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Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer

Number of Entries : 9

Revealing Medical Secrets

Question: A specialist doctor in blood vessels has a friend who developed a special method that has been proven as being extremely effective. The friend keeps the method as a trade secret, and takes a fee for treatment. Is it permitted to find out the secret by means of deception and use it for patients, and perhaps even to save lives? Answer: It is not permitted to find out the secret and to use it without ...

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Distance Required in order to Recite Tefillas Haderech – Prayer of the Traveler

Question: What is the minimal distance one must travel in order to recite Tefillas Haderech?   Answer: The accepted custom in the Ashkenazik community is to recite the blessing for every inter-city trip, as long as the distance between the end of one city and the beginning of the next is more than 4 Kilometers (2.5 Miles). Although, there are those (especially within the Sefardik community) who do not ...

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Vegetarianism in Halacha

Question: Is there a halachic question to be a vegetarian and avoid meat entirely? Answer: It is permitted to be a vegetarian, though this is not the "accepted way" of previous generations. Although some authorities rule that one must consume meat on festivals (YomTov), there is no point in eating meat for somebody for whom the consumption of meat is a cause for suffering rather than for joy. Rather, a vege ...

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Hair Removal for Men

Question: Is there a problem of Lo Tilbash in hair removal for men Answer: Men may not remove hair from the body if the purpose is beauty and aesthetics alone. However, if the purpose of hair removal is on account of shame, or for some purpose of treatment or medication, it is permitted. Please see also the sources below.   מקורות: התורה אוסרת התייפות של גבר בדרך של נשים, כפי שדרשו חז"ל מדברי הכתוב "לא ...

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Shower on YomTov

Question: Can we allow a shower on Yom Tov, especially in Chu"l where Yom Tov is 2 days, and especially when Shabbos falls after two days of Yom Tov, such as on Rosh Ha-Shana next year? Answer: It is permitted to take a cold shower on YomTov (see Shulchan Aruch 326:1). Under extenuating circumstances (such as three days of Yom Tov/Shabbos in the summer, which can happen for Rosh Hashanah, or two days for th ...

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Pidyon Ha-Ben for Child Born from Sperm Donation

Question: I am a single woman, and I recently gave birth to a firstborn child born from a sperm donation (there were no previous children and no miscarriages). Can I perform the Pidyon Ha-Ben ceremony? Should my father or brothers do it? If there is no obligation, must the boy himself redeem himself after he grows up? Answer: A child born from a sperm donation is obligated in Pidyon Ha-Ben like every Jewish ...

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Music Band that Split Up

Question: Three people formed a music band, performed together, and put out discs together. After some time two of the band members told the third that they are no longer interested to perform with him. The third member was deeply offended, and did not react. After some time the other two members brought in a third band member in his place, and continued to perform under the same label. Can the third band m ...

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Tevilah in St. Petersburg

Question: In our city St. Petersburg , Russia, in the summer tzeis ha-kochovim (Gra) is at 12:30 at night, because of the "white night." Can a woman rely on the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam and immerse in mikveh (on 7 day) before tzeis, and come home after? It is very difficult to immerse at 12:30 at night and come home; this can be at 2 at night on the leil tevilah. Thank You. Answer: Under extenuating circumst ...

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Downloading Music onto iPod

Question: Can one download music from his friend's computer or CDs that he did not pay for onto his iPod, or is it considered stealing and he has to buy the music himself? Answer: One should avoid downloading others' music onto an iPod, and strive to buy all music legally. At the same time, one does not have to tell off others who download, because there are authorities who are lenient in this matter. Best ...

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