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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 501

Hand Transplant

Question: A right handed individual with an amputated left hand (but intact forearm and biceps) has been wearing his tefilin over the left side without a bracha as per the Rema in OH 27.1. If he undergoes a left hand transplant would he go back to making a bracha? If he is a Cohen can he go back to doing nesiat kapyim? Many thanks Answer: Yes, once a limb or organ is attached or implanted into a person's bo ...

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Ashkenazi shatz in a sfardi kahal

Question: לכבוד מורינו הרב שליט"א Minha is organized everyday, even though it is not קבוע, meaning that people just happen to be near the beis knesset and they organize a minyan. Infortunatly, there is no halachic authority in the beis knesset. However, the majority of the usual kahal is sfardi. I am ashkenazi and I am often asked to be the shaliach tzibur. But when the kdusha starts, the tzibur starts sing ...

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High Speed Rail Link to Ben Gurion

Question: Israel Railways has recently opened a high speed link from Jerusalem, currently to Ben-Gurion airport. The chillul shabbos involved in building this line is well documented and, as for as I understand, beyond doubt. I'd like to know if this creates any halachic problems with using this line. Thanks for your time Answer: see here : // ...

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Lawsuit when insurance would be responsible for defendant’s loss.

Question: My elderly father went to a NY rehabilitation center owned by frum yidden to help give him more mobility. He was there for 3 months and was released with Stage 4 bedsores in 3 areas. He needed to be hospitalized for 5 months and still suffers greatly from these sores which have not healed. Doctors have told us that that the rehab center acted with extreme negligence and were the direct cause of th ...

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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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