This Shabbat is "Shabbat Mevarchim".
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz will be next week on Wednesday and Thursday.
There's an ancient custom to bless the upcoming month on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh, before Mussaf.
This is not to be confused with Sanctifying the Month that was done by the Sanhedrin when the new moon appeared.
Nevertheless, the custom is to stand when the Chazzan announces which day(s) will be Rosh Chodesh, since the sanctification of the month was done while standing.
Source: Mishna Brura 417:1
Shabbat Shalom uMevorach
Thursday, 24 Sivan 5776
Thursday, June 30, 2016
This Shabbat is "Shabbat Mevarchim".
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
If one cooks meat in almond milk, one has to leave some almonds in the dish, so that people do not suspect one of having cooked meat in milk.
As a general rule, one should be careful not to do anything which looks like it's against Halacha, even if one is not doing anything wrong, as it says in Bemidbar 23:22 וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִּים מֵה' וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל and in Mishlei 3:4 - וּמְצָא חֵן וְשֵׂכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱ-לקִים וְאָדָם.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:14, 29:20
Wednesday, 23 Sivan 5776
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
After eating milky products one needs to wash one's hands or check them carefully, eat something hard (like bread) and rinse one's mouth or drink something and check between one's teeth or brush them. Then - if it's not during the same meal - one can eat meat right away.
The exception is hard cheese that aged for 6 months or became wormy. After eating such cheese, one needs to wait 6 hours before eating meat.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:11
As we learned yesterday, some have the custom to only wait 1 or 3 hours.
There's a debate among Poskim if modern hard cheese that didn't age 6 months is considered like hard cheese. Check with your favorite LOR.
Tuesday, 22 Sivan 5776
Monday, June 27, 2016
After eating meat or chicken, one must wait 6 hours before eating milky products.
Even if one only chewed the meat, but did not swallow it, one must still wait.
If, after waiting 6 hours, one finds meat stuck between one's teeth, one has to remove it and rinse one's mouth and eat something solid before eating Milky, though one need not wait another 6 hours.
If the food did not contain any meat, chicken or gravy, but was simply cooked in a meaty pot - even if the pot wasn't spotlessly clean - one may eat milk right afterwards.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:9-10
Some have the custom of only waiting 1 hour or 3 hours, and not 6 hours between meat and milk. Everybody should follow their family Minhag.
Monday, 21 Sivan 5776
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Any life threatening danger needs preventive protection as appropriate.
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 190:1-2
Sunday, 20 Sivan 5776
Thursday, June 23, 2016
An item made of various parts can be assembled on Shabbat if the connections are loose, and it is taken apart and put back together frequently. (Like Lego pieces.)
If the parts are supposed to be tightly connected or screwed together - so as to "almost never" take them apart (like most door handles) - then you cannot assemble them on Shabbat, even if you don't tighten the connection.
Lids of dishes may be taken off and put back on even if they are tight (like Tupperware) since they are not meant to remain connected permanently.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:83
Thursday, 17 Sivan 5776
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
It's a Mitzvah to put a fence around one's roof to prevent people from falling off.
The fence must be at least 10 Tefachim (80 cm - 30") 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
Wednesday, 16 Sivan 5776
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
One cannot use the same dishes and cutlery for eating meat and milk.
If one has 2 identical sets of dishes, then the custom is to mark the Milky dishes (with permanent ink, a scratch or otherwise) in order to tell them apart.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:8
Tuesday, 15 Sivan 5776
Monday, June 20, 2016
Two acquaintances are not allowed to share the same table, if one is eating a meat meal and the other is eating a milky meal.
This applies to friends, family and even to casual acquaintances who wouldn't feel comfortable sharing their food.
If there is some sort of separation on the table, then they are allowed to share the table. For example, if they each have their own place mat, or there is something between them on the table that normally is not on the table, like food (bottle of whiskey) or vessels (vase or extra salt cellars).
They should not share the same cup, pitcher or bottle, since food can get stuck on it and passed from one to the other.
They also should not be sharing the same loaf of bread. The custom is that they do not even share the same salt cellars.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:6, 7
Tuesday, 15 Sivan 5776
Sunday, June 19, 2016
There are 3 prohibitions regarding meat and milk:
- One may not eat them together
- One may not cook them together
- One may not derive any benefit from such a mixture
Some mixtures of meat and milk are forbidden even to be fed to one's pets.
From some mixtures of meat and milk one is allowed to derive benefit. A competent Rabbinic authority needs to be consulted on a case-by-case basis.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:5
Sunday, 13 Sivan 5776
Thursday, June 16, 2016
This week's Torah reading (in Israel, next week in the diaspora) - בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ - ends with Miriam's punishment for discussing her brother Moshe's life with their brother Aaron.
Next week's Torah reading (in Israel) - שְׁלַח - starts with the sin of the spies who spoke evil about the Holy Land.
The Torah prohibits us from talebearing; telling one person what another person did, or what they said, or where they went. Talebearing is forbidden even if the all the information is 100% true; the entire truth and nothing but the truth.
Talebearing is forbidden even if nothing derogatory is said. An extreme example of the destructive power of talebearing is found in Shmuel-1 (Ch. 21 and 22).
Do'eg told King Saul that Achimelech had given [future King] David supplies and a sword. Even though it was the truth - later Achimelech himself told King Saul about it - nevertheless, King Saul ordered the city of Nov to be destroyed along with eighty-five Cohanim and their families.
One can never know the consequences of passing along seemingly innocent information.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 30:1
10 Sivan 5776
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
If one bites into food - a piece of bread or fruit, for example - and some blood (from one's gums or elsewhere) gets onto the food, one has to remove the bloody part before eating the rest.
