Monday, November 30, 2009

Halocho # 460 - Who should light the Chanukah Menorah?

Since both men and women were included in the miracle of Chanukah, they both need to light the Chanukah Menorah.

At least one person per household must light.

The custom is for everybody to light, including children under Bar Mitzva. However, married couples share one Chanukah Menorah that either the husband or wife lights.

Even blind people should light, if they live by themselves.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:16

- Danny
Monday, 13 Kislev 5770

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Halocho # 459 - Al HaNisim during Chanukah

During all 8 days (and nights) of Chanukah one adds עַל הַנִּסִּים to the Birkat Hamazon during the 2nd Bracha. If you forgot to add עַל הַנִּסִּים and you've already said 'ברוך אתה ה then you don't have to make amends.

However, if possible you should say the following during the HaRachaman's after the 4th Bracha:

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה לָנוּ נִסִּים וְנִפְלָאוֹת,
כְּמוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הַהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה
בִּימֵי מַתִּתְיָהוּ

...and then continue with the rest of the עַל הַנִּסִּים

During every Amida of Chanukah (including Mussaf) one adds עַל הַנִּסִּים during Modim.

If you forgot to add עַל הַנִּסִּים and you've already said 'ברוך אתה ה then you don't have to make amends.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 44:16, 139: 21

- Danny
Sunday, 12 Kislev 5770

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Halocho # 458 - Water: Jump or detour?

If one needs to cross a narrow body of water on Shabbat, and one has the choice of jumping over it or walking around it, one should rather jump over it, since it means less walking.

One may not walk through it, lest one squeeze out those clothes that got wet.

On Shabbat one may not walk anywhere where there's a risk of slipping and falling into water.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:36

Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny
Thursday, 9 Kislev 5770

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Halocho # 457 - Using the light of the Chanukah Menorah

Each night of Chanukah one adds an extra light, starting at 1 and ending at 8.

Besides for the nightly number, the custom is to add an extra candle each night - known as the Shamash.

This is ensure that one doesn't accidentally use the light from the actual Chanukah lights, which is forbidden.

After the Chanukah Menora has been burning for half an hour after nighfall, one may benefit from the lights of the Chanukah Menora.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:14

- Danny
Wednesday, 8 Kislev 5770

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Halocho # 456 - When is Chanukah this year?

The 8 days of Chanukah always start on the 25th of Kislev; the first candle being lit on the 24th in the late afternoon.

This year Chanukah starts on Shabbat 12 December 2009. We will light the first flame on Friday afternoon, 11th Dec.

A week later - (Friday afternoon, 18th Dec) we will light all 8 flames for the 8th day of Chanuka.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:1

- Danny
Tuesday, 7 Kislev 5770

Monday, November 23, 2009

Halocho # 455 - Dangerous property

One must ensure that people do not get hurt on ones property.

E.g. a well or pit needs a fence or a cover strong enough to ensure nobody falls in.

Similarly one may not own a dangerous dog nor a shaky ladder.

Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1

- Danny
Monday, 6 Kislev 5770

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Halocho # 454 - A fence around your roof

It's a Mitzvah to put a fence or wall around ones roof to prevent people from falling off.

The fence must be at least 10 Tefachim (~80 cm) high and must be strong enough that a person can lean on it and not fall.

A roof that is never used does not need a fence.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 190:1

- Danny
Sunday, 5 Kislev 5770

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Halocho # 453 - Getting drenched on Shabbat

If one gets caught in rain on Shabbat one can continue on home even if ones clothes are soaked; however one may not squeeze out the water.

Once one gets home and removes them, one may not hang them up to dry.

One may also not dry them by standing near a source a heat while wearing them.

The same applies to clothes that are soaked from sweat.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:35

Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny
Thursday, 2 Kislev 5770

Please daven for SARAH MIRIAM BAT TAMAR; a 7 year old currently in ICU due to a severe case of swine flu.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Halocho # 452 - Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh?

Men wear Tefillin (phylacteries) every day during Shacharit (morning prayers) except for Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Rosh Chodesh has some aspects of a Yom Tov, yet work is permitted.

Tefillin are worn on Rosh Chodesh during Shacharit, Hallel and the Torah reading. They are removed before starting Mussaf.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:19

Chodesh Tov

- Danny
Wednesday, 2nd day Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5770

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Halocho # 451 - What happens if one forgets Ya'aleh Veyavo?

On Rosh Chodesh one should add Ya'aleh Veyavo during the Amida and Birkat Hamazon.

If one forgot to add Ya'aleh Veyavo during the Amida at night one does not need to make amends. During the day one needs to go back to רצה.

If one forgot Ya'aleh Veyavo during Birkat Hamazon (during the day or night), and one remembers before starting the last Bracha, one can say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַן רָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים לְעַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְזִכָּרוֹן

If one only realizes after starting the last Bracha, or one does not have the above Bracha handy, one does not need to make amends.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:10, 44:14

Chodesh Tov

- Danny
Tuesday, 1st day Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5770

Monday, November 16, 2009

Halocho # 450 - How many days are there in Marcheshvan and Kislev?

Some years the Jewish calendar has 12 months, the rest (7 out of 19) are leap years with 13 months.

Jewish months alternate between being 29 and 30 days long.

