[Question?] I go to a gym and work out, my question is being that the nature of Excersizing  makes you sweat a lot and it also has your body being on a fast move , which means that wearing a yarlmku and tzitzis can be hard at that time , what is the halaca regarding wearing a yarlmkua and tzitzis while i work out?


also if i drink a lot of water while i work out , can i make 1 bracha at the very first time i drink and it should cover the rest of the time when i drink? i also want to tell you that this gym has 2 floors so if i start with a drink on the bottom floor can i also cover the top floor




1. It’s certainly better to wear a light yarmolka and at least cotton tzitzis. If this is hard I suggest at least to keep the yearmolka on.

2. If this will take many hours, it’s better to make a brocha rishona and achrona each time for a number of reasons. One of them is that it’s not clear at all that the brocha achrona after you finished would cover all those cups you drank hours ago. If however the whole exersizing is for a few minutes (up to 72) you can rely on one brocha before and one brocha achrona after the last cup and keep in mind when you make the brocha to cover everything you drink while inside the building.


[Question?]Usually when there is two parsha that we read in 1 week, we read the haftorah of the second parsha, but from what i understand that this wee were we reed two parshas, it comes out that we are reading the haftorah from the first parsha


1)is that true

2)and if yes why here do we reed the first haftora and not the second




1. It’s true.

2. The haftora for the second parsha is a sad Haftora from Yechezkel telling about abominations of the Jewish people. So we try to avoid it whenever possible.



In this weeks parsha , it talks about a woman giving birth , the rule is by a boy she becomes pure after 33 days and by girl its 66 days , my question is

1) what cant she do those days?

2) why is the days different by boy and girl?

3) does it still apply today? Meaning if she gives birth does she not become pure untill 33 days or 66 days?


1). She can’t eat or touch foods that have holiness, like parts of Korbonos and Truma … She also can’t enter Beis Hamikdash in Yerushalaim.

2). As you probably know we can’t answer fully why Hashem gives commands in one way or another. However some commentaries exist yet they don’t claim to know all the reasons of course. I will mention one idea Kabbalistic idea in particular, a girl in many ways is double since she includes a boy (she is double just like in spiritual the woman can combine the man’s zera and produce their common children, so too everything in her is doubled … the reason there are brochos before and after eating but only before smelling also has to do with this, since smell has to do with nose which spiritually corresponds to masculine, and tatse – to mouth – feminine.) So the purification after birth of a girl is also doubled.

3. No in our day there is no difference. She goes to the mikva when she counts seven clean days but if it’s a girl, then not earlier that 14 days after birth.


When seating down by a meal , and i have on my dish chicken which is shakol and for the side dish i have luckshin kugel which is mezonot, what should i make a bracha first ? this is a case where chicken is the main part of the meal.


Normally mezonos is made first. In this case we for sure would not say mezonos is tafel, and both brochos need to be made.

However if the case was when you want to eat some mezonos (like cake) not in the middle of the meal but at the end of the meal as desert, then there are some who allow you to not make mezonos first. In such a case since you are not planning to eat it yet, it’s better to cover it when making shehakol and later when you get to desert you’ll make mezonos …


1) On OC 459:2, the Be'er Heitev explains how we get to the calculation of 18 minutes for a "mil." Can you explain his math?

2) How do you teitch out "yesh lehachmir"? Does it mean a) you *should* be machmir, or b) *some* people are machmir ?



1. During the day of 12 hours (or 12*60 minutes) one can walk 40 mil (Gemorah, Pesachim). So during each mil takes 12*60/40=18 minites

2. It’s proper to be machmir.


If someone is in Hawaii for shabbos, should he hold shabbos the same day as Australia ?or California?? ,or should he hold 2 days shabbos?? also when he davens in Hawaii ,should he daven toward west or east ?? Please if you can give me the source



Regarding Shabbos, I certainly can not posken on such a chamur issue, but I will summarize the shitos.


There are a number of opinions regarding where the “International Dateline” is according to Torah. Some remote places therefore have a safek of when to keep Shabbos – on what they call Saturday or on another day. In case of Japan, parts of Philippines and New Zealand the safek is whether it’s Saturday or Sunday. In case of Hawaii the safek is Friday or Saturday. California is for sure Saturday. Australia – the minhag is to keep Saturday and they rely on the shita that the “land” is never split (meaning the entire island or continent keeps the same day, so since part of Australia is within 90 degrees from Yerushalaim, they keep Saturday on the entire continent).


Now since your question mainly is regarding Hawaii, the best advice it to keep away from melacha deoraisa on Friday but otherwise keep it like a weekday regarding dovening and tefillin. Saturday is then kept as the main Shabbos day with Kidush and Shabbos davening.


The opinion that holds Friday is Shabbos day in Hawaii is R. Tekuchinsky and others. They hold that Eretz Yisroel is our Greenwich, meaning the world is split half: to the right of Eretz Yisroel and their DAY IS BEFORE ISRAEL and the other half to the left and their day is after. So Hawaii that's to the right of Eretz Yisroel (within 180 degrees) need to keep according to this what they call Friday (meaning the Shabbos starts a few hours before Eretz Yisroel).


As for detailed works on Friday:


Carrying: if the place has less than 600000 people you can be meikel to carry outside but better carry in unusual manner or non-stop from house to house without stopping on the street when you walk. You can also move muktza on Friday.


Cooking: All food for Shabbos needs to be prepared on Thursday afternoon before Friday.


Light: No turning on light on Friday. Shabbos candles can not be lit Friday evening since that's melacha deoraisa. So no candles are lit but you can buy 36 hour candles and light without a brocha on Thursday evening.


As mentioned, Friday night and Saturday dovening like any Shabbos since we assume the main Shabbos is the second one (Saturday).


To summarize: Friday only melacha deoraisa is assur. Dovening Friday and Saturday exactly like on regular Shabbos.


As for the direction of davening, I presume you should doven towards the West since this way you would face Jerusalem.



The only way i am mekaim the mitzvah of Matanos LaEvyonim, is if its given over on the day of purim itself ? and also ho much do i have to give in todays day and age?


Answer: You should try to give or send on Purim or if you can only give earlier then at least tell the recipient he only will have rights to the money from Purim on (or write a check dated for Purim). The amount is hard to know but $5 to two people should for sure suffice. However the more you give the better and it’s better to spend more money on the matanos to the poor than on mishloach manos.




1)may i do exercise on shabbos?? example, brisk walking or jogging? also what about lifting weights ??


2)say i have a rash on my hands or nose ,can i smear cream on it???


3)can i take sleeping pills on shabbos? say the situation is that i can really do with out it , it just makes the falling asleep easier or how about without the sleeping ill i wont be able to sleep


please if you can also give me the source




1) Brisk walking can be permitted for one who is accustomed to this, but you should avoid lifting weight etc. (Nishmas Shabbos Vol 5, 209-212)


2). No, it may be melacha of miruach, plus any treatment is forbidden Miderabonan anyway unless a person feels really sick (Orach Chaim 227:1; Nishmas Shabbos Vol 5, 352-354).


