Sunday, January 31, 2010

Halocho #504 – Respecting parents

This Shabbat we will read the 10 commandments - let's review some of the laws of the 5th commandment.

One may not sit nor stand in one's parents designated place in the synagogue or at home or anywhere else where they may have a designated place.

One may not contradict parents.

One may not approve of one's parents in their presence (e.g. "I see your point"), as this indicates that one has the ability to say otherwise.

Even if parents insult one in public one may not upset them, though one may take legal action to recuperate any monetary loss they caused.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:1

- Danny
Sunday, 16 Shvat 5770

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Halocho#503 - May one feed the birds on Shabbat Shira?

House pets or any other animals that depend on you for their food, must be fed on Shabbat.

Animals that do not rely on you for their food may not be fed on Shabbat, and you may not even throw them leftovers, with the exception of stray dogs.

One may not feed pigeons as they are capable of fending for themselves.

The custom to put out grain for the birds on Shabbat Shira (this week) is incorrect as birds do not rely on humans for their food. (One may put out grain for them before Shabbat.)

Source Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 87:18

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 13 Shvat 5770

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Halocho#502 - Tu B'Shvat is on Shabbat

This year Tu B'Shvat will be on Shabbat.

Tu B'Shvat - the 15th of the month of Shvat - is the New Year as far as tithing fruits is concerned.

Fruit from trees that blossomed before Tu B'Shvat belong to the previous year's Trumot & Ma'aser quota.

Fruit from trees that blossomed after Tu B'Shvat belong to the current year's Trumot & Ma'aser quota.

Since we do not say Tachanun on Tu B'Shvat, we will not say צדקתך צדק on Shabbat at Mincha.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 139:26. Rosh Hashana Mishna 1:1.

- Danny
Wednesday, 12 Shvat 5770

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Halocho# 501 - Which Bracha comes first?

Shabbat will be Tu B'Shvat and customarily lots of fruit will be served.

Which fruit should you choose as the one to hold and make the Bracha on?

- If one has a favorite fruit and it's being offered, it should be used to make the Bracha on.

- If one has no preference then one of the "7 species" has preference.

- If there are none of the 7 species, then one should pick a whole fruit, as opposed to a cut one.

- A Boreh Pri Ha'Etz has precedence over Boreh Pri Ha'Adama (e.g. strawberries and bananas)

The 7 species are (in order of Bracha-precedence): Bread from wheat, cakes from wheat, Wine, Olives, Barley (baked or cooked), Dates, Grapes (in solid form), Figs, Pomegranates

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 55:1 - 3

- Danny
Tuesday, 11 Shvat 5770

Monday, January 25, 2010

Halocho#500 - What happens on Tu B'Shvat?

Our Sages have designated the 15th of Shvat - Tu B'Shvat- as the boundary between one year and another, since most of the rains of the previous year have already fallen.

Any new growth of fruit after this day, is the result of the blessing of the new year.

It is customary to pray for a beautiful Kosher Etrog on Tu B'Shvat

Source: The Book of our Heritage, Vol I, page 346-349

- Danny
Monday, 10 Shvat 5770

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Halocho#499 - Educating children

A father must educate his children to do all Mitzvos (Torah and Rabbinical) that are appropriate to their age.

One also needs to prevent a child from doing any sin which he is capable of relating to, starting with telling the truth, eating only Kosher and not carrying things on Shabbat (where there is no Eruv.)

A child who stole must return the theft, if it exists. If it no longer exists then he needn't return its value even after he becomes an adult. However, in heaven he will be required to account for the theft, so it's recommended to make amends.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 165:1-6

- Danny
Sunday, 9 Shvat 5770

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Halocho#498 - Braids on Shabbat

It's a Torah prohibition to braid threads or hair on Shabbat. Twisting 2 or more threads together is also forbidden.

One cannot braid hair on Shabbat - nor untie hair that is already braided.

