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From seven to seven – Sefiras Haomer

This week’s parsha discusses the mitzva of Sefiras HaOmer: וספרתם לכם ממחרת השבת מיום הביאכם את עמר התנופה שבע שבתות תמימת תהיינה. עד ממחרת השבת השביעת תספרו חמשים יום והקרבתם מנחה חדשה לה'. “You shall count for yourselves from the day after the rest-day (Pesach), from the day that you offer the Omer sacrifice, seven complete weeks there shall be.  Until the day that follows the seventh week  you ...

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Video call to the ill patient

Question:Can one fulfill the mitzvah of bikur cholim via a video call or phone call or does one have to be in the presence of the patient ? Many thanksAnswer: While this is an act of chesed to speak with and inquire over the phone or video, the actual mitzvah of Bikur Cholim is only fulfilled as it was originally commanded to us, by a visit in person.  תשובת מורנו הרב מצות ביקור חולים ע"י שיחת טלפון רב ...

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making salt water on shabbos, tikkun ochelin

Question: בס"ד א. במ"ב שכ"א סקי"ד הביא בשם הט"ז לבאר את המנהג שנהגו למלוח צנון לפי ששופכים חומץ, והוסיף "וכ"ש אם שופכין שמן תיכף שהשמן מחליש כח המלח". ולעיל במ"ב סק"י כתב בעין עשיית מי מלח יש מקילין אם נותן שמן על המלח ואח"כ מים שאין לאסור משום "מי מלח" שלשיטתם השמן מחליש המלח. ובשה"צ סק"ז הביא שיש חולקים בדבר. וצ"ע האם בדין מליחת הצנון יש להקל לכו"ע בנתינת השמן או שמא תלי במח' הפוסקים שהביא בסק"י ורק רצה ל ...

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Charity donations

Question: In order to encourage individuals so that they will donate to a certain cause (for example the building of a synagogue/yeshiva or a community learning centre ) can a charity organisation tell the donors that their individual donations will be multiplied (doubled or tripled as in some charidy campaigns) when in fact they will not be? Answer: No, this would be gneivas daas, and also causing people t ...

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Army in Israel

Question:Kvod Harav,I've learnt in a yeshivish kollel in the U.S., but I'm not clear about hashkafa regarding army serive for chareidim in Israel. Why isn't it a mitzvah to go to the army to defend the jewish people from saknasos nefashos. The zechus of torah helps to defend, but don't chazal say 'don't rely on miracles'. When it comes to parnasha, we have bitachon that the money comes from hashem, yet one ...

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hashkafa question

Question: Rav, I teach young children. Is it correct/incorrect to make a project that has written on it that the child whose picture is displayed is destined to be the next Gadol Hador. Is it honest to say that each child that makes this project is destined for greatness? Thank you for taking the time to answer. Answer: We hope and aspire that each of our children will reach greatness. While not everyone wi ...

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Necessary parts of the Haggadah

Necessary parts of the Haggadah Question: I recall hearing from Rav Asher Weiss a number of years ago that in addition to פסח מצה מרור there was an additional part of מגיד that he felt was integral to recite. I don't remember which part that was. In addition, if one was creating a list for a doctor or someone else who simply didn't have the time recite the entire Haggadah, what would that look like? What pa ...

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Hachodesh Hazeh Lachem – Moreinu HaRav shlit”a

 החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים ראשון הוא לכם לחדשי השנה,  This month shall be for you the beginning of the months,  it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.                 The Medrash states[2], R’ Levi in the name of R’ Yossi bar Ilai said ‘it is appropriate that the bigger one count according to the bigger ...

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Hafrashas Challah from Mishloach Manos

Question: I make a lot of small rolls to give out for Misloach Manos, the dough had a shiur for challah, but I am distributing less than a shiur to each person I give. I will not be left with a shiur myself. Do I separate challah from the dough? Answer: Challah should be separated from the original dough, and a bracha should be made. See Piskei Challah in Kovetz Zichron Shabsai V'Aryeh pg. 31 ...

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Purim – Behind the Mask

אסתר מן התורה מנין? שנאמר "ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני." What is the source for "Esther" from the Torah?  From the verse, "I will hide (astir) My presence on that day."[1] From here we see that the concealment of Hashem's presence is the central theme of the holiday of Purim.  Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos commemorate the openly revealed miracles experienced by our forefathers: the Exodus and the splitting ...

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