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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 404

Sexual abuse

Question: I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand the abuse that I suffered, both in the context of psychology and also the frum community. My question is as follows: does extreme religious segregation turn opportunists into pedophiles? Does the banning of genuinely sexless interactions such as handshaking in a business context, banning pictures of modes ...

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Swallowed A Fly

Swallowed A Fly Question: If someone inadvertenly swallows a fly: 1) Is there any teshuva to be done and, if so, what is the derech hateshuva? 2) Al Pi HASHKAFAH, since everything is Hashgocho Protiis, what message can one glean form this? Is there any concern that there was a pre-existing pgam in the person's neshama that allowed this to happen? Where should one begin to be mefashfaysh b'ma'asav? Thank you ...

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Matza Rakka

Matza Rakka Question: In chelek gimmel of Minchas Asher, on the (first) Teshuva about Matza Rakka the Rav writes that perhaps nowadays we are not able to bake matzos rakkos without chashash chimutz. Does this apply to Sefardi matzos rakkos (that they have a mesorah how to bake them correctly) or just Ashkenazi? Also would an Ashkenazi be allowed to eat Sefardi matzos when eating at a Sefardi's house? Answer ...

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Tevila for Meat Thermometer

Tevila for Meat Thermometer Question: Does a meat thermometer need to be toiveled? Answer: Most authorities are lenient not to require tevila as this utensil does not actually aid in the food preparation, rather it provides useful information which facilitates proper preparation. ...

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Chametz she’avar alav ha’Pesach

  Chametz she'avar alav ha'Pesach Question: Shalom aleichem, We have an adult son at the moment in the States, with a room in our home. We happened to be looking for something today in his clothes closet and found 3 cans of spray deodorant and a small, almost empty bottle of men’s cologne. One can of deodorant (Right Guard Sport Fresh Scent, from Canada) does not list the ingredients. One can of deodor ...

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Chalav Stam

Chalav Stam Question: Does the leniency of Chalav Stam apply in other countries across the world? Such as in Europe and other countries? Answer: In most civilized countries in the modern world the heter of Chalav Stam will apply as in America. Please specify any specific countries you are referring to for further clarification. ...

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Necessary parts of the Haggadah

Necessary parts of the Haggadah Question: I recall hearing from Rav Asher Weiss a number of years ago that in addition to פסח מצה מרור there was an additional part of מגיד that he felt was integral to recite. I don't remember which part that was. In addition, if one was creating a list for a doctor or someone else who simply didn't have the time recite the entire Haggadah, what would that look like? What pa ...

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Kiddush leil pesach

Kiddush leil pesach Question: Are there any sources for one who usually stands during kiddush to also stand for kiddush at the Seder? Or should one sit because it is the first of the daled kosos? Answer: There are some opinions that even one who stands the entire year for kiddush should sit for the daled kosos including the first one. Common custom is that those who stand should stand for this kiddush as we ...

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Kol Ishah by Zemiros Shabbos

Kol Ishah by Zemiros Shabbos Question: Are brothers, husbands and guests allowed to listen and sing along the Shabbos Zemiros with Women? Answer: Within the family [blood relatives] there is more room for leniency. With guests and other non relatives, women should not sing in their presence and one should try to avoid hearing such singing as well. In extenuating circumstances, one would not be obligated to ...

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Zechiras Amalek and Siag Deoraisa

Zechiras Amalek and Siag Deoraisa Question: Hi, I was reading one of Kavod Harav's articles in Minchas Asher on the Moadim regarding the Mitzvah of Zechiras Amalek. My friend and I had done some previous research on the topic, and were wondering if it is possible to add Zechiras Amalek to the list of possible Siagei Deoraisa (similar to the list created by Rav Yosef Engel ZT"L). The Siag would be Atu Mechia ...

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