On Shabbat one is allowed to gather loose hair and tie them into a ponytail or hold them in place with a headband.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:44, Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato 14:52

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 6 Shvat 5770

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Halocho#497 - Sowing for the Omer

In the time of the Bet HaMikdash, they would sow barley today - 70 days before the Omer sacrifice - so as to have fresh barley to harvest for the Omer ceremony.

The barley was harvested on the 2nd night of Pessach - even if it was Shabbat.

On the 2nd day of Pessach a handful of the Omer sacrifice - barley flour with oil - was sacrificed on the Mizbe'ach (altar) and the rest was baked and eaten by the Cohanim.

In Israel it is forbidden to start harvesting before the Omer.

Grain that took root after the Omer-barley was harvested is Chodeosh and is forbidden until the following year, as we learned yesterday.

Source: Tosafot in Menachot 85., Rambam, Hilchot Temidim Ch. 7

- Danny
Wednesday, 5 Shvat 5770

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Halocho#496 - What's new? Chodosh and Yoshon

The "five grains" are wheat, barley, spelt, oats and rye.

Grain that was planted and started taking root before the first day Chol Hamoed Pessach may be eaten immediately - and is called "Yoshon" (old).

Grain that took root thereafter is "Chodosh" (new) and may not be eaten until after the 2nd day Chol Hamoed Pessach of the coming year.

In Israel, Chol Hamoed Pessach starts on 16th Nissan, in the Diaspora on the 17th Nissan.

The Torah prohibition of eating Chodosh applies to grain grown on Jewish land, according to all opinions. There is a minority opinion that Chodosh does not apply to grain grown in the Diaspora on non-Jewish land; the custom is to rely on this opinion in emergency.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 172:1-3

- Danny
Tuesday, 4 Shvat 5770

Monday, January 18, 2010

Halocho#495 - Eating bread without water

Even when travelling, one needs to wash both hands with a cup of water before eating bread.

If there's water within 4 Km in the direction one is travelling, or 1Km behind one, then one has to go wash one's hands properly.

If one is scared to leave one's travelling companions, or if one cannot find water to wash before eating bread, one can cover one's hands or wear gloves.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 40:14

- Danny
Monday, 3 Shvat 5770

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Halocho#494 - Seeing somebody off

It's appropriate to accompany somebody who is leaving on a trip - even if only for a few steps.

One should then wait until the person leaving is out of sight before returning home.

The farewell greeting is "לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם" and not "לך בשלום"

We learn this from Yithro who said to Moshe "לֵךְ לְשָׁלוֹם"" and he succeeded, whereas King David said to Avshalom "לך בשלום" and he got killed.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:6

- Danny
Sunday, 2 Shvat 5770

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Halocho # 493 - Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh Shvat will be on Shabbat.

One has to add Ya'aleh Veyavo into the Amida and Birkat Hamazon.

One should add an extra dish to the Shabbat meals in honor of Rosh Chodesh.

After Hallel we will read from 2 Sifrei Torah; the second one for Rosh Chodesh, followed by the Shabbat-Rosh-Chodesh Haftara.

In Mussaf one says the "Ata Yetzarta - אַתָּה יָצַרְתָּ" version which talks about both the Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh sacrifices.

Ya'aleh Veyavo is not said in Mussaf.

Source: Shulchan Aruch 525:3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 97:3

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov,

- Danny
Thursday, 28 Tevet 5770

Please daven for the complete recovery of
 ריבה איילה בת עליזה - Reeba Ayala bat Aliza
 who recently gave birth and has an unidentified illness

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Halocho # 492 - Travel preparations

Before leaving on a trip one should give charity.

Since one should learn Torah or say Tehilim while traveling, one should remember to take along a Sefer.

One should never go on a trip - even a short one - without taking along food.

Men should also take along spare Tzitzit in case the one they are wearing rip and become Pasul (unfit), as well as their Tefillin if there's a chance they won't be back home before the morrow.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:6

- Danny
Wednesday, 27 Tevet 5770

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Halocho # 491 - Eating in transit

If you ate while walking, you may say Birkat Hamazon while walking.

