Ask the Rabbi

  • Halacha Questions

  • Is one allowed to wear a necklace which has the Hebrew words ?ani l?dodi v'dodi li? on it, and can one bring it into the bathroom? Should the jewelers even be making such a necklace, as they know that people are going to wear it in the bathroom?
  • Halacha Questions

  • May one use illegal drugs? If not, may one buy them and give them to a friend who does use them? May one sell drugs?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I recently purchased a Wahl hair clipper. When I use it around my ears, I want to make sure that I leave my peyos ha?rosh long enough and don?t cut too close. The clipper comes with different sizes of guide-combs. Should I use the 1 or the 2?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What is the brocha on pancakes?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What are the halachic guidelines for one who is davening in a minyan that has different minhagim than his own? Should one conform, and to what extent? For example, the minyan follows nusach Sefard, while he personally follows nusach Ashkenaz.
  • Halacha Questions

  • If a person receives torah via a text message, is it muttar to read it while standing in the bathroom? What is the halachic status of our bathrooms, and of digital texts of Torah? I have heard that digital text is not ksav, and that our bathroom might not have the same status as old bathrooms.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I heard that Rabbi Heinemann allows one to put a coffee machine on a timer in order to make coffee on Shabbos morning. What does he say about the issues of ?Avsha Milsa? and ?Zilusa D?Shabsa?? Does the Rov also permit setting a dishwasher on a timer?
  • Halacha Questions

  • My son remembered that he missed counting sefirah about 22 minutes after shkiyah the next day, and he counted then. Can he continue counting with a bracha?
  • Halacha Questions

  • A number of years ago, Kashrus agencies came out with a statement concerning bourbon after Pesach listing numerous brands that are owned by Jewish companies which should not be used. Bourbon by definition is more than 50% corn, so why would it be forbidden after Pesach? The Mishna Berura 447:101 writes that as long as chometz be?taaruvos is batul brov it will not be assur after Pesach, since min hatorah it was batul on Pesach. I have heard the following reason behind the psak: Corn alone will never ferment because it lacks the enzyme that yeast would react with in order to break down the starch found in corn into sugar. However, malted barley has the enzyme. Amylase enzyme occurs naturally in malted barley and it is therefore used in beer making and bread flour and bourbon. since without the malted barley it will not ferment. Therefore, the malted barley is a maamid, and we are machmir regarding chometz sheaver alav hapesach. What is the source for this chumrah? One could argue that the din of maamid is derabonnon, so min hatorah the chometz would be batul and the reasoning of the Mishna Berura applies that it should not be considered chometz sheaver alav hapesach.
  • Halacha Questions

  • The milchig sink faucet was leaking a lot and needed to be replaced over Yom Tov. Was this replacement permissible during Chol Hamoed? We do have a separate fleishig sink.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I will be travelling to India. If I bring my own pan to a hotel, can I get eggs from the hotel and ask the hotel for permission to cook the eggs in my pan?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Where does it say that listening to music is ossur during sefira? I have a Mishna Berura in front of me, but I can’t find it.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I came across a kosher for Passover product which had the following statement printed on the box ? ?Liquified legumous extracts, e.g. corn syrup, in kosher for Passover foods, are fully sanctioned for Ashkenazim and Sephardim alike by preeminent Orthodox halachic authorities including the renowned Posek Hador, R. Yitzchak Elchonon Spector ztl?. I have never seen such a statement before. What is this all about?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have an opportunity to do the mitzvah of shiluach hakan, as an Orange-breasted Robin made a nest and laid four eggs. The nest is on my property, on a bush right outside my front door. I understand that I need to be mafkir the nest and eggs in front of three people. My question is: Does my wife have to be mafkir the nest and eggs as well since we own the property jointly, or does halacha consider me the sole owner of the nest and eggs? If my wife has to be mafkir as well, can she make me a shliach to be mafkir on her behalf?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I used a meat knife to cut an onion which I then put in a pareve food processor. After that, I used the onion to make kugel. I am wondering about the status of the kugel and food processor.
  • Halacha Questions

