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Parshas Tzav: Rabbeinu Bachaye - Covering the Shame of Sinners

Parshas Tzav: Rabbeinu Bachaye - Covering the Shame of Sinners

Parshas Tzav: Rabbeinu Bachaye - Covering the Shame of Sinners

Parshas Pinchas: Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Where did Zimri the Great Tzaddik go Wrong?

Showering the Night Before a Taanis
Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
  A r c h i v e s
Halacha - Tehilim Group
Submitted by Sarah  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: I would like to run a Tehilim group for a sick friend, however I've never done it before. Can I ask you a few questions? 1) How long should the tehilim group run for? Is there a specified length, like 30 days or 45 days or as long as needed? 2) Does each participant have to recite a "bli neder" that he/she is partaking this mitzvah to complete however many chapters each day? 3) Are we required to have at least two participants sharing a perek/perakim to ensure that the entire sefer is completed? 4) Do we need to complete an entire sefer each day? If we don't complete a sefer a day, is it still worthwhile? 5) What's the best time of day to recite tehilim? During the day, evening, or midnight? Any other important information that we need to know to run a successful Tehilim group? Thank you very much, Sarah

Congratulations on this noble undertaking to help your friend.


1) Ideally, Tehillim should be recited as long as needed. There are those who recommend 40 days, commemorating the 40 days Moshe Rabbeinu davened for atonement on the Chet HaEgel. 2) It is not necessary to say "Bli Neder" before each time Tehillim is recited. However, if one commits to do so on a regular basis the stipulation should be added that it is not intended as an oath. 3) No, any amount is significant. 4) It is better not to recite Tehillim from sunset to midnight. However, if this is the most convenient time, it is also permitted. 5) I'm not sure I fully understand this question, but I don't see any requirement to sign up two people for the same Kapital. 6) It should be said as soon as you remember.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

posted:2012-06-12 21:45:04  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - bracha on vitamins
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: The Shulchan Aruch in siman204 says that a food taken as a medicine that tastes good, requires a bracha. Therefore, if one has a sore throat and drinks a hot tea, he would be obligated to make a bracha. What is that status of something thatis only taken for health benefits but also has a pleasant taste? For example: vitamins. Noone takes vitamins when they are hungry. It is not a food. but it doesn't taste bad. Would it require a bracha? or since it is not food, no bracha is needed? Thank you
Answer: A flavored chewable vitamin requires a Beracha.
posted:2012-05-31 11:52:25  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Halachic Time
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: 1.what is the earliest time for aravit and havdala (without candlle) on motzey shabos: gaon, baal taniya or 3 small stars? 2.same question for motzey 1st yom tov in chutz laaretz. 3.what is earliest time for cooking for 2nd yom tov after 1st y.t.? Problem is that in our place its very late times and it is great navka mina! Thank You!

All three depend upon various opinions and interpretations of the Rishonim and later Poskim.

The Gemara declares that there is a period of time named "Bein HaShmashos" which is doubtful whether it is still day or already night. Sometime during this time period is the transition between them, but is impossible to determine precisely. Therefore, this entire time span is considered questionable, and one must be Machmir to consider it day as well as Machmir to suspect it is night. This time period is described as lasting the amount of time it takes to walk ¾ of a Mil, between 13.5 and 18 minutes.

There are two primary opinions when Bein HaShmashos occurs, the Gaonim place it immediately following observed sunset while Rabbeinu Tam describes it a s immediately preceding the appearance of 3 medium stars 72 minutes after sunset.

According to the Gaonim, this span is relatively simple to pinpoint, from astronomical sunset until 13.5-18 minutes later is questionably day/night, and one cannot do Melacha then neither Friday evening nor Saturday. According to this view, 18 minutes following sunset on Motzei Shabbos one could consider it certainly night with all that entails, the only remaining issue is determining the precise time of Halachic sunset, which is especially complicated when hill block out the sun before it sinks below the horizon. However, this is generally a matter of a few minutes, and 25 minutes after astronomical sunset would be safe to do Havdala etc.

However, Rabbeinu Tam's opinion is much more complicated, as it has no clear starting point. Furthermore, the two reference points given of 72 minutes and 3 medium stars to not necessarily coincide, complicating matters further. Additionally, some Poskim calculate the 72 minutes typically while others utilize Zmanios, meaning 1.2 times 1/12 of the time between sunrise and sunset. Others calculate the sun's relative position below the horizon (and there too, some use 12° others 16° and yet others 20°). According to the most extreme calculation of this opinion, nightfall in the summer could be close to 3 hours following sunset.

Despite its complexities, this opinion cannot easily be dismissed. Many, if not an absolute majority of early Poskim support Rabbeinu Tam's position as the accepted one. This also fluctuates significantly between various locales; the custom in Hungary was to follow Rabbeinu Tam completely, while in Lithuania many accepted the Vilna Gaon's endorsement of the Gaonim's view. While we certainly would not suggest relying on Rabbeinu Tam's ruling to be lenient Friday night, many Poskim including the Mishna Berura exhort people to be Machmir for it, at least when the issue is a potential Issur d'Oraisa such as Melacha on Motzei Shabbos.

