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Early Yom Tov Sheni

Question: This year, here in St. Petersburg (Russia) Shavuot falls on June. At this time there night comes very late. June 3, at the end of the 1st day of Shavuot: shkiya - 23:10, zeiss (Gaon) - 0:12, tzet Yom tov - 1:57. How and when can we arrange an evening meal in the second Yom Tov of Shavuot? When we can light the candles? When daven Maariv? Thank You! Migdal Ohr Community, S.-Petersburg Answer: Consi ...

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Inviting Non-Frum Jews to Yuntif Meals

Question: The Mishna Berurah (512:2) says that both the issur min hatorah to cook for a non-jew on yuntif and the issur m'derabanan to invite a non-Jew to a yuntif meal lest you cook for him on yuntif apply to those who are mechalelei Shabbos in public. Is this to say that one cannot invite a non-frum relative or friend to a yuntif meal in today's day and age? Are there any lenient considerations? Thank you ...

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Soft Matzot for Ashkenazi

Question: An Ashkenazi is spending Seder night by a Sephardi who is accustomed to eat soft matzot made under strict hashgacha. Is the ashkenazi guest permitted to fulfill his obligation by partaking of the soft matzot or does he need to bring his own matzot to the seder? Answer: It is clear from the Gemara and Rishonim in a number of places that in the times of Chazal the Matzah was more similar to a pita l ...

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Imported Israeli Produce During Shmitta

Question: 1. How we have to relate here in Russia to vegetables from E. Israel in stores without any marking or hehsher (isur sfichin, zman biur, green houses products)? 2. Can we buy vegetables that we have sofek that them from E. Israel? Than You! Answer: Any unknown produce coming out of Israel during the Shmitta year, has a strong possibility that it is from farmers who are not keeping Shmitta. In that ...

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Shiur Hadlaka for Lighting Inside

Question: Hadlokoh oissoh Mitzvoh (Siman 673, 2) but b`shas Hadlokoh it needs oil for 1/2 hr (Biur halocho). Why is there a 1/2 requirement for us who light inside and our Pirsum haness is fulifilled with b`ney Habayis, surely the shiur of 1/2 hr which is tichle regel min hashuk has no connection to that? Answer: There is much discussion in the Poskim as to the nature of the shiur of a half hour. There are ...

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Lighting Menorah for Visitors

Question: 1. A person who is invited (with his family) to close family members for a Hadlokas Neros. The hosts are well meaning but not very `informed` and are likely to be offended by the invited family not wanting to light by them. Is there any heitter for the guests to light there? (They are not sleeping there, just about eating one meal) And is there room le`hokel to allow at least the boys (probably hi ...

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Buying Seats for Yamim Noraim

Question: Can one use maaser money to buy seats at shul for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? Answer: Being that the money is going to a shul, which is certainly a valid recipient of maaser and tzedaka, buying a seat for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur would also be permitted. The Taz [Y:D 249] permits using maaser money for a wide range of mitzvos, but here where the money is going to a shul, this would certainly q ...

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Music During Bein Hametzorim

Question: Regarding the Minhag of refraining from listening to music during the `three weeks` A person who wishes to purchase a music cd l`zorech after 9 b`av, but to help him choose the right cd he would like to listen for just a minute to the music - is that permitted or not? The question is based on the fact that this is lichora not mesameach as he will have no great joy and pleasure from this short list ...

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Shmitta

Question: 1. I live in America, should giving money to keren hashviis be a priority for tzedakah? 2. Should one buy land in Israel to fulfill the mitzvah of shviis? 3. I own an apartment in Israel [which I rent out], do I have to worry about the gardening in front of the building on shviis? Answer: 1. We can not provide information on the reliability of any specific tzdaka organization. 2. There is no הידור ...

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Soft Matzot for Ashkenazi

Question: An Ashkenazi is spending Seder night by a Sephardi who is accustomed to eat soft matzot made under strict hashgacha. Is the ashkenazi guest permitted to fulfill his obligation by partaking of the soft matzot or does he need to bring his own matzot to the seder? Answer: It is clear from the Gemara and Rishonim in a number of places that in the times of Chazal the Matzah was more similar to a pita l ...

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