Yom Kippur (Assorted Halachos)

Kapparos

1) It is customary to perform the ritual of kapparos in preparation for YomKippur. The custom consists of taking a chicken and gently passing it over one’s head three times while reciting the appropriate text. The fowl is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic procedure and its monetary worth given to the poor, or, as is more popular today, the chicken itself is donated to a charitable cause. We ask of Hashem that if we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity. (Rama 605)

2) A male takes a rooster while a female uses a hen. The Rama rules that a pregnant woman should perform kapparos with two chickens, a hen and a rooster. The rooster in case her baby is a boy and the hen in case it’s a girl. If the baby is a girl, the one hen is sufficient for both the mother and the daughter. However, according to the Ariz”l a pregnant woman should perform kapparos with three chickens, two hens and a rooster. One hen for herself, and the other hen and rooster for the unborn child (of undetermined gender). If taking three chickens is too expensive, she can rely on the Rama and take a hen and a rooster.
3) Harav Meir Brandesdorfer zt”l and Harav Yitzchak Weiss zt”l maintain that a woman who follows the Ari z”l and knows through the use of a sonogram that she is carrying twins should take five chickens, three hens and two roosters. (See Shu”t Koneh Bosem 2:20)
4) Harav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a (Netai Gavriel Y.K. page 88) writes that if the pregnancy is not yet forty days old, she need not take any extra chickens for the fetus.

5) Harav Zinner shlit”a adds that the pregnant woman need not take the multiple chickens at once. Rather, she can perform the ritual one chicken at a time.
Eating Erev Yom Kippur
1) There is a biblical mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. (S.A. 604:1) The Rosh (Yoma 88) explains that the reason for the mitzvah was that Hashem wanted us to eat on Erev Yom Kippur in order for it to be easier to eat on Yom Kippur.

