Tefillah

7 05, 2021

Tefilah and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

May 7th, 2021|Berakhot, Disabilities, Orach Chayim, Shema and Shemoneh Esrei|

QUESTION

Washington, D.C.

The following is a personal and complicated question, and I totally understand if you don’t have time to answer it, but I thought I’d give it a shot:

I have been diagnosed with OCD for a few years, and one of the ways that manifests itself for me is that, on a daily basis, I doubt whether I have said parts of davening correctly (especially Shema where wrong pronunciation prevents fulfilment of the mitzvah, as far as I know), and repeat myself several times, or at least have a really strong urge to repeat myself.

I’m wondering if you think that […]

2 05, 2021

Mourner’s Kaddish with a Minyan Created by Zoom

May 2nd, 2021|Aveilut, Kaddish, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Canada

Thank you for your answer regarding saying Mourner’s Kaddish when connecting to a minyan via Zoom. What would be the halakha if the minyan itself was created via Zoom? That is, if all 10 men are in different places, but they are Zooming into the same Zoom room. Will this work for saying normal Kaddish, Barekhu, repeating Shemoneh Esrei? Will it work for saying Kaddish?

ANSWER

As we discussed in that earlier teshuvah, to create a core minyan they all must be in the same geographic space. Thus, a minyan that is formed over Zoom would not be good […]

20 04, 2021

Does Someone Who Becomes Bar Mitzvah During Sefirat HaOmer Count With a Berakhah?

April 20th, 2021|Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Sefirah|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

Assuming counting the omer is one mitzvah for the entire period, if you turn 13 in the middle of the counting, are you allowed to say the blessing since there was no obligation to count prior to turning 13? What if you know ahead of time that you will miss a day of counting in the future (could be because you are flying across the world which will make you miss a day), should you be saying the blessings prior to missing a day knowing you will not perform the mitzvah in its entirety?

ANSWER

If you think about it, it comes […]

11 04, 2021

Permissibility of Praying Barefoot

April 11th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Shema and Shemoneh Esrei|

QUESTION

New England, USA

If a person has difficulty wearing a sock or shoe due to discomfort, can they daven at home barefoot? There is a medical reason they do not want to wear a sock or shoes on their foot, but they’re certainly not choleh kol HaGuf. It seems pashut that none of this would exempt the person from tefilah, and we know we can relax other rules – like someone who needs to stay in bed should still say the amidah without standing. Hagahot Maimoniyot to Hilkhot Tefillah 5 and Tosafot on Shabbat 10a consider Rava bar Rav Huna’s actions as establishing […]

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 […]

2 04, 2021

Saying HaGomel When Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

April 2nd, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Detroit, MI

In your article on making berakhot for the COVID vaccine, you mostly support שהחיינו and הטוב והמטיב but also say that הגומל makes sense for people such as healthcare workers who have been more exposed to the “front lines” and therefore feel more a sense of rescue rather than simple relief or joy. If someone has that emotional attitude to the vaccination, should they say הגומל by themselves at the time they get the shot, or in public the way standard cases of הגומל are said?

ANSWER

The first question is whether this person feels that she has […]

27 02, 2021

Berakhot for Latecomers to Megillah

February 27th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

I said berakhot and started leining megillah, for a small group of people, when one minute in, a few people show up. are any of the following workable solutions, for how they can be yotzei?

  • Restart from the beginning of the Megillah. If so, the new arrivals would say the berakhot, before we restart?
  • Pause, and have them read to themselves the first minute of the megillah, from their chumash, until they catch up. Here too, would they make sure to say the berakhot before doing that?

ANSWER

Either of those would work. Given that whichever solution you adopt, the rest of the people […]

27 02, 2021

Mourner’s Kaddish Connecting to a Minyan over Zoom

February 27th, 2021|Aveilut, Kaddish, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Canada

What is the Rosh Yeshiva’s position on saying Kaddish Yatom over Zoom where there is a minyan on the other end?

ANSWER

The short answer is that it is fine if there are ten men gathered in one place. If there are ten men Zooming in from different places, it is more questionable, but there is a reasonable argument to say that this works as well. Let us consider the various issues:

  1. For a minyan, Gemara (Pesachim 85b) requires both a core ten, plus the shaliach tzibbur to be in the same physical room. This is ruled in Shulchan […]
26 02, 2021

Repeating Berakhot for Megillah if Interrupted for a Medical Call

February 26th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

Canada

If a ba’al korei gets an important call mid-megillah that they can’t ignore, can they continue the megillah from when the call came in or do they need to repeat the megillah? Should they repeat the berakhot?

ANSWER

The general halakha is that even a large interruption – כדי לגמור את כולה – is bedieved okay in the case of megillah (and pretty much everything else) – see Shulchan Arukh OC 690:5 and Rema. However, as Mishnah Berurah 690:18 points out, we find in Hilkhot Keriat Shema (Shulchan Arukh OC 65:1) that if the interruption was מחמת אונס, due to something out of your control, you do have to go […]

23 02, 2021

HaTov VeHaMeitiv on Wine for Poreis Mapah Seudah

February 23rd, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

With a poreis mapah umekadeish seudah, could one make a הטוב והמיטיב along with קידוש היום, right?

ANSWER

You mean if it is a different bottle of wine? Then yes, but only if it follows the parameters of Shulchan Arukh OC 175:1,

ולאו דוקא הביאו להם מחדש, אלא ה”ה אם היה להם מתחלה שתי יינות, מברכין על הב’ הטוב והמטיב. הגה: ודווקא שלא היו לפניו יחד כשבירך בפה”ג, אבל היו ביחד א”צ לברך אלא בפה”ג

And see Mishnah Berurah 175:4 – regarding what it considered to be לפניו יחד,

ולאו דוקא וכו’ מחדש – ר”ל שהביאו להם עתה בבית אלא ה”ה אם היה להם מתחלה […]

Go to Top