While it is difficult to give a conclusive ruling on an issue that has so many prominent Poskim endorsing such a wide variety of positions, I would suggest that while generally it is ideal to wait at least 72 minutes before doing Melacha on Motzei Shabbos or any other potential Biblical transgression, as this is the opinion of the both the Mechaber and Rema in the  Shulchan Aruch, in case of need one could rely on the following moderate consensus position.

Both HaRav Moshe Feinstein zatzal and the Chazon Ish zatzal understood the primary factor according to Rabbeinu Tam as being the appearance of 3 medium stars. Consequently, Reb Moshe calculated the time of Havdala in New York as being 50 minutes following sunset, and the Chazon Ish reportedly generally observed the required stars approximately 40 minutes after sunset in Bnei Brak. He also proposed that if one can see 10 stars of any size, we can assume that at least 3 of them are medium.

While I am not familiar with the speed of dusk in St. Petersburg, this is something you should be able to easily observe yourself. Once three medium stars are visible, I believe you could safely rely on the combination of the Gaonim who consider Shabbos long passed, together with the Gedolei HaPoskim who opine that Rabbeinu Tam would already agree.

posted:2012-05-29 08:47:22  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - KAPOROS
Submitted by STEWART Karpinos  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

The Minhag of Kaporos dates back at least 1500 years, and is mentioned by the Gaonim in their Responsa as symbolically replacing a Korban to atone for our sins. Additionally, the Ari zal was a strong proponent of this custom for Kabbalistic reasons. Nevertheless, it was not without controversy, and the Ramban and Rashba forbade it.

The Gaonim discuss the rationale for specifically using a chicken, and one reason given it that the Aramaic word for chicken "Gever" is similar to the word "man", strengthening the parallel that one should associate himself with the slaughtered fowl and picture himself deserving of such a fate. Hopefully, this is a powerful tool to motivate one to Teshuva.

posted:2012-05-27 14:23:51  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Selling on Shabbat
Submitted by Benjamin  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: I make handmade ceramics. I want to sell the plate, cups, mugs, bowls, and jars that I make, but I can't sell them at craft fairs in my neighborhood because they're always on Shabbat. I know a non-Jew who sells her ceramics at the craft fairs, and she offered to put some of my work in her display and sell it for me. If I agree to this, is it considered the same as working on Shabbat?

At first glance it might appear that this is permitted, provided you do not explicitly specify that your friend should sell them on Shabbos. The Shulchan Aruch OC 245:5 states "It is permitted for a Jew to give merchandise to a gentile to sell for him, as long as he does not instruct him to sell it on Shabbos."

However, the Mishna Berura there §21 elaborates that if the market day in that locale is on Shabbos, it is understood that the intent is to sell it specifically on Shabbos, and it is equivalent to an explicit instruction, which is forbidden. From your question, it would appear that this is precisely analogous to your situation.

One possible solution would be to sell the pottery to your friend prior to Shabbos. Then, all the items she would be selling are her own, which is permitted. The Poskim (Minchas Yitzchok 3:29) even permit this when the non-Jew is selling it on commission and can return the unsold objects after Shabbos. Since at the time the merchandise belonged to a gentile and they would bear responsibility for any loss or damage, it is not considered selling Jewish property on Shabbos.

posted:2012-05-20 16:58:33  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Shabbos
Submitted by Yehoshua  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Is someone allowed to put food in an oven (or on a platta) erev Shabbos not cooked with a timer in order that it should turn on at the end of Shabbos and be ready to eat only on motzei Shabbos (not on Shabbos itself.)
Answer: No. One may not cook on Shabbos, even with a timer.
posted:2012-05-08 06:59:09  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Ribis
Submitted by Yehoshua  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Someone took a loan from a gemach for a large amount of money and made up to pay back 0 a month. They now need to take another loan and the same gemach has agreed to give it on condition that they begin to pay back 00 a month on the previous loan. Only if they do that will they be given this new loan that will begin payment at a different time. Is there any problem of ribis in this case? Any sources please cite. Thank you
Answer: The Sha'arei Deah permits this.
posted:2012-05-07 15:05:31  (0) comments   email to a friend

