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Hosting Non Religious / Safek Jews

Question: If it is poskined that someone is a sofek Jew (karov livadai) and they are not Shomer Shabbos must you tell their Shabbos hosts that this person may not be Jewish, or that they are not Shomer Shabbos, to insure that their wine is not touched by a possible goy, or a non Shomer Shabbos person? Is the responsibility of the hosts to insure their wine is mevushal, or must I who am sending them guests t ...

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Ger Making Brocha of Shelo Asani Goy

Question: Is there an accepted minhag concerning if a ger can say the brocha of shelo asani goy? Answer: The psak for a convert is in accordance with the Rama, that he should not make the bracha of "shelo asani goy". See O:C 46:4 and the Mishnah Brura there, that other variations of this bracha for a convert are also a subject of debate ans should be trated as a safek bracos lehakel. The Kaf Hachaim suggest ...

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Davening Vatikin vs Nesiat Kapayim

Question: לכבוד הרבנים שליט׳א A Kohen who is Sephardi/Edut mizrach lives in an area (in chutz laaretz) where there is only an Ashkenazi/Sefard Vatikin minyan and based on their minhag the Kohanim do not recite nesiat kapayim. However, there are plenty of local minyanim which daven later but the Kohen has the opportunity to recite nesiat kapayim which according to many rishonim is a mitzvat aseh min haTorah. ...

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Brocha Achrona for Hot Drinks

Question: What is the halacha with regards to bracha achrona on hot drinks, such as coffee and tea? How fast must one drink them in order to say borei nefashos, or do we apply the rule of safek brachos lehakel? Answer: A cup of tea or coffee drank in the normal way, slowly sipping over the course of a few minutes, is a subject of great debate with regards to making a bracha achrona. If possible, the Mishna ...

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Kaddish by Non Observant Son

Question: Is there anything wrong with a non-observant Jew saying kaddish for his mother on the day of her yartzhiet? would it be preferable to have an observant Jew say it instead or better the son? Answer: The son takes precedence over all others for saying kaddish, even if he is non observant. The son is the one who has the obligation to say kaddish because of Mitzvas Kibbud Av, and in addition it is the ...

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Various Questions from a Teacher

Question: A Teacher in a Charedi Primary School would like to know: 1. Is it permitted for a teacher to confiscate childrens objects if they play with them and it distracts them from learning (permanently or temporarily)? 2. It is common in younger years to explain Chumash etc.by describing etc the events in detail to make it more understandable and visual. Is it muttar to add descriptions which have no mek ...

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Geniza for Magazines and Newspapers

Question: What is the proper method to dispose of Jewish magazines and newspapers. Although they are mainly “chulin”, and discuss news and politics etc., very often there are quotes of psukim and divrei torah and hashkafa. Must these be placed in geniza or may they be disposed of normally? Answer: Magazines and newspapers which are intended for news, politics and other secular subjects, do not need to be pl ...

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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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Distance Required in order to Recite Tefillas Haderech – Prayer of the Traveler

Question: What is the minimal distance one must travel in order to recite Tefillas Haderech?   Answer: The accepted custom in the Ashkenazik community is to recite the blessing for every inter-city trip, as long as the distance between the end of one city and the beginning of the next is more than 4 Kilometers (2.5 Miles). Although, there are those (especially within the Sefardik community) who do not ...

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Reading books of Idolatry

Question: Shalom I am currently involved in kiruv on a college campus in Amreica and I often am asked to explain how Judaism is different than other religions. I have researched a bit about other religions and this is why they are coming to me for answers not just in Judaism, but how it differs from Christianity ect. I was wondering if my researching other religions is halachically okay if I am doing it sol ...

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