Emunah Based on the Teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

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Laws pertaining to Preparing the House for Pesach – Part III

Kashering the Kitchen, its furniture and accessories.

A. The main body of the kitchen area itself needs a thorough cleaning and bedikah since this is the main place where chametz is found throughout the year. With regards to the obligation to perform bedikas chametz on the main floor space, as we have mentioned in previous weeks, one can rely on cleaning alone, but with regards to the corners and crevices/grooves, under the fridge and between the cupboard, one needs to perform a bedikah as well.

B.  Kitchen Cupboards:

One needs to remove all the contents of the shelves and clean them well so that  not even a single crumb will remain.  One also needs to perform a thorough bedikah even though one has used cleaning materials there, due to a fear that some crumbs may fall into a utensil or food.  The main bedikah revolves around the corners and hinges (where for example “soup almonds” or pasta pieces can fall).  NOTE: Even though one has cleaned there, one needs to do a bedikas chametz before one places the Pesach utensils and food there, as afterwards it is not possible to perform a bedikah.  Many are negligent in this point since when they do the bedikah on the night of the 14th, the shelves are already full of Pesach goods and it is difficult at that point to remove everything and thereby perform a thorough bedikah – and what usually happens is one ends up only superficially looking over the shelves and this is not considered a bedikah at all!

Cupboards that one intends to include when selling one’s chametz, do not require cleaning or bedikah.

There are those that line their cupboard shelves with paper/plastic lining or the like, but it seems that if the selves are made of Formica, there is no need to line them at all as this minhag of covering them comes from yesteryear where most shelving was made of solid wood which had many grooves and there was no real way to clean them well.  Conversely today, when one is able to clean such smooth surfaces well, there is no need.  However, if one was not able to clean one’s surfaces appropriately or there are some grooves or cracks etc, there is room to follow this minhag.

C. Kitchen Drawers:

One has to follow the laws described above in regards to the Kitchen cupboards, but one needs to be even more careful with regards to the corners and railings of the drawers. After one has cleaned them well, one needs to perform a bedikah.  If it is during the day, one can take the drawers into the sunlight (E.g. by the window) and perform the bedikah; if at night, with a flashlight.

Also over here, if one has performed the appropriate bedikah and there is no separation between the bottoms and the sides of the drawers, one does not need to line them with paper/plastic lining (or the like).  However, if one still suspects there may be some chametz in the grooves, instead of the lining, it is possible to spray some detergent there or to seal the grooves with tape.

D. Bread Drawers:

The correct minhag is not to use these at all on Pesach.  One who does in fact make use of this space, should seal all the corners and grooves with tape as even after cleaning, it is very likely still to have crumbs of chametz there.  Also the railings in the case of such drawers, would need to be cleaned exceptionally well and then sprayed with detergent afterwards in case any remaining crumbs should fall into the drawers below.

E.  Drying Racks:

According to the main essence of the Halacha, it is enough to clean the drying racks well.  However, in the case of drying racks built into the cupboards, it is likely that they may have absorbed steam from chametz and therefore, when steamed again during Pesach, the racks will exude this chametz to the Pesach utensils.  Therefore, it would appear that one should kasher them with steam.  In practice, one should boil water in an electric urn/kettle and while it is still boiling steam, hold/place the kettle under the drying racks letting the steam of the kettle draw out any chametz that it may have absorbed.

F.  Counter tops:

One needs to clean these surfaces extremely well and carefully because they will be used on Pesach itself.  It would  appear that according to the strict fulfillment of the precept, one should perform a bedikah on them as well.  In practice, most people in Eretz Yisrael do not have real granite (which is normally a mixture) and therefore it is not possible to kasher them.  One is therefore required to cover them.  It is preferable to cover them with a thick enough material that will not tear on Pesach e.g. pvc, or 100 micro foil.  If one uses such material, there is no need to perform Hagalah (pour boiling water over the counter tops) prior to covering it.  If one wants to be scrupulous, one should not place any hot pots on the surface directly, but rather on an intermediary place-holder between the counter and pot.  Note: those who have genuine stone/granite or stainless steel counter tops should ask a halachic authority about the methods of kashering them, due to the complexity involved which we are unable to go into over here.

