• Signup
  • Login
  • Subscribe

Ask the Rabbi

Home > Ask the Rabbi

Search ask the Rabbi

Send a question X

Questions & Answers

Q:

From Louise :

5/8/2016

Hi, I live on east 76th and 2nd avenue. I wanted to know if I can carry from my apartment into Central Park on Shabbat. Does the eruv cover Central Park? Thank you

A:

Rabbi:

Hi Louise,
I am giving you a link to the map of the Erub where it shows that your residence is within the Erub and you can carry from your home to Central Park. In the link, there are also notes on the areas that have specific instructions. If you are Sephardi and consider yourself to be strict on the rules of carrying on Shabbat, then the Erub will not help you to carry on Shabbat. http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0 msid=113076836900840950588.00044dbfc593b01e16fc3&ll=40.834593,-73.996353&spn=0.121826,0.219727&z=12

Best Regards,

Q:

From yamine assouline:

8/20/2015

Dear Rabbi, i was visiting your shoule recentely and i saw that the kohanim were not taking off their shoes for birkat kohanim- is this a minhag or it has some halakhik roots many thanks

A:

Rabbi:

Dear Yamine,

The Talmud gives the reason why Kohanim had to take off their shoes. The reason given is for the Kabod - honor of the congregants. When the Kohanim "went up" to the Dukhan - the stage, to do the blessings, their feet were at the level of the eyesight of the congregants. They were wearing sandals and were all dusty, dirty and muddy, since their roads were not with asphalt or cement the way our streets are today. So our Sages instituted that the Kohanim should remove their shoes and wash their feet before doing Birkat Kohanim, so the congregants will not be disgusted and offended and say "I am getting a blessing from these people with these dirty feet"?

Nowadays, people do not ware sandals and the roads are not muddy, and shoes are very sightly, yet we still keep the decree of the Sages that was given when the Kohanim "go up" to the Dukhan- the stage. However, when the kohanim don't "go up" to recite their blessing on the stage, but they do it at the same level of the congregants, the Sage's decree is not applicable therefore they do Birkat Kohanim without taking off their shoes. 

I hope this clarifies your question.
 

Q:

From BagelLover2:

4/22/2015

Hi Rabbi, Can you explain why some hold that bagels are actually Mezonot and Hamossii? Thank you!

A:

Rabbi:

The general rule on the Blessing of Hamossi is that the product should be made from dough of the 5 grains, namely, wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt, water and salt and has to be baked, not cooked. Any product made that way its blessing is Hamossi. If there are any other significant ingredients like eggs, oil, sugar or other things, its blessing becomes Mezonot. Cookies, crakers are examples of Mezonot products.  Likewise if the dough is cooked/boiled and not baked in an oven when it is made, like in pasta, its blessing is also Mezonot.

Bagels, authentic New York bagels, are boiled before they are baked. The degree of boiling acording to some authorities does render the bagel edible at least by a concept discussed in the Talmud known as the Food of Bendrusay (a person who is running from the autorities and would settle eating food that is 1/3 cooked). SInce boiled is considered cooked, and since the bagel is cooked then its blessing would be Mezonot, even if it is baked afterwards.  Add to this concept that the bagel has other ingredients other than only grain dough, water and salt, then certainly Mezonot would apply.

Other authorities, believe that the boiling is not sufficient to render the bagel edible and since it needs to be baked to be edible, then Hamossi is necessary. Even if other ingredients are added to the bagel like sugar, eggs, oil or raisins, its blessing according to this view would still be Hamossi. The reason is that for this opinion to recite Mezonot on any baked dough would require the other ingredients to be recognized by the taste and make up a significant part of the bagel or bread. A small amount of sugar, eggs, oil or other ingredients would not suffice to render the product a Mezonot product.

I hope this will answer your question.

Q:

From Family Purity:

3/28/2009

can jews have tattos

A:

Rabbi:

No, Jews cannot have tattoos. It is prohibited by the Bible. This is only for permanent and semi-permanent tattoo where they require the cuting of the skin and the insertion of a dye. However stickers with children tattoos that can be removed with washing the skin though they are not prohibited, however, they are not encouraged either.

Q:

From General Halakha:

8/28/2006

Upon discussing the upcoming holiday of Simchat Torah, we were wondering why we don't end and begin the reading of the Torah at Shavuot, which celebrates the receiving of the Torah? Why was Simchat Torah not set for the same time or day after Shavuot, and why it is instead put awkwardly right after Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret?

A:

Rabbi:

Your question also bothered the famed Dubno Maggid. He tried to understand why Shavuot and Simchat Torah are celebrated so differently: On Shavuot, we stay up all night learning Torah, and on Simchat Torah we dance, to mark the conclusion of the annual reading of the Torah. The need for these two holidays has been explained in a parable that has been handed down from generation to generation. Once a king issued a proclamation. Any one of his subjects was invited to try for the hand of his daughter, on one condition. The potential suitor was not allowed to meet or see his daughter before the marriage. The proclamation caused quite a stir. Soon the local inns were buzzing with speculation and rumors. "I hear she is a real shrew", said one. "I heard she is a deaf-mute," said another. "I know for a fact that she is a total imbecile," intoned a third. Round and round the rumors flew. Finally, a simple wholehearted Jew spoke up. "I am willing marry her. How bad can she be? After all, she is the king's daughter and 

Q:

From General Halakha:

8/28/2006

What are the rules of rolling a Mezuzah parchment? Can the scroll be wrapped in Saran Wrap or plastic before putting it into a case? I'm especially concerned about protecting a Mezuzah which hangs outdoors.

A:

Rabbi:

Here's the best way to roll up your mezuzah: 1) Place the parchment in front of you so that the text of the "Shema" is facing you. 2) Begin to roll from the left side (i.e. from the end of the Hebrew text), so that the words are on in the inside. 3) Be careful to roll smoothly and do not crease the parchment. Scratching off any ink would render the Mezuzah invalid. 4) It is best to wrap the parchment in a material that breathes, like wax paper. Plastic wrap makes the parchment sweat and could destroy the letters, especially if the Mezuzah is placed outside. 5) When placing the Mezuzah on the wall or in the case, make sure that the Hebrew word "Shaddai," which is written on the back of the parchment, is facing outwards (i.e. toward the entrance once it is affixed). Also, make sure the Mezuzah is not upside down!

Q:

From General Halakha:

8/28/2006

I recently attended a family reunion. My parents were there, as well as my brothers with their wives and kids. My brothers are very bitter toward my parents, and have also distanced themselves from me. I think my brothers are jealous of me because I am the only daughter, and I got more attention growing up. I really want to be close with my family. I have no hard feelings and want to get along. What can I do to have a better relationship with my brothers? The current situation is very painful for me.

A:

Rabbi:

over other people's misbehavior toward us when in reality we did nothing wrong toward them. But first of all, you need to realize that other people's free will is not in your hands. While you can encourage them in a good direction, ultimately they make their own decisions in life. How can you build a relationship with them for the future? Here are some suggestions: 1) Send them greeting cards to commemorate various holidays or special events, such as Rosh Hashana, a Bar mitzvah, wedding, birth of a child, etc. Even if you don't hear back from them, just keep sending the cards. Also, call them on special occasions to wish them well. 2) Don't hesitate to build an independent relationship with your nieces and nephews. Eventually, these kids will grow up, go off to college, and make their own lives. There is no reason that the tension between you and your brothers should carry over into these other relationships as well.

Terms | Powered by Team Red

Register here to receive CBE emails.