2) There is a discussion amongst the poskim whether there is a mitzvah to eat the night before Yom Kippur or only during the day on Erev YomKippur. (See Magen Avraham, 604:1 citing Shlah, Gra, and Aishel Avraham Botchetch) Most authorities maintain that the main mitzvah begins the morning of Erev Yom Kippur. (See Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim Erev Yom Kippur)
3) There is a discussion amongst the poskim whether women are obligated in this mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. (See Rav Akiva Eiger Shu”t 16 and Chochmas Shlomo 604) Most authorities maintain that women are obligated to eat. (See Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim Erev Yom Kippur)
4) One may discuss on Yom Kippur (not during davening) what he plans on eating after Yom Kippur. Even though one may not discuss on Shabbos what prohibited actions he plans on doing after Shabbos, discussing eating on Yom Kippur is not considered prohibited speech. (Halichos Shlomo Yom Kippur)
Taking Medication
1) The poskim permit taking a bitter tasting pill on Yom Kippur for an incapacitated person.(See Igros Moshe 3:91, Shearim Metzuyanim B’Halacha 133:9, Rav Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach zt”l in Shulchan Shlomo Refua vol. 2 page 192 and Netai Gavriel Y.K. page 274)
2) An incapacitated person is someone whose pain is so severe that he stays in bed, e.g. someone with a severe cold, the flu, or a migraine. (Refer to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 328:17 and Chut Shani vol. 4 page 197) Furthermore, when an illness causes a person so much pain or discomfort that he or she cannot function normally, they are considered to be incapacitated. He or she may not take water with the pill. (Shulchan Shlomo ibid.)
3) Someone who has pain but not severe enough to incapacitate them, such as a headache that is not a severe migraine, is not permitted to swallow a pill.
4) The incapacitated woman should not swallow a pill that has a sweet coating. (Shulchan Shlomo Refua vol.2 page 274)
5) Rav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a (Netai Gavriel Yom Kippur page 277) writes that it is preferred for the incapacitated person to leave shul to take a nap, if that will ease the pain and avoid the necessity of medicine, rather than stay in shul and take medicine.
Eating For A Choleh
1) A pregnant woman must fast on Yom Kippur. (S.A. 517:1) Someone whose life may be in danger by fasting on Yom Kippur is obligated to eat. Not all cholim who are obligated to eat on Yom Kippur have the same halachic dispensation. There are cholim (who may be in danger) whose illness only warrants minimal eating or drinking. Minimal consumption is termed pachos mi’keshiur, or “shiurim”. Eating in shiurim means eating not more than a prescribed amount within a prescribed period of time.
2) At times a doctor will forbid a pregnant woman from fasting if she suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes, or if she has experienced miscarriages in the past. A pregnant woman must therefore consult with her doctor and her rabbi before Yom Kippur to see if she can fast. Even if the doctor and rabbi advise her to eat she must ascertain whether eating and drinking pachos m’kishiur would suffice. We will therefore discuss the laws of eating on Yom Kippur for a choleh, however, every woman must discuss her particular situation with her rabbi, because everyone’s circumstances and specific needs are unique.
3) In the event that one must eat or drink on Yom Kippur, one should first say the following prayer:
הנני מוכן ומזומן לקיים מצות אכילה ושתיה כמו שכתבת בתורתך, ושמרתם את חוקתי ואת משפטי אשר יעשה אותה האדם וחי בהם, ובזכות קיום מצוה זו, תחתום אותי ואת כל חולי עמך ישראל לרפואה שלימה, ואזכה ביום הכפורים הבא לקיים שוב ועניתם את נפשותיכם. כן יהי רצון, אמן.
“I am about to fulfill the mitzvah of eating and drinking, as You wrote in Your Torah, ‘And you shall keep My statutes and My laws that one must do and live through them.’ In the merit of fulfilling this mitzvah, please seal my decree, and that of all those who are ill among Your nation Yisrael, for a complete recovery. Next Yom Kippur, may I merit to fulfill once again the mitzvah of ‘you shall afflict your souls [through fasting].’ May this be Your will, Amen.” (See Netai Gavriel Yom Kippur Page 295)
