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

16 01, 2023

Non-Jew Warming Fully Cooked, Dry food in an Oven on Shabbat For Kiddush

January 16th, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Bishul, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat|



Shalom Rav Linzer – what are your thoughts on a gentile putting dry food to warm in an oven for kiddush? I know it’s not usually done but it seems like a d’rabbanan l’tzorech rabim (rabbinic prohibition done for the sake of the community)? The venue my shul meets at (a conservative synagogue) feels that hot plates are a liability.


This is exactly the case dealt with in SA OH 253:5

31 03, 2022

Starting Seder Earlier

March 31st, 2022|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Uncategorized|


Chicago, IL

What is the earliest time for the first cup for the start of the seder


I would definitely follow the Gra (Biur HaGra on SA OH 261:2; MB ad. loc., no. 23) here and start as early as 14 minutes after sunset. 

The only reason not to start earlier than tzeit is the Terumat HaDeshen (137) – then paskened by the Shulchan Aruch OC 472:1 – who holds that just as matzah can only be at (full)

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|


Chicago, IL

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


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

13 07, 2021

Kiddush Without Mezonot

July 13th, 2021|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|


Midwest, USA

Shalom Rabbi Linzer, if one is making kiddush on Shabbat morning in shul after Shacharit for the kehilah but there will be no kiddush food afterwards, should kiddush still be made? If so, does the one making kiddush need to eat mezonot or can they just drink, make a berakhah acharonah and then go home and make/hear kiddush again over a proper meal? Our shul hasn’t yet brought kiddush back and someone suggested that the rabbi  make kiddush in the sanctuary for those who won’t hear it at home and as a morale booster as we still slowly return to regular

6 03, 2021

Havdalah for Kids Before Tzeit

March 6th, 2021|Family, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|


New England, USA

For many of my families, day light savings time means that Havdalah will be later than their kids bed time. On one hand doing it Sunday morning seems halakhically fine but experientially strange. Could one do Havdalah without a candle and without Sheim HaShem before bed time so kids feel like Shabbat is ending?


Yes. See Shulchan Arukh OC 293:3. One can make Havdalah (without candle) from Plag on, when necessary. You won’t be saying the borei meorei ha’eish brakhah, obviously, and all other berakhot will be said normally. I do this regularly, since I wait 72 minutes for Shabbat to be

21 02, 2021

Afternoon Purim Seudah Going into Shabbat Dinner

February 21st, 2021|Berakhot, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Purim|


New York, NY

Can one have a Purim Seudah late in the day, and have it enter into the Shabbat meal?


Yes. This is the principle of poreis mapah umekadeish (Shulchan Arukh OC 271:4), that if one is in the middle of the meal on Friday towards sunset, he or she can spread a cloth over the bread, make Kiddush, and continue eating. The following is a guide for how to do this.

SHORT VERSION (for long version, with sources and discussion, see below)

  1. One may have the Purim seudah in the late afternoon
  2. Stop eating before sunset
  3. Bring out two loaves of bread
  4. Spread a
7 02, 2021

Lost Sense of Smell and Borei Minei Besamim

February 7th, 2021|Berakhot, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|


Brooklyn, NY

If someone lost their sense of smell from Covid related symptoms are they allowed to say borei minei besamim? What should they do if saying the Havdalah for others in their household?


No. My sense of smell – unrelated to COVID – has become quite poor, and I have someone else (my wife) make the berakhah. Even according to those opinions – which I don’t pasken like – that women are patur from Havdalah, this isn’t Havdalah (which is the final berakhah), it’s just a

29 10, 2020

Volume Needed for Shabbat Morning Kiddush

October 29th, 2020|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|


New York, NY

When ones makes kiddush on Shabbat morning on scotch, is there a need for a revi’it? The minhag is to say it on a shot glass which is less, not sure what that opinion relies on.


100% there is a need for a revi’it. Even if it counts as chamar medinah, you still requires a revi’it. Some will argue that revi’it would be translated into what is the normal size for that liquid, be we have never ever seen such a thing elsewhere regarding a

12 10, 2020

Someone on the Atkin’s Diet and the Requirement of Mezonot at Kiddush

October 12th, 2020|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim|


Atlanta, GA

If someone is on an Atkin’s-like diet, South Beach etc., with the basic principle that eating bread is a problem for the diet, how should one deal with Shabbat/Tom Tov with Kiddush and challah if the diet forbids eating bread or other mezonot?


First, let’s consider whether there might be a possibility to make HaMotzi. You can eat a very small amount – the actual size of an olive. Also, you can make the bread from oats, which don’t have gluten and I think