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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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Fake Tattoos for Kids

Question: Is it mutar for kids to stick on "sticker tattoos" (of characters, etc) or is this an issur of k'soives ka'aka? (The tattoos do not stay on permanently but they do not come off without a good scrubbing of soap and water. Without scrubbing they will remain for a few weeks.) Answer: The prohibition of “ksoves kaaka” is limited to instances where both “ksiva” and “kaaka” are present. This means a cut ...

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Laptop on Top of Seforim

Question: Many people make use of laptop computers for learning, to type and often to learn from seforim on the computer such as from Otzar Hachochma and Bar Ilan Project Ha”Shut. Is it permissible to rest a computer on top of seforim when using the computer for the above purposes? Answer: The poskim discuss the permissibility of resting one’s arms and the like on seforim in the course of learning. The gene ...

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E-Readers and Shem Hashem

Question: Electronic-Readers such as Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook are increasingly popular today and have the capability to display divrei Torah and Shem HASHEM using electrophoretic ink technology. These differ from traditional electronic displays in that the image on an E Ink screen will be retained even when all power sources are removed, even after several weeks of non-use. A special versio ...

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Avel Attending Kollel Dinner

Question: Is it mutar for an avel (תוך י"ב חודש לאביו) to attend a dinner for a mosad? What about a dinner to benefit a Kollel and a yungerman in the Kollel is an avel ל"ע? There will be no music at the dinner. Answer: The minhag of Ashkenazim brought in Y:D 391:2 is not to attend any seuda, even a seudas mitzvah which is without music and rejoicing. To attend a dinner would seem to be included in this minh ...

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Woman Singing Birkat Hamazon

Question: I often find myself at meals with extended family, where the women sing the benching in the typical tune of Birchat Hamazon. It would be very uncomfortable for me not to bench with them. Is there a problem benching while hearing them chant the benching? Thanks Answer: While this should be avoided if possible, if it is very difficult to avoid [at the cost of embarrassment, insulting others and the ...

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Reciting a Blessing Without a Head Covering

Question: In a recent event with students, some refreshments were served. One of the students wanted to make a blessing over the food. When asked if he would wear a kippa for the blessing, he refused, saying that he wouldn’t mind reciting a blessing, but he was not interested in putting on a kippa. Should he be prevented from reciting the blessing in this fashion or can he recite it even with his head uncov ...

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Tevila for a water urn

Question: I recently purchased a hot water urn, the seller told me not to immerse it in water, it may break and he assumes no responsibility. Am I exempt from tevilas keilim or do I have to return it and purchase a different one that could be immersed? Answer: An urn which could be ruined by tevila, should either be sold to a non jew and borrowed back from him [permanently]. Alternatively, it could be taken ...

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