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Women as Synagogue Presidents / Board Members

Question: Can a synagogue appoint women as its president or have one sit on its board of committee? With many thanks. Answer: There is no prohibition for a woman to fill one of these positions. However care must be taken to maintain both guidelines of tznius [often a president needs to address the congregation at shul, for a woman to do this would be a breach of traditional synagogue conduct]  and the tradi ...

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Minhagim of ellul-signing off emails

Question: לכבוד מרן שליט׳א Does the minhag of signing letters off with כתיבה וחתימה טובה during the month of ellul apply to emails as well? Many thanks Answer: Presumably it would, as after all this is the modern form of letter sending, and there is no reson to believe it is only standard mail. However it would depend on the nature of the email. When one is writing a formal email similar to a letter it woul ...

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Talking while in the bathroom

Question: Is one permitted to talk on the phone while in the bathroom (with someone else who does not know the caller is in the bathroom)? Answer: One who enters a bathroom to relieve himself may not talk unless it is extenuating circumstances. When he is relieving himself even that is forbidden, see Shulchan Aruch O:C 3:1 and the Mishna Brura there. This would apply to talking on the phone as well. ...

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Ashkenazi Guests at a Sephardi Host on Pesach

Question: In the opinion of Maran shlita, is an Ashkenazi guest at a Sephardi household permitted to eat food which does not contain kitnios but was cooked in pots and other vessels in which kitnios have been cooked or served? With many thanks. Answer: Aמ Ashkenazi may eat non kitniyos foods in a Sefardi household, even if the food was prepared in a pot which has been used for kitniyos. מקורות וביאורים: קי" ...

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Purim in Givaat Masua

Question: What is the din regarding of date of Purim for the kium of mitzvos in the shchuna Givaat Masua in Yerushalaim? Thank you. Answer: Givaat Masua is connected to the Malcha Mall and surrounding area, and is part of the greater Yerushalayim area. As such Purim should be celebrated along with the rest of Yerushalayim on the 15th of Adar. ...

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Between Aninus and Aveilus

Question: Yaakov heard that his brother, who lived in a different city, was niftar. Being there were other relatives dealing with the funeral and burial arrangements, it seemed Yaakov was not considered and onen. Thus, he davened and fulfilled mitzvos, etc. Question: Yaakov wanted to take a haircut before flying out to the funeral of his brother. Is he permitted to do so? Answer: One who is in a different c ...

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Davening with Mother’s Name or Father’s Name

Question: It is well established that when davening for someone's refuah, one refers to the patient by his/her mother's name (e.g. Ploni ben Sarah). But when davening for something other than refuah (such as general hatzlacha, or, when someone goes to the Kotel or a Kever Tzadik and they want to be mazkir their friends or family members) do they use the mother's name (Ploni ben Sarah) or the father's name ( ...

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Bracha on Refurbishing a Home

Question: A family are moving into a new home which has had significant refurbishment but is not built from new. Can the husband make the bracha of hatov v'hametiv and/or shehechyanu on moving in? What is the opinion of the גאב׳ד on this? Many thanks. Answer: One who purchases a home makes a bracha of הטוב והמטיב. This is both on a new house or one bought from a previous owner. Being that it is new to the p ...

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Chanukah Presents

Question: Does the Rav view the giving of gifts to children on Chanukah as a violation of chukas goyim or simply a practice which has no source in halacha? Many thanks Answer: Giving presents on Chanuka certainly does not violate the prohibition of Chukas Hagoyim. This prohibition is only for customs that have no plain logical reason. Giving presents at a festive time is a logical and therefore permitted ac ...

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Bar Mitzva in Beis Kneses

Question: L'chvod Harav, We were planning on making a Bar Mitzvah seuda in a shul in Eretz Yisrael. My rav expressed concern that any shul that has keduashas Beis Haknesses is assur to do "sicha betayla" there. I told him that this shul was built to be a social hall, and they daven there because they haven't built the shul part yet. When I asked the rav of the shul if it was kedushas beis ha'knesses, he ans ...

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