3). You should try to avoid this too (See Nishmas Shabbos Vol 5, 383).





recently i asked you if a shabbos licther  (while the candles are burning )on friday night is muktza to move it, and you said yes


now my question is can i move the table that is holding the licter on friday night




If you have Challos or wine for kiddush or something else of greater importance than candles on the table before Shabbos starts, then the table will not become “basis” to the candles (see OC 279, 311). However since it’s not clear that Challos are of greater importance, some people prefer not to light the candles on the table where they would be eating to avoid this problem and this is also al pi kabala of Arizal (that candles are not on the same table as food).




1)what is the problem walking in to a church ?and does it make a difference if its a Catholics or protestant


2)and is there a problem walking in to a masque


please if you have any source let me know




1). There may be a number of issurim, (see Tzitz Eliezer 14:91; Yabia Omer Vol 2. YD 11 and Vol. 7 YD 12) but of course there may exist special situations depending on why a person needs to enter and into what part of the building he is entering and such cases rabbinical guidance is necessary …


2) There is a machlokes regarding what status a masque has, see Ein Yitzchak, OC 11; Divre Yatziv, Orach Chaim 90.



I have some questions about the Jewish calendar mainly about the Molad of the moon


1)from what i understand  when there was a bes din ,the way it worked ,is that they needed to hear from the witness in order to start the new month ,  what was it that they needed to hear from the witness?


Answer: The witnesses testified that they saw the new moon and when and where they saw it etc.


2) If you say that beis din needed to hear from the witness that they saw a new moon, then what would be if the witness saw it on Tuesday night but beis din does not find out until Wednesday from the witness, so how does the hours in between the time the witness saw until when beis din hears from them play out? it could be a good 12 hours difference maybe even more, more to the point does rosh chodesh start when the witness saw or when beis din finds out?


Answer: Any month is never more than 30 days. So if after 29 days on the 30th the witnesses came and said they saw the moon the night before, then that day becomes Rosh Chodesh, if not, then the next day is Rosh Chodesh.


3) When did the Jewish calendar stop being decided by the beis din? in other words when did the calendar start with out beis din, what year was it ?


Answer: It was at the end of Amoraim, about 1640 years ago (see Rambam, Kidush Hachodesh, 5).


4) Who made the Jewish calendar?


Answer: One of descendant of Hillel who was also names Hillel and his beis din (see Sefer Hachinuch, 4).



When Moishe Rabenu   escaped  to midyan   How old was he and how long was he there?



There is a dispute, Ramban says quite young, Midrash Raba brings also 20 and 40. It's also not clear that he went to Midian right away, according to Ramban (and some Midrashim) he stayed away for a while and only got to Midian years later but Torah does not discuss it since there is nothing we need to learn from this.




I have some questions about  Davining with a minyan


1)if i show up late for scharis and the bal Tfelioh is  holding in middle peski dezimroh , here is the question , what  parts should i say  and what should i skip in order to catch up  to the bal tefiloh ?  ( i know the ideal thing is to come on time)


2)if i am in middle of  shemnu esreah , and the bal tefiloh is holding at kedusha , should i answer or continue with my own shemuna esrreah  or stay and pause ?


3)say the bal tefiloh is holding at  towards the end of davening  and i am holding by tachanun , can i say it myself?


 please give me the source thanks




1. It would be nice to say at least Baruch Shamar, Ashrey, and the rest of Halelu psalms and Yistabach. If there is not enough time even for this just say Baruch Shamar, Ashrey and Yistabach. There is a machlokes if it’s worth while skipping even that in order to make it to Shmone Esre with a minian. My advice is not to skip this minimal part of Pesuke Dezimra, and to try to at least be able to start your Shmone Esre together with Chazaras Hashatz and say it exactly with him including Kedusha (See Orach Chaim 52).

2. Stay and pause (ibid 104:7).

3. You can say tachanun even when you are alone, but saying 13 midos is not allowed without a minian, but you can read them as one reads a posuk with taamim..



On Shabbos may I move a licter (the silver piece that holds the shabbos candle) say if i need the place ? and would it depend if the fire is still burning?

No, it’s always assur (Orach Chaim 279).

1)how did  nusach sefard and nusac askanaz become?


2) which one is older or more real


3)and why is it that a lot of  asknazim (mainly Chassidim ) daven Nusach sefard when they are askinaz


Answer: There were always a number of different nusachs, according to Arizal the original divisions of nusachs started already when Tfila itself was instituted and different nusachs were according to the twelve tribes. It’s known that even after Babilonean exile there were some of twelve tribes abong us (as opposed to the lost parts of the ten tribes that are still missing, see Rashi Sanhedrin 110b). So according to this there could be more than one “real” nusach depending on one’s shoresh of the soul. Chassidim followed an opinion that the Nusach Arizal (or various other versions of it commonly called Nusach Sefard) is the 13th nusach for everyone who does not know his shoresh.


Question: Say i eat my lunch , and in the middle of eating , i notice i have to catch my daily mincha minyan or go to the bathroom ,


1)do i have to make a new bracha when i come back

2)and if you say i do , does that mean i should make a bracha acrona when i leave in middle of lunch for mincha or bathroom?

3)the above question's  would it depend if i had in mind  while i made the bracha that i might leave and it should cover when i come ?

4)and finally , the same  case but  am just going to the nest room  say just to pick up the phone , am not really being mafsek or is that the same like going to the bathroom?


if you can also give me the source so i can learn it after




1) If you need to go daven mincha, the best would be to first make brocha achrona before you go. In any case if you left and want to continue eating after you come back there are a lot of chilukim depending on whether you were eating alone or came back to your company of friends, whether you were eating bread or at least mezonos, or other foods, whether you left the building or not, some also make a chiluk between the one who leaves for a short time (like to go to the bathroom) and the one who leaves for a while. The different chilukim and opinions are found in Orach Chaim 178 and commentators.


2) For mincha it’s preferable, but if you need to go to the bathroom you should not make brocha achrona especially if it’s in the same house.


3) There is more to rely on when you had in mind at the time of the brocha to leave, but lechatchila you should still not leave the building itself until you made brocha achrona.


4) Bedieved you don’t make any brochos when you return, but the best advice is always to have in mind when you make the brocha rishona that you want to be able to go to various rooms of the house.





My question is very fundamental. I want to know the reasons to believe. The argument that Jewish people use for 600000 people at Sinai is not very good. People psychology is such that they may believe in strange things. Take Christianity. This religion has the most followers.  Much more than orthodox Jews. And they didn't have Sinai. Take Hitler and Stalin ideas. They also found many followers. Why Hashem didn't give people knowledge and prove that He really exists? Einstein was trying to find answer and scientific prove for God existence and couldn't. And it's not just for God to punish people for not obeying Him if there is no prove to His existence.  If God purpose for us to obey him and follow his law He should not hide. It's very hard to listen to somebody who you not sure exists or tells you the right thing to do. Did anybody find any archeological prove of Jews staying in desert for 40 years?


