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? Tuesday, October 19, 2021


Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Part II)

Question: Why do we say Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levana, when we bless the new moon, and why do we do so three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Can you explain a little more about this mitzvah? Ira Warshansky Philadelphia, PA

Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Part I)

Question: Why do we say Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levana, when we bless the new moon, and why do we do so three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Can you explain a little more about this mitzvah? Ira Warshansky Philadelphia, PA

Q & A: An Ongoing Work

Question: Is it possible to explain the verse “[All this is] because Abraham listened to My voice, minded My mandate, My commandments, My decrees and My teachings (Genesis 26:5)?” The latter three terms are in the plural. Rashi explains “teachings” as referring to both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. However, if the commandments and decrees are manifold, is it possible that there are many Torahs? Moshe Jakobowitz Via e-mail

Q & A: Noy Sukkah – Sukkah Decorations (Part II)

Question: Is decorating the Sukkah part of the mitzvah, or does the mitzvah only require the Sukkah itself? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Noy Sukkah – Sukkah Decorations (Part I)

Question: Is decorating the sukkah part of the mitzvah, or does the mitzvah only require the sukkah itself? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Questioning The Rabbi And Synagogue Leadership

Question: My synagogue is Orthodox in practice; however, many of our members are ignorant of basic Halachot. In fact, many members attend only occasionally, even while they support generously. Every year at Yom Kippur time the congregation swells to its limit. Our Rabbi and leadership seem to ignore the fact that many people travel to the synagogue by car on the holiest day of the year. What could be done? Anonymous Via email

Q & A: Selichot Prayers (Part II)

Question: I have read in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that an individual praying without a minyan does not recite the Selichot written in Aramaic. What is the reason? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Selichot Prayers (Part I)

Dear Rabbi Klass, I have read in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that an individual praying without a minyan does not recite the Selichot written in Aramaic. What is the reason? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Calling One’s Parent By Name (Part IV)

In a previous issue, reader Leonard Ziegler referred to a Daf Yomi Highlights column (January 15, 2021) that explained how Yitzchak was able to bless Yaakov by saying: “May Hashem grant you the blessings of Avraham” (even though one is forbidden from using a parent’s first name) because “Avraham” itself is a “respectful title.”

Calling One’s Parent By Name (Part III)

Your explanation would explain why it was proper for him to use the name Avraham (presumably one is not permitted to call a grandparent by a first name just as one is forbidden to call a parent by his first name) but it seems Yitzchak is no more a respectful title any than other name, so how did Yaakov use his father’s first name twice? Leonard Ziegler Via email

Q & A: Calling One’s Parent By Name (Part II)

Dear Rabbi Klass: I hope this finds you well. In a recent Daf Yomi Highlights column (JP 1-15-21), you explain that Yitzchak was able to bless Yaakov by saying: “May Hashem grant you the blessings of Avraham” even though one is forbidden from using a parent’s first name, since the name Avraham itself is a “respectful title.” But this raises the question: How could Yaakov say to Yosef: “The G-d before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak walked... bless the lads ... and may my name be declared upon them, and the names of my forefathers Avraham and Yitzchak.” (Bereishis 48:15-16). Your explanation would explain why it was proper for him to use the name Avraham (presumably one is not permitted to call a grandparent by a first name just as one is forbidden to call a parent by his first name) but it seems Yitzchak is no more a respectful title than other name, so how could Yaakov use his father’s first name twice? Leonard Ziegler Via email

Q & A: Calling One’s Parent By Name (Part I)

Dear Rabbi Klass, I hope this finds you well. In a recent Daf Yomi Highlights column (1-15-21), you explain that Yitzchak was permitted to bless Yaakov by saying: “May Hashem grant you the blessings of Avraham” even though one is forbidden from using a parent’s first name, since the name Avraham itself is a “respectful title.” But this raises the question: How could Yaakov say to Yosef: “The G-d before whom my fathers Avraham and Yitzchak walked... bless the lads ... and may my name be declared upon them, and the names of my forefathers, Avraham and Yitzchak.” (Genesis 48:15-16). Your explanation would explain why it was proper for him to use the name Avraham (presumably one is not permitted to call a grandparent by a first name just as one is forbidden to call a parent by his first name) but it seems Yitzchak is no more a respectful title than any other name, so how did Yaakov use his father’s first name twice? Leonard Ziegler Via email

Q & A: Erecting A Monument (Part III)

Question: I came to the cemetery, only to find that a stone has never been placed over a close relative who died a year and a half ago. I spoke to the children and they tell me they will get to it when they have time. They seem to think that this is not a matter of any importance. I know that each rushed to take their share of the yerusha that was left them. I’m sure that in the will there is a set aside of money as well as a directive to place a monument. Please help me set them straight with sources that will prove their being obligated to erect a monument over their parent’s grave. I have another related question; while I was there I also noticed one or two monuments that were quite dilapidated. Should they and may they be replaced? Name withheld by request