4) Eating- On Yom Kippur the pachos mi’keshiur requirement for food is the volume of food that is less than a koseves hagasa, a type of large date. Harav Moshe Heinemenn shlit”a explains that the volumetric measurement of a koseves hagasa is more than 1.5 fl. oz. (44 ml). Therefore, one who is ill (as above) may eat 1.5 fl. oz. (which is less than a koseves hagasah) of food. Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes, “The common custom is to give one who is ill pieces of bread with a condiment the size of 30 grams (1.05 oz.).”
5) One should preferably measure out the food before Yom Kippur. However, if one did not do so one may measure the food on Yom Kippur. (Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim page 297)
6) In between eating sessions one must wait kdei achilas pras, the amount of time it takes to eat a pras of bread. The poskim debate how many minutes it takes to eat a pras of bread:
A) According to the Chasam Sofer (6:15)- 9 minutes.  This is also the view of the Mishnah Berurah (618:22).
B) The Baal Hatania is cited as ruling that it is 8 minutes. (See Shiurei Torah by Rav Chaim Naeh page 204)
C) According to the Aruch Lner (Bikurei Yaakov 639:13)- 7.5 minutes. This is also the view of Harav Dovid Tzvi Hoffman zt”l. (Melamed L’Hoeil 113:5)
D) There are conflicting reports of the view of the Tzemech Tzedek. One report from the Tzemach Tzedek is 7 minutes. While another report from the Tzemach Tzedek is 6 minutes. (See Shulchan Menachem page 43 and Katzos Hashulchan 2:36:5) Harav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yabia Omer 9:108:96) writes that, “The proper amount of time (kdei achilas pras) in accordance with most authorities is between 6 and 7.5 minutes.”
E) Harav Yitzchak Elchonon Spekter zt”l is cited as ruling that one should wait 5 minutes. (See Chazon Ovadia Yamim Noraim page 298)
F) Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:41) writes that while one should wait on Yom Kippur 9 minutes, if this is difficult one may wait half that amount (4.5 minutes).
G) It should be noted that Harav Ahron Felder zt”l writes that Harav Moshe told him that a choleh should wait 4 minutes between eating sessions on Yom Kippur. (Rishumei Ahron vol. 2 page 47)
H) The Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso (Chapter 39:18) cites the Chasam Sofer that at the very least one should wait 2 minutes between eating sessions.
7) For practical halacha, one should wait 9 minutes between eating sessions. If this does not suffice and the person must eat more frequently they should wait as long as she can, depending on her state of health. At all events, one should wait for a period of at least 2 minutes. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso ibid.)
8) Drinking- The minimal volume for beverages that qualifies for shiurim is less than a m’lo lugmav, a cheekful of liquid. Unlike food, the shiur of liquids differs with each individual’s capacity to hold liquid in his or her mouth. The larger the mouth, the larger the m’lo lugmav. Conversely, the smaller the mouth, the smaller the m’lo lugmav. (S.A. 612:9) Harav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a explains that for purposes of drinking on Yom Kippur we say an average adult has a m’lo lugmav that is larger than 1.5 fl. oz. (44 ml). A teenager may have a smaller m’lo lugmav.
9) One can ascertain his or her personal m’lo lugmav by filling his mouth completely with water, expelling the water into a measuring cup and dividing the amount in half. This number is the amount held by one cheek – a m’lo lugmav. Pachos mi’keshiur is slightly less than this amount. This “test” should preferably be conducted before Yom Kippur. (M.B. 618:21)
10) How long should one wait between drinking sessions. Ideally, one should wait 9 minutes between drinking, as one would ideally wait between eating sessions. (Chazon Ovadia Yomim Noraim page 297) If this amount of liquid is insufficient for the patient, one may drink this amount of liquid every two minutes. (View of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l Rishumei Ahron vol. 2 page 47)
11) If it is determined that this amount is insufficient and one’s life may still be in danger, the patient must drink as much as necessary, even if it is more than the shiur of volume and less than the shiur of time.
