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

15 02, 2023

Saying V’Ten Tal U’Matar for a Visitor to Israel from Chutz La’aretz

February 15th, 2023|Land of Israel / State of Israel, Minhag, Orach Chayim, Shema and Shemoneh Esrei, Tefillah|


Riverdale, NY

For people traveling to Israel during a time when those in israel are already saying v’ten tal u’matar livracha, but we in chutz la’aretz (the diaspora) are not yet saying it, does one keep one’s diaspora practice in Israel or adopt the Israel practice for the few days that one is there?


The Mishnah Berurah (MB 117:5) says to keep practices of the place from which you originate, and not say it.

However, for my part, I cannot see being in Israel, […]

9 02, 2023

Adjusting the Temperature on an Electric Countertop Burner on Yom Tov

February 9th, 2023|Electricity, Orach Chayim, Technology, Uvda D'Chol, Yom Tov|


Chicago, IL

If I have an electric countertop burner that I put on a timer for yom tov, can I adjust the heat setting while the burner is on? Does it matter if I’m turning the heat up when the burner is already on or down when it’s already off (there’s a light that says if it’s currently heating or not)?

Do you have general guidelines on interacting with electronic devices on Shabbat/Yom Tov?


There are two issues here – havarah/mekhabeh (igniting/extinguishing), and use of electronics.

1. Regarding […]

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 and […]

16 01, 2023

Eating on Ta’anit Bechorot After a Women’s Siyum Masechet

January 16th, 2023|Orach Chayim, Pesach, Ta'anit Bechorot, Talmud Torah, Women's Torah Learning|



Kvod Ha-Rav,
I teach Gmara (Psachim) to a group of women. We plan to make a siyum that we would like to set Erev Pesach. Can the men who will attend consider this siyum as ‘סיום בכורות’ (the siyum of the firstborn) instead of fasting ?

Yes. Women making a siyum on learning equally warrants a seudat mitzvah.

13 01, 2023

Public Hanukkah Candle-lightings

January 13th, 2023|Berakhot, Candle lighting, Chanukah, Moadim, Orach Chayim|



What is the most appropriate way to handle public Hanukkah candle-lighting, that is not in a shul, and that does not fulfill anyone’s obligation? Should we participate in Chabad public lightings? Should we have lightings at a shul Hanukkah party?


I agree with the assumption of your question – that the practice to light in shul with a brakaha is itself a chiddush, and ein lecha bo ela chidusho (i.e. the ruling here cannot be extended to other cases) (not to mention that it might also have greater weight because it is dumya d’beit HaMikdash – analogized to the Beit HaMikdash). […]

16 08, 2022

Tenth Man for Minyan Outside

August 16th, 2022|Minyan, Orach Chayim, Shulchan Arukh, Tefillah|


Rhode Island

We are required to have a security person at the door when the building we daven at is otherwise closed (on Shabbat). For financial reasons, we use rotating volunteers, but sometimes, like for Mincha, we have only ten men. The security person can just barely see into the shul room from the back door of the room where we daven. The last person in the room can barely see them. Can that security person be the tenth, bedieved or lekhatchilah?


Shulchan Arukh (OC 55:14) rules that a tziruf for minyan can be achieved even if a person is outside […]

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) […]

2 09, 2021

Sephardic Haftarah in Ashkenazic Context

September 2nd, 2021|Keriat HaTorah, Orach Chayim, Shabbat|


Baltimore, MD

Can one adopt the Sephardic custom of haftarah reading for one week to accommodate a bar mitzvah?


I think it should be totally fine, based on Iggerot Moshe OH 1:103. Rav Moshe Feinstein lets a bar mitzvah boy who prepared one haftarah say it another week when Sephardim read that same haftarah, as the bar mitzvah boy wasn’t be able to say it the week of due to another boy’s bar mitzvah.  Since it at was the appropriate […]

30 07, 2021

May a Son Sit on the Women’s Side of the Mechitzah With His Mother Who Has Dementia?

July 30th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Tefillah|


Baltimore, MD

A man would like to sit with his mother in the women’s section because she has severe dementia and cannot sit in shul on her own. A woman from shul can volunteer to sit with her, but the comfort of her son next to her is a significant difference. Can he sit next to his mother?

A man with a physically debilitating sickness has a female aide (not Jewish) who needs to sit next to him in the men’s section. Can she sit next to him?


Many do not view the purpose of a mechitzah as to ensure that there is a barrier between men […]