Answer: I have a lot of lessons both audio and written in both languages, so if you search my site you'd probably find a lot of arguments about Divinity of Torah as well. There are better arguments and worse ones. In my opinion the Jewish history until today is the best argument for the Hand of Hashem guarding us. As per you specific questions I will try to reply briefly.


The argument of millions of Jews witnessing Sinai is much better than you think for the following reasons:


- Hitler, Stalin, Jesus, Mohammed and others could convince their following to believe things THEY COULD NOT CHECK themselves. This is very important distinction. This is why both Christianity and Islam don't claim a revelation to their entire nation, but only to a select individual. We are the only nation that claims such a revelation and the Torah predicts that such a claim will never be made by anyone. Indeed both Christians and Moslems believe that Jews had a revelation at Sinai. This is truly amazing especially in case of Moslems that don't believe in our Torah and say Yishmael was the chose son of Yitzchak but yet they believe we are the ones who had the revelation witnessed by the entire nation! If you read my book www.torahone.com/docs/TheWaysthatWeChose.htm - English  http://www.torahone.com/docs/puti.htm - Russian I discuss some if this. In general I disagree that there “no proofs”, Hashem gave us plenty of ways to find him. This includes objective proofs, see here for example: http://www.torahone.com/docs/TorahCodes.htm and also personal experience of Divine Guidance that we can all discover if we only try to open ourselves a little to Hashem.


As far as Einstein I am certainly not an expert and he was for sure a very biased and not moral individual but I can tell you two things, one I read and it's true for sure, the other I heard and I can't guarantee it's 100% true.


The first was that when he was on the verge of discovery of "Expanding Universe" that would lead to what later was called the Big Bang Theory (that the universe came from a little spark) he actually deliberately changed the formula to leave room for infinite universe. He wrote in a private letter that the very idea of "Expanding Universe" angers him, and later he admitted this to be the greatest mistake in his career. This is of course because the Big Bang sounds too close to what the Torah calls Bereshis Bara Elokim (see the book Permission to Believe).


Second: When Einstein visited Israel he met with one of great Rabbis there, who told him that Ramban (700 years ago) wrote that Hashem first created the smallest possible object and afterwards He did not CREAT anything; from it he "made" the entire universe. Einstein was absolutely overwhelmed by this...


At any rate as far as I know even such a person as Einstein who was completely remote from our Jewish traditions coming from an assimilated family of German Jews at least admitted that G-d exists, something you claim is doubtful.


As for archeology, it's not that simple. There are archeologists who very strongly support the Bible story, and there are those who reject everything. The first are called

"maximalists", the second - "minimalists". As you can guess the first group includes many religious people (including believing Christians) but there are some non-religious who still consider the Bible story accurate. Minimalists often look like Holocaust revisionists. Some of them openly say that they want to help Palestinian People to prove their right for Palestine, so they deny practically all of our history during the First Temple. A few times minimalists "lost" with latest discoveries of archeology (like finding a tablet with the Blessing of Kohanim from First Temple times...) I recommend for you to read Torah and Science by R. Dr. Yehuda Levi, you can order it online, and it's a reasonable book that covers these issues in honest upright manner. There are other books I could suggest including ones written but people other that Orthodox Jews, so if this topic really bothers you please write to me.


In any case regarding our approach to the issue I would describe as follows: We know that Torah predicts very accurately the "future" meaning things that happened to our nation throughout the last 2500 years. This we know, (I recommend also this audio lesson: http://www.torahone.com/tapes/26bBehar-Bechukotai.mp3

 - in the second half of the lesson I discuss some of these issues.) Now if Torah correctly predicted the future, certainly it's description of past is accurate. Archeology is not a very strong science, it's not like physics, and many things in archeology are based on assumptions that are not provable at all.



I am out of town and the only Fleishg  kosher restaurant in this area is just kosher, i don’t think its glat.

My question is what is the difference between Glat kosher and just kosher?

And also do i have to be more careful by meat then by chicken when it comes to glat? Or if i eat just glat it should be by both?




The word “glat” just means clean of any sirchos of lungs. The issue is that there is a dispute in Rishonim of what’s considered a sirach on a lung that would make an animal treif. Some Rishonim consider a very weak sircha that comes off easily to be acceptable, and so non-glat animal may have had some weak sirachas of this type, which according to other Rishonim would make the animal treif. Since the sirchos are very common, the percentage of animals acceptable as glat is much smaller than the ones that are not. (Of course there are different levels of “glat” as well depending on the Hashgacha). Birds however can be assumed to be glat.


There is also a tendency for glat Hashgachos to be stricter in other things as well and therefore they tend to be more reliable. Another issue to consider is that a person who always keeps glat may be forbidden to eat non-glat since it may be like a neder for him. However it’s possible that he could eat chicken if there is no choice, even though it was probably cooked in the same vessels as non-glat meat. However since this is not clear at all I’d recommend that he stay away from it.



In this week parsha it talks about the hunger , I understand that the whole episode when Yosef telling his brother who he is, took place in the second year, my question is was it put on hold ?or it was straight 7 years? Also Rashi Perk 47 posik 18, says  second of years of hunger, am confused what Rashi is explaining ,can you tell me more information on that Rashi?




There is an old dispute already from times of Chazal exactly how many years the hunger actually lasted, see Ramban in the same posuk (47:18) that quotes a few opinions. Rashi apparently follows the opinion that the hunger did not last all 7 years, and that after Yakov came to Egypt his blessing of Pharaoh included that the Nile will irrigate the land again (see Rashi 47:10). All Rashi is saying in posuk 18 is that the “second” year is counted from the beginning of hunger, he needed to say this because there are other opinions of what the word “second” means here and if we count from the beginning (see Ibn Ezra).




Hello, if a 11 year old boy(not your brother) gives you a birthday gift, are you allowed to take it from him or not. I heard there is this thing that if you take a gift (worth more than 5cent) from a boy somehow it means that you are married to him. So I would like to hear the answer.




What you are discussing is a situation where a boy gives a girl some object of value and this can become “kidushin”. First of all the boy can only do this according to Jewish law when he is at least 13, not just 11, (and the girl can receive kidushin after 12 and a half). Secondly according to the law there have to be two kosher male witnesses who are not relatives of either the boy or the girl or of each other. Thirdly for kidushin to take effect he has to tell her something that implies that he is giving this object for the sake of kidushin. Then even if she accepts it silently the kidushin takes effect. Moreover, if they were talking about marrying each other right before this and then afterwards he gave her an object of value this may also be considered kidushin.


