Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halocho #679 - Being responsible to the last minute

When returning an object that you were asked to safeguard, or when returning a loan, it must be returned to the person who gave it to you.

Giving it to a member their household is not acceptable;  if something happens to the item you would be held responsible.

However, giving it to the owner's spouse is permitted, unless you were explicitly asked not to do so, since spouses trust each other to look after each other's property.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:5

- Danny
Sunday, 23 Marcheshvan 5771

Please daven for 3 year old David ben Lea who has bacteria in his blood

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halocho #678 - Trees on Shabbat

Moving objects that are Muktza is not allowed on Shabbat. One may touch Muktza on Shabbat if it will not move.

However, one may not use a tree on Shabbat even if it is solid and will not move; one may not climb on it, nor hang from it.

One may not hang things onto trees on Shabbat, nor remove items hanging on trees.

One may not tie an animal by its leash to a tree on Shabbat.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:60

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 20 Marcheshvan 5771

Please daven for the complete recovery of Rivka bat Tirtzel.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halocho #677 - Looking after other people's objects

If somebody gave you an object to look after, you have to safeguard it in the best possible way for that object; some items need to be locked away, others need to be aerated, etc.

Even if you are careless about looking after your own items, you still have to guard other people's items properly.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:3

- Danny
Wednesday, 19 Marchesvan 5771

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halocho #676 - May you use something you're safeguarding?

If somebody gave you an object to look after, then you may not use it without their explicit permission.

Even if you are certain that the owner does not mind, it's better not to use it.

This is forbidden even if the object will not suffer any wear and tear from being used.

Letting other people use the object is absolutely forbidden.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:2

- Danny
Tuesday, 18 Marchesvan 5771

Please daven for the complete recovery of Rivka bat Tirtzel. Tehillim signup at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halocho #675 - Lending out borrowed money

Yesterday we learned that if you borrow or hire something, you are not allowed to let other people use it, without explicit permission from the original owner.

Money is different. You may lend out money that you borrowed, since the lender does not expect you to return the same coins and bills.

However, if you are expected to return those same bills and coins, then you may not lend them to others.

For example, if they are collector's items, or they are tied up and you are safeguarding them - not using them as a loan - them you may not let others use them.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:1

- Danny
Monday, 17 Marchesvan 5771

Please daven for
Rachel Rivka bat Aharona Zissel Sara (Lebetkin, 28)
who is missing since last Sunday.
Details at -  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halocho #674 - Borrowers can't be lenders

If you borrow or hire something, you are not allowed to let other people use it, without explicit permission from the original owner.

If one knows for a fact that the owner lets this particular person use this item (or similar items) then one can lend or rent the item to that person.

Even though it's a Mitzva to let other people use your Sefarim (Torah related books), if you borrow a Sefer you may not let others use it.

If one borrows a Sefer for others to use, only one person at a time may use it.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 185:1

- Danny
Sunday, 16 Marchesvan 5771

Please daven for the complete recovery of Rivka bat Tirtzel.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halocho #673 - Breaking things on Shabbat

One should not break or cut items on Shabbat, with the exception of food.

Even items that are only fit for animals to eat may be cut or broken. Thus, one may break a piece of straw to make a toothpick.

One may rub or break spices in order to extract their fragrance, even if they are as hard as wood.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:59

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 13 Marchesvan 5771

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halocho #672 - Achoo! Sneeze the Jewish way!

When a person sneezes, one blesses him with אֲסוּתָא - Be Healthy - Gesundheit - לַבְּרִיאוּת

The sneezer then responds with בָּרוּךְ תִּהְיֶה - Bless you.

After sneezing one should say 'לִישׁוּעָתְךָ קִוִּיתִי ה - for Your salvation do I hope, Hashem, since one who prays for somebody else is answered first.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:5

- Danny
Wednesday, 12 Marchesvan 5771

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halocho #671 - Breaking the glass cup

At an engagement party one breaks a plate, whereas under the Chuppa (wedding canopy) one breaks a glass vessel.

This is done in order to remember the destruction of Jerusalem and the Bet Hamikdash, even at the height of our joyous celebrations.