If you sat while eating you have to sit while saying Birkat Hamazon

If one didn't eat in a house - or one ate in the house of a non-Jew, one replaces the 6th הָרַחֲמָן with:

הָרַחֲמָן הוּא יִשְׁלַח לָנוּ בְּרָכָה מְרֻבָּה בִּמְקוֹם הֲלִיכָתֵנוּ וּבִמְקוֹם יְשִׁיבָתֵנוּ עַד עוֹלָם

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:9, 10

- Danny
Tuesday, 26 Tevet 5770

Please daven for a complete recovery of 3 year old Chaim Ovadya ben Sara

Monday, January 11, 2010

Halocho # 490 - Davening in transit

Even while travelling one has to pray at the correct times.

Men need to put on Tallit and Tefillin even when praying in transit.

When travelling by foot, one should stand still for the first 2 verses of Shma, if possible. (Shma Yisrael and Baruch Shem)

When travelling in a vehicle one should stop, alight and stand for the Amida. If one is in a hurry, then one should do so at least for the first 3 and last 3 Brachot.

If alighting is not an option, one can daven the Amida while seated.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:8

- Danny
Monday, 25 Tevet 5770

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Halocho # 489 - How often can one say Tefilat HaDerech?

One usually says Tefilat HaDerech only once a day.

If one arrives at one's final destination for the day, and subsequently decided to take another trip, then one says Tefilat HaDerech again.

One who travels through the night says Tefilat HaDerech on the second day without the final Baruch Ata Hashem.

Even if one sleeps part of the night, if it was not in an inhabited place, one says Tefilat HaDerech on the second day without the final Baruch Ata Hashem.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:5

- Danny
Sunday, 24 Tevet 5770

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Halocho # 488 - Travelling on Fridays

If possible, one should not travel more than 3 Parsa on Fridays, unless one is sure that Shabbat preparations are ready at ones destination.

(A Parsa is either ~4 Km or the time to travel ~4 Km by foot, which is assumed to be 72 minutes. Thus on Fridays one should not undertake trips longer than 3.5 hours unless one is sure that Shabbat preparations are ready at one's destination.)

It's important to plan one's trip such that even with unexpected heavy traffic one arrives at one's destination long before candle-lighting, so that one has time to wash up before lighting.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:11

==> Rosh Chodesh Shvat is next Shabbat. <==

Shabbat Shalom uMevorach,

- Danny
Thursday, 21 Tevet 5770

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Halocho # 487 - How far must one travel to say Tefilat HaDerech?

One does not say Tefilat HaDerech unless the trip is one Parsa (~4 Km / ~2.5 miles) long - outside the city.

Preferably Tefilat HaDerech should be said during the first Parsa of the journey.

If forgotten, Tefilat HaDerech can be said as long as one still has at least one Parsa to travel before one's destination city or overnight resting place.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:2

- Danny
Wednesday, 20 Tevet 5770

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Halocho # 486 - When does one say Tefilat HaDerech?

Tefilat HaDerech - the traveler's prayer - cannot be said before one has left the city limits; defined as 70 and ⅔ Amot (~35 meters / 115 feet) after the last house.

Preferably it should be said after one has travelled at least one "Miel" (~1 Km / ~0.6 miles) from the city limit.

If you're overnighting on a multi-day trip, you can say Tefilat HaDerech before leaving for the day.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 68:1

- Danny
Tuesday, 19 Tevet 5770

Monday, January 4, 2010

Halocho #485 - Preparing the weekly Parsha

It's a Mitzva to review the week's Torah Reading by reading it twice in the original and once with the (Aramaic) Onkelus translation.

One who doesn't understand (or appreciate) Onkelus may instead read Rashi or even an English translation.

One may already start on Sunday, and one should finish before the Torah is read on Shabbat morning.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 72:11

- Danny
Monday, 18 Tevet 5770

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Halocho #484 - Honoring the elderly

One must stand up for a Torah Scholar even if he's young.

One must stand up for people over seventy years old even if they're not Torah Scholars, so long as they're not wicked.

Even non-Jews over 70 deserve some show of respect.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 144: 2

- Danny
Sunday, 17 Tevet 5770