G. Ceramic Tiles

One should clean these surfaces (backsplash etc) well, since they are susceptible to absorbing steam given off by, or from splashes of chametz.  Should these surfaces come in contact with a Pesach pot etc, the pot could absorb the taste of the chametz.  In practice, hagalah would not help with ceramic since it is porous and therefore one should cover these surfaces with the likes of regular aluminum foil.

G. Faucets

One should clean them well and pour boiling water over them.  The process is as follows:  First, one should open the hot water and let the water flow until the tap itself becomes hot and then pour boiling water over the tap at the same time.  With regards to removable faucets with a hose, since there are parts that do not get very hot when the hot water is turned on, one should pour boiling water on the hose etc as well.

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Laws pertaining to Preparing the House for Pesach – Part II

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

A. Rooms in the House & furniture that need cleaning and Bedikas Chametz:

All rooms of the house that are suspected of having Chametz brought in require cleaning and Bedikas Chametz.. This is because there are times in which a person entered such a room in the middle of his seuda and there is therefore a fear that he may have left some Chametz behind.  This applies even more so when there are children in the house who go from room to room with Chametz.  Bedrooms are an issue in regards to the sick who ate in the bed.  One also needs to perform Bedikas Chametz under the beds it is not uncommon for Chametz to fall there.  This applies even more so to places in which one eats, such as the kitchen, dining-room and living room including the space in-between or under the cupboards if one is able to gain access with his hands.

B.  After cleaning, what are the rules of Bedikas Chametz in these places:

After one has washed the floor with cleaning materials in the open area of the room, there is no need to perform Bedikas Chametz.  With regards to the corners of the room, even though they are halachically considered “holes” or “grooves” requiring Bedikah, since anything remaining would becomes “unfit for a dog to eat” due to the cleaning materials, according to the essential Halacha there is no need to perform Bedikas Chametz there, however, in practice it appears that one should check in there in a superficial manner.

C.  Bathrooms (without toilet) in general require cleaning and Bedikah as it is not uncommon for Chametz to be brought in there during a Seuda, especially on Erev Pesach where one may wash his hands before or after a meal.   Restrooms (containing a toilet) require bedikah when there are children in the house. (Many make the mistake of not performing a bedikas chametz in these places.  So, if one wants to perform bedikas chametz “b’tehara” (“in purity”) without having to do netilas yadayim again, he should leave the restroom till last.

D.  Cupboards outside of the kitchen: The Poskim write that there is a fear that one may have needed something in the middle of a seuda from a cupboard and inadvertently left some Chametz behind.  Therefore, any cupboard that is suspected of having Chametz requires bedikah.  However, if one is used to washing ones hand before opening such cupboards, there would be no need to clean and perform bedikah there.  Furthermore, if access to the higher parts of the cupboards require a chair or ladder, there is no need to clean and perform bedikas Chametz there.  If there are children in the house, any place that they can access would in fact require cleaning and bedikah.  Even more so, cupboards that have children’s toys are certainly considered to be places containing Chametz and would therefore require cleaning and bedikah.

The practical ways to clean and perform bedikas Chametz in cupboards and those places suspected of containing chametz:

  • One should remove all the contents from the shelves and drawers (both fixed and removable) and clean them.
  • One also needs to clean all the surfaces of the cupboard (sides, back bottom etc) and it is preferable to clean these surfaces with cleaning materials as this process will invalidate any remaining chametz there.  Shelves that one is able remove and clean, do not require bedikas chametz.  However, fixed shelving and the bottom of the cupboard do require bedikah in the corners.  Drawers should be removed and cleaned and when performing bedikas chametz, only require superficial checking (unlike the shelves).

E.  Bookshelves: With regards to bookshelves (open or closed) that are in a place where one eats throughout the year, the lower sections are considered to be places almost certain to contain Chametz, even more so in the case of children in the house.  However, the higher less accessible places do not require bedikas chametz.

F.  Clothes: If one’s clothes are laundered, there is no need to clean the pockets to perform bedikas chametz  there since, after laundering, there is unlikely to be any remaining chametz, and any chametz would be deemed invalid by the laundering process.  However, with regards to those clothes that one intends to wear on Pesach, it would seem appropriate to clean their pockets even though they have been laundered in order that no crumbs should inadvertently enter one’s food.  This process of cleaning the pockets after laundering, entails turning them inside-out and dusting them off.

