Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lighting Shabbat candles when invited out for dinner on Friday night

Hi,

When a family is invited out for dinner on Friday night, they should light Shabbat candles in the place where they are sleeping, both because of the value of having light where one sleeps, and because the host family is already lighting in the place where dinner takes place. This is true even when they will not return home in time to use the light of the Shabbat candles.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:183)

Have a great day,

Mordechai

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putting on a blech on Shabbat

Hi,

One who forgot to put the blech on a flame before Shabbat may put it in place on Shabbat, if the flame is so low that it will not heat up the blech to the point of making it like a coal. Heating the blech in this way would be an act of quasi-cooking, according to some authorities. If the flame is that high, one should not do this, other than in case of need.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:185)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Preparing for Shabbat

Hi,

One should engage in whatever physical work is needed to prepare for Shabbat; this is considered part of honouring the day, and the more one does, the better. Even though this will take away time from other mitzvot, including Torah study, it is performance of a mitzvah and so it has priority.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:181)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Monday, October 27, 2014

After the maariv amidah

Hi,

After the amidah at the evening maariv service, one should wait until the chazan reaches Titkabel in kaddish before taking three steps forward. However, if this would involve a long wait then one may step forward after waiting the time it takes to walk four amot (about seven feet).

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:176)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The odd status of "Baruch HaShem l'Olam" at maariv

Hi,

As part of the weekday maariv service in many communities outside of Israel, a special blessing which begins "Baruch HaShem l'Olam" precedes the amidah. The blessing is composed of a series of biblical verses, followed by a paragraph which is a blessing. Are the opening verses considered part of the blessing, or are they independent? One practical distinction is in a situation in which one is reciting the verses and then one hears someone recite a blessing; if they are independent verses, then one may answer 'Amen' between the verses. If they are part of the blessing, one may not answer 'Amen'.

Per Rivivot Ephraim 1:175:2, the verses are viewed only as verses, and therefore one may answer 'Amen' between the verses.

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Missed a kaddish at maariv

Hi,

In the maariv evening service, the chazan is supposed to recite a half-kaddish before beginning the amidah. However, this half-kaddish is not a firm requirement. Therefore, if the chazan forgets the half-kaddish and begins the amidah, there is no corrective; the service proceeds from there.

(Rivivot Ephraim 1:175:1)

Have a great day,
Mordechai

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hecha Kedushah, expanded

Hi,

Expanding on this recent Jewish Law post:

What is hecha kedushah, and how is it conducted?

When time is short, such as at minchah when sunset is near, a minyan may abbreviate the davening by having the chazan recite the amidah first, through kedushah, and then having the community complete the amidah silently. This is called hecha kedushah, a Yiddish term meaning "loud kedushah".

There are multiple views regarding how the pre-kedushah portion of the amidah should be recited. The two most common practices in contemporary Ashkenazi minyanim are:
  • The minyan recites the first three berachot silently along with the chazan's loud recitation, responds to kedushah, and then concludes the amidah silently.
  • The minyan listens to the first three berachot and responds "Amen", responds to kedushah, and then recites the entire amidah, from the beginning, silently.

Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik practiced the former approach, but the latter approach seems to be the more widespread practice.


(Shibolei haLeket 47; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 124:2, 232:1; Pri Megadim Orach Chaim 124:Eishel Avraham 5; Kaf haChaim Orach Chaim 124:2 and footnote 10; Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 232:3-6; Mishneh Berurah 124:8, 232:4; Rivivot Ephraim 1:166:2; Az Nidbiru 12:23)

Have a great day,
Mordechai