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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 421

Geniza for Magazines and Newspapers

Question: What is the proper method to dispose of Jewish magazines and newspapers. Although they are mainly “chulin”, and discuss news and politics etc., very often there are quotes of psukim and divrei torah and hashkafa. Must these be placed in geniza or may they be disposed of normally? Answer: Magazines and newspapers which are intended for news, politics and other secular subjects, do not need to be pl ...

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Removing Mezuzos

Question: Hi, I am moving out of a basement apartment I rented from a Jew [non religious]. He will be now renting it to a non – Jew for the purpose of storage and not to live in it. May I remove the mezuzos when I leave or is it always forbidden to remove mezuzos. Thanks for your help. Answer: When it is clear that after you a non- Jew will be moving in, you may and in fact should remove the mezuzos before ...

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Woman Singing Birkat Hamazon

Question: I often find myself at meals with extended family, where the women sing the benching in the typical tune of Birchat Hamazon. It would be very uncomfortable for me not to bench with them. Is there a problem benching while hearing them chant the benching? Thanks Answer: While this should be avoided if possible, if it is very difficult to avoid [at the cost of embarrassment, insulting others and the ...

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In Vitro Fertilization

Question: It is possible for Jewish couple, with problems to have children, to try In Vitro Fertilization and if so, what should be the Lady's Mikvah schedule . Thank you in advance for your response. Answer: When necessary, IVF is a permissible and even encouraged method to attempt to overcome infertility, in order to perform the great mitzvah of P’ru U’rvu, bringing children into this world. For many reas ...

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Lolav-Shiur of a Heimnek

Question:  What is the shiur of a heimnek. I.e when a lulav has a genuine Heimnek and the tiomes has a `V` shape - from which size is it a psul? A Mashehu? 2 milimetres? More? MANY THANKS ANG GUT YOMTOV!! Answer:  There seems to be machlokes amongst the achronim if hemnek is any slight visible seperation between the 2 leaves, that being the implication if the Chaye Adam. The Maharsham holds there must be a ...

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Make-up on shabbos

Question: According to the Igros Moshe (1:114) one can use non-oil based powder on Shabbos as it is not miskayem at all and therefore no issur derabonon. I understand that many poskim dispute this on various grounds. On the other hand, since this is the norm for the people/friends around us it can be uncomfortable for my wife to refrain. In particular, when leil tevilah is on shabbos there could be an addit ...

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Size of kesem

Question: 1. A kessem which has two places o dam (which individually do not have a size o a griss but together they do) which are connected with a Mareh kosher - is it metameh or not? Answer: A kesem which has two parts of blood that are each less than a gris, but are joined together by a mareh tahor, are considered one kesem. Therefore if there is a gris of blood in total, the kesem is tameh. If it is clea ...

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Inviting Non Jews on Yom Tov

Question: In my work in kiruv rechokim, I am often compelled to have non jewish guests on Yom Tov. This includes family members, spouses and other acquaintances of jewish students that I am involved with. Must this be avoided? In many instances, one will not come without the other. Answer: In modern times where much of the cooking for Yom Tov is done before Yom Tov, and it is unheard of to have to prepare a ...

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Causing Cars to Stop on Shabbos

Question: Is one allowed to stand by a `zebra` crossing on Shabbos The law and general expectation for divers is to stop when a person is standing there. The question is therefore twofold. If the driver is a goy there may be an Amira l`nochri question. But more importantly, in an area which has a large percentage of non religious yidden, is there a problem of causing a yid to stop (and consequently drive of ...

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Sale during the nine days

Question: May clothing which is on sale at a very discounted price be purchased during the nine days? Does it matter that it won’t be delivered until after Tisha B’Av? Answer: It is questionable if clothing may be purchased because of a sale during the nine days. If it will not be delivered until after Tisha B’Av one may certainly be lenient. Otherwise one should refrain, unless it involves significant loss ...

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