From what I wrote above it becomes clear that a regular birthday gift usually would not be considered kidushin. Even if there are kosher witnesses present, the boy certainly never said he wants to give this present in order to marry her. However, because of the stringency of the law of a married woman this situation should still be avoided. Sometimes also there is another problem: when a boy sends gifts to a girl (who was previously introduced to him for shiduchim purposes) this may cause people to think they were engaged before and he is now sending gifts to his kala. Indeed the shulchan aruch mentions that even on purim when it’s a mitzvah to send gifts to each other, a man should send gifts to a man and a woman to a woman. If however a situation happened where a 13 year old boy gave a gift to a girl in front of people, a Rav should be asked what to do. (Note also that if he did not pass the gift directly to her but put it on a table, there is usually no problem of kidushin, but it may still create an impression of the gifts sent after engagement.)



Hello, I wanted to ask if you could cheat on the test but if you don't you will fail and that’s bad. So are you allowed to cheat or just fail?




One should not cheat on a test.



Hello, I have a question to ask, which is: if you see a bad dream what are you supposed to do?




Well, one thing you can do is go to a Shul and when kohanim bless the people say the nusach printed in sidurim, asking Hashem to make the dream come out good. Since you are Sefardi your shul has blessings of Kohanim every day. Some people also fast on the day they see bad dreams but I don’t suggest it in our day. There is also a nusach of “hatavat chalom” that can be recited in front of three people but the first advice is preferable. I also want you to know that in general what is considered a good or bad dream is hard for us to know and also a lot depends on the dream’s interpretation. If someone will explain your dream favorably it may come to be fulfilled that way. In general though most of our dreams are empty and don’t get fulfilled altogether and come mostly from our own thoughts and fears (and if one is worried the only damage they can do is due to placebo effect).




Erev Shabos ,what do we light first  The shaabos candle or menorah?




The menorah.


same when shabbos is over,what comes first Havdala or menorah?




There are different minhagim.






Whats a chalal? and whats  challalah (female)?




If a kohen had relations with a woman forbidden to him like grusha or zona, she and her children become chalalim. The way we posken, the further generations of mail chalalim continue to be chalalim but the children of a woman chalalah from a regular Yisroel are not chalalim, so her daughters can marry a kohen.



a single Kohen . who is he not aloud to marry ? or can he marry even a grushe

same question with a single  Kohenes (female)


2)same question but  a divorce Kohen,  who is he not aloud to marry

same question with a divorce   Kohenes (female)


3)can a divorce yisroel marry a single konenes?


4)can a divorce yisraeles (female) marry a kohen




A kohen can’t marry three types of women: grusha, chalala and zona, does not matter if he is single or divorced etc. A kohenes – daughet of a cohen can marry any kosher Jewish man that a non-kohenes can. Obviously divorced Yisroel can marry kohenes, and obviously a divorced woman (yisraelis or kohenes) can’t get married to a kohen.




From what i understand if i forget Al Hanisim  AFTER  i daven or by birkat hamozen i don't have to repeat , but say i reminded  before i finished , up til when can i go back ? daven and birkat hamozon




Before you finished the brocha (Baruch Ato Hashem) you can still say the addition.




How come Hashem refers to Dovid hamelech as a servant, and Avigael as a maid. I read it somewhere but dont remember where exactly, most probably sefer Tanah




Indeed Dovid is a servant of Hashem and it’s one of the best titles one can hope for. Avigael refers to herself as Dovid’s maid since this is a proper and modest way to talk to the future king.



I heard that some poskim say that the best time to light menorah is 10 min after sunset,if that's the case ,if the whole reason is that people should see from the outside, then i would guess that in or area where we live there are more people on the street later in the eve so why dont we light later?


Answer: First of all there is a machlokes whether in our day when we light inside we should still follow Chazal’s rulling to light in the beginning of the evening hours. Moreover there is a different dispute as to when did the Chazal institute to light: at sundown or when stars come out. The opinion you mentioned thinks that about 9-10 minutes after sundown is when the early stars come out. However this opinion is generally considered an error based on incorrect calculation (meaning he took the European time of stars to be 13.5 minutes after shkia and projected that then in US it’s about 9 minutes, but in reality the times of the Gemorah are for Eretz Yisroel and Bavel, so if it’s 13.5 minutes there, it’s either the same around the world or is greater in US and even greater in Europe; so the earliest stars would then be not earlier than 13.5 minutes after shkia).




The rabbis told us that we have to have enough oil that it should light for at least 1/2 hour, my question is why only half hour , there are  people on the street all night so it should burn all night.


Answer: You are right, again in our day that there are people outside much longer some opinions hold that you should put more oil.


Why was Yaakov Avinu scared to face his brother Eisav, with angel that he fought he had no problem.




Among other possibilities, one explanation is that the whole episode of Eisav and Yakov was a prelude to Yakov’s descendants and their dealings in exile of Edomite nations. According to this, Yakov was more scared about us than about himself back then.


It says that during the midbar Jews in desert made 42 stops, what is the significant of the number 42? ana bekoah is 42, shem MemBet is 42 , are there any other meanings to the number 42?


Question. You touched on important subjects dealing with Kabbalistic issues. It’s true various forty-twos are projections of the forty-two letter Name of Hashem.


How come the person that says kadish for his loved one, does not say the kadish on the 11th month?


Answer: You mean AFTER 11-th month. The general reason given in the Shulchan Aruch is that if he would say Kadish for all twelve months he’d imply that his parent was so wicked he had to be in Gehinom for a whole year.



Hi rabbi , it seems like i will be flying out of NY  On DEC 28 2008 , which is the last night of lighting chanukah , the problem is that my flight is 5.35Pm  and its international flight, which means i have to be at the airport no later then 3.45pm ,(after that is really pushing it) it takes about 25 min to get to the airport from my house (if no traffic) that means i have to leave my house about 3.15Pm , now  Plag HaMincha  Gro & Baal Tanya          is  3:38 pm   ..... Sunset is 4:36 Pm


1)can i light about 3.15pm before i go ?or is that to early for the eight night


No, it’s too early.


2)should i call someone in my house to light for me while am in the airport ? and if that should be done, who makes the bracha?


You don’t even have to call if you don’t live alone it’s enough that another family member (your father) lights and keeps you in mind as well. If you live alone, then it’s a question, maybe you can appoint a shliach beforehand and he will light without a brocha in a way that the candle can be seen outside, but if he lights inside and no one can see it then there is no point in lighting.


3)should i try to look in if i can light by the airport (perhaps by the chabad shul in Kennedy airport ,i will contact him and make sure it could get done) and that means i will light about 5 ish pm




4)or do i light the next morning when i arrive overseas about 9.00 am ,and if you say i should do that ,do i make a it with a bracha ?






Hi i have a  very big rash in the area where i have to go to the bathroom (in the seating area) my Doctor told me aside of using a cream , i should use baby wipes every time  i have to wipe that area , my question is am i able to do this on shabbos ? and if yes any instruction ?


According to many opinions wiping with wipes may be assur Deoraisa because of squeezing out the liquid (mefarek) which is indeed the intent. I would not suggest relying on those who permit wiping very carefully without pressing hard. Nor do I advice to rely on those who permit sometimes for a sick person (which also does not seem that you fall in that category because you just have michush bealma) to do a melacha in an unusual manner. Rather my advice to you is to first spread some liquid over the affected area and then wipe with a regular cloth or tissue. It will have the same effect without doing anything forbidden.




