Even HaEzer

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 […]

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 […]

22 07, 2015

Taking Valium to Tolerate Sex

July 22nd, 2015|Even HaEzer, Marriage and Family, Sex|

QUESTION

I was was sexually abused as a child by my father. Working with a therapist, I am working through the process of consciously remembering and trying to heal the trauma. I have a supportive, understanding husband who understands when I don’t want to or am not able to have sex, but I love him and don’t want to always say no to him even when that would be my preference. Is it ok to take Valium before sex so I can tolerate it as a gift to my husband?

ANSWER

Let me start by saying how my heart goes out to you […]

21 07, 2015

Lesbian Sex in Halakha

July 21st, 2015|Even HaEzer, LGBTQ, Sex|

QUESTION

I am a single bi-sexual woman living in NYC. What are the halakhic parameters of lesbian sex? What is mutar and what is assur? What is the letter of the law and what is the spirit of the law? I’ve never been sexually active with another woman though I would very much like to do so.

ANSWER

Halakha defines sexual intercourse as penile penetration of the anus or the vagina. Thus, (anal) sex between two men is defined as sex and forbidden by the Torah, while sex between two women is not defined as sex, and thus not forbidden in the Torah’s list of arayot, sexual […]

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