12) If staying in bed will help prevent the patient from eating, even one session, in shiurim, she should stay in bed and not go to shul. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:28)
13) A patient who has to eat in shiurim must not eat or drink more than he or she needs that day in order to keep him or her out of danger. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:26)
14) It must be remembered that eating or drinking in shiurim is permitted only if the doctor and rabbi require it and that a person who is ill but is not in danger must not eat or drink at all, even if confined to bed.
Brachos and Kiddush- A pregnant woman who has to eat or drink on Yom Kippur should recite the proper bracha rishona before doing so. Once she has done so, she should not repeat it before every eating session, unless she has, during the pause, diverted her attention from the food or drink by going out of the house or by deciding to no longer eat or drink. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso 39:21)
If she eats 1.27 ounces of food within four minutes, she should recite a bracha achrona. If
that amount was eaten in a period of time exceeding four minutes, it is questionable whether or not to recite a bracha achrona may be made and a bracha should not be recited. (Rav Elyashiv zt”l in Vsein Bracha page 247)
In either case, she does not recite a bracha achrona on the drinks that she drank in shiurim. (Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso ibid.)
One who is eating on Yom Kippur does not recite Kiddush. (M.B. 618:29) If Yom Kippur is on Shabbos, the poskim debate whether one must recite Kiddush before eating. (Kaf Hachaim 618:60)
If she is eating bread, she need not have lechem mishnah. (Magen Avraham 10)
If she is eating bread, she must wash her hands fully as she would the rest of the year. (Rav Shlomo Zalman zt”l in Shemiras Shabbos K’Hilchos page 516)
If she is going to eat more than a kebaytzah of bread (2.53 oz.), she must wash her hands with a bracha. (M.B. 158:9)
If she is going to eat less than a kebaytzah (2.53 oz.) but more than a kezayis of bread (1.27 oz.), she should wash without a bracha. (M.B. 10)
If she is going to eat less than a kezayis of bread (1.27 oz.), the poskim debate whether she must wash her hands without a bracha or whether she is completely exempt from washing. It is proper to be strict to wash without a bracha.
If she eats 1.27 ounces of bread within four minutes, she recites birchas hamazon. In birchas hamazon, she should add the יעלה ויבוא prayer, with the insertion of the words, ביום הכפורים הזה. On Shabbos, the רצה prayer should be added. Nevertheless, if she finishes the blessing in which these prayers are always added and then realizes that she has forgotten either or both of them, there is no need to say birchas hamazon again.
A person who has to eat on Yom Kippur and eats, for example, cake or dates should insert the words “וזכרנו לטובה ביום הכפורים הזה” in the al hamichya or al hapeiros blessing which she says afterwards.
Question: Throughout the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur davening we constantly open the Aron Kodesh. My question is I know many people stand up when the Aron is opened, however, is that required?
Answer: You are correct that it is customary to stand up when the Aron is opened. Therefore, one should definitely stand up if they can as this is the custom and if one does not do so it may be perceived by others as a slight to the Aron. (Refer to Aruch Hashulchan Y.D. 282:13) The only question is if one is older and standing is difficult is one allowed to remain seated. In this situation no one would perceive it as a slight to the Torah.
The only question is whether standing is an obligation, which would require the older person to stand, or is it merely customary. The view of the Taz (Y.D. 242:13) is that one is technically not required to stand when the Aron is opened during the Yomim Noraim davening as the Torah is in a separate domain. The Panim Meiros (74) disagrees and maintains that if one can see the Sifrei Torah (he is sitting in front of the Aron) he is obligated to stand. The majority of the poskim agree with the view of the Taz. Therefore, if one is older and is having a difficult time standing, one may rule leniently. (Refer to Kovetz Halachos Yomim Noraim page 94).
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Tefillas Haderech