This question about I ask you, might not be such an important question, but someone told me over Shabbos that this coming year Erev Pesach (which is April 8th 2009) comes out on a Wednesday. Now he told me that it will be Birchas Hachumu.


1.) Does this happen every 29 years?


No, every 28 years.


2.) Does it always come out on a Wednesday? (And if it does, can you give me the explanation why it comes out on Wednesday?


Yes, because for this purpose we count the solar year as 365.25 days and after 28 years 365.25*28 is divisible by 7.


3.) He also told me that this is gonna be the third time in history that it comes out on Erev Pesach and the first time it happened when the Jews left Egypt, the second time was the Ezra and now it would be third time. Can you confirm it with me? And if it is true, is there any significance?





I don’t know, but it seems to me that the year we left Egypt was not at the time Birkas Hachama would be recited (the number of years that passed since then is not divisible by 28). Also there is a midrash that the water was split by Moshe in Tkufas Nissan, so less than a full solar year later when we came out of Egypt it should not have been Tkuvas Nissan again.




If I get dirty on my clothing or my hat on Shabbos and it is obvious enough that people can see it, how should it be handled?



That’s a problem. Put on different clothes.




Regarding Shabbos I heard that squeezing lemon over a salad has a different law than squeezing lemon over a liquid. Can you explain to me what the difference it, and why?



It’s true that according to most opinions squeezing into food is permitted since the liquid that was separated from food again became food.

What does vaht nacht means, is it only by ashkenazim or by sefaradim too?




There is a custom to gather the night before Bris Mila at the house of the child and to eat a seuda, as far as I know Sefardim have a similar inian called Brit Yitzchak where they gather the night before and the father says some passages from Zohar etc.



1)Who printed The Talmud


2)and What year was it


3) from what i understand that the format of the daf were some have lots of line and some have short lines , and rashi always is on the same page as the daf , ,if rashi would not have alot to say on that daf ,would of the daf been bigger,am a bit confused on this


1) A non-Jewish publishing company but they were helped by Jews of course.    

2) About 500 years ago

3) Sure they tried to fit to the page, so if Rashi would be short they would fit more Gemorah on that page and total number of pages would be smaller. However there is still a possibility that an issue so fundamental as printing of the Talmud was governed by Hashem’s Hashgacha Pratis. This is why we find sometimes the number of pages in a Masechet being darshened. For instance, the only two masechtos that have 49 dafs (like the Omer counting) actually have a clear relationship to the time of Omer!


What does  Tevel and Netea Revaie mean , and where does the torah talk about it ?

also does this apply to  chutz laretz as well?



Tevel means that Trumos and Maaseros were not separated from this food. Netae Revaie means the fruits of a tree during the fourth year after it was planted (or replanted). Tevel applies according to Torah law only to Eretz Yisroel, but miderabonan applies to certain places Chutz Laaretz. Here in US we only worry about Israeli products regarding Trumos and Maaseros, and they need a reliable heksher. Netae Revaie applies to fruits of Chutz Laaretz as Halacha Lemoshe Misinai but in case of uncertainty it’s permitted. This is why we don’t worry about it when we buy fruits on the market. However if you plant your own tree you will need to not use the first three years of fruits and worry about redeeming the fourth year’s (but according to Rema we only need to worry about the fourth year’s fruits of grape vine, not other trees.) The sources in Torah are many, see for instance Vayikra 19, Bemidbar 18, Devarim 12.




Is a man permitted to shave hair off his body not because of medical reason ,just for the sake that he has a lot of hair and he could be uncomfortable with it physically or mentally ,is that enough reason for a man to shave ?places like his back or his chest and if the answer is no please explain why?




See Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 182 and commentators, where they discuss the laws of prohibition of “wearing woman’s clothes” or doing other actions that are normally done by women. According to Shulchan Aruch one can cut away this hear but not with a razor, but in a place where men do this also it may be permitted according to some poskim. I presume US may be a place where men do these types of things … (although there is a different uncertainly as to whether we need to have davka majority of Jews doing it or it’s enough that most non-Jews do it).



What is the purpose of writing b"sd on a paper, and are we allowed to throw out any papers that contain b"sd, if not, what can i do about it?


Answer: BS”D is first letters of words “With Help of Heaven” in Aramaic and you can throw out the paper.


i learn the daf and we are holding in Gitin Daf 69 and it deals with different types of medicines one should use for according to that sickness, my question is ,obliviously we don’t practise this medicines today,

1)why is chazal saying this if we don't practice any more?

2)is it prohibited to practice it today with these medicine what the gemara talks about



First of all it seems in the times when the Talmud was written they still knew to identify most of the medicines mentioned in this sugia. Now in general we don’t practice according to most of these medicines although a number of scholarly works exist on the topic of Talmudic medicine. The reasons why we don’t use this as practical advice are manifold:


-          We don’t know today most of the identifications of the medicines (even more important things are hard to identify like “Orez”, there is a dispute if this is rice or millet; certainly the herbs mentioned in this Sugia are very difficult to identify).

-          Some advice may have been useful at their time in their location but today it may not be very helpful due to changes that occur in our systems etc

-          Even if we could identify some of the medicines mentioned, if we start following the exact advice and in some cases it won’t help this may bring people to “motzee laaz” on the words of the Talmud.


Can you tell me is there any potential problem this year of using asrogim from Israel , being that it was a shimta year


and if yes how many? and what are they? and is there ways to prevent them?


Answer. The problems are numerous, some esrogim may be totally not appropriate for usage according to many Rishonim, like the esrogim that come from trees that were worked on during Shmita or guarded during Shmita. There is also a general problem with exporting Shmita produce to Chutz Laaretz and the question of what to do after Sukkos with the Esrog that had Kedushas Shviis … and the general problem of “paying” for this Esrog when buying it (although that can be avoided by buying an expansive set and paying for three out of Arba Minim and “getting Esrog for free”).


The best advice to those who fear Hashem is not to buy Israili Esrogim this year.


I walked outside my house on shabbos night i was about 3 feet outside my house ,i noticed that i  had my watch on my hand , what was i suppose to do


1)drop it where i was ,even though the watch would get damaged next day from the rain by leaving it there


2)or bring it back to my house since its only 3 feet from my house




Better to come back right away without stopping. There are two reasons for this:


-          Some allow to wear a watch on Shabbos and certainly at least when it’s a shaas hadchak one can rely on this.

-          When one did not stop in the middle of walking and right away entered he did not break Shabbos Deoraisa since he both “took” and “put” the object inside the house. Even the Rishonim who argue with this will agree in your case when you did not walk 4 amos and right away came back to the same house.