  • If I finish shemoeh esrei after the start of chazoras hashatz and therefore have missed words during chazora hashatz, can I learn during that time since I cannot be yotzei with the shatz anyway?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What bracha do you make on cooked wheat berries?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If a person wants to cook food for Yom Tov but forgot to leave his oven on before Yom Tov, may he ask a non-Jew to turn it on? Is there a difference between gas or electric ovens (we have electric), or between the first or second day of Yom Tov?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it true that one should not walk on the spot that an old oven was?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I know that when putting on shoes, we do the right first. Does this apply for everything? My daughter has a teacher who said that whatever a person does, he should start with the right. For example, when putting in eye drops one should start with the right eye. Also, when getting dressed and undressed and when taking a shower, does one always have to start at the top?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a fence around my property. There is an opening in the fence (for a driveway) which has doors on it. The opening is bigger than 10 amos. Can I carry in the fence since it is possible to close the doors, or do they have to actually be closed in order to carry?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I am going to be seeing a Jewish clinician. I may do a few treatments a week. Can I pay at the end of each week, or do I need to pay after each session?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What shinui can be done in order to use a lancet device that squeeze out some blood to check blood sugar levels on Shabbos and Yom Tov? What shinui can be done to give an insulin (or other) injection on Shabbos and Yom Tov?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Does an amputated toe need to be buried?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I am traveling now. Most of the places I am staying serve hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Can I assume that the pots they use to boil the eggs in are clean and eino ben yomo, and the eggs are therefore fine to eat?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I committed myself online to say a perek of tehillim on Purim. On the website http://worldwidetehillim.com/, I checked off the statement “I understand that I am making a commitment, and certify its fulfillment”, and I pressed “Submit”. Unfortunately, I forgot to say the perek. What should I do now?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I am looking to start selling handmade items, and I have read that a seller is not allowed to increase the price of an item by more than 1/6 of what it cost him. Am I allowed to sell a handmade item (for instance a sweater) for more than 1/6 of the value of the material (the yarn) or can I also charge for the time and work that I put into it? Or is it okay to look at what similar items are selling for and sell for a similar price?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a yak considered a kosher animal today?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I was asked to write a kesuvah for a couple getting married in "Hunt Valley". The Chosson says that he has been to weddings there, and the town was referred to as Baltimore in the kesubah. Is this acceptable to Rav Heinemann?
  • Halacha Questions

  • The website http://www.koshershaver.org/faqs.htm contains the following statement: “Harav Moshe Heinaman Shlit”a (Star K / Baltimore) DOES permit* the use of the Braun microscreen (foil) shavers for use straight out of the box. However, this heter (leniency) does NOT include the Remington Microscreen (foil) shavers. * Please note: Rav Heinaman is of the opinion that the most preferred method of shaving is using a trimmer, as per the psak (Halachic verdict) of his rebbi, Hagoan Reb Ahron Kotler Zt”l.” Apart from the fact that they misspelled Rabbi Heinemann’s name, is this statement correct?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Should the carding (combing) of the wool used for tzitzis be done lishma? I have heard that there is such an inyan, but people tell me that the oilam isn't noheig to be machmir. Do you agree the oilam isn't machmir? I need a new tallis and it is more expensive to get niputz lishma.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Can trash (e.g. dirty paper plates and used plastic cups) be picked up on Shabbos if strewn about the shul or on the shul front lawn? Can we allow this by considering them to have the status of a graf shel rei?
  • Halacha Questions

  • : I am thinking of taking my kids to a "maple sugaring" event. One of the things offered is tasting the maple syrup when done. Is there a prohibition of bishul akum on maple syrup? Although it is edible when it comes out of the tree, it is normally cooked in order to concentrate it, and it is not normally eaten raw without this cooking. If there is no bishul akum, are there any other kashrus issues involved?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Why is the bracha on tomatos ho’adama? They are perennials, and the fruit grows on the branches and not the roots, so the bracha should be ho’eitz.
  • Halacha Questions

