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Rabbi Akiva Dershowitz

Number of Entries : 421

Is a Heter iska lechatchila?

Is a Heter iska lechatchila Question: Hi, I work as an underwriter for an Israeli fund. The find raises money from Israeli investors, and gives loans with interest to both Jews and non-Jews in the USA. As the only orthodox Jew in the fund, I have consulted with various rabbonim as to how to deal with the many Ribbis issues that arise in the course of this business. I make sure that a Heter Iska is made for ...

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Chazal and Science

Chazal and Science Question: Lchivod Harav, I heard a shiur from the Rav (Shoftim 5772) about his opinion about Chazal and Science. I really appreciated the approach and it made sense to me. If I understood correctly, it's that Chazal weren't trying to convey the metzius. Rather they were being koveah the halacha forever using the tools they had at their time, regardless of the scientific metzius. A kasha I ...

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striking at work

striking at work Question: Is a rebbe or teacher allowed to strike (not come into work) if he did not get paid for a long time (three months). (i know that r' moshe in igros moshe and r' aron in mishnas r' aron discuss about striking but there they basically speak about striking to get paid more (a raise) not in a case that he did not get paid for months. Answer: Yes, one may stop working and strike if he i ...

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credit card points

credit card points Question: since credit card companies do not allow selling of points obviously because it causes them a loss is it permitted for one to sell his points? Answer: Being that this is widely practiced by many people and openly, the Credit Card companies are well aware of this practice. They enforce this rule when they are interested in doing so, and for whatever reason they seem to not genera ...

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Shavuos in St. Petersberg

Question: Shalom, Rabbi! You answered about early 2nd day of Shavuot in St. Petersburg. What about this year that Shavuot is Motzei Shabbos? Is it possible to make kiddush and yom tov meal before Shabbos end? It is all at time of White Nights. Thank You. Answer: Yes, this leniency would apply this year as well. However. no melacha may be done until Chatzos [cooking, lighting candles] as with regard to Bibli ...

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St. Petersberg White Night Zmanim

Question: 1.During White Nights here in St. Petersburg we end Shabbat at midnight (2:00). This is also the time of alot ashahar. Accordingly, there is no opportunity to say a blessing on the candle and eat Seudat melawe malka. Question: Is it possible to rely on the opinion of rabbi Ovadiya Yoseph that alot ashahar is 72 dakot zmaniet before dawn, and accordingly there is a certain night after Chatzot for B ...

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Diabetes Pen – Shabbos

Diabetes Pen - Shabbos Question: Lekovod Harav Weiss, my mother has a bad case of diabetes and sometimes forgets to take her insulin. Can she use an insulin pen on Shabbos? the advantage of this device is that it reminds you to take the insulin as it records each time the insulin is taken. this is a very helpful feature for people who tend to forget to take the insulin every so often. please advise. thank y ...

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Sexual abuse

Question: I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand the abuse that I suffered, both in the context of psychology and also the frum community. My question is as follows: does extreme religious segregation turn opportunists into pedophiles? Does the banning of genuinely sexless interactions such as handshaking in a business context, banning pictures of modes ...

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Swallowed A Fly

Swallowed A Fly Question: If someone inadvertenly swallows a fly: 1) Is there any teshuva to be done and, if so, what is the derech hateshuva? 2) Al Pi HASHKAFAH, since everything is Hashgocho Protiis, what message can one glean form this? Is there any concern that there was a pre-existing pgam in the person's neshama that allowed this to happen? Where should one begin to be mefashfaysh b'ma'asav? Thank you ...

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Matza Rakka

Matza Rakka Question: In chelek gimmel of Minchas Asher, on the (first) Teshuva about Matza Rakka the Rav writes that perhaps nowadays we are not able to bake matzos rakkos without chashash chimutz. Does this apply to Sefardi matzos rakkos (that they have a mesorah how to bake them correctly) or just Ashkenazi? Also would an Ashkenazi be allowed to eat Sefardi matzos when eating at a Sefardi's house? Answer ...

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