Sunday, April 13, 2014

I davened already

Hi,

One who is in a room with a minyan may not speak when the chazan is repeating the amidah (chazarat hashatz), even if he is not davening with that minyan.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:83)

חג כשר ושמח,
Mordechai

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Parenting Halachah for Pesach

Hi,

I came across this the other day, from Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich, and I feel it suits a Halachah blog:




 חג כשר ושמח,
Mordechai

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stepping sideways out of the amidah

Hi,

One who recites the amidah in a narrow space, such that there is no room to take three steps backward, may take the steps at an angle. Some even accept stepping laterally, where that is the only option.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:82:1)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Amen to a blessing in the silent amidah

Hi,

One who overhears someone's blessing recited during the silent amidah should respond 'Amen'. However, note that the rule for Amen, in general, is that one should not say 'Amen' louder than the blessing itself was said. [Also, note that one should avoid distracting the person reciting the amidah.]

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:81)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dipping koreich in charoset

Hi,

The Shulchan Aruch says to immerse the maror in charoses for a brief moment, and then shake off the charoses. Should I do this for the maror eaten in Koreich, too?

The consensus of authorities is that the reasons we dip maror initially do not apply for Koreich. One reason is to commemorate the mortar of Egypt, but a single commemoration suffices. Another reason is to neutralize a toxin in maror, but the matzah of Koreich serves that purpose.

Nonetheless, some dip the maror of Koreich in charoses, because the goal of koreich is to commemorate Hillel's Koreich. Hillel would have used charoses for Koreich, because this was his sole consumption of maror. Some suggest that those who dip the maror of Koreich in charoses should take care not to dip the matzah; matzah symbolizes our journey to freedom, and it does not mix with the mortar of Egypt.

Each family should follow its custom; in the absence of personal custom, people should follow communal practice.


(Hagahos Maymoniyos Hilchos Chametz uMatzah 8:6; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 475:1; Pri Chadash Orach Chaim 475:1; Magen Avraham 475:7; Shulchan Aruch haRav 475:19; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 475:8; Mishneh Berurah 475:14, 17-19)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tithing Israeli produce

May I purchase Israeli produce, if I am not sure whether terumah and maaser have been separated?

One certainly should support Israeli agriculture. We can manage doubt about tithing with the following procedure, which should be followed for each species of produce separately:

Keeping all of the produce to be tithed in one place, we separate a little more than 1% of the produce and hold it apart. [We do not recite a berachah unless we are certain that the produce has not been tithed already.] We declare:
  • The northern portion of the produce I am holding, beyond the 1% of the total produce, is terumah for the total produce.
  • The produce I am holding that consitutes 1% of the total produce is maaser rishon, along with nine equal parts within the upper portion of the rest of the produce.
  • The produce I am holding that constitutes 1% of the total produce is terumat maaser.

We put aside the separated produce to deteriorate, because we are currently unable to give it to a kohen to consume in purity. Once it is inedible, we may dispose of it in our compost bins.

This year is the sixth year of the shemitah cycle, and so we must also separate 10% as maaser ani and give it to a needy person. There are several ways to do this, but one method is this: Designate 10% of the remaining produce as maaser ani, and then declare that it is redeemed for an equivalent sum of money, which you may then give to a needy Jew. However, one may keep the maaser ani for himself; unless someone can prove that the produce was never tithed, there is no obligation to distribute maaser ani.

Please note:




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Yaaleh v'Yavo in Shma Koleinu

Hi,

One who misunderstands the amidah instructions in the siddur, and recites the special insertion of Yaaleh v'Yavo in the blessing of Shema Koleinu, should still recite Yaaleh v'Yavo in its proper place. However, if he doesn't say it again, he has still fulfilled his obligation and he need not repeat the amidah.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:78:3)

Have a great day,
Mordechai