Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kiddush Levanah before Yom Kippur?

Hi,

Some say that one should not recite Kiddush Levanah during the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, the days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, because those are days of fear and worry regarding the outcome of one's Judgment, and Kiddush Levanah is to be recited in joy.

Others disagree, because we want to accumulate mitzvot and because we are concerned that clouds might cause a person to miss Kiddush Levanah altogether because of the long delay.

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 426:2; Magen Avraham 426:5; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 426:8; Mishneh Berurah 426:9)

כתיבה וחתימה טובה,
Mordechai

Monday, September 22, 2014

Preparing an eruv tavshilin for others

Hi,

Although the purpose of the Eruv Tavshilin is for each household to individually begin its Shabbat preparations before the preceding Yom Tov, one may actually create an Eruv Tavshilin on behalf of others who have forgotten to create their own.

When one does this, one includes an additional phrase in the Eruv dedication, stating that the Eruv is "for us and for all Jews living in this town," as noted in the Artscroll Siddur pg. 654. One must also give the Eruv Tavshilin to someone else to acquire on behalf of those other people.

However, those who forget to create their own Eruv Tavshilin may only rely on this on rare occasion; because this method really defeats the purpose of Eruv Tavshilin, one may not regularly rely on others' Eruvei Tavshilin.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 527:7; Mishneh Berurah 527:22)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Eruv Tavshilin as a guest

Hi,

First, a personal request: I would like to take a moment to ask everyone receiving this email/RSS feed for mechilah (forgiveness) for anything hurtful or offensive I wrote, or should have written and did not, in the past year. I know that people's sensitivities are varied, but I am not always as careful as I could be. If there was anything at all, please do let me know. I can grow by learning from my mistakes.

I will be a guest in someone else's home during the upcoming Yom Tov and Shabbos, and they will prepare meals for everyone in the home. Should I make my own eruv tavshilin, or may I rely on their eruv tavshilin?

The rule is that if someone does not prepare an eruv tavshilin, then others may not cook on Yom Tov for his Shabbos meal. However, those who are expected to eat their meals at another person's table are automatically included in the host's eruv tavshilin.

There are those who are strict and create their own eruv tavshilin, particularly if they will be lighting Shabbos candles in their own space. However, because the obligation is uncertain, they do not recite a berachah.

(Biur Halachah Orach Chaim 527:19 mi, Piskei Teshuvos 527:17)

כתיבה וחתימה טובה,
Mordechai

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reciting Selichot alone

Hi,

What changes should I make in Selichos if I say them without a minyan?

We recite Selichos in the days leading up to Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, as well as on fast days. One may recite these prayers in private, although prayer in a group is always preferable.

One who prays alone should omit the Aramaic portions. One should also skip the portions of Selichos which list the 13 attributes of Divine mercy, but many authorities rule that one may recite them with the notes of the trop, as though reading a verse from the Torah rather than a prayer.

On a separate note: One who recites Selichos after sunrise should alter the wording of those lines which claim that he is reciting Selichos "at night".

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 565:5; Mishneh Berurah 565:12, 581:4; Kaf haChaim 581:26; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 581:4, 13; Yabia Omer 1:Orach Chaim 35; Yalkut Yosef 581:14)


Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When do I write a prozbul?

Hi,

Do all of my loans become void this Rosh haShanah, when the shemitah year begins?

The Torah states that we should allow loans to go unclaimed every seven years, with the shemitah year. We are instructed to annul these debts, and not to pursue their collection. There is some debate regarding the applicability of these laws in a time when the laws of yovel do not apply, but the general consensus is that they apply at least rabbinically, and perhaps biblically.

Loans are nullified at Rosh haShanah at the end of the shemitah year, not at its beginning. Also, only loans that were due for collection before that Rosh haShanah are cancelled; loans that are due later are not cancelled.

The prozbul document, formalized by Hillel, enables loans to survive shemitah. Ideally, a prozbul should be drafted before the shemitah year begins, but it may also be prepared during the shemitah year.

(Devarim 15:1-3; Gittin 36a-b; Arachin 28b; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Shemitah 9:1-4; Rosh to Gittin 4:18-20; Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 67:30-31; Shulchan Aruch haRav Choshen Mishpat Halvaah 36; Aruch haShulchan Choshen Mishpat 67:2, 10)


Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Saying kaddish at multiple minyanim

Hi,

A mourner who attends an early minyan, and recites kaddish there, is not obligated to recite it again were he to be present at a later minyan. However, if people there would not realize why he was silent, and would take it as laxity regarding kaddish, then he should recite kaddish at the later minyan as well.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:164:2)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, September 15, 2014

Birkat haMazon or Minchah?

Hi,

We are taught that one may recite the birkat hamazon blessing after meals only up to 72 minutes after the conclusion of a meal. What if the latest time to recite minchah is arriving, but by the end of minchah the 72 minutes would elapse and he would lose the chance to recite birkat hamazon?

Ideally, one should eat a little more and so extend the 72 minutes. Where that is not possible, one should recite birkat hamazon. First, birkat hamazon is a biblical obligation [if the meal was to the point of satiation - MT]. Second, one who is unable to recite minchah due to circumstances beyond his control is then allowed to recite maariv twice, as a make-up.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:162)

Have a great day,
Mordechai