  • My wife makes two dishes for which I wanted to clarify their brochos. The first is called Tomato Crisp – it is made by mixing together breadcrumbs (commercially produced) and cherry tomatoes with a little bit of oil and spices and baking it. The second is called Apple Cranberry Crisp – it is made by mixing apple slices and cranberry sauce and mixing them together in a pan, upon which a very thin layer of uncooked oatmeal is placed, and then it is baked. I assume that the bracha rishona for both of these is mezonos, but I just wanted to make sure.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I live in Israel, and can purchase fresh beef, chicken and turkey liver in the grocery store. I know how to kasher the liver. Although I trust the shechitah, I don't always trust the folks behind the meat counter regarding how long the unfrozen meat has sat in the refrigerator since slaughter. Here's my question: Is it permissible lechatchila to purchase this meat (which I can't confirm was within 72 hours of slaughter) exclusively for chopped liver (i.e., no additional cooking of any kind after kashering)?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I saw in an article about hafroshas challah that Rav Heinemann holds that one should not make a bracha when taking challah from pas haba'ah bekisnin (cake and cookies). I would appreciate an explanation for this pasak halacha.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a Shabbat shaila: I forgot if we are permitted to read recipes on Shabbat or not.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I saw on your website that a person who is travelling is allowed to buy hot drinks (tea or coffee) in a disposable cup from a non-kosher store. How about a place which only has non-disposable glass cups? Are they the same as disposable cups, or is that different?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What is the Jewish take on GMOs? Is anything being done by kashrus agencies to put pressure on our government to label GMO food as such?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have been noticing that the eggs that I have been buying have a lot of spots on them. I read that about 25-30% of brown eggs, irrespective of brand, typically have what are referred to as pigment or protein spots next to the yolk or floating in the albumen. Can you eat eggs which have these protein spots? How do I know what is blood and what is a protein spot?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I recently heard that Rav Heinemann holds that if a Jew lights a pilot light then all bread baked with that flame will be pas yisroel for perpetuity. In other words, the flame is technically valid indefinitely and if your great grandfather started the fire it will still produce pas yisroel 100 years later. Is this correct, and is this standard Star-K practice? The claim that lighting a pilot light should be considered as though the Jew is actively contributing indefinitely seems like a long stretch, and surely a heker should be need after some period. I think that other Poskim hold that a Jew needs to relight the flame from time to time. I have heard various opinions of how often, ranging from once a day to once a month. The Rama's loshon in Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 112:10 ) is אפילו אפאו בו כך כמה ימים. It seems clear that there is a time limit.
  • Halacha Questions

  • How are wraps made, and why are there different opinions as to whether their bracha is hamotzi or mezonos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it permissible to eat edamame from the pods on Shabbos or is it forbidden because of the melacha of dosh? Many Poskim permit eating peanuts from the shell on Shabbos and say that there is no issur of dosh (although they add that the peanuts should be shelled close to the time of eating so that there is no issur of borer). Is edamame similar to peanuts?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What is done on Shabbos if all the members of a minyan are kohanim? How is the calling up done? And what is done if on a Shabbos there is minyan with let’s say eight kohanim, one levi and one yisrael? Is there a general rule or a formula?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is one supposed to make brachos while standing or sitting? For instance, does one need to stand for the bracha of asher yotzar?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I've always had an "egg pot", but I see that other people don’t do that. Does one need to have a dedicated "egg pot"? Does one need to cook eggs in odd numbers? Also, do eggs need a hashgacha for Pesach or any other time of the year?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Can one eat cut-up fruit in non-kosher hotels?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Can a poor person use maaser money to pay for his own child’s wedding?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I was hoping to get some clarification on a few questions about kashering microwaves. It has been my understanding that the process is to clean the microwave fully, wait 24 hours, heat a cup of water until boiling, switch it to another spot on the plate, and heat it again. These are my questions regarding kashering: Is there any practical difference in terms of kashering a fully treif microwave or kashering a microwave that was originally milchig but has been accidentally made fleishig? I have heard several people say it is impossible to kasher the turntable plate inside if it is made of glass. Is this true? If so, what should be done? One last thing: Obviously when heating fleishig food in a milchig microwave it must be double wrapped- but is it also necessary to put a plate (or some other separation) between the container of fleishig food and the microwave plate? If so, and if this wasn't done in the past, what should be done now?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it muttar to salt lettuce on Shabbos, or is it part of the gzaira of me’abed? My understanding is that something that is never preserved (e.g. peeled cucumbers) has no salting problem, in which case it should be fine to salt lettuce. Is that correct?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I get migraines, especially on Sundays. Someone told me that grapes could be a trigger for migraines. He suggested that I speak to a Rabbi and ask what I should do for this coming Shabbos to try and see if I don't have grape juice or wine if I get a migraine on Sunday. My question is, what should I do for kiddush and havdala if I don't use grape juice or wine?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a set of sterling silver flatware which was given to me from a deceased relative's estate. They did not keep kosher, and I am planning to kasher it. I know that they used it, but it looks new - I checked in between the prongs on the forks. May I toivel it first? I'm trying to do as much as possible as early as possible.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a pinched nerve in my neck. B"H it's not painful, but I was given exercises from the physical therapist to do twice a day to help heal the moderate carpal tunnel syndrome I have. There is a possibility that the pinched nerve is causing the carpal tunnel. Am I allowed to do these neck exercises on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have heard that one should not draw the picture of a complete sun due to a connection with avodah zarah. I was going to make a cake today in the shape of a sun (a circle cake with cookie sticks around it as the sun's rays) and was wondering if that would fall into the same category. Would I be allowed to make such a cake?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a student with a refrigerator that has a device, both in the refrigerator and freezer, which signals with a beeping noise after the door of one of them is open for 60 seconds or after a certain temperature is reached. Is it permissible to open the refrigerator/freezer for less than 60 seconds (besides a problem of an application of "shema yishkach") or is there an electronic device that starts automatically when the door is open? If there is such a problem, do you know if there is a way for an electrician to fix it? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I would like to plant some fruit trees. All of them are grafted. The nurseryman said that trees do not survive more than a year grafted onto rootstock of a different family (apple onto pear). Most are grafted onto different varieties of the same species. A few, like those in the prunus genus (plum, apricot, peach and almond) could be grafted onto each other, since they are (surprisingly to me) from the same botanical genus. (1) Can I plant and eat from a tree grafted onto another of the same species (Jonathan apple onto a Liberty)? (2) Can I plant and eat from a tree grafted onto another from the same genus (peach onto almond)? Thank you very much for your help.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it muttar to drink black coffee on airplanes? Can one rely on the fact that stam kaylim aino ben yomo (the utensils have not been used in the previous 24 hours), or is it the fact that the coffee pitchers - which may have been washed together with treif - are returned to the airplanes quickly, and it may not be 24 hours from when they were washed? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have two sons ages 14 and 19. This summer we have a 14 year old niece staying with us from Israel. It often happens that everyone else in the house has to go out and just one of the boys and the niece are home for a certain time period. Are they allowed to be in the house together for any period of time? Does it make a difference if both boys are here or only one? What about if my ten year old daughter is also home or playing right outside the house? What about my husband?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it acceptable to give medicine to an animal (pet) on Shabbos? My family’s pet dog has seizures and could die without his medication. I will be home alone and will be the only one available to give the dog his medicine. Is this acceptable or not? Please cite sources so that I may see it inside (Kitzur Shulchan Orech, Shulchan Orech, Mishna Berura). Thank you for your time.
  • Halacha Questions