  1. The Shulchan Aruch (110:4) writes that when one travels out of the city he should recite Tefillas Haderech.
  2. It makes no difference whether one is traveling by foot, car, train, airplane or boat.  Ishei Yisrael 50:1 quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman saying that one who is traveling by car can add the phrase “VeTatsileynu MeTeunot Derachim” (may we be saved from a car accident). However, Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a is not in favor of adding to the text of the Tefillah.
  3. The poskim discuss when to recite it when flying. According to Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l (Halichos Shlomo page 254) one recites it when the plane is high enough of the ground that if it were to fall it would be dangerous. For all intents and purposes one would recite it immediately after beginning takeoff, when the plane is ascending. According to Harav Yaakov Kamanetzky zt”l (Emes L’Yaakov 110) one recites it when the plane is still on the runway when the engine begins to really rev up and it begins it’s last push before takeoff.
  4. Rav Yaakov Kamanetzky zt”l explained that Tefillas Haderech actually has the status of a tefillah (prayer) and not a bracha. Therefore, if one is able to recite Tefillas Haderech on his own (he is capable and has a siddur), one should not lchatchila have someone else say it for him to be motzei him. This is similar to other tefillos where we do not initially have someone motzei others if they are capable of davening on their own. As opposed to brachos where there is no issue with that. (See Emes L’Yaakov 110 and Shulchan Halevi page 19) If one is unable to say it himself (he is not able to read hebrew, doesn’t have a siddur or is driving), he may have someone else be motzei him.
  5. Another practical halacha that stems from this view of Rav Yaakov is that if one is in doubt as to whether Tefillas Haderech is required, one may recite it (as is the law regarding prayer, as opposed to brachos where we conclude safek brachos l’hakel).
  6. The poskim discuss whether one can say Tefillas Haderech for someone else (to be motzei others) after he has already recited it himself. (See Aishel Avraham Botchetch 110 and Halichos Shlomo ch. 21) For normative halacha, a rabbi should be consulted.
  7. Initially, one should recite Tefillas Haderech while standing. (S.A. 110:4 and Aruch Hashulchan 11) If this is difficult to do, one may recite it while seated. Therefore, if one is on a bus or train and one is able to stand, one should do so.
  8. Although we just mentioned that one should initially recite Tefillas Haderech while standing, if one is driving in a car one is not obligated to pull over and get out of the car in order to recite it while standing as this is considered a tircha. However, if possible one should pull the car over and recite it while seated. Yet, if this is difficult to do, one may recite Tefillas Haderech while the car is in motion. (Ishei Yisroel page 608)
  9. One only recites Tefillas Haderech once per day. Meaning, Tefillas Haderech covers the entire days’ travels. This is true even if one rested for a few hours during the day. Therefore, if one travels from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim during the day with the intention of returning back to Tel Aviv at night, one only recites Tefillas Haderech once. (Kuntres Tefillas Haderech R’ Sroya D’Blitzky zt”l 13)
  10. Similarly, if one traveled from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim for a few hours and intended (at the beginning of the trip) to continue from Yerushalayim to Chevron on that very day, one only recites Tefillas Haderech once. (ibid.)
  11. However, if one didn’t originally intend to have a second trip at all (e.g. He traveled from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim with the intention of staying in Yerushalayim and then he subsequently decides to travel to Chevron), a second Tefillas Haderech is required before traveling to Chevron. (ibid.)
  12. Similarly, if one travels from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim and intends (at the beginning of the trip) on sleeping in Yerushalayim and then changes his mind and decides to go back home to Tel Aviv that very day, he must recite Tefillas Haderech a second time on his way back home. (ibid.)
  13. If one takes an extended road trip that will last longer than a day, one recites Tefillas Haderech once each day.
  14. This is only true if one formally went to sleep that night (shinas keva). However, if one is driving through the night and he pulls over periodically to nap on the side of the road, one would not recite another Tefillas Haderech in the morning. (Ishei Yisroel 50:4) [One should try to recite Tefillas Haderech without the name of Hashem or recite it in the bracha of Shema Koleinu in Shemoneh Esrei- Halichos Shlomo end of ch. 21]
  15. The Shulchan Aruch writes that one only recites Tefillas Haderech when travelling “one parsa” beyond the outskirts of the city limits. According to the Mishnah Berurah and many authorities “a parsa” is defined by distance and therefore one recites Tefillas Haderech  if you will go at least 2.8 miles outside the inhabited area. However, Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Yabia Omer 1:13) explains that “a parsa” is defined by time and one only recites Tefillas Haderech when travelling outside of the city limits for 72 minutes. The common custom (amongst Ashkenazim) is to follow the first view of the Mishnah Berurah.
  16. The “outskirts of the city” begins from the last house. As long as there is a dwelling located within 70 2/3 amos of the previous dwelling, it is still considered within the city limits, even if this situation extends for many miles and during that time one should still not say Tefilas Haderech.
  17. It is preferable to recite tefilas haderech during the first 2.8 miles after passing the outskirts of the city. If one forgot to do so, he still may recite it with the concluding bracha as long as he still has at least another 2.8 miles to the city of his destination. If the remaining distance is less than this, he recites tefilas haderech without the concluding bracha. (ibid.)
  18. If one feels that it is difficult to recite it immediately after leaving the city limits, you may b’dieved say Tefilat HaDerech as soon as you start your journey (when you leave your house or get in your car, etc.), even within the city. (M.B. 29) According to Rav Sroya D’Blitzky zt”l it is better to recite it within the city, than to recite it after the first 2.8 miles of the trip. Therefore, if there is a chance one will not say it within the first 2.8 miles, one should preferably recite it with in the city, when beginning his trip.

