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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 488

Credit Union

Question:I saw that the Rav has a Teshuva regarding having shares in a bank that lends to Jews. What is the Rav's position regarding credit unions? Thank you.Answer: A credit union should be treated like a bank in this regard.  [A credit union is non-profit organization for their members. Each member has one vote regardless of the amount of money they have deposited. Members cannot sell or otherwise transfe ...

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dishwasher – hachana on shabbas

Question: First of all, thank you very much for this incredible site-greatly appreciated! Regarding the issue of 'placing dishes in the dishwasher on Shabbas' you write: If one is worried that some food might stay stuck upon the dishes, thereby ruining them, or that it will make it that much harder to clean after Shabbos, one would be allowed to lightly clean them prior to placing them in the dishwasher. Th ...

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Chinuch for Tefilloh

Question: Yilmedenu Rabbeinu, We would like to know the Rov`s opinion on the following important matter: I was wondering what the mitzvas Chinuch is for Tefilloh for boys who are higiu leChinuch. On the one hand, we obviously must be mechanech them Tefilloh and this is certainly part of our general obligation. On the other hand, we find that it is "time consuming" and on the cost of the learning. If we were ...

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“beryah” for pomegranate and orange pieces

Question: chazal say that each pomegranate seed is disattached, therefore i would assume, since only the seeds are edible each seed on its own would be considered a beryah. what would the Rav say about each segment of an orange, are they considered attached to each other, or maybe the fact that that they peel in such a fashion shows us that each one is considered on its own and therefore a beryah? is it pos ...

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Using Electricity in an Office Building

Question: My daughter asked me this question: Yesterday, I had a meeting in Town A and then went straight to Town B for a wedding. My friend from Town A works in an office building there, so I changed and did my hair and makeup in the building where she works. That means I plugged in my curling iron in their bathroom... Do you think it was a problem of me using their electricity? If yes, how do you think I ...

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Bal Tosif

Question: According to the Ravyah (quoted by the Mordechai) who is concerned for bal tosif if one sits in the sukkah on Shmini Atzeres with kavana for the mitzvah, how can we blow shofar on the second day of Rosh Hashana, as we have kavana for the mitzvah, which is evident by the fact that we make a bracha. Answer: In general the second day of Yom Tov which was established because of skfeika dyoma does not ...

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Covering mirrors in Bet Avel

Question: Must all the mirrors in a beit avel be covered, or only those in the room where there are prayers? Are they left covered on Shabbat? Answer: All of the mirrors should be covered. [Some have the custom to only cover the mirror in the room where there are prayers.] The mirrors may be uncovered on Shabbat. If there are prayers taking place on Shabbat, the mirrors  where they are praying should remain ...

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Pictures in Siddurim

Question: In shulchan aruch siman 90 seif 23 the remo says that one should not print Pictures in siddurim This is undisputed and MB together with all acharaonim dont question this I have noticed however that many publications seem to be lenient in this matter For instance Children siddurim have often many pictures on its pages as well as Benchers and more. Even adults siddurim a times have pictures, such as ...

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Tea on shabbos

Question: Is one able to use a kli shlishi to make tea on shabbos? Answer: This is a matter of debate among poskim. The Mishna Brura requires tea sense be made before Shabbos, yet he himself mentions the leniency of kli shlishi in other places. Igros Moshe allowed kli shlishi. So if you don't have an established custom or psak from your Rav, you should ideally avoid making tea in kli shlishi, and should pre ...

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Fulfilling a shevua with maaser kesafim

Question: Shalom kevod HaRav, I took a shevuah to pay a certain amount of money to tzedaka if I would not fulfill certain things. I did not fulfill them, and thus I am obligated to pay the money by my shevuah. Due to the considerable amount, it is currently difficult for me to pay the money out of extra funds. Can I pay it out of my normal maaser kesafim money? Thank you Answer: No, maaser money may not be ...

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