In addition to the above one can consider that in most cases our domains are not mamash reishus harabim and so one can rely in the cases of machlokes on lenient opinions …



hi rabbi , not eating before havdala ,starts when?  does it depend on when i finish the 3rd seudah or it has a zman when i have to stop eating? and if its the larder case then say i eat the 3rd seudah 2pm and i finish three aclock and i bentch , so that means i can eat until sunset or even later?


please also give me the source



After shkia you should not be eating unless you started a meal with bread before shkia. If you started a meal with bread right before shkia, you can continue eating as long as you like until you bench.


There are some who permit to start the third meal (if you have not eaten it yet), even a little after shkia, depending on the opinion maybe 15 or 20 or 25 minutes after shkia or even later. However lechatchila one should try to start the third meal before the shkia. Most of these laws are discussed in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 299 and commentators.


 Is it permitted to sharpen knives at some equipment that is used for sharpening non-kosher knives?

Answer: I saw a sefer which discusses kashering vessels. It brings that that R. Yechiel MiParis used to be machmir but other poskim are meikel. Among other proofs he sights Agur and Mordechai (also brought in Beis Yosef YD 122) that when one gives over knives to a goy to sharpen, if they remain for more than a day we are afraid the goy will use it for something not kosher and they need kashering ... so it's mashma the sharpening itself is ok...


I also though that since the poskim discuss whether when kashering for pesach it's enough to just sharpen the knife or one also needs to kasher afterwards, but at any rate nobody says that the sharpening itself will make the knife not-kosher, and since the sharperner is probably not special for pesach, so clearly sharpening does not make the knife not-kosher.


Shalom, my question is: if you go to a Jews home you see that on their  table they have a juice or something else that is not kosher what are you supposed to do?


If they are considered religious but not very careful about kashrus, then you should tell them that they should not buy anything without hashgacha. In our day when the production of food is very complicated even relatively simple foods need hashgacha. However there may be some products that are known to be made in a kosher way, you may give the the telephone number of OU to ask if this particular product needs hashgacha (212) 563-4000.

Also if you are sure they won’t listen to you then if the food is not clearly non-kosher, for example juice that you mentioned, then you should rather keep quiet so that they will remain ignorant rather than transgress the prohibition purposefully.



Hi rabbi , What bracha do i make in Chlunet? the chulent is made of  Beans ...meat..and potato, now for me the meat is the main of the ingredient, but i also love the beans and the potato , in other words if u would serve me a pareve chulent that has potato and beans but no meat i would still eat it, so all 3 components are important to me with the meat being slightly more


 a) should i try to take three separate bights  of just beans of just potato of just meat??

 b)or put my spoon in the whole chulent and make one brachha ? and what would the bracha be?




The difficulty is that there is a real dispute for many centuries already of what is considered “one mixture” and requires only one brocha, with the rules of Ikar and Tafel applying, and what is considered separate foods and requires multiple borchos. Since it’s not in our power to resolve this dispute, the best advice is always to look for other foods outside the plate that require similar brochos. For instance, barley that is well cooked like in the chulent form needs mezonos, so take a piece of mezonos and make a brocha on it covering barley, then some vegetable and cover the potatoes and at last something to make shahakol on.


However the one who does not want to do all this is allowed to rely on the minhag haolam mentioned in the mishna berura (212:1, see there in the first biur halacha) and make one brocha. In this case since well cooked barley is mezonos, this is ikar and you make mezonos. However if you don’t eat a kezais of barley within a few minutes, you will not be able to make al hamich’ya in the end, only bore nefashos.




I have seen  in shuls Friday eve (mainly in the Ashkenazim not by the chassidim ) that the bal tfiloh  Friday eve will Daven  Mincha and Kabalas Shabbos by the Bimah(were the Torah is read ) and then for Mariv he will walk up front to the Amud


my question is why is this done? also can you give me the source

Answer: Minhag Yisroel Torah (267:3) says in the name of a Sefer “Vayas Avraham) that in the beginning the Kabalas Shabbos was only recited by some of the congregation and was not part of the standard Nusach, and as it later became more accepted, they still instituted for the Chazan to recite it in a different place.


1)why is the Prayer before we take out the Torah (Brich Shemai) said in Aramaic?


Answer: This prayer is from the Zohar that is written in Arameic.


2)why in the shabbos morning prayer before Mussaf  Yukam purkan said in Aramaic ?


Answer: It remained from the time of Babylonian Jews. You see it from the Nusach as well, we mention Reish Galusa there etc.


3)the singing Friday night Kuh Ribon  said in Aramaic ?


Answer: That is the language the author chose to write this Zmira in. The author was a Mekubal in Tzfas, maybe he wanted to imitate the Zohar’s style. Arizal’s zmiros for the meals are also written in Aramaic.



from what i understand the next molad ( for the month of Av) will be next Friday  12:30:36 (11 chalakim) AM   ...my questions is


1)what is chalakim


Answer: Each Chelek is 1/1080 of an hour, so it’s slightly more than 3 seconds. One of the reasons 1080 is used is that it is 6*6*6*5 – that is the particular Divine Name that is used to rule over this hour goes through permitations of 6 vovels under the first three letters and 5 wovels under the last letter since Shva is not put under the last letter. The other five vowels are the “tnuos gedolos” – (A O U I E).


2)once you know  the molad for the up coming new month ,is there formula to figure out  for the month after which is Ellul?


Answer: Yes, it’s 29.5 days plus 793 chalakim later (see Rambam Kidush Hachodesh 6:6) but this is average lunar month.


It turns out that we rent an appartment from goim for period about 35 days. First 30 days we are exempt from mezuzot installation.


Trying to avoid buying extra mezuzot just for few days i have the following questions:

- are there any leniencies that allow not to install mezuzot in our case?

- is it possible to put away some part of the appartment and not live there and not to use it at all assuming that i have returned it already to the owner it is not of the area that i rent?

- during first 30 days some times we left the appartment for 1-3 days - 7 days totally. Is it possible not to caclulate these days when calculating 30 days? This would solve the problem.

- any other ideas how to avoid buying and installing extra mezuzot in our case?




I really suggest not to go for any kulas because anyway even within 30 days according to many opinions mezuzas are needed if the contract is for more than 30 days. Mezuza protects you, why should you not have one? Better to buy mezuzas and if you don't need them later donate them to a poor Jew who does not have and count it as tzedaka (maaser).

Anyway the possible kulas that exist may be the shita of Hagahos Maymonid that renting from a non-Jew does not require a mezuza - this is a daas yachid though. Also in Maharshag's tshuva 2:122, he does consider it limud zechus for people who rent furnished apartments to be considered like a shoel, not like a renter, so he holds that in such a case eiruv is not needed and if it's owner is a goy then mezuza is not needed. I just don't understand how this helps since Shulchan aruch says shoel dino kesocher :


Making hefker the apartment is apparently machlokes rishonim but it's possible that according to everybody at least derabonan the chijuv remains (see minchas Yitzchak 6:113)


If you completely don't use some of the even rooms for storage and don't come in there, then it's possible you don't need mezuzas, but there may be a machlokes. Maybe if you also make them hefker before three people it should be ok. Or maybe rent them to someone else, then that person will have less than 30 days...


