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

12 06, 2023

Early Ma’ariv on Motzei Yom Tov When it Will be Difficult to Get a Minyan at a Later Time

June 12th, 2023|Minyan, Orach Chayim, Shacharit, Mincha and Ma'ariv, Shema and Shemoneh Esrei, Tefillah|


Boston, MA

I daven in a backyard minyan that typically only meets on Friday nights. We also gather for Yom Tov Mincha-Ma’ariv. Often on motzei yom tov we cannot keep a minyan for Ma’ariv as some men don’t want to wait and end up leaving after Mincha.

Would it be permissible to daven Ma’ariv early betzibur? (The Beit Yosef OC 293 says it’s ok for a yachid when there’s tzorekh, but I believe it is clear that this would apply for a tzibur. As well, I wonder if whether or not losing a

2 05, 2023

Splitting a Berakha

May 2nd, 2023|Berakhot, Family, Marriage and Family, Tefillah|


Rhode Island

A couple would like two different people to be involved in saying the Hebrew words of the final Sheva Berakhot, for family / political / musical reasons. Is it permissible that one begins the berakha and one ends, OR (more likely I imagine) that both say it together?


This is addressed by a teshuva of Rebbe Akiva Eiger. In שו”ת רבי עקיבא איגר מהדורא קמא ס’ ז’ he deals with the question of how a woman who does not understand Hebrew (which was common) can fulfill the mitzvah of Kiddush through שומע

23 04, 2023

Aveil Serving as Shaliach Tzibur on Shabbat, Yom Tov or Yamim Noraim When No Other is As Qualified

April 23rd, 2023|Aveilut, Orach Chayim, Tefillah, Yoreh De'ah|


Houston, TX

We have a small congregation and there are not a lot of congregants 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, is it permissible for an aveil (mourning) to serve shaliach tzibur? This question is even more acute for the Yamim Noraim.


Yes, it is permitted.

Even the Rema (YD 376:4) who rules that an aveil should not be a shaliach tzibur on Shabbat and Yom

23 04, 2023

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

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


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

3 04, 2023

Reciting Sheva Brachot at a Meal More than a Week after the Wedding

April 3rd, 2023|Birkat HaMazon/Zimun, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Sheva Berachot|


Brooklyn NY

A beloved couple in my Shul is eloping and having a bare minimum halakhic wedding on a hill in Colorado. They’ll be returning to New York after a week but within thirty days of the wedding. They would very much like to do an official, sheva berakhot style meal with the community. This will effectively be their wedding celebration for most of their friends and even family. They know about the berakhot of sheva berakhot and actively want to do them. I know that saying “shehasimha bimono” (and

12 03, 2023

Families (male and female members) Joining Together during Birkat Kohanim

March 12th, 2023|Birkat Kohanim/Duchening, Mechitza, Orach Chayim, Tefillah|


Paris, France

There is an old French custom in some Sephardic communities to have families stand together under the tallit during birkat kohanim, which implies ignoring the mechitza specifically at this time. We have been asked whether we would allow that over the chagim. What would you advise?


You need to maintain separation of the genders during birkat kohanim, just like the rest of davening.

5 03, 2023

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

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


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?


If one follows the position that a mechitza functions as a

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,

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 berakha 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). Thus, a public Chabad

19 08, 2022

Aveil Serving as Shaliach Tzibur

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



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?


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.