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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 474

Pet Dogs

Question: Likovod HaRav Shlit"a', Does the Rav allow Jews to own dogs as pets? Does he allow Jews to own pets at all, if there is no pressing need for them (i.e. they are not needed for protection or to serve as a seeing-eye dog, etc.)? Thank You, Answer: There is certainly no prohibition in owning a pet dog. Even if it is not for one of the reasons you mentioned but only for pleasure and recreation, it wou ...

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taking out garbage on Shabbos follow up question

Question: Thank you very much for your reply to my question regarding the removal of garbage on Shabbos. Is it possible to clarify one point.When I throw out a disposable plate into the garbage and now it becomes disgusting, would the plate still retain its non muktzeh status? What about the edible food which I will not take out to give the dog, (I assume since I do not own one) because it became disgusting ...

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Tshuva for Hotzoas Zera Levatolo

Question: Kvod HoRav, What is the teshuvo for the serious sin of hotzoas zera levatolo in our days as we are too weak to fast and not everyone has the opportunity to be immersed in learning. Kol tuv. Answer: The main components of teshuva are admitting and regretting the sin, and resolving not to repeat the sin. This includes employing whatever safegaurds necessary so as not to be put in a situation where h ...

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Sucking candy before davening

Question: Shalom, I was asked by a chazan who finds it exceedingly helpful to suck candies before/during davening to lubricate his mouth. What is the propriety of this in terms of A) Eating before Kiddush/davening B) Eating while davening C) does one need to make a bracha when eating for this purpose? Thank you very much! Answer: As this is for tefilla he is sucking the candy before Shachris or at least bef ...

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Taking out garbage on Shabbos

Question: I live in Canada where there are three types of garbage: blue bin, for recycling; green bin, for organic waste (food scraps...); and regular garbage, for disposable utensils and everything else. Many people have dogs as well where I live. With regards to Shabbos am I allowed to take out these garbages if 1) they were filled on Shabbos 2) they were partly filled before Shabbos. I wish to take out t ...

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Medicinal Cannabis Use

Question: From a patient with their permission- hello, I live in a country where medicinal/recreational cannabis use is illegal. I suffer from a chronic condition which responds very well to cannabis. In fact if I lived in another country where medicinal cannabis use is legal doctors would prescribe this for me. The only access I have to cannabis in my country is by purchasing it illegally and smoking it. A ...

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Taiwan Whisky – Kavalan

Taiwan Whisky - Kavalan Question: Shalom kvod harav, I read about taiwanese whisky.Some of them over 2 processes of maturation. Does it make a difference on the 'heter' of Rav A. Weiss (based on Rabi's Moshe Feinstein Thsuva). Can you provide me contact with a worlwide whisky specialist ? Thanks in advance, Answer: Taiwanese [Kavalan] whiskey seems to be  a product similar to Scotch Whiskey, which would mea ...

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Learning other religions

Question: Hello Is there any issur involved in the study of other religions including Christianity from an academic perspective or if only the person is interested to learn about them. Thank you. Answer: Yes, this may be included in the prohibition of לא תתורו אחרי לבבכם, which Chazal tell us refers to learning heretical ideas. See Rambam Avodah Zara CHapter 2 and Sefer Hachinuch mitzva 387, who explain the ...

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Shabbos – Schita

Question: Is one permitted to use a squeegee mop on Shabbos with a towel around the bottom if he uses only minimal water and places it on the floor first. May on rely on the fact that the mop has a handle and since the is water placed on the floor first it is not different then wiping a spill with a large towel that can absorb all of the liquid (and certainly if only minimal liquid is used ) ? Answer: While ...

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Bracha on Cut Bagel

Question: i order bagels every seudah shilishis and i always first make the bagel before washing, (we do it very casually, especially during summer shabboses) is this allowed? or do i have to first make the bracha on the whole bagel before slicing into it (usually to the point where it completely detaches top from bottom)? Answer: With regards to Lechem Mishna for Seuda Shlishis a complete and whole loaf/br ...

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