Regarding whether the time you were out is not counted - there are some similar svaras in magen Avraham end of 19th siman and Tshuvos Rabbi Akiva Eiger 9, but even if there were any kulas in this respect they should not apply if you had nothing in your apartment, since if when you are out you leave your staff in it's no worse than other storage rooms that according to the way we poskin need mezuza.


So everything said I'd like to conclude not to go after any kulas but buy the mezuza as quickly as possible (or borrow from someone for now).


Today's sunrise is 5:45:48.... my question is

a)by knowing to days sunrise, how can i figure out tomorrow sunrise? (assuming i am in the same location) in other words is there a calculation on the sunrise day to day

Answer: There is no simple way, this time of the year in New York it’s moving by less than a minute per day.


b)also by knowing today's sunrise, can i figure out the rest of the important zmanim for that day?

Answer: You need to know sunrise and one other number. Either sundown or Chatzos.


example ...Dawn...Latest Shema Magen Avrohom .....Latest Shema Gro & Baal Tanya .....

Answer:  GR”A and Baal Hatanya’s Shma would be one quarter way between sunrise and sundown, or halfway between sunrise and chatzos. Magen Avraham’s is usually counted 36 minutes before that.


Latest Shachris Gro & Baal Tanya...

Answer: would be one third way between sunrise and sundown


Earliest Mincha ....

Answer:  Chatzos plus 1/24 between sunrise and sundown


Plag HaMincha

Answer:  Chatzos plus 5/48 of the time between sunrise and sundown before sundown.



Are we allowed to throw out unwanted photos?




What’s interesting is that a different person asked me the same question some time ago. I have never heard or read about any problem with discarding unwanted photos.




Does alcohol have to be kosher?




If you have specific questions about the kashrus of any product I suggest you contact one of the following hashgacha agencies: kosher@ou.org office@star-k.org info@crcweb.org



One lady has just asked me what she should do if somebody presented her some present that contains some Christian symbol (icon).

She should destroy it, right?

But another question what she one do in the moment when somebody is presenting it? Of course it's better to refuse. But as far as i remember from gemora Avoda Zara where it bring that in a situation when a goy will take offence jew has to drop the present in the moment of presenting that it will fall in a well for example. What's the halacha lemaase?




Since here she already took it, so the question is theoretical in case it happens again, I am not sure what to say to you.


You are right there is a similar Gemorah (Avoda Zara 6b) but it's talking about a regular present that a goy sent on his holiday, not a present that has avoda zara in it. Now our case is worse, if we decide that the icon is actual avoda zara (not just in remembrance or similar but is made for worshiping). The only possible heterim if in fact it is avoda zara might be because of eiva and they probably don't apply here. Here is a statement from Yore Dea 148:12.


If there is some safek about whether the icon is for remembrance only, maybe then at least one can accept it without having in mind to "kone" it, and destroy right after the person who gave it leaves and not to bring it into the house ... lo tavi toeva el beisecho... I did some research and  found a teshuva from Maharsham, it's available at:


http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1528&hilite=&pgnum=17 and next page.


It's about a man who got a "cross" from the king as a present. Anyway he also offers the advice of not having in mind to "kone" at the time of taking the present... By the way, regarding presents on non-Jewish holidays, apparently Rambam and Tur have a meikel shita. The Shach, Taz and Bach are all trying to explain this shita and what comes out is that when there is no other choice one can take a present from an akum because of eiva without throwing it to the bor or when there is no bor nearby.


Anyway this does not seem to help in our case since the issur here is also because of having an object of idol worship and even just taking it may be included in the prohibition of lo tavi toeva el betecha (Minchat Chinuch and others). However taking without desire to acquire and deciding to destroy as soon as possible would help according to Maharsham anyway.


By the way, our discussion is theoretical since in practical terms I can't take achrayos for psaks like this especially relating to avoda zara... Moreover sometimes chilul Hashem can come out or at least maris ayin when rumors will spread that a Jew took an icon... while the case of Maharsham was better since this was an honorable present from the king, so people would assume it was not taken as object of avoda zara and there was even a svara that it was not made as avoda zara since the king knew he would give it to a Jew ...



In this weeks parsha we read about the Parah ..from what i understand is that the parah was done on the second day of chodesh nissan,  now  we also know that the leaders of nissiam slaughtered animals the first week of chodesh nissan ,cause of the inauguration , now we also know the to become pure, it takes 7 days, as we saw in this weeks parsha ,so my question is how were the able to slaughter the animals if it was not 7 days yet




The ashes of Para Aduma are needed only for people who were unclean. Apparently these princes were clean.



Because this year is shemittah , i am trying to get some basics  , here are some questions i gathered


1)we know that shemittah started in israel rosh hashana year 2007 and it goes  till 2008.. now say i plandeed something in 2 months before , but it wont be ready to cut  until in to the  shemittah  year, my question is can i cut it? being that i did not plant it during the shemmittah time or once any bit  amount of work is done on shemittah even if its the final stage of the procces then its no good


2)related to question 1 , every fruit and grain  vegetable , has a different season cycle as far as planting , for keeping shemittah do we have to know  the cycle ?or again  the Torah say  from rosh hashannah  to next year rosh hashannah 


3)living here  in Brooklyn or do i have to be concerned  about the fruits i get in the store ? in other words does it come from Israel ?  and if yes  when do i have to start being concerned ?


4)what does sefichim mean


i know shemittah has a lot of laws and a person really needs to spent alot of time on it , but if you can give me some insights on these question ,would greatly be appreciated , please also give me the source




Since the first two questions are theoretical I will be brief.


1) Regarding this question there are special laws: in case of grain, kitnios and fruits that started growing during the sixth year it depends on when they reached a certain size – before or after Rosh Hashana. On the other hand vegetables that started growing during the sixth year but are being reaped during the seventh year have some chumros of both years (for some of these laws see Rambam Shviis 4:9-12).


2) In some laws there are differences between fruits that keep growing on the tree for many years. Their shviis can be even two years later (see Rambam Shviis 4:16 from Mishna Shviis 5:1).


3) Yes and you have to always be concerned since it’s not just the problem of eating fruits or vegetables after biur i.e. after the time they disappeared from the fields. There are problems according to many rishonim to eat anything that was grown in violation of laws of letting the land rest. And some rishonim forbid even eating meshumar – i.e. what was not made hefker. Therefore from the beginning of Shmita year once it’s possible for Israeli fruits to get to US the problems start and you need to make sure you don’t but from stores that may be selling Israeli produce (besides helping they commit a sin of breaking the general issur of exporting produce of shviis chutz laaretz). I presume stores owned by frum Jews here in Brooklyn will make sure not to buy Israeli products (there is another problem with Israeli products throughout the other six years and that is they don’t take off trumos and maaseros on exported goods, but that problem can be fixed by taking the maaseros by yourself). If you really need to shop in a non-Jewish store, I guess you will need to look at the labels on boxes to make sure the produce is not Israeli.


