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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 421

Bone marrow/stem cell donation

Bone marrow/stem cell donation Question: I was put on a the Gift of Life Registry (several years pack thinking it was for a yungerman) and now I just got a call that there is a 30%chance I may be a match. At this point it is too early on in the process to know if I will really be a match - there would be months more of further testing, and now they want to know if I still want to be on the registry. When I ...

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Inverter AC on Shabbos

Inverter AC on Shabbos Question: What does Rav Weiss hold regarding inverter AC on shabbos? Answer: An inverter AC may be used on Shabbos. A person who walks into the room has no intent to activate any device. The activation is not certain and is only done in an incidental way. This does not constitute Melacha on Shabbos. See Shu"t Minchas Asher Vol. 1 Siman 32, Vol. 2 Siman 33 ...

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Paying in Cash

Paying in Cash Question: I recently went to a store and was told if a pay in cash then i would not need to pay taxes. If it is obvious that by me paying in taxes the store owner would not pay the proper tax on this sale to the government, am I allowed to do such a purchase or there is a problem of לפני עבר לא תתן מכשול. Answer: This would not seem to be the actual prohibition of Lifnei Iver as cash payment ...

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Interfaith Prayer Room

Interfaith Prayer Room Question: When I go to England in the airport I need a place to daven. They offer to pray in a interfaith room. There is no idols in the room. Can I pray there? Answer: While this room does not have the kedusha of a Bais Haknesses, it would be permitted to pray in such a room, as it is not specifically for idol worship and there is no symbolism or other indication of any religion. ...

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Kiddush Hashem

Kiddush Hashem Question: I've heard it said many times that a Jew that's killed because he's a Jew is considered as if he died Al Kiddush Hashem. Where is the source for this? Answer: While the source for this is unclear, it is an idea which has become widely accepted among believing Jews. One who is threatened with conversion or giving up his life, and gives up his life has died "al kiddush Hashem". Many w ...

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Incomplete Conversion

Incomplete Conversion Question: Is a mal velo Tavel [one who circumcised but did not immerse in a ritual mikva to complete the conversion] obligated to complete the geirut or may he regret and marry a Goya [non Jew]? Answer: As long as the conversion was not completed, he remains a non Jew and may still decide to remain a non Jew. In that case he could marry a non Jew as any other non Jew could. ...

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Mezuza in Unused Room

Mezuza in Unused Room Question: Reuven moves into a home and chooses not to use one or two of the rooms yet for another month or so. Would he be required to put mezuzas up in those rooms immediately or can he wait until he uses them? Answer: A room does not become obligated in mezuzah until it is being used in some capacity. Being part of a house is itself not enough of a reason to obligate a mezuzah. Howev ...

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Mincha / Mariv Questions (siman 235)

Question: Two questions re people who daven Mincha followed by Mariv as it is widespread in many Kehillos Kedoshos in Europe (and as was the established Minhag) before Nacht (after Plag) 1. The main reason quoted in the MB why there is no issue of tarte de`sassre is because of the great tircha to gather men later again - what if there is anyway a Mariv bizmanoi does the kulloh still apply? Or since men are ...

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Attending the non Jewish parents funeral

Attending the non Jewish parents funeral Question: לכבוד מרן שליט׳א Can an individual who is going through conversion or who has gone through conversion attend the funeral of their non Jewish parent which would be held in a church? Many thanks. Answer: The main concern with entering a Church is due to creating an appearance as if you are entering to worship. Hence, when the circumstances are clear that you ...

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