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Q & A: Chazzan And Congregation (Part IV)

25 Sivan 5772 – June 14, 2012
Question: I understand that at a minyan, the chazzan is required to repeat Shmoneh Esreh out loud so that people who may not know how to daven can fulfill their obligation to daven with the chazzan’s repetition. What, however, should the chazzan do when he reaches Kedushah and Modim? I hear some chazzanim say every word of Kedushah out loud and some only say the last part of the middle two phrases out loud. As far as the congregation is concerned, I hear some congregants say every word of Kedushah and some say only the last part. Finally, some chazzanim and congregants say Modim during chazaras hashatz out loud and some say it quietly. What is the source for these various practices? A Devoted Reader (Via E-Mail)

Seudah Shlishit Before Yom Tov

12 Sivan 5772 – June 1, 2012
Question: Whenever a yom tov starts on Sunday (like this year), synagogues generally forego their Seudah Shlishit, eaten after Minchah on Shabbat. But why? If one is supposed to eat a third meal every Shabbos, why skip it if a yom tov starts that night?

Q & A: Staying Awake Shavuot Night

3 Sivan 5772 – May 23, 2012
Question: Many people stay awake Shavuot night and learn Torah. Is this proper considering that one’s davening the next morning may lack kavannah as a result? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get a good night’s sleep and then learn with more fervor the next day? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Sefirat Ha’Omer At Sunset

25 Iyyar 5772 – May 16, 2012
Question: May one recite Sefirat Ha’Omer with a berachah after sunset (shekiah)?

Q & A: Chazzan And Congregation (Part I)

17 Iyyar 5772 – May 9, 2012
Question: I understand that at a minyan, the chazzan is required to repeat Shmoneh Esreh out loud so that people who may not know how to daven can fulfill their obligation to daven with the chazzan’s repetition. What, however, should the chazzan do when he reaches kedushah and Modim? I hear some chazzanim say every word of kedushah out loud and some only say the last part of the middle two phrases out loud. As far as the congregation is concerned, I hear some congregants say every word of kedushah and some say only the last part. Finally, some chazzanim and congregants say Modim during chazaras hashatz out loud and some say it quietly. What is the source for these various practices? A Devoted Reader (Via E-Mail)

After The Amidah

12 Iyyar 5772 – May 3, 2012
Question: At the conclusion of the Amidah, should the chazzan say “Yiyu leratzon imrei fi… – May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable before you, G-d, my Rock and Redeemer”?

A Silver Atarah On A Talit

4 Iyyar 5772 – April 25, 2012
Question: I have heard that some halachic authorities disapprove of placing a silver atarah on a talit. Is this true?

Q & A: Shir HaShirim On Pesach

21 Nisan 5772 – April 12, 2012
Question: Why do we read Shir HaShirim on Pesach? Also, why do we generally read it on the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed as opposed to the first days of Pesach? Finally, why don’t we recite a blessing over the reading of Shir HaShirim as we do for Megillat Esther? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

How Much Matzah?

14 Nisan 5772 – April 5, 2012
Question: How much matzah must one eat at the Pesach Seder?

Eating Matzah Before Pesach

6 Nisan 5772 – March 29, 2012
Question: What is the basis of the custom to refrain from eating matzah for a period of time before Pesach?

Q & A: The Arba Parshiyot (Part I)

29 Adar 5772 – March 22, 2012
Question: Why do we read four special Torah sections between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of the four Shabbatot on which we read these sections by a special name – such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc.? Celia Gluck (Via E-Mail)

Drinking on Purim: Holy or Wholly Irresponsible?

5 Adar 5772 – February 28, 2012
The word the Gemara uses to get drunk on wine is “l’besumai,” literally - to become fragrant. Not stinking drunk, but rather like the incense in the Holy Temple; a sweet smelling aroma.

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

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
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)

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