Now it is known that the Rabanut of Israel “sells the land” to a non-Jew for the shmitah year, and it is also known that the vast majority of Rabbis did not agree on this heter. Moreover the whole heter was mainly for Israeli Jews because of shaas hadchak, where here in America we have plenty of food from other countries, so there is no reason to look for any leniencies. Even hashgachos who are generally quite lenient with many issues (like OU who are lenient with Bishul Akum, Cholov Akum, Tuna fish that is not checked for signs etc) are still strict regarding the Shmita issues.


4. Produces that grows by itself without any involvement from the farmer.




1.                 if there are some thing that depends from the person(free choice between good and evil) and others from God, so what’s the reason to make  an effort?  Is there a top or a ceiling to make an effort whether finally the result will come and depend from Hashem?

2.                 How can I mix and take a conclusion when the wise people say that when a person want something and make an effort to get it, this person will get what does he/she want; with the idea that doesn’t mind how hard  a person will strengthen, the result will come from God

3.                 if all the welfare comes from God, therefore a person shouldn’t work upon the necessary to live and maintain its family, how can you explain that statistically speaking  the persons and the societies becomes richer when they work hard, with persistence, etc and then as a result the specialization arise and therefore the productivity per person?

I’d say that the history show us that during centuries and centuries the welfare per capita was almost static until the industrial revolution when thanks to the help of technology and capital, but without any doubt to the long and hard work of millions of workers the incomes per capita and the standards of life grew up in an unknowable way


4.                 How can you keep close and loyal to our Halaja, traditions and God when you are surrounded by goim and where the Halaja is never put on practice by the environment? How can I avoid being influenced by such a bad environment with not polite people if you live and spend hours with these kind of people?

5.                 Do you think that is pointless to try to teach to people that do not want to learn anything? Is it possible to do that?


Well, dear Rabbi I know that here are many question. If you can answer or give an article where I could find the answer I will be very thankful. Shalom & Bracha!






Your questions are very deep and certainly very serious discussion is needed in order to try to answer each one. I will try to be brief and recommend some books.


1&2. There is very old and deep question of freedom of choice versus Hashem’s knowledge of the future events. I discussed this question already with a friend of mine, see http://www.torahone.com/forum/oldanswers.htm closer to the bottom, look there for words “I have a question about freedom of choice in this world according to Torah”.


Also see our words in Parshas Vayechi: http://www.torahone.com/docs/Vayechi.htm


Besides the question of Hashem’s “knowledge of the future” there is a separate question of what is really up to Hashem and what is given in our hands. This leads me to your question #3.


3. There is definitely some correspondence between the effort we make and the results. We also believe that physical success very much depends on righteousness and Hashem’s help. In fact the Torah itself teaches us numerous times that if we will listen to Hashem the work of our hands will be blessed (this applies especially in cases when our entire nation is righteous). However we need to make the effort so as the blessing would have something to rest upon!


This is precisely the reason why our sages were all workers (I mean the sages of the Mishna, Talmud, Rishonim etc). In fact many of them can be considered scientists as well, (for instance Rambam and Ralbag among Rishonim, there is even a mountain on the moon named Rabbi Levi after Ralbag). In fact Rambam held that every sage should be working rather than accepting money from community. The current custom of many people to “sit and learn” comes from the fact that sages hundreds of years ago already realized that we are on much lower level and most students of Torah simply don’t have enough abilities to be able to also work (see Yore Dea 246:21).


Now regarding the tremendous technological progress in the last years, the Zohar (116b-117a) already foretold that this would happen starting with the year 5600 (168 years ago) to prepare the world for coming of Mashiach. There is no question that the world has changed tremendously, the opportunities to do good or chas veshalom bad are greater than ever. It’s our choice to use the tremendous prospects in order to keep the mitzvot and spread the Torah, which leads me to the next question.


4. As I mentioned we have tremendous possibilities now for doing good, and as always the greater is the potential good, the greater is the potential bad. Indeed our sages mentioned (Sotah 49) that the challenges in the end of days will be very great but Hashem does not send a challenge without His help coming together with it. Take internet for example. We know the society today grows up with their “teacher” being the internet with all its’ abominations. Certainly a Jew who is stuck working in a bad environment can be influenced badly.


But look at the positive side too: any Jew anywhere in the world can easily get in touch with Torah, ask questions to rabbis etc. It’s all in our hands and we can use the options we have for good. This leads me to the last question.


5. There are some people who may look like they are hopeless but experience has proven otherwise. Many people can change and even stones can be cracked by water. In general the people who are most skeptical about Torah sometimes become the biggest Baaley Tshuva and this is the characteristic of our nation: being stiff-necked. It is hard for us to change for better but once we do, we are strong in our commitment to remain loyal to Hashem.


Question 3 is well discussed in “I shall not want” by Rabbi Ezriel Tauber. Some of his books may have translated to Spanish, I am not sure if this one was. Also I would recommend “Handbook of Jewish Thought” by Rabbi Arye Kaplan that discusses many of the topics we touched upon and gives sources.


Brocha VeHatzlacha to you too!




2 married (i think that it doesn't change anything lemaase but anyway) girls came to my city where i'm living now (they are studying here) and they asked me to help them. So they want to come to me in the evening. I'm not allowed to let them sleep in my apartment be cause it will be yichud, right? We are living together with my brother. The girls are Jewish.




Well for ashkenazim generally two men are ok, but you mean since it's night time, we need three. Well for this there may be ways to escape the prohibition, after all we are only afraid one of the men will fall asleep and the other will be left in yichud ... so if your apartment can at least have two separate rooms and they can go together into one room and lock the door from inside, and you will be w/ your brother in another room, this might suffice beshaas hadchak. As an additional measure I suggest giving a copy of the keys from your apartment to a two frum Jews who live nearby and invite them to come in throughout their stay without knocking...


All of this is to be yotze the letter of the law, but regarding the spirit of the law you have to see if there is really any chashash for mikshol, if the girls are not so tzniusdik etc.


Note also that  Ezer Mekudash is in general mesufek if lights help for two men and one woman at night.


There is also room to consider two separate rooms not to be yichud if each one has an exit to the outside.





Every 2 weeks i'm going home for Shabbos. I have a good reserve of time after the train arrives and till Shabbos starts but who can know what can happen to the train? If i know that we are already late for a lot of time and Shabbos will start during i will be in a train before entering the city, should i go out of a train somewhere in the middle of the road and spend Shabbos there (even in a field)? (I hope VERY MUCH that it wouldn't be lemaase but again - who can know what can happen to a train)


Very complicated issue. I suggest you read Nishmat Shabbat on various similar issues but it's a lot of work to go through these tshuvot, some are in this volume:


right before and after this page and some are in volumes 5:


starting with from previous page.


Also check the various commentaries on Orach Chaim 266 and learn them well, and hope this will never happen.



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