However, one may swallow one's own blood originating in one's mouth - from bleeding gums or a cut tongue, for example - if it did not leave one's mouth.
Note that on Shabbat one cannot draw blood, or even suck out blood from between one's teeth.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:3, 80:54
Wednesday, 9 Sivan 5776
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Kosher meat and fowl are kashered with coarse salt in order to remove as much blood as possible.
Since liver is full of blood, salting it is ineffective. Liver needs to be roasted over an open flame to remove as much blood as possible.
Blood spots in eggs may not be eaten, and usually the entire egg is discarded if it has a blood spot.
If a fish has fins and scales then it is Kosher, and its blood may be eaten. However, if the blood has separated from the fish and cannot be distinguished from non-fish blood then it is forbidden.
If a bowl of fish-blood has fish-scales floating in it, then it's permitted.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:1,2
Tuesday, 8 Sivan 5776
Monday, June 13, 2016
Today is the 2nd day of שָּׁבוּעוֹת outside of Israel. In Israel, it is already אִסְרוּ חָג.
The day after Yom Tov is called אִסְרוּ חָג.
One may not fast on אִסְרוּ חָג and no תַּחֲנוּן is said on אִסְרוּ חָג.
Some do not say תַּחֲנוּן for the entire week after שָּׁבוּעוֹת since the קָּרְבָּנוֹת you had to bring when coming to the בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ on Yom Tov could be brought for the entire week after שָּׁבוּעוֹת.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 103:14
- Danny, Jerusalem
Monday, 8 Sivan 5776
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Erev Shavuot will be on Shabbat. Remember to leave a fire burning (like a Yahrzeit candle) so as to be able to light the Yom Tov candles on Motzai Shabbat from an existing flame.
In order not to spoil one's appetite for the Yom Tov meal, one should not eat a meal during the second half of the afternoon, on Erev Yom Tov.
This year - being Shabbat - this refers to the 3rd Shabbat meal (סְעוּדָּה שְׁלִישִׁית). One should not eat the 3rd meal during the second half of the afternoon on Shabbat, if possible.
At the very least, one has to be careful to limit one's afternoon meal so that one will have an appetite for the Yom Tov meal.
Outside of Israel, this also applies to the first day of Yom Tov; so as not to spoil one's appetite for the evening meal of the 2nd day of Yom Tov.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 103:2
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Same'ach
Thursday, 3 Sivan 5776, 47th day of the Omer
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Today - in the year 2449 - a few days before Matan Torah, Hashem informed us (Shmos 19:5) that we're a chosen nation:
No Tachanun is said during the first part of Sivan; until אִסְרוּ חַג of שָׁבוּעוֹת (or a week later - depending on local custom).
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 22:8, 198:14
Wednesday, 2 Sivan 5776, 46th day of the Omer
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Today - Tuesday - is Rosh Chodesh Sivan. It's the day the Yidden arrived at Mount Sinai, as it says in Parshat יִתְרוֹ (Exodus 19:1):
The Mitzva of תְּפִלִּין was given to the Yidden right after leaving Egypt - before they arrived at Har Sinai.
Men wear תְּפִלִּין 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, הַלֵּל and קְרִיאַת הַתּוֹרָה. They are removed before starting מוּסָף.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 10:19
Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5776, 45th day of the Omer
Monday, June 6, 2016
This year - 5776 - שָׁבוּעוֹת will be on Sunday.
Outside of Israel שָׁבוּעוֹת will also be on Monday.
It's customary to read מְגִלַּת רוּת on שָׁבוּעוֹת, between הַלֵּל and the קְרִיאַת הַתּוֹרָה.
In Israel, Megilat Ruth will be read on Sunday and in the Diaspora most places will read מְגִלַּת רוּת on Monday.
One has to remember to leave a flame burning (like a Yahrzeit candle or gas range) from before Shabbat so that one can light the Yom Tov candles on Motzai Shabbat - Saturday night after dark.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 75, Orach Chaim 490:9
Monday, 29 Iyar 5776, 44th day of the Omer
P.S. Tonight & tomorrow (Tuesday) will be Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Don't forget יַעֲלֶה וְיָבוֹא in בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן and the שְׁמוֹנָה עֶשְֹרֵה.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Kotel ("Wailing wall") is the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount where the Bet Hamikdash (Temple) stood until it was destroyed over 1,900 years ago.
The Kotel "plaza" is outside the Temple Mount. Every prayer of ours - Amida and Birkat Hamazon - includes a supplication to once again be able to serve Hashem on the other side of the Kotel; from inside the rebuilt Bet Hamikdash.
When seeing the place where the Bet Hamikdash stood, one needs to do Kri'a; tear one's clothes in the same way that mourners do.
One only needs to tear Kri'a if one hasn't been in Jerusalem for more than 30 days.
Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 561
The prevalent Yerushalmi custom is to not tear Kri'a on days one doesn't say Tachanun, including Friday afternoons.
Sunday, 28th day of the Omer, Yom Yerushalayim, 5776
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Fruit that was picked on Shabbat may not be eaten on that Shabbat - even if a non-Jew picked it for themselves.
Even fruit that is lying under a tree is forbidden, since it may have fallen off on Shabbat.
Such fruit is Muktza and may not even be moved, until after Shabbat.
Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 80:8
Thursday, 25 Iyar 5776, 40th day of the Omer
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
In the Torah, Shavuot does not have a fixed date, but happens on the day after finishing counting 7 full weeks; the 49 days of the Omer.
Since we currently have a fixed Jewish calendar, with Nissan always 30 days long and Iyar always 29 days long, Shavuot is always on 6 Sivan.
Outside Israel, it's 2 days long - 6 and 7 Sivan.
Source: Vaykira 23:15 - 19
Wednesday, 24 Iyar 5776, 39th day of the Omer