If one was not able to launder his clothes in general before Pesach, one should clean the pockets and hems (as these are considered places suspected of  chametz), and should perform bedikas chametz in the sunlight or under the light of the room on them.  It would be considered a fine bedikah and therefore, one would not need to reform bedikas chametz on the night of the 14th again.

Various Laws Pertaining to Rosh Chodesh

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

A. Does one mention “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” at the 3rd Meal?

In the case where Motzei Shabbos falls out on Rosh Chodesh, one who makes Birkas Hamazon at night (Tzeis Hakochavim), raises the question as to whether or not to say “Retzei” as one does on Shabbos itself, or “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” as we will clarify below according to the Poskim (Shulchan Aruch – 188).

  • If one finishes the Seuda before sunset even if he only benches Birkas Hamazon at night (Tzeis Hakochavim), he only mentions “Retzei”.
  • If one finishes the Seuda bein Hasmashos (between sunset and Tzeis Hakochavim), there are those who say that the law goes according to one who finishes the Seuda before sunset according to point A. above and therefore one would only mention “Retzei”.
  • If one continued to eat bread after Tzeis Hakochavim, there is a difference of opinion among the Poskim as what to say:

1. There are those that say only to mention Yaaleh V’Yavoh in as much as that if one said “Retzei” it would be as if one “contradicted” the other.  Since, on the one hand one is still considering the time to be Shabbos yet on the other hand by saying “Yaaleh V’Yavoh”, one is considering it to be Rosh Chodesh (in which case it would no longer be Shabbos!) – (Magen Avraham and many of the Achronim).

2. There are those that say to mention both “Retzei” and “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” and hold that mentioning the two insertions do not contradict one another – (Taz and Baal HaTanya)

3. There are those that say only to mention “Retzei” (Bach, Aruch Hashulchan and the Ben Ish Chai)

In practice:

Based on the differing opinions above then, it would be best not to continue eating bread after sunset in order not to enter into any doubt and therefore avoid having to deal with the 3 differences of opinion above.

  • If one did in fact continue to eat bread between sunset and Tzeis Hakochavim, it would seem preferable to say “Retzei” only.
  • If however, one continued to eat bread after Tzeis Hakochavim, whether one said just “Yaaleh V’Yavoh” or “Retzei” and “Yaaleh V’Yavo” there are those on whom to rely.  But if one said only “Retzei” (albeit not preferable), the Poskim do not “object.”
  • If however, one prayed Maariv before Birkas Hamazon, one only mentions “Yaaleh V’Yavoh”.
  • If one did not eat bread after sunset or Tzeis Hakochavim, but only ate other items (or a kazayis of bread in more that the allotted amount of time for eating the kazayis (“achilat pras”), one only mentions “Retzei”.

B.  The prohibition of Women to perform Melachos on Rosh Chodesh.

Women are prohibited to perform Melachos on Rosh Chodesh, however within these prohibitions, there are a different Minhagim:

a) Those that do not perform any Melacha at all.

b) Those that do not sew, knit and wash clothes other that for specific needs on the day.

c) Those that do not sew and knit but wash clothes per usual (especially since today we have washing machines and therefore many are lenient in this way).  The same also applies to ironing and the way it is done today.

However with regards to baking and cooking, there is no minhag to be stringent and refrain.

In practice:

If there is a known minhag in the community, one should do according to the Minhag of the place (minhag hamakom).  If however, there is no established minhag in the community, one should go according to the minhag of her mother.  But if one has neither minhag, a woman should ask her Rav.

Women working for a living:

If a woman is an employee and it would be difficult to stop working on Rosh Chodesh, she should work as per usual.  Even if she is an independent contractor, according to the Aruch Hashulchan, she is permitted to work as per usual.

The Night of Rosh Chodesh:

The prohibition of melacha on the night of Rosh Chodesh itself also depends on the minhag of the community.

Two-day Rosh Chodesh:

If Rosh Chodesh is two days, there are those that are stringent not to perform melacha on both days but others are stringent only on the 2nd day and not on the 1st.

All of the above points apply ONLY to married woman, but with regards to unmarried women, there are those that say there is no prohibition against Melacha at all, but those that are stringent however, find blessing.

C.  Seudas Rosh Chodesh:

  • There is a specific mitzvah to eat plenty at the Seudas Rosh Chodesh day and one who spends money and eats and drinks in its honor is praiseworthy as the Talmud states: “all the nourishment of a person is determined on Rosh Hashanah except for Shabbos, Yom Tov and Rosh Chodesh and if one adds for this purpose, they enable him from Above” – Shulchan Aruch Siman 419.

