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Chia Seeds

Question: I read the Rav's teshuva on Quinoa being considered kitniyos on Pesach. What does the Rav hold about Chia Seeds? Answer: Quinoa has traditionally and is still currently used as a staple type food, similar to rice and corn. It is eaten not only as a topping or additive but also as a dish by itself. Chia seeds however have are not used as such. Rather they are generally used a topping or additive, m ...

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Mechikas Shem Hashem on Whiteboard

Question: Shalom, A student of mine, wrote the name "Elokim" on the white board. It was written in Hebrew and contains the actual spelling of the name. I have left it on the board, and have written on top of it in hebrew "do not erase" so that no Jewish staff should have a michshol, although I have not written anything in English. Can I leave it this way, with the possibility of a gentile erasing the board. ...

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Baruch Hu u’Varuch Sh’moi

Question: If the shliach tzibbur for Birchos Hashchar recites the berachos quickly, such that he leaves no or little space in which to respond the four words Baruch Hu u'Varuch Sh'moi, is it better to a) say them fast in a garbled fashion ("b'ch'shmoi") b) say them while the shat"tz is saying the words that follow so that you miss most of the words of the beracha c) skip Baruch Hu u'Varuch Sh'moi altogether ...

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Saying Yaaleh V’yavo Out Loud

Question: I have benefited many times from my neighbors in shul saying Yaaleh V'Yavoh, or V'sein Tal Umatar, out loud in their silent shemona esray, as a reminder to other mispallelim. But I've wondered if this is proper in light of that fact that a silent shemona esray is to be just that. Is this practice according to halacha or not? Answer: Shmoneh Esrei is said quietly in order not to disturb the concent ...

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Additional Bracha at End of Maariv

Question: One who has the minhag not to recite the additional bracha at the end of Mariv [ברוך ה' לעולם] finds himself in a minyan which is sayin it. This is common when someone from Isrel visites abroad. Should he recite it with the minyan? Answer: The minhag not to recite this bracha is to be concerned for the opinion in the rishonim who hold this bracha constitutes a hefsek between geula and tefilla. Tha ...

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Partnership with non Jews

Question: Shalom Uveracha There are three yidden of which two of us are shomrei shabbos and we are partners with two goyim. The yidden in total hold 60% of the shares in the company. The company operates on shabbos as we are in the venting industry of which many events happen through the weekend as well. Baruch Hashem most of the vents happen during the week as we cater mostly for corporate events. What are ...

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Therapy using method with possible Budism origin

Question: Reuven's daughter is in a therapy program which uses art to help her calm herself and train her. The art used is called "Mandala" which according to the therapist is described as follows: "A mandala is a complex abstract design that is usually circular in form. In fact, "mandala" is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which emanates an a ...

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Nuts on Rosh Hashana

Question: Hello, Several questions regarding the Minhag to refrain from eating nuts 1. Does is start R``Ch Elul or Rosh Hashono 2. Which types of nuts are included 3. Whats the din if its processed eg cereal or bread spreads? Many thanks and kesiva vechasimah tovah Answer: 1. The minhag only pertains to Rosh Hashana. 2. The minhag is commonly accepted to include all types of nuts, including pistachios, waln ...

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Yoga Meditation and Chanting

Question: I was asked a shailla by a woman who is studying to become a yoga instructor, she told me that during the course they chant the word UMMMM. The chanting is meant to bring an inner harmony and they claim that it is not used in the worship of any deity or foreign god. Although she tells me that according to some teachings the word UMM actually originated from the first letters of three different god ...

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Mezuzah in Office Building

Question: I rent space in an office building [owned by Jews]. I put mezuzos on my office. What about the entrance to the building and the entrance ways and hallways [with doorways] I pass through to get to my office. If no one else cares to put up, am I obligated as a renter in this building? Thanks Answer: As a partner renting space in the building, there would be an obligation to put a mezuza on any doorw ...

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