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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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Vegetarianism in Halacha

Question: Is there a halachic question to be a vegetarian and avoid meat entirely? Answer: It is permitted to be a vegetarian, though this is not the "accepted way" of previous generations. Although some authorities rule that one must consume meat on festivals (YomTov), there is no point in eating meat for somebody for whom the consumption of meat is a cause for suffering rather than for joy. Rather, a vege ...

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Hair Removal for Men

Question: Is there a problem of Lo Tilbash in hair removal for men Answer: Men may not remove hair from the body if the purpose is beauty and aesthetics alone. However, if the purpose of hair removal is on account of shame, or for some purpose of treatment or medication, it is permitted. Please see also the sources below.   מקורות: התורה אוסרת התייפות של גבר בדרך של נשים, כפי שדרשו חז"ל מדברי הכתוב "לא ...

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Sefer Torah on Airplane

Question: I recently travelled on a plane and next to me say a Jew who was holding a Sefer Torah [he is a Sofer who wrote the Torah for a community abroad]. His claim is that this is obligatory according to Halachah, and that the Torah cannot be placed in a suitcase. Is this true? Is there a difference between folios of the Sefer Torah and the Torah after it is stitched up? Answer: There is no obligation th ...

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