The glass cup broken under the Chuppa should be intact, whereas at the engagement one should break a damaged plate.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 126:2

- Danny
Tuesday, 11 Marchesvan 5771

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halocho #670 - The Bracha on medicine

Before taking medicine - or doing any medical procedure -  one should say:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ וֵאֱלקֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ,
שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לִי עֵסֶק זֶה לִרְפוּאָה
כִּי רוֹפֵא חִנָּם אַתָּה

"May it be your will, Hashem,
 that this procedure should cure me,
for You are a Doctor who does not charge."

If the medicine tastes good, one should then say the relevant Bracha (usually Shehakol) before taking the medicine.

After taking medicine - or doing any medical procedure - one says:

בָּרוּךְ רוֹפֵא חוֹלִים

"Blessed is the One who heals the ill."

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:4
- Danny
Monday, 10 Marchesvan 5771

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halocho #669 - BeHaB; another fast?

The custom is to say extra Selichot on the first "Monday, Thursday and Monday" in the month following Pessach and Sukkoth.

Some communities do this on the last "Monday, Thursday and Monday" of the month.

Since Monday is "Yom Sheni" or "Yom Bet - ב" and Thursday is "Yom Chamishi" or "Yom Heh - ה" these days are referred to as BeHaB - בה"ב

Some people have the custom to fast on BeHaB.

A special Mi-Sheberach was recited on Shabbat before the Torah was returned to the Aron Hakodesh to bless those who will fast.

Despite being a "private" (not communal) fast day, a person need not "declare his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, if he answered Amen to the Mi-Sheberach.

Yet, answering Amen to the Mi-Sheberach does not oblige one to fast.

Even if one intended to fast when answering Amen and then on the designated day there was a Se'udat Mitzva (e.g. Brit Mila or Siyum or Pidyon HaBen) one should join the meal and not fast.

However, if one "declared his intention to fast" during the Mincha-Amida of the preceding day, then one needs to fast.

Tomorrow (Monday), and Thursday and next week Monday are BeHaB in most communities.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 127:3, 14
- Danny
Sunday, 6 Marchesvan 5771

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halocho #668 - Ask for rain

In Israel, starting this this evening - Thursday evening - (7th Marcheshvan) we start praying for rain in the 9th Bracha of the weekday Amida - Barech-Aleinu - ברך עלינו.
In the Diaspora we will start 7 weeks later - on Motzai Shabbat Miketz; the 4th night of Chanuka (5 Dec).

If you forgot to add "ותן טל ומטר לברכה" - "and bless us with dew and rain", then:
- If you remember before you finish the 9th Bracha, then you insert it and continue from there.
- If you already said "Baruch Ata Hashem" of the 9th Bracha, then you insert it into Shma-Kolienu - the 16th Bracha - before "Ki Ata".
- If you forget to say it in Shma-Kolienu then you need to go back to the 9th Bracha - Barech-Aleinu.
- If you didn't remember until you finished the Amida (defined as saying "Yihyu Leratzon") then you have to restart the entire Amida.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:5

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 6 Marchesvan 5771

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halocho #667 - Is price gouging allowed when selling medicine?

When selling medicines, one is not allowed to charge more than the fair market value of the medication.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:10

- Danny
Wednesday, 5 Marchesvan 5771

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halocho #666 - Must medicine be Kosher?

In order to save a life, one may take medicine that is not Kosher. One may also transgress any other Mitzva needed to save one's life, with the exception of murder, adultery and idolatry.

In non-life threatening situations:
- One should not take non-Kosher medicine, if there's a Kosher alternative readily available.
- If only non-Kosher medicine is available, it may be used. However, if it has a pleasant taste, then one should spoil its taste, for example by adding something bitter to it, or wrapping it in tissue paper.
- If the medicine is a mixture of meat and milk, a Rabbi should be consulted, since normally meat and milk mixtures cannot be used as medicine. The same applies to Kil'ay Hakerem; grains and grapes that grew in close proximity.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:5, 6, 7
- Danny
Tuesday, 4 Marchesvan 5771

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halocho #665 - May one be a Doctor?

Even though illness is divinely decreed on a person; the Torah commands the Doctors to heal,as it says in Shmot 21:19 - וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא - and he shall be healed.

It's a Mitzva for experts in the medical field to heal people; there is no greater Mitzva than saving lives.