(Many people are not careful with this law, not even aware that this is specific law outlined in the Shulchan Aruch and they therefore worry about spending money on this Seuda not realizing that they are not loosing anything as it is not part of their livelihood allotted on Rosh Hashanah.)

  • It is preferable to eat bread on Rosh Chodesh day for the Seudas Rosh Chodesh.
  • If Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, one should add additional food specifically in honor of Rosh Chodesh.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:

As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek.

Laws Pertaining to Coveting

Weekly Halacha Series

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

The 10th commandment is: “Do not covet” and even though everyone knows this warning, many are not aware of the practical applications of this prohibition.

In practice there are two prohibitions as it relates to this commandment.  One is “Do not desire” (“lo tisaveh” – Parashas Va’etchanan) and the second is “Do not covet” (“Lo Tachmod”) as is seen in this week’s Parasha which warns about the actual deed of coveting vs. that of desiring.

A. “Do Not Desire:”

According to the Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and most of the Poskim, this is the warning against “thoughts of the heart” alone. i.e. everything that is definitively decided in the heart of an individual to pursue another person’s belongings even were it to be in a “permissible” way such as purchasing the item from the individual – this in fact contravenes the prohibition of “Do not desire” and applies even if he had NOT purchased it yet!

However, there are those that say that this applies only if he pursues the belonging with all his effort.  Which would not be the case if his intent is to abandon the pursuit should his friend disagree to sell it to him.

Others hold that only if he actually does something to try and acquire the other’s belonging, would he be contravening this prohibition.

There are a minority of Poskim that hold that even if the person so much as desires the item in his heart and has not premeditatedly planned a way to acquire the belonging, he would be contravening this prohibition.

In all opinions however, it is a worthy trait (midas chassidus) not to desire in any way, even in one’s heart, what belongs to another.

B.  “Do Not Covet”:

This is applicable only when the following two conditions are met:

1) “Begging” and “pushing” another until he sells the item to him.

2) Taking possession of the “begged” item described in 1) above.

Definitions of “Begging”

1) Asking for an item not in a way of “begging”, would not contravene this prohibition.  Therefore, it is permissible to ask an individual if he would be willing to sell him the item he wants, even twice, and this would not considered “begging”.  However three times, would appear to be considered “begging”.  An important person however, knowing that the owner of a particular item would be embarrassed to decline the offer, would not be permitted to ask even once.

2) Therefore, even were one to pay the full price after he “begged” beyond the permissible amount of times described above, according to the Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and most Poskim, he would be contravening the prohibition of “Do not covet”.

3) If the owner agreed to sell the item because the buyer gave him much more than the going rate, his would still be contravening the this prohibition.

4) If after “begging” the owner truly agrees to sell the item (as in “I really want to sell the item”), there are those that say that the buyer has not contravened the prohibition of coveting, however,  there are other Poskim that hold to the contrary.

What items are prohibited to Covet?

1) Coveting a specific item that belongs to another person. However, if he desires to have something similar to another, then he would not be contravening the prohibition. Also, there would be no prohibition should he desire such an item in a non-jealous way but rather in a way that he finds such an item desirable/useful.

2) With regards to coveting an item that is readily available.  There are those that say there is no prohibition of coveting.

3) With regards to coveting possessions belonging to partners such as a shared garden, courtyard or roof, one should ask a Posek (Shaalat Chachom).

4) Coveting a Mitzvah item, such as a Sefer Torah, Mezuzah, Shofar, Lulav etc, contravenes the prohibition of coveting.

5) Coveting Torah knowledge or professional skill sets, such as desiring to learn Torah or a particular trade from another, does not contravene the prohibition and one would even be allowed to “beg” the other person to teach him that knowledge/skill.

6) Chesed – “begging” another to do a Chesed is permissible as the one doing the Chesed is performing a mitzvah.

7) Presents -“begging” another to give a present to him contravenes the prohibition of coveting.

8) Renting – “begging” another to rent him his house, for example, is disagreed upon among the Poskim as to whether this would be contravening the prohibition of coveting or not.  In practice one would need to ask a Posek.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:

As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek.

