Yoreh De’ah

2 05, 2021

Using a Mohel Who is Not Shomer Shabbat

May 2nd, 2021|Milah, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

In a small town without a traditional mohel nearby, would we be lenient on who the mohel is to avoid postponing a Shabbat brit milah? Would we allow a mohel who is not shomer Shabbat  (i.e. a Jewish doctor who does circumcision in coordination with local shuls)? What if the mohel live close enough to walk (~1.5 hour) but will likely drive? What if they use the Gomco clamp and not the Mogen clamp/shield?

ANSWER

This contains a lot of issues.

A. Postponing from Shabbat. This can definitely be done when necessary for appropriate halakhic reasons. For example, a number […]

11 04, 2021

A Sandwich Maker of Unknown Kashrut Status That Has Not Been Used in Over a Year

April 11th, 2021|Kashrut, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Canada

A sandwich maker hasn’t been used in over a year and the owner doesn’t remember if it was milkhig or fleishig or for anything at all!

  1. Can he rely on the sevara of the Chacham Tzvi/Maharsham and assume there’s no ta’am at all and not kasher it and then use it for whichever he wishes, since I imagine kashering it would require a blow torch and ruin it?
  2. If he can kasher it without a blow torch, how?

ANSWER

  1. On the one hand, it is not serious hefsed at all. On the other hand, we are talking about heter, not issur. And […]
11 04, 2021

Are There Limitations on an Uncircumsised Levi?

April 11th, 2021|Milah, Status, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Philadelphia, PA

A levi wasn’t circumcised because his parents are intactivists. Does the Rosh Yeshiva allow such a person to read from the Torah? Could they have the levi aliyah? Can they wash the kohen for birkat kohanim?

ANSWER

The basic pesak is that someone who does not have a brit milah, even if he is מומר לערלות, is only considered to be a mumar for one aveirah. He does not have a larger status of pasul.  See Shulchan Arukh YD 2:7. (The one exception might be whether he can be a mohel, see Rema in Shulchan Arukh YD 264:1.) There is a […]

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 […]

11 04, 2021

A Playing Field Above a Former Jewish Cemetery

April 11th, 2021|Kohanim, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

South Central, USA

A congregant who is a librarian has discovered that a big open field that is part of the library complex, which is often used for activities, was actually a Jewish cemetery until the mid-19th century, and there is no evidence of the bones there being disinterred or moved. He’s wondering if there are issues for him running activities/programs on that field (he’s not a kohen). Thanks!

ANSWER

This is a very complex question. Here are some of the relevant issues:

1. How does he know it was a Jewish cemetery? The field has a chezkat taharah, and […]

8 04, 2021

When Does Aveilut Begin When the Body is Sent to Israel?

April 8th, 2021|Death and Dying, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

A member of our shul died today. He is being flown to New York tomorrow (Friday) morning and will be flown to Israel after Shabbat and buried there next week.

His widow and two of his children are remaining in America. Does shivah begin for them tomorrow when the body leaves Chicago?

One son lives in Israel. He will attend the burial there and then join his family in America. Does he count shivah from burial in Israel or does he adopt his mother’s count once he joins her in Chicago?

ANSWER

My pesak here would be a little unconventional. I believe that if those […]

2 04, 2021

Washing Pareve and Dairy Keilim Together in a Dishwasher

April 2nd, 2021|Kashrut, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Is there any reason not to wash pareve keilim alongside gendered keilim in a dishwasher? That is, if we use our dishwasher for dairy, are there any consequences from washing pareve pots or casseroles, etc. in the dishwasher along with the dairy items?

ANSWER

If there’s no be’ein it’s obviously not a problem. It is all nat bat nat. If there is be’ein then if the milkhig is not touching the pareve plate then also not a problem. It becomes nat bar nat in the water which then won’t transfer to the pareve keli. The only issue is if the milkhig keilim are directly on the pareve plate and they […]

24 03, 2021

Performing Taharah on a Transgender Meit

March 24th, 2021|Death and Dying, LGBTQ, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

I asked the Rosh Yeshiva this question on phone, but thought people might benefit. A chevrah kadisha wanting to be sensitive to transgender issues, who do they assign for the taharah of a transgendered meit?

ANSWER

My tentative answer – and this is really a policy question more than a halakhic one – is that we have to have a chevrah of the same gender as the meit‘s identity – to do otherwise would be a tremendous pegiah in kevod HaMeit and a tremendous delegitimization and erasure of the trans community and the identity of its members. The reason for […]

22 03, 2021

Kashering a Griddle for Pesach

March 22nd, 2021|Kashrut, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Can this be kashered for Pesach? Griddle for making pancakes used with batter.

ANSWER

In general, we rule that chameitz, even during the rest of the year, is considered to be איסורא בלע, and when absorbed directly via the fire requires libun chamor (Shulchan Arukh OC 451:4). That is normally defined at about 700 degrees. I imagine that that is not possible here and that a blow torch or the like would destroy it.

There are, however, poskim who rule that libun chamor is the same as the hottest temperature the object got to. According to this you […]

22 03, 2021

Traveling to the Mikveh by Car on Yom Tov

March 22nd, 2021|Amirah LeGoy, Choshen Mishpat, Niddah, Yom Tov, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

Good evening! I was contacted by a woman who has to go to the mikveh this Motzei Shabbat, which is the first night of Pesach. She doesn’t live within walking distance of one, and is wondering if she can go on Friday, or if she has to wait until Monday night. She already practices 4+7 due to fertility purposes, so there isn’t any wiggle room there. Is there any way for her to go early? I assume not, but I wanted to check because of their ongoing fertility challenges. Thank you!

ANSWER

I would arrange before Shabbat to have a cab […]

Go to Top