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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 404

Amira Lakum on Shabbos

א ביסוד האיסור איתא במכילתא (בא פרשה ט' א') "כל מלאכה לא יעשה בהם, לא תעשה אתה, לא יעשה חברך, ולא יעשה גוי מלאכתך" ומשמע מדבריהם דאמירה לעכו"ם אסור מה"ת ולא כמבואר בכמה מקומות בשבת דאינו אלא שבות, עיין שבת (ק"נ ע"א) גיטין (ח' ע"ב) וב"מ (צ' ע"א). אמנם הרמב"ן בפי' עה"ת (שם י"ב ט"ז) כתב דנוסחה מוטעית הוא במכילתא ולכו"ע אין בו איסור תורה, אך הסמ"ג בל"ת ע"ה נטה לפרש את דברי המכילתא כפשוטן דהוי איסור תורה אף שכתב ...

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Temporary Marriage

Temporary Marriage Question: Can you marry someone that you know will end up in a divorce which means for a temporary time? Will the Sheva Brochos be a Baracha Levatella? Binyan Adai Ad? Answer: The brachos will not be in vain as Chazal instituted they be said for every marriage, even a temporary one. However there is a prohibition to marry a woman who one plans to divorce, even if he decided to divorce his ...

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Men looking in mirrors

Men looking in mirrors Question: Is a man allowed to look in a mirror, what about a tefillin mirror? Answer: In our day and age when looking in the mirror has become common practice for men and woman alike there is no prohibition for a man to look in a mirror. Sources:  See Rema, Yoreh De’ah 156:2 that in places where men look in the mirror, it is permitted to do so. ...

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Leaning on the walls of the kosel

Leaning on the walls of the kosel Question: Is it permissible to lean on the walls of the Kosel? Answer: The Kosel is a wall of the Har Habayis and not of the Beis Hamikdash itself. The kedusha of Har Habayis makes it forbidden to treat the wall in a disrespectful way and possibly prohibited from benefiting from. Leaning on the wall for davening would be permitted. Leaning for other purposes is questionable ...

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Paying in Cash to Avoid Taxes

Paying in Cash to Avoid Taxes Question: B'kavod HaRav, Here in galut I sometimes encounter Jewish workers or merchants who tell me that I can pay them in cash (or with a check made out to cash) and then they will not charge me tax. Am I halachically allowed to do that? Would something like this be considered lifnei eiver or m'sayeh li'day avayra? Respectfully Answer: Dina Dmalchusa, Chilul Hashem, Gezel Aku ...

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Learning Kabbala

Question: Kevod hoRav, There is a well-know Shach in hilchos talmud torah who paskens that one can start learning kabbolo from age 40 on. The Vilna Goen, however, disagrees and claims that there is no such rule. Practically how do we pasken? What are the prerequisites for learning chochmas hanistar? Answer: In our day and age with the proliferation of seforim dealing with and explaining Kabbala on many leve ...

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Walking Dog on Shabbos

Walking Dog on Shabbos Question: Is one allowed to walk a dog on shabbos, with a leash? if we go with the opinion that a dog is muktzeh, how can one "steer" a dog on shabbos? Answer: Even if we assume that a pet dog is muktzeh on Shabbos it would still be permissible to attach a leash and take him for a walk. When attaching the leash the dog should not be  intentionally moved or touched. Incidental touching ...

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Completing Minyan with Minor

Question: Dear Rabbi! We here have minyan only on shabos. When someone leaves the minyan is not at all. The second synagogue is far away and people even on Shabbat pray without a minyan. Whether it is possible in such a situation to attach the child to the minyan? What is the Rav's opinion? Answer: An effort should be made to have a miyan of adults. If sometimes there are only 9 adults, a katan may be used ...

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Joseph’s Dreams

Joseph's Dreams Question: If Joseph knew that his brothers would get envious, why did he tell them about his dream? Answer: Joseph's dreams were no ordinary dreams, rather he understood that where in fact a prophecy of sorts. That being the case he was obligated to share his dream and it's message with his brothers, even if it would have undesirable results. Ultimately it was his telling of the dream that l ...

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Disposing of Chanuka Oil, Wicks After Day 8

  Disposing of Chanuka Oil, Wicks After Day 8 Question: Orach Chaim 677 says that leftover oil should be burnt. It appears that the reason is that since the oil has become huktza l'mitzvah, it has to be destroyed so that you won't come to have hana'ah from it. My situation is this: When I buy the oil initially, I stipulate that only the oil used for the mitzvah is muktzeh; any oil remaining in the bott ...

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