Praying for Ones Needs on Shabbos (Part I)

By HaRav Shimon Anshin shlit”a

A.   The Talmud Yerushalmi (Shabbos 15:3) writes that it is prohibited to appeal to Hashem for one’s needs on Shabbos.  And even though this prohibition it is not mentioned in the Talmud Bavli, and there is no such ruling to be found in the Rambam or Shulchan Aruch, nevertheless, some Rishonim together with the Tur (siman 188) and the Achronim, do in fact bring such a ruling.

The following are a few reasons brought by the Poskim as to why appealing to Hashem for one’s needs on Shabbos is forbidden:

1. That one should not come to cry on Shabbos (Ra”n).

2. That one has to consider Shabbos to be lacking nothing – i.e. nothing is left incomplete on Shabbos (Korban Haeida).

3. That one should not come to speak words of weekday matters (Divrei Chol) on Shabbos (Questions and Answers of the Yaabetz)

Now, even though there is no Biblical or Rabbinical prohibition against making such requests on Shabbos, doing so then would nevertheless be considered a transgression of the rulings of the Chachamim.

So, on the one hand then, it appears by the statement of the Yerushalmi that there is no license to appeal for one’s physical or spiritual needs on Shabbos, yet on the other hand, we find many prayers on Shabbos that do deal specifically with requesting one’s needs. In this form then, the Poskim rule that it is in fact permissible to make requests for one’s needs. And so,

B.  Any established prayers that contain requests for one’s needs, have no issue in regards to the abovementioned prohibition, for example:

1. “…Ro’einu, Tzo’neinu, Parnas’einu …” which is found in Birkas Hamazon dealing specifically with one’s livelihood (Yerushalmi).

2. “…Elokay Netzor …” which is found at the end of the Shemonah Esrei (Ohr Zaruha part 2,88)

3. “…Ha’Rachaman …” which has numerous requests found at the end of Birkas Hamazon.

C.  Prayers established specifically for Shabbos. Some examples are:

1. “…Berich Shemay …” extracted from the Zohar Hakadosh said during the opening of the Ark.

2. “…Ribon Ha’Olamim …” said after “Shalom Aleichem” on Shabbos night has many requests for one’s needs and is too allowed because it is considered an established prayer (Questions & Answers – Torah Lishma & Rav Pe’alim part 2, 46).

3. “…Ye’heh Ra’avah …” in the Shabbos Zmiros  also contains requests for one’s needs.  However, in this particular case, there are those that hold it is NOT permissible to ask for one’s needs over here, while others allow it.

D. All prayers that are NOT in the form of supplications or requests for mercy, but are rather in the form of Brochos are permissible.  Some examples are:

“…Yekum Purkan …” or Mishebeirachs that are made on behalf of the community after the Torah reading.

E.  Prayers for Klal Yisrael as a whole such as:

“…Zochreinu L’Chayim…” or “…mi Chamocha…” on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:

As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you are unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any  way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek (Halachic Authority).

Halachos pertaining to the trip to Rebbe Nachman’s Tomb on Rosh Hashanah

By HaRav Shimon Anshin, Shlit”a – Rosh Hashana 5770

Departure Times:

1. One may leave for Uman during the night as the injunction of departing on a journey ‘b’chi tov’ (day time) does not pertain to a journey which fulfills a Torah precept.

2. One may leave after day break for the same reason.  When doing so however, it is best to recite the morning blessings first, and if leaving less than 50 minutes before sunrise, to recite Krias Shema.

Accompaniment:

1. One should make every effort to have someone accompany him at least 4 amot (~6 feet) from one’s door.  Chazal says that one who is accompanied 4 amot at the beginning of his journey, is protected from injury on that journey.  If those accompanying cannot leave the house, they can accompany him 4 amot towards the door.

2. The traveler should be wished to go TO peace and not IN peace.

3. One who has not yet davened, may only come to wish the traveler a safe journey if he intends to do the dvar mitzvah of accompaniment as well.

The Wayfarer’s Prayer:

1. If there is 4 kilometers of uninhabited area on the way to the airport, Tefilat Haderech should be recited on the way to the airport while having in mind that the recital is for the plane trip as well.

2. If there isn’t a 4 kilometer uninhabited area on the way to the airport, one should say Tefilat Haderech on the plane immediately before going down the takeoff runway.  One who recited the prayer earlier fulfilled his obligation.  If one did not say the tefillah before takeoff, one should say it as soon as possible.