When Tisha B’Av Falls On Shabbos

1) The final meal before Tisha B’Av is called the seuda hamafsekes and has special requirements. The purpose of the seuda hamafsekes is to experience sorrow and mourning for the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. (M.B. 552:1) Therefore, it is prohibited to eat meat or drink wine at this meal. (Although the custom is not to eat meat or drink wine during the Nine Days, during this meal it is prohibited and not merely a custom.)  In addition, one may eat only one type of cooked food, so that the meal should not be one of honor and pleasure. (S.A. 551:1 M.B. 11, 17) The custom is for the seuda hamafsekes to consist only of bread, cold hard-boiled eggs and water (Rama 552:5, M.B. 13).
2) When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos  and is postponed until Sunday (as it does this year), the seuda hamafsekes (Shalosh Seudos) does not have the restrictions cited above. One may eat meat and drink wine and his meal may consist of many cooked dishes. (S.A. 552:10) Unlike other Shabbasim, however, he must stop eating before sunset. The mood during the meal should be somber and not joyous. (M.B. 24)
3) Learning Torah on Tisha B’Av is prohibited, except for those portions and topics which are relevant to Tisha B’Av and mourning. (S.A. 554:1) (I will try to discuss this in more detail in a future halacha)
4) There is a debate amongst the poskim whether one may learn Torah on Shabbos when Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos (and is postponed until Sunday). Many poskim maintain that on Shabbos after noon, one may only learn these portions and topics of Torah which are permitted on Tisha B’Av. (See Rama 553:2 and Netai Gavriel page 522) According to these poskim Pirkei Avos is not said. (M.B. 9) While some poskim hold that since eating meat and drinking wine is permissible, learning Torah is also permissible. The Taz concludes that one who conducts himself according to this lenient view (even after noon) is not acting in error. (M.B. 10)
5) When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos and the fast is postponed until Motzei Shabbos, one may not prepare for Tisha B’Av on Shabbos. Therefore, one may not bring copies of Eicha, Kinos or stools to Shul on Shabbos. (Netai Gavriel page 533)
6) When Tisha B’Av occurs on Shabbos, the customary Havdallah is not said on Motzei Shabbos. Rather, on Motzei Shabbos after nightfall, the bracha of borei meorei haeish is said upon seeing candlelight. The bracha should be recited after Maariv before reading Eicha. However, if he forgot to say it before Eicha, he may say it any time during the night. The bracha over besamim is not recited. (See Halachos of the Three Weeks by Rav Shimon Eider page 17) [B”h in a future email we will discuss the laws of Havdala which is said after Tisha B’Av (Sunday night)]
7) The Gemara tells us that the Beis Hamikdash continued burning until sunset of the tenth of Av. Therefore, the restrictions of the Three Weeks and the Nine Days apply until noon of the tenth of Av. (M.B. 558:5) Therefore, one should not eat meat or drink wine until the noon after Tisha B’Av. Bathing, haircuts, washing clothes and music is also prohibit. (M.B. 2) [Regarding Havdallah, some permit drinking wine while others advise to use beer or chamar medina- for normative halacha, a rav should be consulted.]
8) Rav Shimon Eider zt”l (Halachos of the Three Weeks page 32) writes the following, “When Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbos and is postponed until Sunday [as is the case this year], eating meat and drinking wine is permissible Monday morning. On Sunday evening, however, it is prohibited … since the day was spent in mourning, it is not proper to assume conduct of simcha (i.e. eating meat and drinking wine) immediately after it is over. Bathing, washing clothing and haircuts are permissible Sunday evening. Music is not permitted until the morning.” Harav Gavriel Zinner shlit”a, however, permits music on Sunday evening as well. (Netai Gavriel page 553)

Removing Mezuzos When Moving Out

 

