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13 Kislev 5779 -
? Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Q & A: Netilat Yadayim If One Didn’t Sleep At Night (Part II)

Question: Should a person who only went to sleep after dawn say a berachah after netilat yadayim when he wakes up? M. Goldman Miami Beach

Q & A: How To Treat A Ger (Part I)

QUESTION: The Rambam unequivocally states that a Jew by choice should be treated as an equal to any other Jew in all respects. In our synagogue we had a serious rift regarding this issue and many members left the synagogue. What happened was that a proselyte, a ger, ran for the position of president of the congregation. He had served as the secretary of the congregation and he was respected and liked by the members of the congregation. The rabbi of the congregation ruled that since he was not a Jew from birth, he could not run for the position of president of the congregation or occupy a position as an officer of the congregation. I would like to know, from your perspective, what the halacha is on this important issue.Name withheld by request(Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Tzedakah (Part XIX)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah? Zvi Kirschner (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Selling One’s Chametz

Please explain the concept of selling one’s chametz. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to dispose of all of one’s chametz prior to Pesach? Why go through this charade every year? Malka Berg (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part IV)

Question: Lately I've seen some young men who, though they wear a yarmulke, have ponytails or long unruly hair. I've even seen some ear piercings. Somehow I find this behavior to be incongruous. My real problem is that my own nephew and a few of his friends wear their hair in this manner. Even though his parents look upon it as a passing fad, I am at a loss to understand such behavior. Luckily, whether right or wrong, I've held my tongue. I wonder what the proper positive action to take is in this matter. No Name Please

Q & A: The Hereafter – Olam Haba (Part II)

Question: How do we know that there is an olam haba – a World to Come? L. Papirmeister

Q & A: Pirkei Avot (Part III)

Question: I have two questions regarding Pirkei Avot. First, is there a specific reason that the last chapter is read on the Sabbath before Shavuot, or is this just a quirk of the calendar? Second, in that last chapter we find a list of qualities that enable one to acquire Torah knowledge, including anavah, humility. I find this difficult to believe in light of the Gemara in Gittin that chastises one of the scholars for his anavah, saying that it ultimately caused the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. Zvi Kirschner (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Seder Requirements

Question: What is the minimum amount of matzah a person must consume if he finds eating it difficult? Additionally how absolute is the requirement not to eat anything after the afikoman? Menachem

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part XIII)

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men? Menachem

Q & A: Sidra Or Parasha?

QUESTION: I have noticed that some refer to the weekly Torah portion as Parashat Hashavua while others refer to it as the week's Sidra. Which is correct?Eliyahu TewelVia E-Mail

Q & A: Reincarnation?

QUESTION: I am told that Eliahu was a reincarnation. Who was he?R. GoldBronx, NY

Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part III)

Question: Lately I have seen some young men who though they wear a yarmulke have ponytails or other long unruly hair – I’ve even seen some ear piercings. Somehow I find this behavior to be incongruous.

Q & A: Standing During Birkot Keriat Shema (Part I)

Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: L’David Hashem Ori (Part III)

Question: In L’David Hashem Ori – which we recite from the beginning of Elul until Shemini Atzeret – we read the following: “Bikrov alay me’re’im le’echol et besarai – When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh.” Why does the verse use the word “me’re’im”? Why not use “resha’im” or “anashim ra’im” instead? Tzila Kleinbart Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Should The Chazzan Say ‘Ga’al Yisrael’ Out Loud? (Part III)

Question: In the course of my travels, I have discovered that some chazzanim say “Ga’al Yisrael” right before Shemoneh Esreh aloud while others say it with their voices fading. Is one practice correct and the other incorrect? M. Goldman

Q & A: Netilat Yadayim If One Didn’t Sleep At Night (Part I)

Question: Should a person who only went to sleep after dawn say a berachah after netilat yadayim when he wakes up? M. Goldman Miami Beach

Q & A: Batei Din (Part I)

Question: I anticipate soon dissolving a business partnership. How should I expect to be treated in a beit din? No Name Please

Q & A: Two Adars (Part II)

QUESTION: I have a few questions regarding the Jewish leap year. Why do we always add a second Adar as opposed to adding a second Tevet or Iyar for example? Why do we call it Adar Alef? Why is Purim celebrated in the second Adar? And which Adar is the real Adar?Shea Aronovitch(Via E-Mail)

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part X)

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men? Menachem

Q & A: Arabs Circumcise At 13 (Part IV)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity. M. Goldman (Via E-mail)

Q & A: Sharing A Name

QUESTION: I am about to get married and it appears that my name is the same as my fianc?'s mother's name. I've been told that this is problematic. Please advise as I urgently need an answer.No Name, Please

Q & A: Sinat Chinam Destroyed Our House

QUESTION: Our Sages strongly condemned sinat chinam - yet at times, good resulted from it. For example, when the sons of Yaakov went down to Egypt many years after selling their brother, they were treated royally.Shlomo FeivelsonCoconut Creek, FL

Q & A: Tying Knots On Shabbat (Part II)

Question: My son recently stopped wearing a necktie and lace-up shoes on Shabbat. He explained that he doesn’t want to transgress the prohibition against tying knots on Shabbat. Is tying a necktie or shoelaces really forbidden? “A Mother in Israel” (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: When The Nation Is In Need Of Prayers

Question: Is there a special prayer or specific role for prayer when the totality of the Jewish people is in danger?

Q & A: Shemittah And IOUs (Part IX)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement? Name Withheld

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