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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 404

Mezuza in Unused Room

Mezuza in Unused Room Question: Reuven moves into a home and chooses not to use one or two of the rooms yet for another month or so. Would he be required to put mezuzas up in those rooms immediately or can he wait until he uses them? Answer: A room does not become obligated in mezuzah until it is being used in some capacity. Being part of a house is itself not enough of a reason to obligate a mezuzah. Howev ...

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Mincha / Mariv Questions (siman 235)

Question: Two questions re people who daven Mincha followed by Mariv as it is widespread in many Kehillos Kedoshos in Europe (and as was the established Minhag) before Nacht (after Plag) 1. The main reason quoted in the MB why there is no issue of tarte de`sassre is because of the great tircha to gather men later again - what if there is anyway a Mariv bizmanoi does the kulloh still apply? Or since men are ...

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Attending the non Jewish parents funeral

Attending the non Jewish parents funeral Question: לכבוד מרן שליט׳א Can an individual who is going through conversion or who has gone through conversion attend the funeral of their non Jewish parent which would be held in a church? Many thanks. Answer: The main concern with entering a Church is due to creating an appearance as if you are entering to worship. Hence, when the circumstances are clear that you ...

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Question on behalf of patient with OCD

OCD Question: לכבוד הרב I am a psychologist and have a patient with OCD. He is a Yeshiva Bochur and reports frequently (many times a day) experiencing physical sensations which he interprets as meaning he may not have a גוף נקי e.g. he thinks the sensation may mean he passed wind and this may have led to him not having a גוף נקי. If he thinks he may not have a גוף נקי he is concerned that he shouldn't be le ...

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Bracha of Meshane Haberios

Bracha of Meshane Haberios Question: What is the Rovs opinion with regards to the Berocho of Meshane Haberios generally and more specifically regarding animals - a. Does one say it only on Elephants and Monkeys or other exotix / wild creations, too? b. Can one still say it nowadays or perhaps since we see more commonly pictures of animals may be the excitement is not as great and therefore one should avoid ...

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Hisbodedus, Transplants

Question: I learn in a kollel and with the community at night. I am 30 years old and recently have been learning chasidus and find I have an inclination towards this. I thought about taking time each day for hisbodedus or at least when I walk to an back from the kollel. Until now I have been reciting Mishnayos I had memorized. Would this be the correct thing to do - to take off learning for hisbodedus. (I l ...

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Tallis by Mincha on Shabbos

Tallis by Mincha on Shabbos Question: What is the mekor / reason for the universal minhag that an oileh la`Torah on Shabbos Minchah keeps the Talis on till after Kedushoh? And does this minhag also apply on Taanessim? Many thanks and kind regards, Answer: In fact this is not  universal minhag, rather minhag of shuls which follow German/Yekkish customs. The source is unclear, more than just that - minhag. So ...

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Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash3

Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash3 Question: "מי יעלה בהר השם ומי יקום במקום קדשו" שלום וברכה, תודה לתשובה ששלחתם. נראה לי, שמילים אלו כתב הרב ווייס (או מישהו אחר) רב וייס כתב בתקופה אחרת ואינם מתייחסים ישיר לשאלות ששאלתי. תודה בכל זאת. דברים חשובים. ברור לי שיש להרב הקיף רב ושליטה בכל מיני סוגיות בש''ס. "בשישה מצינה!" (בבא מציעא קיד:). עברתי על ההערות של הרב. לדעתי, יש כמה נקודות וציטוטים שהובאו שאולי אינם שי ...

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Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash 2

Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash 2 Question: Hi, I was very disappointed with the answer provided. I had thought the I would receive a serious answer with מראה מקומות. Instead, I received a convoluted answer that doesn't address the question. With all due respect, the Rambam doesn't say that Mashiach will be the only one to build the Mikdash. See first Halacha of Beith Habechirah---no mention of mashiach ( I ...

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Gartel Question: Kvod Harov, If a person wears a belt is there a need for him to also wear a gartel for davening? Answer: No, the belt is sufficient according to halachic criteria. The custom of Chasidim is to wear a gartel in any event, while in non Chassidic communities the belt or waistband of one's pants is relied on. ...

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