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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 421

Question on behalf of patient with OCD

OCD Question: לכבוד הרב I am a psychologist and have a patient with OCD. He is a Yeshiva Bochur and reports frequently (many times a day) experiencing physical sensations which he interprets as meaning he may not have a גוף נקי e.g. he thinks the sensation may mean he passed wind and this may have led to him not having a גוף נקי. If he thinks he may not have a גוף נקי he is concerned that he shouldn't be le ...

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Bracha of Meshane Haberios

Bracha of Meshane Haberios Question: What is the Rovs opinion with regards to the Berocho of Meshane Haberios generally and more specifically regarding animals - a. Does one say it only on Elephants and Monkeys or other exotix / wild creations, too? b. Can one still say it nowadays or perhaps since we see more commonly pictures of animals may be the excitement is not as great and therefore one should avoid ...

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Hisbodedus, Transplants

Question: I learn in a kollel and with the community at night. I am 30 years old and recently have been learning chasidus and find I have an inclination towards this. I thought about taking time each day for hisbodedus or at least when I walk to an back from the kollel. Until now I have been reciting Mishnayos I had memorized. Would this be the correct thing to do - to take off learning for hisbodedus. (I l ...

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Tallis by Mincha on Shabbos

Tallis by Mincha on Shabbos Question: What is the mekor / reason for the universal minhag that an oileh la`Torah on Shabbos Minchah keeps the Talis on till after Kedushoh? And does this minhag also apply on Taanessim? Many thanks and kind regards, Answer: In fact this is not  universal minhag, rather minhag of shuls which follow German/Yekkish customs. The source is unclear, more than just that - minhag. So ...

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Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash3

Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash3 Question: "מי יעלה בהר השם ומי יקום במקום קדשו" שלום וברכה, תודה לתשובה ששלחתם. נראה לי, שמילים אלו כתב הרב ווייס (או מישהו אחר) רב וייס כתב בתקופה אחרת ואינם מתייחסים ישיר לשאלות ששאלתי. תודה בכל זאת. דברים חשובים. ברור לי שיש להרב הקיף רב ושליטה בכל מיני סוגיות בש''ס. "בשישה מצינה!" (בבא מציעא קיד:). עברתי על ההערות של הרב. לדעתי, יש כמה נקודות וציטוטים שהובאו שאולי אינם שי ...

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Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash 2

Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash 2 Question: Hi, I was very disappointed with the answer provided. I had thought the I would receive a serious answer with מראה מקומות. Instead, I received a convoluted answer that doesn't address the question. With all due respect, the Rambam doesn't say that Mashiach will be the only one to build the Mikdash. See first Halacha of Beith Habechirah---no mention of mashiach ( I ...

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Gartel Question: Kvod Harov, If a person wears a belt is there a need for him to also wear a gartel for davening? Answer: No, the belt is sufficient according to halachic criteria. The custom of Chasidim is to wear a gartel in any event, while in non Chassidic communities the belt or waistband of one's pants is relied on. ...

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Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash

Har Habayit and Beit Hamikdash Question: Shalom, L'cvod Rav Osher Weiss Shlita, I would like to understand why many Rabbis prohibit people going up to Har Habyit even after they have gone to a Mikvah. According to the Rambam in Hilchot biyat hamikdash 3:4, even a dead person may be brought onto Har Habayit. Why do these same Rabbis reject over 200 Mitzvot that can only be done on Har Habyit? Where in our To ...

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Customs of Rosh Chodesh

Customs of Rosh Chodesh Question: 1. My wife gave my 5 yr old a hair cut last night Motzel Shabbos, the second night of Rosh Chodesh. She's been trying to have him get one for a while now and he finally acquiesced last night. I realized that perhaps it should not have been done Rosh Chodesh (besides for being Motzei Shabbos). How bad is that and is there anything to be concerned about? 2. This idea of not d ...

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School Notes Requiring Geniza

School Notes Requiring Geniza Question: Now that the Bais Yaakov and seminary year is over, can the Rov give specific guidelines as to how do determine if a page of notes requires geniza or not? Is it only pesukim or partial pesukim (3 words?) or is it any page of notes containing divrei torah? And if something does not require actual geniza, does it have to be wrapped or double-wrapped before disposal? And ...

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