A Doctor who refuses to heal is considered a murderer - even if there are other doctors around, for some illnesses are decreed to leave only after a certain Doctor treats it.

However, somebody who is not trained to be a medical partitioner, should not try healing people, for mistreating illness is also considered murder.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:4
- Danny
Monday, 3 Marchesvan 5771

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halocho #664 - May one go to Doctors?

A person may not rely on miracles when it comes to health issues.

When one is not feeling well, one must consult a qualified medical practitioner.

Refusing to do so is a sign of arrogance, besides for the prohibition of endangering one's life.

One should use the best doctors one can find; yet pray to Hashem that this doctor should be His successful messenger.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:3
- Danny
Sunday, 2 Cheshvan 5771

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halocho #663 - Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

The 2 days of Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan start this evening - Thursday evening.

On Rosh Chodesh one adds  יַעֲלֶה וְיָבוֹא into Birkat Hamazon and the Amida.

On Friday we will call up 4 people to read from the Torah, between Hallel and Mussaf.

On Shabbat we will will take out 2 Sifrei Torah after Hallel. In the first one we will call up at least 7 people to read from Parshat Noah. Then we call up the Maftir to read from the 2nd Sefer Torah.

The Haftara this week is הַשָּׁמַיִם כִּסְאִי  for Shabbat-Rosh Chodesh, consisting of the last chapter in Sefer Yeshayahu.

For Mussaf one says the  אַתָּה יָצַרְתָּ version (usually found at the bottom half of the Shabbat Mussaf pages) which includes both Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh.

Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 425

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 29 Tishrei, Erev Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan 5771

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halocho #662 - First Aid

"When a member of one's household is unwell, one should go to a Rabbi and ask him to pray for mercy" is what Rav Pinchas bar Chama taught us in Bava Basra (116a) based on a verse in Mishlei (17:14).

It's customary to also give charity to the poor, since "Repentance, Prayer and Charity abolish evil decrees".

The custom is to make a special "Mi Sheberach" prayer in the synagogue for the patient; even on Shabbat, if the condition is life threatening.

In extreme cases, the patient's name is changed (usually by adding another name), as this is another effective way of abolishing evil decrees against a person.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:2

- Danny
Wednesday, 28 Tishrei 5771

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halocho #661 - Staying healthy

It's a Mitzva to keep one's body in the best of health.

A person should continuously pray that he remain healthy, for if one gets sick one will need spiritual merits - repentance and good deeds - to fully recover.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch  190:3, 192:1

- Danny
Tuesday, 27 Tishrei 5771

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halocho #660 - May one throw out Sukkah decorations?

Since the S'chach (branches covering the Sukkah) were used for a Mitzvah, they deserve some respect even after having done their duty.

After Sukkoth when the S'chach is taken down, one should not trample on it.

One may throw them away, but one may not use them for disrespectful purposes like building an outhouse.

One may burn S'chach.

Care should be taken with decorations that have Torah verses written on them.

Preferably one shouldn't hang up such decorations, but if one did, then they need to go into Geniza or otherwise carefully looked after.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 134:13, 14

- Danny
Monday, 26 Tishrei 5771

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halocho #659 - Wind and rain

Since Mussaf on Shmini Atzeret (last Thursday) we have been praising Hashem for the wonderful gift of rain, by adding Mashiv HaRu'ach Umorid HaGeshem - משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם - into the second Bracha of the Amida.

If one forgets to add this?

If one has not yet finished the 2nd Bracha then one adds it after any of the many phrases in this Bracha. If one wishes, one may restart the Bracha and say it in it's correct place.

If one already finished the 2nd Bracha?

If you have the custom of adding "Morid haTal" - מוריד הטל - during the summer, then continue as usual. No amendment is required.

If you do NOT have the custom of adding "Morid haTal" - מוריד הטל - during the summer, then you have to restart the Amida from the beginning. This is because the first 3 Brachot of the Amida are considered a single entity.

One continues saying V'Then Bracha - ותן ברכה - in the 9th Bracha of the Amida until the 7th Marcheshvan in Israel and the 5th December in the Diaspora.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 19:1, 2, 5

- Danny
Sunday, 25 Tishrei 5771