Yoreh De’ah

29 01, 2023

Sous Vide – Tevilat Keilim and Warming Food on Shabbat

January 29th, 2023|Bishul, Kashrut, Orach Chayim, Shabbat, Technology, Tevilat Keilim, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION
New York

Two questions regarding a sous vide:

1) Does it require tevilah?
2) Can it be used to reheat food on Shabbat, assuming it is on and in heated water from Erev Shabbat?

ANSWER

1. It does not require tevilah. It does not come in direct contact with the food (plastic bag and water both intervene). (Shulchan Arukh YD 120:4, Arukh HaShulchan […]

16 01, 2023

Gifted a Blender Used with Non-kosher Protein Powders

January 16th, 2023|Kashrut, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

CHICAGO, IL

A giyoret (convert) was offered this model of blender from her parents. It has never been used with anything hot, but non-kosher protein powders have been added to juices and fruits etc. and I am concerned about whether or not the crevices and nooks and cracks between the moving parts can be sufficiently cleaned/kashered. Do you have any guidance?

ANSWER
I can’t see how it’s a problem. It’s been washed with soap and hot water multiple times, I imagine. Anything stuck was either washed out or pagum (spoiled). (Ironically, it is an easier argument to say that soap is pogem […]

15 01, 2023

Tevilat Keilim for a Mug with a Rubber Stopper

January 15th, 2023|Kashrut, Tevilat Keilim, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Maryland

This glass mug by Bodum has a rubber stopper at the bottom that is designed to allow the air trapped between the two layers to expand due to heat but to not let water in since the water would get trapped inside. Can it be toveled/is the rubber a hatzitza? It is designed to be there and be left in place, so would it be considered to be eino makpid? (YD 121:13)

ANSWER

If this is a functional part of the mug, then it is more than eino makpid – it […]

15 01, 2023

Refusing Delivery to Allow Delivery Driver to Keep Non-Kosher Wine

January 15th, 2023|Kashrut, Non-Jews and Other Religions, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION
NEW YORK, NY

Dear Rabbi Linzer,
Bottles of non-kosher wine are on their way to me as a holiday present. In the past, we have accepted them, dumped the contents and recycled the bottles since I understand that I can’t give them away. Assuming that’s correct, do we have any ability to not accept the shipment and allow the UPS driver to keep it? Is it too late if it is left on our doorstep?

As clarification, assume that I’m sefardi or following the Rema’s “tov l’hachmir” (good to be strict) position, as this was an unexpected gift from a business I use.

Thank […]

9 01, 2023

Using Antique Serving Dish with Image of Hindu Deity

January 9th, 2023|Non-Jews and Other Religions, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

New York

K’vod HaRav, A member of my community recently acquired an antique brass serving tray. After acquiring it, someone pointed out that the engraving appears to be a scene including a hindu deity. Can he keep the tray? Can it be used for serving if it is covered?

Does this change at all if the actual tray in question has been used to place offerings on in the past? (It is 100 years old. at the time this would have been its use)

ANSWER

If this is merely ornamental […]

29 08, 2022

Mezuzah on Permanently Closed Door

August 29th, 2022|Mezuzah, Sefer Torah, Tefillin, Mezuzah, Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Massachusetts

In a new apartment a door between two rooms doesn’t open and will remain shut. Even if the door could be opened, there will be furniture on one side of the door. Does the door need a mezuzah?

ANSWER

I assume at one time it was made to open and it still has the door frame. If that is the case, some say it does still require a mezuzah. The issue is how you distinguish between the case of Shulchan Arukh and the case of Rema in Shulchan Arukh YD 286:18

בית שיש לו פתחים הרבה, אף על פי שאינו רגיל […]

19 08, 2022

Aveil Serving as Shaliach Tzibur

August 19th, 2022|Aveilut, Shulchan Arukh, Tefillah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Colorado

There are not a lot of people in our community who can serve as Shaliach Tzibur on Shabbat. We want Shlichei Tzibur who can uplift the kehillah with singing and proper nusach. Under these circumstances, it is permissible for an aveil to serve Shaliach Tzibur?

ANSWER

It is permitted. Even Rema (YD 376:4) who rules that an aveil not to be a shaliach tzibur on Shabbat and Yom Tov

אבל לא נהגו להתפלל בשבת ויום טוב, אף על פי שאין איסור בדבר

makes it clear that it is a minhag and not technically an issur. And poskim thus make exceptions when necessary.

The […]

21 06, 2021

Accidentally Cooked Possible Dairy in a Meat Air Fryer

June 21st, 2021|Kashrut, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Riverdale, NY

A nanny accidentally used an air fryer, which is fleishig, to cook fish sticks. The fish sticks are Tablet K-D, and there is a food warning label about milk on the package. There is no milk in the ingredients, but in the “contains less than 2% of the following” ingredients listing, “whey” is included. What is the status of air fryer?

ANWER

Let’s first assume that the  fish sticks were on aluminum foil or in a pan. There is a debate if whey is milk mide’orayta or only miderabanan. See Shulchan Arukh YD 87:6, 8. I also assume that a “D” […]

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, […]

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