  • If a person is a vegetarian is he allowed to bake dairy bread?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Are you allowed to a) wind up b) touch c) give to a child, a wind-up toy on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a healthy person allowed to use a Shabbos elevator?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If I stay up the whole night, what brachos can’t I say in the morning, and what should I do?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Can a person a) rip a package of food b) open a can of food, on Yom Tov, if he holds it is assur on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a person allowed to turn his palette expander on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Recently the Shabbos candles in my friend’s house fell over on the table. B"H it went out. What is the best thing to do a) pick up the candle b) pick up the tablecloth and put in the sink c) put silver foil around it d) put it out e) put bottles of water around it? Also, will there be a difference if it happened in a house or an apartment building?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a person allowed to carry bein hashmoshos between the first and second day of Yom Tov? Is it a problem of preparing from one day of Yom Tov to the next?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Since Yom Tov is only one day and in chutz le’aretz we keep two days because of safek dyoma, therefore can I give in my car to the mechanic right before the first day of Yom Tov and pick up right after the end of the second day?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is there a heter to play ball without wearing tzitzis, and what is the proper thing to do?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is better not to or assur to sleep on the bottom of a bunk bed?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Are you allowed to buy an item from a non-Jewish store, use it, and the return it (the Walmart gemach)?
  • Halacha Questions

  • How many minutes before sunrise can a person put on his tallis?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a person allowed to wear earplugs on Shabbos and does it make a difference which type of earplug it is?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If you put a tissue into a Siddur as a bookmark, can that tissue be thrown away? Thank you!
  • Halacha Questions

  • On Shabbos, is it borer and hachana when clearing the table after lunch, to remove the silverware from each plate and knock the leftovers off the plate into the trash, and then put the silverware and plates into a dishpan to be washed after Shabbos? Basically it seems there is one act of borer - separating silverware from leftover food when there's no need for the silverware on that Shabbos anymore - and one act of hachana - cleaning the plate by knocking off the leftovers into the trash, again since the plate will not be used again that Shabbos. Is this correct? Does it make a difference that the silverware and plates are mixed together again by putting them into the dishpan within a minute or two of this borer?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have been reading Rabbi Eider’s book on Hilchos Shabbos, and I have some questions: 1. Can pans of meat be put into the fully heated oven before Shabbos, even though the meat will still be raw at the onset of shabbos? 2. If so, can pans of raw vegetables (butternut squash) be put in at the same time as the meat? 3. If so, can pans of raw vegetables be put into a fully heated oven before Shabbos (without meat), even though the vegetable will not be cooked at the onset of Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If I ask a non-Jew to make me coffee without telling how I want him to make it – e.g. I have an urn that he could make me instant coffee from, and he decides on Yom Tov to use my coffee machine to make coffee, is it a problem? Kol Tuv.
  • Halacha Questions

