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Covering mirrors in Bet Avel

Question: Must all the mirrors in a beit avel be covered, or only those in the room where there are prayers? Are they left covered on Shabbat? Answer: All of the mirrors should be covered. [Some have the custom to only cover the mirror in the room where there are prayers.] The mirrors may be uncovered on Shabbat. If there are prayers taking place on Shabbat, the mirrors  where they are praying should remain ...

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Fulfilling a shevua with maaser kesafim

Question: Shalom kevod HaRav, I took a shevuah to pay a certain amount of money to tzedaka if I would not fulfill certain things. I did not fulfill them, and thus I am obligated to pay the money by my shevuah. Due to the considerable amount, it is currently difficult for me to pay the money out of extra funds. Can I pay it out of my normal maaser kesafim money? Thank you Answer: No, maaser money may not be ...

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Dogs – follow-up question

Question: Thank you for your prompt response to my question regarding owning pet dogs (//en.tvunah.org/2018/08/10/pet-dogs/). You wrote that "there is certainly no prohibition in owning a pet dog." Seeing as almost all dogs can bark quite loudly, why is there no prohibition because of the concern of the barking causing a miscarriage? (עיין ים של שלמה פרק מרובה סימן מ"ה דסתם כלב מנבח ואסור. ולא הבנתי דהא לפי ...

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Sucking candy before davening

Question: Shalom, I was asked by a chazan who finds it exceedingly helpful to suck candies before/during davening to lubricate his mouth. What is the propriety of this in terms of A) Eating before Kiddush/davening B) Eating while davening C) does one need to make a bracha when eating for this purpose? Thank you very much! Answer: As this is for tefilla he is sucking the candy before Shachris or at least bef ...

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Awaking Before Davening

Question: The Mishnah Berurah in Siman Alef, seif katan (ט) quotes as follows: יהיה זהיר מאד לקום שעה ולפחות חצי שעה קדם קריאת השמש לבית הכנםת As a matter of practical halacha, what is the time a person needs to be awake before the minyan in order to fulfill this משני ברורה? With tremendous gratitude, Answer: The point of this halacha is to have ample time to prepare one's self for davening with a minyan. S ...

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5 Minim – Oats

Question: What is the Rav's opinion about whether oats are one of the five minim? Should one be concerned that perhaps it is not? Thank you. Answer: Oats are Shiboles Shual, one of the 5 minim. One may rely on this long standing view, accepted by the Gedolei Yisrael. See Rashi Pesachim 35a, Kuntress Halichos Sadeh Vol. 57 essay of Rav Efrati in the name of Rav Elyashiv and Rav Moshe Feinstein. ...

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Shnayim Mikra

Question: Can one read an English translation to fulfill the targum requirement for shnayim mikra? Does the Halacha differ depending on the age/level? Answer: Ideally one should fulfill this obligation through Rashi or Onkelos. If one is unable to do either of the above an english translation that is based on Chazal and/or Rashi may be used to fulfill one's obligation. See Mishna Brura 285:5 ...

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College Graduation

Question: I am planning on graduating college soon, and there is a ceremony at the end which has all of the graduates wearing the cap and gown. Is it permissible to wear either of these items? I saw online that it seems as though it was decided that they were to be worn as they were the garb of the church clergymen, who taught many of the courses and were supposed to symbolize being a high class and intelle ...

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Wearing a hat during Tefillah and outdoors

Question: I was wondering if nowadays one is obligated to wear a hat during Tefillah. The Chayei Adam's reasoning that we dress this way in the street doesn't seem applicable. However, does the reason of standing before Odom Choshuv with a hat apply if one dresses this way before Gedolim, or is it only before Royalty? The Shu"t Divrei Yatziv is quoted as saying that one is obligated based on the Shulchan Ar ...

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Collecting tzedaka

Question: L'Chvod Harav Shlit"a, There is a young man who had a religious upbringing but has long since gone off the derech r"l including driving on Shabbos ect. He has been living this lifestyle since he was a teenager (perhaps 14) and is now in his mid twenties. the man is a computer programmer but several months ago he has lost his job and has been sick on bed rest for several months. Due to the lack of ...

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