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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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Crossing Timelines During A Fast day

Question: According to the Rav, how should a person traveling from Europe to America in Tzom Gedalia conduct himself? Should he continue to fast until the sunset of his arrival destination (which would be hours later than Europe) or can he eat according to sunset at place of departure? Does the fact that Tzom Gedalia is nidche this year make a difference? With many thanks. Answer: The Halachic determination ...

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City of Bombay

Question: The name "Bombay" is actually an English distortion of the original Indian name, which is the name of the "godess" of the city (the name means "great mother"). The temple of this idol is located in the middle of the city, and it is worshipped by the majority of the population of the city until this day. Should there be a problem of "בשם אלהים אחרי לא תזכירו" to pronounce the Indian name of the cit ...

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Divrei Torah in Front of Women

Question: What is the heter to say divrei Torah in front of women who are not sniuos? If I understand correctly low cut shirts or short skirts may be ervah dorraisa (although I'm not totally clear on the exact geder) requiring akiras aynayim. Thank you Answer: The prohibition of saying Divrei Torah in front of women dressed immodestly, is in fact Rabbinic. The Biblical Prohibition is only in front of "giluy ...

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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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