  • An aveil who has lost a parent is not allowed to cut his hair until it's so long and/or messy that people comment to him that he really needs a haircut. Does he need to wait till people in the street comment or is his wife good enough? Thank you!
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hello, Rabbi Frankel. I was told that it is a good idea/segulah to say the entire kapitel Shir LaMaalos Esa Eini right before Yehiyu L'ratzon at the very end of Shemoneh Esrei. Does this pose any halacha problem (perhaps a hefsek)? At your convenience, I would appreciate clarification of this. Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • On Shabbos, is it borer and hachana when clearing the table after lunch, to remove the silverware from each plate and knock the leftovers off the plate into the trash, and then put the silverware and plates into a dishpan to be washed after Shabbos? Basically it seems there is one act of borer - separating silverware from leftover food when there's no need for the silverware on that Shabbos anymore - and one act of hachana - cleaning the plate by knocking off the leftovers into the trash, again since the plate will not be used again that Shabbos. Is this correct?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Do pretzels have to be pas yisroel?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If vegetables are grown using a fertilizer called "Chesapeake Blue", made of shells from Blue Crabs, would the vegetables be considered non-kosher or kosher?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Rabbi Frankel, Before I had toiveled a new non-stick cookie sheet, I put it on a kitchen shelf. Not knowing that he shouldn't use it, my son baked challah on it. What should I do with the cookie sheet? Thank you for answering my question.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hi Rabbi Frankel, Me and my husband had a question, and wanted to know if you could tell us what should be done in the following situation. In the previous apartment we rented, we put a hot pot in the kitchen sink which left marks in the sink (made of porcelain coating).  When the owners of the apartment took back the apartment they noticed this and told us that they wanted us to pay for the "damage."  They now want us to pay $500 for a brand new sink, are we obligated to pay for a brand new sink?   What does halacha dictate?  Thanks.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is there a halacha, or just a minhag, regarding the necessity of the davening leader of a minyan to wear tallis and tefflin during shacharit? If so, where would I find the proof text? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a question regarding those companies that may be owned by Jews. What happens when a company is open on Friday evenings after Shabbos already starts? Do you simply request that they close or do you request that they don't put the kashrus label on their product produced on Shabbos, or what exactly is done? Also, a similar question is – what happens if they continue working on Pesach and use chometz as part of their ingredients? What is your policy regarding them? Thanks a lot.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I purchased a pot from K-Mart (Martha Stewart brand), and it says that it was treated (or some other term) with "vegetable oil". I assume the vegetable oil was heated in the pot as part of the manufacturing process. I think the purpose is to give the pot a better cooking surface. Is this ok to use once toveled? Thanks.
  • Halacha Questions

  • If a timer would turn off in 10 minutes, am I allowed to pull out the pin (with my teeth so it won’t be a problem of muktza) so it will go off an hour later?
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  • Is hanging up a coat on top of a bathtub part of the gezairah of not hanging up wet clothing on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is it permissible to set up a pac n' play on Shabbos for use on Shabbos?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Shalom Uvracha, I was asked the following: A family bought 4 burial plots. Two were used for burying grandparents which for certain reasons, had to move their bodies after they were buried there. The family had to purchase two new burial plots to bury the grandparents and asked the funeral home from which they buried the original plots for reimbursement, since they were not able to use the original two plots that now were available to someone else. The funeral director told them that according to Jewish Law these two plots that were already used, could not be used in the future. Is this the Halacha? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hello, We bought a house recently which came with a GE range with warming drawer below. The last owners didn't keep kosher. The warming drawer looks like it's never been used but we want to kasher it. I'm pretty sure the temperature settings allow it to go above yad soledet but there is no self-clean function for the warming drawer. There is an insert in the drawer made of aluminum which could probably be kashered inside the self-cleaning oven or blowtorched. There is an electric element underneath the pull out drawer. We could probably blowtorch the drawer it safely however I am concerned with the "roof" of the drawer, that is, the part underneath the oven. That might be very difficult to access.