3. One who recited the standard Tefilat Haderech, may recite the special prayer composed for air travel.

4. If travel lasts for more than one day and one sleeps in a bed at night, the prayer should be recited again when traveling the next day.  If one slept, but not on a bed, the prayer should be said up to but not including the blessing at the end.

5. One should learn Torah on the way or at least recite Tehillim.  As Chazal says, “One who travels and turns his heart to emptiness…

Tallit and Tefillin:

1. One should take his Tallit and Tefillin as carry-on luggage so that they are always available.  One never knows what situations can arise when traveling.

2. If the bag holding the Tallit and Tefillin has the dimensions of a square tefach, it may be placed on the floor.

3. It is forbidden to sit on a suitcase that is holding Tefillin, unless one is doing so to prevent the theft of the Tefillin.

Sleeping on the way:

When sleeping in one’s clothes, care should be taken not to use one’s clothes as a pillow, as this causes forgetfulness.  If there is something between one’s head and the clothes, then it is acceptable.

Washing hands upon waking:

1. One who inadvertently falls asleep on a chair at night, is not obligated to wash one’s hands, but it is preferable to do so.  If he intentionally fell asleep, he must wash his hands.  If there is no cup available, one may wash without one.  One may wash in the airplane bathroom.

2. If one does not have water and would like to learn, he may wipe his hands on a towel – provided he wipes the entire hand – front, back and between the fingers until the wrist.  B’dieved one may wipe only the fingers until the palm of one’s hand.  This is just for cleanliness and does not remove the ‘bad spirit’ – but one should not refrain from Torah learning due to an inability to wash one’s hands.

3. One sleeping on the top of a bunk bed is not required to have the water brought to him.  He can come down in order to wash his hands even though he is traversing 4 amot.

Eating prior to dawn:

1. It is forbidden to eat more than the size of an egg’s volume of food for half an hour prior to daybreak.  The Zohar mentions that one should not eat from midnight as well.  After daybreak it is forbidden to eat even less than an egg’s volume of food.  One who was eating before the half an hour started, can continue to eat until daybreak.

2. Special care should be taken regarding this halachah since on an airplane one is not always aware when daybreak is approaching.

3. A weak person may eat.  Everyone is allowed to drink.

4. On Tzom Gedalia, since one will not be eating the entire day, one may eat during the half an hour before the fast, but it is preferable to plan in advance to eat before the half an hour prior to daybreak.

Earliest Davening times:

1. Korbonos – preferably after daybreak but may be recited at night.

2. Parshas haKiyor and Terumas haDeshen – may be recited at night leChatchila.

3. The blessing on the Torah – If one slept in a bed at night he may recite these blessings as soon as he wakes up even if it is before midnight.  If one only fell asleep in a haphazard way, i.e. on his chair – there is no need to recite the blessings on the Torah upon waking up in the middle of the night.

4. Elokay Neshomo, blessing for washing hands and blessing on using the bathroom – It is always best to wait until morning prayers to recite these blessings.  If one did not sleep on a bed, one should not recite these blessings until he uses the bathroom.

5. Morning Blessings – From Midnight.

6. Pesukei d’Zimra – From daybreak.

7. Krias Shma and it’s blessings – 50 minutes prior to sunrise.

8. Shemona Esrei – Preferably after sunrise, but when one is under pressure they may be recited from daybreak.

9. The exact time of daybreak – this is not clear and changes from place to place.  If one is in a pressured situation he may rely on the opinion of 72 minutes prior to sunrise.

10. Halachic times on an airplane – There is much debate on this topic.  Here are some guidelines:

a. It is not considered night time until it is dark outside the plane.  (If one prayed the evening prayers earlier, he has fulfilled his obligation since one may pray evening prayers prior to nighttime.)

b. For morning times one should wait until the times as they are listed on the ground, except for Shemoneh Esrei which may be recited as soon as there is light on the plane.

c. On the fast of Tzom Gedalia one should not eat from when there is light in the plane until it is dark on the plane.

When to pray when flying at night:

1. If one knows he will have a minyan to daven with properly within the time allotted for Shacharit on the plane – even if he will need to sit down while davening – one should wait until then.

2. If not, wait until 50 minutes before sunrise. In extenuating circumstances one may start at dawn.  (It is preferable to use the calculation of 72 minutes before sunrise.)