Submitted by RAIZY  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Answer: While the general Minhag is to avoid Kashering items from Milchig to Fleishig or the reverse, there are Poskim who are lenient when the objects have not been used for at least 12 months. One may rely upon these opinions.
posted:2012-04-29 16:56:56  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Asher Yotsar, Al Netilas Yadayim
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: If waking up during the night for pressing bathroom call what are the Halochos as far as doing "Negel vasser" if at all as one does intend, hopefully, to go back to sleep. In other words, does one say Al Netilas Yadayim before the bathroom call even if difficult to hold back or not? Does one just say Asher Yotsar at the end and go back to sleep without Al Netilas Yadayim? In other words does the intent to go back to sleep nulify the nedd for "Negel Vasser"? Also when eventually finally getting up in the morning with an urgent bathroom call, what order does one say these two Brochos? Doe sone do "Negel Vasser" with Al Netilas Yadayim regardless of the bathroom call urgency or is there another order of priority. Thank you
Answer: Before Alos HaShachar it is not necessary to wash at all. Any time you intend to go back to sleep, you should not say a Beracha on washing.
posted:2012-04-29 02:06:07  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Aliya
Submitted by Aharon  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Hi, Is a man allowed to divorce his wife if he wants to make aliya and she doesn't? Does he have a right to take the children with him?

This is a sensitive issue which can depend upon numerous individual factors. It would be best to have both sides sit down together with a Rav who knows them personally.

posted:2012-04-09 08:35:57  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Matzah Farfel in Soup
Submitted by AA  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: What is the bracha on chicken soup with matza farfel (crushed matza) in it? Is it mezonot of hamotzi?

Generally, small pieces of bread or Matza that are cooked in liquid lose their Hamotzi status ad would become Mezonos, as the new Bishul undoes the original baking. However, here the bowl is merely a Kli Sheini and does not create Bishul at all. Therefore, as long as the pieces have not completely lost their original appearance and dissolved into a shapeless mush, they retain the initial Beracha of Hamotzi. See Mishna Berura 168§52.

posted:2012-04-08 22:50:23  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Pesach - non Pesach margarine
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: We just realized that the margarine block that we used in some of the food was just kosher, but bot kosher for Pesach. What is the status of the food, the oven, the utensils, etc.? Is this mararine chometz or kitniyos? What should we do?

If it had no Pesach supervision at all, I have no way of knowing what might be in there and what the machinery may have been used for previously. If so, the food must be disposed of and the utensils Kashered. There are grounds to be lenient on the oven.

However, it is likely that even non-Pesach margarine is only Kitnoyos, which is significantly more lenient.  I have no way of saying with certainty. I just called a friend with extensive Kashrus experience, and he too could not say with 100% certainty that no Chametz could be present.

posted:2012-04-05 21:40:04  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - basar bchalav
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Hello, A milchig non stick frying pan was put accidentally inside the fleishig oven. The frying pan was clean and last used to fry parve pancakes. I discovered the frying pan as I was about to take out parve food from the hot oven. Do I have to throw the frying pan? is now treif? Thanks Leah

That will depend on the cleanliness of the oven. If the oven was clean and the milchig pan did not come into direct contact with any fleishig residue, the pan remains Kosher. However, if the oven racks were caked with presumably fleishig grease, the pan must be considered treif.

Generally speaking, something that became treif in an oven would require Libun Chamur, heating to the point of glowing red-hot, which is generally not practical to do. Here where the pan is Teflon coated, this is completely impossible and the pan must be disposed of, if the oven was dirty.

posted:2012-04-04 20:32:13  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - chometz hair spray before pesach
Submitted by Etah  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Can I use a chometz (it contains denatured alcohol) hair spray on a shaitel before pesach that I will wear on pesach?

Yes. It is not edible and is not coming into contact with food.

posted:2012-04-03 10:08:37  (0) comments   email to a friend

Halacha - Hashem's name on a digital screen
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: I have heard b'shem R' Eliashiv shlita that you should be machmir when it comes to erasing Hashem's name on a computer screen. R' Wosner shlita writes that min hatorah it's muttar but you should be choshesh to a machlokes rishonim when you write the shem Hashem shelo lishmah and therefore it should only be done bshaas hadchak. R' Shternbuch shlita writes that it's muttar but if you're machmir then tavoh alecha bracha. I don't understand how you can open and close programs like hebrewbooks.org and otzar hachochma. Also, how would it be muttar to write on a computer on chol hamoed if writing on a screen is considered a ksav? I am currently trying to researcg this shaila This shaila came up by taking a picture with a digital camera of a wall that had a Hashem's name on it. Are you allowed to crop or erase the picture? Most poskim seem to hold that it's not a problem, but according to the above mentioned poskim how would seforim databases and writing on a computer on chol hamoed (and in the case of the camera) be muttar? Thank you very much

I recently had the opportunity to discuss this subject with the author of an authoritative Sefer on the topic.

First of all, the accepted Halacha does not follow their view and everyone who uses these programs is relying on the lenient opinions.

Furthermore, he questions their understanding of the mechanics of a computer monitor, as the screen refreshes itself many times a second. Consequently, one is not really erasing, merely preventing the Name from being re-drawn.

posted:2012-03-30 16:18:46  (0) comments   email to a friend

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