  • Upon moving out of a rental home, the renter may not remove his Mezuzahs from the doors. (Y.D. 291:2) The Gemara adds that doing so can r”l be dangerous to one’s families safety. This applies even if one plans to place the Mezuzos on the doors of his new home.
  • The Chida writes that it is assur even if the landlord is willing to replace the mezuzos immediately. (291:5, see Beer Moshe 3:181 for a lenient view)
  • Even if the house is to remain empty after he has moved out, it is still forbidden to remove the Mezuzos. (Sheilas Yaavatz 2:117)
  • When the renter leaves his Mezuzahs on the doors of the rented home, if he is particular on their cost, the second person [the next renter who moves in, or from the owner, if he is moving in] must pay him for the Mezuzahs. (Rama 291:2) However, even if the person that moved in refuses to pay for them, the renter may nevertheless still not remove the Mezuzahs. (Aruch Hashulchan 3)
  • Rav Henkin zt”l extends a heter. He rules that since one must remove the mezuzos before painting a room, if one knows that the house will be painted before the next tenant moves in, he may take them down before he leaves in anticipation of the painting. After the room is painted he need not replace them. (See Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:44)
  • If the house is to be rented to gentiles or was rented from gentiles, he is obligated to remove the Mezuzos. It is forbidden to give or sell a Mezuzah to a gentile out of concern that it not be mistreated. (S.A. and Rama 291:2)
  • If the landlord is a gentile, and one does not know if the next tenant is Jewish, he should take down the mezuzos and not leave them in the possession of a non-Jew. If the next tenant will be a Jew, however, he has not yet signed a lease agreement, the Mezuzah should be removed. If the next tenant signed a lease agreement it is unclear whether the mezuzos may be removed and a rabbi should be consulted. (Refer to Sefer Zichron Shoshana on Mezuzah page 165)
  • If the landlord is an Observant Jew and one is unsure if the next tenant will be a Jew or a gentile, one should tell the landlord to take charge of the Mezuzos and remove the Mezuzos if the next tenant is a gentile. This is preferable to removing the Mezuzos when one is unsure whether the next tenant will be Jewish.
  • Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l (Halichos Olam vol. 7) writes that if those Mezuzos are very expensive and one doesn’t want to leave them there. He may take them down on 2 conditions: A) He must replace them with kosher Mezuzos, albeit less expensive ones. B) He should take down the expensive Mezuzos for the purpose of getting them checked by a sofer. After they are checked he may place them on his new home.

 

 

New Sefer Announcement- Sefer On Kiruv Volume 3

Hello, I am writing because I recently finished writing the third volume of my sefer on Kiruv, Umekareiv Biyamin (ומקרב בימין). The sefer (hardcover, 380 pages), just as volumes one and two, is a Hebrew hallachic work discussing some of the more common questions posed to Kiruv and Chinuch rabbanim.

Some topics discussed in this sefer include: changing the name of a baal teshuva, the issue of maaris ayin when sitting in a non-kosher restaurant, birthdays in halacha, trusting a baal teshuva who says that he is a kohen, cooking kosher food in a non-kosher oven, reciting sheva brachos when the chosson and kallah are not besulim  etc..

Here is a sample of the sefer- sample vol. 3.  I will iy”h begin printing over the next few weeks and I am writing to find out if there is interest in pre-ordering a copy. The reduced price for pre-orders will be at the reduced rate $11 plus shipping and handling. Of course no payment is needed until the sefer is printed and ready for shipping.

If you are interested in pre-ordering a copy, so that you can have your copy reserved at the reduced rate, please email me at avizakutinsky@gmail.com  . Please include your name and how many copies you would like to pre-order.

Thank you.