  • Question: I am wondering what is called kosher meat, what is called glatt meat, and what is called Bet Yosef meat. This specifically is my question: For Sephardim who follow the mechaber, isn’t glatt meat the same as Bet Yosef? Doesn’t glatt mean that the meat never had any sirchos, and is not meat that had sirchos removed? The meat that did have sirchos removed is kosher but cannot be called glatt. If so, aren’t glatt and Bet Yosef one and the same?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Can I market and sell a drink which is a mixture of fruit juice and grape juice? It would be marketed and sold to non-Jews.
  • Halacha Questions

  • If one's parent has died, is it permitted to buy new clothing in the first year?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a student with a refrigerator/freezer that signals with a beeping noise after the door of the refrigerator or freezer is left open for 60 seconds or after a certain temperature is reached. Is it permissible to open the refrigerator/freezer for less than 60 seconds, or is there an electronic timer that starts automatically when the door is open? She did call the manufacturer tech representative who seemed to tell her it could not be disabled. If there is such a problem, do you know if there is a way for an electrician to fix it? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I was told by someone that if a person want to try to wear tzitzis, once he puts it on, he has to wear it all the time. Is this the case, that if you put on tzitzis you have to wear them from that day onwards? The person wanted to try wearing tzitzis, but has not put on tzitzis yet. What is the halacha regarding this?
  • Halacha Questions

  • If a person does not know their Hebrew name they can be given a Hebrew name in Shul. My question is that we have all been given a Hebrew name at birth and this is the name that Hashem has given us. When we go to shamayim and we have been given another name in Shul because we don't know our Hebrew name do we take both names with us? Which name are we know by Hashem, when we get to shamayim. The name we were given by Hashem or the name we got in Shul. I hope this question makes sense.
  • Halacha Questions

  • [Regarding the answer to the previous question, I was asked:] I never understood why the result is different in a commercial case. It sounds to me like they are bending over backwards to be machmir. Being machmir here hurts commerce - for Jewish lenders and borrowers. The Torah prohibits charging someone a fee for the use of their money; it does not forbid asking a borrower to pay back exactly what he borrowed. It also does not always forbid charging someone for the use of any other asset besides money. For example, you can charge someone rent - even though that is really just a fee for using the landlord's asset - such as his car or his apartment. To "borrow" is the same as to "rent" - you are using someone else's asset. The difference is that when you borrow, you are renting for free. At the end of the rental, you are obligated to give back the rented item in the same condition in which you got it. We should therefore apply a Kal V'chomer, since a borrower does not pay to use the item, to conclude that a borrower can be required to at least return the same thing he borrowed (in the same condition). But the stronger argument I would make is more of an economic argument, and it goes as follows: All things have a floating value, including money. The value of money in relation to houses now is higher. The value of money in relation to wheat now is lower. The value of dollars in relation to shekels now is lower. Just as we can demand that a loan in shekels be repaid in shekels - even if shekels rose in value in relation to dollars - we can also demand (in a commercial case) that a loan in Cheerios be repaid in Cheerios - even if Cheerios rose in value in relation to dollars. Similarly, we can demand that if I lend someone my shares of stock in IBM (so that the borrower can, for example, cover a sale he made before he owned the stock), I can demand that he repay me by giving me back identical stock, even if the stock rose in value. What is really going on in these preceding examples is that the lender and borrower are agreeing that the borrower, not the lender, will take the risk of a fluctuating value in the item being loaned to him. The borrower is not, however, in any of these examples, agreeing to pay a fee for borrowing, which is the practice that is prohibited under the Torah. Let's take a look at another case: if I lend someone a tool and he breaks it (either it broke at a time when it was not being used for its intended purpose or, say, the terms of our contract made him liable in all events, even if it breaks when he used it for its intended purpose), the borrower can fulfill his obligation to me by simply giving me another tool in similar condition. Would we say that if the price of such a replacement tool in similar condition is higher now, he can't just give me a replacement tool? That sounds nuts. I'm a regular kinda guy. I just want to EAT cheerios. I lent you cheerios - give me back cheerios. But if I'm a grocery store and you're a grocery store. One day you have a run on cheerios so you call me to help you out. I say fine here's boxes of cheerios, replace them for me next week. The price goes up. I don't look at those cheerios as food. To me it's a "commodity" it's an item that represents cash that I can sell. I can see the difference between a business and a personal loan of a food item. I think there is merit to your questions. I don't know. I never really learned Ribbis. Ribbis is regarded as a "chok" - meaning it’s not readily understood by human justice. I like your example. It is a perfect example of lending an asset in a commercial setting. There is no rational reason to twist the Torah's chok to apply to that example so that if the Cheerios goes down in value, it is okay and the lender takes the loss but if Cheerios goes up, then the borrower cannot take the loss and the lender is stuck. The Torah simply does not say that. Pass my question to the fellow who responded to you to see if he answers.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Someone gave my wife two boxes of Cheerios before Pesach. They said that she should replace them after Pesach. Well - after Pesach the price went up a little. Is this a problem of ribbis? If not, would it be a problem if the Cheerios cost twice or three times as much as they used to? Shkoiyach.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hi- I have a question. I like to eat omega rich free range eggs. If you crack them one at a time, you are likely to find red spots especially in the yolk. If I boil them several at a time, can I eat them without knowing if those particular eggs have spots? Thanks.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I purchased some Purim cards this year and did not use them. Can I use them next year? It says on the card that tzedaka in the receiver's name will be given out on Purim day, but the tzedaka was already given out on this Purim. Also, I have an old Rabbi Meir Baal Haness pushka which has some money in it. I received a mailing from a different Rabbi Meir Baal Haness institution. May I send the money from the pushka to the 2nd institution? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • About three years ago a member of my community lost a watch (very expensive, about $4,000, insured). He looked for it thoroughly and in good faith, and could not find it. He filed an insurance claim, and the insurance company paid for a replacement of the same watch, which he replaced. Now, years later, while cleaning for Pesach, he found the watch. He does not have $4,000 available to return to the insurance company. He would be happy to give the watch back if necessary, but it's not clear if the insurance company would want it or accept it. What is the correct action?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I found an expensive watch in shul a month ago and put up a sign, but no one called. What am I supposed to do with it - wait for Eliyahu Hanavi? Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hello, I have a few questions for the Rabbi. Thanks in advance for taking time to read this. 1. A few months ago, a relative of mine was very sick. I told my friend his name and she added it to the tehillim list. Boruch Hashem he recovered from the very serious state he was in!!! He is a living miracle!! The other day I mentioned this belated news to my friend, and she asked me if she should still keep his name on the list or is he 100% better. So my question is, Boruch Hashem he is doing much better, but I don't know if I can say that there is nothing at all wrong. Is it proper to say his name in a yehi ratzon if he is b"h not seriously sick but some things are still bothering him? 2. My second question is kind of related to the first: My friends are bombarded with emails and text messages about various cholim. Sometimes the information is not completely accurate and a few times the names going around were the wrong ones or misspelled. Of course it is very difficult to stay updated on the situation. I guess my question is where do you draw the line? Do you say tehillim for every single name that is forwarded or texted to you? Do you say it every day, in shmone esrei, or just once? Is saying a yehi ratzon for twenty cholim you don't really know effective? I know they used to only say for the cholim in the shul because they could have more kavanah if it is for people they know. Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate this. Kol Tov.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Is a person allowed to take guitar lessons during sefira?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I would like to grow grape plants this May. The catalogue says that the plants are two years old when shipped. How long do I have to wait to eat the grapes? If I can't eat them, can I give them to a non-Jew? I have also ordered blueberry bushes. Do you also have to wait three years for blueberries? Thanks for your help.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I work in a company with a boss who is very removed from yiddishkeit but is Jewish. He goes out of his way to buy kosher Dunkin Donuts from the kosher store. He drives by the store on his way to work. Is he believed? I would like to eat the donuts because I like donuts, and to appreciate the effort. If he is not believed, do you have an eitza to make it work? Thanks.
  • Halacha Questions

