Shirley mentions to her friend: “I do not understand why some people keep chalav Yisrael today. Do they really think that someone is adding pig’s milk?”Full Story »
At one point in my life, when I worked as a “rabbinic field representative” (aka a mashgiach), I once made a surprise inspection of a company that produced juice drinks – let’s call it Generic Juices Inc. I was surprised to discover that the plant was bottling beverages containing carmine red coloring, and other drinks colored with enocianina, a coloring derived from grape skins. Neither of these products was on the lists of approved ingredients, and for good reason. Of course, this created a serious problem for the hechsher, the company, and most of all, the unsuspecting consumer…Full Story »
Question #1: Shacharis in the Air
Rabbi Nosaya called me recently with the following shaylah:
“My flight lands at a time that I can still get to a minyan, but I am sure that there will be a minyan davening on the plane before we land. Should I daven earlier on the plane, or after we land, where I will be able to daven with more concentration?
Question #2: New Mezuzos
Dovid and Rutie are purchasing mezuzos, but really nice ones are unavailable in the small Jewish community in which they live. Should they delay their purchase until they next visit a larger community, or should they buy the nicest ones available where they live?Full Story »
Andy Gross, a businessman who is proud that he is now observing mitzvos, is on time for his appointment. After a brief greeting, I ask him what brings him to my office on this beautiful morning. “I recently learned that even though the Torah prohibits paying or receiving interest, there is something called a heter [...]Full Story »
“Rabbi,” he begins, “I have heard that it is best to use red, non-pasteurized wine at the seder. However, my father-in-law likes Chablis, which is a white wine, and my mother-in-law never drinks any wine. The grape juice she likes is from concentrate, and someone told me that one cannot use it for kiddush. What should I do?”Full Story »
Question #1: Zev is studying in Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel and has decided that he wants to settle there, although his parents, who support him, live in Flatbush. How many days of Yom Tov should he observe?
Question #2: Avi and Rutie, who are native Israelis, have accepted teaching positions in chutz la’aretz for two years, but certainly intend to return to Eretz Yisroel afterwards. Must they observe both days of Yom Tov while they are in chutz la’aretz?Full Story »
“Rivkah is a student at Bnos Aliyah Seminary and is uncertain whether she should keep one day of Yom Tov or two. A few weeks ago she visited a family for Shabbos and mentioned her predicament. The man of the house graciously told her that he answers halachic inquiries and ruled that she need keep only one day of Yom Tov. However, upon returning to Seminary, a teacher told Rivkah that she should not ask her shaylah from anyone, but must ask one of the seminary rabbis. Rivkah did so, and was told to keep two days. Subsequently, someone told her that she should not have asked the question a second time and must follow the first ruling she received. Now she is in a dilemma: should she observe the second day of Yom Tov or not? Is she supposed to find someone reciting Kiddush or Havdalah?”Full Story »
I like to separate challah with a bracha, but I do not have a bowl big enough to hold the minimum amount of dough necessary. Instead, I have been mixing the dough in two bowls, and draping a cloth over them. Someone told me that this is not a satisfactory method of combining the doughs and that I have been reciting invalid brachos as a result. What is the correct way to separate challah?” Mrs. Bracha, Mrs. Ginsburg’s friend, was curious why Mrs. Ginsburg was trying to combine her two doughs. “After all, let her just ‘take challah’ on each bowl separately. Why all this hassle?” Which of the two good ladies is correct?Full Story »
The following t’shuvas, on diverse topics, have been added to the Hebrew T’shuvas page:Full Story »
Shimon looks rather sheepish when he asks this shaylah on Shabbos morning: After waking up, he tasted the cholent and decided it needed some extra spices. Without thinking, he added some pepper and garlic powder, which is clearly an act of desecrating Shabbos. Can his family eat the cholent, or is it prohibited to benefit from this melachah? “My main mutual fund has performed wonderfully over time and I am very satisfied with it. However, I recently read a transcript in which the fund manager, who is probably Jewish, referred to investment discussions with his staff on Friday night. I am concerned that I may be benefiting from chillul Shabbos that he performs in the course of researching venture possibilities for the fund. Must I pull my money out and look for another investment vehicle?”Full Story »