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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 404

Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut

Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut Question: Hi what is the prevailing custom in todays Charedei Yeshivos on saying hallel? thank you What about music, shaving in honor of Yom Haatzmaut? Answer: As is well known, in charedi society the prevalent custom is not to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut. Hallel is not said and it is treated as a regular day of sefira. ...

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Nusach Tefilla in Shul with Different Custom

Nusach Tefilla in Shul with Different Custom Question: I am Ashkenazi and have grown up davening nusach ashkenaz. The only shul within walking distance of me is a Chabad house that davens nusach ari. How should I approach davening when there - what can I daven in my own nusach and what needs to be in the nusach of the shul? In particular, with regard to the order of things, for example where "hodu" is said ...

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Answering amen too early

Answering amen too early Question: If one answers אמן to a ברכה before the המברך has finished, is the listener יוציא? For example, by קידוש, if the listener answers an אמן חטופה, is he יוציא? He heard the ברכה, but he talked,answered אמן, at the end before it was finished. It's certainly not לכתחלה, but is it מעכב? Answer: Yes, he is yotzei. As long as he heard the entire bracha and even the last word, just ...

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Har Nof Park Bais Din Ruling

Har Nof Park Bais Din Ruling Question: Lichvod harav, It seems that you issued a psak concerning buying a flat from the seller in Har Nof Park. As a chutznik who wish to eventually buy a flat in this complex, I would like to know if this psak is still relevant? Thank you for your quick answer. Answer: The Bais Din's ruling is still in place and as such it is still forbidden to purchase apartments in this pr ...

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Treating Depression and Keeping Torah

Treating Depression and Keeping Torah Question: I worked fifteen years in the field of healing mental disorders anxiety and depression. My clients were mostly chareidi bochurim and avrechim in Israel and all over the world. My treatments were effective. Is depression considered a disease according to Torah. Daf 63 Gittin a man who jumps from the roof is considered Healthy [Bori]. Can I tell my clients who a ...

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Seder Timing

Seder Timing Question: I've fairly recently begun to take my yiddishkeit more seriously and although my family keeps many aspects of halacha fully, there are certain issues that come up. We’ve always started our seders at a normal dinner time, something like 7 or 730pm, but I had a look at the zmanim for Ottawa (where I'll be) and tzeis is only at at 8:15 on the night of the first seder. I know I won’t be a ...

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Burial of stillborn baby

Burial of stillborn baby Question: What is the halakhic source of some chevra kadisha to not allow parents to attend the burial of a stillborn baby or to know the place of burial Answer: There is no actual prohibition in attending the funeral. As with many practices of the chevra kadisha, this is minhag passed on through the generations. Many of them have their source in kabbala. Perhaps this minhag is conn ...

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Strawberries and checking for bugs

Strawberries and checking for bugs Question: hello; I would like to know what the rov holds regarding worms in strawberries and other fruits. thanks Answer: Each fruit has to be treated according to its level of assumed infestation. Strawberries are known to have a relatively frequent instance of infestation. The green head should be chopped off along with a tiny amount of the berry. The fruit should be soa ...

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Company samples without intent to buy

Company samples without intent to buy Question: Is it allowed for me to call up a company that sell Electronic cigarette liquid and tell them I want to open a shop that sells liquids and ask them to send me samples, and although I would actually want to open a shop I don't think I will ever do it. Answer: If you are not in the process of opening up a business and at the stage of testing various samples, the ...

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Kohanim on Airplanes

טיסת כהנים מעל ביה"ק לאחרונה רעשה הארץ כאשר נודע שכל הטיסות היוצאות מישראל עוברות מעל בית הקברות בחולון  ודנו הגדולים אם יש היתר לכהנים לטוס מחשש טומאת כהנים, ואכתוב מה שעלה בדעתי בתשובה לשאלת רבים. הנה עיקר השאלה היא בסוגיא דאהל זרוק אם שמיה אהל דהמטוס הלא אהל זרוק הוא, ובכמה  מקומות בש"ס (עירובין ל' ע"ב, גיטין ח' ע"ב נזיר נ"ה ע"ב ועוד) הובאה מחלוקת רבי ור"י בר' יהודה במי שנכנס  לארץ העמים בשידה תיבה ומגדל ...

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