  • My head tefillin accidentally fell out of its bag and landed on the floor. It was fully encased in its plastic enclosure, with the straps wound tightly. I had accidentally not closed the zipper. Do I need to fast for one day? Please send details. Thank you.
  • Halacha Questions

  • We have a baby spoon which changes back and forth in color when it gets hot and cold (the color disappears exposing a white background when the food is too hot). Who allows one to use this on Shabbos? It is so that the baby does not get burnt on hot soup.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I have a holly tree in my back yard that I would like to cut down. I found this information about holly berries: “It should be noted that holly berries are potentially dangerous if eaten. Both the fruit and leaves contain a mixture of the caffeine-like alkaloid theobromine, caffeine itself, and glycosides. (Theobromine is also found in chocolate and cocoa.) In small doses these will stimulate the nervous system but in large doses they act as a depressant. North American native peoples of the southeast used the yaupon tree (Ilex vomitoria) to make a hallucinogenic beverage. The species name, "vomitoria", comes from the fact that vomiting was a common side effect of its consumption. In Europe, holly was once used in the treatment of such diverse problems as colic, fever, rheumatism, smallpox, and gout. "An old English remedy for worms prescribes that a holly leaf and the top of a sage plant be placed in water; when the patient yawns over the dish, the worms drop out of his mouth." Consumption of holly berries can cause vomiting and diarrhea, with drowsiness, coma, and death occurring in severe cases (which fortunately rarely happens). Twenty berries may constitute a lethal dose.” Can I cut down the tree?
  • Halacha Questions

