדיל תיכף במוצאי שבת והב”י שם דעתו נוטה קצת שיכול […]

18 07, 2021

Washing off Makeup on Tisha b’Av

July 18th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Tisha B'Av - 3 Weeks|

QUESTION

New York, NY

When Tisha B’Av falls on Sunday, is a person allowed to remove makeup that she was wearing on Shabbat on Tisha B’Av using a wipe?

ANSWER

If the makeup is smudgy, etc., then it is permissible as per Shulchan Arukh OC 554:9. If she just wants to remove it, it is hard to permit. A permissible way would be to wipe it off as much as possible with a dry tissue, and then the rest looks pretty smudgy and dirty, and that can use a wipe.

Finally, it’s not obvious to me that the small amount of moisture on the wipe […]

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, […]

1 06, 2021

Showering on Yom Tov

June 1st, 2021|Orach Chayim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Canada

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on showering on Yom Tov and bathing children on Yom Tov, both in terms of שווה לכל נפש and modern water heaters?

ANSWER

I shower on Yom Tov, it is clearly שווה לכל נפש and I don’t think גזירת מרחצאות applies. See an extended discussion in Shemirat Shabbat Kehilkhatah 14:7 footnote 21. I am not sure what your concern is regarding modern water heaters. Is it that it might be a grama for a new fire turning on? If that is the case, then as opposed to Shabbat, here it is only a derabanan of a […]

20 04, 2021

Does Someone Who Becomes Bar Mitzvah During Sefirat HaOmer Count With a Berakhah?

April 20th, 2021|Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Sefirah|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

Assuming counting the omer is one mitzvah for the entire period, if you turn 13 in the middle of the counting, are you allowed to say the blessing since there was no obligation to count prior to turning 13? What if you know ahead of time that you will miss a day of counting in the future (could be because you are flying across the world which will make you miss a day), should you be saying the blessings prior to missing a day knowing you will not perform the mitzvah in its entirety?

ANSWER

If you think about it, it comes […]

11 04, 2021

Halakhic Status of Bread Made With Both Wheat and Almond Flour

April 11th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

A bread made with mostly rice flour but some wheat flour would be HaMotzi if you could taste the wheat. What about if instead it were made with almond flour? Would the same taste rule apply or would you need rov?

ANSWER

A very relevant question for those who are gluten intolerant. So how do they make HaMotzi or eat matzah? One answer is to use oats, which is one of the 5 species of grain. However, from what I have heard, it is very hard to eat bread that is completely made out of oats. (Also, from an academic perspective, it is questionable if oats […]

2 04, 2021

Ordering Chameitz During Chol HaMoed Pesach

April 2nd, 2021|Orach Chayim, Pesach|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on ordering chameitz from Amazon/online grocery/etc. during Chol HaMoed?

ANSWER

Totally אסור. You will own חמץ on Pesach even if not yet in your possession. The only way it can be okay is if the purchase doesn’t take effect until the food is delivered. I am assuming that is the case but it should be checked out. They certainly take your money up front. Let’s say they never deliver – do you ask for a refund or do they say that the order never went through? It is true that your item won’t be selected from […]

31 03, 2021

Shome’a Ke’oneh for Sefirat HaOmer

March 31st, 2021|Moadim, Orach Chayim, Sefirah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Does shome’a ke’oneh work for sefirat HaOmer? In other words, if a woman listened to her husband saying the berakhah and counting the omer for the 1st two nights, and he had in mind to motzei her and she had in mind to be yotzei through him, can she herself continue to count with a berakhah on night 3?

ANSWER

It is directly discussed in Mishnah Berurah 489:5,

ה) לספור לעצמו – דכתיב וספרתם לכם משמע שהמצוה חל על כל יחיד ויחיד והנה משמע מזה דבספירה אינו כמו בשאר מצות התלוי באמירה לענין קידוש והבדלה וכיו”ב דאם שמע לחבירו ונתכוין לצאת דיוצא בזה משום […]

29 03, 2021

Getting a Haircut on Chol HaMoed

March 29th, 2021|Chol Hamoed, Orach Chayim, Pesach|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Chag Sameach! Mo’adim LeSimchah! Suppose someone had been working 80-100 hours a weeks as a doctor leading up to Friday night coming into Shabbat and was unable to get a haircut in advance of Yom Tov. His vacation starts Friday night before chag and lasts for the duration of Pesach. Does this level of involvement in one’s job qualify as הבא ממנידת הים שיצא לסחורה vis-a-vis permitting a haircut during Chol HaMoed when the person is off work for vacation in advance of Yom Tov HaAcharon shel Pesach?

ANSWER

Yes, there is no question that he can. There is no reason […]

22 03, 2021

Employing a Jewish Babysitter on Yom Tov Who Lives Outside of Walking Distance

March 22nd, 2021|Orach Chayim, Yom Tov|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Is there any way that a Jewish woman can be hired to work as a babysitter on Yom Tov if she lives outside of walking distance? What if we are not certain that she is Jewish (in this case she has a Jewish-sounding name but the family that employs her has never asked her explicitly and maybe its just her father who is Jewish etc.)? The family doesn’t know for sure she lives beyond walking distance. But they think she uses transit of some kind when she comes to them.

ANSWER

Given that it is Yom Tov, driving is only a […]

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