Q & A: Tisha B’Av and Mourning

Question: I was taught that due to our mourning on Tisha B’av, we are not allowed to learn or discuss Torah. Since Torah causes us joy, we are forbidden to lessen our mourning with its study. While I understand why we read from Kinot and Eicha, how do we justify reading from the Torah at Shacharit and at Mincha? A further question, do these halachot apply to an individual during his/her seven days of mourning? Menachem Via email

Q & A: Erecting A Monument: Part II

Question: I came to the cemetery, only to find that a stone has never been placed over a close relative who died a year and a half ago. I spoke to the children and they tell me they will get to it when they have time. They seem to think that this is not a matter of any importance. I know that each rushed to take their share of the yerusha that was left them. I’m sure that in the will there is a set aside of money as well as a directive to place a monument. Please help me set them straight with sources that will prove their being obligated to erect a monument over their parent’s grave. I have another related question; while I was there I also noticed one or two monuments that were quite dilapidated. Should they and may they be replaced? Name withheld by request Via email

Q & A: Erecting A Monument (Part I)

Question: I came to the cemetery, only to find that a stone has never been placed over a close relative who died a year and a half ago. I spoke to the children and they tell me they will get to it when they have time. They seem to think that this is not a matter of any importance... Please help me set them straight with sources that will prove their being obligated to erect a monument over their parent’s grave. Name withheld by request

Q & A: Consoling Mourners

Question: Before leaving a mourner who is sitting shiva, one says, “HaMakom yenachem et’chem betoch she’ar aveilei Tziyon ViYerushalayim – May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. What is the source of this pasuk? Zelig Aronson Via email

Q & A: Should The Bimah Be In The Center Of The Synagogue?

Question: Where I live, in a small out of town community, we have only one Orthodox synagogue, but the bimah is in the front on the stage with the Aron HaKodesh. My question: May one daven in a synagogue in which the bimah is not in the center? Y.S. Via email

Q & A: Should We Stand Or Sit For The Second Ashrei? (Conclusion)

Question: Should one stand or sit for the Ashrei recited after Keriat haTorah, and is the answer to this question affected by the requirement to show kavod, or respect, to the Torah scroll, which is being wrapped up as Ashrei begins? Anonymous

Q & A: Should We Stand Or Sit For The Second Ashrei? (Part I)

Question: Should one stand or sit for the Ashrei recited after Keriat haTorah, and is the answer to this question affected by the requirement to show kavod, or respect, to the Torah scroll, which is being wrapped up as Ashrei begins? Anonymous

Q & A: Should We Stand Or Sit For The Second Ashrei? (Part I)

Question: Should one stand or sit for the Ashrei recited after Keriat haTorah, and is the answer to this question affected by the requirement to show kavod, or respect, to the Torah scroll, which is being wrapped up as Ashrei begins? Anonymous

Q & A: Which Shoe First?

Question: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states that a person should first put on his right shoe, then his left one, then tie the laces of the left shoe, then tie the laces of the right shoe. He explains that the right side always comes first except in the case of tying, which is why tefillin are wrapped on our left arms. My question is: Since we wrap tefillin with our right hand, couldn’t one argue that there is no exception to the rule and we should tie our right shoe first? Y. Malinsky

Q & A: Staying Awake Shavuot Night

Question: Many people are accustomed to staying awake Shavuot night and learning Torah. Is this recommended even at the expense of having proper kavanah at Shachris the next morning? Wouldn’t it be far better to get a good night’s rest and then learn with more fervor the next day? No Name Please

Q & A: A Short Shema?

Question: Is it true that one can fulfill the mitzvah of reciting Keri’at Shema merely by saying its first verse? Ariel Schwartz

Q & A: Counting Casually?

Question: If on the evening of the 33rd day of the Omer, a person mentions that it’s Lag BaOmer (e.g., “It’s Lag BaOmer, let’s dance!”), has he technically counted sefirah with his statement so that he can’t count more formally later with a berachah? M. Goldblum Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: How Does One Observe Pesach Sheni? (Part II)

Question: Why do some people eat matzah on Pesach Sheni? Harry Koenig

Q & A: How Does One Observe Pesach Sheni? (Part I)

Question: Why do some people eat matzah on Pesach Sheni? Harry Koenig

Q & A: Early Shabbat During Sefirah

Question: What if one forgot to count Sefirah Thursday night and didn’t remember until Friday eve after accepting Shabbat early? May he count at that point before it turns dark and then continue saying the berachah for the Omer the next evening? Pesach Bernstein

Q & A: Why Do We Read Shir HaShirim On Pesach?

Question: Why do we read Shir HaShirim on the Shabbat of Passover? Also, why don’t we recite a blessing before reading it as we do before reading Megillat Esther? Menachem

Q & A: Tefillin On Chol HaMo’ed

Question: My family custom is not to don tefillin on Chol HaMo’ed. What should I do if I come to a shul where it’s the custom to don tefillin on these days? M. Jakobowitz

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