  • “Question - Hi, we are planning on going to the seder by someone who uses Kitniyot oils, I know In America many kashrut organizations are machmir on even the oils from Kitniyot , but I have heard that there is is a difference of opinion especially here in Israel. Someone said it is something people are starting to be machmir on. Now that I'm in Israel I would like to know what the general minhag is here. Can we eat there? (Yes we are all Ashkenaz). Toda Rabba.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Your website says no canola oil on Pesach, but here this Rabbi says it’s allowed?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Hello, I have a question regarding the purchase of products from a Weight Watcher’s center where they sell their products that are OU certified, however I was unsure whether they would be considered a problem if the chametz was not sold. I am aware that my local supermarkets carry some of these products and was told by my local Rabbi that the local supermarket chains are fine to buy from, but did not know about purchasing different items directly from a Weight Watcher’s center, and was wondering if you could help me out. Thank you very much.
  • Halacha Questions

  • Likvod Harav, 1) I will be moving into a new apartment shortly before Pesach. However, the lease of my old apt is through the end of Pesach (April). If I move out and give in the keys before Pesach, is it still considered my property? Must I clean it for Pesach/sell it to non-Jew? 2) When I move into my new apt I will be replacing a girl that just left. By moving in, do I acquire the chametz she left behind? Can I assume she cleaned out her chametz and that I only have to worry about chametz I bring into the apt? Thank you so much.
  • Halacha Questions

  • A sh'ailah: If I will be leaving my house two days before Pesach and spending the entire Pesach at a hotel, but I will be allowing a family to use my house during Pesach, am I obligated to clean and kasher the entire house for Pesach?
  • Halacha Questions

  • Assuming that "sprouts" from mung beans and alfalfa seeds are kitniyos, can one cut off the bean at the bottom of the sprouted "sprout" and eat the white or green plant-like sprout on its own? It would seem that the sprout having no flavor or resemblance to the seed, nor being a seed "byproduct", with no capability of being made into flour or being stored with grains, would have no relevance to the gezera of kitnyous. What do the rabannim at Star-K think of this? Thank you very much.
  • Halacha Questions

  • L'kovod HaRav Shlita, Is there any requirement to sell chometz which is absorbed in a keli (even ben yomo)? (No mamushus, only blios).
  • Halacha Questions

  • Q: If someone eats salmon in a trief restaurant double wrapped in foil and cooked by a goy, are these issues to be concerned about? 1. Is it really salmon? 2. Was the knife that cut it clean? 3. Bishul Akum? 4. Maris Ayin? 5. Was anything added to the salmon? 6. Worms in the salmon?
  • Halacha Questions

  • I recently purchased a SodaStream machine, and I would like to know if I can use the same machine for Pesach as during the year. I assume I would definitely need separate bottles. I have not yet begun using it. If yes, is there anything specific I would need to do to use it on Pesach after using it during the year? Also, my understanding is that these machines can be used on Shabbos, but I wanted to confirm this.
  • Halacha Questions

  • As is common in many commercial restrooms, the toilet basin has a soap pad attached to it, to help keep the basin clean. I wanted to know if flushing such a toilet posed any Halachic concern on Shabbos, as the pad tends to get smoothed, and engraved writing on the pad becomes erased over time.
  • Halacha Questions

  • I received an email where the name G-d is spelled in full. Can I delete the message? Does that name in English carry any concern in regard to mechika? Is mechika physical or even virtual? What I am reading on the internet is not conclusive. I have an electronic siddur application that I often use on the road to daven mincha. For the ineffable Name it uses a Hey with an apostrophe. For any other name it seems to spell it out. The application is called siddur ashkenaz. Was it a chumra or they did this because there is an issue with erasure even if the letters are not made up one continuously created letter but of hundreds of pixels?
  • Halacha Questions

  • What do the Poskim have to say about snow removal on Shabbos?

  • My grandmother passed away on April 9th 2015/ 20 Nissan. Would you be able to tell me when my father's year of aveilus is up? When would he finish saying kaddish?

  • I have a container of regular salt that contains an anti-caking agent. Does the Star-K know if this anti-caking agent has already been cooked, such that the salt could be put onto hot foods in a kli sheini on Shabbos without concern.

  • Shalom. It was recommended that I ask Rabbi Heineman my question. We have Caesarstone countertops in our kitchen & I was wondering if they can be kashered for Pesach the same way as granite. Here is a link to the manufacturing process:- http://www.caesarstoneus.com/en/Pages/Process.aspx This quote came from their website too:- "Caesarstone is resistant to most stains caused by fruit juices, liquid food coloring, coffee, tea, wine, grapes and soft drinks. Caesarstone's non-porous nature provides maximum resistance to staining and fully eliminates the need for any sealing." Thanking you in advance.
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