3. It is better to pray Mincha Gedola under normal circumstances than Mincha Ketana at the airport.

4. One should try to arrange his flights in a way that disturbances to prayer are minimized as much as possible.

Davening on a plane:

1. One must sit down while davening on a plane or train.  Legs should be placed together and one should not lean back on the seat, but sit upright supporting oneself.

2. The only exception is if there exists a quiet corner where one will be able to concentrate.

3. One must take care not to pray where there are women who are not dressed properly.  If this is the case, he should turn to a different side as much as possible and shut his eyes tightly while praying.

4. Similarly, one must take care not to pray or learn Torah opposite a bathroom or a soiled area.

Sitting and walking near someone who is in the middle of prayer:

1. It is forbidden to sit within a 4 amah radius of someone who is praying, unless the one who is sitting is praying or learning himself.  In front of someone praying one may not sit as far as the person praying can see.  Even if the one sitting wishes to pray or learn, there are those who forbid sitting down in front of one who is praying.

2. One may not traverse in front of one who is praying.  If there is a partition between the one praying and the one traversing and the one praying has his eyes closed, there is room to be lenient.  Furthermore, you may traverse in front of one praying if you need to go to the bathroom.  But upon return, you should wait until he finishes praying.  To hear Shofar, one may traverse in front of someone who is in the middle of prayer.  In a pressurized situation, the Eishel Avrohom permits traversing if the one praying has his eyes closed.

3. The Benches in the Kloiz would be considered partitions for our purposes since they are 10 tefachim high and are ‘permanent’.  However, unfortunately there is an empty space of 3 tefochim at the bottom of the benches and thus they cannot be considered partitions.  The Gabbaim of the Kloiz would do us a great favor if they were to put something in that space to diminish the 3 tefach area.  Leisting or a well knotted string would suffice.

4. On a plane, one may continue to sit near one who started to pray since a plane is not a designated place of prayer.  One may possibly even be able to sit down after his neighbor started praying, since the chairs are partitions.  In either case, one may not pass in front of one praying, or push him.

Airline Meals

1. Even though the rolls are often labeled ‘mezonos’, if one is eating the food in the tray, he needs to wash, make Hamotzi and recite Birkat Hamazon. (According to the Mishna Berura and most poskim, one needs to do this even if he is not eating the entire meal.)

2. The difficulty in washing on the plane is not a valid reason not to wash.  ‘The Wise has eyes in his head’ and when he sees the crew getting ready to serve the food, he should wash when it is still easy to move around and afterwards, wait in his seat, taking care to keep his hands clean until the meal is served.

3. If it is still very difficult, there is an option to first eat whatever is in the tray, and make a ‘post blessing’ on that food, and only then to eat the roll. (According to most poskim, this too does not remove the requirement to wash.)

4. One must ensure that the hot food tray has 2 sealed coverings as the ovens in which the food is cooked is completely treif.  Without 2 coverings, any food cooked in the oven becomes treif as well.

Lighting Candles on Shabbat and Yom Tov

1. There are two requirements with regards to candle lighting:  a) the act of lighting (one fulfills this obligation through one’s wife’s lighting – provided she lights at their home and not at a neighbor, family, etc. ) b)  eating and sleeping in a place that has light.

2. If one’s wife is definitely lighting in their home and the place where one is eating and sleeping has lights, one has no obligation to light candles.  If there is no light where one is eating and sleeping, even when his wife lights at home, he must light with a blessing.

3. If his wife is not lighting at home then:

a. If he is eating and sleeping in one place he should light there with a blessing.  If eating in a public area he should light where he is sleeping and make sure the candles can stay lit until he comes back to sleep.

b. If there is light in the room he is sleeping in, but he wants to fulfill the obligation with candles lit in the dining room – he should ask someone lighting there to give him a portion in the candles (he should preferably hear the blessings from the one who is lighting.)  If candles were bought from monies given by the public for the food, there is no need to ask for a special portion in the candles.  In any case, candles lit in a dining hall should be placed in a central place where they contribute to the honor and enjoyment of Yom Tov.

4. An unmarried person has the status of someone who does not have his wife lighting for him, even if his father is with him.

5. In a room with many people – one should light and designate a portion of the candles for each person there.

6. The time to light is no earlier than ‘plag minchah’ (1 ½ seasonal hours before sunset).  If one lights before candle lighting time – one must accept the onset of Shabbat then.  If lighting at the designated time, there is no need to accept Shabbat then.

