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

2 06, 2024

Megillah Reading By Microphone

June 2nd, 2024|Disabilities, Electricity, Moadim, Orach Chayim, Purim, Shulchan Arukh, Synagogue, Technology|

QUESTION

Canada

At the school where I work, the Megillah reading will be conducted with a microphone, as it always has been. I am unable to change this practice, at least for this year.

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on reading the Megillah with a microphone? Can one rely on the poskim who permit it?

For those attending a Megillah reading with a microphone, should they seek out another reading later not read with a microphone? Alternatively, can those standing close to the reader assume

12 03, 2024

Mechitza Construction with Bima in Between the Men’s and Women’s Sections

March 12th, 2024|Keriat HaTorah, Mechitza, Minyan, Orach Chayim, Synagogue, Tefillah, Women|

QUESTION

Washington, DC

Question regarding the construction of a new mechitza:

We have a chapel that seats 115 people. It opens from the back, straight into the middle aisle. The seats are distributed equally on both sides of the aisle, and the bimah is at the front of the room in the center. Our old mechitza for the space was 3 panels; two down the middle aisle, and a third to angle around the bimah so that there was a physical separation between the shaliach

1 02, 2024

Traveling by Electric Scooter on Shabbat

February 1st, 2024|Choleh, Prohibitions, Shabbat, Synagogue, Technology, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Maryland

I have a congregant who can no longer walk to shul. I have discussed the option of using the Grama scooters approved by Zomet and the Star K, but they cost more than $4000. She is able to purchase a “regular” used scooter for only $400. Would the financial savings justify using a regular scooter on Shabbat (perhaps with using a shinuy)?

Do you have any advice for

28 01, 2024

Conversion Candidate Using Public Transportation to Get to Preferred Shul

January 28th, 2024|Amirah LeGoy, Geirut and Geirim, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat, Shulchan Arukh, Synagogue, Tefillah|

QUESTION


Chicago, IL

A woman who converted to Judaism under Reform auspices and is married to a Jewish husband is interested in relocating to our neighborhood and will eventually undergo another giyur (conversion) under Orthodox auspices. She does not currently live in our neighborhood and knows that she will not be able to complete her conversion until she moves to the neighborhood. For various financial reasons, it could be as long as three years before she is able to relocate.

Until she relocates and converts,

28 01, 2024

Drilling Holes Through Verses Etched on a Mechitza

January 28th, 2024|Mechitza, Synagogue, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION


Skokie, IL

We are creating new glass mechitza panels with the text of Kabalat Shabbat etched into them. The engineers want to drill holes in a few panels to install handrails. Some of those proposed holes will be drilled through Shem Hashem (God’s name). Would this be a problem?

ANSWER

Yes, this would be a problem. There is an

23 04, 2023

Counting a Security Person in Another Room as the Tenth for a Minyan

April 23rd, 2023|Minyan, Orach Chayim, Synagogue, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Houston, TX

We pray out of the JCC and are required to have a security person at the door when the building is otherwise closed, which includes Shabbat. For financial reasons, we use rotating volunteers, but sometimes, like for Mincha, we have ten men, and only ten men. Other times, there are ten men, as well as women, but the optics of making it be a woman are rough. The security person can just barely see into the shul room from

2 04, 2023

Bringing Babies to Shul: A Halakhic and Policy Consideration in City with No Eruv

April 2nd, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Orach Chayim, Shabbat, Synagogue|

QUESTION

Paris, France

Communal policy question: there is no eruv in Paris and in our community there’s tremendous chillul shabbat (desecration of shabbat) going on from several families who otherwise entirely keep Shabbat but bring their babies to shul because not doing so would mean never coming to the community together. We had reached out to you in private about the possibility of having a non-Jewish nanny bring our baby to shul. I must say having had post-partum depression being able to leave my

5 03, 2023

Guidance Regarding Gaps in a Mechitza – Defining the Purpose of a Mechitza

March 5th, 2023|Mechitza, Orach Chayim, Synagogue, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Kevod HaRav, do concepts like gud asik mechitztah1 and lavud2 work for mechitzot in shul? It appears that there will be a six inch gap between a section of our new mechitza and the next section. It is not in an area that is highly visible—only a few people sitting in one spot would notice it. Is this a problem?

ANSWER

If one follows the position that a mechitza functions as a