sefer

Stirring Food On Shabbos

Stirring Food On Shabbos

  1. Stirring tends to accelerate the cooking process. Therefore, it is prohibited to stir a pot of partially cooked food or liquid. (S.A. 318:18)
  2. Similarly, covering a pot hastens the cooking process. Thus, one may not cover a pot of partially cooked food. Therefore, if one uncovered a pot of food (such as cholent) and one realizes that the food is not fully cooked, one may not replace its cover (S.A. 254:4), unless the food is fully cooked. (See The Shabbos Kitchen page 9)
  3. Stirring a partially cooked food is forbidden even if the food is off of the fire. (S.A. 252:1)
  4. Interestingly enough, this prohibition extend to fully cooked food as well. Accordingly, one may not stir any food, cooked or uncooked, while over the flame, even if the flame is covered by a blech. (See Shar Hatzion 318:148 citing the view of the Kol Bo) When the food is off of the fire, cooked food may be stirred. (See Rama and M.B. 117 and Igros Moshe O.C. 4:74)
  5. As cited above, one may not stir food that is on the fire, even if the food is fully cooked. The question is whether one may scoop food from the pot while still on the fire (dish out cholent) or is that considered stirring. The Mishnah Berurah writes that it is forbidden to do so. Therefore, one may not serve cholent directly from the pot if the pot is still on the fire. Rather, one must remove the pot from the fire and only then serve the food.
  6. If the fire is not covered with a blech, since if he would remove the pot he would not be permitted to return it to the fire, (or if the pot is too heavy to lift or move), removing food with a spoon or fork from a pot of food which has been cooked completely may be permissible. (See Chazon Ish on M.B. and Halachos of Shabbos page 282. For a dissenting view see Igros Moshe O.C. 4:71) For normative halacha, a rabbi should be consulted.

Lag B’Omer

A number of reasons are given for commemorating Lag B’Omer:
1. It commemorates the students of Rav Akiva who ceased dying during this day (Shelah, Pesachim 525).
2. This day is the yahrtzeit of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai, who revealed the inner secrets of the Torah (Chayei Adam Mo’adim 131:11).
3. This is the day that Rav Akiva granted ordination to his five students — among them Rabi Shimon bar Yochai (Pri Chadash OC 493).

Haircuts:
According to the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch one may not take haircuts or get married until the thirty-fourth day of the omer in the morning. The Rama feels that one may get a haircut on Lag B’Omer. The Rama explains that one must wait for Lag B’Omer morning (after Neitz Hachama) to get a haircut. According to the Rama one would not be allowed to get a haircut on the night of Lag B’Omer. However, the Mishnah Berurah cites authorities who permit getting a haircut on the night of Lag B’Omer. Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l is cited as explaining that the second view feels that since there are bonfires and parties that take place tonight one would likewise be permitted to shave. For normative halacha, a rav should be consulted.

As noted in a previous post, according to the Arizal shaving is not allowed even on Lag B’Omer.

Counting Sefira:

1) On the night of Lag BOmer (after sunset), one who has not yet counted the sefira of Lag BOmer should avoid telling someone else that “tonight is Lag BOmer“, since doing so may be considered counting the omer. (See Shulchan Aruch 489:4) Harav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul zt”l rules that if one did say those words, he may still recite the sefira with a bracha since the person is not intending to count the day, but is rather referring to the name of the day. (Ohr Litzion vol. 3 chapter 16:4)

2) Harav Yitzchak Yosef shlit”a cites the above ruling and he adds that if one forgot to count the Omer the entire night and day of Lag BOmer, however, he mentioned in passing that “today is Lag BOmer” (e.g. he corrected the chazan who began to recite Tachanun that “today is LagBOmer“) he may continue to recite Sefira the following nights with a bracha. Post facto we can consider the statement of “Today is Lag BOmer” as a fulfillment of counting the Omer to allow him to continue to count with a bracha on the following nights.

Kevarim:

1) It is well known that there is a custom to go to the Kever of Rav Shimon Ben Yochai (or Rashbi) on Lag BOmer. Some poskim write that if one is in America and unable to go to the Kever Rashbi, he should try to daven at the grave of other tzaddikim. (Netai Gavriel Pesach vol. 3 page 342)

2) The consensus of the poskim is that kohanim may not go to the graves of tzaddikim, such as Rashbi. And that although there are indications from a few midrashim that the graves of tzaddikim do not transmit tumah, this should not be relied upon for normative halacha. (See Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 372:2, Sdei Chemed vol. 9 page 65, Paas Hashulchan 2:18, Yechava Daas 4:58, Yaskil Avdi 8 page 192, Shaarei Halacha Uminhag 150, Halichos Shlomo Moadim Pesach page 366 and Minchas Asher Chukas.