7. If one does not have access to a candle, he can use electrical lights.  If they are already on, he should turn them off and then on again having the honor of Shabbat or Yom Tov in mind.

Muktzeh:

1. Make sure that all muktzeh items are removed from your luggage before Shabbat or Yom Tov, otherwise one needs to ask a Rov how to proceed with moving the luggage.

2. Passports, tickets etc. are muktzeh.

3. Food cards are not muktzeh and are not considered ‘business documents’.

Requesting work by a non-Jew:

One should ask a Rov in all cases how and when it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to work on Shabbat or Yom Tov.

Preparing from one day of Yom Tov to the next:

It is prohibited to prepare from one day of Yom Tov to the next until nightfall.  At nightfall even before Kiddush, one can say “Boruch hamavdil bein kodesh l’kodesh” and prepare that which needs to be prepared for the second day.

Using a goy’s vessels:

Ideally one should not use anything that belongs to a goy.  However since the tables, countertops, fridge and gas range must be used if one is renting a goy’s flat, the following guidelines apply:

a. On the table, kitchen counters and fridge – some nylon or aluminum foil should be spread to completely cover the area being used.

b. Gas ranges – these must be covered completely and the grid must be covered a few times over as well.  Kashering the range is NOT an option.

c. Be sure to cut as much aluminum foil as you will need – BEFORE YOM TOV.

Meat left unsupervised:

If a Jew is ‘coming and going’ (i.e. has access and makes use of that access regularly) into and out of the place where the meat was left unsupervised, we do not suspect that the goy who came in switched the meat.

Nesech Wine:

1. If a goy touches wine with his hand or a utensil, or tastes the wine, or picks up and shakes an open bottle of wine – the wine becomes forbidden as Yayin Nesech.  If he only moved the bottle, there is room for leniency where we are speaking about a large monetary loss.

2. A closed bottle has no Yayin Nesech issues.

3. If an open bottle was left open where goyim are about – if the goy has reason to believe that the Jew can come in at any moment, there is no yayin nesech issue.

4.  ‘Cooked wine’ does not have yayin nesech issues.  Pasteurized grape juice is NOT considered cooked, although there are lenient poskim.

5. One should not consume anything produced locally based on rumor and hearsay that such and such is kosher.  A thorough investigation needs to be made into each item, especially since we are in the 10 days of Teshuva where even some things that are permitted by the strict letter of the law, are refrained from.

Placing food under the bed:

1. Ideally no food should be placed under a bed, even if it is sealed and no one is sleeping there.  If food was placed under a bed – one who eats that food has one to rely on.  Food which was sealed is easier to permit if it was left under a bed and even more so if left under a bed that was not being slept on.

2. There are poskim who permit food to be placed under the upper bed of a bunk bed.  Some poskim maintain that if someone other than the owner of the food placed the food under the bed, there is no bad spirit.

Theft of a non-Jew:

Unquestionably forbidden.  Some opinions maintain that this is a biblical prohibition.

Theft of sleep:

One must take extra care to avoid this; especially on the Yemei haDin.

Shatnez:

1. Items which are shatnez prone – MUST be checked before wearing.  All Ukrainian clothes are Shatnez prone.

2. Mattresses are not shatnez prone.  If the mattress is hard and does not bend at all – one may place linen on the mattress even in the case where it is uncertain as to whether or not shatnez exists in the mattress.  (Some poskim permit such a mattress even when it is certainly shatnez)

3. Blankets – need to be checked for shatnez.

THERE WILL BE A SHATNEZ LABORATORY NEAR THE TZIYUN.

The Blessing of Magen Avot (said Friday night)

This blessing should only be said in a place designated for davening that has a Sefer Torah as well.  Therefore, those davening on Friday night in an apartment should not say Magen Avot.  However, if the apartment is used year in and year out for davening on Rosh Hashanah – and if there is a Sefer Torah – the blessing should be said.  Even without a Sefer Torah, some poskim maintain that Magen Avot should be recited in such a place.

If one is not sure if the apartment is used year in and year out – the blessing should not be recited.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE:

As this is a translation of the original Hebrew, if you unclear on any of the Laws outlined herein in any way whatsoever, please consult with a Posek (Halachic Authority).

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