However, the months of Marcheshvan and Kislev sometimes both have 30 days (a full year), sometimes both have 29 days (a missing year) and sometimes follow the regular order with Marcheshvan having 29 days and Kislev 30.

As a result, Chanukah (which starts on 25 Kislev and lasts 8 days) sometimes ends on 2 Tevet and sometimes on 3 Tevet.

This year is a "full" year; Marcheshvan has 30 days, Kislev has 30 days and Chanukah ends on 2 Tevet.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 221:4

Chodesh Tov

- Danny
Monday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 29 Marcheshvan 5770

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halocho # 449 - May one write Pesukim?

One may not write a Pasuk (verse in the Torah) in Hebrew on paper without lines.

Some say one should not write mundane things in the special script used for a Sefer Torah.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:12

- Danny
Sunday, 28 Marcheshvan 5770

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halocho # 448 - Hair care on Shabbat

One may not braid hair on Shabbat.

One may not undo braids on Shabbat.

One may not use a brush that pulls out hair on Shabbat.

One may fix up ones hairdo using ones hands or a brush with soft hair.

Preferably one should have a Shabbat-brush; one that is soft and doesn't pull out hair, that one only uses on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:31

This week is Shabbat Mevorchim. Rosh Chodesh Kislev will be on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach,

- Danny
Thursday, 25 Marcheshvan 5770

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halocho # 447 - Don't drop the Sefer Torah

If - Gcd forbid - one drops a Sefer Torah, one needs to fast.

This is true even if the Sefer Torah was in its cover.

The Minhag is that those who saw the Sefer Torah fall, also fast.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:12

- Danny
Wednesday, 24 Marcheshvan 5770

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halocho # 446 - Retrieving stolen goods

 Yesterday we learned that one should buy certain religious items at their fair price, even of they were stolen.

As a general rule, one may not buy goods from a thief; whether he is Jewish or not, since non-Jews are also forbidden to steal.

Buying from a thief encourages him to steal, which is a sin in itself.

One may buy stolen goods to return them to their rightful owner, if there's no other way to retrieve them.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 182:8

- Danny
Tuesday, 23 Marcheshvan 5770

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halocho # 445 - Buying stolen goods

One should not buy stolen Sefer Torah, Tefillin or Mezuzot for more than their worth, so as not to encourage them to be stolen.

However, if one is offered them at market value, one must buy them, even if they are no longer Kosher.

If the thief is asking above market value then one should bargain with him to try get the price down; if he insists on a higher price, then one does not buy them.

One should not offer a ridiculously low price so as not to annoy the seller, lest he get angry and destroy the religious items.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:11

- Danny
Monday, 22 Marcheshvan 5770

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halocho #444 - Can one hide behind a Sefer?

One may not place a Sefer such that it blocks the sunlight to enable one to be more comfortable.

One may not place a Sefer such that ones friends cannot see what one is up to.

If the sun is disturbing ones ability to learn Torah, then one can use another Sefer to block the sun.

One may use a Sefer to prop up the Sefer one is learning, if that will help one learn better.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:9

- Danny
Sunday, 21 Marcheshvan 5770

Please daven for Marina bat Ludmila for a full recovery

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halocho #443 - Shabbat meals in the garden

Spilling water onto fertile soil is forbidden because of "Zore'a" - planting, since the water could help things grow.

Therefore one should refrain from eating in the garden, since it's almost impossible that something won't be spilt onto the floor.

This is besides the problem that one cannot always carry into the garden unless there's a proper Eruv.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:28

Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny
 Thursday, 18 Marcheshvan 5770

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halocho #442 - May one throw a Sefer?

One may not throw Sefarim.

One may not put Sefarim upside-down; not with the cover facing the table, and not in the bookshelf with the letters upside down.

If one sees a Sefer upside-down one has to turn it over.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:6

- Danny
Wednesday, 17 Marcheshvan 5770

Please daven for young Refoel Chaim Simcha Binyamin ben Devorah Aliza, who has been fighting Leukemia the past 18 months and is having terrible reactions to the bone marrow transplant

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halocho #441 - What can one put on a Sefer?

One may not put a Sefer on ones knees and then rest ones elbows on it.

One can put a Chumash (5 books of Moses) on top of a Nach, but one may not place a Nach or any other Sefer on top of a Chumash.

One may put a Nevi'im on a Ketubim, or Ketubim on top of Nevi'im.

One can put any other Sefarim on top of each other.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:4

- Danny
Tuesday, 16 Marcheshvan 5770

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halocho #440 - Treating Sefarim with respect

One may not sit in the same bench or chair as a Sefer (any book from which one can learn Torah-related subjects).

If the Sefer is placed on the bench on an item at least 1 Tefach (~10 cm) high, then one may sit on the bench.

One may not put a Sefer on the floor.

One may sit on a cupboard that has Sefarim inside, but not if there's a Sefer Torah inside.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:4

- Danny
Monday, 15 Marcheshvan 5770

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halocho #439 - Honoring a Sefer Torah

A Sefer Torah needs to be stored in its own special place which must be kept clean.

One may not spit in front of a Sefer Torah.

One may not touch the parchement of a Sefer Torah unless it is covered.

One who sees a Sefer Torah being carried must stand up.

If a Sefer Torah is carried past one, one should walk behind it.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:3

- Danny
Sunday, 14 Marcheshvan 5770